February 21, 2014 in Anime News
Gareth Edwards’ remake looms over skyline before May 16 opening
Read more here: Anime News Network
December 3, 2013 in Gaming News
San Francisco authorities on Monday nabbed the man they believe shot and killed a Daly City resident after responding to his online advertisement for a PlayStation 4. 21-year-old Ronnie Collins, of San Francisco, has been jailed on suspicion of murder and attempted robbery, police sergeant Danielle Newman told The San Francisco Chronicle.
Collins allegedly shot the victim–22-year-old Ikenna Uwakah–multiple times when they met up around 3:30 pm. on Sunday at Mendell Street and Galvez Avenue.
Uwakah and his girlfriend drove to the meet-up location together, authorities said. Once there, the killer shot Uwakah while he was still in his car, before fleeing the scene, a police spokesperson said. Uwakah was transported to San Francisco General Hospital where he later died.
It was initially reported that Collins took the PS4 after allegedly killing Uwakah, though police officials have not explained the attempted robbery charge in any detail.
The PS4 launched in North America on November 15 and has become a hot item since, with many retailers selling through their stock. Just today, Sony announced that the system has sold 2.1 million consoles worldwide, following its launch in Europe last week.
Read more here: Game Spot News
December 2, 2013 in Gaming News
A man was shot dead Sunday in San Francisco after an attempt to sell his PlayStation 4 in the city’s Bayview District, police have said. The San Jose Mercury News reports that the 22-year-old man was shot multiple times yesterday afternoon before being taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he later died.
Law enforcement officials said the victim met the suspect, described as an adult male, online after posting an advertisement for the PS4 on Instagram. When they met up to complete the sale, the suspect shot the victim while he was still in his car with his girlfriend despite giving up the console willingly, according to local news outlet KTVU.
“I don’t know that it’s unique to PlayStation or anything else,” Lt. Tim Plyer said. “People do robberies, and I don’t know why this one transpired, but we’ll do all that we can to investigate it.”
As of last night, police continued to speak with witnesses and follow leads as they sought the killer. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the police department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip via text message to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the message.
Read more here: Game Spot News
November 27, 2013 in Gaming News
The full schedule of speakers and panels for the Game Developers Conference 2014 hasn’t been announced yet, but one can’t-miss talk is already lined up. Yu Suzuki, the designer behind the unfinished Shenmue series, will be doing a post-mortem of his Dreamcast classic. PlayStation 4 lead architect and game designer Mark Cerny will translate the talk.
Industry site Gamasutra announced the hour-long session, with more details to come as we get closer to the conference.
GDC runs from March 17 to 21 here in San Francisco, but if you can’t make it to the event yourself, you’ll be able to watch a livestream of the talk right here on GameSpot.
Read more here: Game Spot News
October 22, 2013 in Gaming News
Mobile game developer TinyCo has laid off 27 employees. The layoffs occurred in its San Francisco and Argentina studios. The layoffs are part of a new strategy for the developer that will be outlined in the next few weeks.
“We’ve moved 10 steps forward on executing a specific strategy around how we build games and what games we build,” said TinyCo CEO Suleman Ali in a statement to TechCrunch. “To execute against this strategy, we decided to consolidate game development out of our SF office and reduce our staff.”
“Laying people off sucks, especially since TinyCo has always been a breeding ground for great friendships. We’ll provide more updates, including a game launch, in the near future,” Ali concluded.
TinyCo has developed several casual games for mobile devices. They have developed a Tiny series of games, as well as gambling games like VIP Poker.
Read more here: VG Charts
October 2, 2013 in Gaming News
Gamers now able to play high-profile gaming flop through Steam.
Daikatana was originally released for PC in 2000, though was once due to come out in 1997, and was followed by a poorly received N64 port. Critical reception for the game was almost universally negative.
The game was heavily marketed through its high-profile creator, John Romero, who had seen huge success from previous projects Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake at id Software. One particular instance of the game’s many advertising campaigns–featuring the text “John Romero’s about to make you his bitch” against a blood red background–has remained a point of discussion in the games industry ever since.
Daikatana was set in an alternate future, where the game’s villain disrupted history using magical eponymous sword the Daikatana. Levels are set across futuristic Japan, ancient Greece, medieval Norway and near-future San Francisco, and a key part of the game was the relationship between protagonist Hiro Miyamoto and his two sidekicks Superfly Johnson and Mikiko Ebihara.
Poor AI led the sidekick characters to be heavily criticised in particular, with missions failing if either of the AI characters died.
GameSpot awarded the game a score of 4.6 in its review when the game was originally released in 2000.
