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game - hawg

games, games and more games...and me

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hack into your Sony PSP (for 2.0 - 2.8 firmware)

This new Sony PSP image-based exploit (via a buffer overflow in the PSP's libTiff image library) enables you more recent PSP firmware havers to run your own homebrew software on the device. Clever hack, but as with the other previous hacks and firmware versions, this exploit probably won't work in later firmware versions. Couldn't Sony make things easier for everyone by just providing a not too easy to get to switch of sort that would let the PSP owner run their PSP in homebrew mode or not? Couldn't they have a disclaimer that basically states
if you flip this switch, you can do what you want with the PSP but it will void your warranty if you break it. To protect you from yourself, don't flip this switch unless you know what you're doing and even then, don't call us for help...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Will Crytek be absorbed into the EA fold?

Apparently, the talks are already in progress. EA has an inside track to the company, due to EA publishing Crytek's upcoming Crysis but talks don't mean anything concrete. Would this be good or bad for Crytek? I'm don't think it would be the worst thing. The founders and employees could make some cash from the sale and would probably be able to keep doing things the way they have been. In that respect, rock on.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Episodic gaming good for studios

Valve's Gabe Newell states that their Half Life 2 episodes are helping them to make the better games due to all the feedback they are able to get each time they release a new episode. They release an episode with some quirky new gameplay features or some new weapon (like the portals) and they are able to get feedback on how it works. That helps them determine what path they should walk down for their next episode, or how big of an impact a certain gameplay aspect or character should have on the game. To me, this gives developers more concrete proof of how both devs and consumer can benefit from episodic content. Gabe also goes on to talk a bit about Team Fortress 2. Good interview, check it out here.

Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam not playabe online?

Apprently, while the Wii's Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam will sport a four-player mode it will not have an online component. You will not be able to race people over the internets. Why not? According to IGN's soruces, it could hace osmething to do with Nintendo not not releasing the Wii Wi-Fi connection libraries until early 2007. Ouch. That means that the first wave of third party Nintendo Wii titles will not have any online functionality. Bummer.

Will Crysis be PC only?

From this E3 interview with Crytek's CEO, it would seem like Crysis is going to be PC only. While initially, this bums me out since my PC can barely run SimAnt, but if it's successful enough, I bet it would get a port. If Half-Life 2 can get ported, anything can.

Get the Xbox Live Vision one month early

Apparently the Xbox Live Vision Camera package isn't supposed to be sold until September 19th, but that didn't stop Toys R Us from selling it to customers a month in advance!

Here's the camera:

and here are the contents of the package:


Nintendo exec hints at Wii price

According to the head of Nintendo's German operations Bernd Fakeschm the Nintendo Wii will cost less than 250 euros when it's launched in the UK. That's good news for the he UK but since it's not really concrete, we don't really know what it will launch for. It was recently rumored that the Wii was going to cost around $170 for the US and Japanese territories. While all of these Wii price rumors give us a narrower range to work with, should we even reall care? We all know it will be cheap enough for most people who are interested to go ahead and pick up.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Shadow of the Colossus figures

Is anyone else looking forward to the release of the Shadow of the Colossus figures as much as I am? This one figure is set for sale in October but you can pre-oreder it now at Play Asia. They need to release a figurine of each Colossus. That would be surreal. There something about that game that just keeps bringing me back to it. Maybe it's the fact that I never defeated the last Colossus. Hmmm.

Analyst cast doubt on PS3 shipment predictions

Mitsubishi UJF Securities out of Japan downgraded their rating for Sony stock which sent the stock down 3 percent. They believe that Sony is not going to be able to ship as many Playstation 3s as they would like due to component shortages. They're thinking Sony will only have 3 million Playstations 3 out by March 2007. Ouch, by contrast, Microsoft didn't reach their 3 million consoles shipped in 90 days figure either, however, they did move over 1 million units in that time. Will sony be able to do the same?

Free 3d enviornent tool

I know this is kind of off topic but I figure this may help someone somewhere. Daz's popular 3d landscape creation tool Bryce is currently free and will stay free until September 6, 2006. So if you feel lik experimenting with this for your homebrew movies or games, pick it up and give'er a whirl.

Addiction, MMOs and you

Gamasutra has a neat little article/thesis up that examines Massively Multiplayer Online Games and how players can get addicted to certain aspects of these games. It's a neat, if wordy, read.

