Daily Recap: April 24, 2009

Oh TGIF, you used to be so great.

Oh TGIF, you used to be so great.

Welcome to Friday, dear readers. The weekend is upon us, but that hasn’t stopped a veritible flood of gaming news from materializing today.

What happened? Well: GameFly’s mad at the postal service (not the band, mind you), Final Fantasy XIII is kinda/sorta like Chrono Cross, Hideo Kojima is so like the best person ever, Champions Online has a release date and Midway just might live to develop another day. Full stories after the break, with a delicious Ghostbusters-related treat at the end of the post.

GameFly, in an Alternate Dimension

While cool, GameFly is not THAT cool

GameFly, the premiere mail-based videogame rental service, is calling the United States Postal Service out for favoritism and unfair business practices. The company claims that the USPS refuses to give it the same treatment of separating its DVDs into a special processing pile to reduce costs and breakages, which the government agency does for both Netflix and Blockbuster’s movie mailing programs. What’s really at stake here is that Blockbuster, though recently revealed to have a pretty light piggy bank, is soon adding videogames to its Total Access package. If Blockbuster’s games are also put aside for special treatment, GameFly worries it’ll be at a severe disadvantage.

They have a right to worry. If the USPS is playing favorites with larger, more established programs, and those programs introduce a service exactly like GameFly’s and still receive special treatment, then GameFly will have a fight on its hands. I’m a current GameFly customer, and though the service has its ups and downs it deserves the same opportunities as Netflix and Blockbuster.

Still aways away, no?

Still aways away, no?

While this is an extremely for-the-hardcore post, 1UP’s The Grind blog has an engaging post about the similarities and differences between Final Fantasy XIII and PS1 classic Chrono Cross. It’s definitely an RPG-intensive read, but those interested in a dissection of the new Final Fantasy’s play style will want to take a look. I likely wouldn’t have compared the two games until I had my hands on XIII and noticed tidbits here and there, but Jeremy Parish lays out the intricacies nicely in terms of combat, skills and items. If anything, I really want to play through Chrono Cross now.

I’d like to think this is flame war material, but Famitsu‘s 2008 awards ceremony, which named Hideo Kojima as “Person of the Year” and Capcom “Company of the Year” among other awards, really isn’t that big of a deal to American gamers. It’s not to say the nods are meaningless, it’s just that I can’t see U.S. forum-going trolls worrying too much about what a Japanese gaming magazine thinks. I’m probably wrong.

The list is Konami-crazy, with Kojima-san, Solid Snake and Metal Gear Solid 4 picking up an award each. Another great thing about the list: the names. Where else can you get “All Generation Prize” and “Dramatic Prize”? Now, if Famitsu can get on giving an award to Segata Sanshiro, we’ll be covered. The video speaks for itself:

Hooray!

Hooray!

One of our most anticipated games of the year is totally, for sure coming out in 2009. Champions Online is suiting up for the PC on July 14th, and there’s not much else to say than that. Let’s just hope that Cryptic really did learn from their City of Heroes experience and crafted a long-lasting superhero MMO for all to enjoy. Let’s also hope my beta key gets sent soon.

GET OVER HERE, investor funding!

GET OVER HERE, investor funding!

It’s been a long, winding road of cash hemorrhaging and corporate douchebaggery, but it doesn’t look like Midway is dead yet. MCV reports that Warner Bros. could be placing a bid on Midway Games. It sounds like the good ol’ WB is in it for the franchises, particularly the Mortal Kombat, Stranglehold and Galaga IPs, among others. Who really knows if this will pan out, but despite Midway’s lack of commercial success over the last few years it’s never good to see a company have to close. A Stranglehold 2 would be nice, anyway.

OK, here we go: The GameTrailers exclusive Ghostbusters: The Video Game opening cinematic trailer is the best intro ever. That’s not hyperbole, because when I see this video I actually feel like Terminal Reality gets the franchise and is doing their collective best to make it a-freaking-mazing. But that’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it: Is the game going to be any good? We’ll find out this June 16th.

Have a good weekend, everyone!