“There are moments playing Daikatana in which everything comes together–the sidekicks act as they should or simply aren’t around, and you’re able to enjoy the game as a pure, unadulterated shooter. But these moments are rare and are separated by long stretches of frustration punctuated by tedium. It’s true that the game has a lot of content. The levels are large, there are plenty of monsters and weapons, and it will take you some time to finish. Yet a shorter, less disjointed experience with a few memorable set pieces would have been preferable. After years of development and a vast body of negative press, Daikatana is not an unmitigated disaster. But unfortunately, that’s not enough to endorse it.”
Read more here: Game Spot News
September 2, 2013 in Anime News
The event, organized by performance group ZOMBIENA, is held on the last Sunday of every month at Roppongi bar Night Gallery Cafe CROW. Zombie lovers can gather to drink, talk, and watch zombie films, and large-scale “zombie walk” events are held a couple of times a year.
The zombie walk events, which have been held in Tokyo six times to date, attract upwards of 900 people. 60 to 70 percent of the attendees are female, and women-only zombie walks have been held in the past. The events are billed as a good way for zombie fans to make friends through the shared experience of shuffling through the streets of Tokyo. The event originated in Toronto in 2003, and spread to cities such as London, Sydney, and San Francisco before making its way to Japan.
Read more here: Crunchy Roll
August 9, 2013 in Gaming News
Valve San Francisco duo to start their own studio, Temple Gates Games, after ending partnership with Valve.
Valve has closed its remote two-man studio in San Francisco eight months after acquiring the duo, the company has confirmed.
Valve San Francisco was formed in December 2012 by ex-Popcap staff Tod Semple and Jeff Gates, with Semple credited as the programmer for the original Plants vs. Zombies. The pair will now launch their own studio, Temple Gates Games.
“Jeff [Gates] and I are working on indie games again,” said Semple to IGN. “We were working for Valve in a remote office in San Mateo. It turned out that there weren’t many benefits for either side in that arrangement.
“Valve was super cool about it and is letting us continue to work on our game and is also giving us the office. So Jeff and I are starting up a new company called Temple Gates Games.”
Between them, the duo has worked on projects at LucasArts, Maxis, Blizzard, and PopCap.
“We were big fans of their prior work,” said a Valve representative. “We worked with them during their startup phase, but they’re independent now and still working on their game. We wish them the best of luck.”
Earlier this week, an entry for Left 4 Dead 3 was spotted on Valve’s internal project tracker during an office tour for the Dota 2 subreddit community.
Read more here: Game Spot News
August 1, 2013 in Anime News
Harajuku icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took San Francisco by storm last weekend with appearances and live performances at the J-Pop Summit Festival. Somehow, despite her busy schedule, I managed to nab an interview (my 3rd one to date) with the PON PON PON one herself where we talked about idols, Kyary’s music videos, and the “dark side of kawaii”… thanks to New People and the ASOBI SYSTEM gang for making this happen. – PM
Crunchyroll: How are you enjoying San Francisco so far? What kinds of things have you done while you’ve been here?
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu: I went to go check out the Fisherman’s Wharf area and I got to see the sea lions, eat sea food, and I got to play at the arcade there.
You’ve been around the world now, and have been to many different cities. What has that experience been like? Has it changed you at all?
One of the biggest things that I felt that after the world tour is that I became more courageous about being in front of people and it gave me more confidence to be seen by many people in the world.
What are some of the craziest and wackiest things that have happened to you overseas?
The craziest things? There’s so many (laughs)… Every time I go to a different city I see people who are cosplaying as me. I see people who are wearing my costumes from the “PON PON PON” or “Tsukematsu Tsukeru” music videos. That got me happy and excited about meeting the people out there.
Recently, it seems like you have been super busy with work. How are you dealing with that?
I used to be kind of hikikomori (“a shut-in”) and stay inside alone (laughs) but recently, I try to hang out with my friends when they ask me to go out. I usually start my day in the afternoon and I like to go to places like a Harry Potter exhibit (Now at the Mori Arts Center in Tokyo – PM) or the watch movies like new Hayao Miyazaki movie Kaze Tachinu. That was the most recent thing that I’ve seen.
What helps you to maintain your energy and workload?
One of my biggest motivations is absolutely the energy I get from fans during my live shows. I get so much energy from the crowd. Also recently a friend of mine read the tarot for me and there were some results from there that also gave me motivation.
I wanted to ask you about Tamukai Jun, who is the director of your music videos. What kind of director is he? What’s it like working with him?
I’ve been working with Tamukai-san since my very first video (“PON PON PON”, 2011) and he really truly understands the kawaii cute side of girls and also the dark grotesque side of girls. He’s really able to bring those things together. And every time we do a video together, it always surpasses everyone’s expectations and I absolutely love working with him.
