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Demo Discussion
#1
One of the great things about this current generation is the availability of console demos, taking access to them away from the overpriced (and generally biased) official magazines. It costs nothing to download them from Live or the PSN and setting up the connection is relatively simple, so I figured it could prove a decent source of discussion here, with people sharing their opinions of a game and maybe encouraging others to give it a try. So let's see how it goes.

(I don't have a PS3 so any multi-platform games will be from the 360 version, but generally they cover the same things.)
  • Crash of the Titans (Xbox 360)

    I'd decided to completely ignore this on account of Crash games not really being up to much since Naughty Dog left the series, but then Gabe on Penny Arcade happened to mention being surprised by it so I figured it might be worth a look.

    My first reaction upon starting the demo up was that it didn't really have much in common with 'classic' Crash - no 2D/3D segments, boxes, wumpa fruit, animal enemies and the like - but it controls well enough and the possession idea is quite interesting and executed in a very simple manner. What bumps it up several notches is the drop-in drop-out co-op mode. My nephew (he's six) and I had both played it through separately and found it reasonably enjoyable, but together we had a blast. As long as the game can scrounge up a few above average reviews (about the 7/10 or 70% mark) it will be a guaranteed purchase.
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  • The Simpsons Game (Xbox 360)

    As with Crash, Simpsons titles aren't often worth bothering with. The developers of this one are doing their best to make a decent offering, placing the characters inside a video game and filling it with in-jokes and pointing out clichés of various genres (jump in the water in the demo and Comic Book Guy grants you a Cliché award, pointing out that characters never learn to swim until the sequel).

    The demo has Homer and Bart (who can be switched between at all times) trying to stop the Lard Lad mascot, brought to life by the aliens Kang and Kodos and let loose on Springfield. Homer is able to inflate to ridiculous proportions and roll around, while Bart has ranged attacks and a grappling hook. Oddly, Homer is next to useless for the task of defeating Lard Lad, making the level an odd choice for showing off the ability to take advantage of the strengths of multiple characters. The actual process of bringing down Lard Lad can prove quite tricky, requiring careful positioning and good timing.

    The controls aren't perfect but more than adequate for what they need to do, while the camera occasionally suffers when near buildings, with a few points in the demo where it mildly hinders progress. Nothing major, but it could perhaps prove frustrating on trickier levels. As with Crash though, the drop-in co-op option very much interests me and could see it getting a purchase with a few okay reviews.
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  • Clive Barker's Jericho (Xbox 360)

    I hadn't actually paid much attention to previews regarding this so had no idea what to expect, but apparently it's a team-based horror FPS. The intro runs through all seven members of Jericho Squad you'll control in the game and was a little overwhelming at first, with more information on their abilities and powers than I was able to commit to memory. However, the demo only puts you in charge of three (who I mentally dubbed Sword Ninja, Sniper Girl and Minigun Man). I don't know if the full game puts you in charge of the whole bunch at any point but that would be quite daunting.

    It all seems fairly well put together, operating with the standard 360 FPS controls. The team dynamic is a little different to something like Gears of War or Rainbow Six Vegas in that you can switch control between team members at any point, depending on where you feel your efforts are most needed. I didn't come across any enemies where it seemed to matter which person I played as, with the sniper having the only obvious advantage at long range, but that may be different in the full game (or perhaps I was just doing it wrong). It also features the occasional quicktime event that took me completely by surprise each time they cropped up, though failure puts you back to the beginning of the event to immediately try again.

    It certainly seems to have some potential, with some interesting abilities (the slowmotion sniper power being very interesting, where a successful hit allows you to re-angle the bullet to move into another enemy) and a lot of effort put into the characters and story. One I'll be keeping an eye one, anyway.
Well that's three to be getting on with, all of which I think are available on PS3 too. So download and discuss! Or share others you've enjoyed, of course.
ATTENTION - Unless otherwise specified, all opinions stated in the above post should be interpreted as the personal opinions of The Benny (Macho) and not objective fact, even when said opinions are inarguably superior to all other opinions in the thread.

