Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Secret Santa!

YES, it's that time of year again when families and friend exchange presents - and shops exchange some of those same gifts for things people actually want!
But I have to say, I wasn't expecting much when it came to Secret Santa time at my work. We all stood round, with various sensible (chocolates, smellies) and not so sensible (a lung-shaped ash tray!) presents were unveiled.
Then it was my turn.
I opened the DVD-shaped package to discover - a copy of Conan on the PS3!
Now, bearing in mind that the budget was just £5, I thought my gift-bearer had done incredibly well.
And, despite some of the reviews, I have been having great fun slashing and splicing baddies in this retro title.
A nice surprise!

Friday, 12 December 2008

We can finally go Home!

SO, Home has finally arrived for all of us to have a go.
Only had a quick look at it so far, but the graphics are certainly impressive, and the environments - albeit limited at the moment - do look cool. But we all have to remember that this is still at beta stage, so things can and will change - and its time now to make your voices heard.
If you can think of improvements, spot glitches, praise certain points, then let Sony know via the official forums.
That's the only way you will get the Home experience you really want.
My first issue is the queuing - what's that all about? It's too much like real life, not Second Life!
Have you got any issues or comments about Home? Let me know...

Monday, 8 December 2008

Xmas comes early!

ANYONE else noticed that all the new games and big launches, like Resistance 2, have all come early this year?
Whether it's because all games are more expensive, or companies know people are cash-strapped, the release of games has come much earlier than normal this year.
I guess at least it gives us more time to pick and choose what we want to buy.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

SPEED monsters will be celebrating the arrival of the next in the Need For Speed series, out now on PS3.

Need For Speed: Undercover by EA puts players in an all-out chase where they are the hunted - and the hunter. Players must get behind the wheel and risk everything to infiltrate a ruthless international crime syndicate and take them down. The man you are after is a maniac behind the wheel, and he's driving like his life depends on escape, which maybe it does. He's the one with all the answers you need, you will track him down.

Needless to say, that fleet of police cruisers in your rearview mirror won't make things any easier. It will take all of your experience - and every ounce of skill - to outrun the law, take down the enemy, and unlock the truth that puts an end to this chase once and for all.

The game puts you right into the the thick of the action, as you race into an action-packed story of pursuit and betrayal. Take on jobs and compete in races to prove yourself as you try to infiltrate and take down an international crime syndicate.

On the streets you will have to fight off the cops and others as you take down your prey in high-speed, high stake multi-car chases.

The action is made more adrenalin-fuelled as the AI of the cops is new and vastly improved, meaning more aggressive and intelligent cops focused on taking you out fast and by any means necessary.

Players can tear across the massive highway system and discover the open world of the Gulf Coast Tri-Cities area, with three unique cities connected by an extensive highway system.

What's most important about this is that the cars are really great fun to drive, giving you real feedback to your moves and driving style.

This is an impressive addition to the Need For Speed series.

Prepare to board this game!

GET ready to take to the slopes for some fast and furious snowboarding - all from the comfort of your own home on the PS3!

Shaun White Snowboarding by Ubisoft brings you all the thrills and spills of the snowboarding world, covering peaks from all over the globe. The great feature about this game is that it features open world mountains. You can choose how you ride and where you go - its completely up to you!Players can try to conquer the extreme peak conditions, creating their own paths in the back country, or compete with fellow riders in the terrain parks.

The single-player mode is great fun, picking your challenges, whether its a straight race to the bottom of the mountain, or pass through the flags, or numerous other challenges.

And once you get used to the controls, it is quite satisfying pulling off a great aeriel trick perfectly.

Gamers can play in a world where their friends are always around. Do your own runs on mountains populated by real gamers, or join your friends for a quick session from anywhere in the mountains.

You can even throw snowballs, hike to access secret spots, film friends doing crazy tricks. and even upload your videos online to share with the world.

Built on the Assassin's Creed engine, this game creates an immense world with great visuals and realistic interaction with other boarders.

