As a reader of NAG, you’ll know that rAge is SA’s biggest and best fair of all things gaming. If not, please say hi to the other Martians from us Earthlings.
Running from Friday til Sunday evening, the main floor is open til 18h00, but the LAN madness doesn’t stop to even sleep. Add in the largest number of exhibitors and the most LAN junkies (over 2000) ever at the event, and the ensuing result is nothing short of gaming nirvana.
The weekend holds a vast number of attractions – game launches, competitions, hardware and software workshops, local dev, an anime cinema, tournaments, llama shaving, the works! NAG has a badass gaming rig worth R70 000 up for grabs, and this monster is on display behind the requsite safety glass.
For those of you sadly unable to attend this year, we’ll be updating throughout the expo’s duration. Nothing like being here, but at least you’ll know what you’re missing out on.
Doors opened at 10h00 this morning, but some brave souls had been waiting since 06h00 – a morning sacrificed for the sake of being amongst the first to enter the Coca Cola Dome. The size of entry line is a testament to gamer pervasiveness in our fine country, and even the most jaded person would have been heartened by the turnout.
Once inside, a veritable playground of gaming goodness awaits. Every facet of the industry is represented – PC, Xbox, PS3, Wii, CCGs, Anime, etc. No matter which of these appeals to you, there is something for you at the expo in an array of different sizes and flavours
Forthcoming games on show include Assassin’s Creed 2, Borderlands, the latest Forza, Halo ODST, DJ Hero and the highly anticipated Brutal Legend, all of which are hands-on giving you a tantalising taste of what to expect when they are released. This morning saw the well-attended official release of Fifa 10 which looks to be the best in the series yet.
On the hardware side, Sony’s sexy new PS3 Slim has a lot of floor space to itself. – having sold over a million units in the month or so since its release overseas, local interest has been high. The ATi 5870 has also just arrived, and two of them in Crossfire created a significant pool of bystander drool. The great guys from MSI gave a lecture on their latest hardware, offering 1-second overclocking and simple yet powerful system contol.
Stay tuned for ongoing updates as events unfold over the weekend. Tomorrow we’ll chat to come local and international developers, check out some LAN action, give some hands-on impressions and more. We’ll have cover of everything you can shake a joystick at – don’t touch that dial!
It’s the night before rAge, and all was quiet. Or rather, all was madness, chaos and flat panic. It’s almost unbelievable how far things have come since Monday; most of the stands are complete, and now it’s just a matter of putting in all the bits and pieces. Retails store clerks sit on the floor, surrounded by boxes of stock longing for a place on the shelves, teams from Sony, Microsoft and Megarom are preparing the hands-on goodies that you’ll be able to play, and the VC team is looking as calm as always.
This year’s rAge really is set to be the best yet, and even though I’ve had the privilege to be behind the scenes, I’m still incredibly excited to see it finally come together tomorrow. The doors open at 10:00AM tomorrow. Tickets are R50 a person or R80 for a weekend pass (for tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday). Remember, we’ll be keeping you updated daily with what’s happening and what you’re missing out on if you won’ t be attending all weekend, so be sure to check in during the weekend for an inside scoop on this incredible event. Otherwise, we’ll see you there!
In the not-too-distant future, the availability of resources becomes critical and mankind succumbs to the inevitability of war. Nuclear weapons are used and civilization disappears in the subsequent storm of atomic fire. A few fortunate people have been locked away in massive underground Vaults, allowing them to survive. You play one of these Vault-dwellers. The water purification chip in your Vault has malfunctioned after many decades of use, and you are selected to leave the safety of your home and venture into the unknown world outside.
Your character has base attributes, diverse skills, and traits which are allocated at creation. Leveling up grants you additional skill points, as well as perks which help round out your character and grant bonuses. Overall there is a huge amount of customizability, allowing you play pretty much any character type you like. The game does permit many varied approaches to problem-solving – so if you’d rather talk your way out of a sticky situation (as opposed to feeding a lead sandwich to everything in sight), you can.
