Cover Athlete for NBA 2K10 – Kobe Bryant #24

The 2K Sports team announced today that the cover athlete will be Kobe Bryan #24 on the LA Lakers.

The official announcement on the 2K sports news feed:

2K Sports today congratulates cover athlete and spokesman of NBA 2K10, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, on his fourth career NBA championship after recently defeating the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals. Bryant, who averaged over 32 points, five rebounds, and seven assists during the series, was named NBA Finals MVP and this fall will lend his championship pedigree to NBA 2K10, the #1 selling basketball video game* and #1 rated NBA simulation.

Full release

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PLAYSTATION 3, PSP, Wii, PC

Review: Ghostbusters

Platforms: PC, PS3 (reviewed), Xbox 360, PS2, Wii, PSP and DS

Join Egon, Venkman, Ray and Winston as they bring in a new recruit to the Ghostbuster Crew… That you by the way – the new recruit known as the “rookie”. Travel to many of New Yorks finer establishments in your pursuit of Gozer and the oculist that are trying to bring forth “the destructor” all the while trapping ghosts, blasting animated statues and melting a ton of marshmallow (man). That’s right Mr. Stay Puft is back and he is not very happy after his last visit with the Ghostbusters.

Having grown up with the Ghostbusters I was really looking forward to this game, and I was not disappointed. From the first mission strapping on my proton pack, being warned about the streams and the introduction to the trapping systems I was hooked. The voice acting, the game play, the story all stuck true to the moves of my childhood. My only major beef with this game was the time to finish the game I was finished in less then 10 hours (I almost consider this a mandatory time limit for games now) and it felt like a rather abrupt ending.

It’s not often when a movie franchise successfully makes the jump from the big screen to your console, especially with out an accompanying movie release, but I feel the Ghostbusters were successful here. Bringing back all the original actors to voice their characters as well as a number of the supporting characters. Sticking true to the original movies Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis assisted in the writing of the games storyline giving it that true Ghostbusters feel.

Single player gameplay is your typical third person shooter, but with a pack shooting accelerated particles instead of bullets. Your standard proton stream is your primary weapon, but you’ll receive and purchase useful upgrades as you progress throughout the game. Things like the Stasis Stream, the Meson Collider and the Slime Blower will become available to you, along with upgrades to deal with overheating and trap advancements. You will easily be able to purchase all of these well before making your way to the final level of the game, you will also have plenty of money left to spare in the end. During the course of the game you’ll make plenty of use of your PKE Meter to identify precious spiritual artifacts, hidden objects and build your ghost database – pay attention to this as it will help you identify the weaknesses of your enemies.

Multiplayer is online only – no local multi-player – and takes the form of a Hoard mode style ghost hunt. The clock ticks down as you and three other players fight and trap ghosts or defend precious artifacts. This is a good way to extend the life of the game but gets old quickly. Maybe some DLC will give some new life to this portion of the Ghostbusters the game.

Graphically you will recognize the streets and locations of New York City, from the Library to Sedgewick Hotel and even central park. Making good use of the enviromnes your find transitions between indoors and outdoors are flawless and require no load time. Cut scenes are full of humour and information on what to expect next and how to use your newly acquires upgrades.

Even though I enjoyed this title the length of the game play makes me say – this is a rental for most people, unless you can find it on sale for under $40.

Pros:

– True the the original Ghostbusters stories
– Easter eggs fr fans spread throughout the levels
– Voice acting and writing from the original movie cast
– You feel like a ghostbuster

Cons:

– Game felt short
– no local multi-player
– multi-player gets old fast

Feed Your Console gives Ghostbusters a 7.5 out of 10.

