Developer Interviews – Skylanders Giants and LittleBigPlanet Karting

Developer Interviews - Skylanders Giants and LittleBigPlanet Karting

Developer Interviews – Skylanders Giants and LittleBigPlanet Karting

From the Sony PlayStation 2012 Holiday Event in Toronto, Canada

Welcome to our Developer Interview Double Feature.  We focus on games that little ones can play but are still fun for more experienced players.  We present Hands-on demos and Developer Interviews for the upcoming titles, Skylanders Giants and LittleBigPlanet Karting.

The recent Sony PlayStation Holiday Event here in Toronto provided the perfect venue to learn more about these titles

Skylanders Giants:

Skylanders Giants, from Activision and Toys for Bob is out for the PS3, Xbox360 Wii and 3DS on October 21st 2012.  A Wii U version is available on November 18th, 2012.   It continues and builds upon the gameplay style of Skylander’s Spyro Adventure.  In Skylanders Giants you get to play as…you guessed it Giants!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azMpiEEvnHk&w=560&h=315]

Using the portal you change out characters on the fly, making use of their specific abilities and upgrades and all the information is stored on the figures.  I love how it doesn’t take batteries and the newly added advanced difficulty levels should add to the replayability.  Check out what Lou, Production Coordinator for Skylander’s Giants has to say.

LittleBigPlanet Karting:

Rated E for everyone and out on November 6th 2012, LittleBigPlanet Karting or LBPK combines the Play, create and share concept of LittleBigPlanet with kart racing action and gameplay we’re already familiar with.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-XqKjYxJUk&w=560&h=315]

Developers from United Front Games worked with Media Molecule to bring this fun, accessible and creative kart racer exclusively to the PS3.  An adventure spanning over 25 levels over a few Planets and online play and sharing can be found here.  LittleBigPlanet Karting gives you up to 4 player multiplayer locally and up to 8 races online.

We get a chance to talk with Nick, Gameplay Designer for LittleBigPlanet Karting to get the low-down.

Review – Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is a great title with alot of the same from the original but lacks a little “spark” the previous title “War for Cybertron” had so let’s transform and roll out as we take a look at the latest title in this highly anticipated sequel. As usual, we continue to stride to avoid as many spoilers as possible.

Fall of Cybertron immediately follows the the events of the wildly popular and successful title from 2010 Transformers: War for Cybertron as the Autobots and Decepticons wage war with one another in the final epic battle for supremacy of their home planet. We begin with the final stand of the Autobots vs the Decepticons as they prep for their final jump to our solar system. After some gun play and tutorials, we see the story take a step backwards by 6 earth days and thus begins our journey.

The graphics engine stayed EXACTLY the same as the previous game which disappointed me as it’s age really shows during the cut scenes. That’s not to say the game looks bad, just a little dated.

The game play is by and large still fully intact from War for Cybertron. We still have the 3rd person perspective, and all the base control schemes stay the same as they did very little to tweak or fart around with the original. Hey if it’s not broken don’t fix it right? Excellent. Some minor tweaks to the gameplay include purchasing weapon upgrades and perks through upgrade stations using points earned by dispatching your enemies. Further to the upgrades and perks, you will come across weapon loadout stations which allow you to purchase new weapons.

True to the previous instalment, FoC put the gamer in control of a variety of popular characters from the series across the 13 chapters. Every character feels and plays differently as they lead you through the story to the epic conclusion (my personal faves included Jazz, Megatron and Grimlock). One thing to note was that a few of the characters felt insanely over powered for his levels. An absolute cakewalk for me on Normal. I had no sense if urgency using these characters which can be both a blessing and a curse at the same time.

One of the things that really stood out to me while playing through Fall of Cybertron was that, despite the feel of urgency that many of the levels had, I never once felt that I was under the gun for time or overly stressed out because the gunfire was getting to be too much. See, the problem, was that I honestly felt like I had far too much time to breathe in between battles. It was almost as if the moments of balls to the walls action were far shorter than the moments of story telling…which in turn resulted into a slightly stunted campaign experience of approximately 9hours from start to finish.

***Edit*** In my haste, I somehow missed the Multiplayer portion of the review when I copied it over.

Keep with the theme of “if it aint broke don’t fix it” High Moon has opted to keep much of what everyone liked about the multiplayer with a few tweaks. The classes have been renamed as  Infiltrator, Destroyer, Titan, and Scientist. In FoC, the player can add their own personal touch by picking and choosing the various body parts  Head, Chest (the chest also determines your vehicle) Shoulders, Arms, Legs, Wheels, Tank Barrel, Wings, and Decals to create their own unique machine.

