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MARCH 2010 NEWS

March 31, 2010

    PS3 Review
    White Knight Chronicles is one of many RPG's to hit the PS3 in the last month or so. Level-5 should be well known to RPG fans and any game they release is certain to generate interest. Michael has done up his review and gives us his thoughts on this epic RPG.

March 29, 2010

    PS3 News
    Sony has confirmed (on this post) that Firmware 3.21 will be released on April 1st with the big feature being the REMOVAL of the ability to install other Operating Systems such as Linux on the system. The statement (in part) states the following:

      The next system software update for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) system will be released on April 1, 2010 (JST), and will disable the “Install Other OS” feature that was available on the PS3 systems prior to the current slimmer models, launched in September 2009. This feature enabled users to install an operating system, but due to security concerns, Sony Computer Entertainment will remove the functionality through the 3.21 system software update.

    David Jaffe has confirmed that the next game from his studio Eat, Sleep, Play will definately have Downloadable Content. Jaffe (who created God of War) hasn't announced the details of his next game however there has been some rumours of a new Twisted Metal title.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Paranormal Activity was the surprise box office hit of 2009 is available this week on Blu-Ray and DVD. We've checked out the movie on Blu-Ray thanks to Icon Films and give you our thoughts. In short, this is surprisingly good and worth checking out.

March 28, 2010

    PS3 News
    Electronic Arts has confirmed that a demo of Skate 3 will be released on the Playstation Network on April 15, just a day or two after the game is expected to hit the shelves.

    EA creative director Richard Farrelly has confirmed that the next Medal of Honor game is currently being developed with the PS3 being the lead platform for the game.

March 24, 2010

    PS3 News
    In a rather major leak a Spanish magazine has suggested that F.3.A.R. will be announced next month due to a picture showing a grown up Alma (the little girl), who is now pregnant with two men standing next to her. The game has been quite a hit on the PC, and the last game in the series sold fairly well too. Expect more news, well, next month!

    According to reports Electronic Arts has canned one of two games Starbreeze Studios currently has in development - those games being one based on Jason Bourne, and one codenamed Project Redline which is rumoured to be an update of the classic Syndicate. It seems likely that the game canned is that of the ex-Matt Damon starring franchise. Huzzah! We'd much rather an update of Syndicate anyday.

    Team Bondi has stated that the script for their upcoming L.A. Noire currently sits at 22,000 pages! The game is loosly scheduled for releae in late 2010 and is expected to be unveiled at the E3 show in a couple of months (We hope).

    Blu-Ray Review
    A Serious Man is the latest movie from the Coen Brothers and is out this week on Blu-Ray (and DVD). Indeed we were quite keen to check this movie out when we got it however ultimately I was left quite uninspired by their latest effort.

March 23, 2010

    Blu-Ray Review
    The Box is a movie some of you may have seen at cinemas late last year. This latest Cameron Diaz movie is a thriller, but takes a bit to get going. The question is, would you push a button to kill someone you don't know for a million dollars? Here's our Blu-Ray review.

March 22, 2010

    PS3 News
    Finally Sony has confirmed that God of War Collection, which includes upgraded versions of the first two games on PS3 with improved visuals will be releasing in Australia and New Zealand on April 29, 2010. No word yet on pricing, but we guess you're all too busy playing God of War III.

    Square-Enix has confirmed that 1 million copies of Final Fantasy XIII have been sold in the US since the game went on sale two weeks ago. Similar sales numbers are being reported for Europe and Australia.

    PS3 Review
    Final Fantasy XIII is Square-Enix's latest epic RPG on the PS3 (and is also available as an inferior XBox 360 version). The storyline and visuals are top notch, but what about the gameplay? We've ploughed through all 40 hours of game time and give you our full verdict on the game. It's stunning, but somewhat disappointing too...

March 21, 2010

    Industry News
    HUZZAH! That's the only way we can react to the news that Australia's most hated politician, Michael Atkinson, has stepped down from his role of South Australian Attorney General (although he will remain on the back bench in parliament until 2014). Who you ask? What? Well it was he that was the most vocal, and possibly the only Attorney General in Australia that was opposing the introduction of R18+ games in Australia. There's still a long way to go, but the 60,000+ submissions to the government recently, a vast majority of which supported the introduction of an R18+ rating, has shown the government what the people want.

