Archive for May, 2010

PS3 news: Killzone 3: Guerrilla brought in Hollywood talent

The latest PS3 news: PS UNI: Killzone 2s story was a little light on plot with somewhat two-dimensional characters. Guerrilla Games hopes to change that with Killzone 3, bringing in a little bit more professional talent. Slim-PS3 is updated frequently each day with the latest Free Slim PS3 news and games reviews.

Posted on May 31st, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

PS3 news: The People vs: Red Dead Redemption

The Rockstar development team behind Red Dead Revolver answers questions from the PlayStation community.

Considering that an open world Wild West game is not really mainstream, how did you come up with the idea for it? (hgtred, Germany)

The initial idea came during the completion of Red Dead Revolver. While Rockstar San Diego was working to finish that game, we started to see the potential for an open world game set in the West.

Then we decided to focus not on the classic Western period of Revolver but to base the story in the fascinating times around the death of the West, in the early 1900s, when America was going through a difficult time of great change. That gave us the greatest scope to fit in all the different story elements that we wanted in the game, from the classic American frontier to the iconic Mexican landscapes of the spaghetti westerns and a more modern town like Blackwater.

We never choose to make our games based on what’s popular at any given time -we try to do the opposite. We try to make the kinds of games we want to play and hope enough other people feel the same way.

Is there any connection between Red Dead Revolver and Redemption? (CaptainCortez, UK)

Red Dead Redemption isn’t a direct sequel to Red Dead Revolver, more a spiritual successor. That said, we strongly encourage you to explore the world for yourself and discover everything there is to learn about it. It may yield a few secrets and surprises.

From what I saw in the released videos, the horses are very realistic. How much time did you spend capturing their movements? (corpocannibal, Portugal)

Making the horses look and move believably was a long, arduous and messy process that included shooting our own motion capture of horses in action, right down to sticking the little white balls all over the horse in order to get the most accurate capture data and picking them all up and sticking them back on when they would fall off.

We had a famous stunt horse called Blanco and a very accomplished rider to put him through his paces. Capturing the horse’s real, natural movements, as well as the way the horse and rider worked together, was an amazing experience. Once we had the capture data, it was a case of choosing the right breeds, watching films and videos of them in motion and even using some of our facial animation technology to recreate the muscle movements. We’re immensely proud of the horses in Red Dead Redemption – they’re like nothing ever seen in a game before.

How extensive is the story and, more specifically, how many hours of gameplay can we expect? (Fischli, Germany; bubbez, Scandi)

Pretty long, we hope – the game is huge and the story itself is an epic in which John Marston meets many old faces and journeys across three huge regions, but how long it takes depends on how much time the player spends exploring. Given the huge amount of mini-games, including horseshoes, poker and liar’s dice; the stranger missions and other activities including hunting, treasure hunting and bounty hunting; and all the other surprises scattered across the world, the amount of time you spend in the game world is completely up to you.

Will we be able to capture fellow players with our lasso in the multiplayer? (Son_of_Bane, Netherlands)

No, lassos aren’t available in multiplayer – trying to get a curving, fluid-like piece of rope to work in single player was a massive technical challenge in itself, but the potential for 16 lassos attempting to interact with each other to cause knotty technical problems meant we had to confine the lasso to single player.

Will the main character be able to develop physically like CJ in GTA: San Andreas? (II-GRATOR-II, Spain)

Marston won’t become any stronger, or gain or lose weight, but you can affect the way the world responds to him by changing his outfit. By collecting scraps of outfits scattered across the world, you can gain access to full outfits that will have special benefits. For example, collecting a particular gang outfit will allow Marston to sneak into that gang’s territory without attracting attention. Or if you attain the Elegant suit, for example, you will gain the ability to cheat at poker. You can change into a different outfit at any of your in-game save points, either in a town or at your campsite.

Will the soundtrack be in the same style as a real western movie? (MechAArmA, France; Loganer94, Italy)

Music plays a huge part in Red Dead Redemption and it is used in unexpected ways. The soundtrack is actually a dynamic score, where what you hear is determined by what’s going on in the world around you and by the territory that you find yourself in.

