The Old Republic Going F2P

BioWare announced recently that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be going free to play this Fall. Those playing for free will be able to experience everything that the game has to offer with very few limitations, while subscribers will enjoy additional content and a special currency used for redeeming premium items. Here’s a blurb from the official TOS site regarding the upcoming change. Continue reading

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Star Wars – The Old Republic (Review)

I’m not a big Star Wars fan and I haven’t really enjoyed any Star Wars video game that I have played in the past. With that said, The Old Republic is without a doubt the most well designed MMORPG ever made and I’m enjoying my time with it so far.

After spending a good amount of time with the game, the overall detail and quality of the finished product is blindingly apparent to me. This isn’t another Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan, Aion, or even Rift. The Old Republic is a very noticeable step above them all in terms of how well made the game is. The surprising thing, however, is that The Old Republic is clearly better than World of Warcraft in terms of quality as well. Even if it doesn’t beat WoW in sales (though it could with Star Wars’ huge fanbase), it should still be regarded as the superior product.

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So what makes this the best MMORPG out there? Maybe the fact that it plays like a suprising infusion of Mass Effect and World of Warcraft. You could honestly sit back and play this MMORPG as a single player RPG strictly because the narrative and story telling are both so exceptional. There is actually a main quest in this game, one that is centered around the exploits of your character. To enforce this, there are phased areas throughout the world where only your character will be visible. The entrances of these phased areas are marked with green holographic barrier-like walls that you can walk through. Upon passing through one, you will be phased out of the persistent world containing hundreds of other players and will exist solely on your own (there is no loading to accomplish this). What purpose do these areas serve? Well, phased areas mosly contain important quest NPCs that you’ve been directed to kill among other things. This is a huge improvement over other MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft because, in The Old Republic, a phased area belongs to you and you alone, so any quest NPC you have to kill in a phased area wil be killed by you – not other players. I’m sure many people have terrifying memories of having to fight over quest mobs in World of Warcraft, such as the infamous Hogger in Elwynn Forest. This is no longer an issue.

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Interactions with NPCs are fully voiced and play out as they would in Dragon Age or Mass Effect, meaning there are moral responses for you to choose from when replying to NPCs. It’s a nice option to have which adds some much needed personality to our MMORPG characters for once. Because of this, my Jedi Knight is shaping up to be a very sympathetic guy who always wants to do the right thing for people. A lot of the moral choices I’m choosing are increasing my alignment and pushing me to the light side. Light side, you ask? Yes, there’s the light side and the dark side. Depending on how you play your character and how they respond to NPCs, their personality will develop and will inch towards either the light or dark side. Assist villagers and side with them on ethical issues and you will be pushed in the direction of the light side, but if you run around and choose the intimidating and rude dialogue options (which are quite likely to end up in the death of others around you) then expect to have your character slowly turn towards the dark side.

This all sounds a lot like a single player RPG, doesn’t it? That’s the best part, it’s not. At all. Instances (flashpoints) and raids (operations) are still around as well and are intensely story driven. When you’re not in phased areas for questing reasons, you’ll see plenty of other players running around completing their own quests, killing enemy mobs, and interacting with NPCs. The Old Republic contains everything that other MMORPGs do but beefs the experience up with the character development and narrative we’ve come to expect from single player RPGs. This really is a new level for RPGs. Yes the core gameplay is roughly the same, but the extra layer of single player RPG-esque goodness that Bioware has thrown into the formula has drastically improved how The Old Republic plays as an MMORPG.

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As far as character structure goes, all of the usuals are in such as individual gear slots, the ability to pick up trade skills (which rely on your companions to create items rather than yourself), mounts to increase your overall speed, and quite a bit more.

Another exceedingly strong point has to be the game’s presentation. The sound effects are all superb, making the act of slicing apart bandits and syndicate criminals with a lightsabre more satisfying than it has ever been! The game’s voice actors are also very talented as well, but would you expect any game that features the revered Jennifer Hale to have bad voicing? I don’t think so. There’s also the graphics which aren’t going to make any systems work overtime to render anything, but the game still looks a lot better than any other MMO out there. Any lush and forested planet is proof enough of that.

