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Gosh. It’s launched.

The all new title in the Need For Speed franchise. Shift.

Everyone knows the Need for Speed series has been plummeting downhill with it’s previous iterations. Players just didn’t want anymore flashy street racing, and the series has been getting hit hard by critics.

But with this new Need For Speed: Shift, it definitely looks like they’ve finally, turned corners with the franchise.

It’s getting great reviews from big hit game sites like Gamespot and Gametrailers.. “9.1 out of 10″. Something this series seriously been needing.. :D

I’ve not had the chance to check this game out personally, but I’d really love to at least find a demo for it somewhere. The in-game videos and screenshots certainly are breathtaking and, refreshing. Today’s racing games certainly look spectacular…high-poly car models/textures, awesome game rendering engines..gorgeous.

Alot of hardcore fans of the Racing genre have been putting up comments about how Shift still can’t compare to other “pure-racing” games out on the market, namely the also-new Forza 3 and Gran Turismo for the consoles (Xbox/Playstation)..but….but…Shift does hold up strong and there’s critics that claim this title is better than the other named racers.

Well..check out the videos and further reads:

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the newly released Playstion 3 Slim, by Sony, has done an impressive 150,000+ consoles sold within opening 3 days in the Japan market.

not sure how that stands up to what it was doing previously? before the new “Slim” models of the Playstation 3 was available, something like under 10,000 consoles were selling each week..on average.. compare that to the 150,000 in just-3-days.

Compare that, with XBOX 360 weekly sales..around the same “under 10,000″.

For the U.S Market, vendors have noted sales being boosted to something like +300% with the release of the PS3 Slim.

What else does this mean? More people at home now have a ps3. More developers will start to make and push games for this platform. The Playstation 3 is finally, getting it’s limelight. Xbox fanboys…don’t be too hard on yourselves :D

Read original article on Gamasutra:
Playstation 3 Slim Sales Soar

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Article i found showing just how much people are getting involved and believing in the iPhone Game Application market.

Apple, company responsible for the infamous iPhone/ipodTouch, “revealed that 21,178 titles are currently available for download from the iTunes App Store.”

Comparing with other Portable Gaming Devices suchs as Playstation Portable, Nintendo DS (modern age Gameboy)…the iPhone has at a minimum, 5x more games available than those 2 platforms combined.

Playstation Portable “has 607 titles”(games) available, and the Nintendo DS “has 3680 titles” for consumers.

Awesome eh? Apple also notes the newer models of iPhones will boast stronger hardware, allowing games to run and look better on it..meaning the games are just gonna keep coming. more, more and more.

These numbers reflects our average society today. Shows us how much we’ve accepted Gaming into our lifestyles today…and shows us that Gaming, is here to stay. Gaming has become so much a part of our lives now, be it casual or hardcore-intense gaming…we all love games.

It also shows me just how much competition there is now…i’ve “missed the boat”, and piercing into this now-humongous mobile game market is gonna be dreadful tough.

Check out the original article here for a better read :D
Apple: iTunes App Store Hosts More Than 21,000 Games

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wooo

news around about Disney, Walt Disney, yes yes, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Disney, buying out Marvel! Marvel is the group with the famous Spiderman & X-Men series..including Fantastic Four and the Hulk and other classic child Superhero favorites.

Disney is said to be buying over Marvel in a $4billion(USD) deal..and there’s alotta comments already regarding the future of what a Disneyland-Marvelled will be. It’s a really significant and interesting “merger”. Marvel is more targeted to grown-ups, while Disney seems to be targeted to lil’ kids. So yes, the combinations of a “SuperHero Team” in the future appears to be confuzzling. “Mickey Mouse tag-teams with The Hulk to rescue Daisy Duck from the evil clutches of Venom!”

Brilliant eh?

Check out full articles for a deeper read:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/aug/31/disney-marvel-buy-out

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6216520.html

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Woot!

Fat Princess, a multiplayer game developed by Titan Studios, finally launched. I’ve personally been keeping an eye out for this title, and wow, it’s definitely held up to my expectations. :D Take a look at the video comments of this on gametrailers.com, pretty much the highest number of “i want to buy this game” comments i’ve ever seen.

This game is targeted for both casual & hardcore gamers. It’s built to be very “user friendly” so anyone can just pick up the game/controller and jump straight into the mayhem. The concept of the game is as simple as you can get, rescue your princess. You play as Red or Blue team, and battle the opposing team to get your princess.

