The Dr. is in – Trauma Team

Trauma TeamUsually a developer waits until after a game is launched to drop the price but Atlus is running ahead of the curve here with the announcement of Trauma Team for $49.99 $39.99.

Choose from six specialties from emergency medicine to patient diagnosis right on through to Surgery. Will you become a master of surgery, An expert at diagnosis, The first response to the trauma scene, maybe a bone expert working in orthopedics department, or an internal specialist tracking down problems with an endoscope. Maybe the ever important forensic investigator is more your thing – tracking trauma and studying the bodies in the morgue.

Nintendo’s March Most Wanted

Most Wanted
Nintendo’s Most Wanted Games fro March are out and Pokémon are clearly hot hot items, taking 3 of the top 10 DS titles. Leading the pack are the newly released Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, shooting into the Number 1 and 2 spot for March DS titles (especially when you consider a Mid-month launch for these portable titles).

WII

  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • Wii Sports Resort
  • Mario Kart Wii
  • Wii Fit Plus
  • Endless Ocean: Blue World
  • Punch-Out!!
  • New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis
  • Excitebots: Trick Racing
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • Animal Crossing: City Folk

NINTENDO DS

  • Pokémon HeartGold Version
  • Pokémon SoulSilver Version
  • Glory of Heracles
  • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky
  • Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
  • Style Savvy
  • Fossil Fighters
  • Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day

R.U.S.E reaches 1 Million Beta Downloads

Ubisoft’s upcoming War Strategy Game R.U.S.E has surpassed 1 Million downloads on the Steam network.

R.U.S.E, gamers will rely more on their brains to manage a war of perception, where deception and mislead then the might of their individual forces.

Take your War time RTS to the next level and manage a battle that take place on Land, in the Air and at Sea.

Ubisoft sent us over three R.U.S.E beta commemorative wallpapers to celebrate – get them here:

1680X1050 1600X900 1280X960

Game play footage and tutorial. Part 1 of 2:

Game play footage and tutorial. Part 2 of 2:

To participate in the Public Beta available on Steam, head over to www.steamgames.com/RUSEbeta.

For additional information about R.U.S.E. visit www.rusegame.com.

New Trailer – Ghost Recon Future Soldier : Future War

GHOST RECON: FUTURE SOLDIER

Ubisoft released a new Trailer for Ghost Recon Future Soldier today that features the Ghosts on the hunt for a wanted war criminal in Moscow. The ”Future War” trailer shows some of the technology and weapons the Ghosts will have available to players. I can’t wait to get my hands on this game.

Also Ubisoft took this opportunity to announce that, Oscar winners Hervé de Crécy and François Alaux of Little Minx, are working on a short film based on the Ghost Recon brand arriving later this year.

Long Range Support is not optional – it’s Mandatory:

GHOST RECON: FUTURE SOLDIER

The Ghosts strike down an entire army before vanishing from sight:

GHOST RECON: FUTURE SOLDIER

YouTube

God of War 3 Review

My first exposure to the God of War franchise was when Sony released the re-mastered God of War Collection (God of War 1 & God of War 2) on 1 blu-ray disc including trophies. It was a great first exposure to the characters, story and game play. We all remember the ending of God of War 2 where Kratos was on the back of the Titans while they scaled Mount Olympus in search of Zeus and looking for Revenge. This means one thing and one thing only it’s March and Kratos our beloved God of War is back making his debut on the PlayStation 3.
Gaia

Obviously the game starts with Kratos standing on the shoulder of Gaia a titan, who urges her fellow titans to climb Mount Olympus and kill the gods for once and all ending the rein of all mighty god Zeus. The camera pans around and shows this mere molecule (Kratos) enjoying the ride. Kratos main job is here is to protect Gaia from the relentless attacks from Poseidon with most the battle taking place on the titan herself. A confrontation with Gaia ends up with Kratos arriving in the land of the dead where he must battle Hades and defeat him. I personally had such a hard time battling Hades the game recommended I switch difficulties.

