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Korea... in Blog Format

Category: Gaming (page 1 of 5)

CoD: Advanced Warfare demo released, US Marines blow shit out of Gangnam, Cheonggyecheon

(HT to Noe)

Holy effing crap.

At least Korea’s Wikitree noticed.

The game’s due out in November, but I’ve got to wonder if it will ever make it to Korea given the government’s past sensitivity regarding games set in Korea. Even if it’s got Kevin Spacey in it.

Christ, not even the KPA deserves Philly

Read about Homefront: Revolution (to be released next year) here.

I didn’t think the first Homefront was that bad. OK, it wasn’t GTA V, but it could have been worse. The sequel will utilize the CryEngine, so I expect good things.

On the game front: GTA V trailer, first impressions of Battlefield 3

– This. Looks. Awesome:

Nice to see GTA move back to San Andreas—GTA: San Andreas was the greatest game I’d ever played… before I played GTA IV.

– I’ve spent a couple of evenings with Battlefield 3, and my first impressions are a) the campaign was decent, but not great, and something of a let down after Battlefield: Bad Company 2; and b) it’s the best multiplayer experience ever.

So, Dr. Foster-Carter, am I to understand you DON’T like Homefront, then?

Venturing into what he admits is unfamiliar territory, North Korea expert Aidan Foster-Carter critiques Homefront, which he calls a “sick, stupid Korean invasion fantasy.”

I’m not going to argue that the plot is anything less than absurd, that the marketing wasn’t annoying, or that switching the Chinese for the North Koreans wasn’t rather craven, if admittedly sensible from a business perspective. On that last point, though,  it is interesting to note that Homefront maker Kaos Studio’s previous game — the underrated (IMHO) Frontlines: Fuel of Wardid feature the Chinese as an enemy (even if most of the game is spent killing Russians).

Still, you’re dealing with a game whose premise in an occupied America. Given that it’s hard to imagine any scenario in which an invasion of the United States — a concept that is absurd enough — doesn’t end with the nation of the invading party being turned into a sheet of glass, the background scenario of any any kind of “occupied America” game, movie or book is going to be ridiculous. The background scenario exists simply to establish a setting. Sure, turning the North Koreans into an invading, occupying force requires a far greater suspension of disbelief than, say, battling invading Russians in the White House in COD: Modern Combat II, but it’s just a matter of degree.

Anyway, Dr. Foster-Carter concludes:

Or again, have I had a humor bypass? I think not. For the record, and perhaps unlike some at 38 North, I don’t have too much of a problem with Team America: World Police. Subtle, this was not, but the parody was inventive. And I suspect Kim Jong Il really is lonely.

Whereas Homefront is just stupid, and sick. A country where grown men make stuff like this for other grown men to play is not a healthy one. The real North Korea is bad enough, but it is not about to invade the USA—except in the lurid fantasies of the ineffable Kim Myong Chol, soi-disant DPRK spokesman and regular snorter of over-the-top bellicose rhetoric: “The next war will be better called the American War or the DPRK-U.S. War because the main theater will be the continental U.S., with major cities transformed into towering infernos.”

I bet he’ll buy a copy of Homefront. But he’s in Japan, so he’ll have to make do with the censored version where the KPA doesn’t even get the credit for all that mayhem. Bummer.

A country where grown men make stuff like this for other grown men to play is not a healthy one? OK, I suppose one could feel that way, but if you think Homefront is bad, take my advice and stay away from Manhunter and the Grand Theft Auto series, both of which were made by none other than Edinburgh’s own Rockstar North.

