Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations Running on RPCS3 DX12 Powered Emulator!

Emulation of the PlayStation 3 is quickly becoming a reality, it seems not a week goes by until we hear that yet another commercially available game is up and running on the latest emulator, and that’s great news for gamers, especially those who have high-end gaming PC’s that are capable of playing them.

RPCS3 has certainly been making impressive progress and is now in its prime as far as development goes, with constant updates and improvements that are making it a workable and fully playable emulator for quite a few games. Sure, it’s not quite playing the more demanding games such as The Last of Us just yet, but it really is only a matter of time now before that nut it cracked. The latest demonstration, which is something anyone can download and try for themselves, assuming you have the retail disc of the game (or the ISO), is of Naruto Shipuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations.

YouTube user ‘Zangetsu’ shared a video recently which shows the Naruto game running on the  emulation with fully functioning in-game visuals, and matching audio at 30fps, triple the playable FPS of the previous attempts for this game. That’s right, the emulator is playing fully commercially available games at 30fps! Which is groundbreaking to say the least. Although 60fps would be even better, but let’s not get too picky, it’s early days.

The emulator is using the DX12 engine to churn out the graphics, and as you’ll see in the video below, it’s running perfectly well.

  • Rpcs3 v0.0.0.6
  • GIT Rpcs3 : 21/01/16
  • PS3 Game : Naruto Shipuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations
  • Statut : Playable in DX12
  • Graphics Render : in DX12 Very good
  • Sound : Perfect
  • Save : Works

As you can see in the video, the user is running the game on an AMD FX-8350 CPU, paired up with an Nvidia GeForce GTx 980 and 16GB of RAM, meaning those with similar hardware specifications should be able to recreate similar results.

For more information on RPCS3, check out their official emulation website here.

Latest PlayStation 3 Emulation Looks Very Promising!

The PlayStation 3’s cell architecture is renowned for being overcomplicated which makes it extraordinarily difficult to emulate. Up to this point, there hasn’t really been any evidence of a working emulator and many people raised concerns about the graphical horsepower needed to play various games at a smooth frame-rate. However, the advent of DirectX 12, a low-level API has the potential to revolutionize hardware optimization and offer emulation of bizarre engineering solutions like the cell chip. YouTuber ‘John GodGames’ has released footage of an open source PlayStation 3 emulator using C++. The performance across various titles is surprisingly good and a huge step forward from anything we’ve seen before. Clearly, it’s in an early development stage and has a great deal of room for improvement.

During these videos, the emulation revolves around a fairly decent mid-high end setup including an Intel Core i7-6700K @4.6GHz, 16GB DDR4 memory and NVIDIA 970. This means it’s likely that a high specification will be necessary to play each game smoothly. Then again, as the programming improves, the technical requirements should reduce.

As with any emulation project, it will be interesting to see how Sony reacts and if they make any demands for the emulator to cease production. I really hope this doesn’t happen because the idea of trying out PlayStation 3 games on a PC with a high framerate is very appealing. Plus, it’s much easier to use legitimate game disks instead of pirating huge Blu-Ray ROMs.

12-Month PlayStation Now Subscription Discounted to $99.99 For a Limited Time

The PlayStation 3’s cell architecture is extremely complicated and difficult to emulate on X86 systems. As a result, Sony has relied on the PlayStation Now streaming service to offer backwards compatibility of its previous generation titles. While this is far from ideal, it’s probably the only sensible measure and works well providing you have a decent internet connection. Although, the current pricing model isn’t that affordable at $19.99 per month. However, Sony has decided to reduce a 12 month subscription to $99.99 for a limited time only. This is a significant saving and brings the price down to $8.99 per month.

PlayStation Now currently includes more than 400 games, and the library is being expanded on a regular basis. Clearly, value is a subjective matter and down to the individual’s wage. At $19.99, the service does not represent good value for me, and I’d personally prefer to purchase a used PlayStation 3 instead. On the other hand, $8.99 is a step in the right direction and pretty decent value if you spend a great deal of time playing games on the streaming service. Personally, I think the perfect price point is $5.99 but once again you might disagree with this. Sadly, it seems the promotion is only available to US customers at this time. In theory, you could try to purchase the subscription using a US account and access the service via a VPN, but this is not recommended.

PlayStation Now Officially Launches in The UK

The PlayStation 4’s lack of backwards compatibility has caused a headache for Sony in transferring their existing customer base to the latest system. Clearly, the technical complexities when shifting from the Cell architecture to X86 makes backward compatibility an arduous task. Additionally, pressure has been applied in recent months after Microsoft announced backwards compatibility during their E3 conference. As a result, Sony heavily relied on HD remasters to entice their core demographic to purchase the PlayStation 4.

