Monday, December 31, 2007

The Orange Box Impressions: Team Fortress 2

I've recently picked up a copy Valve & EA's The Orange Box, which as you know, contains Half Life 2, Half Life 2: Episode One, Half Life 2: Episode Two, Portal, and Team Fortress 2.

I'll tell the truth, I picked up this box with no interest in playing the Half Life 2 games considering I've already played those three titles. I'm probably going to end up playing them anyway though.

But today, I bring you my thoughts on Team Fortress 2. Having played the game on the PC, Xbox 360, and owning it for PLAYSTATION 3 lets me compare it better.

Of course, the PC version beats both the PLAYSTATION 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the title. It's servers are loaded with people, and I'm sure there are tons of mods out there for the PC version.

Second best would have to be the Xbox 360 version, having the option to do a player match, ranked match, or even a system link. There have also been game lobbys in the Xbox 360 version where you can communicate with other players or add them as friends before the match begins.

The PLAYSTATION 3 version sadly doesn't feature any of that, only a quick match, or custom match with no tracked statistics. Technically, you can have a ranked match, but it doesn't list any of it on the server selection.

The gameplay is the same on both consoles though, switch your weapons, kill your enemies, capture the intelligence, defend your point, you know the drill. What surprised me was how good I was upon starting. I've never played a Team Fortress title before, this being my first. As soon as I started, I was a Scout, got second top on my team with 19 points. Second time, I was a pyro with 24 points, third time I was a Sniper with 15 points. I love how they made it more like an RPG and divided it into classes.

The sad thing is, you don't really have a profile page to see your stats, considering mine always delete themselves every time I turn off the game.

All in all the game is fun, but EA and Valve seriously need to patch the PLAYSTATION 3 version big time. Considering it's the console I own it on, I want just as good of a gaming experience as those with an Xbox 360.

onAXIS: Our First Year Ends: Top Commentor, Origins, More

Well, we started this site in July, and started to pick it up early August, and as the year ends, we'd like to take a look at what its become.

I started this site for me at first, not really as a site, but as a place I could post reminders for news and such. Then, someone submitted my link on N4G and we started getting a bunch of hits.

From then on, I made the site onAXIS, a PLAYSTATION friendly gaming site. After the first few months, we started getting in many hits daily, with the highest being at 10,000 hits. Now, around average, we get 40-50,000 hits per week, and I'm very proud of that, especially since we are runninig on Blogger software.

Gaming & advertising companies started sending me e-mails asking to review their games such as RocketXL, Midway, 2K, Infinity Ward, Namco Bandai, etc. Which I accepted gladly.

onAXIS has really evolved from when it started. Our look has changed, we have many more visitors, and we have easy navigation. Sure, we may have written some controversial articles in the past, but we only speak the truth.

There is one commenter that I've seen around the site very often that I'd like to hail as top commenter on onAXIS. This incredible fellow is listed below.

Top Commentor: Incredibilistic - even though the site is clearly not as big as sites like JoyStiq or Kotaku, you were still on this site daily and if you trace back to every post commented, most of them will have your name in the comments section. Congratulations!
As the new year comes, we hope to improve more and more to better meet the needs of our readers. As you know, a hosted site was supposed to open by us this year and cover all consoles. Sadly, due to my lack of time, I cannot start covering all consoles by myself. As of now, I'll stick to the PLAYSTATION family. But please, share with us your New Years resolutions. And I hope you, and your family, friends, or whoever your celebrating with, have a Happy New Year!

Thank you, for being here at onAXIS!

David Jaffe Praises Uncharted and Its Gameplay Mechanics

Seems that Eat Sleep Play's boss David Jaffe has been enjoying Naughty Dog's Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. He talks about how he admires the gameplay mechanics that Uncharted: Drake's Fortune brings to the PLAYSTATION 3. Watch the three minute video above.

GameStop Now Taking Reserves for Metal Gear Solid 4

If you head over to your local GameStop or EBGames, you can now place down a pre-order for one of the PLAYSTATION 3's most anticipated titles, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

If you head over and put down $5.00, your ensured a copy of Hideo Kojima created title with a release date of June 17, 2008.

If your like me and want this title as soon as it releases, then head over there and reserve it now.

[Via PSU]

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep: New Images & Battle System Explaination

Thanks to Famitsu, we have some new screenshots of Square Enix's upcoming Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep. This title takes place way before the first Kingdom Hearts title (PS2), where the keyblade is owned by more than one person.

