PS3 Attitude

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PS3 Attitude

Friday, 13 June 2008

A reminder about our Digg feed

What with it being a 'slow news day', and with MGS 4 taking up all our free time, we thought it would be a good time to remind you about our Digg feed.

If you subscribe to our RSS feed (which delivers our news instantly as it appears) or our Email summary (which arrives once a day around 11:00 UK time) using the links in the top left of the sidebar, you also gain access to any stories we 'Digg'.

This way, you get access to the best content from around the PS3 web community.

So if you haven't already, start using our RSS feed now or sign up for our Email summary - there are new stories waiting for you on the other side.

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Thursday, 12 June 2008

European PS Store update for 12th June

Looks like the MGS Effect is in full swing, since the European update is nothing to write home about for once.

Yes, there are a couple of demos, but we expect that since the biggest PS3 exclusive of the year just hit the streets, the guys at SCEE are too busy playing MGS to worry about the PS Store! The demo of Quake Wars will, at least, let you know why we thought it was worthy of the Big Three award in May...

Here's the (full) list:

Demos (all free)

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars [PS3 Attitude Big Three title]
Monster Madness

Add-ons

Guitar Hero III - Isle of Wight track pack (£3.99)

Videos (all free)

Haze interviews - two videos with Korn frontman Jonathan Davis
Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer

Wallpapers and Themes (all free)

Pixeljunk Monsters (x2)

Now, get back to finding all those MGS4 secrets...

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MGS4; Top 5 secret features



WARNING - Some of the following may contain spoilers...


It's MGS-Day around the world and so we thought we'd kick off with our five favourite game secrets. Kojima-san is famous for his 'extras' and sense of humour throughout the MGS series, and some of our favourite distractions make a return in MGS4 - only with a slight twist.

1. Emotion Magazines

Emotion Magazines are available from Drebin during your first play, but they have a secret contained within. After you have played the game through for the first time, read through the magazines again. A case of 'beast and then the beauty', you might say!

2. Secret interactive scenes

During the game you'll be treated to the usual high-quality cut-scenes. The game will tell you when to press [L1] to access the view through Snake's eyes.

But there are moments, especially in Act 2 when you're in the lab with Naomi, where you want to press [L1] without being prompted. For example, when Naomi reaches for the cigarette. We won't spoil the view, but suffice to say your Psyche meter goes up when you cop a look.

3. Play as Altair

As you'll remember from the April Fool's joke, there is an Altair costume available. Here's how to get it...

After your first play through the game, play again. You need to get greater than 50 knife kills or knife stuns, greater than 50 CQC holds and less than 25 discoveries. A tough challenge indeed, but you'll be rewarded with the 'Assassin Emblem' and the Altair Disguise.

4. Dancing enemies

The iPod in the game comes with a few tunes, but there are loads to unlock along the way. Thankfully, the tune you need for this secret comes with your iPod.

During the 'white world' phase of each 'Beauty Battle', play the song called Oishii Chuhan Seikatsu. You opponent (and Sunny in the video feed in the pause menu) will begin to dance! Don't get too close those - they may still attack.

5. Ghostbusting

There are 30 hidden ghosts in the game, some are famous faces from MGS1 and some are the development team of MGS4.

You need to look through the viewfinder of your camera and have the Sorrow Doll equipped as your current weapon.

When photos that include ghosts are viewed in the photo album, you get an extra option - Exorcise!

So that's our five favourite secrets in the biggest exclusive of the year. Do you know of any more?

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Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4; Father's Day edition

With just one day left until the most important PS3 Exclusive of the year arrives on our shelves and doorsteps, and only a few days until Father's Day, it seemed appropriate to bring the two events together.

As we mentioned in our 'Big Three' for June, MGS4 is a title that should be just as comfortable for 'newbies' to play as it is for seasoned MGS veterans, with a core plot-line that doesn't require prior knowledge of the series combined with many side-plots that point to the previous incarnations of the franchise.

However, we feel it is our duty to explain the origins of Solid Snake by way of his 'Dad'.

Big Boss was a central character in the original Metal Gear (which I remember playing all those years ago on the MSX platform). He was the leader of the special forces unit called FOXHOUND.
Sometimes known in the series as Naked Snake, Big Boss was thought of as 'The Greatest Warrior of the Twentieth Century.' Towards the end of Metal Gear, it is revealed that Big Boss is, in fact, the terrorist leader of an organisation named Outer Heaven.

