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E3 2010 Impressions: The 3rd Birthday

June 18, 2010

Tucked away in Sony’s PSP trailer reel was Square Enix’s The 3rd Birthday, the third instalment in the Parasite Eve series. Holy crap! You should first was the trailer in glorious Youtube HD, then come back to this post. I’ll wait…. Has your mind blown yet? I bloody hope so.

Okay, so maybe Parasite Eve is an old series for some of you. Europe missed out on the first game but the sequel, Parasite Eve 2, randomly hit stores in the UK. I remember picking it up in Virgin randomly, saw Square Enix on the box and decided to just go for it. I loved it! The game had a great mix of action meets survival horror, beautiful set pieces and insane story to keep me pleased. Oh, and this– Thanks for reminding me and having a nostalgic moment with me Raze.

Parasite Eve 3 was originally announced as a Japanese mobile phone game, disappointing fans of the series. So, it was awesome when Square-Enix eventually announced the game was to instead come to the PSP. Pretty much from then we’ve seen nothing apart from the trailer at Square-Enix’s 2008 DKS3713 event.

The above trailer shows some gameplay from The 3rd Birthday. Aya has some kind of “Overdive” power that lets her switch between bodies. It looks absolutely mental and I’m going to try get some hands on time with it before launch.

The Parasite Eve series has long captivated audiences with its cutting-edge graphics, memorable characters and cinematic storylines. Now Aya Brea is back in action on the PSP system. Thrilling drama unfolds as you unleash all-new abilities in this unique RPG/shooter.

The latest installment in the series features an all-star production staff including producer Yoshinori Kitase, director Hajime Tabata, character designer Tetsuya Nomura, art director Isamu Kamikokuryo and music by Yoko Shimomura.

Hideous creatures descend on Manhattan. Ground reports from the squad tasked with containing the pandemonium refer to these life forms as “the Twisted.” An investigatory team known as the CTI is formed within the year.

The Overdive system emerges as a means of opposition, but only one viable candidate exists – Aya Brea. A gift as she awakens from a lost past on this, the occasion of her third birth.

We’re expected to hear more this year for The 3rd Birthday, probably in time for the holidays.

Win – Keys to the City All Points Bulletin Preview Code

June 18, 2010

Want to play APB a little earlier? I’ve got some codes to give away courtesy of AMD Game — Game.AMD.com, @ATIGraphics.

An original online game for PC, APB: All Points Bulletin is a city-based community game where players choose between playing the criminals or those out to catch the criminals; carry out or thwart opposed crimes and build up areas of the city you control, all with unprecedented levels of character and vehicle customisation.

If you are up for playing the game then this is how to win. First RT the following message;

RT @atheistium Win APB Keys to the City codes. Find out how at http://tinyurl.com/32ftgor

THEN you need to leave a comment on this post along with the link to your tweet! Winners will be selected from comments on this website only and not those who just RT, so make sure to comment 🙂

Codes will be given out to a random selection of people using an online random generator. Gives will also be handed out during the day. Keep an eye on @atheistium for some twitter giveaways too.

Update: Codes have been sent out to the winners via email. I hope you enjoy it!

E3 2010 Impressions: Child of Eden

June 17, 2010

I think we can all agree that this year was a dismal and depressing E3. Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony all displayed a poor performance with lack of any real innovation in terms of exciting unique IPs or technology. It was the “battle of the waggle”, from shaking a glowing orb to waggling your ass, the big three were concentrating on the casual market once again. It was the publishers, Ubisoft, EA and Konami, who had anything slightly interesting to show, and even they were sparse.

It wasn’t the end of the world, Ubisoft’s Child of Eden (pictured above) really stole the show during their presentation. It finally justified my future purchase of Kinect, along with Your Shape. The spiritual sequel to Rez, Child of Eden is an exciting dive into Mizuguchi’s expressive and immersive world, combining music and gameplay. Check out a video of the gameplay over on GiantBomb.

It’s one of the few games that looks like I’d enjoy moving around and interacting with the camera, rather than fumbling around and waving my arms trying to ride water rafts or avoid obstacles. Kinect’s line-up is pretty pathetic but Child of Eden is a seriously exciting concept for motion gaming.

Still trying to find that Last Remnant

June 10, 2010

With Red Dead Redemption, Alan Wake, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Tales of Vesperia (along with many more) sat on my game shelf, all unfinished and desperately begging to be played, it’s a little baffling that I’ve popped The Last Remnant back into my Xbox 360.

