Latest Game and Movie Reviews (Live Update)

* Game Ratings (/10), Movie Ratings (/5)

DS Tokyo Beat Down 7.1
Xbox 360 Fracture 8.0
MOVIE The Unborn 0
PC Left 4 Dead 8.7
Xbox 360 Mirror's Edge 8.5
MOVIE Dead Space Downfall 3.5
MOVIE The Day the Earth Stood Still 0.5
PSP Super Stardust Portable 9.7  CHOICE PICK
PSP Need for Speed Undercover 2.8
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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Game Preview 8 - Resistance:Fall of Man

Platform available: PS3
Release date: November 17 (PS3 launch game)

Get this right! The aliens are descending onto Earth on November 17 and you will be given a PS3 controller to fight them off! Okay, I will cut the hogwash. Resistance: Fall of Man is a first-person shooter (FPS) PS3 launch game by Isomniac. The story of this game totally cancels out the occurrence of World War 2 and in its place, the game says that a war between humans and the Chimerans (the alien race that is bent on invading Earth) had broken out in 1951. You play as a US soldier sent to defend our beloved planet and at your disposal, are a wide variety of weapons. They include the usual ones like rifles and shotguns, as well as the weird ones like … … hey, what are their names? You have a rocket launcher that shoots like the one in real life, but upon pressing the secondary fire button, what you will be getting is the firing of multiple smaller rockets all at once. And there is this weapon that allows you to shoot a plasma ball. Immediately after shooting, change to another weapon and shoot all the bullets into that plasma ball. As far as I know, the plasma ball will burst and all the bullets will be scattered, killing the enemies in the vicinity. Another weapon splits out some kind of sticky goo, slowing down the process of the enemies. It has the ability to explode too and I think it works very much like a grenade. As I mentioned earlier, these are some of the weird weapons, which do not exist in real life. I love the idea of the BFG from Doom 3 reappearing in this game. That is a cool weapon. Talking about killing off enemies, there are also varied forms of the Chimeran race. Some look like spiders (image below), while others look like the Striders from Half-Life 2. You can expect some real funny-looking ones. As promising as the single-player sounds, it is also believed that the multiplayer will support 40 players at one go. Big battlefield, indeed. When finished, the game will support the HD format of 1080p, which makes for truly amazing graphics. Perhaps you may have nightmares after playing this game. How real will the enemies look? All these information so far looks nice and I hope it will lead to a very nice game. Okay, just keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Must-have Gaming Hardware of Today

In the last part of the must-have series, the focus is on the hottest gadgets that you can buy from the stores today -- okay, make that right now (if you still do not have them).

Xbox 360Get your first taste of next-gen gaming with the Xbox 360! Lots of accessories and cool games coming up for the Xbox 360. Accessories like the Xbox 360 HD DVD Drive, Racing Wheel, Live Vision camera and many more! Games like Forza Motorsport 2, Gears of War, Too Human, Mass Effect, Blue Dragon and counting! Possibly the best entertainment gadget -- until the PS3 and Wii enter the arrival hall for some competition.

Nintendo DS LiteLooking even slimmer and seductive than the first DS, and to a certain extent, the PSP, the DS Lite has the ability to win you over just with its good looks. The glossy white finish resembles an Apple product too. Okay, here are the upcoming games: Final Fantasy 3, Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Mario Hoops 3-on-3, DS Air, Elite Beat Agents and many more! Oh, wait, the Opera Nintendo DS Browser, which allows you to surf the Internet on your DS/DS Lite, is also making a visit soon. And here's another piece of news: A DS Lite with Final Fantasy 3 characters printed on it (image above) is also visiting. Roll out the red carpet!

Intel Core2DuoFirst, it was Pentium 4, which contains only 1 core. Then it was Duo Core, containing 2 cores. And now? Core2Duo, which means 2 times Duo Core -- okay, that's a powerful 4 cores in one. This is currently the most powerful chip in the market (it even tops the offering by AMD) and there is no reason for you not to get it -- unless, of course, the price. Fancy launching 4 or more games at once? You can and that is without lag. Fantastic!

A Good MouseYou have a wide variety of mice to select from in the stores, from the Razer ones, to the Logitech ones, to the ones from Creative. It does not matter which brand you get. Just make sure that the mouse has a sensitivity of at least 1600 dots per inch (dpi) and some programmable buttons for you to toggle with. Otherwise, the more features the manufacturer squeeze in, the better, although some may be superfluous. Ckeck the specifications of the mouse at the back of the packaging box before buying. Good luck with your money!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Must-have Gaming Hardware of Tomorrow

In the third part of the must-have series, some of the hottest and coolest gaming hardware that will appear in the next few months will be covered. Read on!

