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United Kingdom

Thu 13th August, 2009

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JamieO commented on Talking Point: What Are You Playing This Weeke...:

@get2sammyb Aww, shucks, in hindsight I'd have preferred to have taken a bite from a fresh Destiny apple, rather than upset the team's applecart. Hopefully there will be another game soon, which all of the writers will be playing during the same weekend, and history can be made. D’oh! Metro Redux ended up being a worthwhile choice, considering I was aiming for a single-player focus, though. That game was a bargain, I enjoyed its bleakly inviting context, – along with a mysterious and supernatural story – which kept me interested enough to complete Metro 2033 Redux in a few sittings.

@NicolaHayden Yep, I live within a stone's throw of the River Mersey, presuming you can lash a stone a hefty distance, mind you.



JamieO commented on Feature: Share Your Pictures of the Apocalypse...:

There are so many quality screenshots in this feature, I'm actually finding photo mode to be such a fun distraction in The Last of Us Remastered –alongside an obsession with finding all of the game's collectibles – so it’s taking me twice as long to complete the game. I've only just reached winter recently.

Here are a few more of my pictures meshed together in a TwitPic montage:




JamieO commented on Review: Another World (PlayStation 4):

@SimonAdebisi I agree, I was very impressed with how much work Eric Chahi carried out over two hard-working years by himself. Two years was a fairly lengthy development time for a 16-bit game launched in 1991. I'm not sure if he had an office, or a work space, I used the term 'bedroom coder' more to describe an independent attitude that was prevalent during the day, but he definitely worked alone for a long time.

I think his main source of assistance came from his friend Jean-Francois Freitas, who worked on the audio and music composition side of development. Chahi even painted the cover art used on the Commodore Amiga box, which is also the title screen image in the 20th Anniversary edition.

Here's another quote from Retro Gamer magazine (Issue 24) from Chahi to demonstrate how he was an independent developer: "I felt that I had something very personal to communicate and in order to bring my true vision to others, I had to develop the title on my own." Chahi also discussed the process of dealing with publishers in 1991, by saying in the Retro Gamer interview that "I didn't decide to go it alone for the challenge, but because I felt it was necessary to create my game without any commercial pressure."

It's worth hunting down issue 24 of that Retro Gamer magazine for any gamers who are interested in Another World, if it’s not too hard to find. You can also read The Making of Another World feature on page 144 of the very first Retro Gamer Collection: Volume 1 bookazine.

Another World is an example of how a retro game can be indie too.

**** Edit: I just found a video on YouTube video called Another World - The Making Of with Eric Chahi, which says that it was "Created at his parents' home by a young graphic programmer."



JamieO commented on Review: Another World (PlayStation 4):

I couldn't help but include a few cheesy Star Trek references here – from "final frontier", to "strange new worlds", as well as "new life and new civilizations" – but in a way developers like Jordan Mechner and Eric Chahi were exploring uncharted territory and a new frontier through the sub-genre of side-scrolling cinematic platformers, in 1989 and 1991 respectively.

During my research for this review I read an excellent interview by Martyn Carroll, as part of The Making of Another World in Retro Gamer magazine (Issue 24, April 2006, p.34-37). Below are some interesting Eric Chahi quotes taken from the magazine:

  • Eric Chahi on cinematic video games: "I wanted to extract the essence of a movie – the rhythm and the drama – and place it into game form."
  • Chahi’s thoughts on Another World’s difficulty curve: "The trial and error aspect doesn't disturb me though. Another World is a game of survival in a hostile world, and it really is about life and death. Death doesn't mean the end of the game but it is a part of the exploration."
  • Finally, here is Eric Chahi’s response to the SEGA CD’s 1994 pseudo-sequel, Heart of the Alien (as far as I know Heart of the Alien didn't receive a PAL Mega-CD release): "The soul of the original game was missing, and I felt more than a little deceived when I saw that my original concept had been destroyed."

There's also an interesting interview on the PlayStation EU Blog with Eric Chahi (design, program and artwork), Martial Hesse-Dréville (programming), and Abrial Dacosta (CEO, The Digital Lounge). The interview is called Classic platformer Another World is coming to PS4.

@divinelite It's worth noting that Eric Chahi worked fervently, and almost in solitary on Another World for two years before its 1991 release, during an era when bedroom coders thrived. It was then published by Delphine Software. This epitomises the spirit of an independent developer in my eyes.



JamieO commented on Talking Point: What Are Your Hopes and Fears f...:

Man, I must have been guzzling down the positivity juices when I contributed to this, because I’ve not discussed my fears at all, so my section reads as one hope after another. I also made a mistake here by referring to The Order: 1886 as a steampunk setting, since I forgot that Ready at Dawn’s co-founder, Ru Weerasuriya, had told Joystiq that the game is grounded more in reality than fantastical steampunk technologies.

I guess my only concern for E3 2014 is that it requires such a vast amount of time, resources, investment, and pressure to develop a triple-A game on the PlayStation 4, so I don’t know if this will reduce the number of new prominent first-party titles at E3. As I’ve noted above, my expectations are really high based upon previous Sony press conference highlights, for example I mentioned Naughty Dog’s stellar live demos, but I’m not sure if it’s still too early in the generation for a show stealing stage display.

Furthermore, it has grown increasingly challenging for publishers to keep a secret from the media in this industry. I also imagine developers will want to avoid controversy, the likes of which have been brought about by raising gamer’s expectations of visual fidelity based upon target renders. I presume the lessons of unrealistic Killzone 2 and Watch Dogs E3 demos have been taken into consideration.

However, we’re seven months into the eighth generation now, so with forward planning, and a large dollop of secrecy, it’s not impossible for a dynamite first-party reveal. I can’t help but be excited for E3 2014, overall. I’ve built my own buzz and hype in my head, so my hopes greatly outweigh my fears. Alongside the Christmas games rush, and the UK expos in September and October, E3 is my favourite part of the gaming year.

Good luck to Push Square’s news and editorial team this week, too. I greatly enjoy the coverage of E3 here, and I appreciate the work and energy that goes into reporting on such an unrelenting barrage of gaming announcements. Enjoy E3 2014, everyone!



