Skip navigation
Help

Vita Review

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/vhosts/sayforward.com/subdomains/recorder/httpdocs/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

I've been showing off PlayStation Vita to my family. Dad likes a bit of Xbox, mum is conducting another affair with Professor Layton, and my 10-year-old niece is an evolutionary miracle: half-human, half-iOS.

As such, I'm always keen to gauge their reactions to any notable breakthrough in gaming, away from the stage-managed, on-message, cut-and-paste hype of The Industry.

Beaming with 'look at me' novelty, Reality Fighters seemed a good place to start. And it duly produced "ooh"s and "aah"s in all the right places as I swiftly transformed mother into a ballet-dancing kung fu master and had her striking wildly at her Santa coat-and-skirt-wearing son in my parents' kitchen sink. It puts a new spin on child abuse, if nothing else.

Read more…

0
Your rating: None

Editor's note: This is an import review of the Japanese edition of Gravity Daze, available now. The game will be titled Gravity Rush when it appears in North America and Europe, but no release date has been set for this version.

About two thirds of the way through Gravity Daze, the designers throw in one of the most entertaining mission objectives I've been given in a while: plummet. That's what it amounted to, anyway. Regardless of the exact wording, I was invited to spend the next 15 minutes falling through a magical Dickensian city perched in the sky, past gantries, tangles of piping and shimmering brickwork, and then deeper into honeycombed caverns filled with weird, fungal architecture.

Sure, there were enemies to fight along the way and glittering chains of collectables to race between - for a while, I was even joined by a sexy lady with some silly pants who really wanted to kill me - but the sequence didn't actually need any of that. I was happy just to follow the calm procession of waypoints, falling deeper and deeper through this strange world until a genuine sense of loneliness set in.

Read more…

0
Your rating: None

A studio made up of five ex-Sony developers has explained why it left the comfort of PlayStation development to go indie.

Hutch Games includes technical director Sean Turner, managing director Sean Rutland and art director Will Whitaker, all of which worked at Sony's London studio on a raft of projects, including the cancelled Eight Days, The Getaway and EyeToy.

But in June 2011 they joined forces to strike out on their own, opened a small office in Old Street, London, and started work on what would eventually become a new iOS game.

Read more…

0
Your rating: None

Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi will abandon home consoles for his next project, an iPhone game centred on his hobby of surfing.

The legendary developer told Eurogamer at a BAFTA event in London last night he now had three iOS projects in the works, but remained tight-lipped on the details.

The trio of titles will be "small projects" and "platform" games, following his work on expansive Wii role-player The Last Story.

Read more…

0
Your rating: None

Editor's note: Catherine is released in Europe this week. Here we present our review of the North American release of the game, first published in July last year. To the best of our knowledge it's still accurate with respect to the European version.

The main character of Catherine, Vincent Brooks, is the type of guy who you might describe as "aimless." Except in Catherine, as in life, there's no such thing as aimless. If you choose to go nowhere, life will aim you on its own, straight into the choppy waters of the future. Life's kind of a jerk that way.

Yet still Vincent attempts to coast. He's a 32-year-old software designer who has been with his girlfriend, Katherine (with a "K"), for a few years. She's been hinting about marriage lately, asking Vincent when he's going to meet her family. It's around then that he starts having these dreams.

Read more…

0
Your rating: None

It's often said that gaming is an expensive hobby. Major new releases retail for as much as £50, and with dozens of supposedly 'must-play' titles launching every year, the pennies can be quick to add up.

But brewing away beneath the surface of the industry - beneath the main bulk of the indie scene, even - is a world where money appears meaningless. It's a world in which developers pour their talents and their time into the creation of fantastic computer games, for which they ask nothing in return.

It's true that many of these free games are throwaway Flash efforts. But there are some gems: free releases that offer hours of play time, intricate stories, and fascinating game mechanics. Many developers working within this scene could easily justify demanding a few pounds in return for a copy of their latest masterpiece - so what compels them to say 'put your wallet away'?

Read more…

0
Your rating: None

Final Fantasy 13 reflected the character of its heroine, Lightning: an elite, standoffish soldier who would let nothing come between her and her mission. The game presented a journey so focused and linear that its first 25 hours could be mapped out as an unbroken corridor. And Lightning's purity of focus saw Square Enix discard many Final Fantasy tropes so she could pursue her goals without distraction.

