Tag Archives: PS3

All Our Base Are Belong To This Guy

Got a 360 and a PS3?  You’ve got nothing on this guy.

There’s cable management problems and then there’s the back of THIS system…

In the words of Jodie Foster in “Contact” – “They should have sent a poet…”

Image and original story via – Global Geek News | Celebrating Geek Culture.

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“Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” announced

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Well, that’s Autumn sorted for a lot of gamers – Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 announced • News • Eurogamer.net.

I’m not one of those players – action RPG nerds who play as Rogue Female Elves for the win! – but I fully expect this latest episode of the annual FPS franchise to dominate sales chart and mind share in the games community for the latter part of this year.  It’s the go-to shooter for many a gamer and remains seemingly unstoppable at the retail counter, predictable annual controversies notwithstanding…

Expect a proper reveal (and trailer) tonight and more hype when E3 rolls around in the summer.

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“Castlevania: Lords of Shadow” – frustration, vindication and flashing blue icons…

As I’ve stated previously on this blog, whilst I love playing the new-fangled video games, my enthusiasm for them is often tempered by being bloody hopeless at them.  And yes, I have tried sucking less, thank you very much.

Some twitch-reaction gamer’s four to six hour single player game can typically take me between ten to twenty hours to finish, so I tend to take a while to catch up with titles which have long-since left the hardcore gamer conversation as they’re ever onto the next thing (the upside of my deliberation and slowness in completing games is that I feel like I get more value from gaming than somebody who plays a couple of levels and trades a game in to get the next new thing – could be delusional on my part, but I prefer my approach).

All of which is a long way round to talking about my initial experiences with MercurySteam and Kojima Productions reboot from a while back, “Castlevania: Lord of Shadows”.  I mentioned last week on the blog that I picked this up in the slow implosion of UK retailer GAME’s recent stock clearance and I’m happy to say that it’s living up to my expectations so far.

Moody. Mysterious. Mental.

The gameplay is a lovely hodge-podge of things you’ve played before, with the challenges of redesigning a classic 2D series for the 3D era met in mostly elegant and exciting ways.

The heroic weapon of choice in the series, an Indiana Jones-style bull whip, is redrawn as the Combat Cross – an in-no-way over the top, heavy-duty weapon of Him Upstairs, which can be used to help hero Gabriel Belmont climb surfaces, mete out violent death to arcane supernatural beasties and, perhaps most importantly, to pose moodily in the frequently driving rain.

Just a traveller/Walking down a lonely road/Werewolves want to eat me/But I don't want to know...

The major criticisms that I have at the outset of the game are its familiarity – look, there’s a set piece which is quite like “Shadow of the Colossus”!  Hey, there’s some art design ripped from the noggin of Benicio Del Toro! – and the locked, unyielding camera system which would try the patience of the Dalai Lama (were he the kind of reincarnated living deity who played modern third-person, action hack-and-slashers).   Not enough to stop from playing, although the difficulty spike in the first boss battle had me heading for YouTube for a walkthrough to try to figure out why I was being chucked around like a rag doll and where I was supposed to be jumping (that’s where the flashing blue icons in the title come in – you have to climb up the guy below, chip away at his health by smashing the blue icons on his body and then hang on for dear life as he tries to flick you off his body – it’s a bugger of a gig, let me tell you).

Titan up - see what I did there? No? Oh, please yourselves...

The acting – by the likes of Patrick Stewart, Robert Carlyle and Natascha McElhone – is pretty decent for a game, although the scripting and dialogue lean rather more towards ‘overwrought, fan fiction cheese’ than I might otherwise like.  I have to confess that my experience with “Castlevania” as a series is less than it perhaps could be but I have to imagine that this kind of archetype-heavy, breast-beating drama is par for the tooth-baring course.

Lots of anguished looking to heaven, wondering why Our Lord has forsaken his servants and let Evil run unchecked – you can probably guess the kind of thing.

