Wednesday, 31 December 2008

TWP Awards 08: Best Interface

Another of this year's development trends was 'doing the user interface a little bit different'.


Winner: Dead Space (PS3)

What's this? An EA game getting prize for something new and exciting? But the truth is that both Dead Space and Mirror's Edge tried something a bit knew this year, and both turned out as really really good games. Dead Space ditched the normal UI (ammo counter right bottom corner, health top-left, you know the drill) and instead shifted everything to dynamic displays on the main character itself. The back of his suit contains a health strip, and ammo displays hover around weapons. And it all works brilliantly.


Runner Up: WipEout HD

WipEout's crystal clear UI really supplement the crisp rich visuals and techno soundtrack to give a futuristic vision of racing. The option to use the racing interface from old WipEout games is a nice addition.


Runner Up: LittleBigPlanet

LBP's cloth-covered everything is so adorable. The Pod serves as both a menu and multiplayer lobby, and running around and decorating it all is great fun.


Runner Up: Midnight Club: Los Angeles

Midnight Club doesn't do anything that diferently - its not as slick as Burnout for instance - but it does have some cool spinny 3D effects, and best of all, it zooms out dramatically to see the whole map with a press of Select.


Runner Up: Fallout 3

Again, Fallout doesn't switch up the menus that much, but the inclusion of all of the options on your in-game Pip-Boy, and the faux-modern UI elements add to the world of the game.


Honourable Mention: SingStar

SingStar in its original PS3 form came out last year but the pumping out of song disks means it deserves a mention here, for serving up easily the slickest menus and interface on the PS3, which even inspired this summer's PlayStation Store redesign.

TWP Awards 08: Best Trophies

This summer, Sony finally introduced its rewards system Trophies, and we turned from the sort of people that beat on Acheivement junkies, to rabid Trophy whores (or at least I did). Here we celebrate the best trophy lists so far.



Winner: Warhawk (PS3/PSN)

I think that Warhawk deserves this prize, purely because it pulls off this whole Trophy balance thing perfectly, and also because they patched such an old game when many others didn't bother. The list for Warhawk features a couple of easy bronzes, and then a mix of bronze silver and gold for quirky events in-game, as well as ranking up. But it is the surprise trophies that are the best - when you are playing a perfectly normal frantic game, and just see a random trophy pop-up.



Runner Up: Pain (PSN)

Pain is here because its trophies really seperate the men from the boys -they are bastard hard, and require a helluva lotta commitment to the game.



Runner Up: Burnout Paradise (PS3/PSN)

Runner Up: LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

These two are here because they, like Warhawk, get the balance just right, and use the trophies to encourage players to get involved with the community.



Runner Up: WipEout HD (PSN)

In this list just because you know you've won at life when you acheive 'Trancendence"



Honourable Mention: Linger in Shadows (PSN) & Far Cry 2 (PS3)

Their trophies aren't as great as the rest on this list, but here as honourable mentions because of the sheer WTF factor. LiS' trophies are acheived by messing with the game/movie with the controller, and have useless descriptions. Far Cry 2's are just as unhelpful descripton-wise and sound a lot more epic than they likely actually are.

TWP Awards 08: Best Narration

Okay, okay, originally we planned this to just be a cheating category for LittleBigPlanet to win: seriously, Stephen Fry's narration is awesome! But then we remembered there was another game with some pretty epic narration too...


Winner: Stephen Fry - LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

...well of course! Stephen Fry's vocal talents and the genius writing of those monkeys over at Media Molecule really give LittleBigPlanet its unique style, and we have genuinely known people buy the game purely because they love Fry's voice. More please Media Molecule!


Runner Up: Atlas - Bioshock (PS3)

Looking back on it, Atlas' epic and often entertaining radio transmissions throughout the game helped to enhance the personality of Rapture, and the radio as a way of narration is fantastic, something that shows itself as the game's conclusion draws ever closer.

WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 Ft. ECW DLC

As the main wrestling "fan" around here, I do feel somewhat obliged to give some proper coverage...
  • Evan Bourne - playable Superstar (Injured part-time partner of Kofi Kingston)
  • Ted DiBiase Jr. - playable Superstar
  • Charlie Haas - playable Superstar (Used to be part of the World's Greatest Tag Team with Shelton Benjamin)
  • Chris Jericho - alternate attire

And on PlayStation Network, the pack will also include these exclusives:
  • Masked Kane - playable Superstar
  • Mario - Christmas-themed attire
  • Edge - alternate attire
  • MVP - alternate attire

Problems for Apple?

Shares of Apple Inc fell as much as 2 percent on Tuesday after technology website Gizmodo reported a "rumour" that Chief Executive Steve Jobs' health was declining.

A spokesman for Apple declined to comment on the rumour.

When asked about Jobs' health, the spokesman said "if ever Steve or the board of directors decided that he was no longer capable of doing his job as CEO of Apple, I'm sure they will let you know."

Gizmodo quoted a "solid source" which it did not identify, as saying that Jobs' "rapidly declining" health was the real reason behind his decision to cancel a keynote speech at next week's MacWorld conference. It title the report "rumour".

Apple shares have been trading up 1.5 percent at $87.92 before moving sharply lower. The stock then recovered to trade down about half a percent at $86.15 by mid-afternoon.

TWP Awards 08: Best Post-Launch Support

A big leap has occured this year in terms of extending the fun to be had with a particular game, largely through patches and downloadable content. The nominations for this award have all had a lot of content added this year, and one stands out for the sheer quantity and quality of the additions.

Winner: Burnout Paradise (PS3/PSN)
Burnout Paradise was released in January this year, and since its launch, Criterion Games (based here in the beautiful UK) has added a previously-unheard-of amount of content. And any EA-published game that does not charge for new cars or wait for the next years release to add features such as motorbikes, dynamic weather or a 24-hour clock should be approved of. Whilst this year has featured some excellent DLC, next year plans to be even better, with a series of new car packs, an offline multiplayer party mode and a whole new island coming to the game. And after being given so much for free so far, I don't even mind paying now.

Runner Up: LittleBigPlanet (PS3)
LittleBigPlanet has added a new costume or a few every week now since the game was released, and has also recently launched the Metal Gear Solid pack featuring costumes, levels and creating tools. Unfortunately the sparcity of new content that arent costumes, and the disappearance of the supposedly-coming co-op creation patch and Import Image tool have led to LBP only recieving runner-up here. Maybe next year.

Runner Up: Warhawk (PS3/PSN)
Warhawk has been another game frequently updated with new content. Although this year saw the development team release less patches, enhancements and content than previously seen (presumably as more resources move to whatever their next project is), there was a substantial and surprise pack released around E3.

Runner Up: Pain (PSN)
PSN downloadable Pain is only a runner up here not due to the quality of added content, but because it came so late. The main game was released way back in 2007, but more content for the game only arrived this year. The two new levels are great fun though, and rumours suggest there is much more to come, with two new packs for early next year.

Runner Up: PlayStation Home (PSN)
I really wanted Home's open beta launch to come with a bang, but unfortunately all we saw was a whimper. The game spaces for Warhawk, Socom, Uncharted and Far Cry 2 all have yet to appear, and the Red Bull space has been delayed until next year. The teams in London and elsewhere really need to get new stuff in there to keep the comunity occupied before the Home Square becomes a ghost town. And for God's sake get the EU Home up to scratch with elsewhere!

