Category Archives: Game Preview

GTA + Heavy Rain = L.A. Noire

I can’t stop thinking of Heavy Rain when I first saw this trailer for L.A. Noire. Of course, this game is not surprisingly similar to GTA since it is developed by Rockstar Games. I am glad that Rockstar moved away from GTA IV. The novelty of an open world concept whereby you can commit all sorts of vices is dying off. Personally, I find that chasing cars, killing people and racing on GTA is getting mundane and repetitive with GTA IV. I stopped at the 20th mission when I keep failing to chase down a car and having to repeat it all over again.

So now Rockstar wants you to be the good guy. In L.A. Noire, you play as Cole Phelps, an LAPD officer in the turbulent time of 1947 Los Angeles. Instead of having mission to kill a certain gang leader or to fight off some gangster, you are now presented with cases. As a detective, it is your job to interrogate suspect, interview witness and gather evidences to bring justice to L.A.


The facial express is really sophisticated and the level of details is simply amazing. Compared to GTA IV, this is definitely a giant step forward. I had to compare this with Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain.

The level of details seen in Heavy Rain, published about a year ago, managed to achieve fairly realistic facial expression as well. However, the two technologies used by Quantic and Rockstar are slightly different. In Rockstar implementation, there is a mix of 3D video with mesh animation whereas in Quantic Dream is purely mesh animation. In other words, what you see on Rockstar is essentially a 3D video of the facial expression captured by the cameras.

In this game, you have to solve crimes ranging from homicide to arson. While interrogating suspect and gathering evidence is part of a case itself, Rockstar also dishes out the regular high-action shooting and chasing mission. A fresh game compared to the usual GTA. And yes, this game is also having the same open world concept. You are free to explore the city. Check out the review by IGN below.

Michael Jackson: The Experience for PS Move and Kinect

Michael Jackson: The Experience for PS Move and Kinect is due middle of this month! Personally, while I am excited about this game, I will probably not get the game immediately when it is released.

First of all, for the PS Move version, I am suspecting that the experience is going to be similar to the Wii version released in November last year. With only the capability to track the movement of an arm, I doubt the PS3 version will be any difference from the Wii where the player can perform the ‘dance’ with just a a controller in their hand. For a dancing game, this is unacceptable. The PS3 version would definitely has a better graphics. Till this stage, it is also not known if the PS3 version will support the karaoke-like feature as seen in the Kinect version. My bet is that the Move version of the game is going to be pale in comparison to its Kinect counterpart

Yes the Kinect version! As a disclaimer, I should point out that I am not a fan of Xbox nor do I play the Halo series. I have both the PS3 and Xbox 360 system. But to be honest, this game may look a lot better for Kinect than for PS Move. After the success of Dance Central (Harmonix is working on the second Dance Central as we are speaking), gamers like me are confident of what Kinect can deliver as a platform for dance game. However, we can’t assume that Ubisoft can deliver the same quality as Harmonix which after all is a veteran in making such games.

The Kinect version includes a karaoke feature whereby you will sing a portion of MJ’s song during the performance. While this maybe a bane to some who don’t like singing, this could probably be an option that can be turned off. For those who are into getting special editions of game, MJ: The Experience has a Collector’s Edition which features MJ T-shirt, poster and a microphone.

Wants for FIFA 12

Have the gaming population of Singapore surveyed on their Top 5 games and this is the likely outcome:

  1. COD : Black Ops
  2. Halo Reach
  3. FIFA 11
  4. Uncharted 2
  5. Mass Effect 2

As you can see, FIFA is a mainstay in any Top 5 List around. Which is why it’s good to voice my opinion on what I want for FIFA 12 and what EA will do.

What I want: Improved Commentary
With Andy Gray’s contract cancelled due to his shenanigans. It is the perfect time to update the aged commentary. In FIFA 11, the commentary was competant at telling you what is happening but failed to provide proper in-dept analysis and , in manager mode, the general status of the league/cup during the match. They also failed to talk about the biggest transfer news.

What EA will do: Improved Commentary

Delete Andy Gray’s recordings and just play Martin Tylers’

What I want: Improved Overall Presentation

Comparing the presentation of NBA 2K11 and FIFA 11 is like comparing a Simmons Bed to a pigs sty. This has to change.

