Friday, September 17, 2010

Gaming Today

Gaming Today

Study Says Gamers Think More Quickly Than Non-Gamers

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 10:43 PM PDT

Does your entire family think that it’s totally bad that your life revolves around video games? Well, I have a bit of info that you can throw back in their smug f**king faces when you inevitably you catch s**t for playing Mass Effect for the 12th time. (Yes, I’m inserting my life into this post.)

A study by the University of Rochester has come to the conclusion that folks who play fast-paced action games make quicker decisions than those who don’t, and they also say those quickly made decisions are no less correct than those made by your slower, non-gamer counterparts.

The researchers found that video game players develop a heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them, and this benefit doesn't just make them better at playing video games, but improves a wide variety of general skills that can help with everyday activities like multitasking, driving, reading small print, keeping track of friends in a crowd, and navigating around town.

Oo la la, bitches. I feel so smart and good about my usually very sad, sad existence right now. Here’s what the study was all about:

The researchers tested dozens of 18- to 25-year-olds who were not ordinarily video game players. They split the subjects into two groups. One group played 50 hours of the fast-paced action video games "Call of Duty 2" and "Unreal Tournament," and the other group played 50 hours of the slow-moving strategy game "The Sims 2."

After this training period, all of the subjects were asked to make quick decisions in several tasks designed by the researchers. In the tasks, the participants had to look at a screen, analyze what was going on, and answer a simple question about the action in as little time as possible (i.e. whether a clump of erratically moving dots was migrating right or left across the screen on average). In order to make sure the effect wasn't limited to just visual perception, the participants were also asked to complete an analogous task that was purely auditory.

The action game players were up to 25 percent faster at coming to a conclusion and answered just as many questions correctly as their strategy game playing peers.

"It's not the case that the action game players are trigger-happy and less accurate: They are just as accurate and also faster," Bavelier said. "Action game players make more correct decisions per unit time. If you are a surgeon or you are in the middle of a battlefield, that can make all the difference."

So, yeah. Can you believe that? I always knew that there was something about me that was way better than my game-mocking relatives. Hold your heads up high, gamers.

This story comes from Newswise, and if you click on that link there, you’ll find more praise for gamers and talk about how our brains are so cool and stuff. Man, what a day.

Sony Says 30 Million PS3s Are Online

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 10:24 PM PDT

Speaking to Reuters at TGS, Sony honcho Kaz Hirai said that 80 percent of the 38 million PS3s sold worldwide are connected to the Internet. For the folks who don’t have a calculator or who didn’t read the headline, that means 30 million PS3s are connected, which is more than than the 23 million 360s that were connected at the beginning of the year.

Amusingly, Hirai also said they were hoping to improve that percentage to 100, which I suppose means Sony is going into the Internet service provider business in order to make sure anyone on Earth with a PS3 can also have a high-speed connection. Which is impossible, unless he just wants to have all those disconnected PS3s connect just one time so they can be counted.

And that’s enough of my ramblings on this matter. Keep dreaming big, Kaz.

Demon’s Souls Creators Announce New Title

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 10:08 PM PDT

The company called From Software, developers of the loved/hated PS3 Greatest Hit Demon’s Souls, announced at TGS that they are gearing up a new RPG called Project Dark. They gave no details on the new title, but they did say it’ll be PS3-exclusive, that it’ll be out in Japan next year and that people who liked Demon’s Souls will like this as well. So, uh, watch out, everyone. Gaming masochism returns in the next calendar year. You might want to start preparing yourself mentally now, because otherwise several weeks of isolation as you take on this game could be more mentally taxing than you can handle.


Capcom Announces Asura’s Wrath (With a Trailer)

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 05:56 PM PDT

At TGS this week, Capcom announced Asura’s Wrath, a new action game based on Asian mythology with a splash of science fiction.

The game is being developed for Xbox 360 and PS3 by Cyberconnect2, the folks behind the Naruto and .hack games. They’ll be using Unreal Engine 3 apparently.

The announcement trailer (embedded below), starts with (we presume) Asura all beat up and dying and impaled with many spears. But then he gets wrathful, and proceeds to beat the living sh$% out of everyone in his path.

Judging by the trailer, Asura’s combat tastes extend beyond standard weaponry. He’s also into taking on armies with just his mitts. He’s a super-powered grappler, it seems. He looks to be a god-Zangief, if you can picture that.

