NostalGeek

Don’t Hate the Game, Hate the Player

Final Fantasy XIII Japanese Cover

Here you go! I like the simple white background with just the logo better but I guess it could be worse.

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November 3, 2009 Posted by | PS3 News, Video Game News | , , | Leave a comment

Final Fantasy XIII Gets Japanese Release Date!

147777-ffxiiiA YouTube flash ad in Japan shows this image that clearly gives you the release date of December 17 2009 which has since been confirmed by Square Enix at an event, along with the price of ¥8,800.

Now let’s hope it comes soon after to our Western shores. At the same event Yoichi Wada mentioned the “international” version would come out in Spring 2010.

September 8, 2009 Posted by | PS3 News, Video Game News | , | Leave a comment

E3 2009: Sony Press Conference

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Damn it is nice to end on a good note! Sony’s press conference once again delivers. Bear in mind I’m no fanboy, I love my PSX and PS2 like anyone else and I think the PS3 is a good console picking up steam. I also own an Xbox and a 360 and a Wii and a GameCube and a DS. I’m a gamer and that’s it.

But now that I’ve seen all of the Big 3 conferences I come out with the same feeling I did last year: Sony tops the show, but not by much. What makes Sony’s conferences so nice is that there are very stylish, they are pro without being pompous or boring (see the Hannah Montana announcements) and they have games. MicroSoft is always close being with usually a bit more games but in terms of the conference itself they fall just a little short. And then, of course, there’s Nintendo, our beloved Nintendo, which has given us cringe-worthy conferences back to back.

But this is about Sony who reminded us nicely that the PlayStation came out 15 years ago… I know right?

Mantra: One Vision

One of the big ‘news’ today that was not software related was the PSP Go! which as Jack Tretton put it is “the worst kept secret of E3“. As a result nothing really new was said on the technical side. It will have 16G of flash memory with possible extension, built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.
Jack made a point to say that the all-digital console would not replace current PSPs and that all games will be available digitally as well as in UMD format.
They also unveiled Media Go which is an app allowing you to access the PS Store directly from your PC. The PS Store will have new content partners including Showtime and Manga Entertainment.
The PSP Go1 will be available on October 1st for $249.99. No price drop of previous versions was announced.

The other big news was Sony’s motion controller. It was unveiled by Richard Marx, creator of the Eye Toy and is in essence a WiiMote but with a twist or two. First of all it seems to be color-coded so for instance if you waggle the controller while it’s red it will throw a fireball, if it were blue it would be an ice ball. Second and most important it looked very VERY precise during the demo, precise enough to actually write smoothly with.
It’s important to keep in mind that, like Natal, this is still a project in development (this is set to launch in 2010) so neither the design nor the technology is final. both technologies are very impressive and promising but for now Sony’s seem more game-ready.
It will certainly be exciting to see where this goes in the future.

Now let’s move on to the games. Sony had prepared 2 videos featuring all the upcoming games for PSP and PS3 and they also announced 50 PlayStation games coming to the PS Store this year starting with Final Fantasy VII available today! But they also had some more in-depth trailers and demos for several games.

