Archive for April, 2010

news: Lens of Truth: Super Street Fighter 4 Video Comparison

Lens of Truth writes, "The Lens of Truth was given the opportunity to play Super Street Fighter IV early, thanks to Play N Trade, Lake Mary Fl. We reviewed the original Street Fighter IV over a year ago, which finally proved that Street Fighter looks awesome in its 3D form. So the question remains does Super Street Fighter IV have what it takes to keep the genre fresh? Watch the video and read on to see how the newest Street Fighter fares under our lens." Slim-PS3 is updated frequently every day with the very latest Free PS3 news.

Posted on April 28th, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

Stuart Black: EA lacks respect for development teams. The interview, part two

Lady Gaga, Call of Duty and EA’s approach to staffing are all on the agenda in the second part of our chat with the creator of Black and Bodycount…

Is there more to the modern first-person shooter than intricate militaristic detail? And what does Black’s obsession with Lady Gaga have to do with game design. The affable, turbo-mouthed creative director of Codemasters Guildford explains all in part two of our interview.

Part one can be found here.You said Black reflected the post-9/11 era shows like 24. What do you think the key series’ are now? You’ve referenced True Blood, Fast Forward and Lost quite a bit…Yeah, in terms of TV shows, JJ Abrams is a huge influence – love his stuff. Black was supposed to be sort of 24 and Alias, but it was more 24 than anything else. There was a book accompanying the first season of 24 about Bauer’s overseas missions before joining CTU and that became an influential reference for us. We felt we caught the start of a zeitgeist, we didn’t do it deliberately, but we were sensitive to the flow of where things were going at that time and just hooked into it.

So where is the zeitgeist now?A very different place! What’s the thing that makes everyone go, ‘what the fuck?’ That for me right now is Lady Gaga. I saw her at Glastonbury last year – it blew my fucking socks off. From the moment she popped out of her dress at the start, I just thought, wow this is important, this matters this changes… I didn’t know what the fuck it changes, but it felt like it changed everything.

It certainly changed me, changed the way I looked at things – I just felt really fucking old, and I felt our industry was really old and inward looking and boring. She just came in across genres – it was her attitude more than anything else. So I started to talk to people about that, and there was a lot of ‘what the fuck do you mean?’ I didn’t really know what I meant, I just know it meant something and I had to dive in and find out what it meant for us. And over the last few weeks we’ve been building on that, and she’s being doing stuff like dressing in guns – and I thought, Jesus, this has fallen right into my lap!

It’ll be difficult for some people to see the influence of a pop star in a first-person shooter…She talks a lot about living in the apocalypse; the apocalypse is happening, we’re in it, so the only thing left to do is party, have a good time – positive upwards, forwards thinking. So this guy [in Bodycount] is in a crazy, desperate situation out of his control, but he’s not going to get down about it, he deals with it, he keeps his head up, he pushes forward – that’s the kind of action we want to have.

That’s what we’re saying to our players – when they’re feeling a little bit down, a little bit harassed by all the pressure, slap this game on and blow some fuckers away, you’ll feel better. You’ll get an uplift – that’s ultimately what we want to do.

I can also see elements of Hurt Locker in the game – that sort of celebration of the effects of weapons and explosives…Yeah, loved the Hurt Locker – the machismo, the adrenaline, the addiction. It’s interesting, in terms of IP space, and the tone of the game, we went through a lot of changes. It kind of started off on the Black track, because that was easy, we knew we weren’t going to stay there, and I explored four very different concepts for the game, we went from very irreverent Tarantino-esque tongue-in-cheek humour right down to a serious Generation Kill feel, the total moral corruption of war, before coming back to where we are now – kind of glossy techno thriller. So maybe there are some remenants of that Hurt Locker feel. I’m a huge Ridley Scott fan, particulatly with shooting, so there’s got to be an element of Black Hawk Down in there – I just don’t believe you can do shooting without getting some of that intensity.

And Michael Mann, of course?Yes, I’m a big fan – obviously the big Heat street battles…

The shoot-outs in MIami Vice were excellent, too.Yeah, the shipyard at the end is very strong – that actually has more relevance to the other title we’re working on. So yes, those kinds of things – that’s the more serious side of it. That’s got to underpin the gameplay. But the story we want to tell and the characters we want to tell it with, we want those to be frothier, lighter in tone. More hip if you like, I don’t want to sound too uncool!