Famitsu says the new battle system is a breath of fresh air for the Kingdom Hearts series. This new game throws away the MP system we've seen in other Kingdom Hearts titles. Skills and magics used will become available again after a certain time period. There is a new COMMAND bar that will slowly fill up as players make their attacks, a special attack can be launched once the bar is full. Players can also customize their attack buttons as well.

Enjoy the screenshots!

Street Fighter IV's Origins Interview

Street Fighter IV coverage has been coming in like hotcakes the past few weeks. Today, we hear the beginnings of Street Fighter IV. Game producer Yoshinori Ono disusses how he got involved with the game, and what Capcom has in store for it. He even discusses the new Street Fighter Movie starring Smallville's Kristin Kreuk.

[Via 1UP]

Get a Logitech Precision Controller for $10 at Amazon

We know we know, there must be a catch to this deal, and well, there is. The controller really costs $29.99 (which isn't bad), but comes with a $20.00 mail in rebate which you must submit by the end of January.

So if you need a controller and don't want to spend $40.00 on one, get this Logitech Precision Controller for $29.99 and get your $20.00 later. Even without that rebate, I'd say it's still a pretty good deal.

[Via Amazon]

Tiberium: First Screenshots Released

EA has just released the first screenshots (not including the teaser they gave us on the 18th) of their upcoming Command & Conquer FPS, Tiberium. These screenshots remind me a lot of the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts 2 for some reason. The graphics really do stun me though, they look truly amazing. Enjoy!

What Sony Needs to Do To Catch Up the PLAYSTATION 3 in 2008

We all know that 2008 is going to be a big year for the PLAYSTATION 3. Games like KILLZONE 2, LittleBigPlanet, Devil May Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto IV, HAZE, and Metal Gear Solid 4 are some of 2008's biggest titles. There is more to a good year than just games though, and MicroTechXP helps lists what else is needed.

Games like Heavenly Sword, meaning short play time and no multiplayer features, can't be released anymore. Heavenly Sword is a great game, but paying $60 for something that will last about five hours is a little crazy. Sony needs to release their upcoming hits with no bugs, and make it worth what you pay for.

Stop throwing out the SKUs Sony. We started off with two simple packages, the 20GB and 60GB. Then as time went on, you canned the 20GB and 60GB and came out with an 80GB and 40GB. What's next? A 120GB and 180GB? How about just releasing some HDD's by Sony instead.

Sony once said they don't want to stoop to Microsoft's level and pay for their exclusives. Stooping to that level isn't a dumb thing to do. Games like BioShock, Ace Combat 6, and Mass Effect got very good reception by the gaming audience. This year, many of the PLAYSTATION 3 exclusives got average or bad (LAIR) reception. Only exclusives that Sony really has are mainly first party. Team up with the third party.

Some reasons that PLAYSTATION 3 versions of multiplatform titles come out a bit worse than it's Xbox 360 counterpart is because developers have trouble developing the game (EA just does it on purpose though). Call of Duty 4 developer Infinity Ward once said in an interview "developing the game on the PLAYSTATION 3 was easy". Give everyone that kind of easy development on games. Call of Duty 4 came out great on both consoles.

Sony needs to finally release PLAYSTATION Home. If another delay is experienced, the whole community will go mad. At least throw out an open beta.

Finally, regarding the PLAYSTATION Network itself. Home is going to help out a lot, but things like the PLAYSTATION Store need a makeover. Redesign it, make it a program in the PLAYSTATION 3 rather than a web page. That way, when you add in new things, they automatically sort themselves, making it easy to search for things, look by genre, or alphabetically. Promote the network on games as well.

Tell developers to put a bar across the top of their boxes saying "PLAYSTATION Network" on the top with some red like background. At least people will know you can play that game on the network.

Finally, give us the features we need to actually go online. That means private chat during game and out of game, in-game XMB to access our friends, messages, and chat features, trophies, and more profile options. This one may seem small, but let us see the picture and profile of anybody, even if they aren't our friend.

That all needs to come Sony, and MicroTechXP, onAXIS, and the members of the community are trying to let you know.

[Via MicroTechXP]

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gaming Irony: Grand Theft Auto III Signed by Jack Thompson

Want to own one of the biggest pieces of gaming irony ever created? Well, if you've been searching for a copy of Grand Theft Auto III on eBay, you may have come across this.

A new ChildsPlay fund raiser has appeared on eBay with a Jack Thompson signed copy of Grand Theft Auto III. Oh, the irony. Only for a price of $4,000. Why would you want to pay $4,000 for this?

