Yes, its that time again. Time for the gaming news(orz).
A slow, slow time for the PC latley, as predicted by yours truley. It seems that the holiday season might be a bit more fruitful however, with games such as Medieval: Total War II, Clive Barker's Jericho and Battlefield: 2142. This is rather typical of the gaming industry of late, saving the best titles for christmas launch. I happen to think this is rather sad, as there is often a massive gaming lag during the summer. Kudos, therefore must go to 3D realms for releasing PREY this summer and also to Rockstar, who usually provide us with a GTA to kill the summer with, but have had a year out this time round. These are brave publishers, and guess what? Their boldness has paid off with skyrocketing sales.
Anyway, the christmas games. Medieval looks truley excellent, and the origional has still retained its diehard fanbase who prefer it to Rome. Hopefully this will be an amalgomation of all we liked about Rome (Nice graphics, awsome battles, good terrain and tactics) with the major boons of Medieval (Good managment, fantastic diplomacy and family managment.) The game certainly looks the buisiness, at any rate. Just take a look for yourself.
Elsewhere, we've got Clive Barker's Jehrico. This appears to be the spiritual sucessor to the fantastic Clive Barker's Undying, one of the first genuinely scary and thought provoking games to emerge in the 90's. I thorougly reccomend the classic, if you haven't done so - play it! Very little is known about the new game, except that it looks fantastic and uses the Unreal 2007 engine. What can I say? Excellent!
BF: 2142 - EA knows how to hammer these out. I won't go into my dispute with all the battlefields, but lets just say, as with every game - EA seems intent on ruining it. Anyway, this is sure to have the idiots buying copies in droves just to see what noob cannon needs nerfing straight away. I'm sure the game will have its proponents, and will no doubt have sucessful sales but after the travesty that was BF: Vietnam and BF2 , I'm not getting it. If you fall prey to EA's sales drive, I hope you have a liquid hydrogen cooled Alienware UberPC, as the BF2 engine's being specially modded for the proceedings. Lesser beings can wait for a patch.
Every time I report the PSP news, something far more interesting happens almost immediatley after. This time has been no exception, as interesting developments seem to be going on this very second. Anyway, with that said, lets turn our attention to homebrew.
The big news is, of course, that homebrew is possible on every firmware upto 2.80 due to a newly discovered TIFF exploit. For those living on a rock, this means that You can run any emulator upto the level of a SNES (inc GBC, GBA, NES, Genesis etc) right on your PSP. It also emans portable apps, games etc can be run right in the palm of your hand. For those not in the know about homebrew, check this site out.
Of course, as Sony hates homebrew (apparently because it encourages piracy) a 2.81 firmware update appeared overnight, merely patching the new exploit. Lovers of homebrew: Don't upgrade!
Also, firmware 2.80 has been decrypted, which means you should be able to use it with Dax soon enough. Again, for those not in the know, you can use the Dax loader to load a firmware on your memory stick, retaining homebrew features but having the best of both worlds with all the nice new firmware enhancements. Excellent, eh?
Anyway, apart from the gates of homebrew being open to more than ever before, there are some interesting apps for PSP just being released. The new version of IR shell, for instance, is a full shell replacment for the standard sony XMB. It utilises the unused IR transmitter on your psp for a remote control (tv etc) as well as supporting multi tasking, and playing music in the background while you do things. Its well worth looking into. Find out more at the official site.
Games on the PSP are also hotting up as we head towards Christmas. The title on everybody's lips at the moment is Vice City Stories, the sucessor to GTA Vice City on major consoles and PC. Like Liberty City Stories, VCS features a whole new game set in a similar world. However, for this version graphics and gameplay have been much improved, and there is more terrain to explore than in the origional game. In addition, the radio is all new and is rumored to be excellent, with a wide array of 80s bands, and most importantly - 80's Rock! Looks as though its going to be great. Check out the screen below.
Medal of Honor is also hotting up for the PSP and looks to be one of the best new shooters around (sorry SOCOM fans). Other good things to look forward to are the new PSP Metal Gear Solid game, Silent Hill and roumours abound of a Call of Duty coming to PSP.... Watch this space.
So thats the roundup for this time! Stay tuned for more exciting gaming news updates on TBH - IMO in the near future.