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by Ethos

Hey! Look! Listen!

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

HLLfinal

I”ve returned, faithful readers, to return my rightful position at the head of HLL.

I suppose I must once again begrudgingly thank Ethos for filling in for me. And also for penning that monster of a Spirit Tracks review directly below…

Let us move on to the news!

isaacDead Space 2 Confirmed

Well, this certainly doesn’t come as a surprise, but it’s officially official now. From the game’s official announcement:

“We’re thrilled to jump back into the series, making the next chapter in Isaac’s journey,” added Steve Papoutsis, Executive Producer of Dead Space 2. “The infection continues to spread throughout space and our hero Isaac Clarke is the only person able to contain it. There are still loads of Necromorphs that need killing. In Dead Space 2, not everything is exactly as it seems. Expect plot twists that will surprise you and a huge cast of twisted, disgusting monsters that are sure to scare the daylights out of you.”

This comes soon after the release of a teaser image, shown below. The text was soon decoded, and translated as “The nightmare is over but it will not end.”

deadspaceteaser

Makes no sense, but it sounds awesome. Needless to say, I’m quite excited, seeing that the original Dead Space is one of my favorite current-generation games. I’m also glad to hear that Isaac is back as the main character; maybe he’ll actually have something to say this time around…?

OH, and this just in: the next issue of Game Informer will feature the first details on the game. What a fantastic time for my subscription to run out. Here’s the full-cover spread below, revealing some notable upgrades in Isaac’s outfight:

gameinformer

Anticipation rises… (Kotaku, GameInformer).

yakuza3Yakuza 3 North American Release Officially Confirmed

Well this one isn’t much of a surprise either, frankly. Sega finally decided to stop playing coy and confirm a rumor that’s been going on for some time now. Writing on the European PlayStation Blog, SEGA Europe’s Online Community Manager had this to say:

One of my responsibilities as it were is dealing with our classic franchises, so I’m especially delighted to be able to at last confirm something that we’ve been working on for what seems like forever.
YAKUZA 3 IS COMING TO THE WEST!

The game will be released in March of 2010.

I’ve never played a Yakuza game before, and I’ve never really cared to. But for some strange reason, I find myself becoming more and more interested in playing Yakuza 3. Perhaps it’s just because I’ve been following the tumultous story of its North American release for months now. I think I might be a little preoccupied with a certain Final Fantasy XIII in the month of March, but I find myself with some extra cash and time, I might have to give Yakuza 3 a try. (European PlayStation Blog).

Check Out BioShock 2’s Big Daddy Wreaking Havoc

While this video doesn’t do much to ease my fear that BioShock 2 will be overly action-oriented, it is, admittedly, quite awesome.

As skeptical as I am about the game, I’m excited at the same time. A bit of an odd feeling, really.

And unfortunately, I think that’s all for today. Slow news week thus far. But while HLL may have been short today, Ethos’ review of The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is most certainly not. Scroll down a bit, and give it a read.

‘Till next time!

Hey! Look! Listen!

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

HLLfinal

Good… uh, early MORNING everyone, and welcome to yet another edition of Hey! Look! Listen! As per always, I’m your host Oliver “Riddles” Motok, and I’m here with a smattering of news stories and oddities that managed to catch my eye.

In case you haven’t guessed already, I’ve failed at playing any Wind Waker this week. However, the week is far from over, so there is time. That game happens to be my second favorite Zelda, hot on the heels of the immortal Ocarina of Time. So naturally, I’m pretty excited about re-visiting it.

Shall we?

PrinceofPersiaWarriorWithinUbisoft Announces New Prince of Persia Game

I don’t think I’ve ever been so simultaneously thrilled and terrified by a game revelation in my life. Ubisoft has recently announced that Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands will be released for both consoles and handhelds in May, coinciding with the upcoming film. Reportedly, the game will feature “fan-favorite elements from the original series,” as well as “new gameplay innovations.”

