E3 '09 Graphic Whores

Artistic design and visual prowess are common ingredients for greatness in videogames. Numerous titles throughout the nearly four-decade lifespan of videogaming have spawned sales running in the millions and profits in the billions. It’s no surprise that publishers are banking on the ‘graphics hype’ to promote their respective titles – desperately trying to standout from the over-saturated visual battlefield.

E3 ’09 showcased this spankin’-fresh batch of titles, designed to outsell and outdo other games in their respective genres.

Alan Wake E3 Trailer 2009 on Vimeo.

First off, Alan Wake -- Announced during ’05, finally we have a working demo gamers can get excited about. It’s more action-oriented than once thought, but whatever Remedy is conjuring up with Microsoft, hardcore aficionados have something to look forward to in 2010.

Trico_E3 on Vimeo.

Next, we have an excellent trailer of Trico’s new title, The Last Guardian – slated for a 2010 release window. After playing through the stunning Shadow of the Colossus for PS2, anything being developed by Sony’s in-house gem deserves some gaming love.

So boy and girls, it couldn't have been more clear cut than these two titles proudly attest - videogame visuals is ever-evolving, ever-changing.

Uncharted 2

Uncharted 2 on Vimeo.

The first Uncharted title showcased the visual muscle of Sony's hulking console. The title oozed with glamor, an action driven plot, and a distinct and quirky Indiana Jones-like atmosphere. It became a fitting reflection of what an action adventure should be in the HD era.

To the demise of the obvious majority, the Uncharted franchise will be locked to PS3 as Halo is to Xbox. A Pity that not all gaming enthusiasts could experience the grandeur and exquisite production value the game boasts through and through.

Officially announced during
E3 '09, the second installment just got a face-lift and is set to outdo its predecessor. Being developed by Naughty Dog (an in-house first party developer of Sony) we can expect a tight storyline and solid gameplay in all its third person glory.

Uncharted 2
is slated for a late '09 release -- just in time for holiday season.


Recently, the much speculated and overly ridiculed Senator Lacson bowed down from the presidential race -- that’s one less option among the many we have for the highest post. His reasons are quite apparent, it came after the restoration of the Bobby Dacer Case plus his abysmal poll results. However, the ever-enigmatic senator chooses to site the burgeoning costs of running a campaign as the sole reason why he’s bowing down from the most coveted race in the country.

We may believe it, we may not. But his surprisingly straight forward declaration of how corrupt, twisted, and fraudulent our electoral system is should be seriously considered and taken into account. Most educated individuals know the erroneous and corruptible tendencies of our electoral process. Unfortunately, government bodies supposedly existing to serve the interest of the citizen at large disregard its purpose. The system is absolutely corrupt, and corrupt it will be until a massive reform takes place.

I propose a single independent body where all campaign contributions and funding will come from a single source. It will serve as the official medium from where all the candidates will have equal exposure to announce their platforms, proposals, and economic strategies to our countrymen. This independent body will be organized by ordinary citizens from various sectors and industries. And from there, all manner of political funding and contribution from various parties will be funneled into this organization – lobbyists alleviated in the process.

Different parties will be contributing for the electoral process not for their bets.
They’ll contribute to infuse positive action to a currently pitiful democratic system, NOT to push for their self-interests and gain. The funds will be equally distributed to each candidate, and individual campaign shows would be a thing of the past. The campaigns would require all candidates to campaign simultaneously. Each political rally would be a debate and showcase of each candidate’s charisma and intelligence in tackling various social issues plaguing our long under-developed economy.

The independent body would likewise organize events and produce ads concerning each candidate’s message or even personal branding. True, less revenue for TV networks and publications, but this approach keeps in check the expenses incurred, no more bloated campaign costs and insane amounts of TVCs flooding the airwaves.

The electoral mockery for the highest office in the land would finally end. Generations upon generations of Filipinos have suffered too long with such deceit and systematic trickery. And perhaps the integrity the
Office of President that was originally conceived would at last come into fruition.

To conclude, despite the proposed solution’s imperfection and questionable methods, it’s but one of the many possible approach we can devise to produce a more equal, fair, and democratic electoral process for the Presidency. The ultimate goal is a President for the people by the people.

The New Frontier

Project Natal on Vimeo.

At E3 ’09, various platform’s announced their peripherals catered to the motion-obsessed gaming populace. Sony officially announced its ‘imitation’ to the Wii’s IR sensitive wand while Microsoft, well, is entirely in a different level.

The surprisingly secretive
Project Natal is finally out in the open, demonstrating to the few selected gaming journos what makes it tick. Through the vids and pics of numerous gaming sites, we can see the sheer technological brilliance Project Natal bestows upon the gaming world. It's the revolution the industry has been waiting for.

Wii felt more of an evolutionary step on controller design rather than a revolutionary one -- a tangible barrier between the player and the game still existed.

Microsoft’s new technology (through an Israel-based company, 3DV), we finally have the controller-less capacity to play. It pushes you to react when a ball rolls your way,
when you're placed in the driver seat of a super-car, or when a technologically impressive A.I. realistically interacts with you.

The applications and possibilities of
Project Natal are indeed limitless when compared to the restrictive nature of Nintendo's wand. It'd be quite intriguing how Microsoft will innovate a young gaming industry with such a technology.

Tech Feature: Zune HD

image courtesy of www.engadget.com

As expected,
Microsoft has finally unveiled its answer to Apple’s iPod Touch. Slated for a late ’09 release, Zune HD brags a sizeable 3.6inch OLED touch screen, 4 to 32 GB storage options, HDMI connection, HD Radio, a web browser (let me guess, a mobile ver of IE), WiFi compatible, and powered by an NVIDIA Tegra.

Rumors abound that it’ll sport a camera plus tons of additional gaming content – this is assuming that MS understands the viability of the
iphone/touch as a mobile gaming platform. Point is, MS need not release a portable gaming device other than a Zune HD. The iPhone has proven so far that casual mobile gamers do have the purchasing intent and power for games distributed online.