The whole set up of the game – high-tech anonymous organisation seeks equallly anonymous highly trained hit man for global assassinations. This’ll sound very familiar to gamers – are you going to subvert that?Yes, we are. It’s kind of fair what you’re saying, on the surface. I take issue with the ‘anonymous’ hero, because our guy has a really strong personality and the core of the thing is his character journey through the game.

I don’t care about plots and plot machinations as such. There will be a plot but so many games get fixated on the intricacies and details of that, I just think that’s reductive – this is not a movie, it’s not a TV show, this is not the medium for that. The very nature of interactivity is counter that kind of stuff – you need enough story, enough of a reason to justify what you’re doing, but it’s ALL about the doing. And rather than plotting you can explore more with character development, who you are and who the people are who you’re coming up against within the plot.

Anonymous corporation? Yeah, that would be the kind lazy way of saying it. Weve not gone deep into the personality of the The Network or The Target at the moment, but they do have strong very indivisualistic and I think quite unique personalities. So yes, they’re the stereotypical shady organisations, secret socities, Illuminati, whatever – but who they are and how they represent themelves is hopefully kind of fresh and different.

So the big building blocks are the standard building blocks, but the difference between a cliche and an archetype is, if it’s done cheesily it’s a cliché, if you do it well, it’s archetypal – and we hope to be archetypal.

Do you think there’s going to be a problem tearing gamers away from the style of FPS that CoD has made popular – you know, worthy military super realistic…If we were going to complete directly with them, and try to get people to play our game instead of Call of Duty, yeah. And there’s some titles out there in development at the moment that are sending out that message. Well, it’s kind of a crazy message. Really, the best you could hope for is to be a subset of Call of Duty – if you’re not one of the team who made CoD, it’s not in your DNA, it’s not in your blood to make that game in that way – you can never achieve what they achieved – just like anyone else who tried to make a Black-style game – they’re not going to be able to do it.

I’m not interested in beating CoD, I’m not interested in pulling people away from it, I want to give them something else to play as well. No matter how big a CoD fan you are, nobody’s playing that all year long – you need to change up once in a while and play something different. We want to provide a worthwhile alternative. Play this and CoD, and Bioshock, and Battlefield, and Halo – they’re all strong titles, the leaders of the genre, they all deserve to stand next to each other. Every time you talk about making an FPS, everybody says, ‘oh, it’s such a crowded market’, and yeah, there are a lot of shooters, but there aren’t many good ones – I pretty much just named them all. There are five or six franchises that are really strong, that have something different to say. We want to stand beside them.

British developers haven’t been responsible for many first-person shooters – but the big ones have all done something different with the genre. Individuals matter. If there’s one message I want to get across… Not enough attention is given to that. We talk too much, way too much, about publishers. Publishers don’t make any difference to the quality of the title, they just chose the titles to produce – quality is in the hands of the developer.

And then most development studios have multiple teams. Not all: Media Molecule is one tight, very focused team. But quite a few do, so just because it says developer X on the cover, doesn’t give you a guarantee of quality either – it’s the individual team making that game. So you have developers like Blizzard, who have consistency, Valve… they have consistency in their staffing and you can see that in their software. They build on their ideas and themes and the games they develop get richer. But those teams that chop and change on membership, they flounder. I’ll pick out, just in broad terms, EA – I don’t think there’s a lot of respect for individuals on teams, the team members are building blocks that they can just mix and match…That’s what Activision are about to try with Call of Duty!Yeah, well, good luck to them on that! I know nothing about that situation, but it seems a bit crazy…

So, you’re building a team that works like a band. But don’t all the best bands eventually implode?Ha, well, not all of them! But yes, they have strong passions and personalities involved…Exactly, so is that a worry for you here?Not really. We’ll face that problem when we come to it. It’s not like everyone who’s joined has stayed with us, and it’s not like everyone who’s left has been crap. We’ve lost some really good people because they just didn’t feel that this was the place for them and that’s fair enough. I’m not overly worried about it.

Right now we’re building the band, we’re still expanding, we need to get to 120-130 people to feel comfortable, because we have some ambitious projects down the pipeline. As much as we want to make this a great innovative title in itself, it’s also a stepping stone for us, a bringing together of the team. A lot of us worked on Black, but a lot of us have never worked together at all. There’s abonding process that goes on when you’re making a game – a level of trust. You understand the things people can and can’t do, and the level of commitment from people. You can’t get that unless you make something together.

So you get through that process and the next thing you make, you get even tighter and you can take on something with much more ambition. And hopefully friendship overcomes whatever passions are enflamed – the people we have, we’re all aligned.

