I'm sorry (not so sorry) to say that what you are about to hear is not the Illuision of Gaia playthrough podcast that you might have been anticipating. No worries though, that will be available for your listening pleasure in just a few more days. In the meantime, we hope that you enjoy this special recording that the guys and I did for E3 2016. After watching the pressers and some of the trailers surrounding this year's event, the guys and I kept going back and forth texting about games and other things that interested us about the event. Finally, we just decided, why not just set a time, switch on the mics, and talk candidly about our experience and the releases that we are looking forward to? We sincerely hope that you enjoy our take on the event and items presented over that week, and if feedback is positive, we may consider more sidecasts like this in the future. Thanks for listening!
Please be sure to subscribe to our feed through one of our media outlets so that you automatically get our new episodes on release. And as always, be sure to rate and write a review of the show on iTunes to help us increase our listenership.
It's amazing for me to think that I don't like indie games as much as I "should." When I was growing up, I tended to restrict myself to listening only to bands who were on a short list of only the most exalted independent record labels. Everything else was "sold out" or "too trendy." Yeah, I was one of those kids in high school.
You might think given that kind of holier than thou upbringing I'd be heralding the current indie boom in video gaming, but quite frankly, I'm not really feeling it. Don't get me wrong. I am certainly cheering on smaller teams making games that are touching a select amount of players with whom their work resonates. After all, month after month on the RFGPlaycast it seemed I would try to break down the "problems" with modern triple-A video game design, and the indie movement is providing so many answers to my pleas for innovation. Having said that though, every time I try an indie game, I rarely get into it enough to bother finishing it, despite the fact that they tend to be shorter than mainstream titles. There have been a few exceptions like Limbo, but I haven't gotten deep into an indie game in a while.
I recently sat down with The Unfinished Swan and although I can't say I have changed my tune on indie games, I did enjoy it more than most others.
Sorry guys, you won't be getting a Top Games of 2015 list from me. For one, I don't own a current generation console to play games released this year on, and secondly, my list of my favorite games I played it 2015 will be available early next year when you listen to the RF Generation Playcast (http://rfgenplaycast.podbean.com/) .....shameless plug!! Instead, I'll be focusing on a topic that has baffled and frustrated me (and probably you) for years and that is, "What import games can I play on my North American consoles without having to import systems?" I certainly won't be able to cover every system, but I'll try to cover the more well-known and most-owned consoles. I understand that some imported games can be burned or pirated for play on North American systems; however, since this method is frowned upon by a large majority of the community, I will not be covering or suggesting this method for any system here. I hope many of you will find this article useful and please think of it and my research as my holiday gift to you!
**DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that I have not tried several of these methods myself and that the great majority of the information that I have assembled here has been compiled through research. I have verified as much of the information as possible, but some of it may be incorrect. If you find that something is incorrect, please send me a PM and I can verify and edit this post. Thank you!**
Let's be honest here for a minute. You WHAT? I'm... sorry, I think I have to call the police.
Er, let's start over. If we're truly honest about it, people tend to be pretty picky, and that includes gamers being picky about their games. And that's fine! After all, we're dedicating our most valuable resource; time, and usually at least some of our income toward a leisure activity. It only makes sense that we are discerning about how and what we play, and cater our playtime to match our preferences, as we do most other things.
Welcome back to a world of horror and fright. You may remember last year when I did a review of a game (Thief: The Dark Project [http://www.rfgeneration.c...The-Dark-Project-2639.php]) that many would not consider when pondering their options to step into a good atmosphere that sends chills down your spine and squeals up your throat. The real "horror" came from the masterpiece's years spent in "Development Hell" where its focus was changed about a half dozen times. In contrast to a jumbled mess of juxtaposed design and experimentation that somehow worked brilliantly, this year I bring you D. Just "D." The letter "D." No more. No less. "D."
It's October again! And that means horror gaming! While noiseredux is really going above and beyond the call of duty with his excellent blog, with an ongoing featurette for this month covering the console and handheld world of horror, I figured I'd offer him some backup with another entry on that most terrifying of genres.
Extermination has the honor of being the first survival horror title released for Sony's PlayStation 2, beating out Silent Hill 2 by several months and Resident Evil: Code Veronica's PS2 port by just two weeks with its March 8, 2001, NTSC-J release date. The title was published by Sony Computer Entertainment and created by a team of developers that included several creators of Resident Evil. Reminiscent of the genre's flagship title and games like Carrier, the game has also drawn comparisons to the films The Thing and The Abyss.