I can dig this, looks pretty cool so far. No release date yet, but we’ll keep you up to date with more news when we have it. Here’s an official blurb:

Once a revered deity, Asura was betrayed by his fellow gods and stripped of all his powers. Consumed by anger at the injustice he has suffered and swearing vengeance, Asura discovers he can use this fury to his advantage and turn it against his enemies. By channelling his inner rage, Asura is now able to unleash devastating attacks and wreak havoc as he battles against the deities who have wronged him and their earthly forces. Inspired by episodic dramas, Asura’s Wrath will be split into distinct sections with gameplay and narrative unfolding as one and building to a final climatic conclusion.

[via eurogamer]

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Muliplayer Beta Details Here

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 05:13 PM PDT

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood multiplayer is a weird beast, but it totally kinda works because it’s legit AC gameplay in a new package. And starting October 4, you’ll get a chance to take a gander at it, provided you meet a couple requirements. First, you’ll need a PS3, as we already knew. Second, you have to pre-order the game from Gamestop by September 25. Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m just the messenger, though, so don’t shoot me.

But that’s not all. I’ve also got the rundown on what you’ll be able to do in the beta. There are nine characters to choose from, and you’ll be able to use them in these modes:

Up to eight simultaneous players will be able to use new ways to assassinate their targets in two different modes:

Wanted – Adversarial mode: From six to eight players
• Objective: Obtain the highest possible score by killing assigned targets.
• Game session: 1 round of 10 minutes
• In this game mode, players have 10 minutes to reach the higher score by assassinating other players. A target is assigned by the system and players can only kill that specific target. Interaction with the other players is not permitted unless they are either a target or a pursuer. If players kill innocents they will trigger an "open conflict". The position of the player will be revealed to their target and then will have the ability to escape or to cancel the contract. If the target has identified one of his pursuers, he can stun him to cancel the contract and score points.

Alliance* – Cooperative mode: Three teams of two players
• Objective: Obtain the highest possible score with your teammate by killing the assigned team. The teammates share the same character.
• Game session: 2 rounds of 4 minutes
• At the beginning of the round, a target team is assigned to each of the three teams. Those targets will not change for the entire round. During the round, players can switch between their two targets at anytime. Players will score by killing targets or escaping or stunning pursuers, but in addition, are rewarded by helping their teammate or performing cooperative actions like multiple kills in a row. At the end of the first round, all players will respawn and a new target is assigned to each team. The game session ends at the end of the second round.
* Alliance Mode will be unlocked by the community

Both modes will be playable on two different maps (Rome and Castel Gandolfo), with a third map to be unlocked by the community (Siena).

I don’t know what “unlocked by the community” means,  but I’m sure it will become clear in time. If you aren’t up for throwing down a fiver at Gamestop to get in on this, you’ll have to wait until November 16, when the game comes out on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Details on Red Dead Redemption’s Zombie DLC, Liars and Cheats Trailer

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 04:08 PM PDT


Red Dead Redemption downloadable content just keeps coming: its upcoming Undead Nightmare pack will have an new single player campaign that pits cowboys against zombies.

Rockstar Games said the pack has protagonist John Marston trying to cure a zombie outbreak spreading across the frontier. “The Undead Nightmare Pack also features brand new gameplay mechanics, weapons, zombie animals, mythical creatures and even a brand new secret location,” according to Of course, we have no idea what new mechanics those might be.

Multiplayer will be a part of the pack as well, but Rockstar didn’t release any details on that front yet – nor has it said when the pack will be out, but it’ll cost $10 on the Playstation Network on PS3 and and 800 Microsoft Points on Xbox 360.

Meanwhile, the next upcoming RDR downloadable pack, Liars and Cheats, has a new trailer, which you can watch below. It comes out on Sept. 21.

Narrated in the same tone as a documentary about microscopic sea life or the proper care of vacuum cleaners, the trailer is extremely informative about the stuff that’ll be in the new pack. Stuff like gambling, horse-racing, cheating at horse-racing, and cheating at gambling.

It also has a surprising amount of living things being disintegrated into a fine red mist by the new explosive-round rifle that’ll be in the pack.

Check out a review for Legends and Killers, the last DLC pack, here.

Download the trailer here.

PS3 3D Blu-ray Support Comes Next Week, and Ico/Shadow of the Colossus Will Have 3D

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 03:18 PM PDT

Here we have a couple small items that I have combined here because they share the 3D thing and so I don’t annoy you by using my 3D picture twice in a row.