North America to get new Nintendo DS lites

Looks like we're going to be getting both the pink and black Nintendo DS lites on September 13th. And by pink and black I mean Coral Pink and Onyx, because that's sounds tha much cooler.


New trailer for Rockstar's Bully

Bully is shaping up to be less about Bullying other students and more about holding your own in a world of bullies, pretty accurate I would say. It's kind of funny now to recall all of the fuss politicians were previously making about this game. I wonder what they'll say now? Check out the trailer here.

Playable Playstation 3 games at the 2006 Tokyo Game Show

Here's a list of the Playstation 3 titles that are supposed to be playable at the upcoming 2006 Tokyo Game Show

Armored Core 4 (From Software)
Blade Storm Hyakunen Sensou (Koei)
Coded Arms Assault (Konami)
Devil May Cry 4 (Capcom)
The Eye of Judgment (Sony Computer Entertainment)
Fatal Inertia (Koei)
Formula One World Championship (working title) (Sony Computer Entertainment)
Genji (working title) (Sony Computer Entertainment)
"Gran Turismo" Series (Sony Computer Entertainment)
Heavenly Sword (Sony Computer Entertainment)
Lair (working title) (Sony Computer Entertainment)
Mahjong Taikai IV (Koei)
Minna no Golf 5 (working title) (Sony Computer Entertainment)
Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight (Namco Bandai Games)
MotorStorm (Sony Computer Entertainment)
Railfan (Ongakukan)
Resistance: Fall of Man (Sony Computer Entertainment)
Ridge Racer 7 (Namco Bandai Games)
Warhawk (Sony Computer Entertainment)

This is an impressive list so I'll be looking forward to reading about how well these games look and/or play.

Knitted Zombies!

Color me Dead Rising inspired but hey, these knitted zombies are friggin sweet!

Oh World of Warcraft, how you entertain thee

This particular World of Warcraft post, full of potty humor and just laugh out loud swipes, started out earnestly enough but went downhill with a quickness. Honestly, I'm surprised it lasted that long with that title.

Guitar Hero 2 info

I came across somenew Guitar Hero 2 information and by the looks of things, it's shaping up to be even more wild and fun that the first version. I'm looking forward to the two player functionality and jamming with my kids in the real-world based locations. Good times ahead.

Midway plans on making a come back

It's well known news that Midway isn't as respected and popular as they once were but Midway Marketing Director Al King is banking on them making it back to the top. How? By regaining their street cred and diversifying their upcoming titles. This sounds encouraging and I'm sure they have some card up their sleeves that we haven't heard of yet. I'm sure they'll take all the luck they can get.

The music of Loco Roco

Everyone who tells me about this game tells me about how fun and funky it is to play. Maybe even too fun and funky since the title didn't fare so well in Japan. Oh well, at lest the Loco Roco music is still being appreciated.

Crktek's Crysis

I recieved my issue of Computer Gaming World recently and their cover story was Crytek's first original next-generation title dubbed Crysis. I am now offically looking forward to this game. It's looking nice and I'm digging the whole fight-the-aliens-in-the-jungle vibe I've been getting from it. You can check out some gameplay and environment videos here.

Logitech's ChillStream for the PC

Logitech recently released their ChillStream controller which, surprisingly, helps you keep cool. For $39.99 you get a controller (yes, this one) that shoots 3.41 cubic feet of air across your hands while you play. Keeping your mits, sweaty palm free, and that's good news for your friends who you share your controller with too.

New Xbox 360 accessories get priced

Microsoft issued a press release yesterday stating what the new Xbox 360 accessories are going to cost you. Some noticeables that stuck out for me (either due to their high price or their sounding cool) were the Xbox 360 Wirless Racing Wheel (bundled with Project Gotham Racing 3 for $149.99), the Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver ($19.99) and the Xbox Live Vision camera ($$$ depends on package you get). Check out the release for more info and here for some video.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Speaking of Dead Rising...

I didn't know Capcom was doing any kind of viral marketing for Dead Rising, but apparently they did. The site is called Swarm Watch and it's basically a bunch of zombie realted news items and faux ads. Cool.

I'm disappointed that I didn't hear about this until after the game was released. How come the game blogsphere (and by that I mean Kotaku and Joystiq etc...) never got wind of this campaign? That would have helped generate a signifigant amount of buzz and may have even helped Dead Rising sell slightly better. I know it's still selling well but seriously, who ever was behind this site/campaign did not do as well as they could have.

