PS3 Attitude

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PS3 Attitude

Friday, 10 October 2008

TGS 08: New Prince of Persia Trailer

Ubisoft has provided us with a new trailer for the upcoming Prince of Persia due out in December. Watch in slow motion as the Prince and his new lady friend jump, slide, and fight baddies. Every time something new comes along I am amazed as how visually beautiful it is. And here's the answer before you ask. The song is Breathe Me by Sia. Admit it, you wanted to know...

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Thursday, 9 October 2008

North American PS Store Update For October 9th

Linger in Shadows debuts, FIFA 09 skimps on leagues and asks cash money for them later, Rock Band offers some sweet tracks and the ridiculously named Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars (SARPBC?) gets released and demoed.

But wow, premium themes, we really needed those more than an application that starts with "H" and rhymes with "gnome"...which shall remain nameless. Are you guys seriously going to buy any of them?

Qore Episode 5 ($2.99 for episode / $24.99 for Annual Subscription)
Episode 5 celebrates Halloween with a scary game roundup. It also includes exclusive access to SEGA’s Valkyria Chronicles demo, some spooky/creepy artwork and new shooting galleries.

Linger in Shadows ($2.99)
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords ($14.99)
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars ($14.99)
Hot Shots Golf Fall Fashion Line ($2.99)
Dead Space Obsidian Suit (Free)
Dead Space Scorpion Suit ($2.49)

All Leagues Pack ($19.99)
Barclays Premier League English Pack ($6.99)
Bundesliga German Pack ($6.99)
Liga BBVA Spanish Pack ($6.99)
Ligue 1 French Pack ($6.99)
Primera Division De Mexico Pack ($6.99)
Serie A Italian Pack ($6.99)

Mega Man 9 Endless Attack Mode ($2.99)
Mega Man 9 Protoman Mode ($1.99)

Rock Band
The Offspring Track Pack 01 ($5.49; includes tracks below, also offered individually)
Gone Away - The Offspring ($1.99)
Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) - The Offspring ($1.99)
Self Esteem - The Offspring ($1.99)
Various Tracks
All Right Now - Free ($1.99)
Bad to the Bone - George Thorogood ($1.99)
Cream and Bastards Ride - Harvey Danger ($1.99)
Nearly Lost You - Screaming Trees ($1.99)
Push It - Static-X ($1.99)
Stop! - Against Me ($1.99)

Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution Single Player Map Pack: Brave New Worlds (Free)
Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution Scenario Pack: The Victory Pack ($1.25)
Super Stardust HD Game Bundle with Solo & Team modes ($14.99)
Super Stardust HD Add-on Bundle (Solo & Team) ($7.99)

Demos (Free)
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars

Game Videos (Free)
LittleBigPlanet Life in LBP Ep. 2 (Play)
LittleBigPlanet Playtime
MotorStorm Pacific Rift Crashes & Carnage Trailer
NBA 09 Trailers (x4)
SOCOM: Confrontation - Desert Glory Flythrough
Bioshock Official Trailer
Legendary: The Box Behind the Scenes 3 & 4 (x2)
Mercenaries 2 World In Flames Payback Trailer
Soul Calibur IV Character Gameplay Combos Trailer
Tom Clancy’s End War Command Points Video Briefing
Tom Clancy’s End War Mass Destruction Trailer

Paid Themes

Kicks Theme ($0.99)
Bioshock Exclusive Theme ($0.99)

Disruptive Media Publishers Paid Themes (x20)
Auburn University ($1.99)
Florida State University ($1.99)
University of Georgia ($1.99)
University of Miami ($1.99)
University of Michigan ($1.99)
University of North Carolina ($1.99)
University of Tennessee ($1.99)
University of Texas ($1.99)
Beach Sampler ($1.99)
Summer Down Under ($1.99)
Digital Techno ($1.49)
High Voltage ($1.49)
Horror Eyes ($1.49)
Refracted Revolt ($1.49)
Bad Girls ($1.49)
Halloween Vixens ($1.49)
Golden Retriever ($1.49)
Man’s Best Friend ($1.49)
Nordic Majesty ($1.49)
Seaside Sunsets ($1.49)

