Sony NGP / PSP 2

Sony today send out a press release announcing their next generation portable entertainment system, which they have chosen for obvious reasons to codename “NGP”. The system will make its debut at the end of 2011, and promises to deliver “the ultimate portable entertainment experience.” At least that’s what sony are saying.. But we may infact be seeing a direct competitor for Nintendo’s up and coming 3DS.

Reading over the press release my first thought was that this could be the heavily rumored PlayStation phone. Fortunately I read on to discover that it is infact basically just the psp2.

The NGP brings wifi and 3g connectivity to Sony’s latest gaming device, promising infinite possibilities for its users to encounter, connect, discover, share and play with other users no matter where they are. The device will also feature various developer built applications that will enhance the devices general experience for users. Taking it past the focus of whatever game you have in the device, a bonus for anyone who gets bored of the same thing easily like me!

One of the most interesting announced features for is the multi-touch pad on the back of the device, as well as the one on the front. This presents a new three dimension-like motion for gamers through touch, grab, trace push and pull movements of the players fingers. Personally this will be the most interesting part to see executed. For a long time touch features on the casings of even iPhones have been desired by users. So to finally see it on a device will be awesome and hopefully a interesting new level of gaming will be achieved, similarly to when touch screen games first came out with the iTouch and iPhone.

 

The NGP combines touch features with the duel analogue stick features that make playing games on the playstation so playable. This will give an interesting new level of non-intrusive touch responsive gaming as your hands are no longer blocking the scree constantly, something that really annoys me when I’m playing Sonic on the iPhone… so to avoid this is great!

Other features noted in the release include:

  • A “Super oval” Design!- Yes they actual use the term “Super”.
  • A live area where users can interact with others, even possibly stalk them through a feature called “Near”.
  • Two cameras! One on the front and one quite obviously placed on the back… Though it woulda been awesome if they were both on the back and made it 3D!!!! But no.
  • A new game medium placing media onto flash memory cards… The latter probably being the feature that will make the NGP more costly as flash memory sizes vary.

 

From the press release this seems like it could be a good portable gaming device from Sony, maybe even something that will allow them to re-contend with the Nintendo DS! But of course we’ll have to see how it comes out first.

 

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I can use the force! – Star Wars Force Unleashed 2 Review

Today is a very special day for the gaming world. It sees in the release of 3 new games that are set to be awesome. Fable 3, Rockband 3 and Star Wars Force Unleashed 2. Of course, by the title, i’ve been paying the last of the 3. And my gosh, it is fantastic!

The game starts off after the first one where you play as Starkiller. Yep, that’s right, the same guy from the first. Anyway, as that is basic knowledge to anyone, i’ll mission on.  The first thing to notice is the very impressive increase in graphical detail from the first. Like, seriously, you can see the rain on Darth Vader’s helmet and everything. It’s SIIICK!  Also, the difference between cut scenes and gameplay isn’t too bad either. And as a lot of cut scenes are rendered using gameplay graphics, you won’t complain when the awesome cut scenes come on.

As we all know, it’s not about the graphics in this game, it is far more concentrated about the physics engines, particle engines and other such nerdy things. Well, the first thing i noticed was how much more advanced it is in this game. The rag doll physics on people when you throw them is much improved, and stuff feels slightly weightier as items get bigger. On top of this, when you slice enemies, you may notice a limb or two will fall off. This makes the game seem much more awesome for some reason, just having limbs flying everywhere! It’s brilliant. Other than the noticeable changes, I haven’t found much else different. It’s still the same old epic game play, just enhanced.

Now, the force powers are all pretty much the same, except you can do almost everything from the very start of the game. However, there is a nice new one now. Jedi Mind Control. This is awesome. With this power, you tell the enemies to either top themselves by jumping out of a window or off a bridge, or you tell them to kill their friends. I think it’s random as to which one is selected, but it sure is fun. Especially when you have the big fellas with sticks jumping into generators, blowing themselves up!

Another new feature is the fact that starkiller has two Lightsabers! ZOMG!!! I know what you’re thinking, and I thought the exact same (unless you think it’s super cool already). But it actually works really well and makes killing stuff that bit more awesome. Also, this means you can use two different lightsaber crystals, which opens up the gameplay so much! On top of this, they don’t define the different missions as missions in the story. They all play into each other which is so much better than the first where you come across a score screen after every level! On top of this, the game is far more story based than the first which was just seek and destroy. Oh, by the way, some of the big enemies are huge. And I mean HUGE!!! They are so big. Wicked times.

Overall, as a sequel, this game lives up to the original so well, and expands on it. In terms of gameplay, not much has changed, but the changes are cool. In terms of story development, this game sees a far more developed plot and characters seem far more involved. So, this game gets a high score of 9.1/10.