However, the depth of the game stretches with the introduction of 5 different playable classes. It’s the standard roles you will find in any and every multiplayer game around. You have the warrior class(melee attacks), archer class(ranged attacks), mage class(magic spell attacks), priest class(healing/supportive role), and lastly the worker class(collect resources to aid your team’s overall strength). Upon choosing what role you wish to play, you’re dropped straight into battle royale…and depending on the level, it could be anything from the typical “team deathmatch” (kill all opponents), “capture the flag” (in this case your flag’s your princess), “point-control” (sieze and hold various strategic points around the level for the longest possible time). The battles can get up to 32-player huge, meaning 31(+1 you) other people around the world will be able to play together with you online..giant battles! (not to mention long battles too hehe)

What’s cool is that you can even switch roles out on the battle field. Say you’re a warrior(melee) and you’re having a hard time “doing your thing”, if you see an archer(ranged) [Hat] on the ground, pick it up at will and you’ve switched to that class. This will have significant impacts on strategies teams employ…what may be working right now might just flip for the worse! So be prepared, think and act fast :D

The other twist to this “simple” game design is the fact that you can feeeeeed yourrr princesss Cake! More cake, she gets heavier! Heavier, your opponents will have a harder time rescuing her! They will move slower back to their fort the bigger the princess is..

The art style for the game is my perfect cup of tea too! I digg the cartoony look, vibrant colors, stumpy characters. The level design too is amazing…clearly there’s many heavy choke points, bringing out the biggest clashes between the teams :D Everything comes together beautifully.

If i ever had the chance, this would have absolutely been one title i would be thrilled to work on. Every aspect of the game appeals to the type and style of work i’ve grown to love.

Check out the Developer Diary videos too! They’re a great peek into what kind of minds we need to bring forth a game like this one :D

Oh yes, this game is available for only the Playstation 3, on PSN..unfortunately.

Fat Princess Game Review:

Fat Princess Developer Dairy #1:

Fat Princess Developer Diary #2:

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Wow… the classics live on. Still can’t beat the simplistic designs of the good ol’ games.. like Donkey Kong & Arcade fighting games.

It wasn’t too long ago Street Fighter IV made it’s come back on the modern home consoles, bringing back many good memories to the fans (comments/writeups are all over google). Now there’s Donkey Kong coming for the Wii, and Marvel Vs Capcom 2, another great great classic arcade game. MVC2 will be out for Xbox and the PS3, and will feature online multiplayer just like Street Fighter IV did.

Lode Runner is kicking back into the scene as well! (seems to be Xbox-Only..ew) I remember playing that game when i was in the 4th grade… oh geez. This new modern Lode Runner is all up to speed with modern 3d visuals now (byebye sprites!), and from what i see in the videos, additional gameplay twists.. i guess it’s an attempt to keep it fresh.. but i’m so excited to see these classics still live on in us, and enough for some to bring them back for us :D

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Demigod finally released, for the PC, last week. Developed by the same people that brought us Supreme Commander, Gas Powered Games, and i guess published, by Stardock (same people that created WindowsBlinds? o-o).

Word about the game been around for over 2 years now, and this was one I had my hopes for. The creature designs and visuals are simply captivating. The towering oversized Rook character is so iconic for this game, i simply love it.

I’ve managed a demo version of the game, it’s really quite cool…but, like other ‘pro’ review sites have said, this game has something lacking that does not justify it to be a commercial title, found on the store shelves. The art and environments and presentation is spot on beautiful. The audio just amplifies the experience so much more. But as i’ve said in my other posts, good art does not make good games.

If you’ve played or heard of the superbly popular “Defence of the Ancients” (DoTA) from Warcraft III, then you pretty much already have the full concept of Demigod. In this game, you pick a demigod character, and you duke it out with other demigods in a Capture The Flag or Destroy your opponent’s HeadQuarters (Citadel). Your character levels up like a standard RPG format, increasing it’s stats and unlocking new skills at each level. The maximum level your demigod gets is to 20, and along with that a whole shelf of items you can purchase to further enhance your character for that battle. And on top of having your character’s growth, your HQ also gains experience points that the Team, can use to gain enhancements for the entire team’s strength/performance..like a giant blanket.

This game has been flooded with comments like “Dota rip-off” etc…and i agree. It’s pretty much a spruced up version of DoTA. My opinion is that the developers of Demigod saw the market potential for a game like Dota, and hence decided to create their version of Dota to make a buck of it. Not sure if that’s true, but it’s just too similar to Dota to think otherwise.

