Sunday, September 30, 2007

onAXIS: Live vs. Network

We at onAXIS like to do these kind of articles for some reason, hoping maybe someone will see this and take action upon it. This article is going to go very in-depth, so keep with it.

INTERFACEfeel

Okay, first, lets start off with interface, below we have the interface for the PlayStation Network, and the interface for Xbox Live.



Xbox Live: Now, if you take a look, Xbox Live lists "Messages, Friends, and Chat" usually with an ad under Xbox Live when logged online showcasing a new download or game on the Marketplace.

PlayStation Network: While the PlayStation 3 lists the friend addition, blocking, and message box, all under one XMB icon. That is something about the PlayStation Network interface, it lacks a certain feel of things. Now I own both consoles, and I love my PlayStation 3, but when I log on to Xbox Live, it feels complete. When I log onto my PlayStation 3, it feels like a revamped version of PlayStation 2 online, very bland and such.

MARKETSTORESonline


Xbox Live: The Xbox Live Marketplace is displayed the same on every television, even those crappy small SDTV's that your uncle gave to you after he threw out his PSone that you dug out the trash to play on that TV.

PlayStation Network: The PlayStation Store displays differently depending on which sort of television you have. If you have an SDTV, it will display with only 4 selections and no right panel.



Xbox Live: The Xbox Live Marketplace is always full of ads, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Most of the ads give benefit toward you, as they show the latest games, movies, tv shows, etc. Another thing about the Marketplace is, is that it is very organized, it has sections for everything. The demos can be categorized by genre, name, date, etc. They have Bringing It Home during special events, and they don't update on one specific day.

This Marketplace also has Video on Demand, which means TV downloads, Movie downloads, and such.



The interface is very easy to browse through, and there is no waiting times to see information about a game.

PlayStation Network: The PlayStation Store, it updates every Thursday of the week. It's "featured items" also known as new arrivals are shown on the store front upon entering. The store is based upon a browser web-page which makes browsing through the store a hassle. The only organization in the store is category organization, or full story alphabetically.

Sony needs to majorly revamp the store interface, and take it off a web-page, and release it in the 2.00 update.

Sadly, it has no video on demand.



Due to having an SDTV, some users of the Network might not be able to see the two ads, which are usually the same for a long time until being changed. The ads are usually only for games, as well.

COMMUNITYgamers

Xbox Live: Lets now take a look at the community, because thats what online is really all about. With Xbox Live, talking to your friends, cross-game inviting them, voice chatting them, video chatting them, and instant messaging them is all at the click of a button (the (X) button).

PlayStation Network: On the PlayStation 3, in order to get to your friends list, you must exit your game to do so. There is no in-game voice chat, or cross-game/in-game invites. Soon will come an XMB update, but unless they add the above, we will only have access to our friends list. Quite disappointing.

Xbox Live: On the Xbox 360, each user has their own unique profile, with their recently played games, personal slogan, gamerscore, achievments, and such. There are also usually many events sponsored by Microsoft, along with e-mails for free game redemption codes and such.

PlayStation Network: On the PlayStation 3, a user has a profile with an icon, a small about me section, and a section of what languages you speak, which cannot even be viewed in-game. The PlayStation 3 sports no sort of achievements, but sports Home soon enough. The PlayStation Network also never really has any Sony sponsored events.

PlayStation Home will be a great community, with interactive areas, game integration and what not. But some think that Home may not be the ultimate experience, what if you want to do all that you can do in Home, outside it? If you get what I'm saying.

ONLINEplay

Lets take a look at online play, the PlayStation Network has an advantage here, it's online is free. Xbox Live's online play costs around $60 a year, just for online play though, while all else is free.



Both: Now, the only difference here is that the online play on Xbox Live sports all the features listed above, while the PlayStation Network simply just has the play, but no private voice chat, in-game friend checking, messaging, profile editing, or cross-game/in-game invites, etc. When your in games at all, you can do most the system settings you can do from the dashboard, like change themes, view the active downloads, etc.

Xbox Live: If you start up a game such as Halo 3, and there is an update for that game, you'll get a message on start-up before the game even loads saying there is an update available. You download it quick, the system restarts, and your done.

PlayStation Network: If you start up a game such as Resistance, and there is an update for that game, you have to let it load up, go to online, accept the agreement, then it will state an update is available. The update takes around 10 minutes to download and then it prompts you to restart the system yourself, and reload up the game and go back to the online.

ONLINEsites



Xbox Live: Xbox Live features it's own way to stay connected, and thats by going to their official website (xbox.com). There you can do all the community features you can do on your Xbox 360.



PlayStation Network: The PlayStation Network however features no website and no way to display your online name, games played, etc.

CLOSINGcomments

If you want us to tell you the drastic truth, Xbox Live wins this match, and it will keep winning this match until Sony takes action and starts rolling out it's forces. I'm a big supporter of Sony, but facts don't lie, in fact, they can't talk.

I know the comments are going to be heating up with flames, but I guess that will be by sole supporters of one system only. I enjoy all my systems, but the PLAYSTATION 3 especially, and thats why I want it to start doing great.

WWE SmackDown! vs Raw 2008 Entrances & Busts


IGN Media has provided us with two new videos for WWE SmackDown! vs Raw 2008. Enjoy the entrances and busts.



[Via IGN]

Digital Life 2007: In A Nutshell

Well, I just got back from Digital Life 2007, but I'm sadly disappointed with it compared to last year. Although I received a lot more shwag which I might just give away (winks).

That gorilla above is a blow up for Public Auto that I passed by in traffic on the way to the event. It was very odd, because we were talking about gorillas in the car (for some strange reason) and then there it was.

It was a killer getting there, because there was a 9/11 memorial march going on and we just did a u-turn and head over the Brooklyn Bridge, after going through the battery tunnel around 4 times.