I’ve been quite honest about TLR in the past, complaining about frame rate issues and general confusing levelling system. It’s interesting, story wise, but ultimately broken in many aspects. I just want to see what goes on with Last Remnant. I want to see the story develop, the characters grow and where the fucking last of these damn Remnants hides!

I’m back in the grind though, which was what made me originally give up with TLR before. My original game was over 80 hours long, it was just before my 81st hour was about to clock in when I realised I had totally fucked up my character progression. I was killing everything, buying up new weapons and discovering side quests too late.

Apparently, you’re supposed to avoid all battles apart from the bosses and go through selective training moments in the game at very specific areas. There are hundreds of guides, all contradicting each other and it isn’t until you spend a good amount of time that you start to see right from wrong. I restarted my game and, after hitting disc 2, I eventually gave up.

So what the hell made me think that, after a long day at work, I want to grind more in The Last Remnant? I’m grinding my team up to do yet another side quest, just in case there is some kind of awesome character development I might miss.

I just can’t put my finger on what drove me to return to the game and the satisfaction I am really getting out of it currently. I mean, I’m literally popping a movie on and grinding my team while watching a movie. Last night I watched the Silent Hill movie and today I watched the first episode of Dexter, all while chasing around specific enemies and using specific moves to level up specific stats. Ugh! Why are they doing this!? This is why I can’t played MMORPGs anymore!

Moving away from TLR, PR work has been a good giggle. Been trying to organise E3 appointments and pitch ideas for upcoming events we have planned. It’s certainly interesting and gives me a whole new outlook on how the PR deals with certain press. Everyone is sounding very tired and even though I am insanely jealous they are going to E3, I am glad I don’t have 14 hour days to deal with.

I have a post about APB, Blur and a few other things to pop up. Just waiting for some time to sit down and do it really. Right, I’m off to bed!

I’mma promote video games

May 31, 2010


If you didn’t know already, I’m joining the dark side and trying out games PR for 3-months. A few people have asked, and no, I’m not giving up writing. DO NOT PANIC! Not that anyone would.. panic 😥 But you know, just in case!

So, who will I be serving? Barrington Harvey of course! Make sure to follow them on twitter and win stuff, but follow me first! We will be doing F1 2010, International Cricket 2010 and Mafia II while I am there. Hopefully it will go well. In other news: I start tomorrow and I’m shitting bricks!

Games PR is something I wanted to get into eventually and this will give me a good heads up to what it’s all about. I still have my heart set on writing though so unless something goes horribly wrong, then no future plans have been changed.

I’ve been so busy for the last week. Had a ton of coursework to finish, visited Realtime World studios (post coming soon) and caught up on a few things. I’ve also got some work to finish off today but I really wanted to update the blog and let people know what has been going on.

I picked up Red Dead Redemption and Blur over the last week. RDR is a strange one as I have never really been into sandbox games. I got bored of GTA and Crackdown so quick and I think it’s because I like structure in my play rather than just shoving me in some big playground. Plus, I am being a good cowboy and that means every two minutes some damned citizen is begging for my help to get their horse back or save their brother or something. Storyline wise it is pretty interesting but nothing has really stood out to me and said “WOW! This is amazing!”. My horses keep vibrating, the combat is a little repetitive and I’m getting very bored of it very quickly. I’ll keep with it though, I want to try give it a chance.

Blur is yet another racing title to add to my small collection. I usually don’t really enjoy racing titles unless they are very arcade-y. I loved Split/Second and DiRT 2 and am glad to add Blur to that list. While I don’t hold it in as high regard as Split/Second, it is a great party title to get mates online with. Plus, it’s pretty fun to shoot off purple lazer bolts into people’s cars as they swerve around and sometimes EXPLODE!

I’ve had no time with Alan Wake since hitting chapter two. I really want to try get back into it but I’ve not had the time or energy to play. I think now that I am working, I will have some more structure in my life so will be able to spend a nice chunk of my evenings relaxing in front of the Xbox. Plus I picked up Phoenix Wright for the iPhone, going to try give that a go too.

Well, that’s it for now. Will try update as often as I can while I work full time. Hurray for employment!

