plat•i•num [plat-n-uhm, plat-nuhm]

“1. Chemistry. a heavy, grayish-white, highly malleable and ductile metallic element, resistant to most chemicals, practically unoxidizable except in the presence of bases, and fusible only at extremely high temperatures.

2. a light, metallic gray with very slight bluish tinge when compared with silver.

3. achievement awarded for 100% trophy completion within a game on the Playstation 3 console system.”

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I’ve spoken many times about Trophies and the lengths some people will go to for a ‘ping’ in the top right hand corner of the screen.

I have a healthy Trophy score, which has occurred mostly naturally – I admit picking up a few trophies having known in advance what is required – but I have no inclination to go over old games for the sake of a few trophies.

Don’t get me wrong I have no problem with people going for trophies, it just doesn’t interest me personally.

But recently something has been bugging me. As many of you will know I would class myself as a fairly serious gamer and I noticed a few weeks ago when looking through my trophy collection that my highest trophy percentage for a game is Terminator Salvation. (81% Trophy Completion)

That’s right, the lowest scored game in the history of this site. The most boring PS3 title I’ve ever finished appears to be my most played and completed game 😥

In terms of general playthroughs the closest was Assassin’s Creed II (71%), with most other titles coming in around 40-50%.

As I started my 2nd playthrough of Heavy Rain in an attempt to unlock a certain ending (I’m staying vague in case I give ANYTHING away :lol:) I was using the help of a guide to make sure I did it correctly and suddenly realised something.

Playing through most of the chapters again using the conditions I needed and getting a different result to my original playthrough in most of them was actually gonna inadvertently net me a heap of trophies.

Could this finally be the game to rid me of the shame of Terminator Salvation? I must also add at this point that my ‘haul’ from Terminator was via one 4 hour playthrough on EASY in which you got a gold trophy for finishing each level 😮

After completing the ending I was looking for in Heavy Rain I decided I’d enjoyed it so much that I wanted to see all the possible endings and find out what could’ve happened. Again I grabbed the guide and, checking the way to do it, realised that if it went as planned I would then only be a handful of trophies short of a platinum :wow:

And while I’m not that into Trophies there was no way I’d let myself not get a platinum by that small amount. Especially when even those last trophies would let me see new scenes/outcomes.

And so there it is – my first ever Platinum Trophy (and probably my last).

You see, Heavy Rain’s Trophies were based around content, not skill. This Platinum isn’t for gaming skill (although I did have to ace some of the quick time events) but having the patience to experience all there is within Heavy Rain.

And I’m glad I took the time to have the complete Heavy Rain experience, firstly because the game and all it’s outcomes were very cool and secondly because Quantic Dream’s ambitious project washed away the embarrassment of having one of the worst games I’ve ever played at the top of my list. 🙂

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Terminator Salvation: Review (PS3)

Terminator Salvation

Well, I was warned by several poor reviews, not least by my good friends at Beyond The D-Pad, but I ended up giving Terminator Salvation a spin for myself.

Could it really be a bad as everyone said?

In a word, yes.

It’s pretty poor and while there is technically nothing wrong with the game itself, the way it’s been designed leads me to believe it was rushed out to co-incide with the film.

Ok let’s start at the beginning. The game opens with minimal fuss and a few enemies to show you the controls etc. At this stage the cynic in me was beaten back a little as I quite enjoyed taking down the enemies.

Graphically the game isn’t too bad – during gameplay at least. Cut scenes aren’t great, almost all the characters have those creepy ‘dead eyes’ that move but add no realism whatsoever.

After a quick 5 minute blast the first level came to a close – ‘bling’ – trophy. Only, hang on a minute… that looks like, it can’t be… yes folks it was a GOLD trophy 😡 For completing the tutorial. 😦 Level completions are bronze trophies, with a silver or gold maybe for finishing the game. We all know that – it’s a logical state of affairs.