JamieO commented on Feature: Games of the Generation - Jamie's Fiv...:

@calin1010 Looking at your list, it's clear that our taste in games is similar, I rate both Batman: Arkham City and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception very highly. Sometimes when you enjoy the genre and gameplay feel of a series, presuming that the quality is consistent with each instalment, it's the set-pieces and events in the game that determines what becomes your favourite instalment in a franchise. You've chosen a top-five that I can fully support, although I'm perhaps unwisely waiting with my fingers crossed for an as yet unannounced PlayStation 4 release of Grand Theft Auto V.

@Gemuarto You certainly have a passion for Dead to Rights: Retribution, plus its brawling looks meaty, so you've captured my interest in Volatile Games' 2010 title. If I find a cheap boxed retail PS3 copy I'll buy it and check it out. I remember in Shadow Dancer from 1989 in the arcades and on the Mega Drive you had a gnarly dog companion, so I'm interested in a game with a canine ally, other than Call of Duty: Ghosts. The dog in Dead to Rights: Retribution is even called Shadow!

@Godsire- Cool, we share an appreciation of Batman: Arkham Asylum slightly above Arkham City. I found all of Christopher Nolan's Batman films to be excellent, Batman Begins is fantastic, although The Dark Knight is my favourite of the movie trilogy.

@JMC You make a good point about returning to open world games in particular. I find that the structure of the story sections dotted around a map, alongside numerous side missions, combine to make it hard to remember what is the next task when you return to a sandbox game after too long of a hiatus. I hope that you enjoy The Last of Us more when you return to it, and it grabs your attention for longer, it's quite possibly my favourite game from my top five.



JamieO commented on Feature: Games of the Generation - Jamie's Fiv...:

@JMC I own multiple gaming systems and handhelds, so I find that quality new games are released at such a fervent pace that it's hard to keep up by completing all titles before moving on to a new game.

The trouble is that the difficulty curve in some games is so stringent, and this applies to The Last of Us and Vanquish, that returning to later stages when you're out of practice can be surprisingly punishing.

On the flip-side, the way that the plot events in The Last of Us develop is excellent the further you ramble through the game, and Vanquish manages to increase its scale and intensity towards the end. I like the final locations in both Killzone 3 and Vanquish, the backdrops are similar in the way they increase the context of the science-fiction setting. There are two decent final boss battles in Vanquish too, plus it has a neat little take on the developer credit sequence, as an extra treat for finishing it.

Good luck beating these games, I hope you get the chance to complete them in the future. Have fun!



JamieO commented on Feature: Games of the Generation - Nathan's Fi...:

I really like @nathanuc1988's list, it reflects the diversity in taste between each staff member at Push Square, even early on in our 'Games of the Generation' series of features.

My list is a bit heavy on blockbusters, but I think Nathan's selections cover a greater sense of contrast between each gaming genre. I always have time for the LittleBigPlanet games, and it's interesting that Nathan chose the PlayStation exclusive Demon's Souls over its multi-platform spiritual sequel. It's good to see the original release receive some kudos.

Great stuff Nathan, I look forward to reading the other Push Square staff member's lists, too.



JamieO commented on Feature: Games of the Generation - Jamie's Fiv...:

I think it’s been particularly ace during the PlayStation 3 generation that I’ve shared these experiences with other gamers. Most of the games on this list have been completed and scrutinised together by meeting up with my cousin and friends, because we’ve spent many a hung-over Sunday taking turns to play-through a single-player story mode. Just as I mentioned about my girlfriend, the advancement of more compelling story components in modern games can be almost as fun to watch, as they are to play.

Thanks to Push Square I’m also more involved with a community of PlayStation gamers, and I’ve shared my first hands-on of potential future classics with the team at expos, meet-ups and events. For example, cheers to @Dazza who recommended Arkham Asylum to me, I completed it after he tweeted me to praise Rocksteady’s Titan-sized Batman bonanza late in 2009. A game may well be on my radar, but my interest piques when it’s another gamer who recommends it. I’m always grateful for this, like how @get2sammyb first turned my attention to Resogun and Velocity 2X.

@CanisWolfred I’m still a fan of Killzone 2, but I prefer how the journey through Killzone 3 takes in a vaster range of Helghan’s sights. As you mentioned, it’s the PS Move controls that make the difference to me, I completed it with the core motion control set-up at home, but I also agree with @chazaroonie, because I had lots of fun using the Move sharp shooter on this game at my cousin’s house. I definitely recommend Killzone 3, its set-pieces are well positioned to pace the action, and it rounds off the trilogy effectively by linking back to the feel of the first game.

The idea of a seven year life cycle also interests me. I find the North American release dates between each console paints a clear picture of this, because the time span has grown proportionally in the US from the original PlayStation (five years), PlayStation 2 (six years) and PlayStation 3 (seven years). However, it’s also indicative of how Sony’s view of each market has altered, with Japan having to wait a long seven years and three months between the release of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. In contrast the UK’s lifespan for Sony’s second and third consoles has balanced to become directly comparable to each other, as PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 share an approximate release date life cycle in the UK of six and a half years.

Apologies, I edited this comment, because I had replied to the wrong people about Killzone 2 and 3.



JamieO commented on Review: Resident Evil: Director's Cut (PSone):

@eliotgballade No worries at all, I'm happy to hear your thoughts about your favourite retro games in the survival horror genre, plus there's always time to talk about the Dreamcast.

Unfortunately, I can't contribute much to your Blue Stinger discussion with @Beaston61, although I remember reading about it in the Dreamcast magazines during Halloween time in 1999.

I think that the first time I heard about that title was a 'Coming Soon' feature in the awesome SEGA Saturn Magazine. This was late in 1998 just as the Saturn, and consequently the UK's quality official Saturn magazine, were both coming to the end of their life.

Those magazines also covered a 1998 Saturn game that was published by SEGA, called Deep Fear. This title was directly comparable to Resident Evil, but it didn't have fixed camera angles, plus it had an interesting setting where the survival horror took place deep below the ocean.



