Author Archives: Britton Peele

An Open Letter To Nintendo Re: The Binding of Isaac

Hey, Nintendo. How’ve you been? I hear the 3DS is selling better. That’s cool. Good for you.

I don’t expect this letter will mean much. You’ve proven that people need to shout at you with a megaphone, en masse, in order for you to listen to them. Regardless, there’s something I need to say.

You need to approve The Binding of Isaac for the 3DS eShop. Seriously, if this ball is in your court, then you need to make a play, and do it without running around in circles for months to a year. Honestly, you should be the ones approaching great independent developers about making downloadable games for the 3DS and Wii U, and you certainly shouldn’t turn down those who already want to appear on these systems.

Quality indie content like The Binding of Isaac can only help your platform. Over the past month or so, the eShop has seen some huge releases in the forms of Pushmo, Mighty Switch Force and VVVVVV. These games have made the eShop (which still has its own host of problems) a worthwhile place to hunt for new game experiences.  Keep the train rolling. VVVVVV in particular was a great addition because it’s an indie darling already, and there was an established userbase anxious to try the game in glasses-free 3D. The Binding of Isaac will draw a similar (and perhaps bigger) crowd, I assure you.

Of course, one of the main reasons we’re even worrying about the fate of Isaac on the 3DS is the religious elements, which Nintendo has been known to shy away from in the past. The Binding of Isaac was made by an atheist, yet a Biblical story as the basis for a violent and in many ways disturbing video game. There are plenty of Christians that would take issue with it, sure. They will probably take a quick glance at its intro movie and scoff at the way it portrays crazy Christians.

But I’m a Christian, and I think The Binding of Isaac is a great game. Not only that, I actually think it a worthwhile message. I’ve finished the Steam version three times so far, and I plan on going back for more. You know what would make it easier to go back for more? If it were on my 3DS, in my pocket wherever I go.

I’m not alone as a Christian that finds the game intriguing at the very least. Christ and Pop Culture put it on their Favorite Games of 2011 list. One of the site’s editors, Drew Dixon (also a pastor), had good things to say about it in his review for Paste. But there’s more to it than that.

It’s not that The Binding of Isaac doesn’t sometimes make me uncomfortable – because it does. Both as a Christian and as a human being that hurts deeply for victims of child abuse, Isaac’s world and story can be unsettling. But for games to be taken seriously as an art form, we need to be made uncomfortable sometimes. For you to be taken seriously by hardcore gamers and indie developers again, Nintendo, you need to let them create the experiences they need to create.

I can understand when you enforce limits on sex, nudity, whatever. You put families first, that’s fine. I get it. But let the developers thrive. Let them create experiences that push us a little. Let them appeal to more mature audiences. Let them share sales data, for goodness’ sake. Embrace them. And more than that, promote them. Grab a 3DS port of The Binding of Isaac and boast about it. Let the world know that this experience is available on your platform.

I love my 3DS, especially now that more quality games have started to arrive on the platform. But the more good games, the better. I want to play The Binding of Isaac on the go. Please let it happen.

Follow Britton Peele on Twitter.

Tagged , , ,

The Second Quest

Like a phoenix from the ashes, like Bowser and his stupid Koopalings, like Ron Paul in every election for the past 250 years, we have returned.

Tim Poon and I (you know, Britton Peele. Do try to keep up) maintained this blog in our spare time during college, when we weren’t writing for The Daily Toreador. When Tim graduated it fell into disuse. When I graduated it was lost in the forgotten annals of history.

The Experience Points blog is dead. But we’ve come back to start a New Game Plus.

Now, we’re both freelancers, when we can find people to pay us to write things. Trouble is, that’s not always an easy task, especially as great outlets like GamePro fall to the enemy that is gaming illiteracy. So part of the reason we decided to come back to this blog was so we would have a dumping ground for those thoughts and ideas that couldn’t find a home somewhere else. But mostly we came back because it was a lot of fun. We missed doing podcasts and chatting about how short Wanted: Weapons of Fate was or how much I love Monkey Island. I also missed that big, poofy hair of Tim’s.