Ubisoft has worked closely with Shaun White to infuse the gaming experience with authenticity, personality, and humour. Shaun is a friend and mentor in the game, and will help you with your skills. And if you are deemed worthy, you may even be able to play him in the game...

It's been a long wait for a good snowboarding game to arrive on the PS3 - and this doesn't disappoint!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

It's coming Home.... soon?

LUCKY PS3 owners will be refreshing their inboxes every few seconds in a couple of days, when thousands of Home beta keys are sent out.
Apparently around 200,000 were meant to have gone out at the beginning of the week, but a hiccup meant most did not arrive. Rest assured, Sony are on the case and expect them to arrive at their destinations on Thursday. Reports say that this should be the final closed beta, before a full open beta to all is released.
Mind you, we are used to delays with this, so let's hope the rumour-mongers are right this time!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Little Big Planet is a masterpiece online

IF YOU have not already gone out and buy this game - what's wrong with you?!
Little Big Planet is a stupendous game, the one all PS3 gamers have been waiting for, and it really comes alive online, as I have discovered.
This is the first PS3 game that makes it easy to jump in and out of games online, with or without your friends - something I hope all other PS3 game developers will take note of.
But where the game has really come alive is through the support of the online community. Not only does it pick out cool levels designed by other people, but it has a great search facility, so that if you want to play a level about football, you just type in the word, search and - hey presto! See how many people have come up with levels about football! The game really has no limits....
And if you fancy seeing my very own cute (if short!) level - complete with a few goodies for the winners, do a search for 'wheelie good', play it - and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Emerging from the Fallout

IMAGINE emerging from a nuclear vault, to find a once great city lying in ruins – that’s exactly where Fallout 3 puts gamers.
The game is set 200 years after the global atomic war of 2077, where survivors have flourished in Vault 101 beneath Washington DC.
Giant Insects, Raiders, Slavers, and yes, even Super Mutants are all no match for superior Vault-Tec engineering. Yet one fateful morning, you awake to find that your father has defied the Overseer and left the comfort and security afforded by Vault 101 for reasons unknown.
Leaving the only home you have ever known, you emerge from the Vault into the harsh Wasteland sun to search for your father, and the truth.
This game is visually stunning, giving players limitless freedom to take in the sights and sounds of the vast Capital Wasteland.
Combat in the game is an all-new experience. Vault-Tec engineers bring you the latest in human ability simulation - the SPECIAL Character System.
Using new breakthroughs in points-based ability representation, SPECIAL affords unlimited customisation of your character.
And the freedom of choice doesn’t end there. Players can choose whether to be good or bad. Feeling like a dastardly villain today, or a good samaritan? Pick a side or walk the line, as every situation can be dealt with in many different ways. Talk out your problems in a civilised fashion, or just flash your Plasma Rifle.
Much fun can also be had with V.A.T.S., the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System which allows you to pause time in combat, target specific body parts on your target, queue up attacks, and let Vault-Tec take out your aggression for you.
All this is played out in a stunning recreation of Washington DC, albeit after the harsh realities of nuclear fallout. From the barren Wasteland, to the danger-filled offices and metro tunnels of DC, to the hideous rotten flesh of a mutant's face. Fallout 3 is the first-person adventure shooter you have been waiting for. It is out now on the PS3, from Bethesda.