Dead Rising reviewed

I played Dead Rising recently for the Xbox 360 and I must say it was pretty good. The only real downside for me so far has been hard kind of a pain it is to save your game. Every once in a while I'll come across a hard mission which takes me much longer than it should mostly because it takes me 10 minutes to get to where I need to be but then I'll die and have to do it all over again.

Beside that slight frustration, the game itself is way fun. If the idea of beating a zombie with a maniquin limb excites you, or if the thought of mowin down some zombies with a lawn mower gets you going, you'll totally dig this game.

The story itself begins simply enough, you play as a freelance photographer named Frank who is flying into the town of Willamette, Colorado (not a real city, I checked) because he got a tip that something big is going down. The pilot doesn't know what he's talking about but as they fly in you get a look at what Frank was led to believe was just a riot. At this point in the game you're introduced to your camera and how to take gruesome pictures to score more "PP" points. After this little excersie, you make it into the mall and the action begins.

While the zombie bashing is fun, it wouldn't be as fun if it didn't look as good as it does, on a high def tv that is. The game just screams "next-gen" graphically and graphical prowess pays off in spades here. The environments are bright and varied and the zombies just look cool. The cutscenes and the NPCs themselves look pretty slick as well. Being the graphics sucker I am, I loved playing this on my brothers Xbox 360 (no I still don't have one) and HDTV combo. It was super sweet.

I also dig the way the story is being revealed. You get it in pieces in a somewhat general but linear order. It's interesting and pretty cool thus far. You also only have 72 "game hours" to beat the game really. The way the story plays it is that you have to complete all these tasks (or as many as you can) and still make it back to your friend with the helicopter within 72 hours. It adds another layer of simmering tension since it's always in the back of your mind.

Overall, the game is good fun. There just something I love in beating a zombie with a huge stuffed teddy bear. It just warms my heart :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Nintendo's Wii to be $170?

You won't hear Nintendo say it but apparently EA thinks so. EA executive David Gardner apparently heard about the Wii price in Japan being around $170 for US and Japanese territories with no word on possible pricing for the European markets. We know that Nintendo plans on releasing the Wii for under $250 but I think a price point of $199 or $195 makes more sense. With this pricing and their retro gamin strategy, I'm thinking that Nintendo is pretty much guaranteed success with the Wii.

Final Fantasy III gets a release date

Becuase it's news to me and everyone should know, Square Enix recently announced that their going to be releasing the US version of Final Fantasy III for the Nintendo DS on November 2006. Final Fantasy V Advance for the Game Boy Advance will be releases on Novemebr 6. So don't make that many plans to do too much the first few weeks into November. All I need is red bull, a toilet and some spicy cheetos.

PS3 comparison pictures

Sony released some pictures of the upcoming 20GB and 60GB Playstaion 3 models so we, the public, can better understand how they differ visually and not just in petty price or specs. The 60GB version has silver!

Monday, August 21, 2006

EA's Battlefield: Bad Company

EA announced that it's bringing Battlefield: Bad Company to the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The description sounds pretty intriguing especially if the game is going to look as good as this screenshot. With environments that are 90% destructible, I foresee nothing but good times and cheap laughs ahead. Consider me intrigued. The description:
"The heart of DICE's multiplayer games is the frenetic, unpredictable nature of the sandbox experience, where anything could happen at any moment, and that's what we're bringing to the core of Battlefield: Bad Company's single-player campaign, said Karl Magnus Troedsson, senior producer at DICE. "In a world that's 90 percent destructible, the gameplay possibilities are infinite - the battlefield is always changing, forcing players, teammates, and enemies to react accordingly. Gamers will have total freedom to adapt to and tackle challenges in creative Battlefield-style ways."

Attack of more Pink

Has Sony gone soft or what? Surely to accompany your pink PS2 comes the pink Sony PSP. This oh-so-colorful pink PSP even comes with a UMD showcasing an exclusive music video from Pink herself (that "Stupid Girls" one). But yet again, this one's only for the UK gamers who are so inclined, sorry for all you pink loving Americans ou there.

Final Playstation 3 development kits in the wild

The final PS3 dev kits are out in about apparently and they look a lot smaller than previous iterations. According to engadget the kits themselves are supposed to be quieter while the controllers, sans any kind of vibration support, felt noticably lighter. Any developers care to comment on the new PS3 dev kits?

