Wednesday, 23 December 2009

MAG - What is it good for?

Having spent some time on the Beta I really can't see the long term playability of the game. Ranking up, weapons and clans are all well and good but the 'samey' feel the of actual minute to minute experience I think will lead to this game sitting on the shelf for a lot longer than it's played. Okay it looks damn good and the massive warzone is pretty impressive but the whole thing lacks a story arc. At least with the COD MW games you get the satisfaction of having ended something as well as the Multiplayer options.

Ubisoft leans towards edutainment

Assassins Creed 2 is one of those games which like a good book, you just can't keep away from for too long. With its rich accurate historical content or people, places and politics, art collection the game can very easily be converted to an immersive tour of 15th century Italy.
Proof perhaps that if Uncharted 2 was associated with movie play and feel then Assassins Creed 2 could be best associated with something of a merger between an edutainment game. I can see Ubi' branching out into 'academic' console games. take out Ezio and you can have a whole variety of ways to get kids into exploring 15th Century Italy and everything going in in Politics, religion and art during that time - with various (Ubi)rewards along the way that kids could collect in actual ubi games.

News: Paid PSN subscription detailed -

Rumours about Sony putting a subscription service out on the Playstation Network have been circulating in the web for some time. Starting off with speculation in various gaming sites and blogs and gradually becoming more substantial in recent months.

Finally the Computer And Video Games website News: Paid PSN subscription detailed - have some images of a survey which includes reference to 'cross game chat' and interestingly something called "Full Time Trial - 1st Hour is Free".
Now this latter feature really caught my interest. Is this in itself an early indication of another service on the horizon? This looks to me like the emergence of the option ot purchase major games which are purchased and played completely on-line. So the entire single player as well as MP feature is an on-line experience with no Blu-Ray purchase option (like Warhawk and Burnout Paradise) available.
I can see the cash registers in Sony’s eyes rolling already as they cut out the retailer and all the costs of physical media (manufacture, distribution, logistics etc)
Ypu may recall the little box some people were touting at Game shows last year, that offered all games on-line.
Well with ever increasing bandwidths at ever decreasing prices, Sony offering cloud storage for game saves, perhaps Sony have jumped ahead and embraced the future. Cutting out the retail shops and Developers already setting up shop in the playstation store perhaps buying games on-line only may be much nearer than we think

Sunday, 20 December 2009

BBC News - Chinese proposal to meter internet traffic

BBC News - Chinese proposal to meter internet traffic

This is the interesting bit
"The ITU also stressed that the Chinese proposal did not involve modifying the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) - one of the core specifications that controls how data flows around the internet - as Mr Servida has alleged.

An ITU spokesman said: "The ITU has no plans to modify the BGP protocol, which is not an ITU-T standard.

"A proposal has been made, and is being studied, to use BGP routers to collect traffic flow data, which could be used, by bilateral agreement, by operators for billing purposes."

China's' desire to monitor and meter internet traffic could easily lead to a 'surf tax' to enable countries to collect revenue to pay for their connections to the global net.
This could very easily lead to the love of all utility corporations TARIFFS.

You pay one subscription to your ISP
And then you choose your tariff based on where and how much of the world you want to surf around in.
This then opens up the option of companies providing gateway subscriptions so if your on a Euro only tariff you can buy a US tariff News or documentary or entertainment tariff just to browse those sites.

I can see SKY and other media broadcast corporations salivating at this potential money spinner.
It'll be like privatising utilities all over again.

Friday, 11 December 2009

M.A.G. Not my cup of tea

I played the beta for several hours and was put off by the lack of a story arc or endgame. A characterless FPS, each mission was then 'same old same old'.
Maybe we've been spoiled by the current handful of excellent Mp content in games such as: MW2, Uncharted 2, Borderlands (what a cracker that is) which give you a more interesting context for popping a cap or two.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Famitsu gives FFXIII only 39/40!

IGN has revamped itself and very nice it is too. I'll be visiting it a bit more often.
I see that it is reporting that Famitsu has only rated Final Fantasy XIII a 39/40.
And quite rightly too perhaps judging by the reasons given.

I suspect the useful reviews will come a few weeks after the games release after the devotees and general rpg pundits have had a chance to spend a good few days with the whole experience.
Much as I love FFX (where it all began for me!) and had a hoot with FFX-II. I tired of the turn based combat when I discovered the glories of Next-Gen FPS starting with R:FOM.
I'd be interested to see whether the combat style will sit comfortably / survive with the gaming world that now has (i) faster pace and (ii)vastly improved graphics, (iii)deeper, richer, more dynamic environments, (iv) improved NPC AI and (v) deeper characterisation and story.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

The Onions - Modern Warfare 3

This is from The Onion website, an excellent place to visit and one you should bookmark.

Playstation 4 - What, already?

