It’s time for the Sony E3 2014 Press Briefing and I am here on the couch ready to have my mind blown. Sony set the bar last year at E3 and after a solid showing from Microsoft earlier today, not to mention all the big changes the Big M has made in recent weeks, the pressure is on Sony to prove last year is not a fluke.
I’ve been reading Console Wars, a new book by Blake J. Harris that chronicles the rise of Sega during the 90’s. It’s a delightful book, full of endlessly fascinating details, such as how Target’s lenient return policy allowed customers to return years-old NES’s in order to get credit towards a SNES. Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with Nintendo and it led to Target pulling Nintendo products from the stores for a time. I lived through this era and reading the behind the scenes drama that went on has been very enjoyable. My nostalgia bones are all tingling right now. Continue reading The Eternal War: A Look at the Repeating Console Cycle
No, I haven’t finished it. I’m just done with it. After stopping for a month to play Bioshock Infinite (twice) and Tomb Raider, the thought of going back to Ni No Kuni was enough to make my body recoil in revulsion. I wasn’t sure why, but I had a similar feeling when I stopped Ni No Kuni the first time in order to play Dead Space 3. But once I started playing again, I found it surprisingly easy to get back into the swing of things. I put 24 hours into it before I took my month-long break.
But just like last time, I decided to throw it back into the old PS3 and see if my sudden aversion to the game would dissipate once I got going again. It didn’t. The moment I started playing I wanted to stop. The first battle I got into was literally the last battle I ever wanted to play in this game, which I think is the crux of the problem. I love the characters, the world and the story, but the battle system, while tolerable for the first 20 or so hours, just suddenly hit a wall for me. I love everything else about this game except for the battle system. I thought back to some of the tedious boss battles I had been through and I knew I didn’t want any part of that again. In the end, they were more of a chore than enjoyable. Continue reading Ni No More Kuni For Me
One of the next big releases on the gaming calendar happens to be the release of The Last of Us in May. Developed by Naughty Dog, this game is set to be a new IP for the PlayStation 3, just in time for the end of this console cycle.
The release of the newest Red Band trailer for The Last of Us shows off even more of the story and the world than ever before. In this trailer we see more than just Joel and Ellie, we see communities, other survivors, some of the infected and different locales as well. Early trailers just showed off bits of the overgrown city, so it’s cool to see that the game opens up in a bigger way, with what looks to be a crosscountry trip of sorts.
What do you guys think of the new trailer? While I’m not completely sold on the actual game yet, I do have to say that Naughty Dog’s storytelling abilities are almost unmatched in the industry at the moment, so I’m excited to see what kind of journey they have in store for us. Some of the thematic stuff looks like what the Walking Dead show tries to tackle but constantly fails. Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
New IPs are increasingly rare as this console cycle stretches on and on. It’s not something I fully understand, as more people than ever have 360s and PS3s, so one would think the risk of funding a game based on a new property would be much lower, but then again, what do I know?
Thankfully, Bethesda feels differently and thus has unleashed Dishonored upon the world. Developed by Arkane Studios, which features the talents of one of the original Deus Ex developers, it is a mix of Bioshock, Thief and Deus Ex, all rolled into one package. Onward to the review! Continue reading Review: Dishonored
Twisted Metal, one of the most iconic franchises of the PS1 era has returned with great fanfare. But after giddiness subsided, everyone had the same question: can a car combat game succeed in today’s world at a full $60 retail price? David Jaffe, creator and Internet instigator, clearly thinks so, as the addition of online multiplayer just might allow Twisted Metal to enter the current generation with guns blazing. Continue reading Review: Twisted Metal
Now that the post E3 haze is finally starting to lift and the summer gaming season is in full swing, another distraction looms over us all: Uncharted 3’s multiplayer beta drops tomorrow for PSN Plus members, which should be everyone out there with a PS3, thanks to Sony’s Welcome Back program. So no excuses. I expect to see you all out there so I can shoot you in the face just like all my friends.
