Hyperdimension Neptunia seems to be one of the most divisive games of the year. You either love it or you hate it. And I love it. Where to begin? It's a crazy collaboration between the likes of NIS, Compile Heart, Sega and Idea Factory. It's an extreme JRPG, but seems to be making fun of JRPG's. It's got some of the most moe artwork I've seen localized in a while. It's dialogue is ridiculously hilarious. It has a simplified overworld system where you don't actually walk from place to place, but instead choose chapters from a list. It also simplifies item management. It uses a strange setup where you utilize button combos for your attacks. Instead of spells, you summon old Sega games like Altered Beast or Fantasy Zone. To put it simply, it's kind of insane. And like I said, I love it.
Our heroine is named Neptune. This is actually a personification of the failed Sega Neptune hardware. In fact all of the goddesses in the game are based on consoles. That's because the game is basically an allegory about the console wars. You see it's only when "Nintendo," "Sony," and "Microsoft" team together that they can destroy Neptune. This personification of companies leads to great fan-service jokes. Early in the game Vert (Microsoft) talks about how her breasts are so much larger than Neptunes that it's obvious that that implies she is more powerful -- a sly jab at Microsoft's ridiculously large Xbox (and its controller).
And the whole game is full of rib-jabs to video game nerds. Early on you fight things that look like Space Invaders as well as Dragon Quest-inspired slimes. Your quest is of course to save the land of Gameindustri. Even the developers poke fun at themselves with the visual novel style interface and dialogue that seems to make light of the very games that have put each of them on the map.
I'll be the first to say that this game is not for everyone. It definitely takes a certain kind of fan to find this game appealing. But for those of us that do, it's one of the most unique RPG's to hit US consoles in quite some time. Oddly enough it even inspired me to go out and get a Dreamcast. You see it's such a strange game, I couldn't help but feel like Neptune (Sega) was telling me -- 'hey! If the Dreamcast was still around today, THESE are the kind of games that would be on it.'
Today at the gamescom convention in Cologne, Germany, Sony finally confirmed alltherumors of the PS3 Slim. The new unit will be 33% smaller and 36% lighter than the existing models. Most importantly, it will launch on September 1st for $299. Can't wait that long? All PS3 systems are now $299, effective tomorrow.
Here's SCEI CEO Kaz Hari unveiling the new PS3 model at the gamescom press conference. It also gives you an idea just how much smaller it is when he holds the system in his hands.
Hey you, random PlayStation 3 owner! I see you out there with your Dualshock 3 in hand thinking, "Hey I want a new game to play on here, but I'm cheap". Well, the good folks and Sony and Sprint have heard you and have decided to give you a FREE game for one week only.
That's right, Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic is free for all US Playstation Network members for this week. Why is it free? I guess it's because Sprint is sponsoring it.
If you feel bad for missing out on this because you don't have a US PSN account, well, there is a way you can make one if you live in another country, just Google around. Or what if you don't have a PS3 but want to add it to your collection, I'm sure there are people out there (HINT HINT) who might give you a helping hand in adding it to an account for future use.
Oh and, did I mention the game has trophies? So download it for free trophies!
So, you know Adam Sessler, host of G4TV's X-Play? Yeah, he pretty much showed how amazing he is yet again, as if his rally against bigots on Xbox Live and his complete ownage of Final Fantasy fanboys wasn't enough. Watch this video in response to the hate mail they received from SONY FANBOYS (not 360 fanboys, PS3 fanboys) accusing them of being biased in their 5/5 review of Killzone 2 for the PS3.
He comes vicious at both 360 fanboys claiming Gears of War 2 is better because IGN gave it .1 point higher than Killzone 2, and PS3 fanboys who claim they weren't serious because they sounded upset that it was a good game.
I for one applaud Adam for saying what needs to be said in this day of console fanboyism on the internet. Bravo, good sir, bravo.
Now, generally I do not like to review something until I have completely beat the game, and as such, this post is going to be impressions of the game, which to a certain extent is probably a review.
For those of you not in the know, I got the first disbursement of my sign-on bonus this week, and promptly splurged it on a PlayStation 3. Of course, the very first game that I bought was LittleBigPlanet. Why wouldn't I have bought that game first? Everything I've seen about it on the internet suggests that it oozes creativity. To a certain extent, it shows that this generation Sony and not Nintendo has the creativity wand when it comes to games. I had to buy this game, and by golly I did.
