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Posts Tagged ‘PS3

Square-Enix announces Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX; due worldwide on PS3 in 2014

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Doing what everybody hoped/knew they would do, Square-Enix has this morning officially announced Kingdom Hearts 2.5 ReMIX.

The compilation is due to release on PlayStation 3 sometime next year.

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Ni No Kuni and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Confirmed Playable At Eurogamer Expo 2012

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This will be at the show. Did you see what I wrote there? NI NO KUNI WILL BE AT THE SHOW.

If you don’t know already, this year’s Eurogamer Expo is jam fucking packed with some seriously great titles which are going to be playable right on the show floor. We’ve had the likes of Far Cry 3, Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, Assassins Creed 3, Resident Evil 6, Devil May Cry: DmC and many, many more already announced.

And to add further fuel to the nerdgasmic fire comes news that Namco Bandai will not only be having the newest entry in their long-running Tekken franchise available for all to play, but they’ll also be debuting the gorgeous Studio Ghibli animated, Level-5 developed PS3 JRPG Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch *pant* on the show floor too – marking the first time it’ll be playable on UK shores.

Lee Kirton, Namco PR bod and marketing director had the following to say, via press release, regarding the announcement:

“Tekken Tag Tournament brings some incredible new gameplay styles for the franchise with brand new modes, an incredible roster of characters and the most involved and detailed training mode ever created for the genre,”

“Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is one of the most beautiful games we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” he continued, undeterred. “It’s already causing quite a stir within the gaming world with its blend of superb gameplay from Level-5 and incredible animations produced and supervised by legendary Japanese animation company, Studio Ghibli. It’s exciting that we can have both games hands on at the Expo.”

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Ni No Kuni; BOTH playable at this year’s Eurogamer Expo – what more do you need?

Again, if you haven’t done so already, you can grab some tickets here.

If you don’t have tickets for this, then the only conclusion I can draw is that you’re some sort of disgusting pervert or something.

The Eurogamer Expo is due to take place this year on September 27-30 at Earls Court in London.

Something You May Have Missed: ‘Papo & Yo’ For PSN – One Man’s Early Life Retold As A Gloriously Surreal Looking 3D Puzzle-Platformer

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A whimsical and seemingly unassuming logo; the actual game is anything but.

If you haven’t heard of ‘Papo & Yo’, I wouldn’t have blamed you given its relatively low profile.  A shame that said profile isn’t more prominent really, since Papo & Yo appears to be one of the most emotionally engaging and compelling looking releases of the year – downloadable or otherwise.

Papo & Yo is a surrealist 3D platformer that appears to take inspiration from the likes of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, ICO and Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending film, Inception.  Interestingly, the game is actually loosely based on the early life of creator Vander Caballero – a former EA employee who had worked on the likes of Army of Two and FIFA before deciding to leave in order to pour his heart and soul into the very personal project that Papo & Yo has become.

Papo & Yo aims to retell Caballero’s childhood and his relationship to his alcoholic and abusive father as an abstract tale – swapping out Caballero himself with a small boy named Quico and his father with a huge colourful beast.

By and large, the vaguely Rhinoceros-looking beast is very friendly to Quico – helping him to scale tall obstacles and break through barriers with the sort of ease that the diminutive child is unable to muster.  Yet, his one weakness is frogs which turn him into a raging, fire-spitting Efreet-type creature and make him every bit a potential threat to Quico as he was an ally before.  The parallels that you can draw vis-a-vis his experiences with dealing with an alcoholic father are obvious, but the changes in temperament of this creature remain emotionally poignant and have a substantial impact on the gameplay.  At its core, Papo & Yo functions very familiarly to fellow first-party exclusive ICO; in so far that the game is a platform puzzler with a dynamic NPC partner slant but its the various mood states of the monster that dictate how those puzzles are approached – if the creature is in a state of calm, puzzles become relaxing and chilled out affairs, if the creature is enraged however, everything goes out the window and self-preservation shoots up the priority list ahead of completing the puzzle itself.