Packs of three on the PSP

NOW there is even more fun to be found for gamers on the move – with the release of two new games collections.
Out now on the Sony PSP are a pair of new collections containing not one, not two, but three games on one UMD.
The first one is PlayStation Network Collection – Power Pack.
This features Flow, where players explore the soothing depths of a living underwater environment, discover strange new organisms and embark on a journey of evolution.
Next up is Beats, where gamers take up the challenge and enjoy a highly addictive rhythm action game, where your music collection gets the starring role.
Last but not least is Syphon Filter: Combat Ops. Here, players seek out and terminate rogue agents or team up with friends and form a Cell group, then take out other Cells online and engage in stealth shooter action for up to eight players.
For the more quizzically minded, there is the PlayStation Network Collection – Puzzle Pack.
This kicks off with the insanely addictive Lemmings. The Lemmings are on the loose and that can only mean one thing - trouble! Danger is barely a footstep away for the relentlessly marching hordes of cutesy, green-haired rodents.
Next up is Go! Sudoku, featuring the global phenomenon of Sudoku hitting new levels on the PSP. Simple logic is the key to unlocking the number based puzzles.
And this also Go! Puzzle - an easy to play but tricky to master game, which features three addictive games - Go! Puzzle Aquatica, Go! Puzzle Swizzle Blocks and Go! Puzzle Skyscraper.
All in all, there is something for everyone here – and both collections are on sale for a bargain, ideal as stocking fillers this Christmas.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Sackboy rocks!

MY copy of Little Big Planet finally arrived (a day after launch!) and yes, I can confirm - it is as good as we all hoped it would be!
The cute platformer is great fun, and even when you complete the story mode, there is plenty of life left in the game, as the well-publicised level creation side of the game is fantastic. You can build your own levels, post them online and let others play them, or play other people's levels, or even join up online with friends or other gamers to complete the levels together.
I'm just putting the finishing touches to my own first creation - a simple and short level to start with, as I'm just getting the hang of it - but it is great to think you can build a level and then let other LBP gamers play it across the globe.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The webbed wonder is back!

OUR favourite webbed friend is back – and his adventures are bigger and better than ever!
When a deadly symbiote invasion devastates the streets of New York City, only Spider-Man can seize control and bring the city salvation. From the game's direction and outcome through to Spider-Man's destiny, Spider-Man: Web Of Shadows, out now on the PS3, puts control in the player's hands.
Gamers decide when to switch between the agile Red Suit and powerful Black Suit, whether to ally with Marvel's honoured heroes or ferocious villians, which of Spider-Man's abilities to upgrade and what missions to undertake in order to protect Manhattan from certain annihilation.
This game features an overhauled combat system providing its deepest arsenal ever. For the first time ever in a Spider-Man game, players can take the fight vertically and combat foes on city walls, where only Spider-Man holds the advantage. This is where the game and the action is at its very best.
Players can customise their ideal Spider-Man, earning experience in multiple combat disciplines, allowing them to custom-design their ideal Spider-Man.
And dependant on gamers' actions and decisions, a morality meter will gauge whether citizens cheer Spider-Man on or run away in fear. Spider-Man's actions as hero or vigilante, based on choices at key points in the game, will decide the fate of New York.
And players can side with Marvel's greatest heroes and villians, choosing who will ultimately aid them in the fight to rid New York of its alien symbiote.
This all takes place in a living, breathing New York City, where players can destroy store fronts, demolish vehicles, and pick-up anything along the way to use as a weapon.
This is definitely by far the best game in the Spider-Man series so far, and younger gamers will particularly enjoy it.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Hamilton is the champ!!!

YES, us Brits can finally start celebrating some sporting brilliance as Lewis Hamilton is the 2008 Formula One world champion.
So, bearing in mind this great victory - and that this is actually a gaming blog - how's about those clever game makers come up with an F1 game for the PS3 that is actually really, really good?
Here's hoping - and congrats and full respect to Lewis!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Any spare LBP codes going - pleeaaassse....!

Well, there are just days left for us UK and European folk, waiting to get their hands on the (now slightly amended) Little Big Planet.
But one big detail that most people are discussing is - where can you get your hands on a special promo code to get the extra costumes for Sackboy?
America already have the God of War characters, Europe is getting someone different, and I don't even know if the UK will get the special spacesuit promised for those who buy the game in the first week (especially due to the delay).
So, as I will be getting the game at launch but will not have any codes - if you've got one going spare, feel free to get in touch (I promise I won't pass it on to anyone else!)
Here's hoping.....