Smobile Paid Themes
Elven-X ($0.99)
Iron Guard ($0.99)

Themes & Wallpapers (Free)

WipEout HD All Teams #2 Theme
Fallout 3 Brotherhood of Steel Theme
Fallout PIP-BOY 3000 Theme
Linger In Shadows Wallpapers (x2)
ATV Pure Wallpapers (x4)
Valkyria Chronicles Wallpapers (x2)

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Initial Thoughts On "Linger In Shadows"

I got home today and - with nothing else catching my fancy - splurged on Linger In Shadows. Here comes the science bit about this £1.99 PSN download: This is NOT a game. In the menu itself there is a section about the demoscene and the fact that this is considered to be interactive art designed to make you want to just look around and interact as things unfold around you.

Interactive art, it has to be said, has never looked so good! There is great brushed look to the whole thing with everything being 'drawn' around the field of view as you progress through the piece.

First I would recommend using the first option in the menu screen called "watch". This lets you simply watch the story unfold. Once done I recommend only then moving onto the "Linger" section, as this is some seriously screwy stuff.

Using the motion controls and face buttons you control various aspects of the scenes in sequence such as switching on a creature's 'eyes'.

This is not technically a game though I must say I found the experience to be cathartic in the same vein as Flow; you simply enjoy the experience and let it wash over you after some serious Call Of Duty fraggage.

Overall I really like the concept and execution of this piece. However be warned - this is not going to replace your latest LBP fixation. It will simply be a pretty diversion for an hour or so at a time.

The best thing about this groundbreaking purchase? A steal at £1.99 combined with trophy support for those silverware junkies out there.

If you have a spare £1.99 in your online wallet, I highly recommend showing Linger In Shadows some love. If you go in with an open mind you are unlikely to be disappointed.

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New Premium Themes

By word of the Playstation Blog, new 'premium' themes are due out on the PSN Store today. What makes these different from the current ones you ask? Well, these new themes will have special backgrounds, XMB Icons, and some will even include sounds. There will also be a preview option in case you want to try before you buy. So what do you think? Do they sound premium enough to warrant a purchase?

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Prince of Persia: New Screenshots

Ubisoft have released some fantastic looking screenshots for Prince of Persia, take a look and see what's in store for us in December.

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Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Qore: Valkyria Chronicles Demo This Week

Our friends over at the Playstation Blog have announced that the latest version of Qore will be released on the American PSN this Thursday.

It sounds like they have a great issue prepared for us, including new info on:

Fallout 3
Resident Evil 5
Dead Space
Shaun White Snowboarding

There will also be a round up of the newest Blu-Ray releases.

Probably my favourite part of the episode is that there will be an exclusive Valkyria Chronicles demo. The demo will have three parts to it, if you complete them all you'll receive a bonus video of the game.

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TGS; Tecmo announce Quantum Theory

According to the latest issue of Famitsu, Tecmo is currently developing a third-person shooter called Quantum Theory.

Until now, all we know about the game is that the main hero's name is Sid (aka "Dark Hero" and "Black Destroyer"), while the female hero hears to the name of Filerna (aka "White Rebel").

We shall know more about Quantum Theory over the next few days, hopefully during Tokyo Game Show 2008 (9-12th October).


The TGS trailer is out, so let's have a look at it.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Eternal Sonata is -finally- coming to Europe

Xbox's ex-exclusive (and currently multi-platform) title Eternal Sonata is going to visit Europe (at last...). Atari announced that the PS3 version of the game is scheduled to hit the stores in 2009. Don't worry though; it will still be snowing and raining outside. You guessed it! The month I'm talking about is February.

We shall not forget that the 360 version of the game scored quite high, with many sites (and mags) praising it.

The PS3 version is coming locked and loaded, with -all new- never seen before features!

First of all, the game is going to last even longer with exclusive quests, battles, events and endings.

