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published Friday, Mar 12th

Why Project Natal Will Beat The Wii And PlayStation Move

Waggle Battle

Waggle Battle

Project Natal was announced and demonstrated with expectation at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2009. Preceding the event was rumor, spreading like wildfire, that both Microsoft and Sony would try and breach the ‘casual’ market where Nintendo’s Wii had done so well. However, there is one major difference between Microsoft’s Project Natal and what Nintendo and Sony are offering.

Both the Wiimote and PlayStation Move have something physical that can translate a user’s movement to a motion on-screen, whereas Project Natal does not. Natal uses a sensor ‘camera’ to achieve the same, without the need or cost of multiple controllers. “Though that was accomplished with the PlayStation 2’s Eye Toy” – I hear you cry. This is a crude comparison, because it is not just a camera, but also a three-dimensional sensor that can track the slightest of movements efficiently, even in questionable lighting environments. Not only this, but the technology can detect objects in the surrounding environment, be it gestures, voices or even people’s faces.

Statistics following the E3 event is that Natal is capable, so far, of tracking up to four people at one time, at 48 points on each body and at a rate of 30-frames per second. Not only was the potential made clear, but proof came from Lionhead Studios in an interactive application named Milo and Kate.

Milo and Kate was met with scepticism and was immediately mocked for its seemingly naive appearance, but the fact remains that if true, it is astonishing technology. There has been sufficient artificial intelligence technology, especially in games, for human-realistic recognition, processes and response for years. The problem is in the hardware; there hasn’t really been any break in the gap between AI and human intelligence, outside of research and development in Japan and Germany, and definitely not at a consumer level. Peter Molyneux, after having the hardware for ‘months’, was able to produce the Milo character and his interactive world within that time for presentation at E3. Molyneux seems to have masterminded a personified system that can do everything that has come to be expected with artificial intelligence. Only this time with real people and environments, rather than digital characters and objects within the confines of the game world.

There are other examples of applications with Natal even used to log into Xbox Live, and animate an Avatar, with an exact replication in real time. The sports games shown at E3 presented the movement in 3D space, recognized in conjunction with detailed object and sound recognition, presenting no limitations.There are no controls for the player to learn or for developers to program into the game, which perhaps paves the way for more disability friendly gaming environments. Project Natal is simple and seamless.

A number of developers have given their support of natal, with between 70% and 80% of publishers worldwide working on a Natal based game of some kind. Microsoft has created a business model with great contrast to the of Nintendo in particular. Microsofts’s Robbie Bach has said, in an interview with the Financial Post, that their model is “about third-party publishers making money. [Nintendo makes] most of their money from first-party games. It is a great business model, but it makes it hard for third-party publishers.”

Nintendo are doing well as a business, but are hindering outside-developers in the process. Microsoft has made a point of ensuring that developers are heading down the right path in terms of bringing “new ideas, new innovation, and new concepts to the marketplace”. Names like Turn 10 and Capcom have made it clear that Project Natal is definitely not a gimmick, it is something original and unique.

Peter Molyneux is prominently at the front of the charge with Natal based developers. Lionhead are not only leading the way with Milo, but this year’s Fable 3 will also feature motion control in some fashion. Speaking with Gamereactor, he voiced his prediction on Natal changing interaction like the mouse, “The mouse was the real revolution of the PC — not the Intel processor. And who’s to say Natal couldn’t end up creating something you and I can’t even imagine now. It forces us to approach technology in a completely different way. Before the mouse, we only had the keyboard.”

The PlayStation Move might be smooth and accurate, but that doesn’t detract from the stick with a giant glowing ball in your hands. The most impressive aspect of Project Natal is it’s intricacy. The subtle transition between movement and interaction, especially in a concept such as Milo, is key to what is to what developers want to achieve with immersing gameplay. Microsoft is bringing innovation to the table, and developers with it.


Wii Sports by
published Saturday, Feb 13th

Five Games For Lovers This Valentines Day

Valentines Day Feature

Valentine’s Day is upon us, so why not try something different this year? Put away the cliché candles, roses and Barry White CDs and get out your games console instead. Not sure what to play?

Well luckily for you, Gamebrit is on hand to provide you with a low down on five titles to entertain you and your significant other on the special day of love.


by
published Thursday, Jan 21st

Games Of The Decade 30-11

It’s starting to heat up now. We’ve counted down 50-31 in our countdown of the 50 best games of the last decade and we continue with another 20 as we rundown positions 30 to 11.

World Of Warcraft

World Of Warcraft

30 – World Of Warcraft

Massively multiplayer online role playing game have never been the same since the release of World of Warcraft in 2005. With more than 10 million people registered just three years after launch, the massive open world, races, quests, items, and levelling system has been a hit since day one, and there is no doubt that it will continue to be strong for a long time yet.

Platform: PC Developer: Blizzard Entertainment Year: 2005

 

29 – Perfect DarkPerfect Dark

Even without the Bond license at their disposal, Rare were still able to craft one of the finest FPS games ever. It may not have aged well graphically, but multiplayer sessions of PD are still as addictive now as they were nearly a decade ago.

Platform: Nintendo 64 Developer: Rare Year: 2000

 

Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge

28 – Mirror’s Edge

A game based around free running? That’s what Mirror’s Edge delivered. What it lacked in depth and storyline, this beautifully stylised title more than made up for it in it’s unique approach to gameplay. Mirror’s Edge has to be on of the most orginal action titles of the last decade that frustrated and delighted in equal measure.

Platform: Multi Developer: Electronic Arts Year: 2008

 

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

27 – Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 would have made the list for its addictive gameplay alone; with its nine perfectly-balanced classes, stunning art direction and inventive levels only boosting its position. Its enthusiastic community and continued support from Valve makes it one of the most popular (and fun) multiplayer titles even over two years after its release. Oh, you can also unlock some pretty sick hats.

Platform: Multi Developer: Valve Corporation Year: 2007

 

Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask

Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask

26 – Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

A stunning follow-up to one of the greatest game ever made. Majora’s Mask took the Zelda franchise into dark and complex territory with its unique and disturbing story, following Link’s quest to stop the moon crashing into the quaint land of Termina.