This is an awesome dynamic and one that is carried through not just on emotional and gameplay terms, but asethetic ones as well.  When the beast is calm, the music settles on a delicate tempo, lightly hitting relaxed notes and with whimsical strings providing a calming backing to the events unfolding on-screen, if the beast consumes any frogs however, the tempo ramps up and the music becomes much more immediate with an indelible sense of danger effortlessly conveyed to the player.   On the note of the music also, Caballero promises a great deal of aural uniqueness even saying “You’ll hear instruments in this game that you’ve never heard before.  Like the jaw of a dead cow.”

Jaw of a dead cow.  How many games can say that they have that in their musical score?

Visually, the game is a complete treat for the retinas.  Taking place in a surrealist interpretation of his upbringings in the colourful favelas of South America, colour and vibrancy are the order of the day here, as is unpredictability and chaos; with the scene sometimes turning in and on top of itself when a puzzle has been completed or when the beast indulges itself on some amphibian-powered intoxication.

There are more muted and delicate visual flourishes too.   Chalk drawings appear on many of the walls in the favelas; depicting puzzles that must be completed and upon doing so, the components of those puzzles spring to life – with new staircases materialising out of the thin air, and small little gears sprouting legs and hurrying quickly to their required positions as fast as their tiny new found limbs will take them.  Another example, is when Quico is sprinting along a pitch black corridor with a dipped light at the end of the tunnel; as he runs farther and farther down the tunnel, a section of the darkened wall opens up to reveal a menacing shadow of the monster following him.

If you haven’t picked up on it by now, let me tell you that I am completely entranced by this game. Very rarely have I seen such an awe-inspiring  fusion of emotion and visual imagination outside of games such as ICO and Shadow of the Colossus.  Even then, with this game drawing from a set of very personal experiences unlike the latter and the former, the emotional impact that this game delivers to the player with its visual allegories and character relationships comes across as a unique proposition all of its own.

Look at the trailer below and then put this on your radar and keep it there.  I can’t wait to get my hands on this.

Papo & Yo is due to release exclusively on the PSN for the PS3 on August 15th, 2012.  It is expected to retail for £11.99.

Written by bitsnark

July 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Konami Is Coming To The Eurogamer Expo And They’ve Got A Lot To Shout About – MGS:R, ZOE HD And Others Confirmed Playable

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This is going to playable at the show. I cannot fathom a SINGLE reason why you wouldn’t have, or would want to get a ticket for the show at this point. I really can’t.

With 78 days to go before Earl’s Court swings open its doors to the sweaty gamer massive for this year’s Eurogamer Expo, Konami has confirmed that they will be at the show and will be bringing a number of playable games and surprises along with them.

The organisers of the show have confirmed that Konami will have Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PES 2013, Zone of the Enders HD Collection and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate on 3DS all playable on the show-floor, so feel free to brag to all of your mates who don’t have a ticket.  In addition to the these games, Konami have also confirmed that in light of this year being the 25th anniversary of their stealth opus Metal Gear, they’ll have every single game in the series playable on the show floor.

Holy poo.

And you wanted surprises?  Well, the folks at the Eurogamer Expo also had this little cryptic tidbit to impart regarding the Japanese developer’s presence at the show:

“That is not all we are doing to celebrate this milestone, either, but I am not allowed to provide more hints as to what else may be occurring or I will be shot with a dart and stuffed in a locker. We’ll update you with more details once they are finalised.”

I don’t know about you lot, but I’m getting some strong whiffs of a Hideo Kojima developer session and retrospective on the Metal Gear franchise.  Too. Much. Awesome.

The addition of all of these lovely playable games at show from Konami quite handily compliments the earlier announcement of big hitters such as Assassins Creed 3, Far Cry 3, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil 6, Hitman Absolution and DmC among a great deal of others, all being playable on the showfloor.

We’re also told that we should expect to hear something on the developer sessions and that tying in with those announcements will be earlier confirmations of times so that y’know, you can plan how much time you spend playing on all these lovely games and nipping into the Pizza Express kiosk naturally.