Is there a checklist of things you want to achieve with this game?Absolutely, there are headlines that I want to achieve, for sure. We don’t know how we’re going to achieve them, or the order of importance of those headlines. I want to create situations that provoke an emotional response, that’s the core of it – something players haven’t felt before, whether that’s just the level of intensity they get, the visceral feeling of the firefight, or the feeling of immersion within that, the emotional resonance. All that feeds into who you are as a character, the story, his arc, and therefore you care about that arc. It’s all about emotions.

And by emotions, we’re talking more than anger and fear?Yes, those are the big emotions, right? Make someone scared, make them feel excited… It’s a young industry, I often talk about this. We’re at the point of movies before sound, just at the part where Al Jolson did Jazz Singer, we’re certainly nowhere near the point where United Artists formed and created cinema history – we’ve still got a way to go to get there. There’s a lot of innovation still to come…

Games

PlayStation

Xbox

Keith Stuart

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Posted on April 28th, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

Sims 3 moving to Xbox 360, PS3, DS and Wii

Sims, the 100 million-selling PC series, expands onto the current gen consoles, complete with new features…

The Sims 3 was EA’s biggest ever PC launch title, with 1.4 million copies disappearing from shop shelves in the first week. Inevitably then, the publisher has announced that it’s bringing the latest instalment in the virtual soap opera series to the current gen consoles; the PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 versions will be out this autumn, as will a DS iteration.

As usual, players will be able to create sims with unique personalities and ambitions before dropping them into the game’s detailed environment. There will, however, be some new features. As the press release explains:

“Players can unlock the ultimate ‘Karma Powers’ for instant control and unleash them on their Sims. Players can help their Sim ‘get lucky,’ bless them with ‘instant beauty’ or be deviant and curse them with an ‘epic fail.’ But players should use these powers wisely—they may have unexpected results and karma may come back to bite.”

Apparently, PS3 and Xbox 360 owners will be able to use the respective online services to share their customised content, and will be able to boast about in-game achievements via Facebook. For the Wii version, meanwhile, there’s a brand new beach town, complete with, “unique residents, traits, careers and lifetime wishes.” Players will also be able to compete head-to-head in the “Life Moments” challenge to earn rewards.Finally, DS owners can use the stylus to completely design, build and furnish homes for their sims, and to sculpt the facial features of their digital pals. There’s also a story mode in which players control a whole sims family through a series of defining life moments (the mind boggles). “For the first time ever on the Nintendo DS, players can enjoy a complete life simulation as they guide their Sims through completing challenges to unlock additional items, new buildings and landmarks, and more,” asserts the grammatically challenging press release.

But what else can EA do to make the ridiculously successful series more inviting to contemporary console gamers? A sims deathmatch? The ability to drop your Xbox Live avatar into the Sims environment? Extra downloadable ‘family moments’ packs for hardcore fans of inter-generational dynamics? Seriously, the brand is enormous on PC and has an avid community (The Sims 3 YouTube Channel is within the top five most viewed sponsored channels of all time with over 42,000 subscribers and nearly 22 million video views), but this has only ever been partially realised on console hardware before. It will be interesting to see if the increased connectivity of the current machines will finally allow console gamers to fully appreciate the addictive power of the series…

Games

PC

PlayStation

Xbox

Keith Stuart

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

This blog is updated frequently per day with all latest games industry news, reviews and features.

Posted on April 27th, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

Slim PS3 news: Five Reasons I Will Not Purchase a Playstation 3

From the PlanetXbox360.com feature editorial:

"For my part, I enjoy approaching video games from a more academic point of view and as any person, gamer or otherwise, can understand each system has it’s pros and cons. There are certain things about the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii that make them absolutely excellent systems. However, on the flip side, there will consistently be flaws that either ship with a system or become glaringly apparent over a period of time as a company attempts to adapt a console to an ever-shifting marketplace. Being a proud owner of a 360, a Wii and at one time a Playstation 3, my hope will is that my reasoning will become clear over the course of this piece. Additionally, it should be taken into consideration that I do still own my Playstation 2 and have a huge collection of games for it and it’s previous console. But at the end of the day, there were just a few decisions on Sony’s part that honestly didn’t make me feel comfortable owning their ‘latest and greatest’ console anymore, and out of that came the top 5 reasons I will not own a Playstation 3." Slim PS3 is updated regularly every day with the very latest Free PlayStation 3 news and games reviews.

Posted on April 27th, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

Toy Story 3: could the game be as good as the film?

Watching the Toy Story 3 game trailer raises your hopes – but the reality is that there are few decent games based on films

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that good games based on films are nearly as rare as good films based on games; Goldeneye on the N64 and one or two of the better Star Wars titles stick out as exceptions among a sea of dross.

