Qore game vouchers

When Qore first came out I was excited. I thought it would be cool to be able to see developer interviews and get early demos of games that will be coming out in the future. The reality of it is, I was never all that impressed with Qore. There have been several episodes which I’ve really gotten a lot out of, and this month’s Burnout Paradise segment is pretty good. What I’ve been really surprised by recently is all the game vouchers they’ve been emailing me. When I signed up I got Calling All Cars, which was expected. A few weeks ago they emailed me a voucher to download Syphon Filter for the PS1. Then, yesterday I got another voucher for High Velocity Bowling. So far thats like $25 worth of downloadables for a $25 subscription, plus all the demos and video content. Didn’t shake out to be that bad of a deal after all. I may resubscribe at this rate.

Killzone 2morrow

So Killzone 2 is released tomorrow. A few of us from work are going to head to Gamestop after and pick it up then play it. Very exciting. I have a pre-order that I tried to cancel because it wouldn’t be here tomorrow, but it was already packed, so that didn’t happen. Now I’ll have to return it when it arrives.

I’m really excited about this game. Work tomorrow is going to be torture.

Sixaxis finally pulls its own weight – Flower Impressions

flower

So, last night I picked up Flower from the PSN. I’ve only played the first 2 levels, but I was really impressed with it. Normally when games use Sixaxis control it kind of makes me want to barf. I couldn’t get used to it in Wipeout, or Motorstorm, but in Flower it really works. The goal of the game is to fly around and tap unbloomed flowers in the landscape and when all of the ones in the area are bloomed life and color is restored. Its a really simple premise, but it translates to really fun gameplay. Visually, this game is ridiculous. every blade of grass is visible, and waves around as you pass by, the colors are amazing, and the lighting is fantastic. Flower is the perfect game to play after getting a Platinum trophy in Fallout 3 (woo hoo!). Oh, and its only $10.

Little Big Planet Figures

sackboy-figures

Over on the Playstation Blog they’ve announced a series of 4″ SackBoy figures. Word is, that the figures will come in a variety of costumes available though it doesn’t look like you’d be able to mix and match the costume pieces, so thats a shame. There will also be a series of 2″ – 18″ retailer exclusive SackBoy figures but its unclear how exactly these will differ from the normal releases aside from size.

The Blog also mentions that knit versions are on the way, too, but they dont offer any other info about those.

Killzone 2 (Demo) Impressions

I just finished the Killzone 2 demo and have a few quick thoughts about it. First, The game is phenominal looking. All of the textures, lighting, animations, and effects are masterfully pulled off. The anti-aliasing in the is also pretty impressive for a PS3 game. Killzone 2‘s graphical fidelity goes without saying, though. Since it was announced Killzone 2 has become the poster-child for PS3 graphical prowess, much like Crysis has on the PC, and deservedly so. It is a gorgeous looking game.

One area that has been more mixed is the game’s controls. People seem to think that the momentum and weightiness makes it feel mushy. I didn’t adjust the sensitivity at all yet but to me it just feels like the acceleration is a little bit off. If the initial acceleration was turned up a little I think it would be fine. I’ll have to mess with it to make sure, though. As far as people saying it feels like no other shooter, that is a load of crap. It controls a lot like Call of Duty 4. R2 throws a frag grenade, Clicking on the left stick sprints, R1 fires.

It took me awhile to get used to the cover mechanic. Holding L2 snaps you to a cover object if you’re standing near one. Then you can kind of peek out and fire off some shots. It seems to work well, I’ve just got to get used to using it.

The A.I. seemed pretty good, too. It will try to get behind you, and will use grenades to flush you out if you’ve turtled up somewhere.

I think I’ll play through the demo a few more times and see if I can adjust the sensitivity a little. This demo has me pretty psyched for the full game. I cant wait to play more.

The Nuka-Cola Challenge

quantum

Jason was not at work yesterday. When rob came back from lunch with a glass bottle of Coke we knew what we had to do. Using Purple and blue dry erase markers we dyed some water and found an LED flashlight and rigged it up to look like it was glowing. Add a Nuka-Cola Quantum label found on some dude’s deviant art, and Ta-Da!

I’m surprised with how good it looks in person. Jason seemed to get a kick out of it when he came in and saw a Quantum waiting for him.

Resident Evil 5 Demo

resident_evil_5

Last night I played a bunch of the Resident Evil 5 demo CO-OP with my friend Jason. After being killed a few times we were able to beat both of the sections available in the demo. My only gripe is the availability of ammo. I realize that in survival horror games your resources are supposed to be limited to create tension, but we were both either out of ammo or almost out for both boss fights.

