Wednesday, October 19, 2011

PSN Demo Showcase for 10/19/11

Today's PSN Demo Showcase features the latest iterations of two long-lasting franchises with one featuring hedgehogs and the other with cars.

First up is another demo for Sonic Generations as this time it features both classic and modern Sonic in the Green Hill Zone. The classic Sonic's level is the same as the 20th anniversary demo except with an annoying Chao being some sort of tutorial. New on the demo landscape though is modern Sonic's Green Hill level. For those who don't know, modern Sonic is based on the 3D games (Adventure, Heroes, Unleashed, Colors) with speed boosts and homing attacks. If you especially played Sonic Unleashed (not for the disastrously Werehog levels), you will feel right at home with modern Sonic's controls. The level is a longer than classic Sonic's version and features a rock remix of the infamous Green Hill theme, something you would hear from one of the recent 3D games. For Generations, modern Sonic seems fine to me even though I had an easier with classic Sonic because I played the older games more than the disappointing new ones (Colors being an exception). Sonic Generations is out on November 1 and hopefully this breaks the Sonic Cycle once for all, but there is a feeling that it won't somehow knowing Sonic Team.

The other featured demo this week is Need for Speed: The Run, EA Black Box's return to the franchise after their last disappointing effort with Undercover. After last year's success of Hot Pursuit, EA seems fine with attaching autolog to all their high profile games now with this one being no exception. This is your Standard Need for Speed demo with two cars (Porsche Carrera S and the Lambo Gallardo) to choose from and two tracks available to race through. Both of the tracks are point-to-point and require a certain amount of cars to pass through to complete the race. None of the new features such as the debatable on-foot sequences are in this demo as it is straight up racing in Death Valley and a snow environment. The snow track is more interesting since there are avalanches popping up everywhere throughout the race against just one car as you attempt to pass it along with avoiding any hazards. Getting wrecked does allow rewinds to go down as seen in previous Need for Speed games as it rewinds you to the last checkpoint you crossed rather than the turn before. The graphics of this demo definitely show it is from an early build, so we'll see how the final game looks when it comes on November 15.

Grand Theft Auto III Celebrates 10 Years

This Sunday is the 10th anniversary of one of the greatest games of all-time, which is Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto III. It was a game ahead of its time changing everything we knew about games how open-ended it was, the controversy it caused, and the amount of insanity you can cause. I remember the day I getting the last copy at a Toys R Us during my PS2's first month and experiencing firsts of many. For a week or two, I didn't care about progressing through the main story as I rather try to cause as much chaos as I can till I die. Throw in cheat codes into the mix and it was crazy times back in October 2001. Then I realized that the main storyline was worth it after all with the crazy amount of twists and turns till the finale. Liberty City and gaming in general wasn't the same for the next ten years looking where we are now.

It would be interesting to see what if GTA III didn't come out and set the standard for modern games. Would Japan remain its dominance in the gaming landscape even today or other western developers took this idea for their own? Let's face it, that game did pretty much changed everything as it was the start of a new era and direction for the industry as well as a gateway for more Western developers to follow suit.

Happy 10th anniversary to Grand Theft Auto III and thanks for flipping the game industry upside down to become what it is today.