Yesterday, Evolution 2012 kicked off in all its glory at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. For those of you who may be unaware, Evolution is an annual tournament bringing together the greatest players of fighting games in the world, who contest over a variety of titles for big cash prizes. In amongst footage of some scarily good Street Fighter 4 players, there was a demonstration of Sony’s upcoming Playstation All Stars Battle Royale, which is now set for release on October 26th 2012. The headline news from this demonstration was the announcement of two new characters for the roster – Heihachi (from the Tekken series) and Toro (Sony’s mascot cat which is most popular in Japan). This brings the total announced roster thus far to 10 characters; and while there is still time for further announcements, some people found last nights reveals to be a bit underwhelming. This begs the question then – who is left to make the cut?
To answer this question, I have once again asked for the help of a guest writer. Therefore taking the reins for a record breaking second time is Mr Stephen Jackman, a fellow part time games jorunalist and all round fan of all things Sony and fighting. Enjoy!
Playstation All Stars Battle Royale Remaining Roster Speculation
With leaks of characters and reveals popping up here, there and everywhere, it’s hard not to speculate about the cast of characters that are going to appear in a big crossover fighter such as Playstation All Stars Battle Royale. Maybe we are leading ourselves to disappointment or forgetting some memorable names leading to genuine surprise and excitement. Regardless, the process of putting together lists with friends has been fun, and my own views on the matter can be seen below. The way I have structured my character choices puts them into a ‘one or the other’ scenario; I see it possible in some situations that some if not all the characters are included but I think at least one will make it in to represent that field. There are ten fields that I believe will be filled by one of each at least (a cheeky way of avoiding narrowing it down to a top ten list). It is a sort of top ten list but clearly not. Continue reading Playstation All Stars Battle Royale – Who Should Be On The Roster?
The clock has just hit 12:30 here, and I am currently sitting bored of dissertation work in a library. Time to get some news rounded up:
- It’s surprising how quickly rumours can be confirmed nowadays – what was mere speculation hours ago has been confirmed as a legitimate project in the form of LittleBigPlanet Karting. Concrete details at the moment are pretty sparse, but it seems like it will be a PS3 only title under the helm of United Front Games (the minds behind ModNation Racing, another PS3 exclusive), and that their may be a Move-compatible wheel being made as well. As much as I don’t wish to be sceptical, it seems like a quick cash in: Mario Kart is undoubtedly the king of the genre, and slapping a karting label on a popular exclusive franchise such as LittleBigPlanet seems a bit lazy. It also disappoints me as it may well mean Naughty Dog will not give us UnKarted….
- And in other PS3 news, I’m afraid that PSN is dead….but don’t despair, as the service is simply being renamed as SEN (Sony Entertainment Network) under a new firmware update for the console. Version 4.10 will also look to increase the speed of the internet browser facility that the PS3 offers.
- Credit where credit is due – Activision sure know how to print money. They’ve done it on multiple occasions with the Call Of Duty and Guitar Hero franchises, and now it seems we have another cash cow to add to their collection in the form of the Skylander’s series. The toy/game hybrid which involves you buying real life character models to put into the game has been ridiculously successful and all but killed off Spyro The Dragon as a credible character (for which I will NEVER forgive Activision), and there’s now a sequel – Skylander’s Giants. The game will introduce eight new characters and feature forwards compatibility with the characters from the first game. Cool. If you want a proper Spyro game may I recommend the gold old days of Spyro 2 and Spyro 3?
- FIFA 12’s reign of terror (or if you are a FIFA fan like me, reign of awesomeness) at the top of the UK Sales Chart is over. The footballing juggernaut has finally been displaced by Final Fantasy XIII-2 which debuted in the charts at the number one spot. The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection also debuted strongly at number two, while Soul Calibur V debuted at a disappointing number five. The rest of the top 10 is made up of the usual suspects, including Battlefield 3, FIFA 12 and Assassins Creed: Revelations.