This just makes a mockery of the whole trophy system. I finished this game (albeit on easy, I wasn’t willing to put too much time into something every single review had slated) in 3 and 1/2 hours – I got 9 gold trophies for my ‘trouble.’ That’s roughly 2.57 gold trophies an hour! There aren’t even any skill based trophies, just the level completions and a medium and hard completion gold trophy.

To be fair they’d have had trouble including skill based trophies anyway. Terminator Salvation makes it extremely difficult to hit any target accurately as the aiming system has to be dead centre to hit anything. You’re a little to the left? Tough no hit. This is incredibly unfair and annoying with the flying drones who are constantly moving.

Terminator Salvation 2

Yes there’s a buzz when you take down your first Terminator but it really doesn’t last long as you’re then bombarded with the spider bots.

It doesn’t help that the spider bots can only be killed from behind. A shot to front will shut them down for 3 or 4 seconds so someone else can take advantage and shoot the back. Only it has to be you because your AI buddies don’t have the skill or intelligence to do it. 😡

The levels fly by and are broken up by the on-rails driving sections (car/train etc) where you use an artillary gun to take down chasing enemies.

This was done brilliantly in Resident Evil 5 but here, well it was certainly fun at times but there was just no danger – fair enough it was on easy but I’d expect if I didn’t shoot them, even on the easiest setting, that they would cause some damage to the vehicle/me.

One thing that was quite well implemented was the cover system, which has been refined since these guys made Wanted: Weapons Of Fate. You attach to cover with X then at the edge of cover you use the analogue stick to choose another piece of cover, press X and John Connor automatically runs and slides into cover there. It’s a good system and offers you a little more protection than just running between cover yourself.

I think the real problem with Terminator is the fact it’s so ridiculously repetitive. There are, I think, only 3 or 4 enemy types in the whole game (Drones, Spider Bots, Terminators and flying harvester ships). There aren’t any ‘boss battles’ per se. You get more of the above thrown at you.

Terminator Salvation 3

I mean, come on, the last level – it’s all Terminators yeah but where was the last boss? Where was the secret mega Terminator they’d been creating? I’m not going to say anymore so that peeps who do want to play through (hello Trophyitis sufferers 😆 ) can do without me ruining the end.

I think we need to move away from film tie-ins now for games. Let’s get the licence and make something original. Or based on another facet on the film’s universe. I know it’s not out yet so could be rubbish but look at Batman Arkham Asylum. That looks brilliant and isn’t tied to a film.

This was a wasted opportunity in my opinion. The Terminator universe deserves a great game made for it. Hell, if you’re gonna tie it in why not just do a game based on the first few films for the new generation of consoles.

It certainly couldn’t be much worse than Terminator Salvation. This is a game where you will have the odd moment of fun in amongst repetitive mindless gunfights. Sadly I think there were more gold trophies than moments of fun.

I can stomach a bad/broken game that has some great ideas (Hi Alone In The Dark 🙂 ), at least they are trying something new. But the most damning thing about this game is that it isn’t a bad game as such, it’s just boring.

And that for me is the worse crime a game can ever commit.

Rating: 3/10

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MOST WANTED GAMES 2009/10 – PART ONE

This list started life as a Top Ten but as I began putting it together I thought I might as well just list everything that PS3 owners can look forward to in the future.

There were too many to fit in one blog so I’ve broken it down into two parts. The second part will be in the next week or so and will feature games that are further away on the horizon.

And so in no particular order, here’s what’s hot on the radar:

 

Terminator Salvation

Release Date: 19/05/09

I’ve read several previews of Terminator Salvation saying the game has ripped off Gears Of War and is similar is style. It certainly looks like Terminator has taken it’s inspiration from there.

And is this a bad thing? Obviously it’s great to have groundbreaking titles with fresh ideas but film licences are notoriously bad games (Iron Man anyone? :lol:).

If they can make a game half as good as Gears Of War with Terminators in it then I for one think that’s cool.