We’re not 100 percent positive what will go here, only that it probably won’t be typical stuff like reviews. We do that sort of thing elsewhere now, and we have other things we want to try. We’ll definitely do some more podcasts soon, and we’re talking about doing some video content, because this new start-up site YouTube really caught our attention recently.

If you’re just joining us, check our bios on the About Us page to see why you should care (because you should). If you give us a chance, we promise not to steal all your Skyrim discs and replace them with copies of Sneak King while you sleep.

Review – Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (360/PS3)

The “Prince of Persia” series has been around for quite some time, but one of its most recent incarnations, “The Sands of Time” trilogy, garnered most of the praise and acclaim that the Prince has so far seen.

The plot of the trilogy involves the mystical sands of time and a magical dagger that can turn back time. This is also the basis for the recent Jeremy Bruckheimer film, “The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” which is in theaters now and is (in my opinion) a pretty good popcorn flick, though it certainly won’t win any Oscars.

Thankfully, Ubisoft decided not to make “Prince of Persia: The Movie: The Game,” despite the plots of the game and film being different enough to allow for that absurd possibility. But much to my dismay, they didn’t make a sequel to 2008’s fanasy-heavy “Prince of Persia” either, which featured an entirely different story and cast. Instead, in order to attract more people who plan on seeing the film, they went back to the much-loved “Sands of Time” saga.

“Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands” for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 takes place in the missing years between “Sands of Time” and “Warrior Within” on last generation’s consoles. The nameless prince has gone to visit his brother who, under attack by enemy forces, decides to release a fabled army. This, unsurprisingly, ends up being a bad move.

Thing is, the story here barely matters, which is kind of a shame. The Prince in “Warrior Within” is very different from the Prince in “The Sands of Time,” so in setting “The Forgotten Sands” between those two games, you would think there’s a lot of room for exploration of the character and everything he went through. But the developers completely missed the boat. The game doesn’t even end with a hint of the events to come.

In fact, oddly enough, the infamous Sands of Time don’t even really play a role in the plot. Your powers – including the classic time manipulation – come from a completely different source altogether. This among other things make the story feel horribly out of place.

Solidifying water plays a huge part in the gameplay.

The gameplay, though, is pretty solid, if unoriginal at this point. All the trappings you would want from a “Prince of Persia” title are here, including a ton of wall running and leaps from platform to precarious platform. This is still a formula that not many other games attempt, much less do well (the closest comparison would probably be another Ubisoft series, “Assassin’s Creed,” which allows for plenty of building scaling), so a new game is always a welcome addition to fans of the style.

That being said, I certainly found “The Forgotten Sands” to be enjoyable. I loved the original “Sands of Time” trilogy, as well as the 2008 fantasy reboot, so I’m always up for more parkour mixed with sword slashing.

The game requires the usual precise jumps and careful moving around the environment, but not to worry. If you make a bad jump and plunge over the edge of a tower, you can always rewind time a bit in order to go back and fix your mistake. This is the twist that made the original “Sands of Time” such a success, and it still works here.

This isn’t a complete rehash, though. The Prince has a few new skills, both for traversal and for combat.

The combat skills, though fun to use, aren’t terribly original or exciting, so I’d rather focus on the ones that matter.

You'll battle hordes of enemies at a time.

This time around, you can manipulate the environment in certain ways. Most notably, you can freeze water and use it to your advantage. For example, if you see spouts of water streaming out the side of a building, you can temporarily freeze them and use them to swing on. Similarly, if you see a waterfall, you can freeze it and run on it as if it were a solid wall.

These freezing powers are accessed by a mere press of a button, and water will stay frozen until you let go of the button, or your power runs out. Later on, this makes for some really tricky (but really fun) sequences in which you must quickly make water solid, liquid, and solid again, depending on whether or not you need to run on it or fly through it.

Another environment power you get later in the game is the ability to “recall” areas of the environment that should be there, but have fallen to ruin. At first, this feels like a total contrivance. You can obviously see where the object in question is supposed to be, and it just seems like a hassle to require the player to press a button in order to interact with it. However, the levels evolve in such a way that this skill seems more important and more entertaining, and by the end I didn’t mind its inclusion.