However, it seems the solution could revolve around the PlayStation Now streaming service. In its original form,  Sony outlined individual pricing for certain PlayStation 3 titles depending on the rental period. The base prices were a complete shambles and horrifically overpriced. For example, you could purchase a pre-owned copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution for the same cost as streaming the game for 48 hours. Thankfully, Sony has finally acknowledged how absurd the pricing model was and decided to offer the entire PlayStation now catalogue for £12.99 per month.

In theory, this fee could be used to access PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, PSP, PS Vita, and eventually even PlayStation 4 titles. As internet providers enhance the network bandwidth of the lower-tier broadband packages, streaming will become a more convenient alternative. I love the idea of accessing so many classic PlayStation games from Gran Turismo 2 to Persona 4. Ideally, I’d like to see the service integrated into other non-Sony devices like a streaming box or Windows-based PC.

Do you think the £12.99 price is reasonable?

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information.

GLaDOS is the Real Star of LEGO Dimensions

Traveller’s Tales has been showing off its forthcoming “toys-to-life” action adventure game, LEGO Dimensions, which is set for its official release next week. LEGO Dimensions sees some of the most iconic characters from film, television, and video games come together after the masked villain Lord Vortech (played by Gary Oldman) collapses the barriers between different fictional worlds. Using compatible LEGO minifigures and statues, à la Skylanders or Nintendo’s Amiibo figurines, characters ranging from Batman, Marty McFly (Back to the Future), and The Doctor (Doctor Who) team up to defeat Lord Vortech across multiple dimensions.

Amid all the buzz, though, no one realised LEGO Dimensions’ greatest secret: tucked away within the game, using the relevant expansion pack, is effectively a sequel to Valve’s lauded Portal series. While the information ahead is relatively spoiler-free, if you’ve not played the pair, flagellate yourself, buy them for PC, PlayStation 3, or Xbox 360, play them, love them, and come back. We’ll wait…

With the $50 Portal pack – on top of the $170 base game – you can once again play as Chell within the Portal 2 adventure level, reuniting with Wheatley (voiced again by Stephen Merchant) and, of course, GLaDOS (a triumphant return for Ellen McLain). Chell is initially tasked with building herself a Companion Cube and a Sentry Turret before negotiating her way through a number of test chambers with the help of her trusty Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device.

The following video does contain spoilers for the LEGO Dimensions Portal pack:

As does this one. One big spoiler, in particular. You have been warned:

One final spoilery video shows the level’s end credits, which wouldn’t be the same without a Jonathan Coulton-penned song, performed by Ellen McLain as GLaDOS:

LEGO Dimensions is released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and Xbox 360 on 27th September in the US and 29th September in the UK.

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information.

COD Black Ops III Single Player Not Coming to PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360

Activision has announced in a community post, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops III will not include the single player campaign. This decision was made due to the last-generation consoles technical limitations. However, Activision didn’t delve into great deal what caused the setbacks and simply said:

“Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is a truly next-generation experience designed from day one to harness the full potential of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Black Ops 3 pushes the boundaries of the franchise to new levels across all modes of play on next generation hardware.”

“As we announced back in June, we know that there are still fans waiting to make the switch to the newest console hardware and developers Beenox and Mercenary Technology have been working tirelessly to bring as much of the Black Ops 3 gameplay as possible to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.”

“The Black Ops 3 PS3 and Xbox 360 versions will feature Multiplayer and Zombies gameplay only, not Campaign. The ambitious scope of the 1-4 player coop Campaign design of the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions could not be faithfully recreated on old generation hardware.”

One theory is, the Xbox 360 uses DVD-9 disks  which doesn’t contain adequate storage for large voice files and video cutscenes. Obviously, Activision could have used multiple disks and forced users to install the game. Clearly, Call of Duty players obsess on the multiplayer aspect and rarely play the single player campaign. Furthermore, the game will include the highly-popular zombies mode. Therefore, it does seem like the only mode being omitted is with large audio/video files. Honestly, I’m sure Activision could have found a solution but probably believes the time investment wasn’t worth it.

The news is a shame for those on last-generation consoles who enjoy the single player aspect. However, this is a very niche sector of the market.

Image courtesy of GeekSnack.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 Finally Gets an Official Media Remote Controller

PlayStation 4 users might be disappointed that they cannot control their media on the console as they did on their PlayStation 3. Sony did not announce a media remote controller for their latest console, but things might be looking up for PS4 users.

It looks like DPD, a video game accessory company, has made an officially licensed PlayStation 4 media remote. The remote has cropped up on Amazon and GameStop and it really looks promising for those who want to control their media content on the PS4 like they do with their TV.

