Bring Atlanta’s Magic City Home, With Their New Playstation Theme

Scan the list of available PS3 themes and you will find they come in a surprising number of categories. There’s the generic game promotion, the clever game promotion, the horrific third party design (WARNING: Link leads to Jersey Shore related material), the unique, the awesome, the creepy, the minimalist, and of course, the three wolves howling at a winter moon bro shirt just to name a very few.

However, one of the most prolific is the babes category. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a large market out there for gamers who want to boot up their Playstations and view a static image of a scantily clad woman who may or may not be an Anime character.

Now, famed purveyor of semi-naked lady themes Konsole Kingz are throwing a new entrant into the dark and dingy ring of babe themes. It provides 8 images of the ladies of the famed Magic City gentlemen’s club in Atlanta, a hot spot for some of the major national and local hip-hop talent. According to Konsole Kingz CEO CJ Peters, the goal of the theme is to:

“…push the envelope in reflecting the modern lifestyle of our consumer but remaining tasteful with the images we choose to produce; and this Magic City PS3 wallpaper is no exception.  The club and their dancers are known all over the world and we’re excited to share a small part of their storied legacy.”

The theme does provide a cheap thrill, makes you feel a little dirty, and has you questioning how you spend your evening, so it does re-create the gentleman’s club experience to an extent. However, since you don’t have to pay an outrageous door fee, get mean mugged by bouncers, feel obligated by a suspicious buffet, or question the integrity of a watered down drink that is priced oddly similarly to a human lap dance, it’s actually a little better than the real deal too.

You can find the Magic City theme in the Playsation Store by searching “Themes and Avatars” and finding it under the “Babes” section. You can also browse Konsole Kingz other theme selections through their website.


The Rise of “Guilds,” and the Fall of “Heroes”

As one MMO flies to incredible new heights, another that once promised players that very feature is coming to an end.

Recently the MMO world was hit with two big bits of news as “Guild Wars 2” developer ArenaNet posted on their Facebook page, that all first party digital downloads of the new mega hit MMO are suspended temporarily in order to insure server stability. While the game is still available through third party sites and retail stores, the developers themselves feel they have a responsibility to everyone in the game to hold off on new sales directly from them, so that play isn’t interrupted. Currently new methods to expand digital services are being looked at.

Hot off the heels of that announcement comes another from the publisher of “Guild Wars 2,” NCsoft, that they will be folding Paragon Studios, and therefore effectively bringing an end to that developer’s MMO title “City of Heroes” by the end of the year.

The reasons for these individual stories of success and untimely demise are both simple and complex, but ultimately revolve around each other.

First, in case you didn’t follow the insane pre-release hype, or immediately snatch up the product that finally launched, “Guild Wars 2” is slowly taking the online world by storm in a way that no other MMO has done since “World of Warcraft” itself. It’s doing this through an incredible art style with a scope and integrity never before seen in a game like this, a PvP system that’s so brilliant and well executed it looks to make all other competitive systems irrelevant by the time it kicks into gear, and maybe best of all, a level of difficulty that rewards players for putting more time into it by actually making the game better as you go along, instead of creating more incentive for new players, and providing cold shoulders for veterans. Tying it all together, unlike “WoW,” “Guild Wars 2” is free to play, continuing one of the more welcome video game trends in some time.

I’ve had the privilege of playing the game recently, and I don’t think I could give you an honest critical review of it. That’s because despite some of its flaws, I have such a deep and abiding respect for the game that questions of review scores and likes or hates are irrelevant. It’s one of those stand up and take notice games that only come along once in a while, even if all of the specifics aren’t perfect.

Oddly though, it seems to achieve such lofts, a sacrifice of sorts had to be made. That seems to be the largest reason behind the cancellation of service for “City of Heroes,” as reports still have the game boasting a sizable player base, and even reporting some respectable sales figures as recently as last year for such an aging title.  However, earlier this year NCsoft reported its first companywide loss in a while, and at the time “City of Heroes” was at the bottom of the sales list. With other ongoing projects to support, and bigger titles on the horizon, it would seem “City of Heroes” fell to the archvillian known as fiscal reports, and nothing more.

Unfortunately it’s not easy to look at this as a case of one door closing and another opening. As good as “Guild Wars 2” is, and as great as it promises to be, “City of Heroes” long stood as the somewhat appropriate icon of hope in the MMO world. It wasn’t a fantasy or sci-fi game, yet it produced a well built and, initially, successful MMO. Now that it has fallen to a, admittedly well worthy, challenger to the “WoW” crown of fantasy MMO dominance, I worry that the message will become more and more clear in developer’s minds that new entrants in the genre are unwelcome, especially if they are trying something different.

In a year’s time I feel that the MMO market will be hotly divided by “Guild Wars 2” players, and by “WoW” addicts, and with good reason. At that time, the mention of a title like “City of Heroes” won’t lead to tears, but rather fond memories. Still, I wish that it were possible for the game to continue in some capacity for as long as it can. Because while the game’s sales figures may have been mild mannered like reporter Clark Kent, beneath the corporate visage of numbers lied an idea of originality, individuality, and innovation in the American way.

Underneath it, lied a true MMO hero.


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