The controls feel pretty good, and for the most part do their job perfectly. However, I did encounter a few issues where the game would simply not do what I told it to. One of these cases was when I wanted to backtrack a bit in a level, in order to search for a hidden object. As the game was designed for me to go forward, not back, I had a real struggle getting the camera positioned the way I wanted, and then I was unable to make the Prince go exactly where I needed to go, resulting in a few very frustrating deaths. This isn’t a problem for most of the game, which doesn’t try to limit where you go in the world (forward or back), but problem areas certainly exist.

Combat powers can be purchased and upgraded for devestating attacks.

Another such area was near the very end of the game. A certain piece of environment absolutely refused to be “recalled” unless I was positioned exactly where the game wanted me to be, which wasn’t at all where I wanted to be myself. Not only did this result in more frustration, it also resulted in a terrible, terrible glitch that almost forced me to replay through the entire game from the beginning. Part of this stems from the fact that this is only one save game available, and it only ever auto-saves. There is also no form of level select or anything. Kind of a bummer if you want to go back to a favorite section or something.

“The Forgotten Sands” isn’t terribly long – easily under 10 hours – but it is enjoyable. The main problem, though, is that it’s nowhere near as remarkable or memorable as former games in the series, such as the original “Sands of Time” or 2008’s “Prince of Persia.” At times, it certainly feels like a game that they rushed through in order to release it alongside the movie. While it’s certainly better than most movie-related games, and a pretty enjoyable “Prince of Persia” adventure, I do feel like the Prince deserved a little more respect with this game. It could have been better. Instead, it might be more worth a rental than a $60 purchase.

The Wii version of “The Forgotten Sands,” interestingly, is a completely different experience – from story to gameplay. Ubisoft sent us a copy of it alongside this 360 version, so we’ll have a review of that in the future.

Beta Impressions – Blur

Bizzare Creations, known primarily for its popular Project Gotham Racing series as well as the Xbox Live Arcade smash hit Geometry Wars is back with a new racing experience, Blur.

Blur has been called “Mario Kart meets Forza,” and after spending some time with the game myself, that holds very true. The game is a high-speed arcade racer not too unlike Burnout, but the main twist in the gameplay is the addition of power-ups. That’s where Mario Kart comes in. The power-ups vary in function, from weapons to mines, from boosts to shields. How you use these power-ups will be absolutely critical to whether you succeed or fail. You can hold up to three at a time – their symbols are displayed beneath your car as you race, and you can hit the X button (on the 360 at least) to switch between any power-ups you hold.

As fun as this system is, what I found even more appealing was how online play works. They have essentially taken the Modern Warfare model of earning experience and leveling up and placed that into a racing game. The result is just as addictive as it is in a first-person shooter. You earn experience, or “fans,” for drifting, hitting opponents with power-ups, dodging attacks, winning races, etc. You also get bonus points for completing challenges, such as “Hit 5 opponents by launching a bolt backwards.”

This sort of stuff should sound extremely familiar to Modern Warfare veterans, so it should come as no surprise that as you level up, you unlock new gameplay modes and customization features. At level three, you unlock the Mod Shop, which allows you to select three features – basically Perks – for you car, such as doing more damage in collisions, or repairing your car any time you successfully use a shield. You also unlock new cars to use and new gameplay modes to play.

Races can involve anywhere from 2 to 20 racers, which can get pretty crazy considering the Mario Kart-style insanity on the race track. Considering every racer can up to three power-ups at a time, you sometimes have to be really careful not to crash ask lightning and missiles are flying around.

I feel that the game is going to live or die based on its online community. 20-player races can be a blast, but what’s going to happen if you can’t find 19 other people to race against? But if a solid community sticks to the game, I think it could be a big success.

The full game will have what I assume is a rather standard set of single-player features, but I have not had the opportunity to try them myself.