If you haven’t done so already, you can grab some tickets here.

No tickets? No? I don’t even know you. Actually, I don’t.

The Eurogamer Expo is due to take place this year on September 27-30 at Earls Court in London.

Satisfaction Through Payne – Max Payne 3 Review (Xbox 360)

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In the nine or so years that have passed since Max Payne last lit up our screens with his Matrix inspired, bullet-ballet gameplay, a great deal has changed. The Matrix is in the past, bullet-time has been shamelessly milked by so many countless film and game properties that it’s no longer the fresh, mind-blowingly cool gimmick that it used to be and third person shooters in general have been forced behind cover due to a certain franchise obsessed with biceps and chainsaws.

Much like it’s titular character, Max Payne 3 is an unapologetic relic of an earlier era; a game that when compared to it’s contemporaries may seem outdated and relatively bereft of innovation or surprise in light of just how closely it sticks to the genre tropes that the first two titles did so much to create.

Despite appearing to be just another eye-rolling exercise in over-familiarity, developers Rockstar have somehow managed to make the familiar seem weightier and more substantial; meaningfully reclaiming the ‘grittiness’ from other po-faced shooter efforts who would merely use the word as an excuse to swear liberally and spray gore and body parts across the screen.

It’s in this grittiness that the narrative of Max Payne 3 is framed so succinctly. Set some time after 2003’s Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, this third entry in the series finds our tragic hero serving as a personal security officer for some of Brazil’s political elite by day, while at night, Max finds himself without distraction; locked in a downward spiral and broken down on every emotional level by a harrowing trifecta of personal tragedy, alcohol and painkillers. As you might imagine, things don’t stay calm very long and before you know it, folks are being kidnapped, shot and executed; prompting Max to start ejecting lead into people’s faces as an approximate and frequent reply all the while attempting to maintain his tenuous grip on reality.

Grizzled, pissed off and with a gun in his hand – this is the sort of poise common to our heroic chap throughout the game.

It’s an action-packed yarn, filled with the sort of striking violence, depravity, social commentary and sharp direction that typifies it as a Rockstar developed title. Taking Max from the crib of the richest financial and political magnates in Brazil, all the way to the crime-infested, desperate slums that make up the sprawling favelas of Sao Paulo, the plot of Max Payne is a much a meditation on character introspection and redemption as it is a gritty, gun-play laden action blockbuster.

If it’s not clear to you at this point, allow me to make it clear; Max Payne 3 is a very violent game indeed. Bullets cause all sorts of deformed nastiness to the human anatomy in this game with all manner of entry and exit wounds causing foes to slump against nearby furniture, or crash down a flight of stairs. The kill cam, just one of Max Payne 3’s many visual flourishes, serves to further heighten the violence; bringing time to almost a standstill as you watch round after round crash through the body of the unfortunate goon who just happened to be in your way. With that said, the damage modelling isn’t perfect – enemies caught by an explosion will merely have their bodies thrown (fully intact) across the room without any visual injury; a surprise given how meticulously the game models physical damage from firearms elsewhere.

Despite a stylish focus on the grisly, from a cinematic perspective the game distances itself from it’s genre stalemates in typical grand Rockstar fashion with a flair for the dramatic. Here, Rockstar have combined the sort of edgy and progressive cinematography seen in films such as Drive by Nicolas Winding Refn and Elite Squad by Brazilian director Jose Padilha, to sharp and impressive effect. This shouldn’t suggest however, that Max Payne 3 has left the original Noir stylings which characterised the it’s predecessors behind.

Despite it’s more contemporary cinematic influences, Max Payne 3 is still as much a love-letter to classic Hollywood Noir as it ever was. The internal monologues return, as do the dramatic analogous speeches, yet the game supplements this with a visual veneer that evokes a heady combination of David Fincher and the adrenaline-fused, visual style seen in the Crank movies.