  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Sweet gameplay demo with lots of destruction and flying objects everywhere. Awesome dialogue as well.
  • MAG. Live demo of a game session involving 256 players at once! seemed very complex but interesting. There appeared to be a very slight lag in the gameplay though.
  • Gran Turismo PSP. it will be in full 60FPSas shown in the trailer and will feature 800 cars and 35 tracks with 60 variations. You can play with 4 players and will be able to trade cars with others.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Ah now that’s a trailer! Unlike yesterday’s lackluster Rising trailer this one was great. This a “true sequel of the franchise” not a spin-off and the MGS4 team is developing, Kojima will write the script and produce. The game will take place in the 70s, ten years after MGS3. It is due in 2010.
  • Resident Evil Portable. Not much was revealed except that it will be a complete new game.
  • Agent. A new Rockstar property that will be exclusive to the PlayStation 3 and will be set in the late 1970s.
  • Assassin’s Creed II. Awesome demo and great trailer! you will not start out as an assassin but will become with the help of people like Leonardo da Vinci! You will have more diversity and more options available to you. Double Headed Blade! The game will be out the Holiday season along with Bloodlines for the PSP. Out November 17.
  • Final Fantasy XIII. A new great trailer but with so-so dubbing, not bad but not great either. i’m still on my knees for Japanese VO.
  • Final Fantasy XIV. Wow now that was unexpected. The trailer reveals that it’s actually an MMO and so a spiritual sequel to FF XI. The game will be exclusive to PS3.
  • Mod Nation Racers. The new game in the Play, Create, Share line. It is a fun kart game with more adult graphics. The very impressive demo showed the track creation tools which offer tons of options and can be tried instantly.
  • The Last Guardian. Otherwise known as Project Trico. The trailer was a gorgeous graphical update of the one we saw a few weeks ago, though a few scenes were added at the end.
  • Gran Turismo 5. A decent trailer shows WRC and Nascar but not much else was revealed as usual.
  • God of War III. An amazing demo!! Brutal ,bloody, gorgeous. The game is the final chapter of the trilogy. Coming March 2010.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Industry News, PS3 News, PSP News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

E3 2009: Microsoft Press Conference

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Today at 10:30am PST E3 officially launched with the Microsoft press conference. It feature several announcements, some big and some small, some exciting, some yawn-inducing. But overall I think it was a good conference.

Mantra: Showing Not Telling.

NB: Keep in my mind that I will add/update links as HD videos pop up on the web.

The big announcement of the conference was Project Natal. The long speculated camera with movement recognition. It turns out it will also feature facial and voice recognition.
They really pushed it with appearances from Steven Spielberg and Peter Molyneux but it was a mixed bag.

The lame painting demo, though somewhat fun gave me the same feeling as Wii Music last year. Completely gimmicky and useless. Not precise enough to be used in games. The Ricochet demo, likewise, was fun in the sense that the girl who did the demo after 5 minutes seemed ready to jump into the shower. So what of hour long sessions…..

The whole Lionhead demo is also bittersweet. On the one hand the demo itself is sad! Following on the whole new stuff for Live, now you don’t need to press a button with Natal voice recognition, you don’t need to see your friends because you have Facebook and Twitter everywhere and with Milo you don’t even need a friend! Sad really.
But on the other hand if you look past the presentation itself. What it offers in terms of new technology, when harnessed, could be amazing in games. Imaging being in Resident Evil 5 and instead of having to go through ammo inventory management hell, you would just say “give my shotgun ammo” and ..voila! Truly an amazing potential that has yet to be developed.
It is after all still a ‘project’ so let us give them the benefit of the doubt.

In other none-straight-game-related stuff, Microsoft announced new partnerships:

  • Last.fm which will allow access to the famous music site. In addition people with gold subscriptions will have access to it all for free. This feels like this year’s Netflix deal.
  • Facebook. This a a pretty big thing if it’s exclusive but all in all it allows you to do what you already do on your PC and Blackberry from your 360. YAY lazy.
  • Twitter. Same as Facebook, nothing to add.
  • Sky TV in the UK which will allow you to watch live TV.
  • All videos will now be available instantly in 1080p. Nice but I’ll believe it when I see it.

The announcements most of the people who may read my blog (however few) are interested in are the games. On that front I thought Microsoft did pretty well so let’s dive in.

