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Important News Regarding Sony

Several sources have announced significant news involving Sony. It appears, much to my surprise, that Sony wishes that the  PlayStation Vita would sell more. This is a surprise. I feel that this is important information for our readers.

This is a result of a recent slump in Vita sales — sales which were never that great to begin with — that Sony now believe to be the consequence of the lack of support; the system often lacking new releases. This doesn’t help Sony’s situation either, as their entire gaming division is currently losing profit.

Announced via their recent quarterly press release, it appears that profits have fallen from 4.1billion yen profit to 3.5billion yen lost. That’s quite the fall. Recently, all three of Sony’s prime video game hardware (PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita) have been suffering through a dry spell. Fortunately, the drought is nearly over as November often brings games pouring in. Hopefully, this will be enough to save Sony.

PlayStation Plus Update (EU) — 01/08/12

Sony announced their line-up for PlayStation Plus for the next two weeks via PlayStation Blog. Highlights include Dead Space 2 and Rock of Ages.

The next  PlayStation Plus Update is due this week and Sony haven’t failed to keep us entertained. Getting the ‘free goodies’ bonus are Dead Space 2 and Rock of Ages. Dead Space 2 is a third-person survival horror game developed by Visceral Games and published by EA. It’s a large AAA title, with the third outing due to arrive next year in the first quarter. Accompanying Dead Space 2 is a full range of its downloadable content, all reduced at half price.

ACE Team’s Rock of Ages — published by Atlus — is a tower defence game with a twist as the gameplay involves the rolling ball mechanic with the rock itself. Recently released just barely over two months ago, this makes a pretty good haul for PS+ subscribers as well. Of course, it might be a tragedy to many early adopters as well considering just how recent the title is.

As standard, a range of free avatars and themes will be included in the PS Plus package this month. Also, to warn readers, free titles Darksiders and Renegade Ops have two weeks remaining before their 100% discount disappears forever. If you’ve yet to grab them, I suggest you do it now.

Review: Slender [Scariest video game ever?]

Slender Video Game Review

The Slender Man is perhaps one of the most famously unknown and terrifying stalkers talked about throughout fictional history and now thanks to the work of a single man he’s gotten a little more exposure. But first, a little backstory on who — or what — the Slender Man actually is.

The Slender Man was created at the Something Awful Forums in a thread entitled “Create Paranormal Images.” He is seen as wearing a black suit, a tuxedo, and as the name suggests he is extremely thin and is able to stretch his limbs and torso to inhuman lengths in order to induce fear and ensnare his victims — children. Once his arms are outstretched his victims are put into something of a hypnotised state, this is where they are completely helpless to The Slender Man’s evil-doings. He is also able to create tendrils from his fingers and back that he uses to walk on in a similar fashion to Doc Ock, the Spider Man villain in the Marvel Universe. The superhuman stretching ability can also be seen as a similarity between himself and Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. Whether he absorbs, kills, or mearly takes his victims to an undisclosed location or dimension is also unknown as there are never any bodies or evidence left behind in his wake to deduce a definite conclusion.

The game Slender, created by Parsec Productions (a one-many army) places the player in the midst of a dark, spooky forest in the middle of nowhere. The player assumes the role of a female child where you are immediately instructed to collect eight pages, which are found scattered intelligently random throughout the forest. There is no tutorial, there is no prologue, there is no introduction to the game. Much like in real-life you hear yourself climb the fence and flick your flashlight on. You are now completely alone and defenceless, well, The Slender Man will be sure to keep you comforted in your journey.

Continuing on, it’s incredibly easy to learn the controls and mechanics of the game. Left-click is the action button (which is pretty much to collect pieces of paper), right-click is your flashlight, left shift is to sprint and buttons Q and E are used to zoom in and out respectively, with an appropriate lens-zoom sound effect as they are held down. Finding and collecting the first page initiates the first stage of ambient music: an off-in-the-distance drum echoing that will continue playing from now on. Now for every two additional pages you find, the next stage of ambient sounds will layer on top of each other, progressively becoming more chilling and intimidating. It’s a very effective, but simple, technique to ensue paranoia and fear.

Your flashlight will eventually run out!

Without spoiling, the pages can be found around landmarks in the forest; so you’re not going to find a page randomly on the floor in the middle of a bunch of trees; however, there is some level of consistency and visual clues as to where they can be. Also, at the beginning of each session of play, the pages’ locations are randomly generated in specific “hot spots” so you will not always find the same page at the same spot every single time. Now, picking up from before about music, the first stage of ambient sound is an audio cue to tell you that The Slender Man is on to you. There is no message that appears to break the immersion and tell you that you’re being stalked. Everything is naturally integrated in to the gameplay itself. The author of this game was definitely aiming for the most immersive and frightening video game experienc, by keeping the screen HUDless and replacing user interface elements with both an adaptive mix of visual and audio.

