A Final Note: SCEA Slipping?

Lauri Hong

 

As we finalize our coverage for E3, I have to add just one more thing for everyone to think about.  While taking a glance around the SCEA Booth, I had noticed that there was a PSP with an upcoming game of Warhawk sitting there by its lonesome.  Curiosity had the better of me and decided to finally go up and try it.  Upon attempting to figure out the controls and what not, I had decided to ask for assistance in regards to any information about the game.  The booth attendant, however, was absolutely no help at all.  I had asked the gentleman, general questions to try to start up a conversation regarding the game.  His basic reply was, “Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about the game.”  And walked away. 

 

Like they say, the last impression that you have of someone or something, like a large Corporation (hint, hint, hint) is something that I believe is fairly important.  SCEA’s decision to have an uneducated person manning the booth is very unfortunate.  What I have gained from SCEA was not a pleasant one.  It clearly shows a lack of organization, care, and knowledge. 

 

Will they learn from this mistake or will they slip further down the ranks?  Only time will tell.   

Legendary: The Box – One Can Only Imagine…

Lauri Hong

Have you ever received a box of stuff and always wanted to open it right away?  Like the saying goes, curiosity kills the cat right?  Well, imagine that you’ve been sent to open a box.  But it’s no ordinary box.  You’ve been sent to open Pandora’s Box.  Now, you can just imagine the amount of terror and chaos that you’ve just unleashed.  As a thief, you are tricked into stealing this precious little thing, and of course as stated before, curiosity overcomes you.  With what we thought of as mythical creatures, they roam the world showing their presence and destroying nearly everything.  Can you imagine going against something as large as a Golem?! 

Keep in mind that this new AI that Spark Unlimited has integrated into this game is quite unique.  Instead of having mobs take certain paths that they usually do, don’t be too surprised if they decide to take other routes to get to you.  So you can safely say that you will be hunted down and killed if you aren’t quick on your feet… or controller.  Many times you’ll notice that there may be mobs coming from all sides.  Who says a good challenge isn’t fun?!  With this, you will of course have to make strategic choices like different weapons for different occasions.  Not only has the AI become smarter, but of course you’ll have a controlled destructible environment especially for the mobs.  (Too bad you can’t do any wrestling moves such as grabbing a chair and hitting ‘em over the head with it.)  

All these extremities, including great graphics (using the Unreal 3 engine), how can you not want to get into all this mess?  Not to worry, you won’t have to be totally alone in this crazy world.  There will be a multiplayer mode.  Overall, I foresee this becoming a great game.  Too bad we have to wait till Spring 2008.  But its worth the wait… AND it will be released on Xbox 360, PC as well as PS3!  Keep your eyes peeled for it!

For screenshots and more info check this link

http://www.legendarythebox.com/

Sabotage – World War II All Over Again

Lauri Hong

Sabotage will transport you back in time to France.  A time when the world was in total chaos during World War II.  You are Violett, an agent trying to accomplish various missions.  Interestingly enough, this action packed game is actually based on an actual agent.  Violett will take you through various missions based on her memory.  In doing so, the player will eventually uncover reasons why she is in the hospital.  Listen to her narration as you succeed throughout the game.  It may give you ides when you are in a bind.  There’s also a unique move that the character is able to use on her opponents.  This mode, the morphine mode, (great name, huh) will put you in a dream-like state so that you can change your position in order to have a tactical advantage over your enemies. 

Another fairly unique system within this game is the fact that you have skill points that can be increased.  Now, don’t start thinking that it’s like any typical MMO where you have to grind through mobs to get to these skill points.  In fact, you’ll need to go through the game collecting medals to increase your skills.  Also, keep in mind that you are able to upgrade 100%, that is IF you can find all these medals. 

Keep in mind that you’ll need to pay close attention to detail throughout the game.  Use the environment around you to you advantage, when possible.  Such as… obtaining information through letters found scattered about (sound familiar?). 

I believe this type of game will quickly suck you into hours and hours of play.  There are certain parts of it where it reminds me of all the different games that I have enjoyed over the years of gaming.  I look forward to picking up a copy myself.  However, we’ll have to be patient since this won’t be around till September 2008.  Sorry to those who would want this on a PS3 or even the Wii.  This title will be available only for the Xbox 360 and PC. 

