Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

Slim PS3 news: When Vikings Attack: 10 things you need to know

The Vikings are coming to PS3 and PlayStation Vita – make sure you’re ready with these fantastic factoids from developer Clever Beans.

1. Helmet hogwash

Real Vikings didn’t wear horns on their helmets, but they do in When Vikings Attack. Apologies to any Viking fans, Scandinavians, historians or anyone else who feels we have unfairly tainted the reputation of Vikings or taken liberties with historical accuracy.

The game is deliberately based only on vague, half-remembered half-truths from our school days. Real Vikings are indeed a fascinating subject, but this game is about the Vikings of common mythology, rather than history. Also, Vikings did not really invade 1970s Britain. We made that bit up too.

2. Sound effects and stolen biscuits

Many of the sound effects for the game were recorded by our sound designer Jamie Finlay during a session in an abandoned warehouse full of stolen biscuits. The warehouse was actually demolished the next day.

When Vikings Attack probably has the largest sound budget of any game that we have worked on. Almost everything in the game has a customised smashing or throwing sound, or both; many of which will make you laugh out loud. There are also countless funny vocal exclamations in various accents from all over the UK; at Clever Beans we call these “Ey-Ups”.

Jamie is a real perfectionist, and even took his laptop on holiday to Spain so that he could do some last-minute voice-over editing for us. We can only apologise to his girlfriend for this.

3. Horses are all talk

An early storyline for the game involved a talking horse with a colander on his head. We will definitely include a talking horse in one of our games, in the future. There are clearly nowhere near enough games about talking horses.

4. When Vikings evolve

In a much earlier version of the game, the player could punch, kick and jump, and also throw other characters around just like objects. The game started out as a massive bar brawl style beat ‘em up. Although we couldn’t figure out how to make this seem like a convincing fight; there were a lot of characters wandering around doing nothing, and it wasn’t clear how the player could control more than one character at once.

So we decided to have friendly characters follow the player character around. We had the idea that they were your “lives”, waiting to step in and take over when needed. From there it was only a small step to make them all controllable at once, as a team.

5. The house of ideas

In one prototype level that we built, player teams could walk on walls. It all got a bit too confusing, both to play and to design. The game feels a little bit like an iceberg sometimes: a little pile of fun sitting on top of a much larger mountain of submerged, discarded gameplay ideas.

6. Stick with it…

The characters that you see in the game are the third or fourth iteration character models. An early prototype stick man character is unlockable in the game; see if you can find him! Producers at Sony Computer Entertainment liked this little guy so much that they asked for him to be put back in, even though he was only a graphic made by one of our programmers. We got an artist to remake him with a nice smiley face, though. A later, equally defunct character model can be found near the town hall in the game, as a statue.

7. Animal magic

No penguins were harmed during the making of the Zoo level. The donkey, however, was completely bent out of shape over the course of the project. Originally built for our first prototype world, he was reused in the Sorting Office world, the Pier world and then transformed into a zebra for the Zoo. Finally, after a lot of stretching and another new paint job, he put in a stint as a giraffe, also in the Zoo. Such is the nature of indie game development – we all have to wear a lot of hats. Even donkeys have to wear a lot of hats.

8. Let’s dance

The most time-consuming special animation was the mime artist – although he was the quickest to make sound effects for. The robot is another favourite animation of ours. The track that he is breakdancing to is actually I’m in the Mood for Dancing by the Nolan Sisters. So he’s not quite as cool as you might think.

9. Duck and cover

The inspiration for the Public Information films that punctuate the game came from a series of 1970s Cold War films called Protect and Survive. These were made in case of a nuclear attack on Britain, but never broadcast – perhaps because they are so terrifying. We substituted the Cold War terror of a nuclear invasion for a load of daft Vikings. Another inspiration was a British comedy series called Look Around You. This is a brilliant spoof of 1970s educational programmes, which has excellent period sound and music effects.

10. Credit where credit’s due

When Vikings Attack has the longest credits list in the history of gaming. When you reach the end of the game, you will unlock the enhanced credits. These really are worth watching, and listening to.

Want to find out more about When Vikings Attack? Keep reading and PlayStation.Blog at for all the latest on this hilarious action title.

This blog is updated several times every day with the latest Free Sony Slim PS3 news.

Posted on November 3rd, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Slim PS3 news: DUST 514: Your questions answered

Brandon Laurino, executive producer of DUST 514, answers questions from the PlayStation Community.

Is the corporation recruitment similar to EVE Online, and will players be able to sign up to the same corporations? (Wbrinkman, Netherlands)Yes, DUST 514 has corps. Details of how it will work with EVE Online will be revealed at a future date, but, of course, we want to encourage people to meet and work together through corps across DUST 514 and EVE Online.

With DUST 514 and EVE Online being closely linked, how will you merge the two together so that users benefit from playing both games? (ridster3, UK)When you log into DUST 514, you are signed into the same server as all the players in EVE Online. Everything is connected – friends, mail, the economies, the market and, ultimately, the battles that are unfolding in real time in space in EVE Online and on the planets in DUST 514. If you play both games, you can benefit from doing some things by yourself as opposed to having to negotiate with other people to do it with you.

