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Destructoid's most wanted PlayStation 3 games of 2012

Jan 10 // Kyle MacGregor
  The Last Guardian (PlayStation 3) Developer: Team IcoPublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentRelease: 2012 It wouldn't be a "most anticipated PS3" list without The Last Guardian, right? This game's numerous and lengthy delays -- I've put it on this list for three straight years, now -- haven't reduced my anticipation for it at all. What does have me somewhat worried is the departure from Sony of the project's visionary director, Team Ico's Fumito Ueda; at least he'll finish the game, and at this point, we're still assuming that that'll happen this year.Ueda's previous games, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, stand as singular experiences that Sony made even better with high-definition remasters last year. Check them out, and you'll understand why fans are still waiting with bated breath to see the tale of this boy and his avian-feline friend play out. Journey (PlayStation Network) Developer: thatgamecompanyPublisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Release: Spring 2012 Jenova Chen, Kellee Santiago, and their studio thatgamecompany made a name for themselves with their 2009 PSN title, Flower. It was a fundamentally simple game that nonetheless elicited passionate emotional responses from players, and few (if any) other titles since have matched it in those respects.Journey is the studio's next game. A robed figure traverses a desolate desert and the extant markers of an ancient civilization that lie within: such is the basic premise. I played a segment of that journey in last year's beta; while the arid world evoked a sense of isolation, my interactions with the stone remnants of the land's previous inhabitants brought out a connection with the past that mitigated my loneliness. That's something thatgamecompany and few other developers can do. The Last of Us (PlayStation 3) Developer: Naughty DogPublisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Release: 2012 Thanks to its critically acclaimed Uncharted games, Naughty Dog has earned a reputation for crafting exciting thrill-ride action titles with a story and characters worth caring about. Considering that pedigree, anticipation for the studio's next project would have been high regardless of the subject matter.The Last of Us centers on a man and a teenage girl trying to survive in a world that has been overrun by zombie-like creatures. The word "zombie" might cause some people to dismiss the game out of hand, but remember that very little about Uncharted could be called "original"; instead, Naughty Dog has proven itself adept at taking familiar genre trappings (in Uncharted's case, Indiana Jones-esque pulp action) and tweaking them in service of the story the studio wants to tell. Early word is that the team seeks to explore survival elements and that old serious-story standby, the human condition, in a tale that may evoke comics like The Walking Dead and Y: The Last Man. My body is ready. Honorable mentions: Twisted Metal, Papo & Yo, MLB 12 The Show, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD     I Am Alive (PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade) Developer: Ubisoft ShanghaiPublisher: UbisoftRelease: Q1 2012 After almost four years of near-silence regarding their forthcoming post-apocalyptic survival title, Ubisoft finally looks like they're ready to release I Am Alive. The game follows a man on a journey to return to his hometown and find his family. Unfortunately for him, he must traverse an urban wasteland, brave the elements, and come toe-to-toe with other survivors who will do anything to stay alive. Finger on the trigger of a pistol, one bullet left in the chamber, a frightened stranger approaches. What do you do? There's nothing more dangerous than an animal backed into a corner, nothing scarier than the dark recesses of the human mind. I'm ever so eager to find myself in these types of situations and make meaningful decisions. I just really, really hope that Ubisoft can capitalize on this title's conceptual potential.  SSX (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360) Developer: EA CanadaPublisher: EA SportsRelease: February 28, 2012 Back during E3 last year, I recall strolling into a dimly lit room for a viewing of EA's forthcoming SSX title. I entered as a casual fan of the series, mildly enthused for another extreme snowboard romp, but left among the converted. Just imagine opening up Google Earth, simply zooming in on any given mountain range and dropping in on a slope for an exhilarating run to the bottom. The team at EA Canada has borrowed intricate satellite data from NASA to virtually recreate entire mountain ranges and let players drop in on some of the most iconic peaks on the planet. Outside of the traditional races and score attack modes, SSX features "boss battles" where players travel to some of the most dangerous peaks on the planet and brave the elements that make them so deadly. During the demonstration, the developers showed off a stage featuring a dynamic avalanche where the speed and direction at which the player hits the angle of repose triggers a unique deluge that the player must outrun to stay alive. Even now months later I'm enthralled by the possibilities of what else EA Canada has in store. February 28 cannot come soon enough.  Far Cry 3 (PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox 360) Developer: Ubisoft MontrealPublisher: UbisoftRelease: 2012 I could probably talk about Far Cry 2 all day. Despite all its failures and unrealized ambitions, its design supported player agency and offered nonlinear gameplay in ways that few games even dare to try, much less realize with a modicum of success. Allowing the player to approach a situation from any standpoint with any strategy and essentially design their own experience in such a vivid and immersive game world made Far Cry 2 an exciting step forward for the medium.  Far Cry 3 returns the series to the tropical setting of an island chain in the South Pacific. The story follows Jason Brody, a tourist who has been caught up in a violent civil conflict and must employ his survivalist resourcefulness to escape with his life. Should Ubisoft capitalize on the strengths of the existing formula and do away with the frustrations, Far Cry 3 could not only be be an incredibly captivating title, but one that continues to pioneer where its predecessor left off. Honorable mentions: Metro Last Light, Zone of the Enders HD Collection Additional Staff Picks for PlayStation 3:  Chad Concelmo: Final Fantasy XIII-2, Journey, The Last of UsSean Daisy: Inversion, Journey, The Last GuardianAndrew Kauz: BioShock Infinite, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Tales of Graces fJonathan Holmes: The Last Guardian, Lollipop Chainsaw, Persona 4: Ultimate Mayonaka ArenaTara Long: Journey, The Last of UsAllistair Pinsof: Dust 514, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White WitchJonathan Ross: The Last GuardianMaurice Tan: Journey, The Last of UsMax Scoville: Journey, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White WitchJosh Tolentino: Dust 514, Journey, The Last of Us 
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The past year has been an interesting one for Sony. The PlayStation 3 finally began to hit its stride, a new portable finally emerged, and an "unauthorized intrusion" resulted in a month-long network outage. That major p...

