Posts Tagged ‘PS3’

Late to the Party: Skate 2

July 20, 2010

The Game

Skate 2 came out in March 2009 for the PS3, XBox 360. It’s the sequel to the 2007 game Skate and the 2008 spin-off game of the series Skate It. The game is developed by EA Black Box and published by EA. It’s the biggest challenger that the Tony Hawk franchise has ever had and at the best time: The decline of the Tony Hawk series. Not only is it the biggest challenger, I think it’s bett- You know what? I’ll just get to the review 🙂

Story

You are Unspecific Name-Man, a character of your own creation that is meant to be the same protagonist from the 1st game. At the start of the game, you’ve just been let out of jail and your “side-kick”, Reda, is filling you in on everything that has happened in the time that you’ve been gone.

A new company called “Mongocorp” has moved into San Vanelona and renamed it “New San Vanelona”. They’re an anti-skating company and have basically banned skating in most places in the city. The game focuses on your rise – through magazine shoots, videos and competitions – back to the top. It’s like starting out as an amateur skater since you’ve been in prison for so long.

Gameplay

If there’s one thing that Skate has got nailed down it’s gameplay. Remember Tony Hawk’s’ controls? Just button mashing until you ended up doing a good move? Well Skate 2 completely changes that in a way that Tony Hawk’s could only compare to if they stole the whole concept. Instead of button combinations for moves, ollies and flip tricks are mapped to the right analogue stick while grabs and inverts are on the trigger buttons on the back of the controller. This makes gameplay harder and more complicated which is a great thing, actually. We’ve had button-mapped controls for skating games since conception, it’s about time somebody changed it up and tried something different. After all, it payed off for them!

There is one aspect of the controls that could do with some work, though. Moving around without your board. Walking and running can be glitchy and get even worse when you try to call your board (if you’ve dropped it) or get back on your board near an object. Also, moving things in the environment is a great feature and can really help with challenges or just fun but this is the worst of the glitches. You will constantly – for absolutely no reason – fall over and bail or “glitch out” while moving an object, it’s inevitable.

Challenges and Missions

Alot of this game is filled with trial and error and if you won’t commit to this game and really try then you won’t get anywhere with it. I’m not going to lie, this game can get hard and with no difficulty setting to make the experience easier for you. You need patients. And if you’re prone to flipping out over things then you’re not going to like the pedestrians in this game. Ugh.

On the bright side the game provides a good mix of different types of challenges between competitions, races, pro challenges and even more variations within the bigger categories, you won’t get bored if you stick at it. One feature that I like in a game and that you see in Skate 2 is the ability to choose whatever you want to do i.e. you don’t have to do missions in an exact order, if you find one hard you can choose to do another one and come back later, which really helps without making it too easy.

Now, I’m not a big fan of side-missions, I don’t know why. But there’s just something about the side-missions (of which there are alot, so yay!) which made me want to play and beat them. Actually, I get the urge to want to completely 100% this game! And I’m never one to do that (trust me) but this game is just different… in a great way.

Free-roaming

This game is a free-roaming game and acts as such. The sandbox is pretty damn impressive. It mightn’t be a Just Cause or a Grand Theft Auto but it’s still impressive and the visuals in areas like the woods and… Everywhere actually, are very good!

A handy thing if you’re just looking to mess around are spawn points. You get the ability to use spawn points after you beat all of Danny Way’s challenges and then unlock extra ones for other specific achievements. They’re areas that you wouldn’t usually be able to get to and that are brilliant to skate and they’re integrated into your map so you can teleport to them whenever you want.

The fun aspect

If you want to mess around and have a laugh then you are reading the review for the right game. I’ve had Skate 2 for a long time and haven’t found it boring at any stage, there’s always something to do. The abundance of skateparks really helps and so do the side-missions. Then you also have own and kill the spot challenges, throwdown challenges and the Hall of Meat. Don’t want to do challenges? No problem! Just have a skate around, explore the city! Mess with cars or get chased by guards. This really is – and I’m taking everything into consideration – the most fun I’ve had in a game in years. And the soundtrack is great so no matter what you’re doing, you won’t be bored and have to listen to your MP3 player or something.

Hall of Meat

The Hall of Meat is a set of challenges that you have and all the challenges are things to do by bailing. When you bail, you have a little meter telling you how many points that bail you just did was worth. The more bone-crunchingly brutal, the more points you get! You can also get points by adding your own “formations” to your bails. While you’re in a mid-air bail you can point the right analogue stick in one of four directions to make your character do different formations and these get you extra points. And you don’t have to hit something to bail, you can bail on cue by pressing the two trigger buttons and the two analogue sticks down.

The Break-down

I could go on and on about this game for longer but I think I’ve said as much as I could without rambling about things you don’t really need to know or starting to make irrelevant points about things, so I’ll wrap it up now.

The Pros

  • Challenging
  • Variation of missions
  • Fun
  • Visually impressive
  • Great soundtrack

The Cons

  • Glitchy
  • Infuriatingly annoying pedestrians
  • You will need to repeat things over and over to get them right
  • Not everyone will like the difficulty
  • Easily forgettable multiplayer

The Conclusion

9/10

“A great game from every angle that won’t get boring very quickly!”

New Leaked Arkham Asylum 2 Domain Names May Hint Plot Lines.

July 13, 2010

Image from Collider.com

Recently, Warner Brothers registered several domain names for the sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum. They were found and published by superannuation. When you go through the names of these some of them seem to reveal plot lines that may appear in Arkham Asylum 2, some of them pretty interesting. If these are true, Rocksteady are definitely detaching themselves from the first Arkham Asylum. Let’s take a look at the different names. Here’s a list of them:

http://whois.domaintools.com/arkhamcity.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/batmanarkhamcity.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/batmanashesofgotham.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/batmanbrokenground.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/batmannewarkham.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/batmangranddelusion.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/batmanriseofarkham.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/batmansiegeofgotham.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/batmanstateofvillainy.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/cityofarkham.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/closearkhamcity.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/peopleforgotham.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/stopmayorsharp.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/waringothamcity.com
http://whois.domaintools.com/wheresbrucewayne.com

Arkham City, Batman Arkham City, Batman Ashes of Gotham, Batman New Arkham, Batman Rise of Arkham, Batman Siege of Gotham, Batman State of Villainy, City of Arkham, Close Arkham City, Stop Mayor Sharp, War in Gotham City and Where’s Bruce Wayne.

All of these names coupled with the teaser trailer released a while back point to many things. First of all, the most obvious one, Arkham has taken over the Gotham and it’s in their control completely. This would make for a fantastic plotline! Just like they took over Arkham island and you had to beat them from the inside-out, you’re doing it again but on a much bigger scale. The whole city of Gotham! Or perhaps, “City of Arkham”.

“Stop Mayor Sharp”, now there’s a title! Anyone who’s played the first game will know of one character, Quincey Sharp. He was the warden in Arkham Asylum and (SPOILERS) later found to be the “Spirit of Arkham”. The spirit of Amadeus Arkham, the founder of the asylum. In the first game Quincey was running for mayor and apparently, he won. But being the spirit of Amadeus (who throughout the game you hear some pretty… Interesting things from) he may be corrupt, insane or even evil!

“Where’s Bruce Wayne” is a bit obvious. Bruce Wayne, Batman, hasn’t been seen for a bit and nobody knows where he is. At the moment in the Batman comics, Bruce Wayne is presumed dead and Dick Grayson (formally Robin) has taken the role of Batman with Damian Wayne (Bruce Wayne’s son) now helping him as Robin. The game may be taking inspiration from the comics but if not then we’ll have to wait and see where Bruce Wayne is!

Broken Ground, Grand Delusion and People For Gotham

To be honest, I have no idea what the first two of these mean. I can’t think of anything related to The Joker or Arkham that they may referring to. If you have any ideas please let me know in the comments, I’d like to hear any ideas of what the next game could be about.

