BitSnark

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

Archive for May 2011

So… The NGP Will Be Known As PS Vita? Really?

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A great deal of rumbling from a number of sources are strongly suggesting that real name for Sony’s NGP will be none other than the PS Vita.

In the unfortunate event that this happens to be true I say this; Holy Shit Sony. The PS Vita? That will be the name of the most powerful gaming handheld in all creation?

PS Vita.

It sounds freaking terrible.

Like some sort of low fat Yoghurt with REAL pieces of FAIL inside.

Just leave it as NGP or even PSP2 please.

It isn’t hard.

Written by bitsnark

May 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Duke Nukem Forever Goes Gold – I Shit You Not.

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After over a decade of tortured development, Duke Nukem Forever has finally gone gold meaning it is done. Finished. Completed. No more development. That’s it.

The long awaited shooter has gone to the presses to be released on 360, PC and PS3 platforms on June 10th courtsey of Gearbox Software.

And about fucking time too.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go back to my day job of air swine traffic control.

Written by bitsnark

May 24, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Eleven Minute Gameplay Video Of Dead Island Rises And Shuffles About On The Interwebs

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Providing the first good-to-honest stretch of actual gameplay (complete with developer commentary) developer Techland has unleashed the latest footage of forthcoming zombie survival FPS/RPG/Thing onto the interwebs.

The eleven minute gameplay trailer shows zombies, copious amounts of bludgeoning and a weird stretchy leg.

Take a look at it below:

See, what really does it for me is that it takes into account a lot of things which actually MATTER in a zombie apocalypse.

Stuff like having to worry about (and develop) your cardio, the need to strategically land blows to achieve the desired result on an enemy (smashing the legs to prevent movement/smashing the arms to stop attack) and just normal day-to-day stuff that WOULD matter in such a situation like eating food and procuring supplies.

Additionally the focus on melee and improv weapons is appreciated too alongside the feeling that when you finally DO get a firearm of any sort, that it’s somesort of event and feels like one.

I’m fairly impressed by this as of right now.

Written by bitsnark

May 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm

PSP Remasters Will Be Playable On PS3 – Will Also Allow Usage Of Common Save Data

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In one of the better announcements to come along in sometime, comes the news that Sony will be remastering a selection of PSP titles for re-release on the PS3 in glorious HD.

Like the previous ‘HD-collections’ that we have seen thus far such as the Prince of Persia trilogy and the Sly trilogy, these remasters will boast stereoscopic 3D visuals and a smattering of additional bonus content.

Perhaps the best news of all, and one that acts as a precursor to some of the functionality touted in Sony’s forthcoming NGP handheld, is that these remasters will be playable on both PSP and PS3, with the save files being transferable between each system; fulfilling the idea of being able to continue your ‘home’ game on the go.

Cool shit eh?

It doesn’t stop there though, these PS3 games may also be played online through the PSP ad hoc system; expanding possibilities further.

The first title to be confirmed as part of this ‘remaster’ series, is Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, due in Japan next month, of which you can see a video below:

No Western release details have been specified, but hopefully, remasters of the previously rumoured PSP God Of War titles and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, aren’t going to be too far behind.

Written by bitsnark

May 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D Comes With Resident Evil: Revelations Demo

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See, I knew there would be a reason why I would want to splash out thirty smackers on a retail version of a Resident Evil 4 bonus mode.

*Troll face on*

Written by bitsnark

May 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

In The Drive: Nier (360) – Four Hours In

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I can’t say I really expected much from Nier – it flew so far under the radar when it was released, that at some point or another i’m sure I had to wipe it off the bottom of my boot. Still though, the game receieved batches of isolated praise from a number of folks on various forums, due in no small part to the strength of the narrative and the size of the adventure on offer. Upon sticking the disc inside of my 360, begrudgingly accepted it seems as the drive didn’t want to close the first two times I told it to, the game boots up and we’re greeted by the usual white Square-Enix logo against a black background.

So far, so expected. What follows however, is not expected, not at all. What you then get is what most presumably be a line of dialogue from later in the game which involves the most liberal use of profanity that I have ever seen in Square-Enix (although Cavia developed) title. Indeed, you get to hear more profanity before you even get into the game, then you would have heard in Final Fantasy X, XII and XIII combined.

It’s this which sets the scene of what to expect from Nier. Nier is not a pretty game, in fact in a number of ways and on a number of levels, it’s downright fucking ugly. Take the characters for example; given the JRPG genre that Nier nestles itself into, you would expect the game to be filled to the sparkly brim with effeminate, long-haired boys and dainty, unassuming female waifs.

Not here. Not here at all. Instead, the main charcater is an old, grouchy, scar-laden bastard who even if you did catch him in his younger years would *still* be one ugly piece of work. Outside of the archetypal JRPG cardboard cutout characters (thankfully relegated to one-line giving NPC’s or side-quest providers on ocassion), the characters whilst ugly in both appearance and attitude, do come across in far more striking fashion than their contemporary peers – even more so when they are juxtaposed so vividly against the JRPG cutout-regulars that often surround them. A particular standout is the talking spellbook – who constantly unleashes an unending torrent of sarcasm and dry-wit in the direction of the player at every opportunity. In short, these guys are interesting and represent a collection of far more compelling personalities than what we’ve seen come out of the JRPG genre as of late.

