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Nick Doerr
Athens GA -

A twenty year old writer and RPG guru at UGA. Majoring in Marketing at the prestigious Terry College of Business.

Haze weaponry revealed, detailed, explained

Free Radical have recently updated their blog over on IGN, deciding to enlighten us to some of the weapons available in the upcoming, hotly-anticipated shooter Haze. Since there's a lot to say about each weapon, we're going to give you the shorthand version here and leave it up to you to research further.
  • Diplomat pistol -- standard Mantel weaponry, seems most useful in short-range situations.
  • Blacksaw assault rifle -- depleted uranium are the bullets, pain is the result. Also available: silenced version.
  • Donkey Puncher shotgun -- " ... this high-end shotgun is more than enough to kick any ass presented to you." Enough said.
  • Hard Candy rocket launcher -- apparently makes Sloppy Joes out of the enemy.
  • Pinpointer sniper rifle -- it's a sniper rifle. Need we say more?
  • Heavy Gun -- uh, we're not sure, but it sounds extremely useful. Seems to be a stationary weapon of mass destruction.
  • Razor Tongue knife -- standard Promise Hand melee weapon. You can smear it with Nectar, which causes Mantel soldiers to overdose on Nectar if you slice 'em. Nice way to make a knife useful without being ridiculously overpowered (Warhawk).
  • Lobo -- the assault rifle of choice for Promise Hand soldiers.
  • Oso -- shotgun! Notice the trend of Spanish names for Promise Hand weaponry.
  • Mano del Dios -- the "Hand of God" is essentially a minigun you really don't want to see from the wrong end.
  • Dragon de la Gente -- take a guess! It's a flamethrower for the people, by the people.
There are more sniper rifles and grenades to be had, but we think you get the point. All of these weapons are, admittedly, standard FPS necessities, but we can't believe this is all there will be offered. Maybe it is. But if not, we're sure there will be quite a few interesting ways to lace Nectar into more weaponry. We're excited for this one to come out, so we'll wait for November with bated breath.

Time Crisis 4 trailer assures us they still suck at voice acting

Giorgio, Evan, and William. Those are your main characters for Time Crisis 4 and your mission is to battle terrorists -- wait, no, they're not terrorists. But they are! Insert cheesy voice-over and explosion. This trailer is bad. Not bad as in "this game sucks" but it's hilariously bad like Zero Wing. But, as they say at the end of the trailer, at least it won't be boring. These games are a lot of fun to play and have eaten our quarters for over ten years. We're excited to test it out in our homes!

Japan's 40GB releases with Dynasty Warrior 6 bundle

Believe it or not, Japanese gamers swoon over the thought of getting to hack their way through crowds of hundreds of brain-dead soldiers. Almost all of Koei's games are hits in Japan, which is why the announcement of the 40GB launch date should make more sense to us when you consider its release alongside Dynasty Warriors 6 -- November 11. Yep, the new 40GB white PS3 is getting bundled with DW6 and a white controller, along with a plethora of extras, for just under 50,000 yen.

The extras included in this pack are numerous, going from nine metallic tags featuring some of the most popular officers, to giant stickers, to a book featuring images of the characters and maps. While these are fine and dandy for the Japanese crowd, it is interesting to note that Koei is releasing the game on the 360 at the same time. It should be pleasing to see which console garners the most attention from this title's release in Japan, especially if the PS3 starts selling at its new, lower price point in droves.

TimeSplitters 4 makes monkey outta Halo, sans poo-flinging

Free Radical made some games in the past that were both humorous and enjoyable. These games came to be known as the TimeSplitters franchise. We do like the parody video announcing the title on IGN. Seems like the game is coming back for a fourth installment on the latest consoles and we welcome them back.

The Free Radical website announces the game thus: " ... We can't tell you the details yet, the monkeys have a loaded banana pressed against our skull, but this game will take the first person shooter to gaming nirvana. Save the world or die laughing, Timesplitters 4 is coming to getcha!" We can't wait to see what sort of juicy, informative fruit is hidden behind that skin. Let us peel away at this banana of mystery in due time -- that is, we'll let you know more on TimeSplitters 4 as we get information!

