Soul Calibur 2 HD Online Slices Into Comic Con

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Today, during a San Diego Comic-Con panel, Namco Bandai announced a high-definition re-release of Soul Calibur 2. It will release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this fall. The game will be called “Soul Calibur 2 HD Online”. Soul Calibur 2 HD will feature the original game’s many modes such as Arcade, Survival, VS Battle, Time Attack, Survival, Team Battle, Practice and Weapon Master. Following the big annoucement, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada announced that Masaaki Hoshino would serve as producer on the Soul Calibur series going forward. Check out this teaser trailer below.

[Via: Gamespot]

The Reality of Gaming and Negativity This Generation (and Next)

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Back in 2009, I was publishing monthly videos via my YouTube account, while working for a previous gaming website. One particular video that garnered much attention was a video I did discussing my thoughts on the gaming market at that time. The video was aptly named “Death of the Console Wars”. Though it got several thousand views, as well as numerous comments, I felt good posting it because it was my thoughts on everything I had experienced and known from my 20+ years of gaming. The video was a culmination of all the disgust and nonsense that was flooding the blogs and internet at that time between the so-called “Console Fanboy Wars”.

Obviously, let’s be honest, this past generation has been Microsoft and Sony neck-and-neck. In the video, I spoke very bluntly on why I buy all consoles and what my predictions were for all three of the major consoles. Fast-forward 4 years years later and it turned out to be completely on the mark. No, Michael Patcher need not worry, because I would need to be wrong numerous times while sounding overly-intelligent about marketing strategies, while at the end of the day I’m just really talking about video games and nothing even remotely important to all of our everyday lives.

In this video, I predicted how Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo would fare by the end of this generation, and, without getting into it, just check the figures and polls online and the results are roughly what I stated they would be. The point is I did that video because I was beyond disgusted with the super-fanatical stereotypical nerdy arguments and drama of 21st century expression. I had purchased the Xbox 360 back in November of 2005 and have never regretted the purchase. This system ushered me into the next generation. For the first time ever, my brother and I raced home and booted it up with excitement. We were told it would visually upgrade your original Xbox games, which was revolutionary at the time. Matter of fact, it’s still revolutionary, being that no other system, including the new X1 and PS4, can upgrade last-gen visuals. Wait, that’s right – they’re not backwards-compatible to begin with! Smart move guys, that way they can port more HD classic collections later on and charge for games we already bought years before. This equals extortion according to the FBI, but let’s not get off-topic.

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Having bought the 360, I purchased Call of Duty 2 and Condemned: Criminal Origins, and needless to say, we were blown away. The visuals and audio were nothing we had ever seen or heard before. Now this is 2005; just weeks before that I was still playing San Andreas on my PS2! The graphical jump coupled with this new “High Definition” technology in video games was astounding. Right out the box, we had HD Component cables, outputting 480p “DVD” quality, 720p, and 1080i, the standard with which TV channels are broadcast in today. Hooking up my iPod to the Xbox, I could stream my music and use it as a game’s soundtrack, which for a movie score fanatic like me was pure bliss. I won’t keep describing the numerous features we have all learned and experienced now or expect. A year later, the Playstation 3 launched and after much apprehensiveness, I decided to buy this mammoth of a system, despite its equally-large price. After leaving Toys ‘R’ Us $640 poorer (tax included), I was eager to race home. This large black console I knew had to be teeming with power if it costs this much, right!? I purchased Resistance: Fall of Man and Motorstorm, and was very content. Motorstorm showed visuals I had never seen before up to that point and was thoroughly excited to see the future of this console. Resistance didn’t wow with visuals, but it did please all in its great gameplay and intriguing story.

As 2007 came, I purchased a Wii, because I wanted this experience of new technology that the other systems weren’t doing, and I loved it. It’s great when each system offers a variety that you cannot get on the other two. I purchased Super Mario Galaxy and Resident Evil 4 Wii edition. Both were fantastic titles that went on to score very well and sell even better. By now, I had experienced all three systems in their early years, and what each one was technically capable of, up to that point at least. And now, here is where the heart of this story lies. Throughout 2006 to 2009, there was an outpouring of gamers who continuously spewed hate because of their particular stance on a gaming system. Every website imaginable had ridiculous columns about why each system was better. Now for the first time ever, “gamers” all of a sudden knew or cared about company stocks and marketing strategies, and using these in arguments about which is the better console. Even big websites, which I will not name, occasionally had articles laced with overtones of bias that would, on numerous occasions, start a list of internet comment wars about 21st-century nonsense.

