Super Monkey Ball Returns

Tag: Game Economics and Industry Reports, Nintendo

The monkeys once again return to Wii. Sega has revealed today Super Monkey Ball Step and Roll...

Gunstar Heroes (PSN Review)

Tag: Game Reviews, Sony

ImageMore retro goodness from Backbone Entertainment, the team that resurrected a disc full of retro classics with Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection. Next up is what got left out, namely this little classic from the Treasure dev team.

 

Chances are if you had a Mega Drive in the 90s you’ll remember this, if not here’s your chance for only £3.99. Out of the scores of side scrolling shooters this is among the best along with the likes of the Metal Slug series.

 

Like the aforementioned Mega Drive collection the adaptability options have been included. You can play the game in its original aspect ratio or stretch it to widescreen and turn on a smoothing effect. This time around the borders are black (like a widescreen film) so you don’t need to worry about screen burn as much if you’re not up for filling out the screen.

 

Forza 3 Stunning Xbox 360 Exclusive Coming Soon

Tag: Microsoft

Forza 2 still plays, looks and feels like a stand out game 2 years after it's UK release in June 2007.  It is the driving game of choice for fans of driving games, with the depth, longevity, realism and complexity that they demand and the release of Forza 3 is therefore a big event for fans of the genre and is a major coup for Microsoft, being the Xbox360 exclusive that it is.

So what will make Forza 3 stand out from the crowd as I am confident it will? Breaking down into Looks, Game Play and Cars & Tracks below, here's what we can expect:

Forza 3 - Look and Feel

  • Full HD driving simulation running at 60FPS, Forza 3 was put together by experienced computer graphics specialists from across the Microsoft corporation
  • The most advanced physics model ever seen in a driving game offering the most realistic driving experience and damage calculations.
  • Realistic car and racing simulations designed by Turn 10 Studios in consultation with the Peugeot racing team and manufacturers from Audi.
  • Each of the 400 cars are designed and presented with 10 times the number of polygons as the cars in Forza 2.

Forza 3 - Game Play

Battlefield 1943 (Review)

Tag: EA Games, Game Reviews, Microsoft, Sony

If you missed our launch party article for the game here’s a quick reminder. Downloadable only, team-based World War II first person shooter based on three (soon to be four) beautifully designed Pacific island maps. It’s like Bad Company has gone on a sunny holiday.

 

Iwa Jima might not be the place you remember from the two recent World War II films from Clint Eastwood. The volcano isn’t that tall, has a solid top, there aren’t any tunnels, there’s more buildings and there doesn’t seem to be any black volcanic rock anywhere. It’s similar to the tranquil (apart from the war) beach resort vibe the rest of the maps have to be honest. But hey, I’d only be complaining if it was all grey and misery like Killzone 2.

 

You’ll find yourself experimenting with the steep slopes near the ocean and hills to see where you can climb up. Surprisingly you can in quite a lot of places by bashing forwards and jump, one wrong move though and you’ll hit an impossible bit and slide all the way to the bottom again. Then the sniper that’s watched you struggle all the way might put you out of your misery.

Battlefield 1943 Launch Party

Tag: EA Games, Game Industry, Microsoft, Sony

ImageAnticipation has been high for the next instalment in the World War II Battlefield series. Following on from the huge success of Battlefield 1942 on the PC, here at Game Hub we couldn’t wait to get our hands on the next title in the series, Battlefield 1943, that thankfully will be released on consoles. So when EA and DICE invited us down to the Tamari club in London’s Covent Garden, we answered the call to arms.

 

After realising that perhaps video games hadn’t taught me as well as I thought about map-reading (actually, I’ll say Google Maps screwed me over) and reluctantly heading for the Underground instead, I eventually managed to arrive in time for the mission briefing. Well, a complimentary Battlefield-themed cocktail. Sunset Sniper anyone?

 

Video Game Rental Guide

Video Game Rental Guide

Here's our handy guide for renting video games online!

Pick from our selection below which all give you UNLIMITED GAME RENTALS a month, the only limit is how many discs you can have at home at once. Renting video games is a great way to get better value from your gaming.  Renting games is right for you if...

  • You're an experienced gamer and complete games quickly, getting fewer hours of game play.  Renting games will give you better value for money than buying the game.
  • You often or quickly get bored with games and don't complete them
  • You like to play a little bit of a lot of games rather than stick with one game for a long time.
  • You're unsure if you want to buy the game and commit up to £40 - trial the game with a rental first.
  • You're mainly into films but also have a games console and just want to try a few games out - get a game rental service that offers films as well as games.

Whichever of the above applies to you, renting video games is a great value way to get the most out of however and whenever you play games! With most video game rental companies offering a free trial, there really is nothing to lose by signing up, you can cancel at any time and it won't cost you a penny.

Pick the right package for you from our game rental guide below.  We've placed all of the services in our order of recommendation and only feature companies that pass our minimum standards..  Not sure which one to go for? Sign up and take free trials at the sites that offer them to sample their service before committing any money.