March 20, 2010

    PS3 News
    It's been a quiet couple of days news wise, but there are plenty of games out to keep us happy, not least of which is the stunning God of War III. We're only a couple of hours into the game now, but already have no hesitation in saying that this is brilliant. Go buy it.

March 19, 2010

    PS3 Review
    M.A.G. (or Massive Action Game as it was previously know) is one of the biggest shooters of 2010 and we're not just talking about the 256-player online gameplay. This online-only shooter really is fantastic. A review...

March 17, 2010

    PS3 News
    SCEA has confirmed that a patch is on the way for Heavy Rain which is one of our favourite games of recent times. The patch is hoped to fix multiple issues with game freezing and audio dropouts one issue which we ourselves encountered during our review. Still, it's an awesome title so let's hope the patch fixes some issues.

    PSP News
    Australian distributer Mindscape has confirmed that Konami's Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker on PSP will hit retail shelves on June 18, 2010. The game, which is a direct sequel to the previously released Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, is being overseen by Hideo Kojima himself.

    Square-Enix has confirmed that the PSP game Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep will be released on the system in European Summer 2010 (Australian Winter 2010). Previous games in the series have shifted an impressive 14 million units worldwide.

March 16, 2010

    PS3 News
    According to reports ModNation Racers has been given an American release date of May 25. Furthermore the European release will apparently take place in the same week although we are still awaiting confirmation from Sony.

    Blu-Ray News
    20th Century Fox have just sent out a press release confirming that James Cameron's Avatar - you know, that little movie that has currently grossed over $2.6 billion worldwide will hit DVD and Blu-Ray in Australia on April 29, 2010. As you can imagine the version being released on Blu-Ray is 2D, with a 3D version not expected until 2011 when 3DTV's will become much more common in homes (Samsungs 3DTV's have just launched this week, Sony and Panasonic are due around June).

    Blu-Ray Review
    Home is a fascinating documentary which looks at our planet and how we, as the human civilisation, are rapidly killing it, and approaching the point of no return. Everyone should watch this at least once and the transfer to Blu-Ray is for the most part breathtaking.

March 15, 2010

    PS3 News
    There's no doubt that Final Fantasy XIII was going to be a massive game, and some sales figures are starting to come in. The game apparently shifted an impressive 450,000 units in America on launch day while in the UK the PS3 version has obtained 54% of the sales, compared to 46% for the XBox 360. That's an impressive result given the higher hardware sales for Microsoft's console.

    Thatgamecompany's Jenova Chen has confirmed that the small development studio will not have a new game released in 2010. The company has been responsible for both Fl0w and Flower.

    Blu-Ray Review
    2012 was one of the biggest movies of 2009 and its release is a major one on Blu-Ray due to the massive number of visual effects moments. We're very pleased to report that the Blu-Ray offers a stunning transfer and a couple of solid extras too. If you need something to show off you home theatre then this is a great option.

March 14, 2010

    PS3 News
    According to this article on IGN Insomniac Games are considering going multi-platform for an upcoming game. The developer, who isn't a part of Sony, has been Sony exclusive through their lives with franchises including Spyro (on PSOne), Ratchet & Clank and Resistance to their name.

    Industry News
    Kotaku has put up an interesting rumour about why Infinity Ward seems to be holding together following the departure/sacking of their two studio heads. Well apparently it seems that many employees are staying at Infinity Ward as Activision has holding back on paying many of the staff their royalties too. It seems it's not just the studio heads, but a large number of staff that were on lower salaries, and high royalties. Understandably morale at the studio is now understood to be "extremely low".

    Blu-Ray Review
    Arn: The Knight Templar probably isn't a movie many of you would have heard of as it never got a theatrical release in Australia. Having said that this Swedish movie contains religion, a love story and some great action sequences. No it's not the greatest movie ever, but we actually enjoyed it on Blu-Ray.