Why is this awesome? Because it’s a) Prince of Persia and b) a return to the Sands of Time universe, which is INFINITELY preferable to the cel-shaded universe of the recent series reboot.

Why is it terrifying? Well… because it’s a movie tie-in. While I can’t imagine that Ubisoft would mar the integrity of one of their most respected franchises, it’s still an unpleasant thought, given the quality of most film tie-ins. Secondly, Ubisoft DID NOT announce if this was a return to the Sands of Time videogame universe, or a game based on the film itself. (i.e, featuring the likenesses of the actors and such). If that turns out to be the case, no corner of the internet will be safe from my wrath. Let’s just say I’m tentatively both stoked and enraged. (Kotaku, 1UP).

Final Fantasy XIII Boxart, Length Revealed

The fact that Final Fantasy XIII will be mine in four months still hasn’t quite hit me yet. Not sure why, but regardless, the internet isn’t going to rest until my anticipation has reached the breaking point. Have a look at the game’s recently-revealed boxart:

FFXIIIboxart

My verdict: not bad, though extremely simplistic, and the Xbox 360 version wins for showing more leg.

While I’m on the subject: Final Fantasy XIII director Motomu Toriyama has gone on the record stating the the game will be a whopping 50-60 hours long. “For XIII, the size of the entire game is considerable,” said Toriyama.  ”Just running through the main story takes experienced players over 50 hours. For the first time, I think it’s possible to play through in full in about 60 hours or so.”

Good to know some things never change, I guess. Lord knows I’ll be punching in every hour and then some. (Kotaku, 1UP).

ac2screen2Assassin’s Creed II DLC Forthcoming

I rarely give a shit about downloadable content, but Ubisoft might change my mind with what they have planned for Assassin’s Creed II. Two different DLC packs have been announced, scheduled for release in January and February of 2010. They are entitled Battle of Forli and The Bonfire of the Vanities, respectively.

Those who have played and finished Assassin’s Creed II know that late in the game, the story skips a rather large chunk of time. (11 years, to be precise – it jumps from 1488 to 1499).  Also, it skips two chapters – jumping from “Memory Sequence 11″ to “Memory Sequence 14.”

Perhaps you’re picking up on something here? If  you need further proof, the Bonfire of the Vanities is an actual historical event that took place in Florence during the year 1497. Fits right in the aforementioned 11 year gap.

Oh, and Ubisoft is telling gamers to keep 1 GB of space available for each DLC, meaning these additional chapters will be quite lengthy indeed. (Kotaku).

Check Out Mass Effect 2’s New Asari Babe

I’m sorry, but Liara will not be making the cut as long as this chick’s around. All I can say at this point is damn.

Yakuza 3 Listing Found on Amazon Germany

It’s easy to forget that Yakuza 3 isn’t ACTUALLY confirmed for release outside of Japan. However, Sega’s persistent “no comments” and now this Amazon listing act as a sort of de facto announcement if you ask me. Apparently the game is set for a March release. I’d give you the link, but it’s apparently (and unsurprisingly) been taken down. Yakuza fans rejoice; I know you’re out there. I’m not one of them, though… seeing that I’ve, uh, never tried the series out. (1UP).

Nintendo Scales Back Wii Production

A report from Nikkei states that two Japanese companies, Mitsumi and Hosiden, are facing staggering losses in profit due to “declining fortunes” of Nintendo’s Wii. In case you’re slow on the uptake, Mitsumi and Hosiden are companies that assemble, among other things, Wii systems. Fewer Wiis being sold means fewer Wiis being assembled. All said, both companies are reportedly looking at net profit losses of over 50 percent. Ouch.

I find it rather humorous that, after years of keeping Wii production low, (likely for the sole purpose of stirring hype) Nintendo ramps it up, only to cut it back again with startling quickness. Or… maybe it’s all part of their evil plan. I don’t know. They’re devious little bastards like that. (Kotaku).

