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Terminal Reality shows off gaming engine at DICE

The company Terminal Reality is flexing the muscles of it’s new Infernal Engine at the DICE Conference in Red Rock, Nev. The reason this matters is because it’s the same engine being used in the ballyhooed but yet-to-be-released Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which moves the Ghostbusters storyline forward. You play the Ghostbusters’ newest recruit.

“Terminal Reality’s Infernal Engine is a breakthrough in efficiency for game development middleware. Our licensees can leverage their work across more platforms, in less time, than any other engine – giving them a competitive edge critical for success,” said Joe Kreiner, VP of Sales and Marketing with Terminal Reality in a press release. “Our licensees get stunning visuals, fast time to market, and the support of Terminal Reality – one of most experienced independent game developers in the industry.”

Pioneer to Cut Jobs and Shut Down Plant

TOKYO – Japanese electronics company Pioneer Corp. said Thursday it will cut 10,000 jobs globally to cope with sinking sales of car audio equipment and flat-screen TVs. It also said it will withdraw from its money-losing plasma display business.

The massive job cuts are the latest coming from Japan, where corporate giants like Sony Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. are slashing their payrolls, reducing production and forecasting annual losses.

Hit by the collapse in demand for car audio equipment and plasma TVs, Pioneer said its net loss in the current fiscal year to March will grow to 130 billion yen ($1.4 billion) from its previous estimate of a 78 billion yen net loss.

Pioneer said it will likely incur annual loss for the fifth consecutive year.

“Since the U.S. financial crisis and ensuing global downturn, our sales of car electronics products and flat-screen TVs plunged worldwide. We were severely hit by battered consumer sentiment,” said Pioneer spokeswoman Michiko Kadoi.

The Tokyo-based company said it will slash 6,000 full-time salaried workers at home and abroad, accounting for 16 percent of the company’s global work force of 36,900. It will also cut 4,000 contract workers at its Japanese and foreign plants.

The company did not give a regional breakdown.

AP Wire

Afro Samurai comes out soon

The game based on the anime action series starring Samuel L. Jackson should be in stores in the early part of next week. I’m usually frightened of games based on shows, movies or books (years of crap can do that), but I’m actually curious. At the very least, I’ll get to hear some beats from the RZA, so maybe the game can function as a Wu-Tang album of sorts. The game is coming out for the 360 and PS3.

Have a trailer for your trouble. Note the art style and M rating, parents. This is probably one of the bloodier games you’re going to witness all year.

THE Obama action figure

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A co-worker forwarded this along from Gizmodo. It qualifies as one of the greatest things I have ever seen. I not only need to get this figure, but place it next to my extremely posable Optimus Prime to create the ultimate tag team of anti-evil. Yes, I have an Optimus Prime at home. Transformed him the other night. What of it?

Anyway, here’s the Gizmodo entry, complete with more action poses for the figure. Leave it to the Japanese to make an anime-style action version of our 44th president. I’m surprised he doesn’t have a presidential mech that launches out of the White House.

Review: NBA 2K9

I’m not sure if it was the classic Lakers-Celtics matchup in the Finals, the emergence of Chris Paul as the best point guard in the world or watching King James do his best Atlas impression with the Cavaliers — but this is most excited I’ve been about a new NBA season in years. I’m probably not alone.

“NBA 2K9″ seems to understand this, which is why it comes to us this season with an even stronger game than in years past.

There’s a laundry list of new features in this game, but the one thing that stays with you is the overall on-court experience.

You get the full TV-style treatment the moment you fire up the first game, complete with video footage spotlighting a certain player on both teams, a look at the announce team and the starting lineups. You even get slow motion mini-replays in between quarters.
What really sticks out is the pure realism of the visuals, from the players to the crowd to the arena itself.

The player models are exquisite — when you have the ability to actually READ some of the words on Allen Iverson’s tattoos or count the stars on LeBron’s ink, you know you’ve reached a special level of detail.

That kind of approach extends to the players’ individual talents, as they play and move like their real-life counterparts.

Shawn Marion still has his drop-dead-ugly jumper, Dwight Howard destroys everyone under the rim, Kobe is practically unstoppable, while Chris Paul can toss perfect alley-oops to Tyson Chandler. It’s especially fun to play with Paul, as the announcer and crowd unleash a “Wooooo!” cheer when he scores — just like the real crowd in New Orleans. I also learned the value of now being able to change my shot in mid-air, so you can take it to the rack with a little more confidence.

All this realism extends to the strategic part of hoops as well, as players have the chance to run and perfect a number of set plays from the various playbooks of all of the NBA teams.

However, the price of all this realism is that the control scheme is one of the most complicated you’ll find in any sports game.

If you’ve never played a 2K hoops game before, you’ll be stuck trying to play a lot of run-and-gun as you attempt to learn the multitude of techniques used for post-up play, pick-and-rolls and even the difference between spin moves and hesitation dribbles. Basketball is meant to be a fluid game, but this Bible’s worth of controls would probably scare off some people.

One more feature I wanted to mention was the ability to meet up with nine other ballers online for a nice game of virtual 5-on-5. There are few things better than setting up a cutting teammate for an easy bucket or playing a classic inside-outside game with your buddy in the post. It’s hoops at its best.

It’d be easy to say this is the finest hoops title out there, but like I said before, it’s also the most complex. Practice makes perfect.

NBA 2K9
2K Sports
Multiple platforms
Score: 9/10