I’m really quite enjoying, nonetheless – it’s a gorgeous game, which has characters, environments and animation to rival the leading-edge likes of the “Uncharted” series on the PS3.  The music’s quite lovely, too and the gameplay, whilst ever so bloody derivative, is still good stuff – it might be based around combat, puzzle-solving and exploration which you’ve seen executed elsewhere, but the standard of that execution is key to the success of this game.  Everything’s done so expertly and with such love for this kind of action experience that any memories which it conjures of previous titles can be set aside.

On the evidence of what I’ve seen so far, Mercury Steam are a video games developer to keep a close eye on.

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Do Androids Dream of PS3?

French developer Quantic Dream have a great relationship with Sony – their last game, the interactive noir drama “Heavy Rain” was a system-testing graphics showcase with some missteps in storytelling but truly stunning animation technology underpinning the title.

Apparently, that wasn’t enough for Quantic Dream’s leader, David Cage, who wants to make a game which will make you cry (Wow, he’s played the PS3 port of “Dragon Age”, too…)

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The latest tech demo from Quantic, “Kara”, is just that – it’s not a game but a proof of concept for the developer’s technology and this week’s Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco has let us see what the secretive, always ambitious Cage is now playing with.

I don’t know what I was more impressed by when watching this clip – the quality of the animation, the capture of actress Valorie Curry’s performance, the concise and engrossing storytelling or the apparent fact that this footage was running in real time on a PS3.

If this is what talented developers can do on a PS3, Sony’s repeated insistence that there’s life in the black box yet (and that PS4’s a way off) carry more weight for me.

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Live action “Mass Effect 3” ad affects massively…

How about Sheffield City Hall for a change, invading alien overlords? Haters...

Any doubts that one might have had about the desire of games publishers to appeal solely to core gamers are neatly underlined by the new ad for “Mass Effect 3” – the wholly ambiguous and in no way on the chin “Fight” teaser, which you can see here.

Not looking good for the church's new roof fundraiser...

So, small children in the midst of civil unrest, young lovers embracing as the blasts hit and pious folks taking shelter in a church and major American landmarks getting jacked up – all good stuff to use to reach out to the folks who think that games are still like Mario the Hedgehog on the Nintendo Playstation.

Yep, that's a live-action ManShep alright...

One thing’s for damn sure after checking out this advert – you can see where EA are spending your Collector’s Edition cash …

 

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Today in consumer idiocy…

Via Reddit.

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New “Doctor Who” game on Sony’s PS3 and Vita

It's a game, it's due in 2012, that's as much as I know...

We’ve already had – in the UK at least – a series of free-to-download “Doctor Who” PC titles which have been mostly well-received.  Not cutting edge tech, but fun and accessible adventure titles which manage to be slightly retro and have the cachet of boasting Matt Smith and Karen Gillan voice-over work.

Today’s news, that the BBC and developer SuperMassive Games will be releasing “Doctor Who – The Eternity Clock” on PC, PS3 and Vita in 2012, brings with it a few questions.

1) Why no Xbox 360 release?  As this is going to be a download title, why not release it on XBLA, too?  Have the BBC suddenly become unaccountably terrified of money?

2) Game play seems to be puzzle-based, with events in one time line affecting different areas of the game.  I’m getting dread flashbacks to original Xbox launch title “Blinx – The Time Sweeper”.  Anybody?

3) I’m fascinated to know how the devs are going to tackle the whole ‘The Doctor doesn’t kill anybody’ issue in a video game.  Not that this is the only framework for progression in a game, but it does make me wonder where things are going to go – dare I hope for an “Uncharted”-style action-puzzler without the protagonist sociopathically wiping out people left, right and centre?

River Song. Foxy even in cartoon form.

4) If Alex Kingston is doing a voice over as River Song, am I going to be able to concentrate long enough to finish this game?  All signs point to no..

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