ModNation Racers: Mario Kart’s got competition!

Which way will you go?

ModNation Racers has been eating away at my free time for a while now, and having taken the time to lay down some tracks, pimp some rides, and unlock everything in the career mode, I am ready to deliver my verdict! Read the rest of this entry »

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World of Sven Update: Music has gone live!

Just giving you folks a quick update to let you know my music page has finally gone up, so if you’re curious about my musical stylings, please hop on over to the My Music page and check it out! Here’s a sample of what you can expect!

Scarlet Haze (Extended Version)

This is an updated version of Scarlet Haze with a new mandolin string part that kicks in around the 2:24 mark. This would be the finished version were it not for the fact that the newly-added instrument crackles occasionally in a highly undesirable fashion, so at this point I’m trying to find a better soundfont to replace it.

I’m always looking to improve my work, so if you have any criticisms or suggestions, please feel free to fire them off my way!

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PlayStation 3 in Stereoscopic 3D: Is it worth it?

3D TV

Sony are really pushing 3D displays as the next must-have piece of technology for home entertainment enthusiasts. In just the past couple of months they have released a new line of 3D-capable Bravia TVs, along with a PlayStation 3 firmware update to enable 3D functionality on the system. At the moment only a few titles actually support the feature. Updates have been released to retroactively add 3D to Wipeout HD, Pain and Super Stardust HD. Sony is promising similar updates for more titles to give early-adopters some incentive, but their overall plan seems to hinge on incorporating the feature into their future titles, such as Killzone 3.

Having checked out one of these 3D TVs at my local JB Hi-Fi, I can say the technology certainly does work (and quite nicely at that), but it has some considerable barriers that must be overcome before there will be widespread adoption of it. Read the rest of this entry »

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E3: Sony Press Conference

E3’s done and dusted! With a hit-and-miss presentation from Microsoft and Nintendo bringing out the big guns just hours earlier, Sony needed to impress this year. Did they succeed? Let’s take a look at what they brought to the table!

Killzone 3
Killzone 3 is one of the first titles being developed from the ground up to use the PlayStation 3’s stereoscopic 3D functionality. In an effort to show this technology off, the entire Killzone 3 demonstration was presented in 3D. Alas, the effect could not be appreciated by viewers like myself who were only able to stream the conference over the internet, so I’ll just comment on what I was able to see.

The graphics and gameplay are both looking remarkably solid for a game in its alpha state. The arctic setting was nice to look at, with some of the most gorgeous snow effects I’ve seen since Uncharted 2 (though there could be a very good reason for that). After all the bleak brown and grey environments of Killzone 2, it’s a refreshing change. Fingers crossed we’ll get greater variety in the levels this time around.

The gameplay looks more or less intact from Killzone 2, including it’s excellent cover system, which allowed players to simply press themselves up against a wall, and peek over it as much or as little as they wished. There were a few new weapons, but the biggest change seems to be the addition of a jetpack, which looks to bring some verticality to the combat. Sony have also announced that Killzone 3 will launch with Move support, something I’m quite happy to hear since analog stick imprecision is one of my major irks with console shooters. I just hope they’ve improved on the controller latency that was present in its predecessor.

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E3: Nintendo Press Conference

With Nintendo’s press conference wrapped up, I figured it was high time I chipped in my two cents on what they had to show for this year’s E3. Some of what Ninty had to show left me with mixed feelings, but feelings I’m eager to share, so lets get down to it!

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Nintendo wasted no time in busting out the latest entry to their long-running Zelda franchise. Going off what I’ve seen so far, I’m really digging the visuals. It seems to have adopted a cel-shaded style, reminiscent of Wind Waker, but with more realistically proportioned characters and environments than the Gamecube title. It’s a classic example of Nintendo playing to their strengths, circumventing the hardware limitations of the Wii with some smart art direction.

In order to demonstrate the gameplay, Shigeru Miyamoto made an appearance in person with the intention of showcasing the improvements they had made to the Zelda formula. Combat looks to be classic Zelda, with the added accuracy of the MotionPlus to make combat more involving for the player. Unfortunately the motion-tracking seemed to be completely all over the place during the demonstration. Miyamoto came to the conclusion that the Wii Remote was receiving wireless interference of some sort (people who had not turned off their phones, etc) and urged onlookers to try the game for themselves on the showroom floor so they could see that the combat does in fact work well.

I liked a lot of what I saw, but it’s a shame that the demonstration was tarnished by technical issues. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for hands-on reports from the showroom floor to see if the sword combat fairs better than it did during the demonstration.

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