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PlayStation Around The Web: What We Read

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Aug 19, 2012

recap

I think this past week went pretty well, yes? When I watched the PlayStation gamescom 2012 press conference rehearsal a week ago, with its reveals of Tearaway, Until Dawn, Rain, Killzone: Mercenary and Puppeteer, I knew we were looking at special event. Based on the tweets we received that evening, and the large list of articles and previews below, it would seem that many of you agree.

If you missed any of our gamescom 2012 announcements, you can find them all right here. We’re back home now (and missing Kolsch), but that doesn’t mean the convention coverage is over. This week, look for interviews on Until Dawn, Dust 514, Diggs’ Nightcrawler, Dishonored, Soul Sacrifice, Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault, and more.

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Hands on at gamescom: Assassin’s Creed III Liberation for PS Vita

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Aug 17, 2012

Here at gamescom 2012, Ubisoft finally granted hands-on access to its newest assassin, Aveline, star of Assassin’s Creed III Liberation. In this video, story writer Richard Farrese walks us through some of the new features found in PS Vita’s first entry in the series.

Liberation takes full advantage of the new Assassin’s Creed III game engine and its simplified control scheme. Gone are the days of leaning on the shoulder button and playing defense during encounters. Press Square for melee attacks, hold and release Triangle to aim and fire ranged weapons, Circle counters, X is used for block-breakers and other moves. It’s a bit of an adjustment to begin thinking offense first in an Assassin’s Creed game, but ultimately it’s likely to be seen as an improvement.

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Hands-on at gamescom: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Aug 17, 2012

While waiting to get hands-on with Dishonored here at gamescom (impressions shared in this week’s PlayStation.Blogcast), I ran into an acquaintance from Namco Bandai. He invited me to their booth to experience the two new demos for Ni no kuni: Wrath of the White Witch being shown. I didn’t pass on the opportunity, if nothing else, as an excuse to share beautiful new screens and video with you. Parts of what I saw are showcased in this new gamescom trailer, so do your eyes a favor and roll the video.

When launching the first demo, the demonstrator made a point of showing that the game features a Japanese language voiceover selection option. This is a frequent request from JRPG fans, so rest assured that matter is settled.

The first demo, “An Errand for Father Oak,” takes place very early in the game as diminutive hero-in-training Oliver is trying to get to the Ding Dong Dell, the Cat King’s Castle.

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Hands-on: Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified for PS Vita

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Aug 16, 2012

Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified

Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified is real, and we’ve played it. I think the highest compliment I can pay it is to say that, well, it looks and plays like Call of Duty. The running and gunning, the aiming down the sights, the familiar Bank Gothic notices popping up when you land a long-range shot or end an opponent’s killstreak, the weapon loadouts and multiplayer modes — they’re all here, rendered on PS Vita’s luscious OLED screen and playable with dual analog sticks in a mobile setting for the first time.

Activision Product Manager Ryan Scott’s gamescom presentation cut straight to the heart of the matter, starting with the game’s multiplayer offering — a key consideration for any self-respecting CoD title. Multiplayer in Black Ops Declassified supports up to eight players via WiFi across six maps, encompassing essential play modes such as Free for all, Team Deathmatch, and Kill Confirmed, with other “classic Call of Duty modes” promised.

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Hands On at gamescom: Zen Pinball 2 on PS Vita

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Aug 16, 2012

If you’re a regular PlayStation.Blogcast listener, you’re probably sick to death of hearing about how much we’ve been playing and enjoying The Pinball Arcade on PS3 and PS Vita. Farsight’s pinball simulator faithfully recreates the experience of playing some of pinball’s greatest tables, many of which are quite difficult to find in the real world.

Zen Studios has taken a different tack since debuting on PS3 (via PSN) in 2009 – the tables featured in Zen Pinball don’t exist in some decrepit arcade or collector’s garage. These fanciful pinball experiences don’t – and simply couldn’t – exist in real life.

Now Zen is upgrading the “platform” for these tables – meaning the physics engine, visuals, and social media experience – with Zen Pinball 2, coming to both PS3 and PS Vita for free next month.

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Watch PlayStation’s gamescom 2012 Press Event Live at 1p East/10am Pac

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Aug 14, 2012

Gamescom 2012

Guten Tag from Cologne, Germany! The doors to gamescom 2012, the world’s largest gaming event, officially open tomorrow, but the news and announcements start today. PlayStation’s gamescom press conference should certainly be of interest to gamers in North America, and fortunately the timing of the evening event means that you can watch it as it happens. We’re streaming it live right here, beginning at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific.

Once the main show has wrapped, there’ll then be a short break before our VIP panel gets underway, which will also be streamed live. Some of the brightest minds in video game development will be taking to the stage to weigh in on the “games as art” debate, including Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida, LittleBigPlanet co-creator Alex Evans and thatgamecompany co-founder Kellee Santiago.

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PlayStation Around The Web: What We Read

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Aug 12, 2012

recap

As I hit the “Publish” button, I’m off to Cologne, Germany for gamescom 2012. As gaming shows go, there are none bigger; last year 275,000 people passed through the doors of the sprawling Koelnmesse. PlayStation will have a major presence, as usual, beginning with Tuesday’s press event.

Of course you can follow along. We’ll be streaming the entirety of the PlayStation press conference here on PlayStation.Blog, starting at 10am Pacific/1pm Eastern this coming Tuesday. If you enjoy looking at countdown timers, our good friends in Europe have set one up for you here.

You’ll want to visit here frequently the rest of the week too, as we’ll post new trailers, interviews, previews, and more, including a special gamescom PlayStation.Blogcast. We’ll also down lots of schnitzel. It’s what you do. Auf Wiedersehen!

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Hands on with Persona 4 Golden on PS Vita

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Aug 09, 2012

Persona 4 Golden

There’s never been a better time to be a fan of the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series. Persona 4 Arena has just arrived on our shores this week, taking the venerable RPG franchise into 2D fighting game territory (and successfully so). This fall, one of the PS2′s most highly regarded games is coming to PS Vita with Persona 4 Golden. Even if you’re new to the series, as I am, there’s never been a better time to get into it.

As a recent inductee into the Persona universe (via Persona 3 Portable on PS Vita), I eagerly took up Atlus on the opportunity to sample a work-in-progress edition of Persona 4 Golden last week.

The first thing you’re likely to notice about P4G is how good this game looks. It’s not surprising that a PS Vita game would look better than a PS2 or PSP game, but the sharpness and contrast of the visuals on “dat screen” are dramatically better than anything the series has seen.

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