In today’s video gaming news, learn more about the first rhythm game ever to use a trombone called Trombone Champ. It works the same way as other music rhythm games: the notes move from right to left across the screen, and you move the mouse up and down to meet them. Then you click or press a key on the keyboard to play the note. Meanwhile, a recent comment made by Xbox boss Phil Spencer has led to PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan trucking out to “set the record straight.” This has caused the dispute over the future of a Call of Duty game that is owned by Microsoft to take on a little bit of a mano a mano sheen. The two CEOs are going head to head. Lastly, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, a first-person shooter that was released by Bethesda 20 years ago and was one of the first free-to-play shooters ever, is back on dedicated servers.
First Trombone Rhythm Game is GOTY Contender
Original Source: The world’s first trombone rhythm game is instantly a GOTY contender
It’s rare that I paste a video of myself playing a game into PC Gamer Slack and other writers buy it on Steam. A 90-second clip of me playing Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in trombone rhythm game Trombone Champ sold numerous downloads. Soon.
So long as you turn up the volume. My performance was dreadful, and if Beethoven wasn’t rolling over in his grave, he’d already risen, shrieked, and vomited. But in Trombone Champ, playing horribly is just as entertaining as playing brilliantly, which is why I adore it.
Since testing Trombone Champ this morning, it’s become a Game of the Year contender for me. It’s fun! Or, toot!
Trombone Champ functions like other music rhythm games: notes go from right to left, and you move the mouse up and down to meet them and play the note. Little words flash up to tell you how you’re doing based on your accuracy and timing. Ideal! Nice! If you’re sucking, like I am, you’ll receive a Meh or occasionally a Nasty, which is the funniest word for a bad trombonist. Few music teachers utilize it, but they should.
You’re rated at the conclusion of each song (there are 20, with more planned), and you earn Toots to spend on Sacks containing Tromboner Cards. I thought the cards were a joke. Some cards illustrate notable trombonists and musicians and how many hot dogs they could consume in one sitting. Others feature baboons or a trumpet (called “the coward’s trombone”).
But these cards have a function, which I stumbled on by clicking something that shouldn’t have been clicked. Is Trombone Champ evil? I summoned a demon in Trombone Champ. There’s more to Trombone Champ than playing notes to a beat, so I won’t describe it all. And lore.
Before you even play your first trombone, an introduction cutscene reveals ancient trombone predictions in Lord of the Rings style. In the dark, a flame ignites. A ghostly trombone spins. There are baboons. The baboons won’t be forgotten.
You’ll find out as you play:
Music not for trombones
Collectible and craft cards
A baboon tune
A “baboon amount” setting
This devil Trombone music game
And then there’s trying to play rapid tunes on a trombone, which is tough and fun no matter how well you play. (Thank goodness, the scoring is nearly criminally generous, so even a bad performance won’t be penalized too much.) I’ve laughed more playing Trombone Champ than any game in a while. Some amusement arises from missing a trombone note in Also Sprach Zarathustra or Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
But the game itself has gags, as during The Star-Spangled Banner. First, an American flag flies proudly in the background as fireworks pop in rhythm with the notes, but suddenly the scene turns into a mound of money and then a huge fatty hamburger. And during the baboon song, photographs of numerous baboons flash up as you toot to the words, which largely consist of “Baboon.” It’s funny. Great tune.
As humorous as Trombone Champ is, it’s no joke. The songs are virtually all blisteringly fast (you may slow them down in the options) and the notes come at you so rapidly and for so long. Is Hava Nagila long? It’s longer than you recall, especially on a trombone.
Call of Duty Has Console Dads Arguing
Original Source: The console dads are bickering about Call of Duty
The argument over Microsoft’s Call of Duty has taken on a mano a mano sheen as PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has come out to “set the record straight”
Call of Duty, one of the world’s biggest games, is a sticking point in Microsoft’s proposed Activision Blizzard takeover. It’s been multi-platform from the start (the original 2004 release even had an N-Gage version made by Nokia), and PlayStation players have received early access to COD beta tests in recent years. Sony is concerned that Microsoft could make Call of Duty an Xbox exclusive if it gets control.
Microsoft has frequently disregarded these concerns. Most recently, Spencer stated Microsoft issued a formal offer to Sony in January “Call of Duty on PlayStation with feature and content parity for several years beyond the existing Sony contract.
“The offer went beyond standard gaming agreements “Spencer, then.
That sounds sensible, but Spencer’s counterpart had harsh words for Microsoft’s proposal, and he wasn’t thrilled that Spencer was spreading their laundry in public.