Demigod is alright…just not worthy enough to justify the pricetag put on it. If you do get your hands on it, it will nevertheless be addicting the moment you sit down and start a battle. The action and adrenaline flows instantly..and remains or maybe grows, even more as the battle goes on.

Great game concept & design (though it’s not very original), feels nicely balanced and polished. Visuals and art design is oh so stunning, audio is mesmerizing. I’d still say go check this title out.

Enjoy this video of it!

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Stumbled upon another article while researching lol…here’s more proof to why the Gaming industry is so captivating and amazing to get into.

For many ‘normal people’, stop bluffing yourself to think of stereotypes the moment you here “Games” or “Gaming”. You’re losing out on one of the strongest Industries in the world, and we’re still growing. For me, and the ones doing business in this industry, it’s all about the revenue & profits, while at the same time enjoying our work in this ‘fun & colorful’ industry. You don’t have to be a “gamer” to work in this industry. There’s so many aspects to this field, that so many of us won’t think of right off the top of our heads. You could be a lawyer and still be heavily involved in this industry, or a Marketing/PR manager, or even a musician.

Read this next article, it’s really worth your time.
The Green Sheet: September 22, 2008

Reportedly, Nexon America rakes in $1.6 million a month on microtransactions. Its game cards in Target Corp. stores are said to be behind only Apple Inc.’s iTunes cards in popularity.

Take note the date of this article, 2008. Global economic crisis? 1million a month?

The article references a few other successful MMO companies, and as usual, uses WoW (World of Warcraft) as one of it’s main references. Yes yes, it’s not easy, to simply start your own MMO, and hope it will achieve this kind of success. It’s a big big big picture to setting up an MMO, not to even talk about running and maintaining it after launching the game. But is it worth that hardship in the early days? heck yes.

Again, not every MMO (there’s over a thousand or moreeee MMOs worldwide, some quiet ones included, just do your research you will be surprised) is going to be making this same amount of giant revenues, some even completely shutdown after a short period of time. But it does not mean ‘dont try’…if there’s a will, there is a way.

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GDC: 2009 (Game Developers Conference) had news about a new CryEngine development… CryEngine 3. Sounds like an upgrade to the already beyond-kickass CryEngine 2.. but is it really?

From what I collect after watching the interview with Cevat, I don’t think this is any upgrade. At least not this soon. CryEngine 3 is pretty much, CryEngine 2, but developed for the console market. While the console market/developers now are going “omg”, “wooo” “wow incredible”…we PC goers have already, seen all this “futuristic engine” can deliver. Welllll, maybe it’s nice that finally, consoles are catching up to PC, and now, all this PC action can be viewed on the big TV screens instead of puny LCD monitors

Cevat did mention that there’s ongoing research development for the PC engine, so thaaaat’s the one to take interest in and keep eyes peeled for..perhaps Cryengine 4?

Here’s the interview for those interested:
and here’s my old post showcasing Crysis, a game built on CryEngine 2: Sam’s Crysis: Warhead writeup

Part 1:

Part 2:

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Yess. Another spectacular game is finally here for the PC.. the “greatest gaming platform” for the greatest gaming experience ever. Burnout: Paradise is, not to say an all new release..being so successful on the console market with great critics about this game, and i think the in-game videos already prove how much fun this game can be. Burnout Paradise has been out for the XBox 360 and PS3 console platforms for a year or so already, and have since already recieved a great deal of game updates/expansions..showing just how dedicated Criterion Games (possible studio for future career? ;) ) is to their fans. It’s not often you get this much additional content/gameplay updates in just a span of one year..so thumbs up to Criterion for the undying dedication to their franchise.

This will, as many know, be Burnout’s debut on the PC. I’ve previously played the PSP versions of this game, prior to Paradise (Burnout: Dominator, Burnout: Legends), and have always wondered why the heck isn’t this game on the pc yet? Hardware limitations? clearly not, if a puny psp is able to run the game this well, then a pc could any time too. (yes the psp burnouts also had, in my opinion, one of the best graphics for any racing game, even the newer Need For Speed Underground PSP/Midnight Club: LA PSP graphics sucked in comparison to Dominator, the textures in NFS:Ug PSP felt too undercut for the system’s capabilities).

