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    Entries in ps3 (201)


    Renegade Ops: Things That Make You Go Boom!

    What happens when you take a bucket full of Micro Machines and strap them full of high-powered armaments? Renegade Ops, the action-packed vehicle shooter that isn't nearly as mundane as its name. Created by Avalanche Studios, the boys behind the Just Cause series who know quite a bit about wanton destruction, this game knows exactly what we want: explosion porn!

    Renegade Ops is not what anyone was expecting as the follow-up to the open-world antics of Just Cause 2. This title is very much inspired by the Strike series of vehicle shooters: isometric military shooting action. Every moment of the game is dripping with bullets and explosions; pewpewbangboomaction, yeah! The sights and sounds of exploding buildings and splattered soldiers in a jungle setting was very pleasing to the eyes and ears.

    Controlling the little bugger took some getting used to, as the off-road jeep I was at the helm of must have been in a slippery mood. There wasn't much traction on the jungle dirt, as I imagine would be the case in real life, so battles with the more fortified enemies consisted of a lot of donuts and a lot of machine gun rounds. At the moments when I was able to sacrifice mobility for firepower, the alternate firing function planted some tripod legs into the jungle floor and let blast a thunderous single-shot cannon. Things that make you go boom!

    Unfortunately, I didn't get to take any of the co-op modes for a spin, but the short single player session I had was a blast. The final product looks to span across a multitude of locations and vehicles, to keep everyone happy. As downloadable games go, Renegade Ops has as much promise as the best of them, and twice as many explosions. What else would you expect from the Just Cause devs?


    Deciphering Dragon's Dogma: Less Demon's Souls Than Expected!

    Dragon's Dogma is a game I've written off as a Demon's/Dark Souls clone, and hence have had little interest in, despite the healthy buzz it has created for itself. Though after playing the demo, I'm singing a bit of a different tune, as the game played surprisingly well.

    The demo was playable as two distinctly different characters, a fighter (warrior) class and a strider (ranger) class. I observed my associate trek through a dimly lit cavern to tackle a chimera bookended by a mess of goblins and harpies. The battle was rough and tumble, but enthralling to watch. The chimera's physical appearance slowly whittle away with his health as the fighter and his crew of computer-controlled compatriots punctured the beast in all possible ways, except for that one, pervert. The assistant AI was surprisingly efficient, doing everything from healing the party to imbuing elemental weapon enchantments, and at appropriate times to boot. This is good, as the inability to issue direct commands to your party was a spot of worry for me. Between the intelligent AI and the very very very loose command system, there will be a minimal amount of worry when it comes to your teammates actions.

    The strider segment was, in stark contrast to the fighter's, bright and open, transpiring in a grassy field under the blue sky. The strider and squad were tasked to taking down what I believe was a Griffon. There are a lot of buttons to figure out and not much time to do it, so I jumped into the fray and got busy. It seemed the strider's scenario was much more complex than that of the fighter's. Bow shots and dagger swipes are your meat and potatoes, with enchanted special attacks to help distribute damage. I don't know if there is an enemy lock-on function, but I had a hell of a time trying to track the griffon as he soared above my party from all directions. When it landed, I would pump him full of arrows, and when he took off, it was back to trying to locate him quickly enough to fire a bolt or two. At some points, my tank would call for me to use her as a catapult and launch myself onto the griffon. When successful, the experience became a Shadow of the Colossus style climb and stab affair, which was quite fun until I misstepped and fell back to the ground with the rest of my party. I died shortly after.

    The moral of the story is that I suck as a strider, but Dragon's Dogma has some promise. Playing the demo really opened my eyes to this bad boy. 


    Crossing Up with Street Fighter X Tekken

    Street Fighter x Tekken has had playable builds floating around, which I've never been able to get my hands on. I finally changed that, and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised with the game thus far. The art style, while reminiscent of Street Fighter 4, is done differently enough to look fresh. The character models are beautiful, as are their every last animation.

    Tagging mid-combo and juggling are a very strong focus of the gameplay, akin to Mortal Kombat's tag system more than Marvel vs. Capcom's. From what I was able to deduce, pressing one of the right shoulder buttons (I played on a PS3 build) during a combo would immediately launch your enemy into the air and switch out to your second character, where you're able to put a nice bit of punishment on your airborne adversary. In the vein of the numbered Street Fighter games, Street Fighter x Tekken felt to be more about controlling pace, timing, and execution, especially in comparison to it's Versus series brethren.