Upon first leaving the Vault, you are greeted with a map presented by your handy-dandy Pip-Boy 2000™. Initially, the world is unknown and uncharted. As you explore, you discover a desolate wasteland – nothing more than blasted desert and ruined cities. But life continues to eke out an existence. Humanity has risen from the ashes and is making an attempt to claw its way back from the brink of extinction. There are small towns scattered around the barren countryside – each of these has a distinct atmosphere and its citizens exhibit their own morality and outlook be they human, mutant, or irradiated ghoul.
The viewpoint in Fallout is fixed isometric, with a bubble of transparency around your character allowing you to see when you’re behind an obstacle. Most modern gamers will want to zoom and rotate the view at first, but once you’ve been sucked into the game (and you will be) this is no longer a concern. Game areas are a little small, which can be a little annoying, but fortunately load times between these are very short and often unnoticeable. The world design deserves special mention: everything has a retro yet futuristic feel – ray guns meet vacuum tubes and 1950s style. Much inspiration has been taken from sci-fi movies of the last few decades, and the game refers to these from time to time.
Exploring local areas is done in real-time, but when things get dangerous the game switches to turn-based combat. While some might find this distances the player from the action, it allows for intensely tactical battles. How you use your limited Action Points each turn is crucial – choosing to fire, reload, heal, or take cover will make the difference between victory and becoming yet another irradiated skeleton in the wasteland.
Humour is a subtle yet important aspect of Fallout, helping to ameliorate the dismay felt at the world’s nuclear fate. While not the driving force behind the game, you will find yourself chuckling regularly. Heck, if your character is lucky enough, you might discover a crashed UFO in the desert, complete with alien clutching a picture of Elvis.
Fallout is pre-patched to 1.2, but there is still the occasional bug. None of these interfere with the completion of the game, but doing tasks or talking to NPCs in the wrong order can lock you out of certain side-quests. While this is no deal-breaker, it can affect your enjoyment of the game – fortunately, there is a fan-made patch to 1.3.4 which addresses most if these issues.
To celebrate and promote the launch of their new PSPgo, it seems that Sony is giving new PSPgo owners a chance to grab a copy of the PSP version of Gran Turismo for free. It sounds like a simple enough process. The instructions for it are as follows:
1) Buy a PSPgo
2) Sign in to the PlayStation Network with your PSPgo between October 1st and October 10th
3) Download your free GT PSP theme
4) Once you’ve got the theme, check your e-mail for a redeemable code
5) Enter the code into your PSN account
6) Download the game and enjoy
This sounds like a pretty reasonable offer for new PSPgo owners – but that does mean that you’ll have to be quick. Of course, it’s only a good offer for those in SA with internet access since the PSPgo relies solely on online distribution.
Day 3 is still going strong (and likely will continue doing so well into the night), and already there’s been a huge amount of work done since yesterday. Each stand is starting to take shape, and the layout has really become apparent. The LAN area continues to blaze ahead, with all of the hardware now running their various installations and testing procedures, and the remainder of the cables and extensions are in place. The CV crew actually seemed to be the most relaxed group there, so they’re clearly doing something right 😉
Everything else looks like its coming together nicely, and we’re happily on track for this massive event. During the show, we’ll be providing updates multiple times per day on the Website. If you’re unlucky enough to be missing out on the show this year, or won’t be attending for any other reason, NAG Online is going to be the site to visit to get the inside scoop of what’s been going on each day.
We’ll return tomorrow for a final update on the build-up. Until then, enjoy the pics!
Recently, Japanese gaming news giant, Famitsu, was able to have a closer look at the special edition of Resident Evil 5 for the PS3 that was announced at the Tokyo Game Show. Currently entitled, Resident Evil 5: Alternative Edition, the game will feature all of the content of the original release. It will also feature all of the downloadable content released so far and an entirely new episode set in a mansion where players will have the option of controlling Jill Valentine.
