Tag Archives: PlayStation 3

Spoiler-Free: First Impressions of Grand Theft Auto V

Grizzly Bomb knows its audience: Fans want to know as much as humanly possible about upcoming titles without having the whole thing spoiled for them and plot details, twists, and an overload of content run rampant on the internet when a game like Grand Theft Auto V hits store shelves. Which is why we’ve put together this quick piece to give you our opinion on the early moments of the game, without getting too deep into the details.

Here are our SPOILER-FREE impressions from the first hour of GTA V:

1. A visual step up from GTA IV, but not quite next-gen graphics: GTA V is a gorgeous game, don’t even dare get me wrong, but you will notice some muddy details and texture hiccups in the opening sequences. There are some janky animations in the establishing shots of Los Santos that might be distracting, but rather than get bogged down by the blemishes, consider that this is a wide open sandbox world (A massive one, too) that looks just below the quality of Max Payne 3. Los Santos is far more beautiful than Liberty City, both in physical attributes and raw graphical power, and it’s far and away the best GTA has ever looked.

GTA V Plane

2. A story that embraces play: We haven’t seen much of Los Santos yet, and the majority of mission types, activities and emergent scenarios within the game haven’t even been introduced, but it’s already evident that GTA V has learned from fan feedback on GTA IV. Niko had plenty of mini activities to do in Liberty City, but many of them felt restrictive, hands-off, or just plain boring. The story and pacing pushed the player more toward the next mission than, say, stealing an ambulance and playing pedestrian shot-put. GTA V feels a lot more generous in letting you handle the play style. The characters in V aren’t as mopey and goal-focused as poor ol’ Niko, which makes hauling off and painting the sidewalks red feel less like a no-no.

GTA V tennis

3. Mechanics, mechanics, mechanics: Grand Theft Auto has always suffered from the Jack of All Trades issue, in that there are so many gameplay elements that few of them, if any, feel particularly honed. This time around the shooting and driving have been completely reworked and they feel a lot more responsive. Driving takes a while to get used to, as there’s much less a sense of hover-gliding over the asphalt, but that’s a change for the better, and those of us who have played Max Payne 3 will recognize the gun mechanics, which have essentially been cut and pasted into GTA V. Even the menus and the mini-map have been refined to make cycling through information that much more efficient.

GTA V driving

4. That Rockstar shine: It just feels good to be playing a Rockstar game again. The satire seems a little more on the playful side than it did in GTA IV, with the first few digs at the California lifestyle made quite early. The character writing is exactly on par with the developer’s pedigree, introducing characters that you’ll immediately feel like you already know. Finally, the game is just fun. Where we left off, we’d just completed a mission that already felt like an exhilarating, Indiana Jones-style action sequence and our save state shows only 6% game completion. Whoa.

GTA V finger

 

Microsoft’s ‘Clippy’ may be dead, but Netflix has Max

How many times have you been watching Netflix on your Playstation 3 and thought, “if only there was a game show like feature complete with a Guy Smiley voice that could give me suggestions on what next to watch on this here Netflix?” I know for myself it’s a daily occurrence. But oh happy day! Netflix has heard these prayers and has answered them!

I had to check the calendar because this looks totally like something a company would roll out for April Fool’s Day. Nope, it’s real. That isn’t to say it wouldn’t be useful, because if there is one thing the world needs it’s not a cure for cancer, or an end to hunger, or even world peace… no, we need a way to more efficiently and in an entertaining manner choose what movie we watch next.

Of course let’s not kid ourselves, everyone with a Playstation is going to go check it out as soon as they can. I’m sure it is fun and might lead to some interesting viewing that we might have missed were it not for Max’s direction. However, perhaps Pedro and his cohorts can work on something like having individual playlists on an account. Or the ability to remove some movies from recently reviewed. Or even crazier, an way to see everything on Netflix at any given time in an alphabetical fashion.

For now, we’ll just have to be happy with Max.

Netflix Max

Xbox 720 ‘Durango’ Confuses & Angers Lazy

 

Let me start off by saying, I’m not the most active gamer. Oh sure, I used to be. I used to be that guy who read 2-3 gaming magazines every month, back when multiple gaming magazines still existed, and charted out game releases on my calendar, eagerly awaiting the new releases of Conker’s Bad Fur Day or Metal Gear Solid 2. In the recent years, I’ve kept getting gaming consoles, but I find myself using them for gaming less and less. I can count on on two hands how many PS3 games I have, and despite having a rather sizable 360 library, I really only play 2 games with any regularity, and they’re both sports games and multiplayer.

Kick faces everyday.

With the way Microsoft and Sony have positioned their systems, gaming consoles aren’t just for games anymore, not by a long shot. So despite my lack of interest in 90% of the actual games being made today, I’m still hotly anticipating the release of any new hardware and the plentiful amounts of wondrous technology it brings to my living room. I even bought the Kinect, not only because I like jumping up and down or inane dancing games, but because I thought the image capturing technology and voice recognition were just plain cool. To this day, I still love being able to command my XBox to pause my movie, merely with my voice. That’s right, I don’t even want to have to move to grab the controller.