I would have liked to spend more time writing this out, but this is an MMO and, in 2012, we all know what they’re about. Big time sinks that are all about leveling, questing, and raiding. The Old Republic just does everything a little better than the competition and, in the end, that is what matters the most.

Final Score

9.2/10

Pros:
+ Beautiful cities, beautiful planets, beautiful everything.
+ General MMORPG formulas are executed better than they are in any competing MMOs.
+ Top of the line voice work all across the board.

Cons:
– Game can be very burdening if you have never played an MMO before.
– PvP could have been more developed.
– Singleplayer aspect may drive some away from cooperating with fellow players.

What is Star Wars: The Old Republic?

What is Star Wars: The Old Republic? It is a new MMORPG by Canadian developer Bioware, makers of Baldur’s Gate, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and other popular series. The Old Republic is a spiritual sequel to their “Knights of the Old Republic” RPGs in the sense that it is set around the same time in Star Wars lore which means that The Old Republic takes place about 1000 years before the film saga.

The Old Republic borrows heavily from recent Bioware games. You can tell that they use the same 3D modelling crew, and general gameplay is similar (you an have conversations with NPCs and such). Of course there are tons of MMO mainstays since this an MMORPG, but you can tell by playing that this is a Bioware game. The good thing about this? Mass appeal. If you like Bioware, MMORPGs, RPGs in general, or Star Wars, then you’ll find something to like here.

Here are a few of what I feel are some of the stronger points of this game.

Choose Your Side: Do you want to be a good guy? Side with the Republic and be a Jedi Consular, Jedi Knight, Smuggler, or Trooper. Or perhaps you feel like being evil? Join the Sith Empire and become a Bounty Hunter, Imperial Agent, Sith Inquisitor, or Sith Warrior.

Companions: Imagine having a Dragon Age/Mass Effect party member with you at all times who is FULLY customizable and actually helpful! Smuggler characters even get a wookiee companion to mirror Han Solo and Chewbacca!

Developed Class System: All classes have their very own central story lines that are unique to them, so each class has different quests and objectives. Also, dual-class comes into play at level 10 which allows you to take on a secondary class role that enhances your abilities.

Flashpoints: Heavy story driven dungeons that allow four players to play through a scenario together and earn large amounts of experience and social points.

Friendly Atmosphere: Being a Star Wars fan is not required to enjoy this thorough and well designed MMORPG as it eases you into the Star Wars world and makes sure that there are dialoague options available for those who are unfamiliar with Star Wars terms such as Padawan or Sith.

Fully Voiced Experience: Every quest has fully voiced cutscenes. NPCs chatter all around you. The world of The Old Republic is brimming with life. Gone are long walls of text telling you to go kill ten boars (rinse and repeat)! Picking up quests is now a fun activity.

Gear Modding: There are tons of gear modification items that you can find which can be attached to armor and weapons which boost their stats. Go wild with combinations!

Large Worlds: While level 1-10 planets may not be too big (think regular sized WoW zones), planets beyond level 10 get significantly larger and have lots to see. Get ready to start checking your map often!

Lightsaber Modding: THey are fully customizable. Don’t like the glow colour you’ve got? Simple, buy a new colour crystal and go from boring yellow to rockin’ blue and start killing Sith in style.

Space Battles: Don’t feel like questing on a planet? Hop into your starship and head into space to do battle against other ships!

Speeder & Starship: You get your OWN FREAKING STARSHIP. That’s right, your own ship. Pilot it anywhere you want! Revisit past planets or journey to ones that you have no business whatsoever being on! You also get a speeder to allow you to zip around larger planets faster than you would by foot.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Video Impressions

I decided to pass on writing another article regarding my impressions with this game to instead bring you my thoughts in video form. In the following videos I basically just show a few basic things, make comparisons to World of Warcraft, and struggle to locate a turn in point for a quest.

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Impressions (Part 1)

I’m not a big Star Wars fan and I haven’t really enjoyed any Star Wars video game that I have played in the past. With that said, The Old Republic is without a doubt the most well designed MMORPG ever made and I’m enjoying my time with it so far.

