folksSoul Demo Impressions

June 1, 2007

I got a chance to go through the folksSoul, aka, folklore, aka, Monster Kingdom, aka, Unknown Realms, Demo today and I walked away impressed. There’s nothing 100% new about this title but it delivers in droves while it pays homage to titles like “Resident Evil” and action RPGs like FF XII. Visually, folksSoul can only be described as an explosion of colours [excuse my Island boy guidance]. There is only one other game that comes to mind with the use of such a wide array of strong colours and hues, and that’s Odin’s Spear. A title I recently picked up on a whim but ended up loving.

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In the demo, there are no cut scenes. Everything has been replaced with something akin to the cut scenes found in Vagrant Story. If it stays in the final version of the game, a few of the fans whose eyes were caught by this title may end up feeling a little cheated. Still its a demo, so who knows what will happen by the time the game goes gold. Still, this feels like a major loss. Surfing around the net, a lot of folks have said that this is the adult Pokemon title. Honestly the game is far from it. It borders more on the levels of action RPG but does not limit where or what you can fight within fields. Everything takes place on the fly and the game shines in this respect making it seamless. Your main objective, other than following the story, is to survive hordes of monsters using the souls of the brethren as aids. Square, Circle, X, and Triangle will activate a monster. The reaction time for the summoning of monsters to attack, defend, or aid, is instant. The game maintained a good frame rate and this is important as the screen gets filled with several enemies at times. This was especially the case playing as Keates. Since you are able to quickly dispatch monsters at your command, you will be able to string attacks together once you come to understand the extent of the damage, shielding, helping, or enhancements provided by the souls you have taken and their associated times spent on the field. Collecting more souls from the same type of monsters will level up the attributes that they give you. Collecting multiple souls in one go will reward you with chained experience. This may sound easy but having several monster near to death is not that easy.

Not to give anything away but you will have to play the game as both characters to get the full view of the story. You will encounter different bosses, and monsters when playing as either character. A word to the wise; ladies first.

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You can also collect the souls of the bosses, which give you the ability to deal out multiple hits and screen filler attacks for those pincer like moments. The AI is not completely tame, and if one monster is left standing, it will run away to find a pack then resume attacking. No one is expecting Gears of War style AI here, that would be pointless. It would seem that Keates’ game is much tougher as you are forced to use all the monsters for attacking, blocking, and aiding during your battles. All the souls you collect will be logged in an easily accessible list found by hitting the L2 button which you can access at any time. In here, you can assign your buttons to the monster you would like to use for best results in the right situation. No one monster is assigned to one button, you can mix up locations if you want.

There is a simple tutorial that will walk you through the collection of standard souls but the souls of bosses are way more challenging to obtain, as the timing of using the six axis will be crucial. Souls are acquired by hitting R1 just before monsters die, and its at this point you are expected to move the SAC to get the soul. If you mash the buttons you will loose the chance to claim souls. Loosing this chance will prevent you from leveling up and thus make it impossible to fight off other monsters. Don’t worry, there are audible and visual ques that point out when to hit R1.

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I hate to admit it but if you had any problems playing flow, you’re f%&*ed. Just kidding; it’s really not that hard and no where as steep as learning Flow. The music fits in well with the theme of the game, and the design of the world reminds me of stories like Dark Crystal, and several fantasy novels and movies I use to go nuts over when I was younger. If you’re into the genre, you will be well at home. I just have one complaint: for some reason, you cannot run while you’re inside of homes and pubs. A minor annoyance that you get over quickly but got in the way of the pace of the game in terms of moving around. The Ibuki in me loves speed, and when I’m forced to slow down, I don’t like it. Other than that, the demo showcased everything I had expected from this title so far.