The story revolves around Dennis Riley, a Sergeant in the USMC Special Forces Recon. Riley is one of a team being sent to infiltrate Fort Stewart, a secret research base in the Antarctic which formerly housed some of the United States' nuclear stockpile. With the end of the Cold War, the installation was converted into a research & development facility. As Riley's team approaches Fort Stewart via airplane in an ice storm, they receive a distress call from the base requesting it be the target of an air strike. But before they can respond, the plane malfunctions and crash lands, spreading the marines across the base. Riley and his combat buddy Roger Grigman are then forced to sneak into the base and meet up with the team.
While the Marines in the game come off as ballsy bad asses, the dialogue ranges from decent to absolutely terrible, and the quality of voice acting fluctuates throughout. Riley's voice is particularly bad, and at times he sounds like a whiny high school kid. The subplot involving his dead friend Andrew and Andrew's girlfriend Cindy also feels tacked on and unnecessary.
Riley must navigate the facility, facing strange mutations and living water puddles with his modular SPR-4, or Special Purpose Rifle. That weapon represents one of the most interesting elements of the entire game: instead of finding new guns to use, the player instead switches out attachments on the fly, so your weapon can always suit your situation if you have the parts. And those parts range from a sniper scope to an underslung grenade launcher, a forward grip with flashlight, enemy detector, night vision scope, and much more. The player can also switch between single round and 3-round-burst firing modes.
The ammunition system is also innovative: an infinite amount of ammo is found in dispensers through the facility, but only a limited amount can be carried, based on the number of magazines Riley happens to be carrying. If you want more ammunition, find more magazines scattered throughout the base. But the dispensers will not give ammunition for the variety of modular weapons to attach to the SPR-4, so once you're out of grenade rounds, shotgun shells, napalm juice, or whatever else you're using, you're out.
Adding to the action emphasis, the game features the use of a laser target, four years before Resident Evil 4 would implement its usage. And while The Ring: Terror's Realm predates Extermination with its laser sight by slightly over six months, Extermination offers far better control. Players can aim in third person perspective, moving the pointer around until it passes over a creature, generally auto-aiming at that target. But those that want to go for more precise shots can also enter a first person perspective which doesn't feature auto-aim. Unfortunately Riley can't move when his weapon is raised, and the sensitivity is too low to make it a truly effective tactic in close corners, but it's a great means for popping enemies from far off. The game also features two knife buttons, resulting in a slash or a stab, which don't require the weapon to be raised.
While this sounds like a good design on paper, it does suffer from some serious flaws. First, enemies are bullet sponges. Though that's not so bad considering there's ultimately infinite ammunition, dispensers are few and far between. To make up for this, enemies have glowing weak points that can be hit to drop them faster. Unfortunately they were designed to be hard to hit, and the third-person auto-aim feature does not automatically target them, making it difficult to kill some of the tougher varieties of mutants at close range. Aiming with the knife can also be difficult, so slashing minor enemies at one's heels can be a pain.
The camera also doesn't help as it can't be effectively manipulated, so the player can't swing it quickly to look around the corner or see an enemy right behind him. Instead, the player must turn and then either raise their weapon or press a button to center the camera behind them, wasting precious time.
The game's health system is also interesting, though cumbersome. The player has health, based on a 100-point numerical value, and an Infection rate. Every time an enemy hits the player, their infection goes up while their health goes down. And most healing items will not lower one's infection rate. Instead, the player must use vaccines to bring down infection, and the field-use variety aren't very common. If Riley's infection rate hits 100%, his max health decreases from 100 to 60, he takes damage over time, his character model changes, he starts taking damage from sources that previously didn't hurt him, and he can only be cured by using the MTS vaccine, which can only be administered at MTS beds...so if you wander too far from one and become infected, you won't make it back.
Extermination also features an unusual save system, revolving around battery power. Forget the ink ribbons of yesteryear, save stations now require batteries, which can be recharged at special power stations similar to the ammunition dispenser. And larger batteries will be found throughout the facility, so don't sweat saving. It's also a good idea to save often, as the game doesn't allow continues. Die, and you must reload.
Extermination is a decent game with some solid ideas that never really rises to greatness. Horror fans who enjoy such titles as Resident Evil, Carrier, Dino Crisis, The Thing, or non-horror games like Syphon Filter and Metal Gear Solid will likely appreciate this game more than those looking for experiences similar to Silent Hill, Fatal Frame, or Haunting Ground. It's something I would recommend to players who have experience with the genre's big names and are looking for something more obscure. And while its ideas aren't always successful, they are interesting enough to warrant a look. Another nice perk is the game's low price tag: not including shipping, it can be found on eBay for as little as $2.