The series may reinvent itself with each new entry, but the games have always been tied together by common motifs: crystals, summons, Chocobos, airships, Yoshitaka Amano's Klimpt-esque concept art, and that tinkling harpsichord arpeggio. In Final Fantasy 13, both towns and exploration were discarded as extraneous trappings, unnecessary to Lightning's mission or - as it was referred to in the game's terminology - her Focus. Rarely has a game been so focused as to discard so much of its own heritage.

Serah, Lightning's younger sister and heroine of Final Fantasy 13-2 - a rare sequel to a mainline Final Fantasy title - is a primary school teacher in a seaside village. She has none of the steel composure of her elder sibling, none of that dogged determination that makes Lightning such a difficult character to empathise with. And the game world reflects this from the first moment.

Read more…

0
Your rating: None

The unfortunate decline of backwards compatibility on the current generation consoles has been mitigated somewhat by the rise of the HD remaster - the chance to revisit select gaming classics from years gone by, revitalised by the embarrassment of raw power on tap from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. High definition resolutions, enhanced artwork, improved audio, smoother frame-rates, stereoscopic 3D support... a good HD conversion sees the original game being handled with respect in its transition to more powerful hardware, accepting that sometimes a 720p facelift alone isn't enough, and that without care and attention, can actually diminish the impact of titles designed for the low-res CRT era.

Probably the best example in recent times of HD remastering "done right" is Just Add Water's conversion of the vintage 2005 Xbox exclusive, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath. A beloved classic from a well-regarded developer that shut-up shop somewhat prematurely, the PS3 game sees all aspects of the original classic restored and upgraded, based in no small part on the original assets, designs and concept work created by Oddworld Inhabitants themselves so long ago.

In this special Digital Foundry interview, we talk with Just Add Water CEO Stewart Gilray and technical director Steven Caslin. We chart the origins of the deal to bring back the Oddworld games, the team's approach to the HD remastering process, the assets they had available to work with in reconstructing Stranger's Wrath, and the PS3-specific technical enhancements made to the game - many of which are scheduled to be rolled back into the existing PC game in a forthcoming patch. And we also find out the trials and tribulations JAW has endured in trying to get what was originally an Xbox exclusive published on the 360...

Read more…

0
Your rating: None

Eurogamer's news editor Wes once said that if Hunter S. Thompson were alive today - and writing about video games rather than the counter-culture of the sixties and the politics of America at a crossroads - then he would surely be covering the extraordinary sight of the digital gladiators descending upon Las Vegas to celebrate their shared obsession and do heavyweight battle with each other at the Mecca of fighting games, the Evo Championship Series. Impenetrable to the outsider, all-encompassing to those on the inside: a place where worlds collide.

From my own perspective, I can't help but feel he'd be even more intrigued watching over the events of Eve Online's Fanfest - and the players' fervent devotion to a suspension of disbelief that hinges on the basic desire to gain as much as possible at the expense of others. In the flesh every bit as much as in the game, personalities, politics and power rub together constantly like tectonic plates. Yet the camaraderie of a shared adventure is unmistakable.

Last year, the endless conflict of Eve Online stepped out of its digital boundaries in extraordinary fashion. The end result was around 120 people losing their livelihoods, and so before we go any further with what's intended to be a light-hearted retrospective of some of the most remarkable drama that gaming had to offer in 2011, that sobering fact needs to be acknowledged and respected. Let it be so noted.

Read more…

0
Your rating: None

Hello faithful listener! This week we are lucky enough to welcome three special guests to the podcast: Graham McAllister, founder of Player Research; superstar freelancer Christian Donlan; and Christian's new and improved beard. It's quite the thing.

We quiz Graham about his work at Player Research, which essentially boils down to getting people to play games while hooked up to all sorts of fancy biometric equipment. This information is then fed back to the developer who will, hopefully, use it to improve their game. Graham's the reason everything now gets eight out of ten.

Graham tells us about difficulty settings and why tutorials are rubbish, and I try to trick him into saying controversial things about various well known developers and franchises. We also ask him why he doesn't gather all the info he's ever collected into a giant game design bible and then create the best game ever and become master of the universe, like some kind of deranged Heston Blumenthal.

Read more…

0
Your rating: None