Upon arrival to Digital Life 2007, we walked in to see this really nice Nokia car, I felt like robbing it, but I have some self control. We walked straight in starting with Microsoft and some nice lady handed me some popcorn. I'm not sure if I want to eat it, she might of known I'm from onAXIS, she didn't give my buddies any popcorn. (lol)

We walked around a little big and received a crap load of shwag, whether it was t-shirts, squeezable brains, or ESPN HD keychains. We stopped by the Logitech group and noticed that Warhawk was running. Me and my buddies gave it a go.



Heading over to were we got our squeezable brains (Gleemax), we found the upcoming The Eye of Judgment. Two people were already into a game, so in order to play, me and my friend had to wait like half hour. I ended up getting out of there leaving my friend waiting and checking out everything else the show had to offer.

By the time I got back, my friend was already in a game with someone else, so sadly I did not get to play. I did get this free Digital Life 2007 The Eye of Judgment card though:

The card is called Biolith Bomber and it effect is that it adds 2 to its attack if the target creature has a summoning cost of 2 or lower.

I headed over to Guitar Hero III where I did not get to take any pictures because of the big crowd and it was annoying as hell, but I did get to test it out. Let me tell you something first about it, the only difference I noticed, where the load times have improved GREATLY, and there are new songs. Thats basically all you need to know about it.

I headed over to get something to eat, where a pretzel costs like $5.00 (rip-off) and then I stood next to my man Optimus Prime with my half-eaten rip-off pretzel, and we headed back to the block.

That was the day, when we got back, we went to our local game stores and discussed the event. It was kind of boring, but it was still a lot of fun.

Jonathan Mak's Everyday Shooter Is A Work of Art

Straight from Toronto Sun.

Jonathan Mak is no everyday game developer. Instead of being a part of a huge, multi-tiered team focused one specific aspect of game's design, he chooses to be the composer, conductor and performer of his own works.

Read the rest at the link below.

[Read: Jonathan Mak's Everyday Shooter]

Skate: The Moon Ollie

Someone over at EA.com has managed to do around a 15 foot Ollie in skate. It's actually pretty amazing and I want to know it's secret. Give the video a watch.

[Watch: Moon Ollie]

Unchared: Drake's Fortune: Inside the Game Part 1


When developer Naughty Dog set off to make this brand new franchise, they wanted to embrace the action/adventure genre in its classic form but in a contemporary context.

[Via GameTrailers]

onAXIS: Domain Problems

Well, it seems that onAXIS is having trouble with it's domain (http://onaxisonline.com) because of Google Apps crappy domain hosting.

We are trying to get it fixed but as for now, use the blogspot sub-domain, thank you.

MGS 2007: Conan Gameplay


Let's spend a few minutes on Conan through this gameplay video showcasing a new level. GamerSyde tried hard, but they think that the game is far from inspiring.

[Via GamerSyde]

Saturday, September 29, 2007

IGN: Devil May Cry 4 Video Interview HD


IGN has a new Devil May Cry 4 video interview in HD that is roughly 7 minutes long. Capcom's new game is looking to be a sure fire hit for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Enjoy the interview.

[Via IGN]

Night Note: Digital Life 2007 Awaits

To: onAXIS Readers
From: onAXIS Administrator

What game have you been thinking about the "fun" level of recently? I've been thinking of Unreal Tournament III and Army of Two. But tomorrow, I will be thinking of a different game.

Tomorrow, me and my buddies are heading down to the Jacob K. Javitts Center in New York City to the Digital Life convention. Apparently, this is the only convention we could ever go to due to nobody giving us free tickets for E3 or the Tokyo Game Show.

There are two games I'm interested in playing at this event, and thats The Eye of Judgment and Guitar Hero III. Yes, thats right. I will be taking video and picture to provide you guys with, but don't mind the crappy quality of the video, using a cell phone.

Last year while I was at the event, I remember playing the latest Pro Evolution Soccer on the PlayStation 2 and getting my first try at the PlayStation 3 with NBA 07 and it was a great experience.

I met Jason Mewes at the event last year at the AlienWare booth. If you don't know who he is, he is Jay from Jay & Silent Bob. Anyway, I basically cut the whole 200 person line and got my autograph and picture in like 2 minutes. Me and my buddy also met Cliffy B. who was there checking out the show with two gorgeous women. I wonder what celebrity (if there is one) will be there this year.

Anyway, we may be late on news tomorrow do to the visit to the event, but we will let you know whats going on in this Digital Life. Hopefully some Pro Evolution Soccer 2008.

Hot Stories for September 29, 2007
The Eye of Judgment Plastic Pack
Sony "Big Bang" Announcement Coming October 12?
PlayStation 3 from FCC Appearing in Blu-Ray Ad
Tekken 6: Fight With Over 40 Characters
MGS 2007: Uncharted Level Gameplay<

EGM: Microsoft is Paying off PlayStation 3 Titles?

The scan above is from the latest Electronic Gaming Monthly. According to this, Microsoft payed 2K Games a load of cash for them to keep BioShock off of the PlayStation 3 console.

If this is true, thats a real low.

[Via GameRevolver]

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune: New Screens

Over at NeoGAF, a massive amount of new Uncharted: Drake's Fortune screenshots where posted. View them at the link below.

[View: Uncharted Screens]

The Eye of Judgment Plastic Pack

Don't you love using scissors? Anyway, all jokes aside right now. This is the Eye of Judgment plastic pack, it comes loaded with The Eye of Judgment PlayStation 3 game, the PlayStation Eye camera, a starter deck, and a booster pack.

I'm excited for this game and am looking forward to playing online. Knowing my card game skills, I will probably lose every match.

[Via PS3 Fanboy]

IGN: FFXIII Devs Share Trailer Talk

Straight from IGN.

The latest issue of Famitsu has nine pages on Kingdom Hearts, two pages on Parasite Eve, and a teeny-tiny column on Final Fantasy XIII. There's a saying about beggars and choosers that seems to apply here.

The magazine got FFXIII director Motomu Toriyama, art director Iasmu Kamikokuryo, Versus XIII director Tetsuya Nomura and Agito XIII director Hajime Tabata to share some brief commentary on the new trailer set.