With this in mind, I found myself constantly looking around my surroundings, especially outside; expecting The Slender Man to appear right in-front of my eyes. As a matter of speaking, he has the ability to teleport anywhere on the map to where-ever you’re not looking at, but I learned that pretty quickly after finding my first page. With he continuation of the building-up ambient music along with the fear of seeing The Slender Man appearing right behind me with the classic “DUNN!” B-movie horror sound effect, my hands were physically sweating and my mouth was open the entire time I was playing; just waiting to be scared. I feel Slender is a self-selling game that makes you question your own psyche subconsciously. It was my own fear that that was keeping me motivated to play. I wasn’t sure if seeing or not seeing The Slender Man was for the better or not because it could mean he was going to either appear before my eyes any second, or if I did see him, then I would have just got scared by seeing him! This is what I mean when I say it is a self-selling game, I, myself, the player, was scared no matter what I did because of the tension that I created.

Is Slender the scariest video game ever made? Maybe…. It’s certainly the scariest video game I’ve ever played. Its efficient and simple style of gameplay makes up for a very convincing and addicting atmosphere. The realisation that you are indeed alone and helpless, and that all you can do is dig yourself a deeper grave, is spectacular. Its casual approach makes it open to all and any type of person to play, even if you don’t like to play video games, there is a strange addiction and compulsion to keep going and keep playing until the bitter end, a “so close yet so far” philosophy.

Slender was finished multiple times with a total of 5/8 pages, played on version 0.9.5 beta. For those who regard score as an important factor to a review, Slender receives a 10/10. It’s simply one of the most scary experiences you will have whilst playing video games, maybe even in your life, and should be played by everybody.

Guru Meditation is a regular author for GamingAdvance. You may contact Guru Meditation through the email address: gurumeditation@gamingadvance.com.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Demo Release

Transformers Fall of Cybertron Demo Released on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live

The new Transformers game is available on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. It features two missions, each with a different character, and multiplayer modes. Details after the jump.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, is the sequel to 2010’s Summer third-person shooter hit Transformers: War for Cybertron, which was heavily credited as the best Transformers game to be released. It ultimately earned developers High Moon Studios praise. Fall of Cybertron seeks to address the few flaws that its predecessor had.

Fall of Cybertron’s demo will feature the opening mission of the campaign in which Bumblebee fights to rescue his allies who are suffering from a heavy attack. Vortex, a brand new character to High Moon’s series, also stars in his own non-linear stage where he may swap between flight and ground combat at will. Furthermore, players will get to experience the title’s multiplayer through the form of both Deathmatch and Conquest modes.

Deathmatch involves fighting every other player to the death, with the victor being the player who collected the largest number of kills. Conquest, a more strategic team-based mode, is a pretty standard capture-the-flag fare, but it was done well in the previous title and was my favourite mode. I’m looking forward to trying both, but I’m also looking to see just how High Moon improve upon their customization even more so.

The demo was launched yesterday on Xbox Live and the US PlayStation Network, with it appearing on the other country’s own service some time today. The launch date for the full release is slated for August 24th on PlayStation 3, Xbox Live and Windows. It is also already available for pre-purchase on Steam.

UK Charts Are Out; Let’s Take A Look

So, the charts for video game sales during the week ending on the 28th of July has been detailed and released. There appears to be a big shift in the arrangement of the top ten titles, with Fifa 12 returning into the top ten after being 12th last week. As expected, the charts are comprised mostly of sport and superhero titles which reflect the Olympics and current trend in Hollywood movies. Full list after the jump.

1. London 2012: The Official Video Game (2)
2. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (1)
3. Mario & Sonic London 2012 Olympic Games (8)
4. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (3)
5. Batman: Arkham City (7)
6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (5)
7. The Amazing Spider-man (4)
8. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (10)
9. FIFA ’12 (12)
10. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (6)
11. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
12. Max Payne 3 (9)
13. Mario Kart 7
14. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (13)
15. Dead Island GOTY Edition (11)
16. Battlefield 3
17. Pokémon Conquest
18. Call of Duty: Black Ops (17)
19. WWE ’12
20. Super Mario 3D Land

The number in the brackets serves as to display the previous ranking from last week and the colours signify whether they have moved up or down.

I can’t say I’m too surprised by these rankings. Superheroes have been particularly big lately, and the UK has always loved its Fifa and Call of Duty. Is there anything here you didn’t expect?