March 12, 2010

    Personal News
    So what can I say... Last nights concert with The Prodigy on the Gold Coast was absolutely epic, we were only meters from the stage, the ears are still ringing this morning, and they were everything I'd hoped for and then some. Unfortunately not many pictures turned out well, but I got some great video clips. If you ever get a chance, check them out live! Here's a pic before we got onto the news, including the unveiling of the Playstation Move...

    Click To Enlarge Image
    The Prodigy, Gold Coast, 2010

    Playstation Move Announced
    Sony has today, at the Game Developers Conference shown off their motion controller previously rumourd to be called "Arc" or "Gem" with the official name Playstation Move. The unit contains two parts, the main "Playstation Move Motion Controller" unit with glowing ball for motion tracking, as well as a second "Playstation Move Sub-controller" contains an analogue stick to move the characters around if the game requires it. The controller will ship as a bundle with the main Playstation Move controller, Playstation Eye and a game for around $US100. Playstation Move willbe released in Fall (Australian Spring) 2010. If you already have the required Playstation Eye camera, the controller will also be available on its own. In terms of lag, it was mentioned that this would be less then one frame.

    Click To Enlarge Image
    The two Playstation Move Controllers.

    In terms of games Sony had quite a few on display Gladiator Dual (Working Title) arena combat game demonstrated using 2 controls at once, one for weapon, the other for shield to block... Table Tennis (Working Title) allows you to put topspin, backspin on the ball etc... Move Party - video for face tracking gameplay looks like a series of party styled mini-games... LittleBigPlanet has motion controls now... Eye Pet to include Move support (not sure if the Australian/Euro version will get a patch, or it will be a sequel)... Motion Fighters (working title) is a fighting game, includes things like headlocks... Finally SOCOM 4 will be playable with motion controller from start to finish.

    PS3 News
    WB Games has confimed that The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest will be released in Spring 2010 but also that the game will include full support for the just announced Playstation Move controller.

    Activision have announced a new Eminem/Jay-Z pack will be released on the Playstation Store March 25 for $AU12.95 which is still a little pricey for our liking, but the three mixes sound great. The pack includes "Shake That" by Eminem Mixed With "Show Me What You Got" by JAY-Z, "Without Me" by Eminem Mixed With "Encore" by JAY-Z, and finally "Can I Get A..." by JAY-Z Mixed With "Lose Yourself" by Eminem.

    All of you retro gamers out there may want to head to the Playstation Store today with MegaMan 10 becoming available for download for €9.99/£7.99.

March 11, 2010

    Personal News
    Sorry about the lack of updates today. We're off to see my favourite band The Prodigy play at the Gold Coast Convention Centre tonight which should be absolutely wicked and even better as I have never seen them live. Despite only deciding to go today it seems some extra tickets in the front section were released, so time to party on! Expect updates to resume tomorrow...

March 9, 2010

    PS3 News
    So what does it cost to make a blockbuster game these days? Well we don't know about most games, but Sony's director of product development John Hight has confirmed that God of War III has cost the company $US44 million to develop, which is right within budget.

    PS3 Review
    Star Ocean: The Last Hope - International is is sure to be one of the biggest games of 2010 and this sequel isn't too dissimilar to the first game, but that's not a bad thing. This is an impressive sequel to a great game and one which we highly recommend.

March 8, 2010

    PS3 News
    Don't forget to head to the shops tomorrow folks as a certain Square-Enix RPG hits the shelves. That's right at long last Final Fantasy XIII is due to hit shelves.

    Blu-Ray Review
    The Broken is a new Blu-Ray release starring Lena Headey (from The Sarah Connor Chronicles) this is a suspense/horror movie directed by Sean Ellis. Sadly after watching this movie there really is little to recommend here unless you're a die hard fan. Here's a review of this latest release from Icon Films...

    The Butterfly Effect 2 is the second movie in the trilogy and is certainly the weakest. In all honesty we only recommend this release, albeit with a decent transfer, to fans of the movie.