Dead Space Extraction to Infest the Nintendo Wii - Preview and Screenshots

Tag: Nintendo
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Dead Space Extraction

Dead space extraction is a Wii-exclusive sequel to popular FPS adventure thriller Dead Space heading for a TV near you in Q4 2009. 

The events of Dead Space Extraction take place before those of Dead Space (Released PS3, Xbox and PC October 2008) and set the scene through which the original protagonist Isaac Clarke will play through the first game aboard the infested USG Ishimura.  This places the action before, during and immediately after the “discovery” and creation of the Necromorphs following the removal of the Red Marker.  Dead Space fans will hope that Extraction will be “more of the same”, although given the change of platform, there's certainly no certainty.  From the screenshots we have above, I don't think the graphics will compare favourably, but then we wouldn't expect them to.  Regardless of how good it looks, it's nice to see an adult, mature, gamer's game released for the Wii.

Looking at the game features we can expect locations, enemies, weapons and concept to be updated and modified, though understandably and reasonably similar to those of the original.  Dismemberment, zero gravity, stasis, and kinesis will all return, as hopefully will the attention to detail, quality of story and chilling, scary effects, lighting and game play.  The remote will be used as a point-aim-shoot device, while twisting it will activate the secondary mode.  I can definitely see that the motion sensing abilities of the remote could improve some elements of the game, particularly Kinesis and Zero Gravity, the latter of which I felt was a weaker element of the first game. So too if the Remote Control Disc Ripper weapon returns, using this with the remote should be good.  Also to make an appearance is a cooperative multiplayer function, reported to be drop-in-drop-out such as found in the Gears of War franchise.

Zuma - Review (PSN Store download)

Tag: Casual Gaming, Sony

PopCap Games and Sony Online Entertainment have done it again and brought another fiendishly addictive puzzle game to the PSN Store following on from the success of Bejeweled 2.

 

Zuma has you controlling a rotating stone frog in an Aztec temple firing different coloured balls out of its mouth. So yeah, it’s a little strange. Bear with me.

 

ImageThe aim of the game is to get rid of all the coloured balls before they move through the course and get sucked down a hole at the end (if one goes, they all go). You do this by shooting out coloured balls to make sets of three or more of the same colour to make them disappear. This is aided by a line that shows where the ball will land. You’ll have to be extra precise when aiming from distance or at awkward angles. It’s a bit reminiscent of Puzzle Bobble in a “Not there you shit!” sorta way. It’ll make you angry sometimes but you won’t be able to put it down.

Max Payne 3 wanders into Uncharted territory

Tag: Microsoft, PC Gaming, Sony

New York, New York. The city so nice they named it twice. Except poor old Max Payne doesn’t seem to agree if these screenshots are anything to go by.

 

After the moderate success of the recent movie which used New York for some great noir elements it’s surprising to see Rockstar ditch the Big Apple for this sunny, possibly South American setting.

 

It would seem that his whole image seems to have dried up in the sun too. Former NYPD detective Max now looks like a mix of John McClane from Die Hard and an escaped convict.

 

256 Reasons to Save Up For A Playstation 3: Massive Action Game (MAG)

Tag: Sony
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Massive Action Game (MAG) 1

The PS2 was long held to be the cheap and cheerful games console offering a range of friendly, fun games for all age groups of casual and dedicated gamers.  Hence it's strong position in the industry for years and the big release of the PS3.  The problem (if you can call it that), by contrast, with the PS3 is it isn't a cheap, friendly console for everyone, it's a big piece of kit that carries as big a price as it's hardware and graphics capabilities.  Rather than a household console for everyone (which is currently occupied by the Wii), it's price tag and capabilities make it more attractive to hardcore dedicated gamers than anyone else in the market.  With it's price cut coming this year hopefully and big games releases coming soon, the PS3 is looking increasingly attractive to mid range gamers.

MAG will use the PS3's impressive hardware capabilities to some of the highest levels we've ever seen, allowing it to out perform the Xbox and even most PC games by offering 256 online multiplayer action.  Gamers will play within an 8-player squad.  There will be 4 squads within a platoon (32) and 4 platoons in a company (128).  Two teams of 128 players will then compete against each other for each map. At each organisational level (Squad, Platoon, Company) one player will be designated as In Charge, with progressively greater power and control the higher the rank.  Currently, these positions look like they'll be designated to those with the highest individual score and achievement, with each level having increasing ability to direct the battle, which will take place on battlefields and maps on a scale not hitherto seen on console FPS games.

Gaming Identities: The rise of Clans and Guilds

Tag: Game Industry, Misc

Game Hub has recently looked at the impact that the internet and online gaming has had on the way we play games.  Digital distribution of games together with cloud gaming have and might shake up the games industry in a big way, but in this 3rd part in the series, we're looking at how the internet has changed who we play games with and how it has changed our personal and gaming identities through clans and guilds.