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THE OFFICIAL 360/Wii rap(tha’ diss to Sony)

May 31, 2007

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Oh man, oh man!!! It doesn’t get better than this! In the time honored tradition of mcees dissing each other over beats comes the “I Love 360/Wii” street mix from Dj Chedda. Boy does this kat have it in for the PS3! It all started when this wanna be felt the need to defend the PS3 in all it’s expensive glory by explaining to who ever cares why the PS3 is worth it’s price. And of course the net exploded with all types of spoofs on his original video. But it looks like Dj Chedda is putting an end to it all for good by actually laying his diss down to a beat. This is why I love the video game community and the marvel that is You Tube! Long live the INTERNET’S!!!!!!

Sir-G

Force Unleashed

May 27, 2007

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The last Star Wars game that I actually enjoyed playing, besides Lego Star Wars, was the storm troopers FPS game with squad based tactics. Enter Force Unleashed, that looks like the Star Wars game that every fanboy has had a wet dream about: just pure miss-use of a clandestine power. LUCASARTS answered many a gamers’ call when they decided to make this type of game and with a solid foundation defined by “Kicking someone’s ass using the force”. How can they go wrong? Guessing by the video demo below the only thing that boggles my mind is who will actually give your character a challenge during the game itself? Set between Episode III and Episode IV, you’ll play as the secret apprentice of Vader. There in you will have the ability to over-max four main force abilities, grip, push, repulse, and lightning. So you will not just be able to force push someone, but instead force push them through walls. This implies that LUCASARTS may have created a fully destructible environment schema that may impress us yet.

The Force Unleashed debuts Digital Molecular Matter from Pixelux and euphoria behavioral simulation from NaturalMotion Ltd. Pixeleux is a company that was created as a result of the massive requirements and expectations that are being set for next gen titles by providing services for one of the most expensive parts of video game development: asset creation. NaturalMotion is more precisely known for the creation of DMS: Dynamic Motion Synthesis in which the creation of dymanic offline physics based animation are created within a RAD [Rapid Application Development] environment. Physics is cool and all but it could mean squat in a video game if the story has no weight. LUCASARTS promises that the story will be user defined as the final outcome of the game will be based on the path you take. We can see where this is going already but how well it is implemented is another story. Force Unleashed is due for release this November.
[Read more]

BusinessWeek’s “Wipeout of the Week” is Sony

May 24, 2007

You know something is wrong when BusinessWeek is rattling on your chains.

“Since Sony is already losing money on every console, a price cut would hurt. Then again, games won’t be profitable for at least another year, so the company might as well take the hit now.” - BusinessWeek

Source

Say what … I don’t need to replace my old DVDs?

May 23, 2007

Well, upscaling has never been a very easy affair. Up-scalers tend to make things that are not meant to be seen at higher resolution look more clear. So what’s the bad thing about that? It brings out all the bad but who am I to complain if Sony announced that update 1.8 will have full up scaling for the media that the ps3 supports. That’s something many a site, and reviewer, once thought was impossible but its good to hear that someone in the Sony camp won’t stand for the typical “I told you so.” If anything, Sony needs to pump more value into the machine and publicize it even more so people can realize what the machine is worth. Maybe they are banking on us to promote it? Well since my “requested” focus is all things Sony, I may be bias but its also good to hear and see all the good titles that are coming out for the PS3 thanks to the recent onslaught at Gamer’s Day. Back to that 1.8 update, it will include -

  • Full 1080p upscaling for DVDs, PS2 and PS1 games. With upscaling, there’s no need to throw away your old DVDs and PlayStation 2 games. The content will be converted to resolutions as high as 1080p, and will breathe new visual life into your old discs. DVD movies can only be upconverted using an HDMI connection.
  • PSP Remote Play via internet {?}. Although this feature was supposedly included in a previous update, many were unable to have it properly run. This hopefully corrected feature will allow PSP users to watch and listen to content stored on the PS3 from any wi-fi connection in the world. PSP firmware 3.50 will be required.
  • DLNA media center connectivity. Media content stored on DLNA-enabled PCs and laptops can be shared and viewed on PS3 systems.
  • Print photos with Epson printers. Images stored on the PS3 hard drive can be printed using compatible printers.
  • Transfer PS1/2 save files to and from PS3 using Memory Card Adaptor. Previously, users could only transfer save files to the PS3.
  • Gained exclusive rights to the new “Haze” game. Well maybe not, but it’s true, Haze is now exclusive to Sony. Click more to see.

