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The End Of The Xbox Halo Franchise As We Know It

February 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Halo: Reach is the forthcoming (and final) chapter from current developer studio Bungie, bringing to an end their reign over the Xbox Halo franchise. Set in 2552 on the human planet Reach, and players once more adopt the Spartan colours as Noble 6 and, along with Noble Squad, the gamer will have to defend their planet from the terror that is the Covenant. However, Halo: Reach is a prequel to Bungie's first award winning "Halo: Combat Evolved" title.

Originally designed to be an improved version of the Xbox Halo franchise entry Halo 3, the notion was dropped, Bungie stating they would redesign and improve the quality of the Halo 3 designs. Harking back to the Halo: Combat Evolved concept ideas, this effectively means the new weapon, armour and covenant designs in Halo: Reach will deviate greatly from prior entries but uphold the ethos of the Xbox Halo franchise.

Hinting that Bungie will not cap the Xbox Halo franchise without a bang, the producers are looking to dramatically increase the graphical quality of all gaming areas, even including the weaponry. This clearly required Bungie to create a fresh new engine in Halo: Reach, with the AI augmented and nudged to provide better support for the player as they battle the Covenant.

So after all these promises of fusing greatly refined graphics and improved AI and designs, will Bungie leave the Xbox Halo franchise with a bang and cement their reputation for producing the best FPS for the Xbox 360? The only way to find out is to grab a copy when it is released later this year!

Great Upcoming Titles For Sony Playstation 3

August 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

2008 was a superb year for the Sony PlayStation 3. After three years of being beaten up by its competitors, the Nintendo Wii and the Microsoft Xbox 360, the PS3 rebounded with robust exclusives and verified hits like Metal Gear Solid 4 and Little Big Planet.

What's in store for the Sony Playstation 3 in the months to come? Will the schedule of PS3 releases continue the momentum established by the company in 2008? Will the rest of 2009, and even 2010, be the period when Sony regains the throne it was compelled to surrender and actually realize some profit for their video game console? Here's a look at what we have to look forward to;

1. God of War III. Of all of the PS3 releases forthcoming, this is the surest hit. Kratos is too much of a tough guy to be considered as a mascot, and his journeys aren't always what we can consider as 'wholesome'. Nevertheless, God of War III is THE PS3 release that is destined to sell a large amount of games and units alike.

2. DC Universe online . Think of a constant world where you may either hero or villain, interacting with other real players playing popular characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and the likes. It's a PS3 release worth waiting for.

3. Uncharted 2 : Among Thieves. The first Uncharted was a sleeper hit for Sony. The second one will be 20 times better, and with multi-player action to boot.

4. EyePet. This PS3 release will be a do or die for the EyeToy peripheral. The last ( and only ) game that employed the accessory was Eye of Judgment. Will a virtual pet-style title be sufficient to make the peripheral a sound investment for PS3 owners?

5. Gran Turismo 5. Presuming it is released. As it stands, GT5 should have been delivered two years ago.

Keep your eyes peeled for these great titles and many more, coming to the Sony Playstation 3 soon!

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5 Awesome Upcoming Playstation 3 Games

July 9, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

What are the Sony PlayStation 3 games to keep a look out for in 2009-2010?

1. God of War 3. Kratos is coming back for the last adventure - so asserts Sony. Expect Kratos' last adventure, and ironically his first on the PS3, to bump the boundaries of what the console can do.

2. Trico. Think of the first Ico mixed with Shadows of the Colossus and you will get an idea of what this game is all about. Trico features a boy who, rather than cooperating with a damsel in distress, has to work with a giant half-breed of a cat and a bird. Scaling the giant half-breed is much akin to scaling the titans of Shadows of the Colossus, only this time, you will be climbing the body of a buddy rather than a foe.

3. Metal Gear Solid : Rising. Not actually an exclusive, but serious news however. The latest installment in the MGS franchise will incorporate Raiden - who became an instant fan favorite in MGS4 by having his entire body transformed into cybernetic parts so that he can become a badass ninja.