March 7, 2010

    PS3 News
    Crystal Dynamics have confirmed they are developing Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light for release on the Playstation Network. The game, if rumours are to be believed, may be played from an isometric viewpoint, but we've had conflicting information on that. Expect more news in the coming weeks.

    Industry News
    That spat between Infinity Ward and Activision has just got a lot more real with Jason West and Vince Zampella filing a lawsuit aginst Activision seeking $US36 million in damage and unpaid royalties, as well as forcing Activision to cease any more Call of Development titles (except the one due in late 2010 being developed by Treyarch). IGN has posted up the full 16 page claim which you can check out here if you wish.

March 5, 2010

    PS3 News
    So what was Sony's surprise announcement today? Well Sony has confirmed that SOCOM 4 is in development at Zipper Interactive, who we all know are currently riding a pretty good wave at the moment with MAG. Let's hope that SOCOM 4 restores the positive nature of the franchise after Slant Six's rather average SOCOM Confrontation. SOCOM 4 will include 14 single player missions and 32 players online. The game is due out around Q'3 2010.

March 4, 2010

    PS3 News
    Sony are set to announce a new Playstation 3 game in the next few hours with speculation running rife of the title being Resistance 3 (the game ad was on a billboard for an upcoming movie, but Insomniac have today denied that game will be announced), Motorstorm 3 (Sony recently registered the domain name) or LittleBigPlanet 2 which may fit given the announcement yesterday of Sony purchasing Media Molecule. Expect confirmation tomorrow.

    All Interactive Entertainment has added a couple of PS3 games to their release schedule. Backbreaker, a NFL styled sports game, is due out on May 21 while Naughty Bear will hit the system sometime in June.

    Namco Bandai has announced that Eden Studios are currently working on Test Drive Unlimited 2 which, unlike the first game, will also be hitting the PS3. As yet there is no release date set.

March 3, 2010

    Industry News
    Wow! Talk about a spat between Activision and Infinity Ward. According to Bingegamer (available here) there is indeed a major issue between the two companies. Apparently, yes, both president Jason West and studio head Vince Zampella have been sacked by Activision due to "insubordination", but having said that apparently Infinity Ward have not seen a cent of royalties related to the billion dollar selling Modern Warfare 2. Rumours on the website point to the Infinity Ward bosses shopping the company around with their publishing deal with Activision due to expire in October 2010. Further complications surround Infinity Ward having a partial ownership of the Call of Duty Intellectual Property.

    Update: Things still aren't overly clear but Activision has confirmed that Sledgehammer are working on an action-adventure game set in the Call of Duty universe for release in 2011. As for the 2011 FPS game it now seems that Infinity Ward may not be working on that game, but another developer will take it up. The only good to come out of this so far; a lot of attention is diverted away from Sony's PS3 calendar/kill-all-systems issue from Monday/Tuesday.

    Sony has today announced that they have purchased developers Media Molecule. The England based developer were the creators of the PS3 and PSP title LittleBigPlanet. The studio now becomes a part of SCE Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS).

    PS3 Review
    Aliens Vs Predator sees two of the most loved movie franchises brought together in this latest PS3 game (and indeed the latest in a long line of games for both franchises). While it doesn't do too much new, it is quite entertaining and worth checking out.

March 2, 2010

    PS3 News
    While Sony's PS3 outage has hogged the headlines today there are a couple of other bits of news so let's get to it.

    In what could be a massive shakeup for one of the hottest companies in the games industry Infinity Ward president Jason West and studio head Vince Zampella have apparently been sacked from the company by Activision. According to reports security was seen around the companies offices yesterday. Nothing is official, and there is no official word from either company, however although Kotaku found the comment "Jason West is drinking. Also, no longer employed." on Jason West's Facebook page. Infinity Ward had mentioned in recent times they would like to try somehing other then Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but with sales approaching 15 million for Modern Warfare 2 you can understand what Activision may prefer. Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling tweeted at around 4pm AEST that "I should also say, while I appreciate all the calls, tweets, messages and hearing my ringtone a lot. They're in vain - as I have no info." Stay tuned...