With 10 levels at launch the team Death Match and free for all modes are fast, frantic action chock full of chaos. Cooperative Escalation mode(my personal favorite) is back and just as fun as it was 2years ago. I spent a fair amount of time playing multiplayer when War for Cybertron hit and just abruptly stopped for some odd reason. Fall of Cybertron is everything I liked 2yrs ago. I don’t know why I even stopped playing it. I suspect this title is going to be in my system for a good long while.

High Moon Studios and Activision had a bona fide hit with this series. They told a great story, and keept to the basics without mucking around too much with the recipe that made War for Cybertron so special. Despite the few missteps this time around but that hardly made this a bad game.

Pros:

  • Great Story recounts the final days of Cybertron
  • The base recipe of War for Cybertron remains intact
  • Added RPG element with weapons upgrades and perks
  • 10 well designed multiplayer maps and escalation mode.

Cons:

  • Some characters felt over-powered
  • Campaign felt short

Feed Your Console gives Transformers: Fall of Cybertron 8 out of 10

Review – Modern Warfare 3

Another year and another instalment of the ever popular Call of Duty franchise – Modern Warfare 3, which aptly takes place during World War III. In customary fashion to our policies here at Feed Your Console, we will do our best to NOT divulge any major spoilers as we want you to experience it the way the game was meant to be enjoyed.

in Spring of 2010, reports came out of issues between Infinity Ward’s founding members and Activision and subsequently a mass exodus by members of the team leaving many to speculate what would become of the series. I can say with 100% certainty, that the series’ integrity is fully intact complete with some awesome new ideas.

The game starts off exactly where the previous one left off – with Captain Price and Russian informant Nokolai caring for an injured “Soap” Mactavish while on the run after killing off a rogue US Army Lieutenant General Shepherd and the bombs falling across the globe. It’s here that the gamer is immediately thrust back into the action and the action is fierce, intense and incredible over a campaign that spans about 3.5-4hrs total.

During the course of the game, players will take control of a variety of people fighting in different parts of the world from New York City, London England, Paris and the Middle East (some new and some old) while telling a story that both excited and frightened me to various degrees. The levels are absolutely beautiful. Some of them left me speechless and slack-jawed while others had me wide-eyed with excitement. I haven’t yet had much time with the new multiplayer modes as of the writing of this but I can say that everyone who loves the CoD: MW multiplayer experience will be more than happy here, my personal favourite, being the “Kill Confirmed” mode which requires the player to collect a set of dogtags from their kill before it’s counted — Something tells me that the low-life campers won’t be playing this mode too much and for that I’m truly Thankful. Spec Ops is back and it’s just as fun as always(WOW!!! My buddy and I are awful at Spec Ops)

In the end, this appears to be the final instalment in this iteration of “Modern Warfare” series and it’s all wrapped up into a nice neat little package that’s sure to make most happy though there’s always that contingent that’s never happy with anything…

Vince Zampella and Jason West who?!? Keep up the good work IW.

Feed Your Console gives Modern Warfare 3 a 9 out of 10

Pros:

  • Great story
  • Incredible Environments
  • Locales Look Great
  • Confirmed Kill Mode
  • The Return of Spec Ops

Cons:

  • Short Campaign (3-5-4hrs total)

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Announced for 2012

WOOO!!! Just announced by Activision. War for Cybertron was an awesome game. I’m super jacked about this official reveal.

Gamers will finally experience the epic battles that shaped the history of the AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS with the fall 2012 release of Activision Publishing, Inc.’s TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON for the Xbox 360® and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. Currently in development by the acclaimed team at High Moon Studios, TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON takes fans through the final, darkest hours of the civil war between the AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS as they fight for control of their dying planet, ultimately leading to their storied exodus from home.

More information about the upcoming game can be found in the November 2011 cover story of Game Informer magazine on sale beginning October 14, which will feature never before seen artwork and dual, limited edition covers. Eager fans can visit www.GameInformer.com for updated news, features, interviews and videos throughout the next few weeks.

“High Moon Studios is an extremely talented development team having raised the bar of gameplay and TRANSFORMERS authenticity in their games,” said David Oxford, Executive Vice President at Activision Publishing. “TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON is an extraordinary project both for the studio and the TRANSFORMERS gaming legacy – the stakes are higher and the scale much larger than ever before, and we absolutely cannot wait for fans to see all the new characters and epic action that awaits them.”

“Hasbro has worked hand in hand with Activision to create a fully original storyline that details the climactic battles leading to the famed exodus of the TRANSFORMERS characters from CYBERTRON,” said Mark Blecher, SVP of Digital Media and Marketing, Hasbro. “Our team at Hasbro is looking forward to exploring and expanding the TRANSFORMERS story again with an incredible blockbuster video game that will blow fans away next year.”

For more information and exclusive updates, fans can visit www.facebook.com/transformersgame and follow the team via Twitter @HighMoonStudios.