The score and soundtrack itself is amazing and was put together by Bill Elm and Woody Jackson, two musicians critically acclaimed for their evocative and cinematic soundscapes. Early in the game you will hear music that’s reminiscent of the classic spaghetti westerns that were such a big influence on the soundtrack of Red Dead Revolver. However, Red Dead Redemption is set in a much later period, during the death of the West itself, so the music evolves to feature newer, more modern instrumentation.

Certain instruments in the soundtrack are linked to specific territories, to give each territory its own unique atmosphere. There are also guest vocal performances by Jose Gonzales, William Ellis Whitmore and Jamie Lidell that add extra atmosphere to certain crucial moments in the game’s story.

Slim-PS3.com is updated regularly every day with the very latest Slim PS3 news and reviews.

Posted on May 29th, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

PlayStation news: Weekend Essentials – Issue 29

Latest news:

Unleash rage in the Octagon and on the road in this week’s PS3 releases.

Aggressive times

UFC Undisputed 2010 comes out this week, bringing the hard-hitting action of the world’s leading mixed martial arts organisation to PlayStation 3. It includes more than 100 leading fighters across various weight classes, all individually programmed to look, act and fight like their real life counterparts.

In-between bouts swap two fists for four wheels with blur, also available now on PS3. Travel the globe in fully licensed cars and tear them to shreds with explosive power-ups such as nitro speed boosts and landmines to be the first across the finish line.

The third PS3 release of the week, Alpha Protocol, is an action thriller in which you take a secret agent and mould him into the spy of your choice. Along the way you can master new weapons and techniques, customise your abilities and shape the story by making decisions and interacting with other characters. Espionage just got more personal.

Old school

Leading this week’s selection of games available to download to PlayStation 3 from PlayStation Store is Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype, a side scrolling shooter that’s sure to please old school arcade fans.

Fret Nice is another side scrolling game with a twist – it’s a 2D platforming game that you can control with a guitar controller. It joins mystical puzzle game VooDoo Dice on PlayStation Store this week.

A special treat for Final Fantasy fans arrives this week: PS one Classic Final Fantasy XI, regarded by many as the best in the series, can be downloaded from PlayStation Store and is playable on both PS3 and PSP.

Speaking of PSP, there are four games available this week: DJ Max Fever, Iron Man 2, Rugby League Challenge and Voodo Dice, and four minis including Feel Four Two, a collection of games that two people can play together on one PSP.

On top of all that, you can download extra content for Just Cause 2, Lost Planet 2, Super Street Fighter IV, Buzz! and more.

Get sketching

At eu.playstation.com there’s a great competition to design an original THE EYE OF JUDGMENT LEGENDS card. The best design will be printed, signed by the game’s designer and sent out to the creator, along with a specially created figurine and a brand new PSP.

In the Dead to Rights: Retribution you can win a PlayStation 3, a copy of the game and a stash of Alpinestars clothing. All you have to do is study a picture of Grant City and hunt down the hiding criminals.

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.

This blog is updated frequently every day with the latest Free PlayStation news.

Posted on May 29th, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

Super Mario Galaxy 2 for Wii | Game review

Game review; £39.99; cert 3+; Nintendo

Consoles usually take a while to get into their stride, but the Wii, as befits its disruptive nature, seemed to have reversed that trend. The compelling games with which it was furnished when new dried up in recent months to a trickle of dross, and one suspects many Wiis began to gather dust in the back of toy-cupboards. The arrival, then, of Super Mario Galaxy 2 could not be more timely.

The problem isn’t likely to resolve itself until medical technology allows us to clone several copies of Nintendo’s in-house development genius, Shigeru Miyamoto. At least Miyamoto-san saves his best efforts for games featuring Mario, as Super Mario Galaxy 2 amply demonstrates.

