Preview: Bayonetta First Climax Demo

A demo was recently released on Xbox Live and Playstation Network in Japan. Luckily, we were able to get ahold of that very same demo. The game is presented by Sega, and that part becomes laughably obvious very quickly, as your character seems to have an affinity for little Gold Rings (ala Sonic the Hedgehog). I didn’t see a purpse for them in the demo, though I quickly racked up about a thousand!

I played through the demo very quickly using it’s default settings. It’s quite easy to get a basic grasp of the controls, but the tutorial mode lets you know that there is a long road ahead to becoming a master.

A few unanswered questions loom from the Bayonetta demo. Fore most in my mind, why the semi-transparent angels won’t interact with you, but fire your weapon and they’ll run like pedestrians in a Grand Theft Auto game. Still, the game play was a very fun experience.

Gameplay was very much like these 3rd person action games thrive on. Mash away at the buttons on your controller, and watch your on screen character seamlessly weave a quilt of combos.

Stealing gigantic weapons from angels, including a trumpet that acts as a rocket launcher, is a quick and easy way to turn the tables of a fight that isn’t going your way. I actually wish the battles were a little more hectic and there were a few more baddies to ping-pong your combos off of.

Anyone who has seen a review or a preview here at WinBreak before, knows that two of my pet peeves are graphics and voice acting. And unfortunately, this is where the game suffers. The music is fantastic, and picks up when you enter combat, much the way the game Wet does. Sadly, the battle clashing sounds aren’t anything ground breaking, your standard crash bam boom stuff. Voice acting is laughably terrible, including the taunt “I’ve got a fever, and the prescription is dead angels.”

The graphics also seem very PS2 era. The environments are much more beautiful and scaled more to the size we expect these days. But I can’t get over the fact that the graphics just don’t meet expectations. They feel washed out, and even the cut-scenes / FMV’s which are pre-rendered, show signs of compression – something that a game on DVD or BluRay probably shouldn’t need! It all looks too much like a PlayStation 2 era game.

The game is extremely self-aware, much like the game I already compared it to, Wet. It’s funny, a little bit camp, but it’s actually quite fun. It plays to Sega fans, and falls right in to the “hot chick kickin’ butt” category that it wants to be a part of oh so well. It’s worth checking out, but don’t expect the wonderful graphical adventure that Heavenly Sword was. But you will certainly enjoy using your feet to shoot semi-automatic weapons!

Editorial: Really, Sony? Where's the Upgrade?

Last week, the PS3’s Firmware was updated to 2.80. The story was the same as it always is. People went looking for all of the changes under the hood. The generic line from Sony was “the playback quality of some PLAYSTATION 3 format software has been improved.”

The PS3 owners themselves struck first. Following the comments on the official PlayStation.Blog, the second comment started in with “does it have friends party chat?” – no. #3: “is the os footprint been reduced?” – no (though, admittedly, this is probably more of a misunderstanding of how hard drive sizes are measured. Poster 8 of the over 600 comments kindly stated: “one day i hope to see a full set of release notes, no matter the length. just knowing what’s REALLY going on would be great.” But it wasn’t long before comment 12 struck back asking for yet another feature that wasn’t planned for this release, and #40 commenting on a ‘dream features list’ for 3.00, though stating it more like a fact.

#66 chimed in with a list of features the 360 is supposed to be getting this fall. Then the 360 fanboys start in like sharks on chud. The PS3 owners strike back with a few level headed posts, for example #349, stating “We all will be satisfied sooner or later…and yall should really stop rushing this xgame chat, comparing it to 360..maybe if its not rushed it will end up being better than expected.

Fact is, it does boil down to the fact that there have been a series of weak updates from Sony. A lot of long-requested features have not yet been added, and some minor bugs that one imagine could be an easy fix (or never should have happened in the first place) have been ignored, including the long standing battery-over-the-clock issue, which, Lempel recently said, will be fixed soon. Using this numbering system for their Firmware updates, I certainly hope that Sony’s 3.0 update, whenever it happens, isn’t just another release, but really contains the updates that many of us have wanted for a long while.

Sometime, I’ll get in to it with the Wii System Updates. Perhaps someday a real friends list will show up on the Wii, and they’ll make it more than just a sofa-couch social experience!

Little Big Disappointment


When the exact phrase I used as the title of this article nets a whopping 749 results on Google, it’s easy to see that there must have been a misstep somewhere. Little Big Fail actually brings back over 1,200 results.

