It's easy for people to bash on Nintendo these days, laugh at their failures and point out all of their shortcomings as a gaming console hardware company, especially in wake of the Wii U under-performing. While the Wii U does many things right, and has even proven that a second screen on a home console can not only be effective, but in some circumstances necessary, people still don't think Nintendo is viable as a hardware developer any longer.
Well, Sony doesn't seem shy to admit that Nintendo is doing things right, especially with the second screen function of the Wii U. Thanks to the remote-play function of the PS Vita with the PS4, gamers can play whatever games they have downloaded or loaded into their console on their Vita, as it pretty much flawlessly streams right to the Vita screen. This function allows for the television to be used for someone else (watching TV, another game consoles, whatever) while the PS4 player gets the full experience of the console shrunk down to the Vita, without lag or downgraded graphics.
This function, which everyone raved about since the PS4 launch, is exactly what the Wii U offers with the GamePad that is included with the console. Instead of having to buy a Vita separately, it's already built in to the console that everyone loves to hate.
While Sony has taken inspiration from Nintendo and ran with it, there is one particular thing Sony is doing that Nintendo could take some lessons from. Sony introduced the Cross-Buy option for gamers that allowed them to buy a PS3 version of a game and get the Vita version for free. I might be wrong, but I think the first game they did it with was Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, and since then, has adopted it for many of their games. Granted, most games that use it are smaller, PSN titles, but that's only because full versions of PS3 games for the Vita that are exactly the same are hard to come by.
So with these PSN titles, all you have to do is buy one version and get the other one for free, at no additional cost at all. Also, most of the Cross-Buy games also feature Cross-Saves, allowing you to upload your save file to the cloud and access it on whatever platform you choose, at any time. Also, most tiles feature a unified trophy list, but there have been instances of separate trophy lists, allowing you to double up on trophies easily, with one sync of a save file. Thank you, Sound Shapes.
With the release of the PS4, Sony's Cross-Buy program didn't get swept under the rug, but instead upgraded and expanded. Right off the bat, former PSN favorites began showing up on the PS4, which were free if you owned them on a previous console (PS3 and/or Vita). And now, with Doki-Doki Universe, games are seeing the Cross-Buy program spread over three different consoles all at once. Buy this games for any console of your choosing, and get it for free for the other two. Simple as that. It's brilliant, and if Nintendo ever decided to adopt a similar program with the Wii U and the 3DS, imagine the possibilities.
Of course, I can only imagine that Sony started up this program as a way to entice consumers to buy a Vita, as they have struggled to sell themselves. So by making gamers feel like there was a legit reason to own one and that there were tons of perks that came with ownership, they hoped to sell a bunch more. Nintendo is really in the same boat with the 3DS, but I wonder if the Wii U couldn't get a shot in the proverbial arm if it was possible to stream 3DS games onto it. Nintendo is moving closer to it being a possibility, now that they are taking the steps needed to completely unify your 3DS and Wii U accounts, so who knows what could happen in the near future.
Anyway, this game Doki-Doki Universe is pretty rad. Rad? Can I use the word still without making me sound like I'm a child of the late 80's/ early 90's, even though I am? Oh well, either way, I used it. Take it or leave it.
If you have played any of the Scribblenauts games, this game will feel quite familiar. Instead of the complete freedom to come up with any object you can name, all the objects you will need are already in the game, spread out over the worlds you explore, waiting for you to find and collect. Yes, it takes the creative freedom out of the game, which made Scribblenauts so charming, but with Doki-Doki Universe, it doesn't feel like it's missing anything. It feels just as adorable and charming, just in a different way.
It's pretty much impossible not to fall in love with the characters, as they all ooze so much personality and pizzazz. The art style is simple, but somehow it pops extremely impressively. It's crisp and clear and looks amazing, especially considering the style used. The story telling and humor are on-point as well, making the overall package pretty enjoyable. Sure, the game is simple and it's not the type of game for everyone, but if you're looking for a nice, relaxing and borderline cheesy game to make you smile and feel like a kid again, you can't go wrong with Doki-Doki Universe.
Especially if you want three copies of it for the price of one.
Last year when I got my Vita, I made a conscience decision not to buy any of the retail games available at launch. For one, none of the games really struck a chord with me as being must-buys, even with the new Uncharted game sitting on the shelves. Secondly, the games available to download from the PSN for significantly less money than the retail games were too tempting to pass up. I figured I could keep plenty busy with my Vita by just getting the PSN games, and with the inclusion of GameFly, it was an obvious decision to make.
