PlayStation 2013 Meeting – Live Blog

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Category : Featured, Game On, Product Announcements

Over the last few weeks, rumors have been floating around the internet and gamers have been speculating what exactly Sony would announce in tonight’s announcement. Andrew House, President & Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment took the stage to open PlayStation’s 2013 Meeting to assure the audience the gamer is the focal point of the new development. Promising a vision of the future that is “consumer-centric, developer-inspired and characterized by an unwaivering commitment to phenomenal play experiences.”

Sony is committed to the PS Vita and is taking steps to continue developing for the handheld device and creating opportunities for integrating it into the Sony network. The news we have all been waiting for is now official – PlayStation 4 is a reality.

Mark Cerny took over to remind us of the limitations of current consoles and the development which has lead to this next-gen console. Touting the PS4 as a system made by “game creators for game creators.” Of course, the PS4 has improved hardware, including 8GB of high-speed unified memory in conjunction with the local hard drive we are all accustomed to.

What would a new console be without new peripherals? Those leaked images of the new PlayStation controller were accurate. With increased rumble sensation, an integrated “Share” button, built-in headphone jack and a small touch-pad, the new dual-shock controller was designed to work more seamlessly with the new console.

“Simple. Immediate. Social. Integrated. Personalized.” These are the principles behind the development of the PS4. Sony hopes the new console will encourage shared social experiences and learn more about the individual users tastes and uses to enable it to predict what the user will want in an effort to decrease download time by allowing content to pre-load.

It seems second screen compatibility is all the rage. With PS4 and PS Vita, remote play will allow players to take their game on the go and continue their play. Sony is ambitious here, hoping to be able to run all PS4 games on the Vita handheld. On the downside, PS3 games will not be playable on the new console natively. However, they are looking ahead to make the entire PlayStation catalog available in the future through the use of new technology in conjunction with PlayStation Network cloud services. Thinking outside of the proverbial box, PlayStation wants to make their games available on a myriad of devices, not just the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita, but tablets, smartphones, smart televisions and more.

Sony is an entertainment company after all, so it is hardly surprising that the PlayStation will include partnerships to provide entertainment content. Among the content partnerships are Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, EPIX, Crunchyroll and more.

As far as games…

Guerilla Games announced the next installment of Killzone, with gameplay footage from Killzone: Shadow Fall. 


Courtesy of Digital Foundry

 

Drive Club brings team-based racing to the PS4 and touts the ability to take the game on the go, allowing players to access gameplay on tablets and smartphones. Evolution Studios has gone to great lengths to focus on the details and the vehicles look stunning with the first person perspective. 


Courtesy of Revision 3

 

A culture of fear in an overly-surveilled future plus super-human abilities become the landscape in the PS4 exclusive, inFAMOUS: Second Son, Sucker Punch revealed. 


Courtesy of GameSpot

 

PlayStation re-iterates their appreciation for indie development, continuing their support of indie developer self-publishing on PS Network. Jonathan Blow (Braid) announces the new game from his small company, The Witness. The Witness is a puzzle-game which encompasses an idea in an open-world space and promises 25 hours of gameplay. 


Courtesy of Community Game

 

Media Molecule breathes new life into the PS Move. Finally making use of the Move’s accuracy, Media Molecule is using the controller to allow users to capture their dreams. 


Courtesy of GameSpot

 

Capcom developed a new engine, code named “Panta Rhei,” to maximize the capabilities of the PS4. For a sneak peek, they provided this trailer of a game in production, Deep Down (working title). 


Courtesy of PlayStation

 

Square Enix demonstrates their work in this real-time cinematic demo, using their Luminous Studios engine for PS4 game development. Square Enix announced more Final Fantasy is in the works and we can look forward to seeing more at E3 this year. 


Courtesy of Platano Games

 

Ubisoft is bringing Watch Dogs to the PS4.


Courtesy of JustPVPN

 

Blizzard Entertainment is planning to “take over the world” in a strategic partnership with Sony and announced Diablo 3 will be available for PS4, as well as PS3. Diablo 3 will include a 4-player co-op mode. For those of us lucky enough to be attending PAX East next month, we will get a closer look with additional media.