“I didn’t mean to remark on what I thought was a private business issue, but Phil Spencer made it public,” Ryan told GamesIndustry (opens in new tab).
“Microsoft has offered to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for three years after Activision and Sony’s deal ends. After over 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their plan was inadequate and didn’t take our gamers’ needs into account. We want PlayStation gamers to have the best Call of Duty experience, but Microsoft’s proposition compromises this.”
“Inadequate on many levels” is caustic game industry corporate speech, especially for public consumption. What’s notable is the time. GamesIndustry is a UK-based website, and Ryan’s criticism comes after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority suggested a probe into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The CMA cited Call of Duty many times in its initial inquiry summary, saying its research “pointed to [Activision Blizzard’s] content, especially Call of Duty, as essential and capable of affecting rivals’ gaming platforms.”
“The CMA believes the Merger could allow Microsoft to make [Activision Blizzard] material, including Call of Duty, exclusive to Xbox or Game Pass, or impair its rivals’ access to [Activision Blizzard] content, such as by delaying releases or increasing license prices,” the report adds.
“PlayStation has a higher percentage of the console gaming industry than Xbox, but the CMA considers Call of Duty vital enough to affect Sony’s earnings and user base. This influence will be felt when the next generation of consoles launches and gamers decide which to buy. The CMA believes the Merger could weaken Microsoft’s closest rival, hurting competition in console gaming.”
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard were given five working days to answer the CMA’s concerns, and that window hasn’t ended yet, so clearance may be provided without the follow-up inquiry—and even if it proceeds, there’s no assurance the deal won’t be approved anyway.
In the meantime, Sony seems willing to make the whole thing as painful for Microsoft as possible, probably not to derail the process but to get a better bargain from Microsoft, which could ease the CMA’s fears about future Call of Duty exclusivity. Despite the personal look of the conflict, it’s all business. Hopefully Jim and Phil can have some drinks and burgers afterward.
By all expectations, Call of Duty’s future on PC will stay intact and unaffected by this activity, as Microsoft continues to consider Xbox and PC as extensions of each other.
Bethesda Reboots 20-year-old FPS
When a game studio announces servers, it’s bad news. Whole generations of multiplayer games have been discontinued as they age and can’t justify staying online. If you’re lucky, devoted fans will run private servers for a wonderful game.
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is a class-based FPS produced by Splash Damage as an expansion to Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Bethesda has launched new dedicated Enemy Territory servers with all six original maps and a vanilla ruleset. In April, the game became free on Steam.
“Although the community has maintained servers with mods and unique maps that we promote, we understand that many gamers are searching for a more nostalgic experience,” id noted in an official post. “We set up servers in multiple territories to ensure global players have minimal ping.”
One dedicated server for each area id supports.
This should cover most areas interested in a 20-year-old FPS. True, “relatively” low ping. From California, I’d get 90 to 100 ping on the Texas server, an acceptable latency but significantly higher than my normal ping of 20 to 30 in newer shooters with LA-based servers.
The new servers are great, but I wonder why. Perhaps resurrecting one of the most beloved Wolfenstein games is a prelude to a new id shooter.
Or it may be easier. I hope id approached Bethesda/Microsoft gently to spend a few pence to revive a dead game, and they said yes.
Summary of Today’s Computer Gaming News
Overall, Trombone Champ, the world’s first trombone rhythm game, might be a GOTY contender. Trombone Champ functions like other music rhythm games: notes move from right to left, and you move the mouse to meet them. Accuracy and time define how well you play, with pop-up words providing feedback. At the end of each song, you get a grade, and every time you play a song, you earn Toots, which you can use to buy Sacks, which have Tromboner Cards inside.
On the other hand, the argument over Microsoft’s Call of Duty has taken on a mano a mano sheen as PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has come out to “set the record straight”. Most recently, Spencer stated Microsoft issued a formal offer to Sony in January “To extend Call of Duty on PlayStation with feature and content parity beyond the current Sony deal. “The offer went beyond usual gaming agreements, “Spencer remarked. That sounds reasonable, but Spencer’s counterpart said some harsh things about Microsoft’s proposal, and it was clear that he wasn’t happy that Spencer was airing their dirty laundry in public.
Finally, Bethesda has reactivated their servers for their 20-year-old FPS called Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. They made new dedicated servers for Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory that have all of the game’s original maps and rules. As of April, you can also get the game for free on Steam. “We understand that many players are hoping for a more nostalgic experience,” wrote in an official post. “We’ve put up servers in different countries to ensure low ping for users worldwide.”