Platform: Nintendo 64 Developer: Nintendo EAD Year: 2000

 

 

Gears of War 2

Gears of War 2

25 – Gears Of War 2

Epic’s massive hit Gears of War brought a sequel just two years after the original game, hailing a new chapter in a clearly unfinished story. Using much of the same, but also adding a few necessary extras worked out well for the franchise with singleplayer keeping the locust horde coming thick and fast. Multiplayer hadn’t missed a step either with new game modes, a ranking system and the unforgettable chainsaw dual sequences.

Platform: Xbox 360 Developer: Epic Games Year: 2008

 

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

24 – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty

Following on from the highly acclaimed Metal Gear Solid on the PSone was a tall order but Konami once again pulled another winner out of its hat. Focusing predominantly on new character Raiden this time around, player’s were given not only upgraded graphics but also satisfying new moves and a typically over the top Metal Gear story.

Platform: PlayStation 2 Developer: Konami Computers Year: 2002

 

The Sims

The Sims

23 – The Sims

The Sims saw you being given a new level of control and creativity not found in any other PC title at the time. The freedom to allow you to design your character, to construct a house and to make decisions for that character was a fun experience. This game spawned numerous add on’s and two sequels and is one of the biggest selling PC games of all time.

Platform: Multi Developer: Maxis Year: 2000

 

Wii Sports

Wii Sports

22 – Wii Sports

Technically the best selling video game of all time; this selection of sports games, designed to show off the Wii, is a joy to discover. As a demonstration of what the Wii is capable Wii Sports is great, and the amount of fun to be had with friends in the process – priceless.

Platform: Nintendo Wii Developer: Nintendo EAD Year: 2006

 

 

Grand Theft Auto 4

Grand Theft Auto 4

21 – Grand Theft Auto IV

The city that never sleeps comes to video games in the form of Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV. As a fully functioning environment to do as you will, the flood gates open as Niko Belic arrives from Eastern Europe. The story is tuned to perfection, the physics are flawless, and every person has a character behind it. What more could you want?

Platform: Multi Developer: Rocksteady Studios Year: 2008

 

Killzone 2

Killzone 2

20 – Killzone 2

The visually stunning Killzone 2 no doubt set the bar for console graphics back in February 2009. Bringing with it solid combat, intense action, a solid array of weaponry, thrilling set pieces, memorable enemies and a captivating multiplayer that quickly carved out a strong following from the PlayStation 3 community.

Platform: PlayStation 3 Developer: Guerilla Games Year: 2009

 

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead

19 – Left 4 Dead

A number of Valve titles appear on our list, and for good reason: their releases guarantee fun and Left 4 Dead was no different. Forcing players to rely on helping each other for any hope of survival, the AI Director’s random placement of items and enemies made each play through unique, meaning you’d be happy to take on the zombie apocalypse with friends again and again.

Platform: PC Developer: Valve Year: 2008

 

Metal Gear Solid 4

Metal Gear Solid 4

18 – Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of Patriots

The best selling PS3 exclusive gave us an intricate and visually stunning look at Solid Snake as an aged war veteran who is thrown amidst a war fought by Private military. From the breath taking visuals to the cinematic cut scenes to the excellent stealth combat, this game provided every Metal Gear fan with the game they wanted.

Platform: PlayStation 3 Developer: Kojima Productions Year: 2008

 

Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4

17 – Resident Evil 4

Having torn up every cliché in the survival horror rulebook, Resident Evil 4 went on to become one of the best action games of the last generation. There were as many memorable set pieces in this game as the rest of the series put together. This Wii edition is undoubtedly the best version available.

Platform: Gamecube Developer: Capcom Year: 2005

 

Burnout: Paradise

Burnout: Paradise

16 – Burnout: Paradise

Rejuvenated a series that was in danger of going stale, Burnout: Paradise’s beautiful sandbox environment provided the setting for some of the most intense race action ever seen. Thrown in a healthy dose of cars, event option and a seem-less multiplayer mode and you have have one of the best race titles ever made.

Platform: Multi Developer: Criterion Games Year: 2008

 

Grand Theft Auto 3

Grand Theft Auto 3

15 – Grand Theft Auto III

Bringing the Grand Theft Auto series into 3D, 2001’s gritty Grand Theft Auto III proved to be an incredibly influential release. The sandbox-style game received universal praise from the gaming press, along with plenty of negative remarks from the mainstream press, thanks in part to it’s violent and sexual content. Due to its distinguished popularity, developer Rockstar has since released several other games in the series, and here’s to the next.

Platform: PlayStation 2 Developer: DMA Design (Now Rockstar North) Year: 2001

 

Fallout 3

Fallout 3

14 – Fallout 3

A modern-day marvel, the word ‘epic’ is a suitable tag for Bethesda’s massive RPG/shooter hybrid. The post-apocalyptic world, blanketed by sadness and laced with black humour, was persistently engaging and the sheer amount of things to do made scouring the broken beauty of the Capital Wasteland a wonder every time you visited.

Platform: Multi Developer: Bethesda Year: 2008

 

Super Mario Galaxy

Super Mario Galaxy

13 – Super Mario Galaxy

Gamers waited for a decade for Nintendo to create a true follow up to the revolutionary Mario 64, and were handsomely rewarded for their patience. Super Mario Galaxy may have built on a lot of the elements of its grand predecessor, but contained enough unique ideas of its own to mark it out as a true benchmark title. It also had possibly the best soundtrack of the last decade.

Platform: Nintendo Wii Developer: Nintendo Year: 2007

 

Halo 2

Halo 2

12 – Halo 2

After the success of Combat Evolved Bungie knew they had to deliver, and deliver they did.  While it offered a great campaign it was the multiplayer that stole the show. Despite admitting they couldn’t do everything they wanted Bungie still managed to create a online experience that has managed to clock hundreds of millions of hours, and is still the most popular Original Xbox title online.

Platform: Xbox Developer: Bungie Year: 2004

 

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham Asylum

11 – Batman: Arkham Asylum

The decade saw Batman rejuvenated via two outstanding films (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) and the interactive medium thanks to Arkham Asylum. An expansive and consistently intriguing environment, a simple but effective combat mechanic and massive dedication to the source material made the player feel like The Bat, cementing its place as the best comic book-based title so far.

Platform: Multi Developer: Rocksteady Studios Year: 2009

 

Once again if you want discuss the countdown head on over to our forum, we’d love to hear what you think. Only 10 more games to go, what will be number 1?


by
published Thursday, Jan 21st

Games Of The Decade – 50-31

If you hadn’t noticed already it’s 2010, which means that another decade has passed. What a decade it has been though, the ‘noughties’ has brought the next generation consoles, online gaming, downloadable content and most importantly some of the best gaming titles ever release. Take a look at what the Gamebrit Staff have decided are the best and most important 50 games of the last decade. First up 50-31.