 

Activision and Bungie re-iterate their commitment PlayStation with another look at Destiny and promises PS4 exclusive content.


Courtesy of Bungie

 

Good To Be A Gamer, Episode 110 – Week of 01/08/2012

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Category : Featured, Good To Be A Gamer

Recorded 01/16/11

 

 

Good To Be A Gamer is Available on iTunes!
http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/good-to-be-a-gamer/id476489256

Good To Be A Gamer RSS Feed!
http://goodtobeagamer.libsyn.com/rss

 

Dreamcast the Movie: Casting Eternal Champions
http://www.goodtobeageek.com/?p=2626

 

NEWS

Bethesda & Interplay settle on Fallout rights [GameSpy]
http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/fallout-mmo/1216149p1.html

League of Legends Developer & Player (US Congressman) Discuss their Opposition to SOPA/Protect IP Bill [1 UP]
http://www.1up.com/news/league-of-legends-dev-against-sopa
Related: NVIDIA, Runic, Epic and Others Speak Against SOPA –
http://www.1up.com/news/nvidia-runic-games-anti-sopa

CD Projekt RED ends the hunt for Pirates [GameSpy]
http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/the-witcher-2/1216406p1.html

Minecraft Creator Encourages Piracy? [IGN]
http://feeds.ign.com/~r/ignfeeds/pc/~3/7SBtdt6es2M/1216416p1.html

EA Reorganizes after Landmark $1 Billion Digital Year [GamaSutra]
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GamasutraNews/~3/-iCLSNfdYcM/EA_reorganizes_after_a_landmark_1B_digital_year.php

Is Xbox.com to Blame for Xbox Live Hacks? [Edge]
http://www.edge-online.com/news/report-xboxcom-security-flaw-behind-live-account-hacks

http://www.edge-online.com/news/microsoft-there-no-xboxcom-security-loophole

Mass Effect 3 Will Require Origin on PC [IGN]
http://feeds.ign.com/~r/ignfeeds/pc/~3/ryNhEt5PLRA/1216562p1.html

Square Enix make Scarygirl Graphic Novel playable for consoles [Kotaku]
http://kotaku.com/5876096/squares-scarygirl-is-anything-but-scary-all-sorts-of-fun
Scarygirl Website:
http://www.scarygirl.com

Asura’s Wrath Demo Available on Xbox Live [Major Nelson Blog]
http://majornelson.com/2012/01/10/demo-asuras-wrath/

Silent Hill HD Collection Delay Until March [Joystiq]
http://www.joystiq.com/2012/01/09/retailers-silent-hill-hd-collection-delayed-until-march/

Boxer Free DOS Game Emulator for Mac [Gawker]
http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/lifehacker/full/~3/9Yaj8ass8Qo/boxer-is-a-free-dos-game-emulator-for-your-mac

Kinect Release for Windows at a Higher Price [Kinect for Windows Blog]
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/kinectforwindows/archive/2012/01/09/kinect-for-windows-commercial-program-announced.aspx

 

ITEMS OF INTEREST

Doctor Who Worlds in Time
http://www.doctorwhowit.com/

 

EVENTS

TempleCon
Crowne Plaza – Warwick, RI
February 3 – 5, 2012
http://templecon.org

Total Confusion
Holiday Inn – Mansfield, MA
February 23 – 26, 2012
http://totalcon.com/

 

CONTACT

Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com, or email us at gamer@goodtobeageek.com. You can also email David at dlucier[at]goodtobeageek.com, email Jessa at jphillips[at]goodtobeageek.com.

Special thanks to Sterling for the use of his music in the podcast. Be sure to check out his Magnatune profile page to learn more about him and discover more of his music.

Good To Be A Gamer is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Opinions expressed on Good To Be A Gamer are those of the hosts and/or guests and do not necessarily represent those of Good To Be A Geek.