Big Boss chose to deploy Solid Snake for the missions in the original Metal Gear as he considered him to be his most inexperienced soldier. However, because of the truth of Solid Snake's origins, Big Boss effectively ended up battling himself after revealing the truth of his allegiance.

You see, Solid Snake is in fact a clone of Big Boss. Along with his 'brothers', Liquid Snake and Solidus Snake (who together are referred to as 'Les Enfants Terribles'), they are designed to be the perfect warriors, born from the greatest of all.

Despite losing the battle in Metal Gear, Big Boss did not perish and returned in Metal Gear 2. In MG2, Big Boss has taken military control of Zanzibar Land along with his lieutenant, Gray Fox.

The truth about Solid Snake's father and the cloning experiments that led to his 'birth' were made apparent when Metal Gear Solid became available. In fact, the story was effectively changed - a practise not uncommon in films, comic books and TV shows - where previously stated facts are altered later in the series. Whilst Big Boss is dead by the time MGS was set, this 'new truth' shows he remained a key character in the franchise.

So key, in fact, that Big Boss returned in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater as the playable character and this is the title in which we refer to him as Naked Snake. MGS3 was a prequel to the events of Metal Gear and was set in 1964. During Operation Snake Eater he loses his eye in a battle against a young Revolver Ocelot, which results in the eye patch we see him wearing throughout the rest of the franchise - although as you'll read below, this is another area where the story has been altered throughout the years.

Big Boss returns as the playable character once more on the PSP in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, further underlining his importance to the series.

The loss of Big Boss' eye has been a good example of where the story of Metal Gear has been changed over the years. Originally, the eye patch was on his left eye and according to the MG2 manual, it stated that he also lost his left ear and limbs in the battle with Solid Snake. Following that original depiction, all future images of Big Boss showed he had lost his right eye. As you read above, MGS3 stated the loss of his eye to Revolver Ocelot.

The MGS3 reason has become the standard, but it all serves to point out that whilst the Metal Gear series has been one of the most enduring stories in gaming history, the plot and history haven't always been consistent.

So there you have it. A short history of the daddy of all daddies, and the reason why Solid Snake exists. Now that Solid Snake is an old man in the forthcoming MGS4, will he also spawn the next generation of warriors for the 21st century? I guess we'll just have to play and see...

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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Hard disk upgrade; a reminder...

It seems like now is a good time to remind everyone just how easy it is to upgrade your PS3 hard drive, since I'm now the proud owner of a 250Gb PS3 rather than the 60Gb I started with.

The operation, described beautifully by the guys at VideoJug below, is as easy as you'd expect and despite a stubborn screw that required a pair of pliers, took me all of 7 minutes to complete.

I chose to back up everything to a USB external drive in advance and then restore afterwards. The operation therefore required 90 minutes of backup beforehand, and 90 minutes of restore afterwards. Don't forget to backup all your data before upgrading or you'll lose everything.

Check out the video below to see just how easy it is. Thanks again to Sony for making this a customer installable item...

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Qore; PS3 Attitude community review

Qore Issue 1 hit the PS Store last Thursday for a cent short of $3. Not only did PS3 Attitude get to see Qore, but one of our loyal readers had a chance to review the first issue of SCEA's new communication initiative.

Here's what 'Reesimo' thought of his purchase - keep reading for our review:

Qore - I have to say I do NOT like the way it's spelled!

Whilst downloading Qore, I recalled OPM. I don't read many gaming mags nowadays (well, there aren't many left) because the news is a month old. But I did read the Official PlayStation Magazine.

I read it so often in fact, that I began ordering it at my store. That way I wouldn't have to shell out the $12 and still got to enjoy it. The mag itself was ok, it didn't compare to the likes of Next Generation or Gamefan though. But OPM had something that the others did not. A glorious demo disc.

The demo disc was almost always chock full of content. Included on the disc were game trailers, behind the scenes vids, cheat codes, several demos and other gaming related content. I'd rush home in a hurry to try out the latest and greatest games once a month. I actually have many of them still. Anyway, the mag has been dead for a while now.

I imagine that Sony has conjured up Qore as it's replacement.

After downloading is complete, you've got to install Qore as you would any game in the Game section of the XMB. When it loads up, you're treated to an extended trailer for the new Hulk movie. It's skippable with a press of the X button. I skipped it. The movie looks like trash. Do not want.