PDP’s remote is said to connect to the console via Bluetooth, but it can do more than just that. It even has a feature that allows it to be connected to up to four devices via Bluetooth. So you can connect four devices, including your console, and have them be controlled by just one remote. However, the good news does not stop here.

In addition to the Bluetooth feature, PDP’s remote control even has infrared technology and is able to control your TV, set-top box, and audio receiver. Also, I know that Best Buy released a similar product, the Insignia, but the remote is not officially licensed like DPD’s version. Besides, the Insignia seems to cost $19,99 and once DPD’s remote gets launched this fall, it’s said that it will come with a $30 price tag. So is it worth the extra $10? What do you think?

Thank you GameSpot for providing us with this information

Sony Surprised by Xbox One Backwards Compatibility; Will It Come to PS4?

Microsoft shocked the gaming world by announcing at E3 that backward compatibility for Xbox 360 games would be coming to Xbox One, with none being more shocked that console rival Sony.

When asked for his reaction, Shuhei Yoshida, Head of Sony Worldwide Studios, told EuroGamer, “It was surprising.”

“I didn’t think it was possible. There must be lots of engineering effort. They talked about 100 games, but what kind of games will be included? Is it smaller games or big games? We don’t know.”

Though the initial run of Xbox 360 games compatible with the Xbox One will be limited, and only Xbox Preview members will have access to the function until its full launch this Autumn, the range is promised to expand over the next few years.

Yoshida then went on to dispel any notion that backwards compatibility could make it to PlayStation 4, saying, “PS3 is such a unique architecture, and some games made use of SPUs very well. It’s going to be super challenging to do so. I never say never, but we have no plans.”

I’m sure the Xbox One’s architecture is equally “unique”, but it seems Sony are more keen to push forward with the unreliable PlayStation Now streaming service, which allows owners to play PS3 games on the console, though they have to pay for games that they already own.

Thank you EuroGamer for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of GameSpot.

Sony Won’t Follow Microsofts Lead With Console Backwards Compatibility

Microsoft has hit the market hard with all their announcements during E3 2015 where the most beloved feature announcement probably was the backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One.

This is a huge feature request from users every time a new console is released and many wondered why it wasn’t part of the deal when it was released. The same goes for Sony’s PlayStation 4 console that can’t play PS3 games either. Now that Microsoft announced their backwards compatibility program, many PlayStation owners had hoped for Sony to counter this by doing the same, add backwards compatibility for PlayStation 3 games on the PlayStation 4. The first PS3 could play PS2 games, so it isn’t an unfamiliar concept to Sony.

The sad news is however that this won’t happen. PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan says that the backwards compatibility of Xbox One is a legitimate strategy in trying to upgrade 360 players, Sony will not be following the same tactic and is instead investing in other software updates for the PS4. Jim Ryan also noted that while this feature is the most requested by users, very few actually use it where it is available.

“We are just taking a different path. To the extent that you are investing in software technology – which is what this is, it’s delivered through software not through hardware – we are trying to commit our resources and put our emphasis on delivering on the promises we made right at the start of this whole PS4 thing, to be the forward-looking, socially-connected console. We are placing our bets on things like SharePlay, on things like Play as you Download, and things like Suspend/Resume”

Thank you MCV for providing us with this information

New Tony Hawk Pro Skating 5 Gamplay Video

Yesterday we saw the first screenshots of the newest skating game, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5. Today we get some actual gameplay footage in a video courtesy of GamesHQ where the Birdman himself talks about the game and what to expect from the game.

One of the good things that we learned from this video is that the control scheme stays untouched and the game will bring back familiar levels like the school and the warehouse, and I’m sure there will be a beach too.

The graphics don’t look impressive comparing to some modern games and it’s taking some critique on that side around the web. We got to keep a few things in mind with that. We don’t know what console this was captured on, it could have been the PS3 or Xbox 360. This isn’t the final game either, but a little demonstration. And lastly, graphics aren’t everything and you don’t really notice it when immersed in the gameplay.

One of the things that the newer consoles such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 bring along is the addition of a great multiplayer part. You’ll be able to jump into games with up to 20 players at once. A Map editor will also be included, allowing you to build your own maps like you could in the previous games.

The gameplay demo shows some new ideas where the board charges with electricity and even bursts into flames. There is also a mention of a new ability to shoot projectiles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KaZ1I7siFA

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 will launch later this year for PS3, Xbox 360, PS4 and Xbox One.

PlayStation 4 Might Get Uncharted Remastered Collection this Summer

You might have bought a PlayStation 4 but haven’t had a chance to play the Uncharted series since they were for the older PS3. Well, you might be happy to know that Tamaki, a well known leaker, just confirmed that the PlayStation 4 will get the Uncharted Remastered Collection and it will be announced at E3.