Playstaion 3 interface

On IGN's 21st Weekly Episode they got to tinker around with the Playstation 3 interface and go through most of the menus and options. It seems to be very similar to the current PSP interface which is good I guess. If it works, why not use it?

Europe to get pink PS2

Looks like the UK is set to get this hideously pink PS2 which will retail for the same price as the other slim PS2s in that region. I'm guessing this is an attempt to reach out to the girl gamers who love them some pink. This is a cool idea and all, but I don't think they should stop with pink. Lets see some green and red and orange baby! I'd be all over those. Not really, but at least I would be able to post pictures of them for all of us to gawk at.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

How to score free, wireless Xbox 360 controllers

It's simple really, you had to have recently just bought your Xbox 360. Recently enough so that you can return it. See, the trick is, return your Xbox 360, without the controllers, to the store your purchased it from and tell them it's not reading the games or Dvds for some reason. Just tell them you want to exchange it and they'll let you go grab another one. Some people may actually open the box to make sure everything's there, most employees don't care though so. Being that Xbox 360 controllers cost so damn much, this should provide some relief. Is it a bit scandalous? A bit. Do this at your own descretion and don't sue me...because it's just an Xbox 360 controller, sheesh.

Duck hunt lego!!!

Ahh, old school gaming at it's finest. Who doesn't rememebr playing duck hunt on the famicom/nes? I was way young but I still rememebr playing it at a friends house. I didn't have an nes/famicom, but we did have the Sega Master System. Alex the Kid, how I do love thee. But Duck Hunt was my first experience with a game that didn't use the standard controller. It was my first time with the gun controller, and it was awsome. Good times, good times.

EA ditches Renderware

Apparently EA announced late last Friday that they will be using Epic's Unreal Engine 3 for a number of their upcoming next generation titles. While that's good news since every title that uses that engine kicks serious arse, what ever happened to Criterion's Renderware engine? Didn't EA buy Criterion to get access to the studio as well as their Renderware technology? Apparently, I guess not.

The one reason that got me wanting to buy the Halo Graphic Novel

The storyline in which we figure out how the hell Sgt. Johnson made it out of the first flood infested Halo alive. That right there is enough to get me to buy the novel and yes, I know I'm a Halo geek.

Halo 3 to feature big a$$ battles

According to the latest Bungie weekly update, and by according to I really mean "reading way too much into", Halo 3 will be set on such a large scale, you may actually feel like your admidst am actual war. Honestly, you got some big party combat in the previous Halos but nothing too epic. I never really felt like I was smack dab in the middle of this huge, ongoing, devastating war. I felt more like the lone warrior who occasionally got some help along the way. I don't know why, but I did. That's way this latest weekly updated got me a little more psyched for the third Halo installment. This selection did it:

At this stage in development, the encounters are very carefully placed. Sometimes that means you're in frantic firefights (on a significantly bigger scale than in Halo 2, although all I will confirm numerically is at least one more Grunt.) but there's also time for exploratory reflection and the, "Oooh, maybe I can climb up there and check that thing out," sort of play.

Don't get me wrong. It's not GTA - it's still Halo, but there's a bigger feeling scope to some of these levels that has me reminiscing about the original game. And yet, conversely, I'm super excited about the new stuff. Using the debug menu, I dropped in a couple of items of new equipment. Maybe they’re for killing, maybe they’re for getting around, maybe they're for both. Who's to say?

Frantic firefights!?!? on a significantly bigger scale than in Halo 2!?!?! I'm looking forward to hopefully having a longer lasting team and some cray war fighting where there's a ton going on around me and the focus isn't just on my battling out some Hunters or Grunts. Not that close and personal combat isn't fun, it's just that we got so much of it with Halo 1 and 2 that I'm looking for something slightly new with Halo 3. Damn, I can't wait.

Get a look at the upcoming Xbox 360 camera...

Now, the fact that the Xbox 360 is getting a camera didn't initially spark my interest (I mean, c'mon, who really plays those interactive PS2 camera games), but the other fact that you can use the Xbox 360 camera to map your face to some in-game gemoetry sounded pretty damn cool to me :) That functionality (and most likely more) was demo'd at Gamefest this past week apprently and from looking at these pictures, it seems to work pretty good!