Survival Mode Announced For Samurai Warriors 4-II

Koei Tecmo Europe revealed today new information for upcoming Samurai Warriors 4-II, a tactical action title slated to be released on 2nd October 2015 on the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, and digitally on the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, PlayStation Vita handheld entertainment system, and on PC via Steam.

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Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut Launches for Consoles

Grip Games, publisher of shooter smash hit Tower of Guns, have finalised the console release dates for the much-anticipated ultimate edition of the physics puzzler connoisseur’s favourite: Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut.

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Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess Launches Friday

Koei Tecmo Europe is pleased to announce the release of Deception IV: the Nightmare Princess on the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, and digitally on the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and the PlayStation Vita handheld system this Friday, 17th July 2015.

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PlayStation Store Updated with PS Vita Games

The PlayStation Store has been updated ahead of the launch of the PS Vita at midnight tonight, to include games, apps, DLC, demos and videos!  The full list is available on the PlayStation blog.

Owners of Hustle Kings, Top Darts or Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom DLC on the PS3 will be able to use them on the PS Vita for no charge.

Engadget posted an in-depth review of the PS Vita here, while CVG and Eurogamer also posted reviews, with another in-depth technical analysis from Digital Foundry.

The PS Vita will be going on sale at midnight tonight across the country, with a range of prices from just under £200 up to £270 with other bundled items.  The cheapest place to buy is said to be ASDA, where the Wi-Fi version is available both online and in-store for £197.  Via Eurogamer.

The device has been on sale in Japan since December 2011, but didn’t perform as well as expected, seeing a 78% drop during Christmas week.

The Last of Us Details

The Last of Us is a third-person survival-horror adventure by Naughty Dog, set in a world where a fungus outbreak has decimated humanity.  Survivors live in quarantine zones, with anyone showing any signs of fungal infection immediately executed.  The game follows two characters, Joel and Ellie: player-character Joel is a weapons and drugs smuggler, and he rescues Ellie from camp as a favour to a dying friend.

New details about the game were published by Game Informer, who were given a short demo of the game by the developer.

Although there are infected humans in the world, the focus of the game is apparently human enemies.  Combat will be melee heavy, as ammo is limited, but guns will be more lethal.  The AI is able to react to the state of combat and the weapons you are using.. they take cover and try to flank you if you are using a gun, but rush you if they see you only have a melee weapon.  They also get angry when you kill one of their friends, and react with fear when they are losing.

While you don’t control Ellie, she takes part in combat and can warn you of dangers, and apparently gains in combat ability through the game.  The developers didn’t want to turn the game into an escort quest and so have tuned her AI so that she is able to keep up with the player without getting in the way.

The story has been designed to be self-contained, so no matter what happens with the IP, there will be no unresolved cliff-hangers here.  There will also be an online component to the game, but the details haven’t yet been decided on.

The VGAs

In the early hours of this morning, I watched the Video Game Awards, on a live stream from GINX.TV.

I’m not really stirred by awards.. if a game is good then somebody will mention it regardless of how many awards it has won.. but I was expecting to hear about some interesting new games, and really hoping to hear something about Half Life 2: Episode 3 after hearing rumours all week.

However, I thought there was too much filler.. presenters playing stupid games, celebrities I don’t have any interest in doing weird sketches and pretending to square up for a fight, and far too much being made of the fact that the VGAs were trending on Twitter.  Look, we’re popular?

I think they were trying to appeal to the masses.. but if the masses aren’t interested in games, then why would they be watching an awards programme about games in the first place?  All that time could have been used to show us something interesting.. more behind the scenes, interviews, and dare I say.. something vaguely technical, even if simplified a bit?  I don’t think I’ll watch next time.. the gaming press can filter all this stuff out for me, leaving me with a short list of new, interesting trailers to watch the following morning instead 🙂

As for the trailers.. the first to get my interest was The Last of Us, a PS3 exclusive, single-player survival horror by Naughty Dog.  Though at first glance I thought the enemies were zombies, they are actually sufferers of a plague, and the survivors have to scavenge for food and weapons, and fight to survive.

Epic Games‘ new title, Fortnite, also looked good..a combination of scavenging, base building and defense, with survival against some kind of alien force which attacks at night.  This game doesn’t yet have a publisher, and hasn’t been announced for any specific platform yet.. I’m hoping PC so I can play it with friends! 🙂

Diablo III‘s trailer was a fiery, showy affair.. this game was always going to be a must-buy for me, but the trailer was good to see anyway.  BioShock Infinite also made an appearance, though this was another game from my to-buy list after loving BioShock and BioShock 2.

Fable III

My current options for 360 and PS3 games are playing via an old PC with an old capture card (low quality image), or playing on the TV in the lounge (noisy for Tim, and no contact with my friends who are on the PC).

I’d been trying to resist starting on Fable III until I had a HDMI capture card in my PC.. however, the lure was too strong..  I absolutely loved Fable II, as I had the Black & White games, also from Lionhead Studios, so I knew I would love playing this one too.. even if it meant taking over the lounge!

As with the other games, you are given a choice when responding to quests.. allowing you to become good or evil as you wish.  Your morality affects your appearance, with NPCs you come across reacting to you with either greetings or.. well, I’ve not played an evil character long enough to see them yet 😉

Abilities are upgraded through Guild Seals, which you earn for completing quests, defeating enemies and interacting with NPCs.  The seals can be then used to purchase the abilities you want in the “The Road to Rule”; a ghostly path where we meet the awesomely voiced Blind Seer from Fable II.

So.. I start off as a princess, wandering around the castle gardens, grabbing people by the hand and making them run along with me, just because it’s funny to see.. then I find out that my older brother, Logan, is up to no good.