Well finally, it’s here. And this is gonna be another of those games that will highlight the PC as the premium gaming platform choice.

Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box will be officially released on the 6th of Febuary, 2009. Anxious fans can opt to pre-purchase this game, and as a reward, recieve the full game, 3 days in advance to the rest of the world.

There’s plenty more to say about Burnout Paradise, but i’ll save that for later on, when i get some of my own in-game videos of me playing it, and you’ll get to see what it looks like on the pc and compare any differences it has with the console versions.

‘Til then, read more ’bout this game at Criterion Games. Have fun.
Enjoy the preview video below :)

-sign my Guestbook if you’ve stumbled upon my site and read this post :D -

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Mirror’s Edge has finally arrived on “the most powerful platform around”..the PC.

Mirror’s Edge is a unique first-person action adventure where players are introduced to Faith, a ‘runner’ in a world where communication channels are highly monitored and the movement of information is closely watched. When Faith’s sister gets framed for murder, Faith finds herself on the edge of the city, on the wrong side of the law. The PC version of the game uses the NVIDIA® PhysX™ physics engine to bring the world of Mirror’s Edge to life with real-world visual effects of wind, weapons impact, and free-motion movements.

Featured on the front cover of over 40 gaming magazines in 2008, Mirror’s Edge also won numerous critic awards including the Game Critics Award for “Best Original Game” and the IGN award for “Best Action Game” at E3. Mirror’s Edge was developed at EA Digital Illusions CE AB (DICE) in Stockholm, Sweden.

-Gamezone

I love the art style in this game.. seems like there’s quite a bit of use of Ambient Occlusion (a rendering technique i recently learned from my previous Games class :) )..and i have a thing for anything AO..hehe.

Well waiting to get my hands on this, i have and played through the demo on the PS3 system, and it was a great experience, too bad it was only a demo..im really interested in seeing how the devs pushed the level designs to fit this really unique and different gameplay system. Level design is key for a game like this one..a complete understanding of the game engine’s abilities as well as the game’s virtual space i bet, was something the level designers had to grab a hold of in developing the levels.

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Away on vacation, hard to keep writing.

Anyways before it gets too late, this is one i’ll post more about in greater detail later..along with my personal opinions/thoughts about the winning title.

Best Game of The Year 2008 Award (Most Prestigious Award any game can achieve)

Grand Theft Auto IV


Game Studio of the Year 2008
Media Molecule (Producers of LittleBigPlanet)
http://www.gametrailers.com/vga2k8.php

Be sure to check out the embeded video in this post as well as the link, and even better if you explored the linked/related videos on at the site. :)

Happy holidays n merry 2009 from Pencilgym.com

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Released for PC! Wooo! This holiday is gonna be sooo awesome. Working hard towards a great break :D

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It’s finally here. one of the next biggest anticipated games of 2008.

Gears of War 2 releases tomorrow, november 7th.

The art is this game is outstanding..the models are all so well polished and finely detailed, and muddied up with all that grime and dirt texturing, together with it’s cinematic gameplay approach, GoW2 looks like it’s going to deliver to it’s hype. “Bigger, Badder, Better.”

Too bad it’s a Xbox 360 exclusive..for now. Microsoft won’t allow itself to lose out on the other huge market of PC users, so fret not if you don’t own a 360…i can guarantee you a PC version will soon be made..with even better higher-res textures, more ambience, bigger battles..since a PC can now, no doubt, handle that much more than a 360 in technical hardware terms. ;]

The game i feel, looks on par with those Lord of the Rings, Matrix movies ‘epic-ness’…with hordes of bad guys assembling, gearing up for one big epic clash between good and evil. I still marvel at the immense detail put into the environments, the lighting, texturing, modeling, soo beautifully rendered. Someday, my art work will be up to that standard, if not better. I’m struggling now on this seriously rocky road to make my mark, but i am determined and will get there sooner or later..just you wait..

Take a look at this video, and as you watch, think and observe how much thought and design is put into developing a “Triple-A” title, and note down the development roles each of those people interviewed play..
Game art and development has no doubt, come a long long way from your old days of “just shooting”.

Enjoy.
and leave your thoughts & comments or sign my guestbook! :)

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Did I read incorrectly?

Nope. It’s coming. To PC. No more words need describe the anticipation and excitement in me for this.. I knew they would bring it to PC sooner or later..can’t wait, keeping a close eye on this one. :D

Grand Theft Auto PC Video

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