Features// SPOnG's Review of the Year '09: August

Posted 1 Jan 2010 10:04 by
As soon as one technological update is announced though, people immediately lose interest and move onto the next big thing. Luckily, Sony was already ahead of that curve, for no sooner than the PS3 Slim was being showcased in Germany, was there a briefing in Australia discussing the potential of 3D Blu-ray tech to be finalised this year (?PS3 Slim Already Outdated by 3D Blu-ray?, 13th Aug 2009). Compatible players were said to be available in 2010 if all goes to plan.

From the GAME exclusive Villains Challenge Map
From the GAME exclusive Villains Challenge Map
Away from hardware and back onto games, it appeared that there was a little confusion in the PS3 demo release for Batman: Arkham Asylum (?UPDATE 2: Batman Arkham Asylum PlayStation 3 Demo Today?, 6th Aug 2009). Originally slated for a 6th August release, Eidos decided to send us a press statement announcing a 7th August launch instead. Sony quickly set the whole thing straight and said that it was definitely the 6th. Phew. Good job nothing else was at stake for this information. Things would have really gone tits up.

Ubisoft also had to clarify its stance on the PlayStation 3 version of I Am Alive, with rumours surfacing that it was canned because its listing had disappeared from the publisher?s website (?Ubisoft Confirms I Am Alive PS3 Still Breathing?, 17th Aug 2009). Apparently it was an accident, with the ?PS3 version still a confirmed platform.? Phew a second time.

Concluding the trio of popular PS3 game-related news in August, a moderator on the official PlayStation Europe blog wrote about his hands-on time with some Rockstar ?PS3 love?, in the form of Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and the Damned (?GTA Lost and Damned PS3 News is Damned?, 21st Aug 2009). Come again? We?d like to give the chap the benefit of the doubt and assume he mixed his words up, because the comments were quickly taken offline and Rockstar very quick to tell us the DLC was still an Xbox 360 exclusive.

In news for footy game fans, Konami announced that PES 2010 will be released in Europe on the 22nd October - twenty days after the launch of EA Sports? FIFA 10 (?Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 Dated to Kick Off Against FIFA 2010?, 19th Aug 2009). We smelt an incoming bloodbath.

SPOnG had a rather productive August, thank you for asking, some first looks and previews of upcoming games including Tri-Ace RPG Resonance of Fate, SEGA?s Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll and Championship Manager 2010. We also had a ruddy good go on Microsoft?s motion controller, Natal, and learned about how it works.

We sat down with EA Sports head Peter Moore, once of Microsoft fame and SEGA fame before that, and cracked out reviews of Ashes Cricket 2009 (t?is the season after all), Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Shadow Complex and Batman Arkham Asylum. Weren?t we busy?

Finally...

A little bit of August funtime that caught plenty of attention from SPOnG readers. Turns out, games are being made that don?t even require gamers - programmer Robin Baumgarten wrote a piece of code for a Mario AI Competition (?Games Don?t Need Gamers: AI Playing Mario?, 13th Aug 2009). The challenge was to get a computer-controlled Mario to complete as much of java-based fangame Infinite Mario Bros. as possible.

Click the link to the story to watch the video, it?s nuts. Cor, what next? Soon, computers start will think for themselves and we?ll be one step closer to having Skynet all up in our faces.
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