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#2
yes the Simpsons was I though very poor, compared to what they have dome in the past ie: Hit and Run. all the other Simpson games imo were terrible, but H&R was a pretty cool game indeed. so i was expecting better than what we got for the demo.

personally im happy and glad we get demos like this, mainly because its a very poor game (imo) and i wont be buying it, thats for sure. but if I hadnt of played it.. who knows, i might of given it a go.


as for Jericho... i liked that, and straight after i played it, i was definitely going to buy it. but then i played it again, and i can across the same things as you, the same thoughts. sniper.. great, but you cant play as her all the time, the knuckle head with the big gun? he seems ok.. but i hate associating myself with characters like that in a game, like Rico in Killzone, that man was a prat. so if youre always chopping and changing characters.. do you ever really connect with this game? but thats just me, i guess.

on a side point and imo an important one, my GF's brother came over the other night and was playing PS3, i let him play Jericho.. and he just couldnt get to grips with it at all.. Warhawk and RFOM, he's bloody good and is almost a natural at killing folk etc.. but Jericho just wasnt a pick up and play game.

i think thats important too. i like games that require you to play and learn the controls etc.. but if you cant connect with the game or the characters, learning complex controls seems like an empty voyage.

the most enjoyable demo i have played recently is Ratchet and Clank (PS3)

from gameplay to playablity, R&C plays like you expect it to play on the PS3, after all. with all that extra power under their nails they should make this version of R&C fun to play and brilliant to watch. so it doesnt disappoint in the graphics dept either. Control wise, its just really tight, just as its always been. The difficulty level isnt high at all, and i figure that you should be able to alter that in the menu of the full game, because its very very easy indeed, not exactly Ninja Gaiden level!.

i played through the whole demo in about five mins, but had a blast playing it. and will certainly put it on again soon.
my only negative that i can really think of is that its just more of the same formula that it has always been, nothing really new here.. but saying that, if it aint broke dont fix it as they say.
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Legend Edgemaster of the Unicorn. oh and nine thousand fake forum tokens, 3 real ones and 5 special tokens mysteriously protected by a blinding white aura.. known to some as the 'anti wife light'..

""Bombing for peace is like ****ing for virginity"

"NO OFFENCE" R.I.P @PS3 :evil:
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#3
Like I said, the co-op play is a huge plus for me, has been ever since I first got my PC networked to my brother's at least a decade ago. I've played through all the Halo games with my brother on Xbox/360 as well as games like Gears of War and Perfect Dark Zero, I actively search for mods for games like Doom3 that allow us to play together and we're very much looking forward to Kane & Lynch and Army of Two (depending on the reviews) for that reason. So it's a long-running tradition with my brother and one I intend to incorporate my nephew into too, but so far this generation has only really offered Kameo's lacklustre co-op and Lego Star Wars II for us to work through. He enjoyed Simpsons and Crash of the Titans, so as long as they can scrape some half-decent reviews together from sites I trust I'll be looking to pick them up.

Jericho's demo didn't hook me in the way some other games have but it definitely seems like there could be a good game there. More reason to use the team's individual skills would be one thing to boost it, because it didn't seem to matter much in the demo. It certainly has potential though.

The Ratchet demo is obviously one that's currently denied me, but I'm expecting good things from the game and firmly expect to go onto my list of reasons to justify buying a PS3. As you pointed out, more of the same isn't necessarily a bad thing; as much as I love the Jak series the third focused way too much on racing for my liking, especially when there are seemingly so few developers who can make decent 3D platformers.

Another demo:
  • Conan (360)

    Conan's a chap who seems ideally suited to video games, what with him spending all his time fighting men or demons while acquiring large amounts of money, with the occasional break to rescue busty wenches. With this game though he's decided that what he really wants do is imitate God of War's Kratos, and each button on the 360 pad serves the same purpose as the equivalent on the PS2 (even down to rolling with the right stick), functioning reasonably well. The camera isn't as good as the GoW games though, not being adjustable in any way and generally slightly angled away from the direction Conan is travelling in at all times. Not enough to hinder, but it doesn't help either.