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Pro is back – and better – on the PS3

IT’S back – bigger, brighter and better than ever.
Yes, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) 2009 is now on the shelves just as Christmas creeps around the corner.
The PES series is a bit of a cult classic among football gaming fans – kicking off in 2002 the game went on to attract thousands of supporters.
Realistic players, intricate details and well calculated passing, shooting and movement controls makes the gamer feel like they are actually Rooney and Ronaldo – far from some other football titles where one is left running from one side of the pitch to the other with little need for skill or accuracy.

The new edition is just as fun and exciting, building on the success of the others but adding a range of new features.
Of course, all team players have been updated, but there is also the impressive ‘Become a Legend’ section, which brings the gamer closer to the action.
This allows the gamer to pick a player and chart the highs and lows of their career by turning them from rookie to professional.
Players can also use their striker or midfielder to play online matches with other gamers and show their skills on the larger online stage.
The controls are also better – redefining first touch, close control, passing and enhancing the shooting.
Every player has also undergone a facelift with new facial and body detail and a chance for the gamer to create their own club crests and badges.
If you thought it couldn’t get any better, it does.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 is one game that strikes the right note on and off the pitch.
PES 2009 ris eleased on PlayStation 3 by Konami Digital Entertainment.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

For beta for worse....

AM I the only one PS3 user who seems to find it impossible to get on a Beta testing for upcoming new games?
I did manage to 'borrow' a friend's login for Little Big Planet, for a couple of hours, but soon had to surrender it after he realised that we both could not log in at the same time.
So, I've trawled the Net to find other Beta opportunities, found one for the forthcoming and much-anticipated Resistance 2, only to find that a) the Beta was delayed, and B) when I finally got an update, all the Beta keys had already been allocated.
P.S. By the way, Sony, if you are listening, please feel free to send me a Beta key to pretty much ANY game that is coming out in the near future....

Monday, 20 October 2008

The Force is strong on the PS3....

FANCY using The Force? Well, here’s your chance with the release of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, a videogame developed by LucasArts.
The game casts players as Darth Vader's Secret Apprentice and unveils new revelations about the Star Wars galaxy. The expansive story, created under direction from George Lucas, is set during the largely unexplored era between Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
Players assist the iconic villain in his quest to rid the universe of Jedi - and face decisions that could change the course of their destiny.
During the period between Episodes III and IV, players hunt Jedi in the role of Darth Vader's Secret Apprentice.
Star Wars fans will love this game, as it gives players the chance to really get to grips with The Force – which can range from just grabbing hold of a box and smashing it into your enemies, to taking hold of a Tie-fighter and flinging it through the sky.
Players can unleash and upgrade the Secret Apprentice's four core Force powers - Force push, grip, repulse and lightning - throughout the course of the game, and combine them for ultra-destructive, never-before-seen combos.
The Force is truly strong in this game. The Secret Apprentice won't just Force grip foes to throw them aside, he will Force grip them in midair, zap them with lightning, then drop them to the ground to explode like a bomb.
In addition to new adversaries created just for the game, such as fugitive Jedi and Force-sensitive Felucians, players will also confront and associate with familiar faces from the Star Wars films, including Darth Vader.
Players will Visit locations such as Episode III's Wookiee homeworld Kashyyyk and the floral Felucia, the junk planet Raxus Prime.
Decisions made by players throughout the game determine the path of the story, including multiple endings that will rock Star Wars continuity as they know it.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is out now on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Wrestling with impact on the PS3