On the main FFXIII trailer, Toriyama noted that a new "strange" female character was revealed for the first time, along with a look at a city inside the Cocoon. Commenting specifically on art design, Kamikokuryo noted that balance is difficult because some areas of the game, particularly related to that strange female character, are a bit odd for the Final Fantasy universe.

Nomura addressed the Versus XIII trailer, noting that the staff has at last managed to reach the image they were originally seeking. The trailer has two new characters, but he expects them to undergo some changes in later trailers. He does feel, however, that the main character design is representative of what we'll be seeing when the game shows its true colors next year.

Nomura also spoke about the setting of the new trailer. The city and fields of the trailer are inspired by Italy. In fact, he noted, the words that appear throughout the trailer are in Italian. He pointed out that a few characters in the trailer have a mafia feel about them.

Finally, Tabata discussed the mobile entry in the FFXIII series, Final Fantasy Agito XIII. He described the game as a casual online game. Don't hold your breath for a release any time soon, though, as Tabata admitted that Square Enix is currently waiting for hardware and wireless specifications to be finalized. Previously, Tabata has said that the game will appear on next generation 4G phones.

All the FFXIII games appear to be gearing up for a proper unveiling in 2008. With any luck, and a bit of begging, we'll get a few more details before then.

[Via IGN]

Sony "Big Bang" Announcement Coming October 12?

Sony supposedly has a big announcement on October 12th according to GamePro France. Until then, all we can do is speculate.

"Indeed, it seems that the dated October 12, 2007 one was chosen by Sony to make an enough important advertisement to be qualified in-house “big-bang”"…
Thats all that was really said. More information as it comes.

[Via GamePro France]

PlayStation 3 from FCC Appearing in Blu-Ray Ad

The new PlayStation 3 SKU found at the FCC site is now listed on the advertisement for the 5 free Blu-ray discs offer, strange.

The one at the FCC Site is CECHG01, and look, there it is above. View the site at the link below.

[Via Blu-Ray Savings]

RealNetworks Working on PSN Games Along With Others

RealNetworks sare starting to work on casual games for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Nintendo Wii.

RealNetworks has agreed to add yet another company to bolster its casual games business. Game Trust will be integrated into RealArcade in order to add social/community features to Real's games and the content it provides for its syndication partners. Erik Goossens, VP Game Content, explains the deal and lets us know Real is working on consoles "as we speak."

Read the rest at the link below.

[Read: RealNetworks]

Army of Two: GamerSyde Diaries


If you haven't read before, I'm really looking forward to Army of Two. Now we have an 11 minutes and 30 second video of it from the GamerSyde diaries. Enjoy the watch.

[Via GamerSyde]

Tekken 6: Fight With Over 40 Characters

Over at Ruliweb, they have a full character list for Tekken 6, confirming a whopping 40 characters to play as (count if you want, or count the boxes above). Here is the list:

  • Anna Williams
  • Armor King
  • Asuka Kazama
  • Baek Doo San
  • Bob
  • Bruce Irvin
  • Bryan Fury
  • Christie Monteiro
  • Craig Marduk
  • Devil Jin
  • Eddy Gordo
  • Feng Wei
  • Final Boss (TBA)
  • Forrest Law
  • Ganryu
  • Heihachi Mishima
  • Hwoarang
  • Jack-6
  • Jin Kazama
  • Julia Chang
  • Kazuya Mishima
  • King
  • Kuma
  • Lee Chaolan
  • Lei Wulong
  • Leo
  • Lili
  • Ling Xiaoyu
  • Marshall Law
  • Miguel
  • Nina Williams
  • Panda
  • Paul Phoenix
  • Raven
  • Roger Jr.
  • Sergei Dragunov
  • Steve Fox
  • Wang Jinrei
  • Yoshimitsu
  • Zafina
There are 37 characters here, with three more waiting to be confirmed. The game will also include multiplayer.

[Via Ruliweb]

MGS 2007: Gran Turismo 5 Gameplay


The Micromania Games Show 2007 was the opportunity to discover two new Gran Turismo 5: Prologue tracks, and to see people that play much better than Gamersyde.

[Via GamerSyde]

MGS 2007: 10 Minutes of Haze Gameplay


This show had its own little surprises, like this Haze demo, showing the jungle level from the beginning, and continuing where the other presentations stopped.

[Via GamerSyde]

MGS 2007: Uncharted Level Gameplay


Here is a new video from the Micromania Games Show again with this full level of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, performed by Sir Sony France, I name the quite skilled Gregory Delfosse.

[Via GamerSyde]

IGN: White Knight Story Video Interview


An entertaining and informative video interview of one the developers on White Knight Story from Level-5, exclusively coming to the PLAYSTATION 3.

"In this fantasy RPG, you take control of a boy who comes into the possession of an ancient artifact. The artifact gives him the ability to transform into the White Knight of the title, a 7-meter warrior from a time when such creatures nearly destroyed all of civilization."- IGN

[Via IGN]

GameShark: Fallout 3 Interview with Gavin Carter

GameShark has recently done an interview with Gavin Carter, part of the development team for the upcoming PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 RPG, Fallout 3. They started:

Let's start with a quick introduction. Who you are and what your role is in the production of Fallout 3:

I’m Gavin Carter and I’m the lead producer on Fallout 3. It’s my job to take the crazed ramblings of Todd, Emil, and the other leads, and turn them into a workable schedule. Once in a while I even contribute an insane ramble myself. I’m aided by a team of departmental producers who do all my work for me. I couldn’t be nearly as lazy without their constant support.

Most readers are surely familiar with the Fallout concept by this point, but sum up for those that may not be so familiar with it, what kind of game you're designing Fallout 3 to be.

Fallout 3 is post-nuclear role-playing at its next-gen finest. It’s a 1st and 3rd person RPG with themes of survival, sacrifice, player choice, and consequence. The world of Fallout 3 is a destroyed 1950s World of Tomorrow for the player to enjoy, brimming with irony and moral ambiguities. The original Fallout RPGs are among the best pieces of interactive entertainment ever created. We think the series deserves to be back in the RPG limelight and are excited to be the ones tasked with returning it.