Fact is, the games on the PSN pretty much carried the Vita for quite some time, and some would argue that they still continue to do so. At launch, however, there was no question about it, as overall, the quality and price of the games made the full retail games seem insignificant. In fact, Sony must have thought the same thing, as just a few months after its release, they put a few of biggest retail launch games up for free for PS+ members, including that Uncharted: Golden Abyss game.
One of the downloadable PSN titles available at launch was Escape Plan, a quirky black-and-white puzzle game that didn't get nearly the hype it deserved. It was great, it was easy to get in to and enjoy and had charm oozing out from every corner, in a very dark and disturbing way. When it was first released, however, the developers tried to force all the unique Vita features like the rear touchpad and such as controls for the game, and they weren't an option. Instead of putting a spotlight on the cool things the Vita could do, they made everything feel like a gimmick which only made the controls frustrating at best. Eventually they got the picture, and patched the game to add button support as control option, which opened up the game substantially.
They also released a few pieces of DLC, but unlike most developers, they didn't aim to make as much money as possible right off the bat. One of the DLC packs was only a couple of pennies for the first day, and another one was about half a buck, if I remember correctly. The prices have sense gone up to normal DLC prices, but they wanted to thank all the early adopters of the game, which of course was greatly appreciated.
I haven't put much thought into the game since then, however, as so many other games have graced my life that I just haven't even had time to think about it, I haven't missed anything though, as they went silent for quite some time. Well, to my surprise, the developers were actually working on a PS4 port of the game, which was just released completely under the radar. Best thing about it, is they gave it away for free to everyone who already owned the Vita version, including all the DLC. They did give it its own trophy list, however, unlike Sound Shapes, which means that you'll have to play it all over again to earn those trophies.
Don't fret, though, as the game is just as good and fun as the Vita version was. Same game, just with a nice polish on it. Nothing is different that I can tell, which isn't a bad thing considering it was free. The only thing about it is that they implemented a few touch controls to take advantage of the touchpad on the DualShock 4 control, and why they are a little finicky and cumbersome at time, they aren't too prevalent and probably won't keep you from completing a level with three stars, once you get used to them.
Now, the only thing I haven't tried is to play the PS4 version of Escape Plan via Remote Play with my Vita, essentially creating an Escape Plan inception or black hole. I might literally crash my entire Sony network of systems if I try it, but the more I think about it, the more curious I am. If you don't hear from me again, send help. Just not via the PSN.
One good deed deserves another, as they say, right? Well, that's exactly why I chose to play the game I did for this blog entry. You see, a little while ago, I wrote about Puppeteer, which I praised highly, and even boasted about how fantastic it was on some podcasts. Well, my buddy Ben was highly intrigued by the game, especially so that he could play it with his boys, as it is a fantastic game for all ages to enjoy. Because of that, we met up one fateful day so i could lend him the game, since I was done with it and the only reason I would keep playing it would be going back for missed trophies.
The last thing I wanted to do was trophy hunt, with two new consoles and other various new games just around the corner. With my backlog and everything else going on, trophy hunting wasn't beneficial to me in any way, despite how much I loved Puppeteer. I would love to go back and play it through again, but I'm afraid playing it simply for trophies would knock some shine off of it for me. Maybe not, though, but regardless, I just couldn't do it.
So I passed it off to Ben to let him enjoy it. At the time, I didn't need anything in return, as I told you how much was on my plate already and coming up. But recently, I found out he was done with a game that I was extremely interested in, and so, he returned the favor by letting me borrow it from him, since he was done with it and all.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes has been a game I've wanted to play and write about since it came out several weeks back. But I held off on getting it for any current systems, because I had my eye on the PS4 version of the game. I did actually pick up a copy of the game for the PS4 version, but because of Amazon having some "difficulties" with my orders recently, I didn't actually get the game in time to make it part of my PS4 week. That's okay, though, as there are still a few days left in the year, I thought.
Well, then I caught wind that Ben had the Vita version, and instantly, I wanted to play that version first, especially for the blog. Why, you ask? It's simple, really. The console version of the game is massive and open-world, which means I would be able to get little progress in, especially with my attention being all over the place. The Vita version (along with the 3DS version) are stripped down games, which are completely linear and compiled into chapters, not just a large, open-world hub. It is a very streamlined gaming experience, which all LEGO games that have come to console and handheld have been like. It's a tried and true formula, and it works.