And that, as they say, is that! My goodness it’s late. Early. Whatever. Good thing I have to work for 10-11 hours tomorrow! Time to grab my four hours of sleep. Catch you on the flip side.

Hey! Look! Listen!

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Another Tuesday, another edition of Hey! Look! Listen! for your reading pleasure. I’m your host Oliver Motok, and… you knew that already.

I started Ultimate Alliance 2 last night. I wasn’t blown away, but then, I only played the first hour or so. I’ve yet to even reach the start of the “Civil War” storyline, which is the main thing about the game that interests me. (Any other Marvel Comics nerds in the crowd who know what I’m talking about?) Of course, any game hot on the heels of Arkham Asylum is going to suffer for it.

Anyway. Let’s move on to the NEWS.

Ouch.

Ouch.

Hey, Yakuza 3 is Being Localized After All
I’ve never played Yakuza so I really don’t give a crap, but I imagine there’s plenty of people out there who do. So, to all the fans of Sega’s mafia-glorifying beat-em-up, REJOICE. According to 1UP, a “source close to the project” has informed them that the game is, in fact, being localized for North America. While this should still be taken with a grain of salt, it’s believable for two reasons: first, Sega hasn’t come forward to speak against the rumor, which only adds credibility. Second, it’s not completely out of left field – just last week, Sega of America assistant community manager Aaron Webber said that a North American release was not out of the question, as had been previously rumored.

“The original news story that went around about Yakuza 3 being declined for the US was false, and localizing the game still remains a big point of discussion for many people here at SEGA, and especially those of us on SEGA’s community team,” wrote Webber on the PlayStation Blog

I’m gonna go ahead and venture a guess that this is legit. Look for an official announcement at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show.

PlayStation 2, Dreamcast Titles May be Coming to PlayStation Network
Well, it was only a matter of time I suppose. Perhaps you recall a patent discover by Siliconera back in June, related to a technology that would allow the PlayStation 3 to emulate the Emotion Engine, and hence, play PS2 software. However, it’s been a number of months since we’ve heard any further developments

However, with a leaked document discovered by French site Objectif-Sega, the rumor mill is turning yet again. The document is apparently a list of notes from a meeting between Sega of America and Robert Dyer, senior vice president of publisher relations for Sony Computer Entertainment America. Among many other notes (take a look at the full article, it’s quite intriguing) is a brief mention of a PS2 emulator for the PS3 – which is listed as “confidential.” In addition to that is a note entitled “DC Digital Titles,” stating that Sony is interested in providing Dreamcast games for download.

MmmmHM. Interesting, very interesting. And it makes complete sense. Regardless of how trustworthy this particular “leak” may be, I have no doubt that PS2 games will be available on the PSN at some point in the future. There are, after all, over 1800 titles in the system’s library; offering them as digital downloads would only be another way for Sony to milk that cash cow. While it’s not quite as welcome as disc-based backwards compatibility would be, I’ll be happy to take what I can get at this point.

Ooooh!

Ooooh!

Valkyria Chronicles Trophies Still Possible
Again, this doesn’t really interest me, as much as I love Valkyria Chronicles. However, I’m happy to see that it’s (possibly) still receiving some support from both fans and its publisher. Also, I happen to know that dear Ethos would be a happy little Trophy whore if this were to come true.

Last Ranker May be Coming to North America
You familiar with Capcom’s upcoming RPG, Last Ranker? No? Me neither. In fact, I’d heard nothing about it until I learned that it had been trademarked in the US. And, while I still know nothing about it, I was intrigued by the names attached to the project – among them being Kazishige Nojima and Yoko Shimomura of Kingdom Hearts fame. Nojima was one of the chief writers of the Kingdom Hearts series, while Shimomura composed the music.

And that’s all I have. Other than a few bombshells, news has been relatively slow as of late. A calm before the storm of the Tokyo Game Show, methinks. ‘Till next time, dear readers.