TGS 2012: SCE Japan’s Puppeteer: Another First Party Winner On The Way…


 

Yet another PS3 exclusive I can’t wait to get some hands-on time with, Puppeteer also makes me hopeful that we’ll see such creativity on display (and more) from day one whenever Sony’s new console ships. I’m personally so weary of new systems suffering through dreary (but well-intentioned) launch titles that don’t at all show what a console can do. Developers for next-gen systems NEED to blow us all away right out of the gate and IMPROVE on high quality games in the near future or else we’ll have to keep hearing nonsense talk from PC-only gamers who, when you think about it, really only have graphics (and yes, keyboard/mouse controls in shooters) to babble about as “better”. But we all know that better looking games NEVER means better games at all, no matter how it’s spun. Overclocking a game so it runs at 200fps is all fine and dandy, but crap running at 200fps is still crap, correct?

Just a thought.

Tokyo Jungle: I’d Have Worked A Wall of Voodoo Song Into This PS3 Game’s Trailer…

 

Specifically, the eternally quirky “Animal Day” off 1981’s excellent Dark Continent LP. Well, that’s the sone I’d pick if I were working in SCEA’s marketing department. That and hey, this was on a Blu-Ray in Japan, but it’s only getting a PSN release here, grrr.  If i were running things out west, or at least had a say in matters, I’d have done a release through PSN as well as a double-game disc with this and Papo & Yo or rain on it plus a few demos of other PSN titles and yes, added a PlayStation Plus discount voucher to the game case so more people could play both games. I’m just saying, the MORE people that can access this content, the better in the long run for SCEA (and gamers, too!)

Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time Gamescom Trailer: Making Mascots Matter (Mostly)

 

I’ve been having an interesting conversation with a friend about the “need” for this sort of AAA mascot platformer in these days of more gritty games and less humor in too many major releases. We’re both not against the idea of this genre and yes, there are plenty of fun (and funny) indie games to fill the gaps should the mascot platformer just about vanish from the next generation of consoles. That said, outside anything “new” Nintendo has been doing with the Mario franchise, I’m seeing a bit too much by the numbers programming where deja vu takes the place of actual innovation and true creativity. Or hell, perhaps I’m getting too jaded about thing (which isn’t a good sign). I think not, though – I’m just old enough to know when a game is going the rote route.

Maybe it’s developers trying too hard to recapture what made many classic platformers great or maybe it’s just that we’re seeing the genre finally winding down after so many games from great to terrible. Either way, it’s looking as if Sanzaru’s upcoming Sly Cooper game will be part of a dying breed unless we start seeing a resurgence in the genre that features new and equally memorable mascots and gameplay that’s worth buying a new console for. Then again, you don’t need a new system to play the best platformers (or mascot games) ever made, right?

Konami On Air Gamescom 2012 Wrap-Ups (Day 4 & 5)

 

Oops. With all the stuff I’m working on I forgot that (since I’m not at the show) Gamescom was still going on. Here’s Konami’s final two days of content from the show floor. I’ll probably post the longer On Air videos about Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and the two Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 games on the other blog at some point this week. Too much to do, not enough time, as usual! OK, off to get some much-needed sleep.

 

Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault: Well, If You’re Skewing Younger, It’s A Step Forward…

Well, it looks as if since R & C All 4 One, Insomniac is cutting out any chance of this series being as “edgy” as it once was. Of course, that’s to be expected with the franchise running for so long across two console cycles (and soon to be two portable ones). Granted, if you think about it, the visual style has always been that of a modern CG cartoon influenced by many classics from days gone by now geared to kids. I’m also betting that the dev tem members with younger kids are making a game they can play with them as opposed to cranking out yet another game made for the fans who want nothing to change, ever.

That’s one BIG reason for new IP folks – it keeps stuff like this from dragging out into the land of diminishing returns. Bring on Overstrike, I say.

Konami On Air Gamescom 2012 Wrap-Up: Raiden The Wave (And How)

 

Konami revealed a nice selection of upcoming titles at Gamescom this year and even had their own web show to promote the goods. Here’s a look at the three post show videos for each day of the show as well as the pre-show peek behind the scenes video that kicked things off. Between Metal Gear Rising: RevengeanceCastlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 – Mirror of Fate, and a few other cool games, I’m going to be glued to my TV for a nice chunk of time, that’s for sure. I just hope I don’t go even more broke stocking up on extra controllers…

 

More video preview fun below the jump!

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WRC 3: The Birth of A Driver Trailer: Still Holding Out Hope For This To Skid Into The USA….

 

Hmmmm. So far, there’s still no news about a definite US release (boo!), but I do have my fingers crossed that a small publisher here willing to take a chance on what’s looking like a pretty solid racer will pick this up so we finally get an official WRC game after too many years without one. Not that I don’t mind the fun stuff Codemasters is doing, mind you. I just want something a bit less “party” and “social” and a lot more steel-willed concentration as I’m trying to make it though a course and nab that best time without wrecking.  As usual, we shall see…

Star Wars 1313 Gamescom Trailer: So Far, The Force Is Strong In This One…

 

I’m not the firmest believer in the whole “uncanny valley” thing game developers are striving for in the upcoming generation of console and PC games where visuals get so realistic that you can’t tell whether you’re watching a CG trailer or actual game footage. However, I’ll give credit where credit is due to the dev team at Lucasarts working so hard towards that goal with their upcoming Star Wars game. Granted, at the end of the day, story and gameplay matter even more than even the best visuals in the galaxy for my money. Hopefully, this will be a game for the ages that’s got longevity (as in replay value) and legs (as in sequel power where we don’t just get a retread of what’s come before). As always… we shall see, right?

Okami HD (Almost) Leaves Me Speechless…

 

Lovely. There’s really not much to say here other than if you own a PS3 and haven’t played it, you SHOULD buy this game, period. Even if you’ve played it to death, that HD polish and newly added PS Move control scheme both make it worth owning again. Of course, it would have been even cooler to have this on a Blu-Ray disc with an HD version of the cult hit GOD HAND plus a nice “making of” documentary for both games along with soundtracks and an art book (and maybe an Okami plushie for extra Premium Edition measure), but hey – I’m not the one making these decisions. Ah, well,,, but I were running things, that’s how I’d roll (although I’d support both physical and digital releases with the latter at a lower price point, as it should be for not getting packing and a manual).

Sony’s Innovative rain: The Only Problem I See Is This Is DLC-Only, Grrrr…

Lovely, chilling and very promising looking adventure game from Sony’s Japan Studio, but so far, it’s only going to net a PSN release. Sony REALLY needs to get some of these innovative games such as this, Papo & Yo, Datura and others onto a disc and sell them at retail or direct to the segment of their user base that doesn’t use PSN for whatever reason. Stick a basic manual with some sort of PSN Plus voucher in there (that doesn’t expire) and maybe they’ll see a jump in users there as some of those without an account start moving forward to take the plunge.