Year after year they promise improvements for manager mode but all they do is change the layout. They need to include A “Pre-Kick off Show”, A “Half-time Show” and A ” Post-Match Show”. This would make the player feel like he is actually managing a football club.

Also allow a interface like Mass Effect’s conversation system where the player uses this to talk to his Teammates/Footballers, the Press and the Board. Allow Aggressive, Neutral and relaxed options. Also allow for specific options when negotiating contracts or asking for transfer funds.

Allow the player to design his character from the top to the bottom. Allow the players to walk through the training grounds, Stadium and various shops where the player will be able to interact with all the staff of the club and gauge whether he is popular with the fans by talking to the Club Merchandise Shop Owner or talk to the Tea Lady to find out what she has overheard.

Allow the player a sandbox like feel to the game where he can drive around as player /manger to pubs and shops and is greeted according the his status and popularity or what event happened in the previous game(Scored Winning goal, Defeat to local rivals)

Allow customisation of the club buildings. When a player spends money to upgrade the club training grounds for instance, he can visit the area and see the spanking new gym equipment and added training field. He can then talk to his players to gauge their response.

Improve the personality of the footballers, some are brave, flamboyant, shy, hardworking not just in the way they play but their character too. Show this when you talk to the players.

Allow the player at the start of the game to choose his main Mangering style and add 1-3 perks in relation to his style. Allow the player to add more as he levels up. This can be applied to your created player as well.

Include 2-3 newspapers with different views so the player can see his approval rate. Also include a weekly show which reviews the league’s action.

Allowing the players to include their custom chants was a brilliant idea but trying to upload the chants into the Xbox 360 was a pain in the ***.

EA should research chants for the top leagues in Europe and South America, Country National Anthems should be there by default.

The Crowd really needs to be improved, with the power of the consoles nowadays there is no excuse for wooden looking spectators.

Show the crowd standing up as one as the striker bears sown on goal. Let the crowd raise the hands in hope as the shot flies of the striker’s boot, before resting on the heads as the ball hits the post. Their faces showing a brief flash of disappointment before admiration and hope as they applaud the striker’s efforts.

Change the crowds reactions in relation to the margin of victory or lose or the type of game whether it may be A derby, Cup final or celebratory match after both teams have fought off relagation.

Allow for boos to ring out after a visiting team’s flair player does a few tricks, or when he takes a free kick. Allow for us to hear applause when the opposing player goes of in a stretcher after an injury or boos when he takes to long to get off the pitch after being substituted.

Allow for different volumes of crowd noise, Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium is always louder than Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium

Finally, allow for quick throw-ins.

If it happens in real life why not in game? It would speed up gameplay and those players who are smart enough to notice a gap and take a quick throw-in will gain an opportunity which may not occur had they not been able to take the quick throw-in

What EA will do: Improve Overall Presentation

Honestly? None of the above

What I want: Improved Referees

The handing out of Yellow and Red cards is nonsense. You can get a yellow for jockeying as the winger runs past you while the opposition can be the last man and not get a red. Since the offside decisions are never wrong why should the handing out of yellow cards

What EA will do: Improved Referees

I believe that they will improve it this time

What I want: A  separate FIFA Street mode

Since The FIFA Street series is dead, why not bring it back in FIFA 12?

Just a simple kick-off mode will do, also you should be able to import your “Be-a-pro” Player into the game.

What EA will do: A separate FIFA Street mode

Include it in a costly DLC

What I want: Removal of the Online Pass code

Yes. I can understand the reasoning behind this venture (pay for employees).

But the reason I buy second hand games most of the time is because buying them new ($70) is too much when the resale value of the game drops to $40 and below so quickly, and considering I am already paying $88 a year to play online, it is madness.Furthermore, how much are they getting paid if they have to earn money from second-hand buyers? Its time they tune down the pressure and just include the code for added features like Mass Effect 2.

What EA will do: Removal of the Online Pass code

Nothing, as usual.

What I want: Inclusion of Classic teams (Ten of them?)

Its about time they did this, nothing like match-ups like : Manu 1999 against Arsenal 2004 or Brazil 1970 against Holland 1974

What EA will do: Inclusion of Classic teams


Well that brings us to the end of my Preview/Rant on FIFA games.

To those who are interested my Xbox 360 Gamertag is Rad1oAct1ve9145

Editor’s note: Check out what others want to see in Fifa 12.