Could Toy Story 3, based on the eagerly awaited Pixar sequel and coming to pretty much every platform, be one of the few games that transcends its status as a mere film adaptation and actually stand up as an enjoyable game on its own merits?

The chances seem slim, although the trailer does a fairly good job of raising one’s hopes. The visuals look great – one could almost be watching sequences from the film itself (although obviously don’t expect anything so impressive on the DS and PSP versions) — and some of the brief flashes of gameplay look to have the potential for fun.

However, when character customisation is singled out as a major selling point, you’ve got to wonder if they really thought that’s something potential players are going to get excited about.

Unlikely to be an earth-shatteringly important release then, but hey, let’s wait to give it a chance before completely damning it, eh?

And in the meantime: what other decent games based on films are there? A quick Google search brings up this list, which features a few dubious choices (Path of Neo? Really?) Surely there’s better out there?

Games

Pixar

Animation

Adam Boult

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Slim-PS3.com is updated frequently per day with all latest Free PS3 news, reviews and features.

Posted on April 25th, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

Apple poaches IGN’s specialist Nintendo reviewer to be ‘app store games manager’

Matt Casamassina is moving to the iPhone maker. What does Apple think he can change, though?

Yeah, let’s see Apple match that. Photo by Thomas Duchnicki :: Location Scout on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Matt Casamassina, of the IGN gaming site, is leaving it to join Apple:

“Beginning early May, I will join Apple as global editorial games manager, App Store. In a nutshell, I will be leading the charge for games on the App Store, so whether you browse through iTunes, iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, the games content you see will be handpicked and organized by me and my team. I couldn’t be happier.”

Although he might need to brush up on the difference between ownership and being in charge: “Anybody who has read my work through the years will know that I’ve long been a huge Nintendo fan, but if there is one company that could entice me away from covering Mario and Zelda it’s the one owned by Steve Jobs.” Errr, actually, Jobs runs the company. Shareholders own it. But, you know, easy mistake.

The commenters are positive – and amazed: “I’ve been reading your material since you first began at IGN, when I was ohhhh, about 11. I’m 24 now, and to think I won’t be reading anything from you on IGN is quite weird,” says the first. There are plenty of requests to review one more game…

Casamassina specialised in Nintendo game reviews; Wikipedia tells us that in 1997 (aged 21) he started as editor of the N64 website which then became the Nintendo 64 section of IGN.

You can still find his IGN articles.

What though does Apple want with him? “Global editorial games manager” is an interesting title, but is Apple really just wanting to have someone who chooses what the store should tout?

More useful, perhaps, to see this in the context of the competition between Apple and Nintendo over gaming. The Nintendo DS, as we know, is far and away the best-selling handheld console. But Apple has ambitions there – at least in the form of its iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad (the iPhone OS platform). Nintendo’s US president Regie Fils-Aime was none too positive about the iPhone OS in a recent interview in which he also denied that he was seeing any effect on DSi sales from iPhone OS:

“Apple “is not having an impact on Nintendo when you look at our business, our volume, our hardware, our software,” Fils-Aime said. “I’ve seen data that suggestions that while consumers are constantly downloading Apps, they play with them for a few times and then they are moving on to the next thing.”

“Clearly it doesn’t look like their platform is a viable profit platform for game development because so many of the games are free versus paid downloads.”

“Fils-Aime believes that gamers will stick with Nintendo’s portables over Apple’s because in the end the gaming experiences are very different.”

“If our games represent a range between snacks of entertainment and full meals depending on the type of game, (Apple’s) aren’t even a mouthful, in terms of the gaming experience you get.”

Is the point behind Casamassina’s hiring to change that? Might be interesting to keep a watch.

Nintendo

Apple

Games

iPad

iPhone

Charles Arthur

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Slim-PS3 is updated several times per day with the latest games consle news, reviews and features.

Posted on April 25th, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

Avatar Producer Explains Why Movie Games Don’t Work

Jon Landau, producer of the video game version of Avatar, has stated that he knows exactly why video games based on movies nearly always fail. It is his contention that Hollywood politics and restrictive studio rules often lead to subpar games. Landau believes that the whole process of making movie games needs to rely less on studios and more on individual directors, producers and other stakeholders.

Hit the break for more. Slim-PS3.com is updated regularly every day with the very latest video game news and reviews.

