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10801  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: H-Gate London Demo.....Can we talk? on: October 21, 2007, 01:18:58 PM
3-D game engines are space hogs. smile The size was probably just because, well, every demo is 1+ gigs nowadays. Doesn't even give me a second thought anymore.

Well, sure, if the full game is nothing but brown, square storage rooms and the ruins of London, I probably won't sign up either (then I'll have flashbacks of F.E.A.R., which had unending warehouse rooms that never seemed to vary). I'm having some blind faith there's more to it than that. I enjoyed the combat, I'm certainly not lauding the demo environs.

fwiw, the Diablo demo was 2 brown, dark, dingy, repetitive (albeit randomizing) dungeons under Tristam. Diablo II's demo and beta were the underwhelming caves and and featureless grassy plains of Act I (and I remember being aghast that it was still basically a 640X480 game that actually seemed to look worse than Diablo I). So I really don't think the former Blizzard North has a reputation for demos that visually blow you away.  saywhat Maybe it *should* blow you away, maybe it's more important now that Flagship's whole future relies on this game.

I would've liked for it to at least be a little longer, or let you do some tinkering with weapons upgrades, so we would get more appreciation for that.

Oh, hey does anyone know what the "Shield Overload" stat means? Or "Shield Penetration" for that matter. Here's a screenshot:

I'm sure I could search around the official forums, but I figured I'd ask here for the sake of conversation. smile
10802  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sports games for the PSP on: October 20, 2007, 10:20:40 PM
Has anybody tried the NHL games on PSP yet? I guess I should try to rent one. I always loved hockey games on consoles (going back to NES and Sega Genesis), but I've not tried on a handheld. I'll see if there's any I can try on Gamefly and report back later in the week on it.
10803  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: H-Gate London Demo.....Can we talk? on: October 20, 2007, 10:06:16 PM
I thought I'd prefer the guns, but after a very fun playthrough as Blademaster just now (especially with zombie heads and limbs flying), I think maybe I won't go for guns afterall. smile It's a little harder on my Titan Quest-ruined right wrist though. It just killed me I couldn't wield the "Swirling Scatterscythe" that I found near demo's end (requires Level 9  drool).

And I can't pass up a game where I have a chance to develop a skill that turns me into a "spinning whirlwind of damnation."  ninja2 Maybe some day I'll be playing co-op and people will say "Hey look! There's Blackjack, the "spinning whirlwind of damnation."  icon_smile

I exited City of Heroes recently after 3 1/2 years (my broadsword scrapper "Silverknight" was my only level 50 character), and this could be a good replacement for me, depending on how the full game environs turn out. Here's hoping.  thumbsup

10804  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Tim Cain shows up at Carbine Studios on: October 20, 2007, 08:24:27 PM
I remember that -- some of the team are from the original WoW development team, it seems, along with City of Heroes' executive producer. So obviously it'll be a mix of WoW, Fallout and City of Heroes. Ugh.  saywhat Hopefully it'll be something new altogether.  icon_biggrin It'll be interesting to see how people from fairly diverse backgrounds mesh.
10805  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Talk me outta buying a 360.... on: October 20, 2007, 08:17:49 PM
It's too noisy, it's too unreliable, you hate Microsoft because of Windows Vista and their inability to make a $400 console that doesn't overheat and break, and you'll hate yourself when the new thinner, quieter-GPU chip versions become the norm. Those might suffice (even if you don't believe any of it is really true Tongue) if you want to merely delay the inevitable.  slywink The last reason tends to be the one I give for continuing to wait, fwiw.  icon_smile

I am just having fun, btw, so please don't shoot me. If you want a XBox360, I would just get one. I think the only place they would talk you out of it is at the official Playstation 3 forums.  nod
10806  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dean Takahashi "Sony pleads with Third Parties not to abandon PS3" on: October 20, 2007, 01:00:11 PM
I'm a Sony fan (I don't have a PS3, but I've been buying PSP games like candy this year  icon_smile), but I think it's sort of a Catch 22: You can't really ask publishers to bet their money on a system with such a small playerbase, but even with the price cuts, the PS3's not going to sell like hotcakes until it has some good games unique to the system (and alas, it certainly doesn't look like Lair and Heavenly Sword are the System Sellers fans hoped they'd be).