LittleBigPlanet is based around the concept that this world managed by Creator Curators is created by the combined imagination of the world and you, as Sackboy, get to explore it. On the surface of playing the game, LittleBigPlanet is a semi 2D platformer. You can only move left, right, or back and forth in the background. But, see, just because the game is in essence a 2D platformer does not take away from the fact that it oozes with creativity and fun.
This game is customizable, and not just a little customizable, but "HAVE AT IT WON'T YOU?" customizable. As you progress through the game you are gifted and obtain lots of stickers, objects, and doodads to fool around with. In story mode, these stickers can be placed wherever, and sometimes these stickers serve as triggers. But, the real beauty of collecting these customizations is the fact that the game allows you to create your own levels. These aren't some corny shallow level but often full fledged levels limited only by the imagination of the creator, and that's really neat. Theoretically you could never run out of levels to play because the community keeps pumping them out. It's really truly amazing.
That said, the Media Molecule (developer) levels are also very cool. Basically, each creator curator has a theme and mini storyline that ties in with the other curators, and levels get harder and harder as you progress through the story. Of course, once you beat a level there are plenty of reasons to go back. See, chances are you won't be able to get all 100% of the items on your first go, so there will always be that reason to come back to the level. Secondly, you could play the level by yourself, or you could play the level with someone online. The neat thing about that is that you sometimes have to have another Sackboy with you to get certain items and cause certain events to occur. Thing is though that I am so addicted to the game that I just want to beat it through before playing with someone online, so I don't know for sure how that works, but I imagine it's pretty cool.
From customizing your own levels to customizing your Sackboy, you have a lot of freedom in this game, and this freedom makes the game so damn enjoyable. I'd say I am about 70ish% through the story mode, and this game keeps calling me back. If you have a PS3 I don't think you have to buy the game, but you'd be doing yourself a great disservice if you didn't at least try it out. After all, Sackboy is so damn lovable. Forget Home's avatars, Sackboy should be our official Sony avatars. He's just so damn precious.
Have the game? Want the game? What are your impressions of LittleBigPlanet? Is it everything you thought it would be, or is it something that you hope it will be?
Here's the post that makes the weekly release list look like child's play. The black friday deals! For those of you in Euroland or where ever and don't know what Black Friday is, it is the day after Thanksgiving here in the US in which all the stores try to get people to come in and buy stuff for Christmas by offering insane deals. Of course, many stores entice gamers to come in and get stuff, so here's what's being offered this year. Before I get into it, I want to give props to cheapassgamer.com, bfads.net, and blackfriday.info for all the information found in this post.
Please note that the deals in bold are the ones I recommend most of all.
To get started, choose a store below to see what they have to offer.
Honestly, I can't say much about this video without ruining it for you. So, just press play.
Japan never ceases to amaze me. This could rank in the top game advertisements of all-time with the Japanese ad for God Hand. Kudos SCEJ bringing us the best game related marketing rap since the infamous Zelda Rap (or All I Want For Xmas Is A PSP, take your pick).
As you probably know by now, I'm very excited for the upcoming PS3 exclusive game, LittleBigPlanet, which comes out in a little over a week. I love the happy-go-lucky atmosphere and the bright colors...however Sony has officially thrown that out the window with a newly announced guest Sackboy character...
Yeah, that Sephiroth. Everyone's favorite long-haired emo villain from Final Fantasy 7. The same Sephiroth that inspired many awful fanfics, fanart, and especially other games, is now coming with his trendy Hot-Topic dress style into the world of LittleBigPlanet. Along with Sephiroth, expect thousands of 15 year old otakus who think Sephy is kawaii bishie and writes long yaoi fanfics involving him and Cloud to follow.
Also coming to LBP: Old Snake from Metal Gear Solid 4.
So, Ubisoft had their Ubidays event yesterday. Many games were discussed including Far Cry 2, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Prince of Persia Prodigy and others. However, the real showstopper announcement was official confirmation of the mounting rumors that Beyond Good And Evil 2 does in fact exist. At the event, Ubisoft released a little teaser trailer showing the two main characters from the first game, Jade and Pey'j, stranded in the middle of a desert.
From a technical aspect, the trailer is just stunning. Pey'j looks AMAZING and not as cartoony as he did in the first game. Jade is also looking pretty damn good as well, but we don't ever see how she looks from the front.