Posted on April 23rd, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

Metroid: Other M, Sin and Punishment may be delayed – Console news

Latest gaming news:
Two of the Wii’s most anticipated summer releases, Metroid: other M and Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, may have just been pushed back, with Metroid possibly coming as late as September, says Computer and Video Games. “A NeoGAF user claiming to work at US retailer Play N Trade kicked things off by saying that he’d been sent an email from the company’s corporate headquarters, stating that Sin & Punishment had been delayed from June 7 to June 27, and Metroid Other M from June 27 to ‘to be determined,'” they write.

Hit the jump to read more. Slim-PS3.com is updated regularly every day with all very latest games consle news, reviews and features.

Posted on April 23rd, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

Slim PS3 news: Media Go 1.4 now available

Latest news:

Download the latest version of Media Go, the perfect entertainment organiser for your PSP.

Sony Creative Software has released a new updated version of Media Go. This nifty PC software program, available to download for free from sonycreativesoftware.com, lets you transfer games, videos, music and photos from your computer to your PSP.

You can access PlayStation Store on your PC using Media Go, and this latest version includes the following improvements:

Movies and TV shows purchased from PlayStation Store can be played on PC as well as your PSP.

Chapter marks, subtitles and multiple audio channels are supported for video playback.

You can purchase content without your PSP being connected to your PC via USB cable.

Additional video properties and icons have been added to improve media searching and browsing.

Find out more about Media Go 1.4 and download it for free at sonycreativesoftware.com.

This blog is updated several times each day with the latest Slim PS3 news and reviews.

Posted on April 23rd, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

PlayStation news: Weekend Essentials – Issue 24

Answer the call of the wild in Dead to Rights: Retribution on PS3 this week.

One man and his dog

Is a man’s best friend his dog or his handgun? There’s no such dilemma for Jack Slate, the star of Dead to Rights: Retribution, this week’s big PlayStation 3 release on Blu-ray Disc – he’s got both at his side.

The hard-hitting vice cop is charged with cleaning up Grant City, which was once a thriving financial and cultural hub but is now plagued by crime and corruption.

You take control of both Slate and his loyal canine accomplice Shadow – a cross between a wolf and an Alaskan malamute considered too feral to be an official police dog. You can unleash a hail of bullets or get up close and personal with two hands and four paws in your bid to restore order.

A new challenge for Nathan Drake

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves fans will want to swing by PlayStation Store this week – the Siege Expansion Pack is now available for download. It includes a new game mode for two to three players called Siege, where you and your buddies must fight off ten waves of progressively tougher enemies. It can be played across nine levels including the two included with this expansion pack – Museum and Highrise. As well as that, you’ll also get six new character skins and 11 trophies to strive for.

After all that running and shooting, settle down in front of your favourite music videos. The latest free VidZone update introduces a new service called VidZone TV. It provides a list of regularly updated music channels that are perfect for those who just want to hit play and let the music roll. To download the update, simply start up the VidZone music video application on PS3 and follow the instructions.

Meanwhile on PlayStation Store, download the Lost Planet 2 multiplayer demo to get an early look at the co-operative alien blaster coming in May 2010 and pick up After Burner Climax to take to the skies in the world’s fastest fighter jets. Both are available to download onto PS3.

In the minis category on PlayStation Store, Monsters (probably) Stole My Princess makes its debut, bringing vertical platforming with a sense of humour to PS3 and PSP. You can also download the Saviour pack for THE EYE OF JUDGMENT LEGENDS on PSP and add six rare cards to your collection.

New Trophy options on PS3

System software update version 3.30 for PlayStation 3 is now live, allowing you to sort your trophies by the name of the game in which they are earned or by the date on which you earned them. You can either download this system software update from eu.playstation.com/PS3 or directly from your PS3 system’s XMB™ (XrossMediaBar).

At eu.playstation.com this week you also have the opportunity to quiz the developers of People vs: Monsters (probably) Stole My Princess. Wondering why an aristocratic demon is searching for true love and how he is going about it? Submit your question via the official PlayStation Forums and we’ll (probably) put it to Mediatonic in an exclusive interview.

Keep an eye on PlayStation Blog at blog.eu.playstation.com for the latest PlayStation news as it happens.

Be sure to opt in to receive PlayStation emails when you sign up for a PlayStation Network account. If you already have an account, sign in to your PlayStation Network account settings at eu.playstation.com/registration or via the XMB™ (XrossMediaBar) and opt in. That way, you can keep bang up to date and receive the latest PlayStation news direct to your inbox.

Slim-PS3.com is updated regularly per day with the latest Free Slim PS3 news and reviews.

Posted on April 23rd, 2010 by  |  No Comments »