4. The most surprising announcement in E3 2009, Final Fantasy XIV is coming in 2010. It's a Sony PS3 exclusive and it will be an MMORPG, very similar to Final Fantasy XI.

5. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Uncharted 2 is the melting pot of many Playstation 3 games, and even some Xbox 360 titles. It features the exploratory and platforming elements of Tomb Raider, the cover system of Gears of War, the environments of MGS4, and the multiplayer excitement of Killzone two. Sold!

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2009: Make or Break for Sony’s Playstation 3

June 18, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Even the die-hard fans would agree, the SonyPlayStation 3 has been trailing the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360 in general sales since the day the PS3 was launched. Sony promised consumers that it will regain the market leadership by the end of 2007 - a leadership it once enjoyed with the Playstation 2 ( PS2 ) - but it didn't happen, mainly because of the lack of console-defining exclusives. Sony guaranteed clients that 2008 will be the PS3's year, but this did not materialize, notwithstanding powerful showings from Metal Gear Solid 4 (MGS4) and Little Big Planet.

And now, Sony has once again promised that 2009 will be the glory year of the PS3.

Its patrons are becoming impatient. Industry leaders believe that 2009 is the "make or break" year for the PS3. 2009, they are saying, is the year which will either mark the PS3 as a deserving entry to Sony's series of console excellence, or brand the PS3 as a market failure despite its clearly superior engineering.

For 2009, the PS3 is banking on 5 key titles that it hopes will ultimately bring the console to the head of the sales charts. These games are:

1. Killzone 2. Released last February, Killzone 2 - one of the PS3's most hyped games, that the industry has enthusiastically awaited since 2004 - is well on its way to saving Sony's reputation as a pace-setter in the Playstation game market. The title sold 2,000,000 copies on its first month, a feat that is actually entrancing for a game which is exclusive to a single console.

2. God of War 3. Since its first installment, Kratos has quickly become the poster boy for Sony, and God of War has quickly become the flagship title for the company's gaming division. Remaining a PS exclusive, the franchise remains both Sony's secret weapon and saviour, always guarenteed to bring in phenominal market.

3. Final Fantasy XIII. The PS3 lost big time when Square-Enix decided to publish FFXIII on the Xbox 360 as well, at least in areas outside Japan. The following installment of the blockbuster Final Fantasy series will continue to be exclusive to the PS3 in its country of origin, and this could definitely help boost the sales for the console. Outside Japan, FFXIII may still win some console sales, as the Final Fantasy franchise has long been related to Sony's machines and given the long playtime provided by the game, issues on the Xbox 360's engineering reliability may force buyers to pick the PS3 version.

4. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Its predecessor, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, was a dark horse entry, exclusive for the PS3, which wowed casual gamers with fleshed out, likeable characters and immersive gameplay. The follow up, which is claimed to combine elements of Gears of War, Tomb Raider, and FPS multi-player madness, will be even better than the original, and now that gamers know to look out for it, the title looks set to bring in some serious business. Gamers are excited about Uncharted 2, and this will reflect on the PS3 console sales.

5. Massive Action Game (MAG). Forget Resistance two's 64-player team death matches. Prepare for a very wide scale war with MAG, one which will involve up to 256 players at the same time. Little is understood about the game, however. If it lives up to its guarantees, it can be the PS3 title which will make other FPS multi-player games outmoded. If it doesn't, it is going to be the Kane and Lynch of 2009.

Will these games eventually catapult the Sony PS3 to the throne it once owned unchallenged?

Only time, and your good business, will tell.

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2009: Year of the PS3?

March 18, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Sony promise 2009 to be a great year for the PS3, with a slew of great titles announced and released over the next few months, including, shock horror, some exclusives!
Here we take a look at three of the most promising titles due for release;

#3: Infamous

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The latest game from developer Sucker Punch, makers of the highly successful Sly Cooper series, is Infamous; an open-world action platformer about the power of electrical currents. In it the main character's body is enveloped in a sort of strange electricity, and he gains the ability to shoot and lob bolts of lightning from his fingertips. Some of the gameplay mechanics have been recycled from Sucker Punch's earlier platformers, like Sly Cooper, but they compliment the game well, and many people are excited to see the grittier and more intense side of their games. Look out for this title sometime in the Summer!