[via IGN]

Rumor: Fear Effect 3 may exist after all

If you remember the old PlayStation One Fear Effect games, you remember a pretty decent gaming experience, laced with some edgy lesbian main characters. They were probably a few years ahead of their time, but there was planned a third Fear Effect title but it was lost in production and canned. Now, with the advent of a movie adaptation (with the tremendous talent of Uwe Boll at the head ... learn to read sarcasm!) in 2008, rumors are resurfacing of a third Fear Effect title on the current generation of consoles.

In some magazine talking about the movie, there's a quote somewhat along those lines. Eidos Interactive is bringing the series back from the grave. Still, this is no way an official announcement from Eidos, but rumors propagated by some sort of Hollywood movie magazine. We'll figure it out once Eidos tosses out an official statement, but there are bound to be some people excited by this prospect!

SingStar goes into "further testing" limbo

November 13th was the release date for SingStar. Not anymore! In fact, forget about release dates for a while, especially in regards to SingStar. The PS3 version supposedly needs further testing and as a result, a release date has been removed from the title. As discussed in our upcoming podcast, we believe the SingStore is at fault -- that, and the planned Home integration.

Sony said they want to make the PlayStation Network experience "as rich, simple and accessible a SingStar experience as possible." With that idea, it's implied that the problem does lie with the SingStore as well as licensing issues with music. We'll report more on the delay and let you know when a release date is given as soon as we're given the information. Until then, just slap on a CD and sing in the mirror.

[Via Joystiq]

Hitachi working on 100GB Blu-ray discs

Just when you thought 50GB of data storage was enough, Hitachi has to waltz in and offer double that amount with a new prototype four layer Blu-ray disc. Normally, you'd need a different optical head to read from a disc of this type, but that doesn't seem to be the case with this one. That is, if need be, Hitachi says it will play in regular Blu-ray drives that exist now (which includes our lovely PS3).

Well, there is a catch. All Blu-ray players would have to have their optical heads tweaked a little bit, but it's something that can be worked out in a firmware update. No word on a release for the discs, but as soon as they finish stabilizing the signal quality, we'll hear an announcement of some kind.

[Thanks, Gunegune!]

Everyday Shooter appearing this Thursday on PS Store

When we first learned about the insanely interesting downloadable title Everyday Shooter, we wanted to know one thing from Sony: when can we get our hands on it? Of course, that was the one thing they didn't want to tell anybody, so they simply said "it'll come out sometime soonish". Maybe that's not a quote, but it's close enough. We were surprised to hear Everyday Shooter is actually coming out this Thursday, with a price tag of a meager $10. Ah, for clarification purposes, this is for the US PlayStation Store (sorry Europe!), but we're sure an international release won't be far behind. Sony seems to be getting better at that. Anyway, there you have it: something great is coming this Thursday!

Water-cooled PS3: liquid engineering at its finest

Live in a really hot apartment? Don't think your PS3 is fanning enough cool air into itself to continue normal operations? Well, user Dragonpower over at the official PlayStation forums has a solution in progress for you -- a PS3 that's water-cooled ... literally! We can't even comprehend how this works, especially when looking at those menacing tubes and fans jutting out of his system. According to Dragonpower, the system runs at a cool 32 degrees Celsius under a heavy load, but the fans and such remain mostly silent. Hats off to this idea, really!

SCEE knows early PS3 adopters may feel cheated

If you feel cheated for buying the PS3 upon its release, Sony UK's managing director, Ray Maguire, understands how you feel. He told that it's natural to feel slighted, and "the difference between our industry and many other industries is that if you're selling cars or houses the price goes up steadily. Consumer electronics only goes one way and that's downwards."

Maguire denies that Sony is making buying the PS3 confusing with different options, pricing, and bundles. "As products evolve the offerings change because they have to adapt to the needs of the consumers but I don't think it's been particularly confusing in six months to go from stand alone, to a bundled proposition into a low price entry level model ... We also have to remember that consumers don't search around the world for different configurations. We are a global company but we have to act locally as well."

SCEA creates in-game advertising group, keeps Home free

How does Sony manage to keep stuff like Home free? Seems they decided to create a new in-game advertising business unit to assist in the cost and upkeep of the new "virtual space". Darlene Kindler was appointed to be in charge of the in-game advertising strategies, along with the partnership with Nielsen Media Research from July. As revealed in a recent job posting, in-game advertising is something Sony's serious about. The two companies will share network data from our PS3's and the PSN and work advertising into our virtual lives.