Xbox 360 HD DVD DriveMake your Xbox 360 an all-rounded entertainment system with this HD DVD drive. Although its sole function is to play HD DVD movies, it is still worth getting (so you can wipe the smug off the PS3 owner's face!). Sporting a design that looks just like the Xbox 360, it will be in stores in time for Christmas (or as many websites put it). Look out for it!

PlayStation 3 Packed with all the mouth-watering features you will ever need, the PS3 is one console to get -- that is, if you have the cash to spare. The sleek metal finish serves another function: Putting the PS3 in the category of fashion products. The only bad thing is that you need a HDTV to fully benefit from the power of the PS3. To be released on November 11 in Japan and on November 17 in North America, Europe and Australia. Asian countries near Japan can expect the PS3 to arrive between November 11 to November 17. Look out for Powerplay's PS3 pre-launch guide coming soon.

Wii It is time to change the way games are played with the innovative Wii-mote (seriously, how many times have I said this before?) . As far as I know, the Wii will allow users to browse the web!?! Oh my, that's a first! Have you ever used your television set for Internt browsing before? And the Wii's online service, Wii24Connect, will be free -- just like the PS3's, but the only difference is that the Wii will stay connected even after you have switched it off. It is also known that the Wii will have 2 USB ports behind (Can I plug my MP3 player in?) and will be able to play DVDs -- but in a separate attachment. Look out for Powerplay's Wii pre-launch guide coming soon.

Xbox 360 Driving WheelEquipped with the force feedback system, this device attempts to make your racing experience more heart-thumping (because it feels too realistic!). Comes with pedals and arriving in stores in November. You can't miss this -- unless of course, you already have another racing wheel for the Xbox 360.

Next up: Must-have Gaming Hardware of Today

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hardware Guide 21:New Xbox 360 Gears

Microsoft is going to flood the market with more Xbox 360 gears this holiday season. Whether it is the wireless headset or the new faceplates, there is always something for you. Check these gears out!

Xbox Live Vision camera
Isn't it better to see who you are playing with? Microsoft is giving you the opportunity to do that with the new Xbox Live Vision camera. When it arrives on 19 September in US and on 6 October in Europe, the camera will come in 2 packages, namely one with the camera and 1 month Xbox Live Gold membership, together with an Xbox 360 headset. The other package includes the camera, 12 months Xbox Live Gold membership, as well as an Xbox 360 headset, 3 free arcade downloads and 200 Microsoft Points. You decide which one is better for you.

Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel

What news can be better for Xbox 360 racing fans than the annoucement of this gear? It will launch in November and a Project Gotham Racing 3 game will be packaged as well. Alright, it looks sleek. Nice. Wait, what's a racing wheel without pedals? Ha, you got it! The package also includes the pedals.

Xbox 360 Wireless Headset

Now, where are the wires? Oh, alright, Microsoft has taken them away. Great! This device will launch in the same month as the Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel, which is November. You need to buy this if you are going online.

Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows Microsoft is attempting to create more uses for its new Xbox 360 gears with this device. Connect this device to a Windows PC and you will be able to use the Xbox 360 gears with your PC. Talk about value for money when you get the new Xbox 360 gears! Double uses! Get it in December.

New Xbox 360 faceplates / Decorate your Xbox 360 with new faceplate designs (Halo, Viva Pinata and Forza Motorsport 2). If only you could make your own ... ...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Game Preview 7:Red Steel

Platform available: Wii
Release date: Wii launch game (around late October or early November)