Unfortunately, there’s a cruel dichotomy for big fat men who want to move even less but still play games, as the current trend in gaming is standing up and interacting with your game – direct player control through motion sensing and all of that active, almost exercise, balderdash. This theme seems to be continuing, with the little glimpses that have been released by Microsoft, with a project of theirs tentatively codenamed Durango that looks to immerse players ever further into their gaming environment by literally projecting them into the game.

via [GameTyrant]

“The patent describes how the room layout will be scanned and how the images will adjust to take account of wall color or objects like a cylindrical lamp. It also mentions a depth camera (which I’m assuming is the Kinect device) that will adjust the perspective of the images depending on where the user is looking.

The patent reads that in the context of a gaming scenario, the user “may turn around and observe an enemy sneaking up from behind”.  

If that sounds strange and vague to you, here are some pictures to illustrate, taken from the incredibly-boring-to-read patent.

It’s all fun and games until the projections come to life and try to murder you.

It maps your room in 3D, and then projects weird mountains and trees in the background, presumably while you’re playing Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s a neat idea in theory, and if it is even half as successful as it is in these drawings (it won’t be), it’d be really fun for hyperactive kids to jump around and pretend they’ve got a snake in their boot or whatever. The rest of us will just get tired of it, like all the other gimmicky motion control/get up and dance games, and just wanna sit back down and beat the crap out of people in UFC. If anything, I want to move less while gaming. Let me hook up nodes to my skull and control that shit with my thoughts, so I don’t even need to move my hands.

I’m right there with you kids.

Nintendo Has a ‘Wii U’ Launch Date! Courtesy of Soon-to-be Fired Marketing Rep!

According to Kotaku via Gamespot, the Wii U launch date has been announced! Problem is, no one was supposed to know about it. Oops. During a meeting with GameStop Managers in Texas, accessory maker PDP was making their fall lineup pitch and at the end, concluded to the managers that the Wii U accessories will be out before the Wii U launch date of November 18th. It didn’t take long for that to go viral. According to a couple of anonymous people (people who don’t want to get fired naturally, like the PDP representative guy I’m sure), they have confirmed this statement that someone dropped this bomb. Naturally, as with anyone realizing that they just gave away confidential information, they quickly changed the subject once they crapped their pants (that’s my assumption). The Kotaku article has a great he said/she said deal going on but I won’t bore you with those details as we dissect the true intent of this article in the next paragraph. Does anyone really care? For a new system launching, and perhaps it’s my old and outdated self because I haven’t been hip to the buzz in the video game world as much as I used to be, but it seems that there is a lack of excitement for this console. Don’t get me wrong, I want it like how a fat kid wants cake, but it is almost just out of loyalty to Nintendo. In my mind, there is no real killer app. Yeah, I’m going to enjoy Lego Undercover, the New Super Mario Bros. U, and Rayman Legends games but none of this is revolutionary. In fact, the last revolutionary game Nintendo has had a launch was Super Mario 64. I think the problem is that there is such a clamor for new technology that Nintendo has gotten away from the real charm of it’s brand: the first party games and innovation. It has gotten way too gimmicky, and while I love the potential of the tablet screen, I have yet to find a game that tells me this is why you need to buy this system. Especially since most of the launch gamesare just ‘upgraded’ versions of PS3 or Xbox 360 games I’ve beaten a year ago.

Seriously, why the hell is this game NOT a launch title. Look how pretty…

Time will tell, I will still always have faith in Nintendo and what they do but I do believe this is a critical crossroads for them. I guess we’ll find out what they are made of on November 18th. Which also sucks because I’ll be in the Philippines during launch. You’ve no idea how disappointed I am to miss the opportunity to brag about the Wii U during the first week of launch only to never be mentioned again after the novelty wears off.

Sony Reveals new ‘God of War: Ascension’ Trailer

Thanks to an Amazon page that jumped the gun revealing possible box art, and a tentative release date, Sony has been forced to show its hand and publicly announce God of War Ascension, the fourth game in the GoW series. Sony broke the news officially with a brief and vague teaser that revealed PlayStation’s iconic God-killer suspended in chains.

All signs point to the upcoming game serving as a prequel to the first game, which makes some sense considering Kratos has already systematically murdered his way through Olympus and razed the Earth in the process — there clearly isn’t much story left to tell after that. However, fans of the series are already familiar with Kratos’s history in the Spartan army and the misguided deal with Ares that sealed his fate as the Ghost of Sparta. Admittedly the backstory was only alluded to in short sprinklings throughout the three games, but the origins of Kratos seem very tame compared to the epic scale of the original trilogy. Nevertheless Sony is claiming this will be “the most ambitious God of War adventure in the series yet.”

God of War Ascension reportedly has a release date of Spring 2013.

Twisted Metal: The Movie!

