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Archive for the ‘4. Good News’ Category

HALO 4 AND KINECT SET THE TONE FOR THIS YEAR’S E3

Microsoft Studios have announced a new Halo Trilogy for Xbox 360 at this years Electronic Entertainment Expo. Not only that, but Halo: Combat Evolved is being remade for the Microsoft console.

In an overwhleming brief, that opened with Modern Warefare 3, showcased over a dozen new titles including Gears of War 3, Tomb Raider, and Mass Effect 3, it’s become apparent that Microsoft are trying to appeal more to the hardcore gamers this year. However, that’s not to say that the casual audience was forgotten. Numerous of family-orientated Kinect games were also revealed including Kinect Sports Season 2, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster with development from Tim Schafer (who presented the demo), Disneyland Adventure – a virtual game of the actual theme park – and Dance Central 2.

The announcement of Halo 4 and Halo:Combat Evolved Anniversary was accidently revealed earlier today on Xbox.com.

Microsoft seem very keen to showcase Kinect’s new features, and it’s obvious why. Mass Effect 3 is to have new Kinect capabilities. Players will be able to speak the conversation options and command their squad with this new feature. The most impressive Kinect additon was Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, especially the Gumsmith mode, which allows the player full-customisation of their weapons.

Star Wars Kinect received a huge positive response from the crowd, but we’ll have to see how this plays out in the future.

As for exclusives, a strong Gears of War 3 demo played by Cliffy.B and Ice-T went down well, Forza Motorsport 4 to be released this October, and Crytek’s new IP, Ryse, a Kinect FPS set in Ancient Rome.

But one of the most innovative reveals of the conference was the new Xbox Dashboard. Fully Kinect enabled, the dashboard will feature the Bing search engine, YouTube, and new voice-recognition features. Microsoft seem very keen to push this technology onto all types of gamers.

With more to come today and over the next two days, I’ll be here to bring you as much news as possible. Follow me on twitter for regular live updates.

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RED DEAD REDEMPTION RIDES OFF INTO THE SUNSET WITH MULTIPLE WINS

The ninth annual G.A.N.G awards took place in San Francisco last week (March 3) with the Music of the Year award going to Red Dead Redemption – Yeehaw! The musical aces of the soundtrack, Bill Elm and Woody Jackson, were also recognised, winning the Rookie(s) of the Year category – something that I consider to be well and truely deserved.

However Red Dead Redemption didn’t stop there; the relentless game also scooped up three more awards: Audio of the Year, Best Interactive Score, and Best Dialogue.

By no means was it an easy judge either, because the Rockstar game was up against some brilliantly strong competition including Heavy Rain, which unfortunately won nothing, Halo: Reach, again nothing, and Battlefield: Bad Company 2, the other prominent winner that day (Best Sound Design, and Best Use of Multi-Channel Surround in a Game).

The Music of the Year award is a huge accolade in the games industry, so hopefully it will mean we may hear more from Billy and Woody in the future. However, the fact that Red Dead Redemption claimed four awards, and also the fact that it was nominated for six other categories is an outstanding feat and one that sustains Rockstar Games’ sharp eye – or rather ear – for detail in every department, obviously including music and sound.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was awarded for it's awesome sound design.

 

The gamut of talent was so strong last year, giving us a phenomenal selection of videogame music. It’s unfortunate that strong favourites of Now Loading didn’t win or get nominated – Heavy Rain and Mass Effect 2 respectively – but there’s no question regarding the sheer brilliance behind the Red Dead Redemption score. John Marston was the last cowboy standing after all.

G.A.N.G Awards

AUDIO OF THE YEAR
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Dante’s Inferno
God of War III
Heavy Rain
WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

MUSIC OF THE YEAR
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Bioshock 2
Dante’s Inferno
Heavy Rain
James Bond 007: Blood Stone
WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

BEST AUDIO OTHER
WINNER: Halo: Waypoint “The Return”

SOUND DESIGN OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Bioshock 2
Dante’s Inferno
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
God of War III
Red Dead Redemption

BEST SOUNDTRACK ALBUM
Bioshock 2
Dante’s Inferno
Halo: Reach
Mass Effect 2
Red Dead Redemption
WINNER: Video Games Live – Level 2

BEST INTERACTIVE SCORE
Dante’s Inferno
God of War III
Halo: Reach
Heavy Rain
James Bond 007: Blood Stone
WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

BEST HANDHELD AUDIO
God of War: Ghost of Sparta
WINNER: Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge
Monster Hunter Portable 3
Ni no Kuni: Shikkoku no Madoshi
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

BEST CINEMATIC/CUT-SCENE AUDIO
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
God of War III
Medal of Honor
Red Dead Redemption
WINNER: StarCraft II
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

BEST DIALOGUE
Bioshock 2
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
God of War III
Mafia II
Medal of Honor
WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

BEST ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTAL
WINNER: “Athens Harbour Chase” – James Bond 007: Blood Stone
“Ethan Mars Theme” – Heavy Rain
“Main Theme” – Red Dead Redemption
“Northern Grasslands” – Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer
“The Palace Gates” – Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (Wii)

BEST ORIGINAL VOCAL – CHORAL
“Alice’s Theme” – Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland
“Dante’s Theme” – Dante’s Inferno
“Hymn” – Halo: Reach
WINNER: “Invincible” – World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
“Overture” – God of War III
“Redemption” – Dante’s Inferno

BEST ORIGINAL VOCAL – POP

“Dagomba” – Just Dance 2
“Dead Man’s Gun” – Red Dead Redemption
“Far Away” – Red Dead Redemption
WINNER: “I’ll Take It All” – James Bond 007: Blood Stone
“No Death In Love” – Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
“The Peri” (Zahara’s Theme) – Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands

BEST USE OF MULTI-CHANNEL SURROUND
WINNER: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Call of Duty: Black-Ops
Crackdown 2
Fable III
Halo: Reach
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
Transformers: War for Cybertron

BEST USE OF LICENSED MUSIC
WINNER: Bioshock 2
Civilization V
DJ Hero 2
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock
Mafia II
Rock Band 3

BEST GAME AUDIO ARTICLE, PUBLICATION OR BROADCAST
APM Film & Television Music Podcast
“Composing the Music of Star Wars: The Old Republic”
“From the Shadows of Film Sound: Cinematic Production & Creative Process in Video Game Audio”
“Recording Firearms Explosions”
WINNER: “The Weight of Silence – How Silence Can Indicate a Character’s Importance”

G.A.N.G Recongition Award
WINNER: Sumthing Else Musicworks

G.A.N.G. Distinguished Service Award
WINNER: Dren McDonald, Jacquie Shriver

Rookie of the Year Award
WINNER: Woody Jackson, Bill Elm

Lifetime Achievement Award

WINNER: Chris Huelsbeck

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