Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Game Informer: Ratchet & Clank Score 9.25/10

Yet another review for Ratchet & Clank is in, and this one is from Game Informer. They give Insomniac's latest release a whopping 9.25/10. Here is their breakdown:
Take the tried and true Ratchet & Clank formula and use the PS3’s power to shoot the production values through the roof.

In its own colorful way, this is as impressive as BioShock or Gears of War. The cutscenes really do resemble an animated CG movie.

As always, the hilarious voiceovers are top-notch, as is the rousing score.

The Clank levels are a bit lackluster, but the core platforming and shooting is better than it’s ever been.

While not doing much in terms of innovation, this is as much pure fun as you’ll have this fall playing a video game.

Read the full Ratchet & Clank Future review at the link below.

[Read: Ratchet & Clank Future GI Review]

Ratchet & Clank Bring On The Videos

Today was a big day for Ratchet & Clank. It's debut PLAYSTATION 3 title was released (in most stores at least), it received mostly good reviews (just GameSpot gave it a 7.5 for some strange reason), and to add on to that, we have a ton of new videos for you to enjoy. So now, enjoy them or go play the game yourself!

NBA 08 On The Television

Return to the court with all the excitement and passion of the NBA on your PLAYSTATION 3. Like what you see?

Turok: Dino Luring Vignette

Trying to kill some Dinosaurs? Don't know how? No problem, watch this new Dino Luring Turok Vignette and discover how. It's quite interesting at the least.

GameSpot: Ratchet & Clank Scores A Wait, 7.5?

Wow, this is a turn of events, with all of the nines we've been seeing for Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, you'd never think we see a 7.5/10 for it. Here is GameSpot's breakdown:
The Good
  • Shooting and platforming gameplay is fun.
  • Lots of different and useful weapons.
  • Beautiful, colorful visuals.
  • Tight controls.
The Bad
  • There's some good humor in it, but the story isn't very interesting, and the ending is a letdown.
  • So many different, often unnecessary gameplay mechanics that the game lacks an identity.
  • Difficulty is too easy and only the last hour or so is remotely challenging.
Read the full Ratchet & Clank Future review at the link.

[Read: R&C GameSpot Review]

PLAYSTATION 3: Big Exclusives Montage

GameDominator, a member of GameTrailers has created a montage of the upcoming and released PLAYSTATION 3 games most gamers are excited for. This includes HAZE, Heavenly Sword, Metal Gear Solid 4, and more. Enjoy.

[Via GT Forums]

PLAYSTATION 3: The Advertising & Third-Party Plan

Another subject to expand on.

E-Mail Advertising

Is anybody here subscribed to PLAYSTATION Underground's weekly subscription e-mails? If so, tell me what you see. What? Not subscribed? No problem. Take a look for yourself below.

What do you see here? A normal e-mail sent to Sony viewers, yes, but what type of games do you see being advertised? First party games. Now lets compare an e-mail from Xbox with this one.

What do you see in these e-mails? Sure, the bigger highlights are first party titles as well, but there is much mention of the third party titles. The difference between Sony and Microsoft is that Microsoft knows how to get in touch with third parties, therefore bringing it more content on Live such as demos, videos, and what not.

TV Commercials

Lets take this a step further, lets look at TV Commercials, multiplatform commercials. The list below:
  • Madden NFL 08

  • SEGA Rally Revo


  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008

  • Stanglehold

Alright, lets stop as you probably get the point. None of these videos mention anything about a PLAYSTATION 3 version of the game, because Microsoft funds the money needed to air the commercial, which Sony doesn't.

GameStop Advertising

Let me ask you something else now. Ever visit GameStop? Have you ever seen their posters on the wall? GameStop makes those posters. The boxart for most of the multiplatform posters showcase the Xbox 360 box, not the PLAYSTATION 3 box, probably because of the same reason of the commercials.

Now if I had pictures of these posters, I'd show you, but sadly I do not. Just give them a visit, you'll see my point. Take a browse through their reserve book, look at the pictures, it will be 360 everything unless it's Wii.