Good To Be A Gamer Podcast by Good To Be A Geek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Good To Be A Gamer, Episode 105 – Week of 11/20/2011

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Category : Good To Be A Gamer

David Lucier and Jessa Phillips bring you the top stories from the video game industry. This week you can turn your iOS device into a game controller, Square Enix expands Eidos-Montreal and invests in a second studio, EA makes good on Battlefield promises, Dave reports on the beta for Star Wars: The Old Republic, rumors of a Gears of War prequel and Ubisoft says no to a PC version of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Plus, David and Jessa have a frank discussion on the future of video game pricing models. Is $60 too much to pay?

 
Recorded 11/28/2011
 

 
NEWS

Good To Be A Gamer is now available on iTunes!!!

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/good-to-be-a-gamer/id476489256

Dreamcast the Movie: Recasting Super Mario Bros.
Following up on last week’s discussion about video game to movie adaptations, Andrew Marnik has a feature posted on Good To Be A Geek, Dreamcast the Movie: Recasting Super Mario Bros. It’s a poll and we’re asking for your input. We’re taking the hollywood flop and asking you to re-imagine the film as if it were being produced today. Andrew’s provided several options for actors to play the key characters, as well as a few options for directors. Click the link below to make your voice heard.

http://www.goodtobeageek.com/?p=2218

Turn Your iOS Device Into a Game Controller with Brass Monkey [Lockergnome]

http://www.lockergnome.com/ios/2011/11/25/new-app-brass-monkey-turns-your-phone-into-a-cloud-based-game-controller/

Brass Monkey Website – http://www.playbrassmonkey.com

Square Enix expands Eidos-Montreal and opens a second studio [Game Spy]

http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/deus-ex-3-unofficial-title/1213059p1.html

EA Making Good on their promises . . . PS3 owners of Battlefield 3 will receive the free download of Battlefield 1943 [Kotaku]

http://kotaku.com/5862446/ea-smartens-up-giving-away-free-copies-of-battlefield-1943

Star Wars : The Old Republic – Jedi Consular Character Progression Trailer [Star Wars: The Old Republic YouTube channel]

http://youtu.be/bA_9BiyOB1A

Gears of War 3 gets prequel DLC and rumors of a full scale prequel title to be developed [Computer and Video Games]

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/327156/bulletstorm-dev-to-make-gears-of-war-prequel-trilogy/

Ubisoft develops Ghost Recon Online in lieu of a PC release to combat piracy [PC Gamer]

http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/11/23/ghost-recon-online-being-free-to-play-is-a-counter-to-piracy-says-ubisoft-producer

 

DISCUSSION

Is the reign of $60 boxed games coming to an end? [Eurogamer]

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-11-25-5th-cell-boss-the-USD60-boxed-game-is-a-broken-model

 

CONTACT

Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com, or email us at gamer@goodtobeageek.com. You can also email David at dlucier[at]goodtobeageek.com, email Jessa at jphillips[at]goodtobeageek.com.

Subscribe to the RSS Feed and get Good To Be A Gamer on the go at http://goodtobeagamer.libsyn.com/rss!

Special thanks to Sterling for the use of his music in the podcast. Be sure to check out his Magnatune profile page to learn more about him and discover more of his music.

Good To Be A Gamer is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Opinions expressed on Good To Be A Gamer are those of the hosts and/or guests and do not necessarily represent those of Good To Be A Geek.

 Good To Be A Gamer Podcast by Good To Be A Geek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

 

Review – Final Fantasy III on the iPhone

Category : Game On, iOS, Reviews

Square Enix released an iOS port for their franchise game Final Fantasy III last month. Peter Hurstak, Jr. gets his game on to determine if it’s worth the hefty price tag.

 

Courtesy of Square Enix

 

I’m sure by now everybody knows the sordid history of Final Fantasy III as it relates to its multiple US releases. The game game out on the Super Nintendo in 1994, but that wasn’t Final Fantasy III. It was Final Fantasy VI, but it was the third main-series Final Fantasy game released in the US, following Final Fantasy IV (which we called Final Fantasy II). The REAL Final Fantasy III, released in Japan for the Regular Nintendo, never actually made it across the Pacific.