A special mention have to go to the bosses too – ranging from massive, towering clockwork twin-knights to gargantuan cliff climbing mutant beasts which have seemingly snot covered skin and multiple swinging ‘appendages’.

The ugliness that permeates the game also extends to the visuals too. Drab, garish and with PS2-levels of detail at times, the game sometimes makes you forget what console you’re playing the damn thing on. Admittedly though, the game does have moments of beauty, or at least times when your eyes don’t want to hate you for subjecting them to it, but they are few and far between.

One thing which most assuredly isn’t ugly however, is the music. A mixture of soft vocals and gentle strings, it too is a departure from the usual J-Rock/Pop garbage that is such a distressing staple of JRPG presentation these days. Seriously good stuff.

Well, i’ve waffled at some length but how the game looks but how in the blue fark does it play? Well, Nier is a confused little game. A confused little game that like it’s visuals, has it’s roots in the generation of consoles that came before it.

The game plays very much like an action RPG in that it’s a free-roaming hack and slasher which allows you to augment your combat abilities with rangy spells and various JRPG stock items which heal, buff you and generally improve your character. Naturally, these items are found in crates and boxes in which, yep, you guessed it, you have to smash to retrieve the contents that have been so cleverly concealed therein.

Where the game does throw you a curveball however, is in the way it uses it’s camera to often strange effect; altering the dynamic of the game. For instance, given that the game is a JRPG, the last thing you would expect to be doing is platforming right? Well, I have had numerous occassions thus far where the game makes you do just that; locking the camera to a side on view – forcing you to jump across chasms and clamber over ledges to get to your objective. While this might seem fresh and inspired, the actual execution of it is poor since the character was never really designed to ‘platform’ and jumping (a basic and often unused action in the ‘meat’ of the game) makes these sections clunky and clumsy, making any watching passers-by wonder if you are playing some sort of low-budget indie-developed platform game.

Fighting, ah yes, the fighting. Annoyingly when you fight enemies there is no camera lock that you can use to stay focused on a foe and circle around it effectively. Instead, you have to manipulate the eye-scratchingly silly manual camera system that the game employs in order to avoid your opponents attacks and somehow end up in a decent position where you can strike back in a timely fashion. Indeed, the best solution I found to this was to simply roll around like a moron so that you pretty much 95% of time end up out of trouble and on the vulnerable side of your foes. Again though, camera issues rear their ugly sodding head, since you are always required to keep the camera manually focused on your enemies yourself.

These sorts of finger gymnastics shouldn’t be part of the JRPG experience, but, as you have surely noted by now, developers Cavia probably couldn’t give two-shits about signing from the JRPG hymn sheet. Still though, the admission of this most basic of gameplay mechanics is downright silly and annoying in equal measure regardless.

In terms of the actual gameplay structure – fewer surprises remain in store. You know the drill right? You show up in a town, you do a few side-quests to get some sort of reward (although side-quest rewards only come in the form of items and money and not the receiving of XP as is the norm) and then you toddle off and do a number of quests which tie into the overarching plot and serve to push it forward.

While the side-quests themselves are largely forgettable (and in a couple of cases, completely hair yankingly frustrating) the main quests are fairly involving and serve to move the game’s narrative forward (which while soild so far no doubt has many surprises in store). They too follow a familar path; you reach an area, you plunder the fuck out of it, kill some regular mobs and then fight a boss at the end.

At the end of the day there is just something about Nier; I don’t know if it’s the promise of the story flourishing into a more compelling narrative with such intriguing or just that as a whole it is off-kelter just enough to keep my interest.

So far, Nier seems like it is somehow greater than the sum of it’s decidedly undercooked parts and as a result, it’s an odyssey I think i’ll perservere with. Oh and for the record, in case you play the game, the side-quests for the package delivery to the Aerie and the Boar Hunt are the most frustrating thing I have come across in quite some time.

Nier is available for PS3 and Xbox 360 and can be found as cheaply as £8 online.

Written by bitsnark

May 19, 2011 at 11:17 am

Ninety Minutes Of Star Wars: The Old Republic Gameplay Footage Leaks Online

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From what appears to be a closed beta session, roughly ninety minutes of EA’s forthcoming great white MMORPG hope, Star Wars: The Old Republic, has been leaked online via JustinTV.

I’d be quick on clicking the link below, since it can’t be long until EA discovers it and takes it down.

http://www.justin.tv/archive/archive_popout?id=285836649

Written by bitsnark

May 18, 2011 at 11:26 am

‘In The Drive’ Articles Coming Soon

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In order to spice things up on this blog a tad and to widen the scope of it beyond being just a news blog, i’ll be posting what i’ve called ‘In The Drive’ articles.