MGS4, LittleBigPlanet and Killzone 2 will help, but I doubt any of those by itself can boost PS3 sales into the stratosphere the way Halo 3 has (whether you think Halo 3 is overhyped or not, its effect on XBox360 sales has been amazing). If somehow those games prove as relatively disappointing as Lair and Heavenly Sword (being touted as "system seller" pre-release seems like some sort of curse), then I don't know where the PS3's cavalry is going to come from. In that case, I'll hope Guerilla returns to PSP development so I can see a Killzone: Liberation sequel.  drool icon_biggrin

fwiw, I remain on the sidelines in terms of next-gen consoles, content with PSP and PC gaming for now, so I don't really speak from ownership of any of that stuff at this point.
10807  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP) impressions on: October 19, 2007, 05:32:06 PM
UK Pocket Gamer has a review (still negative, 6/10, citing mainly the sluggish pace of play):

Pocket Gamer review
Quote from: Pocket Gamer
That said, the core gameplay isn't horrible, it just fails to be interesting due to slow, monotonous pacing. And when it comes down to it, multiplayer in combination with a great visual presentation keeps Target Liberty from flat-lining.
The sad thing is, most later previews remarked on how sluggish the movement in the game felt. It's a shame the devs didn't take that to heart, ask for a little more time to work on it, and re-work the speed. Basically, the sprint speed feels like what the default movement speed *should* be.  disgust
10808  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: H-Gate London Demo.....Can we talk? on: October 19, 2007, 12:54:17 PM
I put a little time in last night (XP system, DirectX9 version). I enjoyed it more than I expected. I prefer playing in 3rd person and wish the character models were a bit more animated when you've got the camera pulled back. I think I also reached the spot where I'm out of quests and not quite sure where to go (maybe the demo just ends there?  icon_confused). I'm not sure if slogging through the hell-ridden streets and underground of London is going to fulfill my preference for varied environments, but generally I had a good time and stayed up too late. smile

I temporarily ruined my right wrist playing the click-crazy Titan Quest: Immortal Throne expansion so I'm actually happy this game uses MMO/FPS style movement controls, and that at least with the rifle stuff it isn't quite as click crazy as I expected a Diablo "spiritual successor" to be.  thumbsup
10809  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP) impressions on: October 19, 2007, 12:48:37 PM
The shooting controls feel OK after some practice. They are hard to explain in writing without making it sound convoluted.  icon_smile If the PSP had a second thumbstick, I don't think 3G would've resorted to such a strange system to try to avoid making you manually aim.

I think I read 3G has previously only done games for cell phones (this is their first PSP title), so I can't help feeling some of the weaknesses in this are just from lack of familiarity with the PSP, its abilities and its controls. I know Killzone: Liberation was Guerilla's first (and alas, probably only) PSP effort, but maybe going from PS2 to PSP is an easier transition than from cellphone to PSP.  icon_neutral

I liked the mostly ill-reviewed Alien Syndrome (although very repetitive) up to a point, and to me that's the one PSP arcadey action game that has at least a little bit of Killzone: Liberation's energy, if not its polish and fun variety.
10810  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP) impressions on: October 19, 2007, 02:56:35 AM
This is definitely not another Killzone: Liberation, as IGN's very crabby review (4.5/10) concluded:

IGN review
There's certainly room for a tactical isometric shooter, but that game is going to have to be at least half as good as the high water mark set by Killzone: Liberation, and this game doesn't even come close.
So, I'm afraid if you've finished Killzone: Liberation, and have played the downloadable Chapter 5 add-on, then you're better off continuing to wait.  tear The sad thing is, Guerrilla said in their forums that they've already put away their PSP kits and focused all their resources on their PS3 Killzone game. crybaby

But, my own thoughts? I'm not a reviewer, and I have a weakness sometimes for games that get trashed (my disclaimer).

