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Star Trek Online For PC and Xbox 360!

August 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

No, it's not what you think. It is not a latest cash-in attempt. Star Trek Online has been about for a while, originally developed by Infinite Entertainment for a total of four years, but handed over to Cryptic Studios when the company went bankrupt. It's just that after the fantastic success of the new film, new-found interest in the online game has led the developing studio to divulge some information on the project. For the first time in years, Cryptic Studios have shared their progress on the game with the general public.

So, folk have been wondering : where in the timeline does Star Trek Online take place? According to Cryptic, in the year 2409, just after the dissolution of the peace treaty between the Federation and the Klingons. The developers understand that gamers expect to be ready to play as a selection of races, eg the Borg, but it's something that they'll have to address post-launch. For the moment, this is the way it is. Be assured, however, that the Federation and Klingon races are quite different and unique to one another, and the studio has every intention of ensuring the gameplay is as deep as diverse from that viewpoint.

In fact, though it is not entirely clear how this may work into the gameplay right now, it is easy for players to custom-build their own races, which other players can then pick and play as. How cool is that? Ships, too, are customizable, but only to the limit that the ship still has the trademark look of it's race or alliance.

Space combat could be intense (as the game's preview trailer implies) but it is also tactical. You've got to think about such points as your ship's transference of power and the point on your enemy's ship where you wish to strike. Such features should make for some pretty deep combat, something MMO's can always use.

There's no official date of release for the game yet, but Cryptic propose to release Star Trek Online shortly for the PC and Xbox 360.

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Top Xbox 360 games of 2009

May 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Xbox 360 is still arguably the most popular next gen console out there, mainly due to an impressive array of exclusive titles found only on that console, and Microsoft's ability to flash enough cash to buy titles previously exclusive to other systems, such as Final Fantasy. With this dominant approach, the Xbox 360 continues to offer a range of great games. Nearly halfway through the year, we list the three most impressive games to emerge on the system thus far;

#3: The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena

We covered this game in an earlier preview, and Dark Athena is certainly enjoying the praise it deserves. Not only a sequel but also more of an expansion, this title features a port of the original Butcher Bay Riddick game, adding new content and a multiplayer option that the fans were crying out for. This game is undoubtedly one of the best movie-based games ever released.

#2: Halo Wars

Probably one of the most well loved gaming franchises in the world, Halo continues to dominate even as the developers, Bungie, break into new ground. Halo wars is the first game in the franchise to break away from the First person Shooter genre, instead playing as a real time strategy game. It's art style is unique, combat is intriguingly diverse, and it's singleplayer campaign should be pretty interesting as well for fans of the series looking for answers. This expands the Halo universe even further and is a must have for fans of the series.

#1: Star Ocean: The Last Hope

Serving as a prequel to the wildly popular Star Ocean franchise, The Last Hope was eagerly anticipated by fans the world over. From developers Square Enix, this title was always going to be a deep, emotional and gorgeous game to play. Bringing the entire galaxy to bear in an adventure which will pit your RPG skills against a host of galactic enemies, Star Ocean: The Last Hope does everything you'd expect from a Square Enix game, and does it with style and beauty.

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PS3 For The Kiddies!

March 25, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

As successful as the Playstation 3 has been, it is known to be probably the least family orientated next gen console available right now. The calibre of games released onto the system usually cater for the older gaming demographic, and so Sony lose out to obvious favourites Wii, and also the Xbox 360 to a degree, when it comes to appealing to a younger, more family-friendly dynamic. On that note, since you're probably struggling to find something suitable, we've compiled the three best kiddy friendly games the Playstation 3 has to offer.

First up we have Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. As the name suggests, this game brings together all previous installments of the highly popular Lego Star Wars franchise into one great bundle, adding the next gen sheen and throwing in a new setof features and extras to round off the package. Add to this the inclusion of online play support, and you have a neat little game that is fun for the whole family, and suprisingly addictive!

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Next is Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. The Ratchet and Clank series have always hovered on the boundary between kids games and more suitable for older players, but T of D has been officially licensed for players under 10, so all is good. Certain elements of the gameplay have been reworked, allowing for a much simpler and straightforward style, whilst maintaining the overwhelming fun we've come to expect from the series. Mixing shooter elements with hints of RPG, the weapons utilized through the game can be levelled up and augmented, allowing more powerful incarnations to be unlocked, something that'll keep the young ones hooked for hours!

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Saving the best for last, we have LittleBigPlanet. aside from the highly entertaining single player campaign, LBP has the highly intuitive and unbelievably fun level editing function, allowing players to create their own environments and load them online to be enjoyed by the community. This may sound complicated, but it's actually very easy and extremely fun. LittleBigPlanet truly is a timeless game, as the possibilities on it are only limited by the minds of the players themselves. There's always something new to try and do, and although the game obviously appeals to players of all ages, it is especially well loved by children and their over-active imaginations!

