PS3 Attitude

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PS3 Attitude

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Play.com Live 08; Day One wrap-up

Wembley Stadium played host to the inaugural Play.com Live show today, with another day of the event coming tomorrow.

PS3 Attitude were there to cover the event and whilst there was a lack of items we felt needed 'live' updates, there were some highlights for PS3 fans.

The bottom floor of the event was almost exclusively Xbox 360 hardware. And yet there were still new builds of multi-platform products to be played. The latest Soul Calibur IV was there and looks very slick indeed.

Playing as one of three characters - Taki, Cassandra or Mitsurugi - it is exactly what you would expect from a Soul Calibur title. Only this time the graphics have taken a real ramp up since the PS2 incarnation. Everything looks pixel perfect.

Rainbox Six Vegas 2 was also present and was another title that seemed to deliver exactly what was expected of it. A straight sequel, and whilst that's not a bad thing it also doesn't appear on the surface to bring anything new to the franchise.

Moving upstairs marked the shift from white to black as everything became PS3-oriented. Immediately to the right was the Rock Band setup from EA. With still no release date for the UK, I was surprised at the skill of some of the players, the best of which were chosen to battle on the music stage later in the day for a complete Rock Band kit each.

Sony's stand was very well put together with some impressive 'pods' set up for GT5: Prologue. Around the driving area Sony had a number of screens showing videos from LittleBigPlanet and God of War: Chains of Olympus for PSP. In addition, they had playable demos of Time Crisis 4 and the new Buzz! game.

We covered Time Crisis 4's FPS functionality earlier today. In the standard game mode it doesn't offer anything new, but the new GunCon 3 is a remarkable piece of equipment that we expect will be made use of in the future to much better effect.

Buzz! now comes with wireless controllers, although your old wired ones will do just fine. The game has taken a real step up graphically as you'd expect, but the new game modes are a lot more fun and I can see this version being a massive hit for families. I played against three other players (and won with 5,000 points - woo hoo!) and it really helped me to forget just how much my feet were hurting!

The latest build of Haze was also available to play upstairs and although it doesn't look like it has graphically moved on from the build of Haze we played at GameCity, it's still as exciting to us as before. In the deluge of FPS titles available for the PS3, I can see Haze being one of those that raises its head above the rest. The responses I got from other players seemed to suggest they thought so too.

Capcom showed the Street Fighter IV trailer and had Lost Planet set up to play, so I'm afraid we didn't spend much time with that.

On the third floor were a few third-party stands, such as the memory manufacturer SanDisk and Corgi, who had light sabres and other merchandise for sale. I was fortunate enough to meet my favourite ever Dr. Who - Tom Baker - who was being as effervescent as ever. On the next stand was Robert Llewellyn of Red Dwarf and Scrapheap Challenge fame who I shared a few comedy moments with.

The e-sports section of the show saw one lucky PES 2008 player walk away with £50,000 in cold, hard cash. The Soul Calibur IV competition had a Dodge car as the prize. Certainly Play.com seemed to have lined up some pretty decent prizes for their first show, and it's good to see e-sports becoming more serious and gaining better rewards.

The two outstanding moments for me were the actual gameplay video from Codemasters of Race Driver: GRID, and the demonstration from the guys who are making Far Cry 2.

Race Driver: GRID looks amazing, but it is the little things that make a difference. The environments you race in and the detail in the crowd and surroundings are superb, but also subtle. Unlike some racing games I've played, the crowd don't all move in unison as if they're connected by a metal rod, and they're not cardboard cut outs either. It's this subtlety that makes all the difference.

Far Cry 2 will be coming to the PS3, and it looks like a serious step up for FPS titles. The real selling point is the natural weather and enemy AI. Virtual wind blows the palm fronds (which are all destructible) and also allows you to set fires that blow towards your enemies, helping you gain cover and create a distraction. The world (which is 50Km in size!) gradually moves through a 24-hour cycle. If you spend long enough, you'll see the sun set. If you want to perform a mission at night, you can sleep for a while and tackle it in the dark.

We'll have more on Race Driver: GRID and Far Cry 2 in the near future.

