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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Call Of Duty: Black Ops review

So, one of the biggest releases this year was Call Of Duty: Black Ops. Now, on a personal level, I don’t like the Call Of Duty games at all. And i thought this was going to be another one that i didn’t like, but it surprised me.

So, when release day finally came, my friend was all like “do you wanna go to the black ops midnight launch with me?” So me being me, went along for the ride. I took some of my older games so if I decided to buy it I wouldn’t have to pay too much. And guess what, i did end up buying it that night. Mental, I know, but I wanted to see what the fuss was about.

Anyway, upon playing it I found that it is a lot more than I expected it could be. A lot more. Firstly, the campaign is awesome. The story has so many twists and turns in it, it’s like a country road somewhere here in Britain. On top of that, the characters are very well-developed from the very beginning. The game really draws you in from the start, and makes you want to find out what happens. I completed it on hardened in two sittings. Now, i’m not saying it’s an easy game, i’m saying that i wanted to get to the end to find out what happens. It’s that good, and seriously, the ending is incredible.

Normally in a Call Of Duty game though, the story blows, just like with Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2, so it relies quite heavily on the gameplay itself. Not, in terms of first person shooters, this game is more advanced than your basic shooter, but less advanced than a really good shooter. It sits pretty comfortably in the middle, and it does it quite well too. The few new features they have introduced are the dive. When sprinting, hold the crouch button and you dive to the floor into a prone stance. It’s pretty fun, especially when moving forward behind cover. Other than that, the game is very much the same as the others. The graphics aren’t great and the gameplay can get a bit intense, especially on the harder difficulties.

Another thing they have changed on this game, is the level progression in the multiplayer. Instead of having to use a certain weapon for a certain amount of kills to get a cool attachment, you can just buy it. Useful if you don’t have the patience to get 150 kills with a weapon before you can start using a scope or red dot sight. On top of that, the customisation has kinda gone all Halo on everyone. They have taken one of the best aspects of Halo, and applied it quite well to a modern war situation. You get to choose your weapon attachments, your side arms and even the colour of the weapons. Yes, that’s right, i’ve been killed by someone who had a purple gun. PURPLE!! It’s epic.

All the features we all know and love about Call Of Duty online are still there, and all the game types too. Treyarch have just added some more. There are Wager matches now. In these, you place a bet and get put in a random game type out of a choice of four. If you win, you win your money back, and then some! It can get quite addictive, so i made sure i played that before playing the other multiplayer modes.

Another thing that has made a return for this game is the Zombies mode. Yup, that’s right guys, the thing that made World At War worth playing has returned. And this time, it’s that little bit more epic. When you complete the campaign, you are greeted with a cut scene of epic proportions that involve a few people from history, and i must say it’s hilarious. This then takes you to a game of Zombies and you play as an ex-president. It’s very much the same as World At Wars zombie mode, but with an added hint of awesome in the way of characters. The zombies this time aren’t Nazi’s which is a shame, but there is supposed to be Nazi zombie mode with the Prestige edition. It’s a fun game type to play with three other people to see how long you survive.

All in all, i would say that Black Ops is a good game. Not game of the year, not by a long shot. But it is something special. The campaign mode really gives it pull as well, especially compared to all the other Call Of Duty games. On a whole, the multiplayer experience hasn’t changed much, but has some nice refreshing features added. For that the game gets 7.9/10. Like it’s good, but not that good.