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TGS '07 Preview: Tori-Emaki for PS3

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365w 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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365w 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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365w 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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365w 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...
 

TGS '07: Hot Shots Golf 5 Hands-On Preview

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365w ago - Hot Shots Golf may be known by many names around the world (such as Mina No Golf and Everybody's Golf), but in any language the series has become a byword for humorous and accessible golfing action. The game has appeared on every Sony platform since the original PlayStation, so it was no surprise to see it announced for the PlayStation 3. With the game already being on sale in Japan, we were able to play the finished article ahead of the Tokyo Game Show, as well as talk to the game's developer.

The main thing to talk about is how the shot and putting systems have changed in this latest outing. Instead of being indicated by a bar, the shot power is now displayed with visual indicators on the golf club itself. Once you've chosen your club, the circle button will initiate the shot and your player will begin the swing. At the 50 percent power level, the end of the club will flash yellow, and at 100 percent it will flash red. By judging from these two indicators, you have to press circle again at the desired power level to take the shot. At this point, a target reticle will zoom in on the ball itself, and the idea is to press the circle button again just as it encapsulates it to ensure a straight shot.

We found the new shot system to be intuitive, and we had no trouble getting to grips with it from the very...
 
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