TWP Awards 08: Best Story

It is becoming more and more apparent to game developers that people actually enjoy their games more if you give the players a reason for them shooting people in the face. And 2008 has had some pretty good stories, but one stood out above them all - miles above.

Winner: Bioshock (PS3)
If you haven't played Bioshock yet, irrelevant of platform, then you really are missing out. And its a testament to those who made the game that I don't even want to talk about the plot of the game that much - it has such great twists and turns that I'd prefer everyone to discover it for themselves. I managed to avoid spoilers all the way up to playing the game myself, and it paid off: the atmosphere and narrative created in the world of Rapture really are spectacular.

Runner Up: Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3)
Whilst MGS4 has been hailed elsewhere for its supposedly incredible story, we found that in fact, the convoluted story-lines and ridiculously long cutscenes made us just lose track of - and interest in - what was going on.

Runner Up: Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3)
I'll admit that this GTA does storytelling better than before, but the dingy setting tied with the monotonous plot proves that you need an interesting environment (such as Rapture or Vice City) to be able to tell an intriguing story in a game.

Runner Up: Resistance 2 (PS3)
Resistance 2's place as runner up here is a little unfair as we have yet to play the majority of the game, but in the transition from R1's narrated storytelling and silent hero to R2's overdramatic cutscenes and talkative main character (and also separately the move from quirky Britain to America), the Resistance series has unfortunately lost some of its charm.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Our Best Games of 2008


Hello there stranger, just a heads-up that all day on New Years Eve, we will be posting our best games of 2008 in a wide variety of categories that we are mysteriously keeping secret until the big day. So pop back throughout Wednesday to see our choices!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Unembargoed!

Well after we left you in the lurch with our previous post on the status of the PlayStation magazine (right about here), I figured it was only fair to fill you in with what the world of paper holds for us this month.

The reason for the embargo delaying the release of the magazine to subscribers (like us) was probably the Uncharted 2 feature as we guessed. And the exclusive shots and deets sail in at number one of the magazines 'Big 10'. The preview fills in a bit about the story of the sequel - Drake is following Marco Polo's secret mission to supposedly find the utopian Shangri-La and the Cintamani Stone that resides there (probably what we saw in that first teased vid). Gameplay-wise, the new game is all about adding more to the already essential Uncharted experience. Grenades do now not require SIXAXIS control to throw, replaced with a simple button press, moving cover can be found in riot shields and the like, and Drake can now swing on monkey bars and indulge himself in a bit of free running here and there. There's also more stealth in this game: on top of the free-running, Drake has a series of stealth takedowns in his arsenal. But the most important thing? Elena appears to have been switched out for new girl Chloe Frazer (who is Australian, sigh), but the developers were coy on the possible return of Elena and Sully at some point in the game, which should be out sometime towards the end of next year.

Also in the magazine there's a little review of the year, a chat with a gamer who beat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy by building a custom gaming rig, a bit of a moan about the number of generic-looking PS3 characters, and a bit of a look behind the scenes at how a PSN game is made. Filed under rumours there are claims that IO is making the console versions of Dues Ex 3 as well as working on another three (?!) new games, LittleBigPlanet PSP is in development (told you) outside of Media Molecule and will be out next year, Smackdown vs Raw DLC will feature stupidly-named guys X, Y and Z (confirmed), EA is working on its own series of Rock Band-style games (wait, doesn't EA already publish Rock Band?), Sega has another licensed scifi shooter in development (lets just get Aliens out first), there will be a new 24 game, and, in nomination for vaguest rumour of the year award, "a renowned UK-based studio is working in a brand new, astonishing-looking urban crime game set for release in 2010". But if its Criterion (and it could be), that would be AWESOME.

In previews, there's new stuff on Overlord 2 (groan), SFIV (pretty), Dynasty Warriors 6 (this series is still going?), Killzone 2, HAWX (fugly), Bionic Commando (oh yes), UFC 2009 (more wrestling?), 50 Cent (yo), with an added brief mention of C&C Red Alert 3 brightening my day. Reviews include a 9 for The Game With An Acronym Longer Than Most Full Game Titles, a harsh 4 for Sonic, an 8 for Crash Commando, a 6 for the Prince of Persia Classic PSN game and new Spyro (noooooo!), a 7 for EndWar PSP (basically Clancy-themed Advance Wars), a 9 for SingStar Abba, a 7 for SingStar Volume 3, and a 5 for Disney's attempt Sing It, a happy-happy 8 for LocoRoco 2, 3 for Cabela's Shoot Animals in the Face 2009, 5 for the new Armoured Core, 6 for upcoming PSN zombie-em-up Burn Zombie Burn, *breathe* 5 for Novastrike, 3 for Spin Jam, 5 for NFS PSP, 5 for Crash 3: Warped, 3 for Theme Park, and 6 for the new Buzz on PSP. Jeezus. A month of mediocrity then.

Features include a retrospective of the Resident Evil series along with a new hands-on, but the main focus is Heavy Rain, the upcoming PS3 exclusive from the developers of the awesome Fahrenheit. There's a 12 page feature, that talks about the story, well, mentions it in passing - barely anything has been revealed so far, but there was discussion of the crime scene that makes up the game's opener, as well as lots of behind the scenes on the game's revolutionary mo-capping and intricate detail (plans are made, and then shipped off to outside studios who make up the millions of objects in the game - cars, trash cans etc in excruciating beautifulness - then it all goes back to the main developers to put together). There's also exclusive new shots!

But quit reading this brief overview, and head down to the shops yourself you lazy, cheap bastard; issue 27 (January 09) is available now and has the hairy face of a man from Heavy Rain on the front. Fly, my pretties, fly!

PS: In the 'how a PSN game is made' segment, PSN senior producer Phil Gaskell lets slip that he has been working on a new project with Stardust developers Housemarque. Yay!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

On Weekends and Roundups

Just a quick note that due to festivities of various kinds, and business of the working kind, there will be no Weekend Roundup today. Normal service shall resume next week.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Deals

I'm back, briefly, to tell you about some of the amazing deals going around at the moment. I say some, there's money off pretty much everywhere, so here goes:

PlayStation 3

HMV may not be the cheapest place around but its still managing to keep afloat (ooh burn, Woolies and Zavvi), and they currently have EndWar for £23, and Dead Space and Mercs 2 are £28. Fifa 09 is £22.98 at Game, along with Mirror's Edge for £19.98. Vegas 2, Far Cry 2 (special edition is £24.98), Saints Row 2 and Spyro are £17.98, and the newest Need for Speed, Midnight Club (awesome, impressions soon) and Force Unleashed are all £24.98. Play.com has the new Prince of Persia and Bioshock for £17.99, MotorStorm 2 for £29.99 and the official Rock Band 2 guitar for £29.99 too. Unfortunately, due to stock issues caused by the collapse of Woolworths, Resistance 2 is still full price everywhere, but I'll tell you as soon as that changes (probably cos I'll grab it). And if you don't care about getting top level games, Kane and Lynch is £9.98 on Amazon, Stuntman Ignition is £7.98 at Game, and Dark Sector is between £5-10 in quite a lot of places.