For those interested, here's the introduction to the game:
So, Heavy Rain. Pretty awesome PS3 exclusive. One of the big memes it spawned was from the very early scenes in the game, when Ethan takes his family to a mall and hisson, Jason, gets lost. During this segment you have to run through the mall yelling for him: pressing X to Jason. Ethan's recorded line of him screaming Jason kind of caught on because, well it was amusing. First there was the flash game. Now there's the song/music video:
As I said, there's no spoilers in here. This happens in the first 15 minutes of the game. Enjoy!
OH GOD! SOUND THE FANBOY ALARMS! Insomniac Games, longtime developer of exclusive Sony properties like Spyro (before it got sold to Universal), Ratchet and Clank, and Resistance have sold their souls to the devil! They are teaming up with EA Partners and making a new IP that will appear on PS3 and 360! This is the first time Insomniac has made a game for anything other than a Sony platform, and Sony fanboys are going absolutely apeshit with negativity over the announcement. "RATCHET AND RESISTANCE ARE GOING TO EA! THEY SOLD THEMSELVES OUT TO THE DEVIL! THE WORLD'S ENDING! HAVING A GAME ON ANOTHER SYSTEM ONLY SPELLS DOOM!" hahaha no.
Insomniac has been never owned by anyone. They're independent and will remain so, but they still have strong ties to Sony. Sony still owns the big franchises, AND Insomniac is going to be doing further games in those series exclusively for Sony. As Insomniac's CEO Ted Price said, they will continue working on games with Sony. It's just this new IP that's going to be done with EA that will be on 360. However, some Sony fans can't really understand that and throwing huge fits about it. They just see the words "Insomniac making a 360 game" and go into instarage mode.
no see you just took a huge shit on sony so no-one who has a ps3 will like you no excuses sell outs
You money grabbing tossers. Im telling you now, if Ratchet and Clank standards continue to slip, and us PS3 owners get a WORSE game to conform to XBOX mechanics, i will never buy another Insomniac Game again.
i just wanted to say !!WHAT THE F***!! joining with EA that's one of the dumbest shit i ever heard in my gaming history. EA is going to f*** you over so bad i can't wait to see your faces and what you guys have to say. GOOD LUCK. the only thing that doesn't bother me is at least it's not with Activision and that it's going multiplatform.
you guys just lost alot of fans and respect for going multi!!! you aren't getting any money from me anymore jackass and trust me LOYALTY and RESPECT goes along way so f*** you Insomniac games!
Couldn't care less right now. I feel like your any other game studio out there and it's all about the $$$.
I will never buy an insomniac game ever again and I own every single one you have ever made. Congrates, your fan base that you have built on for over a decade is now gone and all the respect with it, have fun with those 360 fanboys
This deal is kinda unique though. As Kotaku said, there's never been a situation like this before. It's not really like Rare because Rare was owned by Nintendo then got sold to MS. Not really like Bungie because they still appear to be loyal to Sony and are willing to work on the franchises that made them a big name in the first place. It's not like Square because they aren't leaving one company to go to another (like they did with Nintendo to Sony). Not like Factor 5 or Sega either. It's a pretty unique deal and I'm excited to see what comes of it.
I wish the best of luck to Insomniac with their new IP, and hope it's a huge hit. They really deserve it. In the meantime, let's just laugh at all the fanboy hilarity that this move has generated.
Stupid decision Insomniac, Hope your new project fails!!!
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.
The time is upon us once again, today E3 kicks off with Microsoft's press conference in less than an hour. This year's E3 is supposed to be bigger and badder than the last couple of years, as the ESA tries to recapture some of the show's glory from years past. Over the next few days I'll be bringing you lists of new software announcements, hardware announcements, updated release dates and my thoughts on the press briefings of, at least, the big three. For now, here is a list I'm working on of the games that have been annouced over the weekend and so far today. I'll be updating this as the day goes on and will likely have it posted to the main page after Ubisoft's press briefing this afternoon.
Edit: Updated with announcements from MS Press Briefing.
Welcome to ask-a-blog, where I ask you! The reader! To answer a question posed in the blog. Today's questions comes from a bout of playing Katamari Damacy: What is the most trippy game you have ever played? Make sure to tell us what console the game is on, as well as what makes it so trip inducing. Is it the gameplay, music, visuals, or something else? Tell us all about it!