The player will control the game using the Dual Shock 3 and one of the wands for Sony’s upcoming, but as-yet-unnamed motion control system. Using the Dual Shock 3 controller alone will also be an option. The motion controls will allow players to aim at enemies and slash with the knife among other things. All of the new content will be multiplayer-compatible in both split-screen and online. The real good news is that all of the save data and achievements players have acquired so far in the original release will carry over to the Alternative Edition – which is great for players who are looking to upgrade.
Players will be able to play as the foxy Jill Valentine is a special flashback episode.
At this very moment in time, there are dozens of hard-working individuals toiling away to put rAge 2009 together. These brave troops will work around the clock from now until 10AM on Friday the 2nd of October (which is when the doors open, in case you haven’t been following) to bring you the biggest, the best, the most awesome gaming and technology event the continent has to offer!
Okay, now that the marketing speech is over, we can get to the good stuff. It’s officially Day 2 of the build-up to rAge 2009, which means that the Dome is ours until Monday, when everything comes down after the event. Each day, we’ll update this page with a new daily gallery of what’s going on behind the scenes, so you can get a feel for just how much effort is required to put this event together. In case you’re wondering what’s happened to coverage of Day 1: there wouldn’t really be much you show you aside from an empty hall and a few security guards, so we figured this is a better place to start.
Walking into the Dome on Day 2, you wouldn’t think that there’s going to be an event going up in two and a half days. The floors tiles have been laid out, and a few of the stands are beginning to be assembled, but for the most part, it’s pretty quiet. At least the team organising the LAN seems to be on top of things. All of the tables, cables and switches are already in place.
Compared to fifteen years ago, anime fandom in South Africa has come a long way. Back then it was a whole different ballgame. The Internet was in its infancy at the time, and downloading quasi-legal fansubs was unheard of. No, we had to rely on a handful of distributors to keep us in a steady supply, and one of the biggest was Manga Video, a company that brought us some particularly memorable anime which are now considered classics in the Western world. However, Manga Video wasn’t interested in bringing us TV series, and if we did get a series, it was usually a three to six part OAV at best. What we did get were a lot anime feature films, and anime distributor Madman has collected three films released by Manga Video which typified that early era into the Anime Classics collection.
Ghost in the Shell
This is the first Ghost in the Shell film based on the first Ghost in the Shell manga, back when the original creator, Masamune Shirow, still seemed to have some involvement in it. This stunningly-animated, politics-heavy sci-fi thriller converted many non-believers into anime fans with its jaw-dropping blend of CG and traditional animation. The action scenes are gripping and exciting to watch, but to be honest, the film gets bogged down a bit by the long political discussions and artsy sections which feature the kind of music that sounds like someone is skinning a live cat. Still, it’s an undeniable classic and an important film in anime history.
We ran a review of the Blu-ray version of this anime a while back in which we mentioned why it is one of the greatest anime films of all time, so we’ll just give you the basics here. Apart from being arguably the finest achievement in animation as far as anime goes, it’s also a great distilled adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s sci-fi manga of the same name. If dystopian futures, gang wars between juvenile biker punks, and body-exploding psychic powers sound good to you, then give it a watch – you won’t regret it.
I remember how my friend and I used to shock our classmates by playing this anime in the school media centre back in high school. None of them knew about anime, much less what it could contain, and Ninja Scroll features some incredibly explicit sex scenes in addition to no-holds-barred violence. Apart from that, it’s actually a complex, thrilling tale involving ninja with supernatural powers, government spies, and a payload of gold from a secret mine. A good watch for anyone looking for a samurai action film with a decent story.
We all knew it would happen eventually, and it looks like we were right. After Street Fighter IV, we all counted the days until Capcom released a Street Fighter IV: Championship Edition or a Super Street Fighter IV or something along those lines. Rumours to that effect have been circulating for a while now, and Capcom’s new teaser site, launched just today, adds fuel to that fire.
The site doesn’t disclose a lot of helpful information. All it features is a short flash video featuring the silhouettes of who are obviously Ken and Ryu – unless they meant to intentionally mislead us – duking it out. Check it out for yourself here. The net, especially the Street Fighter fansites, are already a buzz with speculation as to which new characters will be included in the game.
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