 

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

50 – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

The biggest step up in the franchise since GTA 3, San Andreas saw you take on a much larger map with more detail, excellent voice acting, and a plot that actually made you care about the characters. As with all GTA games, this title was met with bad press due to the violent content, but this is still one of the pinnacles of the PS2 and an excellent game.

Platform: PS2 Developer: Rockstar North Year: 2004

 

 

Professor Layton & The Curious Village

Professor Layton & The Curious Village

49 – Professor Layton & The Curious Village

Professor Layton already had three adventures released in Japan before Nintendo brought him to the UK. This first title was a cross between a French graphic novel and a GCSE maths exam, but was strangely compelling all the same.

Platform: Nintendo DS Developer: Level-5 Year: 2008

 

Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus

48 – Shadow of the Colossus

Team Ico knew it would take something ‘Colossus’ to topple their debut game, but spiritual sequel Shadows of the Colossus more than matched its predecessor. Bringing down one of the game’s 16 colossi was an exhilarating but strangely emotional experience.

Platform: PS2 Developer: Team Ico Year: 2006

 

God Of War 2

God of War II

47 – God of War II

Taking all that made the original God of War so special, the developers dialled the action, puzzles and epic scale up a few notches. The result was even bigger environments to traverse, vastly improved graphics and brutal combat that even today is seen as a benchmark for hack and slash titles.

Platform: PS2 Developer: SCE Studios Santa Monica Year: 2007

 

Fable 2

Fable II

46 – Fable II

Hyped as an RPG giving real consequence to your choices, Fable II fell short of that promise. Instead it offered immersion in a story polar to the familiar po-faced, Kung-fu-onion filled JRPG. The game allows you to fart and puppet theatre your way to popularity or infamy.

Platform: Xbox 360 Developer: Lionhead Studios Year: 2008

 

 

Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock

Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock

45 – Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

While Guitar Hero III wasn’t the title that brought the Guitar Hero franchise the acclaim it so rightly deserved it certainly brought the idea of being able to download additional songs to the masses on the next generation of consoles. That and you could play as guitar legends Slash and Tom Morello.

Platform: Multi Developer: Neversoft Year: 2007

 

Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker

44 – Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker

Nintendo took a big risk with the toon-shaded art style, but it paid off, as Wind Waker is still one of the most beautiful looking games ever. It may have been too short, too easy and had one of the most frustrating fetch-quests ever, but it still stands as an epic entry in the long-running franchise.

Platform: GameCube Developer: Nintendo EAD Year: 2003

 

The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion

The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion

43 – The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion

It takes the RPG of yore and puts flesh, bone and decent acting to the text adventures that enthralled so many way back when. ES:IV melded adventure gaming perfectly with FPS’s. Creating the path for genre crossing games like Fallout 3 and Bioshock, introduces RPG elements to FPS games and paves the way for COD: Modern Warfare.

Platform: Multi Developer: Bethesda Year: 2006

 

Viva Pinata

Viva Pinata

42 – Viva Pinata

Attracting piñata animals with sweet-based names to a garden in order to breed them – the concept of Viva Pinata in a nutshell. Rare’s weird and wonderful take on animal breeding provided one of the most unique gaming experiences of the last decade. Delightfully colorful, wonderfully charming and incredibly additive, gardening has never been so much fun.

Platform: Xbox 360 Developer: Rare Year: 2006

 

Grand Theft Auto Vice City

Grand Theft Auto Vice City

41 – Grand Theft Auto Vice City

Set in Miami with story components similar to those found in the Scarface films, Vice City offered an all-round action fest involving guns, drugs, and even rock and roll – depending on which station you listened to. You play as GTA III’s Tommy Vercetti who has just been released from jail and attempts a simple job for his old boss. Of course this simple job goes sour and you end up on a rollercoaster ride until you eventually become the top man of Vice City. Vice City is truly a masterpiece of sandbox gaming. “It’s time for the Lance Vance Dance!”

Platform: PS2 Developer: Rockstar North Year: 2002

 

Metroid Prime

Metroid Prime

40 – Metroid Prime

Nintendo took a big gamble giving one of their greatest franchises to Retro Studios, but the Texas-based studio more than delivered. The moody atmosphere of the SNES title was recreated perfectly in 3D, as were all the other series’ staple elements, like epic bosses and unique alien worlds to explore.

Platform: GameCube Developer: Retro Studios Year: 2003

 

 

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Super Smash Bros. Melee

39 – Super Smash Bros. Melee

Nintendo’s curious N64 beat-em-up was fully upgraded for the GameCube’s release, with over twenty of the company’s mascots fighting in themed arenas that took in nearly every facet of their illustrious history. Brawl may have expanded on every aspect of Melee, but this is by far the purer title.

Platform: GameCube Developer: HAL Laboratory Year: 2002

 

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

38 – Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars games have always been hit and miss, but Bioware turned Knights of the Old Republic into one of the greatest RPGs of the last generation. Taking place a thousand years before the films, KOTOR took players on a whistle stop tour around that galaxy far, far away, during a great Jedi/Sith conflict.

Platform: Multi Developer: BioWare Year: 2003

 

Assassin's Creed II

Assassin's Creed II

37 – Assassin’s Creed II

A thrilling continuation of the story of Assassins versus Templars, and a great step up in terms of gameplay. Following the usual sequel formula of bigger equals better, Assassin’s Creed II gave players more abilities, weapons and variety as well as a more personal story. While not perfect, it still eclipses its predecessor at almost every hurdle.

Platform: Multi Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Year: 2009

 

Pokemon Gold & Silver

Pokemon Gold & Silver

36 – Pokemon Gold & Silver

The original Pokémon games were both brilliant – but that wasn’t enough for Game Freak and Creatures Inc. Not only were 100 more monsters to catch added, the now essential Poke-gear, dark and steel types and the breeding concept were included in what was the most revolutionary (and thus seminal) title of the franchise.

