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Sony: The PlayStation 3 is still a game machine

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375w ago - Despite previous attempts in promoting the PlayStation 3 as a super-computer, Blu-ray player, and multimedia device, Sony Computer Entertainment president Kaz Hirai recalibrated the PS3 as a game console in statements made during his Tokyo Game Show keynote.

"As the fundamental point of our system, I think [PS3] is still a game machine," Hirai said (via GameLife). "We want people to first enjoy it for the possibility of interactive games. If we pursue too many directions, people will keep asking us, 'What is PlayStation?'"

The PlayStation exec took a somewhat humble tone during the keynote while admitting that the PS3 hasn't had the best of starts. As a result, the company hopes to listen further to ongoing gamer concerns.

To start, Sony promised better development support in addition to continued support of the popular PS2. To increase the quantity and quality of available games, the company plans to share assets and know-how with third-party publishers.

Additionally, Sony will solicit feedback from publishers by setting up an advisory board to meet on a regular basis Hirai said.
 

TGS '07 Preview: Angel Love Online for PS3

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375w ago - Here's an interesting departure from Q Entertainment's usual: an MMO, co-produced by Shockwave, featuring angels. Talk about getting closer to God! But if you're thinking "Gabriel" angels, you've got it all wrong; in Angel Love Online, angels are actually cute little winged anime girls who run around hitting flowers for experience points.

Stranger still, there are a couple different garden varieties of flowers that are out to get you, including a large drooping white blossom that maybe looks a little menacing... if you squint. Whack these evil flowers, and use some of your freshly granted angel skills to take them down even faster (or heal yourself, should you need to). If you have the correct tools, you can also fish or collect plants.

The animations are pretty simple, and even a little budgety, but they're also somewhat charming in their own way... especially if you like cute little anime girls. The interface is pretty typical of an MMO -- there's even a chat window in place, albeit not yet implemented. Surprisingly, the game is coming to both PC as well as PS3, and there are plans to eventually support a controller rather than the keyboard and mouse set-up we used during our hands-on preview.

It'll be interesting to see how the developers ultimately map all the controls to the Sixaxis,...
 

TGS '07 Preview: Bumpy Trot 2 for PS3

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375w ago - The PS2 version of the game looked perfectly fine -- more refined than the original, smoother gameplay and a less jarring frame rate -- but on PS3 the game shines. It's not the best-looking title on the console, but the cell-shaded visuals are somewhat similar in quality to Eternal Sonata, albeit with more subdued colors and less fanciful character designs. The "trotmobile" mechs retain their sense of real-world practicality, more closely resembling actual utility vehicles than the baroque robot suits common in most video games. Characters seem like normal people -- both of which seem important to selling the story, which (going by the game's trailer) revolves around an impoverished young man in ragged clothing who falls in love with the pretty flower girl he sees while working as a shoeshine boy on a frigid, snowy street.

The Bumpy Trot 2 video showed off a bit of gameplay, which seems very much in keeping with the original game: the hero sets out in a trotmobile along a girl and man who closely resembled Steambot Chronicles' Connie and Basil. The trio find itself in combat with a massive river-based mobile platform operated by the Killer Elephant gang -- a sequence that seemed almost directly lifted from the first game, and undoubtedly included in the trailer for the sake of comparing the series' PS2 visuals to the...
 

TGS '07 Preview: Valkyrie of the Battlefield for PS3

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375w ago - Not since Smilebit's Japan-only Dreamcast real-time strategy game Hundred Swords has Sega put so much effort into the genre as it has with their upcoming PS3 shooter Valkyrie of the Battlefield: Gallian Chronicles. A significant portion of Sega's TGS presence this year is devoted to what at first glimpse looks like a collision between Studio Ghibli-quality visuals and pseudo-real-time tactical gameplay a la Medal of Honor, and eventually evolves into something much more compelling than that bizarre description suggests.

When we first lined up to give Valkyrie a shot, we were subjected to a verbal tutorial (what is with Tokyo Game Show and mandatory, live tutorials? See also: Metal Gear Online) by a lady dressed up in the style of the game's characters. We also got a taste of the backstory of the war-torn, otherwise peaceful nation of Gallia, which was invaded by Hellghast-style forces. Fiercely proud and independent, an uprising of Gallian nationals tries (via the player) to push back and repel the invasion, using classic 'rock, paper, scissors' tactical game mechanics, played out with a small, balanced squad of specialist freedom fighters.

Using a cel-shaded, sketch-style of 3D rendering, each character looks distinct, wrapped in soft brown and blue clothing, shaded by cross-hatched pen strokes that evokes...
 

TGS '07 Preview: FF XIII Versus for PS3

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375w ago - Final Fantasy Versus XIII may not turn out to be a very good game, but it's going to damn fun to watch.

That's not to criticize the game or take a pessimistic view -- it's just that, well, Square Enix hasn't shown a single frame of gameplay footage since its debut at E3 2006. So we don't know what the game is about, or how it plays, or even what genre it will belong to. But its FMV could best be described as smokin' hot, eclipsing Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children or even the real FFXIII.

The new Versus trailer shown behind closed doors at this year's TGS seemed like a sad rehash of the video-only trailer that's been shown for the past year and a half... for about ten seconds. And then the new stuff kicked in.

Set to a rousing operatic score and punctuated by random phrases in Italian, the new Versus clip shows the outcome of the previous trailer (in which the mysterious white-haired protagonist rose from a throne in a city to confront a small army of gun-toting soldiers, himself armed with an arsenal of mystical weapons). The outcome goes like this: He totally kicks their asses. Using the magically-suspended swords and blades, the unnamed hero (or not?) slices through the troops as their bullets ricochet off what appear to be magical shields. At one point, the battle takes to the air...
 
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