The EA Presser at this year's Gamescom brought us the news that the previously Microsoft-exclusive Mass Effect 2 would be hitting the PS3 early next year. This is great news for Sony fans, but the fact that the storyline is so intimately linked to the events in the original Mass Effect has made many of us pundits wonder whether it's actually a particularly good idea. After all, not knowing the characters, backstory and premise makes Mass Effect 2 nothing more than a serviceable shooter! Not to mention that an original Mass Effect save file governs several key events in the narrative.
However, Bioware Commuinity moderator Nathalie Edelmann has suggested that an interactive Dark Horse graphic novel will bridge the gap- showing players the pivotal events of the first game and letting them choose how to proceed. Not only will this bring PS3 players up to speed, but it will also allow them to make the same moral choices and invest in the characters as much as their Xbox 360 counterparts. Outstanding.
The PS3 version will also contain the Kasumi’s Stolen Memory, Overlord, and Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC packs on the disc.
Nintendo are planning a stonking launch lineup for the Nintendo 3DS next March; including the likes of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Kid Icarus and Super Street Fighter IV... but apparently this isn't enough for Ninty president Satoru Iwata. In order to maximise the list of Western launch titles, he's considering localising a number of previously-unreleased DS titles that have rarely been seen beyond Japanese borders.
The upcoming Fire Emblem remake is a serious contender for a 3DS revamp, as well as 7th Dragon, Blood of Bahamut, Soma Bringer and countless others. Seriously, a quality selection of launch titles will help the new handheld break free of its shovelware-addled reputation. [1UP]
We have a mixed relationship with the Ninja Gaiden series. The original games provided rock hard 2D platforming that put players through the wringer, whilst the original Xbox version provided an incredibly nuanced experience that was challenging without being cheap. Unfortunately Ninja Gaiden 2 turned out to be broken, boring and frequently bad. However, Team Ninja head Yosuke Hayashi has confirmed that the Ninja Gaiden 3 will be a sequel in number only- providing a reboot rather than a continuation of the story.
We're developing it with the idea of restarting at the beginning, saying 'We'd like to make the action game that's most interesting for the current era,' With this meaning, it's going to be a game that's not bound by the past. - Hayashi to Famitsu Magazine
Hayashi also dropped some interesting hints about the latest gimmick... and apparently it's all in hand. Sorry.
He seems to be doing something with his right hand. Also, there's something not normal about this hand. It's covered in blood, but there's something unnatural regarding the blood.
Your guess is as good as mine, folks. Naturally we'll be keeping a close eye on Ninja Gaiden 3 over the coming months- and we'll hear more once their "internal prototype" has been thoroughly tested.
Platform: Nintendo DS
Developer: 5th Cell
Publisher: Warner Bros
Heart on sleeve time. I LOVED Scribblenauts. Yes, it was flawed. Yes, the stylus-based controls were hideous – “and now pick up the gun and, no, Maxwell, where are you going? Don’t go down there! No, away from the bear! Oh bum, he’s dead.” – and yes, there were frustrations with words that it didn’t recognise. But seriously, what an achievement it was. It was genuinely different from any other puzzle-based game out there. It tested, if not the limits of your imagination, then at least some of the grey cells you’d pass on the way. It also used the DS in a brand new way.
On a personal level, any game that allows me to pitch God Vs Satan (or, indeed, Santa) and attempt to use Cthulu to rescue a kitten (note: fictitious demons of the underworld are not a good pet recovery system) is a very good thing. Accordingly, for all the niggles, it was easy to overlook them and revel in the sheer, very regular, joys.
A year or so on, and the cleverly named sequel has hit the shelves. At a basic level, things are still the same. You control Maxwell, the smiley chap in the pointy hat, and endeavour to see him through a number of frequently eccentric problems. To solve the problems, you write the things you need into existence.
I genuinely shudder when I imagine Bobby Kotick's dream of an Activision-friendly future. Nightmarish visions of lava pits, hellgates and public executions of unfaithful creative developers all flash before my eyes... but apparently, the first thing he'd like is for the PC development scene to start flourishing again.
Comparing the console market to a "walled garden", the reviled industry figure surprised many pundits (including this one) by stating that Activision would make a lot more money by backing PC developers and developing for open platforms. Kotick suggests that streamlined gaming rigs with direct HDMI output for televisual use would revolutionise the industry... and, of course, make him even more money. To this end, he's even promised to financially back any manufacturer wiling to give it a go.