Red Steel is a first-person shooter (FPS) game offering by Ubisoft made from the ground up for the upcoming Wii console. For a start, Red Steel is set in the streets of Japan, which look surprisingly beautiful. Shooting is done using the Wii-mote, pointing at the screen to aim and pressing a button behind the analogue stick control. To reload, just shake your controller upwards. Looking at the latest Red Steel trailer, it seems that you have the ability to freeze time too. Press the 'A' button on the Wii-mote and just like PC game F.E.A.R, slow-mo takes place. During which the time will slow down and you will be presented with an opportunity to line up an order of shots. For example, if you want to shoot that person first, point at that person, then point at the other one beside. After the slow-mo moment ends, the shooting will automatically occur in the order that you have selected. This will be particularly useful for taking down several enemies without injuring yourself much, or for precise shooting. You can also hold your weapon is a different way. Tilt the Wii-mote sideways and your weapon will also appear horizontally on the screen (picture below).Dodging enemy fire has been made simple too. To dodge, just act like what you do in reality. Move your entire body to your right or left, and your character will do the same. It is that natural, thanks to the innovative Wii-mote. Oh yeah, sword-fighting. For the sword-fighting segment, and just like the dodging part, just act natural. Just imagine your enemy on-screen to be real person. What would you do if he's charging at you with a sword? Block, of course! Okay, now see the Wii-mote as a real sword. And just swing the Wii-mote accordingly, just like what you would do in real life. Oh, before I forget, to open doors, just slide the Wii-mote horizontally. From what I can see from the latest trailer, you will be fighting fellow human beings. No, not aliens, not demons, but the bad guys will be holding other people hostage to make the game more interesting and challenging. Ah, that is when the slow-mo comes in handy! As I mentioned earlier, the graphics look surprsingly beautiful. And they are (fortunately)! Look at the screenshot above again and tell me whether the ageing GameCube can achieve that kind of graphics. It just goes to show that the Wii is still capable of displaying impressive visuals, although it only supports the 480p format (the PS3 supports 1080p, the Xbox 360 720p - 720p is the minimum for HD images). If you are planning on purchasing the Wii, Red Steel, without doubt, is one of the must-have games. Absolutely. Perhaps it will be one of the Wii best launch games besides Legend of Zelda:Twilight Princess. Keep your eyes glued for more details soon.

See it for yourself! To download the latest Red Steel trailer, click here (Select 'GC 2006 trailer').

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Must-have Games of Today

In the second part of the must-have series, I will touch on some of the must-play games to date.
::: HALO (XBOX) :::
If you own a Xbox, you absolutely need to get Halo. Okay, let me put it in this way:You must get it. Halo is a masterpiece that marries tense and intriguing gameplay with extremely memorable music. Definetly a must-get for all gamers -- even if you do not like shooters. This game currently occupies the number 5 position of my "all-time greatest Top 10 games".

::: MARIO KART DS (DS) :::
There is no reason why you should not be getting this game. This is simply one of the best Mario games around! Mario and his pals duke it out on any of the 32 tracks with their karts and power-ups. Their cute voices will stay in your ears for a long time to come. Round it off with the ever addictive battle mode and throw in multiplayer and you will have one of the best games around. Number 4 on my "all-time greatest Top 10 games" Did I mention that I am still playing it now?

::: CALL OF DUTY 2 (PC, XBOX 360, PS2) :::
Add a touch of cinematic feel to an already perfect game and you will get one of the best games ever. Playing the game feels like fighting in WW2. Alright, it really feels like it. The game totally transports you to another world, away from reality. And if your mood is down, the soldiers inside the game are on hand to crack some jokes that will make you want to laugh. Too bad the game only lasts 6-8 hours. Wait, there is still multiplayer! Number 3 position on my "all-time greatest Top 10 games".

::: COUNTER STRIKE *all variations (PC) :::The multiplayer keeps you coming for more action. Okay, this game in entirely multiplayer, so it has to be good, right? The variety of weapons and strategies that you can deploy make the game much more exciting. This game is just like a can of Pringles: Once you pop, you can't stop. Occupies a number 2 on my "all-time greatest Top 10 games".

::: HALF-LIFE [including expansions]/HALF-LIFE 2/HALF-LIFE 2:EPISODE ONE (PC) :::Get the whole series of Half-Life 2 games. They are the best! Half-Life 2 is not about pace, but about the engaging storyline that keeps you playing. An acceptable variety of enemies and weapns improves the game. Alright, you have to play them all to experience HL for yourself. Here's the secret: The entire HL series currently occupies the throne for my "all-time greatest Top 10 games". Don't forget the music: It is just as memorable as Halo's, if not more.

Other games worth considering: Mario and Luigi:Partners In Time (DS), Doom 3 (PC,XBOX), Project:Snowblind (PC,PS2,XBOX), Metal Gear Solid 3:Snake Eater (PS2), Metal Gear Solid 3:Subsistence (PS2), Grand Theft Auto San Andreas (PS2,XBOX), Resident Evil 4 (PS2,GC), Super Smash Bros. Melee (GC), Tekken:Dark Resurrection (PSP).

Next up: Must-have Gaming Hardware of Tomorrow

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Must-have Games of Tomorrow

In the first part of the must-have series of articles, Powerplay brings you the upcoming games that you must get.

::: GEARS OF WAR (XBOX 360) :::Gears of War is a third-person shooter that many believe to be the Halo of 2006 (it is arriving in November). Players will work in teams to fight a race of creatures known as "Locust Horde". Players can even chat online to discuss strategies! The life-like graphics are there to complement the gameplay.

::: SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL (Wii) :::Gather your favorite characters like Snake from Metal Gear Solid and Mario and put them to a fight. What happens? This exclusive Nintendo game marks its debut on the Wii after a good showing as Super Smash Bros. Melee on the GameCube. New characters like Wario and Samus with her amour off will make the game even more exciting.

::: FORZA MOTORSPORT 2 (XBOX 360) :::Feast your eyes on the gorgeous cars as Forza makes a return. The number of cars on offer here is even more impressive than in Need for Speed Most Wanted. If you do not own a car, this is one sure-to-be excellent game you should get in order to satisfy your inner speed demon. Okay, what's stopping Forza 2 from being a fantastic game when the first Forza is already amazing?

::: METAL GEAR SOLID 4:GUN OF THE PATRIOTS (PS3) :::Ah, everybody's favorite PS game is back! Engage yourself in an even more exciting game with Snake the situations get more challenging. Oh right, you know it, don't you?

::: HALO 3 (XBOX 360) :::Are you ready to finish the fight with Master Chief? This is the last game in the Halo series and will certainly be ending off in the most fabulous style ever. The final episodes are always great, aren't they? Halo 3 is going to be no exception. Details are still vague right now as work on the game is still ongoing. Okay, just know it that it is going to end off in a bang!

::: LEGEND OF ZELDA:TWILIGHT PRINCESS (Wii) :::I am talking about the Wii version here, not the GameCube version. With the Wii-mote, this game is going to a whole lot more interesting to play. Swing the Wii-mote and Zelda's sword will swing along. Use the Wii-mote to shoot an arrow just like what you will do in reality. Much is too be expected from this Zelda games. No doubt.

::: ASSASIN'S CREED (PS3) :::This is the first time that I have heard of the audience in the game reacting to situations (The people in this game will). Push through the crowd in a hurry and you will arouse suspicion. What a realistic game! Prince of Persia meets Splinter Cell? Awesome combination! Potential hit.

::: CALL OF DUTY 3 (MULTI) :::Who can deny that Call of Duty 3 is going to be a good game? You played Call of Duty 2 before? Then you should know that playing Call of Duty games beats going to the cinema to watch a WW2 film. With more impressive visuals and the ability to blast through the walls of buildings, expect this to be another extremely well-done WW2 shooter!

::: NEED FOR SPEED CARBON (MULTI) :::The notoriety system from Need for Speed Most Wanted carries forward into this new Need for Speed game, and the excitement tags along! Imagine police chases -- Holloywood style. What's more, this new NFS game boasts some new modes. Most Wanted's police chases plus mountain racing, drifting? Cool, you have to get this!

::: HALF-LIFE 2:EPISODE 2 (PC,XBOX 360,PS3) :::The second part in the Half-Life 2 episodic content that continues the story, you simply cannot afford to miss this! The episodic content is Valve's way of bringing Half-Life 3 to the players. And yes, there are new monsters to battle in episode 2! Now, keep your eyes wide open, because episode 2 is one of the sequels to one of the finest games ever made. I hope there are new weapons too.

::: COMMAND AND CONQUER 3:TIBERIUM WARS (PC) :::Finally, after a long wait. Command and Conquer 3 is set in the year 2047 and a self-replicating alien substance, Tiberium, has infected Earth. Prevent Tiberium from falling into the wrong hands. In other words, the fate of the Earth lies in your hand. Good luck!

::: SUPREME COMMANDER (PC) :::From Chris Taylor, the creator of Total Annihilation, comes another real-time strategy (RTS) game that is set to blow anyone off. Zoom in onto the battlefields and see the hundreds of units fight, be it the land, naval or air forces. Don't forget the strategic and tactical gameplay. Expect another amazing piece of work.

Other must-have games (if you agree with me):
Red Steel (Wii) is nothing to scream about, but if you are planning of owning a Wii, this is a great buy. The graphics are great and so is the gamplay. Plus it is a new way of playing FPS games using the Wii-mote.
Final Fantasy 3 (DS) is one Final Fantasy game that North America missed out on. You may want to get this game if you are the fan of the long-running series.

