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Posts with tag Lair

Japan loves Lair; Famitsu awards game high score

They say that Japanese and American gamers have different taste in games. Well, that certainly appears to be the case in Japan. Lair (or Rise from Lair, as it's called in Japan) has been getting a serious push by Sony's Japanese marketing team. They might have an easier job of selling the game in the territory, thanks to the fantastic critical reception of the game. Famitsu, Japan's leading gaming magazine awarded the game an impressive 34/40, which is far more generous than the current critical average of 55/100.

Will Lair be able to dominate the Japanese sales charts next week? With Halo 3 taking the top spot this week, it seems anything is possible.

Lair soundtrack available for purchase on iTunes

Regardless of what the critics may say, there's one undeniable great thing about Lair: its soundtrack. Composed by John Debney, the rich score of Lair is filled with epic drama and a full, textured sound provided by the London and Royal Symphony Orchestras.

All 26 tracks, which include hits like "Bridge of the Ancients," "Bridge Battle," and "Bridge Attack," are now available for purchase on iTunes for 99 cents each. The entire album can be purchased for a mere $9.99.


Harrison: Sony didn't force motion controls on Lair

Maybe trying to distance itself from the critically lambasted Lair, Phil Harrison told GameTrailers that it did not force tilt controls in Factor 5's controversial dragon game. "[Motion control] was definitely not mandated by us. We've always said all along that the use of the Sixaxis is something that should be decided by the developer in tune with their creative vision for the game, so it's not something we would mandate." In spite of this, it appears that many first-party Sony titles utilize tilt controls in some way. Thankfully, many developers have learned from the mistakes of Lair, and include options to turn off the tilt controls and replace them with analog movement (for example, Ratchet & Clank Future.)

In addition, Harrison doesn't find fault with Heavenly Sword's length -- a deciding factor that has limited the game's score in many reviews (including our own). "You know what? Not that many people finish games, so I think we shouldn't criticize a game for being a story, which has an arc with a beginning, a middle and an end... and actually encouraging all gamers to see all of the story, I think that's something positive." Granted, the experience looks and feels big-budget. But at the end of the day, most gamers probably want a longer journey for the increased price of admission.

[Thanks, njkid1! Via GameDaily]

Lair dev critical of Warhawk's motion controls

Factor 5's Julian Eggebrecht has been thinking about motion controls a lot lately. While still content with Lair's much-maligned input system, he has found issues with Warhawk's use of motion controls less-than-stellar. In an interview with Games Radar, Eggebrecht said that "Warhawk's controls are... eurgh!"

"I see motion-sensing as a complimentary, additional new step in terms of controls and where it fits you should use it and where it doesn't fit, don't force it. Please don't force it," he said. You see that folks? Eggebrecht just redefined irony.

Note that Warhawk can be played entirely without using the Sixaxis' tilt capabilities -- hence, they are not "forcing it." Is this a sign that Factor 5 might resign themselves to releasing a Lair patch enabling analog stick flight, or do we need to tell the Emperor he is strolling through the village without any clothes on?

Gallery: Lair

[Via Joystiq]

Lair Reviewer's Guide is dummy text, add headline here

Lair is not very good. Most people agree with that. To try and alleviate the reviewing experience and perhaps gain a few points on scores, Lair's handlers released a 'Lair Reviewer's Guide' to the gaming press. Some were insulted by this.

But what's really scary is that even the guide that Sony sent out is not very good either, or at least it was not proofread well. The image above is a clip from page 7 of the 'Lair Reviewer's Guide'. Yes, you read correctly, the Medium Dragon is described as "Dummy text, add new medium dragon txt here" several times over. Perhaps the "dragon-game curse" isn't done wreaking havoc on Factor 5 after all?

[Thanks, Stoo!]

Lair cursed from start to finish

Sometimes when you combine things, they form something even greater than its parts, like peanut butter and jelly, or the five robot cats that form Voltron. Other times, like when you combine Factor 5 and ghosts, you get Lair. "I am not a believer in ghosts, but this one was haunted," Lair director Julian Eggebrecht explains to MTV's Stephen Totilo.

Factor 5's Eggebrecht and producer Brian Krueger even admit in Lair's in-game commentary that there was a "dragon-game curse". Ranging from contrast problems with the very first trailer, to power outages during the writing of the master disk, nothing would go Factor 5's way during the development of Lair.

Eggebrecht and his team's struggle with the creation of Lair may be the exception rather than the rule in the video game development business, but it does help people outside of the industry understand just how tough making a game can be. The Lair director explains that "every single time there was a crucial delivery, something bizarre went wrong", even sickness and deaths within employees' families.

Maybe Lair is not everything PS3 owners were hoping for, but maybe they deserve some credit too for completing a game under such trying circumstances. It's good to know that even with all that they had going against them, the Factor 5 team still had time to have a little fun and hot coffee.

Lair's secret "Hot Coffee" code is exactly what it sounds like

Did you know that Lair has a secret "Hot Coffee" code? Inspired by the controversy sparked by Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Factor 5 has included a video in the game that lampoons the ESRB's overly harsh decision. You can experience it for yourself by inputting code 686F7420636F66666565 (case sensitive) into the game. Or, you can take the lazy way out, and watch after the cut.

Continue reading Lair's secret "Hot Coffee" code is exactly what it sounds like

PS3 Fanboy review: Lair

While Colin gets the delightful task of reviewing Warhawk (9.0), I'm left with the arduous burden of reviewing Lair, one of PS3's most hyped and anticipated games. What could possibly go wrong with a game where dragons fly around, killing each other? With stunning graphics, incredible production values, and dragons, Lair easily had a ton of potential. However, it all goes to waste through unresponsive controls and flawed level design.

As any Gamecube owner knows, Factor 5 is a team comprised of technical wizards. Their previous Rogue Squadron games pulled off graphical techniques on Nintendo's last generation machine that most Wii games still don't take advantage of. Factor 5 managed to rip out the most celebrated moments of the Star Wars films and make a captivating series that delivered action faithful to its inspiration. So, why does Lair feel like a retread from Factor 5's previous games?

Gallery: Lair

Continue reading PS3 Fanboy review: Lair

Confirmed: Lair can be played on PSP

No, this is not a joke. Lair can be played on PSP through PS3's Remote Play functionality. As discovered by Dubbedinenglish on the PlayStation forums, this is quite possibly the first Blu-ray PS3 game to run successfully on the PSP. By reducing the visual quality and increasing the response time, the game is actually quite playable. In fact, because the game uses the PSP's analog stick instead of tilt controls, it actually controls better than the PS3 counterpart.

Stay tuned for a video.

[Thanks, Nightz!]

Continue reading Confirmed: Lair can be played on PSP

Lair swoops into stores a day early

While there was some confusion about just when Lair was actually going to be shipped out, we have gotten confirmation from multiple sources that it's actually in the stores right now. That's right, you can go out and get your dragon on immediately. It's a little odd that it was released on a Thursday since almost all retail games go on sale on Tuesday, but why look a gift horse in the mouth?

If you do go out and pick up a copy of Lair today, why not come back here and leave your impressions in the comments section? The reviews have been pretty controversial so far, so it would be nice hearing what the fans themselves think.

[Thanks everybody who sent this in]

Amazon will not honour "incorrect prices" on Lair and Folklore orders

What started out as a simple deal of the day has turned into an ugly battle between Amazon and some of its customers. Lair and Folklore were listed for £14.95 each, an incredible deal by anyone's standards. Because of this, both games shot to the top of the Amazon bestseller's list for Video Games. Some of our more paranoid commenters emailed Amazon about whether the price was correct and whether they would honour it if it turned out to be an error. At least one person apparently got an email stating that the prices were correct and that they should expect no price change.