    The demo features three enemy types, two of which are dispatched with ease and one that caused me genuine problems because he spent most of his time blocking. The demo tells you to use shieldbreaker techniques to get through the block but there was no obvious indication of what those techniques were, and after many (embarrassing) deaths from trying out various combos I eventually settled for just waiting for him to attack, blocking each hit and then quickly following up with some slashes. The dialogue had a casual Conan feel to it, example (possibly not an exact quote):

    Quote:Conan: "I serve no man."
    Woman: "Perhaps you could serve a woman."
    Conan: (nods) "Service her, yes."
    but on the basis of the demo it's essentially a poor man's God of War. The Cimmerian deserves better, by Crom!
ATTENTION - Unless otherwise specified, all opinions stated in the above post should be interpreted as the personal opinions of The Benny (Macho) and not objective fact, even when said opinions are inarguably superior to all other opinions in the thread.

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#4
i agree totally with you over Conan.. I was willing to give it a good shot and enjoy the game for what it was. but after playing i was bitterly disappointed.

as discussed with DK the other day over the PSN, after playing Heavenly Sword, Conan is a very very weak game in terms of gameplay and cut scenes. i know cut scenes mean nothing, but when the last thing you played in that genre was stunning to say the least, playing Conan is like playing a lesser of a last gen game.

i know thats a lil harsh of me, but after like you say God Of War2 and the magnificent HS, Conan just cant compete.

but i bet if people love the films etc.. I bet Conan will probably be right up their street.
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Legend Edgemaster of the Unicorn. oh and nine thousand fake forum tokens, 3 real ones and 5 special tokens mysteriously protected by a blinding white aura.. known to some as the 'anti wife light'..

""Bombing for peace is like ****ing for virginity"

"NO OFFENCE" R.I.P @PS3 :evil:
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#5
This is an excellent thread. I will take a look at the latest demos and edit this post with my views.
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"everyone knows second hand squirrel kills." - Svosen
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#6
I've read all of Howard's Conan stories so I'm mildly interested in seeing how well they incorporate that style but, at least based on the demo, the game imitates another great game without ever reaching the same level of quality. It would go into my list of possible pickups when cheap, but there are plenty of really good games upcoming or already released that still need a purchase.
ATTENTION - Unless otherwise specified, all opinions stated in the above post should be interpreted as the personal opinions of The Benny (Macho) and not objective fact, even when said opinions are inarguably superior to all other opinions in the thread.

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#7
I didn't think Conan was an awful game, but after playing Heavenly Sword it feels a bit cheap like dillon said, a poor man's HS

Ratchet and Clank feels a lot like sonic to me with the rail grinding ans and platforms that bounce you crazy disances, but its all done 10 times better, very impressed I am
The Force Is With Me.......And I Still F**k Everything Up

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#8
A couple more:
  • WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw 2008 (360):

    I think there have been two releases in the franchise since I last played it, and that was on the PS2. Despite that it still felt very familiar, probably because annual updates simply don't give developers enough time to properly advance the series in any way except by bringing the roster up to date. One thing that did confuse me was the new grab system, which is now handled by pushing the right stick up, down, left or right. Any control display flashed up far too quickly for me to spot it, so for the whole first bout I couldn't grab and this Lashley person just slapped me silly. Once I'd figured it out though it felt very quick and intuitive.

    Something I very much welcome is the way certain moves have different choices now. For example, when Undertaker picks somebody up for a chokeslam you can either push the right stick down for a standard chokeslam or rotate it around for a two-handed variant. Some moves have even more options. There are still a few moves that use the same animations from the PS1 days and look a little stiff, but I'm not sure if that's just because I've been seeing them again and again in Know Your Role, Just Bring It, Here Comes the Pain and Smackdown Vs. RAW.

    Ultimately though the big draw for me in a wrestling game is having a wide range of customisation options for the Create-A-Wrestler and a decent (preferably multiplayer) Season mode, neither of which are demonstrated in the demo. The Create-A-Wrestler options are usually less varied in the first game or two to hit a console simply because they can't reuse all the content from the previous games, especially when it all has to look good in HD, so I don't know whether to opt for this one or wait another year.
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  • FEAR Files: Extraction Point (360):

    I enjoyed the original FEAR, though that was on the PC and when Monolith were at the helm. Whoever it was who worked on this expansion did a fair job recreating the feel of FEAR without really adding anything, and as far as the demo was concerned it may as well have been put together with a map editor tool for all the new content on display. There certainly didn't seem to have been any effort put in to upgrade the visuals for HD or even just for a standard definition 360 title.