Now for the fun part. There’s still a bit of time before the multiplayer Blur beta ends, and I have three beta  codes to give away. If you want one, just leave a comment on this story with your e-mail address. Three random people will score codes, unless only three people comment, in which case everybody wins.  The beta is for Xbox Live only. Sorry, PS3 users.

Blur is coming soon for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC.

Tagged , , , ,

Level Up – Episode 3: Mobile and iPad Gaming Potential

After a holiday hiatus, and one super lazy editor taking forever to post it here (sorry), Episode 3 of Level Up is online.

Tim Poon and I discuss mobile gaming, from its sorry past to its interesting, iPhone fueled present, to its iPad and Windows Mobile 7 potential. Along the way, we get very sidetracked and talk about retro gaming.

Level Up – Episode 3

Tagged , , , ,

Xbox Live Reward Program Starting Now

Awhile back, many Xbox Live members were sent e-mails inviting them to sign up for the opportunity to test a new rewards system.

I was one of those people, and today, I relieved confirmation that I had been accepted into the program. I will also receive 100 MS Points just for being lucky, I guess.

There was a lot of speculation as to what, exactly, the program would consist of. Understandably, the most common theories supposed that users would be rewarded for things such as completing surveys. Judging from the image below, which I captured from the Reward Central website, these theories were more or less spot on.

Xbox Live RewardsOther ways to earn points include signing up or renewing your Xbox Live Gold account, which is handy, since mine is about to expire and I’m going to buy another full year. Therefore, I will get a whole 200 points! That’s a whole $2.50! And all I had to do was spend $50! Woohoo! A similar deal exists for subscribing to Netflix.

But what’s interesting is the idea that you can earn 100 MSP for “making your first purchase on Xbox Live” (I wonder if that means your first purchase ever, or your first purchase since joining the program), and 100 MSP for completing surveys.

Considering there are a ton of great Xbox Live Arcade games for 400-800 MSP, this program could actually allow for a sweet free game or two, provided that enough surveys are provided and, potentially, if they’re not all extremely long.

The welcome e-mail also says, “Every month, we’ll send you an email with an update on how you’re doing and the cool gear you can get with your rewards, so make sure you read it!” That leads me to believe that Microsoft would like to offer more than just digital rewards in the future.

In a lot of ways this seems to be similar to Club Nintendo, which gives out points and freebies to Nintendo users simply for registering hardware, games and competing surveys. I’ll be extremely interested in seeing how the two services compare overall.

This test of Reward Central is set to last for six months. We’ll see how it goes.

Tagged , , , ,

Save Point Final Fantasy VII Marathon

I’m sure a ton of you are familiar with charity gaming marathons that have been popular lately, the most prominent of which being the Mario Marathon that has raised thousands of dollars for Child’s Play the past couple of years. They basically run a live stream of themselves playing through every Mario game, hours and hours on end, and take charity donations.

Well, some friends and I are doing the same thing with Final Fantasy VII. We know it’s not original or anything, but hey… We’re doing it for a good cause… And fun, I suppose.

The organization is Save Point, and the stream is live RIGHT NOW, HERE!

I’ll only here here until Friday afternoon (central time) but still… It’s for a good cause.

Tune in, donate if you want, whatever… It’s just a fun experiment that we’re trying.

Save Point Charity

E3 ’09: Sony

Jack Tretton said “2008 is the year of the PlayStation 3.”

To be honest, it wasn’t. Sure, we had Metal Gear Solid 4 and LittleBigPlanet, but neither were the top sellers they probably should have been. And with Final Fantasy XIII and the next title in the Metal Gear franchise, “Metal Gear Solid: Rising” both coming to the Xbox 360, what’s Sony’s move?

It’s rumored that a new PSP model was going to be one of their biggest announcements, but the internet got the best of them, and the PSP Go! is known almost in its entirety already, and has been for the past week.

Sony started off their year with the bang that was Killzone 2. Down the pipe we know they have the likes of God of War 3 and Uncharted 2. But will it be enough? Does the former gaming juggernaut have any earthshattering surprises up their sleeves? Will they try to jump onto the motion control bandwagon like Microsoft has with Project Natal?