There's a Dutch website harping on about a PS4 coming in 2012 using a new IBM Power7 processor, a cut down version of the ones that will go into Servers.
FGNOnline have a similar report.
Remembering that Sony still catching up on the Losses it made on the PS3 and more recently coming up with a 'plan' to re-energise it's TV market. I'm having second thoughts about a 2012 or even 2014 release of a PS4. It will have to be a damn cheap device as the recession will only just be ebbing away.
I wonder if the more common processor will bring more developers into the market. Now this could be the deal breaker
It would offer an easier port from PS3 Cell to PS4's Power7 processor. Interesting that it will be a cut down version of the CPU that will go into servers - be interesting to see how that plays out for on-line multiplayer and MMOs.
Since broadband capacity and speed is increasing at a health rate (and cost)....
Sony may well be thinking about having more of a server based gaming experience will your games on a server rather than a Blu-Ray or hard drive. That would really bring down costs. big savings on console development, game distribution, and an increase in revenue from sales and online subscriptions.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Animus Causes OCD

I have come to the conclusion that the Animus produces OCD in the user. A compulsion to attempt to climb any wall you run into and utter clumsiness and buffoonery when running into small groups of people

Magic, Japan Style

Magic - Japan Style.

Now this is one video that you'll want to watch more than twice and then probably give up trying to figure out at it defies all the usual magic conventions and trickery. It's the changing expressions on his face that move this trick into being memorable!!

Monday, 23 November 2009

BBC News - Games 'permit' virtual war crimes

So, a couple of human rights charities in swizzerland just discovered that gamers are free to go a bit wild and disregard international law.
Where have they been for the past 20 years?
They are very unhappy about Tom Clancy, Army of 2 (which was crap anyway!,
they have a go at the CODs and a bunch of other games that let you so things you'd get jailed for if you were in charge of a real army.
What a bunch of Twits! They are games. Someone should tell these 'researchers' that most people (unlike these crackpots) can tell the difference between reality and fantasy. Problem is that any anti-war demonstrators in video games would probably be the first to get pwnd!
BBC News - Games 'permit' virtual war crimes

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Friday, 20 November 2009

Sony releases pictures of Wand controller

I see sony has released pictures of it's wand controller.
Yes, sadly it does look like a penis.
But so do a lot of things.
There should be a simple “is it too much like a penis?” test.
Maybe for instance whether you can get a condom over it. (without prejudice to size!)

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

PlayStation 3 Firmware (v3.10) Update Preview

The Playstation 3 now gives you a way of automatically updating your trophy progress and download activity automatically to facebook. Pretty cool1

PlayStation 3 Firmware (v3.10) Update Preview

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Sunday, 15 November 2009

God of War 3 has co-op!

Rumour has it that GOW3 will have on-line coop, pairing up our angry hero with Hercules nonetheless.
Check out the story/rumour here at Kuoppa Network

Friday, 13 November 2009

Modern Warfare 2. Too bad to play?

Member of Parliament Keith Vaz is throwing a hissy fit about Modern Warfare 2 not being the kind of thing decent kids should be playing!!
I am 54 years old. I really enjoyed playing the game.though I felt it was too short. The airport level does present a dilemma, but there are other parts of the game that present the player with other equally ugly aspects of war and military conflict. Through friends I know many of their teenage kids have the game. Keith Vaz needs to catch up with where most teenagers are at in regards to their understanding of video violence, social values and morality. His is the attitude that is best described as immature. What would he prefer. A war game that removed the player to a sterile 'neutral' fun space of yesteryear?

Monday, 9 November 2009

we have all been Pwnd by the Government!

We used to be able to freely roam the web but no longer.
According to BBC news "The Home Office says it will push ahead with plans to ask communications firms to monitor all internet use."
UK surveillance plan to go ahead
What's next, a National Insurance number linked web access code / swipe card that we must use before being able to access the web - wherever we ar or whatever device we use?
So if you are at home, on the road, or at Starbucks / internet cafe, you have to enter an access code to get online.

Farewell to the internet we all knew and loved

Friday, 6 November 2009

What is China thinking!?

The BBC news website are reporting that "China's ministry of health has moved to ban the use of physical punishment to treat teenagers addicted to the web, according to draft guidelines."
Only in China would such a law have to be passed. It just shows how different the Chinese culture is. Their basic rule seem to be "a good beating solves most social problems"

Greed Kills off any chance of Climate Change reduction

The talks in Barcelona, the warm up for the real serious meeting in Copenhagen next month look very worrying. Most countries do not want to invest in emission control technologies. probably because what they pay for this will have to be either added to their product prices or be paid for from profits, or a bit of both. And while the recession is still making waves no country wants to take the risk of losing more money.
It's clearly multinationals and not governments that are leading this debate. There's no conspiracy. Its simply the way of the world. Meanwhile we stand on the brink of a destruction that sounds insane to even think about let alone make public.
Who in their right mind would say, or go along with the argument that, Nature, the very life cycles that give us a climate we can live in, food and water, are starting to break down and all life is at risk. Who can imagine or believe it? Yet it is true. And the people who have the most power to stop it happening are reluctant to do so because of greed and the desire to stay in power