During the shanty town level there is a time when you’re fighting a dude with a chain saw and we blew up like 4 barrels next to him and shot him with what little ammo we had and threw every grenade we could find and only were just able to beat him thanks to Jason’s rifle. It was a pretty hectic fight, but that made it pretty fun. It was kind of a pain trying to run over and trade ammo with Jason while a dude was about to hack us up. I wish they’d streamline the “Give” mechanic a little.

I really enjoyed playing it CO-OP, but I’m not sure how fun I would have if I was playing single player. I think having a friend there to talk to and coordinate with was a lot of the reason that it was fun. Overall it seems like a pretty good game if you’re into that sort of thing. The controls are kind of wonky, maybe playing with the sensitivity a little would fix it but I felt like turning was pretty slow. I also found myself wishing that when you started a turn the camera would turn slightly faster than the character so that even if it takes a bit to turn around at least you’d be able to quickly look around and take in the situation visually.

Playstation Photo Gallery – Some Thoughts

I feel that I must preface this writeup by first saying that I’ve never really gotten why people would want to look at photographs on their TV. Having slide-show functionality and ability to organize photos on a computer is something that has always been possible so having that functionality elsewhere isn’t really that exciting for me.

That being said, for those who do want something like this the Photoshop Photo Gallery seems like it would be a good choice. It gives you the ability to organize photos by date and time, what camera was used to take the photo, colors within the photo, number of subjects, ages, and even facial expressions. Some of these are admittedly pretty cool. Once organized you can create playlists to be used for slideshow purposes.

The program itself is well put together, looks cool, and uses some pretty interesting effects for page transitions and stuff. It seems responsive and quick to load as well. I havent tested if it can display Raw images but I doubt it. If you are at all interested in displaying photos on your PS3 its worth the 104MB download in addition to the 2.6 firmware update to check it out.

Playstation 3 Firmware 2.60 – Photogasm

Today on The Playstation Blog Eric Lempel spills the beans on the imminent release of firmware 2.60 for the Playstation 3.

In this update they add a few notable features:

  • support for DivX 3.11
  • Guest access to the Playstation Store which lets people without a PSN account browse the store.

Also added is a new Photo Gallery application which looks pretty rad. Check out the walkthrough video.

Working through Fallout 3

mallsupmutant_super

As I said in my game of the year post, I really like Fallout 3. I also really like PSN trophies. I’ve decided that I want to try to get a platinum on fallout so I’ve been going through and doing all the quests. Most of them arent too hard to get, but the ones that are going to be the most work are the get to level 20 as Good/Neutral/Evil. I’m not really looking forward to playing through it 3 times just trying to get to level 20. In any case, I’ve really been enjoying a lot of the sidequests. I’m running into some problems with finding enough bobbypins to unlock everything I run across. I wish there was an infinately usable lockpick like in Oblivion.

Right now I’m working on “The Nuka-Cola Challenge” and “Agatha’s Song“. I only need like 3 or 4 more Quantums! I have about 14 of the 20 Bobbleheads, as well.

Top 5 games of 2008

Yeah, I’m a little late posting this but I’ve used intense mathamatics to determine my top 5 games of the year (of our lord) 2008. How does it compare to yours?

#5. Grand Theft Auto IV
#4. LittleBigPlanet
#3. Burnout Paradise
#2. Fallout 3

#1. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

metalgearsolid4

I chose Metal Gear Solid 4 as my game of the year for several reasons. I’ve always been a big fan of the narrative and MGS4 really does a great job of tieing up all the loose ends left unfurled by the previous 3 games. For a story that was never meant be finished I think the team did a great job in making the story pretty easy to follow for people who had not played the other games, while giving vetrans extra layers of meaning to ponder.

As far as polish goes, MGS4 was unmatched this year as far as I am concerned. The character models, voice acting, sound design, animation, and gameplay intertwined so perfectly with the cinematic plot sections of the game.

Resident Evil 5 Demo on PSN Feb 5th

resident-evil-5-demo

On Thursday February 5th the Playstation Network will be getting a Resident Evil 5 demo. According to PS3fanboy the demo will include 2 levels of the game that can be played either single player with an AI controlled partner, or co-op (split screen, or over PSN) . You’ll also be able to choose which control style you want, though I’m assuming most will stick with the “action” style controls which are appearently less tank-like. With Killzone 2’s demo coming out that week too, I dont know what I’ll be dedicating my time to.