Structurally, it is near-indistinguishable from its predecessor, with several worlds to navigate, each split into seven or so galaxies (the last of which presents you with a boss to be defeated before you’re awarded a Grand Star). This time around, you can opt to play as Luigi as you enter each galaxy. As in the first Super Mario Galaxy, you have to reach stars to open new galaxies, by executing deft platform moves and solving all manner of puzzles, often involving delicious mischief with the laws of gravity. Those puzzles are invariably so good that they will make you chuckle and nod in appreciation of their sheer cleverness.

The key to reaching what often appear to be unreachable stars is Mario’s array of power-ups and special abilities, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 has two new ones. The first is a drill attachment, which Mario carries above his head; shake the Wiimote, and he will burrow straight through the centre of whatever planet he is on. This clever mechanic can be used for puzzle-solving by, for instance, burrowing to the top of pillars too high for Mario’s jumping abilities, or for boss-battles, in which you have to time and position your burrowing to hit creatures’ vulnerable parts.

But the undoubted star of Super Mario Galaxy 2 is Mario’s old mate, Yoshi. He appears in many galaxies, bringing a range of abilities when Mario jumps on his back. With his lizard-like tongue (the direction of which you can control with the Wiimote), he can gobble up and spit out enemies, and swing from designated points. Feed him Blimp Fruit and he will float for a while. And when he swallows a chilli pepper, he gains the ability to run like Forrest Gump (complete with boggle-eyed expression and siren sound effect), enabling him to temporarily escape the normal restrictions of gravity (although he becomes tricky to steer).

All of Mario’s existing power-ups appear, too, including Bee Mario and Fire Mario (one clever ice world can be reshaped by Mario’s fireballs and by rolling snowballs into melted areas). There are underwater worlds and a flying sequence in which Mario is suspended from a Fluzzard, and at one point, he can power-up into a rolling boulder. His ground-pound move also features heavily.

As the above suggests, the surreal nature that characterises Mario’s games is to the fore. Mated with the game’s irresistible sweetness, the outcome is a game-world which is truly universal in its appeal – the youngest children and grizzliest hardcore gamers alike will be held equally rapt by its charms. A long-overdue reminder of what the Wii is all about.

Rating: 5/5

Games

Wii

Nintendo

Steve Boxer

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

Slim PS3 news: Itchy Thumbs: UFC Undisputed 2010 Review

Itchy Thumbs says: After years of sub-par UFC games dating back as far as the Dreamcast days, last years effort from the one-two punch of Yukes and THQ (already well established from their WWE games) proved to be a pleasant surprise for fans of the Mixed Martial Arts genre. What could so easily have wound up as a one-off now appears to have evolved into an annual franchise.

But what does UFC 2010 bring to the table that wasnt there 12 months ago, other than a few new faces? After it, the developers dont have the same luxuries that professional wrestling usually provides them with, such as a quirky new match-type to add every year. Still, making something exciting from a sport with a pretty static rule set has never been a problem for EA when it comes to Fight Night.
Slim-PS3.com is updated frequently every day with the latest Free Slim PS3 news and hardware reviews.

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

news: Killzone 3: Controls will be more responsive

PSUNI: Many criticised the responsiveness of the controls in Killzone 2. With the recent unveiling of Killzone 3, Guerilla Games is keen to tout the work its done in this very area.

Killzone 2 got a lot right with its weighty and realistic controls, but when the game launched many found the contrast to previous games a little difficult. Guerilla released a patch to improve the responsiveness and alleviate some of those worries, but the studios not being complacent. Its working on improving them even further with Killzone 3. This blog is updated frequently every day with the very latest Free PS3 news.

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

Exclusive new Lego Harry Potter trailer

The latest gaming news:

The wizard kid visits Legoland at the end of next month, but for now here’s another taster from this building block adventure

Taking in elements from the first four reasonably well-known novels, Lego Harry Potter looks set to continue the tradition of Traveller’s Tales’hugely entertaining Lego games, mixing recognisable characters and scenes with humour-filled action adventure gameplay.

