Eye of Judgment Kicked Back A Day?

•October 24, 2007 • 1 Comment

Seems like Eye of Judgment is getting held up somewhere in the supply chain today, as sites like Gamestop.com are now silently listing it as shipping today (the 24th). There’s been no official word from anybody on the matter, but calls to several local stores around the country seem to confirm that it won’t arrive until tomorrow at the earliest. Even stranger, Amazon isn’t sending out any copies until next week. Maybe the fires in Cali have something to do with this?

That said, I’m not sure if this delay also goes for big box stores or not, so keep your eyes peeled. Of course, if I hear anything else, I’ll let you guys know.

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Warhawk 1.2 Details

•October 22, 2007 • 2 Comments

Wow, I haven’t updated in a few days. The weekend might have something to do with that, but my life’s been pretty crazy lately, anyway. I’m currently negotiating my way out of an unfulfilling semester in grad school, but the stress continues to pile up as I head into the home stretch. And then there are the games to play; trying to get through Folklore and Jeanne D’Arc before the goodness hits this week, though it’s unlikely I’ll actually finish either of them.

On top of that, there honestly hasn’t been a whole lot of Sony-centric news. If I had the time, I guess I could bust some heads over silly articles, like this one on that appeared over the weekend on C|Net. Instead, you get some fun Warhawk news.

Naught but a few days after the 1.1 (which fixed a few security/connection bugs and added Arbiters, in-game GMs hunting for cheaters and griefers, to the mix), Dylan Jobe and company have released another update. Looks like version 1.2 of the online shooter will include some important new features:

* 5 New layouts.
* Clan game server option.
* Buddy slot reservations.
* Integrated Warhawk Store.
* Updated CTF capture/return behavior.
* Internal stat padder protection.
* Booster Pack status display at join game list.
* DualShock3 integration.
* Separate SIXAXIS motion control on/off per mode (ground, hover, flight).
* Detailed Player Score display at end of game fixed.
* Added new server type filters (player, ranked, dedicated, clan, Official Warhawk, etc).
* Added new server full/open filter.
* Fall damage exploit fixed.
* Dismount into walls exploit fixed.
* Invisible Tank, Turret & Warhawk exploit fixed.
* Auto-kick of idle players.
* Add to Favorites button added to end game screen.
* Increased VOIP volume when not using headset.

There are some pretty significant developments, such as DualShock 3 integration (though the controller won’t be out in the US until next year, you can try and import one from Japan in November if you’re desperate enough) and the new Sixaxis settings which allow you to set use of the motion controls for each specific setup. This is as opposed to before, where if you you wanted to use waggle to control your Warhawk, you were stuck with it for the ground vehicles, as well.

The next most significant part of the update is the the inclusion of new layouts. There’s one for each existing map, and they focus on close-quarters combat for 4-8 players. Good new for those of you with connections too puny to host any more slots than that. The smallest of all available layouts, there seems to be little need for vehicles.

All in all, it brings a few neat features to the game, but it seems like all of the real juicy stuff is being saved for the mini-expansion currently slated for December. Edit: My mistake, apparently this is the patch slated for December.

[Via: Playstation.blog]

Dark Void Debut Trailer

•October 19, 2007 • 1 Comment

Despite the excitement surrounding Bionic Commando and Street Fighter IV, don’t forget about the new IP Capcom introduced, Dark Void. Seems like this is another one being done by an outside studio (AirTight Games, a company formed by people who worked on Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge), but the gameplay still looks very Capcom action-adventure-ish. I don’t think the trailer gives away enough to form a solid opinion on it, but it seems unique and there are jet packs, so that’s good enough for me.

Story-wise, it seems to take cues from the work of Zecharia Sitchin, who’s theorized about “ancient astronauts” (called either the Anunnaki or the Nephilim depending on who you ask) that came down from the heavens and not only created us, but later gave now-forgotten knowledge to our world’s earliest civilizations. Whether you believe it or not, it’s still intriguing source material for a video game plot.

Ratchet and Clank Release Pushed Up Again

•October 19, 2007 • 2 Comments

Oh man, I already had next week all planned out! The funds set aside, the time allowances that I’d give myself, everything! Now Sony goes and pushes Ratchet and Clank up to the 23rd, and everything is out of whack! Not that I’m really complaining, of course. The sooner I can get my paws on this tasty little package, the better (and it won’t get outgunned by Guitar Hero III, either).