Why is the game called DUST 514? (Elavarasan, UK)It’s a secret. You will have to explore DUST 514 and EVE Online to learn about it. We also have books, short stories, lore, missions and a lot of other stuff that reveal the history of New Eden.

What was the main inspiration for making DUST 514? (MW3-Marathon-2, UK)We wanted to create a new way people could experience the EVE Online universe. EVE Online is a spaceship simulator type of game and Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, and it’s well known for being quite complex. We wanted to create something that was a lot easier for people to get into that also fit thematically.

How many weapons can we expect in DUST 514? (Electrodos, Spain)There are hundreds of different items in the closed beta, and we are always adding more.

Will players be able to customise their appearance and weapons? (Karimjaw, UK)Of course, this is at the core of the DUST 514 experience. DUST 514 allows for nearly limitless customisation – with your appearance, your dropsuit, weapons, equipment, modules, colours and so on. It’s not just for your character; vehicles have the same depth and customisation as well. By playing matches, you will earn more ISK, the free, earned currency of the EVE Online universe, which you can use to get new stuff. You can also purchase AUR, the in-game currency, from PlayStation Store to get items.

What will be the cross-platform features between PS3 and PS Vita in DUST 514? (War_BraWler_Pro, France)Right now, the PlayStation Vita app for DUST 514 is a companion app. You can take the social and management aspects of DUST 514 with you any time, anywhere. Use the Mail, the Market, the Fitting – or customisation – all on the go. We will be regularly updating the PS Vita companion app along with DUST 514 and we are always exploring new features and possibilities.

How many people can join the same battle? (CrisTiaaN_90, Spain)Right now, each battle zone is set to 24 vs 24 players, but there can be multiple battles happening on a planet at once affecting each other in real time, so hundreds of people can be involved. Then there can be ship battles in space around the planet with hundreds or even thousands of players, also affecting the battles on the planet’s surface in real time.

Will DUST 514 have downloadable content? (MrSugarholic123, UK)We will have tons of updates all the time for free, with new features, new places to explore, new items and a lot more.

How will PlayStation Move be used on this title? (dumdog45, UK)DUST 514 has full PlayStation Move support, which is similar to how PS Move has been used in other shooters like MAG and Killzone 3. We are adding PS Move support into the closed beta, letting users test it and getting their feedback and constantly updating and improving it – just like everything else with DUST 514.

Thanks to Brandon for answering the questions and congratulations to the winners, who each receive a DUST 514 T-shirt. You can keep up with all of the latest news on DUST 514 at and PlayStation.Blog. is updated regularly each day with the very latest Free Slim PS3 news.

Posted on July 3rd, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Slim PS3 news: PlayStation Game and Community Awards 2011 – the results

Find out the best games of 2011 as voted for by the PlayStation Community.

At the start of the year, we asked you, the PlayStation Community, to tell us which games rocked your PlayStation 3 and PSP systems in 2011 over at

We’d like to thank you all for sending in your nominations and voting for your favourites. You can view the full list of winners below.

PS3 Game of the Year: Uncharted 3: Drake´s Deception

“Uncharted won a crushing victory. Keep up the good work Naughty Dog and you´ll have more success and great sales in the future.” (javi_vcl, Spain)

Best Multiplayer: Battlefield 3

“Great result for Battlefield 3. It´s a real pleasure to play on its servers.” (AIPadrino, Spain)

Best PlayStation Network Service: Official PlayStation Forums

Most Anticipated PlayStation Game of 2012: The Last of Us

“There´s great expectation for The Last of Us. I’m really looking forward to something new from Naughty Dog after the success of Uncharted.” (AIPadrino, Spain)

Best PlayStation Video Game Art and Design: Uncharted 3: Drake´s Deception”With three wins, Uncharted 3 is the big winner.” (Aluai, Portugal)

Most Wanted Trophy: Uncharted 3: Drake´s Deception platinum “Naughty Dog has proved itself again this year.” (d1capo, Netherlands)

Downloadable Content of the Year: Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand

Downloadable Game of the year: Limbo

“I’m very happy for Limbo.” (curre, Italy)

Best Video Game Character: Nathan Drake

“Nathan Drake had a clear victory over the other candidates.” (Midgar_01, Spain)

Most Anticipated PS Vita Game: Uncharted: Golden Abyss

“In my eyes it’s well deserved. This is also the reason why I pre-ordered my PS Vita.” (steven_dutch, Netherlands)

PSP Game of the Year: Patapon 3

Keep an eye on for more great ways to share your favourite gaming experiences with the PlayStation Community.

Our site is updated frequently each day with the very latest Free Slim PS3 news.

Posted on February 20th, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

PS3 news: GT Academy 2011 frequently asked questions

Latest news:

All you need to know about the latest edition of the Gran Turismo 5 competition that turns driving dreams into reality.

What is GT Academy?Now in its third season, GT Academy is a pan-European competition that unites the worlds of virtual and real-life racing to make the dreams of aspiring race drivers a reality. The competition finds the best Gran Turismo 5 players from participating countries, tests their skills at Race Camp and then trains one winner to become a professional racing driver.

Who can enter?Full terms and conditions of entry are available on and these should be read thoroughly by all entrants. The key points are:

You must be aged at least 18 years old.

