E3 2010: Day One Photos

28 06 2010

As I stated earlier I wanted to express my E3 experience as best I can but instead of simply listing my experience in text format I figured a sideshow of pictures I took throughout the day would best showcase this event.

These pictures do a wonderful job cataloging my day by showing you what I did and saw while also allowing you to see the rare sights of E3 first hand. Enjoy!

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Have a favorite picture or just would like to comment on a particular photo? Please do so in the comments below. Also be on the look out for more photos from days 2 and 3.

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E3 2010: Day Zero Photos

27 06 2010

As I stated earlier I wanted to express my E3 experience as best I can but instead of simply listing my experience in text format I figured a sideshow of pictures I took throughout the day would best showcase this event.

These pictures do a wonderful job cataloging my day by showing you what I did and saw while also allowing you to see the rare sights of E3 first hand. Enjoy!

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Have a favorite picture or just would like to comment on a particular photo? Please do so in the comments below. Also be on the look out for more photos from days 1,2 and 3.





God of War 3 Review

26 06 2010

Introduction

Santa Monica Studios latest installment to the action adventure God of War franchise, God of War 3, was released on March 16, 2010 exclusively for the PlayStation 3 system. God of War 3 picks up immediately where God of War 2 left off, with Kratos riding on Gaia’s back as she ascends Mount Olympus in an attempt to assault the gods. As like all of the previous installments you control Kratos in a third person view as he unleashes his fury upon the world with combos and gory impalement’s and dismemberment’s.

Can God of War 3 be revered and have the sort of impact on the PlayStation 3 that the previous games had on the PlayStation 2, or has the series lost its luster over the years? Continue reading to find out.

Single Player

If you are worried that Santa Monica Studios changed the formula for God of War 3 this generation then don’t. I am here to say that God of War 3 hits all of the desired bullet points: satisfying combat, check – familiar controls, check – puzzle solving platform sections, check – quick time event boss battles, check – angry Spartan looking for revenge, check. To some leaving much of the basics unchanged may seem like a monumental failure but as a fan of the series I am happy that the development team is confident enough in their skills to realize while many games have tried to copy the God of War formula but nobody quite fulfills that promise like Santa Monica Studios. Granted while most of the core aspects have remained the same enough additions and revisions were introduced in God of War 3 to definitely make the experience feel entirely different and new.

These additions and revisions vary from subtle new weapons or items to use like the Bow of Apollo or the Head of Helios to the much more noticeable and over the top gruesome combat or innovative camera angles. The developers certainly didn’t stop there either as they apparently revamped the entire feel of the game to a much grander scale and much darker tone. As a player now more than ever you begin to feel the sense of scale that the game portrays and realize just how big these obstacles are that stand in your way. If you thought Kratos was a vengeful blood thirsty killing machine before then you are in for a surprise as the combat is much more gory and gruesome than in the previous games.

Just as in the previous installments God of War 3 truly presents itself in amazing fashion. For instance the environments are meticulously laid out with a surprisingly amount of detail that is showcased by the stunning graphics and smooth framerate. Even the pace of the game and the careful mixture of combat, exploration, platforming and puzzle solving is perfectly balanced never making the game feel redundant. These aspects all come together to present a fun and fluid gameplay, this fluidity in turn makes you feel like you are actually accomplishing these momentous tasks and performing these stunning acts. The story while it does not play an integral part in the allure of this type of title also isn’t as throw away as some other titles. However I believe the story has enough substance to keep you invested in the progression and eager to see it unfold.

Despite this apparent love affair God of War 3 did in my opinion a have a few faults. Although they are small complaints I personally felt the game gradually lost momentum over the course of playing. I still found the entire game to be enjoyable and satisfying but think because the opening sequence was so epic and memorable that the rest of the game gradually lost that momentum that was captured at the beginning. This may have been due to the fact that its difficult for any game to continue on from such an impressive first 15-30 minute opening that cements such a lastly feeling throughout the game. My only other problem were occasional issues with traversing the world that could have just as well been my fault as the games however those sections could have been more clear.

If you remember I discounted Dante’s Inferno on its replayability because the only option was the single player campaign and even though God of War also only has this one option I don’t feel the same way. My problem with Dante’s Inferno was not that it only had one mode but that the single player was not memorable enough that I wanted to play through it again, God of War 3 in my eyes doesn’t have that same problem. However since its still only just a single player campaign the replayability is slightly hindered but with the thoughtful inclusion of different difficulty modes, collectibles, and unlockable challenges as well as attainable yet rewarding trophies there is plenty to do if you so desire.

Overall

God of War 3 had just enough similarities that while it felt familiar it also felt completely new and adventurous. The presentation was amazing and while you were recovering from the fast paced yet rewarding combat you were continually wowed by the gigantic set pieces that all culminated into momentous events and puzzles. God of War 3 allows you to participate in a heroic clash and journey of remarkable proportions that I didn’t want to end but was satisfied when it did.