Platform: Game Boy Colour Developer: Game Freak Year: 2001

 

Ico

Ico

35 – Ico

Fumitsa Ueda’s haunting title remains the pinnacle of the PS2’s library. With minimalist story telling, Ico’s world told its own tale as you escaped from the mysterious ancient castle with kidnapped princess Yorda. This is quite rightly lauded as one of the most beautiful games ever made.

Platform: PS2 Developer: Team Ico Year: 2002

 

Mass Effect

Mass Effect

34 – Mass Effect

Where other RPG’s have offered a nuclear war hit Washington DC or a fiction version of the Earth as their setting, Mass Effect gave us the entire Universe as a playground, all of it. Well almost. Bioware’s RPG combined the traditional RPG elements with a solid third person action adventure to create one of the most epic and adventurous titles ever made.

Platform: Xbox 360 Developer: BioWare Year: 2007

 

Halo: Combat Evolved

Halo: Combat Evolved

33 – Halo: Combat Evolved

A title which undeniably secured the future of the Xbox as a gaming platform. Launching alongside the system it was instrumental in the consoles initial success. Offering an engaging storyline that drops you right in the middle of a war. You battle on as humanity fights for its survival against the Covenant. In many gamers eyes, Halo is what made the Xbox what it is today as its flagship title in showing what the Xbox was really capable of at its launch.

Platform: Xbox Developer: Bungie Year: 2002

 

Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing

32 – Animal Crossing

Shigeru Miyamoto’s unique ‘communication’ title was originally released for the N64 but retooled for the GameCube for a western audience. It took two years to make it to the UK after the US release but the wait was definitely worth it. Few games in the last decade managed to soak up player’s time so effortlessly.

Platform: GameCube Developer: Nintendo EAD Year: 2004

 

Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess

31 – Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Nintendo set out to surpass Ocarina of Time and very nearly succeeded. Twilight Princess was still a magnificent adventure in its own right, combining an epic world with an engaging story and featuring some of the best puzzles in the series.

Platform: GameCube & Wii Developer: Nintendo EAD Year: 2006

 

 

So there you have 50-31 of the 50 best games of the decade. Agree or disagree with out our choices let us know over at out forum. Next up positions 30-11. If you want spoilers go straight to the top 10.


by
published Wednesday, Jan 20th

Most Anticipated Games Of 2010 – Wii

Most Anticipated Games Of 2010 - Wii

2009 came and went all too quickly for Wii owners, with a distinct lack of big titles from Nintendo themselves and third-party efforts that kept hitting the good-but-not-quite-great mark. 2010 promises to be infinitely better for the Wii, just like the other formats, with the return of three of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, plus a wealth of other promising games from the likes of Capcom, Ubisoft and Rising Star Games.

You already know the score with the three big titles from Nintendo. Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid: Other M and (if we’re lucky) the next Zelda are obviously going to be massive titles, and have quite rightly secured spots in every ‘top 5 to look forward to in 2010’ out there. Though not this one.

“Why is that?” we hear you cry at the back. It’s not because we don’t think they are worthy enough, but more that we feel you’ll probably buy them anyway, whatever we have to say. No, dear reader, instead we’d like to point you in the direction of five games we think will prove to be great stop-gaps between Nintendo’s trinity of juggernauts.

Monster Hunter Tri

This is quite possibly the biggest ‘core’ third-party release on the Wii this year. It’s hard to imagine just how big the Monster Hunter franchise has become in Japan; sales of the PSP versions have rivaled recent Pokemon and Final Fantasy releases. Nintendo has recognised this is a key title, especially after the furore surrounding SquareEnix’s decision to move its development from the PS3 to the Wii, and have really gotten behind the title in Japan. At the time of writing, sales sit just shy of a million units – the biggest selling third-party title so far in Japan. So what kind of game is it? Well, as the title suggests, you hunt and kill monsters in a massive fantasy world, a bit like an online Pokemon. Capcom have gone all out to produce the best looking Wii game ever (prompting Nintendo to announce they are aiming to match or beat Capcom’s title with the next Zelda), and have promised to let western Wii gamers play online completely free. There probably won’t be a better way to spend 200+ hours on the Wii next year.

Endless Ocean 2

Sometimes gamers need a change of pace; a way to escape those alternative virtual careers as space soldiers, medieval warriors or Italian plumbers. Endless Ocean was a great game to play when you needed a relaxing break, but it was a bit too laid back for its own good. It also lacked variety, although the tropical setting was incredibly beautiful all the same. Both criticisms have been fixed for the sequel, with a more structured single player experience and six different environments waiting to be explored. There’s also an added sense of danger, as the fish you come across could turn on you at any moment, hence the addition of a pulsar gun to keep them at bay. If you need to unwind, look no further than this game.

Red Steel 2

We’ve already managed to get a promising hands-on with Ubisoft’s sequel to their biggest launch title. If the rest of the game plays as well as the demo we tried then they could be on to a winner here. Red Steel 2 mixes samurai sword-fighting with a wild west setting, something that immediately marks it out of the crowd. Following complaints about the original, Ubisoft have focused on refining the sword play elements and put a lot more effort into the presentation side of things. Now the Metroid series has returned to its third-person roots, this will undoubtedly be the biggest FPS on the Wii next year.

Tatsunoko vs Capcom

Sadly, Wii owners never got the chance to sample the delights of Street Fighter IV. But being the pleasant chaps they are, Capcom did their best to provide a decent alternative. The biggest surprise surrounding this game isn’t the fact Capcom chose to release it on a format not known for die-hard fighting games, or that it turned out to be almost as good as SF IV. No, the fact it is getting a western release at all, given the high contingent of obscure anime characters, has been a pleasant surprise to even the most hardcore beat-em-up fan. As with Monster Hunter Tri, Capcom have done a fair amount of extra work for the western version, with a slew of extra characters and arenas, and a more refined fighting engine.

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

No More Heroes is pretty much the only mature third-party title on the Wii that can be called a must-have. This quirky game riffed on gaming conventions and was absolutely dripping with references to film and gaming culture. The combat wasn’t half bad either, Travis’ battles against each of the Santa Destroy’s eleven rival assassins are among the most entertaining collection of boss battles in any action title. But probably the best thing to come out of the game was main hero Travis Touchdown, possibly the coolest otaku with a light-sabre the gaming world has ever seen. Part two follows Travis’ rise through the national assassins ranks and promises more action, more outrageous bosses and more coconut collecting mini-games.


by
published Sunday, Jan 17th

Most Anticipated Games Of 2010 – PlayStation3

Most Anticipated Games Of 2010 - PlayStation 3

2010 – Only two years away from the end of the world according to “certain people”. Though the gaming industry has survived more than one apocalypse, us pasty faced gamers will be more than ready to handle any situation, from a zombie outbreak to fighting a full-blown war. However, until then we have plenty of gaming delights to keep us occupied.

