Author - Jerry Paxton

Soldier of Fortune: Payback Un-Banned in Australia

Gamespot is reporting that Activision FPS, Soldier of Fortune: Payback has been ‘un-banned’ by the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC). In order to get it classified with a rating, Activision had to reduce violence all over the board: rag-doll physics, blood, dismemberment, etc.

From the article:
It seems Soldier of Fortune’s fortunes have been resurrected, however, with Activision Australia today releasing a statement saying a revised version of the game had been reclassified by the OFLC as MA15+ for strong violence, coarse language, and sexual references. MA15+ is the highest rating a game can be given in Australia.

Enjoy the gore:

Christian Bale is John Conner!

AICN has broken a juicy news bite from a trusted source that says Christian Bale has been cast as John Conner in the upcomming film, Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. Quoting Harry for truth in his story, ‘THIS IS GOING TO KICK ASS’. Why? Because Bale is always great in his role, no matter what. Even in Breath of Fire, Bale did an amazing job. And lest we forget…American Psycho.

Gamespot Rock Band Review

Gamespot has posted its review of Harmonix’ Rock Band for the Xbox 360, giving it a 9.0 out of 10 ‘Editor’s Choice’ rating.

From the article:
All told, Rock Band turns in an absolutely stellar performance. And much like any real band worth its salt, it’s not just because of one or two things that it does well while the rest fall by the wayside. Each individual component of the game is good on its own, but it’s when you put those things together into a collective whole that the game truly shines. Ultimately, the $170 investment is bound to be a sticking point for some, especially those who don’t have readily available friends who can come over and rock whenever the itch needs to be scratched. But even with that caveat in mind, Rock Band is easily one of the most ambitious music games ever produced, and that it is so successful in its ambition makes it something really special.

Super Mario Galaxy Sells 500k in First Week

Joystiq is reporting that Super Mario Galaxy has sold a half million units in the US during it’s first week at retail! According to the article, ‘Super Mario Galaxy the strongest first week sales of any Mario game ever.’

For those that dont know:
Super Mario Galaxy is a 3D action-platformer game developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo and published by Nintendo for the Wii. It is the third 3D platformer in the series after Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. The game follows Mario on his quest through space to save Princess Peach from his nemesis Bowser. Levels take the form of galaxies filled with spherical planetoids, while gameplay is updated with a variety of gravity effects and new power-ups.

360 Degree Humvee Simulator

Gizmodo has posted an article on a very cool, 360 degree HUMVEE simulator by Mersive VR. The system uses 10 projectors and simulates weapons fire with amazing accuracy. In the article, they interview Mersive’s Sales and Marketing Manager Robert Bolen. Check out the videos in the Gizmodo story, makes you want to go out and buy one right now!

This vid is for their 220 degree unit:

Hasselhoff to Return in New Knight Rider

AICN is reporting that David ‘The Hoff’ Hasselhoff will be making at least one appearance in NBC’s new Knight Rider series. He will be reprising the role of Michael Knight and be the father of the new series’ protagonist, Mike Tracer, the son of Knight who ‘never knew his Dad’.

With the recent successful revival of older series, it is possible the new Knight Rider could be good. Possibly suck factor is…high as well, unfortunately.

Now all we need is a new CHiPs series!..oh wait:

Nearing the End of All Oil?

Wired has posted an excellent article on some Wall Street Journal articles citing reason we are in the ‘End of Oil’ stage.

From the article:
No one, least of all the oil industry executives quoted by the Journal or the analysts who wrote the World Energy Outlook, is saying the wells will run dry in our lifetime, or even our children’s lifetimes. There’s still a lot of oil left to be pumped. But there is a growing belief that several factors are converging to create a practical limit to how much we can pull from the earth each day.

Fairly intense effects for our society if the article turns out to be our future situation.

Razer Tarantula Gaming Keyboard Review

One might think (as I did) that a ‘keyboard is a keyboard’ but after using the TarantulaTM for a while I can say this keyboard is a cut above. The Razer TarantulaTM is their first foray into the keyboard market, featuring a 1000Hz UltrapollingTM response, 10-key anti-ghosting, 32Kb of memory for storing up to 5 profiles, a BattleDockTM, and a built-in USB hub. The keyboard is constructed out of a ‘slick’ black plastic with a dull black wrist rest area featuring the trademark pulsing Razer logo. The keys are arranged in a standard QWERTY format, with 10 extra programmable keys running vertically on the left and right sides of the unit. To the left and right of those are the media keys which include a rocker switch for volume, ‘home page’ button, and more.