Developer: Terminal Reality (single Player), Threewave Software – (multi player) PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Red Fly Studio – PS2, Wii, PSP[2]
Zen Studios – Nintendo DS

Publisher(s)
Atari
Sony Computer Entertainment – (Europe only, PS2 and PS3 versions

Ovechkin: Cover Athlete for NHL 2K10

Washington Capitol Alex Ovechkin – 2009: Winner of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Award (twice) and Calder Memorial and Art Ross Trophies; Leads the league in goals, points, plus/minus and shots; tied for third in takeaways and in hits; holds the Caps record for points in a playoff season and has the best plus/minus in Caps playoff history; an Olympian and now the cover athlete for 2K’s NHL 2K10. Not a bad list of achievements for a 23 year old from Moscow with only 4 years experience in the NHL.

New York, NY – June 16, 2009 – 2K Sports announced today that Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, the 2009 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Award winner and Hart Memorial Trophy candidate, will be featured as the cover athlete and spokesman for the next iteration of the popular NHL 2K franchise, NHL® 2K10. While leading the National Hockey League (NHL) in goals scored for the second consecutive season, Ovechkin has become one of the most recognizable faces of the NHL in only his fourth season, and will bring his electrifying personality and unmatched passion for the game to NHL 2K10 this year.

NHL 2K10 will be available this fall for Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3.

Impressions – X-Men Origins: Wolverine Demo

Everyone’s favourite bad ass hero is here and he is on Fire! Bringing in a massive $87 million at the box offices in the first weekend. To top it off it seems like every action movie these days has a video game to go along with it. Well X-Men Origins: Wolverine is no different, except for the fact that the game tie-in didn’t suck.

I’d relate the feel of the controls to the God Of War franchise. Pressing the proper button combinations, combined with the use of fury, heavy and lunge attacks cause damage to stack and build in their gore value. Playing as the regenerating, knife fisted anti-hero has never been so fun. Covering large distance by lunging at your enemies – pinning them to the ground and then finishing them with a fury of punches and slashes.

Activision nailed the graphics of Wolverine’s body getting mangled by bullets, machetes and even fire, then showing the skin knit itself back together – mending bullet holes and gashes in real time while moving from one check point to the next.

I’m not going to say anymore but I recommend you get out and play this demo. Tell us your thoughts on the Game or the movie if you saw it.

Available: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Wii, DS, PC, Xbox 360 (Played)

Ghostbusters – PS3 Exclusive? Yep. For now anyway.

“Mother Pus Bucket!” That famous line from Bill Murray must be exactly what’s being said collectively by the powers that be at the Xbox and Nintendo camps. Today, SCEE announced that they would be the publishing the Playstation editions os of the highly anticipated Ghostbusters game in Europ and PAL regions. The Playstation 2 and 3 editions are expected to this June and on the PSP in the Fall. Atari will release versions for the Nintendo DS, Wii and Xbox 360 later in the year.

That’s a pretty big announcement for Sony and too bad for MS and Nintendo. I was actually looking to pick this up for the Wii but the gamer and huge fan in me won’t wait until the Fall to use the Wiimote to wrangle up Slimer.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Sony Pictures, and Atari Europe today announced that Ghostbusters: The Video Game for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 is to be published in PAL territories by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in June, meaning that owners of PS3 and PlayStation 2 will get their hands on the game that reunites the cast of the hit movies.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the well-loved franchise, the game will launch in coordination with the Blu-ray release of the original hit movie and licensing programs from Sony Pictures Consumer Products Inc. Ghostbusters: The Video Game will launch in Europe and PAL regions on June 19th 2009 exclusively for PS3 and PlayStation 2.

“We’re committed to bringing the PlayStation family the biggest and best gaming experiences first,” says Mark Hardy, European Product Marketing Director at SCEE, “and it doesn’t get any bigger and better than this blockbuster title. This summer, PlayStation owners will be the first to grab their proton packs and fight the spirit world. We’d like to wish them the best of luck in their ghostbusting endeavours and, of course, to remind them not to cross the streams!”