So forget about the impending doom and the lack of flying cars for a while and lets take a look at some of the most anticipated PlayStation 3 games to hit stores over the next twelve-months.

ModNation Racers

Race, Create, Share. The three words given to describe the upcoming PlayStation title. Hailed as Mario Kart meets LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers looks set to become one of the funniest racing experiences of 2010. With huge customisation on your driver and cars, you can be that guy with the pimp mobile or you and your friends can look like the cast of the Fast and Furious, ModNation Racers looks set to become a very popular choice for all ages.

Heavy Rain

“How far are you willing to go, to save someone you love?” This phrase always jumps to mind whenever this game is brought up. Looking set to create a hybrid genre of gaming – much like Borderlands – Heavy Rain is a psychological thriller in which every action and choice can seriously affect the outcome of the story. You play as four separate characters over four days in the hunt for the origami killer. With stunning graphics and a deep storyline, Heavy Rain looks set to be a stunning rollercoaster ride.

God of War III

Hailed as the most anticipated game of 2010 at the Spike Video Game Awards 2009, God of War III is set to be a visually stunning game, with a similar style of game play that fans of the series have come to love in both God of War and God of war II. With a confirmed maximum of 50 enemies on screen at a time, hours of fun will be had with Kratos’ trusty Blades of Athena and, as of yet, an unconfirmed number of new weapons.

Massive Action Game (MAG)

With so many FPS games saturating the gaming market these days, it’s hard for developers to make their games stand out from the crowd. However Massive Action Game (MAG) looks set to redefine console FPS games with its staggering ability of having up to 256 players in one game. For a more in-depth look of Massive Action Game, why not check out our impressions of the beta.

Final Fantasy XIII

Final Fantasy XIII looks set to build upon the popularity of its predecessors, to bring a visually stunning and compelling storyline of the flagship Japanese Role-Playing Game. With a fully revamped combat system that has got players more interested in turn-based combat-style games then usual, FFXIII looks set to be another stunning addition to the Final Fantasy brand.


by
published Wednesday, Jan 13th

Most Anticipated Games Of 2010 – Xbox 360

Most Anticipated Games Of 2010 - 3602010 is looking to be crammed full of gaming goodness, especially on Microsoft’s Xbox 360. A lot of titles have been pushed back from 2009 into the beginning months of this year, with many developers citing that more time is needed to ensure their games are polished. So with a number of titles now polished and ready, here is our pick of what you should keep your eye on in 2010.

Mass Effect 2

Bioware have taken much of the feedback from both press and public opinions of Mass Effect to ensure their sequel is of the highest quality. The game also includes the ability to use a Mass Effect save game for implementation, bringing in all of the consequences from the decisions that have made. With improvements in every field, from a new combat system, with enhanced AI, cover systems, and weapons, to improved dialogue sequences, and exploration, Mass Effect 2 is set to stun when it is released on January 29th.

Bioshock 2

2k’s hugely stylised and atmospheric Rapture returns for another action packed trip. Picking up 10 years after the events of the first game, the role you play is that of the first prototype Big Daddy striving to find the Little Sister that you were first paired with. When it becomes clear that a new order has been placed over Rapture you join forces with some new and old faces in an attempt to over throw the antagonist Sofia Lamb and her army of enforcers – Big Sisters. Some scepticism has been placed over the addition of a multiplayer mode, but that has not diminished the excitement as Bioshock 2 dives in on February 9th.

Red Dead Redemption

It has been almost 6 years since the last Red Dead game, and in that time we have seen the likes of Gun and Call of Juarez fill the Spaghetti Western hole in video games. While these games are by no means terrible, they lack that special something that makes them stand out from the crowd. Rockstar is renowned for a high quality finish to all of its games, and if there is any genre that you would like to see revamped in a Grand Theft Auto style it has got to be the Wild West. Rockstar San Diego takes the GTA IV engine and open world sandbox gameplay into the American Frontiers of 1908, making it a one to look out for when it is released on April 27th.

Alan Wake

With games such as the Max Payne series under their belt, Remedy Entertain have some quality that gives them the benefit of the doubt when taking their time with their latest title Alan Wake. A physiological action thriller, the game takes place in the fictional Bright Falls as the protagonist, best selling writer Alan Wake, finds himself waking to a dream world. Alan is witnessing his latest work come to life, without memory of writing it. The game is set to make interesting uses of light and dark in both the story line and gameplay, and takes particular inspiration from the TV show Lost and Stephen King. Alan Wake seems as though it has been in development forever, nearly 5 years since the announcement in fact, but it is finally heading towards the light in Q2 2010.

Halo: Reach

After the 2009 release of Halo: ODST Bungie will look to expand the franchise for the last time with their last Halo game, this time in the form of the prequel – Halo: Reach. Taking the role of Lieutenant ‘Noble Six’ as part of a six man elite team, you join the fight as a replacement in the imminent attack on the vital colony of Reach. A multiplayer beta will be available “no earlier than April 28th”, with Halo: ODST used for access. Halo: Reach is expected to land this autumn.


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves by
published Wednesday, Jan 13th

Gamebrit Game Of The Year Awards 2009

It’s a brand new year so just like last year it’s time to look back over the past twelve months and celebrate the best of the best in gaming.

The Gamebrit Awards, now in their second year, crown the greatest gaming achievements, in addition to honoring the best talent from here in the UK. We revealed our nominations last month and ever since then the Gamebrit staff and readers have been making their final choices. The winning titles in addition to the runners up for 2009 can be found below:

Gamebrit Awards 2009 – Winners:

iPhone Game Of The Year

Winner – Flight Control

Firemint’s popular 2009 release Flight Control debuted an all-new style of play, creating with it a new genre which has since spawned many ‘line-game’ alternatives.

With a simple goal of guiding & landing plane Flight Control offers great presentation, a nice selection of maps, multiplayer modes & addictive gameplay. At just 59p, this is our iPhone game of the year.