[Read more]

Assassin’s Creed new Trailer!

May 22, 2007

It’s really too bad that this baby is coming out in 2008, because it looks sick!

Sony Drops 80gig PS3!!!

May 21, 2007

In Korea!!!

Korean Sony Site Specs

How long before they roll out to the rest of the world?

Wow, how is it that this is acceptable? The thing came out 7 months ago and already people who bought the 60gig edition are behind… People want to blow up Microsoft for bringing out their elite over a year later, what’s gonna happen to Sony?

Oh yeah i forgot to ask, how many people upgrade their PS3 hard drives yet?

 

D

FORTUITOUS FORTUNES

May 17, 2007

Funny thing happened today when I went to the Virgin Mega Store in Midtown, NY. The HDDVD section was mostly dominated by BRDVDs. Before, the HDDVD section had the majority of the stands with a vast list, today, it was the exact opposite, and not only that, but the staff started putting BRDVDs within the same rack as the HDDVDs. I phoned a buddy and mentioned this to him and he said the same thing happened at Circuit City, and the Virgin on Union Square. Is this a signal of market share gain that we have been hearing about? What about all those titles that sites are beginning to give some serious attention? Sometimes being in the spotlight of bad news puts you in the position of being an underdog, and nobody does underdog better than Sony.

Drake’s fortune sounds like another game that will hit the ps3 hard this year. Damn, I have to admit, those high desires to pick up the black box elite is wavering. I mean, there are tones of games coming out on the machine that we would love to own, and loose sleep over. Its good to see things are looking better for the ye old g-foreman grill with spidey text. To join the likes of other anticipated titles like Lair, Darkness, FFXIII, Heavenly Sword, Folklore, White Knight, and others, Drake’s fortune is looking good; very good. Then again, this is Naughty Dog we’re talking about right?

[quicktime width="480" height="290" autostart=false"]http://download.gametrailers.com/gt_vault/t_uncharted_gd07_indepth_int_gt.mov[/quicktime]

Black Site: Area 51

May 14, 2007

The first time I layed my eyes on Black Site: Area 51, the new game from Midway, I let out a resounding “Meh” - another FPS! As if the genre couldn’t get any more bloated. Standard marketing applies as well - Midway promises that it -“… will redefine the first person shooter (FPS) genre. While other FPS titles claim to feature ‘action-packed, highly realistic gameplay,’ BlackSite: Area 51 takes next-gen gaming to an all-new level integrating cutting edge technology, game design and story writing to create the ultimate entertainment experience. The player’s modern-day emotions and fears are driven into a world charged with grave responsibility affecting lives hanging in the balance and eventually finding himself torn between his professional orders and his own ethical standards. In the end, only the actions of the player and his squad can shape the outcome of BlackSite: Area 51 during this potentially pivotal moment in history.”

Believe it or not, I read a similar synopsis for “EARTH DEFENSE FORCE” and you know what, in EDF’s cheesiness and wanton madness, I kind of liked there’s better. Hey, that’s just me. Still, I’m a little impressed with the progress that the development team has taken on this title. It’s obvious that they are riding off the “over the shoulder camera” view that has even taken over the likes of “Drakes Fortune” but they are mixing things up with it so that’s good in my eyes. Still, what’s in the name Black Site anyways? The following is fact: Black site is a military term that has been used by United States Intelligence Agencies to refer to any classified facility whose existence or true purpose is officially denied by the US government. Recently the term has gained notoriety in describing secret prisons, generally outside of the mainland U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction, and with little or no political or public oversight.