So - on to Day Two. We'll cover anything that needs a quick update live from the show, but come back same time, same place tomorrow for a wrap-up.

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Play.com Live 08; Time Crisis 4 FPS gameplay

Direct from Play.com Live 08, we have exclusive footage of the FPS gameplay feature in Time Crisis 4.

Whilst the game has received lukewarm reception in recent previews, the FPS mode is certainly a novel feature.

The GunCon 3, in it's orange blazing glory, has a whole host of buttons and a thumb-stick on the back that allows you to look around, strafe, jump, reload and change weapons, as well as operating items such as doors.

It looks awkward to begin with, but feels fairly natural after a short time. What will make this much more fun is the online multi-player, which is expected to support up to 10 players.

The reviews from elsewhere may not have been too complimentary, but the FPS function may well save the day.



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Friday, 14 March 2008

GTA: IV online modes revealed

Word has it that there will be a total of 15 different online game modes in GTA: IV, although we only have the details of 14 of them currently.

The online gaming is accessed via your 'cellphone' - or mobile as we'd call it over here.

Initially, you will create your online character using a number of personalisations including sex, race, skin colour, hair, clothing and other features.

The multi-player will allow the host of the game to select the rules. In GTA Race and Race modes the host will decide how many laps and whic vehicles can be raced. In Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch the number of pedestrians, flow of traffic and police intervention are all selectable.

Within the Mafia Work and Team Mafia Work modes, you will play as a mafia hitman, competing to complete kills ordered by the boss over your mobile before your rivals can manage it. Think of the film Smokin' Aces and you'll be halfway there.

'Cops n Crooks' mode allows one team to play as the police and the other as the perps.

It certainly sounds like Rockstar have really put a lot into the multi-player aspect of GTA: IV. We can't wait to get our hands dirty, so to speak.

Here's the 14 modes we have details for:

  • Hangmans Noose
  • Car Jack City
  • Bomb da Base
  • Bomb da Base II
  • Mafia Work
  • Team Mafia Work
  • Deathmatch
  • Team Deathmatch
  • Turf War
  • Cops n Crooks
  • GTA Race
  • Race
  • Deal Breaker
  • Free Roam

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Burnout Paradise islands are free, and massive DLC plans

Staying with Burnout Paradise news - we revealed the new car and island area last week and knew that Criterion had more to say on the subject of downloadable content.

What we didn't know then was the extent to which this content would grow.

First, the good news.

The new island areas (yes, areas - not area) will be free. The first island will come soon with the Dust Storm car and there will be many more island additions to the map in the future. That bridge in the video apparently leads to many more islands, not just one.

Now, the extra good news.

Criterion have stated that whilst the islands will be free, some DLC will be charged for in future. This is similar to the way Motorstorm pushed it's DLC model out to us, and everyone is fine with that.

But the content they are creating is going to be very different. Not just an additional car here and a livery there. The idea from their perspective is to develop the game "almost to the point of making a new game". Sounds exciting!

If that's not enough for you, how about the news that this doesn't just mean new game modes either.

Whilst new game modes are important to Criterion, that is not the full extent of the DLC they're working on.

We can only speculate at the moment until the guys and gals at Criterion spill the 'cool beans' (Speed Racer reference, anyone?).

How about a 'Driver' mode where you have to complete solo and multi-player missions within the Burnout universe? Or maye they'll add weapons at some point for some 21st century Car Wars action?

Got any ideas? Throw them in the comments section and we'll forward them to Criterion...

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Burn-out your own car in Paradise

Over at Criterion they have made livery templates available to download so you can produce your own custom livery for Burnout Paradise.

They have three templates available for gamers to provide their own designs for the Kitano Hydros, Hunter Oval Champ or Carson Inferno Van.

The best designs will then find their way into the game in the not-too-distant future.

If you're an arty type, head over to the Criterion custom livery page, copy the templates and get painting. Details of how to submit your designs can be found with the templates.

I wonder if they'd allow a PS3 Attitude sponsored vehicle?

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Thursday, 13 March 2008

European PS Store updates for 13th March

Another week, another poor showing on the EU PS Store.

This week we do get some more GH III content, but that's about all you can look forward to.