You know, this actually makes a lot of sense. Whilst my gut's telling me that this is some sort of diabolical Activision trap, I can see the benefits of TV-linked gaming PCs over consoles in the long run. What about you guys? [1UP]
Sony has unveiled their Japanese Playstation Move launch lineup- as well as the forthcoming titles that will utilise the motion control peripheral. We've been given a September 15th release date for the controller itself here in the UK and can expect a similar selection of games.
Following the launch, we can expect several more titles to drop over the forthcoming months. These titles include Echochrome (November), The Fight: Lights Out (November), Motion Party (November) followed by Sorcery and Heroes on The Move in 2011.
Killzone 3, Hustle Kings, Heavy Rain and SOCOM 4 are also going to support Playstation move, though there's no official word on release/patch dates yet. [andriasang]
Looking forward to any of these titles in particular? Want to sing the praises of one we omitted? Or fancy ragging on the peripheral in general? Drop us a line in the comments!
You know that videogames don't cause violence and turn our rosy-cheeked youth into slavering cannibalistic serial killers. I know that. In fact, almost everybody does- but there's an extremely vocal idiot minority that simply refuse to do their homework or accept responsibility themselves. If confronted by one of these idiots, might I suggest shoehorning the following news story into your argument?
According to the Bendigo Advertiser, a seven year old Australian child named Christopher was able to rescue his family from an overturned car by using his Nintendo DS as a torch, finding his mother's mobile phone and calling for help. The heroic kid subsequently helped one of his brothers out of the car and has been awarded a medal for bravery.
Sure, you could argue that the phone saved the family rather than the handheld... but then again, you can't use a book or a football as an emergency flashlight, can you?
Casting all videogame discussion and pointscoring aside, though, we applaud young Christopher and his quick thinking. Way to go, kid.
According to The Guardian, there WILL be a new Call of Duty in 2010. Head of Activision Mike Griffiths has recently confirmed that yes, we can expect another brilliantly realised, first person military mission.
But which military mission? A return to WWII? Vietnam? The Guardian speculates that both have been done to death, and wonders if the rumours of a Cold War shoot-em-up might be true.
Sorry, a Cold War shoot-em-up? Eight hours of gameplay staring at documents, pushing pens and negotiating political face-offs – and then one brief moment of killing someone with a poisoned umbrella? That sounds like The Onion’s brilliant Modern Warfare 3 parody although it could also explain why Mike isn’t expecting MW2-type sales from this year’s chapter.
Still it did get us thinking - it happens on occasion, even if our brain cells are dying in alleged console-related tragedies – about other highly unlikely game releases...
CoD goes literal in the game we’ve all been waiting for. It’s 1975 and the UK and Iceland are battling over North Atlantic fishing rights. Gasp as the full story of international fishing zones is thrillingly recreated in state-of-the-art, slightly grey graphics. In true CoD fashion, the action moves between several characters. As trawlerman Eric Nettles – Nets to his friends and colleagues – you must negotiate choppy waters and land enough fish to pay your mortgage.
Challenges as Nets include evading slightly angry Icelandic tug captains and opening flasks of tea with cold hands. Then, as the Royal Navy’s Bill “Captain” Haddock you must defend British trawlers from the onslaught of three Icelandic Coast Guard patrols with blank ammunition. Perhaps most thrillingly, you’ll also play Graham “Penpusher” Gray, a clerk in the Department of Fisheries who, armed with just a temperamental Bic, an alarmingly wide tie and an out-of-date English / Icelandic dictionary, must negotiate the reduction of the declared Icelandic fishing zone while flirting mildly with Margaret from accounts. And when you finish all of that, you’ll unlock the bonus game: Nazi Zombie Cod.Click here to see the other irreverent new releases that Neil's uncovered...
In today’s news roundup Shigeru Miyamoto shares news of MotionPlus heading to the next Zelda, after going on to hint at Nintendo’s upcoming cat-based project. Meanwhile, Modern Warfare 2 breaks pre-order records, looking on track to becoming this year's biggest game.