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Star Ocean: The Last Hope

March 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Star Ocean is a long-lived and enduring franchise which first appeared all those years ago on the Super Famicom. A sequel followed,Star Ocean: The Second Story, on the 3D Playstation in the late nineties. Over the years, numerous more Star Ocean games have been released, all of which expand on and refine the original action-oriented role-playing game formula. Square Enix have now developed a next gen entry into the pantheon; Star Ocean: The Last Hope, which they promise will take the much loved franchise on a new and fresh direction.

Combat is dealt with in real time, with your enemies actually visible upon the field on vision, with the player able to dip in and control the various characters at their disposal. The Last Hope expands upon the usual formula by allowing use of up to four characters at a time instead of three. Switching between characters is done with the left and right bumpers.

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Another new aspect to the game is BEAT, a function utilized to affect the general posture of your character. This can be manipulated to give your character a more passive or agressive stance for example. A completely new feature to the series is this: when an enemy locks onto you and charges you, holding down the B button allows you to use the analog to slip around behind him as he reaches your position, allowing you a chance for a critical strike.

Visually this game is beautiful, as you would expect from a Square Enix title.The special cutscenes have been handled by Visual Works, the studio that helped the create the notoriously detailed and gorgeous cutscenes from the Final Fantasy series. In The Last Hope, vibrant worlds and gorgeous characters form to create a typically engrossing RPG. Gameplay is polished and works well, keeping the flow just right whilst retaining many of the traditional RPG elements you wouldn't want to lose.

Perhaps the best thing about Star Ocean; The Last Hope is that it is intended as a prequel, and so is the perfect place for newcomers to the series to enter into the world of Star Ocean. For veterans of the franchise, there will no doubt be the noltalgia of the earlier games flowing through this title. Star Ocean; The Last Hope could well be the best RPG released thus far for the Xbox 360.

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Anticipated Games of 2009 Part 1

January 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

2008 was one of the best years for games to date (we always seem to be saying that year after year...) with releases like Gears of War 2, Fable 2, Resistance 2, Little Big Planet, Metal Gear Solid 4, Left 4 Dead, Fallout 3 and many more. Will 2009 trump 2008? Let's see what the competition is shall we?

Starcraft II (Windows and Macintosh)

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StarCraft fans have been anticipating this one ever since the first instalment came out in 1999. StarCraft pushed the RTS boundaries with deep story, balanced gameplay and its pure addictiveness. It had three vastly rich races and near limitless potential for strategic variations. It is still played today extensively, especially in South Korea where they are Blizzard crazy. The second instalment to the series looks set to blow RTS and StarCraft fans away. Blizzard has an extremely good record for releasing games, with none of their games being a bad egg. They are now putting the finishing touches to their sequel with updated graphics, new unit types and abilities and a new improved online system. This is a mostly anticipated game indeed.

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Killzone 2 (PlayStation 3)

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Killzone 2 is one of the hottest First Person Shooters of 2009. This follow up to the original on the PS2 has broken the boundaries of what is possible graphics-wise on the PS3. In a couple of words it looks freakin' awesome! I was lucky enough to snag a view at it at the London Games Festival where they were showing the Beta build (I think - sorry I can't remember fully). From first looks it was simply stunning. Killzone 2 doesn't follow the mantra of previous FPSs, Guerilla Games have implemented a cover system that allows for a more tactical approach to your play and will give you time to plan your next move. They have also built an extremely engrossing atmosphere, with the crackle and pop of machine-gun fire and other sounds from the warzone. Clever AI will keep you engaged as they try to flank you or rip to shreds your cover you thought was safe. If you are a PS3 owner, this is an absolute must have.

killzone2 thumb Anticipated Games of 2009 Part 1

MadWorld (Wii)

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This is arguably the most promising Wii game of 2009 as well as being one of the most bizarre looking games, it lives up to its name. The look of the game is its most distinctive feature. It looks like the world of Sin City, with black and white being the sole colours most of the time. The games is based around a deadly game, called Death Watch, which has sprouted up because of an outbreak of a deadly virus that has forced Varrigan City, the setting for the game, into quarantine and chaos. MadWorld sees you fight to the death in battles to win the ultimate prize in Death Watch, your life. The concept of this game echoes Battle Royale, and with its brilliant art direction and, as ever with the Wii, it will have a very unique control scheme. Hardcore gamers have been waiting for a 'hardcore' game for their Wiis, could this be it, i think so.

madworld thumb Anticipated Games of 2009 Part 1

Star Wars: The Old Republic (Windows)

Star Wars Galaxies had lots of promise before it was released. Initially it delivered on that promise, to deliver a believable online world in the Star Wars Universe. Unfortunately they ended up messing it up by changing the core dynamics of the game, which made the game a challenge and fun to play, and ultimately lost subscribers. But all is not lost on the Star Wars massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), in conjunction with BioWare (RPG masters), LucasArts have revisited the times of the Old Republic and turned it into one of the most anticipated online games of 2009. Because the times of the Old Republic haven't been written about as much as the times around the six films, there is a lot of scope for a very exceptional story in Old Republic. One of the interesting features of the Old Republic is that every decision you make whilst you complete quests, will affect the outcome of your character and the story, and this cannot be changed. You have to live with your consequences, as you fall into the dark side or rise to the light side.

swtor thumb Anticipated Games of 2009 Part 1

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