Read the full review at the link.

[Read: Fallout 3 Interview]

SOCOM: Confrontation to be Released November 30, 2007?

A user over at the Official PlayStation Boards claims that his cousin's friend works for SCEA and he was able to get an interview with him about SOCOM: Confrontation. This is the interview:

Q: Hows the gameplay?
A: It's almost identical to Socom 2. It has the same feel, and the crosshair has been changed from what was seen on the SGD trailer. It has recoil as well.

Q: What maps are there?
A: Crossroads, Desert Glory, Claw Harbour, Battlefield Union and Ministry.

Q: Give me some info on the maps
A: S2 maps have been revamped, and enlarged on the outside areas. Large bases, and more detailed rooms with awsome shadow and lighting. Claw Harbour is a pure sniping map with plenty of open areas near the sea and ports. Battlefield Union is a wasteland area with destructible buildings, and Ministry compromises of two bases, and an in between vertical path, somewhat like chain reaction. Each map has 7 modes, including Escort, Extraction, Demolition, Supression, Control, Timer and Resistance. Convoy was ditched after negative feedback from fans.

Q: What's timer and Resistance?
A: Timer is basically a respawn, where you set your time limit, and the team with the most number of collective kills, wins. Resistance involves both teams trying to defend their Tribynical Generator (a large glowing generator thingy), and attack the other teams one. The team with the lowest amount of damage on their generators after the time limit, are the winners.

Q: Release date,?
A: November 30th.

Q: How can I be sure?
A: All the staff were informed of this two weeks ago. On November 1st, an official announcement will be made on PlayStation.com, and on S6's official website, stating the games release date. But as of yet, it's still 30th November.

Q: Beta?
A: There's a closed one going on right now, but only amongst staff and hand selected game testers.

Q: Lag?
A: At the moment, with 10,000 players currently testing the servers left right and center, it seems to be almost lag free. But we're expecting the total number of users online during peak hours to exceed 300,000 worldwide. So whether our servers can handle that kind of pressure, still remains to be seen.

Q: Hows the ranking system?
A: Same as socom 2. Your own individual performance determines your overall rank. Although there are other modes and other ladders linked in with teamwork, which only advances you through the ranks when you win as a team.

Q: Any news on future patches / updates?
A: S6 are already developing the first three updates, with the first one being released in December, and the other two one month apart.

Q: Any other useful information?
A: The room maker can decide on whether the mics are open or not. If the game is ranked, and can also set a lagg limit, so anyone who laggs significantly for a lengthy period of time, can get kicked and banned from the room. He can also has the option to enable enemy dots. There are 25,455 different character customization possibilities, and over 10,000 different ones for the weapons. The game price is yet to be decided, but it will most likely be $40 off PSN, and $80 retail with the bluetooth headset.

Q: What happens If I release this information online?
A: I could get fired, but then again, they would need to prove that it was from me. So save me the hassle.

According to this, SOCOM: Confrontation is going to be released on November 30, 2007. The user on the site is a new user, but the post is very well written, most liars just write it in "l337" or something like that. For now, it's classified as a rumor though.

[Via PlayStation Boards]

onAXIS: Your Perfect Go! Game?

Here at onAXIS, we are all about the community. So we want to know what your perfect Go! game is.

If you want to show us, go ahead and make a PlayStation Store icon for us, and send it to Admin@onAXISonline.com along with your description of the game and displayable name.

There is no prize for this, simply to express your opinion, because thats what we are all about.

Over to the right there, you'll see my icon. I call it Go! Go, great name huh? It's basically the board game Go under the Go! name. I was thinking it'd be great to play it online and maybe have tournaments. I used to be quite good myself.

So if you wan to participate, and are using Photoshop, go ahead and download this small template. If you want to participate and are not using Photoshop, simple copy the image from the one above, and do it in Paint.

[Download PSN Game Template]

onAXIS: Domain Name Purchased!

Yes people, we finally have a domain name under our wing (and we are torturing it, hehehehe). Anyway, you can now access the site by using the URL below:

http://onaxisonline.com
We are very happy to have a domain up and ready. It may not work for the first hour or so, so be patient, it will work eventually.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Kane and Lynch: Dead Men New Gameplay


Jeux France has luckily provided us with a new video for Kane and Lynch: Dead Men. Enjoy the watch.

[Via Jeux France]

GameTrailers: FIFA Soccer 08 Review


GameTrailers loves to do video reviews (hmm, I wonder why). Today they have for us a review of EA Sport's FIFA Soccer 08. Their final thoughts:
Design: 9/10
Gameplay: 8.7/10
Presentation: 7.6/10
Overall: 8.8/10
To get all the facts and faults and pros of the game, watch the review above.

[Via GameTrailers]

Killzone 2 Developer Blog: Gremlins In the System

Frank Compagner, Senior Programmer over at Guerrilla Games has a new blog up. It looks like approx. 150 people are working on Killzone 2 right now and Frank blogs about how sometimes, the everyday hardware that he works with is being sabotaged by gremlins.

Hi there. My name is Frank. What's yours? Er, sorry, I still need to get the hang of this blog thing. I'll be the resident programmer on our squad, and as such I'm going to be pretty technical from time to time. Because I like getting technical. A lot. But not to worry, I'll try to keep things interesting for anybody curious about what it takes to get a game like Killzone 2 out the door.

Now, being paid to work on games definitely isn't the Walhalla you might think it is, but I'll tell you one thing: it ain't boring. Working on a game as big as Killzone 2 we get to have problems that few people have even thought about. All new and shiny problems, just waiting to be unwrapped so they can jump on us and make our lives miserable. One of the biggest problems we have is dealing with the sheer amount of data that's going into the game. There's about 150 people working very hard on the game right now and they're producing an ever increasing amount of high detailed models, animations, textures, audio samples and what not. All of this data goes into the central database (we use Perforce, which is a great tool, but does have its own peculiarities).

