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It’s always going to be a tough ask to review the fourth installment in a successful cult franchise when you’ve never been exposed to any of the previous games, but sometimes it is useful to get a fresh opinion anyway, untainted by any expectations based on prior knowledge of the series. Yakuza 3 continues the story of Kazuma Kiryu, a Japanese gangster (Yakuza) who gives up his former illustrious career in the hope of leading a purer life looking after children in an orphanage on the island of Okinawa. Of course there wouldn’t be a story to tell if he lived happily ever after, and it isn’t long before trouble starts to come to town. Kazuma soon learns of plans to seize the land that the orphanage is on in order to build a beach resort destined to bring wealth to the sleepy island. Being the bad-ass he is, you can imagine that Kazuma is hardly going to sit back and watch this happen.

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You had to know it was coming. It was more a question of what Dom is going to mope and be angry about now that he euthanised (or murdered, if you’re Gar) his wife Maria. At any rate, Senor Bleszinski was bumped from his scheduled appearance on the Jimmy Fallon Show to accommodate Justin Bieber or whoever the latest wholesome prepubescent heart throb of the moment is. Then the Xbox dashboard ad (that you’d assume would have been scheduled to roll out after the announcement) appeared declaring that the end of the trilogy is coming April 2011. Whoops!

via Kotaku

The battle for SingStar global domination just got real, or rather, it could get real creepy. Sony are adding an online functionality battle system for SingStar titles.

The press release states that you will be able to send challenges and battle people on your friends list, there is however no mention of random/ranked matches. The Playstation Eye will transmit the battle between the PS3’s over the Playstation Network so you can see how committed your opponent is to hitting those high notes. For all you ButtonMashers’ champing at the bit to get their singstar on you might need to take a deep breath and count to 10, the update isn’t due till June.

Looks like the Plus+ network and Open Feint are going to be made redundant. Apple announced some new features for the 4.0 firmware that includes multitasking, folders, iBooks, and Game Center. Like Xbox Live, Game Center will have achievements, leaderboards and matchmaking.

The catch is, you need to have a 3GS phone, latest iPod Touch, or iPad for the multitasking to work. I’m not sure yet if Game Center will run on every model, but if Plus+/Open Feint games manage to pull it off, I see no reason why Apple can’t. Somewhat disappointing for most of us, and exciting for only a few, OS 4.0 will release somewhere between June and August.

Time to get your Duke on...

My favourite thing about this game is the title.

Brought to the PSN store by London based Mediatonic as a PSP and PS3 compatible Mini this game is a little bewildering, maybe it was due to my playing it on a big TV which made it look a little tatty, but it just feels like the kind of game you find in a programming competition.

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About a year or so back NetGuide amalgamated its video game portion of its business into the mothership and stopped printing a stand alone mag, it was a little bit sad to see the only competitor to GameFreakz taken out of the lime light (even it it might have reached more individual readers).

Today the company announced that it would be relaunching as its own entity again. Good news for the local gaming readers and hopefully for those involved in the venture.

EA has announced that they will be releasing a demo for Skate 3. The demo will include three stages and challenges covering single and multiplayer. Plenty of time to store up some bandwidth, it will be available from the 16th. The game its self is set to release on May the 14th.

To make up for our short comings in producing podcasts over the last three weeks we talked lots tonight. Talked about life, love, youth and bacon covered in sugar. Oh, and the weather in hell? It’s getting cold, real cold.

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