The new Twisted Metal video game on the PS3 came out today. I haven’t yet had a chance to go out and rent it, but my heart yearns for some vehicular combat where car and body parts fly hither and yon across the screen. I mean seriously, check out this game play video below and tell me that the mass mayhem isn’t something every guy dreams of being in the thick of every now and then.

I’m not so sure of Sweet Tooth turning into an effin’ transformer, but with a storyline so completely ridiculous who the hell am I to judge?

Now comes the news of a Twisted Metal movie in the works to further rock our worlds and it is being developed by the same team bringing us Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance this Friday in theaters. They are also the same team behind the Crank movies starring Jason Statham. The trailer from Ghost Rider: Spirits of Vengeance actually looks as if they were possibly doing a test run for a Twisted Metal movie with the car and motorcycle scenes. Not to mention with the frantic pace and ferocity of the Crank films I’d say it’s safe to assume they can handle a Twisted Metal movie. Check out a little from the story reported at Deadline:

Sony Pictures has made a preemptive 7-figure deal for Ghost RiderSpirit of Vengeance co-director Brian Taylor to write and direct a live action adaptation of the iconic video gameTwisted Metal. Ghost Rider’s Avi and Ari Arad are producing the adaptation of the game, which has been published in various configurations by Sony Computer and is one of the biggest selling video games. The newest version of the game was just released today for PlayStation 3. Avi Arad, of course, has been a producer of Sony’s Spider-Man films since the beginning, including the upcoming 3D The Amazing Spider-Man.

I know what you’re thinking; how is this different from any other terrible videogame adaptation out there? How is it different from the egregious Street Fighter movies? The all but destined to be doomed Doom movie? The numerous pieces of Uwe Bol directed drivel? The answer is simple, that there is no difference. The movie will more than likely suck, but we fans of Twisted Metal can only hope and pray that it doesn’t.

I think it will be fine just so long as they don’t try to make the movie smarter than what the game itself is. Let’s face it, the Twisted Metal story is fairly simple; a group of broken and desperate drivers have turned their cars into killing machines in order to be the one to reach the organizer of the Twisted Metal tournament so he can grant them a wish. How can you screw up a 90 minute movie given that premise? I think they can make it at least passable as a video game adaptation like the Resident Evil franchise and possibly spawn some sequels off of it. I for one hate the Resident Evil movies, but somebody likes them as they are already on part 5. We can only hope a classic video game like Twisted Metal gets the same chance.

Serena Williams ‘Topspin 4′ Ad – Too sexy for TV?

Yesterday I was perusing a colleague’s blog and noticed a video she had posted that was simply titled “Top Spin 4“. It had a screen shot of an attractive woman’s behind with the play button overlaying it. Me being a typical guy instantly clicked the video to watch. (What guy wouldn’t?)

It took me a minute to realize the woman starring in it was Serena Williams, because I’ve never thought she was very attractive to begin with; or maybe that was her sister Venus. Either way Serena was looking good in this now controversial video, so take a minute to check it out. Seriously though, the video is one minute long:

Here is Yahoo Sport’s take on it:

The 60-second spot for “Top Spin 4″ features a scantily-clad Serena playing the new video game against an actress wearing even less clothing. The matchup is billed as “the world’s sexiest tennis player” against “the world’s sexiest tennis gamer.” There are shots of nearly bare bottoms, unseemly facial expressions and lots of cleavage, accompanied by a thumping techno beat and suggestive moaning. At the end of the ad, Williams asks breathily, “You realize this is a fantasy, right?”

Was the video super sexy? Yes. Was I offended by anything in it? No. Was their outrage over this commercial? Apparently there was, but that depends on your point of view. I’m not sure who out there was complaining about it, or who deemed it too sexy, but I would assume a lot of women see it as objectifying them. There were probably groups with no stake in it complaining like the NAACP or the NRA. Maybe PETA was offended by the leather booty shorts she was wearing, or that her fishnet stockings were offensive to fish.

I did enjoy the irony of the ‘E for Everyone’ rating that showed up before the sex charged commercial.

2k sports has come out to say:

“As part of the process for creating marketing campaigns to support our titles, we pursue a variety of creative avenues, this video is not part of the title’s final marketing campaign and its distribution was unauthorized.”

But one has to wonder if that’s the truth. A lot of time and money obviously went into making the commercial, and it looked pretty final to me. Even amidst the flurry of “outrage” Serena Williams has twittered how she is proud of the video, and how it turned out. I say more power to her.

I can’t figure out why people in this great country of ours get so offended by things like this. If it was Derek Jeter swinging a bat in his underwear and grunting suggestively, would there be an uproar? (Hoepfully that never happens.) What was 2k sports going for with this ad? Was it intended to be leaked like some sort of celebrity sex tape to garner a viral buzz about their new tennis game? Maybe, and if it was then mission accomplished. What the hell, I might even watch a little tennis this summer.

And by the way, Serena Williams is not the sexiest tennis player in the world. This is:

Caroline Wozniacki

Sincere apologies if this offended or outraged anyone. I apologize you have a stick up your ass.