1. Own the biggest piece of gaming irony.
2. Help raise money for ChildsPlay.
3. Because Jack Tretton actually signed it.
4. Show your friends.
5. Play Grand Theft Auto III knowing the box is signed by Jack Thompson.
Head over to eBay at the link below to check it out.

[Via eBay]

PlayStation Magazine: Fallout 3 Interview with Bethesda's Emil Pagiarulo

The latest issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine had an interview with Bethesda Softwork's Emil Pagiarulo, who is working with the team on the upcoming Fallout 3.

Emil was asked to describe Fallout, she goes to say that "Fallout as a franchise, is all about finding your way in an open-ended, post-apocalyptic world. There's good, there's evil, and there's everything in between. So for the player, it's all about doing what you want, how you want. There's always a greater good, a sense of nobility and selfless purpose that you can champion... if you want. If you wander through the rubble and be a complete ass, well, you can do that, too!"

There will be some funny gags and dialogs in the game. Fear not for a late PLAYSTATION 3 release as well, Emil says bringing Oblivion on the console gave them great experience with the system, and that releasing the game on the same day for every platform means they bring more people into the Bethesda world.

Read the full interview at the link below.

[Via GameFAQs Boards]

Go! Sports Skydiving Launches on Japan PLAYSTATION Network Jan. 10, 2008

Go! Sports Skydiving will let gamers perform tricks in mid-air freefall using the SIXAXIS motion control. While the main goal of the game is to make formations with other skydivers. This game is coming out soon to the US PLAYSTATION Store, but Japan is getting it a litte earlier.

Go! Sports Skydiving will be available on the Japanese PLAYSTATION Store starting January 10, 2008 for only 800 yen (or US$ 6.50).

[Via Go! Sports Skydiving]

Time Crisis 4 Gets an 18MB Update

To join with the handful of unannounced updates we've been receiving constantly, Namco Bandai's Time Crisis 4 received one today as well.

The update is 18MB in size, the same as the Heavenly Sword update we've received earlier this month. Think they are planning something? Think not. It probably just added rumble to the SIXAXIS controller when you use it to play.

[Via Siliconera]

Petitions: Mass Effect for the PLAYSTATION 3

Another day, another petition. Today, we have a petition to BioWare to bring Mass Effect to the PLAYSTATION 3. They state:

"Since Mass Effect has caught the attention of many people, we think it would be for the best if it was released on Playstation 3 as well. The reason to this is the fact that Playstation 3 is a large market, of which majority of owners don't have an Xbox 360, because they don't want it for many respective reasons."
If you agree with their statements, head over to the link below and give it a sign. We know we will.

[View: Mass Effect PS3 Petition]

Tales of Vesperia Only Coming to the Xbox 360?

On the official Motoi Sakuraba site, composer of games such as Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Tales of Symphonia, and the upcoming Tales of Vesperia, it lists the game as Xbox 360 only.

Namco Tales Studio (Bandai Namco, Telenet Japan)
- Tales of Vesparia (XB360)¹
Could this mean that we won't be seeing the upcoming Tales title on the PLAYSTATION 3? Let's hope that it's just a composers guess rather than official word.

[Via Motoi Sakuraba]

Sony Talks Upgrading Your Hard-Drive: Do It!

In a PlayStation Tips segment over at the PlayStation.Blog, Jeff Rubenstein spoke about upgrading the PLAYSTATION 3 hard disk drive.

If your hard drive is filled with music or movies or demos, whether you have the 20GB, 40GB, 60GB, or 80GB versions, you might want more room for more content, no?

They even provide a link to a tutorial that teaches you how to do so. The top the PLAYSTATION 3 can reach with internal hard disk drives is a 2.5" 250GB HDD. It's weird they are telling us this. I remember hearing this voids your warranty.

[Via PlayStation.Blog]

Surfer Girl Talks 2008: Factor 5, 2D Grand Theft Autos, More

Surfer Girl updated her blog today with ten new pieces of information. This includes what Factor Five has been working on, the old 2D Grand Theft Auto games coming to us in downloadable form. Take a look at her list below. As usual, the PLAYSTATION related stuff is bolded.