As the old saying goes, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you." Amazon yesterday started sending out emails stating that people's Lair and Folklore orders had been cancelled due to a pricing mistake. It seems weird to us that two games were priced wrongly for exactly the same amount of time and at exactly the same price. What are your thoughts?

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Deal of Yesterday: Lair and Folklore back at full price at Amazon

Amazon's amazing deal on Lair and Folklore yesterday seems to have unceremoniously come to an end. The price for each game has risen to £34.99, more than double the "sale" price. Was it a sale though? We're not sure. It didn't take long for both games to hit the number 1 and number 2 spot on the bestsellers list for Video Games. We're sure Amazon themselves would have noticed the amount of attention the games were getting if it was a mistake.

We don't know whether yesterday's prices will be honoured for those that pre-ordered the games, but are looking into it. If you've been in contact with Amazon about it, please let us know.

Deal of the Day: Lair and Folklore for £15 each at Amazon

Despite there being no retail releases in Europe this week, Amazon are keeping people happy with two potentially great games available for £15 each. Lair and Folklore have both received the less-than-half-price treatment and are now firmly at the top of the bestsellers list for Video Games.

This seemingly random deal has no explanation attached, nor an indication of when it might end. So if you fancy getting two PS3 exclusives for this incredibly cheap price, then do it now. Both titles promise to be excellent fun and we've thoroughly enjoyed our hands on time with both of them. The only problem now is, do you import Lair and pay full price, but get it a month early? Or order it from Amazon for less than half price and wait until mid October? Decisions, decisions ...

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Worldwide PS3 releases for the week of August 27th

Games! Yes, seriously. Check out the full release list, just a matter of millimeters below where you're looking right now.

US Games
  • Warhawk
  • Lair
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08
  • Dynasty Warriors: Gundam
EU Games
  • No new releases
Asian Games
  • Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War
  • Mist of Chaos
Warhawk and Lair? In the same week? Potentially. A lot of websites are showing the US release date has been pushed forward to the 30th of this month. It could easily be the case that whatever problems they had with the game that originally had it pushed back could have been solved early. In any case, we'll find out within a few days.

European PS3 owners, worry not. As games are region free, you can import any of the games in the above list without fear. Your PS3 will gobble it up without caring where it's from. Also, don't forget the PSN version of Warhawk will be out this Thursday, with the retail box appearing on shelves in a few weeks. Remember, release dates are constantly subject to change. Constantly.

Factor 5's Eggebrecht annoyed at ESRB's censorship

Perhaps comparing the ESRB to the Communist hunter Joseph McCarthy is a little extreme, since there's not really a Red Scare in videogaming, but Factor 5 President Julian Eggebrecht made the allusion when stating the ESRB was essentially choking the creative life out of games during a speech at GCDC. What we mean by that is the ESRB fails to approach games as art. Eggebrecht voices his wishes: "I would be happy if in games we could talk about homosexuality, but we're not even at the point where we can admit that humans have heterosexual relationships, and that is a real problem - and it tends to show that games are not being seen, even by our own ratings boards, as an artform."

He mentioned a cheat code in Lair that unlocked a "Hot Coffee" pot -- an actual coffee pot, which others at the GCDC got a kick out of, but he digressed from the humor behind the GTA: San Andreas fiasco. "If you cannot have satire about these things, that is approaching the realm of McCarthyism." Pressing further, he mentioned the movie Eyes Wide Shut, which dealt with relationship issues in marriage, among other things. Eggebrecht wants to see games with that much ... ambition hitting shelves, which require games to be placed on the same art pedestal as film.

Eggebrecht finally got to the meat of his argument -- censorship in Lair. Sony sought a "T" for Teen rating, since the game appeals to teenage gamers, but the ESRB continually knocked it to an "M" for Mature rating due to blood and visible "chunks" of other dragons getting slapped away in fights. In the end, Eggebrecht said, "they let us through with a Teen even though you can use fire - you can set up to five, six thousand people on fire. They burn, they run around and they scream, but of course that wasn't a problem [due to the absence of blood]."

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