Via Ars Technica, a post on the Major League Gaming site about the return of single-player competition (ala arcade games) with the likes of Xbox Live Arcade. From the article: "Once it stops being really enjoyable and just becomes work, you move on to another game and rarely come back. But imagining myself playing Resident Evil 4 with online leaderboards showing high scores in the missionary mode or a timed 'kill as many bad guys as you can' mini-game brings a smile to my face. I know for a fact I would be playing Super Mario Sunshine every now and then to try to get the fastest time for beating a certain level if there were leaderboards that everyone could plainly see after they beat a level."
Eurogamer has a piece looking at the sucess of Geometry Wars, despite its old-skool flavour. From the article: "Eyes around The Beehive widen and brows furrow in incredulity. I'm suddenly instructed to tell everyone at the table what I've just said to one half. I clear my throat. 'The worldwide high score for Geometry Wars is 12.8 million.' Nobody says anything. Everyone just thinks about it. 'Terrifying,' says someone, eventually. 'Mine's 2.1 million, which I originally thought was pretty good,' says Stephen Cakebread, creator of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved and its predecessor, 'but I've since been put to shame by all the people who've scored five times that!' Well, six times, but we're not counting. It's too painful."
Gamasutra reports on a Wheeling Jesuit University study that indicates gameplaying can allow those with great pain to live more fulfilling lives. From the article: "The Wheeling study compared several different genres of games in their effects on pain. Six types of games were used: action, puzzle, arcade, fighting, sports, and boxing, all varieties that encourage high attention and stimulus. (Games such as RPGs and graphical adventures were likely left out of the survey for their low-impact nature.) The game types most effective in distracting from pain, meted out by cold pressor tests after 10 minutes of each subject playing a particular game type, were the sports and fighting games."
GameDaily has a look at what we can expect from the big names at E3 this year. From the article: "It's do or die time for Nintendo as far as the company's future consoles are concerned. The Revolution will be a key portion of Nintendo's pre-E3 press event. We expect to see at least three titles up and running on the show floor, as well as a handful of titles in video form from Nintendo and a few third party developers. Nintendo will also be hyping up its retro downloads service for the Revolution, and will likely have several classics playable using the Revolution controller."
With many of the high profile 'launch window' titles still coming, the Xbox Live Arcade is one of the most entertaining elements to the Xbox 360. Joystiq posts about a recent Major Nelson podcast in which he interviews the general manager of the Xbox Live Arcade. Big-name publishers are jumping on board, and they plan numerous additions to the service in the coming months. From the post: "Just one important caveat: the Xbox Live Arcade party lasts only so long as Microsoft plays the gatekeeper role well. If the company softens its standards and starts to include mediocre titles for download, gamer trust and interest in the service will decline rapidly. So far, they're on the right path. Geometry Wars--that little $5.00 Xbox Live Arcade title that has surprised and delighted the majority of those who have given it a shot--still reigns as the top Xbox 360 title in our book."
An anonymous reader writes "Gabe and Tycho of Penny Arcade recently gave a talk at MIT. One attendee recorded the event and has made available a transcript of the talk, in which the guys talk about the comic and various related topics. The Penny Arcade crew always puts on a good show with their own brand of witty humor and disarming personalities and this is certainly no exception. If you have never seen them talk in person it may lose a little in the translation from speech to text, but still a funny read in any case."
There have been a number of statistic-related announcements in the gaming industry of late. The beginning of the year sees companies trying to start off on the right foot through upbeat marketing. So, with that in mind comes the news that XFire now has 3 Million subscribers, the 1 Millionth DS handheld has sold in Europe, and Microsoft has listed the top 10 Xbox Live Arcade titles. From the Xbox Live article: "Although no exact figures for sales were revealed, the publishing giant has detailed its most popular games on the Arcade service, with Bizarre Creations' Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved leading the pack. The game is an adapted version of the retro styled arcade game that first appeared on the original Xbox, as part of Project Gotham Racing 2. Since the launch of the service in November, Geometry Wars has achieved some 200,000 trial downloads and 45,000 paid downloads, proving exceptionally popular with the online community."