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Another week of comings and goings in the world of video games. But why trawl through news sites when you can catch up with all the important stuff right here in one article? These are the stories that got us talking this week.
On the one hand, you could argue that Heavy Rain is one of the most serious, adult-oriented examples of entertainment gaming has ever seen. On the other hand, you could argue it's a good excuse to towel-dry a naked woman (link NSFW) using a Sixaxis controller.
We already knew there was a 2D Sonic game on the way, but to see it finally unveiled as Sonic 4 was quite a shock. Of course, 'Sonic the Hedgehog' on PS3 and 360 was the worst of all, so the name itself doesn't do anything to calm the flood of nervous feelings coming from fans of the series.
In other words, expect this to happen real soon. PSN's always been 100% more free than Xbox Live's subscription service, but obviously that's 100% less money than some money for Sony.
We've already heard talks of a premium PSN package that would give you unlimited PSone games and other premium content, which is a good idea (and one that would particularly benefit PSP Go).
The Duke Nukem Forever saga continues, even though the whole thing has gone past a joke. There are loads of fan-made trailers in existence and there's plenty to suggest this is just the same, what with its clearly recycled logos and soundbites. Ah, except for the fact nobody knows where the new gameplay footage has come from, so it could be at least partially legit.
Either way, there's literally zero chance any game could live up to the expectations that the last 13 years have created. This new gameplay video shows some predictably derivative action, full of antiquated gameplay conventions no doubt left over from build 504.2 from 2006, or whatever. The rights to the franchise apparently rest with Take-Two Interactive, so we might get it one day. But on that day, Satan will be ice skating to work.
Or at least it's been in development for it. Some bright spark has examined the source code of the PC version of Mass Effect 2 and found references to talent point and Paragon/Renegade memory files for PC, Xbox and PS3. Either that's just forward planning 'just in case' or there's one of those 'timed exclusives' going on. It's unsurprising, really – just look at BioShock. And the GTA IV downloadable episodes.
It's not every day you get a ratings board admitting it made a mistake, but that's exactly what happened after the ESRB wrote the following on its website about Dead or Alive Paradise on PSP:
"Parents and consumers should know that the game contains a fair amount of 'cheesy', and at times, creepy voyeurism-especially when users have complete rotate-pan-zoom control; but the game also contains bizarre, misguided notions of what women really want (if given two weeks, paid vacation, island resort)-Paradise cannot mean straddling felled tree trunks in dental-floss thongs."
Reckon that was written by a man? Us neither. Whoever's to blame, the ratings board said that it could indeed be viewed as subjective language and changed the description appropriately. As for us, we're hoping the game's more like the Xbox original than the 360 one, because that was the better videogame.
This includes Xbox Originals being played on an Xbox 360, which will be annoying to people who only just bought them, but it's not as though 360's lacking multiplayer games. The point to all this is to free up the friends list to future development, as the current system had to work for both Xbox and Xbox 360, kind of scuppering development plans. We will miss having Halo 2 there in case we needed it, but you know what they say – there's only one constant in this world, and that is change…
Because somehow, it's failed harder than the failboat. And that was pretty hard.
Currently lounging below both PS2 and Xbox 360 in the Japanese hardware charts, it seems the only person in the world who likes the device is GamesRadar's own Justin Towell.
So Sony is considering relaunching it. Quite how they plan to do that is anyone's guess, apart from a more friendly price-point. Maybe they'll add UMD support? Imagine that - the download-only machine losing its download-only slant. Which would make it… a machine. A machine of games. That nobody plays except Justin.
05 Feb, 2009