ONLINE game publisher Level Up! has started the open beta test of Rohan Online, its latest massively multiplayer online role playing game. The open beta test for Rohan Online started last March 24 , three weeks since the company introduced the game on closed beta testing. Level Up! partnered with online bidding company Auction.ph and Internet café operator Netopia to distribute the Rohan installation discs. One of the main features of the game is a Revenge System, which is an improved player-versus-player mode where players seeking revenge against an another player could teleport near the target. The same player can bring some clan members to exact revenge on the target. Another feature is the Mkill, which rewards a player with a boost on experience points for every 20 kills. Mkill reduces the need for players to complete in-game quests to level up faster. Rohan Online is one of several multiplayer online role-playing game introduced by Level Up! after Ragnarok Online, Silkroad Online, Perfect World, RF Online, and FreeStyle. (Editor's Note: We included the other games that was missed out in the earlier post. Apologies). This is also the second game the company introduced this year after Crazy Kart, a casual online racing game. The game was developed by Korean firm YNK Interactive.
March 2009 Archives
Agence France-Presse SAN FRANCISCO--Californian technology firm OnLive is poised to launch a service that streams video games over the Internet, meaning players can avoid buying expensive consoles or packaged software. OnLive ended seven years of "stealth" development late Tuesday by announcing the system should launch in the United States by the end of the year. The firm is building a library of video game software on servers that players reach over broadband Internet by using mini-programs in home computers or OnLive MicroConsoles connected to television sets. "We've cleared the last remaining hurdle for the video games industry: effective online distribution," said OnLive founder and chief executive Steve Perlman. "By putting the value back into the games themselves and removing the reliance on expensive, short-lived hardware, we are dramatically shifting the economics of the industry." Major video game makers Ubisoft, Atari, Warner Brothers, and Electronic Arts are among the studios providing PC versions of hot titles for the OnLive service previewed at a major Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. "We will launch in the United States and move into other countries as fast as we can," OnLive engineer Ronn Brashear said as Carlos Lievano played Ubisoft's 'Prince of Persia' at GDC Wednesday using a MicroConsole. Lievano, a graduate student from Columbia who is studying for a Masters degree in business at a California university, said OnLive promises to be a hit in developing countries. "This will be huge for the distribution of video games," Lievano said. "People that don't have the money for expensive equipment just have to get Internet service set up and can play any game they want." The video game world is currently dominated by consoles made by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Nintendo's popular Wii is priced at 250 dollars while beefier Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles carry higher price tags. Comparable in size to decks of cards, MicroConsole devices will be provided free with video game services that let people pay monthly subscriptions to play online. Pricing of subscriptions has yet to be finalized. Graphics of game play are streamed to players while the interactive software remains secure on OnLive computers, eliminating piracy concerns, Brashear said.
GAME publisher iAM Interactive unveiled its second casual game for this year, a racing game called GoGoRacer [spelled as is], developed by China-based firm Radiance Digital Entertainment. GoGoRacer would be the third online racing game in the Philippines, after Crazy Kart from Level Up! Philippines and IP e-Games’ Top Speed. The game is similar to the Nintendo Mario Kart series where players try to outrun competitors while using various weapons to overtake them. iAM Product Manager John Paul Pelayo said in an interview that the game would be distributed in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, allowing players from these countries to compete against each other. Pelayo said the game would be targeted at players ages 12 to 30. One of its unique features is having up to 16 players per match. However, Pelayo said they would initially have up to 8 players. He also mentioned that Radiance Digital used an enhanced physics engine to allow for realistic racing. The game also includes nitrous oxide, commonly called "nitros" to boost the speed of the racer. Just like Mario Kart, there would also be items spread in the game that can be picked up by the racer and used to get the upper hand in the game. Pelayo also said the game has a crafting system to allow users to upgrade the karts. Pelayo said that they would be starting their closed beta test in April and would have the commercial in June. “We’re already looking to localize the game for the different countries,” Pelayo said.
