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New Nintendo Direct 4/17!

What's Your Tag?

So this morning Nintendo did another one of it’s famous Nintendo Direct videos to announce all kinds of stuff. Here’s the whole 37 minute announcement:

We’ll have more in depth analysis throughout the day.

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Could this be SEGA’s Castle of Illusion remake?

Could SEGA be teasing us with a re-release of the 90’s Mega Drive classic Castle of Illusion with this new trailer?

Last month, a game called ‘Castle of Illusion’ was found on the Brazilian Ratings website for Xbox 360, PS3, Vita and Wii U.

Assassin’s Creed III Liberation: PS Vita review

Hello my friend, we meet again. It’s been awhile, where should we begin?

Liberation is the Vita its first Assassin’s Creed outing and aims give a console quality experience on the go and for the most part it does exactly what you would expect.

Instead of trying to cram the console version of Assassin’s Creed onto the portable developer Ubisoft has opted to introduce a new character to the franchise. This story revolves around Aveline a female African-French Assassin and is set in New Orleans at the turn of the American Revolution. The game is sectioned into bite sized chapters which is ideal for jumping in and out of play on the go. Liberation plays much the same as the console version, an open world setting, collecting missions along the way to progress the story with optional side quests. I found it very similar to Revelations in its set up and design.

Graphically Liberation is decent in places and stunning at times, but only times. Theres nothing better than climbing up to the highest point on a map and taking a good old look around before performing the impossible ‘leap of faith’ into a cart full of straw. Annoyingly it was a disappointing mess of washed out browns in some of the swap based levels. By the time I had purchased the game there was already an update which addressed most of the frame rate and sound issues that many gamers had reported. I did find Aveline falling off the occasional ledge or missing a jump for no apparent reason but it happened so few and far between it never become a real issue. The music is great, the voice acting is simply terrible. The comical accents reminded me of René from the TV show Allo ‘Allo! I’m glad that I had the option to turn the subtitles on so I could turn the sound down.

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Shock horror… Liberation makes use of the Vita’s touchscreen, rear touch pad, cameras and gyroscope. These additional input methods feel very gimmicky to me and did not really add anything to the game apart from the chain kill finishing move which was fun… the first time.

Linking the the game to the PS3 version gives you an exclusive mission to play in Liberation, among other extras. This is a nice touch from the developer but also means they expect you to purchase both.

Overall it is a very enjoyable game and I am just about to go back thru it to get all the extras missed on my first play. I’d like to see this as the foundation for future releases which hopefully will improve on the flaws found here. Lets be honest no one really like the first Assassin’s Creed. So sadly I can’t say Liberation is the system seller we all hoped it would be, I kinda blame Golden Abyss for this. Golden Abyss proved from day one that the console experience can be had on a smaller screen without having to be on a smaller scale.

7/10 theflamey

Flashback HD for PSN and XBLA announced

To celebrate Flashbacks 20th anniversary Ubisoft, along with the games original creator, are to release Flashback HD on the PSN and XBLA.

The game will use the Unreal engine and be fully rendered in 3D  although you’ll still be playing on a 2D plane. Check out the trailer here.

Sam Fisher coming to Wii U

Splinter Cell: Blacklist will be heading to the Wii U this year Nintendo have confirmed. Blacklist will integrate Gamepad functionality to allow players to control gadgets, take out enemies, move through the environment and switch between weapons, as well as other features. Motion-based input will also have a role to play alongside the peripheral’s standard touch screen functionality.

The game will launch this August and will also be available on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

PSVita 2.10 Firmware update

PlayStation Vita is getting a system software update version, 2.10 will be released 10th April. Adding lots of new features such as a folder system for the home screen and support for video playback via the internet browser to name but a few.

http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2013/04/09/ps-vita-system-software-update-2-10-adds-folders-video-playback/

Street Fighters Spinning Bird Kickstarter

A kickstarter has just been launched by Street Fighter: Legacy creators. Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist will be a web based mini series.

Street Fighter: Legacy has become something of an online phenomenon since it was posted back in May 2010. With over 8m hits Capcom have granted its makers the rights for a series.

The kickstarter is now live and needs our support –>

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1689785997/street-fighter-assassins-fist-kickstarter-campaign

Colonial Marines: How long is too long?

Aliens Colonial Marines: How long is too long and should it have happened?

Initially when Colonial Marines was picked up from the previous developer TimeGate it must have been a total mess, half coded, half imaged, half conceptualised with many ideas all mashed around the place. Its like looking into one of those guys garages who thinks he is great at fixing engines and machines only to get half way thought the thing to find out, oh I don’t actually know what I’m doing. TimeGate previously made Section8 which was a half baked game at best but with an amazing concept idea.

Now when I get an idea in my head, sometimes out of no where, like ‘hey I’m going to build myself a gaming room in the loft’ you get the ladder out, climb up there and start shifting things about. Then you take a look about the place and start assessing your surroundings, thinking to yourself ‘hummm… ok well I have the space now, but its totally bare’. You suddenly find yourself saying, right I need flooring, lighting, power points, internet points, TV, a desk, chairs, kettle, sound, it goes on and on. In the end its ‘hummm… ok now it sounded like a good idea but maybe its not going to work out’. This is the point where you either make the right or wrong decision depending on a few factors, such as do I have the money, skills, time, persistence to do this. Can I realistically make all these needs come together so that this works. If the answer is no, climb down the ladder, shut the door and get on with your life. I hope you see where I am going with this.