He tells us that the move to release the Remastered Collection on the PlayStation 4 is a way for Sony to make up to Uncharted fans for the Uncharted 4 delay. But are you really still mad at Sony for the constant delay of the latest Uncharted title after you know you can play the collection on the PlayStation 4 this summer? I don’t think so.

However, don’t be excited just yet as Tamaki may have good inside information, but it won’t be official until Sony says so. However, the Uncharted series really was a big hit on the PS3, so it would be a shame for Sony to miss out on releasing a Remastered Collection of the series on their latest console, along with Uncharted 4 (eventually).

All we can do now is wait and see if Tamaki is right and it gets unveiled at E3. Are you excited? Let us know!

Thank you VGS for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of MeriStation ZonaForo

Spotify-Powered PlayStation Music Launches Today in 41 Countries

The Spotify-powered music service PlayStation Music is replacing Sony’s outgoing Music Unlimited today. The service will be available on both PlayStation 3 and 4 in 41 countries, as opposed to the old service that only had 19 countries.

The new Spotify powered service means that players will have access to their Spotify music and playlists via the console and in games. The service has a free tier which should mean that anyone can sign up and have this on their consoles to listen to what they want when they want. The free tier is ad supported so if users will want interruption-free music they will have the option to step up to a $10 a month plan, and that should also have higher bitrate music as well. There will be a 30-day free trial for new users, and if you were formerly a Music Unlimited customer that is extended to a 60-day free trial.

Source: Engadget

Grand Theft Auto V PC 4K to Console Comparison

“Is it worth the wait?” is the question that Grand Theft Auto fans about the perennially delayed PC version of the series’ fifth game, and Rockstar have been making great efforts to stress that, “yes, it will be”, with a series of polished screenshots. Now, thanks to Chinese gaming site Gamersky, we have comparison videos and images showing the stark difference between the PC version and those released for consoles – specifically, PlayStation 3 and 4 – last year.

Source: Gamersky

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster for PS4 Screenshots & Release Date Revealed

Square Enix’s official US Twitter account has revealed that the release date for Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster on PlayStation 4 is 12th May. This marks the second time the PlayStation 2 classic and its sequel have had HD remastered versions after the PlayStation 3 release back in 2013.

The official Japanese site, however, cites 14th May as the release date. Also revealed are a series of crisp new screenshots from the forthcoming titles.

Source: DualShockers

Kojima Shows Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Images

Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear franchise, has released a series of pictures from PlayStation 4 version of the forthcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Included is a peak at the infamous chicken cap.

Chicken Cap LOL.

Putting the game together.

Adjusting, adding features, optimizing and enhancing performance. Today we check the gameplay of the PS4 version.

MIX Check.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is set for release on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One in 2015.

Source: Dual Shockers

Yakuza 5 is Coming to the PS3 in Europe and the US in 2015

Sega has announced that Yakuza 5 will launch on the PlayStation Network for the PS3 (not the PS4, boo) in Europe and the United States sometime in 2015. Considering the game came out in Japan in… 2012… you’d think Sega would’ve released it elsewhere in the world sooner.

At the strike of midnight on Sunday, Sega will launch Yakuza 4 and Yakuza: Dead Souls on the PS3 through PSN in Europe. Yakuza 5 on the other hand, continues the story of “Kazuma Kiryu, alongside four other protagonists. It’s set in five Japanese cities, includes a raft of mini-games and a modified battle system. Also included is Another Drama, a series of side stories that focus on each protagonist in-depth” reports Eurogamer.

Sega of America’s boss, John Cheng said “The world of the Yakuza series has fascinated gamers in Japan and the West for many years. We know fans have been eagerly awaiting a release of Yakuza 5 here and we are thrilled to finally launch this spectacular entry in the series in North America and Europe.”

For those waiting on news about Yakuza 0, you’ll have to wait, but it is still due out next year for both the PS4 and PS3… in Japan at least.

Source: Eurogamer.

Far Cry 4 Broken On Your PS3? Simple Fix: Delete Everything

The PlayStation 3 version of Far Cry 4 is having some serious issues, with a simple fix: delete everything.

Some users are reporting an error that states “delete FC3 game data” which has players deleting the entire game, something that even wipes the save games. From there, you need to download the “correct version” from the PlayStation Store, which is a 9.4GB download.

On the PC, Ubisoft has a cleaner fix, which has an issue that throws the game to a black screen whenever it detects an external USB device. A new patch is on its way, which Ubisoft says it’ll fix the issue, adding “Some have been able to temporarily fix this problem by disabling USB devices and certain drivers, but we realize this is in no way ideal.”

Source: Joystiq.