“With our colleagues at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe publishing Ghostbusters: The Video Game, we are thrilled by the dynamic new Ghostbusters game. We think it will have tremendous appeal to gamers and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of this beloved franchise.” said Mark Caplan, Vice President of Licensing-Interactive for Sony Pictures Consumer Products Inc. “With this superb game launching alongside the Blu-ray release, we will reach existing fans and the next generation, bringing them all into the irresistible Ghostbusters universe.”

“Atari is committed to maximizing the launch of the Ghostbusters videogame across Europe,” Said Jim Wilson, VP Worldwide Marketing, Atari. “In partnership with both Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Inc and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, we have a unique opportunity to add new game products and expand marketing opportunities to reach Ghostbusters fans in Europe.”

Buckle your seatbelts folks. Something tells me this is going to be one hell of an E3.

Lookout Freddie Mercury, Here I Come!

Sony Computer Entertainment America today announced that SingStar Queen for the PLAYSTATION 3 and PlayStation 2 will be made available on a standalone disc with the release date of August 18, 2009 (Just in time for my birthday! – hint hint – OK I’m kidding, but it really is near my birthday). Also coming at release time will be a patch that provides new voice activated controls, support for over 30 trophies, new support for quick song purchases and an enhanced redesign of both the SingStore and My SingStar Online.

SingStar Queen features 25 tracks including (I am about to date myself):

  • The song from The Highlander (’86) “Who Wants to Live Forever” and “A Kind of Magic“,
  • A Wayne’s World (’92) favorite “Bohemian Rhapsody“,
  • and a song every Sports team wants to play at the end of their season “We are the Champions

Queen fans are in for a treat with this track list. Time to face reality – I am not Freddie Mercury I just want to sing like him.

Sony Announcement: PlayStation 2 Now More Affordable Than Ever

Well, it wasn’t the often rumored PS3 price cut that the masses keep talking about, but, Sony has issued a release lowering the PS2 down to $109.99 CDN.

Here’s the official release:

PLAYSTATION®2, THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM, NOW MORE AFFORDABLE THAN EVER AT $109.99 CDN

FOSTER CITY, Calif. March 31, 2009 – Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced that PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system will be available starting April 1 for $109.99 CDN (MSRP). Since launching in 2000, PlayStation 2 has sold more than 136 million sell-in units worldwide*, making it the most popular system in gaming industry history. PlayStation 2’s vast library of games from all genres for all types of audiences will grow to nearly 1,900 titles this year. This breadth and depth of content along with the new price point make the platform a stronger value than ever, particularly for families, casual gamers, and those seeking to maximize their entertainment dollar.

“PlayStation 2 set the industry standard for worldwide mass market adoption and is a clear embodiment of Sony’s commitment to platforms that deliver 10-year product lifecycles. It’s a tribute to outstanding technology, great consumer value and unprecedented development support that we’ve now been able to do twice what no one else has ever accomplished,” said Jack Tretton, president and CEO, SCEA. “Demand for PlayStation 2 remains strong throughout the world, and the new $109 CDN price point will bring in new consumers who will discover how PlayStation platforms are an outstanding choice for their gaming and home entertainment needs. Just as PlayStation 2 is delivering on a 10-year lifecycle and helped expand and solidify the DVD format for home entertainment along the way, we believe PLAYSTATION 3 offers the same promise by helping secure the Blu-ray format and delivering unprecedented value as the total home entertainment solution for the next decade.” SCEA will continue to support PlayStation 2 system with new titles that appeal to families and casual gamers looking for social entertainment experiences. First-party games such as MLB® 09 THE Show™ and MotorStorm®: Arctic Edge as well as major franchise titles from SCEA’s publishing partners demonstrate the continued growth of the platform’s library of content. In addition, more than 250 best-selling PlayStation 2 titles have achieved “Greatest Hits” status, providing consumers with plenty of games to choose from at value pricing.