PlayStation Network

The Winter PSN sale that the Americans have been enjoying for a few weeks has finally made its way over to the greener shores of Europe with price cuts on a wide variety of games. Wipeout HD can be grabbed for £11.99 (theres a demo up now too), SSHD, Pain, Toy Home, and The Last Guy are all £3.99, in my opinion the sweet point for PSN games. Echochrome is down to a quite nice £4.79 too. Expansions for Toy Home (hmm) and Snakeball (why would you?) are £1.59 each, the Eye of Judgement set 2 and 3 combo pack is £8.39, and flOw for PSP is now only £3.99.

PC

Over at Game, Frontlines is £5.98, the new Alone in the Dark (like Home Alone, but less festive) is £6.98, Hellgate London (the Tube in rush hour) is £9.98, Far Cry 2 is £14.98, Supreme Commander is £9.99 and Red Alert 3 is a smidgen under twenty quid (thats £19.99, for the morons out there). The Steam holiday sale is also crazy, they've got Portal and Bioshock for £3.49 a piece, Audiosurf for £2.99, Team Fortress 2, Counterstrike Source or Unreal Tournament 3 for only £6.99 each, World of Goo is £12.74, the original Half Life is £5.39 with both expansions down to 99p, GTA3 and Vice City are £5.39 and Beyond Good and Evil can be grabbed for £3.74.

Blu-Ray

And summing up the awesome deals, here are the best on Blu-Ray right now. HMV has got 3 movies for £30, which is nearly as good as the 3 for 2 offers at Amazon and Play.com, but beating them all out is ASDAs new 2 for £20, including hits like Transformers and Cloverfield for £12.98. Just incase you're around, Matalan has Casino Royale, Layer Cake, and a bunch of others for £12 each too.

In addition, the PSP remake of the original Final Fantasy is currently £9.99 on Play.com, and the limited edition Metal Gear Solid 4 watch is now only £97.86 at Gamestation. =O

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Somehow, it's got to that time of the year already - its Christmas Day.

So on behalf of the whole team here (Aquatic, Volcanic, Fryingpan and myself), I'd like to wish all our readers (especially you, you lovely people from The Sixth Axis) a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Savage Moon (PSN) Trophies

It seems like lately, all we're posting are trophy lists. But that's okay, we've got an excuse; Christmas. Or more specifically, Christmas chores. We've got stuff to write, just no time to do it, whereas trophy lists don't require much imagination.

And I will create a rule, right here, right now, that we will only post trophy lists for games we will buy, to stop us from deterring from what we intend to become.

Bronze Trophies

  • Xipe Imoon Trophy
Award for exemplary completion of an Imoon nebula. All levels of the nebula must be completed with a minimum score achieved on each to win this award.
  • Ymir Imoon Trophy
Award for exemplary completion of an Imoon nebula. All levels of the nebula must be completed with a minimum score achieved on each to win this award.
  • Zeus Imoon Trophy
Award for exemplary completion of an Imoon nebula. All levels of the nebula must be completed with a minimum score achieved on each to win this award.
  • Imoon Agamemnon Trophy
This is the award for the successful completion of the first level of the Xipe nebula.
  • Imoon Technician Trophy
This award is for the first successful building of a tower upgraded to level 5.
  • Imoon-Bane Trophy
Awarded for killing a huge number of Insectocytes.
  • Imoon Survivor
Awarded for surviving for an impressive amount of time in any Vengeance Mode level.
  • Command Degree Trophy
Awarded for completing all of the tutorial sections of the game.
  • Command Credit Trophy
Awarded for earning a significant amount of credits during your levels.
  • Command Skill Credit Trophy
Awarded for earning a significant amount of credits during your game using Command Skills.

Silver Trophies

  • Imoon Conqueror
This is the award for completion of all levels of the three Imoon nebulae.
  • Imoon Artisan
Award for mastery of technology. This is achieved by researching and building all tower types in the game.

Gold Trophies

  • Imoon Admiral

This is the award for completion of all levels of the three Imoon nebulae without any damage to mining operations.


Now that's it. I'm off to go wrap some things and defend my moon from savagery.

-AW


Saturday, 20 December 2008

Weekend Roundup XII

Wait, whats this? Less than a week before Christmas and there is still news and whatnot around? Jesus. (/pun)

Yeah, yeah the Christmas LBP 'level' pack got released on Thursday. But who really gives a shit, when the amazing Metal Gear Solid pack was announced the day after, for release on this coming Tuesday (next week's Store update is Tuesday, 'cos it's Christmas on Thursday remember?). Aquatic already went over what to expect in the new content, including the new trophies, but I'm still ecstatic over the inclusion of the paintballing gun. All you online Happy Gadders, prepare to be paintinated. In the PS3's other online community, Home, the winds of change were also sweeping through. Aquatic listed the additions (seriously, he needs to get out more), but there is still a noticeable lack of any game spaces, with the most recent news postponing the Red Bull space that should have been out a week or so ago into January. Here's hoping gets its act together with regular updates to the service.

Amongst the bunch of us, we've been ignoring more and more of the last week of school and instead playing shitloads of games, and this will likely continue into the holidays, so don't expect to hear from us that often. Bioshock has stolen my heart entirely. Thank god some games still feel a storyline is important.

Psycho Groupie Cocaine Crazy

How long this has gone on for I do not know, but if there are people like me out there who did not know of this before now, then this post is all that they need.

Psychonauts for £5.99 on Steam. Do it now.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

LittleBigPaintball


In case you haven't heard, that small company called Media Molecule is cooking up one HELL of a post-launch content-fest, this time in the form of two packs: The MGS Premium Costume Pack, and the MGS Premium Level Pack, both for $5.99 each!

The costume pack is what you'd expect, 4 costumes (Old Snake, Meryl, Screaming Mantis and Raiden) which can be bought for $1.99 each that adorn your Sack person in the most stealthily adorable costumes yet.

But the level pack...with that they'll be introducing a power-up called the Paintinator (sort of like the jetpack one) that allows the Sack person you're controlling to run around with a paintball gun and fire things! Your Sack person is equipped and with a press of a button fire's paintballs! This gun also comes with a paint detector switch that can be linked to a life bar! Meaning enemies...with actual health! But that's not all, this power-up leads the way for more possibilities; imagine it...

Snorkeling gear! Grants the Sack person to swim in pre-build objects of water! A lightsaber! Allows cutting through certain objects! The possibilities, much like that game, are endless.

But that's not all! The level pack also includes proper levels! 5 story ones and a challenge level, all in the theme of MGS. Completing the levels and collecting the prizes will net you with another costume (Gurlokovich Soldier), 72 stickers (!!!), 12 materials, 10 decorations, and 18 objects!