This all mostly works fine, but whenever somebody decides to do a "GetLatest" on his working files, he gets the combined effort of the other 149 people on the team copied to his computer. This can easily mean several Gigabytes of new data, which takes a considerable amount of time to download. During the download, the files on your hard disk are unlikely to be in a consistent state, so you basically have to stop working for the duration. This sucks, and we need to find a way to speed up the process, which is what I've been trying to do for the last few weeks.

We're already planning to replace our Windows32/NTFS server with a Linux64/XFS one. The new hardware has just arrived (I find myself strangely excited when looking at the rack mounted, all-black box filled with 15k rpm drives, should I seek help?), and now we need to configure it and find out how we're going to get the whole 3.5TB of our database safely onto the new server. And because few people have dealt with stuff like this, there isn't much advice to go on. This means lots of testing to make sure the server is running as fast as it can.

So I'm right in the middle of yet another test to determine the best configuration for our new Perforce server, when I get a call from my twelve year old son. He's in a panic, and I'm starting to get a little concerned, when I manage to calm him down enough to find out that the crisis is not, in fact, as life threatening as he initially made it out to be. He's recently picked up a nasty Civ IV addiction (I wonder where's he got that from), and he's just been invaded by his seemingly trustworthy neighbors, the Mongols. So now he needs my advice on how best to counter the threat. I do my best, but let me tell you: playing a game of Civ over the phone isn't the way that Sid intended. So I have to leave him fending for himself, while I finish the tests to determine the optimal size of the stripe set for the new RAID array that will hold our Perforce database (8KB seems to do the job best, but it's a close call). By the time I get home that evening his situation has deteriorated markedly, but after dinner we sit down together, and in an hour or so manage to recapture the lost ground. In an overly optimistic mood I promise him he won't have to go to bed until we crush the Hun. To his dismay, this decision is overturned another hour later by his mother when we get bogged down in a protracted fight for the Mongol capital. Still, with some more words of advice from me, he's able to finish the job himself the next day, and continues to score a space race win. Next difficulty level, please.

But back to Perforce performance. It turns out we have another gremlin lurking in our system: client-side disk fragmentation. The way that Perforce writes new files to disk under NTFS results in lots of disk fragmentation. Especially when dealing with large files (check) on disks with little free space (double check). We're working with Perforce to improve this, but that will still take a while. In the meantime we need to figure out how to improve the situation now. Really, it never gets boring when you're as obsessed with computers and performance as much as I am.

Next time: The joys of assert (woo, bet you're excited now!)

We would of gave you a short version, but it seems everytime you access the site you have to go through the whole age verification process and what not and find it yourself. But now you don't have to.

[Via Killzone]

Rock Band's Character Customization


One thing Guitar Hero lacked was character creation and customization. Rock Band has it though, and we have the video above. Enjoy.

[Via GameVideos]

Haze: Weird Rumble Advertisement


A weird advertisement for HAZE showed up on GameTrailers today. The advertisement shows them injecting nectar into the DUALSHOCK 3 and it rumbles, as they say "Amazing!". Weird commercial. At the end it says "Exclusively for PlayStation 3".

[Via GameTrailers]

PixelJunk Racers: GameSpot Reviews 7.0/10

In an odd turn of events, GameSpot has given PixelJunk Racers an alright score. They rate it a 7.0/10.0 stating:

"PixelJunk Racers is a neat little game that takes the basic concepts of slot car racing and applies them to a multitude of minigame-like events that you can play alone or against friends. There are a good number of different events, though the addition of a few more tracks and online multiplayer would have made it a much longer-lasting collection."
Read the full review at the link.

[Read: PixelJunk Racers Review]

Burnout Paradise: Steel Wheels Trailer HD


If you're ready to hit the racetrack in style, look no further than this armor-plated, super-charged master of the road, Burnout Paradise, in HD glory.

[Via GameTrailers]

Final Fantasy Tactics: The Lion War Brave Story Trailer


Here is a new trailer for the upcoming Final Fantasy Tactics: The Lion War. This is the Brave Story trailer, the story can now be told.

[Via GameTrailers]

TGS 2007: Characters and Online Interview HD


A Soul Calibur IV video from the Tokyo Game Show 2007. It explains the online play and if it will we be seeing characters from other franchises.

[Via GameTrailers]

MX vs. ATV: Untamed Trailer HD


Start your engines for a video trailer of MX vs. ATV: Untamed for the PlayStation 3 and other consoles. The video is in HD glory, so enjoy.

[Via GameTrailers]

US Online PlayStation Store Under Maintenace?

A new URL discovered by a member of the Official PlayStation Boards shows that an online PlayStation Store for the US may be in the works. The link (http://store.playstation.com/store/index) shows no sign of a Japan remark, so this may be valid. More on this when it comes.

[View: "PlayStation Store"]
[Via PlayStation Boards]

NBA 2K8: Dunk Contest Videos


IGN is providing us with three dunking hot videos of NBA 2K8's Slam Dunk contest. I am personally a big fan of the 2K series, and the Dunk Contest is a great new addition. I could remember the fun times I had in V3's Dunk Contest, but this looks even better. Enjoy the videos.





[Buy: NBA 2K8 (PS3)]
[Buy: NBA 2K8 (PS2)]

Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess: Trailer HD


In the newest trailer for Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess, the Crystal War has begun, and the Champions of the Dawn have taken the stage. Enjoy the watch.

[Via GameTrailers]

Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning from TGS 2007 Trailer

I guess when we are itching for the full Tokyo Game Show 2007 trailer for Final Fantasy XIII & Final Fantasy Versus XIII, any little image that pops up from the trailer is important.

Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII protagonist) seems to be jumping and doing some kind of spin in this picture. Very poor quality, but something at least. Here are the other two in case you missed them:



[Via Spiras Destiny]

Official PlayStation Magazine: Pro Evolution 2008 Review Scans

If your a frequent reader of onAXIS, you already know that Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 received a 9/10 from the Official PlayStation Magazine of the UK. Well, now we have scans along with the article in text. Enjoy.