#2: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

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Uncharted: Drake's Fortune was something of a dark horse release for the PS3, but for those who saw through its flaws, it became something of a cult hit. This sequel looks to open the adventures of Nathan Drake up to the wider audience, mainly through bringing back everything that made the original such a hit, whilst polishing the flaws and making the parts that were criticised into working functions. Check out our Uncharted 2 feature for more information on this title!

#1: God of War III

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Arguably one of the most popular and successful gaming franchises of recent years, God of War one and two were hailed as gaming masterpieces, fulfilling everything a player could ask for by way of gaming and storyline. God of War 3 is the first to be released on a next gen platform and excitement is reaching fever pitch. Not a lot of information has been given thus far, but we're to expect a much darker tone to earlier incarnations, and you can be sure the destructive combat elements will be taken even further into this title. God of War 3 hasn't been given an official release date yet, but we're optimistic (and hopeful!) that we'll see it this year.

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No Peace, No Respite- Dawn of War Returns!

March 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Warhammer Dawn of War II is the sequel to Relic's earlier successful PC strategy game, based on the popular tabletop wargames by Games Workshop. Placing you far into the war torn 41st millenium, Dawn Of War brought the many warring factions and races together for a multi-layered campaign. Dawn of War 2 brings the crux armies back in a new set of campaigns and storylines.

First amongst these are the Space Marines, humanity's greatest warriors. These genetically altered superhumans pack a hard punch and bring many formidable weapons to the fore. Next up we have the Orks, green skinned and ferocious brutes who make up for their dumb disposition by sheer force and numbers. The Eldar also return, an ancient race that are quick, skilled and highly technologically advanced. Finally we have the Tyranids, a malevolent and highly dangerous alien race filled with teeth and claws.

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Dawn of War II has implemented many big improvements over the original, both graphically and in terms of content. First of all, this sequel will feature fully destructible environments. Destructible environments have become ever more popular over the years, and continue to get more and more accurate and engaging. A game like Dawn of War, with lots of detailed hills, plains, forests, and ruins is a perfect area in which to implement this concept.

The customization abilities have also been honed for this title. In the original, players had the option to implement a few basic colour changes to customize their squads. This time around, colours are complimented by metallics, chromes and reflective armour. This allows gamers to achieve the many myriad looks and styles associated with the armies of the 41st millenium.

Thirdly, the game will have a much bigger emphasis on intense multiplayer action. The cover system, where your units bunker down in ditches or behind buildings or other environments, becomes much more essential due to the new base-building scheme, where structures are built on the battle front. Players will constantly be forced to both attack and defend, which makes things much more complex and rewarding for the RTS gamer.

Dawn of War 2 is out now- so load up your bolter and get stuck in!

Xbox 360 Games worth a look!

January 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The top Xbox 360 Games

Though the Wii is currently winning the console war, there are now more Xbox 360's in more homes than ever before. As the price of Microsoft's console decreases, there has never been a better time to go out and get one. If you have, consider trying out one of these bestsellers;

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First up is Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Perhaps you don't remember the bear and rooster's first outing on the N64. Either way, Nuts & Bolts should be a refreshing and unique experience. While the original B-K had you traversing the landscape collecting treasures, Banjo and Kazooie are getting a bit old for that now. So instead, they gather what are called Jiggies, in order to build vehicles in which to quickly navigate the game's large world. The pieces that Banjo would usually be spending all his time searching for are scattered all over the world, but the collection of these pieces is merely optional, and takes a back-seat to vehicle-based missions.

