BitSnark

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

Archive for September 2011

Reminder: Battlefield 3 Open Beta Now Available To Download For All

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Today is the day that the beta for Battlefield 3 becomes available to all platforms – 360, PS3 and PC; for the last two days, owners of the Medal of Honor: Limited Edition and folks who pre-ordered the PC version through Origin, were able to play the beta early from September 27th.

Now though, everybody can download the beta and give it a whirl.

The beta is available across all three platforms and is slated to end on October 10th, some two-and-a-half weeks before the full game hits the shops.

Console owners should be able to grab the beta from their digital marketplaces (use the search function if you can’t immediately see it), whilst PC folk have to download the Origin client, download the client through that and then run the beta client from the Battlelog webpage which can be accessed at the link below:

http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf3/

Simples.

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Written by bitsnark

September 29, 2011 at 8:00 am

Reminder: Legend Of Zelda – Four Swords Anniversary Edition Now Available To Download On 3DS

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As promised, Nintendo has today released Legend of Zelda – Four Swords Anniversary Edition on their E-shop digital distribution platform for the 3DS.

Best of all, it’s available for the princely sum of precisely fuck all.

Brilliant eh?

Written by bitsnark

September 28, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Story Trailer For The Darkness 2 Leans On The Awesome Side

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Being a massive fan of the original game, i’ve been looking forward to this since 2007.

Luckily, for those of you who have yet to play The Darkness, and let’s face it; you have little or no excuse considering that the game can be bought for less than the price of a pint of your finest diluted piss-water, developers Digital Extreme have posted up this story trailer to bring all of you up to speed.

Watch and take it all in at the link below:

The Darkness 2 is scheduled to release on February 7th, 2012 in North America and on February 10th internationally on 360, PS3 and PC platforms.

Written by bitsnark

September 27, 2011 at 9:53 am

Reminder: Battlefield 3 Beta Early Access E-Mail’s Get Sent At Noon Today

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Of course as previously detailed, the Battlefield 3 early beta access e-mails will only be sent to folks who have purchased the Limited Edition version of Medal of Honor, or, have preordered Battlefield 3 through Origin on the PC.

The rest of you scrubs have to wait a WHOLE TWO EXTRA DAYS until the 29th before your betagasm can begin.

Written by bitsnark

September 27, 2011 at 9:36 am

Eurogamer Expo 2011: PS Vita Hands-On

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At last. At sodding last, I finally got my sweaty little fingers around the handheld marvel that is the Playstation Vita.

After a nearly half-an-hour wait, I finally reached the front of the queue whereupon myself and the five others that had been let through were given a card. Each of the six cards that you could be given represented a different game that you could demo on the machine. It turned out that my card indicated I would be spending some quality time with Wipeout 2048. Full of purile smuggery, I quietly scoffed at the chap next to me who had a ‘Little Deviants’ card, taking a slightly sly and rather cuntish inner-sneer at what I supposed was his lack of fortune.

How ironic then, that out of all of the six games that I could demo that Wipeout perhaps showed off the machine’s varied functionality in the least, yet the relatively unknown ‘Little Deviants’, makes some of the best use of the machine outside of Little Big Planet.

More on that in a bit though.

After being guided down to what would become an uncomfortable stool for the next seven minutes or so; forcing me to lean over the PS Vita like an 87 year old with DVT, the ever-eager and ever-smiling Sony rep began talking me through the features of Sony’s new handheld in manner befitting someone who had never held a pad in their lifetime.

Nevertheless, whilst informative to those who would be unfamiliar with Sony’s latest piece of shiny tech, her words washed over me; gradually fading, as my brain was concerned with more important matters – registering the feel and weight of the machine that was clasped tightly in my spindly digits.

Being sans battery, the machine felt lighter than it otherwise would have. Indeed, the lightness of the machine combined with the precarious attachment to the demo unit holder caused a nasty little thought to pop into my head.

It felt a little bit… Cheap. Yet even with this thought, I could not deny the attractive aesthetics of the thing that like many others, I decided would be a day one purchase when it was first announced.

After adopting a sitting posture that although making me look a tad crippled, would see me through the next seven minutes in relative comfort regardless, I began to play. After navigating the menus to start a race, the rep informed me of the different ways that I could play the game.