Secondly, new playable characters will be available -Crescendo and Serenade-. Furthermore, new costumes will make their appearance, allowing the player to 'dress' the game's characters.

Last but not least, it seems that Namco Bandai has decided to 'please' our ears. You see, exclusive new music themes are going to be heard in Eternal Sonata. This makes us even more excited, since Frederic Chopin's longitudinal classic tunes were absolutely amazing.

For all our US readers; Eternal Sonata is visiting US October 21st of 2008.

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Quantum of Solace media blowout, interview and multi-player impressions

Quantum of Solace is Activision's first Bond title, and we were invited to an event in London where we had the chance to try out the game for ourselves, interview one of the team from Treyarch and grab a stash of never-before-seen images for your viewing pleasure.

The PR event was held in Kingsly Street, a stone's throw from SCEE's offices and - ironically I thought - three doors down from Lasenby House! Did they plan that? Who knows...

We got a chance to speak with the very accommodating Adam Gascoine, Co-Design Director for Treyarch.

[PS3A] Adam, thanks for sparing us some time. This is Activision's first Bond game, and it's one of those franchises that has hardcore fans who want everything to be 'just so'. How did that pressure affect the development?

[AG] Actually, it's been a hindrance and a benefit. The real benefit is that since people can give such great feedback on forums these days, we can gain information you would usually have to spend a huge amount of time an money garnering.

First and foremost, we wanted to make sure this really felt like you were playing Bond. Bond is a marksman. If you want to shoot someone in the chest, that shot really ought to smack them dead in the chest. If you want to shoot their arm, you ought to be able to do that with deadly accuracy.

To get the mix right we made sure that each member of the team was a Bond fan first and a game developer second. It really helped us ensure that the game was built with the right feel and attention to detail. We also made sure that the team had people that really know how to 'hold' a camera, so that we're not just creating an FPS but something that has cinematic presence too.

Whenever we think of Bond games everyone always mentions Goldeneye, of course. The thing is, if you look at Goldeneye now it doesn't look that special, so we quizzed fans to find out what it was about Goldeneye 'back then' so we could learn why it was so good for it's time. We think that shows in the final product.

[PS3A] The game is built with the CoD4 engine, as is your other title Call of Duty: World at War. Do you think the iW engine is going to be as big as Unreal over time, with dozens of titles in development all at once?

[AG] I'm not sure it'll go as far as Unreal. With that engine, all they do is develop the engine all the time, whereas we're using iW's engine whilst developing the games.

However, although we're using the CoD4 engine it's pretty much a modified and tweaked version in any case. We've pulled in all the best bits from iW's engine but then played around with it to ensure it feels right in this context.

For example, we have the third-person view and cinematic moments to help tell the story. The biggest difference is probably the AI system. In Cod4, the enemies were programmed to pop-up in certain places, but we've spent a lot of time adding in enemy AI so that they don't always do exactly the same thing every time.

Sure, we've got enemies that appear in the same places when you play the levels through, but the AI means that they may decide to attack you in a different way when you've chosen the same cover spots, keeping the game fresh each time through.

We're also pushing things much further. Some of our scenes have over a million polygons going on all at once, which is way more than was used in CoD4.

[PS3A] The camera is interesting to us. Did you put a third-person view in specifically to remind people they were actually Bond himself? Is it there to ensure people realise they are playing the part rather than just another FPS?

[AG] Absolutely. Whilst it wouldn't be a bad thing to have 'Call of Duty 4 with different maps' in some ways, we really wanted to make sure you got a different experience with Quantum of Solace. I've become a big fan of the SOCOM series of late. I didn't really like tactical shooters before that, but it has opened up new doors for me personally and we wanted to give the game a new look and feel rather than just being yet another FPS.

You're not just any old hero in Quantum of Solace, you're a very specific hero and we needed to make sure the player was reminded of that regularly to make the experience more immersing.

[PS3A] Bond is all about the 3 G's - Guns, Gadgets and Girls. If we add in Games as a fourth, what priority would you put those in?

