A PlayStation 4 reveal will make the console all official like. Then, expect a hardware race to kick off between Sony and Microsoft, with anticipation building for the new machines and new games.
What about the old machine? And the games that haven't come out yet? The clock's ticking!
There are some PlayStation 3 games that have been officially canned, like Eight Days. Then, there are upcoming games that always seem to be waiting for new info reveals. Here are some of the most noticeable titles (exclusive and not) that have been M.I.A. If they are going to make this generation, they better hurry it up!
From Rockstar North, the folks behind the Grand Theft Auto games, Agent was to be an espionage game set in the late 1970s. Sony first announced that Rockstar was making a new PS3-exclusive franchise in 2007, but the game's title wasn't made public until 2009. Rockstar's parent company, Take-Two, said Agent was still in development. A former Rockstar artist uploaded screenshots, giving gamers a first glimpse at what Agent could look like, if and when the game ever comes out.
Where to begin? Final Fantasy Versus XIII was announced back in 2006, along with a couple other games: Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII. Those two titles were released (though, Agito was retitled Final Fantasy Type-0), but Versus is still missing. Kotaku ran a rumor that the game was either dead or being cannibalized for the next numeric Final Fantasy title. Square Enix's honcho Yoichi Wada, however, said the rumor was "false". Last fall, Versus designer Tetsuya Nomura asked fans to wait a "little longer" for the game. Versus doesn't have a release date, and there haven't been new game images or footage released recently.
First officially shown at the E3 gaming expo in 2009, The Last Guardian had a 2011 release date that it didn't make. The game's designer, Fumito Ueda, quit Sony, but continues to work on the game as a freelancer. Sony says The Last Guardian still lives and is still a PS3 game. Western studios were brought in to work on the game, and Sony said last summer The Last Guardian will come out when it's ready. Whenever that is!
This might be the oldest unreleased title slated for the PS3. First announced in 2004, the game was originally called Oni and is based on an unfinished Akira Kurosawa script that follows a half-Japanese blond-haired samurai. Then, in 2005, the game surfaced again, with a new title (Ni-Oh!) and penciled in as a PlayStation 3 exclusive. In 2010, the game was no longer being developed by Koei, but rather, by Team Ninja. Last summer, the game's studio honcho said Ni-Oh! cleared alpha, adding that development "is continuing steadily." Very, very, steadily.
Announced back in 2009 and largely AWOL since then, stealth title Thief 4's development doesn't exactly seem like smooth sailing. There are rumors that the game, a multiplatform title, is heading to next gen. While it might be time to worry about the game, the stylized THI4F title could be cause for concern, er C0NC3RN.
There are a handful of games (exclusive and multiplatform) not included in this list, such as Brother in Arms: Furious 4 (now a new game), or Whore of the Orient (it was only announced last year). Other titles, like Beyond: Two Souls are expected for a 2013 release.
In the past, Sony has supported its last gen consoles as it releases its latest hardware. And big PS2 titles did come out while the PS3 was out, such as God of War 2, which hit shelves four months after the release of the PS3. The next generation is likely to be no different. Some of these M.I.A. games could still be released on the PS3, even as the PS4 is coming out. That being said, the PS3 ship is starting to sail. The console's days are numbered. These games better pick up the pace. And soon.
When playing video games, it's easy to get caught up in the notion of utility. Is this ability useful to me, does this skill make my character more powerful, will it improve the ratio of my numbers to my opponents' numbers, robot, robot, numbers, beep, boop, etc.
And so it goes with Ni no Kuni, the wonderful new role-playing game from Studio Ghibli and Level-5. The game features a wealth of deep, satisfying systems, from the Pokémon-like monster collection to the complicated real-time combat.
You'll be able to power-up your protagonist Oliver and his party-members in a lot of ways, and you unlock power-ups by earning merit stamps. It works like this: As you complete sidequests, you'll get stamps, which go onto your merit card. If you get enough stamps, you'll fill up a merit card, and you can turn in complete merit cards for upgrades like "enemies will drop more health orbs in battle" or "you'll move faster across land." Given that Ni no Kuni can be right difficult at times, these power-ups are very valuable.
But my favorite upgrade so far is the only one that has no practical application: The jump.
The jump is actually the first power-up you can buy. It's up-front about its uselessness, telling you, before you trade in a precious merit card for it: "Not very useful, but a whole lot of fun!"
