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Haze weaponry revealed, detailed, explained

Free Radical have recently updated their blog over on IGN, deciding to enlighten us to some of the weapons available in the upcoming, hotly-anticipated shooter Haze. Since there's a lot to say about each weapon, we're going to give you the shorthand version here and leave it up to you to research further.
  • Diplomat pistol -- standard Mantel weaponry, seems most useful in short-range situations.
  • Blacksaw assault rifle -- depleted uranium are the bullets, pain is the result. Also available: silenced version.
  • Donkey Puncher shotgun -- " ... this high-end shotgun is more than enough to kick any ass presented to you." Enough said.
  • Hard Candy rocket launcher -- apparently makes Sloppy Joes out of the enemy.
  • Pinpointer sniper rifle -- it's a sniper rifle. Need we say more?
  • Heavy Gun -- uh, we're not sure, but it sounds extremely useful. Seems to be a stationary weapon of mass destruction.
  • Razor Tongue knife -- standard Promise Hand melee weapon. You can smear it with Nectar, which causes Mantel soldiers to overdose on Nectar if you slice 'em. Nice way to make a knife useful without being ridiculously overpowered (Warhawk).
  • Lobo -- the assault rifle of choice for Promise Hand soldiers.
  • Oso -- shotgun! Notice the trend of Spanish names for Promise Hand weaponry.
  • Mano del Dios -- the "Hand of God" is essentially a minigun you really don't want to see from the wrong end.
  • Dragon de la Gente -- take a guess! It's a flamethrower for the people, by the people.
There are more sniper rifles and grenades to be had, but we think you get the point. All of these weapons are, admittedly, standard FPS necessities, but we can't believe this is all there will be offered. Maybe it is. But if not, we're sure there will be quite a few interesting ways to lace Nectar into more weaponry. We're excited for this one to come out, so we'll wait for November with bated breath.

PS3 Fanboy impressions: Agarest Senki demo

It's difficult to play games in a language you don't know. However, based on the nearly infinite well of RPG experience under our belts, we can make a few pretty obscure parallels to the recent demo of Agarest Senki that popped up on the Japanese PS Store this past week. If you're unaware of the title, it's a strategy RPG that harkens to the like of all those Nippon Ichi titles, except this one spans generations of characters that are born, fall in love, and breed according to your actions. It sounds fun on paper, but what happens in the demo is more confusing than biting into a donut to find it's filled with salad.

Continue reading PS3 Fanboy impressions: Agarest Senki demo

TGS07: The story of Soulcalibur IV

Click to see high-res image.

Namco Bandai has managed to sneak a little bit of story into all of its Soulcalibur fighting games. Ultimately, they provide little reason as to why these characters seem to enjoy beating the c**p out of each other -- but it's good fun for us, nonetheless. The story of the upcoming Soulcalibur IV ties in the fate of the Soul Edge and the Soul Calibur and is presented in its now-trademark melodramatic style.

A fun drinking game to play while reading the Prologue is to take a shot every time the word "soul" is used. Let's see if you can survive!

Gallery: Soulcalibur IV concept art

Continue reading TGS07: The story of Soulcalibur IV

Disgaea 3 website opens its doors to the mortal realm

As the Prinnies would probably say, "Welcome back to the world of Disgaea, d00d." Then they'd probably explode or something. Anyhow, Nippon Ichi has opened up the official Disgaea 3 website, detailing bits of the story and pictures of characters ... you know, the usual website-related stuff. Our problem is, as usual, our inability to read kanji and most things Japanese. Despite that, we're sure the text is tantalizing and obscurely humorous and we can't wait to read more of it in English when the title hits the PS3 sometime next year.

TGS07: Imabikisou, you're like an open book

If you don't get the subject line's incredibly clever pun, so clever we're going to take a typing break to eat a cookie ... then tell you the game is an interactive horror novel. Anyway. Chunsoft and Sega are bringing this horror novel to life and from the Tokyo Game Show floor, life is a bit of a stretch. While interesting in concept, it sounds like plodding through walls of text and then selecting a path intermittently isn't as scary as we'd hoped. The strange choice was to use all live-action and real scenery in the background. Nothing pre-rendered, nothing animated.

Still, the production values are hailed as top notch and the backgrounds do have a breath of life in them. Fires will twist and dance, the hair on a character's head will flutter momentarily, and voice-overs are not uncommon. Rumble is also featured, adding a fairly scary jolt to your hands whenever a character screams or, we assume, windows break and/or hell breaks loose. Chances are this is import only, unless you trust Sega to write up a smart script and hire voice talents who can actually scream appropriately.

TGS hands-on: White Knight Story

White Knight Story is a game we've kept in our peripheral vision since we first saw its trailer at TGS last year. Today we got the chance to get a hands on with the game. The demo guides you through leading a giant ox creature, and its suspiciously Taru-Taru-like owner, down a road filled with dangers. The dangers come in the form of evil armoured humans and animated vegetation. Similar to Mandragoras. We're drawing a couple of parallels to Final Fantasy XI but, thankfully, the similarities stop there.