Destiny Now Available to Everyone in Open Beta on Consoles

Bungie has officially made Destiny available to everyone by opening up the Open Beta stage for the title. It is said that everyone on an Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 can download the title on the PS Store or Xbox Live marketplace.

A quick note is that PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360 pliers need an Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus membership account to be able to download Destiny. PlayStation 3 owners are said to get it for free due to the fact that PS+ is not a requirement for multiplayer on the latter mentioned console.

The announcement is said to have been made on Destiny’s Blog, having Bungie stating that it already received a lot of good feedback from early access gamers. The Open Beta stage however is said to act as a stress test for the servers to make sure they are good to go for the title’s launch.

“Our work is not done. There is more we can learn. To make this happen, we need more Guardians to play. This is, above all else, a test.” the statement tells us. “we’re opening the Destiny Beta to anyone who wants to create a character and walk in their boots. Help us deliver the game you deserve. Before we shut this party down, we’ll welcome everyone who wants a preview of this brave new world.”

The Open Beta is said to now be live and accessible straight away. The download size is said to be 5.5 GB, which is not a lot given the complexity of the game itself.

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information

PlayStation Now Pricing Revealed: More Expensive To Rent Than Buy!?

Sony’s PlayStation Now service allows gamers to stream games to their PS4, PS3 or PSVita devices over the internet. The service is currently in a closed beta and all participants are supposed to be under a strict NDA, but as always details have managed to leak out. The most entertaining of the leaks is the absolutely ridiculous pricing and rental structure. Sony offers all games to rent in four different time periods: 4 hours (what is the point!?), 7 days, 30 days and 90 days. The pricing is variable by game but let’s take a look at two of the examples. Saints Row: The Third The Full Package costs $5 for a measly 4 hours or $29.99 for 90 days! Bare in mind you can pick the game up for just $20.87 on Amazon delivered. Next we have Deus X: Human Revolution which costs the same exorbitant prices, you can pick this game up for just $12.18 delivered at Amazon! Talk about a con. Of course it’s worth pointing out that price and rental structures may change before the PlayStation Now service goes live and we sincerely hope this is the case.

The Open Beta for PlayStation Now will arrive in July so Sony will need to get their act together for that, or face a significant backlash. Rumour has it that Sony could be moving towards a subscription based model where you can get access to a lot of games based on the type of subscription you have, instead of having to pay per title which will undoubtedly work out very expensive.  Here’s to hoping that an overwhelming negative response will encourage Sony to drop the prices significantly!

Source: PS4Daily

Image courtesy of PS4Daily

Battlefield Hardline Open Beta Available for PlayStation 4 and PC Gamers

Electronic Arts has previously bragged about its upcoming Battlefield title, namely Battlefield Hardline, having emphasised the radical changes regarding the story, which is now focused on ‘cops and robbers’, as well as giving the project to Visceral Studio instead of DICE.

Fans and curious gamers alike should be happy to know that EA has just opened the beta to PC and PS4 gamers, which can now sign up on the Battlefield Beta website. No need to wait in line for approval to enter the game, just a quick sign-up and Terms & Conditions agreement to check are required before adding the game to Origin.

Unfortunately, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners have a bit of bad luck, since EA has not made the game available for the aforementioned platforms (yet). Instead, users of the latter console types can sign up to be notified when the beta will open for their console, being greeted with the following message:

“The Battlefield Hardline closed beta is only available for PC and PS4. But don’t worry, we wouldn’t leave you hanging. We’ll have an open beta available this fall on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC. On top of that, we are hooking you up with these rewards in Battlefield Hardline and Battlefield 4. Log into your Origin Account below to be granted access to your rewards. The Battlefield Hardline gear will be available when the game releases. The Battlefield 4 unique dog tag will be available in the game next month.”

For PC and PS4 players, the game is stated to have some interesting content unlocked to tinker with as well, including weapon skins and camp, weapon sights, additional Battlefield Hardline content and a unique dog tag in order to give a taste of what the new title has to offer.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

Speedlink Xeox Pro Analogue Wireless PlayStation 3 & PC Gamepad Review

Introduction


It was only a few weeks ago that we brought you a review of Speedlinks affordable PlayStation 3 controller the Strike FX-6, I loved that budget controller so much that after over a month after testing it, I’m still using it for all of my PlayStation 3 gaming, especially since it’s trigger are exponentially better than the official PlayStation ones.

Speedlink have a solid history of creating third-party peripherals and the Strike FX-6 was proof that they could do it well. The product I have with me today is for the PlayStation 3 and would have been included in our Strike FX-6 review had I read the box and realised this is not an Xbox controller, no matter how much it looks like one! It is in fact every bit a PlayStation 3 controller, but its design is focused to look like an Xbox controller, just swapping the b for an e to become the Xeox.