When the music video of “Candy Candy” came out, some people interpreted it as a parody of Japanese idol culture. Did this idea come from you?
When I first heard the song “Candy Candy”, I really felt like it had ‘80s idol style. So when we were talking and coming up with the concept of the video, I mentioned that I wanted to do it kind of like the magical girl idols from back in the ‘80s. The whole concept is from the old music TV show “The Best 10”. The host was Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, who had this hairstyle that kind of looks like an onion. And as sort of a tribute to her, we have an onion for the host in the music video.
What does the word “idol” mean to you? Do you think you are an idol?
There’s so many different types of idols in Japan. When I was in elementary school, I was really into Morning Musume and I’ve always admired them. But I actually don’t consider myself as an idol. To me, an idol is something that is very cute and perfect. But with the way I present myself, there’s always a dark side, sort of like “thorns”. That really differentiates me from a standard idol from Japan.
Kyary at Shibuya PARCO “Girls in the Room” event, created by Sebastian Masuda of 6%DOKIDOKI, 2011
What do you remember about your first reaction to the kawaii shops in Harajuku, specifically 6%DOKIDOKI?
When I went to Harajuku in high school, there was one store that absolutely stood out from everything else there and that was 6%DOKIDOKI. When I went inside, there were all these shop girls who had different stuff in their hair, rings that said “dokidoki”, earrings that said “arigato” and that was super-sensational for me. That’s what I remember about my first visit.
What do you think drew you specifically to Harajuku fashion instead of something else, like hip hop or punk rock?
I always just really liked girly stuff. Katy Perry is one of my favorite artists and I really like that kind of atmosphere that 6% has. Basically, an environment jam-packed with kawaii and cute stuff.
Once you said in an interview “kawaii can have a dark side” and you mentioned something similar earlier. What did you mean by that?
Did I say that? Hmm. I think I meant that things that I get attracted to are not just cute, but internally have a dark side or something grotesque about them. That’s what I consider to be my definition of “kawaii”.
This is sort of a strange question, but do you think lead you to become “Kyary Pamyu Pamyu”?
People used to call me “Kyary” since I was in high school, but when I debuted (a a singer), I realized there were a lot of other “Kyarys” in the world like Mariah Carey, or Carrie the movie. So I added the words “Pamyu Pamyu” and I wanted a super-long name for people to remember.
So what are some of your favorite things right now? What are you interested in at the moment?
Hmm. I’m really into cupcakes and collecting stuff that has something to do with them. Sometimes, it’s just the candle that goes on top, sometimes it’s a bath salt that’s in the shape of a cupcake. I put stuff like that all over my room to help keep up my girliness.
What are some of the professional and personal goals you still feel you’d like to accomplish?
I definitely want to become someone who is recognized not just within Japan, but all over the world. And my ultimate, ultimate goal is to keep on giving people dreams.
Translator: Misaki C. Kido
July 31, 2013 in Gaming News
FarmVille studio launches lawsuit over casual sex app claiming it infringes on Zynga’s trademark for its “with friends” suite of games.
[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, a Bang With Friends Inc. representative told GameSpot that it has not yet personally seen the lawsuit from Zynga.
“We heard through media reports that Zynga has filed a trademark infringement claim with respect to the ‘with friends’ part of our name,” the representative said. “As a technology company, we take intellectual property seriously and will evaluate the case in detail once we receive a copy. Regardless, we continue to be focused on making our users happy, so that they can help each other be happy.”
The original story follows below.
Social game giant Zynga has sued the developer behind casual sex app Bang With Friends, claiming the company’s software infringes on Zynga’s trademark for its “with friends” suite of games.
Zynga is the owner and operator of various “with friends” games, including Words With Friends and Chess With Friends. According to a complaint filed in San Francisco federal court yesterday (via Bloomberg), Bang With Friends Inc. registered the domain name last year.
According to the complaint, Bang With Friends Inc. “selected the name ‘Bang With Friend’ for its casual sex matching app with Zynga’s game trademarks fully in mind.” The complaint claims Bang With Friends directly infringes on Zynga’s games Words With Friends and Chess With Friends.
Zynga is seeking a court order to prohibit Bang With Friends Inc. from using the Bang With Friends name in the United States and unspecified damages.
The Bang With Friends app taps into a user’s Facebook account and matches people up with other friends who have deemed themselves “interested” in the other person.
Bang With Friends Inc. could not be reached for comment at press time.
Last week, Zynga reported a $15.8 million loss and revealed it lost nearly half of its daily active players year-on-year.
Read more here: Game Spot News