The reason I was so interested in it, I shamefully have to admit, is for the trophies. Usually, the Platinum trophies in these games are far and above easier to obtain than the console versions. Sure, you have to put in the legwork and beat the game, then do some grinding, but once you get going on it, the task isn't nearly as dubious as it would be on the console version. Truth is, I have never even come close to getting a Platinum trophy on a PS3 LEGO game, but all of them I have played for the Vita, I've got no problem.
So there you have it. I gave up Puppeteer to prevent myself from trophy hunting, only to borrow LEGO Marvel Super Heroes with the sole intention to trophy hunt. I'm skipping over the story and everything, mainly so I can experience it all on the PS4 when I get to it. But for now, it's just me and the trophies for the Vita version.
Thanks, Ben. I'm glad you seemed to like Puppeteer as much as I did, but just know, you are an enabler in my sick addiction to trophies. Hope you can live with yourself.
So first thing is first. No, I didn't do an entire, full, 7-day week for the Xbox One launch. I only did six days, because well, there were only six games I had and/or wanted to play for the system. I suppose I could have gave the Xbox Fitness program a chance, but despite downloading it, I know nothing about it. Plus, who wants to work out with a fitness game on Thanksgiving anyway?
Because of a lack of games to play, I only did six days for Xbox One. Deal with it. It has nothing to do with me favoring PS4 over the X1, or my underlying lack of commitment to the Microsoft platform. Think what you will, but I gave Microsoft and the Xbox One system every bit of attention as I did the PS4 before it. I just couldn't justify spending any more money on games I had little to no interest in.
Another thing people seem to want to know, as I have been asked quite a bit actually, is after playing and experiencing both systems first hand, is which system do I like more? Honestly, it's a hard question to answer, as both systems offer completely different experiences, functions and features that make them individual and hard to compare to one another. There are things that the PS4 does well that the Xbox One is lacking on, and vice versa. Also, because I have been spending so much time just playing games and writing for this blog, that there are still things I have yet to even try out on both consoles, like recording, sharing and streaming.
The biggest take away I have from almost two weeks of playing and writing about the two different brand new consoles is simple. I am super thankful for being able to get both new systems and enjoy them, as I realize how fortunate I am to be able to do so. Also, I am thankful that gaming is so popular, and that my life-long hobby has grown and continued to keep me entertained, enthralled and delighted after all these years.
Also, I'm thankful that there are so many different choices for gamers out there, as no matter what you are in to, there continues to be something new and exciting for you to enjoy.
Lastly, I am thankful that games like Tearaway continue to be made, as studios like Media Molecule aren't afraid to go against the grain and make games that are fun and whimsical, unique and bursting of personality. They aren't concerned with creating the most graphically powerful game, but instead insist on making great looking games in the style that they are.
In Tearaway, the entire game is made in paper-craft, which is a slight difference from the Little Big Planet games they are famous for. The thing about the game, however, is that the paper-craft art style isn't just for looks, but rather the entire focus of the game. Because the entire game is made of paper, essentially, it is able to showcase the unique features of the PS Vita system. It utilizes both cameras, the gyroscope and especially the rear touch pad. I could go on and on about how everything works in the game, but that would ruin a lot of the fun within it, as discovering it yourself adds to the charm.
I will tell you this, however. You, the player of the game, is an important part of the game, as you are essentially inside the game you are playing. Tearaway revolves around you, and it isn't until the end where you realize just how deep the seemingly shallow story goes. The ending will take you by surprise, in the best and most powerful way.
Overall, this is easily one of if not the best Vita game I have played all year. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to experience this game, especially on a day where we should all have so much to be thankful for.
When Arkham Origins was released, it wasn't exactly the only Batman game to be released that day. Truth is, there was another Arkham game in development at the same time, designed to be an additional experience to go hand-in-hand with Origins, meant to continue the story and essentially just give more Batman to the fans.
This other game, however, isn't a console game, but rather handheld game for the 3DS and the Vita. It is made in the same vein as the other Arkham games, especially in spirit and feel, despite the gameplay and style being very different than what fans have come to know and love.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is a sequel to Origins, but is still a prequel to the other Arkham games. It takes place a few months after the events of Origins, which isn't a spoiler as they both take place before the older Arkham games. Surprise! The villains you had to deal with in Origins got put away in the most notoriously dangerous prison in fictional history, and of course, the story of this game revolves around them taking over the prison and attempting a full-fledged escape. Black Mask, Penguin and Joker are all back in action, leading the charge of the villainous takeover in the prison, of course. In this game, however, you meet Catwoman for the the first time, establishing the very beginning of her relationship with the Bats. This happens right at the beginning of the game, so anyone freaking out about spoilers ... chill.