People across Albion are starving, and some of them have decided to protest.. Logan has decided that this will be solved by killing some of the protestors.  I’m supposed to try to convince him to play nice, but Logan forces me to choose between my childhood sweetheart, Elliot, and the protesting villagers.  I save the villagers (Sorry Elliot, but it was never going to work..), then flee the castle with the assistance of my loyal friends; Sir Walter, and the butler, Jasper.

We need to take Logan out, but first we need support, and we start off in a freezing camp in the mountains, where we’re tasked with finding an artifact to prove my Hero status, getting rid of Saker, the leader of a band of mercenaries, and getting neighbouring Brightwall to send food.

In addition to completing quests, support can be gained by making the people in each area like you.. if you were evil, I suppose this would require people to fear you.  Unlike in Fable II, you can only impress one person at a time, by interacting with them and choosing the relevant action.. after a while they will ask you to run an errand for them; if you do it, they will then be your friend.

Once you have made friends with an NPC, you can also take it a bit further.. I appear to have attracted the attentions of Alice the Housewife, who wants me to take her on a date..
As you have to build up your relationship with an NPC before further options appear, I think this means there will be no repeat of my accidental cheating on one of my Fable II husbands, which happened when I clicked on the wrong NPC to follow me to bed.. my Fable II character was a bigamist slut! 😉

Although running errands takes up time running to one location only to run back again, it does provide you with Guild Seals and presents from those NPCs you have made friends with.  To save time, you can always teleport into the Sanctuary to use the map for fast travel.  You’ll also want to visit the Sanctuary to open your presents, or to mess around with your clothing and such, although Jasper will nudge you towards the DLC from time to time.  Some of the DLC is free, which would gain Lionhead some brownie points if not for the fact that some of the paid DLC was on the disk at launch.. that’s a topic for another time, though.

Shops close at night, and tonight this got me into trouble while befriending a shopkeeper at closing-time.. a guard came in, demanding that I leave.. by the time my rather long interaction finished, he had run out of patience and charged me with trespassing 🙁

When convicted of a crime you have two options: community service or resisting arrest.
As I’m a good girl, I chose to do community service and ended up making pies.. one of the various little mini-game jobs you can do around most towns.  Making pies consists of hitting A and X when prompted, while your character rolls out pastry and sticks it on the top of a pie.. the other jobs are blacksmithing and lute playing, which also attracts a crowd of people who cheer along while you play, but boo if you mis-click.

 

Screenshots will be added once I have my HDMI capture card 😉

A quick peek at Heavy Rain

After a pretty decent pub meal this evening, we went back to a friend’s place.. and while there, checked out the first bit of Heavy Rain, a PS3 exclusive by Quantic Dream.  I’d describe the game as an interactive movie, but this description doesn’t feel enough, somehow..

There are many outcomes to the game, all depending on the choices (or mistakes) made in each scene. 

Starting off, you take control of the first of four protagonists, Ethan, getting him out of bed, washed and dressed.  Hilarity ensued as controlling him consists of performing motions on the controller to represent actions which are highlighted on-screen.  I managed to get Ethan showered, but shaving proved.. interesting.  I’m just glad it was an electric shaver, else he’d have been heading to the hospital for blood loss, rather than heading downstairs for breakfast!  Choices were then left up to me – watch television, wander around outside, play with the remote -controlled car..

The kids arrived home, and I took Ethan out to play with them.  While playing at sword-fighting I was given an interesting choice – pull my blows on my digital son, or land them?  Block his blows, or let him win?  I decided Ethan would be a nice father and let the kid win 🙂

One of the other protagonists was an FBI agent – this scene involved the discovery of a body, and investigating the scene.  Again, choices.. talk to just the one man required for the objective, or go poking around and asking everybody questions?  After talking to the required police chief, I was given the option to simply return to the station, but figured I should also investigate the body and crime scene in general to see if there was more evidence.  This led to a rather interesting trail up a slippery, mud-covered slope, with each missed step marked down in mud on the agent’s previously spotless black suit 🙂

Now.. I have a little problem in completing games, and so I try to limit what I buy.. but I want this game!  Tim said he will buy this once I have completed two more console games..

Modern Warfare 2

This is actually the first game since Fallout 3 that we’ve picked up on Day 1 (not counting gifts and promos here).  I tried ignoring the hype across the web over the recent weeks, but it gets harder to ignore when you find out the game is only £28 at Morrisons, and the boss offers to go to the shop to fetch it (while getting copies for half the office too).

We ended up picking the PS3 version up because the others at work were going for PS3 too.  We’d decided it was a toss-up between PS3 and 360, because if we were to choose PC, we’d have to buy two copies.  I prefer shooters on the PC, but I can see we’re going to increasingly move to consoles as we don’t want to pay for a game twice.

So – MW2.. I can see why people have been raving; it deserves the hype!

Controls-wise, it feels very like COD 4: Modern Warfare, so quite easy to pick up and get into.  Graphics, wow.  There’s an amazing level of detail, blood effects and lighting seem bang on.  Sounds seem perfect, fitting the environments, and the voice acting particularly is really well done.  More gravelly voices 🙂

So tonight I enjoyed sneaking around in the snow with a heartbeat sensor, picking off guards..  followed by a mad dash in the snow mobile section after a confrontation with some guards and a bit of a scrap.  No trophies though, which seems to be something affecting a few others too.  Tim got his, so I’m not sure quite what happened there.

For me, the single player missions need to be done first, before playing with other modes.  This does mean at my pace, which is on the slow side, but I’d rather take my time and enjoy it than race through but not really take in all the details.

After that, maybe some online, but definitely some co-op 🙂

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