Blog Archives

Sony Changing PS3 Box Art

I’ll readily admit that this weekend was a slow weekend in the gaming news sphere. I assume that’s because all the big sites were busy reviewing Titanfall. However, I did see this news item that I found interesting, albeit not earth shattering.

Very quietly, it appears that Sony is changing the design of the box art of PlayStation 3 games to keep it more in line with that of the PS4 and PS Vita. Gone is the greyscale top bar and in is the new Sony standard of blue and white branding.

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Building (Critical) Consensus: Gran Turismo 6

gran-turismo-6-box-artDid you know that Gran Turismo 6 came out a week-and-a-half ago? I slightly forgot that it was coming out this year. I was going to get in touch with SCE PR about getting a review copy but it completely slipped my mind. And I find that kind of funny because I’m a big fan of the series. My biggest problem with GT is that GT5 had terrible load times and took up an obscenely large chunk of my PS3’s hard drive space.

As a game, the Gran Turismo series is a bit niche in its focus. If you’re looking for a driving simulator, you won’t do any better than Gran Turismo. The driving physics and the attention to detail are second to none. However, the focus on the driving experience tends to come at the expense of the actual gaminess of the GT series. The menus are a little hard to navigate. The career mode is a little grindy. But pushing for the extra tenth each lap is just one of those great feelings in gaming and I’ve never found a game that’s captured that like Gran Turismo.

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7 Best Games of the 7th Generation: Mass Effect Trilogy

mass-effect-trilogy-headerLast week, when talking about Skyrim, I mentioned that a number of games outside the RPG genre incorporated elements of RPGs into their games. These included things like skill points, customization, inventory systems, questing, deep stories, dialogue tree and more of the classic RPG tricks.

This week’s entry into the 7 Best may have started life as being a bit more of an RPG than a third-person shooter but evolved into a third-person shooter that retained the strong influence of RPGs. Of course, if I boiled down the Mass Effect Trilogy to a series of gameplay mechanics and the evolution of the mechanics, I’d be missing the whole point of the franchise. Mass Effect’s strong suit and its claim to fame is the story.

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7 Best Games of the 7th Generation: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-headerIf there’s one genre of games that seemed to take of the last generation of consoles, it was the role-playing game. The RPG genre has been around for almost as long as video games thanks to the popularity of the pen-and-paper RPGs, like Dungeons and Dragons. It was really this generation that saw the proliferation of RPGs and the incorporation of RPG elements into a number of games in other genres.

At the top of the class in this generation is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The fifth entry into Bethesda’s hit action RPG series re-set the bar for Western RPGs thanks to gorgeous graphics, a spectacular soundtrack and seemingly limitless gameplay throughout the open world of Skyrim.

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7 Best Games of the 7th Generation: Rock Band

rock-band-headerWhen people think up games for lists such as out 7 best games of the 7th generation (or 7 For 7 for short), they think of game of the year winners or critically acclaimed blockbusters. But how many of these lists include games that were just wildly popular and genre redefining?

Rock Band was probably never really in contention for a major game of the year award but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a big game for the current console generation. The mark of a game being among the best isn’t just what the critics think but what the gamers think. I’m hard pressed to think of anyone who didn’t love playing Rock Band.

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7 Best Games of the 7th Generation: Uncharted 2: Among Theives

uncharted-2-headerAs the current console generation went on, games increasingly tried to be like interactive movies. The goal seemed to be to recreate the Hollywood experience but with you playing the starring role using a controller. While one could argue that Heavy Rain may have gotten the closest, no game captured the fun of the summer blockbuster while releasing a solid game quite like Naughty Dog.

Since today marks both the launch of the PlayStation 4 and our 7 For 7 series, I thought that it was only appropriate to kick off with the epic PlayStation 3 exclusive Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.

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There’s Still Time to Nominate Your Favourite Current-Gen Games

Yes, we’re still going to be making our list of the seven best games of the seventh generation of video game consoles. The first article is just going through final edits now before being posted on Friday while the next two are most of the way through the first draft.

Seeing as the list hasn’t been finalized (though I have five or six games that I’d call locked in), there’s still time to nominate one or more of your favourite games from the current generation for the list. A couple of games from the first round of nominations are in the 7 For 7 list so your voices are being heard.

You can nominate a game (or games) by leaving a comment below, firing us an email to etgeekera [at] gmail.com or filling in the submission form below.

The first game will be named on November 15th with a new entry every Friday until the end of the year.

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What’s Your Favourite Game of the Current Generation?

I’ve been starting work on a fairly substantial new feature series for the blog but would like some help while I’m still in the planning stages. We’re working on 7 For 7: The Seven Best Games of the Seventh-Generation.

We’re less than three weeks from the launch of the PlayStation 4 and four weeks from the launch of the Xbox One which means that the next generation of video game consoles is finally upon us. Given that the current console generation is what Wikipedia calls the seventh generation, I thought that now’s a fitting time to look back at the seven best games released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii.

I thought that I would call upon you, the reader, to help put together with your nominations for the best games of the current generation and your thoughts about your favourite games. You can leave a comment below, fire us an email to etgeekera [at] gmail.com or fill in the submission form below.

The first part of the series is targeted to go live on November 15th.

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Building (Critical) Consensus: Beyond: Two Souls

beyond-two-souls-box-artI’m not a big fan of release day review embargoes. That leaves people without an opportunity to cancel a pre-order if the game ends up being terrible. Not only did Quantic Dream and Sony Computer Entertainment set a review embargo on release date for Beyond: Two Souls but the embargo lifted at 11:00 AM EST. That meant that my local EB Games had been open for 90 minutes before the first review came out. That’s just underhanded by the folks making the game and setting the embargo.

The reviews for the latest David Cage creation, Beyond: Two Souls, are definitely mixed. The reviews on Metacritic run from as high as 100% down to a low score of 40% with scores falling everywhere in between. While generally everyone agrees that the facial visuals and animations are fantastic looking (they better be when you hire Willem Dafoe and Ellen Page), there’s disagreement on just about everything else. If you have a reviewer whose tastes are similar to yours, I’d read their review. There is no consensus from the critics on this one. From the looks of it, you’ll either love it or hate it. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground.

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PSA: PlayStation 3 Firmware Update 4.45 May Lock Up Your System

Reports are spreading like wildfire that PlayStation 3 update 4.45 is causing some consoles to lock-up and become unusable after applying the update. The update was supposed to include trophy notification options and improved system stability options. It looks like they missed the latter by a bit.

According to some unofficial Reddit data analysis, if you have installed a new hard drive into your PS3 that’s larger than 500 GB, you have a 90% chance of your console bricking and becoming unusable. All other PS3 types have a failure rate of less than 10% with the stock 500 GB models suffering an 8% failure rate and 120 GB models locking up in 2% of cases.

As of publishing, it appears that Sony has rolled back the 4.45 update and lists 4.41 as the current firmware version. Just be aware if you do see an update 4.45 listed and check the internet to see if you’re safe to install it.

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