Runners Up: Peggle & Canabalt

Nintendo DS Game Of The Year

Winner – Professor Layton & Pandora’s Box

Level-5’s Layton series has been a huge success, starting with the immensly popular ‘Curious Village’. Thankfully the release of this second game is no different, offering more superb puzzles and a new mystery to solve.

With over 150 new brainteasers this sequel offers plenty of bang for your buck, and is our Nintendo DS game of the year.

Runners Up: Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story & Scribblenauts

PlayStation Portable Game Of The Year

Winner – LittleBigPlanet

Media Molecule’s massive PlayStation 3 hit arrived on Sony’s little handheld this year, and thankfully the creative experience offered by Sackboy’s adventures carried over really well.

Managing to retain the sharp graphics, accessible gameplay and even the comprehensive create mode, LittleBigPlanet on the PSP offers a unique, superb handheld experience.

Runners Up: Gran Turismo & Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

PC Game Of The Year

Winner – Plants Vs. Zombies

The king of casual games returns. PopCap’s PC release Plants Vs. Zombies adds an unusual mix to the tower-defense genre, pairing off your typical garden-plant with a horde of zombies.

Offering a surprisingly deep level of strategy with plenty of cutesy variety, Plants Vs. Zombies is this year’s PC game of the year.

Runners Up: The Sims 3 & Empire Total War

PS3 Game Of The Year

Winner – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Truly pushing Sony’s PlayStation 3 to it’s limits, Naughty Dog have created one of the most cinematic and engaging games in recent years. Not only boasting gorgeous visuals, a compelling story, an enjoyable multiplayer & rich gameplay.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is complete success on every level and is Gamebrit’s PS3 game of the year for just that reason.

Runners Up: Killzone 2 & Batman: Arkham Asylum

Wii Game Of The Year

Winner – New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Despite still following that age old ‘kidnapped princess’ storyline, Nintendo’s latest Mario offering brings a surprising amount of fun to the table.

Offering plenty of co-op fun for up-to four players & plenty of levels to play through, this 2.5D title is bundles of Wii fun. A good sized campaign with additional multiplayer options make this our pick for Wii game of the year.

Runners Up: Dead Space: Extraction & MadWorld

Xbox 360 Game Of The Year

Winner – Batman Arkham Asylum

Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum was without doubt the surprise hit of the year, offering a Batman game people actually care about.

Based in the atmospheric locale of Arkham Asylum, the mix of characters with pristine voice acting, creates a deep story to explore. A stand-out gaming experience that gets crowned our Xbox 360 game of the year.

Runners Up: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 & Left 4 Dead 2

Multiplayer Experience Of The Year

Winner – Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Infinity Ward’s highly anticipated sequel to Modern Warfare was the biggest release of 2009, and despite the mixed views on the games single player, it’s multiplayer has received universal praise.

Through adding a lot of unlockables and always offering players something to progress towards, Modern Warfare 2 offers a superb, engaging multiplayer that will keep people playing for months.

Runners Up: Left 4 Dead 2 & Borderlands

Downloadable Game Of The Year

Winner – Flower

Available exclusively on the PlayStation Network, Flower was originally revealed way back in 2007. Upon release in 2009 the game offered PS3 gamers a portal to be “embraced by nature” as players dance in the wind as a petal.

ThatGameCompany’s created an interesting concept, offering something truly different which has been beautifully executed.

Runners Up: The Ballad Of Gay Tony, Fat Princess & Battlefield 1943

British Developer Of The Year

Winner – Rocksteady Studios

London based Rocksteady Studios have had a great breakout year, as not only have they released Batman: Arkham Asylum but they are already busy on a sequel.

The British developer has won numerous awards already for their Batman effort, and we are happy to add one more to that growing line-up, as we name Rocksteady Studios our British developer of the year.

Runners Up: Rockstar North & Rockstar Leeds

Readers Choice Award

Winner – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

We opened up the voting to you our readers, and you voted loud and clear, naming Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 your favourite game of 2009.

Offering a great, yet somewhat controversial single player, in addition to superb multiplayer elements. Infinity Ward grab this years Readers Choice Award.

Runners Up: Batman: Arkham Asylum & Uncharted 2: Among Theives

Gamebrit Game Of The Year

Winner – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Nathan Drake returns in Naughty Dog’s sequel, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Since release the sequel has received universal acclaim for it’s superb writing and quality voice acting.

Now crowned Gamebrit’s finest game of the year, it is without doubt one of the PlayStation 3’s greatest moments.

Runners Up: Batman Arkham Asylum & Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

That makes up this years winners, congratulations to all the winners. Be sure to let us know what you think about this years choices on the forum. Until next year, keep gaming!


by
published Monday, Nov 30th

Top 5 Christmas Games 2010 – Nintendo Wii

In just a few short weeks, a red-suited, brandy-swilling fat man will be breaking into your home and leaving a present or two under your tree. If you’ve made it onto Santa’s ‘nice’ list and don’t have any ideas what to ask him for, then maybe GameBrit can help you. We devised a highly complicated set of formulas to reveal the best possible games you could hope to get for the Nintendo Wii this Christmas. Unfortunately this list included two Yoga games, a collection of crossword puzzles and adaptations of Deal Or No Deal and All-Star Family Fortunes. So we went back to the drawing board, put on our thinking caps and used every other cliche in our big book of clichés to come up with the definitive Christmas buying guide for Wii owners.

So without further stalling for time, here are our top five Christmas picks:

5. A Boy & His Blob

A Boy And His Blob

2D platforming has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years, and this Christmas the Wii is home to three of the best 2D games of this generation. One of them is already at number 1 on this list (no prizes for guessing what that is) but we found it pretty tough to choose between side-scrolling RPG, Muramasa, and WayForward’s A Boy and his Blob.

This beautiful reimaging of the classic NES title just about edges it. From the wonderful hand-drawn art to the subtly challenging puzzling, this is one of the most pleasant gaming experiences we’ve had in a long time. If you’ve found your love of gaming has been nearly extinguished by a torrent of generic ‘me-too’ games then this is guaranteed to rekindle that spark.

4. Dead Space: Extraction

Dead Space: Extraction

Another genre that’s been given a second wind, thanks to the Wii is the arcade shooter. This year has seen two other great light-gun games released (House of the Dead: Overkill and Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles) but it’s Visceral Games’ title that really impressed us.

This prequel to last year’s surprise hit Dead Space may have caused controversy by switching genres but it has lost none of the intensity of its grander cousin. There isn’t a better horror title on Wii at the moment, nor are there many better looking than this.

3. Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympics

Mario & Sonic At The Winter Olympics

Christmas is the ideal time to bring out party games and the Wii has more than its fair share of these. Most are absolutely terrible but this, the second Mario & Sonic sports title, is both well made and highly addictive – a great combination in our eyes.

Whether you fancy flinging Knuckles down a ski slope or partaking in a spot of curling with Yoshi you’ll find enough different sports to keep you and the whole family entertained. With online leaderboards and unlockable ‘dream’ events (winter sports given a Mario or Sonic themed make-over), this will keep you hooked for months.

2. Little King’s Story

Little King's Story

The Wii has no good games. Third parties don’t support Wii. Wii games are for kids. Blah-blah, whinge-whinge, boo-hoo. If one thing was highlighted this year it was that self-proclaimed hardcore Wii gamers are absolute idiots. Great titles like Mad World, The Conduit and Dead Space: Extraction disappeared into the mists of time, with pitifully low sales figures that must surely have rung bells of doom amongst publishers looking to put money into Wii development.

The biggest travesty was that Little King’s Story, one of the most charmingly addictive games of this generation, sank without a trace. A mesmerising mix of real-time strategy and world-building, this even trumped Nintendo’s Pikmin franchise for complexity and heart-warming charm. If you have a Wii and haven’t bought this yet it’s time to make amends. GO. BUY. THIS. GAME.

1. New Super Mario Bros Wii

New Super Mario Brothers Wii

It was probably the most obvious choice for the top spot and not without good reason. Not only is NSMB Wii one of the most challenging 2D Mario games ever, but it’s also an absolutely cracking multiplayer experience. Spin-offs like Mario Party, Mario Kart and Mario Tennis may have provided plenty of multiplayer madness in the past but they can’t hold a candle to the fun in NSMB Wii’s four-player sessions.

Whether you are playing co-operatively or competitively, the action never lets up for a second as you contest for coins, power-ups and points. While it may feel like a best-of compilation of previous Mario games, Nintendo have really upped the ante in terms of difficulty and longevity so expect to be glued to this for the whole holiday period and beyond.


by
published Thursday, Nov 26th

Top 5 Christmas Games 2010 – Xbox 360

Now this game will most likely be on everyone’s Christmas list this year – whether they’ve been good or bad. Let’s face it, there hasn’t been a game with this much hype surrounding it since the dark ages before Halo 3 came out and we all ‘Finished the Fight’. With what looks to be stunning graphics and a pretty awesome storyline – Who doesn’t want to fight in the Whitehouse? – to a Multiplayer that’s been revamped from the successful first game. This title looks to be a strong contender for the Game of the Year award, and will definitely make the Elves sweat to make sure they have enough copies.

5. Forza Motorsport 3

Forza Motorsport 3

Forza Motorsport 3 is the racing game for everyone. From the smallest interest in motors to the petrol head, this game caters for you fully. The level of input is as shallow or as deep as you, the user, make it. The amount of guidance and options creates the driving experience that you want, without any of the thrill taken away in the process. The game does not lack in content either; with 400 cars and 100 race tracks Forza Motorsport 3 has enough to keep you going for hours on end.

4. Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman Arkham Asylum

The latest British-developed game comes in the form of Batman Arkham Asylum, but if you are not a huge comic book fan don’t let it put you off. The game combines alot of different aspects that you might find in the Batman universe, from stealth to pure explosive action. The dark, gritty island in which the game is set provides as a great platform to sprout a story, with all the plot twists and turns that you could want. This game is one of Britain’s greatest video game creations to date.

3. Fallout 3 GOTY

Fallout 3 Game Of The Year Edition

Following from the successful release of Fallout 3 last year the developer has gone on to add some great pieces of downloadable content to the already massive story experience. Costing £34 to download the extra content from Xbox Live Marketplace separately, the Game Of The Year edition adds all 5 extensions to a disk, which you could find in-store for £25 (or less), and it includes the original game too! If you are strapped for cash this Christmas, Fallout 3 GOTY is the biggest bargain you can find, with 60 or so hours needed to explore everything in a vast, yet detailed world.

2. GTA Episodes from Liberty City

GTA Episodes From Liberty City

As with many of the developers, Rockstar have found success in extending the life of their existing games, namely Grand Theft Auto IV, with episodic content. Episodes from Liberty City takes The Lost and the Damned, released for download previously this year, and The Ballad of Gay Tony to create a disc with two standalone stories. Taking place in Liberty City, the setting for GTAIV, the plot lines follow two new characters through their interactions with the world and other characters. There is no loss in not having the original Niko Bellic story on the disc as there is more than enough here to keep you fully entertained.

1. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2

With the successes of its predecessor, Modern Warfare 2 is branded to be the most successful game of all time, with hundreds waiting outside retailers across the UK at the midnight launch. However, there is no loss if you are waiting to pick this up as it is waiting to peak over the Christmas period, and to top the ‘most played’ for the following months. Providing challenging, fast paced action, with plenty of surprises, this game will keep you glued to the seat at every moment. If you are looking for great competitive, cooperative, and lone gameplay in one package, then you needn’t look much further than Modern Warfare 2.


by
published Monday, Nov 23rd

Top 5 Christmas Games 2010 – PlayStation 3

Christmas time. On one hand it’s a gamer’s paradise with most AAA titles hitting the shelves between the end of September up until the beginning of December. But for most of us it gives us a few hard decisions over which of those games to get. Do you feel like going for what is guaranteed to be an awesome game, or do you feel like giving a new IP a chance? So, without further adieu lets have a look at some of the best games to grace the PlayStation 3 this winter and what Old Saint Nick will be playing before heading off to deliver those wonderful presents to us.