JamieO commented on Review: Resident Evil: Director's Cut (PSone):

@charlesnarles Resident Evil is a special offer Horror Sale price of £3.99 here in the UK, so I hope it's on special offer for you in the US, too (although it sounds as though you got a few Resi games for free on PS Plus).

The entire game is set in the mansion grounds, if that makes sense. You spend time between the mansion, gardens and the guardhouse, but the map becomes larger through underground areas. Umbrella has been up to their experimental tricks at Spencer Mansion, you see.

Your health status is shown as a green heart and pulse monitor, I think it's called an electrocardiogram. Jill is especially weak, so she can only take a few bites from a zombie. Chris is stronger, but his route is noticeably more challenging and he's missing two vital carrying slots, which makes item management more frustrating.

You can boost a low health meter with green herbs, but experimenting with green, red and blue herbs is most advisable, especially if you are hit by poison.

The game doesn't really take itself too seriously at all, perhaps I was being a bit too stony-faced by expecting it to remain scary and tense all of the time.

You have to use ink ribbons at a typewriter, or in a save room, to save your game. These become more scarce if you play on the advanced difficulty setting, but if you get a feel for this game on the training mode, there are lots of spare ink ribbons to save with.

Note. My understanding is that the US release of Resident Evil on PSN is the DualShock version, so you'll have the option of analogue controls and rumble effects, too. Sadly, I personally think that the new soundtrack in the DualShock version is not as effective as the original arrangements. It still sounds creepy enough, though.



JamieO commented on Review: Resident Evil: Director's Cut (PSone):

@eliotgballade I hear what you're saying, I've heard other gamers mention that they enjoy the cheesiness and silly quotes from PSone Resident Evil. For this review I completed this game again as Jill, and I played most of Chris' route, and it stood out to me that Capcom’s Production Studio 4 had carefully crafted such a choked atmosphere throughout the entire journey, so the cut-scenes began to spoil the tense mood for me.

Even if Resident Evil has the visual trappings of a 17 year old game, I think it’s worth remembering that Capcom added lots of detail to this early PSone title. For example, despite being shot to the ground, an enemy can still rise again to nibble at your ankles, so recognising distinctive death groans and pools of blood that indicate a definite fatality is important.

Resident Evil is also remembered for classic set-pieces that startle the player, the early Cerberus attack through the hall windows is a notable shock moment. Capcom’s level designers continued to play on this with repeated jump scares in the game, and by mixing them up with altered puzzles and new mansion locations in the GameCube version.

If this is anyone's first attempt at PSone Resident Evil, I’d be interested in hearing how challenging Push Square's readers find the puzzles, obviously without consulting the guidance of a walkthrough. There are difficulty spikes and sections where the pacing of the game feels more testing, predominantly when save rooms are spread thinly apart. For example, after a boss battle with the humongous snake, Yawn, there’s a basement section leading to the kitchen, library and Hunter infested halls, where the progression tried my patience this time around.



JamieO commented on Review: Total Recoil (PlayStation Network - Vita):

@jgrangervikings It's great that my review has intrigued you about the game, your comment is a nice example of how a review analysis can say more with its words, rather than just the score allocated at the end.

There are a number of positives about Total Recoil and I hope that Eiconic build upon these in future PlayStation Vita games. The upgrade system would work brilliantly, if the in-game price of each item was lowered, and the variety of specific gameplay 'Challenges' is a thoughtful addition to add replay value to the game.

The physical dual-stick controls on Vita are far more sturdy than when using an iOS/ Android touchscreen, so I hope that more indie developers bring twin-stick shooters to Sony's handheld, as they are an ideal fit for Vita.

It's cool that the voice-over work for the game's announcer is Tom Clarke-Hill too, because he voiced Tony the Tiger, the mascot for the Kellogg's Frosties breakfast cereal. I guess the loud shouting blurts of the announcer are a homage to arcade games, reminiscent of Midway's Smash TV and Total Carnage.

This game is another good example of Sony's current support of indie outfits, which is definitely something to celebrate. Like you said, I would much rather buy Total Recoil for £1.99 than a two litre bottle of Coke, or a McChicken sandwich, even if the sandwich came with fries!

Total Recoil is worth the £1.99 price tag (note, I'm in the UK, which is why I refer to its price in pounds). Thanks for your comment.



JamieO commented on Review: Dungeons & Dragons Chronicles of Mysta...:

Thank you to everyone above for the kind comments about my review, I enjoyed covering Chronicles of Mystara a great deal for Push Square.

@odd69 Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder was SEGA’s arcade sequel to the original classic, Golden Axe. It was a 1992 coin-op, so it should not be confused with the Mega Drive/ Genesis game Golden Axe II. Retro hack-and-slash and brawler fans have been eager for SEGA to port this game for a long time, because it has never been converted to console or computer before, plus it used SEGA's System 32 arcade hardware, which was very powerful for 1992.

Therefore, Revenge of Death Adder had strong sprites and colourful background art design, four-player co-op, as well as multiple path routes through the game. It is a shame and a missed opportunity that Golden Axe: The Revenge of the Death Adder remains unconverted, I would love for SEGA to port it with a HD gloss to PSN.



JamieO commented on Dungeons & Dragons Chronicles of Mystara HD:

@Rogue76 Unfortunately, with the 7 hour time difference, I doubt I will get the chance for multiplayer Mystara this weekend. My weekend is busy with visits to family and friends, plus I am keen to dedicate any spare gaming time to playing a PS Vita game called Total Recoil for review.

I know that in the D&D review comments @odd69 showed an interest in meeting up with fans of this game online, so it may be an idea for one of us to set up a specific thread regarding connecting gamers for online co-op brawlers, perhaps in the PSN section of Push Square's forums.

Sorry about that, I am up for multiplayer, so I'm sure we’ll get chance to meet online for co-op soon. Have a good weekend, mate.



JamieO commented on Game of the Month: June 2013 - The Last of Us:

A very well deserved Game of the Month winner, nothing could touch Naughty Dog's stunning creativity in June, there was no need for an internal poll on this one.