You must be resident in Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy or the Netherlands. A separate GT Academy is also being run in the USA.

You must hold a valid driver’s licence.

You cannot enter if you have an existing competition driving contract, have previously held a National A or superior MSA racing licence or equivalent, or have competed in a national level Karting Championship for more than two full seasons.

You cannot progress past the Time Trial stage if you made it to Silverstone in either of the previous GT Academy competitions in 2008 or 2010. 

If you make it to the Territory Finals, you will be required to participate in a health screening, and so you must be in good general health in accordance with the Motor Sports Association medical requirements.

Finally, in order to attend Race Camp, which lasts approximately one week, you will need to have a valid passport and be able to travel within the European Union.

What are the various stages in the competition?Stage One: Once registered on, you record laps on a track which is accessed in-game from Gran Turismo 5. You can keep track of your progress by accessing the in-game leaderboard for your territory.Stage Two: The 20 eligible entrants who hold the fastest online lap times from each European territory group, along with up to four wild card entries, will qualify for their Territory Final event. Stage Three: Twelve finalists, two from each of the Territory Finals events, will attend the GT Academy Race Camp at the world-famous Silverstone circuit in the United Kingdom where they will be able to develop new driving skills in an array of Nissan cars, while also being judged on fitness and mental attitude.Stage Four: The overall winner will embark on a UK-based intensive driving and racing programme in preparation to qualify for an international racing licence.Stage Five: The winner may be able to race in the prestigious Dubai 24 Hour International race in a fully supported Nissan 370Z GT4 car.

What are the timings for GT Academy 2011?The online Time Trial phase starts on 4 March 2011 and continues until 23:59 on 17 April 2011. Territory Finals will follow shortly afterwards with the Race Camp scheduled for June 2011.

What are the technical requirements for entering the GT Academy 2011 Time Trial?You will need to have a PlayStation 3 system, broadband Internet access and a copy of Gran Turismo 5. The following steps are then required:

Set up a PlayStation Network account if you do not have one already.

Register your personal details at

Start up your copy of Gran Turismo 5 and ensure all the latest game updates have been installed.

Go to the Special Events section in-game and select the GT Academy Time Trial.

How can I work out my ranking position?You can view your position on the leaderboard as well as the fastest laps either in-game or on the rankings page on the official Gran Turismo website at

Can I pick my own car for the Time Trial event?The car and the track used for the Time Trial are pre-determined so that it is the same for everyone: the unique track has been developed specifically using the innovative Course Maker feature of Gran Turismo 5 by legendary creator Kazunori Yamauchi and the car is the stunning Nissan 370Z (Z34).

How many times can I enter?Once you have accessed the Time Trial event, you can complete as many laps as you want and only your best time will be posted to the rankings. If you beat your previous best, your new time will be posted, which may move you up the rankings.

How can I improve my lap times?The best way to improve is through practice. You can take advantage of the custom race lobbies in Gran Turismo 5, which allow you to practise with friends and other players you meet online, sharing driving tips and techniques via voice chat. Similarly, you can use the in-game community features to communicate and set up times to meet and share tips.

What happens next to the winner of GT Academy?The winner has to be prepared to make a major commitment to becoming a real racing driver. From the end of the Race Camp event in June 2011, the winner will be based in the UK for approximately seven months in order to undertake an intensive race training programme. He or she will be housed at Silverstone and will be racing in UK national and club level races most weekends.

In January 2012, the winner will fly to Dubai and may race in the Dubai International 24 Hours.

What if I’ve never raced a real car in my life?That’s not a problem. GT Academy is about finding the best Gran Turismo 5 player and turning him or her into a professional. As outlined in the terms and conditions, people with certain professional racing experience and qualifications are not eligible to participate.

As long as you can drive in Gran Turismo 5, know how to drive a real car and meet the other eligibility requirements, all you have to do is try your best.

Is GT Academy a realistic route into top flight motor sport?Sony Computer Entertainment and Nissan posed the question “Can the world of virtual racing unearth a real racing talent?” The success of the competition’s first two GT Academy winners demonstrated that this answer is a resounding “Yes”

Lucas Ordóñez, the Spanish winner of the first instalment in 2008, went on to finish second in the 2009 European GT4 Cup and fourth in 2010. Frenchman Jordan Tresson, the winner of 2010’s GT Academy competition, finished equal fourth with Ordóñez in the GT4 series.

So there you are – everything you need to know about GT Academy 2011. The clock is ticking, so fire up your copy of Gran Turismo 5 and turn your driving dreams into reality – only with PlayStation.

For more tips on how to be the best in GT Academy, check out the Top Tips: GT Academy 2011 article right here on or visit the GT Academy Facebook page at for regular posts from some of the fastest racers and GT Academy celebrities. is updated frequently per day with the latest Slim PS3 news and games reviews.

Posted on March 22nd, 2011 by  |  No Comments »

PS3 news: GT Academy roars back onto PS3

The latest PS3 news:

Turn driving dreams into reality thanks to Nissan and PlayStation in the third edition of GT Academy.

Nissan in Europe and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) have joined forces to run a third instalment of the popular GT Academy in 2011. The competition unites the worlds of virtual and real racing, offering one lucky winner the chance to realise their dream of becoming a certified racing driver.