With official controllers still costing in the region of £35 from most major retailers, you have good reason to shop around for a lower cost controller and with a price tag of just £16.99 + 3.91 shipping from Overclockers UK the Xeox is a very tempting option for both PlayStation 3 users and PC gamers alike. The question is, is it any good? Well if its performance and quality are at least on par with the last Speedlink controller I reviewed, the simple answer is certainly yes. So let’s get right to it and take a closer look at what the Xeox has to offer.

The controller is nicely packaged and on the front you’ll see a quick run down of the major features, this includes 10m range and 2.4GHz technology, force vibration, rapid fire, rubberised coating, ergonomic stick layout, Li-polymer internal battery and analogue sticks / triggers.

In the box you’ll find everything you need is included; the controller, the wireless adaptor USB dongle, a mini-USB charging cable and a quick install guide.

Speedlink Strike FX-6 Bluetooth PS3 Gamepad Review

Introduction


Speedlink are well-known for making 3rd party peripherals for games consoles and have done so quite successfully for many years now, offering (in most cases) a lower cost solution for consumers than you would find with first party solutions. This is a great thing consumers, especially when you see that official controllers for consoles often cost upwards of £50-60 and PlayStation 3 controllers still cost around £35 at most major retailers even after the introduction of the PlayStation 4. The Speedlink Strike FX-6 that I’ll be taking a look at today costs just £25 and while that doesn’t sound like a huge difference, I know there are a lot of people who would rather have the extra £10 left in their wallet after a trip to the shops.

There are many reasons for wanting a lower cost controller, the first one is obviously a financial reason, sometimes you just need a spare controller for the kids or a backup one should yours break. Of course cheaper is often associated with lower quality too, and as many of you will know, there is a reason that the official controllers cost more, they’re high quality and guaranteed to be compatible with your system. Today I’ll be looking for nothing less than on par or better performance than the official controller and expecting all features (or more) than you would find on the official controller, despite the lower cost.

Most 3rd party controllers are wired, most often in a bid to keep the cost down and make them a financially attractive option compared to their more expensive official counterparts, but the Speedlink Strike FX-6 is fully wireless using the same Bluetooth technology that you’ll find in the official controller, it also features 6-axis, rumble, a USB rechargeable built-in battery pack. Basically, it has everything that you’ll find on the official controller, the only two minor differences are that this doesn’t come with the USB cable and it also comes fitted with a rapid fire mode.

The controller comes packed in one of those awful blister packs that takes a chainsaw to break into, but at least the clear plastic gives you a good view of the product should be looking at it in a retail outlet. On the front you’ll see a few badges detailing the major features such as 6-axis support, Bluetooth and vibration.

Oddworld : New ‘n’ Tasty Gets Gorgeous New Screenshots

Oddworld Inhabitants, Inc. have just released a set of brand new screenshots for the upcoming Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty. The brand new screenshots show off the game, which is still a work in progress, although looking at the images, you would think this game is finished! The developers at Just Add Water have really done a lot of great work and personally I cannot wait to play this modernised conversion of the PlayStation 1 classic Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee.

“We wanted to recreate the rich sense of atmosphere and depth in the game,” said Just Add Water CEO Stewart Gilray, “we wanted to bring those environments to life, and give the fans a look at the Oddworld they’d pictured in their minds. We’re confident that we’ve achieved that. New ‘n’ Tasty feels like the game Lorne Lanning always wanted to make, without the original’s hardware limitations.”

“We’ve pushed the boundaries of what’s expected from a remake,” adds Gilray,” and working closely with Unity we think we’ve nailed the visuals, gameplay and audio.”

Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty includes art direction from the original Abe’s Oddysee team, music from series staple Michael Bross and a whole host of tweaks, improvements and brand new areas throughout, whilst remaining true to the game fans have loved since the original PlayStation. The game will be hitting the PlayStation Store upon its release and it will be available this Spring for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation VITA.

Personally I do think the original game is a timeless classic, it doesn’t need improving in anyway to be enjoyable as the gameplay alone is worthy of picking up the title. However, these new graphical updates and tweaks do look gorgeous and I cannot wait to play the game at least one more time.

Thank you Oddworld for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Oddworld.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch PlayStation 3 Review

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch has been on my “to play” list for quite some time now and while this is an effective spoiler for the rest of the review, I’m annoyed at myself for leaving it for so long! Hailing from the masterful developers at Level-5; who have created a phenomenal collection of games over the last 16 years, including the legendary Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, White Knight Chronicles and the Professor Layton series. Then we have the added support of Studio Ghibli; the legendary animation studio behind many of our times greatest animated masterpieces, with too many to mention. Finally the mix is complete by the publisher Namco Bandai, who have long been at the front line when it comes to Eastern influenced games. Combined, the companies have a considerable war chest to create something magical, and Ni No Kuni is the end result of such a collaboration.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a real mixture of influence, with the obvious J-RPG elements that each team involved can bring. With that, the game features a very unique range of settings and make-up that have as much in common with a western RPG as it does with a J-RPG.