I believe this current installment will have the type of lasting effects and will be looked back upon in a positive manner like the two previous titles on PlayStation 2. If you haven’t yet picked this game up its totally worth your purchase and I whole-heartedly recommend that you do, you won’t be disappointed.

The Wife’s Take: God of War 3 in my eyes is overly gory and gruesome and the pristine graphics help illustrate that message more effectively. Therefore as a mother and due to those reasons listed above this is not a game that I would want my younger children playing without first speaking with them or some adult supervision.

God of War 3 for the PlayStation 3 was purchased for full price on the release date. The games single player campaign was completed on the default setting in 9 hours. God of War 3 was developed by Santa Monica Studios and published by Sony Computer Entertainment and is available exclusively for the PlayStation 3.

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To read about our stance on the review process click here for more answers. Find all of other reviews here; better yet bookmark that section so you won’t miss any of our future reviews as well. If you would like other information to be included in the reviews give us some feedback and let us know, or if you would like us to review a specific title drop us a line we welcome and encourage your feedback. Enjoy!





E3 Hands On: Killzone 3 in 3D

19 06 2010

Killzone 3 is yet another game that while not announced at E3 did have a significant presence at E3 where we were able to learn a lot. I first got a glimpse of the game during the Sony Press Conference via an on stage live demo in 3D. During that demo we were all informed that Killzone will not only be playable on the show floor but also be playable in 3D. At that moment I knew I had to try this title out and I am glad I did.

At the station I was able to play one of 3 different 20 minute demo sections,  I choose to play in the new snowy environment which consisted of ground combat as well as air combat.  Killzone 3 will feel similar to those that played Killzone 2, the controls and layout of the controls are the same although during the demo they did feel more twitchy than before. One of the main additions to the series is the introduction of jet packs for not only the enemies but yourself which I was told would carry over into multiplayer. Other additions include more advanced weaponry, wider variety of environments along with a unique and brutal melee system all of which were prominent in the demo.

Killzone 3 runs on the same engine that Killzone 2 ran on however it is fully enhanced and optimized allowing Killzone 3 to support full stereoscopic 3D gameplay. This 3D was easily one of the greatest and most dramatic aspects that I recognized during my 20 minute demo. Like I said previously I was skeptical about 3D gaming but just a few minutes into the demo Killzone 3 had me sitting in amazement on how well it looked graphically and how smooth it appeared to run. If nothing else this title will be one of the 3D games that showcases the ability and technology that will inevitably be our future. As with the other 3D games both the 2D and 3D versions of Killzone 3 will be on one Blu-Ray disks for the same price as regular new releases, an option while starting the game will allow you to pick either the 2D or 3D version depending on your TV options.

As for the story Killzone 3 is a direct continuation of Killzone 2 picking up immediately after Sev and Rico defeated Emperor Visari. Rico and Sev think the battle is over but now learn they have to fight a different kind of battle, one to escape the war ridden planet of Helghan. Since the death of Visari the entire Helghast army is in an upheaval determined to continue the vision he put forth whatever the cost may be. The ISA must fight to save their lives with limited supplies and no reinforcements while the opposition has upped the ante with more advanced and destructive weapons of their own.

During my time at E3 I played both the 2D and 3D versions multiple times and they were enjoyable every time. Killzone 3 was the nicest looking game on the show floor while also being fun to play, I can’t wait to dig a little deeper into the single player or see some details on the multiplayer. If your eager to see some more information check out the video above or the recently released screenshots below.

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What are your thoughts, eager for a new Killzone installment, still playing Killzone 2 or maybe Killzone 3 wasn’t on your radar until now. Whatever the case may be leave me some feedback in the comments section below.

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E3 Hands On: MotorStorm Apocalypse 3D

16 06 2010

 

While MotorStorm: Apocalypse wasn’t announced at E3 we did get the opportunity to hear more about the upcoming game from Evolutions Studios. As I took a tour around the Sony booth I had the opportunity to not only play MotorStorm: Apocalypse but play this title in 3D. Like the previous titles this installment will also focus on a specific location which is a major metropolitan city that has been ravaged by an earthquake and is still feelings those effects as you play.

The game appears to be a mixture of old school brutal off-road racing with the destructive enviroment and track altering explosions of the recently released Split/Second although you the driver do not trigger these events in any way. The demo was not very long, only one race,  but gave an accurate representation of what the team is trying to accomplish.

Lastly like the other 3D games that are set to released both versions, the regular and 3D version, will be included on the disc and if you have a 3D capable television you will be able to load directly into that mode. Since I did play it in 3D I can say the graphics were pretty impressive but certain not breathe taking. Still this is a title that I can’t wait to get my hands on but I will have to wait at least until 2011.

 If your eager for more information check out the newly released E3 trailer and screenshots below.

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What are your thoughts, eager for a new MotorStorm, excited about the new trailer? Let me know in the comment section below.