The virtual stage of GT Academy will be played out on the ultra-realistic Gran Turismo 5 on PlayStation 3, which has sold over three million copies to date in Europe since launching in November 2010. The stakes are high with places at the GT Academy Race Camp to play for and a fully supported drive in a Nissan 370Z GT4 car in the prestigious Dubai 24 Hour International race as the ultimate prize (terms and conditions apply).

GT Academy’s global footprint is growing as 2011 marks the third season of GT Academy in Europe, as well as the inaugural year in the USA.

This year’s European competition will run across 10 countries with the online time trials starting on 4 March 2011 and continuing until 17 April 2011. Leaderboards for each participating territory will highlight the fastest 20 racers who will proceed to a live territory final. Only two from each final will make it to the intensive six-day driver training Race Camp to run at the world-famous Silverstone circuit in England. The winner of Race Camp will continue to be trained in high performance Nissan race cars and compete in a series of national level races in order to qualify for an international race licence and an entry into the Dubai race.

Since the first GT Academy in 2008, the innovative competition has established itself as a credible route into top-end motor sport for Gran Turismo players. Lucas Ordoñez, the Spanish winner of the first instalment in 2008, went on to finish second in the 2009 European GT4 Cup and fourth in 2010. Frenchman Jordan Tresson, the winner of 2010’s GT Academy competition, finished equal fourth with Ordoñez in the GT4 series. Both racers are expected to announce new programmes for 2011 soon.

“In Gran Turismo 5 we continue to bring the worlds of real and virtual racing closer together and the GT Academy programme, in partnership with our friends at Nissan, perfectly illustrates this ambition,” explained Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the Gran Turismo series and president of developer Polyphony Digital. “GT Academy  is also a great showcase for the fact that GT5 will continue to offer players more than just the game they have bought. It fully utilises the online functionality of GT5 and highlights the community elements. I think that we shall see a lot of friends challenging each other to take part in GT Academy and seeing how good they are against others. I am sure that most people with an interest in motor sport have dreamt about having a go for real. The competition has already made that dream a reality for the previous two winners, so it is well worth entering – even if it is only your friends you want to beat!”

When the virtual racing stage of the game ends, the emphasis will shift to Nissan’s stunning sports cars with the 370Z and GT-R playing starring roles at the Silverstone Race Camp. “It has been a great pleasure for us to see so many of our cars recreated in stunning detail in Gran Turismo 5,” said Nissan International’s Vice President of Marketing, Vincent Wijnen. “But GT Academy is even more special as we watch the incredible progression of somebody racing our cars in the game to enjoying great success racing them at full speed on international race circuits. GT Academy has become a great grass roots mainstay of our international race programme and we enjoy the partnership with PlayStation very much.”

GT Academy in 2010 enjoyed enormous success with 1.2 million gamers taking part. The competition found a very high profile fan in judge, and former Formula One team boss, Eddie Jordan, who commented at the Silverstone event: “This has been extraordinary, I have been absolutely blown away. I could not believe that these gamers, with no experience of racing cars, could do this. They really are great drivers, all of them, and they can be rightly proud of what they have achieved. I know that they have all had an amazing experience that will stay with them forever.”

Residents from 10 European countries, combined into the following six regional groups, are eligible to take part in GT Academy 2011: Germany and Austria; France and Switzerland; UK and Ireland; Spain and Portugal; Italy; and, the Netherlands.

More details of the time trial phase of the European GT Academy will be released shortly, and players can register their interest and keep up to date with the latest developments by signing up to the GT Academy Facebook page at is updated frequently every day with the very latest Free PlayStation news.

Posted on February 15th, 2011 by  |  No Comments »

Best of Chatterbox: reveries, religion and really old arcade cabinets

Latest news:

Step once again into the dangerous and provocative minds of the people who post comments on Chatterbox.

It’s another double session this week – uniquely, with a fortnight section missing in the middle. Just when you thought we couldn’t get anymore random and/or incompetent! First up Apic recalls the heady days of the World Cup, while Office Pest previews this Saturday’s Gamesblog Meat-Up.

The weekend starts here!Best of June 26 – July 2Edited by APic

Don’t Mention the FootballBy the time you read this, the World Cup will already have been won by England’s Auld Enemy… the Spanish. But back at the beginning of the week England had only just lost thanks to the Uruguayan referee not disallowing four German goals. The ignominy of this decision was taken well by the box, which, light discussion about changing the Absolute Rules Of The Hallowed Game aside, failed to succumb to the general media furore that usually follows England’s second round exit. Give yourselves a pat on the back, and a special round of applause to G33kwithCh1c who even managing to crowbar in a gaming reference:

“The football was like watching Mortal combat. Fight, Finish Him Humiliation…Germany 4 England 1″

My own team, Italy, had disappeared from the scene even earlier so I’ll not say another word on the matter, except to point out that everyone should have taken on board herselfthemonkey’s advice that:

“At least we can now enjoy the World Cup without worrying about England’s uselessness.”

Although, as the standard of games didn’t really improve much, SuperSmashIn found that ‘Cops With Cameras’ on Five provided a suitable alternative.