Any other game that you think should be in the list? Put them down in the comments section :)

Next in the must-have series: Must-have Games of Today.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Game Preview 6:WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007

Platform available: Xbox 360, PS2, PSP (PS3 version has been cancelled)
Release date: October 2006

Ever wanted to be John Cena or Triple H or any other superstar? Now you can – in the virtual world, of course! It is time to bash and slam your way to victory again with the new installment of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007. How could there be a greater way to vent your frustration after a hectic day? The superstar rooster has been updated and there are more superstars to select from. Needless to say, the graphics have also been bumped up for Xbox 360 version -- you will be able to see perspiration forming now. However, for the PS2 and PSP versions, (sadly) that will be absent. Each superstar will now possess multiple grapple moves, leaving more options for the player. Each class of superstars will have their own wrestling abilities that cannot be performed by other classes. Therefore, do not expect some wrestler with a small build to be able to throw Big Show out of the ring. Fighting will also involve more items like the ropes and tables, to name a few. Think of this game as the one that you see on television. More realistic. Don’t you always see the superstars taking the fight to the crowd? I am glad to inform you that this has been implemented into the gameplay, but only in designated areas. No, you can’t push through the crowd and take your opponent to the car park (unfortunately). Signs can be grabbed from the spectators and be used to hit your opponent, thus inflicting more damage. How about an umbrella? Or a bottle? Okay, I will leave that to you. Some finishing moves can even be performed in selected areas. Think about the announcers’ (the ones who provide some comments when the match is going on, or whatever you call them) table. It will help if you have watched at least one WWE match before. As seen in previous WWE games, you can also reverse an opponents’ attack. New match types include Money in the Bank and Ladder Match. The existing Table Match has been overhauled too. Pulling your opponent to the table will not be as easy now and the table will give you a harder time when you want to set it up. You may be the one ending up on the table afterall – if you are not careful! I expect this new WWE game to be more challenging and enjoyable, given the bigger effort that the developer has put into this game. Check back for more updates soon.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Nintendo DS Browser:First Impressions

When news first leaked out that there would be an Opera web browser for the DS and DS Lite, I was really excited, but the guys at IGN DS suggested otherwise -- that is, after a hands-on session on the Japanese version, which is already out. Afterall, that is one more added function to the DS consoles. However, the positive also seems to come with a negative too. Well, the screenshot says it all (image below). The upper screen will display the almost full, but heavily scaled down, webpage, which is obviously too small for viewing pleasure. You have to select a portion that you want to read and the zoomed in area will be displayed on the lower screen. Now, that sounds a little tedious. Fortunately, there is another method (image below). Using this method, both the DS screens will be utilized to display a portion of the webpage. No zooming in is required and the text can instantly be read. However, judging from the screenshot above, the webpage does not seem to appear the same as the one that is seen on the PC. The interface, although occupied by many icons, looks uncluttered, neat and well-organized. To input the URL, either the lower touch-screen turns into a virtual keyboad or that you have to wirte out each alphabet manually (image below), which I think may be quite a hassle. The Opera Nintendo DS Browser software comes in a package that includes the normal DS game card and extra RAM. Insert and the DS card and launch the browser just like any other game. Insert the extra RAM into the GBA cartridge slot and it will act as cache storage. Do not expect to download anything when using the web browser -- there is simply not enough space! Furthermore, you can only surf one webpage at any given point of time. According to IGN DS, a webpage will take quite a long time to load and the web browser does not even support Flash, movie files, Java and images except .GIF and .JPG formats. Oh, doesn't it defeats the purpose of web surfing then? PSP owners have a better life at web browsing. There is no need for any additional software because the web browsing mechanism is already built in. Not to mention that the PSP screen is bigger and more suitable for web browsing too. Is the Nintendo DS Browser an alternative from conventional web browsing? By the looks of it now, no. Is it just a novelty? I do not know for sure because I have not tried it out, but don't worry, once the English version emerges, I will be one of the first few to grab it off the shelves, and there you go, you will receive the full review of this web browser then. Watch this space!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Creative Ways to Fully Utilize the DS Lite

Many people fail to realize that given the design and layout of the DS Lite, it can be used in many creative ways. Powerplay highlights some.

Cookbook There is this (non)-game in Japan known as 'Shyaberu DS Oryourinabi', which translates into 'Cook a meal with your DS' in English. However, the electronic cookbook is only available in Japanese, and so are the instructions. Never mind about that, because there are many colorful pictures on hand to help you along. Yeah, I am hoping that they release this (non)-game in English.

Electronic Book
Of course, with the idea of an electronic cookbook, comes the idea of an electronic book. Reading materials to enjoy on the go, while not having to flip the pages. How interesting! Oh, alright, this thing does not even exist. I am just hoping that Nintendo comes out with one.

Graphic Novel
Why haven't I seen graphic novels for the DS before? The PSP owners have it. Perhaps Nintendo should start rolling out some. Mario graphic novels, anyone?