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E3 2010: Sony Press Conference Highlights

15 06 2010

As you most likely have already seen a dozen or more other places the Sony Press Conference was full of information some of which we expected and some of which we didn’t. After experiencing the conference first hand I will give my thoughts and opinions on what I thought the highlights were along with a bunch of pictures for good measure.

  • Killzone 3 Live Demo in 3D – The trailer looked absolutely stunning in 3D, the actual gameplay mechanics didn’t appear to be much different but the inclusion of different environments was nice to see. A tentative release date was revealed to be February 2011 and will be compatible with PlayStation Move at launch.
  • 3-D Sly Cooper Collection – A huge section of the press conference was dedicated to 3D gaming and how Sony expects to be the industry leader in that aspect. One of the titles they choose to showcase for that section was the re-mastered Sly Cooper Collection from Sucker Punch Productions who are also hard at work on inFamous 2.
  • Gran Turismo 5 – Along with a trailer that I must say looked amazing a release date for the US was announced to be November 2, 2010. Right, we have seen this game being shown before with release date after release date coming and passing lets just hope this release date sticks, it does however seem a bit more concrete.
  • PlayStation Move – I have criticized PlayStation Move in the past and while I won’t retract those statements until I have actually had physical time with the device I am more open to the idea. Sony unveiled a brand new title developed exclusively for the PlayStation Move called ‘Sorcery’ which had me at least seeing the possibilities of such an accurate device such as the PlayStation Move. Hopefully I get a chance to play one of the titles so that I can see for myself. Sony also confirmed that PlayStation Move will be available September 16, 2010 and will retail for $49.99.
  • Kevin Butler – He easily stole the show with his witty humor and trademark punch lines which had the whole audience laughing. During this rant he took a few direct stabs at Microsoft much to the enjoyment of the audience.
  • PSN Plus – These rumors have been floating around for weeks now and for the most part they are all true. The service will premiere later this month for $49.99 a year and you will own all of the title you receive for the duration of your subscription. Other features will include exclusive offers to betas, PS1 titles along with a subscription to Qore.
  • EA & PS3 Exclusivity – While none of the titles EA showcased will be PS3 exclusive both Metal of Honor and Dead Space 2 will feature exclusive content on the PS3, Dead Space 2 for instance will be bundled with Dead Space Extraction with Move support for the same $59.99 retail price. By its self i don’t find this to be a highlight but in an old post I discussed the future of exclusive games and how I thought they would eventually come to an end, besides first party titles of course, and with this announced along with many others we are beginning to see developers offering exclusive content instead of exclusive games.
  • Portal 2 – Valve has adamantly expressed their beliefs of consoles and more specifically of the PS3 however those thoughts most have changed as Portal 2 will be available on the PS3 and according to Gabe Newell will be the best console experience available.
  • Twisted Metal – Despite David Jaffe declaring he wasn’t working on a Twisted Metal game nor would he be at E3 his game development company Eat Sleep Play showcased their upcoming game Twisted Metal. It will feature 16 player multiplayer, 2 and/or 4 player co-op and for the first time ever introduce flight into the series. No release date was even talked about however the live gameplay did give me a ‘Sweet Tooth’ to play Twisted Metal.

Well that’s the Sony Press Conference through my eyes, I hope to post more detailed opinions of the whole process along with some of the titles I was able to get my hands on. In the meantime check out the photo gallery below of all the pictures I snapped throughout the conference. If you have any questions or feedback I welcome your comments below.

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E3 2010

12 06 2010

Most gamers know what E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is and that year after year it produces the most news worthy announcements of any single event in the gaming world. If in fact you are new to the scene or just unfamiliar with this event then lets just say it’s HUGE. The expo happens every June in Los Angeles at the LA Convention Center at least for the past few years and hosts many prominent developers whose sole purpose is to showcase their latest work and unveil their upcoming titles. I have always wanted to attend such an event not just for the opportunity that this type of event would give an individual but just to be around such an operation. That time has come as this year June 15th -17th 2010 I will be in Los Angeles attending E3 along with the Sony Press Conference.

What to Expect

Due to the other media giants size and availability with developers along with the accessibility of live streams I will not be posting much news, as I doubt this is where you come for that anyways. I will however be posting previews of games that I am able to play along with my opinions of the important news out of E3 and the Sony Press Conference. Also as I stated earlier this is an experience and I hope to relate that experience to you through my ramblings and pictures that I will be taking. So if during that time you are looking for another angle of this enormous function then I would be honored if you checked back during that time. To make it easier to find just E3 related news I will be posting all the information under a separate category labeled E3 2010. Alternatively you can also follow me on twitter as I will update there with thoughts through out the day.

Lastly if you would like me to cover anything specific or check out any particular game then let me know by leaving a comment below. Also if any of you will be attending then I would be honored to get the opportunity to meet up, drop a line below and we can work out the details.

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