What can we expect? Just about any sort of "dynamic, relevant advertisements" you can think of. SCEA will make sure they're just like ads in real life -- billboards, posters, images on shopping bags or soda cans, things on your TV, and more. While this is a neat concept, we don't know how well it'll actually work. Sure, we could customize our avatar to drink Coca-Cola, but will that really make us want to go buy some? Who knows. Still, promotions like those will undoubtedly let free PSN services thrive.

PS3 Poll Police: Is losing backwards compatibility that painful?

The Poll Police have had their phones ringing off the hooks this week, what with the unveiling of the controversial 40GB PS3 SKU. They've gathered information, checked out technical specifications and researched pricing estimations, but they can't get a lead on the decision by Sony. Why would this happen? How can this happen? These questions are too big for one Poll Police Force to handle, so they need your help in deciphering the response to the decision in removing backwards compatibility. PlayStation One games still work, apparently, but PS2 support is getting the axe. So, the Poll Police need your help: is this a big deal, or overblown and ridiculous?

Is losing backwards compatibility now such a big deal?
Of course it is!
No, it's not.
Wait, what? Are you serious? Where have I been? free polls

We have to take a step back from all the technical information and board the logic train to see things from a little farther away. First off, the PS3 has been out long enough to begin amassing its own game library. Secondly, if you already own a PS3, you're an early adopter and have backwards compatibility ... good for you, this poll doesn't apply. If the PS3 is going to be your first Sony console, why would you care about backwards compatibility? If this is not your first Sony console, you already have something that plays old games -- what's the problem? Shelf space? Fourth, if you don't have an old Sony console but want the PS3 and collect old games, keep in mind this is the cheap version of the PS3. The slim PS2's are practically being given away, so if you really want to go buy old games, the combined price is essentially the same as if you were an early adopter of the PS3. This isn't to say removing backwards compatibility is a good move, it's definitely confusing and pointless, but for a lot of us, there's no real justification to all the hate being poured out on Sony. This is the data the Poll Police compiled from witnesses, so take it as you will. Last week's results are after the jump.

Continue reading PS3 Poll Police: Is losing backwards compatibility that painful?

Rumors ahoy: Parasite Eve and Konami and bears, oh my!

It's time to get back into the business of speculation and rumors that don't consist of different PlayStation SKU's. While everyone loves talking about the convoluted and outright confusing backwards compatibility issue with the new 40GB model, we think it's better to continue pushing forward and offering some rumors that have surfaced in the latest EGM.

Konami and Hideo Kojima might be working on another PS3 exclusive, first off. We know what you're thinking, but no, supposedly the game is not the third Zone of the Enders title. We wish we had any more to say, but that's all we know. Secondly, long time fans of the amazing and amazingly under-appreciated Parasite Eve titles cried foul when it turned out a new game was being made exclusively for mobile phones. Square Enix is apparently listening to these cries and have begun work on a console version, though the consoles it will appear on is unknown. We don't see why they wouldn't continue shoving Aya onto Sony platforms -- exclusive or not. Thirdly, bears are frightening, unless qualified by a humorous story. That is all.

[Thanks, Joe!]

We want to answer your questions on the revived podcast!

We're finally going to get our podcasting back in action, starting this Monday. To ring in this event, we'd like to invite all of you to send us any questions you'd like us to answer and we'll add a segment into our show where we do just that. Well, maybe not any question, but as long as you keep it fairly relevant, we'll do what we can.

It's been over a month since we had our voices gracing the internets and it will be nice to finally get the show back up and running. We'll be running through the most recent events on Monday and going back in time to make up for the stuff we missed -- Wednesday will bring a show about stuff from TGS, for example. Come next Sunday, we should be all caught up and ready to get back into the regular swing of things. Until then, send us your queries and lend us your ears!

PS3 Fanboy impressions: Agarest Senki demo

It's difficult to play games in a language you don't know. However, based on the nearly infinite well of RPG experience under our belts, we can make a few pretty obscure parallels to the recent demo of Agarest Senki that popped up on the Japanese PS Store this past week. If you're unaware of the title, it's a strategy RPG that harkens to the like of all those Nippon Ichi titles, except this one spans generations of characters that are born, fall in love, and breed according to your actions. It sounds fun on paper, but what happens in the demo is more confusing than biting into a donut to find it's filled with salad.

Continue reading PS3 Fanboy impressions: Agarest Senki demo

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