5. Ratchet and Clank: A Crack In Time

Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In TimeThe newest title in the Ratchet and clank series, a Crack in Time picks off from Quest for Booty, with Ratchet searching for Clank in a desperate rescue attempt. Fans of the series will not be disappointed in the latest installment, with the game mechanics staying largely the same, with the usual dose of comical genius that the series usually supplies. This time around, Ratchet has a new ally – General Azimuth – who joins him in his quest, as they are the last two Lombax’s around, and of course Captain Qwark returns to be his useless – but funny – self. Featuring a few new weapons, including a Sonic Eruptor (basically a frog that stuns enemies) and a few new gadgets with the Hoverboots being the most useful, the latest installment is set to please the hardcore fans and newcomers alike. Now I wonder if Father Christmas will give me a pair of Hoverboots…

4. Borderlands

Borderlands

Boasting Cell-Shaded graphics and what can only be described as the baby of a First Person Shooter and a Role Playing Game, Gearbox Software’s newest title – and a fresh IP from all the sequels out this Christmas – it became an overnight hit with great reviews resulting from the effective use of the Cell-Shaded graphics resulting in stunning visuals, and solid gameplay, Borderlands is the game that just keeps giving. Set on the world of Pandora, where ‘The Vault’ is discovered puts you on a journey to re-open it 200 years after those that first discovered it were wiped out. With its four player drop-in drop-out co-op, and more guns than Santa’s little helpers can make in time for Christmas, Borderlands is an enjoyable and addictive game that will keep you coming back for more.

3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Naughty Dog’s second outing on the PS3, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves really shows what the PS3 is actually capable of in the hands of a competent developer, with stunning graphics and environments ranging from a Turkish museum to a war-torn Nepal. The game play will be familiar to fans of the first with a cover system and a nice variety of guns to use against the hordes of enemies standing between Nathan Drake and the chintamani stone. Among Thieves features a compelling storyline which draws you in until you cant wait for the next cut scene – which looks like something out of a movie in the cinematic way it was done. Overall Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will keep you coming back for more, and with the inclusion of Multiplayer this time around, Drake and Co. are going to be kept busy for a while to come. Plus I hear Uncharted 3 is going to involve Drake preventing Scrooge from stealing Santa’s hat.

2. Assassin’s Creed 2

Assassin's Creed 2

Another title which looks to be a strong contender for Game of the Year, Ubisoft’s sequel to the critically acclaimed Assassin’s Creed will also be high on many gamers Christmas lists. This time you’re in Italy during the Renaissance, with Ezio as the main protagonist this time around. With the game boasting stunning graphics, another intriguing storyline through the use of the Animus machine, and according to Ubisoft, the repetitive gameplay that we were used to in the first game being a thing of the past, with new techniques for your protagonist, like the vile of poison, a single shot pistol, and the dual-wrist blade. Old Saint Nick better watch out, someone who had a lump of coal in his stocking last year may be looking for revenge, and Ezio definitely has enough new tricks up his sleeve to pull anything off.

1. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Now this game will most likely be on everyone’s Christmas list this year – whether they’ve been good or bad. Let’s face it, there hasn’t been a game with this much hype surrounding it since the dark ages before Halo 3 came out and we all ‘Finished the Fight’. With what looks to be stunning graphics and a pretty awesome storyline – Who doesn’t want to fight in the Whitehouse? – to a Multiplayer that’s been revamped from the successful first game. This title looks to be a strong contender for the Game of the Year award, and will definitely make the Elves sweat to make sure they have enough copies.


by
published Friday, Sep 18th

EA Sports, Are They Stubbon Or Sensible?

Sports titles flood the market, there is no escaping it. In 2009 alone EA released the next iteration of a range of titles, including NASCAR, NCAA, NHL, Madden NFL, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, FIFA and several others. It could be assumed that due to the sheer volume of titles, that some of these releases may not offer the high quality experiences gamers have come to expect; quite the opposite in fact. Fight Night Round 4 received top marks right here on Gamebrit, while Madden NFL 09 and FIFA 09 also scored favourably.

However despite being quality gaming offerings, this is where the problem makes its grand entrance. When 2010 rolls round, without doubt we will see yet more countless follow-ups to the majority of the popular sporting titles. So are gamers being taken for a ride year in year out, paying out for a few small additions here and there, or are the sporting offerings truly worth the annual investment?

The developers would arguably tout their efforts as worthy of gamers pounds. Electronic Arts revealed that on average the Madden NFL series sells in excess of four million copies per year, an impressive amount given the consecutive annual releases. Other sports titles have shown similar annual success. Naturally, it goes without saying that a high volume of sales equates to high profit margins, so it’s understandable that EA would seek to keep a firm grip on the market.

By having a regular annual release, in addition to holding exclusive licenses, Electronic Arts are not only flooding the market, but are also saturating it, leaving little to no room for rivals to establish their own sports titles. Of course if Electronic Arts were not to release a franchised title one year, not only could they risk loosing ground to competitors, they could also risk confusing consumers who have become so accustom to these annual ‘re-releases’. So are Electronic Arts stuck in an release schedule that is religiously expected of them, and have they become a victim of their own success. Is it the expectations of the consumers that is holding back true innovation in sporting titles, or is it plain simple good business sense.

From the gamers perspective, whether Electronic Arts’ repetitiously predictable schedule is worthy of the annual investment purely depends on the individual. Does 09 offer enough changes over 08 to warrant that purchase? To the hardcore fanatics, the expected update can mark a true highlight in their gaming calendar, as they look forward to playing with all new team rosters and the various new alterations. But for many the lack of change and supposed drip feeding of features make the purchase unwarranted.

A decade ago the minor alterations and roster updates delivered through yet another instalment could be excused, however now with the prevalence of downloadable content and the infrastructure to deliver game patches with such ease, the reason for annual updates to exist is by no means valid.  A large number of developers have utilised this technology, fixing errors and providing new content through game patches. Even Electronic Arts have offered updates to their titles, fixing bugs, and offering new DLC such as the popular 2009 addition, Ultimate Team. Yet despite these updates, the company continue to push annual releases, whereas they could simply update changes via downloadable content. However, in one game at least, this stubborn practice could be set to change, as Electronic Arts have recently introduced a new service dubbed ‘My Season Live’. Available for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the weekly FIFA 10 service will provide gamers with updates to players information such as injuries and suspensions in addition to league standings, fixtures and game results. Of course this up-to-date season long information comes at a cost, priced at £3.99 for a specific league, or £7.99 for all available data. It could be argued however that paying this fee for current and relevant additional content provides a more attractive offering than forking out the forty pound price tag at retail.

Will this new approach to providing information on the fly to gamers change the future of sporting franchises? If Electronic Arts’ latest venture is a success then the potential impact could be huge, and not just to FIFA, but to the companies entire sporting catalog. Through offering minor alterations via download a weight would be lifted on the development teams, allowing them to make bigger and better strides between releases. As for whether this will happen though, is yet to be seen.