The game is a genius concept and was one of the most anticipated titles of all of 2008. The Playstation 3 exclusive was being looked forward to by all of the critics as a family friendly game, a new approach to video games, and a nod to creative players everywhere. Instead the game became all about a controversial recall and Super Mario Bros. level remakes.

I, myself, try not to buy in to the hype that surrounds games like this. If still have not seen the 2000 movie “Gladiator” because everyone said it was the best film I would ever see… I don’t like being letdown, nothing is ever as good as the hype. So I waited a while, passed up a few deals in the Sunday paper, and added LittleBigPlanet to my Goozex queue. After a little more waiting, the game finally arrived. The anticipation was over. I slapped the disc in… and waited. Evidently, I had been missing out on some 200+ megabytes worth of updates. So, once all of that was out of the way, I grabbed my controller and ran through a few tutorials, listened to the charming introduction and narrative that would follow me around. I completed tasks of varying difficulties, and unlocked the ability to play online (a feature I had yet to even look for, and hadn’t realized you had to play to unlock… quite a nuisance to other players, I’m sure).

With a scoreboard that makes little to no sense and trophies that requires true dedication to the inhabitants of this LittleBigUniverse, I found myself not caring about that aspect of the game. Which leaves… traversing through some sort of afterthought storyline, or playing levels designed by amatures. Neither of which sounded appealing. And then I stopped. I have stopped playing. I added the game back in to my Goozex trade queue, and within hours have seen a request pop up. I will probably even be shipping the game out this weekend.

A moment of silence to reflect. The base of the game is brilliant, lighting schemes, physics engine, the nearly limitless power to create… if you have the patience to work your analog stick and build everything in your world brick by brick. I did almost no level designing because my creativity doesn’t inspire me – other people’s does. I’m a writer, not an architect. As a kid, I got frustrated by Lego sets and G.I. Joe toys that had “some assembly required.” I built a desk upside down, once. I am not mechanically inclined. I wanted to see what the developers of the game could do – but evidently, beyond building a cool new engine with some fantastic texturing… not much. It’s like writing the world’s best novel with no main character, or the best painting ever of a bowl of fruit. It’s wonderful to look at, but not for long. There is nothing there to hold my interest, to keep me coming back.

I am by no means the first person to think of this game as a let down, but for being one of the saviors of the Playstation 3, I force myself to think that these really are dark times for Sony. Well, there’s always Resistance 2 and Killzone 2. The Killzone 2 demo didn’t make me think it was anything ground breaking, but I will give the full game a better shot at some point. Resistance 2 is waiting for me at home (since before LBP arrived), and I should be diving in soon. Both of those games excite me more, not just because they are action and First Person Shooter titles – but because they have engaging storylines.

It was a game that I was so anxious to play, and the fastest turnaround I have ever had for a game. I feel almost bad letting it go so soon, but I am comforted knowing that if I ever need my LittleBigFix, I can get a similar experience just by visiting the LittleBigPlanet website.

amBX signs deal with Sony to go Playstation 3!

amBX Demo



The crew over at amBX have just signed a quite impressive deal with Sony. Not just Sony, mind you, but the Playstation division themselves.

If you play with the little shockwave demo above, you can see that what amBX is all about. More than the demo shows, however, it’s not just about fun ambient lighting. They provide quality sound, force feedback wristpads, and even fans (yes, little air blowing devices) that really make you feel like you a part of the game.

Currently this thing is for the hardcore of hardcore PC gamers. This deal just inked with the Playstation 3 people is going to open the doors for the folks at amBX to truly go big time.
I encourage everyone out there “What does amBX add to your game?” page, as well as my favorite video this far, the one at the bottom of the Quake 4 page.

Joe Cooke, CMO of amBX had this to say: “amBX has already proved incredibly popular and successful within the PC games, music, movies and apps markets and the Tools & Middleware License agreement with SCEI will allow us to bring amazing light, rumble, sound and air movement experiences to game users.

Battle-Cars dated and priced: SOON and CHEAP!


After my interview with Dave Hagewood, I guess the bigger guys decided he was cool enough to interview, too. 😉

Out of the information they were able to get, Dave finally let the word out that the game would release to the Playstation store on October 9th, for the super-low price of $14.99, and include Trophies!

They also followed up with him to be sure there would be free downloadable content. Need a remind you, we knew that. I know, you love coming to WinBreak for all your cutting edge news, right? Yeah, yeah, laugh it up… 🙂