It’s time to find out.

12:50 – Waiting for the Sony conference, something has occured to me. I’ve been told more than once that I look vaguely like G4’s Adam Sessler. The thought terrifies me. What do you think?

1:12 – We’re starting at last. Montage of some upcoming games. Uncharted 2, Ratchet and Clank, God of War 3, LittleBigPlanet, Heavy Rain… Some pretty big games on their way. Video is set to the musical stylings of Queen.

1:14 – Jack Tretton is on-stage, thanking God that the press showed up. Joking about press leaks and how he was worried there’d be no reason to come (referencing the afforementioned PSP Go! stuff), much to the pleasure of those in attendence. Classy.

1:17 – Claims that Sony is the only company with 3 successful systems on-sale at once, referring to the PS2, PS3 and PSP. Thing is, I think Nintendo did the same thing for at least a short while with Wii, DS and GameBoy Advance.

1:18 – Talking about the PlayStation 2. How long is it going to take until Sony finally stops talking about it? Oh, right. This is PS2 year 9, and they’re going for the whole 10-year life cycle thing.

1:19 – Over 100 new titles for the PS2 this year? Crazy.

1:20 – Talking numbers. Standard affair, but it reminds me why Microsoft’s conference was so great. It didn’t have any of this stuff. Jack is currently talking about how great inFamous is, which, sure. It’s pretty rad.

1:22 – Someone from Naughty Dog is out to talk about Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Multiplayer beta starts tonight at midnight. Going to show single-player here, now.

1:23 – The crowd is cheering as Nathan Drake scales a building. Game looks impressive graphically and seems to have some nice dialogue during gameplay. Oh look, a nice helicopter…

1:24 – Action has camped up. Gunplay is being shown. Looks standard but well done, and mixed with all this Lara Croft-like acrobatics could make for some cool situations.

1:26 – Game looks intense and pretty cinematic. Keep an eye on this one, PS3 owners.

1:27 – We’re finally going to see gameplay of MAG – Massive Action Game. 256 players simultaneously fighting a battle.

1:28 – They’ve got 256 actual players about to play this demo. Impressive.

1:29 – Looks like a pretty involved multiplayer FPS, with every player assigned to a squad (across two large teams), and a squad leader capable of giving commands to his squad. Seems to be objective-based gameplay.

1:31 – XP system a la Call of Duty 4 confirmed. Dude just got +5 EXP for killing another dude.

1:32 – Spawn points, a la Battlefield, have to be secured for attacking players to push forward toward their goal. Players (or at least squad commanders) can call airstrikes. Seems to take a lot of tactical strategy. Hopefully that won’t be an issue with so many idiots playing online. MAG will be playable on the show floor, and should be out this fall.

1:33 – Time to move to the PSP.

1:35 – The crowd is actually cheering at a pink PSP Hannah Montana bundle. They’re either jokesters or paid. Or both.

1:36 – Kaz Hirai is making his way to the stage.

1:37 – He pulled a PSP Go out of his pocket. Says it has a couple of names, the first being “Worst kept secret of E3.” Glad to see they’re light about the subject and acknowledging it.

1:38 – PSP Go has no UMD drive, and all of its games and software are download-only, somewhat like the iPhone. 50% smaller than the regular PSP. Controls slide out, like a Sidekick Slide cellphone.

1:39 – Media Go announced, which replaces the Media Manager of before. It’s a PC application that is used to transfer media to your PSP.

1:40 – Now he’s talking about some weird sounding program called “Sense Me” that analyses your music library and chooses songs for you based on the mood you select… Or something. He glossed over it really fast. Comic in Fall.

1:42 – PSP Go will be $249.99. PSP 3000 will still be $169.99. Anyone sold on Go? I’m not, personally.

1:44 – The father of Grand Turismo is coming onto the stage.

1:45 – Grand Turismo PSP announced at long last. He has it running on a PSP Go right now. The device does indeed look small, which could be nice. Says that even though the device is small, the game is a full-scale Grand Turismo experience.

1:46 – The translator seems to be reading notes the whole time, which is kind of weird.