Seen their demos they give out? As of now they are giving out free Tony Hawk's Proving Ground demos and are soon going to give out free Turok demos with Xbox 360 pre-orders.

Been to GameStop lately? Seen the Guitar Hero III display, what system is it displayed on? Xbox 360.

Younger Audiences

Another thing to mention is, the Xbox 360 is getting games like Looney Toons: Acme Arensal, Bee Movie The Game, and even though we may not be much attracted to that category of games, it will attract a younger audience, bringing more console sales.

Developer Troubles

Another thing to look upon, developer troubles. Ever notice the extremely long delays for PLAYSTATION 3 games? Stranglehold has been out on the Xbox 360 since September 5,2007. The Orange Box was released on the Xbox 360 early this month, and the PLAYSTATION 3 version was delayed till December 11, 2007. Army of Two was just delayed because of trouble on the PLAYSTATION 3 version.

Developer Crap

You'd think by now, Sony would step in and help them out.

Another thing is even developers who probably have no trouble at all with the console, like Electronic Arts are treating the console basically like crap. You heard the NFL Tour situation? Apparently, the Xbox 360 version runs at 60fps and the PLAYSTATION 3's version runs at 30fps, even after Peter Moore said "starting with NBA Live 08, all PLAYSTATION 3 games are running at 60fps". NBA Live 08 released, 30fps.

It's third party relations people.

We like to expand on our topics, and this issue was brought up in the "Thoughts on the Network" article, expect to see more expanding.

Q&A: Everyday Shooter Creator Jonathan Mak

Everyday Shooter is the console debut for the one-man studio Queasy Games, also known as Jonathan Mak. The game was released on the PLAYSTATION Network earlier this month. It's artistic approach to the typical shooter game won it an award for design at the Independent Games Festival. GameSpot interviewed him today:

GameSpot: What previous experience in the game industry do you have?

Jonathan Mak: In the industry? I guess none. But I've been programming games on my own since about '97 or '98. And about two years ago, I was working for some guy as a game programmer on contract. I don't know if that's "in the industry." Probably not, but I've never worked for a studio or whatever.

Read the full interview at the link.

[Read: Jonathan Mak Interview]

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune: Golden Glory

At the beginning of this month, Evan Wells posted on the PlayStation.Blog that Uncharted: Drake's Forune was currently in it's beta testing stages. He wrote:

"almost everything is in the game, and we are just chasing down the last bugs and making a few minor balancing tweaks here and there."
Today, Insomniac revealed that the game has gone gold in all it's shiny glory. Gryling commented:
"We went 'gold' last week, Right now the game is in other words 100 percent done and is currently going through the approval process."
Guess we can see Naughty Dog's Uncharted: Drake's Fortune on November 20, 2007. Get your cash ready.

[Via GameSpot]

PES 2008: Goal Cam Gameplay

Love watching the World Cup? Then you'll know the greatest moment in any game is the celebration after you score. If you actually do watch it, you'll know theres only around 2-4 in a game. So cherish the moment.

Ratchet & Clank: Minor Glitch, Solved by Workaround

A minor glitch is contained in Insomniac's Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction for North American buyers. This glitch may prevent you from starting the game depending on the contents of your hard drive.

Just as Resistance: Fall of Man, the game requires a tiny installation before you can actually start the game. But a glitch in the game causes it do read the Hard Drive as full, and refuses it to install.
"We recently discovered a bug on the US version of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction that some of you may encounter the first time you boot the game," Insomniac community manager James Stevenson told Shacknews. "With specific amounts of free space on your drive, you may see a screen that tells you have insufficient space to create game data even though there is plenty of free space on your drive."
James Stevenson goes on to say:
"When this occurs, either delete or add about 500MB of data to your hard drive and the problem will go away,"
It may be an annoyance when you do it, but at worst it's just deleting an old demo or two.

[Via ShackNews]

Psychonauts Sequel Rumor Smashed

Earlier today, we posted a story about a rumored Psychonauts sequel, due to an image showing Raz from Psychonauts in the background on their projects page.