That may be the most accurate power-up description I've ever seen. The jump is indeed not very useful—it doesn't turn Ni no Kuni into a platformer, and doesn't allow Oliver to leap to higher areas or access anything he couldn't before. But it IS a whole lot of fun, as advertised.
For a "useless" ability, a lot of work has gone into making the jump feel special. Like all the animations in the game, the jump looks lovely—Oliver throws one foot out in front and pushes off with his rear-leg; it's a real bound. Stairways are set so that Oliver can jump from the bottom to the top with precisely one press of the button. And the jump is available to you no matter what part of the game you're in: you can also jump in the lovely world-map and you and all of your familiars can jump in combat.
As purely cosmetic upgrades go, Ni no Kuni's jump is hard to beat. It's been lovingly worked into every part of the game, one of many seamless inclusions that serve to make the game and its world feel richer.
And yeah, okay, it would've been pretty cool if the jump let me get up to some new areas. But I'll take it.
The folks over at Evo, a video game tournament organization dedicated to fighting-games like Marvel vs. Capcom and Tekken, raised a whopping $225,744 for breast cancer research last month.
The money came from a competition designed to decide which fighting game would win a coveted spot in Evo's annual Las Vegas tournament. The people at Evo set up multiple donation pages, each based on a different fighter like Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale or Soul Calibur V. Fans could donate money on each page, and whichever game earned the most money by the end of January would earn a spot in the tourney. The proceeds all go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Evo said.
Super Smash Bros. Melee won the spot, raising $94,683. Skullgirls came in second with $78,760, and Street Fighter II Super Turbo raised $39,567 for the cancer-fighting fund.
They are not my equals, you see. They are CELL operatives with nothing more than laughable guns. Me, I'm a hunter. A predator. I use a bow. It's a sophisticated weapon, difficult to wield. It requires absolute precision and the patience necessary to line up a shot.
Admittedly, my shots miss more than they should—but, no matter. Seeing the operatives freak out and shoot at shadows out of fear—seeing them scramble frantically, thinking that they can hide safely behind corners: this is just as rewarding as destroying them. And even if I miss, even if I fail this time, I know I'm coming back.
The operatives, meanwhile? One arrow: that's all it takes and they go down. Then they become one of us, then the hunt grows stronger. At that point even the converted compete fiercely for the last remaining operatives. None shall be spared.
If it wasn't obvious, I've been playing Crysis 3 lately, which features its own twist on 'zombies' mode—only here, it's called Hunter Mode.
It feels different from other similar takes on the concept. In order to understand why, we have to look at the hunter's suit. The rest of Crysis spends a lot of time fetishizing the suit and what it allows you to do.
You can, for instance:
To name a few things. It's intoxicating, how powerful that feels—but all of that is gone when you're a CELL operative. Let me tell you, it the tension is crazy playing the mode as an operative. You feel weak. You feel paranoid.
Contrast with, say, Halo when playing on the Flood gametype—you're an effin' Spartan! I'd go up against the Flood like it was nothing, almost treating it like a challenge to go out and seek the Flood out. I basically thought, "I'm gonna show them why they should be afraid of ME, damnit."
I'm an utter coward in Crysis 3 though, spending as much time as possible hiding. And if you watched a replay, you'd probably laugh at all the people crowding up in the corners, shooting at absolutely nothing because they're scared. It's amazing.
The thing is, if you survive, it feels super gratifying.
I'm looking forward to unlocking my bow for the normal multiplayer modes after spending so much time in hunter mode. The compound bow feels natural to the franchise. I think this has to do with the suit, which, though technically the farthest thing from natural, you feel an innate power—as if you're relying on the potential of your own body to play.
With the bow, you're harking back to something more primal, the time of hunter-gatherer. It fits. Guns feel antithetical to all of that; there's something detached about pulling the digital trigger.
So, as much as I suck at the bow now, I'm gonna spend the beta trying to hone my skills there—that way, I'll be ready when Crysis 3 drops later this month.
You can try the Crysis 3 beta here.
I've been staring at this week's collection for an hour, and I'm not seeing a prevailing trend. There's a two-player pinball game, which has nothing to do with a cute alien-bashing action game, which has nothing to do with a tiny racer, a movement puzzle game or a Tiny Wings wannabe. And where the hell does ski jumping fit in? Is it a sport or falling gracefully?
