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Preview: Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli

50°
321w ago - Some racing games tread the fine line between realism and fun. If it's too realistic you need to be Hamilton to get around the course without writing off your motor, and if its too forgiving, hardcore gamers cast it away as arcadey.

But it's this balance that Ferrari Challenge seems to have struck just right. When you slam down the accelerator, the eruption of the engine and the speed on screen gives you a great sense that you're powering along in a super car. It's that feeling of raw speed sims like Gran Turismo usually lack.

In that sense, it's a thrilling racing game that the not-so-serious gamer can get a real kick from. But then, the more hardcore of you will get kicks from its other handling intricacies, like the need to break really early to make it around bends. The game is relentlessly realistic in its approach to how long it takes in bringing a ton of metal down from 180mph.

You slam on the brakes and feel the weight of the car lunge forward as the rear becomes unsettled as you throw it into the apex. Then, on the exit of the corner you've got to nurse the car's 500 horses slowly into the rear wheels. Slam the accelerator while you're still turning and you be going sideways - not the fastest way to go.

You can feel all that happening in the pad and it's good. It feels...
 

PlayStation Home Preview

50°
323w ago - While it may have been delayed almost to the point of silliness, anticipation is still quite high for PlayStation Home, Sony's trump card in the online gaming stakes.

Offering much more of a community approach than it's counter-parts, Home is full of different levels of customization which will allow you to live with your friends in a virtual world of sorts, where you'll be able to hang out and easily launch into the game of your choice with the mere touch of a button, among other things.

At our recent trip to PlayStation Day, we got a chance to play the game for a bit, and we have to say that the amount of detail is impressive. What we found during our short time with Home is that on one level, it's very simple as to not scare off the casual folk, but has many elements that will take some exploration to really get a grasp on.

Wandering around and chatting is certainly easy enough to do, but the experience is really a 'you get out of it what you put in' type of scenario, where people who really spend a lot of time with the product will find many intricacies that others may not notice.

Is an emphasis on community going to change the way we play online?

We sat down for a brief chat with Creative Director Ron Festejo, and Lead Artist John Venables about how everything...
 

Preview - Civilization Revolution for PS3

50°
324w ago - If you go online with your PlayStation 3, you have a wealth of options available to you. Well, a few. Okay, so you usually have just the one option and that's running around a small arena ramming the business end of your shotgun down your enemy's throats while crying about lag and half-thinking of jumping to the Quit Match option as you'll know you'll never steal the lead that pwnedurmom69 has built up.

Okay, okay, so the likes of MotorStorm, Skate et al have been ignored for the sake of argument. The point is, Civilization Revolution offers a refreshing change of pace and direction, with its old-school strategy design moulded into next-gen accessibility. You start by picking a race to represent - the Russians, the Indians, the Americans, the Chinese, the Arabs, the Zulus and so on.

Each has its own advantage, with the English benefiting from the eventual invention of Longbow Archers and Spitfire Bombers while Monguls are strong horseback soldiers and can mine resources from the mountains the fastest. The French probably have more white flags than any other nation, but no-one's going to play as them.

Brains over brawn
Then the game begins proper and so does the strategy. You build your main city, then a wealth of options open up for you. Do you build warriors to try and divide and conquer...
 

Preview - Alpha Protocol for PS3

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324w ago - Going 'off the grid' is something we hear a lot of these days. The 'grid' has become choka with everything from shopping list at Tescos to secret government files, usually involving your shopping list at Tescos. The grid isn't the place to be if you're on the run.

The latest Sega game to sneak out of America, that I've been privy too this issue, is based squarely around the idea of going off the grid, or instigating the alpha protocol as fancy spies call it.

Alpha Protocol casts you in the shoes of Michael Thorton, a super spy cut from the same cloth as Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer, and apparently he's just as unlucky as following a botched mission must fight against his former colleagues to prove his innocence.

On the face of it, this is a similar game to Bourne et al, however developer Obsidian is one of the world's leading RPG studios with Knights Of The Old Republic and Midwinter Nights 2 on their CV - games as well respected as Oblivion for scale, script and originality. So, though the action plays out in real time, using a cover fire system close to Uncharted, there's more going on behind the scenes than a comparison deserves.

Character-class system
Alpha Protocol is an action RPG, as such there is a class system close to Fallout 3 in here for you to upgrade. There will...
 

Tekken 6 Hands-On Preview for PS3!

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329w ago - Namco has always been ahead of the game in the 3D fighter stakes, owning two of the superlative stallions in the four-horse race - Dead or Alive and Virtua Fighter would be the only two other games that are in the same league.

And although its Soul Calibur series has arguably never hit a duff note (discounting Soul Calibur Legends in the same way you wouldn't consider Death By Degrees part of the Tekken lineage), its longer-running stablemate Tekken can't be afforded the same praise.

The series evolved seamlessly from its debut in 1994 to its seemingly unstoppable high point of Tekken 3, but then things started to go a little off-course with the follow up, Tekken Tag Tournament. Although not a bad game per se, Tag Tournament just wasn't the evolution fans were hoping for, offering up only a few returning characters, better graphics and a poorly implemented tag system.

And then when the fully-fledged sequel was released, it felt unrefined with sporadic environments and unbalanced characters. By this point, many among the 3D fighter hardcore felt that Tekken was no longer capable of reaching the dizzy heights of its heyday and were looking to the likes of Soul Calibur and Virtua Fighter rather than the up-and-coming Tekken 5.

But with Tekken 5's release, it seemed as...
 
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