For screenshots and more info follow this link

http://www.replaystudios.de/sabotage
 

Gamecock – Debut at E3!

Lauri Hong

With all the running about here and there and just about everywhere in Santa Monica, we were able to make a brief stop at Gamecock.  Their unique set up was quite out of the ordinary, and very enjoyable.  With various companies to accommodate (about 9), they took over a small hotel and decided to keep it to a small but comfortable environment.  This made it MUCH easier to see all the smaller companies and what they had to offer.  I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed with the different games that were presented there, such as Fury by Auran, Sabotage by Replay, and Legendary: The Box, by Spark.  What surprised me was the amount of attention they tried to give each company by escorting them to whichever room they have not viewed yet.  They were readily prepared to assist everyone possible, along with yummy hamburgers, hot dogs… and of course who could forget the kegs of beer!  Now how can you say no to that?!  I say they have had a successful debut at this year’s E3.  I am only wondering how they will be able to top that next year. 

For screenshots and more info go to

http://www.gamecockmedia.com/

1C – A Glimpse Of What Europe Has To Offer

Lauri Hong

1C, the largest distributor of games in Europe will finally be making its debut in the US. They have successfully worked with companies such as Ubi Soft, Take 2, Vivendi, and many other big wigs. At E3, they have decided to show us what they’re made of.

Necro Vision

Necro Vision, a FPS, takes you back to World War I in a different type of light. It shows sort of an alternative history, if you will. As a soldier, players will be able to face the demonic underground world as well as your typical human enemy. With that in mind, of course you will not only have the ability to use your soldier skills of combat, but a few spells here and there wouldn’t hurt either. Using the Painkiller engine, the interactive environmental elements will be just as powerful as the gameplay. Though still in its early stages, this game seems very intriguing. I am anxious to see the final game, however, it won’t be till some time next year.

Death Track: Resurrection

Similar to the original, Resurrection keeps to its wild and crazy ways of an action/racing game. Sounds familiar? Think of Auto Assault… but better. It’s a race for survival. This game will reinvent this type of genre. It takes various well-known locations around the world but with a slight twist to it. These places are in the semi near future, so if you’re from San Diego, you can fairly recognize the scenery. With about 15 different roads to travel, blowing others up has never been so… relieving? (As morbid as it sounds, I see nothing wrong with total annihilation of your opponent.) Of course, you can’t win with a hunk of junk, so as you obtain points through winning races and what not, you are able to upgrade your scrap pile to something worth all your efforts. So for those of you that are bored of the typical racing games, and would rather shift into a bit of road rage, you may want to check this out.

King’s Bounty: The Legend

King’s Bounty will take you back into a fantasy world of the Medieval days. Instead of using the typical RPG route throughout the entirety of the game, it uses an RTS aspect with an adventure mode and a RPG aspect with the battle mode. Another unique part of this game is the fact that mobs are generally not static. Therefore, you’re sure to run into enemies much quicker than rather going to typical locations to fight typical mobs. There will be three classes to choose from – Warrior, Paladin, and also a Mage. There will be many opportunities to upgrade your items with the point system through various battlefields throughout the world whether in a dungeon or just running about. Unfortunately, although this game would seem like an exciting MMO world, it is only a single player game. Hopefully, we will be able to try out this game before the year ends.

Cryostasis: The Sleep of Reason

As a meteorologist, you’ve come across a Captain and his crew captured in time and a hostage of fate. This survival/horror game will keep you on your toes by using something called Mental Echo. This enables the person to go through flashbacks of key areas and people to change what happens to either the environment or the crew. Using thermodynamics in this game, you will need to balance your health by keeping a close eye on what your core body temperature is. With that in mind, and more than 15 unique enemies attacking you at every chance, this game gives new meaning to freezing to death. This single-player game will surely be intense and keep you well entertained throughout the 18 levels. However, we will have to put ourselves on ice and wait till early 2008 before this is released.

Overall, 1C has a decent line up for what’s to come later this year and next. They’ve had a successful set of titles so far. I can only imagine how the line up will be for the near future. With their reputation, we can only be further impressed.