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These articles/boards/comments would circulate throughout the gaming community, leading consumers who are “not in the know” to believe idiotic rumors, and some did not buy a certain console or tend to take a stance against a company because of what a friend of a friend said, or what www.$@$#.com believed. Now to me, this is all insane and I never encountered such a heavily-psychotic problem in the previous generations. I had a PS2 and Gamecube and a cousin with an Xbox and everything was all cool, the world kept spinning. By the time we got to 2009, I had realized the direction each company was going and I released this video speaking my mind on what I felt I could see coming down the road for all three. Now in 2013, I realized, as well as all of you, who had watched and commented that it was a correct assessment. Regardless, this console generation is finally coming to a close this fall. With the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, I had hopes that this drama would be a thing of the past; clearly, it’s not. Interesting, since this generation, both the PS4 and X1 are going to be so closely similar in specs and features and even appearance in some ways, that the differences between them are the most minuscule they have ever been in the previous generations. The Wii U shows the biggest difference between the three consoles.

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I purchased a Wii U in November of 2012, and have my own thoughts on Nintendo’s latest system and their marketing strategies. Regardless, I have never regretted my purchase, nor have I ever seriously taken anybody’s prediction that Nintendo was already TKO’d when the system just came out, literally 8 months ago. Nintendo has been in the business longer than Sony and Microsoft put together, and they didn’t become successful from having a enormous selection of mature-rated titles or a fully interactive online gaming community. They always come out swinging with their exclusive and creative titles that no other company can replicate. And I have no doubts that 8 months from now, the state of the Wii U will be at a much more prominent status than it has been placed in now.

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Sadly, ever since E3 2013, the fanboy rants have been growing to sizes of yesteryear. With Microsoft’s announced DRM policy (and its reversal), it gave Nintendo and Sony untold amounts of ammunition that is waning at a too-slow rate. I say this because once the Fall hits, all three crowds of extremist gamers will have to rant and rave. They will roar about a piece of cheaply-made plastic manufactured in China on an assembly line. They will then give reasons as to why they “hate” (yes, hate) the other company. I have said it many times before, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony DO NOT CARE WHETHER YOU LIVE OR DIE. They do not care whether you make your rent this month, or hospital bills, or lose your job. Mircosoft/Sony/Nintendo exec’s do not scour the internet messaging you on Facebook, asking “how is the family” and “how your old aunt with the heart condition doing”. They do not care about you. Their business is to generate a maximum profit each year by releasing content people that will flock to stores to buy. And there is nothing wrong with that; it’s business, pure and simple. However, when you hear this sort of “hero worship” or “company loyalty” among the gaming community, I can’t help but laugh and feel sad at the same time for them.

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I still today can’t figure out where this hate comes from. Whether some people simply can’t afford to buy multiple systems, and must create an imaginary world of hate in order to compensate for their tight income, I don’t know. All these years later and it’s still a great mystery as to why gamers/nerds/gaming journalists continue to spew hate and lunacy towards the X1, PS4, or the Wii U and all past-gen consoles. What is this passion and anger that comes from a subject so inconsequential in our everyday world? The subject after all is video games; it can’t be more infantile than that. I am 25 years old and I love playing video games and writing about my feelings on them, and the market as a whole too. However, even I realize that no matter how mainstream gaming becomes, it will always be looked on as an adolescent hobby where the only true facts are that money is spent in vast amounts each year by the consumer.