First and foremost we're a games developer, so I'd have to make Games my number one!

Guns comes second. We've put some really fun weapons in Quantum of Solace.

Then Girls. Actually, I think we've done a great job with the models we've created for the girls in the game. I think they look pretty damn hot, and we're featuring the real likenesses of key actresses like Olga Kurylenko.

Finally, Gadgets has to come fourth. When the makers of the Bond movies talked with us about the new Bond, they explained that Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace didn't really feature the gadgets any longer. Bond is a more visceral, athletic character, relying on his expertise and experience rather than watches with lasers, and we wanted to ensure we followed their lead on that. Of course, he's a technical wizard, but you won't find the gadgets of old appearing in the new movies or games. We really do believe in the licence and it's important to match the movies, so if they decide to bring them back in the future, we'll follow that direction.

[PS3A] So did you get to stick ping-pong balls on Olga yourself?

[AG] Unfortunately not, but we did have her in a stocking cap and stuck dots all over her head to capture here face and expressions!

[PS3A] Talking of Casino Royale, and after having seen the 'construction site' level in our playthrough, I'm guessing that movie makes an appearance in this game and it might involve some parkour?

[AG] Definitely. Quantum of Solace is the first ever Bond sequel and is designed to start off where the last film finished. We come back to that scene in Casino Royale as a flashback at a pertinent moment in the game to explain why Bond is the person he is, and it does involve free running as you suggested.

We had to be careful with that because you have Mirror's Edge coming out, so our free running is paced differently. The game is an FPS at heart, so we bring the parkour in as a 'pacer' to mix up the action and provide narrative, much like the AC-130 gunship provides that break in Call of Duty 4.

A standard movie licence would have probably brought in a driving game at that point, but we found that we couldn't do it really well or that it was fun, so we went a different route and made sure the quality of the game stays high. Not just another shoddy movie licence, basically.

[PS3A] So there's no vehicles at all in Quantum of Solace?

[AG] No. They were in the original design but when we prototyped them, we found that they just didn't add anything to the gameplay. We had gadgets in the original design too, but they didn't make the cut because we wanted to stay true to the licence.

Removing vehicles is a risky one for a Bond game, just because most people expect to drive an Aston Martin at some point throughout the campaign. We hope that gamers will appreciate this would have been less fluid and would have felt 'tacked on' instead of the experience we've been able to create without them.

[PS3A] So what is your favourite Bond movie?

[AG] Honestly, it is now Quantum of Solace because I've seen it, but until that it was the last one. Casino Royale was brilliant, and I've seen it loads of times now. Daniel Craig is definitely my favourite Bond now. I don't know whether it's just that I'm a 'new is good' type of guy, but I really feel he has taken the character much further than anyone before, even Sean Connery.

[PS3A] Did you have to push all those extra polygons just to model his pout?

[AG] Actually, yeah we did, but not in the way you're thinking! This character went through some unbelievable changes during development, and the movie studio were great in giving us really honest feedback on how to make him look better. It was actually hard for us to hear some of the things they said about the early models, but it was good to get such direct and incisive feedback on how Bond should look.

Our thanks to Adam for a great interview.

Quantum of Solace does play and feel like Call of Duty 4 when you're in a multi-player match, and this is no bad thing considering it was everyone's Game of the Year. The cover system works well and allows you to use tactics not offered in CoD4, and some of the game modes are really good fun.

We particularly liked The Golden Gun, where you fight to gain control of said weapon. The Golden Gun in question is a super-lethal handgun that obliterates anything close to it's hit point, and it makes for a great game mode that keeps you on your toes at all times.

Other MP game modes we tried out include Bond vs. Bond team deathmatches and Territory, which plays like Headquarters in CoD4.

The action is slick and smooth, the weapons are great and varied and the addition of the third-person cover mode ups the ante over CoD4. We'll have even more on Quantum of Solace soon, but in the meantime we think Activision and Treyarch are on to a real winner, especially for those people that have had enough of rotating through Prestige Mode for the fifth/tenth/twentieth time.

