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TVG: Saints Row 2 Q&A Feature

50°
345w ago - The first open-world title to make it onto store shelves back when the 'current-gen' was still the 'next-gen', Volition Inc.'s Saints Row was a brave step in confronting the juggernaut that is Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto franchise.

Even though GTA IV was still two years away when gamers first started their journey in Stilwater City, the story of the Third Street Saints remained very much in Rockstar's shadow.

A planned PS3 version was later canned to allow the THQ studio to focus on the inevitable follow up, which is now just small number of months away from release.

So as gamers prepare to return to Stilwater, a few months after the imminent return to Liberty City, TVG took time out at THQ's Gamers Day 2008 to speak to Saints Row 2 producer, Greg Donovan...

TVG: What were some of the key weaknesses identified from the original Saints Row, and how have they been rectified for this year's follow up?

We can look at the various improvements on both a micro and macro level. One of the first that jumps out of me right away is the addition of mission checkpoints. Certainly, the introduction of 'cruise control' makes drive-bys a lot easier to handle - those are the two examples of micro level improvements.

Macro scale [improvements] would be technological;...
 

Paradise City: Major update on the way!

50°
345w ago - Criterion Games' next major download for Paradise City (codenamed: Bogart) will be available on PSN and Xbox Live on 24th April.

The Top 10 problems reported by you have been fixed, these are:

* PS3 game can crash when a player is taken down and the player that has performed the Takedown leaves the game.
* The game indefinitely displays "Connecting to Paradise City Servers" if it's having problems communicating with the rebroadcast server.
* Disconnecting the controller before a race begins can mean that race timings can be manipulated with players who didn't cross the line first being awarded the win.
* Repeatedly joining and leaving a game with 8 players can cause the game to hang.
* Hammering the A (360) or X (PS3) after unlocking a car can cause the game to hang.
* East Crawford and Watt St achievements cannot be achieved if the player goes online and sets road rules before attempting them.
* Audio distortion when using 5.1 / DTS and looking back at the car.
* Enhanced 360 streaming performance stops instances where the game seems to pause for a second or so.
* Total time driven in player stats would stick at 145 hours.
* VoIP connection problems with 8 player games. This is now live on the Paradise City servers.
 

PS3 Debug/TEST Flash Dumped!!

550°
345w ago - Earlier last week, one of the PS3 Devs sent his PS3 Debug/TEST unit off to another resident Dev (who also successfully did a PS3 Retail Flash dump early last year) to have the PS3 Flash dumped.

Well, it has been done! In an amazing feat taking all of 10 minutes, Courier pulled the two PS3 NAND Flash chips from the PS3 TEST and dumped them. Nothing like a hot air rework station in the hands of a professional!

So, the PS3 TEST Flash has been dumped! We also had a chance to do a preliminary analysis on it as we have seen and catalogued nearly 15 seperate PS3 Retail Flash dumps- and there is only (1) constant string in the section we are examining in all of them.

But in the PS3 TEST, it differs!!

More information will be posted soon, but the plan is now to replace said data on a Retail PS3 system, and by doing so modifying its identity to pass the update verification so that Debug/TEST Firmware can be installed on it... along with all the goodies it allows of course.
 

Amazon Dates Metal Gear Online For November

250°
345w ago - Online retailer Amazon.com is now taking pre-orders for Metal Gear Online, the upcoming multiplayer-focused spin-off of Hideo Kojima's legendary Metal Gear series.

A price of $59.99 and a release date of November 15, 2008 is scheduled. They have also posted what we assume is the Official box art, displayed below.

Finally, Konami announced last February that gamers who pre-order Metal Gear Solid 4 in the U.S. at any GameStop or EBGames will receive free access to the Metal Gear Online beta test, which is set to launch in late April.
 

Sony Asks: Why Do You Hack Your PSP?

300°
345w ago - The engineers at Sony can't be too thrilled with fighting the constant battle against PSP hackers, issuing firmware updates that "strengthen security" in a futile attempt to curb piracy and homebrew applications.

Going by a recent survey commissioned by Sony Computer Entertainment, passed on to us by a reader who was asked to take part, the company seems to be looking into the reasons why PSP owners are opening up their portables.

Sony reps call the survey a part of "ongoing PSP consumer research", attempting to learn more about the size of the PSP hacking population and the mentality behind the behavior.

Questions like "Do you know of anyone who has "hacked," or modified, transferred and customized their PSP firmware and software?" were included elsewhere in the poll.
 
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