Thursday, 5 November 2009

Modern Warfare 2 Shows us how to Market

So the Media has finally picked up on the 'leaked' terrorist video gameplay half-inched from Infinity ward, the developers of Modern warfare 2.
the Guardian Article can be found here

My guess is that the video was a deliberate leak - for the very reason of bringing the games attention to a broader market.
Next step is that the newspapers and news media will be banging on Infinity wards doors asking for interviews. And then the second stage of the strategy begins. IW gives the story that puts the video in context whilst plugging the whole angle of how they bring 'x' awareness and 'y' issues into gaming with quality and gripping storyline and gameplay etc.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

X-Factor zombie on PS3?

I see SCEA has filed a trademark for “TV Superstars.” The title includes “computer game and video game software” for “operating a real-time game for others over global and local area computer networks.

My guess is that an 'X-factor' (The 'X' referring to Delusional either /both on behalf of the viewer and so-called performer) type game is coming to the console where fools will perform in front of the PS Eye and then post the garbage up on the PSN somewhere for the obligatory humiliation and ridicule.
Chance's are the crap will be viewable somewhere in the Playstation shopping centre, I mean Home.

Well I suppose it caters for all tastes up and down the evolutionary scale

Thursday, 3 September 2009

No No for Linux on PS3 Slim

The News from Sony is that the PS3 Slim will not be Linux capable. Sarah Ewen at SCEE is that
The reasons are simple: The PS3 Slim is a major cost reduction involving many changes to hardware components in the PS3 design. In order to offer the OtherOS install, SCE would need to continue to maintain the OtherOS hypervisor drivers for any significant hardware changes – this costs SCE. One of our key objectives with the new model is to pass on cost savings to the consumer with a lower retail price. Unfortunately in this case the cost of OtherOS install did not fit with the wider objective to offer a lower cost PS3.

It’s a bleedin Game console not a computer.
I must admit I did toy with the idea of installing linux and spent a lot of time looking into the options, implications and methods. I never got round to it because I have a computer I can plug into the TV anyway and with the PS3’s functionality and the Media streaming capability of everything but the kitchen sink who needs Linux on a PS3 anyway aside from the Caltech and MIT people who pile them up and create cost effective supercomputers

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Final Fantasy VII Remake? - Of Course

So, Speaking at Gamescom last week, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIII producer Yoshinori Kitase refused to deny the possibility of them revisiting the game:
Well there's a big, smack in the mouth givaway if ever I heard one!
Of course there’s gonna be a remake, and it will be on all platforms, even mobile phones. For God’s sake lets get a grip girls.
We’ve all ben round this block a few times already.
“Contrived Groundswell” is a phrase that springs to mind, long term marketing strategy to generate as broad an interest as possible.
look at it this way. If they announced now it would be newsworthy only amongst us gamers. We’d go giddy and start off gigabytes of hype and debate.
But let it brew for a year, with “leaks”, rumours, the odd image here and there, “accidental” reveal in interviews and the bigger news channels will eventually pick up on this ‘phenomenon’.
Then the big announcement at TGS or E3. And Bob’s yer uncle.

Heavy Rain

Any Sleuths at GC09 would have picked up that Heavy Rain, from those nice people that brought us Fahrenheit, has a 2000 page script, compared to the average game that has around 95 - 125 pages.
But remember the story of Heavy Rain provides the option of choosing to figure out who the Origami Killer, by taking on any one of four playable characters and switching between them.

But if we have four characters to switch between and with each we choose one of a selected range of paths to take, the actual number of pages we encounter diminishes.

Sure if it was one character interacting with n+1 npc’s with a fairly linear story with a small range of possible branches it would be 100% of the pages having to be available along a gamer controlled narrative pathtime.

But this same gamer pathtime will only experience 25% of the full potential route potentially available from the 4 characters of Heavy Rain. this brings the actual number of pages available experienced down to 500.
Then factor in the actual path chosen by the player from those available and the number drops into the average range.

And average can vary between the fixed script of games like Resistance 2 and COD through to Games like Mass effect and Fallout.

Ideally I’d like each member of my family to play as one character through the game – but that would have to include the dog to make up the numbers. then we could watch the whole story unfold.

I don;t suppose there is any hope of online multiplayer / singstar style crossover so we can see what happens to the other characters.
Or is there going to be a special edition with movie game play of the four stories.