All right, so we’ve got two things, as I just said. First, 3D blu-ray support finally hits the PS3 on Tuesday, and so if you’re smart, the first movie you’ll try out on it is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Trust me on that; it’s a f**king stellar flick.

No. 2 right here is that when we announced the Ico/Shadow of the Colossus blu-ray pack yesterday, we somehow forgot to mention that it would come with 3D support. How could we forget about 3D?!?!?!?! I would never consider buying this if it weren’t in 3D.*

And that’s that. I hope you enjoyed the first episode of “Phil Combines Two News Stories Into One.”

*That is a lie.

EA CEO John Ricitiello Responds to Medal of Honor Criticism

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 02:43 PM PDT

Over the last month or so, EA has caught some flack from the mainstream media over the player’s ability to play as the Taliban in online multiplayer. Now, reports that EA’s CEO John Ricitiello has struck back at the controversy in comments made at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference.

Ricitiello: “no-one noticed” players can play as the Taliban online “until a journalist decided to put the game box in front of a mom who’d lost her son in Afghanistan to create some controversy.”

What else you got, John?

“I think that says more about the newspapers than it does the game industry. Having said that we’re incredibly sensitive to the challenges that a non-gamer who doesn’t really understand what I’ve just described might imagine when a journalist who also doesn’t understand a game describes it to her.”

He goes on to explain that he is very proud of the game and says that he things it is “well within the boundaries that are good entertainment.”

Here’s the thing: having the Taliban as a playable side in context-free competitive multiplayer is not really defensible as a tasteful design decision. It is the natural extension of the campaign, yes, because the campaign is about Coalition forces battling the Taliban. But you don’t play as a Taliban soldier in the campaign, and the campaign is the only place one could claim artistic merit for that aspect of gameplay. In that situation EA could claim artistic merit and cite numerous works of art as precedent, such as the film Paradise Now or even the No Russian section of Modern Warfare 2.

Unfortunately, online competitive multiplayer has no artistic merit, and so the only response you have to criticism is Ricitiello’s “they were just looking for controversy” defense, which is dangerously close to the “it’s just a game” defense.

I’m not condemning or endorsing this aspect of gameplay. I’m just trying to put it into perspective for everyone. I still anticipate this being a great title, and what I got to experience of the game at PAX was pretty stellar.

Halo: Reach Unlockable Armor

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 01:56 PM PDT

Unlockable armor is something of a Halo tradition, having been introduced in Halo 3. Halo: Reach ups the ante a little bit, introducing a wider range of customization, including some additions that actually have an effect on gameplay.

Whether it’s helmets, kneepads, or Firefight Voices you’re looking for, we’ve got them listed here.


Chest Pieces

Shoulder Armor


Armor Effects

Firefight Voices

Elite Armor

TGS News: Radiant Silvergun, Other Ancient Games, Coming To XBLA

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 01:44 PM PDT

If you actually enjoyed Sega back when they still made consoles – and let’s be honest, there weren’t that many of you or they’d still be making them – you probably know about a Japan-only classic from 1998 called ‘Radiant Silvergun‘ (Reidianto Shirubāgan in the home team’s language, which just sounds awesome). The direct ancestor of Ikaruga, it remains something of a holy grail for Sega Saturn completionists. Copies go for hundreds of dollars on eBay to this day.

“Gosh”, you’re probably thinking, “that’s a hell of lot of money for a 12 year old game that was already obselete less than three months after release when Dreamcast launched”. And you’re right! But Radiant Silvergun was apparently incredible, and with a lack of North American release, the grey market stepped up to fill the demand. Not so wonderful if you don’t really feel like blowing half of your rent on obselete tech. Luckily, earlier today at TGS Microsoft announced that the verticle shooter classic will be available for download on XBLA in early 2001, as part of a dead-but-not-forgotten pack of games including Parappa the Rapper*.

So why should you care? First, because Radiant Silvergun was one of the last verticle shooters made in the days before 3D finally turned classic gaming conventions into nostalgic aesthetic choices. It’s fascinating to see how far we’ve come since. Also, because every re-release of an ancient game is a step closer to the day when PS2 games are finally available for download on PSN**. But beyond that, it actually looks like a blast. You pilot your ship through increasingly difficult obstacles, using a variety of fantastic weapons to blow enemies into pixel dust. It’s also notable for having a non-linear plot, starting with level 3. Curious? You can read a full synopsis here.