Agence France-Presse HAVANA--Havana on Tuesday debuted a baseball video game which includes famous Cuban-born defectors long expunged from official memory here after they abandoned the Communist island to play in the United States. The country's first baseball video game, MVP Cuba 1.0, features a number of Cuban stars who triumphed in the US major leagues, including star pitchers Orlando Hernandez -- nicknamed "El Duque" -- and Jose Contreras. The game was unveiled at a state information science center over the weekend, according to Juventud Rebelde daily newspaper. Livan Hernandez and Kendry Morales also figure in the game, as does Yadel Marti, who defected from the Caribbean island last December to pursue a professional baseball career in the United States. "It's wise to include them. They're Cuban players who are giving prestige to Cuban baseball abroad, even though they're censored here," a young Cuban requesting anonymity told AFP. Baseball, a national passion, is one of the sports hardest hit by defections in Cuba, which eliminated professional leagues in 1961. Experts from the Havana University of Information Science and the COCO sports radio program adapted the video game, which fields 30 virtual teams, 16 of which face off in the Cuban championship. The creators of the game underscored difficulties surrounding its official release, without giving details. But Cubans waited five years before they were finally last December allowed to view on the big screen the movie "Fuera de Liga," a 2003 baseball documentary including several defectors.
LOCAL game publisher Z-Zone believes that casual gaming business is not profitable even as local online game publishers are introducing more casual games these days. Z-Zone, which publishes the online games SkyBlade: Sword of the Heavens and the recently launched Oversoul, is not looking to launch any casual gaming titles anytime soon. It intends to focus on massively-multiplayer online games (MMORPGs). Z-Zone Vice President for Marketing and Operations DJ Reclamado said casual games are less appealing to some gamers because of the current economic situation. Reclamado said gamers would rather play MMORPGs that require less purchases of special items since these can be gathered from playing the game. Casual games usually require players to buy more items to become stronger. He said 2009 is not a good year for casual games, as players are buying less to save up for more important purchases. “Casual games are about simplicity of game play. Players only get satisfied when they play for a while and the result is immediate. MMORPGs provide satisfaction during longer periods and they can think of better strategies,” Reclamado said. For now, the company is focusing on promoting OverSoul, which is also developed by Magics Co., the same Korean developer of SkyBlade. Oversoul started its beta test late last year and has gone commercial in March. The game has been localized to include ancient Filipino names and places to give players a more local feel.
By Clarence Yu Contributor The band that John Lennon once described as more famous than Jesus Christ (or he was quoted as saying by media) will soon be available as a video game as The Beatles: Rock Band. According to this article from the Rolling Stone website, the game will be available for play on Xbox, Nintendo Wii and Playstation 3 and will be released on September 9, 2009. Developed by Harmonix Music Systems and published by MTV Games, Rock Band is a popular music video game that allows players to play as a band unit — guitars, bass and drums, unlike the rival Guitar Hero game series by Activision (until the recent release of Guitar Hero World Tour) which only allowed players to interface with the game as a guitar player. This will be the first Rock Band video game devoted solely to a band, and will reportedly cover material from the Beatles' first album, Please Please Me, to their final album, Abbey Road. This development continues the trend of artists who are diversifying their channels of distribution through the gaming industry. Previous artists who have done so include Aerosmith and Metallica (through the Guitar Hero franchise). One can have mixed feelings about this kind of medium being used by artists to enhance their popularity and sales. For one thing, it certainly is proven to work well for big-name artists. With Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, the band garnered more sales from the game than from any individual album they recorded. It also worked to boost their catalog sales by giving gamers an increased awareness of the band's past music. While this is a great way to learn about an artist's music, it might not be the best way to learn an instrument. For example, given the big differences between the game guitar controller and an actual guitar, it might be easier for a gamer just to play the video game. But as a form of expression and creativity, the game might be utterly useless. The only good thing that can be seen at the moment about this from a musical standpoint is that it might spark the interest of gamers into picking up an actual instrument. The Beatles certainly do not need the money or the added popularity. Hopefully, one can only imagine that they are getting into this project to incite more interest in the art of writing and creating music, which would then lead to a boost in more bands and more recorded music. Just like the Beatles' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which launched thousands of bands and inspired even more kids at the time to pick up an instrument, one can only hope that a similar revolution will occur with the game's release. In the meantime, it would be interesting to see the kind of reaction this game will elicit from hard-core Beatles fans, gamers, and music industry insiders, and how much Apple Corps Ltd. (the Beatles-owned record label) would stand to gain from a business standpoint, and how other legendary bands would react. Rock Band: The Rolling Stones, anyone?