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SSX sees slight delay to late February in North America


Dec 21
// Jordan Devore
"Over the course of more than 10 years of making games I have not worked on a single project where our team did not wish, coming down the home stretch, that we could have just a bit more time," writes SSX creative director ...
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EA developing music-mixing 'Harmony' tool, debuts in SSX


Oct 31
// Samit Sarkar
One of my favorite facets of SSX Tricky was its fusion of audio and gameplay. The game would mute its thumping house/hip-hop soundtrack as you soared off a ramp, leaving only the sound of the air whistling past your rider unt...
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SSX slides to February 14 launch, reveals Deadly Descents


Oct 31
// Samit Sarkar
EA recently released a "Survive It" trailer for its upcoming SSX game. The new video ends with the news that the title's launch has been pushed back slightly -- it was originally set to release in January 2012, but will now ...
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Latest SSX trailer brings the hype


Sep 30
// Jordan Devore
While it seems most people have come back around to SSX after a questionable start, anyone still not feeling this modern take on the series ought to give this new trailer a chance. Prior videos have also shown that this game...
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SSX: It was playable at PAX and it's fun!


Aug 29
// Brett Zeidler
EA brought with them a playable demo of SSX to PAX and Samit Sarkar and Tara Long were there to get their hands-on time with it. They talk about the evolution the title has gone through, contrast and compare the gameplay fro...
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Score big at PAX for sweet SSX snowboard USB stick


Aug 26
// Nick Chester
If you're at PAX Prime this weekend and you've got reservations about the new SSX, let Electronic Arts ease your mind. A portion of the game's vast mountain ranges is playable at the event in Seattle this week. Do well enough...
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Zoe gets (not really) animated for SSX comic clip


Aug 24
// Nick Chester
Motion comics. Gotta love 'em. They're not really comics and they're not really animated shorts, they're just... whatever this is. It's like the budget was a little over that of what it would cost to create a comic book, but...
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EA talks 'evolution' of SSX franchise at gamescom