1) Factor 5's next title, a downloadable affair out next year, will feature multiplayer.
2) Discs of Tron and Tron will see finally release next year on XBLA.
3) The Grasshopper DS remakes (The Silver Case, The Silver Case Ward 25, and Flower, Sun, and Rain) will see stateside release next year.
4) EA Tiburon's Wii-exclusive title is a new intellectual property that is one of the two or three new intellectual properties from Tiburon that will see release next year.
5) Some of the 2008 additions to the Xbox Originals lineup: Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding, Amped 2, Armed and Dangerous, Blinx: The Time Sweeper, Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space, Blood Wake, Brute Force, Conker: Live & Reloaded, Dead or Alive 3, Deathrow, Dino Crisis 3, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Fable bonus content, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, GunValkyrie, Halo 2, Jade Empire, Jet Set Radio Future, Mechassault, MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf, Metal Arms: Glitch in the System, Midtown Madness 3, Ninja Gaiden, Quantum Redshift, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Phantom Dust Rent-A-Hero No. 1, Sneakers, Shenmue II, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Stubbs the Zombie in "Rebel Without a Pulse", Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus, ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth, Tork: Prehistoric Punk, Voodoo Vince, Whacked!. Service expected to have over one hundred titles end of next year.
6) The two-dimensional Grand Theft Auto titles (with Mission Packs included) will grace console(s) next year in a downloadable form.
7) Watch out Mario Kart because Electronic Arts racing to the finish line next year with MySims: Racers for the Wii and DS.
8) Cryptic's Marvel project is dead, but they have two or three other MMOs that they are working on. One will peep its little head out next year.
9) Next fall's Wolfenstein takes place in some large, open hub city where you select missions and go about them. And there are side quests too! So it's like Saboteur, except with more shooting, less French people, and is not published by Electronic Arts.
10) Next year, Eidos hopes you want to survive a virtual recreation of an existent earthquake.
I don't know about you but I got a bit jealous at number five. The Xbox Originals service just launched and yet they are soon getting all those titles, while the PSone Classics service has been around for a year and we have nearly 20 titles. Hopefully, Sony will start picking up the pace.

[Via Surfer Girl]

The PLAYSTATION 3 Makes a Happy Christmas for a Child

Even though this kid doesn't have anything on the Nintendo 64 kid, he is still trying. The parents of this child played a little trick on him following up to his PLAYSTATION 3 gift. I guess we won't have to return that Lego Starwars as we once thought.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Get Unreal Tournament III Mods Easy: UT3Mod

If you've been modding your PLAYSTATION 3 with Unreal Tournament III mods (that haven't crashed your game) and want an easier way to do it, then we have a solution.

A new site opened called UT3Mod which allows you to easily transfer mods from your PLAYSTATION 3's internet browser over to a memory stick, never having to insert it in your computer (only once).

To do this, make a folder in the root of a memory stick, USB drive, or something the PLAYSTATION 3 can read titled "PS3\SAVEDATA\BLUS30086-MODIMPORT". From there, visit UT3Mod and download the mod of your choice, saving it to that directory. Boom, go in your game and import the mod.


Echochrome: Nine New Screenshots

Sony Computer Entertainment released some new screenshots of their upcoming downloadable puzzle game, Echochrome. This mind boggling puzzle game uses angles in order to find your way through the level. Echochrome will be available on the PLAYSTATION Network sometime 2008 it seems. Enjoy the screens!

Street Fighter IV: 2 New Gameplay Videos

Capcom & 1UP together released two new gameplay trailers of their upcoming fighter, Street Fighter IV. The newly released trailers show the Dragon Punch and Hadoken moves that the game is so famous for. Enjoy!

Even Ratchet & Clank Have Mishaps

Today has been low on news, odd considering it's a Friday. So to get you not so gloomy, Project Mod Gaming made a video showing the corky mishaps of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. It's a pretty funny watch, and there really isn't anything else to do right now, is there?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Japanese PLAYSTATION Store Gets More PSone Classics

It seems the Japanese PLAYSTATION Store is always getting the good stuff. Maybe thats because it always is. Today, the Japanese PLAYSTATION Store received a bunch more PSone Games today. Let's cry for the favorite, Resident Evil 2 (aka Biohazard 2 in Japan). The full list below.

- Biohazard 2
- Intelligent Qube
- PoPoLoCrois Monogatari II
- Crime Crackers 2
- Atelier Marie Plus
- Tantei Junguji Saburo Early Collection
- Magical Drop
- Baroque
- Robin Lloyd no Bouken
Well, if you have any Yen, I would recommends downloading that Resident Evil 2 right now, that is if you don't mind the Japanese language. Damn Japanese, so lucky.

[Via Kotaku]

Condemned 2: Bloodshot Delayed to March 2008

SEGA's latest release schedule, sent out today, shows that the release of Condemned 2: Bloodshot will come out a month later than originally expected. The title was originally supposed to be released in February 2008, but it's been pushed to a not so long wait of March 2008. No exact release date was mentioned. The delay is in effect for both the PLAYSTATION 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game.