This is What Dreams Are Made OfThe blog made a foray into the metaphysical after HereComesTreble informed us of his frankly terrifying nightmares of paralysis and fat kids with dogs, which Simian countered with a classic chase dream ending with, “me being shot in both legs then butchered with a machette… Woke up and I had cramp.”

RobLindsay tried to tell us that he had a similar dream that night where he was chasing someone, shot them in the legs and cut them up with a machette but as Be4ch rightly pointed out, that was probably a flashback, not a dream.

Sage then told a tale of what seemed like a dream – wantonness, deprivation, rooftop hot tubs and 20-somethings with very little clothing. His claims weren’t readily believed and the cry went up for photographic proof, several bloggers (who shall remain nameless) valiantly putting up their email addresses purely for the purposes of validation. Once the evidence had been sent out, Sage appealed to pdmalcolm (oops) to confirm his submission to the next edition of Penthouse Letters. Hopes were deflated (amongst other things) however as, despite confirming Sage as an honourable man, pdmalcolm concluded that, “It doesn’t look as much fun as it sounded and Alice Cooper appears to have gotten in on the foreground.”

It sounded better as a dream.Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used to BeA confession from alexp76 that he kept seeing distant birds as UAVs started a spate of various boxers’ experiences indicating “You Know You’ve Been Playing Too Long When…” Worryingly, these mainly involved fantasies about blowing up buildings and shooting people, although I’d quite like to have TheHillman’s suggestion of the Final Fantasy victory theme playing whenever I win or accomplish something in life. That and the Time Crisis music whenever danger was imminent.

The number of bloggers chiming in with their own tales suggests that we’ve all been playing too long, especially if, as HereComesTreble pointed out, “You know you’ve been playing too long when you find yourself spending your days on an internet games messageboard, discussing topics like ‘how you know you’ve been playing too long’.”

Over these many years, the blog has had a considerable number of names darken its comment box, some remembered fondly, others barely at all and yet all were brought to mind on Tuesday, as the box waxed lyrical about bygone days of ooh, 2008, and names such as DanBob, chubster2O1O and of course, GWX, were uttered with reverant tones. Sage then decided to prod this slumbering beast of blog anamnesis by wondering if the memory of the legendary GWX had been, “exaggerated by misty-eyed Boxers robbed of an easy and … willing victim.”

Such cynicism in one so young… Anyway, OfficePest was at hand, as ever, to give a reading from the Book of Weekes, and the faith in His true lunacy was restored. Although to the newer ‘boxers, take note of dizzyisnanegg when he says, “You weren’t there. You’ll never know.”

Let He Who is Without Sin Cast the First PostWhat better way to wind down on a Friday than a relaxed discussion about religion and homosexuality? Well, I can think of several ways, but this Friday the box decided that this was as good a topic as any to discuss as, well, it’s an endless argument and there’s nothing we like more than spouting out unproven assertations with no basis in either fact or logic that can’t be refuted over an internet message board. Sparked by some errant claim about Twilight, herselfthemonkey coped favourably as the blog united in its condemnation of the Pope and vampire/werewolf lust. Fantomex led the case for the prosecution via his personal brush with Christianity:

“I have a very personal anti-religion stance because of some zealots in my family who tried to kidnap me and ‘programme’ me to accept the love of Jesus as a child, because they believed I was tainted”

Hmmm… with powers of prophecy that put Nostradamus to shame, maybe there’s something to this Religion thing after all?

This being Chatterbox, however, the united front soon split over whether religion was an appropriate topic for the blog and then sidelined into a discussion about the Reformation, despite the best efforts of alimantado to keep it on track. We did learn, however, that the Irish see the Pope as the Max Clifford of the religious world, rather than the Voice of God on Earth as the Roman Catholics do, and that every time HereComesTreble hears the word ‘Religion’, the chorus of Higher Love by Steve Winwood plays in head, so include it in every post that you’re able, we may drive him crazy yet. Bring me a higher love… O-ho.


“I’ve put the Shakira set on (via the BBC page) Her hip wiggles are very distracting. I don’t think I’ll be getting much work done.”Riadsala enjoys the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage.

“Game staff have a higher level of knowledge on games than Boots staff, but it can be a close-run thing.”ImperfectRex practices the fine art of damning with faint praise.

“Spanish brandy has damaged me. I can remember midgets and some kind of parrot… or maybe a cormorant. I’d better check the local news.”alimantado relives his apparance on Cops with Cameras.

Best of July 13-17Edited by Office Pest

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting!Monday started with talk of the World Cup and De Jong’s ‘karate kick’ which ChairofRust found to be “…immense and horrifying at the same time.” General opinion though was that the final was weak, scrappy and not very enjoyable, with some general outrage at both Spain (for diving) and Holland (for constant fouling). Let’s face it though – it was still better than seeing England hammered by the Germans.

Points go to chubster2010 for this very tenuous games link – “It was almost like watching someone play Final Fight at times wasn’t it?”


Demons’ Souls ForumThis seems to be the game of the moment (Tuesday was practically Demons’ Souls Day) with many bloggers talking about Red Knights, Fire Lizards, Phantom Eyebrows, Leachmongers and Sticky Compound Long Bows. You couldn’t make it up!

