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Smackdown returns, do the load times still suck?

Smackdown is out today. I was originally going to do a Metareview for this game, but I decided: why not focus on the one crucial flaw of last year's game? The load times. As you may remember, WWE SmackDown! 2006 got smacked down by the gaming community by having quite possibly the worst load times of any game in recent memory. Is this year's iteration of the popular wrestling franchise any better? Let's find out:
  • Gamespot (79/100) - "Load times are still a big issue, as well, though not quite as humongous an issue as they were last year. Prematch load times are still long and annoying, especially when you have entrances set to on; menu transitions, especially in season mode, take longer than they ought to; and creating a wrestler can still be a time-consuming process, thanks to the loading. Again, Yuke's did improve this aspect somewhat this year, but load times continue to get in the way of the game."
  • Games Radar (80/100) - "The developers remembered this, too; they made a focused effort to drastically reduce loading. And it worked: the loads aren't lightning quick, but they are far faster, now measuring in double-digit seconds instead of minutes."
  • GameZone (85/100) - "On to the bad news, the game suffers from heavy lag that just doesn't pertain to the Ad Hoc multiplayer mode but throughout the single-player mode as well. This, of course, is a major annoyance that often leads to missed punches or choke slams. Secondly, the long load times are back, although - on a lighter note -they're not as frequent as the first game."
The critics say the load times have improved, but are they tolerable yet? I'm placing an open challenge to all readers: if you own this game, please make a similar video, for PSP Fanboy fame, and maybe even a little swag, or something.

Continue reading Smackdown returns, do the load times still suck?

New Activision Hits Remixed screens released

New Activision Hits Remixed screens released
Back when we first posted about Activition Hits Remixed's existence, Andrew told you about the game's "modernized front-end graphics." Well, Activision has just released a ton of new screens from the game and even some that show off those fancy schmancy front-end graphics.

The game packs more than 40 Atari 2600 games onto one UMD. And while I'm sure Activision probably could have fit a lot more, Gamespot said "these properly emulated golden oldies will be wrapped up in a visually appealing and easily accessible package with some nice goodies thrown in on the side."

Besides the game having no load times (Thank you, God!), Remixed features unlockable content like old-school commercials, songs, box art, manuals and even an achievement system similar to the Xbox 360's. Get ready to be rocking with Thwocker come Nov. 14.

New NFL Street 3 screens released

New NFL Street 3 screens released
The only things certain in life are death, taxes and never-ending sequels from companies like Capcom and EA that mainly include little to no worthwhile upgrades other than a few more characters or new rosters. Having said that, I'm happy to tell you EA plans on bringing NFL Street 3 to the PSP Nov. 5, and Gamespot has just posted a cornucopia of new screens for you EA boys to drool over.

Hopefully, EA has taken the time to fix the loading issues and the ridiculously over-powered running game that plagued NFL Street 2.

(Via Gamespot)

Metal Slug to feature "blood, blood and more blood"

Now that Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins has come and gone, it seems like I need a new lethally difficult 2D game to pine over. As previously revealed, the Metal Slug Collection will feature six Metal Slug games. IGN UK recently got some hands-on time with the game, and squealed in delight to see "blood, blood and more blood," as in the original Japanese release. (I wonder what the ESRB will have to say about that...) Although the game looks stunning on the PSP screen, the writer had a few concerns with the game. Firstly, it will be very short, considering how each game in the series clocks in at about an hour long. Although SNK is adding extras, they're limited to just concept art. Also, the load times seem unnecessarily long as of now (considering how this game isn't too technically advanced, the load times should be non-existant). Finally, the menu designs seem just slapped on together sloppily. Hopefully, SNK will fix these issues before the game releases in September.

Dramatic Yu-Gi-Oh! gameplay

Konami has shown us PSP fanboys a lot of love. We were so mesmerized by games like Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops that we forgot all about Konami's other games, like Yu-Gi-Oh! The PSP installment takes place in the new GX universe, and will allow players to play against each other wirelessly. The game seems to feature relatively impressive visuals, but the load times seem a bit much. A load screen for every room you enter, and then a load screen before a match seems a bit too much for impatient young gamers. But, at least the characters appear to be over-the-top dramatic, as if they got acting lessons from Charlie Chaplin. The games out in November.

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