Future Shop’s Entertainment and Gaming Preview

Recently I attended the Future Shop fall entertainment preview for Future Shop’s electronics staff, and a few special media members, down at the Toronto Westin Harbour Castle. Game developers Ubisoft, Disney Interactive and Activision/Blizzard were in the house along with the Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Crews showing off the latest titles coming your way.

My first stop took us to the Ubisoft booth, where game demos for the latest Raymond, Driver San Francisco, Just Dance 3 and PowerUp Heroes. Remembering their roots Ubisoft is bringing back the franchise that started it all – Raymond, a fun and traditional platformer made for two. If you loved the old Raymond titles, your not going to want to miss this one. Driver surprised me, by taking a traditional experience and changing it up… mission based driving ,where the missions change based on your current car (high speed chases in the police car, and cab fare missions in taxis) bus or truck. Just between cars in free play mode to experience an extremely detailed San Francisco in a whole new way. Just Dance 3 brings the sexy back (did I really just say that?) with the all night party game. Hot new tracks, and multi-player support will have this in your party rotating right next to Rock Band, Guitar Hero and Sing Star.

Driver: San Francisco –

Disney Interactive brought along their latest title ‘Disney Universe’, a platformer that walks you through the numerous Disney franchises like Alice in Wonderland, and Monsters Inc. This four player co-op offers team based challenges and puzzles that will vary in difficulty based on the number of players in the game. Fun for the whole family.

Disney Universe:

Activision/Blizzard treated us to Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2012. With our rifles blasting – the bears, geese, and deer never stood a chance. Also on tap was the newest in the Spyro the Dragon series, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure. Combining 32 miniature figures, a cage match fighting arena and the traditional gem collecting game we have all loved for the last 13 years. The highly detailed action figures will be worth it for those that collect miniatures.

Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2012:

Last up was the Intech booth, where gaming accessories galore were piled high. From steering wheels, to HDMI cables – colour coded for for easy adaptability and console integration identification (green for xbox, red for PlayStation and white/blue for the Wii). I was were also introduced to the iCade, a classic looking micro-arcade for your iPad. A $99 accessory for your iPad that gives you a the retro gaming experience of over 100 Atari classics; from Asteroids to Centipede. One Game Download included from the App store. I found this to be a little big (no room for this in my office) but I was assured a slimmed down and smaller version would be announced soon – offering the space savings I will require to add this to my collection.

Spider-Man: Edge of Time TEASER TRAILER

Ok I’ll be one of the first to admin i haven’t picked up a Spider-man game in a long time because I was left feeling blah after swinging around Manhattan in Spider-man 2 for hours and hours just repeating the same type of mission over and over… but this new Current/Future Spider-man mash-up defiantly has my ears burning for more news…

Activision what’s the Deal? Give me more!



Get more info from Hero HQ.

Review – Call of Duty: Black Ops

The Call of Duty franchise is the very “Defacto standard” by which all war games are measured up to and strive to emulate. None have ever been able to reach the level of praise and distinction that the Call of Duty name has associated with it. In what seems to be an annual series release by Activision, this year Treyarch takes the helm once again from Infinity Ward (Modern Warfare 1 and 2) to take us back to the front lines of war with their own unique story in Black Ops.

The story is told from the vantage point of a few different characters in the game through flashbacks and an interrogation room but the focus is primarily on game protagonist Alex Mason. Instead of using WWII as the backdrop for the story, we jump ahead to the 1960s in the role of Special Forces Operative Alex Mason.

The game starts off with Alex Mason and 2 other operatives during the “Bay of Pigs” invasion of Cuba as a part of “Operation 40” as they try to infiltrate a Cuban stronghold with direction to assassinate Fidel Castro. After the apparent successful assassination, Mason is left behind to protect the extraction plane as it takes off. He’s then captured by Castros troops and handed over to the Russians as a sign of good faith in the new alliance the 2 countries shared where he is then taken to Russian prisoner camp Vorkuta.

The game runs off the same engine that Treyarch used for World at War and I can honestly say that the game looks amazing. The lush jungles of Vietnam to the cold dreary Arctic Circle and the Vorkuta prison all look and feel incredible. The multiplayer maps vary in size with my personal favorite Nuke Town. Treyarch really spared no expense on the sound front. They hired some incredible voice talent in the form of Sam Worthington(Avatar), Ed Harris (Apollo 13), Gary Oldman (Bram Stokers Dracula) and Topher Grace (That 70s Show) to name a few. Couple that with some licensed music by the Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival and you’ve got a blockbuster.

Fear not, the game doesn’t end there either. Zombie Mode is back and better than ever and of course the multiplayer matches are back but this is where I have a problem. The online match making was more than a little aggravating.