  • The Beatles Rock Band. Paul, Ringo and Yoko! Pretty big PR. Check out the amazing game intro. All You Need Is Love is a 360 exclusive and I am so getting this game! I don’t own it yet and the Beatles guitars look awesome. Out 09-09-09!
  • Modern Warfare 2. They showed the long trailer that came out last week but they also had a gameplay demo in the snow with blizzard weather and snowmobile that was awesome!
  • Final Fantasy XIII. It was basically the Japanese demo of the English version with English voices. I’m still praying for VO in the game though. They unveiled Odin which was cool. It’s set to release in Spring 2010.
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction. They showed a very nice demo and trailer. The game looks darker and features some new stuff like an EMP grenade and ‘Mark and Execute’ which allows you to sort of set a sequence and get it going for a fast kill.
  • Left 4 Dead 2. Featured a great trailer and a release date for October of this year.
  • Halo 3: ODST. Another sweet trailer, Bukcle up and prepare to drop! Some gameplay footage in New Mombasa as the Rookie. The game will have a flashback systema nd you will play several ODSTs to build up the plot.
  • Halo: Reach. Unveiling of the game. Set around the time of the novel ‘Fall of Reach’ which was a prequel to the game. No surprise another nice trailer. Set to release in 2010 and there will be a beta access with ODST.
  • Alan Wake. At last!!!! A very nice footage of the game. Walking around at night with a tryst flashlight. It reminded my a lot of Alone in the Dark on the DC. You seem to be facing ghost which are neutralized with a sort of EMP weapon. The game is coming out Spring 2010.
  • Forza Motorsport 3. A short trailer and a live demo showing the different views with the head vision going left and right. A new very deep costumization and video editing system for Live. Release date set for October.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Rising. and HERE. WE. GO. After Devil May Cry and Final Fantasy Sony lost the Metal Gear exclusive. Aside from this the whole thign was fairly poor. Same trailer we’ve been teased with for weeks (and the countdown hadn’t even reached zero!). Even though it’s called Metal Gear SOLID it Kojima made a point to say it doesn’t feature Solid Snake but Raiden as we knew.
  • Shadow Complex. New Epic Game for XBLA. was unveiled through massive sound problem so we didn’t hear a bunch of stuff. The animation looks a lot like Bionic Commando Rearmed and the map is reminiscent of Metroid/Castlevania.
  • Crackdown 2. Featured a nice trailer but that’s about it.
  • Brutal Legend. Tim Schaeffer detailed some of the voice work and characters in the game with a  fun trailer. Included are Ozzy Osbourne, Motorhead’s Lemmy Killmeister, Lita Ford and more. Still coming out Rocktober!
  • Tony Hawk Ride. unveiled the final design for the skate peripheral as well as a basic trailer. nothing thrilling.
  • Joy Ride. A sort of Mario Kart with your Avatars in the cars. But it’s free so there’s really nothing to complain about. Could be fun.

June 1, 2009 Posted by | 360 News, Industry News, PC News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Final Fantasy XIII – No Japanese Tracks in U.S.?

final-fantasy-xiii1Here we go I knew it was coming! Square Enix has put out a lame statement today saying that chances are the game would only have English dub in the U.S.

The problem seems to be that there is not enough space on a 360 DVD. Something I can understand even though Lost Odyssey didn’t seem to have any issues but let’s accept it. The problem is that they seem to use this as a lame excuse to not even bother with the dual voices on the PS3.

Yoshinori Kitase, producer on the game, said “Obviously, when we talk about XIII it’s for PS3 and Xbox — with PS3 being on Blu-ray there would be enough memory, but on Xbox probably not. At the moment we’re thinking of releasing the voice in English only. Are there many people who would like to play with Japanese voices?”

Yes there are!!! I for one will not rush to buy the game if it’s only in English. Shame on the RPG giant for putting less effort into games than Nippon Ichi and Atlus.

N.B: I had written this a while ago but just realized it had never published so here you go.

May 28, 2009 Posted by | 360 News, PS3 News, Video Game News | , , , | 2 Comments

Monday August 4, 2008

SquareEnix Continues to Make Noise

They already made the biggest announcement of this year’s E3 revealing that Final Fantasy XIII would be released on the Xbox 360 but today they said something that is sure to annoy a lot of PS3 anew.
Apparently development of the game on the Microsoft console hasn’t even started since they haven’t received the dev kits yet. This should be good news for Sony fans no? Well not at all. While the Playstation will have a timed exclusivity in Japan, SquareEnix has announced that the game would be released on both consoles simultaneously in the U.S.. This means that even if the PS3 version is finished, users may have to wait months for the 360 version to come out before they can play the game.
As Will Smith used to say in Bad Boys : “I’d be….pissed!”