Videos and Music on the DS LiteWhile GameBoy Advance Videos featuring cartoons at approximately 45 minutes long already exist, there is still no such thing as DS Video. If Nintendo can do that with the GameBoy, what's stopping it from doing it for the DS Lite? Come on, store the videos in the game cards! Okay, music. Now, I do remember that there is a DS/DS Lite add-on in the market that comes with a 4GB hard drive so that the handheld can be used to play videos and music. Hey, what's the name of the device?


There is another (non)-game called 'DS Rakuniki Jiten'. It acts like a dictionary, translating from Japanese to English, and from English to Japanese. Useful tool if you are communicating with Japanese gamers. Pronounciation is included.

Do you have anymore innovative use for the DS Lite? I will like to hear some. Post them in the comments section :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Holiday Season Preview

It is going to be the time of the year again -- holiday season. So what can you expect from this holiday season? Powerplay gives you a peek at the great buys this holiday season. Save your money!

Possible PSP Price Cut (Not official yet)
This is an idea of an analyst and therefore, is not confirmed yet, but still very possible. The price cut, if it happens, will see the price go down from the current US$199 to US$149. Wow, that is only US$20 more expensive than the DS Lite! If the need arises, use this application:Universal Currency Converter.

Xbox 360 Premium Pack bundled with 3 Free Games
In order to combat the competition from Sony and Nintendo, Microsoft is bundling 3 free games with the Xbox 360 Premium Pack -- at no extra cost! One of the games will be Project Gotham Racing 3. The other 2 remain unknown. I spotted this piece of news while watching Gamespot's The Last Word last week, so this news may just be true.

Launch of PS3 and Wii
Of course, the PS3 will launch on 11 Nov in North America and on 17 Nov in Europe and Australia. The Wii will lauch a few weeks before the PS3. Now, make room for these consoles, as well as the cool launch games that tag along with these consoles!

Ha, until the holiday season arrives, look out for more previews of some great buys! Compiled by the Powerplay blog -- specially for you!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Game Preview 5:MotorStorm

Publisher: Sony CEA
Platform available: PS3
Release date: Not announced. Maybe early next year?

MotorStorm is a PS3 racing game that looks promising, made even more impressive by the fact that the graphics are of HD quality. So expect to see very detailed images. Graphics aside, MotorStorm offers a bit more variety than your average racing game. Vehicle classes include dirt bikes, ATVs, buggies, to name a few, and totaling to 35 vehicles to choose from. As expected, each class has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, larger vehicles may look ferocious and are able to knock other smaller vehicles away, but they lack in speed. Smaller vehicles, on the other hand, are quicker, and from the screenshots I see, they are able to drift too. Do not expect the larger vehicles to be able to drift, though. The game will be set in Utah’s Monument Valley (which I still have no idea where it is) and the name of the game already suggests that MotorStorm is an off-road racer. There are a total of 12 tracks and each has its own shortcuts. Alright, I have to admit that shortcuts are cool. However, some tracks have gaps that can only be crossed over by smaller vehicles. As the vehicles progress into the race, mud builds up on their body and if they sustain damage, their performances will be affected as well. This makes the game more realistic. It is also believed that your vehicle will have a limited number of lives. A life is taken away whenever the vehicle, for example, falls off the cliff. While all these stuff sound interesting enough, the developer has not forgotten to include multiplayer.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hardware Guide 20:Learn to Overclock

Overclocking is a way of making your computer more powerful and being able to run faster. Have you ever wanted to try your hands at overclocking, but do not know how to? I was browsing the Internet a few weeks ago when I came across one such useful article from that teaches you the basics of overclocking. Now, you can learn how to overclock. Click here now to read the Gamespot article.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Xbox Live:Will it Live?