Despite the fact that I have only spent about four hours with the game, the overall detail and quality of the finished product is blindingly apparent to me. This isn’t another Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan, Aion, or even Rift. The Old Republic is a very noticeable step above them all in terms of how well made the game is. The surprising thing, however, is that The Old Republic is clearly better than World of Warcraft in terms of quality as well. Even if it doesn’t beat WoW (though it could with Star Wars’ huge fanbase), it should still be regarded as the superior product.

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So what makes this the best MMORPG out there? Maybe the fact that it plays like a suprising infusion of Mass Effect and World of Warcraft. You could honestly sit back and play this MMORPG as a single player RPG strictly because the narrative and story telling are both so exceptional. There is actually a main quest in this game, one that is centered around the exploits of your character. To enforce this, there are phased areas throughout the world where only your character will be visible. The entrances of these phased areas are marked with green holographic barrier-like walls that you can walk through. Upon passing through one, you will be phased out of the persistent world containing hundreds of other players and will exist solely on your own (there is no loading to accomplish this). What purpose do these areas serve? Well, phased areas mosly contain important quest NPCs that you’ve been directed to kill among other things. This is a huge improvement over other MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft because, in The Old Republic, a phased area belongs to you and you alone, so any quest NPC you have to kill in a phased area wil be killed by you – not other players. I’m sure many people have terrifying memories of having to fight over quest mobs in World of Warcraft, such as the infamous Hogger in Elwynn Forest. This is no longer an issue.

Interactions with NPCs are fully voiced and play out as they would in Dragon Age or Mass Effect, meaning there are moral responses for you to choose from when replying to NPCs. It’s a nice option to have which adds some much needed personality to our MMORPG characters for once. Because of this, my Jedi Knight is shaping up to be a very sympathetic guy who always wants to do the right thing for people. A lot of the moral choices I’m choosing are increasing my alignment and pushing me to the light side. Light side, you ask? Yes, there’s the light side and the dark side. Depending on how you play your character and how they respond to NPCs, their personality will develop and will inch towards either the light or dark side. Assist villagers and side with them on ethical issues and you will be pushed in the direction of the light side, but if you run around and choose the intimidating and rude dialogue options (which are quite likely to end up in the death of others around you) then expect to have your character slowly turn towards the dark side.

Click to enlarge.

This all sounds a lot like a single player RPG, doesn’t it? That’s the best part, it’s not. At all. Instances (flashpoints) and raids (operations) are still around, but I’m not at a high enough level to experience either yet. There are also group quests which I’m also yet to experience despite being level 7. When you’re not in phased areas for questing reasons, you’ll see plenty of other players running around completing their own quests, killing enemy mobs, and interacting with NPCs. The Old Republic contains everything that other MMORPGs do but beefs the experience up with the character development and narrative we’ve come to expect from single player RPGs. This really is a new level for RPGs. Yes the core gameplay is roughly the same, but the extra layer of single player RPG-esque goodness that Bioware has thrown into the formula has drastically improved how The Old Republic plays as an MMORPG.

I haven’t explored many classes yet and have only played Republic-side. I have a level 2 trooper who I made for a YouTube video (find it down below) and my level 7 Jedi Knight who is most certainly going to be my main. I didn’t play enough of the trooper to come to any conclusions at all (again, level 2), but from what I’ve seen of the Jedi Knight so far has impressed it. They appear to be a very speedy melee DPS class with a lot of options for closing the distance between the player and mobs as well as potentially decent crowd control potential.

I haven’t talked about much besides how The Old Republic has been infused with single player RPG elements and that’s because I simply haven’t played the game enough to comment on other things. I can say, however, that this game has all of the MMORPG mainstays such as quest hubs, travel points, AI companions, skill trainers, and more. This is an MMORPG with a lot of extra added oomph. I’ll write some more tomorrow or Friday but, so far, colour me impressed. This is a superb MMORPG!

