BitSnark

A place of scribblings located in the darkest corner of the internet. Yup.

Archive for November 2008

C & C: Red Alert 3 Demo available for download on XBL Marketplace

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For any of you out there who are hankering for a fix of RTS on your 360, EA announced today that a demo of the latest iteration in the Command & Conquer franchise, Red Alert 3, is now available for download from the XBOX Live Marketplace.

Any takers?

Written by bitsnark

November 28, 2008 at 10:01 am

Assassins Creed 2 confirmation slipping out of Ubisoft Financials

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Ubisoft’s 2007 parkour title set in the time of the crusades, Assassins Creed, is now official confirmed to be having a sequel, but no further details were divulged.

The confirmation slipped out of the Ubisoft Financial Report that was released yesterday.

Link below:

http://uk.gamespot.com/news/6201719.html?tag=latestheadlines;title;1

Written by bitsnark

November 27, 2008 at 10:44 am

Parents to accept responsibility for their kids playing age rated games? Say it ain’t so!

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This comes courtesy of 1up.com:

Yahoo News reports that the National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF) has given the videogame industry a positive report card this year and come down hard on parents, in stark contrast to most years prior. The 13th annual report was released today, and the industry almost received straight A’s, with particularly high grades in the ratings system and retail policies. “This year the industry has improved its ratings enforcement and given parents new tools when choosing the right videogame for their child,” said NIMF president David Walsh. Parents of gamers, on the other hand, showed poor performance this year, getting an “Incomplete” grade. The NIMF points out that many parents don’t pay enough attention to the ratings and don’t use the parental control features of game consoles.

As usual, the organization has outlined ten games parents should avoid letting their kids play. This year the games listed are all rated M, so the ESRB agrees:

Blitz: The League II
Dead Space
Fallout 3
Far Cry 2
Gears of War 2
Legendary
Left 4 Dead
Resistance 2
Saints Row 2
Silent Hill: Homecoming

Instead, the NIMF lists more family-friendly titles as alternatives, including Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band 2, Rock Revolution, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, and Shaun White Snowboarding.

The games industry has a strained history with the NIMF. In 2005 it gave the ESRB an “F”, and just last year it sharply criticized the ESRB for staying stagnant as the industry matured. Parental involvement received a “C” grade last year, so it’s the one that dropped most sharply while the industry itself showed vast improvement. Gamers have been advocating more parental responsibility for years, so it’s good to see the NIMF agreeing.

Having seen this issue from the retailer’s point of view, I cannot reiterate just how faith-in-humanity crushing it is, to see a parent buy an 18+ game for their 11 year old kid and then have the sheer audacity to have a pop at the retailer just for informing them of the explicit content.

The burden has largely remained on the shoulders of the parents, as it is their responsibility to bring their children up right and by proxy, purchase the games that are most suitable for them.

It’s not a case of the industry ‘passing the buck’, as the ‘buck’ in this case belonged to the parents to start with.

It’s good that finally, various bodies are starting to realise this instead of relentlessly villanising retailers with overzealous ‘mystery shoppers’ and protocol.

EVERYBODY has a responsible share in this.

Written by bitsnark

November 26, 2008 at 5:33 pm

So yeah… there’s a Resident Evil 5 demo hitting the XBL marketplace next week… [UPDATED]

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According to Japanese monthly gaming bible Famitsu, a demo of Capcom’s newest survival horror opus is due to hit XBOX Live next week, on December 5th – boasting two stages of single player or offline/online co-op play.

While the mooted date is currently a Japanese one, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be released simultaneously in all territories given the broad appeal of the franchise.

Holy shit that’s awfully nice of them, IF you own a 360. PS3 owners unfortunately, have no such confirmation but hopefully something will get worked out shortly.

Holy shit.

[UPDATE]

And now I have to be harbinger of crappy news:

Capcom blogger, Kramez, which I can only presume that is Capcom Community guru, Chris Krame, stated today that “we will also be seeing demos for both the 360 and PS3 versions of the game, but they will be hitting N. America a bit later than the Japanese demo”

So that puts that rumour to bed. Obviously no mention of Europe but Capcom’s Europe and US divisions tend to work on the same timelines. Hopefully in time for Christmas.

Hurry up!

Written by bitsnark

November 26, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Wednesday Angst: Sonic Unleashed

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For the love of all that is enjoyable Sega, kick the suits out of your next boardroom R&D meeting for your next Sonic game and change your focus testing groups to people who are actually over the age of 10 and don’t think that having a ‘Werehog’ is ‘wicked’, ‘cool’ or ‘rad’.

You were SO close this time. I mean, you had HALF of a decent game! A game that at least seemed to echo everything that we loved about the Sonic franchise to start with. The Sonic levels in Sonic Unleashed although far from perfect, look and play how a Sonic game SHOULD look and play in this generation. It has a sideways perspective! It’s fast! You collect rings! IT WAS ENJOYABLE!

So why… why, why, why do you have to screw it all up and give us levels where you dump everything that is good and synonymous with the Sonic legend? (I say ‘legend’ as the brand is meaninglessly abysmal these days).

Who wanted to play as a sodding ‘Werehog’ anyway? Oh yeah, the 10-year olds who are too busy playing GTA IV.

Silly me.