But we already have a Pledge of Allegiance written by a socialist

So, Kotaku enjoyed one of the easter eggs in Homefront:

Ah, the memories…

What came to mind as I watched that easter egg is that the real US Pledge of Allegiance was, in fact, written by a socialist:

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), who was a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850–1898). Bellamy “viewed his Pledge as an ‘inoculation’ that would protect immigrants and native-born but insufficiently patriotic Americans from the ‘virus’ of radicalism and subversion.” The original “Pledge of Allegiance” was published in the September 8 issue of the popular children’s magazine The Youth’s Companion as part of the National Public-School Celebration of Columbus Day, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. The event was conceived and promoted by James B. Upham, a marketer for the magazine, as a campaign to instill the idea of American nationalism by selling flags to public schools and magazines to students.
The Pledge was supposed to be quick and to the point. Bellamy designed it to be recited in 15 seconds. As a socialist, he had initially also considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided against it – knowing that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans.

Also interesting is the original flag salute that went with the pledge. Nowadays, we just put our hand over our heart, but the original Bellamy salute was a bit more, ahem, evocative:

The Bethany salute was abandoned after the United States entered World War II… for obvious reasons.

Two thumbs up for Crysis 2 & the geopolitics of first-person shooters

I’ve spent the last couple of days with a copy of the newly released Crysis 2 for Xbox360.

Haven’t tried the multiplayer yet, and don’t think I will — I get my multiplayer kicks with Battlefield: Bad Company 2 — but as a single player experience, it’s the most awesome first-person shooter I’ve ever played.

Sure, killing baddies and blowing shit up is fun, but it’s the stunning visuals of an apocalyptic New York City that really make Crysis 2 special. Adding to the awe-inspiring — but sometimes truly nightmarish — atmosphere is a musical score put together in part by composer Hans Zimmer, who also worked on the scores of “Inception” and “The Dark Knight.”

I you enjoy first-person shooters, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy today.

And speaking of first-person shooters, somebody shot me a link to this post at Sociological Images that features a map (taken from here) of “video game villains” that have appeared in first-person shooters released since 2000.

Now, as somebody whose general rule with shooters is that I play them only if the featured enemies are a) human (Crysis 2 being a notable exception, obviously), and b) from a country I don’t like, I was intrigued. The map isn’t perfect, though — as some commenters point out, some of the “nations that have been threatening us” in the map were not actually depicted as hostile nations in the games cited, and a number of games and/or enemies seem to have been left out.

Kim Jong-il shells out half a million to Japan

Now, here’s a curious occurrence.  Looks like the Dear Leader is willing to forgo a little caviar and Joy Brigades to help out the hometown of his son’s mother.  The Time news feed makes an argument that $500k is a lot of money for a country like North Korea.

In other irrelevant North Korea news, the New York Times reviews Homefront!  The game isn’t all that different than a lot of first person shoot ’em ups, but the reviewer thought that the storyline was interesting (even, gasp, somewhat plausible).  Plus, unlike other games in the genre, you are not fighting in the forests of France or the streets of Mogadishu but you are actually running around (with a gun) the streets of America, through abandoned Walmarts and Hooters restaurants which the reviewer thought provided a level of “connection” absent from other games.

No ‘Homefront’ in Korea

OK, so I went to Yongsan yesterday looking for “Homefront” for the Xbox360.

Nope, it wasn’t in. And even worse, vendors hadn’t heard of plans to release an official version for the Korean Xbox, despite a good many requests for the game.

So I looked at the news, and Yonhap confirms my worst fears: Michael Smith, a spokesman for game producer THQ, told RFA they will not release the game in Korea.


ZDnet Korea reports P2P sites are sharing the game, despite efforts by the Game Rating Board to block it.

This officially sucks.

Here’s the release trailer, BTW — it almost hurts to post it now:

Like the Jefferson Airplane….

IGN wastes time and Internet bandwidth with pointless speculation

IGN is a gamers’ website with commentary and reviews on the various new and upcoming video games.  Yesterday, they wasted five precious minutes of my life as I read an article asking if North Korean domination of over half the U.S.A. is even possible.