I strongly believe that during the games development Gearbox got in too deep and didn’t realise they should have climbed down the ladder. If they had decided to cut their losses and shut the door on the game, yes there would have been a lot and I really do mean a lot of upset fans, but the companies development skills and integrity for the most part would have remained intact and unsullied by this erm… well what do you call this? I think without being to harsh lets just call it a questionable effort to make something not so shiny, shiny again.

So when you are faced with a final product like Aliens: Colonial Marines, which you have without a doubt put effort into but know isn’t good, what do you do? Well you fabricate a portion of the game and hope the loving, adoring fans will keep the faith purely because of your history? If you come to that conclusion you really don’t know gamer’s or critics well at all.

Its not like the game is totally unplayable, there are sections of the game that bring up the feelings I would expect from a game in the Aliens franchise. When this game was going through Q&A did no one say ‘wait guys, this game looks like CRAP’. Who knows what went on and what they decided, only time will tell.

So going back to my opening question, how long is to long and should it have happened? I think when a game is tossed from one team to another, the vision can easily be lost. The concept changes, the drive is different, how can you make a game that fans with love when it is based on the half finished vision of someone else. Can you really take someone else’s product and touch it up with your own ideas when it has already been hashed and re-hashed again. You don’t have to look too far to find another game in the same situation with the same problems… Duke Nuke Forever. Can you start sculpting the statue of David and half way through decide to make the statue of Liberty using the same stone, who knows?

We the gamer’s know, that’s who.

Whippyice

Free-2-play… with our money and minds?

Free-2-play… you like a fool?

As the weeks have gone on I’ve seen the free-2-play model come on in leaps and bounds. There are now some pretty outstanding games about such as :-

  • Ghost Recon online – a tactical shooter based on the popular Ghost Recon Series
  • Battlefield F2P – a cut down (or enhanced) version of the game depending on your views
  • Planet Side 2 – a space shooter (very similar to popular games like Tribes)
  • WarFace – which I would say was the best out there. Made by Crytek, graphically its great, as you would expect from the guys who brought you the Crysis series. It’s even browser based, all in all very impressive.

So with content coming along like this I am pretty sure that these games will keep improving over time and start to appeal to more and more gamers. So with this in mind why are so many hardcore gamers set against the idea of F2P? Well for starters websites like MCV will post articles about how this system a threat to our much beloved and coveted AAA titles. They see this as a dark cloud looming over what we know and love, threatening to change the shape of gaming from now on. Personally if the quality of all F2P games are anywhere near Warface I wont have a problem with them. Articles like this cant be the only reason why so many gamers are against this model, even major publishers like EA state the figures say otherwise?

So here is what I believe is going on. You get in, bored after work thinking about what you can play, you look at your game stack and think ‘man I don’t really fancy any of that’ Well have no fear! come and check out this brand new great looking game totally for free. All you need do is sign up, download, install, launch and GO! Fun times to be had, but this lasts only so long, the fun factor slowly dwindles and you are left with a game which now seems a mission to make any kind of progression in. No matter what you do you don’t seem to be doing as well as you have been up to this point, so what gives? Ohhhhhh, they all have better gear than you! So how do I get that stuff? Oh you have to pay for it? No way really? Ah well I suppose its only a few £, that wont matter much to the bank account… sure lets pay it. You see how this works.

The thing I don’t like about F2P is that you don’t own any content. You are essentially paying for the privileged to use weapons offered buy the service, ergo, guns, armuor, abilities, perks, the list goes on and on. Its the iPhone investment issue all over again, once you start spending money on it are you willing to give it all up and move to a new game/phone for your apps/gear? No, because you have spent that money that didnt seem to matter so much before? I personally don’t think that F2P would be anywhere near as popular now if people knew that they where buying into a system like this. Why do you think you don’t see any F2P adventure games or you know like a F2P ‘the walking dead’ it’s because they can’t segment that up and sell you functionality in the way they can with COD clones and so on.

As long as gamers are bored while waiting for the next AAA title to come out and spending money on these so called Free-2-play games then they will keep appearing, they will keep making gamers angry until they realize what they are actually doing. I don’t see Free-2-play as a huge threat to AAA, as long as gamers start to get smart and realise what they are getting involved with. Remember, the best way to let a company know you don’t like what they are offering is to not pay them for it.

Thanks for reading this lovely blog,
Whippyice

Disclaimer added to Aliens: Colonial Marines

Following on from Lopez Greens review of Colonial Marines SEGA has agreed to add a disclaimer to all trailers for the game stating they do not represent the final product. Whilst not all the blame can be put on the publisher they explained that they weren’t aware of these issues when the trailers were produced, in some cases several months before release. SEGA are currently reviewing the games future on the Wii U. Below is a copy of the reply from ASA regarding the complaint.

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