Written by bitsnark

November 26, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Running The Rumour Mill: Sony’s 2009 Lineup

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It’s always fun to cast a speculative eye over rumours when they at least sound halfway possible, and so it is we come to a purported link from Sony regarding their 2009 lineup – below is the original article from 1up.com:

‘An anonymous source who claims to have attended the Sony Computer Entertainment Staff Annual Briefing has leaked a ton of info to D+Pad (via Eurogamer), claiming Sony showed new footage for God of War 3, Uncharted 2, and Killzone 2; confirmed MotorStorm and Little Big Planet for PSP; new details about the growth of the PlayStation Network; and the potential for a PlayStation 3 price cut in March.’

Lets tackle them in order.

New footage for God Of War III

Given how far ahead of the graphical curve the last gen installments were on PS2, and compounded by the fact that developers seem to be pulling tricks out of Sony’s hardware all the time, i’m sure that from an asthetic standpoint at least that God Of War III won’t disappoint. Putting aside the positive expletive laden rantings of series producer David Jaffe when he saw the footage, I think, yes the game will be a looker, but in terms of gameplay we’re looking at a far less surer bet when it comes to shaking things up for the franchise.

Uncharted 2

Apparently the footage that was shown was very similar to the first game and echoes a similar gameplay system. I personally have no problem with that, especially when you consider the fact that the House of Lara, still cannot match Naughty Dog’s first outing. And to be honest, this was obviously on the cards given the stellar retail performance of the original.

Sign me up.

Killzone 2

Nothing to really say here that hasn’t been said already. It’s gritty, has the longest, most flamboyant reload animations of any game ever and will probably still play just as sluggishly as the original. Still, from a technical standpoint they are getting closer to that visual benchmark that they set with the E3 2005 CG footage, so kudos for that I guess.

Motorstorm on PSP

Talk about taking a fish out of water. I mean, Motorstorm’s main strength and claim to fame is the way the game looks and moves and the sense of immediacy thats conveyed by all the fancy mud effects, physics and everything else that makes it such a beautiful game. I personally don’t see how they can put this game on PSP as we know it now, and to do it as we know it will mean MAJOR cuts destroying the core experience. If they do something else with it, it isn’t Motorstorm any more and they shouldn’t have bothered.

With all that negativity said, i’m still morbidly curious about it, if only to see what a train wreck it might become.

Little Big Planet PSP

And now to the other extreme, we have a title that would work on PSP very well, leveraging Sony’s network infra-structure to create a game that at least in function, would be reassuring similar to it’s older brother. The core gameplay and graphics would remain very similar too, with any visual concessions not compromising the experience given the asthetic style. This one’s been rumoured about for a fair old while now, so i’d be simultaneously surprised and saddened not to see it make a bow on Sony’s troubled handheld.

Written by bitsnark

November 25, 2008 at 5:21 pm

GTA IV DLC finally gets some details and a date

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The 360 exclusive DLC for GTA IV that got ol’ Peter Moore in such an excitable mood back in the day, has at last been unveiled.

‘Lost and Damned’ intends to shift the focus away from the Eastern European Niko Bellic, the main star of GTA IV to Johnny Klebitz, who belongs to the ‘Lost’ biker gang of Alderney.

While additional plot details are thin on the ground, Niko is due to make a cameo appearance and the exra content seems to take the title in a gritter direction. Besides a new plot and missions to enjoy, gamers will also find that a whole new soundtrack is being scored, adding more music to the in-game radio stations.

Rockstar also revealed that ‘Lost and Damned’ is merely the first of two exclusive content packs, with no detals as of yet announced on the second.

While we know the date of release for ‘Lost and Damned’ – Feburary 17th 2009, there is no price point set yet. Given the sheer amount of content that is being added in here (it’s essentially an expansion pack), I doubt it will be cheap.

Stay tuned.

Written by bitsnark

November 21, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Absence makes the heart grow fonder…. I think.

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Ah yes, I have a blog – I almost forgot =o)

Apologies first off, Wrath Of The Lich King, Fallout 3 and Brothers In Arms: Hells Highway have been my life for the last two weeks – hence the lack of updates.

HOWEVER!

After a realigning of priorities and the simple need to be a critical bastard, I shall be returning to a state of blogging starting today.

Now where did I put that Warcraft time card…

Written by bitsnark

November 21, 2008 at 9:00 am

Street Fighter IV hitting home consoles in early 2009

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The current love of the genre, Street Fighter IV, is due to make it’s home console release (360, PS3) in Feburary 2009 in Japan, and then shortly after in western territories.

With all the critical praise that has been lavished upon the arcade version, I am positively giddy at the prospect of a home version.

Bring it on.

Written by bitsnark

November 6, 2008 at 9:36 am

Naruto: The Broken Bond demo now available on XBOX Live

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For those of you who enjoyed the first 360 Naruto title, like Naruto or just like a game with good RPG/exploration/fighting mechanics, Ubisoft have just announced that a demo for Naruto: The Broken Bond, the follow-up to last years Naruto: Rise Of A Ninja is available for download.

Given the fact that I enjoyed Naruto’s first 360 outing and found it to be a solid RPG/Platforming/Fighting hyrbrid, i’ll be more than happy to give this one a go.

Dattebayo!

Written by bitsnark

November 3, 2008 at 12:27 pm

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