For me, the award for the trippiest game goes easily to Katamari Damacy on the PS2, pictured on the right. If you have played this game, you know what I am talking about. if you haven't, here's a little summary. You are the son of the King of All Cosmos. The king, your father, has accidentally made all of the stars go away, so he commissions you to roll "Katamari", and help bring the stars back. The Katamari is formed by rolling a ball into things that are smaller than it. This makes the smaller things stick to it. You can pick up anything. ANYTHING. People, cars, buildings, islands, towns, boats. The possibilities are endless. The game is quite short, but it has a high replay value. It is also highly trip inducing, and the music is even weirder. Man is that game odd. I recomend it to anyone wishing to have lots of fun playing a quirky type of game.
So, what do you feel the trippiest game is? Be it a shoot em up, a puzzle game, or a platformer, we want to hear about it! Let's see those comments!
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.
There's a reason why I haven't done this in three weeks, you'll see why. Here's the release list for the last three weeks.
• Lord of the Rings: Conquest
• Lord of the Rings: Conquest
• Deal Or No Deal • Fishing Master World Tour • Hotel for Dogs • Neighborhood Games • Paws and Claws Pet Resort
PC • Cartoon Network Universe: Fusion Fall • Delta Force 10th Anniversary Collection • Lord of the Rings: Conquest • Mirror's Edge
• Bigfoot: Collision Course • Elebits: The Adventures of Kai & Zero • Hotel for Dogs • Inkheart • Jumble Madness • Lord of the Rings: Conquest • Moon • Paws and Claws Pampered Pets • Personal Trainer: Math
Very exciting for not doing it in such a long time, I know. First thing worth mentioning is Mirror's Edge on the PC. If you have a good gaming PC and haven't experienced the game yet, please do so. Mirror's Edge is easily one of the five best games of last year. Yeah, the game is technically "short", but it never feels short. The pacing and length feels perfect. After you beat the game, there's plenty more to do, such as speedruns on all the game's levels and trying to beat your friend's scores on the online leaderboards. Please, don't skip this game. Give EA your support by buying the game. Let them know that they are truly headed down the right direction with innovative, original titles like Mirror's Edge.
The other title worth talking about is Elebits: The Adventures of Kai and Zero for the DS. In case you don't know, I'm like one of two people that actually bought and enjoyed the first Elebits game on the Wii, so I was intrigued when I heard there was a DS version coming. A few weeks ago, I downloaded the demo to my DS from the Nintendo Channel on the Wii and played through it. I thought it was pretty fun, but repetitive and nowhere near as good as the original. What's different about the DS version is that it's structured more like an RPG/Adventure rather than a puzzle game. I'm not really sure what else to say about it. It's merely a decent game that's kinda fun. I certainly wouldn't rush out and buy it right now, but maybe when it hits $10 or so in a few months.
I'm not dead, I just took a week off to do my final exams and stuff like that. Plus, this time of year is dead anyways, so I figured it could wait. So, here's what came out last week and what's out this week.
• Rise of the Argonauts • Sonic Unleashed (get the Wii/PS2 version instead)
• Rise of the Argonauts
• Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree • Neopets Puzzle Adventure • Rock Band 2 • Summer Sports 2: Island Sports Party • The Tale of Despereaux • Word Jong Party
• Dungeon Maker II: The Hidden War
PC • Band Manager • Lost Secrets: Bermuda Triangle • Hidden Expedition: Amazon • Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge • Prince of Persia • Rise of the Argonauts • RPG Fantasy Action Pack • The Tale of Despereaux • Zoo Tycoon 2 Ultimate Collection
• Animal Boxing • Australia Zoo Quest • Build-a-Lot • Candace Kane's Candy Factory • Cate West The Vanishing Files • Driver's Ed Portable • Dreamer: Horse Trainer • Dreamer: Puppy Trainer • Learn Math • Left Brain Right Brain 2 • Mystery P.I.: Portrait of a Thief • Slingo Quest • The Tale of Despereaux
• Rock Band 2 • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 • The Tale of Despereaux
Very boring, am I right? Get used to it. That's what the next few weeks are going to be like.
The only highlight here is Persona 4 for the PS2. I don't know much about it other than it's a weeaboo JRPG with an even more weeaboo translation that keeps all the honorifics and stuff on there. Also, you commit suicide to gain powers. Apparently it's good if you're into that kind of thing, but I'll stick to Fallout 3 thank you very much.
So, next week, I don't think anything is coming out. Literally, nothing.