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The hate doesn’t have to be there this time, the rivalry should not be in our minds and spewing out. We are not sitting high above in an office working as an executive at any of these companies, we are merely a purchaser of their manufactured goods. And of course if you are someone who just prefers one over the other for specific reasons, that’s perfectly normal and acceptable obviously. Technology can be amazing at times, and in gaming, I do not think anybody should have the right or provocation to become enraged or angered by another piece of technology that nobody is forcing you to buy or not. I am a gamer and I love to game because it is a terrific pastime for me. I chose to purchase all three consoles because I work multiple jobs and monetary reasons would allow me to. More importantly, I chose to purchase all three because I can never see limiting myself to one or two, if not all three. If they all seem exciting in different aspects, and are all offering unique experiences in their own way, then why not?

Staff Reminisces on PlayStation Memories

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We are only hours away from Sony’s highly anticipated conference, as they most certainly prep up the reveal of the PlayStation 4. If you’ve been on Twitter at all today, you may have noticed that “PlayStationMemory” is trending, as well as “PS4”. In preparation of this event, the staff at Gamers Xtreme have decided to share a few of their PlayStation Memories.

Glacier928:

  • Playing the snow level of Jet Moto and being blown away with it back in the day on PS1.
  • Playing through Dino Crisis 2 and Driver 2 with my cousin on the PS1.
  • Experiencing Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 and really getting into the extreme sports genre. Countless hours were spent playing that game with friends.
  • Experiencing a whole new level immersion with Metal Gear Solid. Checking the back of the game case to find Meryl’s codec and switching controller ports against Psycho Mantis was absolutely unique.
  • Getting into the Resident Evil franchise upon playing RE3: Nemesis
  • Borrowing my friend’s PS1 to play Tomb Raider II.
  • Rushing home from high school to play Shinobi on PS2…hard as hell game but loved it!
  • Playing a demo of the original Devil May Cry and thinking how I needed a PS2 ASAP.
  • Playing Resident Evil: Code Veronica X on the PS2 with my brother until 2am.
  • Playing SSX 3 for over 6 months straight until I got 100% completion with every character.
  • Rushing home from class to fire up God of War II and be beyond impressed at the scale of the game.
  • Buying a PSP just to get Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters.
  • Getting my 60GB PS3 when it dropped to $499 with Resistance: Fall of Man and Ninja Gaiden Sigma.
  • Playing Uncharted 2 and thinking no game would compete with the perfection it is.

MJA42X:

  • Buying a PS2 after playing and being impressed by Spyhunter.
  • Playing SSX Tricky for months in order to beat all of its challenges.
  • Experiencing GTA3 for the very first time, and loving the idea of sandbox gameplay.
  • Playing top notch exclusives such as God of War, Ratchet, Jak, and Sly Cooper.
  • Purchasing a PS3 and being blown away by the graphics and gameplay of resistance and motorstorm. It was the perfect use of my stereo surround.
  • The addition of downloadable titles on PSN, which brought back inventive and original 2d platforming games.
  • Playing Sports Champions during parties and people commenting on the colored lights from the Move controllers.
  • The controller port change in MGS. One of the craftiest ways to defeat a boss ever made.

R17:

  • Racing to KB Toys to purchase a PS One and getting mortal Kombat Trilogy as my very first PlayStation game.
  • Playing the entire Syphon Filter franchise (1-3) on one system was a thrill.
  • Experiencing Resident Evil 2 for the first time changed my view on gaming forever.
  • Using my PlayStation to listen to music CDs through my TV Speakers was fascinating to me!
  • Playing Driver with a Mad Katz steering wheel and pedals accessory on the PS One was a thrill.
  • Spending hours trying to beat Sweet Tooth in Twisted Metal 2.
  • Ripping open the package of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis on Christmas Morning ’99 and starting it up on my PlayStation.
  • Seeing Silent Hill for the first time was an unforgettable and horrifying experience, in a good way.
  • Searching the entire Tristate area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut for the Playstation 2.
  • Playing The Bouncer as my first PS2 game.
  • First hearing about, then finally playing, Grand Theft Auto 3 and Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
  • The excitement and rush of seeing the very first teaser trailer on the internet for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
  • Playing a Metal Gear Solid game for the very first time, MGS3: Snake Eater.
  • The amazement of being able to watch DVD’s through my PS2!
  • The best start up a SONY console ever had, the Playstation 2 opening sounds and video.