At the top of the unit is the Razer BattleDockTM, a port which can accomodate many current and future Razer accesories including the BattleLightTM, which is a snap-in light bar that illuminates the whole keyboard. Speaking of illumination, the Tarantula’s vertical programmable keys are the only lit keys on the unit aside from the ‘Profile’ button. This could be a problem in low-light conditions unless the aforementioned BattleLightTM has been purchased. On the rear of the unit are two USB ports, a microphone jack, and a headphone jack. This makes the keyboard great to bring to your next competition or LAN party as it provides an all-in-one interface for your peripherals. The USB plugs that connect the unit to your PC are gold-plated and of good construction. That can be said about the whole keyboard, however, as it feels very sturdy and well made.

The keys of the unit are crisp, yet not jarring, and were at just the right spacing for my fingers. I do alot of coding as well as gaming and the form factor of the unit worked very well for both activities. In fact I was able to assign one of the five profiles to providing many Visual StudioTM hotkeys at the touch of a button. Speaking of profiles, the software control panel makes assigning keys to profiles very easy and switching between them on the fly is a very nice feature while in the middle of a gaming session. 10 extra key shells have been provided which can replace the vertical, illuminated programmable keys and instead of normal designations like ‘L1’ and ‘R1’, have small images of gaming icons on them. So if you assign L1 to be your ‘Fire Mortar’ key, you can switch that button out with a key that has a picture of a rocket on it. ‘Picture’ is actually misleading, they are cutouts which allow the backlight to shine through them.

The TarantulaTM features an ‘Anti-Ghosting’ capability which allows the gamer to depress up to 10 keys simultaneously and not get a signal failure! In addition, the keyboard features the 1000Hz UltrapollingTM that Razer has been providing on all their latest peripherals. This means that while a standard keyboard’s polling rate is 125Hz and gives an 8ms response between key press and result, the 1000Hz of the Tarantula gives a 1ms response between key press and result. This difference of 7ms may seem like nothing worth mentioning but after using it you can definitely feel the greater response time.

Our tests of this mighty keyboard took us to the shores of Far East Asia in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, the depths of the ocean in Bioshock, and to the perilous alps of Photoshop and MS Word. In all these uses the keyboard performed keenly and without fail. We even went back to our older ‘standard’ keyboards for a while after just to see if we felt a difference in these tasks. We did…and promptly plugged the TarantulaTM back in.

We can’t recommend the Razer TarantulaTM enough for the user who is looking for one of the best keyboards on the market to date. It’s price point may be a bit steep for the average user but if you consider it an investment for your hands, and try it for even an hour, you will know it was a good purchase to make.

1up Rock Band Review

1up has posted their review of the highly-anticipated Guitar Hero-killer, Rock Band, giving it a 9.0 out of 10! It seems as though, according to 1up, Rock Band truly lives up to its potential.

From the article:
There’s a lot to say about Rock Band. Whether it’s debating the inherent awesomeness of the track list (which spans The Rolling Stones to Nirvana to Yeah Yeah Yeahs and tons in between), praising the surprisingly malleable character creator and beautiful presentation (with excellent lip-syncing and visual congruity between the music and your virtual rockers), or trying to figure out how real bass players deal with having by far the most boring stuff to play. Its critical appraisal isn’t easy; music is culturally ingrained in us, and as a tool, a relatively inexpensive gateway for people to come together and experience it together, Rock Band easily delivers on what it promises. Actually feeling like a rock star — for most people under 40, the next best thing to a superhero or a T-Rex — is transcendently entertaining. Guitar Hero is still the way to go for lone wolves, but if you have the space, the manpower, and the means, Rock Band unquestionably, unequivocally rocks.

Halo: Contact Harvest #4 On NY Times Bestseller List

Gamespot is reporting that the latest Halo novel, Contact Harvest, has dropped to number 4 on the New York Times Best Seller list. The novel debuted at number 3 last week.

From Wikipedia:
Halo: Contact Harvest is a novel by Joseph Staten, set in the Halo universe. Staten is a longtime employee Bungie Studios, the developer of the Halo video game series. He was the director of the cut scenes seen in the Halo series thus far and was a major contributor to the Halo storyline which continues in this book. The book was released on October 30, 2007, and is the fifth novel set in the Halo universe.

Set in 2524, 28 years before the events of Halo: Combat Evolved, the novel tells the story of the United Nations Space Command’s first encounter with the alien Covenant on the colony world of Harvest. It is an ‘ensemble piece’ covering many different viewpoints, focusing on the young UNSC Staff Sergeant Avery Johnson also containing a major Covenant presence as well.