Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes - Featured

News Shelf: 8/31/12

Dork Shelf doesn’t usually go knee-deep into the news world of video games, because let’s not kid ourselves – you’ve got a multitude of other sites to refresh on a 45-minute cycle.

But we’re building Dork Shelf into your must-read nexus for everything nerd, so here’s the first installment of our weekly gaming roundup. Look for headlines from the comics and film sections to populate the list as we go, and be sure to let us know what you want to see.

Sony adds PSOne games to Vita’s North American library

PSOne Games on VitaWhen Sony launched its PSOne Classics game library on the PS Vita, only 13 were initially available in North America, while Europe’s list boasted 129. Gamers on forums including NeoGAF noticed the disparity, and in an effort to fast-track the slow trickle of games SCEA originally planned, 26 more Vita-compatible games were released, or available to transfer from Vita to PS3 and vice-versa.


“This isn’t the end, though, we’re doing our best to get even more PSOne titles on PS Vita as quickly as possible,” wrote community manager mochuuu on the PlayStation U.S. forums.

Apparently they’re still only about a third as fast as their European counterparts. Must be all that espresso they drink out of small cups.

Metal Gear Solid movie, open-world game plans announced

Metal Gear Solid: Ground ZeroeIt was a big week for Metal Gear fans, after two bombshells were dropped at a Konami event in Tokyo.

First, a film was announced to be in the works. Avi Arad, who’s worked on several Marvel Comics films, was named as a producer for the film.

“Comic books are now the biggest genre in cinema,” said Arad, according to Kotaku. “Video games are the comic books of today. We will take out time and tell the story with all the nuances, ideology, cautionary tales needed.” He’s got plenty of time to get the plans for philosophical monologues on the military-industrial complex – and the process for frying a perfect egg – down before its as-yet unannounced release date.


Also shown was the first demo for Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. It’s been bandied about as “open world” with attendees agog on Twitter about the new Fox Engine showing off Snake exploring a wide open space. Fans have noticed on a promotional image that the hint of an eyepatch underneath the high-tech night vision goggles that we’re probably looking at Big Boss, the father of Solid Snake.

UPDATE: “Zeroes” is a completely nonsensical non-word, almost but not to the level of absurdity afforded by “Revengeance.”

Funcom’s financial troubles no secret (world)

The Secret World - FuncomDeveloper Funcom said that initial sales of its decidedly not-Warcraft-y MMO The Secret World were disappointing, reaching only 200,000 since its launch on June 29. Games Industry reports that the company lost $49 million U.S. this year, compared to $3 million last year.

The company said it will now focus on making smaller-scale games in the immediate future.


This says several things. Firstly, it’s pretty depressing that selling 200,000 copies falls under the disappointing category for any MMO that doesn’t have the words Warcraft or Star Wars on it.


Secondly, maybe lead designer  Ragnar Tornquist will now have some time to continue the stories he started in The Longest Journey and its sequel Dreamfall.

(Seriously, have you played them? They’re on Play these fantastic adventure games now. They’re some of the most compelling narratives in the medium from the last decade.)

In local news…

They Bleed PixelsToronto’s Spooky Squid Games launched They Bleed Pixels. It’s on Steam – get it!


Also on Steam as of today? Home, the story-based adventure horror game by Toronto indie dev Benjamin Rivers. Dork Shelf’s Eric Weiss called it “deliciously creepy” and one of his favourite games of the year.

Speaking of great Toronto indie devs, if you haven’t seen the PAX trailer for Capy’s Super TIME Force yet, you should fix that. Immediately.

TIME OUT! with Super TIME Force Trailer! from Capy! on Vimeo.

And a fond farewell to Nintendo Power…

Nintendo Power

Video game magazine Nintendo Power announced last week that its December 2012 issue would be its last, ending a run of more than 24 years and 222 issues. One of the most fondly remembered gaming publications, it was run in-house by Nintendo until 2007, when it was turned over to Future Publishing.

Nintendo Power’s recently been similar to Future’s other gaming magazines in format and style, essentially taking the same place for the Nintendo consoles as the Official Xbox and PlayStation magazines did for their respective houses. But most of us fondly remember flipping through the pages of the latest issues years ago for maps of Super Mario World or the pages of codes in the Classified Information section — back when cheats and codes tantalized gamers instead of DLC options.

The eulogies were many, varied, and passionate – from Cliff Bleszinski on Kotaku, to Reeves Wiedeman in The New Yorker to people from the past in Slate’s compilation of their favourite reader letters from Nintendo Power, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s boasts about Tetris scores.