The slightly cel-shaded nature of the earlier trailer has been toned down a bit so that now the world looks more realistic, whilst still maintaining its obvious anime inspiration. The game dropped jaws with its incredible stylised JRPG graphics when it was revealed at TGS last year and is still graphically stunning.

The first thing we noticed when we started the first combat segment was what first appears to be an aiming circle. This is what we affectionately call the "Wait Circle", which has a loading bar elongate along its circumference. Once it finishes the circle you can perform your next action. The Wait Circle also helps you out with your combo timings.

Continue reading TGS hands-on: White Knight Story

TGS07: Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer impressions

Know of the old adage: save the best for last? Square Enix did just that with its incredible Final Fantasy Versus XIII presentation. In spite of being comprised of completely non-interactive and most likely pre-rendered footage, the Versus trailer absolutely stunned the audience due to its incredible sense of style. The trailer begins, telling viewers that "this is a fantasy based in reality." What could that mean?

The footage begins with a car driving by, segueing to a familiar scene of the mysterious male protagonist deflecting bullets from an opposing military force. Quickly, the trailer flashes to a girl in a school outfit that seems to be awaiting someone. Latin text is interspersed throughout, fitting to the beat of both the visuals and music. Already, there's a strong sense of style and intrigue.

A meticulously designed cathedral is the next scene in the trailer, and we see a mysterious hooded individual eerily similar to a character in Advent Children. All the while, snippets of the lead killing the opposing soldiers in a surprisingly gory way. We were shocked to see blood spurt out of the villains -- could this be the first M-rated Final Fantasy game?

Continue reading TGS07: Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer impressions

TGS07: Final Fantasy XIII trailer impressions

After adamantly insisting that you do not videotape or record the screening in any way or else, the Square Enix private theater showcased numerous titles from the ever-expanding Final Fantasy universe. The first trailer on display was the lead game in the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, Final Fantasy XIII. In English, a narrator explains a corruption that seems to plaguing the land. "Those tainted by the outside were exiled," he explains.

Earlier trailers highlighted Lightning, but the trailer at TGS showed off a number of new characters, environments and creatures. A gunman that seems to have specific mastery over water shoots a crystal, creating a massive water summon. Paths of ice form in the sky, as he rides along on a motorcycle. Certainly, a spectacle to behold. Then a massive African-inspired scene provides a stark contrast to the futuristic environments we've seen of the game so far. Fantastic Mammoth-like beasts walk across a river in a scene that could've been ripped out of a Afrika gone slightly astray. Debuting in this new trailer was a brand new female character that stands, staring at a frozen planet orbiting in the sky. The trailer ends with a proud proclamation "PS3 Only," to silence any doubters.

Once again, we were stunned by the visuals of the trailer, which went beyond the quality of most Hollywood productions. The new dry landscape showcased provides reassurance that the game will not remain stagnant in its visual look. However, in spite of the incredible excitement generated by the trailer, we were surprised that a different game in the Square Enix theater stole the show.

Yakuza 3 ain't your ordinary sequel

It's known that Yakuza sold like rotten bread outside of Japan which is why the second title didn't even make it overseas. However, in Japan, the two Yakuza titles by Sega have sold well, so we're glad to see a third iteration see daylight and hopefully, outside of Japan also. The funky thing is, this game takes place 400 years prior to the first one (so, that's 1605) and covers the journey of Kazumanosuke Kiryu, a bodyguard who takes any job for the right price. Wouldn't you know it, but he's approached by a girl named Haruka who asks him to kill Musashi Miyamoto, who is actually Kiryu's other self outside of the city. His past! His even darker half!

Sega is employing an all-star voice-acting cast for the Japanese track (Japan has a lot more pride in their voice-acting). In addition to that, many upgrades are being made to the game. You'll have a huge, detailed city to explore and four different fighting styles to make use of (fist, blade, dual blade, broad sword). You no longer have to train with a master to gain moves -- you still can, but you'll also learn moves by observing events, like a dog jumping to catch a bone. There will be over 100 subquests and multiple minigames, also. It seems Sega is really pulling out the stops with this, so we'll keep you posted how it looks at the Tokyo Game Show!

Want to walk around in Rainy Woods?

Another survival horror game, so soon after we revealed the weird sci-fi horror game on its way? It seems so and we couldn't be happier. The more the merrier in this genre of so few original IPs. This time, though, the story doesn't sound that promising unless you were a fan of the movie Identity -- we know you're out there and we don't mind. It was all right.

The game takes place in the American west, with FBI agents and midgets. Rainy Woods is the setting of the story, which are, we presume, woods that are inclined to rain. Awkwardly enough, a murder takes place nearby and people think the "Raincoat Killer" has returned. Rain is a theme. The townsfolk call you in, an FBI agent who has a multiple personality disorder. As you travel the giant city and learn about the murder, you learn that something less-than-human is involved. Expect to chop up and shoot various critters of evil.

