Metal Gear Solid HD Collection dated for PS Vita

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under News, PSV

Konami has announced that Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, which has been available since February 3 on Xbox 360 and PS3, will be making its way onto the PS Vita in “late June”

Naturally, one of the main attractions of this compilation is the HD revamp of two of the most iconic videogames in the stealth genre – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

The portable release will stay true to the console version, featuring all the bells and whistles added in the remastering process. Kojima Productions has also enabled the Transfarring system – a function will allow players to start a game on PS3 and continue the progress on PS Vita; and vice versa.

Ghost Recon Online Specialist Class trailer

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Game Trailers, News, PC, Video

Stunning God of War: Ascension screenshots released

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Playstation 3, Screenshots

Square Enix to announce “surprising” new title

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under News, PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360

Square Enix is about to drop the bomb and surprise everyone with a new title announcement.

Revealing the new game will be made by Siliconera at some point during the next 24 hours. Though, at this point, while details are lacking and perhaps no one except the site know what really the new game is, the following teaser was posted on the page.

“We have a treat for Siliconera readers this week with news about an unannounced Square Enix game,” read the announcement. “I can’t say any more for the moment other than this will be a Siliconera exclusive and the game will surprise you.”

Confirmed Square Enix titles to be published for this year include Sleeping Dogs, Hitman Absolution and Tomb Raider. Internet chatters suggest that the game could be either Drakerider or Blood of Chaos, titles of which both were trademarked by the Japanese publisher earlier this year. I for one will be anticipating a Kingdom Hearts 3 confirmation. What about you?

Armored Core V Review

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Playstation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360

The Armored Core series has always been about portraying addictive, arcade-esque sci-fi warfares with giant robots, something the Japanese studio excelled in representing for generations! We’re talking here about a franchise made by the developers of the masochistic death-simulator Souls games, From Software. Hence one can’t overlook the fact that we’re off to no casual ride whatsoever. Now, Armored Core, a classic series that spawned thirteen installments, returns again this generation without adding some fancy subtitle, but keeping the numeric label in line with the last four installments. Armored Core V, while retaining the deep gameplay elements that veil any form of simplicity, it does expand the experience further by moving forward into a more online reliant formula.

Armored Core V is still the same mech-combat title diehard fans are familiar with, although is clearly influenced by the movement into a more multiplayer-focused medium. Once you start the game, you’ll be connected online and asked to create/assemble your own team in order to jump right into the missions or join an online session. But here’s the problem, for an installment that prides itself of being a team-based multiplayer mecha-combat title, the online portion is barely functional. It was painful to sort out an online session, if not impossible. Despite this, the very few chances I had to enter a multiplayer lobby were wholly compelling, albeit could be hard to stand a chance against enemies whom mostly are AC veterans. The thing is, the absence of enough players online is a concerning matter, especially after I have found that the single-player won’t keep me hooked for a long time.

About the story in Armored Core V, well nothing here screams this will garner prizes for having the finest, most ambitious plot of the decade. No, in fact, it’s quite the opposite; ACV prods a storyline that is tediously generic. Set in a future that endorsed the development of such machineries, there’s a conflict between two corrupt factions, and you serve as a mercenary for the resisting group, and… well that’s it. The story then develops at a very stagnant pace, and doesn’t progress anytime sooner. Don’t blame yourself if you didn’t grasp a meaningful understanding of the storyline, I somewhat lost interest in knowing more about it thanks to the dull, badly-paced narration from one side, and due to the missions becoming more monotonous as you keep advancing.

Speaking of missions, they can be as simple as clashing with these opposing, mad futuristic looking machines. No puzzles or mind games are involved; just good old blowing the living hell out of them fools – and boy the explosions can be wicked! The missions, however, are divided between story and order chapters, but unfortunately, the story is not engaging enough and often feels unimportant – as mentioned before, mostly due to the vague explanatory of objective and because of it being plagued by a bland, uninspiring introductory narration, which becomes quite daunting by time. The cutscenes are boring and lack a rational sense of what is really going on.

Despite all this, for players whose only concern is engaging in unmercifully, unthought-of rigorous difficulty levels, as well as a bounce of repeated trial and error, the next story missions in Armored Core V are perhaps what you have been long seeking after. Sadistic is the term I would use for the baffling rise in difficulty. Not even the epitome of customized mechs would transpire through the heaps of floating missiles and gunfire. In between story chapters, you’ll be facing cool bosses, gigantic ones (of course). One of the mechs gave me a slight deja vu that I’ve been in this fight before – turns out it was an imagery of a real-life equivalent of Mega Man, but a giant, mean one with bigger hands, posing in an even more futuristic outfit, and yes, can rely on powers other than just a Mega Blaster arm cannon. I won’t spoil more! As for the order missions, bare of any story elements, this is the perfect break to collect money and garner Team Points, although the chapters could become quickly wearisome due to the very basic form of objective.

What made things even worse is the lack of a proper tutorial system. I do understand that simplicity doesn’t have a place in-between From Software’s self-punishing motto, but it’s clearly ACV was meant to be stuck in the past in terms of presentation, for a reason I don’t really grasp. To make my argument valid, I don’t believe defining a hardcore title should solely rely on creating unnecessary sophistications, especially if you put into concern a franchise that has always been molded upon the niche foundation. Something ought to be carried over to Armored Core V, but unfortunately could fail by deterring newcomers. Simply put, yes, the learning curve of the game is incredibly steep and the lack of tutorials doesn’t make things any better.

