Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developing a Dynasty Warriors anime tie-in is a little like baking using one of those ready made kits. The simple yet empowering Dynasty Warriors ingredients come pre-mixed, so all Omega Force needs to do is sprinkle on some flavour from a beloved cult anime franchise, pour into a colourful cel-shaded mold and throw into the oven. It's foolproof, meaning that the end result should be delicious every time. Unfortunately, as we've often discovered, it's just as likely to be downright inedible... if not execrable poison.
Fist Of The North Star: Ken's Rage 2 was so atrocious that I actively encouraged potential consumers to watch an imported box set while pounding their knuckles to rags with a ball-peen hammer instead. To use my earlier analogy, it resembled a half-baked Arctic roll stuffed with human sewage rather than vanilla ice cream. There was no excuse for such a shoddy waste of a classic license.
Luckily, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 finally washes that sour taste from our mouths. It's an enormous tasty gateaux, perhaps a little stodgy in parts, but covered with colourful icing and packed with varied chunky chips that makes each bite taste sweeter than the last. Before I get sidetracked and run down to my local bakery, let's make one thing clear: Omega Force have more than redeemed themselves with a tie-in that One Piece deserves.
Plus, you get to take the field as an afro-sporting skeleton rock star and kill legions of Marines with mid-air guitar solos. Which is nice.Click here to read more...
Dynasty Warriors producer Akihiro Suzuki reckons that the Wii U can produce markedly better visuals than the Xbox 360, despite having a "little bit less" under the bonnet in terms of CPU performance. Dealing with the potential performance hit is apparently a "challenge."Click here to read more...
Dynasty Warriors' production lead Kenichi Ogasawara has called for Japanese developers to realise that their country's culture is a "huge treasure" in the crushingly competitive market of the games industry, and to stop trying to "copy" Western development models.
"We've looked at the way Western developers make and present their games, in terms of the cut scenes, the graphics and all of that, and we've tried to take that approach in development," he said. "Unfortunately, we weren't able to get the result that we wanted."Click here to read more...
We live in the world of the sequel, the remake, the annual release, the safe bet, the lazy rehash. Occasionally a new name might emerge, a new IP (Intellectual Property) that hopes to become the next big franchise, but they're generally seen to be too risky in the world of the multi-million pound costs of developing and marketing a game.
Some sequels are essential though and 2011 will be no different with Uncharted 3, Mass Effect 3 and Batman: Arkham City already driving us nuts with the wait. Sometimes though, when we see an announcement for a sequel, our hearts sink, we question the sanity of developers/publishers and usually have a bit of a fight around the office to see which poor sod will have to review it.
So here's a look at the sequels that haven't been announced yet, but in all probability will be in the near future. Albeit with slightly more marketable titles.
Last year Io Interactive took the unusual approach of making an ugly game even uglier for the sequel and fixing almost nothing. You have to admire their work ethic of 'f**k the public, they'll buy anything, so why bother?' Handheld camera angles, super-blocky lo-res images (yay it's like YouTube said my PS3 in disgust), childish controversy and bullets that still seemed miserably slow. What's the point of well-conceived multiplayer modes when shooting a gun is such a broken experience? A tie-in movie might just work instead, as the story had a sharp pace to it and we've all enjoyed the Michael Mann-inspired moments, but in all honesty we wish this pair of old dogs had died tied to those chairs in Shanghai.Click here to read the what other unannounced games have got Brendan all worked up.
As wild rumours have been flying around this week suggesting that Apple are looking to buy Disney or Facebook or Sony, a spot of old, but very interesting, news has surfaced about an almost-event that could have changed the face of gaming as we know it. Speaking to Develop, Tuncer Deniz, a project lead at Bungie back in the day, suggested that round the turn of the millennium, the studio's bosses contacted Apple to see if they were interested in buying them:
Phil Schiller, Apple's VP of Worldwide Product Marketing, 'asked Steve, who said no,' Deniz told Develop. '[But] after a week, Steve said yes. Schiller calls Bungie, but Bungie had already consummated the deal with Microsoft'.
This, of course, comes mere hours after it was revealed that Steve Jobs 'went bananas', as Kotaku put it, at Microsoft's Steve Ballmer after losing the studio behind Marathon to Apple's main rival. Would the Xbox have survived without Halo? Would Apple have kicked serious arse? Would we have had to pray to Steve Jobs before every multiplayer bout of Slayer? In a parallel universe somewhere, you could be storming ONI's Sword base on an iPad!
There was a period during the last decade where, every time a group of teens who talked too much sat down to play some video games, it would almost certainly be in front of Dynasty Warriors. For what it's worth, I have a soft spot for Koei's mash 'em up. It's bland, banal and repetitive, but it's excellent for a good few hours of kicking back with a buddy, when you don't want to think to hard. And the good news? There's another one coming out!
At a press conference held yesterday in Japan, Tecmo Keoi announced that Dynasty Warriors 7 is indeed a reality. There's a new addition to the story, although these games were never really all about the narrative, with the Kingdom of Jin being introduced, the game will be 3D compatible and there'll be more characters than ever.
Most excitingly, perhaps, is the addition of Chronicles mode, which sees the return of character creation and allows you to kick butt across ancient China and make yourself a legend rather than filling someone else's boots. No joy for Xbox owners, mind. This one's solely for the PS3 and there's been no news of a US release date as yet. [1UP]
Analyst SharesPost recently valued Zynga at $5.51 billion, double what the social gaming company was worth a mere six months ago back in March this year.