...BUT WAIT. THERE'S MORE. With that you'll also get:
  • 1 new background music track.
  • 3 new interactive music tracks.
  • 1 new Metal Gear Solid themed ‘sound object’.
  • New Plasma Ball ‘danger element’.
  • New Laser Sight ‘gadget’. (hang on, what?)
  • New functioning Searchlight lamp.
Remember, this comes in the MGS pack to be released on the 23rd December, and it adds a 12 new trophies with it too! (one hasn't been released, likely hidden) Here's a list of the new ones:

Bronze Trophies
  • QuickFire Artiste
Fire 40 paintballs in under 5 seconds.
  • Rexecutioner
Destroy the Metal Gear REX boss.
  • Ace Act 3 and Act 4
Ace Act 3: The Mission and Act 4: The Level Factory.
  • Ace Act 5: The Boss
Ace Act 5: The Boss.
  • Paint Splurge
Fire 5,000 paintballs.
  • Diamond Hunter
Destroy the 5 hidden target diamonds in Act 4: The Level Factory.
  • Thrifty Painter
Complete Act 3: The Mission firing less than 125 paintballs.
  • METAL GEAR SOLID® Booty Master
Collect all of the METAL GEAR SOLID® prize bubbles.
  • Paint Sharer
Publish a level containing the METAL GEAR SOLID® Paintinator Powerup.

Silver Trophies
  • Virtual Survivor
Achieve a score of 3,750 in the VR Survival Challenge.
  • Speedy Rexecutioner
Destroy the Metal Gear REX boss in under 2 mins 30 seconds.



...Bloody hell. Bring on the 23rd.

-AW
(awesome info courtesy of PSBlog and Internet)

Home Update v1.04: Shopping Centre

It's that time again; Home update time! And it brings a whole BUNCH of new stuff!

With an initial update of 13MB (then repeated updates of each space) we now have the chance to expand our wardrobe and furniture, in the form of:

-The Diesel Store - Here there are 17 tops for dudes and 4 for females (wtf? Bit unfair perhaps? Or maybe they assume most girls are guys, therefore will be wearing as little as possible) all pieces at £1.59 each

-The Ligne Roset Store - This is all furniture, so far with 3 new chairs (the first chair being free for some reason, so go grab it quick for now, and the other two being £1.59) and 4 snazzy tables (the first one being free again, the rest -you guessed it- £1.59).

-The Home Threads store - A bunch of stuff has been added to here. For guys there's:

-3 new hats.
-1 new pair of gloves.
-3 new tops.
-3 new trousers.
-3 new boots.
-3 new pairs of glasses.

Same goes for girls, 'cept there's only 1 new pair of glasses, but a new pair of earrings. Also, each group has a piece of clothing of Santa Claus (both male and female). Everything will cost you 59p each, except anything Christmassy, which is 79p.

-Finally on the Shopping Centre front, we have the furniture store, where we haaaave:

-2 new storage units.
-14 new ornaments.

Each costs 59p as per usual, cept the X-Mas tree and the snowman, which are 79p.

And there we go, apart from a couple of Loco Roco 2 adverts and posters, that's all that's been added to the Shopping Centre. New Home Square is being downloaded now, and I'll make another post if/when that's changed!

Your friendly Home lurker, AW.

(and yes I totally bought the santa stuff)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Whatever You Want

I was taking a looksee at the search terms that bring people to our lovely internet home we have here, and decided that it'd be nice to share what is making us so popular!
  • Want the Astro Tripper trophy list? Right here.
  • Yes, GTi Club has trophies too, they're here.
  • So does Blast Factor. Looky here.
  • The Wanderer's awesome Home unlockable list is here, for those people of you looking for it.
  • The GECK add-on for Fallout 3 is indeed now available on PC, and no we don't think it'll be coming to PS3. Should GECK make it to a console at all, Microsoft already bought the exclusive rights to console DLC.
  • And if you're trying to get the Blast Factor trophies and happen to be in Europe, that would explain why you're not getting any, the trophy patch is yet to go live here. And no, we don't know when it's coming. Here's hoping soon (and ditto for Echochrome and High Velocity Bowling).
  • The latest we've heard, the Resident Evil 5 demo is coming "early 2009".
  • A red exclamation mark on a costume in your LBP Popit menu means there is an issue with the costume. This can be for one of two reasons: either the account you downloaded the costume from has been deleted from your PS3 (or the password has changed if you've got it from another account) so the costume has been de-autorised. If this isn't applicable or the mark shows up on a costume you've made yourself, it's a problem with your game data file. There's nothing you can do apart from delete the data and try again.
  • Oh, and you can get Home by just going to the Home icon under the PlayStation Network category in the XMB.
Don't say we don't do our public service. If you want to know anything you think we might know, leave us a comment!

Embargoed!

Normally, myself and Aquatic get our copies of the Official UK PlayStation magazine about a week ahead of retail release from our subscriptions. Today, I got an e-mail from the magazine team warning that I wouldn't get my copy until around the 23rd December (the actual release date for the next issue) due to some "greate exclusive content" that is in the mag. So, what is it? Uncharted 2? God of War? Heavy Rain is already confirmed for the issue, maybe it's something to do with that? Rest assured, as soon as we get hold of an issue, we shall report the contents unto the internets.

Sustained Imagery

At the end of last week, rumours began circulating around the internet that EA had cancelled the Need for Speed racing series. After lacklustre sales and reviews (65 on Metacritic) of the most recent game, Undercover, EA had apparently finally realised that particularly in the current economic situation, the public aren’t willing to spend £40 on a game that has only a small list of enhancements over its precursor every year, and due to the short development time allocated to the annual refreshes, reviewers were ripping into uninspiring and buggy games.

EA have since denied these rumours, and claim that the series will continue, but the rumour could very easily have been an official press release. Undercover has been slated across the board, and although it is seen as a step up from last year’s horrendous ProStreet, it just shows a lack of real progression in the series, a problem that is currently affecting all of EA’s annually updated properties, such as the Sports games. I’m not saying that these games should move to a Burnout-inspired business model – supporting a game long after release, and putting in a decent-length development period. But clearly something does need to be done, as these solid sales bases are what have supported the company’s recent attempts with new intellectual property, such as Dead Space and Mirrors Edge.

My solution lies in a platform that already exists, and a concept that has already been tried. A couple of years back, Tomb Raider: Anniversary was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace as DLC for those who owned the Tomb Raider: Legend disk. The download contained the enhancements made to the Legend engine for the sequel, as well as the actual game content. Although obviously this would not be possible for sequels where the engine has been significantly reworked, but for franchises such as FIFA or NBA where quite minor tweaks make up the yearly releases, a downloadable version would make sense, and if appropriately priced (say £20) it might even increase sales. I’m not saying that the downloads would replace the disk outright, but right now, EAs annual updates simply are not selling as well as they used to at retail, as the public does not see the value in buying a barely enhanced game for full price every year. But will EA take the risk, in order to reap the rewards later?

Monday, 15 December 2008

Ascension

Fluorescent Octopus:
Seriously, where the hell are Team ICO?

Aquatic Wanderer:
I think they ascended when no-one was paying attention.
They reached a higher plane of creative being
and just turned into complete energy.

Solution!

Not got much hard drive space left on your PS3, but still want to indulge in some PSN awesomeness? Maybe you have a shit download speed? Or maybe you just want to be able to trade in your game when you're done with it? Well fear not, I am here!

I decided to spend some brief time in actual shops over last weekend, and what was I to find, but Blu-Ray versions of some great Network titles. Sure Siren Blood Curse was meant to come out on disk, but then it got sort of cancelled, and everyone forgot. But I sure as hell didn't know Ratchet and Clank mini-adventure Quest for Booty was out! And for those of you into wasting time by attempting to boost your intelligence (and failing), recently-released download Brain Challenge is also available.

So pop into your local Game store, or just hop on their website for some great PSN deals!

