Playstation Beta

Aug 12

I went to the Playstation Beta rooms on Sunday.

It was a preview/feedback event of some upcoming games and technology in the Custard factory in Birmingham.

It’s nice to get an event in the Midlands rather than London, and it was free to boot!

Lyle came along too. Here he is with sackboy…

Lyle and Sackboy


So what was there to see?

Lots of young trendies manning the many stands, which had impressively sized Sony flatscreen TV’s a piece.

There was some sitting down to play, some standing (mainly the move stuff).

Great atmosphere to the event – everyone seemed genuinely interested in the games and had a few conversations, particularly about 3D (generally not so positive), with some of the other attendees.

But mainly it was about getting my hands on the games so here we go;

Little Big Planet 2

This was great – we got to see a level and three of the mini games. They are just things the MM team have thrown together rather than production levels so the guy at the stand told me, but they were fun. What they showed off though was that it looks the same but better – similar art style but just more solid somehow. Also the controls feel better. It still has that inertia but instantly easier to control and felt more responsive reasonable when moving the little sack boy about.

The changes in create mode so you can create virtually any sort of game look fab (though might be a bit beyond me in a similar way level creation in the first was (too much time needed). You can also much more easily create in game characters/robots. That should make it much easier than the pull a level to make the car go model of the first!

All in all a great game. One to watch when it gets released.

Gran Turismo 5 (+ 3D + full steering rig)

I’m rubish at GT games. But I still love them. They look lush and the attention to detail is amazing. The full steering wheel rigs they had set up looked great – big but impressive! The 3D set up’s less impressive. To be honest I just didn’t get any sense of 3D when I had the glasses on. Didn’t look bad or poorly detailed (see KZ3) just not 3D.

It’ll be just what fans of GT want – the best version yet. But it won’t win you over if you don’t like that sort of thing.

MotorStorm 3 (+ 3D)

I loved Motor Storm. Never got the sequel but Lyle was raving about it.

Number 3 looked very intense – more than a nod to Split/Second though. Lots of buildings collapsing around you, gun shots, that kind of thing.

Didn’t really catch my imagination to be honest but Lyle had a go and was drooling about how good it was so probably one to watch if you like your racing hectic.

Killzone 3 (+ 3D)

Didn’t play KZ2 other than the demo levels. Liked the demo but just never had time to get the full game.

Kilzone 3 feels pretty similar. I suspect I’d love it but there are other games (FPS not my fav genre) higher up the list.

That said – it looks amazing – richly detailed environments, fast action, consequences to your style of play, and a touch of humour (jet packs spinning enemies helplessly away when you shoot them).

Had a big issue with the 3D though. Queued for a while to get on it. The effect worked well enough – testament to this was when someone stood up from behind the TV we were using and my first instinct was that he was part of the game – very immersive.

BUT I couldn’t really tell exactly what was going on on the screen. I think it was due to the graphics being less detailed (resolution drop to get the doubling of frame renders?) coupled with the amount of on screen stuff and action. I just found it hard to focus on and see what I should have been looking/shooting at.

So good game, unconvincing 3D.

Dead Nation

First game we tried in the afternoon. I loved it. Fairly straightforward twin stick shooter with a very high polish.

It looks detailed and gritty, makes you feel part of a survival horror film, terrible odds against the zombie horde and satisfying dispatching of the undead.

Definite purchase when it arrives.

And Lyle was truly awful at it. Really, really bad. Laugh out loud bad. And we did…

Eat Them

Didn’t play this one – just watched. It looked like rampage set in 3D with just one monster.

I could image it might be a fun diversion for a while but sceptical it has long lasting interest potential.

Featured customisable monsters you tailor for your own personal destructive wants, but even so…

Also thought the graphics were a bit flickery and not in a good way. Cartoon styling aside it looked like the engine had some judder healing ways to go before release.


This was what I wanted to try out more than anything.

It was great! Seriously. Much better than I was expecting. It just feels right.

Good weight, ergonomic, just works.

The range of movement it represents is uncanny – so accurate and very satisfying.

A definite release day purchase.

Sports Champions

There were two events available on demo (think the retail game will have 6).

So on offer were table tennis and Frisbee golf.

I tried Frisbee golf and all I can say is that it felt right. You never thought the Frisbee did anything other than what it should given how you moved to throw it.

Looks nice, though slightly unnerving when the overly glamorous on-screen avatars start doing heir victory poses…

I had hoped archery would be available to try but alas no.

Didn’t try table tennis though the people doing it seemed to be full of smiles and that is a pretty good measure for this kind of game.

The Fight

I loved this. I’d heard some mixed things about it but the proof is in the playing as my pimp daddy Lyle will demonstrate…

Everything felt right – the reaction time, translation of on screen movements, graphics. I think this is going to be really popular though not sure how deep it will be. But that’s not really the point…

This is how it is ment to be done;

Kung Fu Rider

This game is weird. Just weird.

You seem to be some sort of office worker. Evading triads. Scooting down a long hill through a town. On an office chair.

Seriously. Weird. This might help explain.

The closest reference I have is Crazy Taxi crossed with outrun. Kind of…

Heavy Rain (move controls)

Here was the big embarrassment of the night. I’ll get to that in a moment.

In front of a queue of people waiting for the Killzone 3D pods, I had a go at Heavy Rain with move controls.

Move works brilliantly with Heavy Rain – it really does become intuitive after a very short period.

As for the game – well it is great. Maybe not for everyone but a wonderful interactive experience. I had only played the PSN demo before and the demo on show here featured a Maddison scene I had not encountered. Enter embarrassment.

The chap manning the pod started to walk me through it, guiding the on screen Maddison through to the bathroom to have a (quite unnecessary) shower, then disappeared to leave me to recover the characters modesty in front of previously mentioned queue. Thanks!

I think they had a running competition to see how quickly they could get a punter to the naked bit…

Then the scene drops into an action sequence and the move controls really shine. It is just more instinctive and easier to do the gestures in rapid sequence with move than it was using the joypad.

Over all impressions;

Big Love For Move.

It feels just right, surprisingly responsive – the tiniest movement is reproduced and it makes for very intuitive control. Just feels better than the Wii remote. I will definitely be getting this when it comes out without a moments hesitation.

Don’t get the whole 3D thing.

It sacrifices too much to get the effect.
GT5 – couldn’t tell it was 3D. Killzone3 – lost the details of what was going on in the game and it made it harder to play.


  1. This is a very boring post. Please write somefing more exciting next time.

  2. Thanks for a great post. An informative summary of upcoming games and technology – interesting comments about the 3d genre.
    Just what I want from a blog about the Playstation.

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