Sony Calls For Aussie Game Rating ChangesMichael Ephraim, boss of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia, has spoken out against the country's continued lack of an adults-only rating for video games.

"Gaming has moved on, the choice of content has moved on and I think it is time Australia gets in step with the rest of the world and has an R rating classification," he told the Associated Press earlier today in Sydney.

"I think it is just giving people choice. You give people choice for movies, books, whatever. Why aren't you giving them choice for gaming?

"The Government needs to move on, to stop thinking that gaming is for kids, gaming has grown up. Eight to 88 (year olds) play games now ... the average age of a gamer is something like 24 years old."

It's a moot point at the moment, of course. Public submissions on a change to Australia's outdated classification system, which when implemented never thought an adults-only ratings would be needed for video games, are already before the government, who are waiting on submissions from non-gamers before proceeding.

Sony boss supports R rating for games [News]


This Spartan's Greatest Challenge As seen by reader Chris. Thanks!


John Romero Is So Sorry About Trying To Make You His Bitch Game designer John Romero and John Romero's hair ruled the roost during the 1990s. With titles like Doom and Quake, he not only helped popularize the first-person shooter, he defined it. Then the unthinkable happened. He made Daikatana.

The game, released in 2000, was a tremendous flop. An ad for Daikatana proclaimed, "John Romero's about to make you his bitch. Suck it down." The game was delayed several times, and the final product was a bust. The rot had set in, and Romero, the FPS whiz kid, went off to develop mobile games.

"I knew it was risky, and I didn't want to do it. It didn't make sense. I mean, there's the whole culture of smack talk that goes with games and especially the FPSs, and that was something I was known for," Romero tells Gamesauce magazine.

"You know, I never wanted to make you my bitch, not you, not them, not any of the other players and, most importantly, not any of my fans. Up until that ad, I felt I had a great relationship with the gamer and the game development community and that ad changed everything... I regret it and I apologize for it."

"I didn't [stop it] and I'm sorry for that," says Romero. While the game could have been better on a number of levels, that ad and the hype that preceded and followed it was clearly a marketing failure."

Romero, who now says he is resigned to the ad, dished on the ad back in 2008, which evoked a saucy response from the marketer that spearheaded the suck-it-down campaign.

John Romero Is So Sorry About Trying To Make You His Bitch If we're apologizing about anything, this outfit, John. Really?

John Romero Wants To Make You A Star [Game Sauce via Industry Gamers [Pic]


Erotic Game Artist Breaks Hearts This is why some female illustrators don't release photos of themselves.

In the June issue of erotic game magazine "PC Angel neo", there's a short question-and-answer with adult game illustrator Ayane Nanami. Nanami's illustrations are hardly spectacular, but the artist now has legions of new fans thanks to this one magazine pic.

Nobody had really seen what she had looked like — and nobody had cared really.

Now, of course, there are loads of folks saying she's "cute" and that they want to marry her, yadda, yadda, yadda.

But do know that a good percentage of women involved in game or manga (adult and all ages) illustration are attractive individuals with good DNA, but many of them are reluctant to have their photos appear in magazines or books for precisely the panic Nanami's photo has caused. Instead, these illustrators create cartoon versions of themselves.

Take, Noizi Ito. Everyone who cares probably already knows she she looks like; however, when I interviewed her, she wanted to use her cartoon drawing as a placeholder for a photo of her. Totally understandable!

Erotic Game Artist Breaks Hearts Others, like High School Girls manga artist Towa Oshima (pictured), are perfectly happy to smatter their face on their blogs.

Of course, Nanami's erotic game illustrations are far more explicit than Oshima's more recent manga work. And later this month, Nanami does have a new game coming out called Little Rabbits. This photo ruckus should help sales!

美人エロゲ原画家・七海綾音氏の写真初公開 こもぺす [komopes] [Pic, Pic]


New Zelda? "Easier To Play" Nintendo is working on a new Legend of Zelda game. And according to Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto, the game will be easier to play.

In an interview with German site Gaming Media (via website 1UP), Miyamoto said that Nintendo is "creating a new way to play the game". Continuing, he added, "We are trying to make Zelda, which has become very complicated, easier to play."

As 1UP points out, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma said in late 2009 that if Nintendo continued to follow the same structure, it might not be able to offer fresh surprises to players. "So we have been trying something new in terms of the structure of the Wii version of the new Zelda game this time," Aonuma said at the time. "I am really hopeful that people will be surprised with the changes we have implemented for this Wii version."

That "surprise" better not be Zelda but easier.

Miyamoto Discusses Major Changes for Zelda [1UP]


This Guy Has Bigger Balls Than You Meet Simon Crane. He's got huge balls. Obviously, we're not talking about actual testicular size per se — you could have a rhinoceros penis and elephant nards for all we know. No, we're talking about nerves of steel.

And he's got 'em.

Crane has signed on to helm the big screen version of the Kane & Lynch film. While this might be his feature film directing debut, he's got stuntman experience out the whazoo.