PlayStation 2’s impact on the industry is unmatched, as the platform played a key role in establishing the popularity of the most recognized and beloved franchises in history, including Guitar Hero® from Activision, Metal Gear Solid® from Konami Digital Entertainment, FINAL FANTASY® from Square Enix, Grand Theft Auto™ from Rockstar Games, as well as Gran Turismo™ by Polyphony Digital Inc. and Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios titles, including God of War® and Ratchet & Clank®. In recent years, this stellar lineup has expanded to include an extensive list of social games and family-friendly titles such as Buzz! ™ and SingStar®, which have helped usher in new types of consumers into the world of gaming. During its lifespan, PlayStation 2 system not only has pushed video gaming to the forefront of entertainment, but it also introduced the concept of an entertainment system becoming a hub in the living room. PlayStation 2 was the first home computer entertainment system to integrate DVD technology, and the rapid growth of the install base helped establish DVD as the standard optical disc media format worldwide. Featuring both DVD and CD playback capabilities, PlayStation 2 system has served as the entertainment centerpiece in many living rooms.

PlayStation 2 remains the most played computer entertainment system on the market, according to a December 2008 report from The Nielsen Company. Last year, PlayStation 2 became the first system in history to reach the 50 million sell-in unit sales milestone in North America, making it one of the most successful technology products ever. PlayStation 2 system was previously available for $129.99 (MSRP).

*Sell-in numbers as of the end of December 2008

Review: MLB ’09: The Show

Platforms: PS3, PS2 (reviewed), PSP (reviewed)

Welcome to the big league Ladies and Gentleman, it is that time of year again and by that I mean its the return to America`s favourite past time, Baseball. Along with the grapefruit league you`ll find Sony`s latest installment of the Majors, MLB 09: The Show.

The visuals on this game are simply superb, Stadiums so real you can easily imagine you are sitting next to the guy with the body odor sitting at behind the plate. Player profiles and in play graphics that would rival the best of TSN’s game producers, real time instant replays and in-game player stats. Both the PSP and PS2 versions of this game offer fantastic visuals, even on the 2.5″ screen nothing is lost visually.

With so many options your going to find more value in this game then you can shake a bat at… (rim shot). This game brings a little something for everyone offering six different game play options; ranging from the quick play Exhibition game, Manager Mode – an Armchair Coaches dream, Rivalry Mode, Franchise Mode – manage everything from concessions to the roster, to a full 162 games in Season Mode. But it doesn’t stop there… If you think you got what it takes “The Road to the show” is for you, build a custom player, make the team at spring training and set your sites on the Pennant.

Spending most of my review time in the exhibition and manager modes, where after several full games, I`m still trying to get the much needed finesse of the pitching and batting controls down, the AI never seems to have an issue knowing what your going to throw or what your likely to swing at. Finding the right pitch, while keeping them in the strike zone but not in the batters sweet spot, or alternatively connecting at just the right time while watching that fastball buzz on bye. It is not as easy as you would think. Controlling runners on the base is easy enough – tell them to take the big lead and steal the next base or prep them for the sacrifice bunt to move into scoring position.

The MLB online system is fantastic offering several great features:

  • Player Card – Track your career online match play stats
  • Leagues – Be the Commissioner of your own league
  • Leader Boards – real time statical tracking of the players on the MLB network
  • Community Center – Mail and message boards, and Sliders (user generated game settings).
  • Headline News – Current events in the MLB on actual games happening around the Majors

Be prepared for long gaming sessions when firing up MLB ’09: The Show, as these virtual games can take just as long as the real thing. I can honestly say I have enjoyed my time and I look forward to the many hours in the future. The seventh inning stretch is coming to and end and it’s time to get back in the game. I’ll see you at the ball park.

Pros:

  • Realistic announcers and commentary
  • Fantastic replicas of stadiums
  • Online services are packed with good stuff
  • Updated real time roster and news
  • Equally good on the PSP and PS2

Cons:

  • Controls are a bit sensitive
  • Scheduling time is important due to potential length of game

Feed Your Console gives MLB ’09: The Show: 8 out of 10