After last week's announcement that PAIN would be coming in March, we're now absolutely certain it will hit next week. We're also pretty sure that Europe will finally see the Shivering Isles add-on for Oblivion soon following last week's trailer.

But all of this anticipation isn't helping SCEE's cause. The natives are getting restless on this side of the pond, and we need to see some decent content arrive in order to even begin to fix the lasting reputation the EU PS Store is getting.

Let's hope that next week sees the beginning of better times ahead.

Here's the list:

Add-ons

Guitar Hero III - Modern Metal track pack (£3.99) - three songs from artsists such as Avenged Sevenfold, Thrice and Deftones

Videos (all free)

Elefunk trailer

Themes (all free)

PixeJunk Monsters

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[UPDATE] Haze; Mantel Corp website goes live


Ubisoft have just launched a new website for Haze; a full-blown Mantel Global Industries corporate site detailing their products, services and even a careers page where you can apply for a job!

Of course, applying for a job takes you through to a registration page so you can gain access to further Haze details (which is no bad thing), but the approach to getting you to register is definitely unique and fun.

The detail Ubisoft have gone into on the Mantel Corp. pages is immense and well worth reading through, as they give you lots of extra details on the weapons, the Nectar and the background story.

Check out the new Mantel website and be prepared to spend a while investigating everything...
[UPDATE] This is not quite the same site as Ubisoft launched back in early 2007, although it is on the same domain name. It has had a massive overhaul since then and includes a huge amount of new information. So whilst it's not actually a new site, it is full of completely new info.

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Burnout Paradise wallpaper for your PS3 and PSP

Over at the Criterion Games developer's blog, they were good enough to let us know that they've started providing Burnout Paradise wallpapers in sizes that perfectly fit both your PS3 and your PSP.

Since they've added these wallpapers to their Flickr account, it's not always completely easy to download the right size, so we've decided to put both wallpapers in both sizes up here at PS3 Attitude. You can download them directly using your PSP or PS3 or grab them with a PC using the old 'right-click...save picture as...' trick.

Simply click the picture you want and the full size version will open up in front of your very eyes for you to download or set as your backdrop.

Enjoy!


PS3 Version








PSP Version








PS3 Version








PSP Version

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Firmware 2.17 goes live

Since this is not a big update, this won't be a big news story.

Simply put, Sony have upped the firmware to version 2.17 to fix some bugs. Or in Sony speak "the operating stability of some titles".

That's all it is people. Now go play something.

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Wednesday, 12 March 2008

New Motorstorm 2 teaser shows an island paradise

A little earlier than expected (we were waiting for 6 p.m. GMT), IGN UK have put the first teaser trailer up for Motorstorm 2.

We'll have our impressions of the video, and we'l have our own version of the trailer 'sans IGN watermark' tomorrow.

For now, enjoy the madness and marvel at the destructable environments, lush tropical rainforest and the sheer scale of the island the new Motorstorm tournament will be set in.

Our favourite part so far? The ending, harking back to the infamous 'target render' video of the original Motorstorm - except this time we know it's for real!

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Fatality! Do we still care about Mortal Kombat?

During a conference call with investors, Midway's David Zucker has confirmed what we already knew - a next-gen Mortal Kombat game is on the way this year.

The question is, do we still care? Why is there a bigger 'buzz' around Street Fighter IV and Soul Calibur IV than Mortal Kombat?

The original MK was developed as a competitor to Street Fighter II, the main differences coming from the digitised graphics and high level of violence/gore. Whilst the gore took the headlines, gamers quietly got on with the business of realising this was a truly great beat-em-up.

Unlike Street Fighter and Soul Calibur, which have maintained their fan-base successfully, the series seemed to go downhill after the release of MK 3 in 1995. The replacement of many of the main characters with new ones (Raiden, for example, went AWOL) didn't go down well with the fans that had been won over with the first two incarnations.

MK IV made things worse. The first 3D version of the game, it sold well due to a massive marketing campaign but the reviews and fan reception were disastrous. Despite clocking up good sales numbers, the resulting drop in popularity meant that this would be the last MK to make it to the arcades, further damaging the status of the franchise.

