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Preview: Folklore for PS3!

385w ago - In Folklore the barrier between the lands of the living and dead is far from impenetrable. Living souls that travel between are called "messengers," and Folklore concerns itself with two in particular: Keats, a worldly reporter obsessed with the occult, and Ellen, a young woman with a murky past. Both are lured to the town of Doolin in short order, and the death of one thrusts both on a journey through seven strange realms of the Netherworld.

Each metaphysical neighborhood is shaped by how the living view death, resulting in worlds as diverse as the thoughts that brought them into being. The Faery Realm is a psychedelic wonderland of glowing butterflies and vibrant foliage that feels more like an interactive painting than anything nature might manage. Warcadia, on the other hand, is a nightmarish eternal battlefield where bullets never stop flying and bombers never stop diving.

Whether exploring the watery blue of the Undersea City, or wandering the halls of the Endless Corridor, the beautiful otherworldly visuals can't gloss over the fact that something's not quite right in the Netherworld, and most of the residents aren't terribly pleased to see you traipsing across their property. Over a hundred different monsters, called "Folks," want to take a chunk out of your hide.

Whether you're strafing...

Preview: NBA 08 for PS3

386w ago - Amare Stoudemire, who will appear on the cover of the upcoming NBA 08, was at SCEA's San Diego headquarters on Sept. 7 to do some motion-capture work and take an early look at the new game.

After trading his bright-yellow Beatles t-shirt for a "dotted-up" mo-cap suit, Stoudemire took to the court and started firing free-throw line jump shots. The first few clanged hard off the rim, which Stoudemire attributed to the 10 a.m. start time. He eventually found his form, saying "Uh-oh" as he reeled off a few swishes in a row and warned that all Lakers fans should leave the room.

The Sony people told Stoudemire to pick one signature dunk, and he agonized over the choice, staring at the rim and rubbing his chin before deciding to go with a two-handed reverse. Later, he asked to give it another try, even asking if the rim could be lowered to eight feet to give the dunk extra power. After a couple big windmills, he was satisfied.

Later, Stoudemire sat down to give the game a try, leading his own Phoenix Suns against one of the game's designers, controlling the Seattle Sonics. He got into it, shouting, "There you go 'Trix! The Matrix!" after he guided Shawn Marion down the lane for a dunk, and, "Oh! Steve with the putback!" following a rare offensive rebound by Steve Nash. Virtual Amare scored...

Preview: The Simpsons Game for PS3!

386w ago - Picture this: a towering, King Kong-size Millhouse costumed up as Katamari Damacy's King of All Kosmos -- complete with crown and pink and green cups sticking out where ears should be. From that one image you get a pretty good idea what The Simpsons Game is all about. As we saw in prior demos of levels like "Grand Theft Scratchy" and "Medal of Homer," this isn't just a game featuring the Simpsons; it turns the clan loose on videogames, in a videogame.

If you think of each level as an episode, the game becomes a season of the show during which the Simpsons figure out that they've been licensed out to be in a number of games. It all begins with Homer in what he thinks is one of his favorite dreams visiting the Land of Chocolate. The video that introduces the level erases any doubts about whether the production lives up to the standard of the TV show. The animation looks terrific in HD, and with the regular show writers and voice talent on the job, it's just like watching another episode.

Except this time, after watching Homer's eyes light up at the sight of everything in chocolate, and his taking that first bite off the corner of a building, the animation transitions into a fully 3D game world with you in control. For this tutorial level, a white chocolate bunny appears to guide your proverbial journey down...

Preview: LittleBigPlanet for PS3!

386w ago - A captive audience of game creators went totally gaga over LittleBigPlanet at March's Game Developers Conference... but that's not terribly surprising, as it's ostensibly a game about game development. It's certainly a fresh concept: You (and up to three friends) converge online to design and play side-scrolling platformer levels in real time. From its cuddly customizable avatars to its promise of a YouTube-style community, the whole thing feels remarkably original. But will the average gamer be as enamored with this quirky toolkit when Sony drops an interactive demo later this year? We cornered Media Molecule Senior Producer Pete Wilson for the scoop on this wacky new gaming concept...

EGM: Since we aren't all game developers, will you include some type of in-game hint system so our creations don't suck?

Pete Wilson: Actually, you'll be introduced to the creation tools just by playing the premade levels. We call it creativity by stealth -- you won't even notice it but, after playing LBP for a while, you'll probably be pretty good at making stuff. You definitely don't need to be a game developer to make stuff in LBP -- there is no separate editor for example; you just create everything very physically using your character, in-game. And we want to keep the creation systems very simple so that users aren't...

Conan - The Barbaric Preview

386w ago - Conan the game isn't directly based on any particular Conan story, but fans of the original works will recognize returning locations from the original stories, like the lands of Kush and Stygia. Of course, there will be a number of original, fantastic environments through which to slaughter, too, such as a set of ocean ruins we got to see that are full of gigantic living statues and semi-corporeal, ghost-like enemies that your weapons can't always hit. At the outset, Conan has lost four of his enchanted pieces of armor which he intends to recover, and each one will grant him a new magical attack when he retrieves it. As a barbarian, Conan doesn't especially relish the thought of using magic, but he also recognizes its utility when there are all these enemies just asking to be driven before him. Along the way, Conan will encounter A'kanna, a lithe and sensual archer who seems like she'll act as a wily feminine foil for all of Conan's trademark bluster and bravado.

Veterans of Ninja Gaiden, God of War, and similarly technical combat-action games ought to feel right at home with the mechanics in Conan. The burly barbarian's move and combo sets are categorized by weapon type; you've got one set of attacks for a single-handed sword, one for dual weapons, and another for two-handed weapons. Regardless of what weapons you're...
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