It has been a busy couple of weeks! The end of May I went back home to watch my brother get married! It was amazing, of course, and it was the first time I was back home in Indiana in almost two years! The weekend immediately after was Fanime, an anime convention here in California that we’ve gone to for the past few years. We dressed up, we bought stuff, and we had a good time. Following that we had a friend move in with us until he can find a place of his own, and now Laura’s sister is back home for a couple weeks before her job starts! Phew! Thankfully though, a visit home means a ton of new video games I can’t get here in California! Let’s break it down! Read the rest of this entry »
Category Archives: PlayStation 4
The open beta is over. Hopefully you were able to get in some quality time with Blizzard’s first person shooter/squad based action game Overwatch, coming out May 24th for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. At first glance the game seems kind of like any other team based shooter, but once you get your hands on it and play around with the different characters and classes it becomes much more than a first person shooter. I had marginal interest in the game before the beta, misjudging it as another MOBA-esque game I wouldn’t care about, but after playing the beta almost nonstop the last couple of days I don’t know if I’ll anticipate a game more in 2016 than Overwatch! Read the rest of this entry »
|Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi
Release Date: September 19th, 2013
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – $18)
Releasing a few years back, Hakuoki is as random a JRPG one can get on the 3DS. I decided to pick up this one for a couple reasons: I needed a game to fit into a Buy 2 Get 1 Free category to maximize the potential of the free game, and two it was released awhile ago and I likely won’t see too many more of it out there. The game isn’t particularly rare, and you can still find it on sites like Amazon, but it might be a game to keep in your collection. If for nothing else, it’s supposed to be a pretty decent strategy game.
|Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Release Date: November 18th, 2012
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – $18)
Way back in 2012 I reviewed this game for the 3DS and was impressed by its variety in levels, characters, and quality of the racing in general. I have heard good things from a lot of people about this Wii U version (which also happens to be a console launch title!), with some people going so far as to say it’s a superior game to Mario Kart. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I’m all for games I can play with my friends on the couch! Unfortunately though this might just be a two player co-op game. Can anyone shed some extra light on this for me?
|Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition
Release Date: October 27th, 2015
Purchased at: GameStop (Sunnyvale, CA – Free)
The original Darksiders happened to be one of the very first games I ever reviewed for the now defunct Inside Gaming blog of the Machinima network. I thought it was pretty great back then, but not great enough to pickup the sequel until this “Deathinitive” re-release. Granted, I have had the game on Xbox 360 for awhile now, but this is in HD! Following Death as he fights in the war between the Angels and Demons, Darksiders II takes what made the first game memorable (the Legend of Zelda-esque exploration and gameplay) and makes it all better and pretty on the PS4!
|Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars
Release Date: March 24th, 2009
Purchased at: GameStop (Cupertino, CA – $2)
A port of an old point-and-click adventure game released on the PC way back in 1996, Broken Sword has gone down as one of the more influential games of the genre. Despite this, and the countless systems this game has come out for, I feel like the game has still gone unplayed by a lot of gamers, myself included! The game is a story driven adventure centering around the Knights Templar, a terrorist attack in Paris, France, and the mysteries around those involved. It’s interesting, don’t get me wrong, but I almost feel taken aback by how old the game is I don’t want to even try it. But we’ll see; maybe I’ll be surprised by it one day!
The first batch of Bethesda’s open-world post-apocalyptic garbage collection simulator otherwise known as Fallout 4 is finally out. Automatron is all about robots and a bad buy known as the Mechanist who is terrorizing the Commonwealth more than the Vault Dweller you’re playing. There’s a lot of nifty little morsels of content to chew on, and seeing as this is just the first, supposedly small’ish, piece of DLC for Fallout 4, I’m hopeful the rest of the upcoming content will be just as fun and expanding as Automatron! Read the rest of this entry »
|Street Fighter V
Release Date: February 16th, 2016
Purchased at: Amazon (Online – $54)
Several years after Street Fighter IV revitalized the community’s (and my own) interest in the fighting game genre, Capcom has officially released the next installment in the grondbreaking fighting series. Street Fighter V has been in Beta for quite some time, and that only makes me wonder why the game isn’t as polished as I had hoped. I’ve been met with frequent disconnects online, no penalty for rage quitting, and the overall lack of modes and a strange way to select your characters via online battle are holding this one back for me. Right out of the gate though, SFIV was solid but lacked a lot of content, and it took Capcom several years to get it looking perfect with Ultra. So maybe this game just needs some more time in the incubator to come out pristine!
|Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright
Release Date: February 19th, 2016
Purchased at: Amazon (Online – $34)
Oh man, finally! The sequel to the 3DS’ excellent Fire Emblem: Awakening is here, and it comes in two packages! Birthright lets you follow the path of the Hoshido rather than the Nohr. So far from what I’ve played, it seems the Hoshido are more of the “good guys” if you could call them anything. It might be too early to decide, though. Also, I’ve hit a snag in one of the early chapters where it’s actually getting pretty tough to win! I’ll have to keep at it though. Even though I’ve lost, I’m still thinking of ways I want to try again to win, and that’s a definite good sign!
|Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest
Release Date: February 19th, 2016
Purchased at: Amazon (Online – $34)
Since the special edition which contained both games in one cartridge sold out instantly, I decided to just pick up both copies separately. Sure, it won’t be as cool as owning that special edition, but it’ll look nice on a shelf right next to Birthright. This game has you follow the Nohr and is supposed to be a lot more difficult when compared to Birthright. Because of that I decided to wait for this one until I beat the other, but almost all outlets are saying you should definitely play both to enjoy the story fully.
