Posts by Chris Morris

  • 'Donkey Kong' scoring record falls once again

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 2 days ago

    If you're looking to become a world champion in Donkey Kong , your time is running out.

    The most famous high score in gaming was broken once again, and according to Donkey Kong authorities (yes, there are such things), there isn’t much room left to top the score.

    Reigning Kong champ Robbie Lakeman topped his own high score by racking up a final tally of 1,158,400late last week. That's an improvement of 13,600 points from his previous best, which he posted three months after first becoming the record holder in September of 2014.

    The three-peat by the 28-year-old Phoenix resident is impressive, but regularly besting your own score seems to be a theme among Donkey Kong champions. Previous recordholder Hank Chien managed to stay atop the heap for three years by besting himself time and again.

    Chien has since seemingly stepped away from competitive Donkey Kong play, but Lakeman's still being chased by several up and comers. The question is, how much scoring room is left before the game hits its absolute ceiling?

  • Sony CEO: Morpheus isn't the final name

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 5 days ago

    Despite widespread assumptions that the headset will simply be called Morpheus when it's released in the first half of 2016, Andrew House, president and global CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, confirmed during a talk with Yahoo at last week's E3 that Morpheus is still just a code name and is not what the product will be called when it hits store shelves.

    "Traditionally, the way that we do things is when we finalize the product announcement and pricing and date, that's probably the same time we'll talk about the name," said House.

    Pricing, of course, is the biggest mystery around VR. Everyone's bracing for a fairly big financial hit for the PC-centric Oculus Rift, since it will likely require a hardware upgrade for optimal performance. But when it comes to Morpheus, there really isn't any sort of consensus about what to expect.

    House, not surprisingly, wouldn't offer any big hints, but he did say Sony is very aware of price sensitivity, just as it was during the launch of the PS4.

    (Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, for what it's worth, says he believes people will pay $300 or $400 for a headset.)

  • 'Mario' creator doesn't think VR is a good fit for Nintendo

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 5 days ago

    Game design legend Shigeru Miyamoto, speaking with Yahoo Games at last week's E3 conference, said that while the technology behind VR is certainly interesting, he hasn't seen anything done with it so far that fits with the style of play he — and Nintendo — prefers.

    "The current types of virtual reality aren't really a good fit for Nintendo's philosophy of trying to create entertainment that people can play together in the living room," said Miyamoto. "We're constantly looking at different technology and experimenting with different elements of it, but we're not feeling virtual reality is currently in a place where it's ready to be released - as a product that fits with our philosophy of fitting in the living room."

    In true Miyamoto style, though, he doesn't dismiss the tech altogether. In fact, the creator of franchises like Mario Bros. , Donkey Kong, and The Legend of Zelda 's cryptic follow-up comments are sure to get conspiracy theorists speculating about whether the company has its own version of VR in the works.

    Nintendo declined to comment when asked it it's doing anything with VR.

  • The weirdest things I saw at E3

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 13 days ago

    E3 is all about upcoming games, and while most of games at this year's show were big, play-it-safe sequels, there were plenty of oddities around the Los Angeles Convention Center.

    The trick to finding the strangeness at E3 is to explore the edges of the show. That’s where you’ll find people walking on treadmills wearing a VR headset or a wielding a plastic gun (called the PP Gun – really) designed to make mobile shooter games more immersive. You’ll also find them in the lots off the show floor (where Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star – the second game in what can only be described as a "pigeon romance simulator" – is on display).

    Look hard enough, though, and you’ll find the truly bizarre.

    In Tune This indie game has an admirable purpose. Its creator says it’s about “navigating consent” and encouraging people “to reconsider their interactions with others while getting to know a partner.” What it looks like to the casual observer is a hugging game – or one where you put your hands on another person’s head.

    The Kitchen

    Butt Sniffing Pugs


  • Gamers bought 4 million copies of ‘The Witcher 3’ in two weeks

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 22 days ago

    CD Projekt RED's highly-acclaimed open-world role playing game sold 4 million copies in the two weeks following its May 19th launch. That's an astonishing number for any game, but an especially impressive achievement for a relatively small studio. It also makes The Witcher 3 one of the best-selling games of 2015 to date.

    "Four million RPG fans spending their hard-earned money on our game is a sign that we did something right, and you can be sure that we’ll harness all that positive energy and make the upcoming expansions worthy," said Marcin Iwinski, co-founder of the developer in an open leter to the game's community.

    The game, which we called "The Lord of the Rings by way of A Game of Thrones," is insanely addictive and offers one of the deepest RPG experiences in years.

    The game makers also opted against charging for downloadable content. CD Projekt RED plans to release 16 add-ons to The Witcher 3 , six of which are already out.

  • ‘Fallout 4’ officially revealed, Internet explodes

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 28 days ago

    Get ready to head back into the wasteland.