TNA iMPACT! brings all the fun and excitement of the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling from the top-rated weekly television show to your games console.
In TNA Impact!, you choose the wrestling style, custom move set and clothing to construct the ultimate champion. TNA drenches the player in moves and match types that allow amazing acrobatic and aerial feats along with the bone-jarring crush of hard-hitting impacts.
The game features top wrestling talent such as Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, Rhino, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Sting, Christian Cage, Abyss and more to deliver all of the excitement and action of the television show.
TNA's signature six-sided ring brings unprecedented action and high-flying wrestling moves to players. With TNA's incredible Ultimate X match, wrestlers climb cables high above the ring in a daring attempt to capture the belt.
Players can build a lifetime of fame through the game's innovative story mode, creating their very own TNA wrestler with customised costumes, move sets and more as they unfold the back-story of a champion wrestler.
Online play also allows gamers to create customised match rules and invite friends or foes to compete head to head. Online game modes include Tag Team, Ultimate X and Fatal Four-Way.
This must be one of the most life-like wrestling games out there, and is certainly satisfying when you pull off a complicated move to take down your opponent.
TNA iMPACT! by Midway is out now on the PlayStation 3.

Sackboy fans will have to wait..... !

AS I am sure all PS3 owners are fully aware, the launch date of Little Big Planet has been delayed - NOOOOOO!!
This is the most eagerly awaited PS3 title since the console was launched, but the delay has been blamed on the discovery of some religious phrases making their way into the lyrics of a song included in the game.

Sony have decided to pull the launch date to 'rectify' the situation, and it now looks as though the new European release date is November 7.
So, I'm afraid you will have to wait a few more weeks to get creative in the online PS3 community.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Little Big Planet Beta rocks!!

Thanks to a lucky fellow PS3 owner who was happy to share a code for Little Big Planet - like the gold invite in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - I have experienced at first hand, the wonder that is LBG.
And I have to say, in my truly unbiased opinion, this has to be THE game that will shift more PS3 consoles - it really is that good.
Yes, I know, it is really just a platform game - but what a platform game. The graphics are lush, the gameplay is as smooth as ice, and the levels are divine.
I was hooked, and sadly, as I had to yield control of the beta back to my friend (apparently Sony says it is quite ok to let someone else logon to the beta, but the down side is the other person can't access it for 24 hours it seems), I was left waiting and drooling over the game and desperately looking for another injection of 'Sackman' fun.
I am quite picky about what games I buy, but this beta has made me 100 per cent sure that I am gonna get my hands on this for launch day.
And with its community-based gameplay, with everyone creating their own levels for others to play, as well as the much-anticipated online gameplay that looks stunning, this is without doubt the must-have of 2008.
Now, all we have to wait and see is if Home is going to launch at the same time...

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Saints Row's gonna let you do lots of things....

Saints Row 2 is veering off on a very different path compared to Grand Theft Auto, it seems.
Whereas GTA was more about a narrative storyline and progressing through the game by developing relationships with other characters, Saints Row 2 seems to be more of an open environment where the world is your oyster.
Here is just a small taste of things you should be able to do in the finished version:
Buy stuff for your apartment
Dress as a ninja....
Or a pirate
Roast people with the flamethrower
Take over a chain of supermarkets
See your face appear on billboards in the game
Dress emo
Drive a monster truck
Wear women’s underwear (!)
Well, some of those may take your fancy, others may not, but it certainly looks like it will be a very varied and open game.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Is Home on its way??

The word is out - Sony's online Home community appears to be set for a release in October - finally!!
It has been let slip that the 2.50 firmware update on the PS3 is due sometime next month, and one of the Home development team have let slip that the Home network should form part of it.
This would also tie in with the fact that the much-anticipated and highly hyped game Little Big Planet - probably THE most important online game to hit the PS3 since it was launched - will also hit the shelves in October.
The game is believed to have a strong tie-in with Home, so with all these bits of information tying up together, hopefully we will be right at Home on the PS3 in the next few weeks - fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

More trophies please!

Come on, Sony and games creators, please sort out your trophies!

The long-overdue trophy system is now up and running, but unfortunately there is a distinct lack of support for PS3 gamers who have been faithfully spending their hard-earned cash on games over the past couple of years.

To be fair, Pain now has trophies, Warhawk has trophies - which are great fun trying to get hold of - and others are in the pipeline, including the forthcoming WipEout HD.

