Another PlayStation 3 Model?
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]bout a week ago Sony filed a new PS3 SKU with the FCC. Many people have come to the speculation that a new model is in the works but Sony has neither confirmed or denied these statements.
There are no official specifications relating to the hardware. According to an application letter to Anatel (the Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications), they will have three hard drive sizes, 16GB, 250GB, and 500GB.
From the looks of the leaked picture from the letter, Sony is leaning towards the original gloss look for this new model.
Reviving the Playstation Move with Sports Gaming
There is no doubt the Nintendo Wii owned the motion market for families. Microsoft’s Kinect moved forward, so to speak, by freeing up hands from controllers and allowing the body to control the action on screen. It may be too late to join the party in considerable market share, but sports fans are revisiting the Playstation Move lately in a game-changing swing that is worth mention.
The Tiger Woods and PGA Tour series, NBA 2K productions, and MLB: The Show families are all utilizing the Move controller and Playstation Eye camera to get gamers off the couch and onto their feet. Little Big Planet 2 also offers an exclusive motion sub-story for motion control capable set-ups.
The sports genre is the biggest player in the movement. Sony San Diego has revamped its entire controller scheme in MLB 12: The Show, for the first time allowing every aspect of game play to be controlled through the Playstation Move. This allows Road to the Show mode to come alive with a connection between avatar and player and a responsibility to improve your batting average or lower your earned run average.
In MLB 12: the Show, Physical motions are captured calculating speed, location, and timing. All three aspects generate realistic responses from the game incorporating all of the intricacies of baseball based on real-life statistics, probabilities, and physics. The graphically superior Playstation 3 allows for the best motion sports play that has been offered to date.
If you overlooked the chance to jump into a sports game, you may be surprised with the quality of performance that is building momentum on Playstation 3. NBA 2K13 will expand on its Mover system, and Madden will surely look to apply the same commitment that sports fans are coming to expect from publishers.
The Evolution of Gaming: Tomb Raider
With this year’s E3 wrapping up, it should come to no surprise that we look to past E3s and see how far the videogame industry has evolved. Remember 1996? Pokemon was blowing up, Tupac was still made of flesh and blood instead digital lasers, and videogame enthusiasts celebrated the second E3 in history. Among first entries was: the original Resident Evil, the original Unreal Engine, as well as the first StarCraft—yes all these stunning games made their debut in the same year alongside the juggernaut game known simply as: Final Fantasy VII. Fast-forward twelve years later and we’ve seen the descendents of each; two of which had new releases this year and a third I’m about to mention.
Tomb Raider, which debuted back in 1996, is finally ready for its much needed reboot. Plagued with mediocre titles (Underworld, Anniversary, and Legend; the last of which premiered initially as a PS2 game before being ported to the PS3 in 2011, one of Sony’s staple franchises is ready to stun players as it once did years ago.
Introspective analysis of the game itself is a must as one of videogames oldest franchise must now navigate the perils of higher graphics and game play value that is only matched by the ever increasing expectation of fans worldwide—and it should!
Upon initial glance, Tomb Raider lives in close quarters with another famous Sony franchise: Uncharted—a perspective that created uproar all over the net. Much like Nathan Drake, the new Lara Croft is tested not only by overwhelming odds, but her environment often puts her in perilous positions. In one scene after freeing herself from hanging from a ceiling, she immediately falls onto a spike, an injury reminiscent to Drake’s bullet wound in Uncharted 2. In another scene her foot is caught in a bear trap. All the while she has to escape a sinking boat, survive in the wilderness, and stave off starvation. The question then really shouldn’t be how much Tomb Raider takes from the Uncharted Series, but how each developer used each other’s criteria to provided the gaming world with a much better game.
Let’s not forget, long before Nathan Drake was scaling German U-boats and crashing literally everything around him, it was Lara Croft who first donned the explorer uniform
And if you’re still convinced this new Tomb Raider is a knock off of the Uncharted series, then I challenge you to take a deeper look into both franchises history. Let’s not forget, long before Nathan Drake was scaling German U-boats and crashing literally everything around him, it was Lara Croft who first donned the explorer uniform (of course hers incorporated hot pants and a bare wife beater, but details are…well…details). But taking a deeper look, 2013’s Tomb Raider is a Lara Croft never seen before. In perhaps the best way I can describe it, this younger version explores the psyche of a woman before she inherits the inner badass bitch we all know and love. She’s more vulnerable and less experienced. In a sense, she’s merely a child thrown into a savage world with nothing but her wits at her disposal. It’s ironic that Crystal Dynamics incorporated Lara’s quote, “I hate tombs,” in the trailer. All of these examples are evidence of a game that not only evolved in terms of graphics, game play, and mystery, but there’s a much deeper sense of story development. This new Lara Croft is everything Nathan Drake accompanied with a celebrated history, bow and arrows, survival of the fittest, boobs, and hips that were made for walking.
