Friday Buffet: 'SimCity's' big announcement, a new iPad and Snooki (naturally)

News Roundup

•••• Game Developer's Conference wraps up in San Francisco today. Gamasutra has the most comprehensive coverage of the event, but the big news came from Electronic Arts, who announced a new iteration of “SimCity,” to be released in 2013 on the PC. Game details are still trickling out for the first full “SimCity” release in a decade. [EA]

•••• With the GDC also came the Game Developer’s Choice awards, with “Skyrim” taking top honors. “Portal 2” and “Bastion” also cleaned up with multiple awards each. [Gamespot]

•••• On the business side, February was still a rough month for the gaming industry, as sales of games and consoles were down another 20 percent. [The Seattle Times]

•••• Apple unveiled the new iPad this week, allowing you to play “Angry Birds” in full HD retina display glory. [The Baltimore Sun]

•••• In fact, the new iPad’s beefed up horsepower makes it a much more suitable gaming device. It now has more memory and higher screen resolution than an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3. [CNN]

•••• File this in the “how did this take so long” department: there is now an “Occupy” movement video game. [RT]

Blowing Off Steam

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about the “SimCity” reboot. I spent more time on “SimCity 2000” than I’d care to admit. There’s little you can tell about a game this early, but I am very cautious about how the game’s going to turn out.

With the success “The Sims” has brought EA, the style and tone of their related titles have gotten more kid/casual gamer friendly. “SimCity” was the last bastion of true nerdhood in its arsenal, but the tone and look of the “SimCity” early footage suggests that casual gamers are in its sights. And why wouldn’t they be? If people will spend weeks of their life on Facebook managing a virtual farm, isn’t it conceivable that EA could sell a lot of copies of “SimCity” to those same individuals? It seems as though the multiplayer bug has also finally took hold of the franchise, interlinking players’ cities into regions, much like the transferable content in “Farmville”-type games.

I think back to the sandbox I had in the backyard as a kid. My favorite activity was creating a world in it, letting my imagination run wild. As last week’s “Game Face” told me in our interview: “just plug me in and leave me the [expletive] alone.” Amen, brother.

Classic Corner

When I read that “Corril Slayer” was influenced by games such as “Mega Man,” I got really excited to play and review “Corril Slayer.” I also got really excited and made a mental note to revisit the “Mega Man” series.

I think my love for the series really peaked at “Mega Man II.” You can imagine my excitement when I found out this title was just $.99 for the full version on the AppStore. Something about “Mega Man” was just enthralling. I don’t know if it was the difficulty, the creative levels or just all the cool variations “Mega Man” had. Basically think of any combination of two colors, and at some point, Mega Man got to wear a suit in that palette which also gave you a cool weapon stolen from a defeated boss.

You know those posters they sell that have the periodic table on them? I want one with all the possible “Mega Man” outfits. This will do for now.

This Week in Game Cache

We stayed true to gaming local, reviewing Pure Bang’s excellentCorril Slayer.” We also took a look at a very strong fighting mash-up inStreetFighter X Tekken.” We also taunted you with some Mass Effect 3” screenshots before the game released, which if you’re like us, you’ve been playing all week.

Loading For Next Week

A spoiler-free “Mass Effect 3” review is in the works, so you can make a buying decision if you’re still skeptical of the hype around BioWare’s latest RPG. It’s also possible there will be some release date news on “Diablo III,” so we might revisit the beta version and give some impressions. If that fails to peak your interest, I’ll just post this image repeatedly to celebrate “Community's" return to NBC.

Really Important Video

In honor of Snookis big news coming on “Mass Effect 3” day, this seems rather appropriate. I must confess that I’ve seen the first three seasons of “Jersey Shore” in their entirety, so this video delighted me to no end. Liara as JWoww might be the best one. Oh, who am I kidding? The whole clip is fabulous. I’d better stop, or this is going to turn into TV Lust very quickly.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad