DECEMBER 2008 NEWS
December 31, 2008
Alone in the Dark: Inferno was a game we were keen to play - until we saw the XBox 360 and PC scores roll in earlier in 2008. These versions received much negative press but many changes have been made to the PS3 game, which has made it vastly superior. Here's Michael's take on Atari's latest survival horror game.
December 26, 2008
We continue to hear reports of how the PS3 is technically inferior to the XBox 360 especially when it comes to the ability to hold a frame rate or higher resolution. Tomb Raider Underworld flips that a little bit with the PS3 running at 1024 x 720p while the XBox 360 only manages 1024 x 576p. Apparently the PS3 version includes improved effects such as depth of field. We haven't managed to get our hands on the game yet, but by all reports it's pretty solid and it's one we're keen to review.
LittleBigPlanet was actually reviewed over a week ago now, but for one reason or another we neglected to link to the review on the main page and new page of the site. Well here it is, one of the most impressive, and stunning looking titles, on the system to date.
December 24, 2008
Well it's that time of year again, and hasn't 2008 gone fast! The world is still in turmoil - not with terrorism but rather the Global Financial Crisis - but the video games industry seems to be holding fairly strong as people stay home rather then holidaying.
2008 was a big year for consoles. The Playstation 2 has surely seen its last year of 'big' games although even they were thin on the ground with SingStar and Eye Toy seemingly the focus. The PSP had a couple of big, and brilliant, titles but struggled to sell in Europe and America however the shining light was Japan where sales were massive. The PS3. Wow. An interesting year if ever there was one. Sony held firm on not offering a price drop, and sales were affected as a result - we believe the system has sold well below competitors in December the world over. Having said that there were many brilliant games. You will read all about these in our Game of the Year awards in the coming week or so.
To all the companies that support me throughout the year - both video game and movies. Without your continual support this site can not be and we thank you for the advice, review discs, and information you provide during the year.
Of course no site is going to exist without the readers, and I know there are a lot of loyal Futuregamez.net readers out there. We do love receiving your comments - good and bad - during the year, and we hope you will stay with us in future.
Finally a big thanks to the reviewers on this site (both Michael's and Chris). You guys do a wonderful job which you don't get paid for besides playing some of the best, and worst, the industry has to offer. Thank you.
Wishing everyone a great Christmas and New Year - don't forget to check back with the GOTY's over the coming days - and a couple of late, last minute, reviews too.
Regards - David Warner
December 23, 2008
Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 is the latest in Konami's soccer franchise. A couple of years ago Konami's soccer title was at the top of its game. Last years PS3 effort was a bit of a dud so we were hoping this would make up for it. But does it? We let you know in our full review.
December 22, 2008
Over the last couple of days Free Radical Design, makers of TimeSplitters have closed their doors due to, well, a lack of money with Administrators Resolve now looking after the company which has been stripped down to 40 employees from 185. Apparently several companies are already looking at buying out the developer. Probably a good move too as they have plenty of talent and were working on TimeSplitters 4.
Playstation Home is getting updated again to version 1.05. This release adds back in the voice chat in version 1.04. Unless Sony start giving Europeans more to do then just bowling - like where's our Far Cry 2 or Uncharted themed rooms - we're going to be pissed. BTW If you have an American account, well, try home under that ;)
Dissidia: Final Fantasy has just been released in Japan and the game has managed to shift an impressive 350,000 units on the first day of sales - an impressive number which automatically makes it one of the systems bigger sellers. The game is due out in America in 2009.
Resistance 2 is a game which millions of gamers around the globe have been eagerly anticipating. The best PS3 launch title was certainly sequel worthy - and here it is. Insomniac Games have been working on this for two years now, and the results are impressive. A review...
Sleeping Beauty is one of Walt Disney's most loved animated movies - even 50 years after it first hit cinemas. For the very first time the company is releasing the feature as intended and the results are stunning with a completely new transfer at the correct aspect ratio.
December 21, 2008
Remember those wireless SingStar controllers we confirmed the other day. Well according to our sources the reason for the delay has been the Bluetooth technology on the PS3... and guess what, apparently these mics won't use that either - they will be using a USB dongle with RF signals! Sad... Obviously Sony can't get thier shit together with BT technology.
December 20, 2008
Lumines Supernova has been given a release date of December 23rd in America on the Playstation Store with a price of $US14.99. At this stage the European date has not been confirmed other then 2009 - but hopefully it won't be too far behind.