Realtime Worlds Studio Visit

May 26, 2010

Realtime Worlds invited me up to their studios in Dundee this week to check out All Points Bulletin. It was actually the first time I had visited Scotland and it was a real treat to visit the studio who had previously developed Crackdown.

Apart from the usual tour of a very large and swanky looking studio, we got some hands on time with the game itself. Pitting a bunch of journalists and community members together in a crim vs enforcer match, we get to check out the action side of the new MMO.

All Points Bulletin is split between several realms but two main ones that are for customising your avatar and for battling online.

The custom realm – which is free to play – is where you’ll spend hours editing, creating and customising your avatars appearance. The initial creator creation screen gives you a lot of freedom and you can honestly make your avatar look just like you or truely unique. You can create items to sell to players online and make in-game money or even game time for your account to play the competitive multiplayer section of the game. While there are limits on hair style and outfit styles, you can play around with customised logos and colours to sell. In fact, ABP will be the first MMORPG which would end up with the best guilds being known for their fashion sense rather than their battle finesse. Guilds can also advertise there wares in the main square on huge billboards that cover the city walls.

The other realms mix up competitive multiplayer and quests. These require payment for game time to play. You can take part in multiplayer matches which mix up the enforcer class vs the criminal class.  That means stopping the crims from committing crimes and capturing them or even team capture the flag matches.

While the multiplayer aspect is fun, it does run its course very quickly. The first twenty minutes are great with friends but it quickly became the same repeat of rushing on in and hoping your shots count. The weapons felt a little weak, especially the sniper rifle which didn’t feel very accurate or do much damage. It was especially difficult playing against community members who had already levelled up their characters while we were stuck with starter characters. The only real way to level up efficiently was to participate in these matches, which could be frustrating for new players coming in at a later date.

During these multiplayer matches you relay on jumping into a variety of cars littered all over the map. The maps are huge and after dying you are popped back into random areas of the map, usually no where near your team. The driving controls are a little stiff, sliding all over the place on the road. When opposing teams meet each other on the road, they can shoot out of the windows by leaning out or jump out of the car and have a good old fashioned stand off. You can even run over players but people have already learned to jump over the cars before impact.

I also got a short stint with the opening ten minutes of the game, from character creation and initial tutorial quests. Being forced into a tutorial realm was a little frustrating and as a criminal I was stuck spray painting walls and passing on packages to other criminal organisations. You can align with certain factions but the quests seem to be the same. I am sure with the actual release of the game there will be some more interesting quests to dig your teeth into but my first impressions were not satisfied.

APB looks to be one of the more interesting MMORPGs due out this year. While the customisation is enjoyable, there would need to be a lot more variation to quests and multiplayer modes. It could end up being one game to keep your eyes on this year as it has the potential. For now I’d keep your eyes on this one as it could go either way.

That Busy Month

May 21, 2010

Holy smegging crap! It’s been insane this month for games. Alan Wake, Lost Planet 2, Prince of Persia, Split/Second: Velocity all on my shelf right now, begging to be played more. Tomorrow there is Red Dead Redemption and later on Blur. What the hell games industry? Cut us some slack! Some of us have work, you know?

Rather than a clusterfuck of dismal titles, May has been some pretty meaty games. If you are not sure what to purchase this month then I defiantly recommend any of the above. Lost Planet 2 and Split/Second have been taking up most of my time, both extremely addictive online games.  Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands was a great, if not short, trip back to some classically additive platforming and Alan Wake has me getting scared of the dark again and smirking at the cheesy script and voice acting.

I’ve checked out a whole line-up of EA’s upcoming titles and DLC, played Crackdown 2 and am off to check out Starcraft 2 and APB next week. Meanwhile I have more coursework to shake a stick at. Only two more years of student living, two more years! I miss working, I really do!

It’s great though, all these games and reminds me how exciting it to be a gamer in 2010. I can’t imagine what E3 will bring to the table, hopefully something awesome! Last year was a little dismal and it would be nice to see something more than Natal, Move and a new Wii peripheral for once. How about some games? Some new features for our consoles? And seeing that we’ve been in this generation for a few years… maybe even information on the next cycle of consoles heading our way? Who knows!

I’d love to hear some news on Mirror’s Edge 2, the new Tomb Raider title (not the top down one) and maybe a new jRPG. Platinum Games’ Vanquish is also looking promising, so it would be great to get some more details on that potential gem as well. Oh man, I hate waiting around. At least I got a bunch of games to keep me busy.