E3 2010 Preview

Each June, dozens of video game developers converge upon Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3, which is essentially the Mecca of the gaming industry. At E3, many new games are announced for the first time while many hot titles in the works are often presented in playable form. Some of the gaming industry’s biggest games ever were first shown at E3 events.

This year at the Los Angeles Convention Center looks to be a show. Many confirmed big name titles will be appearing, and the rumour mill is also suggesting that a few surprises may show up. I’m not going to go into any details on the “motion capture” wars that the Microsoft and Sony are currently engaged in. Instead, I’m just going to go over some of the games that will be appearing at the show.

In this article, I will present you with a list of all “big” titles worth talking about that will be at E3 this year, but I’ll go talk about perhaps a dozen. After that, I’ll mention a few “rumoured” games that people think may show up.

Here is the list of major titles that will be shown off at E3.

Nintendo

Conduit 2 (Wii)
Dragon Quest IX (DS)
Golden Sun DS (DS)
Legend of Zelda Wii (Wii)
Lost in Shadow (Wii)
Metroid: Other M (Wii)
Pokemon Black & White (DS)
Super Scriiblenauts (DS)

PC

APB
Sid Meier’s Civilization V
Star Wars: The Old Republic

Sony

God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PS3)
Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)
Killzone 3 (PS3)
LittleBigPlanet 2 (PS3)
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PSP)
SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs (PS3)

XBox 360

Gears of War 3
Halo: Reach

Multi Platform Games

Arcania: Gothic IV
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Crysis 2
Dead Space 2
F1 2010
Fable III
Fallout: New Vegas
Mafia 2
Naughty Bear
Rock Band 3
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

Now that we know the major titles, what’s worth talking about? There are definitely several, but I’m only going to mention a few, the ones that I feel I’d enjoy.

APB

APB, or All Points Bulletin, is like an MMO version of Grand Theft Auto. There is a sprawling city, gun fights, driving vehicles, and so forth. This isn’t a sandbox MMO though, as it has quite a specific focus. In APB, players will join one of two factions at the beginning, the Criminals or the Enforcers.

Criminals are, predictably, out to break the law and cause crime. Robbing businesses and creating mayhem is the name of the game when you join the Criminals faction. At the other end of the spectrum is the Enforcers faction. Enforcers are basically cops on steroids that can essentially wear whatever the heck they want for a uniform. Enforcers fight and prevent crime, making them the enemies of the Criminals faction. Essentially, APB is just a giant game of cops and robbers but with really great personality and a unique presentation.

I remember when I watched someone playing the APB beta on justin.tv, I thought that he was playing Grand Theft Auto at first because I had never heard of APB. The screen layout is very similar, and the graphics are very good for an MMO. It took me by surprise when I learned that the broadcaster was not playing an offline solo adventure!

Successfully completing goals (completing crimes of Criminals, while preventing crimes for Enforcers) rewards players with money, which they can use to buy/upgrade weapons and vehicles, as well as customize their appearance very extensively.

Developer Realime Worlds has said that player skill, rather than time investment, will determine how far a player progresses in APB. The game will also feature ingame advertising. Normally I am against such a thing, but in the case of APB I really feel that it will help bring the city to life more and make it feel more realistic.

Overall, it sounds like a really great idea for an MMO and I’ve already decided to purchase (and review) it when it comes out at the end of this month.



Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

A new Assassin’s Creed on major consoles already! I have very little information on this game, but I’ll share what I’ve found out. Brotherhood will, surprisingly, follow Ezio again as he embarks on a fifteen hour singleplayer adventure in Rome.

Ezio will be able to recruit and train new assassins, and will enjoy killing Templars through the use of new weapons.

There will also be multiplayer modes available for the first time in the Assassin’s Creed series. How multiplayer will work in Assassin’s Creed remains to be seen, but I bet it’s safe to say that deathmatch won’t be one of the game modes for fairly obvious reasons relating to the gameplay mechanics of the Assassin’s Creed games.

It’s due out around November this year, and given how enjoyable the first two games were, it’s probably safe to say that Brotherhood will be worth checking out.


Crysis 2

Now here is a game worth talking about. The sequel to one of the most memorable first person shooters in recent years, Crysis 2, is not only appearing on the PC but the 360 and PS3 as well.

