Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 UK Review

338w ago - After a disappointing next-gen start, PES finds its form and Xbox 360 finally gets its star signing.

Expectation is a difficult beast to manage. Whether it's the latest blockbuster failing to live up to its pre-release hype or the look on your girlfriend's face when she unwraps her birthday present, only to discover it's another weight-loss DVD, meeting expectation is sometimes harder than keeping David Bentley under control when he's wearing an England under-21 shirt.

Shingo 'Seabass' Takatsuka had a mountain to climb when creating the next-gen versions of Pro Evolution Soccer, then. Last year's Xbox 360 game delivered a high-definition experience but fell short with respect to PES's trademark realistic gameplay and sharp AI. It was by no means terrible - as you can tell from our PES6 review - but it wasn't the Pro Evo we've come to know and love over the past few years.

A year on, however, and the essence of what makes PES so undeniably superb - the instinctive controls, the way you almost feel at one with your team when you're playing well - is very much back in evidence. Indeed, playing next-gen Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 is a warming, blissfully familiar experience that will make you wonder if you've accidentally slipped the old version of the game into the drive.

That's not...

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Review

338w ago - A lack of reasons for PS2 owners to upgrade to the more expensive PS3 is often said to be why Sony's latest console isn't performing as well as everyone predicted. Big name Sony franchises simply haven't been appearing on the PlayStation 3 as regularly as we all thought they would, with Sony focussing on new properties such as Resistance, Heavenly Sword and Motorstorm. Insomniac looks to be putting things right with its second PS3 exclusive, Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction. Should PS2 owners be thinking about trading in their aging console?

The first thing to hit you when you start the game is how good it looks. Every new console brings about the same old discussion over if game graphics will ever catch up with CG movies, and Tools of Destruction is perhaps the best example yet. It would be foolish to even suggest that the game is approaching Pixar quality visually, but the characters and game world are among the most visually impressive I've ever seen in a video game. Everything is curved, smooth and beautifully animated, giving the game the look of a CG movie, even if it isn't technically as impressive.

After ten minutes or so, when your real neck starts to ache from all the virtual looking around you've been doing (yes, there's a tonne of stuff flying around all the time) what really matters is...

Turok Blowout

338w ago - New multiplayer tidbits, demo info, movies, screens and dinos.

Oh, do we have dinosaur news for you. The folks behind Turok -- a fresh start for the FPS franchise that's scheduled to ship in February -- stopped into the IGN offices the other day to show some new beasts and weapons, but that was just the beginning of their goody bag.

The biggest announcement for you, crazed-Turok fan: a demo is coming.

Yes, if you plunk down $5 at your local GameStop in the early part of November, you'll preorder the game, get a Turok T-shirt and walk away with a 30-minute Xbox 360 demo of the upcoming title. Have you already preordered it? Your store should be holding your demo and shirt. No GameStop around? You can grab the demo at Best Buy in December.

Although the final game will feature three difficulty levels, the demo will be locked on normal and take place during the first quarter of the game -- although it won't reveal the game's opening. If you can't wait to see what's on the disc, check out IGN's hands-on report Monday, October 29.

But don't think you have to wait a full week for big news; during our meeting, Josh Holmes, vice president and general manager of Propaganda Games, gave us the first solid details about the game's multiplayer mode during his visit. Sure, we've...

Next firmware update to improve music playback -- but how?

338w ago - Brier Dudley from The Seattle Times is loving the PS3. Not as a games machine, but as an affordable media center. At $399, the upcoming 40GB PS3 will be one of the most affordable and most advanced Blu-ray players around. With its ability to play music, showcase photos, display movies, and more, the PS3 has a great chance of targeting the media savvy with its newer, cheaper model.

Sony will continue to expand upon the media functions of the PS3. According to the report, "within a month, a software upgrade will improve the PS3's interface for music stored and played through the system." However, we don't have any further specifics. Patrick Seybold from SCEA emphasizes that "we haven't made any specific announcements on upcoming firmware." Could enhanced music be a part of the now-mystical 2.0 firmware update?

It will be interesting to see what Sony plans to offer the media hungry in America. While Europe gets PVR capabilities, America has been left out. But, it appears that something will be in the works soon. "Some of that same functionality are things that we're working on here," Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America, told the newspaper.

Toshiba says no to new Xbox 360 HD DVD rumor

339w ago - Is the Xbox 360 getting a built-in HD DVD drive? Not according to Toshiba UK it isn't! An Australian website has reported Toshiba as saying Microsoft will release an Xbox 360 with a built-in HD DVD drive by the end of next year.

An interview with an unnamed 'senior Toshiba executive' apparently reveals the pressure the HD DVD founders are under to match the success the PS3 has had on Blu-ray sales.

The apparent console will also boast a universal MP3 dock, a bigger hard drive and dual TV tuners - a la PS3's new telly-watching add-on. As with every 'Microsoft to add HD DVD to 360' rumour - currently at about one a month - Microsoft is dismissing the claims. But so is Toshiba.

A spokesperson for Tosh told 'Toshiba has no comment to make on this matter. The Xbox 360 is not a Toshiba product.'

Microsoft pulled a fast one on Sony by launching its Xbox 360 (pictured) without a built-in HD DVD player and keeping costs down. Since then, the PS3's Blu-ray support has seen the format take a slim lead in the HD disc showdown.

Yes, an HD DVD-sporting 360 would be sweet, but we'll believe when we see it...

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