- The long awaited 1.4 patch of Skyrim is finally out for PC owners, and will be hitting Xbox Live today as well. Agonisingly for PS3 owners, the release date for that system has not yet been announced – and that’s the one that people will scrutinise as Bethesda have promised in earnest that it will remove the lag problem that has made the game unplayable for many PS3 owners. As for me, I’ll be able to enjoy finally being able to put weapons onto racks again on the Xbox 360 version.
- Finally, a quick roundup of the titles that have come on sale this week. On the retail front, you can pick up The Darkness 2 & Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning for Xbox 360 and PS3, while the Jak & Daxter HD Collection is a PS3 exclusive. On the handheld front, Resident Evil Revelations has been released for the 3DS, and on the digital front you can pick up The Simpsons Arcade Game, Shank 2 and Gotham City Impostors.
That’s all the news for this week; before I go I would just like to point you in the direction of my Best Video Game Music series that I am slowly adding to, and towards the link for a weekly podcast I am doing with a good friend of mine, Callum Loughlin. Its free, so why not give it a listen? Otherwise, I wish you all good day.
SPYRO: YEAR OF THE DRAGON (2000) – INSOMNIAC GAMES
The year 2000 was a funny old time. The threat of the Millennium Bug passed away rapidly, everyone forgot about the Millennium Dome, and it just so happened that a small purple dragon was going to get its third game on the Playstation. Spyro 2: Gateway To Glimmer was a tremendous success for Insomniac Games, and therefore its follow up would have to be pretty damn good to keep the quality levels high. In a strange twist of fate, 2000 was actually the Year Of The Dragon in China, so Insomniac got lucky with a title name. The rest of the finished product didn’t need luck in the slightest to shine brightly.
Having saved the world of Avalar, the opening of Spyro 3 shows Spyro returning to his home of the Dragon Worlds, where 150 dragon’ eggs are ready to hatch. However, a thief comes through a hole in the ground and steals all the eggs while the dragons are sleeping, and Spyro just misses the chance to catch her. We quickly find out that there is a spiteful Sorceress on the other side of the world who plans to use the magical eggs to restore magic to her world. Fearful for their eggs, the elder dragons decide that only Spyro can fit down the hole and go after the thief, and send him, his trusty dragonfly companion Sparx and Hunter The Cheetah (still as derpy and fantastic as ever) to ‘The Forgotten World’ to retrieve the eggs. Continue reading Playstation Platforming At Its Best – Spyro: Year Of The Dragon Review
SPYRO 2: GATEWAY TO GLIMMER (1999) – INSOMNIAC GAMES
The original Spyro The Dragon was relatively well received when it was released in 1998. What you got for your money was a new protagonist in a much more open 3D world than other titles on the Playstation (especially Crash Bandicoot), crammed full of collectibles and all wrapped up in an enjoyable narrative. There were a few things that brought it down however; a poor camera, laughable bosses and an awkward difficulty curve for younger gamers to name a few. Insomniac Games soon learnt from their mistakes however, and within a year had produced a sequel. With no rivals nearby (Crash was trying his hand at kart racing at the same time), Spyro 2 (called Ripto’s Rage outside of Europe) had the perfect chance to claim the title as the best platformer on the system. Continue reading How The Dragon Beat The Bandicoot – Spyro 2: Gateway To Glimmer Review
Sometimes when you play a game, you have to stand back and just simply admire the game world that you are playing in. It can be a variety of things that can trigger this off; an epic vista, a serious confrontation, a challenging enviorment, a funny situation, a serious situation etc. The point remains: some locations in games simply get lodged in our heads and we never forget them.
My purpose in writing this list is to share an insight into the sorts of gaming locations that have had an effect on me and become great favourites of mine. This list is not ranked as some of my others have been; quite frankly I would find it difficult to rank these memories on merit, and so they are simply listed in the order they came to my head. I also admit that the title of the article is a bit loose; some of the locations mentioned aren’t ‘levels’ in the platforming sense of the word, but I couldn’t think of a better term so it will do. And so without further ado; my favourite levels/places/locations in my gaming history. Continue reading Top Ten…Levels In Gaming