A member of 360Indians was crazy enough (kudos) to type out the review in text. Read below:

Before we get into the red hot review, first you need to answer a question: what do you actually want from PES on PS3? Startling levels of graphical beauty? Gameplay redefined by stunningly innovative new features? Free kicks that go in without every star in heaven having to be in precise alignment? Okay. Stop waving your hands around. You’re not getting any of that. PES 2008 is a surprisingly conservative game. This is actually Konami’s second shot at next-gen football, the first being last year’s pretty underwhelming Xbox 360 version. The DNA of that game provides the building blocks for this one, but – don’t panic – the team of footballing alchemists led by Shingo “Seabass” Takatsuba has made subtle but vital improvements across the board. The result is a game that doesn’t have any one feature that screams next-gen, but is beautifully balanced overall.

Assuming the last version you played was PES6 on PS2, the first thing you’ll notice here is how much slower it seems. Hold RI and the speed at which your player runs feels oddly heavy-legged. But the initial adjustment to a newer version of PES is always awkward because you’re so used to the precise timing and rhythm of the older game. Once you settle in, the thinking behind the more considered pace becomes clear, and after a few days it stops seeming strange at all. More than ever before, this year’s PES is designed to simulate the way real football works. Watch a top-flight game and you won’t see the players sprinting from box to box for 90 minutes. Likewise, the emphasis in 2008 is on controlling the game, retaining possession and teasing out chances. The shift in style feels comparable to the difference the high-energy play you associate with the Premier League and the technical, cultured approach of the Champions League.

That’s not to say that the dribbling element has been hamstrung, although the spongier triggers on the SIXAXIS do make cutting in with R2 much harder to pull off. Used judiciously, dribbling is still an effective way of unlocking defences – but it works best when you mix up your play, pinging passes around and then powering into the spaces you’ve opened up. One of the key new elements is the increased physicality and momentum of the players. They take more time to turn, especially when running flat-out, and also need more time to get the ball under control - sometimes frustratingly so – but when you beat your marker, he’s likely to stay beaten because once your body is between player and ball unless he’s incredibly quick he’ll struggle to get around you to make a challenge. The result is that strong players like Rooney and Drogba can shrug off attempted tackles, bouncing opponents onto their backsides as they surge forward. As a desperate measure, trailing defenders can claw at the forward’s shirt. There’s a good chance they’ll concede a foul, but it could be worth it to kill a dangerous break before it develops. (Mourinho nods approvingly)

Tackling as a whole has been made harder in order to compensate for the fact that dribbling now takes more skill. The step-in tackle now needs to be lined up and timed more carefully, the sliding tackle really is the last throw of the defensive dice. Unless executed immaculately, you’re likely to either miss completely leaving the target free to burst past, or end up clattering him and doing your best ‘who me?’ face as the ref reaches into his pocket. Still, when you get it right - wrapping a leg around to take the ball like a gentleman thief – it’s almost as satisfying as scoring. Goals are, of course, the most precious commodity in PES. One of the key differences between PES and FIFA has always been the incredible variety of ways to score. Glancing headers, arrowed volleys, scuffed tap-ins, long-range thunderbolts, precise sidefoots…each goal is unique. You have to work for them. They light up otherwise scruffy, niggly games and provide the gloss finish to sweeping attacks. They make you howl and the ineptitude of your defending and jump up when a last-second winner flies in. And if all that sounds evangelical, well, no apologies. Scoring in PES is an addictive rush. It’s why you save the truly great goals and watch them back again and again.

The shooting system has been tweaked slightly, but still relies on a dizzying combination of factors: the ability of a player on the ball, his body shape as he strikes it, pressure from defenders, and so on. For optimal accuracy and power, you need to time the shot so it falls on the player’s favoured foot, watching his running animation so that he takes the ball in his stride and easing off the run button at the last second so he can set himself. Of course, you don’t really think about that kind of stuff while you’re playing. It’s something that becomes instinctive the more you play. This year, it’s marginally easier to get power into the shot and hit the target from tighter angles. To cope with the additional threat, the keepers fling themselves full length to tip the ball around the post. They’re also no longer completely protected by the invisible force field that enabled to claim high balls unchallenged. So if you send the keeper into a crowd, he’s more likely to punch or spill. Another defensive change is the way clearing works. In the past, using [square] to head or hoof the ball to safety was a get-out-of-jail card. Now, if a ball is whipped into the near post, chances are you defenders will put it out for a corner rather than launch it down-field. Again, much more realistic.

There’s a handful of other changes worth mentioning. First is the new look-up cross. Hold down [R1] and [L1] as you race towards the byline and the winger will turn towards the box, picking out a target before firing in a more accurate cross. It looks odd with the crosser shuffling sideways, but does add a new weapon to the attacking armoury. As does the new set-play tactics menu, which enables you to select three players to send up for free kicks and corners. Big, strong centre backs are the obvious choice, but you can also order up the keeper for comedy value if you’re chasing the game late on. Annoyingly, you can reassign from the same menu as you use to change the kicker, making it a little laborious to change the set-up. And although it’s something the fans have requested for a while, surely Konami could’ve gone a lot further. Why not allow us to design our own bespoke set-piece on a chalkboard? As it is, free kicks and corners are almost entirely unchanged, and have been for years now.

In the run-up to release, much was made of the new TeamVision AI system. Aside from sounding ‘a bit EA’, the idea was that if you kept playing a particular pattern, the CPU would wise up and adjust its tactics accordingly. Well, not as far as I can tell. The opposition does seem better at dealing with unusual formations – like pushing one winger high into the corner – but there’s not much sense of it reorganising to cancel your style of play. No matter though, cause on a macro level the AI is sterling, with strikers straying offside less and midfielders cutting out loose passes. There was the odd occasion particularly when running directly at goal from the deep, when the back four swung open like saloon doors. But for the most part, the AI feels authentic. And the fact that your teammates make decent runs enables you to play a stylish passing game. Spreading the ball wide with a vertical though-ball for a full-back to run on to works brilliantly, and PES remains light years ahead of FIFA in the way it replicates the complexity of football, from stringing breathtaking attacks together to brilliantly random goal-mouth scrambles.