Check out the gallery below for never-before-seen screenshots and concept art.

You can pre-order Quantum of Solace now, and remember that revenue from any game sales through PS3 Attitude goes directly to charity... thanks.

Quantum of Solace

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Monday, 6 October 2008

PlayTV: A Review

Yesterday I had the fortune of having some spare cash to throw at a frivolous purchase and decided that PlayTV would be a good option. I have not read any reviews about this peripheral so I am going in somewhat blind.

Don't get me wrong, I know what it does and what it is all about but I have no idea of the details. So here I'm going to give a frank opinion about this add-on.

First things first: the size. At a diminutive 18x14x7 cm this is an itsy bitsy teeny weeny... black box. Yes it is has to be said that this is far from the stylishly presented slick box of tricks that PlayTV connects to through the standard USB cable. At the same time it is small enough to hide behind the TV or even stash down the back of the TV stand.

There are 2 simple connections, one for the aerial and one for the aforementioned USB connection. Happily these are both on the same side so there are no problems with it having to be in a particular orientation.

One of my major concerns was that of the ongoing cable war behind my TV. Thankfully this is not proving to be a problem because of the dimensions.

So plug in the cables, pop in the disc and away you go. The intro plays for you whilst the installation takes place and once done you restart the system to be greeted with a new icon on your XMB. This is the TV icon and contains PlayTV's access button.

Click on it and after a short channel scan you are greeted with the main menu of PlayTV. This contains various sections including Settings, Live TV, Library etc. Hit the Live TV icon and it transitions smoothly to the first channel.

Changing channel is also nicely done with a fade to black when you press the L1/R1 buttons. The buttons are well mapped to the Sixaxis, though I think that an investment in the official remote might be in the near future. Thankfully, there is a facia that can be attached to the remote which looks surprisingly un-tacky.

The record feature is great, with the EPG continuing on the slick looks found on the main menu. Recording is easily done with a click of the X button. It is possible to search the coming week for keywords from the Search sub menu - a feature that actually work quite well. I searched for 'horror' and was delighted to find a good ten or so programs that fitted the search criteria with none standing out of place.

Recording can be done whether the PS3 is on or in standby and will warn you if you try to switch the console off whilst PlayTV is recording, instead letting you know that it will switch itself off once the recording is done and dusted.

The picture quality is as good as any freeview box I have seen, though it falls somewhat short of cable and sky. The picture is automatically in the native aspect ratio but can be overridden within the options menu.

Sound quality is good with the exception of the volume. In my few days with the unit I have found that the TV simply isn't loud enough. I know, I know; "turn it up, then" I hear you shout. But this is far from ideal when you fire up COD4 afterwards only to have the TV screaming at you. This may simply be unique to me though I doubt it.

Overall I have to say that I am impressed with the package. The minor flaws I have come across are niggling but can be fixed with a firmware update. Considering I can now save a sizeable chunk of money on my outgoings by cancelling a TV package I have to say that I am impressed.

Perhaps that is the most important point. I will choose this add-on to the PS3 over my current subscription. Despite the downfalls it is more important to me to have one box under my TV as opposed to two or three. Especially when that box is the multifunctional black beauty that is Playstation 3.

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Proto Man Joins Mega Man 9 This Week

I woke up this morning with news from Capcom that Proto Man will be joining the Blue Bomber this week in the form of Downloadable Content. The red, shield wielding robot has quite a few tricks up his sleeve as well. With the ability charge his shot, slide, and even deflect bullets with his shield, Proto Man is looking like a pretty sweet option. He does, however, have his disadvantages. If hit, he takes double the damage and has double bounce back. Come on, you didn't think Capcom would make it that easy, would you?

Also included in the DC is a new mode, Endless Attack. In it, you must use all your skills to stay alive as long as possible in a single stage. Records can be seen in the Rankings page. The content is scheduled to hit the PSN this Thursday, October 9th so keep your eye out for it. It is also to appear on the Wii today and XBLA on the 7th. Looks like it's going to be good week for Mega Man fans. 

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