Perhaps I'll find something more concrete in this week's app reviews. *looks* Nope.
It's create your own theme day here on the Week in Gaming Apps! Feel free to stare while I run down the games we played and reviewed between Monday and Friday.
Duncan and Katy — $.99
A delightful little action-adventure game from a two-person development team out of Spain. Lovely graphics, simple gameplay, and much fun to be had.
Jail Run Puzzle — Free (Technically)
Addictive movement puzzles with an unfortunate pay scheme — the app is free, but eventually you'll run out of steps and have to either download other free apps or pay money for more. Fun while it lasts!
Suspect: The Run — Free
All the fun of a high-speed chase followed by a traffic copter without having to make the police incredibly irate.
Table Top Racing — $2.99
From the co-creators of the futuristic PlayStation racing series Wipeout comes a racing game almost entirely unlike Wipeout! It's still quite lovely.
Ski Jumping Pro — $.99
An incredibly pretty and well thought-out game about people on skis leaving the safety of the ground for no good reason.
Sunny Hillride — $.99
It wants to be Tiny Wings in a car, but it's not quite there yet. Graphics are nice, but it needs more than just hills and jumps.
For the record, I hate the iPhone's gyro controls. Hate, hate, hate. Make that, hated, hated, hated. As iOS game Catapolt has made me aware, sometimes times, gyro controls are the way to go. More »
"Oh good, this is one of those games," I thought to myself happily as I started up Marcus Eckert's Wide Sky on my iPod Touch. The gorgeous, somewhat melancholy music and stark, four-color imagery suggested that this would be one of those charming little independent mobile games that slips into the... More »
The opening screenshot for this review of Shiny Box's Android action role-playing game isn't very flattering. That's because every time I picked up my Nexus 7 to capture a screen I ended up playing Dungeon Quest for another half-hour instead. More »
If you've been paying attention to our burgeoning mobile coverage, you can't have missed talk of Arranger, an iOS game by musician Arman Bohn from a few months ago that recently got an updated iPad version. More »
A game designer is a combination of a programmer and an artist. A preacher is a philosopher and a dreamer combined. Meld a magician and a scientist and you have a wizard. More »
Dutch painters in the early 1800s sure knew how to combine lines and colors. They called the movement "De Stijl", which is Dutch for "easily replicated in Photoshop" (or possibly "The Style"), and artist Piet Mondrian was one of its prime movers. More »
Those scenes are being filmed in Iceland. It's cold up there. Not special effects, post-processing cold. Proper cold.
Back in the day Japanese developers didn't have the budget or the control to make perfect Japanese-to-English translations... although probably no one really cared. They had to translate and export their games to the West as fast as possible.
So they can't be blamed for this really—but the results are too hilarious. We collected some of them below.
source: Bubble Bobble intro
source: Zero Wing intro
source: Ninja Gaiden act 6 on the NES
source: Ikari Warriors ending on the NES
source: TMNT (Arcade) ending
source: Crime City (Arcade) ending
source: Aero Fighters 3 (Arcade) endings
source: X-Men Arcade
No text on the last one, but it's probably known by everyone. If not, check the source for some laughter. And of course, your submit picks are welcome with support that is visual.
We've shown some of the artwork and character designs that Brazilian artist Victor Hugo Queiroz has been doing for his quirky-cool fan film Street Fighter III - Fuurinkazan. And after a few years in development, he's released a trailer that pits Ryu against Hugo. Be sure to watch until the very end for a special guest appearance. Can't wait to see more!
We've gotten out of the habit of posting gaming-inspired baked goods at Kotaku over the past few years, but here at KotakuMobile the subject is fresh and new. Besides, YouTube youngin' AbesWorld2 isn't just showing us Cut the Rope cupcakes, he's showing us how to make them.
I am going to save this video and bring it up when my two boys are Abe's age, because why did I have children if not to get them to make me baked goods? I've got no legacy to pass on — now give me cake, dammit.
Take a look at this Superbowl ad by Go Daddy. Or not. But yeah, go ahead and take a look.
The commercial is a part of the "smart meets sexy" campaign, and it apparently took forty-five takes to get "right" according to Adweek. More: prior to this version, there were "indecent" takes that were rejected by CBS. This is the mild version.
Anyway, you should be prepared for this come game time.