Robots, ninja and weirdness.

It’ll be awhile before we get to play Armored Core online but we can still drool over the Japanese version.
Welcome back to Matters of Import, your weekly digest of all the videogame happenings from abroad that matter to you. From Software’s Internet-ready remix of Armored Core 2 — appropriately dubbed Another Age — has quickly rocketed to the top of many gamers’ most wanted lists, and with good reason. Equestrian sims and Mahjong matches aside, this promises to be the single best, most tangible reason to be excited about Sony’s foray into online gaming. It goes on sale in Japan this April; look to Daily Radar to bring you all the exciting details as PS2 gamers gear up to take their game to the web…
Here’s the news…

What’s The Big Deal?
From Software’s much coveted mech-battler Armored Core 2: Another Age goes on sale in Japan on April 12. As previously reported, this network edition of the popular PS2 title will support all three current models of the PS2 USB Modem, including P2Gate, OnlineStation and the ME56PS2. Online-less gamers can also play via the I-Link cable; the design mode will be USB mouse compatible.

In other Armored Core news, a robotic massacre was reported from the Martian Colonies last week. Read all about it here.

Packing Action
March 29 will see the release of Konami’s latest Goemon action title. Ganbare! Goemon: Guru Guru Edo features a town overrun by monsters made up of recycled materials, four playable characters and an evil robot named Impact.

RPG Me, Please
Enix has announced details about its upcoming PS2 RPG Endonesia, in which gamers play as Me, a 10-year-old boy who finds himself on an island from another world. In order to make his way home, Me must search for 50 gods scattered across the island. Borrowing a page from Shadow of Memories, the game features a time limit system in which, after 10 days, the player is transported back to the beginning of the game.

Bandai’s PSOne SD Gundam Hero Daikessen: Knight Vs Warrior was released last Thursday. An action RPG, the game features fully customizable characters, 300 interchangeable parts and support for the WonderWave, which allows for data exchange between the WonderSwan and the PSOne.

Pandora Box’s Pandora Max Series Vol. 6 Oni Zero Resurrection is scheduled for a March 22 release; this RPG concerns an age-old conflict between ninja and demons.

Sporting And Chance
Arika’s new PS2 network mahjong game Net & Ron Mahjong is scheduled for a July release. Compatible with both the PS2 USB Modem and HDD, the game’s being designed around a server that promises support for 10,000 simultaneous users.

All Singing, All Dancing, The Cute And The Weird
Another upcoming game with support for the PS2’s peripherals (HDD and USB Printer Popegg) is ArtDink’s PS2 loco-sim A-Train 2001. Scheduled for a March 8 release, the game will enable gamers to construct and develop railways and cities, take snapshots of their progress and print them out via the Popegg Printer after having saved them to the PS2 HDD.

One of the most peculiar games ever is coming to the PS2, courtesy of Enix. If you haven’t already heard of Super Galdelic Hour, you might very well find new reason to live by clicking here.

Read More

Marketing Muscle – Xbox vs. the Competition

Lately the Xbox has come under a lot of scrutiny from the mainstream financial press. Outlets such as Fortune and Bloomberg have weighed in on the chances of the Xbox, with most of them offering cautious to skeptical opinions on its chances. But one thing they do agree on is that Microsoft has never tried to take on a marketing project this big before.

At the recent keynote address during the Tokyo Game Show, Bill Gates said that the Xbox launch was going to be the biggest in Microsoft’s history, eclipsing even the massive Windows95 launch in September of that year. But Microsoft was simply launching a product into a market it already dominated, to an audience of largely middle-aged guys. Now it’s trying to break into a much more competitive market, and appeal to a much more fickle audience of hardcore gamers.

Can the company do it? We have heard early plans of what Microsoft has in mind, but the big media blitz isn’t going to start until next month’s E3. In the meantime, we’ll take a look at some of the basic strategies of the other big platform providers to see what they did right and what they did wrong.

Bad Move — Didn’t Show The Games
The Dreamcast was a bigger technological leap over the PlayStation than the PS2 is over the Dreamcast. We still remember the first time we saw Soul Calibur running on a monitor off Dreamcast hardware. To this day, it still looks as good as any game on any other platform. But Sega didn’t promote Soul Calibur at all, and presented a bizarre Jim McMahon-inspired CG to sell the brilliant NFL2K.