The vehicle creation is easy yet in-depth. The player can build all kinds of land and air contraptions with anything possible from a tank to an airplane. It's even been showcased that you can make a legged robot with springs for feet. The possibilities are endless and all up to you.

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Next up, believe the hype, it's Fable II. The Fable franchise could be described as a more easily accessible version of Elder Scrolls, and features a surprisingly story-oriented main quest, utilizing massive freedom to explore all on your own.

Part of Fable II's runaway appeal, and a testament to the game's long development time is the pet system. Interestingly, your dog will not do whatever you tell it to, and especially not right away or all the time, reflecting the real life unpredictability of animals. You can prompt it to attack, or distract, or point out where something is, but often the dog just hangs out and follows you around.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the pet system is how it incorporates into your morality system. In Fable II, if you make good decisions you become holy, and after a time your appearance could even begin to resemble that of an angel. If you make evil decisions, after a time your character will start to turn dark and demon-like, sometimes developing horn growth. These changes not only effect you, but your pet also. If you are evil, your dog is evil, and vice versa, and your appearances evolve together.

What it comes down to is that Fable II is a fantasy sandbox-style game with plenty of areas to explore and things to do as you interact with the people and monsters of the game's world.

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And then, finally, there is Gears of War 2. The GoW franchise is something of a competitor with the PS3's Resistance series by Insomniac. While the first Resistance was hailed for it's solid first-person shooting action, Gears of War has quickly become considered near classic due to it's over-the-top battles and cover system. GoW 2 not only perfects the cover system and allows you to cling more closely and accurately to the environment than before, but improves on the action in almost every conceivable way.

The weapons are more balanced this time around, and have seen some new additions: the flamethrower, the mulcher (a high-power chaingun) and the mortar. Grenades can also now be used as proximity mines and gas grenades.

In Gears of War 2, close-combat is the most intense of all. When you knock an enemy over, you can beat and stomp, snap his neck, or lift him up and use him as a human shield. When two enemies collide with a chainsaw, both must repeatedly press the B button until the other is defeated.

It may sound like a very gruesome game, and it is, but GoW 2 features an optional content filter that will cut out swearing and gore, making the franchise more accessible than ever before.

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GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR XBOX 360

January 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Getting the Most Out Of Your Xbox 360

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has now become one of the cheapest consoles available, providing players with arguably the most powerful next generation machine for a comparatively small price. However, there are a few other potential investments to consider once you have the console itself.

If you want to get the most out the console in terms of online gaming and interaction, you should subscribe to Xbox Live's Gold Membership. It's a lot less expensive than it used to be, and the only way to experience the Xbox online. The console generally comes with a free subscription for the Silver Membership, but this offer usually only allows you to buy downloadable content.

The Xbox also pips the competition by securing a wealth of great exclusive game franchises and downloadable content, which are unavailable to other consoles. Some of these games include Banjo-Kazooie, Halo, Ninja Gaiden 2 and Gears of War, and additional levels for games such as Tomb Raider Underworld.

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You should also check out the Xbox Live Arcade for downloading some amazing classic games, as well as some great ports. Games such as Duke Nukem 3D, Geometry Wars, Castle Crashers, and especially Braid, are examples of good quality for cheap prices. In order to buy an Xbox Live Arcade game, however, you need points which can be traded for cash.

Next up there’s Netflix. If you hadn't heard already, Netflix movies can now be streamed online and watched on your Xbox 360. For a monthly subscription you can get hours of online streaming and DVD rentals.

Perhaps most importantly, you should consider getting an HDTV. As with the Playstation 3, only through an HDTV can the Xbox's full potential be unleashed. Without one, you only experience a shadow of what the next generation console is capable of. With an HDTV, visuals are sharp and crystal clear with higher, better resolution. The difference is amazing, and should not be missed. The prospect of getting an HDTV may seem like an expensive one, but HDTV's are now less expensive than ever before. There are also some Xbox 360 bundles that come with a good HDTV.

By utilizing the many features and functions available to the Xbox 360 after purchase, you can turn an already impressive console into an amazing all round experience.

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