banjo.jpgWho would have though that a week in the middle of May would be such an important week for video game news? It's pre-E3 week out in San Francisco, and everyone from Microsoft to Sega will be meeting with gaming insiders and showing off their biggest releases for the rest of the year. You've already seen the product of some of these showcases in the form of the leaked "Banjo Kazooie" screenshots, but those could just be small potatoes compared to what some journalists will be seeing this week. Would anybody care to guess what else may come out of this week?

Jason's Pick:

Destructoid Heads To TooManyGames 6: Apparently there was a game convention this past weekend in Pennsylvania, who knew? Destructoid did, because they went.

Tracey's Pick:

Study: New York City's Game Industry Shows Potential: A study conducted by the Center for an Urban Future shows that the game development community in NYC is growing, though we're still behind Boston. (Perhaps a major league baseball-type rivalry is in order?)

* R.T.F.A. stands for “Read The Full Article.”

xbox.jpgThis past weekend I went to visit my parents for Mother's Day up in Connecticut, as any good son should have done. One of my regular stops on my weekend trips home is a friend of mine's apartment for a few hours of multiplayer gaming where I actually sit in the same room as the person I am playing against. Since the last time I visited, he upgraded his gaming set up by purchasing an Xbox 360 to play "GTA IV" and "Rock Band." However, when he booted it up on his 46" HD DLP television I noticed the dashboard just didn’t look right. I asked him what the resolution was on his TV and it turned out to be 720P. I checked his settings for him and saw that the 360 was set to 480P since he set it up weeks ago. I fixed the settings for him before we started playing, and he noted that there was a noticeable difference, but it got me wondering how many gamers out there aren't playing games at their optimal settings. Have you ever run into this kind of a problem while gaming with your friends?

Monday's prime link selections:

Stephen's Pick:

"Nothing Spectacular": AI Panic, a blog about artificial intelligence is unimpressed by the AI in "Grand Theft Auto IV."

Jason's Pick:

Best Games Never Released In Europe: While Europe may be better off without having seen the release of The Virtual Boy and "Mega Man Soccer" there are some gems that a whole continent missed out on.

Tracey's Pick:

"Wii Fit" Takes Over Times Square: A GoNintendo reader spotted this giant, glowing "Wii Fit" advertisement about two blocks away from here.

Patrick's Pick:

NES Coffee Table (And It Works!): I've already commissioned my artist friend to start making this for me. It's to be delivered by my 30th birthday. Eventually, it shall be mine!

* R.T.F.A. stands for “Read The Full Article.”

ki.jpgLate in the day yesterday, a rumor surfaced about Nintendo's impending announcement of the return of "Kid Icarus" at this year's E3. If the rumor turns out to be true, "Kid Icarus" will be added to a long list of retro-revivals that have all been announced in recent months. The original NES version was a great game, and adding the winged one to the Wii's library would be great, but it begs the question: Who's next? There are thousands of properties that haven't seen the light of day in years. Which ones deserve a revival? Let us know, and check out today's links:

Jason's Pick:

Playstation Network & Downloadable Games - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: GameSetWatch takes a look at the best and the worst of the PSN Games, and what it means for independent games.

Tracey's Pick:

How My Wife Ruined "GTA IV": The reason this gamer husband thinks his wife "ruined" the game is exactly why I love it. (Her final comment made me shudder, though.)

Stephen's Pick:

"Fans of the game will not be disappointed": Heard that one before? This time "Pirates of the Caribbean" director Gore Verbinski is the one saying it while talking to Variety about directing the newly announced "BioShock" movie.

Patrick's Pick:

Real-Time Drawing of the new "Prince of Persia": Is anyone else a little sad this is the last we'll be seeing of the old prince?

* R.T.F.A. stands for “Read The Full Article.”

wii.jpgYesterday, Nintendo launched the aptly named "Nintendo Channel," which offers a wide variety of game related functionality to the Wii. While it still may leave a few things to be desired by some users, it's a place for Wii gamers to get more informed about their purchasing decisions, which is great for everyone, not just Nintendo's market research division. Once consumers are more informed about their purchases, it should help encourage good games to sell better, and maybe; just maybe, it'll improve the overall quality of games on the console. Here's to putting faith in the purchasing public.

