I’ve got a gaming confession to make: I’ve never played a Silent Hill game. Never really had much of an interest in the series, even… until now. Silent Hill: Book of Memories is a survival horror action-RPG coming to PS Vita next month. Like chocolate and peanut butter, this is a mash-up I can get into.
After sampling the game at PAX Prime, I meet up with the game’s producer, Tomm Hewlett, in San Francisco to find out how Konami plans to please fans of both genres. (more…)
Liberation takes full advantage of the new Assassin’s Creed III game engine and its simplified control scheme. Gone are the days of leaning on the shoulder button and playing defense during encounters. Press Square for melee attacks, hold and release Triangle to aim and fire ranged weapons, Circle counters, X is used for block-breakers and other moves. It’s a bit of an adjustment to begin thinking offense first in an Assassin’s Creed game, but ultimately it’s likely to be seen as an improvement.
Ubisoft is taking advantage of Vita‘s touchscreen in logical ways: tapping the screen brings up a split weapon wheel where you can select melee weapons (machete, hidden blades) on the left and ranged weapons (blowgun, whip) on the right. Of note: with the whip equipped, Aveline improves her parkour abilities, latching onto structures much as Ezio used the hook blade in Assassin’s Creed Revelations. You may have seen a shot in the gamescom trailer showing Aveline paddling a canoe using the rear touch panel, though that’s entirely optional.
While waiting to get hands-on with Dishonored here at Gamescom (more on that next week), I ran into an acquaintance from Namco Bandai. He invited me to their booth to experience the two new demos for Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch being shown. I didn’t pass on the opportunity, if nothing else, as an excuse to share beautiful new screens and video with you. Parts of what I saw are showcased in this new gamescom trailer, so do your eyes a favour and roll the video:
Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified is real, and we’ve played it. I think the highest compliment I can pay it is to say that, well, it looks and plays like Call of Duty. The running and gunning, the aiming down the sights, the familiar Bank Gothic notices popping up when you land a long-range shot or end an opponent’s killstreak, the weapon loadouts and multiplayer modes — they’re all here, rendered on PS Vita‘s luscious OLED screen and playable with dual analog sticks in a mobile setting for the first time.
Activision Product Manager Ryan Scott’s gamescom presentation cut straight to the heart of the matter, starting with the game’s multiplayer offering — a key consideration for any self-respecting CoD title. Multiplayer in Black Ops Declassified supports up to eight players via WiFi across six maps, encompassing essential play modes such as Free for all, Team Deathmatch, and Kill Confirmed, with other “classic Call of Duty modes” promised. Other trademark Call of Duty mechanics such as Create-a-Class, Killstreaks, XP, Perks, and Prestige were all present and accounted for.
Earlier this month, NAMCO BANDAI announced (via Twitter, no less), that they’d follow Tales of Graces f‘s North American release with a Western version of Tales of Xillia. This PS3-exclusive RPG is a celebration of sorts for the Tales series of RPGs, which had been around for 15 years at the time of the game’s release in Japan. But rather than just rehash classic elements, the Tales team took some chances, crafting a new battle system and a more grown-up visual style. The result, according to Famitsu, is the best Tales game yet.
Last week, I had a chance to pose some questions (including some of your Twitter queries) to Tales series producer Hideo Baba. Here are his answers: (more…)