But alas, there is no Psychonauts 2 in production.

In an e-mail to Next-Gen, Schafer rained on everybody’s parade, explaining, “Man, who knew how much excitement a little darkness could bring? The truth is we are just putting together a new page about 'The Excellent Game Psychonauts.' We're not announcing any new games or anything. Sorry if we confused anybody! We lightened up the image to hopefully make things clearer.”

So as of now, we need to stick with our Coco Puffs before we get more Psycho Nauts.

[Via Next-Gen]

Call of Duty 4 Surprise: PLAYSTATION 3 Earlier Release?

A few months back, July 15 to be exact, IW_JRandom (an Infinity Ward employee) posted at the official Call of Duty 4 forums.

In his post, he promised some special love for the PLAYSTATION 3 version of the game. There has been much speculation about what it may be. With demo's, Call of Duty 2 on the disc and more as rumors.

But now, Ackbaria, an N4G member, has noticed that the release date for Call of Duty 4 for the PLAYSTATION 3 is November 2, 2007 for Europe, and for the Xbox 360, it's November 9th, 2007. Could this be the "special love" he spoke of?

[Via N4G]

IGN: Ratchet & Clank Future Scores 9.4/10

Reviews are swarming in today for Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destructions, Insomniac's newest action title. Lets get straight to the point and show the breakdown of the 9.4 that IGN gave to this title:
Presentation - 10
Insomniac has created its most intriguing and diverse universe yet. The story is strong and ends with closure and a cliffhanger (figure that one out), while load times rarely exist.

Graphics - 9.5
"Fantastic" is what comes to mind when describing the sights you'll see. A rock-solid framerate, crazy effects, a terrific art design and environmental activity galore. Prettiest thing on the system.

Sound - 8.5
The recurring V/O cast puts in another high-end (and hilarious) performance. The surround sound effects make the most of your receiver as well and the musical score fits well.

Gameplay - 9.5
Insomniac has the Ratchet and Clank formula down pat and the balance and progression of the shooting/ platforming/ space battles has be refined to award-winning levels. Fun, fun, fun!

Lasting Appeal - 9.0
You're looking at a good 12-15 hour quest the first time through, plus a challenge mode option, tons of upgradeable weapons, plenty of clandestine areas, secret skins, cheats, cinematics and more.

(out of 10 / not an average)
Read the full review at the link below.

[Read: R&C IGN Review]

Firmware 1.94: Adds Support for DUALSHOCK 3

Want to prepare for DUALSHOCK 3 just 5 months ahead of it's release? /sarcasm

Ok, here is the deal, pick up a copy of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, install firmware 1.94 onto your PLAYSTATION 3, and it will add rumble support for the controller you won't have until next year (unless you import it). As of now, the Firmware isn't up for download, but knowing Sony, it should be up sometime this week.

[Via JoyStiq]

EyeCreate: Officially Released on the PLAYSTATION Store

If you were one of the lucky ones to get The Eye of Judgment today at your local game store and you are looking for something a little extra, then head over to the PLAYSTATION Store.


The new and free EyeCreate software was just released, allowing you to make movies and do silly things with your newly aquired PLAYSTATION Eye.

The file is only 9051KB, so why not give it a try, right? So give it a whirl, and show us your videos.

1UP: Ratchet & Clank Future Scores 8.5/10

Another review for Ratchet & Clank comes in, this one is from 1UP. Their overall score is a great 8.5 out of 10. They sum up their review:
"Let me be clear, though: An uninspired story, a glitchy weapon, and a sometimes-unwieldy camera don't damage Ratchet beyond repair. The irresistibly addictive jumping-shooting-collecting-upgrading gameplay is as powerful here as it's ever been, and the optional collectibles, side-missions, and unlockable Challenge mode offer a really satisfying amount of play time. After beating the game, I immediately started over in Challenge mode, and that's not something I'd be willing to do for just any platformer.

So don't get me wrong -- Future is a very good game. I guess I was just hoping for a great game. Maybe next time."

Read the full review at the link below.