Jason's Pick:

Why Nintendo Should Buy Twitter To Integrate With The Wii: We here at Multiplayer love our Twitter feed, and we love our Wii, so it makes sense for us to ask the question: What if they had a baby?

Stephen's Pick:

"Boom Blox" = "GTA IV"?: Both games get the highest marks from 1Up.com, but to find out how the EA-Steven-Spielberg block game could earn such high praise, you'll have to read the linked review.

Tracey's Pick:

World of Warcraft Exposed: Making the Grind Work For You: In Michael Zenke's weekly column about "WoW," he offers some handy tips for those who are leveling their second (or third, fourth) character to the top.

* R.T.F.A. stands for "Read The Full Article."

me_140_.jpgAs noted by Stephen in an article earlier this year, "Mirror's Edge" has a very distinct art style going for it, meaning they opted to not use the color green. After finally getting to see a bit of the game in action courtesy of Sony's Gamers' Day, it appears that it absolutely works. The game looks visually stunning, and even refreshing. It could be a very welcome change from the dull browns and blacks that gamers have become accustomed to. Hopefully, this game can prove that companies other than Nintendo can produce aesthetically pleasing, bright looking games.

Jason's Pick:

Kyle Robinson Custom Action Figures: Marvel Vs Capcom 2: These figures are amazing. If these were commercially released I would buy every single one of them.

Patrick's Pick:

Sometimes You're Just Not In The Mood For Grand Theft Auto: Stephen experienced the same thing when he had access to the game ahead of the public release, and people came down on him hard for it.

Stephen's Pick:

Time To Talk About Gameplay: Mr. N'Gai Croal pens a compelling call for reviewers to write more about gameplay. His essay also compels one of his commenters to ask if this call relieves reviewers of the need to finish games.

Tracey's Pick:

Blizzard store relaunched with digital downloads: If you don't already have "Starcraft" or "Warcraft III," Blizzard just made things a whole lot easier for you.

* R.T.F.A. stands for “Read The Full Article.”

ng.jpgI picked up a copy of "Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword" over the weekend, and I was more than pleasantly surprised. Both the gameplay and the use of the touch screen are exceptionally well done, it may quickly become my new favorite DS game - that uses the touch screen. (Don't worry "Contra 4" you're still safe at the top). The stylus controlled gameplay is the best version of stylus mashing I've seen to date. I'm not going to go on about it for days (I'll leave that to the Big Dog), but if you are looking for a unique action game for the DS, "Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword" is easily one of your best options.

Stephen's Pick:

Apparently I'm a loser: That's what sources say.

Jason's Pick:

Mega Man: Powered Up - a tribute to Super Mario Bros.: Watch Mega Man take on level 1-1 of "Super Mario Bros." courtesy of his PSP remake. [Video - Via GoNintendo]

Tracey's Pick:

In spite of GTA IV, U.S. box office comes out strong: With all the talk of Iron Man vs. "GTA IV," it looks like gamers found time to see the movie and play "GTA" (unlike me).

* R.T.F.A. stands for “Read The Full Article.”

140×1054.jpgThe big week ("Mario Kart Wii," "GTA IV," and "echochrome") has come and gone, and now we are truely about to enter the video game dry season. I fear last week's releases were like an oasis somewhere towards the middle of the Sahara Desert. On the plus side, the combined hours spent on playing those games should easily get everyone well into June, just in time for "Metal Gear Solid 4." It's closer than you think, and so are today's prime links:

Jason's Pick:

Ninten-Don't... How I watched my children turn into monsters the minute I bought them a computer game: One woman's story of how not to introduce video games into your children's lives. Maybe next time she'll try a Wii instead of a DS, and things might go a little more smoothly.

Patrick's Pick:

Popular Songs Done In "Mario Paint": I spent way too much time time messing around with "Mario Paint" when I was younger, but something tells me that no one (including myself!) would want to go back and listen to them.

Tracey's Pick:

Wii's dirty secret: A dearth of good games: Yahoo's Christopher Null examines Gamefunk's claim that there's a severe lack of quality games for the Wii. [Note: Original Gamefunk link is still down.]

Stephen's Pick:

"Okami" creator laments cut credits: Lost in the blizzard of "GTA IV" coverage was this lament from Hideki Kamiya, head of the team that made "Okami," aboutthe omission of his team's credits on the recent Wii port of the game. [Via Kotaku]

* R.T.F.A. stands for “Read The Full Article.”

140×1051.jpgWith all of the attention this week on "GTA IV" and "Mario Kart" this week's best release may have been overlooked. That's right, there is actually a better, more creative, intelligent, and refreshing (not to mention cheaper) game that is available right now for all the PS3 and PSP owners out there.

"echochrome,"'s release date was announced about 24 hours before it was actually available, and, for most gamers, fell somewhere between the 50th and 51st "GTA" post they were reading. The download-only title has been one of my most anticipated games since it was announced at last year's E3, and it absolutely deserves a download by any self-respecting gamer. I highly recommend you add it to your weekend gaming lists. While you let those 84 MBs download, check out today's link selections:

Patrick's Pick:

Miyamoto Voted TIME's Most Influential: This was the reader's pick, not TIME's, but it's pretty cool, nonetheless.

Stephen's Pick:

Are we what we play? This is the first time, to my knowledge, that something I wrote inspired a suite of essays. Added bonus: these essays by 1up.com writers and editors about how their actions in video games relate to who they are and what they do in real life are really good. 

Jason's Pick:

Every Gamer's Nightmare: Taming the Tangled Cord Beast: Games Radar's Brett Elston ventures into his closet to unravel the mess of cords that have grown over the years.

* R.T.F.A. stands for “Read The Full Article.”

platypus.jpgInspired by the ending of a "Zero Punctuation" review for "Tomb Raider Anniversary," I have come up with a little game I'd like to try out, which I am dubbing "Video Game (M)ad Libs." Here's how you play: pick four things, put them together and make it into the plot of an adventure game. One thing has to be the protagonist, one the antagonist, one the over-arching goal, and the last one is what needs to be done to accomplish this goal. You get extra points for coherency. For example: Zombie ninjas knitting sweaters to rid the world of evil duck-billed platypuses unleashed by film director Kevin Smith. Your turn. Go!

Jason's Pick:

The State of Indie Gaming: Gamasutra takes a long, hard look at who, what, where, when, and why of the indie gaming scene and offers up their analysis.

Patrick's Pick:

Gearbox Talks Aliens: Colonial Marines: Massive respect to Gearbox. They're ignoring the third and forth movies in the franchise, treating their game as through it was a sequel to Aliens. I'm in love.

Tracey's Pick:

Top 10 most anticipated Xbox 360 games of 2008: Destructoid reminds us that there are other games coming out this year.

Stephen's Pick:

What would happen if the Rubik's Cube was turned into a video game? N'Gai Croal has the answers from someone who is doing just that.

* R.T.F.A. stands for “Read The Full Article.”

gtaiv1.jpgI hope everyone enjoyed the "Grand Theft Auto IV" release yesterday, because it's time to get back to work. While it may be a sign that I am a bit too hardcore of a gamer for my own good; I see the release of a video game as a perfectly good excuse to take a little rest and relaxation time for yourself. What difference should it make it the game comes out on a Tuesday or a Saturday, you should always take the time to fully appreciate a new game. If your boss happens to have a problem with it, send them to me. While I find a good place to hide, you can check out today's Multiplayer link picks:

Jason's Pick:

Mega Man in the Guiness Book: The little blue guy takes home the award for the "Most Number of Games In a Single Series." That can also be taken as the "Most Diluted Character" ever. [Via GoNintendo]

Stephen's Pick:

"This one's for Sean Bell": Quite a quote to absorb, from Kotaku's interviews with residents of Spanish Harlem concerning what playing "Grand Theft Auto IV" means to at least one of them.

Tracey's Pick:

'Grand Theft Auto' Promo Campaign Kept Quiet: Fox News reports that Rockstar is keeping the "GTA IV" launch on the "downlow."

Patrick's Pick:

'The Sims Online' Closing: Even though 'The Sims Online' was never the roaring success that Electronic Arts intended, you have to wonder how news like this feels for the few people the game did connect with over the years.

* R.T.F.A. stands for “Read The Full Article.”

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