Yippie, Lara Croft is Back!

May 16, 2010

If you know me, then you’ll know that I am publicly obsessed with Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider franchise. I’ve played all of her games (on multiple formats) and have several posters of her, including a giant poster of Lara on my wall which faces my bed. That makes me sound like a bit of a lesbian… I have Ezio facing over my bed. Does that make me sound a bit more hetrosexual? Because I am you know. I love men. I really do! Although, if Lara asked me to make out with her … well.. you know the deal. It’s going to happen. It’s going to be awesome. Okay, now I really do sound like a lesbian. Let’s move on, shall we?

So the début trailer for Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light has been unveiled on the internet and there seems to be a lot of positive reaction. I’m shocked at the reaction if I’m perfectly honest. People have been dogging on Tomb Raider for a while, so it feels foreign to me that people are pretty excited for this new top down adventure.

While I’m still pissed we are yet to hear news on the next iteration of Tomb Raider, it’s nice to see the Lara Croft brand branch out and do something different. I love the fact the game now has co-op and I’m totally pumped to see it hitting XBLA, PSN and PC end of 2010.

I am also amazed by the sheer amount of detail they have popped in, just from the look of the trailer. It’s good to see that the character models are looking sleek and that the game zooms in on them both during cut scenes. Honestly, this game is looking fantastic!

So yeah, this post was kind of an excited reaction to the trailer being released. In other news, Split/Second: Velocity preview is up.

Wake Up

May 14, 2010

5 years late, Alan Wake finally hits Xbox 360 consoles today. About bloody time, ay? I made the ultimate mistake of pre-ordering the limited collectors edition twice, thankfully a friend of mine was happy enough to buy it off of me. I’ve been very excited about the game for a while now, especially since I was lucky enough to visit Remedy’s studio in Finland a few months ago. Going to try get a few hours with it tonight~

Alan Wake isn’t the only game I’ve had my hands on this week. I’ve been checking out the new Bad Company 2 DLC ‘Onslaught’, Shank, Crysis 2, Dead Space 2, Mass Effect 2 DLC ‘Overlord’, Medal of Honor, Bulletstorm, Green Day Rock Band and a few others at the EA Spring Showcase. All of these have various embargoes, so I won’t risk saying anything yet. Yesterday, I went to check out the opening hour of Crackdown 2 for TVG, also embargoed till the end of the month. All I can say is that some of the above games are going to be amazing and some need some fine tuning.

Today I got a copy of the new Prince of Persia game, The Forgotten Sands (thanks Ubi x). Played it for about an hour and I forgot how much I love that Arabian themed soundtrack. Alan Wake has a pretty impressive soundtrack too, need to pop that CD into the PC and have a good listen at some point this week.

I’ve also been grinding away at Lost Planet 2, desperate to get my levels up. I hit level 50 and have the most ridiculous outfit for my avatar. I hope the female clothing that I am yet to unlock becomes even more outrageous! I don’t know how they’d top what I have already unlocked. Seriously, her boobs are like.. there. There for me to see. I see them. O___O;

I think I am part of the problem.

Time with Split/Second

May 8, 2010

I had such a blast today! I went to Disney’s offices in London to check out Split/Second Velocity, the new arcade racer coming out on the 21st of May. I played the demo briefly and even though I liked it, I didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t until actually spending time with the multiplayer that I realised I … I really love it!

There was something about racing on tracks that exploded and changed up a normal arcade driving experience that was so satisfying, heart-pumping and absolutely mental. You could be in first place one minute, have a giant ship crash into you and then back to last place. Then, if you time it right, back into first. It’s relentless! I’ll link up my preview as soon as it is live.

After a few hours playing the game, Disney pit a bunch of us against each other to win some cool Astro goodies. I managed to score first place in the first race and ended up with with a very delicious pair of A30 Astro Headphones. They look and feel amazing. Sound quality is fantastic too, though I would expect that from a pair of £150 headphones!

After we went for drinks and pondered about work, life and who out of the gaming industry we would love to eat. I’m not sure I could ever eat human meat as I’m not a fan of pork and apparently humans taste like pork. Some interesting choices were made and mine were all for some certain sexy game developers. What about you lot? Who would you eat in the games industry?

Anyway, I’m back to Lost Planet 2. I’ve got Cat G Akrids to kill! Lost Planet 2 review here!