Successive 3D sequels haven't done much to bring back hardcore MK fans. I personal feel MK: Armageddon was reasonably good in comparison to other the 3D incarnations, although the extent to which the game became a 'quest' product rather than a straight beat-em-up caused its own issues: 'travelling' across the various landscapes/plains became tedious. And don't get me started on just how boring the 'Krypt' unlockable zone is.

So what do we know about the new Mortal Kombat and will it succeed where it's predecessors have failed?

From a recent interview with Ed Boon, the co-creator of the MK series, we are told that "many new fighters will be introduced, and only few 'old' characters will return".

But isn't that one of the reasons MK went downhill in the first place?

We also know from Epic that the new MK will use the Unreal 3 Engine as it's main development platform.

Doesn't that mean we'll still have the sprawling landscapes that made the recent 3D outings somewhat tedious to explore?

We do know that the new MK will be 'gritty' and more realistic, with no 'flashy colours'. Suggestions that the new Mortal Kombat could owe more to Gears of War than it's own lineage aren't too far from the truth.

If MK 8 (working title) is to get our juices flowing once more, surely it needs to go back to it's roots and deliver something truly next-gen but with all the aspects of the original that made us sit up and take notice back in the early 90's. That's what Capcom are doing with Street Fighter IV, after all.

You can expect to see the next edition of the Mortal Kombat story around November this year.

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Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Full Details; NOVASTRIKE gunning for the PS Store

Tiki Games, who previously delivered the PSP exclusive Galaxy's End, are about to launch NOVASTRIKE on to the PSN.

Available soon via the PS Store, NOVASTRIKE is a top-down shooter reminiscent of arcade shooters from the 80's and 90's - just with better graphics of course!

We have the full details of what to expect when NOVASTRIKE hits the PS Store:

  • Seven challenging stages driven by objective-based goals
  • Free-roaming flight
  • Progressive weapon acquisition and upgrade system: as the player collects weapon drops from enemy ships the weapons themselves become available to the Scythe (the name of your ship) - there are nine base weapon systems, each with three subsequent upgrade levels
  • Air and ground targets: two separate weapon systems allow the player to combat both air and ground opponents
  • You're not alone: friendly fighters, bombers, and destroyers will aid you in your efforts to vanquish the Draelus invasion
  • DualShock 3 support
  • Continuing support: Tiki Games will be developing additional content for NOVASTRIKE throughout 2008
"NOVASTRIKE takes its roots from the toughest shoot-'em-ups, and brings that gameplay into a free-roaming, unpredictable space - and when players think they’ve conquered that, our continued support for the game will keep them on their toes with all-new game content." - Kevin McCann, President and Creative Director, Tiki Games

Check out the action in the video below, plus various screenshots, and drop by the official NOVASTRIKE website for more news.




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Official GT5: Prologue UK/Europe release dates

Forget what you might be reading at other sites, PS3 Attitude has the official word from Sony.

Gran Turismo 5: Prologue will appear on two seperate dates in March depending on whether you want the Blu-ray disk (BD) version, the PS Store download version of the bundled with a new PS3 version.

As we confirmed in one of our lead stories from last week, the European version of GT5: Prologue will come with an array of additional features over the original Japanese version.

71 cars, 6 tracks (each with two possible layouts, making 12 tracks in all), split-screen multiplayer and drift mode are just some of the features for Europe.

So when is it all happening?

If you want the BD version or the new PS3 40Gb bundle, Wednesday 26th March is your date of choice.

If you want to download your copy from the PS Store instead, Thursday 27th March is the date you've been waiting for.

It's the best GT ever, and as we've argued before, it is a full game for less than £20, so don't miss your chance to get your hands on a copy this month.
The scarily accurate PS3 Attitude Calendar has been updated as you'd expect.

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Monday, 10 March 2008

TW3: w/b 3rd March

That Was The Week That Was (or TW3 as we call it).

In order of popularity, here's a re-cap of the five most popular stories from the previous week:

1. European PS Store updates for 6th March

2. 5 reasons why GT5: Prologue is a full game and not a demo

3. Rocketmen demo fired up: misses target

4. Play.com Live '08; Gemma Atkinson and Iain Lee announced as presenters

5. March Madness; PS3 Attitude Big Three

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