Although these figures are only estimates, if accurate it puts Zynga ahead of the NASDAQ value of EA, which is $5,16 billion, according to Businessweek.
EA's share prices have been a little up and down over the last few months, climbing steadily in anticipation of Medal of Honor, before falling a little and rising again following the acquisition of Chillingo. With Playfish already within their arsenal, EA might not be too worried, though.
Activision Blizzard certainly won't be, what with being currently valued at $13.9 billion. [GamesIndustry.biz]
Engadget has apparently seen the PlayStation Phone. Allegedly, it's real, looks a little bit like the PSPGo (although reports suggest it's far more powerful), and will likely boast Android 3.0.
In terms of specs, the model Engadget displayed was said to be loaded with a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 processor (200MHz faster than the similar chip found in the G2), 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, and the screen is in the range of 3.7 to 4.1 inches. There'll supposedly be a custom Sony Marketplace for game downloads, a multitouch trackpad and support for microSD cards.
No news on PSN compatibility, but with Microsoft heavily selling LIVE along with the Windows Phone 7 experience, we certainly wouldn't rule it out. We're pretty psyched about this if it's true (I might not need to buy an iPhone after all! Yippeeeee!!! - Ed), but are you? Let us know below in the comments box.
Koei's hack and slash flagship series might not have undergone huge changes over the years, featuring the same repetitive button-mashing as always, but for some reason there's something incredibly therapeutic about being plonked down in the middle of a large battlefield and being left to dispatch an inordinate amount of near-identical warriors in a game aided by some RPG-lite mechanics.
This sixth instalment of the game has been hovering at just under £15 for some time now but, in a bid to rid themselves of the last few bits of stock, you can pick up the limited number of remaining X360 copies from ShopTo for £13, saving you around £2. You'll need to be quick though, as this deal is unlikely to last terribly long.
It's a Dynasty Warriors game, so expect a lot of button mashing-repetitive combat and fairly shoddy visuals. Texturing is non-existent, water features look awful and the character models might just make you cry. However, this title does have a few things going for it. Chances are that if you've ever played any of the games in this series you'll immediately know whether or not something like this is for you. For some, myself included, Dynasty Warriors has always been one of those relatively mindless affairs that's good for having something to do whilst maybe catching up with a mate. It's there, but you can kind of ignore it. A bit like the Fantastic Four movies. And Michael Buble.
There's a lot of content here, even though much of it plays almost exactly the same, but each character's campaign (17 out of the 41 playable) will take a couple of hours to bust through. Players can now swim and climb ladders and a new power combo system has been introduced. The Renbu system takes combo dependency away from whichever weapon you're wielding and instead presents you with a gauge that fills as you inflict damage, raising your rank and abilities. There's a new skill tree as well that gives players the option to unlock higher Renbu ranks and special abilities. The RPG elements are actually fairly impressive this time around, although they still in no way save this game from being a fairly monotonous trudge.
You only really need one Dynasty Warriors game to say you've played them all, but if you're a long time fan of the series and this is missing from your roster, well get your skates on and head over to ShopTo.
We already featured an early post on the matter this morning, but in case you missed it, here it is again: Until 8am tomorrow morning, The Hut are offering a further 10% off on all Playstation daily deals. All you need to do is head on over to the online merchant and enter in PLAY10 at the checkout when asked for your details.
We posted a roundup of a few choice deals earlier, but here are a few more for your shopping delectation. Again, all titles are for the PS3 unless otherwise stated, with the price shown taking the discount code into account, and with nearest competitor listed in brackets afterwards:
The deals posted here will all net you a pretty sweet saving, particularly on the pre-orders. Just remember - PLAY10 at the checkout. But be quick about it, stock is never unlimited after all.
Week three, and here comes another new releases post. Pretty quiet this week in comparison to the last couple, but there are one or two titles in here that may be of interested, not least the long-awaited Aliens vs Predator! Will it live up to the hype and deliver something to match its predecessors? Better grab yourself a copy and find out!
How to use: Click on the title of the video game if you would like to see the cross platform possibilities. Click on the game cover of the platform of your choice to see the price comparison for that particular game, showing you the cheapest prices from UK online retailers.
Stay tuned, folks, as we'll be updating you with all of the new releases for next week along with their cheapest prices in just a few days' time.
15th - 21st February 2010:
|Aliens vs Predator
19th February 2010
|Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce
19th February 2010
|Family Party: Winter Fun
19th February 2010
|History Great Battles: Medieval
19th February 2010
|Guitar Hero: Van Halen
19th February 2010
|SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3
19th February 2010
|TNA Impact: Cross The Line
19th February 2010
Anyone out there looking for some great DS game bargains should check out these transatlantic imports to the UK from DVD box office. They have some great titles including Guitar Hero On Tour for as little as £4.66 which is pretty special as the game is £14.99 on Amazon.
There are a few important points to remember regarding imports from America however…
Firstly, do not order over £18 worth of games in one order as you might have to pay import tax – which can be a lot! Also remember these are American style editions meaning they will work on any UK DS but you may not be able to play wirelessly with anyone using a UK version of the game.
American games also have slimmer game boxes and occasionally different artwork, so you cannot trade them in at UK stores. (You can still flog them on Ebay though!)
Also remember that these prices do not include postage and packaging, but even with a few pound extra, they are still insanely cheap! So if you’re a hardcore bargain hunter looking for some new additions to your DS, don’t get caught paying the RRP, as savings like these will have you on the road to early retirement.