    After innumerable hoax reports and countless months of wishful thinking, fans of the post-apocalyptic Fallout series finally have something worth staring at. Bethesda has confirmed that Fallout 4 is, in fact, real.

    The publisher posted a countdown clock Tuesday. A trailer went live Wednesday morning. Check it out:

    As far as teasers go, it's got pretty much everything you could ask for: mystery, a haunting version of The Ink Spots' "It's All Over But The Crying," hints of the game's future and past, creepy mutants, an awesome dog, and, perhaps most importantly, the hair-raising narration of series mainstay Ron Perlman, including his iconic line "War. War never changes."

    The video also seemingly confirms a few rumors. Fallout 4 is at least partially set in Boston, judging by the inclusion of a Paul Revere statue and Fenway Park in the trailer. And it hints — just hints — that we might be able to explore the world of Fallout in the days before the atomic apocalypse that plays such an important role in the game's fiction (though certainly, that could just be a storytelling device of the trailer).

  • Ted Cruz: "I'm a gamer"

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 1 mth ago

    Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz is courting the gamer vote.

    The Texas senator, GOP hopeful, and Tea Party poster-child recently told The Daily Beast that he loves video games so much, he doesn't own a gaming system.

    Wait. What?

    “I don’t have a console, mostly as a time management tool, because if I had one, I would use it far too much,” he said.

    So while you might not catch Cruz playing Call of Duty any time soon, surely, as an avid gamer, he keeps up with the latest and greatest mobile games, right? Well, not quite. His current favorites, he says, include older games like Plants vs. Zombies , Candy Crush and the 2008 tower-defense game, The Creeps! .

    Still, Cruz says he has been playing games for most of his life. He had a NES and an Atari 2600 as a child, and he confesses to spending time at the arcade during his childhood years, feeding quarters into Galaga, Space Invaders , and Centipede (though we'd be a bit more convinced if he had name-dropped something slightly more obscure. Elevator Action ? Gyrus ? Come on, Ted.)

  • Someone just bought 300 old 'Jurassic Park’ video games stuffed in a refrigerator

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 1 mth ago

    There's a fine line between collector and hoarder. I’m not quite sure which side this one comes down on.

    Last week, gamers were gobsmacked at an eBay listing showing off a refrigerator containing about 300 copies of the Jurassic Park game for the Super Nintendo. That's right — a  refrigerator's worth of prehistoric cartridges could be yours if you coughed up enough dough.

    For the love of Richard Attenborough, someone did it. The collection was just purchased for a hefty $1,500.

    The sale raises two important questions: Who would want to buy 300 copies of the same old game? And who would collect that many in the first place?

    The former is likely to remain a mystery for a while, as the buyer has yet to be made public. But the original owner explained his rationale in the auction's Q&A section.

    So what prompted the Fort Wayne, Indiana resident to part with his treasure?

  • Happy 35th birthday, Pac-Man!

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 1 mth ago

    First released in Japan on May 22, 1980, the coin-op classic quickly became a phenomenon, raking in over $1 billion worth of quarters over the decade. He appeared on the cover of Time Magazine. He's adorned cereal boxes, starred in a Saturday morning cartoon, and appeared on virtually every gaming platform to have ever been released.

    Credit Pac-Man 's popularity to great timing, simple gameplay, and instantly recognizable graphics, but according to creator Toru Iwatani, Pac-Man 's widespread appeal was entirely by design.

    “The reason I created Pac-Man was because we wanted to attract female gamers,” he said at a 2010 panel on the game. “Back then, there were no home games. People had to go to the arcade center to play games. That was a playground for boys. It was dirty and smelly. So we wanted to include female players, so it would become cleaner and brighter.”

    The First Lady A few years years after Pac-Man stormed arcades, Namco added a bow and lipstick and released Ms. Pac-Man , technically the first playable female character in any video game.

  • 'Candy Crush Saga' comes pre-installed with Windows 10

    Chris Morris at Plugged In 1 mth ago

    Thinking of upgrading to Windows 10 when it comes out later this year? You might want to get ahead in your work first. Way, way ahead.

    As if the return of Solitaire to the operating system wasn't enough of a distraction, Microsoft has announced that it will include King Digital's work-ruining Candy Crush Saga with every copy.

    "All Windows 10 owners will be able to experience the hit game that's swept the mobile world like wildfire," Microsoft said in a statement. "As an added bonus, Candy Crush Saga will automatically be installed for customers that upgrade to or download Windows 10 for periods of time following the game launch."

    In an effort to doom you to a sugar-powered future of matching candies, Microsoft has also worked with King to make this version cross-playable with iOS and Android devices. This looks to be the start of a long-term relationship between Microsoft and King, which will see plenty of other games from the company hitting future PCs.