Sony’s official explanation is:

“…due to some unexpected quickness at the factory, a vast majority of retailers have already received the game. With that, some retailers are choosing to release the game next week instead of waiting until the 30th, which we are all too happy to allow.”

Well, alright then.

[Via: Playstation.blog]

Official EoJ Site Up + Card List

•October 19, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Seems like the Official Eye of Judgment Website came online today. It includes all sorts of things from instructions on how to play to more details on the universe, itself. Perhaps best of all, we finally get a full card list, so that you can start planning your deck in preparation for next week or looking for those ultra rare cards. What’s nifty is that it tells you what cards can be found in each of the pre-made elemental decks that are going to be sold, so if you’re looking into buying one of those, you’ll know what you’re going to get.

Best Buy Website Gaffe: Waiting For The 40 Gig Backlash

•October 19, 2007 • 4 Comments

Ever since I heard that the 40 gig would come sans PS2 backwards compatibility, I knew that this was inevitable. I knew that someone, somewhere, would screw up the advertising. See Best Buy’s online listing for the new system:

Plays your old PlayStation 2 and PlayStation games, DVDs and CDs, so you can merge all of your entertainment into one machine

You see, I’ve thought a lot about what backwards compatibility means to the consumer lately. I’m firmly in the camp that it should not be considered a necessary component of any given system. I’m not unaware of the issues, though. Maybe you wanted to trade your old system in or you consider the convenience of having only one console in your entertainment center a factor. In most cases, if you really intended to go back and play all of your old games, you probably had a Playstation 2 already. And if you missed out on last gen and really wanted to catch up, what’s been keeping you from picking up one of the many PSTwos sitting on retail shelves? If it’s because you’re curious about the PS3’s ability to upscale previous-gen games, I assure you that it’s not worth fussing over.

So let’s call BC what it really is: a bullet point. A really important bullet point. It’s a feature that consumers have become used to seeing over the years and, whether or not they actually know what it means, they will notice if it’s missing. Sony’s talked a lot about really listening to their fans when figuring out what to put in and take out of their new SKU; they said they knew what was important to them, what they wanted in a next-gen console. As many times as Sony’s changed their message over the past year, I think we all know how hard that explanation is to swallow.

Even Microsoft, a company that has all but given up on further supporting backwards compatibility with Xbox games, at least left it in there. It might be shoddy support, but they can still pin that on their feature list. I mean, this is a point Sony used to attack Microsoft before, but now they don’t consider it important at all?

I think what’s even worse are the mixed messages we’re getting from Jack Tretton. Here are two comments that I think are inherently in conflict with each other. First, from N’Gai Croal’s interview:

When was the decision made to remove backwards compatibility entirely and why?

Well, I think we have long consternated over the issue of bringing tremendous technology to the consumer, something that’s really going to be ahead of its time and carry this industry for the next decade, and the challenge that presented in terms of the retail price point we had to offer. So the goal was trying to reduce the price point of the Playstation 3, but keep all the features that we thought were incredibly relevant to the future going forward. We feel like we’ve been able to accomplish both at $399. We’ve got a price point that I think can finally attract the masses, and we’ve kept all of the features that we think are incredibly relevant to the Playstation 3 in there.

Second, from the Wall Street Journal (subs only, for the full article):

There’s a catch to the lower price: The new $399 PlayStation model will not play games designed for the PlayStation 2, Sony’s popular older game console. Mr. Tretton conceded that removing that capability, along with a few other features, isn’t dramatically reducing Sony’s cost of manufacturing the console but will instead encourage buyers of the entry-level PlayStation 3 to purchase more games designed specifically for the new system.

So in one Tretton is telling us that removing backwards compatibility was necessary to achieve the new price point, while in the other, it’s not actually doing that at all, but has the intended effect of pushing people to buy more PS3 games.

Let me make my stance clear: I don’t think BC is particularly important, either, but if it’s not hurting Sony financially, there is absolutely NO good reason to leave it out!

I’m having a really hard time sorting out this tortured logic and I don’t think that the consumers are going to be any easier on Sony. So now they’ve got a Playstation 3 with a somewhat reasonable mass-market price and they go and gimp it. The issue may or may not be more complex than that, but consumers will not see it that way.

Oh, people might buy it. Especially when you’ve got outlets like Best Buy already mucking up the details. But expect the backlash to come soon after the first 40 gig has crossed the checkout counter. Frankly, I’m not sure what Sony can do to counter-act this, advertise the fact that the new SKU won’t be able to play your old PS2 games? That might be the more responsible choice, but it’d also be like climbing the tower to sound the death knell. There’s no good way to market the lack of a feature, even though Sony’s tried in the past. We all know what happened to rumble, right?