Sony Giving Away Free PLAYSTATION Network Tickets in Japan

The Japanese PLAYSTATION Network is running a contest this week to give away 100 free PLAYSTATION Network 5,000 Yen prepaid cards.

The contest will take place the first week of 2008. To enter, you just need to purchase something on the Japanese PLAYSTATION Store. Hopefully, a contest like this will arrive in the US to promote the upcoming PLAYSTATION Network cards.

[Via Gemaga]

First In-Game Street Fighter IV Trailer Revealed

The latest episode of the 1UP Show contains the first ever in-game footage of Capcom's upcoming and highly anticipated upcoming fighter, Street Fighter IV. The graphics are looking good, great job Capcom! Enjoy!

Unreal Tournament III Review

A couple of days before the holiday, I checked my mailbox to find a package from Midway containing Unreal Tournament III within' the FedEX packaging (which was soon torn to shreds). I popped it in, played it non-stop for a few hours, and now, my verdict.

Unreal Tournament III is the first title I've come by within a few months (besides Team Fortress 2) that I'm hooked on. Got five minutes before that wedding, I'd pop in Unreal Tournament III. The fast paced first person action that this title brings inside it's sleek casing is truly addicting.

The game comes packed with a campaign mode, multiplayer mode, and the ability to apply mods to your matches. Currently, there are around five mods released for the PLAYSTATION 3 version of the game, but a converter for PC to PS3 mods is coming according to an Epic Forums Moderator.

The campaign mode is nothing but an offline multiplayer mode with a story revolving around it. If for some reason, your online connection isn't functioning properly, this will keep you busy for the time being. Everything you'll see in the multiplayer mode are in this campaign mode. The story starts off with you training with your sister Jester to get the jist of things. That itself is a regular deathmatch. Thing about the campaign mode is that it would of been much better if they made it as a map that you follow through in one direction, and get to the end of the level. Something like Gears of War or Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

Multiplayer mode is Unreal Tournament III's chocolatey center. The game modes included in the multiplayer are Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch (stars), Capture the Flag, Capture the Flag with Vehicles, Duel, and Warfare. This being my first Unreal Tournament game (I know I know, mock me if you will), the mode that was newest to me was Warfare.

In Warfare, currently my second favorite game mode, the objective is to destroy your enemy's core on their side of the map. To do that, you need to activate the prime node in the middle of the map, making the enemy's core vulnerable, but only till they regain control of the prime node. Each core has 100HP, first to get destroyed looses. I thought it was a unique new way to play with other people. Each match lasted long, and it's great when your looking for a match to take your time in.

Duel was another game type new to me. Duel is basically a one-on-one match with people waiting in line to play the winner. If you lose, you go to the end of the line. I played and stayed king for 2-3 matches, but then got owned. Even though I got owned, it was still a great gaming experience.

A new feature in a console version of an Unreal Tournament game is that the PLAYSTATION 3 version of Unreal Tournament III has the ability to import mods from your PC. Mods have to be customized for the PLAYSTATION 3 for obvious reasons, so far, Mark Rein has released only five mods, with four of them being maps, and one being a mutator. No worries, because as stated above, a converter is in the works for easy mod converting. That means, soon, any PC mod you see will be able to be converted to the PLAYSTATION 3.

The graphics of this game may be one of it's best features. Between the one-two second loading of game textures, you'll still enjoy the smoothness that is their underskin. If you thought Gears of War graphics were good, then you'll scream in excitement at this.

To conclude my review for this excellent game, I want to say that right after I'm finished writing this, I'm going to play Unreal Tournament III. So if you really want a great title like this, read the scoring below, and go get yourself a copy.

Presentation: 9.3
Unreal Tournament III has grapics that might not top the PLAYSTATION 3's abilities, but certainly displays them well.

Gameplay: 9.5
Unreal Tournament III''s gameplay is fast-paced blood shattering deathmatches and duels that will keep you addicted for days to even years, considering the expansion of mods that will be coming.

Graphics: 9.7
The game''s graphics feature nothing but magnificent looking 3D images in this new release in the franchise.

Audio: 8.5
The title's audio matches the type of gameplay, and seems well made.

Replayability: 9.5
Like I said, you won't be able to stop playing this title for a while. If this game is considered a drug, I'm an addict.

Final Verdict: 9.3 out of 10

Armored Core: For Answer: New Japanese Scans

The latest issue of some Japanese magazine (we are not sure which) contains ten pages of FromSoftware's upcoming Armored Core: For Answer. The game is set to release in Japan this March of 2008. Enjoy the scans.