Just a few months ago, when Microsoft was quizzed on whether it will offer free online services with its Xbox Live service, it gave a quick and short reply – no. With both of Microsoft’s rivals, Sony and Nintendo, offering free online services with their next-gen consoles, Xbox Live could be in a little trouble. And so, Microsoft’s reply means that when PS3 users and Wii users are going to be taking their consoles online for free in a few months’ time, Xbox Live users will still need to pay a fee. Take that, Microsoft! The situation is not the same as before anymore. Both Sony and Nintendo have strengthened their respective online services and will put up a fiercer fight this time round. The Wii will even stay connected after being switched off! So, here comes the main point of this article: Will Xbox Live survive? According to Microsoft itself, yes. It gave quite a confident reply. “We're very confident in the strategy that we have. We're well on our way to having 6 million connected members by this time next year,” Shane Kim, general manager of Microsoft Game Studios, said (Adapted from an interview by Electronic Gaming Monthly in the July 2006 issue). According to my opinion, the answer is also a yes. Yes, you may argue that PS3’s online service is going to be very similar to Xbox Live and that it will offer very much the same what Xbox Live offers, but for free. Yes, you may say that when Xbox Live first started, it was in the age of PS2 and GameCube, where online play (or online services) are almost non-existent. Yes, you may also argue that Xbox Live, which offers some budget PC titles and oldie games for download, may pale in comparison to the Wii’s online service, Wii24Connect, which will offer SNES (or Famicom in Japan), N64 and a host of games from older consoles for download. However, if you look beyond the external surface of Xbox Live, then you will not see it crumble, but instead, its winning card that will set it apart from its competitors’ online services: Live Anywhere. The Wii may be staying connected for 24 hours, but I think that this ‘Live Anywhere’ will have a bigger impact on the gaming scene. Okay, what exactly is this ‘Live Anywhere’? It means that PC (those on Microsoft Vista), mobile and Xbox 360 users will be going online to play games together. For example, an Xbox 360 user playing Halo 2 can challenge a gamer playing Halo 2 on Windows Vista online. This ‘Live Anywhere’ thing will open up many possibilities in gaming. For example, when an Xbox 360 game (one with multiplayer) is released, it may also be released on PC, but compatible only with Windows Vista. On the mobile front, I do not really know how the ‘Live Anywhere’ is going to be integrated, but I do know that Xbox Live will be successful if this ‘Live Anywhere’ thing works out. So far, Sony and Nintendo do not seem to have any similarly planned program. Wherefore, I must say that yes, Xbox Live will live to tell the tale. Now, it is only a matter of whether time will agree with me, because time tells the result of everything!

Monday, August 07, 2006

GameBoy:Secrets of Survival

There is little dissension that the GameBoy Advance SP is still very much alive today, thanks to the legions of Pokemon fans. Yeah, especially the kids. The GameBoy handheld has evolved over the past number of years. I have seen the original GameBoy, which eventually gave way to the GameBoy Color, then to GameBoy Advance, GameBoy Advance SP and finally, GameBoy Micro. So the question is:How has the GameBoy been able to survive for so long? Okay, the answer is this:As long as there are kids around, the GameBoy handhelds will not be put out of business. For teenagers and adults, if you are thinking of rushing out to buy one GameBoy Advance SP or GameBoy Micro, don't. The GameBoy handheld is designed solely for kids. Given the very limited power of the GameBoy handheld, most games, if not all, are actually played in 2D and their graphics are generally cartoon-like. Sure, there are some more mature games like Need for Speed Most Wanted and FIFA 06, but I really doubt that these games will play well on the GameBoy handheld. Graphics are outright poor (think very pixellated images) and these games might as well not be released on the GameBoy handheld platform. According to reports, the latest GameBoy games are the Bit Generation games, which (sorry) I think are pretty lame -- at least for teenagers and adults. But no, I have not tried these Bit Generation games, but click here for an article on these games and you will know what I mean. Need further proof that the GameBoy handheld is designed solely for kids? I have it. That can be seen from the price of the GameBoy handheld itself and the prices of the games. The GameBoy handheld is one of the cheapest in the market, and so are the games. You can even find some '2 in 1' or '3 in 1' game packages. All these make it affordable for the kids to get them -- yeah, even without their parents' money. For children who need an introduction to gaming, the GameBoy handheld is a piece of wonderful console to get the kid started. Do you know that for gameplay, the GameBoy handheld has only the 'A' and 'B' buttons? And the X,Y buttons are missing. Simple gameplay. Young minds, simple machines and simple games think alike. Oops, I have revealed the secret (well, not exactly secret) to the GameBoy handheld's success! Kids, Pokemon, real affordable prices, simple gameplay. These are the factors that have kept the GameBoy Handheld breathing. Hey, it is still doing quite well today!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Special feature:PC Gaming Versus Console Gaming

Gaming has been a hobby for many for the last two decades. However, the talk today is not about how much gaming has evolved for the past few years, but instead, on the great differences between PC gaming and Console gaming. Which one do you prefer? Powerplay grades them based on these aspects: Price, hardware, software, convenience and online play.