Argus9:

  • Waiting at the mailroom for my PS3 to arrive, and getting a grin across my face after receiving it.
  • Being absolutely blown away by the quality of gameplay and presentation of Uncharted 3, my first PS3 game ever. Never before have I had the experience of “playing a movie” before U3.
  • Buying a PSP and being impressed with having a full multimedia experience in my pocket. Before I had a smartphone, I had my PSP.
  • Playing Final Fantasy Tactics on my PSP into the wee hours of the night – and using it as an ice breaker when meeting my girlfriend of 3 years for the first time. (That’s right boys – video games CAN help you meet girls!)
  • “Fight Night” with my college buddies in my hall – loading up fighting games and facing off round – robin style on our PS3s.
  • Waiting anxiously every Tuesday night for the Playstation store to update so I can see what’s on offer for Plus members each week.

Any memories you’d like to share? Sound off your PlayStation Memories in the comments below!

The End of an Era – PS2 Officially Ceases Production in Japan

We may have dodged the end of the world predictions, but today marks the end of an era for many nostalgic gamers.

As Famitsu reports, Sony announced today that its historic console will cease production in Japan, leaving buyers with what’s left on the market. After 12 years and 153.6 million units sold, the PlayStation 2’s future in its home country has been cut tangibly short.

While it’s unlikely to meet someone who hasn’t experienced the PS2 in some shape or form – whether by owning one, playing with a friend, or simply watching it in action – those who haven’t had the chance to own one will have their options limited soon. It’s likely that Amazon and eBay prices on the PS2 will go up once their on-market supplies plummet.

This isn’t to say that the PS2’s life cycle is in jeopardy by any means, as Sony hasn’t stated it will cease production worldwide – yet. It may become harder for Japanese buyers to get their hands on a new PS2 model, however. Stay tuned as we follow the PS2’s imminent future.

TimeSplitters 2 HD Remake a Possibility?

Well, this will be somewhat exciting news for longtime fans of “TimeSplitters 2”. The developer, Free Radical Design, had an HD version of the game in development right before the studio’s unfortunate shut down according to what an ex-Rare employee has stated. Team members Steve Ellis, Martin Wakeley and Lee Musgrave divulged the new information in an interview. “We had an ‘HD’ downloadable version of TimeSplitters 2 in development at Free Radical in 2008,” ex-Goldeneye programmer Ellis explained. “I don’t know what happened to that but yes, I’d love to see it released at some point.

“Maybe it could be the catalyst that is required in order to raise enough interest in TimeSplitters 4 that a publisher might want to fund it. Rare outsourced some of the conversion/development of Banjo Kazooie for Xbox Live Arcade, and it was kind of a test case for us to see what could be achieved in terms of developing with a partner, keeping our costs low and making some revenue,” Musgrave explained. “You can make your own conclusions as to how that turned out by the fact that we didn’t move on to any of the other games you mention. We came close to firing off a conversion of Killer Instinct a few times, but there were licensing obstacles to that, and it never really had enough perceived interest to push it forward.” Other franchises from the group’s Rare days have also struggled to make a reappearance, although Banjo Kazooie did turn up on Xbox Live Arcade.

Rumors are now swirling around the internet that this project may indeed be picked up by another developer. Sources are still scattered on who exactly might grab the franchise and gift of completing this much needed HD revival of a cult classic. Until then we the gamers will have to wait and see what exactly comes of this, and who will finish the job. For more news on this or any other topic be sure to keep it locked onto Gamers Xtreme, and as always, “Game On!”

Sony to Bring Backwards Compatability to All PS3s?

Owners of the PS3 Slim are being treated to some amazing news, if GamesIndustry International’s information is correct.

According to them, Sony is working out a deal with Gaikai to stream PSOne and PS2 back catalog games to the PS3 with a streaming service. First-party titles are rumored to be guaranteed, but it’s also likely third-party developers will be partnering with Gaikai for this service. Given the popularity of the several PS2 HD remakes released so far, it’s likely players will love being able to play even more classic games on their newer systems. Many content providers have already signed on with the streaming company, such as YouTube, Facebook, and LG.