We’re knee deep in 2016 and there are a ton of awesome games scheduled for release this year! Just like every year, I’m sure I won’t have enough time to get around to all of them, but with so many excellent choices I feel like 2016 will be another great year in video games. Gamers have been spoiled recently: there have been lots of great years of games lately. Not just a few good games here and there, but complete years of consistently great games to keep your systems hot. So let’s check out what’s coming in 2016! Here are some games I’m anticipating to play and thoroughly enjoy this year! Read the rest of this entry »
A common trend while walking this year’s Consumer Electronics Show floor was, without a doubt, virtual reality. We largely have the success of Oculus to thank for the recent boom in VR tech, but I had to wonder what it meant for the video game industry seeing all those headsets at every booth. Alas, I was only able to demo one headset personally, but picked up some information about many others.
The one set I tried was by Razor, and it is called the Open Source Virtual Reality headset, or OSVR for short. Razor is doing something great with OSVR: instead of having a static headset with all the features already on it, the OSVR is modular. So if you want to customize the display with different eyeware or a different virtual reality hardware altogether you can do so, and the OSVR software will incorporate what you are using into the control of the game. Of course there’s some limitations on what you can do with the headset your using and the compatiable games, but it is nice having that freedom to not be tied down with one headset, like Oculus, when others are coming out and you might want to play their games too. Speaking of games, OSVR didn’t have a game to demo, but instead a 3D rendered cinema to watch with the OSVR headset. It was pretty amazing to be honest. The headset reacted well to movement, the sound was clear, and it really felt like I was slowly moving towards a city-destroying robot! Fun times!
Other VR options included headset mounts for your smartphone. These were neat in concept, but not as cool as a full blown headset for VR. Essentially, you could hook up your iPhone to the mount, place it really close to your face, put on some headphones, and use the gyroscopic sensors to simulate 3D tech movement. It’s a great approach to the VR scene, but didn’t look or feel as impressive as Oculus, Sony’s PlayStation VR, or the OSVR.
Another trend I saw was two screen VR and one screen VR. From what I experienced, having one screen was ideal for someone in my condition (I have a lazy eye, if you didn’t know, so I can’t see out of my left eye), as it most easily let me view the action on the headset. With two separate screens it was difficult for me to see the entire playing field because the headset would require both eyes to see the two screens, blend them together, and give you the 3D effect. I demoed a random booth using a headset (I forgot which one!) and played Xbox One’s Killer Instinct (my first time playing it, as well!). I couldn’t see the far right and far left of the screen because of that aforementioned issue. But if you have no eye issues, then having two screens will probably be fine for you.
Removing VR tech altogether, there wasn’t much else I saw in terms of gaming. Sony was there, and I was actually able to play the Street Fighter V beta for the first time. I picked up a controller and naturally selected Ken, but was surprised to see how different he played! Aside from the new design, his Hurricane Kick with fierce kick is redone, his reach seems different, and in general he just plays differently from his Street Fighter IV days. Regardless, I’m even more excited to pick up the game when it releases. There was a line behind me to play, so I couldn’t get around to playing anybody else. I want to try out Necali and Laura, two new characters for the series!
Sony also had the new Ratchet & Clank on display. I didn’t get a chance to play it personally, but watching the game in action was gorgeous. I really love a game with tons of color and an imaginative world, and though Ratchet & Clank can be dark and brooding, it still looks great. With an upcoming April release date I’m hoping the game is a worthy entry in the series and not just a movie tie-in cash-in.
Not at the Sony booth but still using a PS4, I demoed PS Now once again. The entire concept of PS Now is great, but I just don’t like the pricing. I played Street Fighter IV on PS Now and didn’t see any lag at all. The show’s Wi-Fi could (and probably was) have been outstanding and that affected the gameplay lag, so I took that with some hesitation. And that price point, ugh!
Lastly, I stopped by a booth that really just sells video gaming cables, controllers, and swag, and they happened to have a gigantic NES controller running the original Super Mario Bros on a big screen. Naturally I jumped right in, took the warp pipe in World 1-2, warped to World 4, got to level 4-2 before dying, all before turning around and seeing a sizable crowd of jolly nerds watching me! It was like the good ol’ days of the arcade, only in a convention center with a console game and a comically large controller! It’s like the same thing!
This year’s CES was great, but I felt a sort of familiarity with everything present. Virtual reality, at this point, is nothing new, neither is streaming games, huge TVs, or novelty video game controllers. That being said CES is hardly a video game convention. It’s a tech convention, and video games happen to be featured in one small corner of a one big hall, and part of an even bigger convention. Still though, with each new CES I’ll be sure to check out the video game tech. Who knows, perhaps next year there will be something even more amazing!
Happy New Year,