The time for vengeance is near....

Friends, Romans, fellow worshipers of the great Sunny [*Sony] God in the sky...

The battle lines have been drawn, the Xbox fanboys have massed. A gaggle of twitching halo pumped morons who's only goal in life is to shout furiously down their pre-supplied headset.

4 [and anyone else that fancies a picnic really] lone gamers stand in their way.

Sign up, join up and begin the fight!

Join here

rurl.org/2vq#body

Microsoft: Behind the mask

For too long have we feared the retribution that Microsoft would rain upon us if we spoke out against it's actions, well I say enough is enough!

Its time for some shocking truths about Microsoft...
  • In 2006 they sued an orphanage for breach of copyright
  • In 2007 they attempted to steal Christmas
  • And now, in 2008 Microsoft have experimented on kittens.
Keep your eyes open friends!

Comment and report any suspicious Microsoft activity.

Volcy

VGA


Howdy there, Octopus here with the news from last nights Spike Video Game Awards 2008! Whilst we slept, the Americans got to watch Jack Black clowning around on national television, and a shitload of new trailers. Here are the videos:
And the winners (it is an awards show you know):
  • Best Independent Game: World of Goo.
  • Studio of the Year: Media Molecule.
  • Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto IV.
  • Best Team Sports Game: NHL 09.
  • Big Name in the Game (Female): Jenny McCarthy as "Tanya".
  • Big Name in the Game (Male): Kiefer Sutherland as "Sgt. Roebuck".
  • Best Performance by a Human Female: Debi Mae West as "Meryl Silverburgh".
  • Best Performance by a Human Male: Michael Hollick as "Niko Bellic"
  • Best Multiplayer Game: Left4Dead.
  • Best Original Score: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
  • Best PC Game: Left4Dead.
  • Best PS3 Game: LittleBigPlanet.
  • Best Wii Game: Boom Blox.
  • Best Xbox 360 Game: Gears of War 2.
  • Best Soundtrack: Rock Band 2.
  • Best Action Adventure Game: Grand Theft Auto IV.
  • Best Driving Game: Burnout Paradise.
  • Best Music Game: Rock Band 2.
  • Best Game Based on a Movie or TV Show: Lego Indiana Jones.
  • Best Graphics: Metal Gear Solid 4.
  • Best Handheld Game: Professor Layton and the Curious Village.
  • Best Individual Sports Game: Shaun White Snowboarding.
  • Best Fighting Game: Soul Calibur IV
  • Best RPG: Fallout 3.
  • Best Shooter: Gears of War 2.
Although I have a lot of contention with this list (Brawl for best fighter, Stephen Fry for best male performance, FarCry 2 for best shooter and how did GTA get game of the year?) overall, its a pretty decent list. No idea how Fallout 3 got into the Best Graphics shortlist though...

Sunday, 14 December 2008

One Year Later

Remember this ad?

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Indecent Proposal

I was using the full horsepower of my PS3 to browse YouTube for music videos when I came across a song I hadn't heard in a long time, and one I propose as the new RickRoll alternative (after Aquatic pointed out that he had memorised the URLs of Astley's classic so as not to be tricked).

What are you waiting for? Click here.

They Tried To Flog Me Lost...

So, I was off to buy my PS3 today..choose the games etc. Anyway in Game I inquired about the various bundles on offer [much to my folly]. So the ''nice'' people in Game offered this 80GB console with 4 games for about £290.

I was happy, very happy until I realised one of the 4 games was Lost: Via Domus [dun dun dun].

So as it says on Wikipedia [the source of all factual knowledge]....

''Lost: Via Domus received generally negative to mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. Based on 34 reviews, the Xbox 360 version currently holds a percentage of 58% at Game Rankings, and a score of 56 at Metacritic, based on 13 reviews.''

Knowing this I was not only shocked but also insulted.

I left the shop with all due haste, heading for the local Gamestation, arriving in a bad mood I was pleasantly surprised by the friendly staff and lack of Lost bundles. I decided to spite Game [which also actually owns Gamestation after a £75 million takeover in '07] and buy it from there. So after some strong haggling and some impulse buying [of a DS..yes i dont know why either] I got a DS with Super mario and Brain training and Starter pack + a 80GB PS3 with Farcry2, Smackdown '09 [Shut up its fun], Ratchet and Clank ToD and CoD WaW all for £487 instead of the asked £650.

Yay

Volcy

Weekend Roundup XI

So here we are at the end of another week; they seem to just be accelerating in the lead up to the end of the year.

Of course the big news this week, regardless of your platform preference, is the long-awaited release of PlayStation Home. The virtual world that likely needs no introduction is now available to everyone, simply go along to the new Home icon under the PlayStation Network category on the XMB to commence downloaditations. The Wanderer has already had a bit of a moan about the lack of new stuff for us beta-ers but for everyone else its all new, so enjoy. Apparently there's also a stream of new content coming starting this week.

Aside from Home, this week has been remarkably mixed playing-wise. I realised I had too many games going at the same time and stuck Battlefield and GTA on my 'to play over the Christmas holidays' pile, and instead focused on Bioshock and Mirror's Edge. Bioshock just gets more awesome as it goes on, and prettier too, and just this week I restored the forests of Arcadia and completed Sander Cohen's masterpiece! My progress in Mirror's Edge is noticeably slower due to the requirement of actual intelligence whilst playing, although I am now well over halfway through the game now, somewhere in Level 6.

The Wanderer hasn't been as tied to his gaming as me, but has stuck in some time with LittleBigPlanet and reports that Astro Tripper is incredibly fun, something I too can correlate after stealing it from his download list. The Farmer is now back with us after quite a serious bout of illness, and playing FIFA, I guess he'll probably want his copies of FarCry and Fallout back at some point now. Newbie Armadillo has been playing some SimCity 4 (hey, it's a step up from last weeks game about the American Civil War), in which he made me a black man and then sent a tornado my way. I also hear that he's off to get his buy-now, recieve-at-Xmas PS3 bundle this weekend too. For those of you after a good offer, Game currently has an 80GB PS3 with Resistance 2 (yay!), Fallout 3 (sorta-yay!), LBP (uberyay!) and the Lost game (maybe good for a trade-in?) for just £289.99. That's roughly £120 off.

Here on the blog, I left most of the work to the others this week whilst instead working through some essays in order to get a decent parents evening report. Elsewhere on the internet:
  • Rockstar announced some free and paid DLC is coming early next year to expand Midnight Club LA.
  • Some crazy Americans decided they would quite fancy having a Halo-themed wedding.
  • Apple goes nuts and claims the iPhone is a worthy competitor to the DS.
  • But then again, a 3D desktop would be pretty cool.
  • And Wired discovered an awesomely intimidating-looking computer filled with cooling oil.
And just so you know, Team Fortress 2 is down to £6.99/$9.99 on Steam for this weekend only!

Friday, 12 December 2008

Store Detectives: 12/12/08

Well, here's a nice surprise! A new PSN game, that is pretty sweet, has trophies, and Aquatic had already bought for me to take. In all honesty though, this week's new game "Astro Tripper" is really good, and absolutely worth it for the low-low asking price of £3.19 (yes, that's right, cheaper than a PSone game).