Set in an alien infested New York City, Crysis 2 sees the return of Nomad as he adventures around in the Nanosuit 2, an upgraded version of the suit he wore in the first Crysis. Because of the fact that he is wearing the new and improved suit, he is being hunted by Crynet Systems because he isn’t supposed to be wearing it. This makes me wonder, how did Nomad happen to get it? Prophet, the team leader from the first game, is supposedly going to play some kind of a role in Crysis 2. Perhaps he was involved in whatever allowed Nomad to get his hands on Nanosuit 2?

Nanosuit 2 is supposedly much more versatile than the original from the first game. Crytek has stated that the new nanosuit will be able to use more than one power mode at once. This opens the doors for some very, very interesting possibilities! Stealth and speed could be very effective.

Finally, it is worth noting that Crysis 2 will have LOWER system requirements than the first game. It sounds like they’ve straightened a few things out, considering the fact that Crysis 2 is certainly prettier than the first game.

Crysis 2 is due out in December of this year. I suspect many people will find this one under the Christmas tree!



F1 2010

Developed by Codemasters and due out in September of this year, F1 2010 is based on the current Formula One season. New teams Hispania, Lotus, and Virgin will all be featured in the game, as will the revised Silverstone and all new Korean Grand Prix circuit.

Codemasters is promoting this game as having the most advanced weather system ever seen in a video game. Weather will change in real time. Just like during the real races, rain may only sprinkle for a few minutes, or only half the track will have rain showering down upon it.

Racing lines will also dry in wet conditions, and trees will shield areas of the track from the rain, keeping them dry. It is also worth noting that driving through the water in the wet will help you cool your tires.

F1 2010 uses the EGO Engine, which was first used in DiRT and then GRID. Because of Codemasters making their recent racing games have mainstream appeal, such as the Colin McRae (now DiRT) series which only appealed to a niche crowd, I suspect that F1 2010 will follow the same path and be a great game even for people who don’t enjoy Formula One. The fact that flashbacks, which let you rewind accidents that you have and essentially “undo” them, are making an appearance in F1 2010 says it all, I feel.

Throughout career mode, players will be able to interact with the media and their team, responding the questions in conferences and interviews. I don’t recall such a thing ever being done in a racing game before, and it certainly has a nice sound to it.

I should note that the following images have 2009 cars. Codemasters have stated that they were just used as placeholders until the 2010 cars were fully implemented. I have a strong feeling that at E3, we’ll see the 2010 cars in action at last.



Gran Turismo 5

Sony’s cash cow racing series is finally nearing the finish line. After a fantastic Prologue followed by a pretty unimpressive demo, Gran Turismo 5 certainly has been taking it’s time. I’ve been told that the only reason we don’t have Gran Turismo 5 now is because of Sony pressuring Polyphony to implement 3D capabilities into the game.

The fifth Gran Turismo offers nothing less than you’d expect it to. Approximately two dozen tracks and more than one thousand cars make up Gran Turismo 5. NASCAR and WRC races will also be featured in the game, and the list of car manufacturers, which was already big enough, has welcomed Bugatti and Lambourghini. All cars can be damaged now, so if you want to smash up realistic looking Lambourghini Murcielagos, then this is the game for it.

The tracks seem to be quite varied, and will include night racing. Here is an apparent complete list of circuits in Gran Turismo 5. Note that I cannot guarantee that this list is accurate.

Apricot Hill Raceway, Autdromo Jos Carlos Pace, Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Autumn Ring, Cathedral Rocks, Chamonix, Circuit de Catalunya, Circuit de La Sarthe, Circuit de Valencia, Citta di Aria, Clubman Stage Route 5, Complex String, Costa di Amalfi, Daytona International, Deep Forest Raceway, Driving Park, Dunsfold Park, Eiger Nordwand, Fuji Speedway, George V Paris, Grand Canyon, Grand Valley Speedway, Gymkhana, High-Speed Ring, Hong Kong, Ice Arena, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Laguna Seca Raceway, Las Vegas Drag Strip, London, Madrid, Midfield Raceway, Monaco, Motorland, New York, Nordschleife, Nrburgring GP Strecke, Opera Paris, Rally Japan, Rally Toscana, Rome, Seattle, Sepang International Circuit, Shanghai International Circuit, Spa-Francorchamps, Special Stage Route 5, Special Stage Route 11, Suzuka, Swiss Alps, Tahiti Maze, Texas Motor Speedway, Tokyo Route 246, Trial Mountain, Tsukuba Circuit, Tuscany, Twin Ring Motegi, Yas Marina Circuit, Zamboanga.