Afterward, you're greeted by some lady who is apparently popular online. Never seen her before. She's pleasant enough, though.

I've read Sony hype up the interface as incredibly interactive. I think it's more like a 'special features' portion of a DVD. It's nice enough. I checked the resolution and it's 720p. Which got me thinking... Why are more Xbox 360 games running at 1080 when the Beast of a Multimedia Machine that is the PS3 has games that run at 720?

While pondering, the screen changed. The menu was replaced by Death Orb. I didn't know what to do. Started playing and I liked it. It's basically Pong. But in space, with electric currents and one button press. Sounds weird, but it works. I was angered that I lost matches of such a simple game to the CPU and quickly quit. I played later until I won!

Back to the menu. After selecting a batch of Soul Calibur media, I was dismayed to see a Metal Gear Solid 4 advert. Grabbed the remote and pressed mute and looked away. I couldn't skip it! I don't want to see anything Metal Gear. Want to be totally surprised. No Spoilers please! Besides, MGS4, there are other Game ads. But wait! Burger King ads too! Why are there ads? Why can't you skip them?

Anyway, back to Soul Calibur. There's a video of a marketing guru telling me how great the game is. Honestly, the game looks just like the last one. It's too bright and colorful for me to play it. And I think Darth Vader in the game is just stupid.

There's also a video segment featuring Afro Samurai. I watched the entire series and was not impressed. It really wasn't that great. The game itself looks like it could be on the PS2. Not to say that it looks bad, it just didn't blow me away.

There's a portion of Qore dedicated to the new Star Wars game--The Force Unleashed. Now this game looks amazing. After watching a couple videos, I was treated to concept art that I could interact with. Just like any slide show, I could skip, and review pics. As well as zoom in. I could also change the amount of time between slides. Nice. It would be nice to be able to rewind or fast forward the videos.

So, now Socom Confrontation. Not interested in squad based shooters. Checked it out. Looked okay. I'm supposedly allowed access into the Beta by purchasing the first episode of Qore. But I'd read that the Beta would be public, so I'll wait and see if my ticket in is special somehow.

Finally, I got to Secret Agent Clank for the PSP. Looks stupid and kiddie. Do not want. There were a couple videos for that as well as a slideshow of in game shots and concept art. I checked out the Download area and there were three options.

1. Download the Socom Confrontation Beta.
2. Download a Socom Confrontation Theme.
3. Download Calling All Cars.

The Beta hasn't started yet, so that doesn't work. I downloaded the theme, but it was ugly so I deleted it. You can only get Calling All Cars with a yearly subscription of Qore. I already have the game anyway.

All in all, I think there's a lot of room for improvement. I don't think the first episode of Qore was worth the $2.99 asking price. But I can only hope in the future that Sony will provide more content for my buck. Also, what is Death Orb? Is that an upcoming game for the PSN or is it just a little something for Qore buyers? If it's a demo for a PSN game, that should be free for everyone on the network. Death Orb is a stupid name too. There's no death involved.

So, I'm interested to see what the next few months bring... Will there be better content included in Qore? Let's hope so. As it stands now, Sony's gonna have to do a lot more than throw me a few videos, and a theme or two, to get me to check out next months' episode.
So that's the view of one of our readers (and many thanks to 'Reesimo' for spending time writing up his thoughts). What do we think?

Before I got to see Qore, I remember saying the following to a friend of mine (based on nothing more than the news of it's arrival) - "three dollars - I'd pay three pounds for that"!

And I would still stand by that. You see, £3 in the UK gets me one coffee and one tea at any of the standard StarNeroCosta cafe chains, and Qore is already better value than a couple of drinks.

As SCEA continue to release Qore, the unique content will help establish it as a good deal for US owners.

But I have a major issue with Qore.

If you have just paid for it, why does it come chock full of adverts?

This breaks Marketing 101 many times over. Either you get it for free and it is paid for by advertisers, or you pay for it and it's free of advertising. Some may say I'm mad, after all you buy a magazine and it is chock full of adverts, right?

But with a magazine you can skip these or ignore them entirely with ease. 'Online' advertising is different. It's intrusive.

Needless to say, the placement of the Burger King advert was the most heinous crime, but somehow after the recent release of GTA IV I viewed it in a different light, thanks to Rockstar's Burger Shot parodies.

The content in our opinion is good and can only get better, but please SCEA - lose the advertising and put all the 'trailers' under their own menu so that people can choose whether they want to watch them or not.