We are just over six months into the year and The Last of Us has now overtaken the brilliance of BioShock Infinite as my Game of the Year, so far.

A great comment by @Paranoimia above, too: "We PlayStation fans may not have an iconic character, but we've certainly got an iconic developer."



JamieO commented on Review: Dungeons & Dragons Chronicles of Mysta...:

@AceSpadeS Cheers for your comment, I found that there was so much to analyse between both games in Chronicles of Mystara, I am grateful to Push Square for the opportunity to discuss them here. It is these complexities that help make the game so replayable. To be fair, Sammy's The Last of Us review blows this out of the water for detail and in-depth scrutiny, though.

@JavierYHL Chronicles of Mystara is only available on PS3's PSN I'm afraid, it is not available for Vita. You are not the first person I have heard enquire about a Vita port, so hopefully Capcom are considering it, because the coin-op roots of these Dungeons & Dragons games would work great on handheld. **** Edit: Apologies, I posted this reply shortly after Damo's comment, I didn't realise he had already answered your question. ****



JamieO commented on Dungeons & Dragons Chronicles of Mystara HD:

Good stuff, mate. I'm up for online multiplayer too, I'm away this weekend, but we could organise it if you get a spare moment next week. I'm in the UK, but I remember sorting out a multiplayer Simpsons Arcade session with a US gamer from Push Square and a convenient way to link-up our different time zones was by organising it through Twitter.

I tweet as JamieOretro, just in case you're on Twitter.

My review of Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara is live on Push Square now, too. I mentioned your point about online gamers skipping dialogue, I found that to be a little bit frustrating as well, because the story moves along quickly enough without skimming through it.

Thanks for discussing this game with me as I was doing all my preparatory work for the review. Cheers!



JamieO commented on Dungeons & Dragons Chronicles of Mystara HD:

Thank you @Rogue76, that is such a nice thing to say. I'm glad that I was able to help you, I hope you are enjoying it.

I have managed about 12 hours of gaming time on Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara this weekend, I finished Shadow over Mystara a few times yesterday, too. Shadow over Mystara is a slightly longer game than Tower of Doom, it takes about an hour and a half to beat, which is approximately twenty minutes longer.

I just find these titles to be so re-playable. I also played a very smooth four-player co-op game, where I controlled the Dwarf. I like the feel of the brawling characters in comparison to the magic users, as magic attacks can slow the pace of the game.

Sunday is such a good day to play more of Chronicles of Mystara!



JamieO commented on Dungeons & Dragons Chronicles of Mystara HD:

@Rogue76 I am going to be playing Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara on PSN all weekend. I have already put a significant amount of time into it, but I have consciously only concentrated on Tower of Doom to begin with, because I feel that I did not play that game enough when I owned the Saturn D&D collection.

I have completed PSN Tower of Doom all the way through four separate times, including single-player, two-player local co-op and online multiplayer twice (four-player and a two-player restricted game). I can already recommend a purchase of this for Tower of Doom alone, and that is taking into account that Shadow over Mystara is regularly considered the better game. I know Shadow over Mystara well and it is worthy of the high praise.

You mention in the comments section of the Sacred Citadel review that you enjoy multiplayer and this is brilliant in Chronicles of Mystara, although I encountered some slowdown during four-player online co-op, but it was smooth as silk for two and three-players, so it may have been a laggy connection.

Sacred Citadel has modern visuals, but Chronicles of Mystara still includes two fantastic looking games, it is a treat if you enjoy detailed sprites, pixels and background design. Capcom's title has more lastability with two separate games, branching paths, gameplay challenges and four different choices of difficulty. These Capcom Dungeons & Dragons games are rightly revered and loved as retro classics.

I'm going to be thorough with this one and there will be more information about Chronicles of Mystara on Push Square next week.



JamieO commented on Review: Sacred Citadel (PlayStation Network):

@get2sammyb Thank you kindly, Sammy. That is really sound of you to say.

@rjejr and @Rogue76 I'm based in the UK, so I have not been able to check if Sacred Citadel has received a price reduction in the US. However, for UK gamers the current special offer price-tag of £5.99 is an opportune time to check it out cheaply, especially if you’re a fan of side-scrolling hack-and-slash games.

I completed Sacred Citadel from start to finish three separate times for this review. I first beat it in single-player controlling the Safiri Warrior. I then blasted through online co-op, and I was pleased to find gamers who were happy to play the entire game in a single online two hour sitting, so we were rewarded with a Mutual Benefit ‘Complete all levels in multiplayer’ trophy. The third time I played through the adventure again in local co-op, but this time as the Seraphim Mage.

However, it is a slight shame that two local players can't hook up to one PS3, and then head online to find a third player. Online multiplayer only includes you on your PS3, the other one/ two players need to be online. Also, you meet gamers in a lobby, and select different acts and stages together, but you can’t drop into an online game mid-level.



JamieO commented on Feature: Sony's E3 2013 Showcase - Did It Meet...:

@AD-80 I agree, it is really impressive how Sony has achieved universal praise for their implementation of PS Plus, because they are very consistent with quality free games, so gamers quickly recuperate their membership fee. It is simply excellent value for money.

I like your logic regarding DriveClub, I didn't think about it like that, fingers crossed you're right. I know that the DriveClub PS Plus Edition has slimmer content, like a smaller selection of tracks and vehicles, so it may be used to help ensure this new IP appears on a PS4 gamer's radar. Perhaps the system that Evolution Studios has developed is so compelling, so once you are part of a club and have mastered the driving system, it will have its hooks in you, and you will be more tempted to upgrade to the full game.

DriveClub has actually become more prominent on my radar since E3, I think it is another solid move by Sony to offer gamers a sample of tracks, vehicles and its online network system, with the PS Plus Edition.



JamieO commented on Feature: Vote for Push Square's E3 2013 PlaySt...:

I voted for Killzone: Shadow Fall, but I based that decision on a combination of my impressions from the original trailer in February, the new E3 gameplay demo and my love of the series. I really like the mix and the variety shown in the settings, which has already been demonstrated in the visuals. This ranges from the gleaming, sterile Vektan City to a new forest area that Arjan Bak (Guerrilla Games’ Environment Art Director) showcased, with lush green foliage, rocky boulders and a waterfall cascading down a cliff.