Fancy buying a PC game or a console game of the same title? A PC game costs considerably less than a console game. Where will your money go to? PC game, if it is the price that you are looking out for. [ADVANTAGE:PC]

The PC is currently more powerful than the current-generation consoles, but less powerful than the Xbox 360 and the other upcoming next-generation consoles. The PC hardware needs an update every 5 to 6 years in order to be able to play the latest games, but the consoles need it too -- in an indirect way because you are tempted to buy a new console every 5 to 6 years when the companies release them. However, upgarding the console hardware is cheaper. [ADVANATAGE:Console]

Can PC games or console games better? That is very hard to gauge, given that there are so many multi-platform games in the stores. But the PC has seen some fantastic exclusives like World of Warcraft and Auto Assault, and of course, the several RTS games. Consoles have their exclusives too. Think the game 'Black', a game released in March. It is only available for the Xbox and PS2. What about the Dead or Alive series or the Tekken series? I do not think that these games will ever make it to the PC. [ADVANTAGE:None;Draw]

For the PC, you need to install the game first before playing it. The next time you play, you need to boot up your PC first. So troublesome! For the console, just pop the disc in and you are ready to go. No more lengthy installation processes! With portable consoles, you can bring your games anywhere -- so much better than dragging a heavy laptop. [ADVANTAGE:Console]

Free online play for all PC games, but free for the consoles? Yes, except for Xbox and Xbox 360, and oh, you cannot play with people from around the world with the PSP? Bad move, console makers. Cheers to the PC! [ADVANTAGE:PC]

** OVERALL WINNER: Oops, it is a tie! **
Okay, so each type of gaming has its advantages and disadvanatges. It is still a matter of your personal view on which is better. For me, I like console gaming better than PC gaming. What about you?

Friday, August 04, 2006

New Titles Announced for Wii

Cheers to all future purchasers of the Wii console, and of course, to all Nintendo fans! Several new game titles have just been announced for the Wii, some of which will be launch games. Yes, I can hear you screaming for joy. All thanks to Ubisift, the company which has already announced Red Steel and Rayman Raving Rabbids for the Wii.

Blazing Angels:Squadrons of WW2, a plane simulation game, will be one of the new game titles. It has already been released for the PC, Xbox and Xbox 360, and will be a launch game for the Wii. Another one of those new games, Far Cry, a shooter, will also launch along with the Wii. Surprise, surprise. I do not expect it to be released for the Wii. Now, Wii gamers will have a choice of two truck racing games. One of them is Excite Trucks (already announced), and the new one just being announced is Monster 4X4 World Circuit. Another new game will be Open Season, an adventure game. In addition to the ones being mentioned above, Ubisoft will also release an all-new racer, GT Pro Series for the Wii. I am totally impressed. Are you?

Xbox's Medical Report 1

I took my box for a medical check today and the doctors told me that it still has a few more months left to live. I agreed with them. There is no denying the fact that the Xbox is gradually being shoved out of the gaming sence. Soon, it will be gathering dust, so soon that you will fail to notice it. The release of games has been trickling like water from a broken tap, but no, the box is not dying just yet, not at least for the next few months, when the Xbox will be fed with some small doses of games from time to time. You can bet that those EA Sports titles that receive annual updates will still be arriving on the Xbox platform. No, that is not all. The old box will still be playing hosts to two heavyweight games, Need for Speed Carbon, and surprisingly, Call of Duty 3. If you are not yet pleased, then consider the trio of Destroy All Humans! 2, Mortal Kombat:Armageddon and Reservoir Dogs. Oh, and before I forget, there is still a game called 'Scarface:The World is Yours'. Sure, you may not have heard of these games before, but nevertheless, these games will be extending the Xbox's lifeline. And while you wait, why not entertain yourself with games like Painkiller and Warpath, both of which are recently released games for the Xbox. Count the games I mentioned and you will know why I said that the Xbox still has a place in your living room -- at least for the next few months. The box will receive another medical report in December.

-- End of Medical Report 1 --

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Wii Games Catalogue

You read a bit about this game here, and you read a bit about that game there. Powerplay has compiled for you the full list of Wii games (not necessarily launch titles). Besides the well-known ones, there are many others that you just have not heard of.

Super Mario Galaxy

Legend of Zelda:Twilight Princess

Metroid Prime 3:Corruption * WarioWare:Smooth Moves * Super Smash Bros. Brawl * Red Steel * Excite Trucks * Project H.A.M.M.E.R. * Elebits * Trauma Center:Second Opinion * Disaster:Day of Crisis * Wii Sports * Wii Ochestra * Sonic Wild Fire * Super Monkey Ball:Banana Blitz * Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam * Bombermanland * Need for Speed Carbon * Call of Duty 3 * Madden NFL 07 * NHL 07 * FIFA 07 * Rayman Raving Rabids * Marvel:Ultimate Alliance * Sadness * Mortal Combat:Armageddon * Dragon Ball Z:Budokai Tenkaichi 2 * Resident Evil Wii *

:) Do post your comments if you find any mistake in the list.

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