If and how we can define ourself through video games is really made possible with multiplayer gaming. Before 'the internet', gaming was, at most, only a 4 player pursuit and multiplayer aspects of games limited.  Gleaming rays of hope of what was to come came from games like Goldeneye, but the ability to identify yourself as a member of a group of gamers was stunted.  Moving into online gaming, FPS's and MMORPG's are the genres most commonly associated with clans and guilds and both allow the player to identify themselves and associate themselves with an organised group of gamers and as a member of that clan or guild.

Different species and character groups within MMORPG's mean identity within a game can...

CounterStrike

Cloud Gaming

Online Cloud Gaming

Physical media and dedicated gaming consoles, we are told, are dying breeds.  And the prime suspect for their expected demise is “The Cloud”.  Cloud Gaming is on it's way and may shake up the gaming world for all of us so I'm taking a look in to this to see exactly what it is, and what it means for the gaming community.

The Cloud is already present in most of our daily lives. Every time you check your Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail emails via a web browser, you're accessing, retrieving and interacting with them stored in The Cloud. Most internet users have also interacted with The Cloud when using Google Docs in which your docs, spreadsheets and presentations are all edited online without ever being saved or used on your PC itself.  The analogy of 'The Cloud' is the 'place' where the files you view and use online are stored and means not only do we save our hard drives from the abuse of saving thousands of emails and documents, but also that we can access them anywhere on the world.

Looking at gaming, Cloud Gaming is set to cause one of the biggest shake ups of the way we play games since the early 1970's when the first dedicated gaming consoles hit the shelves.  The “Cloud Gaming” generation will not own physical media nor will they store video games on a hardrive. Instead, they'll connect via the internet to central servers, on which the games are stored and the processing required to run them takes place.  With all of the processing and media storage happening remotely, the only hardware the user will require is a PC with an internet connection and a 3rd party box to manage the flow of information from PC, through the internet to their servers, and then to receive that information back and translate it onto your TV or monitor.  With the industry leaders currently claiming to have all but eliminated latency (down to 1 millisecond), the gamer's interactions with the servers through the internet is planned to be as seamless and quick as interacting with a console in the same room.

 

 

Cloud Gaming

Digital Gaming. Here to Stay.

Tag: Game Industry, Microsoft, PC Gaming, Sony


ImageDigital. Everything’s going digital. In fact if you’re in America right now it’s the only way you can watch TV, as the analogue signal was recently switched off. The last few years has seen digitally distributed music explode and become the market leader way ahead of the CD.

But what about games? Recent years have seen platforms such as PSN (PlayStation Network) and Xbox Live Marketplace distributing small and diverse games such as Geometry Wars, Braid, Flower, and Rag Doll Kung Fu. There have even been full-sized games such as Warhawk and Burnout Paradise, or extra chapters as in GTA4: The Lost and Damned.

So what does this mean? Will game discs start to fade out like CD’s? Only a fool would say so (or somebody very confident of not accidentally deleting their collection after a night on the town). However, Sony’s recent announcement (that we all knew about anyway) about the new PSP Go, is relying solely on digitally savvy gamers.

The new PSP will not have a UMD drive; instead games will solely be available through digital distribution. This can be via the PSN on PS3, or on a home computer, and possibly straight to the PSP with a wireless connection at home connecting straight to the PSN Store.

Quantum of Solace (PS3/360 Review)

Tag: Game Reviews, Microsoft, Sony

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Compared to Casino Royale, the Quantum of Solace film was a big let down, so there’s not much hope for the game of the film right? Movie tie-ins are usually average at best.

So it’s a big surprise to find out that the game is actually rather good. Actually it’s very good. The missions take scenes from the last two bond films, not just Quantum. But not in order, as the game plays through Quantum to after the desert sinkhole shootout, then through Casino Royale, then finishing with the remainder of the second film. Yep me neither.

Running on the Call of Duty 4 engine you’d be forgiven for expecting a straight-forward FPS, and that is the standard view. But this has more in common with the Brothers in Arms games, with a snap-to-cover button. This puts the game into a third-person perspective displaying Daniel Craig’s well replicated emotionless features if not his nearly neon blue eyes.

Back to basics for Nintendo

Tag: Game Industry, Hardware and Technology, Misc, Nintendo

With Nintendo’s roster of imminent releases, it looks like this year and next could mark the company’s re-discovery of its roots as a unique and ‘pro-gamer’ institution. Following last year’s E3 showcase, Nintendo garnered some criticism for ‘dumbing down’ with many of its titles for Wii seeming aimed at a large majority of lucrative casual gamers rather than the more traditional fan base, prompting some detractors to go as far as announcing the end of the company as a unique and recognisable games developer. But with two new Mario games on the way and a new Metroid, Nintendo’s attention seems to be returning to its definitive franchises.

Back to basics for Nintendo

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