My only reservation is that the footage I’ve seen looks a little repetitive in parts but hopefully that won’t be a problem.

At the end of the day it’s been too long since we had a chance to shoot up some Terminators!

Here’s hoping for a downloadable Arnold skin for the main character at some stage!!!

Will certainly check the demo before buying though!

 

InFamous

Release Date: 26/05/09

InFamous has crept into this list at the last minute and the main reason I was reluctant to include it is the game’s apparent similarity to the forthcoming Prototype (see below).

Now I understand these two aren’t exactly the same but I do feel InFamous may not have the same impact as Prototype because the character is limited to a superpower based on electricity rather than a selection of powers.

Your character is called Cole, a man who not only survives a huge electrical explosion but actually gets powers from it. You’ll be chucking balls of electricity at enemies and using your electrical charge to glide through the air among other things.

Recent trailers & footage have hinted at some cool features and the good/bad karma angle seems interesting.

Graphically it looks great and it’s a PS3 exclusive so I suspect I’ll check it out at some stage depending on how much I enjoy the demo.

 

Prototype

Release Date: 09/06/09

Well it always seems the way – a style of game doesn’t get touched for ages then two come along at once.

I see absolutely no reason not to own both Prototype and InFamous if they are good enough. Both have a different story to tell and have been made by different people.

You play as Alex Mercer, waking up in the morgue and wondering what the hell is going on. You have no memory but luckily for you (not for everyone else :lol:) you can absorb other people’s appearances and memory by killing them 😮

And so the story begins as you try and piece together what the hell is going on and where your superpowers have appeared from.

Prototype seems to take itself less seriously than InFamous (performing an elbow drop on a tank :cool:) so I’m not sure how the story will play out.

Either way I’ll be getting this when it comes out in the Summer.

 

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Release Date: 09/06/09

I don’t think we’ve ever really had a great Batman game, although a friend vouches for Batman Begins, but Arkham Asylum looks like it could be something special.

Not restrained by being tied to a film the game has a level of freedom in design and story that isn’t often present in licensed games.

Basically Batman falls into the Joker’s trap by arresting him and taking him to the Asylum. The Joker escapes his chains and releases the inmates to take over the Asylum.

It’s up to Batman to punch, kick and batarang his way through.

It all looks great and the options for stealth or attack look pretty cool but I feel this one will come down to how they implement the control system.

Hopefully it’ll be easy enough to play and I’m looking forward to the demo, which should be with us in the next few weeks.

 

Red Faction

Release Date: 09/06/09

Another one that has crept into the list, Red Faction: Guerrilla makes an appearance based on how much fun the demo was.

I watched plenty of trailers and footage for this game without being overly impressed. The main selling point seemed to be the way everything destructs realistically and to me that wasn’t something of great interest – as long as it crumbles I don’t mind how it goes down. 🙂

But I’d underestimated how much fun it is to destroy things. Especially with an oversized hammer 😀

Might be worth a rent before I decide whether to invest but I’ll be keeping an eye on the reviews for this one.

 

Ghostbusters

Release Date: 16/06/09

Well we’ve certainly waited long enough – after being dropped by Activision Ghostbusters is almost upon us.

From the footage I’ve seen this could be a great game and to be honest with the original cast and the sound effects of the proton pack, Ecto 1 etc it could be a re-skinned version of any generic third person shooter and I’d be happy. 🙂

As it is the game seems to be getting ok feedback, maybe just above average, and apparently the script and delivery are excellent.

As someone who grew up with the films and cartoon TV series a decent Ghostbusters game has been a long time coming.

My inner child cannot wait to fire up his proton pack and bust some ghosts 😎

*sings On Our Own by Bobby Brown*

 

Call Of Juarez – Bound In Blood

Release Date: 30/06/09

And so we have the second of the Western themed games and this one seems a lot more linear and story driven than Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption (featured in Part Two).

You control two brothers and have the option to use either as you progress through the levels.

