Welcome to another instalment in our weekly news digest where the team at PSU Towers picks our favourite slices of gaming gossip from the past seven days, before proceeding to offer our two cents on each story for good measure.
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Activision’s commercial behemoth that is Modern Warfare 3 has bagged yet another week at the summit of the U.K. All Format Charts, besting Black Ops’ record last year. The Cold War-era shooter managed two consecutive weeks at no.1 before being forced to suck on car fumes courtesy of Gran Turismo 5. That, however, obviously hasn’t happened this year, with MW3 still sitting pretty at the top despite a 41 percent dip in sales. To be fair it didn’t really have much competition, with its nearest contender, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, suffering a 61 percent drop in sales, and there wasn’t much of any new releases to worry about either — just WWE, which failed to dent the top five. Given the fact software is starting to dry up as we enter the final month of the year, there’s almost a certainty that MW3 will get its grubby mitts on the coveted Christmas no.1 prize next month.
Bagging full marks from Japan’s prestigious Famitsu magazine is no easy task; after all, only 17 titles in the magazines entire history have been awarded such a score. In Skyrim’s case, however, it’s even more impressive considering the fantasy RPG is the first western title in Famitsu history to score 10s from all four of the mag’s editors. Many have come close, sure, but none have managed to receive 40/40. Of course, we’re not surprised in the least at Skyrim’s achievement, since it’s a stonking game that is completely worthy of all the praise it has been getting since launch. It’s also worth mentioning it bagged PSU’s Game of the Month prize for November 2011.
Capcom disappointingly failed to lift the wraps off Resident Evil 6 at the Tokyo Game Show back in September, despite a logo of the game snapped at Comic-Con seemingly confirming a reveal for the Japanese-based event. However, that hasn’t stopped chatter on the impending horror sequel doing the rounds, with the game this week turning up on a fellow Capcom voice actor’s CV. This is perhaps as clear an indication yet that the game is in the works, and wouldn’t be the first time that a videogame’s existence has been outed this way – even if the listing was promptly removed. Of course, RE6 is pretty much a given, but officially Capcom has yet to unveil the title. Nonetheless, it has teased a few tidbits in the past 18 months or so, with the general theme of its info bursts leaning towards the fact the sequel will likely reboot the franchise. In other words, don’t expect RE5.5 to come knocking any time soon. With any luck, the series will return to its survival horror roots and throw in a couple of zombies to blow apart for old time’s sake.
Love them or loathe them (and from the look of things, there’s a healthy dose of both camps out there), the Spike VGAs always play host to some pretty substantial announcements, capping off the year with some meaty triple-A revelations in an otherwise quiet period for the industry. This year is likely to be no different, with various heavy hitters already lined-up for the event including a new Alan Wake and BioWare’s new game (and no, it’s not Dragon Age III). However, of particular note for PS3 owners is the fact Sony will apparently lift the lid on a massive exclusive at the bash, and according to Geoff Keighley, it’s something that you “won’t believe.” Rumors have been rife for the past week or so about Sony chiselling away on its own equivalent of the Super Smash Bros. series, a title that would certainly turn more than a few heads. Can you imagine having Nathan Drake scrapping it out with Kratos? The possibilities are endless.
Dead Space 2 was a cracking game, and we’re pretty much already guaranteed a follow-up. However, insiders have been whispering in Kotaku’s ears this week claiming publishing powerhouse EA is looking to spread Dead Space’s wings in the future with the addition of three – yes, three- new games, each one catering to a specific genre. There’s a FPS game, a flight-based spin-off and a new, ‘Uncharted-like game.’ Fans will know that the sci-fi gore-‘em-up is no stranger to branching out, with the series having already got a FPS outing in Dead Space: Extraction, plus numerous anime offerings, novels and downloadable outing Dead Space: Ignition. Still, it also emerged that Dead Space 3 was nearly canned after new management at EA muscled in on things, feeling the series wasn’t quite the commercial juggernaut it could be. This would obviously explain the move into new territory, though I certainly hope that Visceral sticks to its guns and crafts a suitably pant-wetting survival horror romp with Isaac’s third adventure.
Often considered as the PSP’s last hurrah, Final Fantasy Type-0 – part of the ambitious Fabula Novella Crystallis series – has been a long time coming, though finally hit Japan back in October. However, developer Square Enix has kept mum regarding the subject of a western release, much to the disappointment of fans. This week though, it appears U.S. and European gamers might just be in luck, as Andriasang reports that the game’s Ultimania Guide mentions specific plans for an international release. Nothing official has come out of Square HQ, though with any luck it’s only a matter of time now. Interestingly, it was also revealed earlier in the week that a sequel is a possibility, with Square having already trademarked Type-1, Type-2 and Type-3.
I could stomach the possibility that The Last Guardian may not see the light of day until late 2012, possibly even 2013, but the prospect that creator Fumito Ueda has allegedly packed his bags and jumped ship Sony is almost inconceivable. It goes without saying that if true, Ueda’s departure will come as a major blow for the hardware giant, especially as he’s had so much creative freedom within the company to ‘do his thing’ as it were. Sony has also been pretty relaxed with Ueda, given he’s made only two games in the last decade, neither of which set the charts on fire despite achieving critical acclaim. However, I suspect that these days patience is starting to wear thin at Sony HQ, and despite Ueda’s talent, it’s obvious they want The Last Guardian out the door by next year at the latest. The fact the game didn’t show up at TGS again is a clear indication the project is still going to be in the oven for quite some time. If these reports are indeed accurate, then at least Ueda will still chip in on the project in a freelance capacity, though as far as i’m concerned, there’s no glass half full approach to this dismal news.
I can remember back in December 1998 when I picked up the latest copy of GamesMaster, with a massive picture of Kenny from South Park splattered over its cover. Back then, the potty-mouthed show was only just becoming popular over here in the U.K., and the announcement of the then-new title got everyone salivating at the lips. Well, all except me, who has never really ‘got’ South Park. But regardless, it was a big deal. Pity then, that the game bombed and was absolute rubbish to boot. This time however, for the sake of the fans, I hope THQ manages to get it right; and from the sounds of it, this new outing, titled South Park: The Game, is sounding pretty meaty. Taking the form of an RPG, you control a new kid in town who has the chance to get chummy with Stan and the gang. A nice concept, and with creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker apparently more involved with the project than just voice overs, hopefully we can expect a quality offering come 2012. The only question is: will you be able to kill Kenny?
Murmurs have been circulating for a while now on Square Enix’s Unreal-powered RPG, though nothing has been seen on the project – until now, that is. This week, we were treated to a rather sumptuous piece of concept art, which most people have been describing as an amalgamation of Devil May Cry and Castlevania. Featuring an ominous castle in the distance and a brooding chap with an owl and a rather sharp sword upon his person, the art definitely screams gothic/fantasy romp, though quite what Square has up its sleeves remains to be seen. Either way, it looks like a radical departure from the company’s ubiquitous Final Fantasy series, which in my books is a good thing. Keep your eye on this one folks.
And the rest…