Aug 21
// Daniel Carneiro
Good news, everyone! SSX is fantastic... well at least the pre-alpha demo we were able to play was. All concerns about the game being "Call of Dutified" can be put to rest once and for all. The controls are spot on and the v...
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SSX Gamescom trailer sizzles up the snow


Aug 18
// Liam Fisher
EA has found a great deal of success in its Autolog feature. So much, in fact, that it's implementing that same function into pretty much all of its other games. In it's upcoming SSX reboot, the autolog looks to be in full s...
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Gamescom trailer for SSX shows ghosts, global events


Aug 16
// Jordan Devore
While I'll be the first to admit that Electronic Arts had me at "snowboarding game," SSX is shaping up quite nicely. In this gamescom trailer, we're told about a few new features. As has been the case with pretty much every ...
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Latest SSX screenshots are all about Psymon


Jul 28
// Jordan Devore
The new screenshots for SSX show Psymon's updated look for 2012. This larger-than-life character has been toned down a bit, but to me, his absurdity always truly stemmed from the random things he spouted off. I greatly look f...
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'Unique' online mode for SSX to be unveiled at gamescom


Jul 11
// Jordan Devore
Electronic Arts has been fairly quiet over SSX when it comes to online play, and even multiplayer in general. Next month during gamescom, we'll hear about a new online mode for the snowboarding game. This factoid comes to us ...

E3: SSX appears to be well and truly back

Jun 08 // Conrad Zimmerman
To create the mountains of SSX, EA created a software program called Mountain Man and topographical satellite data from NASA. Using these tools, they're capable of fully rendering the true topography of a mountain in a mere 28 seconds. That's just the beginning, however. "We're not using all of this NASA data to create a simulation," says Creative Director Todd Batty. "If we wanted to make a simulation, we would have been done by now. We wanted to make Burnout on snow."  No, the real work begins after this intial rendering as the designers carve the character of SSX into the environment, tweaking our real world to offer the exaggerated snowboarding experience the series is known for. Clearly mad with power, the level designers are pulling out all the stops with hundreds of possible routes down each mountain and the freedom to explore and tackle every slope however you want. EA impressed upon the idea that if you can see it in the environment, they want you to be able to performa  trick on it. Every bump is a ramp and every sharp edge is a grind. With all of the possibilities, navigation of this content was a concern. Inspired by Google Earth, stage selection begins with a view of the entire globe where you choose which mountain range you want to explore. Every range on Earth is represented and from there you can select an individual mountain and drop point. The three types of gameplay comprising SSX are casually referred to as, "Race It," "Trick It," and "Survive It," and we were shown three examples to illustrate what those terms mean. The "Race It" stage, which is exactly what it sounds like, was the legendary Kilimanjaro. The designers took the famous crater at the top of the Kibo peak and did the most ridiculous thing imaginable by creating a track through it. For the "Trick It" sequence, which challenges players to perform as many massive tricks as possible, we were shown a route on Makalu in the Himilayan range, built on the Great Wall of China. Do you think there were grinds? You bet your ass there were, with long beautiful stretches to chain together some serious tricks. The "Survive It" segment was set on Mount Denali and this gameplay mode requires a bit of explanation. When you've completed a set of race and trick runs on a mountain, you'll then tackle a "Deadly Descent," the SSX equivalent of a boss fight against the mountain itself. The goal is to make it down the mountain from top to bottom without being swallowed by it. Every snow bank and slope is assigned an impact rating, which is compared to the amount of impact created whenever you land. If your impact exceeds the rating, you'll start a snow drift which begins to chase you. As you continue to exceed impact ratings, this drift increases and soon grows without your help as the weight and movement has its own effect on impact ratings further down the slope. It's thrilling and difficult, so much so that the representative from EA playing the game had yet to complete it once during the course of the day's demonstrations. EA also showed off a few other features, including a wind suit that will enable players to glide through the air and access new areas of the environments or just be awesome. You also have a loyal chopper pilot, who not only drops you off at the top of a run and picks you up again at the end, but can also light your way, act as a guide and occasionally provide trick opportunities by allowing you to grab on to the skids and hold before dropping back down on to the mountain. In designing the controls, the team has chosen to offer two options. Old-school button mashers like myself will feel right at home in using the four face buttons to perform tricks. If you're more comfortable with pulling your moves with an analog stick a la Skate, that will be available as well with both schemes active at all times. I tried both and didn't see an advantage to using one over the other, though Batty suggested that the analog would offer more fine control over your moves. I came away incredibly impressed by what I saw of SSX and it's still early. At three months away from alpha status, Todd Batty expressed some level of amazement that EA was willing to show the game at E3 at all, stating that they tend to hold back on releases still at the progress level of this one. I'm glad they did and I'm fairly certain they will be as well. SSX feels exuberant in the hands, is visually gorgeous and almost certainly the return to form fans have long cried out for.
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It's been quite some time since a game worthy of the name SSX hit the market. The series had already been in a bit of a slump before the ghastly SSX Blur, a game poor enough EA didn't even acknowledge it during their behind-c...

