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Sony puts its Future in the Hands of Sackboy

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328w ago - Sony is defining their future with a little-known British creation: a rag doll called Sackboy. He is the hero of LittleBigPlanet, which Sony has described as the biggest game in PlayStation's history.

It was scheduled for release this Friday, but this was pushed back after it was discovered some background music included lines from the Koran, offending some Muslims.

To quote: The simple concept was created by the British games designer Media Molecule, a small up-and-coming developer based above a bathroom shop in Guildford, Surrey, and has hit on the next big idea in gaming. This is because the product has an added twist - players can design their own level in rich detail, and share it with friends over the Internet.

Sony executives have made the game their biggest release before Christmas and have elevated Sackboy to become the company's first poster boy - a figurehead they hope will become as familiar as the likes of Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog.

A PlayStation official said: "We've never really had an icon before. That was a deliberate policy of the early days because we did not want to be pigeonholed. It's psychologically telling that this, arguably our first mascot,...
 

Hands-On: Demon's Souls for PlayStation 3

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328w ago - After unveiling the first details nearly two weeks ago of FROM Software's Demon's Souls, PS3FanBoy has now made available a hands-on review from this year's Tokyo Game Show as follows:

Immediately the demo begins and I'm confronted by a character customization screen, allowing me to change various aspects of my appearance. I didn't tinker, mostly because I wasn't sure what did what thanks to the language barrier.

Customizing my appearance would've been a waste of time anyway, as the camera sits behind the character for the majority of the time and his face is hidden by a large medieval helmet.

The gameplay starts in a courtyard in front of a large castle. A small fountain lies ahead, slowing down the game with its unnecessary, though meager, particle effects.

Despite some fairly decent graphics, the game has an overwhelming sense of being old school. In the top left lies my health, mana and stamina bar, something that is beginning to feel dated in third-person action games post-Uncharted and Gears of War.

Graphically, the game looks good. Textures and models are quality, if a bit generic. However, currently the game is best viewed in screenshots as the frame rate...
 

Hands-On Preview: Need for Speed: Undercover

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328w ago - It's a sobering thought that when the original The Need For Speed came out in 1994 - on the ill-fated 3DO, no less - the original PlayStation wasn't even on shop shelves. The series is now over 14 years old, which makes it one of the oldest racing franchises that's still active today; Only Mario Kart and Ridge Racer are longer in the tooth.

Over the course of the past decade the Need For Speeds have adopted several different styles and forms, but they reached a new level of popularity after the release of Need For Speed Underground. The sequel introduced a free-roaming element and the series never looked back, making its debut on the current crop of consoles with Most Wanted.

It is to these instalments, prior to the disappointing ProStreet, that Undercover harks back, with a strong emphasis on criminal goings-on and baiting the police in the manner of the borderline motor-porn that is The Fast and the Furious.

As it goes, this latest Demand For Velocity outing will feel closer than ever before to the petrol-soaked antics of Vin Diesel and chums. While we were only shown a brief cut scene during our recent rendezvous with EA, it's clear that the devs at Black Box have stepped up their efforts when it comes to the game's back story. Unless you've been avoiding Undercover news like the plague,...
 

Tokyo Game Show 2008 Hands-On: Spelunker for PSN

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329w ago - Spelunker is a remake of the NES classic from Irem. Does it look familiar to you? Do you remember the game from way back in the day, 20 years ago?

If you do, it's probably because the aesthetics haven't changed much. Though boasting updated, modern graphics, the game's visuals retain a retro-stylized feel. The 2D characters are still there.

The lifts and ladders are still in the places they would've been. Overall, it looks like an interesting title for those old-school gamers looking for a blast from the past.

Of course, the question is: How does it play? First off, the controls are simple enough. It's a 2D game with a focus on platform jumping, with other actions including: riding down elevators; leaping over pits; climbing ladders; and dodging fire, steam, and toxic liquids.

You can collect items such as bombs to demolish obstacles in your way, or keys in order to progress through locked sections of a stage.

It all sounds very simple, familiar and arcadey -- in other words, a perfect fit for a PSN game. Right?
 

PSP Firmware 5.0 Hands-On: PlayStation Network on the PSP

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329w ago - Ever since the introduction of the PlayStation Network, I have been complaining about the PSP's inability to support its use. Well it looks like Sony is finally going to make me eat crow, as they announced full PSN integration into the newest PSP firmware update.

Details on PSP firmware 5.0 had been lacking, but Joystiq was able to get hands-on time with the newest update while attending the Tokyo Game Show:

"PSP firmware 5.0 ushers in the PS Store for PSP. With the exception of a separate video storefront, it is functionally identical to the PS3's PS store, including the option to enter PSN Card numbers and voucher codes from within. The final content categories are still being finalized, but the build we tried featured sections for downloadable games, UMD Legacy games, themes, video, and music. SCEA isn't saying whether it plans to offer digital releases all future UMD-based games day-and-date via the service like SCE Japan is.

The rest of the PSP updates are fairly low-key. PlayStation Network now has its own spot on the PSP XMB, just as it does on PS3. (This is where the PS Store lives.) There's now a sleep timer function for music playback and a new XMB background theme - basically a...
 
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