Speaking of PSone games, Jet Rider 2 is good, but not really enough of an improvement on the original to warrant buying if you bought 1 the other week. If you don't have either, I'd still go for one, if you're gonna buy a retro game, it may as well be the most retro one of the two. Puzzle Quest is apparently good, but unfortunately I have no desire whatsoever to buy it. Generic to the max?

So, to DLC. The Street Fighter costumes available now for LBP are so great, and guaranteed to be cuter than their PAIN equivalents whenever they come out. And even if you know nothing about Street Fighter (like me), the guy with lots of facial hair would sure be a good start for a Mr T sackboy. I'm liking the teasy Christmas costume too (for those out of the loop, half of the Santa costume is out now, with the other half coming next week). The Tom Clancy pack, I am told by those with the game, is hideously overpriced for what's included, which amounts to very little actual playable content, and would be much more attractive at a £3.49 price point. For those without the game (me included) it is now down to £25 at a lot of sites.

Out of the trailers, the Crash Commando one is hilarious, the Prince of Persia (theatrical) one is epic, and the Soldner-X one is meh. Seriously, I don't know what people like about this game, it looks so generic! This week's Shoot film "Prison Food" is also pretty good, starring two criminals who retreat into their imaginations for Sunday dinners. There's no "Hands"-style twist, but it's good nonetheless. Although the GTi Club wallpaper is nice if you have nothing better to put there, the EndWar ones are quite nice, but if you choose to keep the plain XMB you'll see it get progressively paler to reach its snowy white later this month.

This week I recommend Astro Tripper and the free LBP DLC for download, as well as the EndWar wallpapers. If you're a Street Fighter fan longing for SSF2THDR, maybe the costume pack will tide you over to more inevitable disappointment next week.

Steaming Ahead

Well since we have a new whipping boy who 'claims' to be a PC gamer, I decided that he isn't. Here is some relevant news to all true gamers out there.

So TF2 eh? Been out a fair while now, I remember sitting up waiting for the beta to download. Happy times.

Anyway, for anyone who has been outta the loop since yesterday, an update has been released. It isn't quite as huge as the last few (Heavy, Pyro and Medic) but is still likely to have quite a large affect on the gameplay. Here are the changes:

  • The Engineer's teleporters can now be upgraded to level three. It will recharge faster the higher level it is
  • The Engineer's dispensers can now be upgraded to level three. It will give out metal and heal faster as it is upgraded
  • Spies will be able to recharge their cloaking ability by picking up ammo off of the ground or from health cabinets
  • Some changes to the second part of the first stage of Goldrush to give the attackers more of an advantage
  • Any weapons that fire bullets (shotguns, sniper's machine gun, heavy's minigun, etc.) can now break apart the Demoman's stickybombs
  • The icon on the HUD for a person calling for Medic will now give more information to the medic (if the target is low on health, on fire, etc.)
  • Added an achievement tracker that will allow people to choose specific achievements that they are trying to get
  • There is now a custom icon for death messages when the player was killed from a critical hit
  • Added a new particle effect for when a player enters the water
  • Added smoke to the feet of a rocket jumping soldier
  • Players will now have some particles swirling around them so other players can see when they are overhealed

So thats a pretty decisive list. Some may seem trivial, but I think they will balance some aspects out, for example the fact that stickies can now be shot up means that Demo-men are no longer impassable beasts.

Spies, if the player is intelligent, will now be able to stay invisible for much longer, which is a good thing in my opinion, since there was nothing more annoying then getting half way across the bridge on 2fort and suddenly being visible....

So thats it from me at the moment, back to the hard slog of actual work. Always such joy. Well, CS:S anyhow.

Loveeee Pan

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Home

It's like pulling a block out of a Jenga tower. There's always worry and anticipation, possibility for failure and humiliation, but when it goes right? Complete joy.

That's what it feels like in Home right now. After years of development, it's finally released and ready for god knows how many people to flood in thrusting and harassing their way to fame. I was worried that the servers would struggle, Sony never seems to be good at guessing them kind of things, but right now it's all pretty smooth. Octopus is reporting some instabilities, but it could be random, who knows.

Couple of things that we need to point out that are missing:

  • Everything
Yeah, so much for the new Square, flying saucer game, and Watchmen trailers, (we already knew the clothes, furniture and game spaces were delayed a week) which were supposed to be as soon as you log in, but SCE must've thought better of it. Knowing them it's either coming tomorrow or next week with the rest of the content (i.e. Red Bull air race) but that's yet to be clarified.

So for you beta testers logging in now, don't be alarmed there's nothing new, but you newbies, go out there, make some friends, dance suggestively (in that order) and have fun.

What can we say? Home, is finally...Home.

Astro Tripper Trophies

Hello again, Octopus here with another trophy list for a just-released PSN game - Astro Tripper. Not too many trophies here, but they are valuable: 3 bronzes, 3 silvers and 2 golds. Happy hunting!

Bronze Trophies:
  • Pod Oppressor - Destroy 10 mutated pods in any one level of training grounds.
  • Spidery Point - Destroy the Spidery Boss on Arachnophobia [without destroying any of its weapons].
  • Tank Oppressor - Destroy 20 tanks in sequence.

Silver Trophies:
  • Tank Sympathiser - Destroy both generators on Claustrophobia without killing a Tank.
  • Fly Swatter - Destroy 3 Flypods withing 5 seconds on any level of Insect Infestation.
  • Sneeky Incursion - Destroy the Boss without opening more than one outer door. Only 1 of the 3 outer doors may be open to any degree.

Gold Trophies:
  • Worm Tangle - Destroy 3 Worms in sequence on The Ooze.
  • Wheel Collector - Complete level Fizz Wheels without killing a Fizz Wheel (the rolling wheels connected by a laser).

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Ahoy.

My name's ***.

Although for the purposes of this blog I'm Volcanic Armadillo...Ahoy.

I love RTS's especially the Total War series, anything Red Alert and also Rise of Nations. Of course you now may be thinking ''Oh [factually conspicuous] sweet Jesus, they've let a PC gamer on here''...well do not fear! Yes I love my PC like the brother I never had but I also appreciate the place of the Console [under my bed in a cardboard box] in this world.

I'm getting a PS3 at Christmas so will be able to expand my frontiers then, until that time however get ready for a blog on the wonders of Sim City 4 and the many obscure indie games that make the PC a very exciting format.

Volcy.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Eurogamer Expo: Resident Evil 5

And here is my final full hands-on review-esque bit of writing: Resident Evil 5. Unlike all the previous hands-on, this one was completely in Japanese. Add on top of that the fact it was the 360 version, and you can imagine how frustrating it was trying to understand what the hell was going on when the controls menu popped up. It was like playing Qu'ran: The Videogame. Thankfully my previous experience with Resi 4 and the Xbox control scheme slowly helped me grasp how to move forward, and I was on my way to zombie organ paradise.

So, gameplay. Ever played Resident Evil 4? There's the gameplay right there. Won't go into it in detail because you could easily read a review of how Resi 4 plays and get exactly the same impression. There was an added gunner mode, but this was hardly different and found myself defecting back to the 'traditional' controls of it's predecessor.

Both graphics and sound were without fault, though you could see how models, textures and sound effects had been re-used since the last game, just mix 'n' matched with each other to stay fresh. Not a problem though, since these were done perfectly in Resi 4!