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E3: PS3 gets SSX, Need for Speed, Battlefield exclusives


Jun 06
// Jordan Devore
Look at Sony, taking a page straight out of Microsoft's book. A partnership with Electronics Arts means PlayStation 3 owners are getting a few nice exclusives, as discussed today during Sony's press conference. SSX will have ...
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SSX trailer reintroduces us to Mac


Jun 03
// Jordan Devore
It sure does feel good to see those striped ramps again. It's been too long. Here's the latest trailer for SSX, with the focus this time set on Mac. Fairly standard choice, as far as returning characters go. We're still look...
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Spike to live stream EA's E3 event


May 25
// Dale North
Good! That means that I don't have to go and report on it. You can just watch it yourself. I've got enough stuff to do that week. The Orpheum Theater is L.A. is lovely, but it's always a bitch to get out there and leave E3. N...
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Latest SSX dev diary talks updating characters


Apr 29
// Jordan Devore
Another wild SSX developer diary appears, complete with wingsuits and everything. This time, the developers discuss how they take beloved characters and bring them up to date. And yeah, they're still focusing on Elise. Hones...
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Vote in your favorite character for the new SSX


Apr 26
// Nick Chester
The new SSX is a ways off; we're talking 2012 here. Apparently EA Sports hasn't even locked in the game cast yet, and it's giving that power to you via an online voting process. Over the next three weeks, fans will vote on th...
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New SSX to feature 'iconic exaggeration' art style


Apr 19
// Nick Chester
Look closely at this latest SSX developer diary and maybe you'll see some gameplay footage. I think at like 16 seconds in there's some gameplay…and then again at 24. Oh, or maybe that's SSX 3. It goes by too fast; har...
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SSX gearing up for a January release, new screenshots


Apr 13
// Jordan Devore
Even more SSX news for you to read while simultaneously chugging Mountain Dew and doing backflips. As covered in a recent first-look preview article by GameSpot, the long-awaited next snowboarding title will be releasing in 2...
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SSX dev diary provides a glimpse of pre-alpha footage


Apr 09
// Jordan Devore
This developer diary is a great supplement to the recent slew of details on SSX to come out of creative director Todd Batty and Game Informer. As outlined in the text -- and again here, in video form -- the initial teaser tr...
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New details on SSX are reassuring


Apr 06
// Jordan Devore
Game Informer has posted an insightful interview with SSX creative director Todd Batty. You hear that, doubters? Let's give this game a chance before we judge too harshly. Batty starts off by saying that the "core statement f...
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First SSX dev diary makes us sad with no gameplay


Apr 02
// Nick Chester
Amidst our April Fool's shenanigans yesterdays, Electronic Arts released the first developer diary for its upcoming SSX. I was excited -- as I'm a huge fan of the franchise -- to get a first look at the game in action. ...
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This week's Jimquisition tackles the outrage that was had when SSX: Deadly Descents was revealed last week. Even if you're not into SSX, it's worth watching because it addresses a more specific issue of gamers getting furiou...

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SSX: Deadly Descents: 3 screens, a ridiculous description


Dec 12
// Matthew Razak
You may have seen the big reveal of SSX: Deadly Descents on the VGAs last night and thought to yourself, "That video was cool, but I wish I had at least three screens and some sort of description of the game." Destructoid to ...

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