December 23rd should be an exciting day for LittleBigPlanet with Metal Gear Solid content being made available. First up are Individual costumes Solid Snake, Meryl Silverburgh, Screaming Mantis and Raiden which are available for $US1.99 each, or $US5.99 the lot. More exicting is a Level Pack which includes five story levels, 72 new stickers, 12 new materials, 10 decorations, 18 objects, music tracks, searchlight lamp and 12 Trophies to unlock among others. The Level Pack will sell for $US5.99 or £4.79 which is pretty good value in our books.
Take Two have confirmed that they are aiming to release Bioshock 2 in 2009.
Electronic Arts has confirmed they are closing the studio EA Black Box which handled the Need For Speed franchise. Given how crap that series has been it may not be a surprise, and EA haven't confirmed or denied rumours that they are dropping the NFS franchise. Apparently there are eight other EA studios that are looking at closure of staff cuts.
December 19, 2008
Great news SingStar fans. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has confirmed that the wireless microphones are now in testing and are scheduled for release in early 2009. It will be interesting to see how they stack up compared to those in Microsoft's Lips game.
According to reports Capcom's Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix has shifted an impressive 250,000 units. This is made even more impressive as the game isn't out on PSN in Europe as yet (and there's still no word on a date other then 2009).
Well the OFLC listing wasn't a mistake or fake (why would it be with submissions costing around a thousand dollars), but Sega has now officially announced Outrun Online Arcade. The game is being developed by Sumo Digital, and will include improved visuals over the original game, online racing and voice chat. The game is due on the Playstation Network in early 2009.
December 18, 2008
If you're having trouble getting into Playstation Home don't freak out as Sony are taking the service offline for approximately 6 hours to perform upgrades - from version 1.03 to 1.04. Voice chat is being disabled in the short term, and we may also see some new areas added.
Remember that news about the new Metal Gear Solid game in the works, with rumours of an XBox 360 game given the green logo. Well it appears that despite the 'look' the game is actually a port of Metal Gear Solid 4 for the iPhone. Sony, and Sony fans, are breathing a sigh of relief...
So Sony are denying it, and why wouldn't they as they don't want to hurt sales, but apparently there will be a new, revised PSP released in late 2009 (PSP-4000?). Perhaps a bit more exciting though is the news from 'anonymous' developers that PSP2 development has started. I'm going to guess PSP-4000 will be a late 2009 release, with PSP2 in 2010.
The Ultimate Matrix Collection is the biggest Blu-Ray box set this Christmas, and is on shelves around Australia now. This box set include the three Matrix movies as well as The Animatrix, each presented in HD. Not only that but there is approximately 40 hours of extras on the 7 discs. Here's a review.
December 17, 2008
Victory! According to reports doing the rounds F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin's Refused Classification at the OFLC has been overturned with the game now being awarded an MA15+ rating with no cuts being made to the game. Apparently Warner Brothers appealed the decision. We have asked WB Games for comment.
Following on from the gloomy LittleBigPlanet news from America the other day it seems the Europe is a little different with sales actually on the increase in the UK with the title jumping from 29th to 16th on the All Formats Weekly sales chart wth a 58% increase in sales.
According to Eat Sleep Play founder, and creator of the God of War franchise, God of War III already looks 20-30% better then the in-game footage that was shown on the Spike Video Game Awards a couple of days ago. To us, that already looked mighty impressive, so an improvement on that is only a bonus.
December 16, 2008
Personal, Matrix Blu-Ray, & Resistance 2 News
Unfortunately I've been hit with a pretty nasty flu/virus over the last week. I desperately wanted to have a review of Ultimate Matrix Collection on Blu-Ray online by now, but haven't been able to watch TV or a computer screen for more then a few minutes without getting searingly sore eyes. With 40 hours of bonus content this is a massive release. What I will do though is offer the strongest recommendation here and, in the next day or two, do up a review which while not covering ever smallest extra should be enough to convince you how brilliant the release is and offer some insight into the content. We will also have our review of Resistance 2 ready as well as a few other bits.
Those of you playing, and loving Fallout 3 will be pleased to hear that a 24MB patch was released today which adds in Trophy support as well some improvements to the game including bug and frame rate fixes.