Coming from a video gamer who played the series sparingly—and I use this term loosely, I can easily say this is one of 2013’s most anticipated games.
PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale [Hands-On E3 2012]
Let me start this out by saying I have been a die hard fan-boy of Super Smash Bros. So approaching this game I was very skeptical thinking it was a Super Smash Bros. rip off. And to be quaint, it is. Fortunately, I was not raging while I played this title at E3, I was very much engaged.
As I approached the PS All Star booth I was given the option to play with the PlayStation Dual shock controller or the PlayStation Vita. One thing for certain is that cross platform game play will be enabled with the PSVita. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a release of a PlayStation All Stars: Vita edition to compete with Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 3DS.
This game is not like SSB where you knock your enemies out of the playing field, you actually destroy them. One critical aspect to the game is the special combo meter. You can stack your combo bar up to three times by doing serious damage, the third stack unleashing the ultimate beast within.
The characters playable at E3 include Nathan Drake, Big Daddy, Sweet Tooth, Fat Princess, Sly Cooper, Colonel Mael Radec, Kratos, and Parappa the Rappa. There is no confirmed date but Sony is pushing for a release in the fourth quarter for the 2012 fiscal year.
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Dead Space 3 Co-Op Gameplay [E3 2012]
The latest installment in this space thriller was shown off by EA this week at the E3 Expo. EA has added new elements to the game, such as a cover system. According to Ian Milham, Franchise Art Director, they wanted to design a polished game made to be so natural that one wouldn’t even notice a cover system is there.
In addition to the cover system we our introduced to a co-op campaign. Gamer’s will be able to drop in and out as the playable character John Carver. Milham put emphasis on how much developers wanted to retain the suspenseful, horror movie nature of the game. Stating you can now play the game in two ways. One being the original solo campaign filled with the thriller ambiance. The other being this entirely new co-op campaign adjusted to provide its own experience to be shared with a friend.
Other elements introduced include the new environment’s such as deep space and a frozen planet infested with Necromorphs. Dead Space 3 is set to be released sometime in Feburary 2013.
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Aliens: Colonial Marines Gameplay [E3 2012]
Gearbox showed off some impressive footage of Aliens: Colonial Marines. There was not much to show here at E3 and I can only conclude it had something to do with the game getting pushed back to next year. Aliens: Colonial Marines is set to release on February 12, 2013. A separate release date will be announced for the Wii U. Here’s a gameplay walk through narrated by Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford.
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Assassin’s Creed III Gameplay [E3 2012]
Ubisoft developers mentioned they were so impressed with Red Dead Redemption’s hunting that they decided to incorporate that in the next AC title, only make it better. The Frontier game play video for Assassin’s Creed III shows us exactly how they decided to expand on Rockstar’s idea. Ubisoft has gone as far to introduce random weather events and seasonal changes. These will be major aspects to the naval battles and sea navigation.
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Assassin’s Creed III is set to release on October 30th. Sony has also announced the game will launch with a PlayStation 3 hardware bundle. The bundle will include the system, the game, and exclusive DLC. This last part has me sort of frustrated. I keep getting news that Ubisoft is making a collectors ed, a special ed, and now this bundle. All having their own exclusive content. It really grinds my gears that these businesses are taking advantage of the fan boy inside of me. Can’t I just have the full assassin experience without draining my bank account? The answer is no.
'Tomb Raider: Crossroads' Trailer [E3 2012]
Tomb Raider turns survival horror meets Uncharted? Count me in. If the Hunger Games has taught us anything there is nothing like a hot chick playing Survivor. This game looks serious it looks as though no holds were placed on the story telling mechanisms or gruesome nature of its game play.
I was never a fan of the original Tomb Raiders, I played them, but they never really got me going. This on the other hand looks like it should be a great game with a decent story. How do you guys feel about the reboot of the franchise?
DC: ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ Trailer [E3 2012]
Nether Realm the creators of Mortal Kombat, and Batman Arkham City Lockdown are bringing to you a new fighting game franchise named Injustice: Gods Among Us. The game pits some of DC heroes and villains against one another in an all out fighting match to the death. Its Mortal Kombat meets the DC universe and I am ok with it. Hopefully they will manage to find similar success as Marvel vs Capcomp found and stray away from the Mortal Kombat vs DC game that wiffed so hard. The draw to this game would be the gritty nature of it all.
