Watch This Old Zelda Commercial and Come to Terms With the Passage of Time

As you may now, this year is the Legend of Zelda franchise’s 25th anniversary.

I first became aware of something called Zelda when I saw this commercial and wondered if whatever the Legend of Zelda was came with instructions so people would know what to do with it.

Blacklisted faster than a speeding email

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There’s a lot of noise on Twitter over what has been going on with the PR over 2K Games’ release of Duke Nukem Forever.

I’ve played the game and it isn’t as bad as some of the reviews make it out to be, but apparently, the PR firm attached to promoting and sending copies of the game to reviewers has drummed up controversy over a tweet they had made as reported by several outlets such as MTV and Ars Technica. Thanks to the speed of information, scandals can go from zero to public in less than a mouse click.

In what now appears to be a burst of emotional outrage over the panning that DNF is receiving, the Redner Group implied that they would be “reviewing who gets games next time”. You can see the full tweet in the pic above, captured by Ars Technica since it was deleted from the Redner Group’s Twitter feed.

Shortly afterwards, 2K Games severed ties to the Redner Group in a public tweet of their own. It started to look as if the PR group had taken things into their own hands and that 2K’s damage control via blacklisting was the result. That is until Eurogamer’s Tom Bramwell tweeted that they had also been blacklisted by 2K, presumably over comments made in a previous podcast according to one of the moderators for their forums.

As messy as this is, it isn’t the first time PR in the gamespace has fun afoul in implying the need to control who and what reviewers should report back to their audiences. When Dark Energy’s Hydrophobia had come out last year and was the recipient of negativity flowing in tweets and reviews, their PR went on the warpath.

It’s one thing to promote your product, but quite another to begin cherry picking and blacklisting the journalists you want talking about your game. The whole idea of having someone independently review material is to give an honest assessment of its strengths and weaknesses based on their experience – without interference from who would have a vested interest in the game itself, like a developer…or someone paid to promote it.

I’d like to think that reviewers, on the whole, don’t go in expecting to rip apart a game based on hearsay. The good ones will always, for good or ill, tell it straight and give solid reasons why something is or isn’t worth anyone’s time. And it’s not all of PR that should be ashamed for the actions of only a few, though it might seem that way.

In the end, it’s keeping an unspoken level of trust in the system that keeps it working and when either side start picking favorites, the only ones to really lose out in the end are the gamers.

Trailer: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Some players may want to try the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword because the Nintendo Wii’s motion controls may end up creating a pretty decent sword-fighting experience.

Others may be interested because franchise hero Link will be able to ride birds.

And others may do so because they’ve been buying Zelda games over the course of 25 years.

Nintendo promised a holiday season release for Skyward Sword at E3. Here’s the new trailer.

Trailer: Halo 4

The first Halo game meets the next one.

Here’s the trailer for Halo 4, set for a 2012 release:

And here’s the trailer for the 10-year anniversary remake of the original Halo. Halo Anniversary is set for a Nov. 15 release date for XBox 360.

Credit goes to Machinima for uploading the videos.

Trailer: Uncharted 3

I’m still clearing out my backlog of E3-related content, but if you have a PlayStation 3, do yourself a favor and check out the trailer for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

I can objectively say the multiplayer footage I saw at E3 was gorgeous. The developers at Naughty Dog are great at showing a world of color that really stands out from the brown and gray hues gamers see in many shooters.

Click on the link to view the trailer on Machinima’s YouTube channel. Language is slightly NSFW.

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Review: Hunted – The Demon’s Forge

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Throw the words “old school” into an RPG conversation and you might get a number of different answers depending on who is in the room with you. Visions of spreadsheets filled with statistics, inventory menus filled with +2 weapons, or a hack ‘n slash slog through deviously crafted dungeons rife with hidden horrors and HP draining traps are only a few that you might get.

And that’s what Hunted delivers – deep, mysterious ruins, hidden treasures, weapons, and plenty of monster fodder to wade through. Remembering my own time with Stonekeep on the PC, it was as if inXile had shaken loose the good bits from the games its founder, Brian Fargo, had made in the late 80s and distilled them through the Unreal Engine’s alchemy. What came out the other end, though, is slightly sweet with flawed grit.
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Review: Steel Diver

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“Steel Diver” is a decent little game. The only problem, however, is that it’s not quite $39.99 worth of decent.

The game, which places players in the role of a submarine captain navigating hostile waters, is a launch title for Nintendo’s new 3DS portable but its campaign feels like a throwback to the 8-bit era. Although the game’s designers did find clever ways to make use of the 3DS’ capabilities, most of the gameplay takes place in two dimensions.

I had fun playing Steel Diver, but at a time when developers can offer iOS and Android games for 99 cents, consumers need more from a full-priced game.

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Trailer: Prey 2

If you want to watch a trailer for Bethesda Softworks’ “Prey 2” featuring Johnny Cash’s rendition of “Rusty Cage,” click on the link.

Prey 2 is an FPS in a sci-fi setting under development for PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.

You gotta be 18 to watch it because of the raw language. Rules of the game.

If you just want to hear the Man in Black sing one of Soundgarden’s best songs, listen to this before you break your rusty cage and run.

Video: Battlefield 3 “Thunder Run” Mission

The United States is not at war with Iran, at least not yet, but will be inside the game world of Battlefield 3, according to this new gameplay video.

EA released this new footage during E3. The video shows new character U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Miller in a tank battle outside Tehran.

There’s some naughty language in the video, so you’ll have to watch it via the link if you’re old enough for that sort of thing.

Battlefield, developed by DICE for EA Games, is set for an Oct. 25 release on PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.

Sega announces Aliens: Colonial Marines under consideration for Wii U

“Aliens: Colonial Marines,” an FPS based on the Alien movie franchise Sega and Gearbox Software, is being “prototyped and considered” for Nintendo’s announced Wii U console, Sega announced during E3.

The game is presently scheduled for Spring 2012 release for PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360 platforms.

“We are extremely thrilled about the potential of the Nintendo Wii U and are honored to be a part of the earliest efforts for research and development on the platform with the Aliens: Colonial Marines project that is so perfectly matched with the platform’s unique and exciting new capabilities,” said Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford said in a press release. “As more details about the Nintendo Wii U emerge, Gearbox Software is equipped and motivated to engage and support the platform and its customers.”

Nintendo’s announced Wii U console features a tablet-like controller with its own screen. I’m imaging Gearbox’s crew is thinking up some kind of gameplay elements in which players blast aliens on their main television screen while tracking their xenomorphic enemies on the handheld monitor.

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