(Image from IGN)

Here’s a slice:

But could North Korea really pull off an invasion of the United States? Even in fifteen years when the events of Homefront take place, it seems at best to be an extremely unlikely scenario. Yet, there’s a level of plausibility here that can’t be ignored. After all, no one could have expected that Nazi Germany would take over much of Europe only 10 years after suffering from crippling inflation the likes of which the world had never even remotely seen before. If history has proven one thing, it’s that the unlikely and implausible can quickly turn into something all too real.

Okay, it’s at least a little entertaining, I suppose.

UPDATE: Apparently, a novel based on the game is also out and user reviews on Amazon gives it 4 out of 5 stars.

Oh, and speaking of Homefront…

Pyongyang Express is back:

The truck will be found around L.A. and isn’t ditching its pro-Commie chatter just yet. It still promises “Subsidized Good Food for a Better America,” which means tacos, burritos, and rice bowls at low cost in L.A. and free tacos in San Francisco. It will roam around and also make appearances at S.F’s Game Developers Conference and L.A.’s TruckIt Fest. So, go ahead and eat their free tacos and sample their video game, but as Roger Daltrey sang, “there’s nothing in the street, looks any different to me,” so just don’t get fooled again.

GrubStreet is apparently still angy.

Well, nice to see the bad guys speak Korean…

This will probably not be included in the “Second Korean Wave.” I’m also guessing it won’t endear it to the authorities.

Homefront: Fight for Freedom

Homefront is scheduled to come out next month. I’ll still be very, very pleasantly surprised if they release it here.

IGN’s talks with game designer Rex Dickson here.

Socially Uplifting Blog Content of the Day

OK, perhaps Medal of Honor ain’t so shitty after all

I’m still disappointed with Medal of Honor‘s single player campaign, but the multiplayer part is pretty good, even if seems a bit too favorable to snipers.

Oddly, the single player and multiplayer sections were done by two different companies using two different engines, the latter (and superior part, IMHO) being handled by DICE using the Frostbite engine. Accordingly, it looks and plays a lot like Battlefield Bad Company II, which I really, really liked, although admittedly, this is partly due to it being the only multiplayer shooter I don’t get completely schooled in.

Of course, if you’re USFK, you might have to look off-base to find it, as it has apparently been banned from sale on US military facilities. Not sure why British Defense Secretary Liam Fox felt the need to weigh in on it, though — unlike Call of Duty, there’s not a single Brit in the game.

‘Homefront’ Designer Half-Korean, Believes NK Invasion Closer Than We Think

Chris Cross, the lead designer of the upcoming shooter “Homefront,” is half-Korean. He also apparently thinks a North Korean invasion of Migukland is not as unthinkable as we might believe:

IGN AU: Let’s talk about that for a minute. Are you concerned that the set-up might hit too close to home at times? That we’re taking advantage of a volatile situation for entertainment purposes?

Chris Cross: Well, every time North Korea makes the news, it makes me a little nervous. [laughs]

IGN AU: Well, sure – but I don’t want Homefront to play the race card, either.

Chris Cross: Yeah, and we’ll handle some of those topics in the game. Also—I’m half Korean! I understand the politics and mentality of what this future is. It’s a lot closer than we think and it’s unnerving, actually. We’re four events away from it actually being a reality.

IGN AU: It’s set some 20-odd years from now though, right?

Chris Cross: Sure, but Hitler managed to take over most of Europe in ten years. It just about having the right person at the wrong time and it can all go to hell. It’s an extremely plausible context. We have an analyst – and we can’t mention his name or who he used to work for – actually outline it for us. Like I said, we’re about three or four major events away from something like this happening. If this was done in the 1940s, we’d be talking about Germany and this would be a World War II game. It’d be the same situation.

North Korea has the fourth largest standing army in the world and the largest Special Forces unit in the world. And that’s assuming they don’t take over South Korea; start a new Pan-Asian alliance.

Um… OK.

PS: The next Ghost Recon looks dope:

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