A few years ago, Square Enix remade the game for the Nintendo DS and finally published it outside of Japan. Rather than spiffing up the original NES title’s sprite based graphics as they had with Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II (the REAL Final Fantasy II), however, they remade the game from the ground up with adorably stylized polygons. The remake was well received both critically and comercially. Five years after finally bringing the title to the states, Square Enix has repackaged and released the remake for the iPhone.

If you are unfamiliar with the DS game the iOS release has been ported from, but you are familiar with the other 3D Final Fantasy titles that have graced all forms of Playstation, you should definitely alter your expectations for what the tone and the style of this game are. As I stated above, the polygonal characters are adorably stylized, and I meant that. The characters look somewhat like dolls, which is unsurprising given the typical audience the game would find on the Nintendo handheld it was designed for. That said, the art direction is not out of place given the story it presents.

The game puts you in charge of the fabled four Warriors of Light, all of whom happen to be orphans. It features the classic Final Fantasy plot, where the four elemental crystals which govern the balance of the world are threatened by evil forces, and it is up to the aforementioned four to save the crystals and, ultimately, the world. It’s a old and perhaps kind of boring premise, but it’s not without its charm and it’s certainly bound to illicit warm and nostalgic feelings in those who were raised on the series before the arrival of the Playstation. These feelings will then be nurtured by the game’s excellent score, arranged under the supervision of original series composer Nobuo Uematsu.

The game also features a variant on the very popular job system that American gamers got a taste of in Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy Tactics. It does all the things that a remake of an older game should, touching upon and improving many of the aspects of a long-beloved series while also presenting an old story to a new audience. If you’ve ever been eager to relive the experience of playing a new old RPG, this title is certainly one to look at.

 

 

Regrettably, the iOS version of Final Fantasy III has its drawbacks once you get past the nostalgia. For example, I can’t help but wonder now how I ever managed to deal with random battles before. Several times, I found myself on the verge of throwing my phone as I fought imps, bombs and goos at an alarmingly frequent rate. This problem is unfortunately exacerbated by the games touch controls, as the virtual analog stick can often make it difficult to navigate your party through dungeons. It is not uncommon to run over and over again into walls (and, incidentally, into two or three random battles) just trying to go through a narrow doorway or even to stand in front of a treasure chest to open it.

The game also uses common iOS multi-touch controls like pinching and pulling to zoom into maps and reveal secret switches and passageways, but the constant random battles make the idea of exploration much less appealing than it should be. While none of this stuff bothered me when I was a kid, I feel as though I need to accomplish more when I play a game now. This is especially true in this case because a game played on a phone is played mostly in bits and spurts. When I have a free minute, I’d like to clear a floor of a dungeon or maybe locate a hidden treasure. Instead, I find myself fighting the same enemies over and over again. While the twelve year old Pete would love to spend his time grinding out levels and drawing out the dungeons for as long as they can go, I actually have other ways where I could be spending my time and would much prefer a game where the experience was rebalanced and the random encounters far less frequent.

Despite these concerns, I just couldn’t pull myself away from the game. Final Fantasy has always held a large, warm place in my heart, and for all it got wrong, it got so much more right. The price tag seems outrageous for an iOS game ($16?!), but I was able to justify it by telling myself that I was buying a present for a kid. Yes, I am the kid. I bought the game for the kid in me that’s still blown away by the SNES’s mode 7 effects as the whale ship in Final Fantasy II (Final Fantasy IV) took off for the moon. If you’ve got that kid in you, then by all means spend your money on this game. As an entry point to the series, you may end up more frustrated with it than somebody who has already been tempered by the thoroughly ridiculous design conventions of 8 and 16 bit era RPGS. Still, the characters and story are charming enough that you may yet find something to love in this package. There’s worse ways to spend $16 in the app store. Without a doubt, Final Fantasy III is the best repackaged Square Enix property available on the app store, and the price should be the only barrier to entry.