Radiant Silvergun is being brought back from the dead by original developers Treasure, so it’s almost certain to be an authentic recreation. No word on price, but it’s XBLA. You can probably afford it. No official release date, but we’ll let you know as soon as we do. Assuming we aren’t distracted by Parappa.

* !!!!
** And that needs to happen yesterday.

Via Mtv Multplayer

New Vanquish Trailer from TGS 2010

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 01:37 PM PDT

Sega dropped a longer, more intense trailer for the upcoming action game Vanquish at Tokyo Game Show 2010.

It’s way cooler than the last trailer Sega put out, which revealed more about the apparent Russia vs. U.S. premise of the game. Check it out below.

Xbox Live members and Playstation Network users can check out the demo online now, which includes the game’s Casual Auto mode. I’ve played it, and as the trailer shows, Vanquish does a pretty good job of mixing speed and a cover system. At no point did the demo approach the coolness executed in the trailer, though.

The new trailer shows off quite a few boss fights, it looks like, as well.

Download it here.

TGS Brings Us a Gameplay Trailer for The Last Guardian (yay!)

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 01:14 PM PDT

Team Ico’s current big project is The Last Guardian, and even though it’s only been roaming our consciousnesses for a couple of years now, it seems so rare that we hear anything about it, and so it feels like the kind of game that would never actually come out.

However, Tokyo Game Show tells me that feeling is dead wrong. Team Ico already had a big announcement yesterday when it officially revealed the Ico/Shadow of the Colossus blu-ray pack, and today they’ve shown off a new gameplay trailer for the PS3-exclusive The Last Guardian and told us that the game will come out around Holiday 2011. My goodness. Enjoy the trailer.


Sega: Phantasy Star Online 2 Coming to PCs in 2011

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 12:33 PM PDT

PSO 2 - it's happening.

A decade after Sega released Phantasy Star Online on the Dreamcast, and today announced at the Tokyo Games Show 2010 it would sequel the MMO on Windows PCs next year.

Sega bundled the announcement in with a trailer about the last decade of Phantasy Star games and the upcoming Phantasy Star Portable 2: Infinity. The video doesn’t include any gameplay shots of PSO2, or really any other details besides than the release year and that it’s currently slated for PC.

The original PSO was one of the big titles on Sega’s Dreamcast console and played to its strength in online gaming. Makes one wonder if the recent rumor of Sega returning to consoles could correspond with a new Phantasy Star MMO.

It would make sense, considering how big PSO was on Dreamcast, and the fact that Sega has turned out several console Phantasy Star Online editions and Phantasy Star Universe since its console died.


Medal of Honor Achievements

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 12:04 PM PDT

Gamers are waiting with bated breath for EA’s upcoming Modern Warfare competitor. Designed with the close collaboration of real military experts, Medal of Honor aims to provide the most realistic war-gaming experience ever. That realism has led to controversy, centered around the fact that multiplayer modes enable players to take the role of Taliban combatants. Either way, the game is expected to do boom business.

Below, you’ll find a list of all the achievements, which should be enough to build your anticipation to fever pitch, in preparation for the game’s release on October 12th.

Multiplayer: First Rotation – Play online for 15 minutes – 15G

Multiplayer: Tour of Duty – Play online for 2 hours – 15G

Multiplayer: Heavy Fire Support – Fire 1000 bullets in a round (awarded at end of round) – 15G

Multiplayer: Boot Camp – Play once as each class (minimum 2 minutes each) – 15G

Multiplayer: Mission Training – Play Combat Mission – 15G

Multiplayer: Assault Training – Play Team Assault – 15G

Multiplayer: Secure Training – Play Sector Control – 15G

Multiplayer: Raid Training – Play Objective Raid – 15G

Multiplayer: Enlisted – Reach level 2 with any class – 15G

Multiplayer Veteran – Reach level 4 with any class – 15G

Multiplayer: Triple Canopy – Reach level 8 in one class – 15G

Multiplayer: Mission Specialist – Play two hours of Combat Mission – 20G

Multiplayer: Assault Specialist – Play two hours of Team Assault – 20G

Multiplayer:  Secure Specialist – Play two hours of Sector Control – 20G

Multiplayer: Raid Specialist – Play two hours of Objective Raid – 20G

Multiplayer: Forward Spotter – Deploy a missile strike support action (awarded at end of round) – 20G