    While official numbers are still tricking in early indications are that Sony's Heavy Rain has sold some 500,000 units around the globe in the first week. Impressive numbers for such an unique game.

    PS3 Issues (Now Resolved)
    Good news folks, you can again use your PS3's as the calendar issues have now been resolved and your system should work as per normal again. We suggest you sync up your clocks to the Internet, but all should be good. Here's the official work from Sony

      We are aware that the internal clock functionality in the PS3 units, other than the slim model, recognised the year 2010 as a leap year. Having the internal clock date change from February 29 to March 1 (both GMT), we have verified that the symptoms are now resolved and that users are able to use their PS3 normally. If the time displayed on the XrossMediaBar is still incorrect, users are able to adjust time settings manually or via the internet. If we have new information, we will update you through the PlayStation blog or PlayStation.com.

      We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

    Sony have put up an official statement regarding the current Playstation 3 issues. Rather then babble on, here it is...

      Latest info on PlayStation Network Status

      As you may be aware, some customers have been unable to connect to the PlayStation Network today. This problem affects the models other than the new slim PS3.

      We believe we have identified that this problem is being caused by a bug in the clock functionality incorporated in the system.

      Errors include:

    • The date of the PS3 system may be re-set to Jan 1, 2000.
    • When the user tries to sign in to the PlayStation Network, the following message appears on the screen; “An error has occurred. You have been signed out of PlayStation Network (8001050F)”.
    • When the user tries to launch a game, the following error message appears on the screen and the trophy data may disappear; “Failed to install trophies. Please exit your game.”
    • When the user tries to set the time and date of the system via the Internet, the following message appears on the screen; “The current date and time could not be obtained. (8001050F)”
    • Users are not able to play back certain rental video downloaded from the PlayStation Store before the expiration date.

      We hope to resolve this problem within the next 24 hours. In the meantime, if you have a model other than the new slim PS3, we advise that you do not use your PS3 system, as doing so may result in errors in some functionality, such as recording obtained trophies, and not being able to restore certain data.

      As mentioned above, please be advised that the new slim PS3 is not affected with this error. We are doing our best to resolve the issue and do apologize for any inconvenience caused.

      For the latest status on this situation please continue to check either the PlayStation.Blog or Playstation.com.

March 1, 2010

    PS3 News
    With the start of a new month comes, well, a dead Playstation Network. Apparently anyone with the older fat PS3's will have noticed that your PS3 will not be connecting online today and displays a 8001050F error. This failure will revert your clocks to 12/31/1999, won't time sync, shows most Themes as corrupt, and most concerningly won't allow you to play many PS3 games (online or offline) or allow you to see Trophy information. Sony are aware of the issue (it seems to be worldwide) which started around midday AEST today. The latest issue on Sony's Playstation Twitter account (available here) states "PSN status update: We're narrowing down the issue and continue to work to restore service to all. Updates as soon as we have them." We here at Futuregamez advise all readers to leave your PS3 turned off, or at the very least, don't connect online until the issue is resolved - that's our advice, not Sony's.

    Update (9.55pm AEST): So this is pretty scary. When I got home from work today at around 6pm I reset the clock on my PS3 to the exact time. Now, at 9.51pm I just logged onto the system and discovered that the PS3 clock, while still having the correct date, was now set at 8.30pm - it had lost over an hour. How? Why? Who knows, but I've sent it to Sony Australia...

    Update #2 (10.05pm AEST): Apparently it's all a promotional stunt for the movie Hot Tub Time Machine to take us back to the past... Actually, no, I'm kidding. But it now appears it may have something to do with February 29, leap years, and incorrect calendars within the PS3 itself and not the Playstation Network.
    Our Advice - Don't turn on your PS3 until a resolution is found (although even those not online with a fat PS3 are affected to).

    Blu-Ray Review
    B-Girl. I was pretty hesitant to review this release, but given the massive PSN issues today, and our lack of ability to finish our Aliens Vs Predator review as a result we thought we'd present you with this review of a, well, pretty shit movie in our books. Check it out while you wait for Sony to wake up in America and do some work!


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