Tag Archives: Sony

Gamescom 2012: PS Vita is Still Alive and Well

Written by Micah Messer

PS Vita launched in North America about 6 months back with a pretty solid software launch lineup. Since that launch date, however, we haven’t gotten much of anything in terms of new games. Vita has also suffered from poor hardware sales, probably due to lack of games. The problem is, who is gonna want to develop games for a platform that has poor hardware sales? It’s a vicious cycle, and one that the Vita has been stuck in for nearly 6 months.

Everybody thought that this year’s E3 was gonna be Sony’s chance to talk about what they’re doing to improve upon Vita’s sales and software lineup. However, the Vita seemed like more of an afterthought at the show. Other than showing a new game or two and announcing a new bundle, the Vita was almost completely ignored. Thankfully, Sony heard our concerns. At their Gamecom 2012 press conference, PS Vita was the star of the show.

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Escape Plan Review

Written by Micah Messer

Playstation Vita launched with a pretty fantastic lineup, consisting of over 20 physical and downloadable titles. Escape Plan, made by some of the minds behind the PSN title, Fat Princess, is definitely one of the most promising games among that group. A puzzler that makes full use of the Vita’s front and back touch pads to the extent that buttons aren’t used at all. It takes a bit to get used to, but this game is well worth it. Its presentation is undeniably unique and filled with charm, and the game itself is a joy to play. Oh, and it’s only $15 on the PSN.

The best way to describe Escape Plan’s appearance would be to say it’s a mixture of Limbo and LittleBigPlanet. Limbo, for its eerie, black and white tone– LBP for its fun, light-hearted main characters, Lil and Laarg. In addition to Escape Plan’s excellent visual style, it also has fantastic sound design. The game features a classical score including the likes of In the Hall of the Mountain King, and Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca. There’s also some jazzy tunes thrown in that fit the black and white art style perfectly. The game also uses the classic laugh, gasp and clap tracks as if there were a live studio audience watching Lil and Laarg stumble their way through Bakuki’s Lair.

I’ll bet you can guess who’s who.

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Best of E3 2012

Here at IPGR, we watched E3 with the glee of children in a candy shop. Every year, new games and systems are shown off, the Internet is abuzz with video game talk, and people get very excited for the coming months. However, this year, our overall elation at new public video game announcements was punctuated with disappointment at the abundance of sequel announcements and general lack of focus on gaming. It certainly wasn’t all bad, though, and in fact, we’re very excited for some of the upcoming games! It’s no secret that some games and companies “win” E3, so without further ado, here are our winners in various categories:

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God of War Ascension: What can they Improve?

Written by Micah Messer

Greetings friends! With the recent announcement of the new PS3 exclusive, God of War: Ascension, being developed by Sony Santa Monica Studios, I made the decision to play through God of War 3 again. In my opinion, the game is a total mixed bag, but despite its flaws, I enjoy it quite a bit. With a new installment in the God of War series on the way, I thought I might give my thoughts on what I feel they got right, and what they can improve on.

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Uncharted: Golden Abyss Review

Written by Micah Messer

I never thought I’d see the day when an Uncharted game was released without the Playstation powerhouse developer, Naughty Dog, being the folks behind it. Well, that day has come. I went into Uncharted: Golden Abyss knowing full well that it just wouldn’t be able to compete with Naughty Dog’s level of polish. I was terrified that the new developer, Sony Bend, would tarnish the Uncharted name. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Although Uncharted: Golden Abyss doesn’t  keep up with the console titles, Sony Bend does a respectable job of bringing Nathan Drake over to a portable system.

You just couldn’t have an Uncharted game without Nolan North as Nathan Drake. Most of the other key points to the Uncharted experience are here as well, so you can expect top-notch voice acting, entertaining characters, cut scenes recorded through motion capture, clever dialogue and beautiful graphics. Speaking of graphics, holy shit! This game looks absolutely incredible. Notice that I didn’t say “for a handheld game.” No, this game just looks great, period.



