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When it was originally discovered that a card game based on the exploits of Nathan Drake was being made, I don’t think anyone jumped for joy or even really cared. Uncharted? Card… battling? The truth is that descriptors like “swash-buckling”, “handsome”, and “action-packed” are entirely antithetical to anyone’s sane perception of a card game.

That remains true today as Uncharted: Fight for Fortune fights for space on your PlayStation Vita. If you’ve played a lot of card games, Fight for Fortune might feel like an odd cross between Magic the Gathering and other resource-based card-fighters. While many of you might be tempted by Nathan Drake’s handsome, chiseled mug, I’m here to reveal that the Uncharted brand and card-battling are two great tastes that should never have been tasted together.


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Royale with cheese
There’s an elephant in the room, and its name is Super Smash Bros. No matter how hard I try, I can’t talk about PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale without mentioning the fact that it’s a shameless knockoff of Nintendo’s beloved brawler. It’s so blatant, in fact, that I wouldn’t be surprised if there were high level design meetings where the team played Brawl together and had frank discussions about how much they could get away with stealing before the Big N’s lawyers came knocking down their door.

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Videogame spin-off novels often get off to a running start, in that they leap from a springboard of low expectations; a depressingly large proportion of games writing struggles to deserve praise higher than ‘competent’. Having previously taken the bold decision to publish a Bioshock prequel novel, Titan Books have since put onto shelves The Fourth Labyrinth, the first official Uncharted novel.

All three Uncharted games have strong, well-defined characters; witty dialogue; breathtaking action set pieces; and, in short, some of the best writing in the industry. Though almost perfectly suited to a literary adaptation, the Uncharted series (excepting a few irritating loose ends in the third instalment) sets the writing bar surprisingly high.


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Uncharted: Golden Abyss is an impressive looking game, showing off the graphical prowess of Sony’s PS Vita in all the lovely colors of the South American jungle.

Developed by SCEA’s Sony Bend with oversight from Naughty Dog, the game acts as a prequel to the Uncharted games. And while it’s a handheld game, its 34 chapters promise plenty of game time.

Uncharted 3 was a decent game, but too linear and too interested in quick time events (QTEs) for my taste. Golden Abyss falls into both those traps, but makes use of the Vita’s touchscreen in the process.


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Series veteran, Greg Edmonson returns as composer for the third game in Nathan Drake's quest to uncover buried treasure in exotic locations. Having handled the score for, sci-fi western, Firefly, Edmonson would seem a fantastic fit for the game's desert setting. Strangely, the moments that seem to lean heaviest here on the dusty, rustic charm of that cult-classic show's sonic pallet are frequently the work of Azam Ali, as with the twangy guitar, wailing strings, and eerie vocals of "Bazaar Brawl" and loose guitar flailing through mysterious vocals on "The Streets Of Yemen".

[...]The score does a fine job balancing the anxious excitement of the game's action against the heartfelt swooning moments of grandeur serving as a sonic snapshot the landscapes Drake finds himself traversing, as on the flowing orchestral swell and rattling percussion of "As Above, So Below" and the defiant strings driving through "The Settlement", while keying in on the creepy with the wailing strings of chilling "Arachnophobia". The score exceeds at conveying the moments of isolation in the game, as with the weepy violin opening "The Setup" or fluttering strings and carefully plucked guitar introducing "Boarding Party" as it does the frenetic towering action both pieces evolve into. [SOURCE]
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Carolyn Petit browses Nolan North's book, Uncharted: Drake's Journal, to discover if there's buried treasure within.



What do you get for the Uncharted fan that already has every Uncharted game? If that fan has an interest in the creative process behind Naughty Dog's series of globe-hopping, swashbuckling adventures, then consider Uncharted: Drake's Journal - Inside the Making of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception.

Assembled by Nolan North, the ubiquitous voice actor best known for playing Nathan Drake, this collection of photographs, text blurbs by North, and quotes from people involved with the massive undertaking of making Uncharted 3 touches on just about every facet of the game's production. It ranges from the rental of a new motion-capture studio prior to the beginning of filming all the way to the implementation of vital bug fixes just hours before the finished code needed to ship.

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Naughty Dog pulled the plug on the Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception multiplayer beta this Friday. I was online, jumping from one round of Team Objective to another when those multiplayer servers went dark. I'll miss you, Uncharted 3 multiplayer beta, because I learned a lot during our three weeks together.

Having already fooled around with Uncharted 3's multiplayer component for hours in advance of the beta that spanned three weeks and was enjoyed by some 1.5 million players. I sampled brand new Three Team Deathmatch and Free For All modes back in April, exploring two of the maps (Chateau and Airstrip) featured in the widely played beta.

So, I spent much of my time in competitive modes like Plunder—the "capture the treasure" mode returning from Uncharted 2's multiplayer suite—and Team Objective, the newer, much improved highlight of Uncharted competitive multiplayer. I spent less time playing cooperative Hunter and Arena modes. I'll wait until more friends and colleagues on PSN (and Facebook) are playing alongside me. I sampled all of Uncharted 3's early multiplayer offerings, minus one, learning a few things along the way.

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This is Ballistic Publishing's first Art of the Game series and it is amazing. Well, what more can you ask for when it's based on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, one of the best Playstation 3 games around, perhaps across all game consoles.

Mine's the paperback version, but there are also the leather-bound Special Edition and a collector's Limited Folio Edition, both available on Ballistic Publishing's website.

I'm thrilled to get this book, more so when I opened it for the first time. This book is pretty thick at 272 pages, glossy paper. Inside, you'll find concept art for the characters, environments, cinematics, animation and special effects. About a quarter is on the characters, with the environment and story related art making the bulk.

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Composed by: Greg Edmonson, Carmen Rizzo
Arranged by: Alan Steinberger
Published by: Sumthing Else Music Works
Release date: Feb 9, 2010 (CD); Oct 13, 2009 (digital)
Available from: iTunes, Amazon, Sumthing Digital


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves has been making a big splash lately with numerous awards for every aspect of its design. In fact, just last week at the Game Developers Conference the title took home six GANG awards and five Game Developers Choice awards including Best Audio. So who am I to question the masses when it comes to the game’s soundtrack? Well…nobody really. But that doesn’t matter since the Uncharted 2 score lives up to the hype and provides a great listening experience for music enthusiasts.

“Nate’s Theme 2.0” starts off this album with an adventurous theme that perfectly sets up what is to come. It’s exactly the same as Uncharted’s original theme but works equally well in the sequel. Busy ethnic percussion underscores a beautiful horn melody that is joined by the strings before decrescendoing into a homophonic chorale-like interlude. From here the music soars off again hinting at adventures waiting and pursued. A musical theme should always seek to define what the rest of a score will build off of and “Nate’s Theme 2.0” certainly does convey what’s to follow in Uncharted 2: Beautiful melodies, driving ethnic percussion, great orchestration, and soft lyrical tracks all make their appearance.

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Steven van Hemert: Gaming has traditionally struggled for acceptance in the mainstream media, but the medium has been gaining credibility of late. With the Baftas now awarding statuettes for Game of the Year, it would appear as if gaming is finally coming into its own. And top of critics' list to walk away with the next glittering Goty statuette is the second instalment of Naughty Dog's acclaimed Uncharted series.

It's fitting that Uncharted 2: Among Thieves should be tipped for mainstream awards from associations more concerned with film and television. Uncharted 2 is without doubt the most cinematic video game ever produced. In fact, the opening stages play more like an interactive film than a traditional video game, a gentle, if nerve-racking introduction to Uncharted's unique game-play and absorbing storytelling.

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