The newest installment in Ubi’s money-printing Prince of Persia franchise hits stores today, and the first reviews are beginning to trickle out – notably this one from IGN. There’s really only one way you can take a 9.3, and while I hope that the game actually lives up to this score, I’ve certainly lost all faith in mainstream game journalism since the 8.0-10 scoring the abominable Far Cry 2 received from nearly all ad-supported outlets.
It’s actually kind of old news now, but Turner Broadcasting Systems has sold its GameTap service to France-based Metaboli and it will live on in some incarnation through that company. As a long and vocal supporter of GameTap (and a paid freelancer), I was an outsider who saw in through the window. Know that I don’t mean this as an exposé. I was working a thousand miles away from GameTap High Command and communicating with just a handful of actual Turner employees, and them by email. So it’s not like I was privy to anything big. What you read here is a reflection on my experiences, peppered with what I know or believe to be true, but authoritative it ain’t. I can’t claim to provide even a remotely comprehensive description of what happened to the service, but I can share the observations of one who’d been on GameTap’s periphery since before it had even been named.
New over the news tickers today is the suggestion that failed Maxis “masterpiece” Spore, released to tepid reviews but hella sales in early September, underwent some significant changes to up the simplicity and cute factor and back-burner the SimLife science originally planned by Will Wright and his team. The conjecture is that Maxis employee and outspoken industry dude Chris Hecker is responsible for the change. Whether or not that’s true, the cuteification of Spore actually …
I totally stole the above picture from the indispensible gamepolitics.com site, but it’s worth the theft to share.
A two-game franchise may seem somewhat thin material for a retrospective piece. But the story of the Thief games is one of richer history than many realizeThief and its successor are much more than the sum of their parts. The adventure that unfolds as you play them is intriguing enough, but when taken hand in hand with the corresponding real-life tale of innovation, corporate downfall, and the subsequent industry ripple effect, suddenly Thief’s dark milieu offers sufficient wealth to produce plenty of interesting reading.
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