    The Tekken characters felt a little awkward in the Street Fighter universe, as it takes some time to readjust to universal hadokens and shoryukens as opposed to long strings of attacks. My Tekken tactic of mashing the kicks did little to give an advantage as Hwoarang. Regardless, it was great fun latching on and distributing flawlessly rendered ass-whoopings with my favorite characters from both worlds.


    Hands On with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Exciting and Frustrating

    Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The mere mention of this game can split a room in half and have a bunch of rabid geeks at each other's throats. First off, as you must all know by now, Mega Man does not make an appearance in any form, leading many to speculate that the Mega Man franchise is officially dead. But that is a different discussion for a different time. I just wanted to throw that in there because no discussion of this game can take place without a Mega Man mention. Anyway, let me tell you how some of the new characters play!

    The build at SDCC featured Strider, Firebrand, Ghost Rider, and Hawkeye. Of the bunch, I enjoyed Firebrand for his balanced move set and unorthodox style and Hawkeye for his quiver of tricks and the zoning he's capable of. Firebrand was a good balance between quick and powerful, and had many things to keep his enemy off-kilter. Multi-directional fireballs, the ability to fly, a strong beam super, and a super which increases his strength and speed. Firebrand has the makes of a natural born killer.

    Hawkeye is just my type of character, full of tricks and unexpected surprises. His arrow shots garner different effects; a shot of three bolts, a binding shot of chains, a freeze shot, a poison shot, you name it. In addition, he also has a move which springs him in a different direction, ending in a particular type of shot. Hawkeye's moves are all ranged, but he has enough variation to keep his opponents guessing. Also, Ant Man. No brainer! 

    Strider is more of the same if you're familiar with him from Marvel vs. Capcom 2. I'm sure his inclusion has silenced many a fanboy, however he was never my favorite character so I'm indifferent. Ghost Rider is a nice addition, slashing away at opponents from range with assortment of chain whip moves. And of course, it's nice that he works the bike into his super move.

    I had a grand old time playing Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, but then reality set in. I hated this announcement when it was a rumor, I hated it when it was revealed, and I still kind of hate it after playing the damn game. Will the additional characters be worth an extra $40? Probably, but that doesn't change the fact that my Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds disc becomes utterly useless.


    Anger! Scream! QTE! Hands on with Asura's Wrath

    I've covered Asura's Wrath quite a bit, but really couldn't back up all the noise I've been making because I haven't played it. I finally got to work with the demo that has been in-and-out of game journalist's hands, and I enjoyed what I played.

    Though there were plenty of quick-time events, there was never any period where I wished the game would pick up in pace or wondered when it would stop being a bore. Asura's Wrath is a flurry of punches, fireballs, over-the-top cut scenes, and non-stop action. In other words, exactly what one would expect from this title. Galactic Buddha Finger was in full effect, leading to my unadulterated happiness upon execution. It seems that, when fully controlled fighting occurs, there's a lack of a deep and sexy combo system. Maybe I just didn't have enough of a chance to tackle the grunts and flex the multi-hit muscle, as the demo was mostly one gigantic boss battle. The above gameplay video shows a few unique combos, but not enough to satiate my craving from a stylish action game. We'll know what to expect very soon, I'm sure.

    After completing the demo, I stepped off into a rage booth, where you scream at the top of your lungs for a chance to win things. I scored 94.1, high enough to win a funky wig. 100 was the goal, which I failed to reach. 

    I don't expect Asura's Wrath to get 10 Blasters, but it was enough fun that my desire hasn't cooled. Before you get overly excited though, know what you're going to get: a cross between God Hand and Ninja Blade, two games I really enjoyed.

    This is my O-face


    Waiting in Line for Online: Street Fighter III: Third Strike Hands On

    Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition is pegged for an August 23 release, and as such the build on display seemed almost final. Of course, much of the retail release's allure lies in some of it's secondary attributes such as GGPO-enabled (see: no lag) online battles, replay sharing, and countless adjustable options, which I wasn't able to play with. I just got to fight, and it was good.