Essentially these are abridged impressions of whatever game I happen to be playing at the moment – an overextended brainfarty meditation if you will on the cool and not-so-cool aspects of whatever happens to be In The Drive (see what I did there? *slow clap*) at the time.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy them and find them an engaging read and if not tell me why so I can take in/ignore your suggestions as appropriate.

Written by bitsnark

May 18, 2011 at 11:10 am

Microsoft Confirms Limited Edition And Epic Edition Contents And Price For Gears of War 3

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Microsoft has today dropped the details and price points for the limited and ‘Epic’ (read: super duper limited) editions of the forthcoming third person chainsaw-shooter fest that is Gears of War 3.

The official press release can be seen below in all it’s PR glory:

“Gears of War 3” Epic and Limited Editions Unveiled in Making Gears 3: Inside the Wicked Workshop
Epic Games Art Director Chris Perna takes you into the creative process in shaping “Gears of War 3” and the ultimate fan collectibles

London — 16 May, 2011 — Fans around the globe are strapping on their boots, loading up their Lancers, and gearing up for the worldwide launch of “Gears of War 3” on 20th September, 2011. Adding fuel to the fire, Epic Games and Microsoft today released a brand new developer ViDoc, entitled Making Gears 3: Inside the Wicked Workshop, divulging the exclusive contents of the “Gears of War 3” Epic and Limited Editions.

The new video goes behind the scenes with Epic Games Art Director Chris Perna, giving fans a window into the mind of the visionary artist who helped berth some of gaming’s most iconic characters and settings.

In this revelation, Perna unveils the centrepiece of the “Gears of War 3” Epic Edition – a hand-crafted statue of Marcus Fenix, designed by his own hand and brought to life by the expert artisans at Triforce. Available for pre-order now, “Gears of War 3” will be available in a Standard Edition (£49.99), and two special editions:

· Limited Edition (£59.99) available at selected retailers – The must-have for fans who want to celebrate the culmination of the trilogy, the Limited Edition includes:
o An Octus Award Box with Octus Service Medal – A 1:1 match in size and weight, this zinc-alloy cog-shaped medal replicates the award given to Adam Fenix in recognition of his work on the Hammer of Dawn.

§ Dimensions: 77 mm (3 in.) x 10 mm (0.4 in.)

o Exclusive Unlockable Adam Fenix Multiplayer Character – Each Octus Service Medal replica is engraved with a unique Xbox LIVE code that is the only way to unlock Adam Fenix in multiplayer.
o A fabric COG Flag – Proud colors that once flew above the House of Sovereigns.
o The personal effects of Adam Fenix, including his “Last Will and Testament,” the initial Hammer of Dawn schematic, and other Fenix family mementos.

· Epic Edition (£99.99) available exclusively at GAME and Gamestation – The ultimate collection for hardcore fans who can’t get enough “Gears of War 3,” the Epic Edition includes:
o A Limited Edition Marcus Fenix Statue – Designed by Epic Games Art Director Chris Perna and expertly crafted by the artisans at Triforce, this fine PVC statue collectible makes the ultimate living room centrepiece for any true “Gears” fan.
§ Dimensions: height 285 mm (11.2 in.), diameter 225 mm (8.9 in.).
§ Weight: 1.7 kg (3.7 lb.)
o The Art and Design of Gears of War by Tom Bissell – Through unprecedented access to the Epic Games team, acclaimed author Tom Bissell (Extra Lives) gives readers an incisive behind-the-scenes glimpse into one of the most celebrated sagas in video game history with 96 pages of interviews, photos, concept artwork and more.
o Infected Omen Weapon Pack — Custom multiplayer skins for the game’s five starting weapons; Lancer, Retro Lancer, Hammerburst, Sawed-off Shotgun, and Gnasher Shotgun.
o All the contents of the “Gears of War 3” Limited Edition.

The “Gears of War 3” Limited Edition and Epic Edition are the only ways to obtain these high-end collectibles and downloadable content. With production values worthy of the most discerning fans, the “Gears of War 3” Epic Edition is available in very limited quantities and only while supplies last.

For additional information on “Gears of War 3,” please visit gearsofwar.xbox.com.”

Are these limited editions appealing to anybody, or, will the budget concious prevail?

Written by bitsnark

May 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Sony Taiwan Leak Confirms God Of War Portable Collection For PS3 In Finger Licking HD

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After the remake-tastic-awesomeness that was the God of War collection – an HD-ification (oh yeah, i’m all about the murdering of the English language today) of the PS2’s premier action titles God Of War and God of War 2, a leak from Sony Taiwan appears to confirm that the two God of War titles for the PSP, are also PS3 bound as well.

Like the God of War Collection, this remastering of the famed PSP titles will boast increased resolutions and enhanced graphics according to gaming website Magic Box.

No Western release date has been confirmed as of yet, but as soon as I hear something I will update this article.

And also, BASTARDS; I only just finished Ghost of Sparta on PSP this past weekend…

Written by bitsnark

May 16, 2011 at 10:16 am

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