Multiplayer: Fire Controller – Use each offensive support action once (awarded at end of round) – 30G

Multiplayer: Quartermaster – Get 1000 support points – 30G

Multiplayer: Tier 1 – Reach top level in one class – 35G

Multiplayer: High Achiever – Be top 3 on the scoreboard ten times – 40G

First Incision – Singleplayer: Complete First In – 15G

Welcome to the TOC – Singleplayer: Complete Breaking Bagram – 15G

Develop the Situation - Singleplayer: Complete Running with Wolves… – 15G

Unexpected Guests – Singleplayer: Complete Dorothy’s a Bitch – 15G

Full Battle Rattle - Singleplayer: Complete Belly of the Beast – 15G

Bad Guy Jamboree - Singleplayer: Complete Gunfighters – 15G

Friends From Afar - Singleplayer: Complete Friends From Afar – 15G

Cliffhanger – Singleplayer: Complete Compromised – 15G

S.E.R.E. - Singleplayer: Complete Neptune’s Net – 15G

Eight Heroes Aboard – Singleplayer: Complete Rescue the Rescuers – 15G

Smooth Operator – Singleplayer: In First In, kill the hostage taker with a headshot – 10G

The Sledgehammer - Singleplayer: In Breaking Bagram, destroy 2 vehicles with a single 2000 lb. Laser Guided Bomb – 10G

Dropping Deuce – Singleplayer: Jump 7.5 high on the ATV – 10G

Fear the Reaper - Singleplayer: In Dorothy’s a Bitch, destroy the entire AQ Camp with the AC-130 – 10G

Manic Suppression – Singleplayer: In Belly of the Beast, defeat the DShK in under two minutes – 20G

It Takes a Village…Out - Singleplayer: Destroy 30 buildings in Gunfighter’s Village – 10G

Like a Surgeon – Singleplayer: While long range sniping, hit one of every body part – 10G

Feeding the Pig - Singleplayer: In Compromised, get 15 kills with the M60 – 15G

The Quiet Professional – Singleplayer: In Neptune’s Net, eliminate 13 enemies without alerting anyone – 15G

Timber! – Singleplayer: In Rescue the Rescuers, chop down 5 trees with the Minigun – 10G

The Battle is Won… - Singleplayer: Finish the game on Easy, Normal, or Hard – 50G

…But the War Rages On - Singleplayer: Finish the game on Hard – 75G

Conspicuous Gallantry – Singleplayer: Finish every level in the game on Tier 1 Mode under par time – 100G

The Scalpel - Singleplayer: Achieve 20 total knife kills – 15G

Pistol Pete Showdown - Singleplayer: Get a total of 30 pistol kills – 15G

Right in the Grape… - Singleplayer: Get 7 headshots in a row with any weapon except the long range sniper rifle – 15G

Crowd Control - Singleplayer: Kill 5 enemies at once with a single hand grenade – 15G

Rangers Lead the Way - Singleplayer: Finish all of Dante’s missions – 15G

Never Quit - Singleplayer: Finish all of Rabbit’s missions – 15G

Have a Good One – Singleplayer: Finish all of Deuce’s missions – 15G

The Worst Kept Secret in Gaming – PSP2 is Real?

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 10:22 AM PDT

We’ve heard rumors, speculation and even had a few information leaks over the last three years regarding an update to the Sony handheld, the PSP. Well today the confirmation that PSP2 exists comes from another source – Mortal Kombat Executive Producer Shaun Himmerick. Supposedly, along with resurrecting the fighting game franchise on console systems the developers are investigating handheld markets as well and the PSP2, well it impresses him.

"We're not launching day one on all consoles like that. We are looking at them; we have a PSP2 in the house and we're looking at the engine, like what can it support. Always a big thing for us is the performance. We're running at 60 fps, what can we do and do we have to build all the art assets over. We're definitely looking at them. PSP2 looks like it's a pretty powerful machine. We don't have a 3DS system in house yet, but we're looking to get one, and we'll certainly look at what its power is."

Every year we discuss these development rumors and every few months Sony comes out and refutes them. The latest threads hint at a 2011 PSP2 launch, but well.. we’ve been here before. Is the PSP2 real? I guess we just have to wait for Sony to deny it again.

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