Call of Duty 6 Developed by Infinity Ward?

Activision is set to try and release a CoD game every year but in order to achieve this they need to have 2 studios working at the same time on different games. Currently Treyarch is working on Call of Duty 5: World at War so when Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick confirmed that another CoD title was planned for 2009 it set ablaze rumors that Infinity Ward, who developed the hit Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, was working on the title.
It hasn’t been confirmed yet but the studio said they were working on a new title for Activison so it looks like it is a strong possibility.

American McGee Is Back!!!!!!

After the amazing American McGee’s Alice, which is one of my all-time favorite games and holds one of my top 10 favorite soundtracks ever thanks to Chris Vrenna, and the very sad cancellation of American McGee’s Oz (please please please! make it!), the infamous guy went underground for a while. But now he is back with a gritty adaptation of the Brother’s Grimm tales.
The game will be released in 24 episodes available through Gametap and it’s all free so you have no excuse. The first episode was released last Thursday, the 31.

I haven’t tried the game yet but I intend to soon and will try to make a quick review.

Nintendo and the Rumor Mill

A bunch of rumors went through the web today after some fans saw RSS feeds mentioning the Wii 2 and Shigeru Miyamoto‘s ‘last’ project. The whole thing emerged from a Wall Street Journal talking about the company trying to keep its momentum.
In the end it turns out it’s just some very basic info that was overblown. Nintendo is indeed working on the Wii 2….since the Wii launched. Just as Sony has been working on the PS4 and Microsoft has been working on the Xbox 720.
As far as Miyamoto’s last project, they simply meant “the last project that he had in mind when they launched the Wii (almost 2 years ago). So he is now brainstorming hard to find new original and exciting (hopefuly more so then Wii Music) for our pleasure.

In the end, nothing to write home about.

August 4, 2008 Posted by | 360 News, Industry News, PC News, PS3 News, Tech News, Video Game News, Wii News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

E3 2008 – Microsoft Press Conference Summary

E3 2008

E3 2008

Today Microsoft held their press conference at E3 and is what I took from it.

  • Complete revamp of Xbox Live with avatars. at first glance I’m not sure about the changes but we will have to see it and try it to make sure.
  • Netflix is partnering with Microsoft to distribute movies on Xbox Live. To me this is THE announcement that’s worth a million bucks.Combining the cheap format of Netflix with the (almost) instantaneous aspect of Live download is a gold mine.
  • The Fallout 3 gameplay felt very underwhelming to me. I’m pretty disappointed as I have high hopes for this game. We’ll have to wait and see some more.
  • Final Fantasy XIII will be released simultaneously for PS3 and 360! Now this is another major gain for Microsoft and another blow to the PS3. Sony must be really glad they integrated Blu-ray in their console because otherwise…
  • The online Co-Op modes for Resident Evil 5 (releasing Friday the 13th March 2009) and Fable II look very nice. Fable II gives a lot of promise and looks like another nice RPG that people will enjoy playing. Resident Evil 5 continues in the footsteps of RE 4 adding a promising cooperation mode.
  • Confirmed release dates of November 7 2008 for Gears of War 2, March 13 2009 for Resident Evil 5, October 2008 for Fable II and September 2 2008 for Infinite Undiscovery (which looks like Lost Odyssey but has a kick-ass website).
  • Other announcements counted Guitar Hero World Tour which looked OK but was overshadowed by Rock Band 2 and their announcement that AC/DC will finally be featured on the game. Rare confirmed Viva Piñata 2 and Banjo & Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Geometry Wars 2 and Portal 2 are coming to Xbox Live Arcade and a few other details which weren’t that thrilling.

Overall the Microsoft conference was average with mostly confirmations and footage we had seen before. Still it included the big FFXIII slap and some nice new footage of Fable II, Resident Evil 5 and Fallout 3.

You can watch the full coverage of the conference here.

July 14, 2008 Posted by | 360 News, Tech News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment