ps3 Archive


These Are The Games To Pick From Sony’s List Of Free PS3/PSP Titles For PSN Outage Reparations

Sony’s finally begun the process of rolling out reparations for its millions of consumers that were affected by the Great PlayStation Network Hack Of 2011. Whether or not you’re happy with Sony’s response to the whole fiasco, they’re still offering up free stuff, so you may as well take advantage of it. Before we get to the fun stuff, be sure to enroll in the AllClear ID PLUS identity theft protection that Sony is paying for all PSN users. If you’re a PS3 user, you get to pick two out of the following titles: (We’ve included a quick one line description of each game)

  • Dead Nation – 2D twin stick action shooter kind of like Robotron or Geometry Wars with zombies
  • inFAMOUS – Third-Person open world action game. Think Grand Theft Auto if you were the only super hero in town.
  • LittleBigPlanet – A 2D platforming game (Think Super Mario Bros.) with up to 4 player cooperative play. You can design your own levels and play ones designed by other players.
  • Super Stardust HD – Traditional 2D twin stick action shooter in space with lasers and powerups.
  • Wipeout HD + Fury – A fast paced futuristic racer with weapons. Think Mario Kart meets F-Zero with even more speed.

All things being equal, we would pick up the titles in this order:

  1. LittleBigPlanet
  2. inFAMOUS
  3. WipeoutHD + Fury
  4. Super Stardust HD
  5. Dead Nation

For what it’s worth, inFAMOUS and LittleBigPlanet were originally $60 retail titles, while the other titles were downloadable games ranging  from $9.99 to $19.99. Despite that, all of the games Sony offers are all quite good and hit a wide variety of genres. At the end of the day, you can’t really go wrong with any of the titles – they’re all good games in their respective genres. If you’re in the mood for a racer, definitely pick up WipeoutHD because it’s quite possibly still the most thrilling racer on any video game system. If you’re looking for something to play with your kids or someone who doesn’t play video games all that often, be sure to pick up LittleBigPlanet because it’s essentially a cute 4-player Mario-like platforming game. PSP owners can choose from two of the following games:

  • LittleBigPlanet (PSP) – A portable version of the PS3 game – it’s got completely different levels if you were worried about getting both LittleBigPlanet titles.
  • ModNation Racers – A GoKart racer (Think Mario Kart), but with the ability to create and share your own racetracks like LittleBigPlanet levels.
  • Pursuit Force – An arcade combat-racer where you’re a rookie cop chasing criminals.
  • Killzone Liberation – A top-down isometric view action title with cover-based gameplay similar to Gears of War.

In full disclosure, of the available PSP titles, we’ve only played Killzone Liberation. However we can wholeheartedly recommend that title if you’re an action fan — it’s surprisingly provides similar gratification to playing a third-person shooter on a console. We’ve also read up on reviews for the other titles and if it were up to us we’d rank them in this order:

  1. LittleBigPlanet
  2. Killzone Liberation
  3. ModNation Racers
  4. Pursuit Force

Again, feel free to pick by your desired genre, though we think there may be a marked quality difference between the first two titles and the last two ones. Other than the games, Sony is also offering a package that includes the following:

  • A selection of “On Us” rental movie titles will be available to PlayStation Network customers over one weekend, where Video Service is available. Those titles will be announced soon.
  • 30 days free PlayStation Plus membership for non PlayStation Plus subscribers.
  • Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive an additional 60 days of free subscription.
  • Existing Music Unlimited Premium Trial subscription members will receive an additional 30 days of free premium subscription.
  • Additional 30 days + time lost for existing members of Music Unlimited Premium/Basic subscription free of charge for existing Premium/Basic members.
  • To welcome users Home, PlayStation Home will be offering 100 free virtual items. Additional free content will be released soon, including the next addition to the Home Mansion personal space, and Ooblag’s Alien Casino, an exclusive game.

Since Sony hasn’t announced which movies will be available through the “On Us” program, we can’t really give any recommendations on that front. We can, however, still say that PlayStation Home is still a complete waste of time.


Buy Portal 2 PS3, get PC/Mac version free & Steam support

Well shit. This is a pretty cool bonus for people who own multiple platforms. Why shouldn’t I be able to play a game on my PC, Macbook, or PS3 after I’ve purchased it once? It’s kind of like an early version of UltraViolet for games.

If I’m reading this right, you’ll be able to start a game on one device and be able to pick up wherever you go because the game saves are stored in the cloud. How awesome is that?

Obviously, the Playstation 3 version becomes the one to buy for everyone. Kudos to Valve for making it easy and convenient for the consumer. I hope more publishers utilize this option for their multiplatform games. It’ll certainly give me a reason to choose the PS3 version of a game for once.

On top of that, anyone who buys Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 will be able to unlock a Steam Play copy of Portal 2 for the PC and Mac for free by linking their PSN and Steam accounts. Portal 2 project lead Josh Weier explains that Valve has designed the cross-platform experience to be hassle-free: “PS3 gamers will be able to simply drop the Blu-ray disc in the PS3, link to their Steam account from inside the game, and all their Steam friends (on PC and Mac) will be visible and accessible for chat and game invites.”

Read: Buy Portal 2 PS3, get PC/Mac version free & Steam support- Destructoid.


Jenova Chen Explains Journey: Social Relevance and Artistic Inspirations

Playstation Blog has an interesting interview with Jenova Chen, creative director at thatgamecompany and creator of flOw and Flower.

On multiplayer games being social:

If you really wanted to stimulate a social activity, you need to re-think it from the ground up. What is the skill they’re supposed to acquire? Accuracy? Or is it the ability to convince others? If the skill is social, it’ll be very relevant and useful. People still play poker. Why? Because the skill of deception is useful for real life. Look at online games. How many skills are based on social elements? Most games are based on grinding, accuracy, physical dexterity. They are not social games. They’re just old games with online features.

Yeah. I like fighting games too.They’re fun. But as I get older, what’s the point in pulling off another infinite combo? What does that do for your life? It’s not useful. People still play chess because strategic thinking is useful. Brain training games, fitness games…these have relevance. People don’t have much time to waste, so they want relevance. Whether it’s emotional relevance, like experiencing joy or sadness, or intellectual relevance, or social relevance.

Journey looks like it’s going to be an beautiful original title and an interesting social experiment to see if Jenova’s notion of social relevance actually takes hold with players.

Read: Jenova Chen Explains Journey: Social Relevance and Artistic Inspirations – PlayStation Blog.


Hackers leave PS3 security in tatters

This is a fascinating article on why and how the Playstation 3’s software internals have become completely undressed.

Since shortly after its release, I’ve always wondered why there had been no jailbreak or “cracks” for the Playstation 3 when every other console had been broken.

Short answer? Because of the PS3’s option for users to install Linux, no hacker worth his salt cared enough to break the console.

I wonder if Sony knew they were signing the system’s death warrant when they removed the ability for users to install “Other OS” on the PS3. They probably had the hubris of thinking that their security measures were “unbreakable” after 4 years of relative unmolestation.


The first custom firmware is already out for the system, although it doesn’t allow pirated games at the moment.

From Digital Foundry:

The Fail0verflow team says that hackers do the hard work in compromising a system to run Linux and homebrew code, while the pirates exploit that for their own ends. They suggest that the pirates themselves lack the skill to come up with the exploits, and that the PS3 was left unmolested for so long because Sony gave paying customers a way to run their own code on the system. In short, the real hackers weren’t interested in opening up a system that was already open enough.

“There is absolutely no doubt in our mind that the PS3 lasted as much as it did due to OtherOS. The security really is terribly broken,” the team posted on their Twitter page.

Read: Hackers leave PS3 security in tatters – Page 1 | DigitalFoundry |


Playstation Move in LittleBigPlanet 2

The only reason I’ve seen to own a Move so far is the Killzone 3 Move  control mode. It might take a lot more than that to sell people on the technology.

From IGN’s Review of LBP2:

I’ve seen a lot of people asking how PlayStation Move works in LittleBigPlanet 2, and the short answer is “It doesn’t.” It isn’t broken; it just isn’t in the game. Sackboy’s Prehistoric Moves (a Move game available right now on the PlayStation Store) is on the disc, but that’s it. At the moment, LBP2 doesn’t use the motion controller at all but it supports it for future additions.

Read: LittleBigPlanet 2 Review – PlayStation 3 Review at IGN.


Portal 2 Co-Op Gameplay Walkthrough Video From PAX Is Win

Now this is what I’m talking about.

Sticklers may point out that this Portal 2 extended co-op gameplay footage from PAX doesn’t show anything mindblowingly different from the very short teaser a couple weeks ago, but they can go stick it somewhere else. Something about seeing the game in live action makes the whole idea that they’re making a sequel to Portal more… tangible.

Watching this video, my mind began to race with all of the devilishly clever puzzle solutions that could be possible with four portals to play with. Plus, hearing GLaDOS deliver its acerbic, yet oddly charming post-test comments just brings a smile to my face. Like I’m coming home again.

Oh, and don’t forget robot hugsies.


E3 2010 Preview: Twisted Metal

Twisted Metal was perhaps the biggest “surprise” of Sony’s E3 press conference in that it was probably the biggest first-party Sony title announced without being leaked in advance. However, it was only a matter of time as there have been Twisted Metal titles released for every Sony console generation prior to the Playstation 3.

David Jaffe’s (God of War) new Eat Sleep Play studio develops the latest installment in the franchise and I had a chance to play a quick deathmatch at the Sony booth.

The quickest way to describe Twisted Metal if you’ve never played a game in the series is that it’s a cross between Mario Kart battle mode and Unreal Tournament. You pilot a twisted character/car combination such as a homicidal clown’s ice cream truck and you’re pitted against equally colorful cast of characters’ cars in a deathmatch. Each car has its own special weapon that recharges over time and you can pick up assorted missiles and ordinance powerups on the map. Oh, and your battle arena is generally an expansive real-life setting like suburban housing tracts.

The original Twisted Metal on the Playstation was one of the launch highlights of the system and Jaffe’s PS3 version definitely captures the look and feel of that seminal title. It’s not for the controller-challenged, though, as it pretty much uses every button on the Dualshock 3 controller to some degree. I took one look at the loading screen picture of the controls and blanked out like I was watching C-Span.

Fortunately I pick up games fairly quickly and within a minute I had figured out how to drive and shoot. The demo included two new vehicles (a helicopter and a motorcycle) that haven’t been seen in the franchise before. I found the helicopter difficult to maneuver, but it does have the satisfying ability to pull enemy vehicles up with its magnet attachment and drop them in less than optimal places. The motorcycle dude’s special attack is to throw a boomerang chainsaw at enemies. It works as ridiculous as it sounds and does MASSIVE DAMAGE to enemies.

Twisted Metal was created to be played among a large number of players and it’s exciting to see the franchise arrive in a console generation where online play isn’t an afterthought. It’s not a franchise overhaul, but it doesn’t have to be. We’re in an era where car arena deathmatch titles number in the single digits. It’s an entertaining title that should be a blast to play with friends.

As long as Jaffe delivers a polished game, Sony should have a hit on its hands.

Twisted Metal is scheduled to be released in Spring 2011 exclusively on the Playstation 3


Postgame: Splinter Cell Conviction

Warning: This game requires patience.  If you have none, stay away. It’s not a straight shooter.

If you’ve ever wanted to be as badass, cunning, and ruthless as Jack Bauer in a video game, Splinter Cell Conviction is the game for you.  Do you want to act out one (or several) of Jack Bauer’s famous interrogation scenes?  Done.  There are almost an excessive number of situations for you to brutally ask bad guys where stuff is.  Conviction’s situation is a departure from previous games in the series.  Longtime protagonist Sam Fisher is not ostensibly working with any sort of government agency.  For most of the game Fisher’s only contact with “the good guys” is with a woman he used to work with in the government.  Sound familiar?

I loved the way new objectives are presented to you in this game.  Many have called the way the game projects text onto the game world “Fringe Lettering” (yes, referring to the JJ Abrams show).  I’d say it goes a bit further, as the show’s lettering is limited to large block letters hanging in mid air introducing new locations.  Conviction goes a step further and blends the text into walls and objects in the world seamlessly.  More games need to do this.

Diehard Splinter Cell fans lamented the loss of certain gameplay elements such as hiding bodies.  I found it refreshing.  Hiding bodies always felt like a chore, rather than “ooh, this is cool because it’s realistic.”  Fisher has a new trick called “Execution” where you can mark anywhere between 2-4 targets (depending on how much you’ve upgraded your gun) and can instantly kill them all with one button if you are within line of sight. It’s balanced since you have to “earn” the right to do this by successfully melee killing someone.  While some critics may complain this cheapens the gameplay, at the end of the day, it serves to make the player feel like a badass.  I’m ok with this.  I want to be the action hero I see in the final cut of film. I’m ok with cutting out “realistic” elements for more fun.

Broken down into its core elements, Conviction is a sequence of situations in which Sam Fisher has to deal with bad guys who don’t know he’s there.  Usually, I’d start off trying to take out everyone stealthily from the shadows.  I’m not one for elaborate planning, so invariably I’d get seen, shit would hit the fan, and I’d have to shoot my way out of the mess.  Oftentimes this would end in failure, but since I’m an above-average shooter player, I imagine I brute-forced my way through more than most players would. Generally, Conviction does a good job of preventing you from just run and gunning your way through the game, as a veritable clown bus of bad guys will swarm you if you try to do this. (Protip: There are always more dudes in the room than you think there are.)

I played through the single-player campaign through on “Realistic” difficulty.  I usually play most games on normal difficulty, but I strongly recommend that you play this game on “Realistic” if you do.  Playing through on anything less will give you far more leeway to run and gun your way through the game and I think that detracts from the experience. The most memorable moments you will have while playing will be the stealth kills and planned gadget kills, not the machinegun kills you get from playing Call of Duty style.

My favorite moment in the game was a planned attack where I planted a remote explosive on the ground next to a pair of armed guards.  I scaled the building to their right, overlooking another guard from behind.  Jumping down, I broke the neck of the hapless guard from behind.  The original pair saw this and began to run towards me.  Calmly, I pressed the button, detonated the explosive, and took out the remaining guards LIKE A BOSS.

The biggest complaint people have of Conviction is the “insta-fail” section well-into the game.  I can’t defend this; it’s some bullshit.  I’d like to think there’s a better solution to forcing players to act in a stealthy manner.  However, part of the reason I got through it with minimal yelling at the screen was due to my Realistic difficulty training.  By the time I got to the chapter in question, I was already used to basically “insta-failing” if I was detected (due to the immense swarms of enemies and inability to absorb much gunfire).  It still sucked, though, because I could do everything right except for one tiny mistake, and I’d be forced to reload a checkpoint. Perhaps a better way of enforcing this would be to elevate the difficulty level to Realistic for everyone, regardless of what they are playing at.  It’ll train the player to be more stealthy, but also give them the feeling that they could progress even if they make a mistake.

It’ll take a certain type of mindset to succeed and have fun with Conviction.  You need to be prepared to be methodical and inconspicuous.  If you can and are willing to do this, I guarantee you will have a great time with this game.


Grace Chen Walks Us Through The New Playstation Network Store

Playstation Network Store senior manager, Grace Chen, gives us a video demo of the newly redesigned PSN store on the Playstation 3, set to debut this Thursday, April 17th.

The fact that the new store is a native PS3 application is news to me and a welcome tidbit at that.  It looks like it’ll run very fast and have a slick presentation.  The instant trailer watching is a nice touch as well.

While the existing PSN store web-interface wasn’t unworkable, it wasn’t winning any awards.  This much-needed update looks to bring the PSN store at least on par with Xbox Live Marketplace.   It might actually surpass XBLA in performance, as I’ve noticed some very annoying load times there when scrolling down long lists.

With each update, Sony is slowly and quietly making the PS3 experience equal to Xbox Live.  We’ll see if and when they surpass Microsoft’s online platform.


Echochrome Brings MC Escher To Your Sony Game Consoles

I saw over on PSP Fanboy the other day that Sony has made available a demo of the MC Escher influenced puzzle game, Echochrome, on the Japanese Playstation store for the PS3 and PSP. Being the intrepid game I am, I quickly signed into my Japanese PSN account and pulled down both demos and gave them a whirl.

Essentially the games are the same with the main exception being that the PS3 version has english voice narration for the tutorials. The game is very simple to play and very cool. You use one analog stick to rotate the “level” around to guide your human who has to run to other figures placed around different Escher-like constructs. The trick is to use the perspective to reach places that wouldn’t normally be possible. For example, if there’s a hole that’s impeding your progress, you can rotate the level such that a column covers up the hole. Your dude will walk straight through as if the hole weren’t there. As the old cliche goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” The demo has a few other neat things you can do with the perspective that I hope the full version expands upon.A US version hasn’t been announce yet, but let’s pray SCEA does us a solid and brings it over here.Check out a video trailer after the break

Download the PSP demo []

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