The one big – and potentially massively controversial – addition is diving. Press [L1]+[L2]+[R1] and your player throws himself down Saving Private Ryan-style. It’s all sorts of funny at first, but once you realise the ref nearly always spots it, there doesn’t seem much point in wasting what could develop into a shooting chance for what’s an almost guaranteed booking. The AI only seems to dive if it’s trailing in the final few minutes and hasn’t won a penalty so far. However, in two-player we have managed to con the ref a couple of times, but only for free kicks in pretty innocuous situations (the trick being to do the dying swan just as a challenge comes in). Where things are likely to get problematic is online. Over time, some players will surely find a way to exploit the system consistently. Given how furious people were over handball in PES3, diving seems certain to split opinion even more dramatically. Konami will doubtless argue that diving happens in real football and is therefore a legitimate inclusion – but not if it messes up the balance. At time of writing, the servers weren’t live, but as Warhawk demonstrated, a vibrant community should spring up as soon as the game is released. We’ll report back soon.

Okay, let’s talk Master League. It’s bizarre that so many people seem to ignore it entirely, because beneath the esoteric transfer system and lack of licensed tournaments, lies an obsessive, hugely satisfying management game. In the build-up to PES 2008, Konami released shots of players talking to the media and fans celebrating in bars, leading many to speculate Master League would be totally overhauled. It hasn’t. The shots are just that – static images which appear on the menu screens. There is a new popularity system, whereby if players perform well, their value increases and it becomes easier to make signings, but it’s very similar to the way the club’s overall ranking worked before. The lack of licensed Premier League teams – Spurs and Newcastle being the only two this year – also remains a huge pity, but having investigated the reasons why last month, there’s little point beating Konami up over what seems like an insoluble problem. (Obviously we can’t condone it, but it’ll be interesting to see if fans start swapping edited option files).

Slightly more vexing than the lack of new features is the fact that generally, the players don’t feel quite as individual as they did previously. Sure, superstars like Thierry Henry and Christiano Ronaldo have unique animations, but it was always a major PES strength that even the lesser lights felt uncannily like their real-life equivalents, with the subtleties of their abilities making team selection a fascinating exercise. Now, a lot of them move and play generically. It may be something to do with the new graphics engine, which obviously favours realism over the cartoony and characterful PS2 models. There’s also the fact that any serious PES fan uses the wide camera angle to get the best view of the pitch, which coupled with the inclusion of widescreen (finally) which means the players look tiny on screen. Overall, 720p visuals are crisp, smooth and detailed, just not mind-blowingly so. Meanwhile, on the audio side, the new commentary team of John Champion and sad sack Lawrenson is a major improvement. Sure, repetition creeps in - Champion seems obsessed with complaining about refs not having officiated at the highest level - but the banter flows nicely and it fits the context perfectly.

So then, back to the original question: what do you want from PES on PS3? Simple: for it not to be broken. Because what would have been a disaster was if Konami had implemented a long list of new features but messed up the basic gameplay. Because the longer you play PES, the more you understand that changing any of its key elements – passing, shooting, tackling – has a big knock-on effect on the others. The fact that all those elements have been tweaked, yet 2008 still feels unmistakeably like PES in all its mercurial, collar flicked-up brilliance – is a triumph. Yes, there’s plenty of room for improvement; there always is. And doubtless, a couple of years down the line, this version will seem crude. But here’s the thing – there is no other game on PS3 that you’re guaranteed to still be playing obsessively this time next year. PES is magic because it is football in all its glory and madness, and as such, you’re never really finished with it.

9/10
[Via 360Indians]

Metal Gear Solid 4: No More Trailers


Believe it or not, we've seen a hefty load of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots trailers, nine to be exact. Thats excluding the gameplay videos (which matter the most) that we've seen.

Kojima Productions assistant producer Ryan Payton has told MTV Games' Stephen Totilo that their latest video, from this year's Tokyo Game Show (embedded above), "could be the last trailer [for the game]."

"The pressure is really on to finish work on the game, and we have decided not to be sidetracked by any more promotional work," he said. That doesn't rule out making more cinema once the game is completed, although.

Don't remember all the trailers? Let's refresh you. The trailers were shown three E3 Expos, three Tokyo Game Shows, two Leipzig Games Conventions and a Metal Gear 20th Anniversary Party.

[Via JoyStiq]

Rock Band: Orange Crush Added, Song List Update


Harmonix's Rock Band is quite the big anticipated title. With a big title of rock, you need to have a big song list of rock.

The song Orange Crush was just confirmed for the upcoming Rock Band. We also have a list for you of the songs currently confirmed for the game. Enjoy.
  • 1970s
    • The Who, "Won't Get Fooled Again"
    • Mountain, "Mississippi Queen" (cover recording)
    • David Bowie, "Suffragette City"
    • Black Sabbath, "Paranoid" (cover recording)
    • Blue Oyster Cult, "Don't Fear the Reaper"
    • The Ramones, "Blitzkrieg Bop"
    • Deep Purple, "Highway Star"
    • Rolling Stones, "Gimme Shelter"
    • KISS, "Detroit Rock City"
  • 1980s
    • R.E.M., "Orange Crush"
    • Rush, "Tom Sawyer" (cover recording)
    • Bon Jovi, "Wanted Dead or Alive"
    • The Clash, "Should I Stay or Should I Go"
    • Faith No More, "Epic"
    • Pixies, "Wave of Mutilation"
    • 1990s
    • Foo Fighters, "Learn to Fly"
    • Metallica, "Enter Sandman"
    • Nirvana, "In Bloom"
    • Stone Temple Pilots, "Vasoline"
    • Weezer, "Say It Ain't So"
    • Smashing Pumpkins, "Cherub Rock"
    • Radiohead, "Creep"
    • Beastie Boys "Sabotage"
    • Hole, "Celebrity Skin"
    • Garbage, "I Think I'm Paranoid"
    • Soundgarden, "Black Hole Sun"
  • 2000s
    • The Hives, "Main Offender"
    • Queens of the Stone Age, "Go With the Flow"
    • The Strokes, "Reptilia"
    • Jet, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"
    • OK Go, "Here It Goes Again"
    • Nine Inch Nails, "The Hand That Feeds"
    • Freezepop, "Brain Power"
    • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Maps"
    • Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Dani California"
[Via QJ.NET]