First up, was the traditional controller method; utilising the left thumb-stick to steer my futuristic floater around the twisty-turny, barreling sci-fi tracks, whilst the face buttons controlled weapons and the shoulder buttons controlled air-brakes. To little surprise, the game felt just like the PS3’s Wipeout Fury; all miniature-like in the palms of my hand, with the series hallmark handling and retina-tearing sense of speed fully intact. Indeed, the illusion of total parity would be complete had it not been for the occasional framerate drops and sporadic blocky texture work on sparks and explosions.

No sooner do I mention this to the rep; that the game looked ‘a bit raw’, than she informs me that the game is still in development with a few months of hard graft yet to go. I’ll let them off, but even so I do hope that they lock the framerate to the sixty frames-per-second mark, so that comparisons to it’s PS3 older brother are both favourable and indicative of the home experience (from a visual standpoint at least), making the not inconsiderable jump to the handheld.

After tearing through the race and coming in at almighty eighth place, out of eight racers, the rep piped up and said ‘Why don’t you try the motion controls for the next race?’.

And I was having so much fun too.

Like a six-year old child forced to down his ‘greens’, I grimaced as I reluctantly held the machine in my hands; knowing that like the countless motion-controlled racing games that I played before it on iOS, it would handle like a complete festering turd; destroying any consideration for using that control scheme in the future.

I would like to tell you that I was pleasantly surprised.

I wasn’t.

As expected, the motion control system *did* feel like any one of the various motion-controlled mobile phone racing games currently available. Steering was achieved through the tilting of the machine, power-ups were used by touching the screen and breaking could be done by depressing a finger on the back touchpad. It just felt completely awful; the epitome of the terrifyingly imprecise level of control for which motion-controlled racers are rightly reviled for.

Nonetheless, it did give me my first experience of the rear touchpad, which in itself is a good thing in my humble opinion. Crucially though, the rear touchpad is certainly something you need to remember is actually *there*.

Traditionally, with the majority of handheld consoles in times gone past, your middle fingers have a had a pretty lazy time of it – resting idly against the back of the hardware whilst the index fingers and thumbs do all the work. Now though, the advent of a control input located on the back of the machine, has meant that those lazy digits need to be educated to be actively engaging this new method of playing games.

As you must have gathered by now, Wipeout is certainly not the best title for showing off this new control method. Indeed by all accounts, Wipeout hardly shows off the skillful amalgamation of different control methods that the Vita is capable of at all. There is no use of the machine’s extensive AR capabilities, no real use of the touch-screen and certainly, no innovative use of the rear touchpad.

In being very conservative in this regard, yet still being a largely faithful recreation of a PS3-quality Wipeout experience for the handheld, my seven minutes of play-time with the Vita yielded disappointingly little in the way of surprise or appreciation of everything the machine is capable of.

After my time with the machine was over, I stood up and glanced over at the joyful expression of the chap who just finished playing Little Deviants. He seemed to be enthused by the myriad of ways in which that game showcased the impressive feature set of the Vita – his fingers darting about the touch screen and rear touch pad, as he pressed face buttons and titled the console with obvious, annoying glee.

Whilst I wasn’t sad to leave the uncomfortable seating arrangements that made me feel like I needed a new spine, I nonetheless felt a strong pang of regret that I didn’t try and swap my card with his; in the pursuit of something that utilised the extensive feature set of the Vita a whole lot better.

Don’t get me wrong; i’ll still be grabbing one when it gets released, but other than early play bragging rights, I came away with a lot less interesting stuff to report than I had hoped.

Little Deviants. The bastard.

Written by bitsnark

September 27, 2011 at 7:48 am

…And Back. Well, That’s The EG Expo All Done With For This Year – Incoming Expo Coverage.

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As the headline suggests I am now back home with a notepad full of illiterate scribbles, fresh from my exploits at this year’s Eurogamer Expo.

Like many of the attendees at this year’s show, hosted within the gargantuan confines of Earls Court One, I was able to attend a few of the developer sessions and more importantly, get my hands on some of the forthcoming coolness that’s due to be released in the next six months or so.

Highlights included being able to get my sweaty paws on Sony’s monstrously beautiful handheld, the PS Vita for the first time, a multiplayer blast on the forthcoming Battlefield 3 and waiting in the queue to claim my free OnLive console.

Actually no, the queue was over two hours long and aged my back prematurely by nearly fifty years, so probably NOT a highlight if i’m being honest.

Anyhoo, i’ll be periodically updating with write-ups of my experiences of the many weird and wonderful things that I encountered during my time at the expo, so yeah…

Stay tuned and stuff 🙂

Written by bitsnark

September 25, 2011 at 10:34 am

Battlefield 3 Beta Details Announced – At Last

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After months of cruel cock-teasing, EA/DICE have finally given up deets on the beta for the eagerly awaited Battlefield 3.