During cut-scenes, conversational-text, momentarily darts into view while the camera-lens periodically loses focus and bleeds colour and hue – providing the sort of drug-infused distorted vision that you would imagine Max himself having after a night-long binge of his favourite brand of ‘Kong’ Whiskey (look for it) and painkillers. Indeed, in this incarnation Max himself has a very definite Hollywood look; boasting the rough facial lines and craggy looks which evoke a deep similarity to a 1980’s era James Caan.

No action shootery game is complete without the obligatory AVOID THE SNIPERS section. There are a few of these. Just a few.

When it comes down to the gameplay, it’s in the act of plugging folks with a variety of firearms that Max Payne 3 reminds us just how similar it is to the previous games that have spawned it. If the cinematic aspect of the game references the work of European and American directors, then the gameplay almost certain remains as much a homage to John Woo cinema as the previous games have. Bullet-time, the feature by which Max Payne his quite literally lived and died by since his debut over eleven years ago; remains a steadfast part of the gameplay in Max Payne 3. Max can dive forwards, backwards or to the side in slow-motion whilst firing his weapon of choice; either a primary firearm such as a rifle or heavy machine gun, a side-arm such as a handgun or a combination of two sidearms for maximum ‘guns akimbo’ effect.

It’s here that another little way in which Max Payne 3 separates itself from other, similar games becomes apparent.

If say, the impossibly muscled and gruff Marcus Fenix from Gears Of War attempted to dive side-ways whilst opening fire and there was a physical impediment in the way, such as a wall or other obstacle, he would just roll against it and get up right away. Max on the other hand, quite literally crashes into the wall, realistically sliding down it as he struggles to gain his bearings and correct himself. Age, drink and substance abuse haven’t been kind to Max Payne’s body, and so such physicality comes across exactly as it should – wholly appropriate.

In terms of the gameplay, these sort of weighted acrobatics have additional implications outside of the cosmetic. Although he may have crashed painfully against a wall or crashed backwards through a pool table after a frenzied dive, Max Payne can still remain on the offensive; even though if he may be struggling to pull himself up off the ground, or steady himself with a hand on the wall, he always has his gun pointed forward, meaning that you are always a danger to the enemy regardless of the state of animation you are in.

Very few third-person shooters can boast of such a level of offensive versatility and at first it catches you be surprise – you think “Ok, I’ve just dived through a table and I’m lying flat on my back…what now? Oh wait, I can still.. shoot?”. This is just one example of how Rockstar has embellished the fundamentals in the pursuit of attempting to perfect them.

Max Payne 3 hasn’t been totally immune to the genre status quo however; cover is now a critical part of the gameplay experience where it didn’t exist before. Hiding behind desks, lockers, walls and much more is mandatory in Max Payne 3, simply on the virtue of the lethality of the enemy attacks. Three or maybe four direct hits are all that’s required to put Mr. Payne in a wooden box and as such cover must be used intelligently; a fact which is further reinforced by the fact that the enemy aren’t stupid – they’ll regularly look for opportunities to flank you and will dart from cover to cover whilst doing so.

This sort of thing happens a lot in Max Payne 3. The trick is to be the guy holding the two guns and not the guy holding the two bullets in his cranium.

Speaking of mortality, like in previous games, Max is able to stave off the Grim Reaper by chewing down on bottles of painkillers which are dotted throughout the various locations in the game. In Max Payne 3 however, an additional feature has been added which effectively allows you a second wind if you have endured a fatal shot. Functioning similarly to Call of Duty’s ‘Last Stand’ perk, If Max has one bottle of painkillers left and has taken a hit that would otherwise kill him, he instantly consumes the painkillers (at half the effective rate) and time slows right down to a crawl for a few seconds. If during this time you can shoot and kill the guy who fatally wounded you, Max gets up to fight another day sans one bottle of painkillers. If you don’t, well, you die and that’s pretty much it. While it may seem whimsically gimmicky, the system actually forces you to balance your painkiller use more carefully and ensure that wherever possible, you have one left in the bank just in case you find yourself on the wrong end of an ambush or lucky shot.

