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E3: The Games I Can’t Wait For… June 10, 2009

Posted by Matthew in E3, Feature, Halo 3, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360.
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E3

…but I’ll have to. Now that it’s over and I’ve had a good amount of time to digest all the information, I thought I’d write some stuff up about it. It was a hell of a lot better than last years underwhelming, down-sized event and was a return to the E3 of old. Rather than boring summaries of each conference, I’ll just talk about the games that I’m most interested in. Click below for the good stuff.

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inFamous Demo Impression May 18, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Demo, PS3.
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InFamous

A bit of an interesting one, this. A sandbox game that has seen a lot of comparisons to Crackdown. The demo doesn’t give too much of the story away, but you play as a man called Cole caught up in an explosion that tears through the city. He awakes from a coma two weeks later to find that he has gained special powers – the ability to manipulate electricity. Rather generously, the demo gifts you with some of these powers to start with.

The first mission in the demo is to free a group of citizens being held prisoner on a train and requires you to power up and move the train using your newly acquired abilities. You will be periodically stopped along the way and forced to fight and this basically serves as a tutorial. When you switch to combat mode the camera changes to an over-the-shoulder-style perspective in which you can rapidly fire bolts of electricity. Other attacks include an electricity grenade and something similar to the force push from Force Unleashed. The enemies were rather disappointing and amounted to nothing more than generic thugs, although they do put up a fair fight and this is where things start to get annoying. It can often seem like Cole takes far too much damage at times and the enemies have pinpoint accuracy from great distances which becomes very irritating.

After that mission is completed, the demo gives you a taste of the karma system which changes depending on your actions, and also alters your abilities. For example, a plague has spread across the city and if you find an infected citizen you can heal them with your powers for good karma, or sap their energy for negative karma. In the next mission (fixing a contaminated water supply) your karma is automatically set to evil and in doing so, your powers become much more explosive and destructive.

The platform elements, while not as fun or tight as Crackdown, are still pretty decent. It feels a lot more similar to Assassin’s Creed or Prince of Persia in the way that you scale the buildings. Pretty much every ledge, pole and wall is scalable in some way and used to your advantage during a fight. or another and Grinding on telephone wires and railway tracks is also fun.

I was already planning on getting the game, but this demo has sold me on the game a little more. There were a few negatives I noticed. The framerate can drop quite a bit when there is a lot going on, and the draw distance and amount of jaggies are disappointing. It also doesn’t warn you if you stray too far from your mission area, and instead instantly fails you and restarts from the last checkpoint. Also, there were a few occasions during a mission where, after a cutscene, it started me of in a pre-determined position regardless of where I was before. This resulted in me being showered with bullets and dying on one occasion. However, despite all that I am still looking forward to this. I liked the dark, gritty feeling of the city and the potential for a unique take on the traditional superhero story. Shaping up to be a promising sandbox game, InFamous is out on May 29th.

Got Me A Sackboy May 7, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Collectables, PS3, Sony, Stuff.
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sackboy

I got this for free from SCEE. All you had to do was subscribe to the LittleBigPlanet UK YouTube channel and send them an email with your address. I was really surprised at the size and quality, it’s properly knitted and has an actual metal zip down the front – although unfortunately it’s sewn into place and doesn’t work. I won’t be chucking this on eBay like many others seem to have done, although I was tempted given the silly prices they are going for and some random on Twitter even offered to buy it for me.

Noby Noby Boy March 28, 2009

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Noby Noby Boy

Just look at his wee face ❤ An utterly bonkers “game” in which you don’t really do anything other than eat and stretch. If you are bored and stuck for something to play then this is a great game to relax and chill out with. You can upload the total length you’ve stretched to Noby Noby Girl and she grows, reaching other planets. She recently reached the Moon, which opened up new environments and inhabitants. Where next? Probably Mars. It’s only £3.59 for the PSN store so there really is no excuse not to pick it up at that price. Offline multiplayer is being added soon and hopefully online will be added at some point in the future. It also lets you record videos and upload them to Youtube and here is the first one I made, which incidentally is the first video I’ve ever uploaded:

Killzone 2 Review March 8, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Peoww, PS3, Review.
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killzone2

My review of Killzone 2 is up on Peoww, which seems to have upset a fair few fanboys ofer at N4G with amusing results. Other reviews include X-Blades and Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad.