And here are some car manufacturers in the game. I left about ONE HUNDRED small name ones, or ones that not many people would recognize.

Abarth, Acura, Alfa Romeo, AMC, Ariel, Ascari, Aston Martin, Audi, Autobianchi, Bentley, BMW, BRM, Bugatti, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Citroen, Cosworth, Dacia, Daewoo, Daihatsu, Dallara, Datsun, DeLorean, Dodge, Dome, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, FSO, GAZ, General Motors, Geo, Ginetta, GMC, Hennessey, Holden, Honda, Hudson, Hummer, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Italdesign, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Koenig, Lada, Lambourghini, Lancia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Lister, Lola, Lotus, McLaren, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Mercury, MG, Minardi, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Opel, Pagani, Peugeot, Plymouth, Polyphony, Pontiac, Porsche, Proton, Reliant, Renault, Reynard, Rinspeed, RollsRoyce, Rover, RUF, Saab, Saleen, Samsung, Saturn, Sauber, Scion, Seat, Shelby, Skoda, Spyker, Studebaker, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Triumph, TVR, Tyrell, Vauxhall, Venturi, Volkswagen, Volvo, Walter Wolf, Williams F1, Yamaha, Z Cars, Zakspeed, ZIL, Zytek

WOW. Okay, so Grand Turismo 5 is massive.



Halo: Reach

I’m not much of a Halo player, but I figure that a fan of the games may accidentally wander into my mostly PS3-centric blog.

Halo: Reach seems to take place in the 2552 in which humanity is at war with the alien Covenant. The player controls an elite supersoldier squad member known as Noble 6. I was surprised not see Master Chief’s name to be honest, but as a Halo outsider it may make sense that I’m surprised since to people who don’t play Halo, Master Chief practically is Halo itself.

I wish that I could say more about Reach, but I cannot. I’m aware that the multiplayer will be very deep however, and customization is apparently heavy. That’s always good! 360 fans seem to be getting a very nice FPS here.



Legend of Zelda Wii

This should be good! Little is known about this new Zelda yet, other than that it stars an adult Link and he is apparently not wielding the Master Sword. A mysterious figure on a piece of promotional art that stands behind Link vaguely resembles the Master Sword, which has raised a few questions.

Unfortunately, this is all that’s known so far about the new Zelda. Despite the fact that there so is little info, I still felt that Zelda deserved it’s own mention because, hey, it’s Zelda!!

LittleBigPlanet 2

LittleBigPlanet 2 sees the return of Sackboy on another epic adventure. This time, a vacuum cleaner-like villain dubbed “The Sucker” travels to the dimension that the game is set in and starts sucking everything up! Sounds like the levels may be more diverse than the first game’s as a result of this interstellar vacuum cleaner bad guy.

LittleBigPlanet 2 is going to play the same as the first game, and all content that you bought for the first game will be available straight away in the sequel.

It’s worth noting that customization is going to take on a whole new level of depth. While the first game promoted an editor that let you make platformer levels, LittleBigPlanet 2 supposedly lets you go even further, making racing games and even RPGs. How this is possible, I have no clue, but I’m excited to find out. I just hope that making levels is easier than it was in the first game. Unless you had lots of time to devote to the first LittleBigPlanet, you weren’t going to create much.

Online is supposed to be more intuitive, thank goodness. Hopefully Media Molecule removes the whole “globe” menu gimmick from the sequel! Anyway, LittleBigPlanet 2 will be available this fall, presumably in December.