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In the game, its the same political and public oversight that has moved far beyond a boiling point, and the government is not longer capable of keeping its secrets at bay. Enter Aaron Pierce, Mitchell Ambrose, Cody Grayson, and Noa Weis, a team sent in to set things right only to find out that they were only told so much about their mission. Lead them through the terrors that await them in a very stylistic fashion. Throughout the game, features will include the use of weapons, the ability to control your squad [a la Star Wars - that other team game], online multiplayer modes, one button squad commands, and the ability to drive, shoot, and ride in vehicles scattered throughout the stages. Sounds good but click the more section to see how it looks for yourself.
[Read more]

Robots in Disguise

May 11, 2007

Big kids playing with robots, what more could you want. Except some of us who like to ‘itch about all the details about what they didn’t, could, or should do with these past child hood adorations of ours and their conversations into “Follywood” blockbusters brings up too many sensitive issues. Still, thinking back on the kid in me, and what my impressions of an event of this magnitude would have on me can only be summed up in one word - glee. Forget all the dramatic roles, onslaughts of plot twists, love affairs, superheroes crying, cry of “too many villains” [ARE F'ING KIDDING ME, THAT'S HOT], and the silly labeling of Silent Hill as the best adaption of game/anime/cartoon/whatever movie is summed up in one word - limited. The kid in you is disappointed, have a conversation with him or her sometime and bring Zelda’s shield with you cuz you’ll need it. Besides you’re only setting up yourself to hate all other attempts by the same grown-ups who watched the same shows with us when we were younger, to give you some form entertainment - “walking on sunshine moments” set aside at least ^_^. With that, enjoy these shots of that massive 747 movie as my last post for the week.

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LAST REMNANT SCREENS

May 10, 2007

Nuff said! Click more - Credit to 1Up and destructoid.com.

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I take it Back!

May 8, 2007

Tomonobu Itagaki i am sorry I blasphemed against you…

Ninja Gaiden’s gameplay is unmatched to this day….

Once the camera in the original original was a pain in the arse… but you fixed that in Black. You listened.

Now you’ve given it the shine that’ll make our eyes watery…

Please give us a story!!! This game needs one!!!

I may have to hold out for Ninja Gaiden Glorious Edition (who knows if there will be one) on the 360 to get my trusty achievement points and feel the rumble of my blade slicing through these unholy beasts!

But knowing you, the achievements might be unreachable…

Other Developers take notice, Ryu Hayabusa has THE ultimate set of Moves. Kratos you are the man, but this Ninja has you step for step and does it with a little more Pizzazz. (Ryu doesn’t need to rip dudes apart, he’s hot knife through buttah)

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Demo 9up!

Dave out.

No Vagrant Story II?

May 8, 2007

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I’m a huge fan of the above game that was never released, you know the one that all the niche gamers, who fell in love with that very cool game, that titles like Final Fantasy XII borrowed its battle system from [and its Director]. Square-Enix had mentioned a new property to infest our little hearts, rpg wise, a few weeks back and the net was rampant with ideas of “What could it be? OMG, Vagrant Story II!” That would have been too sweet but Instead they throw us something new, as they have always done so in the past, touching on new ideas, genres, and delivering great content and then departing from them for eternity. Titles like Einhander and Vagrant Story deserve a sequel, and many a gamer will agree with me on that.ÂÂ The new title is called The Last Remnant and will be supervised by Hiroshi Takai of the the ill-fated Bouncer game for ps2. The world of last remnant will include you standard RPG fantasy styles populus, half human, human, lizard men, fish women, and perhaps other strange things to look at. Remnant is due some time in Spring 2008, so it will be a while till we hear anything about this one again.

Eye of Judgement

May 3, 2007

I have to admit, Eye of Judgement is shaping up to be a seriously cool game. It’s sad that titles like this are only going to “now” see the light of day in the West, as there are comparable games applied to even Soccer in Japan.

[quicktime width="480" height="290" autostart="false"]http://download.gametrailers.com/gt_vault/t_eyeofjudgement_trailer_e36.mov[/quicktime]

Click more to see a full explanation on how the game works …

[Read more]

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