Seriously though, there was lots of talk throughout the whole week of how to take down certain beasties and although it may sound bizarre and geeky, those in the know assure us that it’s really rather good. Time to get involved if you haven’t already. If you get stuck (which you assuredly will), at least you’ll have lots of help.

Decalcomania cracked quite early on in the week – “Dammit, I can resist no longer, think I’ll have to pick this up and join in on the impenetrable postings about strategies.” I am also nearly there myself – damn you all!

Blog Meat-Up #253Planning for this auspicious occasion started early in the week with bloggers discussing meat-up etiquette, such as what geeky t-shirts should be worn and whether you should refer to people by their real names or by their blog names. CunningStunt probably wouldn’t mind being called by his blog name, but it could be dangerous, particularly where there’s drink involved.

There was some breaking of blog protocol though with somebody mentioning that a specific blogger’s real name is ‘Dave’. We understand he’s had to leave the country.

There was also discussion about whether Henrypootle actually wears a monocle, whether Hayers really is as obnoxious in real life as he in the blog world (evidently much worse), whether there would be some cosplay going on (e.g. Cunning in full pirate regalia) and whether Keith really would be attending. [I really am attending. Though I have to head back to Somerset at 9pm, due to family ‘commitments’ – Keef]

Gis a job…Sorbicol admitted on Wednesday that he’s applied for 14 jobs in the last three weeks and has not been offered one interview. The blog then did a cracking job of rallying together to try and sort out his problems and find him a job. The general advice was:

Don’t tell them you’re currently unemployed – at least in your CV.Upload your CV to job sites.Condense your CV a bit.Don’t try and get a job in IT.

It appears though that this isn’t an isolated incident – Shawshank22 also admitted to 38 applications in the last 28 days and no responses. Perhaps they should both remove ‘gamesblogger’ from the ‘current occupation’ section of their CVs.

Tenuous linksI was fascinated to see on Wednesday how a discussion about a comic convention led to SerenVikity admitting to having seen “…a heavily pregnant lady do ‘gymnastics’ in a skin-tight neon catsuit at a Girl Guides theatrical show.”

This somehow led on to a discussion about eating placenta, which then led on to a discussion about other weird foods people had eaten – zebra, crocodile, kangaroo, ostrich, ox phalluses, lambs’ testicles, etc.

This then led onto [I’m not sure many of us are following anymore – Keef] ‘great breakfasts’ and was swiftly rounded off with a debate over whether you should put brown sauce with egg. No firm decision was made. [Yes. Yes you should. But only Daddies, not HP – Keef]

Love thy neighbourThis beautiful story came from Timthemonkey:

“Myself & herself were woken last night by the sounds of our upstairs neighbours’ passionate lovemaking. Sadly this gave me the barely contained giggles and despite her best efforts, herself joined me. This continued for several minutes until he (who seemed to be enjoying himself a lot more than her) finished with an almighty cry of “YOU TAKE IT!!!!!!!” at which point our resolve cracked and we dissolved into mass hysterics. I look forward to seeing them on the stairwell again.”

Uncle3en later admitted to hearing, “an old-fashioned but equally odd GRRRRRRR! from the chap upstairs.” Makar27 suggested that (a la Gerald’s Game from Stephen King) the woman was handcuffed to the bed and the man had a heart attack.

Cruisin’Thursday spawned a discussion about Tom Cruise’s acting skills with SageSmith6079 admitting that he’d re-watched The Last Samurai and quite enjoyed it, despite usually despising the man:

“Cruise is the spitting image of a friend who has the worst case of small man syndrome I have ever witnessed. I imagine him wearing elevated-heel shoes and standing on boxes for kissing scenes.”

Some of the ‘better’ performances thrown into the ether were Top Gun, Collateral, Tropic Thunder and Mission Impossible 2 and 3. CatZilla even admitted to liking him in Platoon. Personally, I thought he was excellent in Braveheart.[Outsiders and Taps were clearly his best performances! – Keef]

This inevitably led to a debate about Scientology, but I won’t post what was repeated in fear of legal action or aliens abducting us and sucking our brains out.

Farewell dear hamster…McBegbie was in a state of mourning on Friday due to his hamster – Dexter – passing away in the night. “Mrs McBegbie is still away so have yet to break the news.”

Many of the bloggers gave their condolences to McBegbie and suggested suitable funeral arrangements:PDMalcolm: “Surely a shoebox is too big for a hamster, he’d rattle around! A malteasers box is your only man.”

Milkncheese: “If burial is out, a visit to your nearest park with a pond is in order. Hamsters are ideally sized for an emotional Viking funeral. Invest in a good quality model boat and douse liberally in petrol. Just keep an eye out for the parkie…”

Fantomex: “The Norse funeral is certainly the one. Flaming boats all round. I fully intend to do this with my kids once I have them, and once a pet dies.”

HereComesTreble: “Why not have it stuffed?”

Robotron2000: “Get some fireworks or one of those little rocket kits. First hamster into space. He would be so proud.”

Good sensitive advice. Well done folks.