Don’t mind if I do.

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InFAMOUS: Festival of Blood Review

Written by Micah Messer

I know that here at IPGR, we’ve been doing a lot of DLC reviews recently, and I apologize for bringing you yet another one; but I swear, the developers tricked me! Even though Sucker Punch claims it’s a standalone game, and you don’t have to own Infamous 2 to play it, Infamous: Festival Blood is basically DLC, and it will be scored as such. 

The concept of Infamous: Festival of Blood is pretty ridiculous, but the thought of running around town as Vampire Cole was an exciting one. I was able to look past the ludicrous setting in the hope of some fantastic vampiric abilities. Even though I didn’t get the full set of blood-sucking skills I was hoping for, turning into a flock of bats and flying around New Marais is still pretty awesome. Festival of Blood introduces a couple of fun tweaks to Infamous, but ultimately it’s hard to say whether it gets more things right than wrong.
Thankfully, Infamous: Festival of Blood is not canon. Cole doesn’t actually turn into a vampire. It’s all just part of a crazy story being told by Cole’s friend, Zeke, to impress a lady friend. This set up may seem a bit cliche, but it’s definitely preferable to these events actually transpiring within the Infamous universe. I have to say, every time Zeke referred to the one of the vampires as a “fanger” (one who fangs?) I just got a bit annoyed.

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Uncharted 3 Kill Montage

Even though it seems I am incapable of achieving anything greater than some generic grenade kills, here is a kill montage from the Uncharted 3 Multiplayer.

-Micah Messer

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

Written by Nathan Love

Uncharted is, without a doubt, the PlayStation 3’s most distinctive and visible exclusive franchise. Notoriously difficult to categorize, the Uncharted series combines elements of action-adventure games, third-person shooters, and platformers to create a delightfully unique gameplay experience. Throughout the series, you play as enterprising treasure hunter Nathan Drake as he lucks his way into and out of dozens of intense and harrowing situations- and with the recent release of the third game, we at IPGR thought it would be helpful to give you our thoughts on the first game in the series, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.

The game, as I’ve said, is difficult to pigeonhole. Much of the gameplay is spent shooting at enemies. Uncharted features the ever-present one-touch cover system, but executed so fluidly that many of the issues present with the system in other games are almost nonexistent. Headshots, realistically, are always a one-shot kill (disregarding enemies with helmets, which require another shot to knock off). The shooting controls are excellent. The auto-aim on running-and-gunning is just inaccurate enough to discourage you from using it except in emergencies or for tactical positioning, and the two-button point and shoot controls for aimed fire make you feel like a total sharpshooter. The controls, however, are not perfect. Early games for the PS3 are marred by forced usage of the Sixaxis controls, and Uncharted is no exception. Grenades, aimed entirely through motion control, are maddeningly difficult to use, and as such I rarely did.

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LittleBigPlanet Review

Written by Nathan Love

LittleBigPlanet is one of the core exclusive franchises for the PlayStation 3, and it doesn’t take much brainpower to figure out why. Announced back in 2007 with a release date of October 2008, LittleBigPlanet has since garnered nearly universal acclaim among the gaming community and critics alike, as well as selling nearly four and a half million copies worldwide. Described as one of the PS3’s “killer apps”, LittleBigPlanet is a fun, quirky, and gorgeous puzzle-platformer and creative tool that appeals to a wide variety of casual and hardcore gamers alike.

Right off the bat, the tutorials (narrated by the illustrious Stephen Fry) set the tone for the rest of the game. Your character, an adorable little Sackperson, can jump, push and pull objects, and animate in a variety of endearing and hilarious ways. The level design is, at heart, fairly standard puzzle-platforming fare; you must navigate your character from point A to point B, with various obstacles to avoid and overcome in your way. There are points to collect, harrowing jumps to be had, checkpoints after major struggles, and a goal at the end of every level- in every way, it is the very model of the genre.

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