Here is the trailer for your viewing pleasure. Now, keep in mind that Ubisoft has stated that this is all done in the game engine...
Attention all you PS3 owners with Metal Gear Solid 4 pre ordered (which should be all of you), Konami has posted the beta version of Metal Gear Online to the Playstation Store and is ready for you to download. The actual beta of the game does not start until Monday, but you can download it (and the update) now in preparation for Monday's big event.
How do you partake in this Snaky goodness? First of all, you have to pre-order Metal Gear Solid 4 from a participating retailer. Second, you need to obtain a copy of the Metal Gear Saga Vol. 2 DVD which should be free with your pre-order. This DVD contains a refresher course on the MGS franchise and a collection of trailers for MGS4, but most importantly it comes with your ticket to participate the beta. Now that you have your code to get into the beta, boot up your PS3. On the XMB, go to the Playstation Network menu and choose Account Management. Then on the next page that comes up, choose Transaction Management, and Redeem Playstation Network Card or Promotion Code. Next, enter in the code found on your ticket into the text boxes on the page. If all goes well, it should accept your code and give you access to download the Beta...
If it doesn't work, make sure you entered the code in all capital letters. Still no luck? Well, you're probably like me and effected by Konami's royal screwing up of this beta program. According to IGN, some of the codes given out in the Metal Gear Saga DVD are invalid. How do you tell if you have an invalid code? It all has to do with the length of your key. If you have less than 12 characters in your beta code, then you need to get a new one in order to download the beta. To get a new code, try emailing Konami at firstname.lastname@example.org, or try going back to where you pre-ordered the game and see if they'll give you a new Metal Gear Saga DVD. Or you can try downloading the beta from the European Playstaion Store, because they are lucky and can download it without using this beta code nonsense.
However, the other area in which Konami totally screwed up this beta is that you have to sign up for a Konami ID AND a "Game ID" in order to play. But guess what? The website to do that is down. However, I was smart and registered as soon as I heard it required for the beta.
I just hope Konami fixes this beta soon. I can't wait to get into the game and face off against others online with the man cannon.
If you're participating in the beta, post a comment in the article here and let me know your PSN ID and Game ID so we can have some kind of an RFG MGO night.
Sony has just sold me on a PS3. This was announced on IGN.com recently:
MGS4 Bundle Announced Anticipated game to be packaged with 80GB PS3 and DualShock 3. by Jeff Haynes
February 26, 2008 - For months, Metal Gear Solid fans have eagerly been looking forward to a release date of the upcoming title from Kojima Productions, Metal Gear Solid 4. Since its delay last fall, the only thing fans have known is that the game is expected to be released later this year. Earlier today at Destination PlayStation, a retailers only conference for Sony products, Sony announced that a Metal Gear Solid 4 bundle pack will be released in Q2 2008.
The bundle will include MGS4, an 80GB PS3 and a Dual Shock 3 included for an MSRP of $499.99. It will also include an Metal Gear Online "Starter Pack. For players that pre-order Metal Gear Solid 4, there's an added bonus: they'll be guaranteed access in the multiplayer beta of Metal Gear Online in late April.
"Working closely with our retail and publishing partners and sharing our hardware and software roadmaps at Destination PlayStation gives us a great opportunity to outline some key milestones for the year. In response to incredible demand, we will be manufacturing more 80GB PS3s for North America and the Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots 80GB PS3 bundle is an ideal way to offer that continued value to our consumers," said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of SCEA. "With Blu-ray having won the format war, our stellar software line-up and a broad product portfolio, we will continue to drive the incredible momentum we've been generating since last fall."
EDITOR EDIT: That wasn't the only thing to come out of Sony's Playstation Destination event today.
Metal Gear Solid 4 comes out June 12. One can only assume the bundle comes out on that same day too.
In addition, Sony announced a new God of War PSP bundle. The bundle will be $200 and will come with God of War: Chains of Olympus, Superbad on UMD video (hahahahaha, Superbad and UMD are both hilarious...for totally opposite reasons), and a free download of Syphon Filter: Combat Ops from the Playstation store. Expect it on retail shelves in June.
Finally today, the much awaited vibration-enabled DualShock 3 will be hitting store shelves on April 15 for $55. More than I had hoped for, but still a good deal cheaper than importing it.
So, it looks like Sony decided to save all the big announcements for this little conference instead of saying everything at GDC. Looks like the bad news of Phil Harrison leaving Sony is being balanced out.