Next up it was time for Kratos to make his way into the City of Olympia and track down Helios during the course of wandering through the city you poised to help a titan by shooting down Helios using a ballista. This was like target practice, quite challenging at first but shooting him down provided me with instant gratitude. Using the head of Helios to light the way it’s time to head down the path of EOS. Later on you’ll battle your bitter rival Hercules and after disposing of him it’s time to check out Poseidon’s chamber where you speak to the goddess herself Aphrodite.  Next it’s time to make for the Pit of Tartarus and look for the Omphalos Stone. Remember Crono’s from God of War 2, he’s back and it’s time to rumble.
helios
After that it’s Time to return to Daedalus’s workshop, escape Hera’s Garden, then head into the hidden passageway to find Pandora and to escape the Labyrinth before it’s too late. Finally you arrive at the Chain of Balance where you must break it and return to Pandora. It has arrived time to Battle the mighty Zeus.
hades
There isn’t a whole lot changed in terms of combat, it’s the same formula just polished up from previous versions. Of course there is a bunch of new weapons like the blades of exile; the army of Sparta is one of my favorites. These Spartan Warriors surround Kratos with shields and spears, these warriors attack those who cross Kratos path. You also are immune from taking damage during the casting of this spell. The Claws of Hades are cool but you have the blades of Athena and I haven’t found much use for them.  One of the favorite new items is the head of Helios this allows the Kratos to shine a light and kill enemies.  The finishing moves are just over the top, gratuitous, fun to execute and enjoying to watch. One of the big things I’ve noticed over its predecessors is that the level design and the variety is quite noticeable and makes the game a lot more enjoyable. The boss battles are challenging, fun and cross between fighting the Gods and the Titans is a good mix up. I wish I could battled more titans.
finishing

Sony Santa Monica has developed a visual masterpiece, the sense of scale of is incredible, the way the camera pans out to show everything and you see Kratos this little spec on screen. One small noticeable improvement all game developers should take notice of is during quick time events placing the buttons on the side of the screen. This draws the player’s attention to focus on the quick time event so they can enjoy the action. The camera, I loved how the camera pans to show the incredible sense of scale, detail and just awe dropping moments throughout the game. However, I wish I had more control of the actual camera at times. I’d love to be able to look out the titans or gods from Kratos point of view.

One of the biggest dislikes in the franchise I’ve noticed and still isn’t rectified in God of War 3 is there is no HUD system on screen. This is more of a personal preference rather than a fault of the game. I am not a great puzzle solver at any game and the lack of “hint” system in place has caused me great frustration at different stages of the game. Sure when you get to a puzzle the camera pans around showing you where you start and where you end.  If you half way through solving a puzzle and get stuck why not implement a “help” button similar to Uncharted 2? It’s simple, easy and if you don’t want to use it don’t press the button.

Honestly there isn’t much wrong with God of War 3, the things I mentioned above are small personal preferences I like in games. I understand why there not there.  The facts are God of War 3 does what it does and does it better than the original 2 game’s. Isn’t that what sequels are for? Improving over the original games while sticking to the key successes of the franchise and God of War 3 does that well. If you like Kratos, the storyline, the button mashing and the gruesome finishing moves and oh yea did I mention an artistic masterpiece? God of War 3 will sell a ton of copies, hell it may even sell a few additional PlayStation 3 systems. Why would you miss out on potentially one the best games of this generation.

The Good

  • Awe Yeah, the combat is just fun
  • Stunning Visuals
  • Boss Battles are Challenging

The Bad

  • It ends
  • No Help / Hint’s during puzzles
  • No HUD/ on screen navigation

Review – Lunar: Silver Star Harmony

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony
Role Playing games have certainly changed in the last few years with increasingly complex (in some cases confusing) stories, stunning graphics, moral decisions and while this is good, I still feel that they’re missing some of the emotion that was synonymous with RPGs and the stories they presented.