For those of you who didn’t bother trying Uncharted 2’s MP, take it from me, it’s pretty fun. A neat combination of Gears of War with the vertical element of Uncharted’s climbing mechanics thrown in for good measure, I always had a blast. Eddy joined me for some co-op and I believe he can attest to this as well.
The details of the beta are as follows:
Starts tomorrow, June 28th for PSN Plus subscribers, July 4th for the rest of PSN and runs until July 13th.
Co-op and competitive maps will be rotated throughout the beta, as detailed in the link below.
You will receive rewards for playing the beta that will carry over to the full game upon it’s release.
I have to say, I’m pretty excited. Now I have to rush and finish Half Life 2 ASAP, so I can start on this. Check out the link below for more details, including some information about the MP features, which is awesome because being clueless about what the hell is going on always annoys me about betas. So… who’s with me???
Uncharted 2 was widely considered one of the best single-player games of all time. But the multiplayer, while not quite reaching that level of greatness, was nothing to sneer at either. From the enjoyable standalone co-op levels to the cover/platform based versus modes, it was a surprise to many that Naughty Dog had done such a great job on their first time out.
One new feature is something called, “Power Plays” which allow a trailing team to get back into the game, if things aren’t going according to plan.
One of those power plays is called “marked man,” during which one or two members on the leading team get marked, and if the trailing team can kill them, they’ll get three points for that kill so it can help them catch up. It’s a very interesting dynamic because as soon as someone gets marked, the opposing team can all see exactly where he is and the leading team gets to defend him, so it changes the experience for this short little burst.
Personally, that sounds kind of awesome to me. I like that the dynamic of a game changes quickly, forcing you to react and adapt, instead of playing mindless deathmatch all day long. Wells goes on to say that they are working hard to ensure this feature doesn’t cause Mario Kart-esque “rubber banding” and irritate gamers.
So what do you think about a feature like this to liven things up a bit? Nathan Drake demands your answer!
By now, we’ve all heard about the massive data breach of the Playstation Network by a hacker of unknown origin. If this is somehow breaking news to you, IGN has a nice summation of the entire saga here. As someone who has a credit card linked to my PSN account, not to mention my undying desire to play Portal 2 co-op, I am pretty steamed. (Get it?)
Sony and the hacker both share a lot of blame and I don’t think Sony kept it secret for a week that our information was stolen, but the fact remains: Sony has lost the trust of its consumer base. Granted, there will be fanboys who defend them to the last breath, but those people don’t count. Also, one benefit from this fiasco: it makes it real easy to spot the fanboys.
So what will it take for Sony to win back your trust? Free loot? Cross-game chat? Paying for credit protection for 2 years, as some have suggested? Personally, I want all of the above and maybe a little more. I am disgusted by this whole thing and I want more than a silly email and some vague mutterings about checking my statement.
What say you? Has Sony lost you forever? Speak now or forever hold your PSN anger!
As if the excitement for Infamous 2 isn’t palpable enough, Sucker Punch decided to…well…sucker punch us with the news that the sequel to the popular super hero/open world game will have user-made missions, as reported by 1UP. That’s right, you can devise all kinds of crazy ways to put Cole through his paces and piss your friends right off.
The missions can be uploaded online and will actually appear in the game world on the map, though user-created content will be marked by a different color and also display the creator’s username. The levels range from races to puzzles to regular missions where you kill lots and lots of enemies. There appears to be quite a bit of options, including action triggers and enemy placement.
I was already pretty pumped about this, but now I think Infamous 2 might be in my top 5 most anticipated games of 2011. Does something like this interest you? Do you think more open world games should incorporate features like this? Sound off!
In retrospect, it seems kind of strange to admit that I didn’t quite understand the attraction of LittleBigPlanet at first. I remember playing the demo shortly after I bought my PS3 Slim and coming away a bit underwhelmed. LBP definitely had a unique, quirky style, but at the time I think I just wrote it off as nothing more than Sony’s attempt at staking their own system-exclusive claim on the platformer landscape.