There is no getting around it; Max Payne 3 never ever attempts to convince you that it is anything but an exceptionally gritty and tonally nasty third-person cover shooter. When you aren’t diving from behind furniture to avoid enemy fire you’re usually sliding down a rooftop unleashing a shower of precision lead on a group of unsuspecting goons, or some such similar scenario. The fact that it continues to segue into familiar territory with on rails vehicle shootouts and sniping missions, does little dissuade you from the fact that you’ve played this game in a hundred different places a hundred different times before.

In addition to the main campaign, you can opt to do the entirety of the campaign in Arcade Mode, where you are given score to accrue per chapter and with each chapter you complete, your score for that chapter is uploaded to the Max Payne 3 leaderboards. Another way that Rockstar have attempted to pad out the single-player side of things is through the ‘New York Minute’ game mode which again, takes you through the campaign but this time you’re set against a timer.  If the timer hits zero it’s game over and the only way to prevent this from happening, to delay the timer is to blast enemies; netting you a bit of extra time for each kill. Depending on how much of a completist you are, your mileage may vary, but with the main campaign topping it out at just over ten hours on the longevity scale, I found these additional modes to be rather hackneyed additions to the game that weren’t compelling enough to make me re-run the game.

Multiplayer-wise, there are the expected deathmatch and team deathmatch games, but the unique Payne Killer and Gang Wars present a much more interesting pair of propositions. In Payne Killer, the objective is simple; you are able to become Max Payne or his partner Passos by killing them, and then you can start earning points for staying alive and killing as many of the attacking players as possible. Naturally, your bullet-time bursts and life-saving painkillers will give you an advantage for a short time, but as always it’s a numbers game and it’s only a matter of time until those numbers catch you up and fuck you over.

Our hero Max Payne, post heavy whiskey binging session. Sort of looks like me after a night on the town. Only he has hair.

Gang Wars on the other hand, is a five-round team game in which objectives dynamically change round to round – always keeping the action fresh. For instance, one objective might require your team to plant explosives at selected sites that the opposing team are trying to keep standing. In another example, there might be a VIP whom you need to flat line on opposite team; the kicker being that the identity and location of this VIP will only be revealed after you’ve sent a select number of the other team to meet their makers. It’s an entertaining game type and one that certainly provides a different set of thrills from what you would often get in the usual run-of-the-mill deathmatch multiplayer game modes by virtue of it’s ever changing objectives.

Solid multi-player offerings aside, for me, the strongest part of Max Payne 3 remains it’s hugely satisfying and stylishly cinematic single-player story campaign. Nine years may passed, but Max Payne can still shoot it out with the best of them and he does so in the sort of relentlessly entertaining, teeth-grindingly intense way that only he can offer.

Like the harrowing journey Max himself takes during the game’s narrative, the strides made in the areas of gameplay in pursuit of that picture-perfect John Woo esque thriller are equally as considerable. Max Payne 3 is one of the finest cinematic shooters to be released in sometime and it demands your attention like a .38 pushed against your sweating brow.

Highly recommended.

Max Payne 3 is available to buy now on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC from all major gaming software outlets.  

Written by bitsnark

July 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Sega Announces NiGHTS Into Dreams HD Re-Release For Later This Year – Forgets The Spit ‘n’ Polish

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One of the most fondly remembered games from the Sega Saturn deserves more than just the ‘lick’ of HD paint that it currently has. Singular.

Sega has announced a HD re-release for their 1996 Sega Saturn cult hit, Nights Into Dreams, which is due to drop later this year on 360, PS3 and PC (via Steam) platforms.

As well as having all of the usual mod-cons like achievements, trophies and a new lick of HD paint, the game also bundles in the original Sega Saturn version with the original visuals intact as a freebie.  Whilst any day in which anything remotely Nights orientated gets announced should be looked upon as a good day, i’m left distinctly underwhelmed by the title’s HD resurrection.  The reason for my dissatisfaction is purely superficial – the supposedly ‘new’ high definition visuals look chuffing awful; drawing attention to the fact that this looks like the laziest and most cynical ‘HD update’ seen in a long while.