Other gaffes included a horrible Virtua Tennis print ad that showed several fat, hairy butts in a men’s locker room in a supposed promotion for the tennis game. Sega also didn’t promote some of its key titles well enough, with Jet Grind Radio having some truly bizarre TV spots and a clever but ineffective “Graffiti is Art” campaign here in San Francisco.

Good Move — Brought Back The Sega Scream
There was a golden time for Sega, namely when it was kicking Nintendo’s fanny in the early years of Genesis. One of the great campaigns from the 16-bit age was the famous “Sega scream,” where some proud Genesis owner would suffer some calamity for his beloved console, and end the ad with a curt “SEGA!” It was catchy and energetic, and a good follow-up to the “Genesis does what Nintendon’t” ad campaign.

Bad Move — The PS9?!?
Sony effectively killed the Dreamcast even before the first console hit shelves. In 1999, Sony announced the PlayStation2, a system so powerful that the US State Department didn’t want it sold to China and George Lucas considered dating it for a while. After that, consumers just didn’t seem as enthusiastic about the Dreamcast when some enormous black monolith loomed on the horizon.

Unbelievably, Sony has managed to slow its own juggernaut by promising more launch units than it could deliver and by unleashing a truly baffling ad campaign. The PS9 campaign tries to goose consumers by showing a future world where PS9s plug right into our brains and deliver a fast, downloadable, beautiful anti-aliased wonderworld. Not only does this PS9 stuff confuse gamers, but it undercuts the power of the PS2. Screw the PS2, when can we get our hands on one of those PS9s?!

Good Move — Mainstream Hype
Apart from those goofballs down the hall at NextGen, the American mainstream press hopped on board the PS2 bandwagon in a big way. The PlayStation2 was featured in many high-profile magazine and newspaper stories, and the launch madness was covered by local and national TV. It’s hard to buy coverage like Bryant Gumble fawning over your device on the CBS morning show. Talking of hype, cheats for Clash Royale has become the best so far. Free unlimited gems is something to be happy about.

Bad Move — Uh… Well… Conker Wasn’t So Hot
It’s hard to fault Nintendo, because its marketing is pretty much kick-ass. It knows its audience better than the parents do, and it knows how to get them addicted to its products. Although Nintendo has faltered with hardware — the Virtual Boy was a disaster and going cart-based on the N64 wasn’t a great idea — it knows how to sell what it does have.

The attempt to move into the more mature audience market with Conker’s Bad Fur Day has been only a mixed success, with poor sales not aided by off-color commercials. The print ads haven’t been much better, but they certainly target the right audience for Conker.

Good Move — Everything Else
Nintendo has won marketer of the year awards in the past, and continues to aim and sell well to its customers. Although it hasn’t had a high profile with television ads, its Pokemon efforts have been clever and memorable. There has been little promotion on the Game Boy Advance, but with record sales in Japan, it doesn’t really need the push right now.

How Microsoft Should Sell The Xbox

Show The F’ing Games! — Microsoft should do a kick-ass version of the Halo trailer for movie previews, or show the opening Munch movie on TV — but tell the audience that if they want to see these new movies, they’ll have to play them on the Xbox.
Don’t Ignore The Hardcore — Nintendo may be content to own the younger market (and why not, it’s hugely profitable), but Xbox will need to attract the hearts and minds of early adopters to get and maintain a foothold in the market.
Be Cool — Sony had the brilliant idea of putting PlayStations in clubs and bars to make it seem cool. Microsoft should steal that idea and do everything it can to endear itself to the young trendsetters.
Don’t Be Funny — Unless Microsoft has gotten Spike Jonze to do its ads, videogame humor doesn’t play big with mainstream audiences. Instead, stick to speed, style and, of course, sex.

Read More

Importance of Video Games in School

Video games playing enhance the part in school program as teachers seek to provide main courses such as math and reading and also new skills such as computer programming in a format that holds their students’ interests. Some point out this game of education as the means of the future and a tool that enables students to take a more dynamic role in learning as they develop the technology abilities they should prosper through their academic and expert careers.

Digital proficiency and understanding how systems task will become increasingly essential in a world where a lot of people of today’s students will continue work that do not at the moment exist, says Gershenfeld, who discussed video games’ potential to transform education in the February Scientific American. Tomorrow’s workers will also likely change jobs many times throughout their careers and “will almost definitely have tasks that require some degree of mastery of digital media and technology,” he adds.