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Monday, 9 June 2008

Burnout Paradise; Cagney hits on 10th July

Criterion have announced their biggest-ever-yet update for Burnout Paradise - codename Cagney, but effectively version 1.3 - will be launched at 09:00 UK time on 10th July.

Cagney includes all of the following additions and enhancements:

3 New Freeburn Game Modes...

• Road Rage

8-player team event. One team must race through a series of Paradise City checkpoints. The other team must stop them.
Cue incredible chases and battling through the city, tons of voice communication as players co-ordinate their efforts.

• Stunt Run (vs)

Pull stunts to score points - hit barriers, billboards and ramps; ace barrel rolls, flat spins and massive airtime to score big. Everybody competes to simultaneously - hit your rivals to kill their scores and gain multipliers.

• Marked Man

A player is selected at random and everyone gangs up to take them down. The Marked Man scores for reaching the end point intact and taking anyone down along the way.

70 New Freeburn Challenges...


• 70 new timed multi-part Freeburn Challenges
• Leaderboards for these challenges that log your best time (as well as those people who did it with you)

Vehicles


• Hunter Olympus
• A secret Criterion Car!

New liveries


• Rossolini Tempesta Dream
• Two fan-created liveries – the Oval Steel Racer and Inferno Hippie Van
• A secret Criterion livery!

Ranked Race Changes


• More details available at Criterion's site


Custom Soundtracks


• Custom Soundtrack support on PS3

Other high-priority fixes and updates

• If you're in a 3 or more player challenge and a player drops out, the remaining players can still complete it (subject to it being a challenge that can handle this!)
• "Previously" section on the search games list now displays Challenges, Today's Best and Freeburn game modes, making it loads easier to decide which game you want to join
• You can now view Leaderboards and Options in an online game
• You can now mute other online players in the show players screen
• You can now mute yourself if you have a PS3 Eye/Eye toy
• We've increased time-out for online races, and if all players complete the races within the timer, then you go straight to results
• The Airfield has been changed to help with the drivability of the area and make it a little easier to complete the hoop challenges
• Online cars now show damage - roll up to the start in a half-destroyed Hunter Cavalry and everyone else will see it!
• Added an stronger display message if you rule all of Todays Best
• The Easy Drive menu & Challenges page now loops from top to bottom
• Fixed the navigation system so that it takes into account the next check point in a race
• Fixed traffic not reappearing in Freeburn after a no-traffic race
• Fixed online races using Lawrence Road - it's been reporting finish distances with a little inaccuracy
• Revised 30+ car resets following crashes
• All new sound effects added for Easy Drive
• Driving backwards in Road Rage now ends the event as it does in Marked Man
• Option to invert camera axis for the look around camera on right stick
• Online player information made accurate on the instance a player goes through a checkpoint in races
• If you set VOIP mix to zero it is now saved correctly
• 1080i support for "almost HD" sets
• Improved the Standard Definition rendering on PS3
• New highlight to show the player in Today's Best
• Easy Drive fades out if it's unused for 20 seconds
• Boost chaining no longer possible by drifting in open areas


The next update, Davis, is due to hit in August and will be the first paid-for DLC. You can get a sneak preview of what is to come in Davis from our Live from Paradise feature.

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Blu-ray debate; Xbox Boss vs. sales fact

It is always interesting to hear different points-of-view on sometimes emotive and always bi-polar topics such as PS3 vs. Xbox 360 and Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD.

Things often become more interesting when an 'opinion' is released to the world at the same time as a 'fact' - and that is exactly what has happened today.

Xbox President Robbie Bach told the San Francisco Chronicle that Blu-ray is effectively not worth the money and that people will not pay extra to get it.

Within moments of us reading this piece, Singulus reveal that uptake of their Blu-ray Dual-Layer replication machines are so high, they are well ahead of where DVD production was 11 years ago. They have sold 21 machines in the last quarter alone, which suggests more and more companies are producing Blu-ray disc output - hardly something they would invest in without willing customers.

Mr. Bach's premise is based on people not wanting to pay extra for Blu-ray over and above what DVD upscaling can achieve. Of course, he's forgetting that Blu-ray also offers much higher storage for gaming, a fact not lost on the likes of Hideo Kojima who even makes a joke reference to the storage space in MGS 4.

It is a shame for Mr. Bach that his comments appeared on the same day as the Singulus financial results, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

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