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Posts with tag Ubisoft

A deeper look at Prince of Persia

While it's uncertain that anyone would really want to take a deeper look at Prince of Persia: The Fallen King, there are usually some masochists out there willing to take one for everyone else.

Oh, wait. That's us. Damn. Well, we looked. And maybe this look has merit in motion, as many DS games just don't look great in stills, but the problem here really seems to be the muddiness of the shots. Sometimes, it just seems like everything is running together, and that's just not attractive. Others look better, just with dwarfed characters. They're tiny. It'll be interesting, to say the least, when we at last see video on this one.

ESRB says 'konnichiwa' to My Japanese Coach

Following the listing that was found on Gamefly, the ESRB has revealed the above listing for My Japanese Coach, yet another language coaching title. Searching for My Chinese Coach comes up empty, but at least we can all be pretty certain that My Japanese Coach will be releasing to North America. We're totally expecting to hear about it next week at E3.

Being a Wordmaster won't cost much

It's not often that a game goes on sale before it's even released, not that we're complaining. If you enjoy word games, then, you might want to consider picking up Wordmaster at Amazon. Although the MSRP is $19.99, Amazon is currently offering the game for $13.99, which is as budget as it gets for a new release.

The title doesn't even come out until July 15th, but you can preorder now if you want to secure the game for cheap. As for what Wordmaster is? Well, think Lingo or Jotto, only on the DS.

On a side note, you can also pick up Petz: Hamsterz 2 as Amazon's "Deal of the Day" for $11.99. Um, woot?

[Via CAG]

Source: Wordmaster for $13.99
Source: Petz: Hamsterz 2 for $11.99 (today only)

And the epilepsy debate continues, this time in Parliament

Although some companies (like Ubisoft) have volunteered to do extra epilepsy-related tests for their games, the existing standard isn't enough for some people. Take, for example, famous and loathed mom Gaye Herford, who's responsible for bringing this fight to Parliament after her son suffered a fit while playing Rayman Raving Rabbids DS.

Sprong reports that the House of Commons debate was held yesterday, with members supporting different solution. Margaret Hodge, the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, pushed for a voluntary testing system, which could be changed to mandatory in the future if the issue remained problematic.

John Penrose on the other hand led a more paranoid debate, stating, "The point is that some games manufacturers may decide to do that, but there is a huge number of games-makers and manufacturers throughout the world. Some are large and responsible, such as Ubisoft, but as in any industry, there is a large number of manufacturers who are relatively tiny, and although some may be responsible, we cannot be sure."

It doesn't seem as if a final decision was reached, but you know politics -- things take a while to get done.

[Via Game Politics]

Gamefly: Japanese and Chinese Coaches, Princess Debut this fall

According to Gamefly's list of upcoming games, Ubisoft is following up their excellent My French Coach and My Spanish Coach with something that is going to excite a lot of you: My Japanese Coach, with a tentative September 18 release date. Hopefully it's a language trainer and not a game about, say, a tennis coach who happens to be from Japan. It's being joined by My Chinese Coach, with a release date of August 28.

In addition, Gamefly lists two unannounced titles from Natsume. Cave's Princess Debut is apparently being released on September 26, and on August 28, Natsume will release Hi! Hamtaro Ham-Ham Challenge, recently announced for Europe by 505 Games. These releases are unconfirmed, of course, but likely.

Prince of Persia: The Fallen franchise

Ubisoft announced a Prince of Persia game exclusive to our favorite handheld, titled The Fallen King. The storyline will be independent to any other Prince of Persia title, involving "imminent danger," a "deserted kingdom," "evil," "corruption," a "dark substance," "adventure," "intrigue," and a number of other clichés.

You can expect the game to be heavy on the stylus action, and the player will have the ability to switch between the Prince and the Magus, a mysterious magic wielder. Now, normally we might show a little excitement for an upcoming Prince of Persia title. After the software's assets made us vomit out of our eyeballs, though, it was easy to subdue any inkling of "woot" hoping to flee from our bodies.