Understanding the controls scheme is equally confusing and consumes quite a lot of time to memorize the entire combinations and their right executions during the-so-many-different-clashing-situations. For example, when you run out of energy, it doesn’t give you even one clue on to how to restore it back. At the beginning, during one mission, it pissed me off really bad that I almost punched my frog, but I didn’t! Luckily, I reminisced over the blessing that is called Google; and turns out it was as simple as switching into Scan Mode – a function will turn your TV into an ugly arctic color graded HUD scene. Nonetheless, it helped me get a swifter recharge, save some energy… oh yeah also guided me to the objective! Basically, figuring how these robots operate whilst diving into the middle of the battlefield can be quite frustrating, especially if you’re new to the mecha war business.

Don’t get me wrong, the fun will start flowing (sluggishly) right after you achieve a respectable level of time investment. Good thing, the response of your robot is as accurate as it gets, and can be quite rewarding when part of mastery is attained. It’s also worth noting that the game boasts a lavish, highly-detailed customization workshop, giving us extensive selections to build an unmatched mechanical beast. Existence of varied patterns and color pallets as well as the ability to mix and match any color are just the tip of the iceberg. The most intriguing chunk of the game was the ability to create my own Armored Core while throwing piles of customizations onto that thing. The Custom Workshop can be that fun and presumably is a place many will find themselves tinkering with for hours.

Visually, Armored Core V is repulsive, and looks incredibly outdated. If it is to be compared with recent console titles, I’m sure this will be mistaken for a PS2-developed title, except perhaps for that HD bump, which doesn’t really help much in providing a subtle detail to the already bland urban environments. Then again, the Armored Core franchise was never popular for having breathtaking visuals.

What you’ve been reading thus far was me mostly criticizing the formula From Software consented to the game. Even so, for a lot of players, especially to those whom acquainted with the series, the majority of the listed issues won’t be a substantial breaking factor, or even hinder down the level of enjoyment they’re bound to absorb. Yes, for newcomers, Armored Core V is a difficult game, frustratingly difficult. Yet it can be rewarding to those willing to put their precious hours not into learning a new language, or a skill, but to master a mech-combat videogame.

EA trademarks SimOcean

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under News, PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360

According to Siliconera, Electronic Arts has trademarked ‘SimOcean’, hinting at a possible new Sim game from the publishing giant.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that a game is currently in the works – they could be just be protecting their domain. But then we see it’s Electronic Arts and the possibility of that just diminishes.

Watch Solid Snake blow up Solid Snake

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Playstation 3, Xbox 360

During the recent Canadian Video Game Awards show, David Hayter, presenter of the evening, and the man behind the famous Metal Gear Solid character Solid Snake, answered one of gaming’s most pressing question: What would happen if you pitched Solid Snake against himself?

Well, let’s just say it’s a bit explosive-y and awkward. More of the latter.

Thanks, Kotaku.

Diablo III TV spots tries to sell you the game, needlessly

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Game Trailers, News, PC, Video

Nvidia announces GeForce GTX 690

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under News, PC

After many rumors about Nvidia’s dual GPU solution, now that the flagship GTX 680 has been launched, nothing concrete has come from Nvidia. That is until last night when the GTX 690 was officially announced.

As you would expect, the GTX 690 carries two GF110 GPUs, so you get double the benefits of a GTX 680. 3072 CUDA cores, 64 ROPs, 256-bit bus on each GPU and 4GB of RAM in total. Gone is the NF200 bridge used in the GTX 590, instead we have PLX’s PEX 874x switch that is PCIe 3.0 enabled, with 48 lanes.

To accommodate for two GPUs on one PCB some speed drops have been made to reduce heat, but thankfully not by much. Core clock speed is 915MHz (boosting to 1019MHz) compared to the GTX 680′s 1006MHz (Boosting up to 1058MHz).

Power comes in the form of two 8-pin connectors, with the GTX 690 rated at 300W TDP, compared to 375W TDP on the GTX 590. But not only does the GTX 690 dissipate less heat, but also runs cooler and quieter, 47dB compared to 51dB on the GTX 590.

The new heatsink on the GTX 690 is equally impressive, in that the aluminum fins on top of the GPUs are attached to chrome-plated aluminum cover, as opposed to the plastic cover on pretty much all of their other cards. Even the fan housing is magnesium alloy, which reduces noise and dampens vibrations. Nvidia will also have an LED which can be controlled by partners to indicate different things, changing colors or level of glow depending on the usage for instance.

All said, the number of monitors connected to the GTX 690 is limited to four, three via DVI and one mini-DisplayPort. The asking price for this impressively engineered product is $1000, which works out about the same as two GTX 680s. Availability will begin on 3rd of May, with more shipments coming in on 7th May. However, given the limited availability of the GTX 680s, don’t expect the GTX 690s to linger in stock for more than a few hours.

We’ll have full review coverage soon.

If Portal was made by Pixar, it would look pretty much like this

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under News, PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360

At least his Chell smiles. Alex Zembe, a designer for the Uncharted series, is working his “ass off” on a pet project called “Companionship_”, a short animation based on Valve’s Portal series.

The film is a “tale of love, loss and cubes” with apparent Pixar inspiration reflecting on the characters and the film’s colorful tone. There is no date on when this will be out, but looks like a fun film to watch.

Well, as long as there will be cake.

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