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TGS '07 Preview: Pain for PS3

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358w ago - There's just something about outrageous physical harm that you can't take your eyes off of; at least, that's what the developers of Pain are banking on. For a game that's all about shooting your character (we recommend the Nurse) out of a large outstretched rubber band in order to create the most painful descent possible, the game spends a lot of time early on teaching you to sharpshoot monkeys off skyscrapers, and making sure you know exactly how much force you need until you can soar into that giant donut.

But this PSN game's controls are really simple to grasp from the get-go: the left analog stick controls aim, the right stick controls power, you press X to launch, R1 to relaunch, and Triangle to replay your last launch. Once in the air you can also use the left analog stick to control your drift, moving to the left or right in midair or slowing down and extending your distance. Unfortunately, the tutorial section seems unnecessarily long and particularly hand-holding; you do a series of launches according to the on-screen instructions, but most of your controls are restricted until the game decides you should use it in a particular launch.

Most of the launches don't even allow for you to aim yourself at all, because the game wants you to be knocking into very specific items or buildings. It seems...
 

TGS '07 Preview: Tori-Emaki for PS3

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358w ago - One of the bizarre yet pleasant surprises at Sony's pre-TGS event tonight was EyeToy title Tori-Emaki. The game's Japanese calligraphy visuals immediately caught our eye -- it looks a lot like Okami, except in high-def.

However, don't get too excited just yet. The gameplay we saw was rather simplistic -- you guide around a flock of crows by motioning in directions with your hands. And that's about it. While moving the flock, you explore a rather beautiful animating world, but as far as we can tell, it still doesn't reach much further than that.

Ironically, despite the distinctive visual style and the event it's debuting at, Tori-Emiki is not being developed in Japan -- it's from Sony Europe and developer PlayLogic. We're cautiously optimistic, so look for more on Tori-Emiki soon.
 

TGS '07: Preview: LittleBigPlanet for PS3

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358w ago - The first noticeable difference with the Tokyo Game Show build was the addition of a new display to house and showcase your and others' created games: a globe. All of the levels that you, your friends, or random others create appear as little patches on a big world. Although it wasn't visible in the TGS version of the game, the idea is that your world will eventually fill with patches -- some through your own doing, sure, but mainly by being populated via the network.

To help promote the game's viral nature, your world will fill up with some of the best or most popular levels from others -- but you can also apply all sorts of filters, such as to display only levels from friends, or levels above or below a certain rating, and so on. Also not implemented in the TGS version, you'll be able to zoom in and out of the globe, so as it fills with hundreds (perhaps thousands?) of levels you'll still be able to navigate through them.

Interestingly, the developers hope to see lots of players placing levels according to geography or proximity (for instance, some people may want to place levels near each other). In fact, according to the developers, the concept of the world as a hub for the game came about from LittleBigPlanet's mission of incorporating and celebrating elements of countries and cultures from around...
 

TGS '07 Q&A: Sony's Phil Harrison

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358w ago - On the fourth floor of Sony's Japanese offices in the posh district of Minato-ku, the PlayStation 3-maker held a party Wednesday night to show off 30 of the PS3's upcoming games to an audience of international journalists.

The company remained tight-lipped about what to expect in tomorrow's Sony Computer Entertainment keynote, which starts at 10:30 a.m. Tokyo time on Thursday (2:30 a.m. BST Thursday, 6:30 p.m. PDT Wednesday). However, speculation is widespread that SCEI CEO Kaz Hirai will use his presentation to unveil a rumble-enabled Dual Shock 3 for the PS3, amongst other announcements.

At tonight's event, though, the atmosphere was informal. Informal enough, in fact, for GameSpot to corner Sony Worldwide Studios president and World's #1 MotorStorm fan Phil Harrison over a cold drink. He politely discussed the constant comparisons of the PS3 and Wii, and how Sony plans to move on from the negative press the company has attracted over its latest console's bumpy ride at retail.

GameSpot UK: So can you talk to us about what's going to be announced during Kaz Hirai's keynote tomorrow?

Phil Harrison: No. And I wouldn't remember anyway. [Laughs]

GSUK: We keep seeing stories from Japan about the Wii outselling...
 

TGS '07: flOw Expansion Pack Preshow Hands-On

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358w ago - flOw remains one of the trippiest games released on the PlayStation 3 so far, with the PS Network game's organic-looking design and simple yet appealing gameplay adding up to an almost hypnotic experience. The game's upcoming expansion pack adds a brand-new creature, a new enemy, and some new foods--in other words, more of the same for fans of the game.

The new creature being introduced into the mix shares the same stripped-back look of previous controllable flOw creatures, and looks like a small circle surrounded by hooked barbs. Pressing down any button on the PS3 controller will cause the barbs to close, momentarily protecting the new creature from any enemies. Releasing the button sends the creature into a spin, which also serves as an attack for any nasties that may be around. The new enemy type being introduced into this expansion acts somewhat like a puffer fish--get too close, and this spherical enemy will puff up spikes all over its body.

Introducing a new character essentially adds a new "campaign" to the game--and considering the original game had six creatures in all, that's about 15 percent more flOw for fans out there. Another important addition that comes with the expansion pack is the ability to now play as two different creatures in multiplayer.

A release date for the flOw...
 
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