The whole thing has essentially been upscaled into 720p with the sixteen year old assets being brought along for the ride, kicking and screaming.  That’s it – that’s the extent of these ‘new’ visuals – a resolution upscale.  Thanks for that.

It looks fairly atrocious and this sad issue is exasperated by the fact that in the trailer below, footage is shown of the bundled Saturn version and it looks almost indistinguishable from the high definition version.

Not happy.  In addition, to say that it doesn’t exactly light a fire of confidence regarding my hopes for a quality Shenmue HD re-release would be understatement of the year at this point.

Watch and cry below:

NiGHTS Into Dreams is due to be released sometime later this year on 360, PS3 and Steam.  OR, you could just bring out your Sega Saturn and play it NOW.

Written by bitsnark

July 6, 2012 at 9:38 am

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Announced By Namco-Bandai, Due For Release Next Year – Debut Trailer Inside

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Dattebayo! Etc.

Continuing the success that developers CyberConnect2 have had with previous instalments in the series, the very same codeteam are due to release Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 sometime next year on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 platforms.

If you’re already a fan of the manga/anime property that this game is based on then by all means read on; if however, you are not, the following blurb might not make much sense to you.  Just saying.

Using the Fourth Shinobi World War Arc as the basis for it’s storyline, the trailer; a mixture of in-game cut-scenes and gameplay, chronicles the attack of the Nine Tailed Beast on the village of Konoha and more specifically, the events that led to the attack.  Interestingly, ‘The Masked Man’, also known as Tobi/Uchiha Madara, is painted as the primary antagonist here; which is great because he’s a horrendously charismatic villain with a very unique set of abilities; making him the perfect foil to the titular character in the game’s inevitable story mode.

On that note, i’m hoping that they continue to make big strides with the story mode – since the story mode in previous games while serviceable, tended to degenerate into boring collect-a-thons around barely interactive locations populated with one-liner, paper-cut out NPC’s then generally did little else than loiter and annoy.

Anyway, it still looks absolutely gorgeous; as you yourself can see by casting your peepers over the embedded trailer below:

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 is due to be released sometime next year on Xbox 360 and PS3.

Written by bitsnark

July 5, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Sony Acquires Content Streaming Specialist Gaikai For $380 million – What This Means For Playstation Gaming

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It’s a done thing – though don’t expect much from the deal until the PS4/Orbis makes it’s next-generation bow.

It was supposed to be announced at Sony’s E3 press conference but it was not to be; instead nearly a month later, Sony and cloud gaming specialist Gaikai have confirmed that a deal has been struck for the Japanese hardware manufacturer to own the Dave Perry run outfit for the price of $380 million.

The purchase of Gaikai includes all of their technology and infrastructure; effectively providing Sony with a ready-made large network of datacentres to deliver streaming content to its consumers.  More specifically, it fully enables them to branch out and create a full-on, bonafide cloud gaming platform.

Andrew House, group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment had this to say regarding the deal:

“By combining Gaikai’s resources including its technological strength and engineering talent with SCE’s extensive game platform knowledge and experience, SCE will provide users with unparalleled cloud entertainment experiences.  SCE will deliver a world-class cloud-streaming service that allows users to instantly enjoy a broad array of content ranging from immersive core games with rich graphics to casual content anytime, anywhere on a variety of internet-connected devices.”

Cutting through the blurb, what this really means is that Sony will be able to supply a cloud-gaming service to its customers which would likely include the streamable PS3 demos and a smattering of PS2 and PSOne library content, as has been rumoured already.  Such a service would be a tremendous boon for the company as it would not only allow them to embellish the forthcoming PS4 and the struggling Playstation Vita handheld with a great new feature that would enable widespread access to a whole library of PSOne and PS2 content, it would also allow them to monetize non-Playstation users too; with the streaming service also being made available to tablets and smartphones.

I would also wager a significant amount of money that the service would be a Playstation Plus exclusive so as to further incentivise that initiative and get that many more subscribers on board.