Metroid: Other M

Team Ninja, famous for developing the Dead or Alive and recent Ninja Gaiden games, has been given a chance to work some magic on Metroid. I can only assume that this is going to be a Metroid unlike any we’ve seen before. I do not have a Wii, but if I did, this game would probably be at the top of my list of games to watch out for.

Other M takes place after the SNES hit Super Metroid and leads Samus to an alien infested spaceship that sent out a distress signal.

Supposedly the game will play like a 3D version of the original Metroid games, and Samus will have all of her old abilities from the classic games. So, fully 3D classic Metroid? Certainly sounds good to me. Wii owners are in for quite a treat with this one, I believe.



Naughty Bear

Now this game is just plain twisted! Here is the plot of the game taken from Wikipedia.

“Naughty Bear is the only bear on the island that was not invited to a certain birthday party because of the fact that he is too naughty. While he crafted a gift for the occasion, he was laughed at by the other bears and sulked back to his house. Naughty Bear decides to take his revenge against all the other bears on the island.”

The object of the game? To be naughty! Doing so rewards you with naughty points and from there… Well, I have no idea. The game has an open sandbox environment like Grand Theft Auto, so there should be lots to do. To be honest, I don’t care what the objective of the game is, I’m going to be picking the game up when it releases at the end of this month. The idea of being a teddy bear who just causes trouble sounds really…. Fun!



Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

Finally, a new game in the numbered Sonic the Hedgehog series! It is very unfortunate that the only good game Sonic has been in recently is a kart racer (and a very good one, to be fair), but he’s finally coming home. I suppose Sega clued in and realized that Sonic has only ever done very well in 2D platformers. So, yes, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is a classic 2D platformer with what I suppose are HD graphics. Sort of.

This game is more of the same. Dr. Eggman (I prefer to call him Robotnik, but oh well) has it out for Sonic, and our blue friend has to do something about it. Sonic will trek through several zones made up of 2D side scrolling levels, just like the old games. I only liked Sonic 2, but I really think I’ll be checking this one out when it is released as a downloadable title.

The first episode of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 will be released later this year.



Star Wars: The Old Republic

Yeah, some Star Wars MMORPG.

I like the old Star Wars movies, but I know very little about this game. This is all I can say on it, really! It’s being made by Bioware and should be out around April or May 2011. I also fully expect it to steal elements from WoW, but you’d be crazy not to if you’re making an MMORPG.

Star Wars has an amazing history and setting though, which makes it perfect for an MMORPG. Considering the size of Star Wars’ fanbase, there’s no doubt in my mind that this game will be a hit.




Now, the rumour mill is always spinning around E3 time. I will now go over the four games I have heard rumours about but, at the moment, there’s no confirmation at all that these games are in the works, except MK9.

Half-Life 3

Surprisingly, yes. Valve have said that they have a “big” surprise for us at E3 this year but they didn’t specify what. A lot of people are jumping to the BIG conclusion. While it may be a stretch, it’s certainly an awesome stretch. Half-Life 3 would rock E3 to the core.

Infamous 2

While I only played the demo of Infamous (I found myself being more tempted to buy Prototype, which I did), I was able to acknowledge that the full game was probably pretty great based on what the demo offered. Judging by the review scores, I was right. More of the same can only be a good thing, right?

Mortal Kombat 9

Despite the fact that Midway bit the dust, Ed Boon and his wily crew survived after being taken in by Warner Brothers Games. It was an obvious choice for WB, considering the fact that Mortal Kombat is a cash cow. Boon revealed last year that MK9 is in development, so don’t be surprised if it shows up at E3.

Resistance 3

Sony’s “golden egg” FPS series. I find shooters to be pretty boring myself, but Resistance is pretty cool. I fully expect Resistance 3 to make an appearance at some point in time on the PS3. Whether or not it’s at E3 is yet to be seen.


And that’s about it! Overall E3, looks to have some pretty stellar games this year, and possibly some amazing surprises. Despite the fact that Playstation Move and Natal will probably be the focus of the show, we can’t forget that the games make E3, and this year it’s going to be a doozy.

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