[Read: R&C 1UP Review]

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune Update - AI & Animation

PlayStation.Blog: As one of the programmers on Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune I’d like to give you some insight into the development process in creating the game’s characters.

We are a very small team creating the enemies here at Naughty Dog. Therefore we needed to be smart about how we approach creating the characters and deciding where to spend our time. We have some very talented animators here and that was something we wanted to leverage when trying to make the characters come to life.

The final AI in Uncharted is simple, yet also very powerful. We are heavily utilizing the Cell architecture to allow the enemies to be more aware of their surroundings. On top of this, the AI is highly configurable to allow the designers to create custom behaviors. Examples of this are combat distance used for close-combat/ranged enemies, likelihood of moving and reaction times, grenade throwing and shooting styles. The goal was to make the AI ’seem’ smart. If we could do so without making the code complex, that would be great. The approach we took to this was to use animations to add variations to our characters instead of trying to programmatically add complex behaviors.

[Continue Reading: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune Update - AI & Animation]

Michael Bay Still Loves Blu-Ray

Due to an exclusive deal for Paramount to become an HD DVD exclusive, meaning no Blu-Ray, Transformers was not able to be released on that format.

When Michael Bay first heard, he was outraged and threatened to stop production of the upcoming Transformers 2.

So far, the HD DVD sales of Transformers have broken records in less than a week. Michael Bay still seems to pick Blu-Ray over HD DVD though:

"It's short-sighted and it has delayed consumers' moving to HD (home video)," he told USA Today. "As a director, my critical eye is that Blu-ray is where my money is. Consumers are smart, and they are going to wait it out."
The HD DVD exclusive Paramount deal expires in less than two years. Perhaps we can see Transformers be bundled with a Transformers 2 Blu-Ray disc upon it's release?

[Via PS3 Fanboy]

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition: New Information

Recently announced at Capcom's Gamers Day was the upcoming PLAYSTATION 3 title, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, originally an Xbox 360 exclusive. They stated that the PLAYSTATION 3 version will include all the extra features & DLC from the Xbox 360 and PC version. The PLAYSTATION 3 version will contain the following features:
  • Frenetic Action - Lost Planet is a fast-paced third-person shooter with all the depth, intrigue and intensity of a science fiction classic.
  • Connect to gamers around the world via Playstation Network and participate in a variety of cooperative and versus battles with up to 16 players:
    • Elimination - It’s every snow pirate for themselves in this death match mode where the victorious are rewarded for the most points earned.
    • Team Elimination – You’re only as good as your teammates so strategy and cooperation is key in eliminating the opposing side.
    • Team Elimination – You’re only as good as your teammates so strategy and cooperation is key in eliminating the opposing side.
    • Post Grab - Teams are tasked with capturing and holding as many Posts as possible.
    • Fugitive - One player is assigned as the “Fugitive”, and he or she will earn points for various actions (staying alive, killing enemies, capturing Posts). Dying deducts points and winning is determined when a maximum total is reached or when the score ticks down to zero.
  • Foot and Vital Suit based gameplay – Command highly powered VS and weapons not only to help players traverse the treacherous terrain, but to eliminate enemies that lie ahead. Strategically switch between VS and on foot gameplay to best face each situation and challenge.
  • Vast environments - Snowstorms, arctic winds, towering buildings and mountains of ice are all stunningly realized as battles occur above and below ground, creating a truly immersive and cinematic event of epic proportions.
[Via MyGamer]

Army of Two: The Soldiers of Fortune

Even though EA Montreal's upcoming Army of Two was delayed to Q1 2008, doesn't mean we still can't enjoy the action of the game.

Here is a new trailer titled 'Soldiers of Fortune' showcasing the teamwork of these two soldiers. Watch out you don't get shot!

GameTrailers: Ratchet & Clank Future Scores 9/10

Like I said before, the reviews are starting to roll in. Just before, we had PSXtreme's review of a 9/10 and now we have GameTrailers review of a 9/10 for Insomniac's Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. Here are their final scores:
Story: 8.8
Design: 9.0
Gameplay: 8.7
Presentation: 9.5
Overall: 9.0
Watch the full review above, or in HD at the link below.

