The impending October 6 launch date of Demon’s Souls is nearly upon us, but the good people at Atlus sent along a message that they wanted me to share—As a heads-up to everyone who intends to purchase the game, if you somehow manage to secure a copy before the official release, be aware that the US servers WILL NOT BE ACTIVE until October 6.
It seems fairly common for certain brick-and-mortar stores to get a jump on their competitors by breaking street dates, but in the case of Demon’s Souls, there's really no purpose to getting a copy before everyone else. In addition to having other real-life players join your game (as blue or black phantoms) the servers are required to take advantage of the "blood stain" replays that show you where other real players have died, as well as the message system which allows players to etch helpful hints and bits of information for others in the same level.
Over 30 hours into Demon’s Souls and 2/5 of the worlds completely cleared… suffice it to say that this game is having no difficulty whatsoever keeping my attention, and I continue to be impressed with the levels, the design, the extra elements, the hidden stuff—pretty much everything. It's also worth noting that this game, pound for pound, has more genuine OMFG moments than anything else I've played in recent memory.
A while ago, my review of the recently-released MMO FPS Section 8 went live. To my surprise, I actually ended up having a very enjoyable time with it, despite not being a fan of the genre.
Although the servers have been full of players every time I've gone online, I don't get the sense that there is a very high level of awareness of this title in the games community—especially in the wake of another recently-released steamroller of an FPS that's had everyone buzzing over the last week. So, as my way of saying "thanks" for making my time reviewing the title worthwhile, I decided to do a follow-up interview as my small effort to help raise Section 8's profile.
Capcom's Dead Rising 2 snubbed E3 earlier this year (citing swine flu concerns or something to that effect), but it's making up for that missed opportunity by showing off a veritable truckload of footage at the Tokyo Game Show. I've lost count of how many videos have been released over the past day or so, but trust me when I say it's a lot. If we were in sort of in the dark about what to expect from this zombie-slaying sequel, I think things are now illuminated.
I'm not going to post all of the videos here (because I'm lazy), but I will say you can find pretty much all of them by heading over to G4's website. They've got the original trailer, multiplayer footage (which had me wondering if I was really watching a trailer for Dead Rising 2 at first…) and all sorts of other goodies.
I am going to share one video, though—because it highlights one of the numerous new weapons players can use to kill the undead in the game. It's a combination pitchfork/shotgun, and if the idea of taking out zombies by impaling them on the tines, lifting them in the air, and delivering a buckshot coup de grace to their rotting faces doesn't make you giddy, then I'm not sure we can be friends anymore. I'm sorry, there are just certain things I expect from the people I spend time with—and appreciating the joys of shooting zombies in the face is very high on that list.
Do games need to be easier to attract a wider audience? Or are games too easy as it is? Where did all the hard games go? What role does culture play? Will "Autoplay" features reduce frustration or just make gamers lazier than ever? With your help, we attack these questions from all directions. Also: quick hits on Scribblenauts and Muramasa: The Demon Blade. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, and Tim "If You Lose at Candy Land You're Banished to the Woods" Spaeth.
At the most recent PAX show, I was fortunate enough to spend a bit of time with a game I had been greatly anticipating: Dark Void from Washington's own Airtight Games.
Produced in conjunction with Capcom, Dark Void is an adventure game featuring aliens and jetpacks inside the Bermuda triangle. With tight transitions between air and land on top of clever vertical combat, this title is definitely one to watch—it also doesn't hurt that the people behind it are some of the same folks who worked on one of my favorite Xbox titles, Crimson Skies.
Airtight Games' president and creative director Jim Deal was kind enough to spend a few moments talking with me about this upcoming title and I'm quite glad to share what he had to say.
I had to put Demon's Souls aside for while to cover a couple of must-review titles, but I decided that I was going to take a break from reviewing for the weekend and just play for fun. Popping it back in my PS3, I was instantly sucked back in. Taking that short time away, I had forgotten how ridiculously awesome it is. The atmosphere, the feeling of exploration… everything. I totally love this game. That's not to say the game is flawless, though—it suffers from the same issue so common to many RPGs in that the developers want you to choose the type of character you play before you really know what your preferred play style will be.
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