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I was Partially Right, In Halo Reach you Play as a Girl…OR a Guy June 30, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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I was watching a Halo Reach gameplay demo and caught an interesting tidbit I theorized but simply left in the editorial comments.  I was pretty certain that the protagonist of Halo Reach, known as Noble 6 or the “Lone Wolf” would be a female character based on something I read in the Halo Encyclopedia.

Well I was partially right, in Halo Reach you play as a girl…or as a guy.  The game allows you to choose the gender of your playable character in the single player campaign and that carries over to the multiplayer game.  Previously, you were forced to play as a male character in the Single Player of Halo, known as The Master Chief, but in multiplayer since Halo 3, you could choose to play as a female Spartan.

Since Halo 3 ODST, I’ve noticed Bungie has become less and less inclined to put a strong personality upon their protagonists.  Granted, the Master Chief was not the pillar of communication in the Halo trilogy (most of the chatter and personality came from Cortana) but he spoke when needed, and when he did speak, it was strong.  That was just a testament to the good writing.  In Halo 3 ODST you played as “The Rookie”, another faceless character who this time didn’t speak at all, and who’s backstory was never gone into, not even in the Halo Encyclopedia.  In fact, because “The Rookie” never spoke, I was surprised they didn’t give the option in that game to make gender selectable in that game.

If Bungie is choosing again for a mute player, gender selection is a good decision.  However, Bungie has excelled at creating strong protagonists in the Halo universe, it’s sad to see that personality go away.

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Playstation Plus Lives, Should You Get it? June 30, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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Well, from the looks of it I’m passing on Playstation Plus right now.  The major reason is that the service just doesn’t provide me with enough of a benefit to buy into it.

Paying 50 dollars gets you a total of 1 year plus 3 free months of the Playstation Plus service.  By signing up you get a bunch of PSN and PS1 games at reduced or no price.  However, while I enjoy a discount card just as much as the next guy, I noticed that the games were at pretty low prices to begin with, and the discounts, even the ones as high as 50 percent off, can’t justify paying $50 for $2.50 off a new game.  I’d need to buy 25 PSN games and add-ons at that discount to break even, and my HD is full.

That having been said, I have already purchased all the PSN games I wanted to begin with at full price.  Perhaps when more new games come out for PSN I’ll take another look.

Firmware Updates for Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable Live June 30, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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The recently announced firmware update for the Playstation 3 (version 3.40) has gone live on the Playstation Network.  It is a required update in order to continue to use the network for multiplayer games and Playstation Store access.  The update adds the previously mentioned video editor, picture viewer, and support for Playstation Plus.

However, it’s gone under the radar that the Playstation Portable (PSP) has been updated as well, also bringing in Playstation Plus support.  It requires 30MB of storage capacity, originally I said “memory stick” but then I realized people with PSP GOs do not require memory sticks.

Playstation Plus and Firmware Update Tomorrow June 28, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Sony has announced that their premium subscription service, Playstation Plus, will launch tomorrow with a new firmware update (version 3.40) for the Playstation 3.

I’ve already talked about the Playstation Plus system before in a previous post that you’re more than welcome to read.  It is nothing like Xbox Live Gold, it will allow subscribers unlimited access to Playstation 1 downloadable games (as they’re made avalible) and Qore issues for as long as they have the subscription for fifty dollars a year.  Honestly, I’d rather buy the games individually and own them forever than pay five times more and lose access after a year.

Firmware 3.40 will also add a 2-hour power saver option for the Playstation 3, and a program to edit and upload your videos to YouTube.

Looking Glass, The Series Finale June 28, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Something interesting has found its way onto YouTube this week.  A former Looking Glass employee has uploaded the original video he took from the final day of work for the famous Looking Glass Studios.  Looking Glass Studios was considered a major company responsible for the groundbreaking Thief series.  Many alumni of the company would go on to become Game Gods, including Warren Spector and Ken Levine.

It always hurts me when a company with so much succesful talent and such good games has to be shut down.  Ritual and Ion Storm Dallas probably hit me the most.  You watch their progress from birth, following their news on what they are working on for years, play the fruits of their labor, and then the company shuts down, and it’s almost like a part of you goes with it.

Without further ado, I present you with Looking Glass, The Series Finale.  I wonder how that star-studded movie is coming along.  Please, if anyone else has videos they shot of the closings of their companies, put them online!

Heavy Rain Playstation Move Edition June 28, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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As I mentioned in a previous story, Quantic Dream has been working to port their recently released PS3 exclusive game, Heavy Rain, to the Playstation Move.  I’ve been pretty curious how the game’s control scheme is handled by the Playstation Move, and this trailer taken from E3 2010 shows just how it’s going to work.

As someone already familiar with playing these scenes, I think the gestures required look very natural to the action on the screen.

All owners of Heavy Rain will find their games compatible with Playstation Move after a free patch is released.

Playstation Move will be released September 19th, 2010 in North America.

Rage E3 2010 Information June 27, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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They were the founders of modern gaming on the PC, and every new release they did defined a graphics generation and pushed technology beyond what was possible.  Well, id Software is close to releasing its next game, and it’s a whole new IP called Rage.

It seems like they’ve really been refining a lot of the major gaming innovations of the past few years.  Health will regenerate, and death will give you the option to come back, without having to load a savegame.

Rage has been locked at 60 frames per second on the Xbox 360, and you can expect the same performance on PS3 and PC.  An Editor will ship with the PC version.  This editor is identical to the development tools used by id to make the game.

There will be multiplayer.

Rage will release for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2011

Epic Mickey E3 Preview June 27, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Disney’s Epic Mickey is shaping up to be the major release this holiday for the Nintendo Wii.  The art style looks beautiful and stylish, the gameplay looks unique and yet recognizable, and a Game God (Warren Spector) is directing  it.

Director Warren “God” Spector narrates this little preview of Epic Mickey, and you get to see some gameplay in action.

Epic Mickey will be released Holiday 2010 only for Nintendo Wii.

Dead Space 2 E3 Preview June 27, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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EA has done a pretty good job about taking down all the videos of anyone who was hosting Dead Space 2’s E3 trailer, but failed miserably at putting the Dead Space 2 press conference demonstrations up on their own YouTube channel.

They have however posted up this preview of the game which includes some gameplay from the E3 demo, and describe the story of the new game, and what kind of gameplay you can expect.

Dead Space 2 will be released multiplatform January 2011.

Sims 3 Console E3 Interview June 27, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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EA has posted up an interesting interview about the upcoming console version of The Sims 3.  In it, the developer talks about the enhancements done from the PC version of the game, and makes a mention that the entire editor system from the PC version has been brought to consoles, making you Sims purists without PCs powerful enough to run Sims 3 very happy.