Sierra Launches Official Prototype Site

Sierra Entertainment has just launched the site for their upcoming game, Prototype. The site features game screens, videos, game features and even forums. The game features are actually quite interesting:

Game Features
  • Unprecedented Abilities and Control — Play as the most powerful and dynamic character ever created with innovative shapeshifting powers and over the top parkour locomotion movement.
  • Shapeshifting — Attack with brutal and devastating powers; instantly triggering hundreds of power combinations (Attack, Defensive and Sensory).
  • Disguise — Assume the perfect disguise by transforming into any character and assuming the victim's powers, skills and abilities.
  • Open-World Action Thriller— New York City is your hunting ground! Jam-packed, vibrant, fully interactive city filled with thousands of people and enemies out to destroy you.
  • Conspiracy Based Storyline — Delve to the bottom of a conspiracy that has haunted the American government for decades. Who is responsible for your condition? Only you can find out!
  • Multi-Player — 2 Person Co-Op Online Multi-Player.
With online multiplayer and destructive behavior, this game is sure to be a hit. Visit the site at the link below.

[Visit: Prototype]

Rock Band: Price Announced $169.99

Rock Band is set to launch at a $169.99 price point for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game releases on November 23, 2007.

The package will include the game, one guitar, a microphone and a drum kit. The PlayStation 2 version of Rock Band will be coming out later with a December 10, 2o07 release. The PlayStation 2 bundle will only cost $159.99.

[Via AdvancedMN]

God of War 3 Winking Comments

Over at the PlayStation.Blog, on the God of War PSP Demo shipments post, Cory Barlog joined in on the commenting.

XxBigP123xX: god of war is one of the reasons i bought a ps3! nice to know im getting this demo. when will we see god of war 3?

Cory Barlog: God of War 3? I have no idea what you are talking about?
Seems pretty fishy to me, why not show us Mr. Barlog?

[Via PS.Blog]

Army of Two: Producer Overview


Purely focused on co-op from the ground up, Army of Two is all about two-man tactics, two-man strategies, and the two-man advantage. Enjoy.

[Via GameTrailers]

The Eye of Judgment: How To Play


This new Eye of Judgment video from GameTrailers shows you just how to set up and play Sony's upcoming PlayStation 3 card game. Enjoy.

[Via GameTrailers]

Sony Japan Releases Official PSP Theme Maker

Japan's official PlayStation site has just updated with a new downloadable zip folder, that is a PSP Theme Maker for their newest firmware. It's an official release of Sony's very own theme maker for handhelds running on their official firmware.

While details are still sketchy at this point (it's all in Japanese), a quick scan of this new application's PDF manual reveals some interesting details. For example, we've spotted screenshots for what appears to be a custom icon editor (complete with step-by-step instructions). The app also carries its own theme converters, although once again, we can't verify this until we can pick up a more proper translation.

Hopefully a North American version of this will be released of this soon for those wanting their own custom themes. If you want to check it out, visit the link below.

[Download: PSP Theme Maker]

Final Fantasy XIII: New Details

We have a few new details about Final Fantasy XIII & Final Fantasy Versus XIII. We have a scanned article translated:

  • The city inside of Cocoon was shown in the new trailer.
  • The new FF13 girl is quite different than other girls in the series so it's hard to get her into balance.
  • Nomura said the latest Versus 13 trailer finally caught up to the original image he had always wanted to go with. Two new characters even showed up but everything might be reset by the end of the year.* The main character's design has always been a temporary design anyway so his real self will be revealed sometime next year. (MAJISSUKA)
  • The plains and towns are following the image of Italy. The text that showed up in the trailer was also Italian.
  • For now Agito 13 looks pretty tame compared to the main 13 and Versus 13 but a bigger revelation will be done next year.
Thats about it! Enjoy.

[Via Forever Fantasy]

Official PlayStation Magazine November Reviews

Thanks to LongTrousers from GameTrailers, we have the latest reviews from the Official PlayStation Magazin of the UK.

Everbody's Golf 5 - 8/10
Folklore - 7/10
Madden NFL 08 - 7/10
NHL 08 - 9/10
Pro Evolution Soccer 08 - 9/10
Sega Rally - 7/10
Skate - 9/10
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 - 8/10
[Via GameTrailers]

Metal Gear Solid 4 Figures

Looking for some badass way to show that you are a true fan of the Metal Gear Solid series? These badass figures are a good way to show it. Highly expensive though, costing around $150-200 USD. Check them out below.

[View: MGS4 Figures]

The Simpsons Game: NeverQuest Trailer


Here is a new trailer for EA's upcoming The Simpsons Game. This one for the Neverquest level. Enjoy.

[Via MegaTonik]

Thursday, September 27, 2007

GameSpot Reviews NBA 07 a 5/10

GameSpot recently reviewed Sony's NBA 08. They gave it a low 5 out of 10. They stated:

"NBA 07 for the PlayStation 3 was a mess, clearly rushed out the door to make it to stores in time for the PlayStation 3's launch. SCEA has had 10 months to straighten things out for NBA 08--not a lot of time in the world of game development. There's no question that this year's game is better than last year's, but its gameplay is so laden with problems that it's still not worth your time."
Read the full review at the link below.

[Read: NBA 08 Review]