Finally comes the fun. I don't understand many other people's experiences with Resident Evil 4; they didn't get scared, they weren't tense, and it was just another action game for them. Whether it's me being a wuss or my deep fear for zombies coming into play, but I found Resident Evil 4 damn scary at times. Maybe not horror scary or jump-out-of-my-seat scary, but scary in a "oh shit it's right behind me I gotta find some ammo before it tongue-rapes me in the ears" or something like that. Resident Evil 5 keeps this same scare factor and amplifies it; there are more enemies, more guns, and much less darkness. And hey, scary = fun.

The Resi 5 demo confirmed to me what I have been told countless times. And that is Resident Evil 5 is practically next-gen Resident Evil 4 with shit loads of polish.

And you know what? Bring it on.

-AW

Overheard in Home

Tomorrow I'll be posting my in depth preview of PlayStation Home, but in preparation here's something that popped up when I was in Home the other night. I was sitting in the arcade waiting for Aquatic to log on, and happened to be facing the wall.

"Are you sitting in the naughty corner?"

Comic: Racist Undertones

It's our second week or so in the world of Home, and as you've heard from all of us, we're having a ball. But this ball isn't without it's spikes. Or holes. Or whatever irregularity that would cause the ball to become faulty, yet retain it's spherical shape.

...

Home is full of people who do not have the Sony chatpad, a USB keyboard, or a headset of some kind. Thankfully the nice people at SCE have gifted these chaps with pre-set phrases to really get to know whoever you want to. Phrases include "Hello" and "I have no keyboard".
Now, this is a great idea in theory but since there's about 10 phrases, once they've been used up, conversation ceases and it just become awkward. Here's a scene that's happened to me countless times, causing me to surmise the entire population of Home is racist.



First ever webcomic, so go easy!

-AW

Win?

So do we?

Weekend Roundup X: Part Two

It's me back again, with the second part of this week's gaming roundup. In Part One, I babbled a bit about the week's goingson internet-wise, and now its time to tell you what we've been playing ourselves.

In fact, it has been quite a varied week for all of us. I spent the beginning of the week playing around in Rapture, and decided that Bioshock (as has been claimed) is a fantastic game. I'll hav my own thoughts on the game during this week, but for a spoiler, it's superydupery. I've also been playing bits and bobs of Warhawk here and there, and brought myself early Christmas presents in the form of Battlefield Bad Company and the spectacular Mirrors Edge, which are also both superydupery. And due to the shittiness of the Store update this week, I reached back into the archives and brought Blast Factor. Where did I suddenly get all this money from? Well I didn't. So I guess the credit crunch is partly my fault. Oh, and I finally reached Level 7 on PSN!

Aquatic has also been ravaging a rather mixed bag, after deciding he didn't like Fallout, he's been flicking between finishing off Dead Space and messing about in Warhawk, with Blast Factor (stolen from me) filling in the bits in between. He was equally unimpressed with the Store update, but still threatened to download everything just to spite my recommendation. I killed all his family. But there has been one place we've been in and out of all week: Home. Seriously, the whole thing is so fun, and I can't see either of us ignoring it this week coming either.

Unfortunately the Farmer is quite ill (he's got the flu), and so hasn't been playing anything at all!

We've got plenty planned for next week here on the blog, so pop by again soon!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Weekend Roundup X: Part One

Hello all, Octopus here. Well not actually here, I'm in fact currently in Brussels, and am therefore posting from the past, and due to sleep requirements, this weeks roundup is an epic in two parts.

As most studios now begin the slowdown before Christmas, game related news has been thin, but there have been bits and bobs here and there to keep us all just about occupied, and that's not to mention the now massive pile of games to be played from the rest of this year.

The main news this week isn't even really news - the announcement that Uncharted 2 will be formally announced in just over a week at the Video Game Awards presented by Spike. As well as the first full trailer for the new game, subtitled Among Theives, there will be a new trailer for God of War III, an annoucement of EA's Fight Night Round 4, and a trailer for the recently-revealed GTA IV content. All I can say is for anyone getting a PS3 for Christmas, there's a lot to look forward to next year.

Elsewhere, Home got its first substantial content update, with some downtime to add content to the stores and trailers for Pineapple Express and Watchmen amongst other bits in the beta, and another update later in the week got people excited that the Open Beta is coming very soon. Myself and Aquatic are loving Home so far, and we will be going into some detail about our experiences during the next week.

And the rest of the week in list form!
  • PS2 games for download from the store got rerumoured, and then pretty much confirmed by an ESRB rating listing.
  • A new, quite awesome-looking, PSN game called Trine stole our hearts and attention.
  • In other PSN news, Crash Commando and Savage Moon both got dated for release in December in the US, and hopefully a European release isn't far off.
  • And a school for deaf children fell in love with the PSP.
Unfortunately, I must dash, early morning to get to Europe, but I'll be back on Sunday to tell you what we've been playing this week.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Store Detectives: 05/12/08


Well well, it's gonna be a short post this week. Not because there's a small update, but because so much of it is shit.

To begin with however, there is one good thing here: Sony are keeping up with the whole releasing classic PSone games on the store. This week, both are quite good (Red Alert Retaliation and Jet Rider), and neither cost £6 (in fact, it seems £3.99 is the new price point). I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank EA for their support of the Store and in particular the PSone Classics thus far.

Unfortunately, that's about all the good content this week. Even trophies couldn't make me buy GTi Club+ (read Aquatic's hands-on here), and Brain Challenge looks even worse. Unless of course you go for that sort of thing. In which case, the incredibly boring trophy list should stop you in your tracks. The Lego Batman demo is marginally more exciting, in the same way being shot in the crotch and having your eyes gouged out with a spoon made of pain would be more interesting than being shot alone. It's just like all the other Lego games, just more stale.

Whilst the LittleBigPlanet is gorgeous as ever (love the Japanese) and free, from friends with the other games with DLC this week, it all seems very little for extortionately high prices, something which is apparently most relevant to the Force Unleashed bits and bobs.

Whilst the Skate 2 trailers are quite nice, they don't really excite me that much (re-release Pro Skater 4 for PSone please), but this weeks Shoot short film is fantastic. "Hands" is very clever, and I actively encourage you to go watch it yourselves. Oh and Sony, sticking the Resistance 2 trailers on the release list doesn't make them new - they came out the other week. The Undercover wallpaper is quite nice, as are a couple of the EndWar ones, but the rest of the 'papers and themes are fugly as ever.

So, you know what, this week you don't need to spend anything at all! Unless you want the PSone games, which are pretty nice, but don't you have enough games to be playing now anyway? It's nearly Christmas.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Blast Factor Trophies

We've had a few days off from blogging for a little bit of R&R (read: heavy schoolwork), but now we're back and better than ever. And so to kick things off, here's the trophy list for Blast Factor, available now on the PlayStation Store.