Before we continue, I want to make sure that you know the following paragraph includes plot spoilers!

Set in the town of Motorville, young Oliver is your typical adventurous young boy, keen for excitement, but forever cautious of being caught by his mother while sneaking around town with his friend. A series of events lead up to a tragic loss for Oliver when events unfold and his mother passes away. It is at this point that the game really takes off, as Oliver is met by the King of the Fairies, also known as Drippy, who may in fact be the greatest sidekick in RPG history. With a thick Welsh accent that you really wouldn’t expect in a J-RPG style game, Drippy takes you on a journey to defeat Shadar, (effectively this games “Voldemort”) as you go out into the world to become a wizard, defeat Shadar and save your mother’s soul mate in the other world, which you hope will in turn save your mother’s life.

The games story is full of fantasy, mystery and a massive amount of fun. Despite the games story of despair and impending doom, the characters high spirits persevere and keep you smiling with their quick wit, jokes and puns aplenty throughout. The game focuses heavily on cooperation and friendship with the people you meet and it doesn’t take more than a few moments to feel like you’re playing around in a Ghibli universe. Characters are imaginative and unique. Young Oliver (your lead character) gets to explore a beautifully designed world full of towns, people, beasts and a whole lot more as you seek out the help you need to become a more powerful wizard, but always happy to help those in need as you quest to save your mother’s life.

It’s full of interesting twists on the typical boy saves the world formula that most RPG’s follow, especially since you’re able to freely open up a portal and travel between the human world of Motorville; a lovely American town full of happy citizens and people going about their business and the fantasy realm where you’ll find wizards, witches, and fairies with broad Welsh accents roaming around. It’s the travelling between worlds that is important, and the notion that everyone has their soul mate on the other side, and how one good deed, or wrongdoing can influence the lives of their soul mate.

The game is packed full of features that keep things fresh throughout the 60 hours or so story line,. You can play through like most any other RPG and blast through it to a certain extent, but as with most RPG’s you’ll struggle a fair bit unless you focus on side quests, which can earn you rewards, exploration and grinding a few battles, but most importantly capturing creatures to fight alongside you. It’s these “familiars” who do most of the fighting for you and think Pokemon/Final Fantasy summons to get a rough idea of how this works. Each familiar in your creature cage can be deployed in battle, be equipped with weapons and armour, level up, and even grow into new creatures and with hundred of them out there, you’ll find a lot of fun and time can be put into this.

There is a lot to love about this game, from the amount of emotions that the characters take your through, to the games gorgeous world and people who you’ll easily fall in love with. You can spend plenty of time just walking around the towns and enjoying the scenery and sounds, with Drippy providing an amusing backing track as you create your own path in this very interactive Ghibli movie/game. This is further enhanced by a “nothing short of stunning” orchestral soundtrack, but I wouldn’t have expected anything less from the team that developed the best Dragon Quest games (IMO).

This is one of the finest RPG’s to come out in a very long time and while it does have a few minor issues that stick out, they’re easily brushed over thanks to the most enjoyable characters and settings. The battle mechanics are great, offering a mixture of run-around combat like you would find in Zelda, with turn based commands of a more classic Final Fantasy title and a considerable amount of challenge to them to test seasoned RPG fans. Random encounters are a little too frequent at times, but you can see enemies in the world and avoid them some of the time.

Tutorials come thick and fast in Ni No Kuni, even 30 hours in your still being taught game mechanics and it can be hard to keep on track of them at times, but once all the major stuff is out-of-the-way, amazingly around the 12 hours mark,  the games pace really picks up, combat becomes more dynamic and you can really dive into the familiar capturing system that the game offers. Even once you’ve done with that you’ll find no end of imaginative side quests and monster hunts to keep you from heading for the end credits.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/WrCJQJcZ_bM[/youtube]

Pros

  • Stunning art design throughout
  • Ghibli Studios animated cut-scenes are beautiful
  • Voice overs are superb and full of spirit
  • Lots of great characters
  • Deep and involving battles system
  • Creature capture / levelling system
  • 60+ hours of gameplay and beyond for those willing to explore everything

Cons

  • Too many tutorials at times
  • Main battle mechanics don’t really take off until after around 10 hours of gameplay
  • More of those gorgeous cut-scenes would have been nice
  • Voice acting is a little more broken up with sub-titles only sections than I would have liked

“Easily one of my top ten RPG’s of all time and one I’m keen to revisit in the future if only to enjoy the magical characters and world that Ghibli and Level-5 have created. It may be a little complicated at time for newcomers to the genre, but the story alone will be enough to keep you playing through regardless.”

Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch PlayStation 3 Review

New Call of Duty: Ghosts Gets New Customisation Options In Latest Update

Activision have just revealed that there will now be a wave of new customisation options for their popular shooter Call of Duty: Ghosts. I’m sure there are more than a few of you out there that love the game, while I’m also sure there is a fair few of you that can’t stand it, but one think I do know is that most of you love being able to tweak and tune your character to your liking in video games.

With the new options in Call of Duty: Ghosts, players can now choose between four weapon Personalisation Packs, play as one of the Ghosts courtesy of the Special Characters pack or take to the stage as one of the most legendary Call of Duty heroes of all time with the Capt. Price Special Character and themed Personalisation Pack.

Pack details

  • Personalisation Packs: Fight in style with the Ducky, Space Cats, Inferno and Circuit Personalisation Packs.
  • Special Characters: Intimidate your enemies as one of the Ghosts. Choose from Keegan, Merrick, Hesh and Elias.
  • Captain Price Legend Pack: Become one of the most legendary Call of Duty heroes of all time with the Capt. Price Special Character and themed Personalisation Pack.
  • Extra Slots Pack: Increase the number of Create-a-Soldier load out slots from 6 to 10 for each character.

More information on the game packs is available via the in-game store, which is obviously the place you can also obtain them. To celebrate the launch of the new features, Activision have released a new trailer for the Ghosts customisations items, check it out below.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/u8wIr88xC84[/youtube]

Thank you Activision for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Activision.

Sacred 3 Coming To Consoles & PC This Year, New Trailer Released

Deep Silver have announced the latest entry in their legendary Sacred series. Sacred 3 will be heading to consoles and PC this summer, taking us back into the fantasy realms of Ancaria. Sacred 3 features classic arcade Hack ‘n’ Slash action centred around drop in, drop out cooperative multiplayer for both offline (2 players) and online (4 players) play.

The game brings back fan-favourite characters such as the Seraphim, Ancarian, Khukuhru and the Safiri, as well as introduces a new character, Malakhim. Each character class features its own unique skills and weapons which can be upgraded to match the player’s very own combat style, pretty much what fans have come to expect from not only the series, but also the hack ‘n’ slash RPG genre. As you master the art of war, you will fight your way through enemy hordes and try to outshine your fellow companions to become the greatest hero of all. The inclusion of mission stats and online leaderboards will drive competition both locally and online, so even though you’ll be playing cooperatively, you’ll still want to work to come out on top and claim the title of greatest hero.

“The paramount development goal for Sacred 3 has been to create a seamless online and offline co-op experience”, said Remy van Leeuwen, Brand Manager of Deep Silver. “By creating a game built around the central concept of co-op gameplay, we’re expanding the series to new audiences without compromising the rich lore and fantasy of the Sacred universe.”

I’m a big fan of local co-op gaming, so I really can’t wait for this game to be release and until then, I’ll just have to entertain myself with the reveal trailer.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/id2OXORt82g[/youtube]

Thank you Sacred-World for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Scared-World.

Ambitious RPG ‘Bound by Flame’ Coming To Consoles And PC, New Trailer Released

Spider Studios have just released a brand new video for their upcoming and incredibly ambitious RPG, Bound by Flame. After a thrilling Epic Story Trailer that described the universe and the back story of the title, this trailer focuses on the game mechanics, the hero’s human/demon duality, combat, the bestiary, the “craft” system and much more. Bound by Flame, the most ambitious RPG to date from Spiders studios due for release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC in Q2 this year.

In this overview of the many possibilities Bound by Flame has to offer, we discover the great freedom of action given to the player, where the various decisions and different choices he makes during his quest or his attitude to the other characters will affect his experience in the game and the world around him. The player’s reaction to the flame demon that possesses him and his tendency to reject its influence or allow it to consume his soul to gain more power will also significantly affect his experience during the adventure and exert a strong influence on his relationships with his companions and his approach to combat.

There is plenty of gameplay footage in the trailer too and to my eye, the game seems to play out like mix between The Witcher and Skyrim, which is no bad thing at all. I also always take it as a good sign when a developer is willing to show in-game footage in their trailers. With two trailers already released, Spider studios are also promising a new combat trailer in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more information.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/eJQ06wMVhCc[/youtube]

Bound by Flame will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC in Q2 2014.

Thank you Bound by Flame for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Bound by Flame.