Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hulu Plus Announced

I guess there is little else to explain than what the picture already explains, but allow me to restate it.

Hulu announced that it is starting up the Hulu Plus program, a premium service to stream HD quality video (usually in the form of popular television shows) to viewers not only on PCs but also IPhone/IPad, Samsung Blu-Ray players, and eventually PS3 and Xbox 360.

This premium service, priced at $10 a month, still contains ad content, but hopefully to a lesser extent. The service is currently invite-only, but that will either change, or we'll be having another Google Wave situation.


Monday, June 28, 2010

APB Runs Ads Through Voice Chat

As if MMOs couldn't advertise any more, reports have claimed that Realtime World's All Points Bulletin published by EA would run audio ads through voiceoverIP unless users pay for "Premium VOIP."

This service, according to the game's options menu, "removes ads from the voip for 30, 90, and 180 days." Apparently the ads will only appear once every few hours and will only happen when transitioning to new areas, but it is still another nickel-and-dime concept for the title.

APB is an MMOGTA in which players can assume the roles of criminals or enforcers, building credibility and eventually keeping the streets clean for society or taking over what civilization exists. The game has earned some negativity already for a payment structure which allows players to buy exclusive time at Action Zones, where the shooting mainly happens.

Now, some of these options may be purchased with game points earned in-game, but it would not seem unlikely that players may purchase points with real cash instead.

As long as it doesn't cost us extra to have different hair color, I think we don't need to be extremely dissatisfied, yet. Or should we stop the microtransactions before they start?


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekly Releases: 6/27/10

Hey everybody! Summer is now in full swing (and the sun has decided to roast all of the East Coast like a barbecue), but don't forget about the releases coming out. Pretty much every week a new significant release comes out, and we here at Third Rate Minion want to make sure you readers are aware of what's out (or about to come out for that matter).

Significant Releases:

Sin and Punishment: Star Successor (Wii)

Developer: Treasure (Gunstar Heroes, Ikaruga)
Publisher: Nintendo

An arcade shooter sequel to the Japanese-only release Sin and Punishment, player assume the roles of Isa and Kachi, two people thrown into a...erm...hard to say. The last game is available on the Wii Virtual Console for 1000 points, and the plot gets very hectic. It's insane.

Ninety-Nine Nights II (360)

Developer: Q? Entertainment / Feelplus (Lumines / Lost Odyssey)
Publisher: Konami

A hack-n-slash title akin to Dynasty Warriors, this game throws in a much less historically-accurate story and brings in magic, demons, and everything in between. Plus, it apparently supports up to one millions troops.

Singularity (PC/360/PS3)

Developer: Raven Software (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Wolfenstein)
Publisher: Activision

Players assume the role of Nate Renko, an Air Force pilot who crashes onto a mysterious island which shifts constantly between 1950 and 2010. This time-focused FPS looks to be something unique, at least from that standpoint.

Other releases:
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (All)
Naughty Bear (PS3/360)
Trinity Universe (PS3)
DeathSmiles (360)
Ancients of Ooga (XBLA)
Puzzle Quest 2 (XBLA)
The Last Airbender (Wii/DS)
Jett Rocket (WiiWare)
Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip! (PSP)
All Points Bulletin (PC)

Don't forget that the highlighted games aren't necessarily the best games, but they are the ones with most notice heading into the week. And don't forget about titles past, which will be linked at the end of each of these posts.

Game on!


Twisted Pixel's Secret Contract

Located on developer Twisted Pixel's website is a newly-added segment dedicated to an unknown, upcoming MMO title for Turbine.

There has been reports that Turbine has been making a new MMO title for the last year and a half, and with this posted discreetly on the company's games page, it might just correlate.

Twisted Pixel is the developer of The Maw, Splosion Man, and the upcoming Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley. We interviewed CEO Mike Wilford at PAX East last March as Game On for Rowan Television Network, and we can only expect more insanity in the near future.

Level-5 Announces Ni no Kuni title for PS3

Since this past Thursday, Professor Layton developer Level-5 has announced a collection of titles and presented information in regards to its intellectual properties for the future.

On Thursday, the company held a press conference focused on Ni No Kuni: The Another World, a collaboration between Level-5 and famed animation company Studio Ghibli. Prior to the event, it was known that the company was releasing a game for DS, but company CEO Akihiro Hino announced recently that the title would be appearing on a second console: the Playstation 3.

The DS version will bear the subtitle Shikkoku no Madoushi (referring to a Dark Mage), and the PS3 version bears the subtitle Shiroki Seihai no Joou (referring to a White Princess). It was also made known that both versions are completely different games, just starring the same main characters.

The DS version is a turn-based RPG in which players can move the characters along the bottom screen for different battle formations. The game's spells are made by drawing images on the touch-screen. Perhaps the biggest innovation, Ghibli aside, is the usage of the Magic Master Book, a 300+ page book that comes with the title! The book describes the spells to cast, as well as tips on specific actions to make in the game, including how to properly speak with certain people around the world.

The PS3 version is more of a real-time RPG, in that players command their helpful monsters to attack while moving around the battlefield. There is a passing rumor that Playstation Move will be needed for the spell-casting, and the game will come with its own Magic Master book, as well.

To see the PS3 Version's trailer: CLICK HERE

The DS version will see a release in Japan December 2010. The PS3 version is slated for 2011.

No words on American release.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Launching Third Rate Minion's Blog!

Welcome and be afraid! Or be interested; that works, too.

For those of you who do not know who we are, we are Third Rate Minion, a group of friends and colleagues who love video games and the creativity they produce. A more detailed history of the creation of 3RM will be posted in the future, but for now, I will try to be swift about this.

We are going to have a site uploaded with a ETA of August 2010 sometime. On that site, we will produce news, reviews, and video content on a relatively regular basis. We have more in store than that, but that's for a later unveiling.

However, we clearly do not have a site up. Our Art Director and Web Designer are working on it right now (they don't want to use templates, so there's a bit of work ahead for them!), so we'll have to entertain you all somehow.

For the moment, we are producing some video content on the group's Youtube account:

The side of this blog should also provide links to some of our videos. While we get that all situated, expect a few more "Game On: Let's Play" videos to be uploaded in the upcoming weeks.

Keep an eye on this site and the Youtube Account. We'll be posting VLOGs and articles even before the site arrives! But for now, I am going to go eat some waffles.