I’ve got more thoughts on this issue, but I think I’ll save those for a rainy day. If I were Sony, I’d sic my dogs on Best Buy right now and get that listing changed, because the only break they’re going to get otherwise is the opportunity to damage control.

PSN Update: 10-18-07

•October 18, 2007 • Leave a Comment

From Playstation.blog:

Demos
* Folklore “PlayStation Underground” Demo (free)Dive deeper into the world of Folklore with the new Folklore™ “PlayStation® Underground™” demo where you will learn more about the characters and story of the game as you sample the game’s animated “comic book-like” cut scenes and play through the Fairy Realm as either Ellen or Keats.
File size: 1.26 GB
ESRB Rated T

* Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights Demo (free)Get in the drift with Juiced 2 Hot Import Nights, the only place where superstar DJs, smokin’ hot models and totally tuned cars come into close contact.
File size: 968 MB
ESRB Rated T

Game Videos
Uncharted Tech Dive Video (free)Sneak peek at the technology behind Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune™.
File size: 619 MB (HD)

Burnout™ Paradise Steel Wheels Trailer (free) Rock Paradise City with two and a half tons of heavy metal mayhem! The heavily modified “STEEL WHEELS” Carson GT Concept car was designed specifically for the celebrity with style. Featuring armor-plating and a supercharged V8, this car is sure to make a grand entrance at any premiere. Pre-order and unlock “Steel Wheels!”
File size: 47.2 MB (HD)

Turok Dino Luring Trailer (free)Dinosaurs are neutral enemies that do not use discretion when attacking prey. Use their voracious appetites and vicious dispositions to your advantage by luring them into attacking other enemies. Fire into a group of enemy soldiers or toward a pack of dinosaurs, and let them do the work for you.
File size: 57.5 MB (SD), 149 MB (HD), 219 MB (1080)

Devil May Cry 4 TGS Short Trailer (free)The short version of the 2007 Tokyo Game Show Devil May Cry 4 trailer has been released! This is the first official movie of Nero and Dante fighting various demons, showing off scenes loaded with great stylish action game play!
File size: 84.4 MB (1080)

Movie and Blu-ray Disc Trailers
Rails & Ties Trailer (free)Tom and Megan Stark always thought there would be time — time to have children, time to take that trip to San Francisco, time to fix the problems in their marriage. But Megan’s illness and Tom’s inability to face the possibility of losing her are stealing all the time they have left. All Tom can do is bury himself in his job as a train engineer, where at least he feels in control and everything runs on a predetermined track. Until now.
File size: 29.3 MB (SD), 102 MB (HD), 140 MB (1080)

Incubus — Alive at Red Rocks BD Trailer (free)Incubus’s Alive At Red Rocks features the band’s first long-form live concert. Taped at the legendary Colorado Red Rocks Amphitheatre July 26, 2004, Alive At Red Rocks captures the band at its inspirational, gusty best. Building on the DVD release extras, this Blu-ray includes lyrics, a high definition photo gallery, and the ability to focus in on individual band members through the “Navigate the Stage” feature.
File size: 39.6 MB (SD), 155 MB (HD), 219 MB (1080)

Underworld BD Trailer (free)Underneath the city streets, amid the labyrinth of subway tunnels and gothic ruins, vampires and werewolves are embroiled in an all-out war that has been going on for centuries.
File size: 151 MB (1080)

PS3 Wallpaper
Eye of Judgement Wallpapers (2) (free)Customize the background of your PS3™ system with this new Eye of Judgment Wallpaper.
File sizes: 968KB-1.30MB

Note
Calling All Cars has been reduced to $4.99 until 10/25/07

Yikes! Kind of a disappointing week, if I do say so myself. In terms of content volume, it’s great, but there’s nothing that stands out in particular. Yet another Folklore demo seems to be the main focus of the update, the third if you count the Japanese demo and the one we got here in the U.S. just a few weeks ago. We didn’t even get the Raw vs. Smackdown demo that was more or less promised.

Two consolations:

1. Calling All Cars has a reduced price for this week only. Might be worth it if you can actually find anyone online to play with.

2. The Gran Turismo 5 Prologue demo will be available on the Japanese PSN Saturday (the 20th). It’s not all that hard to create a Japanese account, so why not give that a shot? It’s clearly the most exciting thing we’ll see this week.

The next update should be better overall, since we’ll get all the Playstation Eye software coming out alongside Eye of Judgment.