This game is different in the fact that it is not open world exploration, or even 3D for that matter. It is, what we call it in the industry, a dynamic 2.5D game, where you can only really move left and right, up and down, but the camera and game will automatically swivel you around corners and turns, and also in and out of the background and foreground. So while it is a 2D platformer, it still makes you feel immersed into the environment enough to make you feel free of the 2D constraints.
Batman has the usual arsenal of gadgets, and he has to find them in locked crates throughout the prison. When it comes to gadgets and stuff, Blackgate uses the MetroidVania blueprint, where you can obtain a gadget in one part of the map, but can and have to go back to previous portions of the map you already went to in order to open up new areas, collect secrets and advance the story. A lot of backtracking, but it goes fairly quick to where it's not too annoying.
The combat system is pretty much the same, you can pull grates off walls and of course, detective mode is utilized as well. For the Vita, all you have to do is tap on the touchscreen to activate the mode, and when you hold your finger on the screen, you can scan around the room and analyze objects, secrets and clues for crime scenes that act as mini-side missions, although you just find them along your travels so they don't ever take you away from your current objective. If anything, you just waste a bunch of time scanning every room from top to bottom, if you're like me at all.
Also, the cutscenes are animated in comic book style, and the remind me a lot of the Batman Beyond animated series. They are well done and fit the feel of the game perfectly. For a handheld Batman game, I couldn't ask for anything more, to be honest.
Do you ever play a game, and even if it is a decent one, it still makes you just think about wanting to play a completely different game instead? Not that it's a bad game, but you know there is another game of similar genre and style that is just simply better or more fun, and as much as you try to get in to and really enjoy what you are playing, your mind just drifts away to the other game?
Of course you do, but as normal gamers, you can easily transition from one game to the next, provided you have the game you want to play. If you don't, well, then your out of luck. For me, however, especially in the context of this blog, when I'm playing one game for the blog, I can't just go and switch on a whim. I have to be dedicated to the project. Besides, if I switch and want to write about the other game, then I'll have to play the first game again if I want to add it to the blog.
So instead, I'll just bite the bullet and play the first game, write about it, and try to move on.
I played Big Sky Infinity. I've had this game sitting on my hard drive of my PS3 and my memory card of my Vita for what seems like forever, pretty much untouched. It was a cross-buy game from the PSN, that may have actually went free on PS Plus sometime after I bought it, but I may be mistaken. Regardless, I bought it, thinking I would love it, as it is a twin-stick shooter, with the shtick being that the game progressively adjusts the difficulty of itself as you play, depending on how well or terrible you are doing.
Seems good on paper, and while it is serviceable for what it is, all it did was make me want to play Super Stardust Delta on my Vita, and even more than that, the upcoming Resogun on the PS4, made by the same people responsible for Super Stardust Delta. I'm sorry, but that game looks AMAZING, and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Sounds weird that one of my most anticipated games for the "next-gen" consoles is a downloadable PSN title, but hey, the heart can't help what it wants.
Anyway, I'll probably keep the game on my Vita for now, as mindless twin-stick shooters are good to keep around for random moments of boredom and quick fun, but I need space on my PS3 hard drive, so I don't think it will make the cut. At least I gave it a shot, though, even if I wanted to play something else the entire time.
Hype is a scary thing when it comes to video games. On one hand, the lack of hype for whatever reason can completely destroy the success of a game, and has been known to ruin franchises. This usually happens when a game comes out close to a much higher profile game, and it gets lost in the shuffle. Sometimes the studios or publishers just do a horrible job at promoting the game, thus giving review sites and such poor impressions and an overall lack of interest in the product. And of course, there are instances of the game being really good, but missing that "it" factor to make it shine to the consumer.
And then there is the opposite effect of hype, where a game is over hyped to the point of building expectations so high, it can never even come close to fulfilling the prospect of its quality. Whether it be from the game companies themselves, review sites or the general public, it is always a very thing line to walk on, with one miscue pushing the hype train into the over-hyped category. I've been burnt before on over hyped games, falling victim to the excitement and build-up only to have the game fall short of the mark. It's an uncomfortable feeling, but sometimes it's just unavoidable.