    It was just like the old days where I sucked at parrying and couldn't remember any non-Shoto moves. Aw yeah, memories! I got to play a few matches in full HD and a few with the original sprites, complete in 4:3 display mode. Of note was the Trial Mode side bars which took up some of the unused screen real estate, and tallied numbers for both myself and my opponent. Things like particular attacks used, parries, combos completed and so on. Not sure what all these numbers will net at the end - probably points to spend in the game's shop - but I can confirm their existence!

    Do you foresee yourself dropping the required $15 entry fee for a throwback to yesteryear? 


    BioShock: Infinite Looks Fucking Stupid

    BioShock: Infinite looks fucking stupid. And I mean that in the best way possible; I just can't think of any other way to put it. After watching a 15 minute clip from Irrational Games' latest, I can see why it received the ungodly amount of praise it did at E3. The game must be seen to be believed. But be forewarned, it is not easy to watch. My body experienced a range of sensations and emotions through the 15 minutes of madness enclosed within.

    Until now, Infinite has been a disassembled puzzle of promise to me. Pieces lay scattered; a handful of screenshots here, a two minute gameplay clip there, and a Ken Levine interview somewhere in between. And yes, it all appeared to look good, however each bit felt so detached from each other, and the bigger picture. How are these cryptically explained gameplay elements going to fit together? Will the story of this Americana-inspired-floating-city-gone-awry capture our imaginations as Andrew Ryan's dystopia did? To be honest, I'm still not sure. I do feel however, after watching a quarter-hour of the game in motion, any doubt I may have had, any anxiety I've harbored, has been violently whipped away on a skyrail and thrown into the burning carcass of a sinking zeppelin.

    Watch in fullscreen, 720p - you'd be doing yourself a disservice otherwise

    Infinite's art style, decidedly that of a cartoon, was one of the things I thought could malign the title in the public eye. In an age where it's hyper-realistic war shooters or bust, could this exaggerated animated style succeed? As soon as we see the emotion in Elizabeth's eyes throughout her interactions with Booker, it's immediately clear that this style is absolutely perfect for Infinite. Sure, it could have been pulled of with photo-realism, but when I saw the fear and sincerity in Elizabeth's eyes as she mimed her own asphyxiation to steel Booker's resolve, I couldn't see this game illustrated any other way.

    BioShock was haunting and beautiful, a water-painting of deep sea hues offset by industrial textures and sheen; the perfect place to breed madness. And breed it did, with the cast multiplying in insanity as the tale unfurled and Rapture unraveled. In contrast, the airborne city of Columbia is bright and colorful, floating amongst the sunlit clouds like a tale of blissful ignorance. If the sample we've seen is anything to draw conclusions on, Columbia will probably make Rapture look as soft as baby thighs. Degenerates abusing innocent bystanders as their lookouts harass onlookers, bodies piled under American flags, screaming madmen whirring along suspended railways - the imagery is disturbingly brilliant.

    To me, one of the most underrated aspects of game design is the attention to audio. This is where I feel many games tend to lack, be it voice acting or ambient sound. It's an art that requires subtle perfection, something many studios are unwilling to offer. Infinite hits it on the head, in the first five minutes it is very clear that Irrational has put a very distinct focus on sound design. I felt chills down my spine as the unseen Songbird howled its song of sad scorn for Elizabeth, and I would call you a liar if you didn't say the very same. The sound of the city's continuing downward spiral includes domestic abuse culminating in spousal murder, brawls spilling onto the street through shattered windows, and lots of gunfire. But in the end, I cannot shake the memory Songbirds woeful cry. A skillfully composed score would only be icing on the cake at this point.

    Don't even get me started on the tears. I have no idea where those Irrational boys plan to take the story and gameplay with the addition of alternate universes, but it can be either an excellent idea, or a complete cop out. I want to side with the former, but I'll refrain from doing so just yet. But knowing that Elizabeth can tear the universe a new one and relocate herself and Booker to the modern day, if only for an instant, could have incredible purpose if utilized correctly. Big emphasis on 'if'.

    The original BioShock, to this day, rates as one of my favorite games of all time. A game that I can recommend to friends and family as a must-play four years after it's release, and will continue to do so for long after, I'm sure. Much as BioShock crept up and absolutely blew me away, BioShock: Infinite looks like it will do the same on a previously unattained level of downright stupidity.