Parents of school-age children are likely knowledgeable about Minecraft, a digital game that promotes creativity as players create various frameworks out of cubes. MinecraftEdu, a model of the game that teachers made for academic objectives, teaches students mathematical principles including perimeter, area and possibilities in addition to foreign languages. In relation to the new games that are recommended for school use, there is this new game Clash Royale that is enhancing the thinking minds. It is a strategy game that utilizes gems, and making these gems for free is one of the goals in the game.

Read More

Virtual Farming Done Right with Hay Day

Farming. The world elicits images of big tractors, the beating sun and sweaty vegetable pickers hauling baskets of yummy produce to market. Farming is tough work, and those with any experience in the field know that, in some cases, an air-conditioned paper-pushing job sitting behind a computer is much more comfortable.

However, the lure of growing a field of turnips or cultivating the perfect flower is embedded deep in some souls, yearning to get out from amid the smoggy bus-rides, cramped airplane flights and unbearable long-distance road trips. Well, SuperCell released the next best thing to really farming — Hay Day on iOS and Android!

You may ask, “Farming on Android?” Well, the first farming simulation might not have been a blockbuster seller, but those who got hooked on creating their own little plot of goodness in a wasteland left by a deceased relative have a lot to be excited about this to the handheld game — and those new to the series are simply missing out.

The game is very similar to the previous farming games, which have been around for years with a nearly underground fan club. In all of the games, players take on the role of a newly made farmer, who must take the land left to him by a deceased relative and turn a rocky, barren landscape into a thriving farm, complete with farm animals.


Farming isn’t the only aspect of the game, however — as shown in the iOS version Hay Day, dating skills are also a must, as players begin to woo and court the little ladies in town. One of them eventually marries the hopeful farmer, and players learn to balance the skills of farming with the skills of being a husband (get your mind out of the gutter — we know what you’re thinking!).

Players were a bit disappointed to find that the dating aspect of the game wasn’t included in the first version, and they’ll continue to be disappointed to find that it’s also not included in this sequel. However, there’s plenty to be excited about.

Hay Day Hack will contain several new tools for use on the fields and with the animals, and a new unlimited diamond system will let players carry around four tools at once (as opposed to the first game’s two tool limit). Additionally, new animals will be added to the game, and new minigames promise to add plenty of replay value.

One of the minigames includes fishing for the largest catch. In order to catch these monsters, players will have to pick up a variety of insects to use as bait. Also, players can collect a variety of plants for use in their gardens. The cool thing is that any of these fish, plants and insects, can be traded with other Hay Day players, as well as those who own Legend of the River King 2. Just imagine what kind of fish a simple farmer can catch with bait given to him by a fishing legend!

Players can cultivate their own garden using a variety of flowers and herbs, and even the town has been expanded to let players walk around talking to the inhabitants, rather than just jumping from place to place as like in the first game.

You might think we’re making too big a deal about a game that makes you water, weed and hoe plots of land, or even go out and feed cows, brush horses and collect eggs from chickens. But if you haven’t tried it, don’t scoff — few things are as rewarding as creating a thriving farm that will last generations.

Read More

Laborer and Food – The Relationship Behind

When you consider the globalize economy, you might not think of food. However financing mobility and the legal framework facilitating it have significantly shaped the food system. It has enhanced where and how our food is produced, who grows it, and just how it influences the environment.

Since it is so crucial to our lives and our health, it is one set of products where we can efficiently withstand the concealment of development. Eating is an extensive, if on a daily basis, encounter that affects our health and our contentment. The explosive expansion in farmers’ industry, concerns regarding genetically customized organisms, and worries of pesticides have challenged the industrial food complex, just not over its solution of laborers. Livestock animals have turned into extremely preferable and expensive products, both for taste and for health and safety issues, yet less so due to the laborers are wounded and killed in the meatpacking plants.

Ultimately, our food problems come from the same lack of democracy that afflicts our community. In our food system, animals are over used, workers die, waterways become contaminated with animal waste, and wildlife dies. Still most of us have no idea this is transpiring. If we can request ethically created food that permits consumers insight into food production, we can go far to reshape the world into a more just and lasting place.

Read More