If the screenshot above isn't enough inclination of the slippery slope this game is heading down, check out the character art in the gallery below. The chibi-style Prince just isn't working for us. Perhaps we're being too harsh (what, us?), but we think Ubisoft deserves a little flak for this one. Hopefully the company will improve upon a few things before The Fallen King releases this holiday season.

Even so, we always like to give the gameplay the benefit of the doubt, and we'll be keeping our eyes on this one as it develops.

[Thanks, jojomcjojostein!]

September chosen for Australian Dragon Quest IV release

While Square Enix announced their intention to release Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen in "PAL territories" this September, they aren't the ones handling the Australian release. Ubisoft is the company's distributor in Australia and New Zealand, and thus the duties for Dragon Quest IV fall to them. Reassuringly, Ubisoft has made their intention to release the game for real official in a new press release.

Maintaining the numberless "Dragon Quest: Chapters of the Chosen" title that should keep PAL gamers from finding out there have been other Dragon Quest games, the Australian release of the game is also planned for September. A specific date has yet to be revealed. Also ominously absent from this press release is any mention at all of Dragon Quests V and VI.

Gallery: Dragon Quest IV

Imagine Figure Skater could be good, might not be

This could really, totally be a good game. Last time we checked, figure skating is a sport accompanied by music. It requires rhythmic motions and impeccable timing. All of these features are perfect for adapting to the touch screen on the DS. Tracing skating lines, tapping at the appropriate times, using smooth stylus skills -- yep, sounds like a winner.

Imagine Figure Skater is marketed towards young girls, what with the absence of any male characters and the emphasis on hair and accessory customization. Sure, some of us might not have considered playing a figure skating game in any form, but we probably said the same thing about lawyers. In any case, the first screenies are in the gallery to start you down the long, complex road of "Should I buy this game when it comes out in August?" The answer is ...

Gallery: Imagine Figure Skating

[Via press release]

Ubisoft bringing us Hell's Kitchen, Price is Right games (... thanks?)

And the Ubisoft mehware continues. Siliconera just spotted a listing on the site of EB Games for a game version of long-running quiz show The Price is Right. According to the retailer, the title will be released on the DS and the Wii on September 9th, almost 20 years after the game show made its videogame debut on the Commodore 64. Drew Carey's first appearance in a game is rather more recent.

And that's not all, shovelware fans: Ubi has also snapped up the rights to create a game based on Hell's Kitchen, presumably starring mobile belligerence unit and ego-on-legs Gordon Ramsay. Quite how the company plans to include Ramsay's famously foul language and secure an "E" rating for the game is, as yet, unknown.

Mom wins her fight in Rayman Raving Rabbids epilepsy ordeal

Over the last year, UK mom ("mum" is the word over there, we believe) Gaye Herford has been fighting to change the way games are tested before they are sent to retail. Her 10-year-old son, while playing Rayman Raving Rabbids, went into an epileptic fit. She had no idea that games could send players into photo sensitive epileptic (PSE) seizures. We guess she hasn't seen the intro splash screen Nintendo has had around since the Pokémon incident.

But, after a long year, she has won her battle. Ubisoft has volunteered to do the testing itself and will try to ensure such a thing does not happen again. Herford also managed to secure a debate in Parliament, for a future date that is yet to be determined. "As a parent myself, I was shocked that a single game could possibly trigger a sudden first-time seizure, with its life-long implications," says Weston-super-Mare MP John Penrose, who helped Herford in her battle. "Right now, most electronic game publishers simply issue written warnings about PSE on or inside their products - and that's on a voluntary basis. But that's no good for the thousands of people with dormant PSE because they don't know the warnings - if they even read them - apply to them."

At the time of the article, no comment was made by Nintendo. Ubisoft did say, though, that testing of Rayman: Raving Rabbids on the DS "showed that no images posed a high risk for photosensitivity epilepsy. However, we made a corporate decision to pre-screen and pre-test all Ubisoft in-house developed games regardless of platform, prior to publication."