Draw whatever conclusions you want. Who knows, the game could be pretty neat. Just so the killer doesn't end up being the FBI agent. That would be very, very lame.

[via IGN]

Buzz! PS3 will have plenty of questions, downloadables

Board games come and go, but there's something about interactive trivia games that are timeless, ageless, and always entertaining with a group of friends. IGN interviewed Buzz! creator David Amor on the new PS3 iteration of the franchise and we're going to outline the entertaining bits below.
  • Relentless Software isn't exactly a technology company, so programming for the PS3 hasn't been as big an obstacle as other devs. They're focused more on the game itself, which they want to make as social as possible. Keep the PS3 in the big family den, you know?
  • The game will be a Blu-ray release, not downloadable. However, like with Singstar, there will be a ton of downloadable content for quiz-enthusiasts. The plan is to have a hefty amount of stuff available from day one of the game's launch.
  • There are currently about 5,000 questions on the disc itself in a multitude of categories. Interestingly, these aren't created solely by Relentless Software. A very large portion of the questions are outsourced to a company called Sleepy Dog, then fact-checked for accuracy. Sony has even approached National Geographic for making their own category of questions.
  • In fact, there could be a lot of companies in the future giving categories for download. Heck, we will probably be able to up our own categories of questions for people to check out, give ratings as to their value, etc. This service will be in the game and will be free, whereas company question packs would get upped on the PS Store for an acceptable price.
  • Online matches sound fun -- person vs. person, team vs. team, et cetera. Nothing ground breaking, but feeling like you're on a quiz show is good enough.
There's a lot more discussed, especially the details about creating your own question packs, playable characters, and keeping track of the stuff people could potentially upload (copyrighted images and such are out of the question, for now). The controller for the PS3 Buzz! is the same as the PS2 version, so you quiz experts won't have to adjust to a new steering wheel, so to speak. The game is due out in Spring of 2008.

Developers walk us through They game

Yes, actually, our grammar is mostly correct, as the title for this latest first person shooter is They. You know, them. The name beckons us back to the days of the X-Files, if you know what we mean. Anywho, we've got two videos of the title from the developer, walking us through a level that looks mighty impressive. There's a big robot invasion and they kill people without reason, as acts of terrorism. It sounds pretty crazy, but it looks nice. There's always a lot of stuff happening on-screen (once the neat alien Phantom's show up), so we can probably expect a lot of non-stop action when it's released. If you liked the first video, take a look at the second one after the jump!

Continue reading Developers walk us through They game

Echochrome teaser site has been unleashed

First unveiled a couple of months ago at E3 to a silently stunned crowd, echochrome looks more complicated than weaving a wicker basket. But like with all things, it will become easier over time and eventually we will understand the ins and outs of the title. To help us along, a teaser site has been upped by Sony and while it's in Japanese, we can help you out with navigation.

After you click the title of the game, a pop-up window appears and shows you what's up. We clicked the bottom right button to skip the intro and were greeted with a small menu on the lower left. The top choice brought us screenshots and the bottom choice played the E3 trailer. Simple, right? We thought so, but playing the game is going to be quite the brain-teaser. If anyone played Xenosaga III, there was a mini-game in that, whose title escapes me, that's essentially the same as this, except less artistic and abstract. So, you can at least get a little practice in before this hits at the end of this month.

LocoRoco details emerge, clarified as screensaver/game

Finally, Sony has come out of its shell and decided to clarify all the hubbub surrounding the new LocoRoco game for the PS3. Is it a game? Is it a screensaver? It is both? Is it ... neither? It's an interactive screensaver with over 200 Loco Rocos to play with, using the Sixaxis. All these bubbling blobs of bliss sit on-screen at once and your objective is to collect as many as possible and lead them to the goal.

As you journey, you'll play three mini-games to multiply the number of blobs in your possession. Also, online leaderboards will make an entrance to see how your fellow screen-saver-playing buddies are doing, including a time attack option. Japan is getting the title on September 21st, but there's no word yet on a US or European release. It'll cost the Japanese about 800 yen and set them back nearly 190 MB, as explained on the Japanese website for the game. If you're using Firefox, it seems to disable tabbing, so open a new window just to be safe.

Valkyrie of the Battlefield screenshots show cel-shaded yumminess

Yes, hot on the heels of our other VotB post, we've got some new screens to share with you, coming straight from Famitsu. While we all have our opinions over Sega's performance over the past few years, you've got to take a gander at these screenshots. It's like Radiata Stories and Rogue Galaxy on next-gen crack. This is some kind of gorgeous cel-shading.

If Warhawk were a cel-shaded third-person strategy RPG, it would probably look a lot like this. From the screens, you get an idea of the overhead map for selecting your strategic approach to the battle, then you see a few action shots taken from the battle itself. A girl sniping a tank from afar, while the male lead (we presume) rushes in to do the job right. This game, while pretty looking artistically, is still in the early stages of development so we should give Sega some positive encouragement to nurture the style of the game into a gorgeous addition to our PS3 libraries.

[via PS3Forums]

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