“People for Gotham” is once again related to Gotham changing and being taken over by The Joker and Arkham. Perhaps people on the outside of the city want to change it and bring it back to the city it once was. Or it could be a revolution group on the inside working in the place of Batman due to his absence to rid Gotham of the thugs. A strange thing about this name, though, is that it’s listed as “People Forgot Ham”. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but that strikes me as Warner Brothers trying to cover up “People for Gotham” which could mean that this name is an important one. Or it could mean that Bruce Wayne left Gotham to pursue a career as a butcher, I’m not sure.

I think that we can all agree, though, Rocksteady did something absolutely amazing with the first Arkham Asylum and regardless of the storyline they choose I can see this one turning out just as good. I love the mystery around the sequel. I don’t want to see a rushed game and it seems that they’re taking they’re time.

Why Crash Bandicoot deserves the God of War Collection treatment

April 4, 2010

Intro

Recently we’ve witnessed the success of the God of War Collection which was God of War 1 and 2 re-made in HD for the PS3. This was made to mark the release of God of War 3 and gave fans a bit of a reminder of what happened before they played the third installment. Now, I’ve never played any of the God of War games because they never really appealed to me so I didn’t bother with the GoW Collection. So since I didn’t get it, I began to think about games from the PSOne and PS2 that I’d like to see again, re-made and touched up for the PS3 and I’ve chosen my candidate. Crash Bandicoot.

What game?

The original Crash Bandicoot game came out in 1996 for the PSOne. It received good ratings and now averages an 80.40% on metacritic.com. It’s sold 6.8 million copies (November 2003) which makes it the 7th best-selling PlayStation game of all time! It was developed by Naughty Dog (creators of Uncharted) and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was re-released for download off the PlayStation Store in 2006.

Why does it deserve a HD remake?

Look at how smooth those polygons are!

God of War 1 and 2 were on the PS2 and looked much better than Crash Bandicoot did and yet they were re-made in HD with better graphics before Crash. With the success of Uncharted 2, it’s strange that Naughty Dog haven’t looked into this publicly and it’s a shame, really. Imagine Crash Bandicoot re-made using the Uncharted 2 engine! It would be fantastic in visuals and in gameplay. I’m not saying that Crash should be completely re-made because it has bad graphics, that’s just one of the reasons another being that it was a great game!

Crash Bandicoot is available to buy on the PSN Store right now. You can purchase and download it onto your PS3 or PSP and play it at any time. It’s brilliant to play on both platforms and really – it its own words – makes you “take a spin down memory lane”. It plays brilliantly. The credit to this, in my opinion, is the fact that the PlayStation controller has barely changed since conception (bar the introduction of the analogue sticks). So it’s great to play and great to remember playing all those years ago, but it still has a major fault. It looks like utter arse. And how can this be fixed, I hear you ask? Well, Naughty Dog would first have to get permission to re-make their game from whoever owns the rights. I’m guessing that it’s Radical Entertainment who own the rights as they have made the 2 latest games of the series, Crash of the Titans and Crash: Mind over Mutant.

But don’t you think there are better games?

I know that people will argue that there are more deserving games out there that should be made before Crash Bandicoot but this is my argument for a game that holds a special place in my heart to be re-imagined into something amazing. The same game that I used to play over and over again would feel new and refreshing.

Final thoughts

With Uncharted 3 rumoured to be in development, Naughty Dog mightn’t have time to make this happen but think, Santa Monica Studios got Bluepoint Games to port GoW 1 and 2 to the PS3, why couldn’t they do the same with Crash?

My two cents on the recent PS3 error.

March 1, 2010

Earlier today, Sony discovered a problem with the PlayStation 3. The problem is that you can’t connect to the internet and play certain games. This is only affecting older, “phat” models. I’ve been hearing that it’s PSN that’s the problem, but this is what I think.
The date on many systems was changed back to 2000 which is in the system itself, not online. Couple this with the fact that the Slims (1) Can connect to the internet (pointing out that the problem isn’t with PSN, it’s hardware related) and (2) Are newer models (have different hardware to that of the older models) means that it’s something to do with a thing that they took out or change in the Slim that was in the older models.
They’re my thoughts, take them whatever way you will.