I was wrong about the character models being larger. They are maybe a teeny bit larger, and in certain situations where the camera view zooms in, the character models basically scale up in size. And the viewpoint is a bit more vertical so as to let you see into the next room up to a certain point.

Once you go through the training missions, the controls aren't so hard to figure out, but if you just read the manual, they're quite intimidating.  saywhat Rather than have you manually aim, you press and hold the L button -- this maps up to all 4 of the circular buttons to any targets in sight. Tab the appropriate button, and then you are locked on that target (i.e., even if you move around, you'll remain aimed at that target you locked in on).

The R button is more of an interaction cursor, something like the mouse cursor in SWAT 3/4. Point out a door with it to get the appropriate squad commands, point at a complaying civvy to give restraining orders etc. There are a few options for automating things, like the interrogation of each civvy or terrorist. You can also set the two squadmates to "auto," " Lethal only" and "Less than lethal." I think even in LTF, I've seen them nail a terrorist with lethal weaponry so I guess they retain some autonomy. To some extent, the AI squaddies are too good -- sometimes I can't get a shot in.  Tongue [I know the reviewer complains the AI is awful -- there are some situations where environmental obstructions seem to to block their ability to get an accurate shot in].

While the controls all work OK, I find it a bit too easy to get mixed up. Given the fairly deliberate pace, you generally have time to get things in order (at least on Normal skill). I agree with the reviewer the "fire from cover" mechanic is clumsy and not terribly useful (it looks cool, it doesn't "play" cool in that regard).

The mission maps are pretty long. Start button pulls up a HUD, including a decent 3-D map of the level with cleared areas marked.

Cutscenes are a mix of some somewhat cheesy 3-D render cinematics, and some in-game graphics.

Sound is good, great even. Lots of digitized voices, and the weapons sound OK. Music can be a bit grating but you can adjust it in said HUD screen.

And the game is just sluggish. I guess that's on purpose to get a tactical "feel," but when you laugh out loud at how slow they look when in "sprint" mode, something's amiss.

So, I would probably caution anyone interested in this to try to rent it first if you can. If it doesn't do it for ya, perhaps the upcoming SOCOM: Tactical Strike (which isn't isometric, but seems like it is shaping up better as a tactical squaddie game) will hit the mark better. ninja2
10811  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Capt. America back from the dead... on: October 18, 2007, 08:58:42 PM
Wash. Post had a fun article about all this:

Good Guy With a Gun: A Superhero For the Times

I like where the comic shop owner mentions that in the 1940s Cap ran around with a machine gun in one hand (probably a Tommy Gun) while Bucky had a flamethrower (!). So it's not like Cap has been running around inserting flowers into enemy weapons and saying "Can't we give peace a chance?" his whole comic book run. icon_smile It has been interesting seeing how different writers handle him, or how different animated series portray him. Some portray him as this "government tool," while others portray him as someone questioning the very idea of a "super soldier." I bought the graphic novel compilation a few years back that had him battling terrorists in a small U.S. town just post-9/11. Pretty powerful stuff.

Although I've been a Cap fan since I was a kid, I'm not all that up in arms about a "new Cap" with a pistol. It just seems like killing is generally against what most spandex super heroes stand for, so I'm not sure how Marvel's writers are going to include a pistol in it unless he just uses it as a tool (like blasting a chandeleir so it drops on some evildoer).

Besides, given that Steve Rogers got blown up in a plane and was buried in the ice for decades, and survived, I just have this vision of his snipered corpse getting cryogenically frozen, propped up next to poor Ted Williams, and then probably getting revived by Reed Richard's grandson in 2148 who magically revives him ... or better yet, swipes Steve Roger's DNA and creates a clone of him. Oh yes, I can think like a cheesy comic book plotter.  saywhat
10812  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command on: October 18, 2007, 08:40:46 PM
Gamespy got some hands-on time with both versions (DS, PSP) [preview covers both]:
By most accounts it'll look and sound better on PSP. Having the map in the DS top screen might be helpful in some situations. The fully destructible environments should be a hoot.
10813  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP) impressions on: October 18, 2007, 08:14:06 PM
That's a good point -- instead of the somewhat random police situations of the PC SWAT games, this has a storyline-bases single player campaign (foiling some terrorist plot in NYC).

