Count yourselves lucky you get a blog today folks! I’m tearing myself away from the just released Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker demo, hot off the Tokyo Game Show floor to write this one up!
I’ve only managed to log about fifteen minutes of play time, but I have to say I’m astonished at the level of polish on display (I shouldn’t be, this is Kojipro). It’s not just the detailed graphics and great action though, I’m pleased to say that Kojima Productions has continued to take notes from Western developers, particularly with regard to control schemes. This was pretty apparent in the Western-friendly controls of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and it’s apparent here as well, with context sensitive mapping replacing the need to perform finger-twister as seen in the PSP’s previous Metal Gear Solid entry, Portable Ops.
It should come as no surprise to many, that upon its highly anticipated release, Aion bludgeoned the competition into submission, PC sales charts on Steam and Direct2Drive for the week ending September 19th showed NCsoft’s gift to humanity sitting pretty at the top of the gaming heap. I’ll reprint the first three positions here, but if you want more you’ll have to hit up Kotaku for the rest of the chart.
- Aion Collectors Edition (Pre-Sale)
- Batman: Arkham Asylum
- Resident Evil 5
- Aion Collectors Edition (Pre-Sale)
- Champions Online
- Batman: Arkham Asylum
Frankly I’m a little amazed that the Collectors Edition (ten bucks more) is selling so well. I imagine the execs at NCsoft are sipping red wine off virgin babes and swimming in Aion Kinah, scrooge-style right about now. Still, the need to remain focused on the community remains paramount, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again till MMO developers learn the lesson; Age of Conan.
As I said, no one should really be surprised at the game’s apparent success, just as the inevitable server quest shouldn’t surprise anyone. Every MMO experiences teething problems early on, and it’s just a matter of being patient while the developer and or publisher deals with the issues. I talked briefly about Aion’s server queues last week, and I think it’s a good sign that NCsoft have released a statement on the matter so quickly, if nothing else they’re being communicative.
The full text of the statement is longer than I can repeat here (you can head over here to read it) but the gist is that you’re just going to have to be patient wile the initial rush of players becomes more manageable and NCsoft has a better idea of how many servers they’re going to need. They’re understandably reluctant to boot up too many new servers for fear of having a host of underpopulated ghost towns.
Being similarly communicative, CCP are letting folks know that they’re “raising” the system requirements for Eve Online’s Dominion expansion pack. The new update will only affect Windows XP users though, requiring them to upgrade to XP Service Pack 2… just save yourself the hassle and upgrade to Pack 3 already. This upgrade is necessary to help power the new in-game browser as well as make some of the Eve Online planets even prettier than they are already. Witness the pretty for yourself here.
Shooter MMO’s seem to be all the rage these days, what with Realtime World’s APB and Funcom’s The Secret World making the headlines every other week. MMORPG.com had a look at Global Agenda, one such MMO that bears more than a passing resemblance to the PC classic, Tribes.
As with my first hands-on session, my compatriot found the controls extremely intuitive. We (or he) played all three maps that were shown, starting with Ice Flow which was an escort mission where we actually had to “Push the Object” – a huge piece of machinery. Set outside of a Siberian facility, I had time to admire the architecture and scenery. The second map was known as Seaside and is a three-point Ticket map set upon a massive drilling device suspended above a storming Northern Atlantic Ocean where we had to win two of three objectives. the third was named Climate Control and is an Attack/Defend map set within the mountains of East Asia complete with trees swaying in the wind.
It doesn’t sound like it’ll quite be as good as The Secret World, but then variety is the spice of life as they say.
Speaking of good, have a look at this really good new trailer for Final Fantasy XIV, it’s the second official trailer and is fresh from the Tokyo Game Show. It’s hard to believe that much of that is real time. The latest figures from Square Enix show the game is only 50% complete though, so don’t feel like you can abandon all that FFXI gil you’ve saved up just yet.
Star Trek Online must be shaping up quite nicely as it seems the closed beta is opening up a (wee) bit. There are currently two contests running, details on the first here, and the second here. Personally I’m resigned to the fact that I will never, ever, ever win anything, so what’s the point? There’s also a recent article on the official website outlining the game’s Discovery Class starship, which is an update of the Intrepid class ship popularised by the TV show, Star Trek Voyager… just great, now I can’t stop thinking about Seven of Nine.
Wow, did I just almost let a post slip by without any World of Warcraft news? Must the Aion in the air. Yes, it’s true Onyxia has finally returned with Patch 3.2.2, but as usual there’s a whole host of changes that might be of special interest to you Battlegrounders, you can pore over the 3.2.2 patch notes here.
Now it’s possible I’m the only one, but yeah, I’m a sucker for themed shirts, this year’s Brewfest threads are now available for purchase.
Welp, that’s it for today, I’m off to see if I can muddle through the rest of the Japanese language Metal Gear demo… I did mention it was in Japanese didn’t I?
-Age of Conan is $5 on Direct2Drive. It’s an awesome game. Go! Go! Go!
-Planetside is $5 on Direc2Drive. For the price of a Happy Meal, that ain’t bad at all!
-Eve Online is $5 on Direct2Drive. That’s five dollars less than ten dollars!
-A whole mess of non-MMO’s, many of them fantastic games are also $5 on Direct2Drive. Your wallet am cry.
At the risk of sounding like a pitch man, this is a limited time offer, so if you’re on the fence, hop to!