Bronze Trophies:
  • Junior Researcher: Complete Blast Factor Specimen 1.
  • Graduate Researcher: Complete Blast Factor Specimen 4.
  • Advanced Junior Researcher: Complete Advanced Research Specimen 1.
  • Advanced Graduate Researcher: Complete Advanced Research Specimen 4.
  • Chain-Tastic: Get x100 chain multiplier.
  • Survivor: Finish a Survival Cell without dying.
  • Jackpot: Complete a Specimen without dying.
  • Mix It Up: Complete Hybrid Mode.
  • Death Wish: Complete a Boss Cell without using the Repulsor.
  • Doing the Dishes: Flip 10 Big Tip enemies with one tip.
  • Chain Gang: Destroy 5 Big Chains with one shot.
  • The Cleaner: Complete a Cell using the Super Repulsor.
  • Matador: Dodge 10 Repulsed Back ARs at the same time.
  • Life is Good: Get 10 lives.
Silver Trophies:
  • Head Researcher: Complete Blast Factor Specimen 7.
  • Advanced Head Researcher: Complete Advanced Research Specimen 7.
  • Ultimate Survivor: Finish all Survival Cells without dying.
  • Immortal: Complete 3 consecutive Specimens without dying.
  • Death Wish Part 2: Complete a Survival Cell without using the Repulsor.
  • Death Wish Part 3: Complete a Boss Cell without destroying any enemies.
  • Friends Forever: Complete Blast Factor in co-op (any mode).
  • Tough Guy: Complete all hard Cells in any mode.
  • Attention to Detail: Complete all Cells in any mode.
  • Speed Master: Finish Basic Research in 2xAT mode.
  • Advanced Speed Master: Finish Advanced Research in 2xAT mode.
Edit: The patch is now live in the US but has been apparently slightly delayed for Europe and elsewhere.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Weekend Roundup #9

It's been another pretty uneventful week in gaming - bar one thing: Home. The Wanderer has already spoken a bit about his first impressions, and as we go into the first full week of the massively expanded beta, expect to see improvements and enhancements across the board. But it's easy to see why Sony is so excited about Home (and difficult to see why what is currently available took so long...).

Likely you'll be seeing a lot more on the topic of Home soon, but this week has also been pretty bare. But there's one very good reason for this, probably the best possible reason in fact, and that is that we've all been playing very good new games. Fryingpan has been digging into Call of Duty World at War, as well as defending himself against increasingly more deadly zombies in Left 4 Dead. Aquatic has been engaging with mutants and hacking into supermarket intercoms in Fallout 3, and working through the second half of Dead Space so I can steal it. I myself have been playing FarCry 2, which makes you think quite differently to the normal first-person shooter in order to succeed. Oh and a package arrived for me this morning:

It's short roundup this week, partly due to the lack of anything interesting to talk about, and partly because I have Little Sisters to go rescue/harvest. Toodles!

Reward Unlocked: Home

So I've been in Home for about 6 solid hours now, and (so long NDA) I'm liking what I see.

Out there, in the vast expanse of the Internet, a lot of negative attitude has been generated for Home, from the long long production schedule, lack of content in the beta, or a combination of both*. Which is fair enough, and they're valid points, but you all forget that this is not only a beta, but a closed beta. Sony aren't going to show give us all the content they've got planned for Home, are they? It's not a test to see whether the users like what they see (well it is, but to a lesser extent) but instead a test on whether their servers can take the strain that Home will bring.

I will happily put my reputation as a semi-committed blogger on the line when I say that Sony will have a bunch of stuff ready for us on the release of the open beta, if not before.

And that sounds like there's not anything in there already; there is, surprisingly, you just have to know where to look. Unlockables have been hinted at (clothing, furniture, trophies, etc) but there are tasters of them already chucked in.

Echochrome Unlockables:

There's a bunch of unlockables that you get from playing the arcade game echochrome in the Bowling Alley. You can unlock gloves, shirt, trousers and shoes that make you look like the white mannequin character (echoing footsteps not included). To do this, just achieve a score of about 4000 in the game. My approximate settings were about 20 shadows, 4 minutes and a score of 4200, which unlocked everything for me.

Icebreaker Unlockables:

I don't know much about these, but after completing every 4th level (4th, 8th and 12th) you are awarded 2 unlockables. I don't know how long this goes on for, since I died on the 12th level, but I unlocked a penguin hat, icebreaker shirt, and 2 more things I have yet to identify. I will be playing more and finding out later.

But again, let me re-iterate; Home is awesome. Whether you're judging it's potential or the service as it is, it is awesome, and I fully forgive Sony for all their delays. *twitch*

*(And what is strange, is that everyone that I've spoken to on the beta say that they're really enjoying it. I suppose you could argue that I only found them because the rest are off expressing their hatred on some blog, but still, I should've found one Scrooge at least?)

AW

Friday, 28 November 2008

Store Detectives: 28/11/08

Hello again, and it's quite a big store update this week, so let's get going:

There's both a demo and full release for Capcom's Age of Booty. My advice is most definitely to get the demo first, because as much as the game intrigues me from what I've played, you'd need to really like it to justify the £8 price tag. But, if you feel like a gamble, there are much worse games than this on the Store. AREN'T THERE GTI CLUB? Yes, yes there are. I was willing to give the Club the benefit of the doubt at Eurogamer seeing as it was quite fun, but from reviews and the demo now available on the store, I would like to admit I was wrong (hear that women?), and in fact, the game is quite shit. There's also a Dead Space demo, which I downloaded, and which also only confirmed that I quite want this game.

Syndicate Wars is a difficult game to talk about. Before you ask, I haven't downloaded it and here's why: it's not the sort of game that ages well. Admittedly the same could be said on less of a scale for Crash Bandicoot, but Syndicate Wars, although being pretty amazing in scope and gameplay for its time (and the series still has a great plot), it doesn't hold up at all nowadays. Which is sad, because it was an awesome game. Good point: great quotes. Bad point: the story doesn't make sense because the original wasn't available for PlayStation and so isn't on the Store. Get it if you want, but my recommendation is to avoid.

To add-ons then! The LBP Chimera costume is awesome (although why its 60p more than the MotorStorm one, I don't understand) and if wandering around with a giant turkey on your head is your thing then go ahead and grab this weeks freebie too. No other content for any of the games we have this week, my copy of FarCry is only borrowed, but for the amount of stuff in the expansion, it seems well worth it. And did anyone genuinely buy G1 Jockey 4? Why is there even a 4?

Oh, guess what? This week's Tomb Raider video is still shit. And the fact it is labeled "Enemies #1" scares me into thinking there'll be more next week. I'm pretty sure everyone that wants the game now has it, although with the amount of 360+Underworld advertising going around, I don't even know if people are aware its out on PS3. The two Resistance videos (one the regular TV spot, and one a new action trailer) really sum up the atmosphere of the new game in comparison to the old. Basically, less British. As much as I loved the original, the sequel seems a bit generic in amongst all the new and interesting games this month, maybe I'll pick it up later on. The Naruto trailer interests me even less - it looks just like all the other anime-based games around.

Oh Shoot, why must you ruin it so quickly? After a fantastic film last week, this weeks (by a Frenchman - double gah) is pretty rubbishy. Here's hoping for next week eh? Oh and the HVB theme is ugly as sin. Don't Sony realize people only use nice-looking themes?

PSP-wise there's the marvelous LocoRoco 2, continuing Sony's promised streak of Store-released new games, and Super Stardust Portable also appeared earlier this week.

Okay...so this week my recommendations are: the two LBP costumes of you have that game (if not, why not?), the FarCry content if you've got that, the Dead Space and Age of Booty demos, Resistance action trailer, and if you've got a PSP, both of the new full game releases.