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]