I don't think this is as fast paced as Killzone: Liberation, just judging from gameplay movies. The larger graphics and characters mean there's a lot less map area visible on a screen than in Killzone, and movement seems quite a bit slower (though there's a sprint key).

The four squaddies each start with a strong rating in one of the four non-leadership skills (Accuracy; Intimidation; Interrogation; Observation). So I reckon it'll be kind of fun figuring out the best mix for a given mission.

Anyway, hopefully in 3-4 hours I can give it a whirl. smile
10814  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP) impressions on: October 18, 2007, 06:40:27 PM
OK I'm a little scared of all the things the circle button is used for.  icon_surprised
-Run (hold button while moving)
-Restrain (while near compliant person)
-Interrogate (while near restrained person)
-Report (while near incapacitated person)
-Toggle Sniper mode (when prompted)
-Move-Red Officer (Cursor mode)
-Door commands-SWAT leader (hold near door)

Whew! I hope the PSP Slim's circle button is durable.  icon_cool
10815  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Re: Do Major Game Releases Result in GT Membership Spikes? on: October 18, 2007, 05:46:52 PM
fwiw, i joined up here cause a couple of other forums I was hanging out at were either completely unmoderated (and thus it was anarchy bordering on chaos, not to mention unpleasant at times  retard), or moderated by one person who was, well, mean; or had so little traffic that I was basically just posting replies to myself.  saywhat So I lurked here briefly, and then decided I'd take a chance on this place. Hopefully my good first impressions are on the mark. smile

So I guess I'm a refugee who wound up here...
10816  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP) impressions on: October 18, 2007, 04:42:08 PM
OK, misnomer -- I just picked this up at Gamestop (it's just hitting shelves today, afik) and can't play until tonight. So my only impressions are the box is plastic, and the manual is made of paper.  icon_neutral

However, if you have any questions about it (controls, multiplayer modes etc.), I'm happy to peek at the manual and share some factoids at least. Although some are saying it's "just like Killzone: Liberation," the graphics and character models seem larger, the isometric view seems a bit different angle than Killzone's, and it certainly still seems like it'll play more like it's SWAT brethren (I'm a big Killzone: Liberation fan, it was the PSP "system seller" for me, but I'm all for variety smile).

Few bits I got from the manual (I'm sure previews mentioned some of this, sorry if I repeat anything):
-You directly control one SWATee, with 2 squadmates (vs. 1 plus 4 squadmates in the PC games). You have a pool of 4 squadmates to choose from. Each has 5 skills they can develop over usage/time: Accuracy; Intimidation; Interrogation; Observation; Leadership. Each has a "Default Effect" and then 4 levels of advancement.

For example, Leadership's default is simply the ability to control officers. But get it to level 4 and you can revive each officer once with full health. Intimidation's default effect is "10% more people will surrender." At level 4 as many people as possible will surrender, and the officer can kick down doors with the force of C2.  ninja2 Sounds pretty cool - the skills are detailed on the back of the manual, btw.

-Square button issues default team orders; the R button brings up a control cursor and then you can see a full options menu including the typical SWAT game stuff (mirror under door, kick in door, blow open with C2, stack the team, or open the door and toss flashbang or gas grenade. When interacting with people options are restrain or interrogate. Sounds good, I'll hafta see whether this feels smooth or clumsy on psp. smile

-It's no Gears of War, but it says you can position an officer behind objects and they'll automatically assume a covered position. You can peek using the thumbstick and then fire from cover.

-A few buttons see double duty. For example, the Up directional arrow button is: tap to change weapon firing mode; press and hold to reload.