A recent Q&A session in Tokyo with Shigeru Miyammoto revealed a few more interesting details regarding Link’s next adventure on the Wii. Shigsy plans to integrate MotionPlus into the next Zelda “to make you feel much more like you're actually fighting while holding a sword in your hand,” said Miyamoto. The aim appears to be to achieve the sensation of actually holding and fighting with a sword, rather than wiggling a Wii remote up and down to simply slash your sword.
The MotionPlus will also allow for an overhaul in the targeting system says Miyamoto. “In the previous game, you aimed at things by pointing at the screen, but this time we'll use MotionPlus to create a much more convenient targeting system and a more pleasurable playing experience.” No word on whether the next Zelda will require MotionPlus to play the game, but with these revelations it certainly seems that way. [Wired]
Following Shigeru Miyamoto’s announcement of MotionPlus featuring in the next Zelda (look above dummy), the Shigster went on to potentially reveal Nintendo’s next big project. At a Q&A session, Miyamoto was asked what his future plans are. He replied by stating he is currently working on developing DS games that can be played in the home, as well as outside as more of a social activity (possibly a ‘spectator game’ Nintendo hinted at for the big-screen DSi XL).
Following this, he left the stage after announcing “I've recently been caring for cats. That is all.” As if this wasn’t a big enough hint, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata took to the stage to confirm the he did indeed “just gave a big hint.” Miyamoto has a habit of turning whatever his current hobby is into some sort of game, and following the success of Nintendogs it appears entirely likely we’ll see a cat-based Nintendo game in the near future. That or else Miyamoto has clearly lost his mind. [Andriasang]
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 looks on track to become the biggest game of the decade, with GameStop USA reporting the game has already broke pre-order records. “As of today, the number of pre-order reservations we've taken for the game is the highest for any title we've ever sold in our 6,200 store network," said GameStop executive Tony Bartel.
The game has been receiving a lot of negative headlines recently, what with the increased price tag, and no dedicated servers, but this doesn’t look likely to stop Modern Warfare 2 from becoming this year’s biggest game. Activision is sure to be looking for a hit after disappointing sales for both their Guitar Hero and DJ Hero franchises, and it doesn’t look like Modern Warfare 2 will disappoint. [USAToday]
Today’s news roundup sees the possibility of a new Wii offering Blu-ray and 1080P support in 2010, Nintendo confirm a new DSi model to be released in Japan this November, and rumours of Hugh ‘Wolverine’ Jackman to take the role of Nathan Drake in the upcoming Uncharted movie.
Thanks to a Nintendo of France marketing employee, it appears specs have been released regarding the ‘Wii 2’. This new breed of Wii is reportedly set for release in the third quarter of next year, complete with a Blu-ray drive and 1080P support, bringing the Wii firmly into this generation.
An option to trade in the original Wii will also be available apparently, making the new model a bit more affordable. Nintendo have no plans to reveal this anytime soon, but with a year to go until release we’ll likely be drip-fed morsels every now and then to keep us happy. [MaxConsole]
Following rumours of a new DSi model hitting Japan later this year, Nintendo have just gone and confirmed the whole thing on their official Japanese site. The new model is to be named the DSi LL, and is currently headed for a November 21st release in Japan. The LL will cost approximately 2,000 yen more than the current DSi, but boasts a larger 4.2 inch screen, as well as a greatly increased battery life.
The DSi LL will also include a full-size pen in the mix, and will be offered in three different colours: Natural White, Dark Brown, and Wine Red. A slightly bigger screen may not be enough to warrant a new purchase, so don’t go throwing your DS in the fire just yet. No European release details have been released yet, but you’ll know as soon as we know. [1UP]
With an Uncharted movie adaption in the works, everybody is playing the guessing game for who will take the lead role. The obvious choice would be Nolan North, the man who acted as and voiced Nathan Drake in the previous Uncharted games. But as North explained in a recent interview, he may not be cut out to take on a blockbuster Hollywood role just yet. “I would love to do the movie, obviously I’d love to do it as Nathan Drake [...] but I’ve done film and television and I understand the reality of the business,” said North.
When questioned on who he would like to take on the role, North named Hugh Jackman as his top choice. “Jackman is who I’d like to see. I think the producers would like to see Jackman too, because he has that tough guy exterior, but [...] there’s also a lot going on behind his eyes,” said North. “A lot of emotion and sensitivity on that brusque exterior and he has great comic timing.” The apparent sexiest man of 2009 has yet to comment, but if he’s on board, it looks like every else is too. [PushSquare]