HARMONIX

Late last year, Viacom decided to sell the game developer Harmonix. Rumors suggested that Electronic Arts or even Activision might buy them out. Fortunately for the consumers, neither of those rumored deals was made! We all saw how Activision handled its ownership of Guitar Hero, effectively running the franchise (and possibly the music-rhythm genre, itself) into the ground by release one or two games every year! And we all also know how Electronic Arts's EA Sports brand has handled Madden NFL over the past 6 years with all competition in the pro football gaming market being effectively stamped out.

No, fortunately for us gamers, Harmonix decided to set up a holding company in order to buy themselves and once again become an independent developer.

As stated in an interview between Joystiq and Harmonix founder and current Vice President Chris Rigopolous, Harmonix has also severed ties with Viacom-owned MTV.

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I recently had my full review of Portal 2 posted on Game Observer (now defunct as of 05/13/2014).

If you are interested, you can also prepare for my review by reading my pre-release blog for the game, in which I express concerns that Portal may go the way of Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, and other games that oversaturate themselves with annual or bi-annual releases until the public gets sick of them. Hopefully that doesn't happen.

Portal 2 box

In the meantime...

Yes GlaDOS, we brought you back because we really do love to test!

Apparently, a very long time has passed since the first game. The Enrichment Center is very different. Under the care of the watchful AI, Wheatley, the entire facility has been slowly falling apart. The degrading, decrepit test chambers make for much more interesting visuals than the sterile, white and gray chambers of the first game. They are now overgrown with weeds and vines, panels are falling off the walls, broken glass litters the floors, and fallen and bent metal beams and girders obstruct some of your paths. It’s just too bad that with all the debris and vegetation littering the environment, that none of it is interactive. It slightly breaks the immersion when you walk through dangling leaves and they don’t react to your passing at all...
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This April has been a busy week for video games, and a very weird one, too. And the news has varied from good, to bad, to ugly, and everything in between. Here's some of the stuff that caught my attention:

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Last week, the Italian version of Xbox360 Magazine quoted Silent Hill Downpour art director Radek Marek as saying:

"At the moment there will be no multiplayer modes in Silent Hill: Downpour, but Konami are investigating a separate chapter devoted entirely to the Multiplayer. ... We do not know the details but it should be an XBLA title that most players have to survive in the town of Silent Hill."

The quote seemed to be confirmation that Konami was working on a multiplayer Silent Hill project that would likely have ended up being a stand-alone XBox Live downloadable game. But Konami was quick to debunk the claim a few days later, saying that Marek's comment was mistranslated and clarifying:

"Whoever that Italian interviewer was either took Radeks comments completely out of context, or it was lost in translation. As previously mentioned, we were (many moons ago) investigating a separate Multiplayer mode, but that was quickly extinguished when we costed it out and determined how much resource time it would detract from the core singleplayer experience."

So it would seem that Silent Hill fans will be going without any sort of multiplayer mode in the near future.

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A gamer's thoughts

Welcome to Mega Bears Fan's blog, and thanks for visiting! This blog is mostly dedicated to game reviews, strategies, and analysis of my favorite games. I also talk about my other interests, like football, science and technology, movies, and so on. Feel free to read more about the blog.

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