Enter Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, the remake to a remake which originally debuted on the Sega CD and was then ported with updated graphics and audio on the PSOne. One of my most beloved Sega CD and PSOne treasures, I revisit the Lunar series quite often on either of those systems and can honestly say that it’s a game that has stood the test of time. The folks over at XSeed clearly felt the same way about Lunar as the recently released PSP remake shows in abundance.

Lunar: The Silver Star Harmony is the story of a young boy named Alex who idolizes Dragon Master Dyne, a man who saved the world many years ago. With his friends, Luna, Ramis and Nall, Alex sets out on a quest to follow in the footsteps of his hero.

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony

The game utilizes classic RPG controls, turn based battle sequences, an awesome soundtrack coupled with some great Anime style cut scenes and effective voice acting. The remake of the Sega CD version was a huge step up when it was released on the PSOne and I can say that the jump to the PSP while not the same step up, is a damn fine representation of what Lunar is.

The voice actors have been changed up and new dialogue was added to the game as were some new story elements which I loved. While the game is smaller on smaller system that mean we get smaller dungeons, cities and cut scenes, but, I must say that the team at XSeed did a great job at preserving the game that I fell in love with so many years ago. They did however update the graphics in a big way and that makes this game the prettiest in the series.
The Lunar series still one of my favorites and clearly it’s still a favorite of many people out there as any search on eBay will show you the game can still catch over $100 for the PSOne. Xseed has done a masterful job at brining this series to the masses and a new generation of gamers who really should give it a try. Can you go wrong on a handheld game that delivers 15+hrs of gameplay?

Pros:

  • Best looking version of the series
  • Holds up well still today
  • Soundtrack is fantastic
  • New Story Elements

Cons:

  • Smaller Dungeons

Feed Your Console gives Lunar: Silver Star Harmony a 9.5 out of 10

Playstation has Spring Fever

PlayStation announced today that spring fever is back on PSN and kicking out the deals for PS3 owners. What the deal with Spring Fever you ask… It’s where you get games at up to half price on the PSN for the the months of April, May and June.

On March 25th PlayStation is giving us an early taste of what’s to come for the next few weeks TWO deals – and heavy hitters at that – featuring the PSN exclusive Gravity Crash and Everyday Shooter for the low low price of $4.99 each (regular price: $9.99).

Or maybe your Avatar is looking a little plain lounging around your virtual apartment – how about a new outfit? PlayStation Home is in on the Spring Fever action with two special costumes, available only to Spring Fever Sale shoppers. Grad a “Spring Bumblebee” costume or select maybe your more of a “Spring Flower” kind of person. But here is the catch… Users will be rewarded with a voucher to be redeemed for a portion of the five part-costumes with the purchase of an item from the Spring Fever Sale.

* Images thanks to PlayStation blog.

PSP This is your life

Today your 5 and how things have changed from your original UMD infancy right on up to a grown-up Digital Down load and multi-media centre. We are all so proud of you and your continued evolution – Keep it up.

PSP This is your life:

  • More than 245 developers have created software titles for you since 2005
  • You have more than 520 software titles available on UMD and more than 300 titles on the PSN
  • Original and Exclusinve first-party software titles include your very own: God of War: Chains of Olympus, Gran Turismo, LittleBigPlanet, Resistance: Retribution, and SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo
  • A number of Exclusive third-party franchises including: FINAL FANTASY and Grand Theft Auto, and a software library features a variety of titles from every major publisher

Congratulations PSP – This is your Life!

The UK Games Industry Gets a (Tax) Break

After years of campaigning the government, the UK games industry has finally received tax breaks from the government. For those of you new to the tax game, countries like Canada have been giving huge tax incentives to gaming companies, which has spurred huge growth but made it difficult for companies in the UK to compete. The UK has always had tax breaks for the film industry (as is common in many countries), and lobbyists for game development support were quick to point out this double standard.

This budget will be effective until March 2011. Hopefully the UK government will see that supporting such a growing industry will help manage their massive debt and continue the program for a long time.