PS3 Attitude

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PS3 Attitude

Friday, 4 January 2008

Burnout demo now supports eight online racers

As we revealed would happen, the Burnout Paradise demo has been expanded.

Throughout the life of the demo a few new challenges and news tidbits had been added, but this particular expansion is much more impressive.

Not only can eight people now race online against each other, but Criterion have added 13 more Freeburn challenges. There are specific challenges available depending on how many players are in the game, so you get three new challenges in a five player game, three when there's six, three when seven and four new challenges when there are eight.

The Burnout demo was already stupidly addictive, but this is going to really raise interest in what is going to be a leading title for 2008.

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PS Store; a quick update

In case you were wondering where our usual European and US PS Store updates went over the last couple of weeks, here's a quick recap.

Last week (27th), Europe did get an update but the US didn't. It was nothing to write home about, since the update contained an upgrade for Super Stardust HD and demos of The Club and Snakeball. You had probably already played Snakeball from the US demo the week before, but now you could go ahead and buy it if you wanted.

The Super Stardust HD upgrade didn't offer much since the multi-player option isn't yet available to buy when you go into the 'in-game store' option.

Then this week (3rd) both Europe and the US did get updates, but again they were a little 'light'. By the way, we're not complaining - we certainly took a long enough break at PS3 Attitude and everyone else is entitled to as well!!

Europe received the DMC 4 trailer that was already available on the US store, plus another add-on pack for Folklore.

The US got some more Guitar Hero III, Rock Band and Need for Speed add-on packs plus an NFL '09 demo and the GT5 Prologue Japanese Launch trailer.

Expectedly light updates over the Christmas period. Normal service looks to be resumed next week, and hopefully it won't be too long before us Europeans get some of the full games the US and/or Japan have enjoyed for so long (Everyday Shooter, PAIN, GT5 Prologue etc.)...

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In the Year of the Rat, will Sony win the race?



It will soon be the Year of the Rat.

In Chinese astrology the Rat is considered a leader and a pioneer. Rats can also be controlling, having their own way whatever the cost. Although Sony were 'born' in 1946 (which makes them a Dog - incidentally the same sign as my good self), you might say there are certain attributes of the Rat that sit well with them.

If you think it is odd to mix Chinese astrology with a Japanese company then bear with us. Although the Japanese celebrate the new year on the 1st January, they send postcards to their family and friends with the relevant animal depicted on the front - harking back to when the lunar calendar and the 12 animal signs were in use throughout Japan.

So what will this year bring, and will Sony win the ratrace against their most fierce of rivals? Just how will the Dog fair against the Rabbit (Microsoft) and the Ox (Nintendo).

Burnout Paradise is our first indication that 2008 is going to be a good one for the PS3. Yes - I know... since it is being released in January it doesn't fall into the Chinese 'lunar year' which starts in February. But since the Japanese start their year in January too, we're going to run with this one!

Then it's the turn of Devil May Cry 4 to hit our screens. There was a time when I was particularly angry with the Sheep (otherwise known as Capcom) for taking DMC to other platforms. But now we've seen it looking particularly spectacular on the PS3 we're not so unhappy. Add to that some exclusive downloadable content and the grass is certainly looking greener on this side of the fence. Maybe we'll hold off on turning Capcom into lamb chops for now.

Haze can't be ignored. Although it is yet another FPS, it is a special one. I don't honestly think that it is going to compare in any way to the Rabbit's best effort (the ever present Halo franchise) but it is truly a much deeper and more involving experience than many of the existing 'shooter' offerings available on the PS3. Call of Duty 4 excepted.

Shortly after you've managed to figure out how to squeeze those three titles into your heavy social calendar, the Tiger of Rockstar will rip your diary apart with the launch of GTA: IV. Once again it is a title that will appear on the Rabbit's platform, but we're not bitter about it. I couldn't care less if it were on every platform - just as long is it rocks our world as much as we think it will!

Around this time in the Year of the Rat, we expect that two amazing innovations will have found their way on to our favourite black monolith. PlayStation Home and LittleBigPlanet.

Home promises to be more than just a 3D lobby, although admittedly the ability to launch you and your newly-made friends into the multiplayer part of any game you own is a great feature. With huge amounts of content promised for launch and throughout the life of Home, plus the 'social networking' abilities available via the web-based portal to your Home space, Home will become many things; a replacement for the XMB, a lobby, a content viewer (both yours and content from Sony and third-parties), a casual games arena, a social networking site, a marketing tool to reach non-PS3 owners, a vanity case of game achievements, a mobile blogging/photo centre and much more.

LittleBigPlanet is surely one of the most anticipated titles of the year with it's innovative mix of gameplay, creation and sharing. If there's one title that is destined to take on the marketing behemoth that is Halo 3, this is it. 'What?', I hear you cry. How can you compare LBP and Halo 3? Think about it.

There's Halo 3 characters, faceplates, headsets, controllers and skins everywhere you look on your favourite retailer's shelves. You can get ringtones, wallpapers and themes for almost any mobile device. If there is one thing I want to see this year it's a Sackboy that I can actually buy, along with fabric pens so I can modify him, just like in the game. And a Sackboy controller. And a Sackboy gift set. Sony should be marketing the crap out of this game. I want to see Sackboy on the shelves of Clinton Cards alongside that ever-present blue-nosed teddy bear. You get the idea.