This new environment has Lucas Kellan as a Shadow Marshal behind enemy lines on a mission to retrieve intel, as he uses a zip-line to whizz between tall trees. I also like the design of the Shadow Marshal’s gun, with its switching modes, and the gameplay opportunities the OWL drone provides. Killzone: Shadow Fall is a promising PS4 launch purchase, for me so far.

I can definitely see why so many people voted for inFAMOUS: Second Son, too. The gameplay footage and its new visual upgrade look brilliant, all provided by PS4’s technical oomph, so that game looks absolutely fantastic in action.



JamieO commented on Feature: Sony's E3 2013 Showcase - Did It Meet...:

@AD-80 That’s true mate, and I can see a visual connection between the design of PS4 and the original PS2 hardware too, which still sits under my TV today. Apologies if I was not clear, I was not suggesting that Sony copied Microsoft, as there has not been enough time between the Xbox One reveal and E3 for Sony to alter their design. I think that it would have been a long and intricate process for Sony to create the look of PS4, they wouldn't change it last minute.

On a side-note, it was after watching a full run through of Sony’s conference for the second time that I spotted @Mason’s observation about PlayStation Plus membership being a necessity for online multiplayer on PS4, so this is an important point in regard to the total cost of the console. It’s not a big deal to me overall, as there is so much value from free games on PlayStation Plus, and your membership carries over from PS3. Also, if you own PS3, PS Vita and PS4, your access to PS Plus is all set at one price, too.

It was the conference slide stating ‘immersive multiplayer online on PS4’ as a part of PS Plus that was most revealing, as we’re all used to online multiplayer being free on PS3. Therefore, if anyone is not a member at the moment, gamers wanting online co-op and competition will need to add the PlayStation Plus subscription fee to their £349/$399 PS4 purchase.



JamieO commented on Feature: Sony's E3 2013 Showcase - Did It Meet...:

I think @get2sammyb makes a good point when he refers to how there has not been much general conversation about the physical design of the PS4 hardware, especially following the fuss after Sony did not reveal the console’s form in February.

When I watched Sony’s blurry teaser trailer in May, I started to formulate an idea of the hardware in my head, but my imagined PS4 was not even close to the finished design. My first impression was surprise from a sense of coincidence that it bears some resemblance to Xbox One (jet black finish, split between gloss and matte). However, I liked the sliced angular front and back of the PS4 straight away. I'm finding I appreciate the PS4 console design more and more, so it’s cool that its appearance is growing on me.

I also meant to mention that I was buzzing from the Star Wars Battlefront announcement during EA’s conference. I was tweeting with @GazPlant from Nintendo Life at the time and he observed in jest that with DICE at the helm it may turn into Battlefield: Star Wars Edition. Such a move would feel out of sync with the series, but with the technical expertise of DICE I would actually enjoy a Battlefield: Star Wars on PS4. I'm sure DICE will strive to remain faithful to the core gameplay of the Battlefront series, though.



JamieO commented on Interview: Trading Punches with PlayStation Al...:

An excellent interview, I agree with @zipmon, it provides a nice insight into how much work goes into creating balance and an even sense of character symmetry in a fighting game, especially with a variety of distinctive IPs.

I have lost touch with the one-on-one and crossover fighter genres slightly over the years, especially as I was obsessed with arcade and SNES Street Fighter II in 1991/92. However, I played quite a bit of Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV with my cousin and our buddies, so I think Capcom did a great job of rejuvenating the genre for mainstream players in those games.

When Seth Killian announced he was leaving Capcom on the Capcom Unity blog, on June 22nd this year, I thought it was cool how respectful and appreciative gamers were of his work in the comments board. It is interesting to read more about some of his reasons for leaving Capcom in this interview.

I like that his name is ‘s-kill’, as it is perfect for someone who has developed a speciality in this genre, which is a game style that often demands you master its intricacies to become a competent player. As @get2sammyb suggests here, it could also explain why he plays as Nathan Drake in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.



JamieO commented on Review: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (P...:

Fair play, what a cracking review, @get2sammyb has provided a detailed read here. I particularly like the reference to this game’s nostalgia and its fan-service: from the transforming backgrounds, to the soundtrack, its authentic voice acting and character themed move-set.

I remember back at this year’s Eurogamer Expo, Sammy was already eagerly learning the intricacies of different characters and fighting strategies, following the release of the Beta version of the game. He kicked a fair few gamer’s backsides in the demo that day, including mine.

Trouble is, I am desperately saving for a Wii U, so I won’t have spare money to buy PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale until next year. The cross-buy PS Vita freebie (cross-play and cross-save), included with your game purchase, makes this a proper bargain though. I am confident that there will still be plenty of online combatants to fight in multiplayer next year.

I think @Chozo85, @Dambuster and @Galvatron are spot-on, this game is an excellent showcase of the power and diversity of PS Vita. It is another example of a quality game for us to cite, as a great Vita title to mention, when answering all of the naysayers.

I would have loved for there to be a more ambitious single-player adventure option in this game, similar to the ‘Subspace Emissary’ in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which treated Wii gamers to a co-op adventure mode, too. However, SCE may include something like that in the inevitable sequel.

A kick-butt review!



JamieO commented on Interview: Goichi Suda - Grasshopper Manufacture:

Another part of this interview that I enjoyed was the discussion revolving around the different people Suda would like to work with, it's interesting to hear devs talk about people they admire, who are an influence from different industries, like film and music. I read an interview where Goichi Suda was buzzing because the interviewer had a Morrissey button on his lapel, in a similar way to how he admired Jon's Zombowie iPhone case.

A small tidbit that is along these lines, is that back in 2007 Gouichi Suda told IGN that his favourite video game is Out of This World. He reiterated this in a discussion with 1up, where he listed Éric Chahi as one of his favourite game designers.