The only elephant in the room is the boy scout in blue and the obvious match ups that he would pummel over. This is always a problem when it comes to a universe with characters so overpowered being mixed with characters so mortal. How do you explain Harley Quin vs Superman? Or even the hypothetical fight of Flash vs Superman? I don’t know what you have read but I don’t think the Flash can survive a drop from orbit… unless of course he vibrates out of it?
What do you guys think? Flop or success?
Stan Lee swings into the gaming realm
Comic book creator Stan Lee is known for his cameos in the films based off his work. According to Stan “The Man” Lee, this is a major contribution to the success of these films:
"The cameo is what is causing [the film] to do such good business," Lee said when reached by telephone. "People miss it the first time, so they buy another ticket to see it again. The biggest mistake DC [Comics] made was not giving me a cameo in ‘Green Lantern’; think of the business that would have done."
Well hes dropping in again, spidey style! Stan Lee will be appearing as himself in the upcoming video game adaption of this summer’s block buster film, The Amazing Spider-Man. Lee will have his own mission collecting manuscripts. Pre-ordering the title through Amazon will guarantee yourself a chance to spin web with the famous icon.
"I think Spider-Man is the best start I could have made. He’s the greatest character. Of course, he is like me in so many wonderful ways," Lee said. "Even without me, it’s a great game. Now that I am in the game, they have peaked."
I personally loved the first Spider-Man game based off the hit movie! Unfortunately as the series went on the games became stale and horribly designed. I am really hoping that The Amazing Spider-Man will be better than its predecessors. Do I think it will be? Not if Stan Lee’s cameo is the cherry on top. With the track record that Activision has with Spider-Man games I am very weary for the next title. Will The Amazing Spider-Man be a hit or miss? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Crysis 3 to have DX11 features on all platforms
Great news for fans of the Crytek franchise Crysis the developers have gone on record with Euro Gamer claiming that even consoles will get DX11 features by ways of complicated tricks and hard work to code for consoles to emulate DX 11 features. This seems like a step in the right direction, now if all developers made the effort to make DX11 the standard and worked around consoles to bring the advanced features we get on the PC that would be something. It seems this installment of Crysis was built on the PC and also fine-tuned to bring you as close as possible to the experience you would get on PC. Below are quotes directly from the developers detailing the process of bringing Dx11 to consoles.
"We want to make sure as much as is humanly possible can translate from a DX11 variant into a DX9 variant, that will work almost as good on an Xbox console to whatever extent we can, because we don’t want the experience to be different between the platforms," Rasmus Højengaard, director of creative development at Crytek, told Eurogamer.
"It is very, very difficult, but it is possible. It just requires a lot of effort. Some of the stuff these guys are making work on consoles now is absolutely amazing. It’s render features that shouldn’t theoretically work on consoles, but they’ve managed to construct code that can emulate a similar thing from a… hack and slash sounds wrong, but they don’t have the same streamlined pipeline you would have with a DX11 structure, but they can get to a similar result just by experimenting and using tips and tricks."
Højengaard provided a concrete example of this: parallax occlusion mapping, while pointing out that it was not a feature confirmed to be in the console version of Crysis 3.
"I’m not saying this will be in the game, but they managed to make parallax occlusion mapping work, which is an advanced form of bump mapping where you get silhouettes as well, and you have self-shadowing even though you have absolutely no polygons," he explained.
"That’s a very advanced feature, and it shouldn’t theoretically run on a 360, but they made it run on a 360."
Højengaard insisted, however, that Crytek will not include DX11 graphics features on console if they impact performance. “What it all boils down to is to what extent they’re able to use this without choking the console,” he said.
Crytek hopes Crysis 3, which has been in development for just over a year, will prove to be a visual showcase, an example of what is possible on the PS3 and Xbox 360 at the end of their lifecycles.
"It’s always interesting to push stuff when the perception is you can’t push it anymore," Højengaard said. "That’s definitely something we’re doing." The development team is benefiting, in this regard, from a particularly efficient production - one boosted by the "stable" CryEngine 3 and developers who are finally getting to grips with the Crysis franchise. The end result is a quicker turnaround than with previous Crytek games.
"We can just be very efficient about the production because we have a stable technology path and we’re not developing a new engine," he said. "And we have people who really know what they want to do with the game, which means we can get something out somewhat quicker than we could with Crysis 2, which had new engine development, and Crysis 1, which was new IP. As soon as you have to invent something it always takes longer than if you know what you’re doing.
"We’re obviously hoping it will be one of these pillars where we can go, that was what you can do."
Also check out the latest trailer of Crysis 3 below the in game footage looks phenomenal!
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