I went up to get a behind-the-scenes look at the development studio last week, and we’ll be putting up a video of that visit soon. But for now, here’s the latest trailer. As ever, let us know what you think in the comments section.

Games

Harry Potter

Keith Stuart

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This blog is updated frequently every day with all latest gaming news and games reviews.

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

Slim PS3 news: Modern Warfare 2 Resurgence Package Trailer

Ironstar: “Robert Bowling, Creative Strategist at Infinity Ward, has given us a sneak peak at the new Modern Warfare 2 Resurgence Package on Inside Xbox.” Slim PS3 is updated regularly every day with the very latest Free Slim PS3 news and hardware reviews.

Posted on May 26th, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

Games Chatterbox Column Tuesday

The place to talk about games, and just about anything else too..

Tuesday’s edition of Chatterbox

Games

Greg Howson

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Slim-PS3.com is updated several times per day with all latest gaming system news.

Posted on May 26th, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

Fun guys are off as Microsoft rejigs its Entertainment division

The two leading lights of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division — Robbie Bach and J Allard — are leaving the company, possibly leaving chief executive Steve Ballmer in direct charge of all the company’s fun and games

Robbie Bach is retiring as president of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division, while J Allard is to become a consultant on specific projects. Bach and J Allard are the people mainly responsible for the Xbox games console and Live service, the Zune media player, PC gaming, Microsoft TV, Microsoft Surface, Office for Mac, and Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 phones.In the latest financial quarter, the E&D division made an operating profit of $165m on sales worth $1.7bn. The company made $5.2bn on a turnover of $14.5bn.

Bach joined Microsoft in 1988 and often appeared in keynote speeches with Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, who said in a statement: “Robbie’s an amazing business person and close personal friend, which makes his departure a point of sadness for me.” Some had considered Bach a possible future CEO.

Allard, the division’s senior vice president of design and development, is leaving after 19 years at Microsoft. Allard is considered the “father of the Xbox” and his disappearance was noted on 18 May by ZD Net’s Mary Jo Foley, who wrote Where in the world is J Allard? A source told her that “Allard is on sabbatical and is unlikely to return to Microsoft”. However, Allard told TechFlash that his departure was not connected with the cancellation of another of his projects, the dual-screen Courier tablet computer. He said he wanted to devote more time to his personal interests, particularly adventure sports.

Allard was widely admired and the Kotaku games blog has posted a tribute, J Allard, We Will Miss You

Bach is not being replaced, so the mobile phone and Xbox bosses, Andy Lees and Don Mattrick, will report directly to Ballmer. Allard will also report directly to Ballmer on his special projects.

Whatever the reasons for the reorganisation, the division has not generally been successful at selling its major products, or at making money out of them. While Microsoft has done far better than most people expected in establishing the Xbox console line, the Xbox 360 has been dogged by problems with consoles overheating and failing with the famous Red Ring of Death. Microsoft extended the product’s guarantee to cover the issue, taking a $1bn charge for the cost. The division’s successes include the Xbox Live online service and the Halo games franchise.

While Microsoft was relatively quick to enter the smartphone market with touch-screen systems, long before Apple, its Windows Mobile software was clunky by comparison. It has lost market share both to Apple’s iPhone and to systems running Google’s Android software. And while the Zune HD and Zune 4 desktop software have impressed users, the system has not sold well in the US, and has not been launched internationally. It remains to be seen whether the impressive-looking Windows Phone 7 will do any better.

Microsoft has been extremely successful as a platform company, providing software that other companies could use to build their own products, including PCs and phones, applications and both online and offline services. The Entertainment and Devices division embodied Microsoft’s attempt to create proprietary vertically integrated systems including its own hardware, operating system, applications, content and online services. It’s a strategy that Apple has used with tremendous success, but Microsoft has never been able to match it.

Even those who weren’t particularly keen on Bach could struggle to see Ballmer doing the job any better himself. However, since Bach isn’t retiring until the autumn, there’s still time to find a successor.

Microsoft

Xbox

Jack Schofield

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