For more information and screenshots here is the link

http://int.games.1c.ru/?type=inwork

Fury – Another look at PVP

Lauri Hong

Working with N3VRF41L Publishing, Auran Games gives us an up close and personal look at the PVP gaming world. Instead of dragging you through the leveling of your character like some other games, they have decided to have this type of game play as their main focus in Fury. Within your realm, you may of course sell and craft like any other type of MMO out there, but that’s where the similarities end. In this MMO, you’re basically surrounded by different choices of instances to join and go head to head with other realms. Their system will match you up with others that have similar skill so you won’t be killed within 5 seconds of beginning of that battleground. The main mission? (Aside from viciously climbing that blood bath ladder.) Your goal as a player will be to collect essence to keep your realm going.

There will be three different game types. There is Vortex, which is basically capture-the-flag. There is also Elimination where it is four vs. four and “best out of three”. Then of course everyone loves a bloodbath. It’s an all out war against everyone. (How can that NOT be fun!) There will also be another game type that we can soon look forward to. Fortress will be similar to Elimination but it will be on a larger scale. How large? Imagine 32 vs. 32. Which ever type you choose, you will be of course scored and ranked. Through that, you will be given loot depending on your standings, of course. Not to worry, anything that drops can be used by any player, so you don’t have to worry about a warrior getting a short staff that he can’t wield.

Along with all these battles going on, there will be a combat sanctuary where you can be teamed up with others in your realm to “practice” fighting while you wait for your instance to start. Unfortunately, you won’t obtain any loot from these.

There will be the usage of gold in game so that you may make any repairs, purchase items, and also train your abilities. There will be about 419 abilities available towards your end game. You will have the ability to obtain all of these, providing you have enough blingage.

Overall, from what I have experienced, this MMO is highly addicting. The ability to fight at a whim without having to really wait in line is a great thing to have at your fingertips. For those that are interested in checking out this game, there will be an open beta July 27, 2007. As for the actual game, that will be available to everyone on October 9th. See you on the battlefield!

For the Open Beta:

http://www.unleashthefury.com/beta/signup.php

Here is the link for a slideshow of some of the pics

http://www.unleashthefury.com/slideshow.php?Dir=ss&Img=pic1

Commodore 64 – Back With A BIG Bang

Lauri Hong

July 13, 2007

Remember back in the good ol’ days? Computers were big, bulky and…well, let’s just leave the past in the past. Commodore has decided to once again prove to be top in the market when it comes to the gaming world. Their primary focus is to build a PC that will totally enhance and redefine your gaming experience. Trust me, when you see the specs of their computers, your eyes will tear, your mouth will water and your jaw will drop.

Their “beginners” computer (Cg) will start off with:

Intel Core 2 Quad processor Q6600 with 2.4 GHz 8MB Cache

ASUS PSN-E NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI

500GB 7200 RPM SATA hard drive

2GB Corsair XMS2 Twin2x2048-6400, 800MHz

DVDRW drive

550W ICE Cube PSU (This unique baby can only be found in Commodore PCs)

On Board Integrated Hi Definition 7.1 Channel sound

NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium

Here is a link to an image of this collection

design-collection.jpg

 

 

And to think that this is just their baby version. There are three other built systems: Cgs, Cgx, and the Cxx. You can only imagine what their monster (Cxx) will be like. Of course something like the Cg will cost you a decent amount… somewhere around $1700? It’s a pretty hefty chunk for a pretty hefty computer. But then again, as they say, you get what you pay for. Each computer will be fully customizable. Using local artists to design panels, you can have a very unique looking system. There are about seven interchangeable LED lights within the tower. And to top it off, the C-kins (skins), or panels of the tower, are interchangeable as well. So basically, you can have a new looking computer every month!

Each system will also have a unique cooling system called the ICE Cube, which is exclusive only to Commodore. This bad boy will definitely reduce your core temperature, along with the help of a few other fans. Along with all these gadgets, flashing lights and whatnots, Commodore has thought of a way to keep it nice and quiet. They have incorporated sound insulation on the panel of the tower. At least you won’t have to blow out your speakers in order to hear the game over your computer.

Currently doing extremely well in Europe, Commodore has finally decided it was time to launch it in to the US sometime in the 3rd quarter. It will be available online before they hit your retail stores. For now, their focus will be for the desktop. Hopefully in the near future, we will see something maybe portable?