I think it is cool that Suda has been so heavily inspired by Delphine Software's slick 1991/'92 2D game. It makes complete sense when you consider how Out of This World was brimming with style, creativity and fantastic art design. I think Push Square's @Dazza would like that snippet of information.



JamieO commented on Interview: Goichi Suda - Grasshopper Manufacture:

I absolutely love this interview, it is fun and quirky and its tone is completely in tune with Goichi Suda's personality. The industry needs more developers with the creativity of Suda51, the way in which he describes prioritising capturing a gamer's attention, by evoking a feeling or an emotion from the player through flamboyancy and style, has led to many memorable games.

I am a huge fan of punk rock music and to see such an independent spirit and a focussed identity in a Japanese developer, with the courage to push boundaries, is admirable. Especially when such an ethos is applied across the board on both a smaller project XBLA Kinect game, or a big budget mutliformat release. I also really enjoy how he embraces popular culture, whether or not through taking inspiration from movies, or music, as indicated here by the use of a band like The Damned, or showing respect towards a Joss Whedon TV show.

I often cite the creativity of Grasshopper Manufacture, alongside Platinum Games, as examples of how Japanese video game developers are as inspirational today as they were in the 'old days'. Gaming needs characters like Suda51: devs that are willing to experiment with style and artistry, especially in a world of safety-net minimal risk sequels and a barrage of holiday season dominating First Person Shooters.

I wish more developers were punks! A completely stellar interview, @JonWahlgren.



JamieO commented on Double Dragon: Neon Lights Up the PSN This Summer:

I am a big fan of Double Dragon too, its two-player co-op gameplay really captured my attention when I first played the original coin-op in 1987, I still enjoyed the basic premise of it in the updated Game Boy Advance port by Million in 2003/4.

I wonder if Double Dragon: Neon will include throwbacks to the original, like the elbow smash and headbutt, or the way in which you had to fight your buddy after beating Big Boss Willy (you can't make a name like that up, or his alternative 'Machine Gun Willy' moniker).

This one is in safe hands, I have a lot of respect for WayForward Technologies, from their 2D work on DS (Contra 4 and Aliens: Infestation etc), through to more close to home titles like PSN BloodRayne: Betrayal.

It is about time for a new, well crafted return of double dragon (at least the Super Famicom box art was a bit better than the crummy US SNES artwork, pictured above).



JamieO commented on Rumour: PS4 Codenamed "Orbis", Due Christmas 2013:

I do not care the slightest little bit about a 4096x2160 resolution, if the games that actually utilise the power of PS4 can achieve 60FPS and still output at full 1080p, I will be impressed.

Obviously I don't know how powerful PS4 will be, but based upon Sony's track record of pushing each new hardware release to impress on a technical level, it is not too presumptuous to expect PS4 to be a tech-spec impressing monster. I doubt its tech pushing games will be 60FPS at a resolution of 1920x1080, I do not have my fingers crossed for 4096x2160.

Perhaps less power hungry 2D games, indie titles or PSN games, could use 4096x2160. As @James said, I may be underestimating that 4096x2160 could become the standard in the future, in 2006 I was still gaming using RGB through a CRT.

I do have my fingers and toes tightly crossed that PS4 includes backwards compatibility, though. Backwards compatibility is a huge deal to me, I bought two 60GB PS3s, just so that I could box my PS2 away and play my collection of 130 odd PS2 games on PS3. I have too many consoles to make space under the telly for my old PS3 and a new PS4, space is constantly an issue as I live in a small flat.

Console manufacturers should consider the way in which many gamers collect games, we do not all trade or sell off our old titles. I build an archive library of games, I hoard them and I appreciate the convenience that backwards compatibility provides, not to mention the wonderful way in which PS3 upscaled my PS2 games for my HDTV.

The cynic in me thinks that backwards compatibility may be dropped, because there is too much money to be made from re-releasing PSone, PS2 and even PS3 games on a future PS4, as DLC or as a 'Classics Collection' box-set. My PS3 collection is pretty decent already, I do not feel like re-buying 100 odd PS3 games for the second time.

It's daft of me to get my knickers in a twist over a rumour though and @get2sammyb makes an excellent point regarding the challenge Sony would face if they had to emulate PS3's Cell processor on PS4.



JamieO commented on First Shiny Sonic 4: Episode 2 Screens Leak Out:

The visuals for Sonic 4: Episode 2 remind me of the Sonic Fan Remix video that was doing the rounds in 2010. The busier detail to the backgrounds, and the toning down of the bright colour palette, share a bit of a resemblance to the fan's re-imagining of different levels from classic Sonic. It would be cool if SEGA were so impressed by the work of the fan programmers that they took them on board to work with Dimps.

Obviously that is just a speculative comparison on my part, it's an unsubstantiated little observation.

In any case I have a very good feeling about this game. I like the visual style based upon these screenshots, especially the possible addition of a new Ice Cap snow lashed mountain zone, and I have enjoyed previous Sonic games by Dimps. I think that SEGA have made a lot of good decisions regarding Sonic in recent years. Online co-op, with a screen each to ourselves and bringing Tails into Sonic 4, sounds fun to me.

Mark me down as positively optimistic for Sonic 4: Episode 2.



JamieO commented on Review: The Simpsons Arcade Game (PlayStation ...:

It was masses of fun meeting up with @PatrickElliot on PSN to co-op our way through The Simpsons Arcade, I really like how his introduction reminisces about what it felt like to relish every credit spent in an early '90s arcade machine. Online co-op in this game manages to capture that nostalgic old-school feeling of fun and comradeship really well.

The top '90s Japanese developers each built an individual style for their side-scrolling beat-'em-ups. It was a genre that was massively popular twenty years ago, but as Patrick mentions, the modern gaming landscape has changed, so brawlers are sometimes misunderstood today.

Konami's flair was often influenced by cartoons, with bold colourful sprites, detailed backgrounds and expressive animations. They specialised in accessible gameplay to draw four gamers to their cabinet, but I am glad that Patrick highlights that there is still variety to the combat and skill involved in beating Expert difficulty, beyond just button mashing through.