The specifics for the deal have yet to manifest themselves, but until they do; the potential of the deal is blatant and obvious for all to see.  I’ll have more on this as and when the particulars become available, until that comes to pass however, feel free to try out the Gaikai cloud gaming experience by clicking on the Gaikai logo below:

Written by bitsnark

July 2, 2012 at 9:45 am

Today Is A Good Day: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Limited Edition For Europe Announced By Namco Bandai

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The Studio Ghibli and Level 5 collaborative JRPG effort – Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is an a unique position; it’s fully capable of giving both JRPG fans and Studio Ghibli fans raging nerdgasms when the game launches on European shores on January 25th next year, just three days later than it’s release in the US.

To further consolidate such thunderous undergarment movements comes the news from publisher Namco Bandai that a limited edition version of the game is due to arrive in European territories on the same day as the standard edition.

The Limited ‘Wizard’s Edition’ as it is known, contains the following fawn-worthy goodies:

–  A hardback of Oliver’s spellbook, The Wizard’s Companion, containing over 300 pages over luciously hand-drawn Studio Ghibli art and narrative notes.

–  A plush doll of Drippy, Oliver’s guide.

–  Exclusive “golden mite” and “golden drongo” DLC familiars.

In addition to those packed-in extras, certain participating retail outlets will also be dishing out two exclusive familiars developed especially for the western release: flutterby and griffy.

Preorders have yet to start for the title but just look at the ‘Wizard’s Edition’ in the picture.


There can be no hope for my wallet. No hope at all.

Additionally, if you are in anyway unfamiliar with the game itself or you just want another reason to nerd-fap over it, take a look at the most recently released trailer below:

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch releases exclusively on the PS3 on January 25th, 2013 in both standard and limited edition formats.

Written by bitsnark

June 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Bethesda Releases ‘Golden Cat’ E3 Gameplay Walkthrough For Dishonored – Confirms Potential Game Of The Year Status

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Bethesda Softworks today blew the lid off of their behind-closed-doors E3 gameplay demo of  their highly anticipated title Dishonored, with the release of two director commentary gameplay videos.  Due to arrive in October, on PS3 360 and PC formats, Dishonored casts you as a supernatural assassin driven by revenge in a Victorian-inspired world merged with nightmarish science-fiction.

Broken down into two parts, each of these videos successfully conveys the primary lure of Dishonored; the freedom to creatively eliminate your targets with a hugely flexible combat system allowing you to combine supernatural abilities with a myriad of weapons and gadgets at your disposal.  Boasting a dynamic mission structure that alters throughout depending on the choices you make, Dishonored is equal parts Thief, Deus Ex and Bioshock; combining the key aspects of each of these notable genre alumni into a cohesive whole, that while perhaps not so technically impressive amongst its contemporaries, nevertheless looks to captivate and enrapture with it’s complete freedom of approach to completing missions and objectives.

Everything from skulking in the shadows and dropping down for a gory kill, through to teleportation and possessing anything with a heartbeat (even a fish!) combined with the creative fusion of a hugely dynamic arsenal of weapons and powers is showcased in the two videos embedded below.

With commentary by Co-Creative Directors Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith, each video represents the same mission, but differ in the manner by which the mission is tackled.  The first video shows a more stealthy approach; leveraging a select number of  powers in addition to the traditional stealth genre tropes (hiding in the shadows, hiding bodies from sight etc.) to get things done quietly and undetected. The second video as you might reasonably infer, instead shows a total balls-to-the-wall approach – where the shadows are left behind and the entire supernatural arsenal of the player is brought to bear in full-on confrontational combat.

Personally, I would much rather prefer the stealthy sort of gameplay myself at this early juncture.  The game appears to function much stronger in this regard and like last year’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the game seemingly has it’s most rewarding and satisfying moments when it is played in this fashion.

Enough of my prattle though, have a look at the footage below and see which approach you would favour in what looks to be a dark horse contender for Game of the Year:

 Dishonored is due to be released on 360, PC & PS3 platforms on October 12th, 2012.

Written by bitsnark

June 28, 2012 at 8:38 pm

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