Favourite arcade machinesWhat would ‘Best of’ be without a good list to finish it off eh? Boring – that’s what. Friday’s list of choice was ‘favourite arcade machines’. Here are a few choice cuts:

Space HarrierGolden AxeOperation WolfNBA JamDouble DragonSega RallyDaytonaVirtua CopTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesGauntletGalaxians[Jambo Safari! Prop Cycle! Top Skater! House of the Dead! Star Wars! OutRun! – Keef]

Ahhhh, such lovely nostalgic memories! Fantomex even suggested “wandering 10 mins to the Trocadero” at the Saturday meat up for some arcade action. I suspect there would not be enough booze around though – particularly for TonyHayers.

Also discussedFavourite fonts (don’t mention Comic Sans to Fantomex). [Data 70! – Keef]Whether the person who cast Adrien Brody in Predators was on something.Disney songs (that was painful).Crocs and espadrilles – acceptable footwear?Fan fiction.Hog roasts.

Quotes of the week

“Chan even says to the kid he will teach him Kung Fu, yet the film is called The Karate Kid!”A good spot by Catzilla.

“I thought, being the most normal person on here, that I’d be surrounded by freaks, but I was pleasantly surprised by how few webbed hands I shook.”Re: the pending blog meat-up – this was posted by a man with a forked tongue.

“The ultimate breakfast must surely be a wholemeal bap caked in brown sauce with Black pudding, crispy bacon, a poached egg (yes, I said poached) and the still beating heart of an employee from within my company’s HR department. It’s only cannibalism if they’re human.”Catzilla on the other white meat.

“Oh sh*t BBC News has changed its look. It’s horrible, I’m confused, can someone hold my hand?” “Quite. Its disconcerting. I’m comfortably over 30 now. I hate change in all its forms. Technology and progress can stop now, for all I’m concerned.”VictoriousCupid and PhilosopherK1ng show just how much we dislike change.

Other stuff

Games: Demons’ Souls, Monkey Island, Monster Hunter Tri, Blood Bowl, Red Dead Redemption, Blur

Films & TV: Predators, Twilight, District 9, Mongrels

Welcome to: Tattersail, GrizzlyDeer, Milkncheese (welcome back)

And don’t forget to check out:

The Chatterbox wiki – for everyone’s gamertags, clans and more!

The Gamesblog Spotify play list – for great inspirational music!

See you on Saturday at the George Inn from 3pm! Get there early if you want to say ‘hello’ to Keef!


Keith Stuart © 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 console news and reviews.

Posted on July 17th, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

news: PS3 News – Playstation 3 Insiders

The latest Slim PS3 news: As the Cannes film festival gets into its second week, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is preparing to launch a new highbrow film service for the PlayStation 3.
Called MUBI, and already available for PCs, the online service will be bringing a collection of over 300 films to the home console ranging from Jacques Audiard (director of Read My Lips and The Beat My Heart Skipped) to Franco Zeffirelli (Brother Sun, Sister Moon; Jesus of Nazareth).

The auteur output of Pedro Almodóvar, the Coen brothers, Jean Luc Godard, Takeshi ‘Beat Takeshi’ Kitano, and Gus Van Sant are also being touted as likely candidates for the service’s console debut.

MUBI also has a strong community aspect, encouraging viewers to discuss the films they’ve seen with each other and recommend new cinematic experiences to friends and MUBI members.

The company have also managed to tie up online distribution rights for various pieces of world cinema which have not yet been released on DVD, including Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation that specializes in restoring neglected films.

The MUBI service is tabled for an autumn launch, expected to coincide with the availability of new Wii-like motion controllers for the PlayStation 3, and helps to associate the machine with an aspirational lifestyle – as does Sony’s links with 3D TV.

CEO Efe Cakarel confirmed to PlayStation Europe that launch territories will be the UK and Ireland; France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar and Andorra; Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg; and Australia and New Zealand. Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark are also expected to be brought onboard before the service goes live.

Efe also revealed that short films are to cost £1 and feature length works £3 for UK users. The MUBI website currently prices shorts at €2 and features at €4.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is also preparing a marketing effort to promote and expand the multimedia and social capabilities of the Xbox 360, which has been able to link up with Facebook, Twitter and since November 2009.

In North America, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii can all be used in conjunction with a Netflix subscription in order to stream a wide range of films. For European users, the MUBI deal works to bolster the existing PlayStation Video Store which provides more mainstream movies to North America, Oceania, and some European countries.

]]> is updated regularly per day with the very latest Free PlayStation news and reviews.

Posted on June 11th, 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. is updated regularly every day with the very latest Slim PS3 news and reviews.

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

news: Stojkovic crowned FIFA Interactive World Champion 2010

Recent PS3 news:

“I’m the best in the world,” says the man from the USA as he emerges from a strong field as the world’s top virtual footballer.

There was a nip in the air as the doors swung open on the FIFA Interactive Word Cup Grand Final in Barcelona’s Port Olimpic.

The field of 32 players looking to stake their claim for glory included former champions Alfonso Ramos from Spain and Bruce Grannec from France.

Both previous winners had a slow start, losing their opening matches 3-1 and 4-1 respectively. Following that early setback, Grannec hit his stride, winning his subsequent group matches 3-1 and 6-1 to progress to the knock-out stage of the tournament.

The first knock-out round saw the first real shock of the day as Sudan’s Abdulaziz Shiddo beat England’s Chris Bullard, one of the favourites, 3-1.

