E3 Hands On: NBA Jam (Wii)

14 07 2010

As with my previous two hands on impressions this game was also not announced at E3 this year however unlike the previous two games NBA Jam is not in 3D nor is it a PlayStation 3 exclusive.

NBA Jam is a remake of the classic 2 on 2 style over the top arcade game that will be releasing later this year for the Nintendo Wii. As someone who enjoys both basketball and over the top arcade games I have been anticipating this title for some time now but was also skeptical if EA could pull off the same feel and enjoyment of the arcade title.

My first opportunity to play was with another media individual against the computer. Before the game started an EA booth representative explained the basic controls before setting us loose. NBA Jam uses the nun chuck and the Wii remote – to jump for either shooting or blocking shots you flick the Wii remote up, to finish the shot, dunk or block a shot you jerk the Wii remote back down. The nun chuck is used for movement along with sprint, to pass you simply press the A button. After only a few possessions I easily grasped the basic controls allowing me to perform absurd passes that lead to acrobatic dunks.

The gameplay is fast paced with no actual defensive or offensive plays to call or execute. The entire offensive repertoire is pass, crossover, shoot and dunk. While defensively you can steal, shove and block shots but be careful not to goal tend. Although that may seem limited to some I found it had just enough depth but was also basic enough that it allowed you to focus on having fun.

So, it passed the fun test, but did it feel true to the original? Yes, I was actually surprised while playing just how authentic to the arcade title it actually felt. So much so that they actually brought back the famous announcer. The visual style also stays true to the original with crazy dunks and fast paced action however this time the heads of players are actual photographs. While we weren’t able to play with anything but the current NBA rosters I was told that historic duos from the arcade will make an appearance in this new title.

To sum up my experience I found my self through out the expo continually going back to play NBA Jam on multiple occasions as it was so easy to pick up and play while being extremely fun. After playing this title for myself my excitement for this title has been renewed and intensified. I can not wait to play more of NBA Jam and I will most certainly pick up this title for my dust covered Wii – which says it all.

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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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Dante’s Inferno Review

9 05 2010


Dante’s Inferno which is loosely based on the poem ‘The Divine Comedy’ was released on February 9th 2010 for PS3, Xbox 360 and the PSP systems. The game which was developed by Visceral Games, known more for the critically acclaimed Dead Space series, is a third person action adventure game in the spirit of the God of War series. You play as Dante who attempts to tract down and free the soul of his beloved wife Beatrice. During this journey Dante must ultimately face his own sins and family past as he descends into the depths of the Nine Circles of Hell.

Can this title break free from its stigmatism and ultimately be a success or is it simply condemned from the start? Continue reading to find out.


Top Anticipated Games of 2010

12 03 2010

Since I have completed my GOTY 2009 post I thought it would be a good idea to look at the games forecasted to come out this year. Although I still have not played all of the great games that came out in 2009 and despite a lot of quality games that have already released this year, we as gamers have a lot to look forward to. As good as 2009 was it appears 2010 won’t disappoint – here are some of the most anticipated games yet to release, for me at least.

Diablo 3

Release Date: TBA Platform: PC

It’s doubtful this game will come out this year however it become an anticipated title the day it was announced. I spent copious amounts of time playing the original and I can’t wait to sink hours upon hours searching for loot and crawling around the various dungeons while eviscerating the world of evil.

God of War 3

Release Date: March 16th 2010 Platform: PS3

The God of War series was the pinnacle of gaming in most peoples eyes last generation and I can’t wait to see what the Santa Monica Studios have waiting for us with God of War 3.  The stage appears to be on a much larger scale and the brutality and gore seem to also be ratcheted up.

Heavy Rain

Release Date: February 23rd 2010 Platform: PS3

This title appears to be hit and miss for most gamers but I for one can’t wait to play it. I am not sure if it’s going to be a great game but I have no doubt that it will stretch the thinking of most gamers and developers. I applaud a development team that is trying to expand the medium and create a cinematic experience. I believe Heavy Rain will have a large impact on future titles therefore I am eager to experience it.

StarCraft 2

Release Date: TBA Platform: PC

StarCraft 2 is along the same lines as Diablo 3 for me. I love watching pro gamers play a game of StarCraft knowing I will never reach that level but admiring the skill and strategy it takes to perform at that level. I enjoy the minute details of multiplayer but the single player campaign and story is just as fantastic, with the inclusion of Battle.Net 2.0 I can’t imagine Blizzard would put out anything less that spectacular.