Friday Video: Way too easy

We know it's called the "Easyway Method" and all, but this video of Allen Carr's Easyway Method to Stop Smoking makes the process seem a bit too simple. You just play a minigame that illustrates how disgusting the components of cigarettes are, and then you're free from all desire to smoke? Really? All it takes to be put on the "Path to Freedom" is to be told you don't actually like smoking? We'll save you some money -- SMOKING IS BAD FOR YOU AND EXPENSIVE. Congratulations! You just quit smorking. Maybe they skipped a few steps, like the step in which the game gives you some effective motivation or encouragement.

We must say that we are glad to see the line-art style from My Weight Loss Coach return for another training game.

Imagine a ton of screens for Ubisoft's casual/training games

Ubisoft released information for four Imagine series games at their Ubiday event: Imagine Teacher, which we're in the uncomfortable position of kind of liking; Imagine Rock Star (Imagine Girl Band in the UK, because apparently there are no rock stars there); My Fashion Studio (Imagine Fashion Model in the UK); and My Secret World by Imagine. We've heard of Imagine Rock Star before, but the other three are new as of yesterday, and we had yet to see screens of Rock Star and its nonsensical drum kit. My Secret World is a diary program, including some scrapbook-type stuff and custom avatars. My Fashion Studio is precisely what it sounds like!

We've got galleries for Imagine Rock Star, Imagine Teacher, My Secret World, and My Fashion Studio, all visible after the break. You'll have to head over to IGN for videos of My Secret World and Imagine Teacher. The style of Teacher tells us right off that it's not for us (as if the Imagine name didn't do the trick), but we still think the implementation is inspired. As for the rest: My Secret World is almost incomprehensible, and My Fashion Studio is a paper doll simulator.

Gallery: Imagine Teacher

Read - My Secret World video
Read - Imagine Teacher video

Continue reading Imagine a ton of screens for Ubisoft's casual/training games

We're learning to like the idea of Imagine Teacher

During their Ubidays press event, Ubisoft unveiled a new entry in their infamous Imagine series of games that someone guessed girls might like (based on what girls on TV seem to enjoy or something). Imagine Teacher trains girls to ... well, train children, using, of course, a series of teaching-themed minigames.

The game traces an elementary school teacher's job duties chronologically, starting with lesson planning and seating charts, and progressing to individual lessons. Each subject's lesson is presented as a minigame, followed by another minigame in which you grade your students' work. The day ends with classroom cleanup and parent-teacher conferences.

We're trying our hardest to hate this, but the truth is that Imagine Teacher sounds irresistably clever, and we would really like to play it. Pretty embarrassing, but there, we said it.

Rabbids to return to DS, may even get noticed

Despite the fact that the first two games appeared on the DS, the Rayman Raving Rabbids series has always been more closely associated with the Wii, either because the original was a Wii launch game, or because the DS iterations are pretty mediocre.

Now, the involvement of the Balance Board is threatening to relegate the DS edition of Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party to an even more insignificant footnote, but we hope the DS game stands on its own. The Rabbids are liked by pretty much everybody we know, and deserve a worthy handheld game. Protip though, Ubisoft: it's probably best to avoid this kind of publicity.

[Via press release]

Ubisoft to help DS owners Stop Smoking

Ubisoft has announced plans to publish a DS game based on the "Easyway" smoking cessation program Allen Carr's Easyway to Stop Smoking, to be released in November will allow smokers to choose a coach (no doubt from a number of pleasant, athletic avatars) and create a program based on their own smoking habit.

The Easyway method is based on educating smokers about the nature of addiction, convincing them that the positive feeling gained by smoking is caused by satisfying withdrawal from the previous cigarette. In this way, the emotional dependency is stripped away before the physical dependency is addressed.

We're quite torn about this announcement. Our first impulse is to point to this as emblematic of the troubling overabundance of training games. But on the other hand, if this helps someone stop smoking (which is totally hard!), it's completely validated.

More than anything, we'd like to congratulate Dan, who is already on a DS-based smoking cessation routine, for being such a pioneer.

[Via press release]

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