To be honest I gave up with Fahrenheit. all that endless button selection started to get on my nerve.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Fireburst om the Horizon

Developers exDream, based in in Hannover, Germany are working on a game that dishes out some heavy duty racing and road-rage conflict letting you ignite a rival’s car or even dose your own set of wheels in “protective flames”. Bring it on I say.

Other than yer standard racers, buggies and monster trucks, exDreams racer will let you match drivers with wheels. I'm imagining , Clarksons rapist abusive obese truck drivers!!

This would fit nicely with over 50 taunts on offer. But this is no free badmouthing and chances are someone will pwn you for your profanities

Fireburst looks like it could be a pretty good game. Almost like a cross between the powerups and weapons of Wipeout and Motorstorm.
I'll definitely keep an eye on this one. Motorstorm 2 was not that different from number one so it's good to have a different racer hit the streets. If Fireburst allows us to play our music (a la Zen Pinball) then we are onto a sure fire winner.
Here's a cut and paste from those geniuses at where you can read a proper article not like this scrabble of words I knock out occasionally.

FireBurst Features:

• First PLAYSTATION 3 title from Black Inc.
• Innovative boost system: With the novel 4-stage fire boost, opponents' vehicles are eliminated in spectacular ways
• Fireburst is developed based on Unreal Engine 3
• Wacky characters
• All kinds of vehicles: From sleek buggies and pimped-up vintage models to massive pick-ups, this fleet leaves nothing to be desired
• Unique combinations of drivers and vehicles: Match a character with the appropriate vehicle to optimize driving attributes
• Game modes offering plenty of variation: Challenge and championship modes, as well as multiplayer options (with up to 16 players online, or up to 4 players offline with a split screen), make for spectacular entertainment
• Surprising twists: 20 huge tracks are divided into ten areas. Each track offers shortcuts and alternative routes
• Plenty of bonuses: Unlock new vehicles, tracks, and game modes
• Sneering and jeering: Each character uses more than 50 different taunts to mock the competition. But beware: The more you provoke the AI drivers, the more aggressively they will race you!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Demon's Soul. Don;t waste your vote!

Those nice people over at have kindly forewarned us hardcore gamers to to prepare for the arrival of Demon's Souls. (the pic is from their site too, a thousand thanks to them)

King Allant the XII, the last king of Boletaria, searched tirelessly to expand his might. The Nexus, a great ice shrine nestled in the mountains, bestowed the power of the souls onto him, bringing prosperity to his kingdom. Still unsated, he returned again to the Nexus, where he foolishly awakened the Old One from its eternal slumber. This long forgotten evil, now wrought upon Boletaria, plunged the realm into darkness and fog. A mighty demon horde poured into the kingdom, devouring the souls of men.

Champions from other realms learned of Boletaria's fate and sought to deliver the kingdom from evil; none would return from the cursed land. Called upon by a mysterious maiden in black, you go fo
rth, the last hope for humanity in a place lost to demons and darkness...

The Nexus, isn't that what Kirk and Picard went off to sort out in Star Trek Generations?
Anyway, so King Allant XII the unsatiated lets loose the rentahorde upon his Kingdom eh?
Well that's what you get for not living in a democracy.
These hordes have been quite busy these last few years, is there a horde labour shortage.
Shouldn't they form a union or something?

Guinea pigs of Xi No More!!

Having messed about with Xi for longer than I would have liked I got to wondering about the point of it all.
Of course its about Sony Testing out the capability of using Home as a tool for corporate collaboration on different projects. Product design, system development etc. I can see software developers using the tools we messed about with in home to share and co-operate in game development.
Link this to the comment I made earlier about the secret teamsters in the dungeons of naughty dog sharing code. Imagine developers actually sharing across a private zone in Home.
Forget about emailing files and VPN, it's all in a virtual developer studio and server in Home.

And it's not restricted to Sony. Any company can do the same with their product, be it shoe design, machinery, molecular biology or software development.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

The Secret Edge

So Naughty Dog has somewhere in its building a team of developers to work as a creative hub and share best pratice with other PS3 Game developers
It is called Edge Tools, and the development team that is working on it is called The Ice Team.

It makes perfect sense. Everyone benefits developers and gamers both.
Breaking down the isolation of individual creative groups makes for a phenomenal increase in both the quality and pace of innovative development

Thursday, 4 June 2009

PS3 Motion sensor

This is quite a leap forward.
Let's hope they add this functionality to Final Fantasy XIV
PS3 Motion Sensor

Angels and Demons in full 2D

Angels and Demons.
What a dull, dull film. Basic storyboard goes something like this
cern > vatican > (cars speeding through narrow streets+ action music+ shakey camera at odd angles>church > Dead priest) x3 > Big explosion > the end.
Intersperse each iteration with a liberal dose of Hanks pulling funny faces to signify (i)smugness, (ii) confusion (iii) insight (usually in that order!).

I suppose it's Ok for people with 'cultured' pretentions who give a damn about the Vatican blowing up.