[View: HD RaC Review]

Psychonauts 2 In Development?

The projects page on Double Fine's official website lists two projects. One, we know as Brutal Legends. Another, not yet announced, we clearly see Raz from Psychonauts behind the words "Coming Soon".

The first Psychonauts was a great game for the PLAYSTATION 2 and XBOX and PC that received an average of 8.5's in all of their reviews.

[Via Double Fine]

Europe PLAYSTATION Store Outlines Untill November 29, 2007

SCEE has made yet another outline of the upcoming releases for the PLAYSTATION Store in Europe. Here is the list:
18 October 2007
  • Bust A Groove - PSone Classic
  • Crash Team Racing - PSone Classic
  • Everybody's Golf 2 - PSone Classic
  • Syphon Filter 3 - PSone Classic
  • PS3 - Demo Trailer
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction - Trailer (Story)
  • Uncharted Drake's Fortune - Trailer (Inspiration)
25 October 2007
  • Aqua Vita - PS Eye Game (2.99€)
  • Eye Create - PS Eye Game (Gratis)
  • Trials of Topoq - PS Eye Game
  • Operation Creature Feature - PS Eye Game
  • Games Convention 2007 - Press Conference Video
  • Crash Bandicoot 2 - PSone Classic
  • Crash Bandicoot 3 - PSone Classic
  • Folklore - Kidnapped Folk Pack (1.99€)
  • MotorStorm - Halloween Livery (Gratis)
  • Pixel Junk Racers - PSN Game (7.99€)
  • Toy Home - Trailer
  • Uncharted Drake's Fortune - Video (Charaktere & Musik)
  • Tekken 5: DR Online - Trailer
1 November 2007
  • GT Tokyo Motorshow - Video
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction - Demo
  • Uncharted Drake's Fortune - Video (Meet the Dogs)
  • Feel Ski - PSN Game (7.99€)
  • Mesmerize Distort & Trace - PS Eye Game
  • Tori Emaki - PS Eye Game
8 November 2007
  • Tekken 5: DR Online - PSN Game
  • Blast Factor: Advanced Research - PSN Game (2.99€)
  • Folkore - Bottom of the Sea Pack
  • MotorStorm - Devil Crossing Pack (1 Strecke + 4 neue Tickets + 2 Fahrzeuge)
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction - Video
  • Snakeball - PSN Game (7.99€)
15 November 2007
  • Colony Wars - PSone Classic
  • Coolboarders - PSone Classic
  • G-Police - PSone Classic
  • Motor Toon Grand Prix 2 - PSone Classic
  • Syphon Filter 2 - PSone Classic
  • High Velocity Bowling - PSN Game
  • MotorStorm - Livery Pack 1
  • Formula One Championship Edition - PSP Wing Mirror
  • PAIN - Trailer
  • Toy Home - PSN Spiel
22 November 2007
  • Riffed: Everyday Shooter - PSN Game
29 November 2007
  • MotorStorm - Livery pack 2
Take in note, these lists are at most not final, and expect to see some other demos as well. Also, one thing I've noticed, why is it that the videos and such that we receive are only for games like Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, or Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction? Why don't we receive videos for games like Army of Two, Unreal Tournament III, and such? Along with demos as well.

Besides that, seems like a good month for PLAYSTATION Eye and PSone games.

[Via PS3Only]

PSXtreme: Ratchet & Clank Scores 9.0/10

Reviews for the newest game in this dynamic duo franchise are starting to come in frequently now. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction is scoring 9's all around. Here is PSXtreme's breakdown:
Graphics: 9.0
Gameplay: 9.0
Sound: 9.0
Control: 9.0
Replay Value: 8.5
Overall: 9.0
Read the full review at the link below.

[Read: RaC Review]

Portal: The MySpace

Enjoy the musical tones of The Orange Box's mind puzzling game, Portal? Well, then have a visit to Portal's "user-made" MySpace. It has all the melodies from the game you'll want to hear over and over again.

[Visit: PortalSpace]