Killzone 2 Demo Impressions February 7, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Demo, Feature, PS3.
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killzone2_1

I’m not going to beat around the bush, this demo left me unimpressed. I never get drawn into hype when it comes to big game releases so I was left scratching my head after a few playthroughs of the demo. The visuals have been highly praised but, while I did find them impressive and very atmospheric, I can thing of a few more that have wowed me more recently – Gears of War 2 immediately springs to mind.  I liked the shooting mechanics, the weapons all have a nice, weighty feel to the way they fire but the cover system felt rather out of place – almost like an afterthought. Also, throughout the whole demo I couldn’t stop thinking about Haze, but that’s probably because the dialogue was on par with it. The demo only contains two short sections and lasts for around 10 minutes. Since the multiplayer is going to be a big focus I would have liked the opportunity to give it a try but that wasn’t included.

I never like comparing demos to the full game but if this is representative of the finished product then I will be slightly disappointed. I have read a few reviews from “big” sites and I saw nothing in this demo that showed it has potential to be in the same league as triple-A shooters such as Halo 3, Half-Life 2 and COD4. It’s almost as if Killzone 2 is receiving special treatment. I won’t be cancelling my preorder or anything drastic like that like that (can’t pass up a special edition steelbook) but my anticipation has lessened after this.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Teaser Trailer December 3, 2008

Posted by Matthew in News, PS3, Vids.
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The inevitable sequel to Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, the second best PS3 game (after all there is not much choice) has been announced.

Here’s hoping that the frankly awful gunplay from the first game is fixed. The amount of bullets needed to down an enemy seemed to be mostly random and massively annoying.

Upgrading Your PS3 Hard Drive September 22, 2008

Posted by Matthew in Feature, PS3.
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Having recently bought PlayTV for the PS3 I decided that It would be a good time to upgrade my HDD from the current 60GB one. The PS3 is only compatible with 2.5″ SATA HDD – 7200RPM is fine but 5400RPM is perfectly adequate and cheaper. You will also need a small Philips-headed screwdriver and some sort of external storage. Installing it is a piece of piss. Click the jump to begin.

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PlayTV Impressions September 22, 2008

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I was interested in this since I got rid of my VCR and had no way of recording anything. My TV already has a built-in DVR tuner but I’ve been tempted to buy a separate one with recording capabilities. Luckily the PlayTV PS3 add-on came along. RRP is £69.99 but I bought it for a tenner (and one pence) less from Amazon.co.uk. Click the jump for my impressions along with some poorly taken photos.

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EA Announce Two New Games August 14, 2008

Posted by Matthew in News, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360.
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Mushroom cloudShit son. Two bits of news. Firstly, EA have brought together Shinji Mikami and Suda51, who previously worked together on cult classic Killer7, to work on a new action-horror title. Snippet from the press release after the jump.

EA Signs Publishing Deal with Grasshopper Manufacture

Legendary Producer Shinji Mikami and Innovative Designer Suda51

Working with EA Partners on an All-New Action Horror Title

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 14, 2008–Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) today announced a publishing agreement with iconic Japanese development studio Grasshopper Manufacture. Under the terms of the deal, EA Partners will publish an all-new action horror game produced by Shinji Mikami and directed by innovative game designer Suda51.

The title is being developed for the PC, Xbox 360(R) video game system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION(R)3 computer entertainment system and Wii(TM).

They are also teaming up with Epic Games to create a new IP:

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 14, 2008–Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) and Epic Games, Inc. today announced that they have signed a publishing agreement for an all-new action title for the PC, Xbox 360(R) video game system and PLAYSTATION(R)3 computer entertainment system. The new intellectual property is currently in development by Epic’s People Can Fly studio in Poland.

The EA of old is gone. Long live the new EA.