So, without further ado, these are the things that you need to know regarding the Beta:

– The beta is due to land on September 29th and will run until October 10th.
– Owners of the Medal of Honor: Limited Edition will receive e-mail confirmation that they can get into the beta two days earlier from September 27th.
– Folks who have pre-ordered the game from via EA’s Origin client, can also download the beta two days earlier too.
– It is an open beta, meaning that EVERYBODY across all formats (PC, 360 & PS3) will get a crack at it from September 29th, regardless if you they have preordered the ruddy thing or not.
– There will be just one map and one game mode disappointingly – Metro is your map and Rush is your gametype. Deal with it.

That’s pretty much it in terms of what you need to know.

Happy Battlefielding.

Written by bitsnark

September 21, 2011 at 10:27 am

So You Thought Duke Nukem Forever Was Shit? Well, Gearbox Want To Know!

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After a decade plus of waiting, Duke Nukem Forever finally came out and whilst it had very brief, almost instantaneous flashes of mediocrity, the rest of the game was arguably, abysmally shit.

Regardless, it’s difficult to lay the blame at the doorstep of Gearbox, since they merely obtained what was already coded and essentially packaged it for release without actually doing any of the development work themselves.

As a result of this and due to the fact that Gearbox will be taking over coding duties on the next Duke title; Duke Nukem Begins, they’re looking for feedback on Duke Nukem Forever via survey to gauge people’s feelings on the latest game.

So, y’know, let them have both barrels and all that at the link below:

http://survey.gearboxsoftware.com/index.php?sid=56594&newtest=Y&lang=en

Written by bitsnark

September 20, 2011 at 9:02 am

Skyrim Receives ‘Mature’ Rating In The U.S – Game of Thrones Esque Shenanigans Now Possible

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So, the most interesting bit of news to come out so far today is that Skyrim, the fifth entry in the long-ass running Elder Scrolls RPG franchise, has been given a ‘mature’ rating by the US Ratings Board.

In their assessment of the Nordic influenced RPG, the board spewed forth the following choice bits:

“This is a fantasy role-playing game in which players assume the role of Dovakin, a prophesied figure with the power to combat dragons in the fictional world of Skyrim,”.

“As players traverse through mountainous open-world environments, they complete missions and quests that impact the eventual fate of their character. Players use swords, bows and arrows, axes, and magic attacks (e.g., fireballs, ice shards) to kill various enemies (e.g., wolves, dragons, human bandits and soldiers).

“As players engage in melee-style combat, some sequences are highlighted by slow-motion effects, particularly for decapitations. Large blood-splatter effects also occur during combat, and some environments are stained with blood or body parts (e.g., heads impaled on spikes). Some sequences allow players to injure/kill nonadversary characters, including prisoners chained to a wall; they scream in pain amid splashes of blood or fire.

“As the game progresses, the dialogue and on-screen text contains references to sexual material (e.g., “. . . all the whores your heart, or any other organ, desires,” “She . . . raped the men as cruelly as Bal had ravished her,” and “Remember when you thought [he] was . . . intent on making you . . . into his personal sex slave?”).

“Alcohol such as wine, mead, and ale can be purchased and consumed by players’ character throughout the game; and in one sequence, players can engage in a drinking contest with another character, which eventually results in slurred speech (e.g., “One more. No problemsh . . . Thash grape!”).”

So, we have druken behaviour, rape, violence, sex slaves, lots of ice, dragons and whole bunch of other nasty shit just waiting to tear the player to pieces in the most inventive way possible.

In case this hasn’t dawned on you yet, this is in fact BRILLIANT.

Why? Because now, I can now fully act out my own personal Game of Thrones TV series within the confines of Bethesda’s grim, Nordic-inspired world which would thankfully be free of that annoying little trollmuppet Joffrey.

Oh and as a parting gift, lest we forget that Bethesda are no stranger to ‘mature’ content in their Elder Scrolls games as the screenie below proves:

Crack open a cold one indeed.

Written by bitsnark

September 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Not Usually A Fan Of Blended Videos But…

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This Ghost In The Shell/Deus Ex:Human Revolution effort looks pretty spectacularly awesome and well done.

I shouldn’t be surprised really, especially given just how many similarities exist between the two cyberpunk sc-fi properties.

Take a look and see what you think:

Written by bitsnark

September 19, 2011 at 10:46 am

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