No information has been released yet as to whether any other Sony devices, such as TVs and the Vita, will be able to take advantage of this service.

It’s very likely that Sony will be releasing more details to corroborate this information at their E3 press conference. Be sure to tune in with GamersXtreme on Monday, June 4 at 9 PM EST.

PlayStation 2 Games Return to PlayStation 3…for a Price

According to the PlayStation.Blog‘s latest post, starting Tuesday, October 4th, the PlayStation Store will have PS2 titles being emulated on the PS3.  As part of the “Only on PSN” concept, the PSN will release the following PS2 titles:

– God Hand

– GrimGrimoire

– Maximo: Ghosts to Glory

– Odin Sphere

– Ring of Red

No prices have been announced yet but it should be worth noting that no extra work was made to these PS2 classics.  This means no trophy support and no HD upscaling.  What are your thoughts on this?  Sound off in the comments below!

Possible Kingdom Hearts HD Collection in 2012?

Tetsuya Nomura has been hard at work with his team making Kingdom Hearts 3D for the 3DS, but apparently, they’re discussing a 10 year anniversary plan.  2012 marks the tenth year since the original Kingdoms Hearts became a massive hit amongst PS2 owners.  While Square Enix has been pushing out more installments of the franchise, they’ve all been (except for Kingdom Hearts II) for handheld devices.

Could this be a release next year? Let's hope so!

Nomura stated to Japanese magazine Dengeki that there’s a lot of talk about a Kingdom Hearts HD Collection to celebrate the 10 year anniversary.  He wants to bring newcomers into the franchise but realizes that those being introduced to the series need to understand the story starting with the original.  Hearing talk about it coming from the studio is a great sign leading to something fans and newcomers may be interested in.

Could you imagine playing this in HD Glory?

What do you guys think?  Sound off your thoughts in the comments below!

Why the Silent Hill HD Collection Should Not Be Missed

As we start winding down the dog days of Summer, it is almost common knowledge that before the year is out there will be a release of over 7 AAA titles that are sure to change the way we look and play games. There are some smaller titles that are not as highly publicized due to the spotlight that Uncharted, Gears of War, Call of Duty and Battlefield receive (just to name a few). Now I am not comparing this HD collection of 2 old titles to brand new blockbuster games of this fall. The Silent Hill series may have been overshadowed somewhat from a more popular franchise such as Resident Evil.  However, thanks to Konami’s HD re-release of it’s beloved franchise, a whole new generation of gamers can partake on a psychological experience unlike any other game.  I merely want people to recognize that there are other releases coming this fall that should be just as inviting an appealing to the consumer. You guys should definitely know more about this title coming in the fall and that is the Silent Hill HD Collection being released  for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

For those of you not familiar with the Silent Hill HD Collection, the blu-ray disc will contain both SH 2 and 3. It’s commonly known that Silent Hill 2 is regarded as the best installment in the entire series. Silent Hill 2 has a respectable score of 85.77% according to Gamerankings and Silent Hill 3 comes in a close second, competing with the original SH1. This collection will be getting the ultimate treatment as both titles are re-mastered in HD at 720p for improved graphics. Completely updated in-game voice over work that enhances the storytelling of both SH2 and SH3. Akira Yamaoka’s soundtrack still remain untouched in this remastering, which is great news seeing that the music for both SH2 and SH3 really add to the experience.

My own experience of playing SH2 in particular is considered one of enjoyment, pure fear and intensity. Silent Hill 2 came out 10 years ago and completely changed the way we look and play psychological horrors. The music and plot twist, as well as environment, just make the game completely original and fresh. Silent Hill 3 continued that effect thoughout the story but may have not been as impacting and deep on the player as SH2 had been. Regardless, both titles are easily Konami classics.

This collection is releasing just in time for the release of the brand new Silent Hill Downpour, coming this fall to both to 360 and PS3. This latest entry marks the 8th game in this stellar horror franchise that has spawned a movie and has a sequel which is currently in production. I can easily write pages and pages of why I feel Silent Hill is such a great franchise and why in particular Silent Hill 2 and 3 are great games but I would rather here what you guys have to say about this collection and/or the new Silent Hill Downpour releasing this fall as well.