However, I am always on the lookout for a good deal, and a few months ago I was able to get my hands on a copy of the LittleBigPlanet Game of The Year edition for a whopping $2.50 thanks to a handy promo credit. With the full game in my hands, I was finally able to overcome my initial skepticism and give it a fair shake.
The story levels were certainly entertaining enough, but I was most impressed by the robust, sophisticated community levels on offer. Fully experiencing the community aspect of the game is what really made it click for me, and my anticipation for the sequel began growing exponentially soon thereafter. In a very short amount of time, LittleBigPlanet 2 turned into a day one purchase for me. I’ve played it almost non-stop since getting my hands on it, and I feel I can safely say that LittleBigPlanet 2 has secured its position in my mind as one of the best games of 2011.
JRPG fans unite! Hello? Is this thing on? Well, anyways, those of you who enjoyed the latest installment of Square Enix’s flagship franchise, Final Fantasy XIII (and I know there are some of you out there) can rejoice because more of Lightning and company is on the way. Square Enix has officially announced Final Fantasy XIII-2 for the PS3 and Xbox 360. The game will be out in Japan before the end of the year and in the U.S. and other regions next winter.
Despite the Internet ravings, FF XIII sold pretty well and garnered mostly positive reviews. I ended up enjoying it quite a bit and though I was divorced from the story, the ending was still rather touching, so I am anxious to find out what happens next. And more of Lightning is never a bad thing.
What say you? Is this a chance to make some quick cash for Square Enix or are you actually curious to see where the story goes? Let us know in the comments!
2011 is going to be an exciting year for gaming, no matter what console or platform you play on. Well, except maybe the Wii. Kidding, of course, Zelda will be a hot ticket come the Fall, I’m sure. But I think it’s safe to say that the PS3 has a large selection of announced exclusives that few other platforms can match.
The Playstation Blog was nice enough to give a little peek at 20 of these titles and as I scrolled down the last, my jaw dropped a little bit. It’s pretty staggering. From the blockbusters we know about, such as The Last Guardian, Infamous 2, Killzone 3, Resistance 3 and Uncharted 3 to the ones that flying under the radar, like Hyperdimension Neptunia, Journey and Yakuza 4, the sheer variety of games is enough to make my wallet cry.
Take a look at the list at the Playstation Blog and report back here for comments. Personally, Hyperdimension Neptunia sounds kind of interesting and you know I am down with Ratchet and Uncharted 3.
What games on the list are you most excited about? Is there anything that you can think of that was left out? Start your comments!
After the surprise pre-VGA announcement of Uncharted 3, followed by the delicious teaser trailer confirming a release date of November 1, 2011, what will Nathan Drake do next? How about a gameplay demo on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon? Would that be something that would interest you?
Naughty Dog and Sony are really pulling out all the stops this time around. Now that they have a known quantity on their hands, they seem intent on spreading the word, which is kind of nice to see from the usually subtle and esoteric Sony. The gameplay footage, by the way, is pretty spectacular with gorgeous fire effects and pretty nifty hand to hand combat, including a dive from a high perch to crush a bad guy below. Check it out and tell us what you think!
Good news for people who like platforming games, of which there has been a dearth of on this new console generation: Sly Cooper 4 is coming! Sucker Punch, who you now know from the Infamous series, hid a nice trailer for Sly 4 in the newly released Sly Collection for the PS3.
In case you didn’t play any of the Sly trilogy on the PS2, you missed out on one of the better made platformers in recent years. Clever writing, tight controls and snazzy cel-shaded graphics combined to give the PS2 another mascot candidate, along with Ratchet & Clank and Jak & Daxter. Sadly, still no sign of Jak, but here’s hoping.