The man from Africa faced Grannec in the quarter-finals and they were joined by the England duo of Danny Taylor and Robert Brewster, Colombia’s Javier Munoz, France’s Adrien’s Makhloufi, Germany’s Ayhan Altundag and, of course, Nenad Stojkovic.

With the competition down to the last eight, the tension was palpable, especially in the game that saw Taylor defeat Munoz by the narrowest of margins, scoring with seconds remaining in extra time to secure his place in the semis. In the other matches, the reigning champion Grannec was hitting his stride, comfortably seeing off Shiddo 4-1.

With the sun now bathing the arena, the crowd was swelling, lapping up the entertainment on offer in the form of Samba drumming band Batacuda, freestylers John Farnworth and Spain’s Jesus, a beach soccer demo from Spain’s Amarelle and areas featuring the latest PlayStation 3 titles and games from EA.

The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for the arrival of Patrick Kluivert and the former Dutch star gamely faced off against Amarelle in a FIFA 10 exhibition match before shooting signed footballs into the crowd for people to claim.

Then it was back to the serious business as first Grannec and Stojkovic returned under the spotlight for the first semi-final. In a tense game which saw Chelsea take on Chelsea, neither player was able to pull clear of the other and, with the score at 3-3, extra time beckoned.

With penalties looming, the man from the United States finished off the champion with three quick goals in the last six minutes, including two exquisite lobs. In the other semi-final, 18-year-old Altundag playing as France saw off 17-year-old Taylor playing as Real Madrid; the 3-1 scoreline included a sweet lob from Thierry Henry in the 63rd minute and although the Englishman came back strongly, hitting the post in the final minutes, Altundag hung on to secure his place in the final.

Grannec then overcame Taylor 3-0 to secure third place; it was an even game in terms of possession and the Frenchman’s experience and cool head in front of goal made the difference as he took the 1,000 USD prize.

And so to the final. From over 775,000 players the world over, it had come to this: two young men appearing in their very first FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final tournament took their seat for 12 of the most important minutes of their life yet. Both players had met at the start of the day, drawing 2-2 when they had faced each other in their first group game and, second time around, it proved to be an equally tense affair.

Altundag playing as France held the upper hand to begin with, only for Stojkovic playing as Chelsea to take first blood on 35 minutes with a sweet goal against the run of play.

The German struck back minutes later and it was 1-1 going into the break. With chances few and far between after the restart, extra time seemed to be beckoning until Drogba turned smartly in the box for Stojkovic and shot across the goalkeeper to make it 2-1. Despite failing to add to his lead minutes later, the ball looping tantalisingly wide, Stojkovic held on to claim the title.

After handing out the prizes to the top three, Kerry Lee from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe said: “It’s been a brilliant day. It was a hard fought competition with some incredible football being played and everyone seemed to have a great time.”

“Today has been a fitting end to months of intense competition across the world and I’m really pleased for Nenad. I am looking forward to next year’s competition already.”

With the sun shining down on him and Groove Armada’s Andy Cato taking to the stage to keep the crowds entertained, let’s leave the last word to Nenad Stojkovic, the FIFA Interactive World Champion 2010: “I’m ecstatic. You try to be the best in whatever you do and to actually say that you’re the best is such an accomplishment. You can’t beat that feeling.”

Our blog is updated frequently each day with the latest Free PS3 news and reviews.

Posted on May 1st, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

news: Demo guide: EA Sports 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

Head to the big tournament in goalscoring form with this demo guide.

Just as international football teams compete in friendly matches in the lead-up to big tournaments, you can brush up on your skills with the EA Sports 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa demo, available now from PlayStation Store. Follow these tips to put yourself in the running for the Golden Boot.

Out-think your opponent

The two playable teams available in the demo are Italy and Spain, and while coaches Marcello Lippi and Vicente Del Bosque can be seen motivating the players from the touchline, it’s up to you to decide which formation and personnel to go with. Both sides here have tremendous strength in depth in all areas of the pitch, so be sure to experiment with different systems and keep an eye out for which players are in good form.

The long ball game

The lofted pass is rarely used by FIFA players but it can be extremely useful in keeping your opponent on their toes and stretching their defensive line in order to open gaps. If you’re finding the midfield is getting congested, look to play a cross field pass just as you pass the halfway line out wide. If you have a quick winger playing on the other side, this will give them the opportunity to run at the opposing fullback while they’re still taking up their position.

Keep a cool head

Some days, it just won’t go in and for all your shots on goal, you just can’t beat the goalkeeper and find the back of the net. If you’re having one of those matches, try using the finesse shot when you’re bearing down on goal. Holding the R1 button while you shoot results in a placed shot that is very accurate, if not as powerful as a full-blooded strike.

Give it and go

You can initiate a one-two by holding the R1 button as you pass the pall, causing the passer to sprint forward and hopefully leave the defender marking him staring at his heels. This can be extremely effective when playing against aggressive defenders who regularly commit to the tackle. However, beware of using it all of the time – it can make your attacks too predictable and leave space for your opponent to exploit.

Download the free EA Sports 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa demo from PlayStation Store now and get in the mood for the greatest football tournament on the planet.

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Posted on April 17th, 2010 by  |  No Comments »