Both of them have different special abilties, one is great with long range weapons and the other can target multiple opponents before letting loose with both barrels.

I like the look of this and while the game looks to lack a degree of freedom I think that in some cases it’s nice to play a game and be led by the story.

Again one to check the demo first but a probable purchase.

 

Fight Night Round 4

Release Date: Summer 2009

I enjoyed Fight Night Round 3 but, quite frankly, it was just the PS2 version with shiny graphics.

This is a whole new game engine built from the ground up and based on physics.

It looks incredible and the movement of the fighters is much improved. Also the boxers can now get right up close, the ‘invisible wall’ from Round 3 has been removed.

The knockdowns are much better, the repetitive knockdown animation is gone and each knockdown will happen in real-time, which looks brilliant.

The roster has been increased and Lennox Lewis & Mike Tyson are both welcome inclusions.

This will be great to play with your mates and I should imagine online will be great (EA certainly does online very well) but I’m hoping for an extended career mode in single player.

A demo is pencilled in for mid May so it’s not long until we get a chance to try it out.

 

Alpha Protocol

Release Date: October 2009

Alpha Protocol is a spy-RPG (Role Playing Game), meaning effectively that you have a say in how your characters statistics develop through the game.

Want to be a crack shot? Level up your gun skills. How about a deadly weapon with your hands? Level up your martial arts skills.

You take control of an agent who is so deep under cover even your fellow agents don’t know about you. You get to mould his skills to suit your style of play as you go from location to location completing missions.

This game sounds like it could be really fun.

Added into the mix is what sounds like an excellent decision making mechanic whereby you are given three answers to choose from when asked a question but instead of sitting deliberating (“well if I say that x might happen but if I say y this might happen”) you get 5 seconds to answer or (I believe) it picks a passive answer for you.

It’s nice to see developers putting out games that don’t necessarily sit in one genre and I think Aplha Protocol could be an awesome story-based gaming experience.

 

M.A.G

Release Date: TBC 2009

MAG stands for Massive Action Game. It would have to be a pretty big game to actually label itself ‘Massive’ wouldn’t it?

Most games have 32 online players, there are a few that can support 64 players at a time. So what would constitute ‘Massive?’

80? 100? 150 surely? 200?!

Try 256. All human opponents. 128 players a side.
We are pretty much talking an actual war here 🙂 and judging from the trailer above this could be great fun, complete chaos but fun nonetheless.

I’m interested to see if they can actually pull It off successfully. This could be the game SOCOM wanted to be.

 

Heavy Rain

Release Date: TBC 2009

Now this is an interesting one, Heavy Rain is aiming to be a whole new gaming experience – more interactive and filmic than ever before.

Very little is known about the story itself and several rumours have been flying around regarding gameplay etc

The most interesting of which is the idea that the story continues until the end regardless. If you die you don’t replay the level you switch to another (different) character and continue the story from their perspective.

If that’s true it sounds awesome. Regardless of the rumours the game is shaping up to be one of the best looking and innovative title that is on the horizon.

 

God Of War 3

Release Date: TBA (2009/10)

Do I need to write anything here? 😆

Seriously it’s shaping up to top the previous two games, which is really saying something.

This is one of the jewels in Sony’s crown. Critically acclaimed and loved by gamers, the God Of War franchise is edging ever closer to it’s next-gen debut.

The footage above is obviously from a conference on a big screen but it still looks great – the movement of Kratos has obviously been improved and the the gameplay seems to flow better.

This will be massive and I cannot wait for it to arrive.

 

So there you have it – the first part of my most wanted games. I honestly don’t think there has been a better time to be a gamer – whether it’s on PS3, X-Box or Nintendo.

The scope, scale and production values on games is immense and there is a real value for money feel to most games nowadays, with almost all titles clocked in between 8 and 10 hours of gameplay in solo player campaigns. Not to mention multi-player.

Hope you enjoyed the list and Most Wanted – Part Two should be up next week.