SingStar fans keep your eyes open as a patch will be released in sometime in the next 24 hours which will allow you to use you PS2 discs with the PS3 version of the game. Good way to quickly increase your library.
Swordfish isn't a thinking mans movie by any stretch of the imagination however the movie is a great Hollywood action flick with great visual effects, a great cast and an entertaining storyline. The movie is now available on Blu-Ray and we've taken a look at what you can expect.
December 15, 2008
Did you watch the Spike Videogame Awards today? They were a disgrace to the industry. Jack Black - often funny - starts the show with a near pornographic simulated sex scene which doesn't make the best light of an industry that struggles to be taken seriously at times. The four live feeds to the internet where, let's face it, the majority of gamers were probably watching were being shot by drunk 2 year old gorillas on the cameras. Pan in, stay on host, oh wait a video was playing and we're meant to be watching world exclusive trailers, but no, let's stay on the host in darkness. For the love of god even I would have been filming something that was watchable. The presenters, yar they put in a decent effort, but I prey that Neal Patrick Harris was taking the piss when he lost the card with the winner for Best Independent Game - they had to announce it over the PA?!
As for the winners, well Grand Theft Auto IV got Game of the Year, Media Molecule got best developer (hooray!) and, well Burnout Paradise got best racing game and Fallout 3 best RPG. You can check out the Futuregamez.net Awards at the end of the year. Do we agree with the Spike awards? Stay tuned...
Day Watch is the sequel to Night Watch which we reviewed a couple of weeks ago. This Russian fantasy movie has many brilliant visual effects, and is a great follow up to the surprise hit original. Here's our review of Fox's latest Blu-Ray release.
December 14, 2008
Well it looks like Sony and Media Molecule's triumph may be short lived with the fantastic LittleBigPlanet only managing to shift 141,000 units in America which is down on 215,000 units in October. Sony would have been hoping for a bump in sales for the title, not a drop.
December 11, 2008
Today is the day folks, Playstation Home is currently being upgraded and updated (to version 1.03) and everyone should have access to the Beta in a couple of hours. Get prepared.
Prince of Persia is a very exciting, and yet risky, product. As a totally standalone storyline from the previous generation, and major changes to gameplay this is essentially a reboot. Have Ubisoft developed something worthwhile? We let you know in our full review of this higly anticipated title.
SingStar Vol. 3 is the fourth release in the franchise on the PS3 (if you include the recent SingStar Abba), and is another brilliant compilation disc. We've played through the game to offer the review.
December 10, 2008
According to reports Sony will be releasing Playstation Home Beta to the entire Playstation 3 community tomorrow. No word yet if tomorrows release will see more content included (we certainly hope so), but it's probably best it gets up and running and be glitch free first. I can already see the lineups for Bowling now!! Just remember though folks, this isn't a game, it's more like an online version of The Sims with real people - stand around and talk...
Sony Europe has confirmed that Motorstorm 2 sales have now surpassed 1 million units - and deservedly so.
Would be nice if we were America. If we were we would have the Playstation Movie store to download movies and, today, would be able to grab The Dark Knight. Personally though I'll be grabbing the superior Blu-Ray version, but whatever floats your boat. I would love to at least have an option!
December 9, 2008
According to rumours Sony will be opening up the Playstation Home Beta for all within the next 10 days. Sony won't confirm the rumour, but they did promise it would be available before the end of the year. Now, if they actually put some content in there besides the four current areas we might spend a bit more time there.
If you were bummed that Americans got the side-scrolling shooter Soldner-X: Himmelssturmer on PSN on December 4th and you live in Europe don't dispair as the game will be released there on December 18. Hopefully that includes Australia.
Sony has announced they will be cutting 8,000 jobs, or around 5% of their workforce, around the globe. The good news for gamers is that the job cuts do not seem to be for their gaming divisions, but rather their electronics divisions.
Atari has annoucend that they have purchased MMO developers Cryptic Studios. The company has three games in development Champions Online due next year (not on PS3) and then Star Trek Online in 2010 (platforms TBA) and a third game in 2011.
Rendition is a very interesting movie for those looking for a more dramatic movie. With all the troubles in the world this thriller is based on the touchy subject of Americans unlawfully detaining people and torturing them for information. Here's our review of the Blu-Ray disc.
December 8, 2008
The X-Files: I Want To Believe is, unsurprisingly, the tie-in for the movie. Indeed the recent movie was a solid sequel to Daniel Craig's first Bond outing. This game actually covers both movies and is from World at War developers Treyarch.