One of my biggest complaints in the CoD franchise is just how difficult it can be to play online with most users if you don’t start playing right away and for hour after hour at a time. The leveling system is annoying because with higher levels, the better the options are for loadouts for more powerful weapons and better perks. This can be extremely annoying because the game doesn’t match player levels very well or even at all. There I was a lowly level 1 in a game full of people level 30+. I was thoroughly annihilated with 4 kills the entire round. By the end of the weekend, I clawed my way to level 7 and was ranked in the top 3 for at least 1 round so it’s not to say that I totally suck at the game. Normally I can hold my own but with the cards stacked against you, it’s a tough uphill battle that will leave many frustrated in the end. No doubt I had a bunch of negative feedback due to my incessant swearing and not realizing that my Kinect was set to “On” for game chat – DOH!!!

Did I mention that it seems to me the best way to win any round is to be a camper? Another major annoyance for me is the amount of camping and sniping that goes on in this game. I’m a huge proponent of some sort of camp timer or handicap that says you can only be in the same spot for a finite amount of time before everyone in the round is given your location on the map or something to that effect. One other quick complaint is the omission of online co-op story mode. It would have been nice to play through with a friend or 2.

Despite the issues I’ve heard about for PC users, what we have here is a solid performance by the Treyarch team. They’ve taken the Call of Duty name and added their own stamp to the franchise much like Infinity Ward did with the “Modern Warfare” series. I really enjoyed the dark tone to the story, and LOVED the Zombie mode. Treyarch has stepped out from the Infinity Wards shadow with this title. Well done.

Feed Your Console gives Call of Duty: Black Ops 8.5 out of 10

Pros:

  • Beautiful environments
  • Zombie mode is back and just as fun
  • Great voice talent
  • Intriguing (though somewhat predictable) story

Cons:

  • Unbalanced multiplayer matchmaking
  • Too much camping/sniping

Call of Duty Black Ops Goes 3D

Call of Duty Black Ops

On October 5th Activision Publishing Inc put out a press release stating that Call of Duty Black Ops would be going Stereoscopic 3d. Well this is great news as today October 5th 2010 is the PlayStation Canada Holiday Preview event at the newly renovated Sony Centre in downtown Toronto. Yes that put us among the first to see this newly announced mode for the Call of Duty franchise on the PlayStation 3.

To continue with its annual release, Call of Duty will be coming on November 9th 2010 and is being developed by Treyarch Studios. Black Ops will be available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC and will come with 3D support if you have the required hardware to take advantage of this technology. Don’t worry, if you don’t have a 3D TV simply just hop into the menu and ensure 3D is turned off.

Jay Puryear Senior Manager at Treyarch studios was on hand to provide us with a 20 minute demo featuring 2 levels from the single player campaign called WMD and some time with the Number’s chapter which is yet to be shown publicly.

WMD starts with an interactive cut scene where an SR-71 Blackbird recon airplane takes to the sky and provides its eyes for a squad of troops down below. You direct and navigate them to various checkpoints throughout the level. Upon reaching each checkpoint you switch and take control of the squad of troops and fight off the enemies.

Numbers chapter starts with an interrogation scene where glass windows get smashed and a piece of glass gets put down a throat of the villain as we seek to get information out of him since he’s working for the enemy. Since we didn’t get the information we want we might as well throw a few good punches at his jaw. Before the interrogation is over, the enemy zeros in on your location and storms the building. Our prisoner takes the lead and heads up flights of stairs to the roof top where we proceed to take big leaps and jump across buildings. Once we make it inside we find a nice stash of weapons that our prisoner has stored away for us.

We also had a chance to check out some of the combat training mode which is essentially you and up to 5 of your friends taking on 6 AI bots in a multiplayer game. Don’t worry, the bot’s difficulty setting scales just like the single player campaign; Easy, Normal, Hardened and Veteran. It teaches and allows you get a feel for COD multiplayer without going online and getting your butt kicked by those trash talking 14 year old kids. It looked really good in 3D, however, I’m not sure I want my multiplayer shooters in 3D yet as there is to much going on for me.

Enough talk about Call of Duty Black Ops and on to the 3D talk. Considering that a decision at Treyarch was made no more than 5 months ago to implement 3D to this iteration of COD is astonishing. Back when the discussions first started this idea was looked at as a nice option to have for the game, but as things progressed it became obvious to the team that 3D needed to happen. I’ve seen a lot of 3D movies lately and some of the implementations were awful and felt more like a checklist requirement the movie needed to have. Have no worries here folks, this is the first video game that support’s 3D that has made me go OMG I think I need a 3D television. The first thing I remember seeing when I turned on the 3D glasses was Jay having his character looking down the scopes of his rifle and going shit that looks crazy real. The cross hairs and debris looked they were flying my way.

Re-posted from: TehFlakes