Sackboy and his Sackbot’s have struck again, with another gem that makes me feel inadequate about my creativity. Using the beta, an adept gamer has created “Sackfighter Dogfight”, a game that owes more than a little to Sega’s classic jet-fighter shooter. Complete with barrel rolls, cinematic camera movements and even a gun that can overheat, LBP 2 just shot up high on my want list. Take a look at this:
What say you? Impressed yet? This thing isn’t even out of beta and it’s making that calculator from the first game look like child’s play. Anyone going to get this? Do you have any game ideas you want to share?
Bowing to pressure from those wary of disrespecting U.S. soldiers killed by the Taliban, EA has announced that they are removing references to that group from the multiplayer portion of Medal of Honor, due to be released in November. The Taliban will now be referred to as “Opposing Forces”, which is just generic enough to not offend anyone opposed to the change.
Executive Producer Greg Goodrich made no mention of any changes in behavior or gameplay, so it sounds as if it just a cosmetic change and no mention was made of removing references to the Taliban in the campaign, which would likely be a significant undertaking. Still, I can’t help but be disappointed that EA has caved. If video games are going to move forward as a significant art form and a medium, publishers shouldn’t back down if they truly believe in their artistic decision.
One thing I must mention is that it is just a name change. At the end of the day, people are still going to be able to kill U.S. troops in the game, so I am curious to see what the reaction from the “opposing forces” of Medal of Honor will have to say about this.
What do you think about the change? Is EA doing the right thing or should they have stood their ground? Do you think playing as the Taliban in a multiplayer game is disrespectful to fallen soldiers?
Qore, the show brought to you by Sony on the PSN, had a pretty neat little demonstration of some of Move’s potential and capabilities. Now, being that I am easily impressed, I wanted to see what you guys thought about this because maybe I am just being a fanboy without realizing it. In addition to the adorable Veronica Belmont, you’ll catch a glimpse of some neat item modeling and a few other snazzy features. So check it out and let us know if this…moves you in any substantial way. (Sorry, please forgive that pun.)
Of all the games in the PlayStation 3’s library, Heavy Rain is the first one that comes to mind when I think of the potential of the PlayStation Move. The game is largely based on have the player make gestures using the controller’s sticks or Sixaxis, so using the wand to manipulate the on-screen action isn’t too far-fetched. As intriguing as Heavy Rain would be with motion control, the urging from Sony to have developers Quantic Dream upgrade the game to be compatible with the their new device has delayed the long-promised downloadable content (DLC) chapter indefinitely.
The first chapter in the Heavy Rain Chronicles (as the DLC is collectively known) has already been released, but the long-promised second chapter now faces an uncertain future. Word from Quantic Dream’s co-CEO Guillame de Fondaumière is that the DLC might not even be completed after the Move integration is finished by the studio, and the company may just move on to its next, unannounced project.
Heavy Rain, for all the problems with its narrative progression, presented a really unique way of playing games and the context sensitive controls made for some really in-depth, intense moments. While I’m disappointed that Sony’s urging has, in part, caused the DLC to be delayed, I’m interested to see what Quantic Dream are cooking up for their next project. What about you guys? A little bummed out? How do you feel about Sony pretty much shutting down Heavy Rain’s DLC? For those of you who are interested, here’s a little trailer showing how the Move support should work.
In keeping with this new theme of announcing blockbuster titles before E3, we are now able to confirm, thanks to Game Informer, that Infamous 2 is in the works for the Playstation 3.
Sucker Punch, the original developers of Infamous, will be in charge just as before and will feature
a new city, new powers and a powerful new foe.
Having been honestly shocked (get it?) at the high quality of the first game, I have to admit, I am pretty excited about this. Infamous competed with Prototype, another open-world game where you gained super powers and made moral choices, but I think anyone who has a reasonable amount of judgement would agree that Infamous was superior in almost every way.
Are you excited by this announcement? What would you like to see improved or changed in the sequel?