December 7, 2008
The X-Files: I Want To Believe sees FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are back in an all new adventure - although six years on they have both moved on with their lives away from the paranormal. Although The X-Files TV series ended some years ago their return is most welcome. We've reviewed the Blu-Ray disc which has just been released through Fox.
December 5, 2008
Could it be that Sony will be losing one of their biggest exclusive franchises? Well it appears that may be the case. Have a look at this site and you will see that some "XBox" green symbols with what appears to be an inverted XBox 360 power button and the phrase "A Next Metal Gear Is..." Konami aren't commenting, but we can let the speculation begin. A port of Metal Gear Solid 4, a port of the online component, a spin-off, or perhaps Metal Gear Solid 5?
According to reports Midway have 50 days to come up with $US150 million or face bankruptcy. The company has suffered of late with a string of poor titles (Blacksite: Area 51 anyone?). It is believe the company currently only holds around $US10 million in cash. Got a spare $US140 million anyone?
December 4, 2008
Those of you in the Playstation Home Beta trial may notice the service is offline at the moment. It will be for a couple of hours with Sony adding items to the stores to be purchase (we don't know if it's for real money, fake money or - and this would be cool - for 'trophies' you've unlocked). It should be back online soon.
Activision has cofirmed that the next Call of Duty title from Infinity Ward will be.. drumroll.. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. That's right a direct sequel to last years hit. Expect a Christmas 2009 release.
We all knew that PGR developer was going multi-platform with Activision bought the company, but now their first game has been release. As expected it involves motor vehicles, but isn't a strict racer with the developers working on a James Bond racing (and we suspect action) game. The game is due out in September 2009.
SingStar Abba is not only coming to the PS2 as we reviewed the other day, but also the PS3. As Abba fans (yes, we are man enough to admit it!) we've spent plenty of time on the PS3 version. This one, as well as including the SingStore, has a better tracklist the the PS2 version as well. Here's our review.
December 3, 2008
Sony has submitted Killzone 2 for classification at the OFLC and the game has been awarded an MA15+ rating in its original form. The game is due out in February.
Atari will be distributing Bandai Namco's Tekken 6 in Europe next Autumn (which makes it Spring here in Australia).
Call of Duty: World At War is the fifth game in the series, and comes after one of the most successful games of all time in Call of Duty 4. This latest game returns to World War II, but looks better then any game set in the era before it. Does the game live up to expectations though? Here's our review.
December 2, 2008
Those of you flicking on your PS3's today may have noticed that Firmware 2.53 has been released. This latest firmware improves Flash support for web browsing. That's about it really apparently. The Firmware was unofficially announced for release on November 26 through a keen website administrator - but it was soon pulled. Anyway it's here now so chill out!
Sony has officially announced that Uncharted 2 will be coming to the PS3 (no surprises there really). Expect to see more on Sunday December 14 when the title is unveiled at the 2008 Video Game Awards.
Australia Land of Parrots is a fascinating look at some of the worlds most stunning birds. Produced by the ABC this is a must have Blu-Ray release for lovers of our feathered friends.
Spiderman: Web of Shadows is the latest release from Activision in one of their most popular franchises. There's no movie for this video game, but that gives Activision to go wild with the license. Does that mean they've developed a good game? Read our review to find out...
December 1, 2008
According to EzyDVD the next batch of James Bond movies on Blu-Ray will appear on store shelves on March 18th. The titles include Diamonds Are Forever, GoldenEye, Goldfinger, Licence To Kill, The Spy Who Loved Me, and The World Is Not Enough.
Capcom has confirmed that the PS3 version of Resident Evil 5 will include a bonus, and extensive, 'Making Of' documentary on the Blu-Ray disc. XBox 360 owners will receive a limited edition set with the sound track but this will only be available for a short period of time while the PS3 bonus will be permanent.
It isn't really a surprise but Sony' Chief Executive in southern Europe, James Armstrong, has confirmed in a Spanish newspaper that Gran Turismo 5 will be released in Europe next Christmas.
SingStar Abba is certain to be one of the biggest releases this Christmas. One of the worlds biggest bands gets the SingStar treatment in a first for the franchise. We've taken the PS2 version for a spin and give you our thoughts on Sony's latest karaoke release.
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