    It was quite fun to pick up a shotgun again and kill soldiers in slow-motion, but I'm happy to wait for Monolith's Project Origin to get back into the FEAR universe.
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  • Timeshift (360):

    This didn't hook me at all. It's probably a case of unfortunate timing, what with heavyweight FPS games like Bioshock, Halo 3 and the Orange Box all currently doing the rounds. The timeshifting features were implemented well enough, using them to stop electricity flowing through water long enough to pass through or slowing time to cross an otherwise unstable walkway, though as far as I could tell from the demo these features were all very clearly telegraphed in advance to let you know what needed to be done. Timeshift functions all operate from the LB button, choosing the appropriate function (slow, pause or rewind) for you, with the only minor issue being when the game randomly selected pause instead of slow-mo, draining the timeshift bar quicker, but all functions can be acitvated manually by holding LB and tapping X, Y or B.

    Aside from the timeshifting novelty and some neat visual effects there really wasn't much to make the game stand out as anything other than yet another shooter.
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  • Spiderman: Friend or Foe (360):

    My brother and I quite enjoyed Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (not that Friend or Foe has anything to do with Ultimate Alliance other than the presence of Spiderman and Venom), even if it did reduce some of Marvel's most powerful beings into generic brawlers. This game, however, didn't do anything for me. Very basic premise (Spidey, Green Goblin, Venom and Doc. Ock captured by aliens or something and team up to fight them off), standard fighter controls and the same old boss fights.
ATTENTION - Unless otherwise specified, all opinions stated in the above post should be interpreted as the personal opinions of The Benny (Macho) and not objective fact, even when said opinions are inarguably superior to all other opinions in the thread.

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#9
Apologies for the double post, but I had one I wanted to post while it was fresh:

Hellgate: London (PC):

This is the first game from Flagship Studios, the people who left Blizzard North (the Diablo team). It therefore has a bit of hype around it as being what they would have done with the Diablo franchise, though there's more of a sci-fi element to this game to avoid too many direct comparisons.

The demo gives you access to two of the many classes available in the full game, the Marksman and Blademaster. The Marksman plays from first-person view (though it can be zoomed out to third-person), and makes for some odd gameplay. Essentially it looks like an FPS but plays like something like Diablo. Shoot a zombie in a room full of them and, rather than them all charging (like an FPS), only a few will peel off and casually shuffle towards you (like an MMO). There's almost no AI to speak of and it makes the Marksman quite dull, because even just a bit of FPS experience means you'll plow through every enemy outside of the special 'named' ones without any trouble.

Blademaster, the melee class, was a lot more fun. They start with a sword and shield, but there's also a dual-wield skill to unlock in the skill tree. Even without that you can equip the sword in one hand and a grappler (which you start with in your inventory) in the other, allowing you to fire it an enemy, pulling them towards you for some stabbing. Combined with skills that regenerate health by attacking which encourage you to keep up some attacking momentum, it's much more reminiscent of Diablo 2 and feels like an evolution of its Barbarian class.

That said though, the demo is severely lacking. I was only able to find four quests in the quest hub in addition to a story quest that you can't finish, and they were all very much in the style of an MMO: Kill ten zombies in area X, then three in area Y, collect Wart's Leg in area X by killing a named creature and collect ten capacitors from enemies in area Y. After that you get no more quests that I could find, despite the game having two more areas to explore. So essentially the demo has reached its end but makes no attempt to tell you so, causing much running back and forth on my part in an attempt to find what I had to do next.

The quest givers do not voice their quests like they do in the Diablo games, instead opting again for the MMO model, playing a random voice sample when a conversation is initiated and another when the conversation ends. These voice samples are horrendous, not necessarily because of the bad attempt at British accents (though they aren't great) but because of what they actually say. They just spout nonsense, and it's very irritating.