Multiplayer modes [Alas, it's strictly 4-player Ad-Hoc Wi-Fi -- there's no infrastructure [Internet play] support at all; I'm more interested in the single player, but I'm sure it's disappointing to many PSP fans]:
-Football: 2 or more players compete to collect hostages and bring them back to their base.
-Rodeo Round-up: 2 or more players lead assaults on their own personal load of a map selected by the host.
-The Great Escape: One player chosen to play as a SWAT officer whose goal is to escort a hostage from one point on a map to another. The other player(s) control terrorists whose goal is to stop the escape. Twist: The SWAT officer is escorting the terrorists' leader so there's a penalty if the terrorists get sloppy.
-There is, alas, no co-op, which is kind of a shame (I was a big SWAT 3/4 co-op fan).  icon_frown
10817  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sports games for the PSP on: October 18, 2007, 02:36:48 PM
Heh, yeah, I don't think Sony publicizes that enough. smile Generally you can just transfer these via USB connector (or WiFi if you have it set up).

Here's Sony's official PSP demo downloads page:
The sports demos you can get there include:
-MLB 07 The Show™
-NBA 07

The others include:
-Worms: Open Warfare 2
-SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 [think this is different from the UMD demo you could get at Best Buy free for a while]
-Full Auto™ 2: Battlelines
-Syphon Filter®: Dark Mirror Demo
-Killzone™: Liberation Demo
-LocoRoco Demo

I didn't see the Smash Court Tennis 3 demo there though. For a while they were releasing "PSP Content Packs", single files that included playable demos, game trailers optimized for PSP, wallpaper etc., but I think they stopped doing that while back. The more general download page is at:

If you try one, be sure to print or at least view the install directions; usually it'll tell you where to put the file (you can view the memory stick in file manager and create a folder if necessary). Enjoy. smile I haven't tried that Smash Court demo I should give it a whirl.
10818  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sports games for the PSP - tennis games on: October 18, 2007, 01:01:45 PM
If you're into tennis at all gaming wise (I'm worthless at the real thing, but enjoy it in videogames), Virtua Tennis 3 for PSP is a lot of fun. It has many modes (including a career mode), and lots of mini-games to develop various skills. The player graphics are a bit chunky at times, but it animates well.

Some folks have said the PSP Smash Court Tennis 3 game is a better proximation of the "real thing." I think I saw a playable official demo for it at the Sony PSP site. I can't seem to track that link down but PSP fanboy had a link to the playable demo too:
10819  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [POLL] - Call of Duty 4 - Which System on: October 18, 2007, 12:54:27 PM
I've been playing the PC demo on my aged system (AMD64 3200+) and been pleasantly surprised how fast it runs (even with most eye candy on), IW's PC team did a fine job with the proprietary engine imho.
10820  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (10/15) on: October 18, 2007, 12:52:46 PM
Mostly buying PSP stuff of late, so hopefully:

-SWAT: Target Liberty (Gamestop says this is in their stores as of today, Oct. 17)
10821  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Jeanne D'Arc Impressions on: October 18, 2007, 12:47:22 PM
At another forum (which i fled, because things seem better behaved here and, well, you guys have cooler smilies  drool thumbsup), people kept arguing over whether FFT:WoL or Jeanne was "better," and my line was "Why don't we PSP fans just enjoy having two great games on the same system instead of bashing each other over the head about it?" smile I have both. In fact, now that I have PSP slim, maybe I should keep one in the old PSP and one in the Slim, and just go back and forth between the two games.  icon_biggrin

fwiw, I found Jeanne easier to get into, and more fun to some extent (though I have only played FFT:WoL a little bit). I think you have a bit more camera movement flexibility in Jeanne too.

10822  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: where's the buzz for Bionic Commando? on: October 18, 2007, 12:40:58 PM
I have really fond memories of the NES game too. It's one of the last games I kept for the system. smile It seems like they're doing a lot more with the arm mechanism than Lost Planet did with its grappling hook gimmick (which seemed more of an afterthought there).
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