1:47 – Tons of cars (800+) and tracks, plus content sharing. You can trade cars with friends in an attempt to “catch them all.”

1:50 – Playing a trailer of the game now. It looks like a Grand Turismo game. SURPRISE! Apparently it’s coming October 1, 2009.

1:51 – Something Metal Gear is coming. Hideo Kojima is showing up. I wonder if it feels like coming home to your family after announcing that you’re sleeping with their enemy.

1:52 – He’s not here to talk about Metal Gear Solid: Rising, though. He’s talking about a PSP game called Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker. Set 10 years after MGS3. We had heard a bit about this yesterday, so not a huge shock, but still nice.

1:53 – Kojima is writing and producing. Says it’s a true MGS sequel, not a spin-off or sidestory. So much for MGS4 being Kojima’s last Metal Gear game!

1:55 – Here’s a trailer. Kicks off with some live-action stock footage and some voice-over. Looks like the continuing adventures of Big Boss in the lead-up to Outer Heaven.

1:56 – Graphics look really sharp for a portable title. Lot’s of sneaking, so hey, it’s a Metal Gear game.

1:57 – There’s… 4 Snakes/Big Bosses/Clones on screen right now. Say what? They’re facing a Metal Gear, looks like. And the trailer ends with the infamous cardboard box antics. Coming in 2010. My interest is piqued.

2:00 – Jack is back on stage talking about… Resident Evil on PSP? Brand new, exclusive game sounds like, but… That’s all we got.

2:00 – Hannah Montana was name dropped again, and the crowd cheered again.

2:02 – Montage of upcoming PSP titles. Final Fantasy Dissidia, Monster Hunter, LittleBigPlanet, Soul Calibur and others are in the lineup.

2:05 – Time to talk PlayStation Newtork games.

2:06 – Adding over 50 PS1 classics to the service this year, starting today with Final Fantasy VII. Fanboys everywhere can rejoice.

2:07 – Talking about PlayStation Home and where it’s come since launch 6 months ago. As one of the millions that was pretty disappointed by Home, I’m not sure many in attendence care too much.

2:10 – PS3 video now. There’s Uncharted 2 again. inFamous, Madden, Final Fantasy XIII… The usual suspects. Batman: Arkham Assylum, White Knight Story and Ninja Gaiden and there too, with many more. Seems to be a solid lineup.

2:15 – Got to say, this is a long montage with tons and tons of games being shown. Not all of them are exclusive, by any means, but PS3 owners should be happy with what’s available.

2:16 – Announcing Agent, a Rockstar game that’s exclusive to the PS3. Nice move, Sony. That could be a smart move after the blunder of losing GTA.

2:17 – Ubisoft folks are on-stage to show Assassin’s Creed II. Wasn’t Ubisoft’s press conference yesterday?

2:18 – Now, I was a big fan of the original Assassin’s Creed, so I may be biased, but this sequel looks fantastic. I’m liking the new setting a lot.

2:18 – Leonardo DaVinci is one of Ezio’s “friends” that helps him become an assassin. He sounds like Bond’s “M”, providing Ezio with gadgets and weapons.

2:20 – Ezio is deadlier than Altair, the hero in the first game. And he looks it. The crowd seems impressed with deal-blade assassination.

2:21 – Italian dude was just OWNED. Assassination complete. Time to get the hell out of dodge.

2:22 – The crowd cheers as the demo ends. I’m impressed. The game launches this holiday season, along with an original PSP Assassin’s Creed title.

2:24 – A video is playing of Final Fantasy XIII. I’m a big Final Fantasy fan, but I’m kind of sick of seeing this one and just want to play it already. Still, I like the English voices being displayed here.

2:27 – Dude, WHAT? Jack just announce Final Fantasy 14?!?!?!? 13 isn’t even out yet!!!! Bir us XIII Versus. He also makes sure to say that the PS3 will be the only console it will be available on.

2:28 – Wait… This trailer is reminding me of Final Fantasy XI. The online game.