On the one hand the fun of this game grows as more co-op players join in the chaos, but completing it also becomes easier. However, it does throw a wild number of sprites at you, which home consoles of the day would never have managed. Take the advice of this review and play this game with the more challenging trophies in mind, to increase its 'lastability'.

This is an excellent review of a game worth celebrating, especially as it is the first time that The Simpsons Arcade has ever been converted to a home console.

Kudos for mentioning Konami's 1992 Bucky O'Hare arcade machine, too.



JamieO commented on Gold Pass Beefs Up Ridge Racer Vita's Day-One ...:

I think that there is a real historical element to the disappointment that a PlayStation gamer feels on learning that the Vita version of Ridge Racer is so short on content. I was discussing this the other day and I think that Namco Bandai should have been more conscious of the tradition that every single new launch of PlayStation hardware has been introduced with a Ridge Racer game. For example, my PlayStation launch experiences were like this:

* Ridge Racer (PS1, 1995): I played it the year before on the arcades, but my jaw properly dropped when my friend first booted up the PlayStation version. Compared to my SNES, the quality of the polys, textures and the faithfulness of the conversion were stunning (note that minimal content was far more acceptable due to the early 3D revolution, technological leap of this release).
* Ridge Racer V (PS2, 2000): It was my brother who first invested in PS2, and even though I had basic experience of Dreamcast, this game brought in the next generation for me.
* Ridge Racers (PSP, 2004): If Vita gets even a little bit close to impressing like the stunning sense of graphically sharp and powerful tech that playing my Japanese import of Ridge Racers achieved, I will be a very happy man.
* Ridge Racer 7 (PS3, 2007, PAL): This game brought everything that was great about Ridge Racer together in one package for me: it had the visual shine of a new generation of hardware, the controls were wonderfully tight, the drift based arcade gameplay was fun, but most importantly it was jam-packed full of content. Namco Bandai could have used all of Ridge Racer 7's tracks as a starting point to boost the PS Vita's Ridge Racer content.

I feel like Namco Bandai have a responsibility to uphold this tradition, they are mad not to have recognised it themselves, by providing more than a bit of free DLC to bump up its content. They have built a legacy that is of value, I wish that they had given more priority to this Ridge Racer launch title.



JamieO commented on Welcome to the New Push Square!:

@antdickens I best not waffle too much about retro here, when the focus of the comments board is about celebrating the new Push Square, but I really love Crash Team Racing.

I have it on the original PSone, but also as a PSN download for both PS3 and PSP. Naughty Dog epitomise what is great about PlayStation gaming.



JamieO commented on Welcome to the New Push Square!:

@antdickens I've got to be careful that I don't drift into obscure retro territory, but what if I were to mention three li'l dreamy words (and a number): Strider 2 on PSone.

Would that be a possibility?



JamieO commented on Welcome to the New Push Square!:

I can definitely feel the excitement in the air surrounding the launch of the new Push Square, the work that all of you guys have put into this is incredible.

Huge congratulations on this new site, I am a big fan of each and every PlayStation, from my PSone through to PS3, including my Xperia Play. I am really looking forward to reading your future content, especially as I have saved all my necessary funds for the PS Vita's UK release on Wednesday 22nd February (less than three weeks).

Good luck, have fun and further congrats on the lovely fresh site design.



JamieO commented on Review: Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest (Play...:

I am predominantly interested in Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest because I appreciate it when developers concentrate on PS Move's 1:1 motion tracking. I have always thought that Zindagi Games are an asset to Sony in that regard, Move devs that truly understand the peripheral deserve to be celebrated.

I like the premise and the 'evil Sorcerer in a Medieval kingdom' setting of this title, although reading @Mason's review it does sound like a missed opportunity that the dual wand wielding was not effectively implemented.

I am chuffed to have just purchased this title for the ridiculously cheap price of £7.97 from Amazon UK. However, it must be disappointing for SCE and Zindagi that this game has plummeted in price, just two weeks after its release.



JamieO commented on Review: GoldenEye 007: Reloaded (PlayStation 3):

It was wise of Eurocom to inherit the original N64 GoldenEye's classic difficulty system by having new objectives to complete for the Secret Agent and 00 Agent levels. That really adds to the game's replay value.

From this review is it clear that this new GoldenEye is successful at mixing the original's stealth gameplay with the razzmatazz of modern Call of Duty inspired FPS games.

I am glad that the core Move controls have transferred well, it is a bit of a shame to hear about the awkward tank controls.

Reading this has resulted in me becoming most interested in playing through the single-player story, largely to recapture some N64 nostalgia, but with a mix of modern FPS trimmings.

Cheers @James, an inspired tagline for this one too, mate.



JamieO commented on Heavy Rain: Director's Cut Drops In to North A...:

Hi @James, have you received any news about whether this version will make it to the UK?

From the bullet points, this is a very well rounded package for anyone who has not picked up an earlier release of Heavy Rain.

I have not bought this game yet, which is a crime more dastardly than anything carried out by the Origami Killer, so the Director's Cut would be superb value for me.



JamieO commented on Review: inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood (PlayStati...:

I do not own inFAMOUS 2, but reading this review has placed inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood on my radar, especially considering that it is a completely new PSN product, separate to the retail game.

It is a shame that it does not include its predecessors' karma system, but the most important thing for me is the implementation of the PS Move controls and Nathan is clearly impressed by the smoothness and precision of its motion controls.

The extra bonus of the unlockable user generated content option, once the main story mode is completed, is an innovative treat for gamers who finish this game. Hats off to Sucker Punch for that, plus their release timing close to Halloween is spot-on.

A fang-tastic review, by @nathanuc1988.



JamieO commented on Features: Move's First Year - Part Two:

Thanks for your kind comments guys, I'm glad that you enjoyed the article, hopefully it comes across that I am fond of looking back at the recent history of PS Move.

I am a retro gamer at my core, so I really enjoy a retrospective viewpoint on gaming. Even if this is a more current analysis of ten months ago, things move so quickly in our hobby that it gives me a sense of perspective.