So essentially the single-player experience (there's no multiplayer in the demo) opts for all the generic-ness of an MMO-lite rather than going for the already fairly light RPG/story elements of the Diablo games, and based on the demo the potential multiplayer will be just as bland. As such I can't help but be disappointed, especially as any new content is going to come via a paid subscription. Bring on Diablo 3...
ATTENTION - Unless otherwise specified, all opinions stated in the above post should be interpreted as the personal opinions of The Benny (Macho) and not objective fact, even when said opinions are inarguably superior to all other opinions in the thread.

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#10
GT5 Prologue Demo (PS3)

So the big one, and this is just my impressions, as this is a big demo, I think AK will be doing an official one on the main page, it certainly deserves it.

The GT Prologue demo is on the Japanese PSN, and is quite easy to get a hold of if you just set up another PSN account in Japanese (see Nice Shirts link on the GT5 prologue demo topic).

What’s the game like? Well, I am comparing this demo to the first GT5 2.0 demo we got in the UK. And I have to say that there is a whole load of things this demo has improved on and over the last one. Handling, gameplay, graphics and sound.. its obvious that they did a whole lot between the two demos.

In this new demo they gave us the Suzuka track to play around with, four unlocked cars (Evo x, BMW 135i, new Nissan GT-R and Daihatsu) with another three cars locked, two of which are a Lexus and a Mazda.. but the third is under wraps (for the moment).. im not even sure we have to finish the race in 1st place to unlock them, they might be time locked, which would be nice.. That rumour is to do with the Tokyo show that’s going on in the next few days.. (maybe that’s when these cars will go on show??)

So, one track, 16 cars in the race, wow.. its just superb. I must admit, on first play I was a little bit ‘Meh’.. as the track is a bland one, and the cars aren’t exactly amazing as you would of thought they would be on the PS3 yeh? Well I was wrong, the cars DO look amazing.

The beauty is what you don’t see straight off, the way it all handles, the way the car is incredibly easy to drive in what I call “Colin McRae” view ..or cockpit for you other guys. That’s when it really dawns on you that you’re playing GT5, the lighting, the shadows of the cars around you.. racing against so many different types of cars and the AI.
The AI isn’t the most amazing I’ve seen.. but imo they drive and handle themselves tons better than any other GT game.

The set up is like it was on the GT5 demo, nice and simple, which is good seeing as this demo is Half in English and half in Japanese/ and it’s the Japanese bits you wished you could understand.

Other modes are the 'manual'.. all in Japanese, so I wont go any further on that one and then you have the 'options' which again are in Japanese, but they probably sort of stuff you expect to be in options.
You have ‘Garage’ icon which you can choose your car and drool over them, and then back on the main screen you have the race option icon.. From here you will be taken to the car set up screen then on to the race at Suzuka.

Also on the main screen is the GT TV icon, which apparently will be like watching TopGear or something like that if you have never seen that program.. Basically its TV about cars. I have just downloaded my first spot of GT Telly, and it was rather amusing. It was a glimpse in to drift racing with some mad Japanese folk, lol it as very cool. As of writing this, I’m downloading the other two bits of TV, but they’re quite large in file size, certainly taking a long time even with my fast BB.

Lastly you have the news icon, that tells you all what’s happening in the world of GT, new options and what not.. But again it’s in Japanese. But you can see where this is going and how it will be used in English.

So.. When this prologue demo comes out it will be online.. And from what I’ve seen already from this amazingly huge demo.. Prologue maybe the most expensive demo ever, but it will be the best demo you have ever played. And this demo’s demo is worth every moment it takes to download.

I’m not saying AK, DK or Nice Shirt will agree with what I have said.. They will surely have their own opinions on this. But for me, this is a hell of a demo, one that should not be missed.
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Legend Edgemaster of the Unicorn. oh and nine thousand fake forum tokens, 3 real ones and 5 special tokens mysteriously protected by a blinding white aura.. known to some as the 'anti wife light'..

""Bombing for peace is like ****ing for virginity"

"NO OFFENCE" R.I.P @PS3 :evil:
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