2:29 – AHA! Called it. Final Fantasy XIV: Online. Extremely less excited now. Unexcited to the point that I barely care. Interesting that it’s PS3-only, though.

2:30 – Now Sony is showing off a new motion controller. Everyone is jumping on the Wii train!

2:31 – Ok, I’ve just gotta say it… This motion controller – in its current form, which they stress will change – looks like a dildo.

2:32 – Looks like it interacts with the PlayStation Eye in order to replace the dildo device with a racket, golf club, stop sign… Maybe even a real dildo?

2:32 – Dude running the demo just said, “It’s still hard.” That’s way funnier to me than it should be.

2:34 – The technology looks cool, I’ve gotta say, but what’s gonna happen in the new war between the Wiimote, this thing, and Natal?

2:36 – “Sub-millimeter accuracy.” Accurate enough to write and draw with the little wand-dildo.

2:37 – Looks way too similar to the Wii Remote for me to be super stoked, but it does look like better technology than the Wii uses. I may have to write up my thoughts on all this motion stuff in a seperate blog.

2:39 – Fighting monsters with swords and throwing stars. Looks fun enough. Oh, bows too. It’s an archery kinda day between this and Wii Sports Resort. This one may be impressing me more.

2:41 – “PlayStation Motion Controller” coming Spring 2010. I wonder if Nintendo will launch a new Wii next year, too, to combat this and Natal.

2:42 – Talking LittleBigPlanet costumes. Disney themed. Awwww, cute little Jack Sparrow Sackboy!

2:43 – Just announced ModNation Racers. Another “Play. Create. Share.” title like LittleBigPlanet. I’m guessing you can design tracks and whatnot.

2:44 – Yeah, the character creation looks similar to LittleBigPlanet, though it’s a slightly different style. You can also customize cars, looks like.

2:46 – Real-time physics, drifting… Looks like a standard kart racer. Looks nice graphically, though, and customization could be a big draw I suppose. It’ll have to top the creation tools of TrackMania, though.

2:47 – Tracks are rendered and playable in seconds, so that’s kind of cool. The creation stuff does indeed look pretty easy and cool. You can add mountains!

2:49 – A friend just mentioned that this is basically Mario Kart meets LittleBigPlanet, and that’s pretty darn accurate. So if that sounds awesome to you, then maybe you should be excited.

2:51 – Jack is back.

2:53 – Third title in the “Ico” trilogy is known as “The Last Guardian.” Looks like the “Project Trico” footage that actually leaked awhile back, but that’s not exactly a bad thing. A lot of people have been anxiously awaiting this team’s newest title.

2:54 – For those not in the know, this game is from the people who made “Ico” and “Shadow of the Colossous” for the PS2. Very artsy (and good) games. This new game follows in the same vein in a lot of ways, with a weird furry/feathery creature and a small boy.

2:56 – Yeah, aside from the title “The Last Guardian” and maybe some touchups and new footage, this is the exact same trailer that leaked before. Oh well, it looks outstanding and very stylized in HD.

2:57 – Short tease of Grand Turismo 5 for the PS3 now. Seems like some people have been waiting for this one forever, but realistic car racing isn’t really my thing.

2:59 – GT5 looks good graphically, if this stuff is in-engine. But that’s all I can really say.

3:00 – Time for God of War 3!

3:02 – This totally looks like a God of War game, which, hey, is a good thing. They say it’s the last part of a trilogy. Really, now?

3:02 – Harpy riding!

3:03 – Did Kratos just sprout wings for a second? Other than that, it looks like pretty standard GoW gameplay. Looks very, very epic, though, and gorgeous graphically. Should easily please fans of the series.

3:05 – Confirmed: Quick-time events are back. They look better, though.

3:06 – Those interested in God of War should definitely track down a video of this gameplay demonstration when all this is done. I can’t really describe it. But it’s brutal in all the right ways.

3:07 – Coming out March 2010.

3:08 – That’s a wrap.

Pretty impressive, I’ve gotta say. Sony didn’t let leaks or Microsoft’s guns get to them. The conference went really well. We’ll have more in terms of coverage and comparisons later.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,