    Bullet Points: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Beta

    When the Uncharted 3 multiplayer beta dropped on PSN for PlayStation Plus users (see: everyone) last week, I cleared my schedule to assure I'd have time to spend with an early look at Naughty Dog's upcoming opus. While I thought I would take Drake and Sully against groups of human controlled mercenaries, in actuality the battle was against constant lag, frequent freezing, and frustrating system reboots. After hours of fruitless attempts, I gave up and my schedule viciously repopulated, leaving no time for treasure hunts and fragging. Though as the greater United States spent the weekend celebrating the independence of our country, I chose to celebrate the independence of my SIXAXIS controller from wires. With network integrity restored and a stable run of the beta queued up, I had an explosive time with Uncharted 3.

    + Deep: Several play modes offer great variation
    + Unlocking customization pieces is not as easy as ranking up
    + Active maps offer dynamic, cinematic action
    + Power Plays to assure no match is a lopsided blowout
    + Two player split screen and in game party system
    + Buddy system literally rewards team play
    - Inability to change base clothing on Drake and Sully models
    - Characters lacking Uncharted's signature personality

    The beta is available to the entirety of PlayStation Network as of today, so why not give it a shot yourself? Though the retail release is still 4 months out, Naughty Dog has sculpted an enjoyable experience thus far. A little tweaking, a lot more weapons, boosters, and kickbacks, and we have what may be the sleeper multiplayer title of the year. And though I'd like to see more writing and personality in the multiplayer (of story characters specifically,) that wont make or break the game I'm sure to have in heavy rotation, even long after the campaign has been completed.

    Bullet Points is a stripped down review of a stripped down release, usually in demo or beta. Why spend precious moments reading about what you should be out there playing?


    Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Beta Goes Live Today

    You will discover what Drake's Deception is all about on 11/11/11. In the meantime, experience first hand how Drake, Sully, and an army of nameless mercenaries go about fragging each other, as early as June 28!

    That's right folks, today is the big release of Uncharted 3's multiplayer beta, available only to owners of Infamous 2 and PlayStation Plus members, which is just about everyone, innit? After the PlayStation Network debacle, free PS Plus was liberally handed out to all parties affected by the outage, and thus Uncharted 3 multiplayer is about to face one of the greatest first day stress tests a beta has ever come up against. For the general public without PlayStation Plus or Infamous 2, your time will come on Tuesday July 5. The beta will conclude on Thursday July 14, so make the best of your time with Drake and friends while you can!

    If you, like me, have been waiting all day for your fix of Uncharted 3, your patience is about to pay off. The beta will hit PSN for download at 2pm Pacific, 5pm Eastern; aka the only time zones that matter. If you're somewhere outside or between the two, Naughty Dog's Twitter will let you know when its baby has gone live.

    You can find much more detailed info about the Uncharted 3 beta at PlayStation.Blog, which I suggest you hit up so you know exactly what to be prepared for. Rotating maps and gametypes, stereoscopic 3D support, split-screen with a friend, and rank up to the max level of 25 to secure some nice bonuses!

    You have about an hour to catch up with what you need to know before you can queue up the near-two gig download. And after that, you'll have another hour to say your prayers while the download completes. I'm gunning for you, sucka!

    via PlayStation.Blog


    Mortal Kombat's Kenshi Doesn't Need to See Your Ass to Kick it

    Eyes. Who needs em? Mortal Kombat cares very little for eyes, as evidenced by attacks such as Reptile's and Baraka's X-Rays. But what good will those attacks do to a character to has no optics in the first place? Yup, here comes Kenshi. 

    A blind monk who whips around a bitching sword with telekinetic ease, Kenshi is on deck as your next kombatant. Netherrealm promised a full slate of four fighters this summer, and after last weeks release of Skarlet - who is bloody fantastic - Kenshi hits the tournament next Tuesday, July 5. Two weeks between the first two downloadable characters, and I hope this pace keeps up. I'd love to bring the fatalities with Rain and the yet unannounced mystery character by time early August comes around. I hope Capcom is taking note with their handling of Marvel vs. Capcom 3's characters.

    Will Kenshi justify the $5 buy in? Decide for yourself after laying your precious little eyes on this trailer. 

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