Two things stood out in particular when researching and writing up this piece: first of all there were a cracking bunch of games released from January to April (Dead Space: Extraction and Killzone 3 for me in particular), and secondly it reinforced how much I appreciate the work of the Movemodo team, as a gamer and a reader.

I remember thinking when I bought Killzone 3 on its UK launch day, that it could be a very early contender for my game of 2011. I'm not sure if it has earned that accolade yet, I'm still playing Batman: Arkham City and Uncharted 3 is out on Wednesday, but I am still hugely impressed by Guerrilla's game.

Hats off to Movemodo's editors and contributors - whether it is a news piece, a feature, or a review - the hard work of this team really stood out to me when I was working on this article. Cheers!



JamieO commented on Feature: Move's First Year - The Stinkers:

Yep, I've seen a few of these in game shop bargain bins and on HotUKDeals, but never been tempted. @Slapshot's right about Kung Fu Rider though, the premise for it does sound fun in theory.

Fast Draw Showdown also links to some of my vague retro memories of Mega CD Mad Dog McCree in magazines, and in arcades, but I remember most of these live-action laserdisc games were not impressive in the early '90s, they hardly presented the future of gaming even twenty odd years ago.

The less said about Movemodo's "only 1/10 review score", the better.

This is a fun read, Chris.



JamieO commented on Feature: Four Must-Have Move Games for the Future:

I am also massively excited about playing Bioshock Infinite with PS Move, it is quite possibly the biggest Triple-A title to make use of the peripheral. My second most anticipated game from this list is DUST 514, although I can see that Dungeon Defenders has the potential to include heaps of multiplayer fun.

I enjoy reading features like this, I often check in on the 'Coming Soon' list on Movemodo to decide what future Move games are on the horizon.

Good stuff, @nathanuc1988.



JamieO commented on Features: Move's First Year - Part One:

Taking into account that this feature covers the first four months of Move's release, which was essentially its launch window, the thing that struck me as I journeyed my way through Movemodo's News and Review coverage was just how healthy Move's initial release turned out to be.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and from a personal point of view, looking at the best games for each month I had a fine time with Sony's new motion controlling peripheral during its launch. I think that I am lucky, because a few of my friends invested in a Move set-up, during this launch period.

Me and my buddies enjoyed a few drunken party sessions on Sports Champions and it held up well as a fun social-gaming title. I spent lots of time with Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition, I completed it at least twice on different difficulty settings using Move, and to this day I would happily bore you with my appreciation of the improved accuracy and fun gameplay that the Move additions provided. I also had a brilliant time whizzing around the zoom-tastic maps in R.U.S.E. and I really appreciated the motion controls for quickly selecting units in that game.

I think that the launch window covered a variety of genres, for example I am a fan of on-rails light gun shooters and the content in Time Crisis: Razing Storm was a bonus for fans of the genre (the wacky nautical shooter Deadstorm Pirates was heaps of simple blasting fun).

I have not even mentioned the variety of PS Move games on PSN, which in some respects were more creative and ambitious than the retail releases.

I personally think that the first four months of Move's launch window were a respectable starting point for a new peripheral, based upon the variety and quality of the games released between September and December 2010.



JamieO commented on Review: LittleBigPlanet 2 (PlayStation 3):

It seems to me that at times there is an element of patience required towards being a Move gamer, I am waiting in anticipation for Insomniac’s 1.04 patch to address the Aim Down Sight (ADS) issues with Resistance 3, and it has been exactly eight months since the retail release of LittleBigPlanet 2, but it is only now that we are receiving the Move controls.

It’s great to hear that players can go through the basic game’s story levels using Move via the recent free 1.06 update, and that there are new stages designed for motion sensing in ‘The Move Pack: Rise of the Cakeling’ DLC, although it is a bit of a shame to read that they are not quite as exciting as Media Molecule’s other stage designs.

Still, it is brilliant to hear that the Move controls have been worth the wait, swinging the wand about to quickly manoeuvre objects around with the Brain Crane sounds like fun. The LittleBigPlanet franchise is a Triple-A exclusive on PS3, it has just got better in my eyes, ‘The Move Pack’ is an ambitious DLC offering that is welcome for bringing motion controls to the gameplay.

@nathanuc1988 Cheers for an informative review mate, I enjoyed reading it.



JamieO commented on Review: Resistance 3 (PlayStation 3):

My mates and I got together and sat through a few hours of split-screen co-op, we obviously played with DualShock 3, as I was not surprised that split-screen was not compatible with Move, it would be hard to create space to aim a cursor on a smaller window. We did not get very far, we only reached the bit from the E3 demo where Joseph Capelli first meets the Remnants rebels, shortly after the nifty Mississippi River boat level.

I really liked the difficulty curve, even on Normal level it was a challenge, because Capelli is not infected, it means that you no longer regenerate your health meter, so it feels like a nice homage to old-school FPS games were you constantly watch your health bar and hunt for energy pick-ups. However, the game is so busy and hectic that the horizontal split-screen window became confusing (I would have liked an option to split the screen vertically for local co-op).

@Slapshot Spot-on point about the desolate ambience and bleak colouring adding atmosphere to the visuals Chris, the early parts of the game feel quite abrasive with their dusty browns, I am looking forward to later in the game where there is more variety to the graphics, though. You have conveyed the sense of despair and desperation prevalent throughout the story brilliantly, mate. Thanks for the detail you have given about the PS Move’s inconsistencies in the ADS mode, too. I am going to wait for the 1.04 patch to play single-player properly with Move and stick to local co-op in the meantime.

Plus, the Atomizer's stream made me feel like a gnarly Ghostbuster!



JamieO commented on Movemodo is One Year Old Today!:

Big-time congratulations Movemodo, great work by the team in providing comprehensive coverage of PS Move. I am really pleased with my current stack of Move games and I built my collection with confidence by reading the Movemodo review first.

Cheers for the recommendations, Killzone 3 with Move has been a highlight of my gaming year so far. Fair play for reviewing every Move game over the last year and for all the top-notch news, previews, features and interviews.

Great stuff!