LittleBigPlanet Create-A-Level PLAY, CREATE, and SHARE with LittleBigPlanet! Imagine a world with no limits – a world that’s yours to shape, build and explore. Imagine the possibilities, then jump head first into the reality. LittleBigPlanet puts the power of absolute creation into your own hands. If you can see it, you can enhance it. If you can’t see it, you can invent it. File size: 79 MB (HD)
I fell out of my chair and immediately ran to my PS3 to download that new video. A few minutes later, I was basking in the glory that is LittleBigPlanet, and the new footage.
Now, what you're seeing in this new video is a level being built. Specifically, the level that Sony had up in their booth at CES a few weeks ago. Sure it's not anything too new, but as I said, anything LBP related makes me happy. Hopefully this will brighten up your day a little as well with that damn awesome Go! Team song and footage of the future PS3 classic.
Sony Japan is geared to announce its first lineup of "The Best" titles for Playstation 3. SCEJ has yet to officially announce which titles, but an online retailer has already listed several titles with an expected arrival date of March 19. The discounted price should be 3,800 yen (compared to the regular price of 5,000 yen). For Playstation fans, this discount isn't as much as the Playstation 2 The Best games at 2800 yen.
The first games to achieve "Playstation The Best" status are:
Sony has put the final nail in the coffin for usage of their UMD (Universal Media Disc) format for movies by announcing that you will soon be able to transfer Blu-ray movies that you own to your PSP by way of the Playstation 3.
According to Gizmodo, the functionality will be available this year, will (most likely) be free, and will work on (almost every) Blu-ray Disc under the sun. Some specifics about the transfer process are that the movie files will be around 1GB, in standard definition, optimized for playback on the PSP, and will take about 3-5 minutes to download to the PSP's memory stick. However, the catch is that the movies will be protected by DRM (Digital Rights Managment), which is no surprise considering that you're copying a copyrighted movie onto a portable device and could easily share it with others. There's no word on what exactly the details of the DRM policy will be (one of the restraints may be that you can only copy each disc a certain number of times). My guess is that it will be just like the DRM used for PSone games downloaded from the Playstation Store.
But who knows. Knowing Sony it could be a DRM scheme that drops a rootkit on your PS3/PSP and monitors every single thing you do before dropping that rootkit in your brain and controlling you.
So, you're a PS3 owner and you happen to own both Guitar Hero III and Rock Band. Harmonix said that the Guitar Hero III Controller would work with Rock Band. Almost a month after release though, it still does not work. Blame Harmonix? Don't be so quick to blame, as this release by Harmonix explains:
Quote from: Harmonix
As we have said in the past, Harmonix and MTV Games believe in an open standard philosophy of hardware and game compatibility. We think that there should be interoperability between music instrument controllers across all music games. This is clearly in the best interest of consumers, game developers and console manufacturers and will only help to grow the music game genre as well as inspire innovation and creativity.
Two weeks ago, Harmonix created a software patch for the Sony PLAYSTATION 3 version of Rock Band that allowed for guitar compatibility and support for third party peripherals, including enabling use of Activision's Guitar Hero III controller with Rock Band. The compatibility patch was submitted, approved and had been scheduled for release by Sony on Tuesday, December 4. Unfortunately, Activision objected to the compatibility patch's release. The patch remains with Sony, but we have been told that it will unfortunately not be released due to Activision's continued objection.
As is the case with the Microsoft Xbox360, we believe that Sony PLAYSTATION 3 users should be able to use the peripheral of their choice with Rock Band. We sincerely hope that Activision will reverse its decision and allow release of the compatibility patch and further, that Activision will allow Guitar Hero III to support Rock Band guitar controllers as well. We welcome all third party developers who wish to support our controllers and will provide any required support in order for them to do so.
We believe that when consumers have choice, everyone wins. Harmonix and MTV Games hope that Activision and others will also adopt this philosophy.
Sincerely, The Harmonix Team
Well, ain't that a crock of shit. If I was impacted by this situation, I'd be pretty ticked off right now. Seriously, how can a PS3 Rock Band have a bassist right now? Certainly, they can not. This is a pretty douchy move on Activision's part, and I hope they realize that they are angering a lot of people who have previously been buyers of Guitar Hero. I guess they don't care about future sales of GHIV. With the Wii Mono situation, the exorbitant price of DLC and this dilemma, GHIII owners have some things to be ticked about.