But it is very sad that companies won't spend a bit of time and cash from their profits back-dating trophy support for games released over the past year. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune has now got trophies, but you can't have them backdated - so as someone who has already completed and got rid of the game, I do feel a little bit cheated.

Hopefully games companies will now take on the trophy system with full gusto and realise that it is an extra selling point. Some people do own both systems, and if they have a choice, they will by the Xbox 360 version to get the achievements.

So let's have trophies galore please!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Win a Console!

Get your creative talents at the ready - and you could be in with a chance of winning a next-gen console!
A design a t-shirt contest is being held online, with some great prizes for the best designs, including your choice of a Ps3 or Xbox 360 console. So what if you already have one - why not win another one, or one of each!
For full details and rules (it's only open to US residents), have a look at the link below:

And your chances of winning seem relatively high - so far there are only just over 300 entrants online. It looks like a good bit of fun, and you might win something!
(*Always read the rules and small print of competitions.)

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Fancy some PS3 file sharing?

I've found an interesting link on a gaming website that helps friends with PS3's share their games, saving on cost and meaning you can both play the same games. Here it is:

There are some restrictions, but most downloadable games look as though they can be shared, particularly add-ons.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Something completely different!

I know this is strictly speaking meant to be all about the Sony PS3, but I thought I would just share with you this strange vid I took at an aquarium in Wales - it seems these watery creatures are growing inside a strange kind of womb!

My next post will be about the PS3 - I promise!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Are you one of the lucky ones?

So, I received an urgent call from a mate on my answerphone, telling me he had some really important news to tell me.

I quickly rang him back, thinking he was going to tell me his wife was pregnant, he was emigrating, something like that....

No, he rang me to gloat that he had received an email from Sony giving him a voucher to play the new Motorstorm Pacific Rift demo!

The lucky guy was one of a fortunate few who had been randomly sent an invite to download the demo, while the rest of us - yes, to his great joy, that includes me - had to sit and stew that we hadn't been invited to the party. I wouldn't mind, but he is also a big Xbox 360 fanboy!

To be blunt, I think Sony have dropped a clanger as I, for one, have been put off taking interest in the game if I can't even download the demo now while others can. Looks like new racing game Pure may be a better buy, as the demo is great (and I can play it!).

Friday, 12 September 2008

Anyone figured out the PS3 chat time delay problem?

I don't know if it is just myself and my friend who seem to be stuck in some time vortex, but whenever we use the PS3 chat we can't help but notice the time delayfrom when you speak to when your friend hears it.
Now, he only lives about a mile and a half away, it's not like I'm in the UK and he is in the US, so why hasn't this problem been solved? As a pro-PS3 user, I am ashamed to say that the Xbox 360 chat (which also has the benefit of a headset included with the hardware) is by far and away more impressive and has no time lag.
Come on Sony, get this problem figured out - and how about making it easier to have a chat with a buddy, and be able to then join a game without having to quit chat first? These are the basics. Anyone else got a view on this? Post me!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Fans of the original and hugely popular Resistance game will be pleased to hear they may be able to get their hands on Resistance 2 earlier than its November 4 release date.
SCEA has announced that a worldwide competitive online multiplayer and co-op beta of the game is to get underway in early October on the PlayStation Network - so keep an eye on those weekly online updates for your chance to join the resistance movement ahead of schedule!
Thee beta will provide PS3 owners with an opportunity to experience new levels, modes, and weapons.

Having played the Star Wars: Force Unleashed demo on both the PS3 and Xbox 360, this long-awaited game is starting to draw concern from many avid game players who, much to their dread, fear it is going to be a big disappointment.
The game is all about using the Force, as the title suggests, but many are complaining that trying to use the Force in the game is as easy as playing tennis with a spoon instead of a racquet.
Not long to wait now, so let's hope they've got it wrong and that the Force is strong with this game!
Watch the trailer and see what you think....