As the year progresses, we'll be hit with another massive title that is definitely staying on the PS3 only. Metal Gear Solid 4 will arrive. Every indication is that this final chapter in the story of Snake will be monumental in every way. The recent previews we've seen show the game to be something really special and the ending is promising to be as epic as you would expect. Once again you're going to have to figure out how to balance still playing GTA and LBP when this one hits. Who said gaming was easy!

Although Europe will see GT5 Prologue early in the year (February we reckon), there's a good chance the full Gran Turismo 5 experience will hit our shelves in the Year of the Rat. Promising a huge amount of detail, cars, tracks and content, along with realistic damage (hooray!), real-time weather simulation, GT-TV content, My Garage homepages/social networking and - most importantly - the Top Gear Test Track, GT5 will give us petrol-heads something to really get our teeth into once we've completed everything Burnout Paradise can offer.

Finally, we'll be sinking our teeth into the Hellghast scum once again as Killzone 2 comes to the PS3. Whether or not the screenshots you have seen are 'doctored' or not, it doesn't really matter. The fact is that this game is one hell of an FPS. Incredible graphics, amazing character animation, deep storyline, real atmosphere and pixel-perfect shooting mean that this one title may just blow your mind as well as your wallet. Another PS3 exclusive, I predict Killzone 2 will be the biggest selling of them all, which is a risky bet given the massive appeal of the games we've detailed above.

Honourable mentions go to the other games that will hit this year in retail and PS Store form; Tekken 6, SOCOM: Confrontation, Madden 09, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Everyday Shooter and Wipeout HD to name but a few. And we've ignored the possible release of those other exclusives - Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII - because we just don't believe they'll make it onto shelves this year.

And don't forget the additional hardware and PSP interactivity that is due. Soon you'll be able to buy PlayTV in Europe and add a twin-tuner Freeview PVR to the list of incredible things you can do with a PS3, and view live TV or your recorded programmes via Remote Play. There's so much more to come from the PS3 this year and much of it will be delivered, free of charge, via firmware updates and the PS Store.

Simply put, the Year of the Rat will be the best one yet for Sony. The Dog can learn new tricks, it seems.

Check out the gallery below for various screenshots and wallpapers...

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Thursday, 3 January 2008

Happy New Year; PS3 Attitude's Big Three


We're finally back from our extended break (some much needed R&R), and we're starting 2008 with the PS3 Attitude Big Three for January.

As a reminder, the Big Three tells you what you should be spending your hard earned cash on during the coming month. We only cover UK and European release dates, so don't go telling us that the 'big US-only release' is missing from the list! And we only cover games arriving during the month in question.

Picking three titles in January is a little harder than expected since new games will be a little thin on the ground at the start of 2008, but let's give it a go anyhow:

1. Burnout Paradise

There aren't many demos out there that I actually play for as long as a full release, so all the signs are good for the first next-gen Burnout title.

Set in Paradise City, which is much bigger than we expected, this version of Burnout has a number of nice gameplay changes over previous incarnations. For example, you no longer choose from a menu of different races. You simply pull up at the lights and hold down the break and accelerator to signal your intent. Each junction has a different challenge.

The online gaming is sublime and the full game will include over 300 challenges. If you've been playing the demo you will have noticed that they keep adding new challenges, including the 'synchronised barrel roll' task on the beach. It's great fun hooking up your PS Eye or headset to coordinate the drivers into the right locations to ensure everyone completes the challenge, and I can't wait to get my teeth into the full title when it arrives on the 25th.

Not only is this your 'must have' game for January, it will certainly be one of the standout titles for the whole of 2008!

Bonus Material: If you click the title link above to pre-order Burnout Paradise the nice people at GAME will send you a code via email on launch day to unlock an exclusive extra car.

2. Haze

Although no-one has yet confirmed the launch date for Haze, we fully expect it to be available in January. As soon as we get full confirmation, we'll let you know.

As you'll have gathered from our initial impressions of the build we played at GameCity, Haze is a great FPS from the team that brought the world such gems as GoldenEye and TimeSplitters. To say this game has pedigree would be an understatement.

The gameplay by itself is enough to warrant attention, but the storyline and the use of the soldier-enhancing/entrancing drug Nectar take this particular game to another level.

We're sticking our neck out here by putting Haze in the January Big Three when the lainch date hasn't been confirmed, but we're fairly confident. And regardless of which month Haze is released, it would be in our Big Three in any case, so put a few pennies aside for it anyway!

Bonus Material: By clicking the link above you can pre-order Haze and the chaps and chapesses at GAME will send you the product in a nice tin with a free glow stick. Nu Rave!

3. Unknown

Heck - we failed. We couldn't find three titles that were certain to launch in January. Haze isn't even certain to arrive and it still made it onto the list!

The truth is, there's going to be a lot more to talk about in February and beyond with games like Mercenaries 2, Devil May Cry 4, Viking, Army of Two and Brothers in Arms all arriving before the end of March. Along with a whole slew of great PS Store titles that are expected to hit before the end of the quarter we'll all be very busy. Our advice is to save up your pounds or euros in anticipation.

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