This Guy Has Bigger Balls Than You After getting his big break as a stunt man on the 1985 Bond film A View to a Kill, he worked his way up to Timothy Dalton's stunt double in License to Kill — and in the meantime cutting his teeth doing stunts for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Willow and Aliens. The British-born Crane would go on to double for Mel Gibson in Air America and for Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

This Guy Has Bigger Balls Than You But it was in the 1993 Sylvester Stallone film Cliffhanger that Simon Crane executed the most expensive stunt ever: It cost a reported US$1 million dollars to have him do the air-to-air transfer stunt, one of the film's centerpieces. As website IMDB points out, the stunt was filmed in the USA, because such a stunt is illegal in Europe. Crane was suspended on a rope 15,000 ft up between two planes — and without any safety devices! The film's insurance company would not underwrite the stunt. Stallone offered to take a reduce fee for appearing in the film so that it would be possible to execute the stunt.

The stunt itself made its way into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most expensive aerial stunt ever performed. It was performed only once — and successfully.

Crane went on to do stunts and act as stunt coordinator for a variety of films, including GoldenEye, Titanic and Saving Private Ryan. He also worked his way up to second unit director on a variety of films.

While he is not stranger to video game movies (he was the stunt coordinator for the Lara Croft films), he just might be able to pull off the Kane & Lynch film version. There have a been a couple of choices regarding that movie that seem very smart — such as bringing in Jamie Foxx, instead of finding an actor that looks exactly like the in-game counterpart. Bringing in Jamie Foxx is inspired casting — perhaps he is better to bring the essence of the character than simply an actor that looks the part.

And by making such a bold casting decision, out of the gate, Kane & Lynch can focus on being a good movie and not simply a good "video game movie". Gamers are picky and difficult to please, and bringing in Foxx shows, right up front, that all your minutia video game complaints go out the window.

This Guy Has Bigger Balls Than You The film's ad campaign also looks smart. It focuses on mood and less on movie stars. During the late 1990s, Miramax films pretty much destroyed the art of movie posters. Horror flick Scream and its sequels were smash hits, and the posters featured a collage of actor's headshots. (The original one-sheet poster for the first Scream was okay!)

This Guy Has Bigger Balls Than You The perceived marketing success of Scream lead to Miramax ditching this hand-painted Jackie Brown poster...

This Guy Has Bigger Balls Than You ...and go with this boring Scream-style one instead. While this is an awful scan of the painted Jackie Brown poster, the actual work itself is stunning. Unfortunately, during the late 1990s, many of Miramax's posters were in that Scream-style.

The cool thing about the Kane & Lynch teaser poster is that, design-wise, it is a striking image. It creates a feeling, instead of simply showing a line-up of moive stars. It doesn't rely on a Scream-style movie star headshot to build excitement. Granted, this might change as the publicity machine kicks into high gear. (And then the ad campaign could get horribly pedestrian.)

While it's possible that none of these decisions were made by Crane, there is still something to be said about a middle aged stuntman who has worked his way up the studio ladder by putting his life on the line day in and day out. This is his big chance. Hope he doesn't blow it.



Torchlight Sells Half A MillionWe'd always thought Torchlight, the game that many have generously labelled as simply being inspired by Diablo, had been a cult hit for developers Runic. Thing is, 500,000 copies sold isn't a cult hit. It's a hit.

The developers sent word yesterday that the game had passed the half a million sales milestone, helped along no doubt by a retail release earlier this year (it had previously been downloadable-only), as well as shopfront distribution in Europe.

Well played, Runic. The game thoroughly deserves it, and with a Mac release now doubling the title's platform availability, things are only looking up, for both the game and the developer.


Alex Popov has spent $500 and the past two years of his spare time making this fan film set in the Aliens vs Predator universe.

It won't win any Academy Awards, and in parts the effects are quite shonky, but for a small team (Popov had a little help with some of the computer graphics) and $500, it's funny how it's more entertaining - and more faithful to the source material - than either of the actual Hollywood Aliens vs Predator flicks.


Two Years Late, The PS3 Video Download Store Launches In AustraliaThe USA got the PS3 video download store in 2008. In parts of Europe, it launched in 2009. As is the way with many things video game related, it's only this week launching in Australia.

"Hundreds" of movies will be available when the service kicks off this Thursday, in both standard and high definition, with rentals starting at AUD$4 and purchases at AUD$8.

Some of the movies available at launch include Avatar, Capote, Dreamland, Inglorious Basterds, Up In The Air, Ninja Assassin, Sherlock Holmes, Surrogates and...Twilight New Moon.

For reference, the Xbox 360's comparable service launched in Australia a few months back. I'd be keen to see how it's been performing, and how Sony's performs, given Australian internet service providers' stingy monthly download limits.


We have already seen the Resident Evil: Afterlife trailer. Let's see it again, but broken down, bit by bit. In song.

Resident Evil: Afterlife, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich, is the fourth big screen version of the Resident Evil horror franchise. Dilate, huah!

[via Cinematical]