Which brings me to Killzone: Mercenary for the PS Vita. This game might have been the most anticipated and hyped game for the handheld console ever, and finally, after all the talk, speculation, previews, reviews, betas and demos, the game finally came out. And not a minute too soon, either, as I'm pretty sure Vita owners were getting ready to go on a collective strike if they didn't get something new and awesome to play on it soon. Killzone: Mercenary has been labeled already as a "console seller," which just means that the game is so good, it could tempt non-Vita owners to run out and buy a system just to play this game. It's also been pronounced to be the best First Person Shooter on a handheld device ever, which is a heavy label to hold and be responsible to live up to.
While I didn't touch the betas and didn't follow the development cycle very closely, I found myself excited about this game as much as the rest of the world. I knew all along I would be getting the game, as it would be my first experience with the Killzone franchise ever, if only because I was curious about the hype it was receiving. I like being apart of the conversations, not left on the outside looking in, hoping to formulate some context and judgement form other peoples' opinions.
I'm glad to be apart of this conversation for sure.
So here's the deal. I didn't jump right in to the multiplayer like everyone else and their mothers did. For me, as you should know by now, I'm all about single player campaigns. Plus, without ever touching a Killzone game before, I wanted to learn about the game, the universe, the controls and simply put, the ins and outs of the game before I jump in with a bunch of other players and embarrass myself. Plus, you know, multiplayer gaming just isn't my thing, as much as I sometimes wish it was.
Playing the campaign was fun, and I enjoyed learning a brand new game. The controls work great and the even the small amount of touch controls didn't bother me at all. There are a few things that bug me, like having to push a button to pick up ammo as opposed to just walking over ammo and automatically collecting it, but that might just take some getting used to.
The big thing I noticed, however, is that while the game looks great - smooth textures, great lighting, small details - I think I just expected more from it, based on the hype. I expected a PS3-like experience with this game, but to me, it still looks like a Vita game, through and through. Not that that's a bad thing, because it's a fantastic looking Vita game, but I just don't see how it is far and above better than games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss on the Vita.
Maybe it's my own fault for falling victim to the hype and expecting more than it could ever deliver. I'm still having a blast with it and enjoying it more than any other FPS shooter I've played on a handheld, so that's a thing. Not sure I would have ran out and bought a Vita to play this game, however, but since I'm already an owner, I'm more than happy to be able to enjoy the game now.
Hype is a weird thing. Thankfully, it hasn't ruined this experience for me. Yet. I haven't tried multiplayer, after all.
I know I have written about fighting games before. I can't remember exactly which game it was that prompted me to share my thoughts on the fighting game genre, but I know I wrote about it. If you remember that post, well, for one, you should write in to me and refresh my memory what game it was (so I don't write about it again), but secondly, you should remember my personal feelings on fighting games. Well, that is, if your memory is better than mine.
As a refresher, let me break it down for you real quick. I love fighting games. Absolutely adore them. Unfortunately, my skill level of fighting games doesn't even come close to matching how much I love to play them, which is bizarre. You would think that if someone loves a genre of games, and plays a bunch of them, that they would be half-way decent, right? Well, I'm the exception to the rule. No matter how much I play a fighting game and how well I study the move-sets and practice them, I get absolutely destroyed by others when I try to put my training to the test.
I really can't explain why, either. I would say my hand-eye coordination, but that would effect other types of games, if not all video games, as well, right? Maybe I'm just not fast enough, or have slow reaction times. Maybe my fingers can't accurately hit the diagonal position of the D-pad as accurately as I need. Like I said, I really have no idea.
With all that being said, and risking the possibility of writing a post exactly like an old one, I can happily say I found a fighting game that I can be good at. Not just good, but dominant. Well, I think I can. That's the thing with Divekick; no matter how good you think you are, the game revolves around sheer luck and guessing, meaning any Joe Schmoe off the street can play for the first time and easily beat a seasoned veteran. How is that possible, you say? Allow me to explain.
Divekick was not created to be played by hardcore fighting game fanatics, or be a tournament game at Evo, the largest fighting game tournament in the world, where the best of the best compete. No, this game is made for everyone else, who play fighting games for the fun of it, and just want to have fun while playing the games, not be constantly devastated by inabilities to perform perfect combos with perfect timing. Divekick is for the masses, as they say.
This game is the epitome of simplicity. There are only two buttons to control the action. No, seriously. Just two buttons. One for jumping, and the other for divekicking. You can't move your player forward or backwards, you can't block, you can't perform any sort of combos. All you can do is jump up, and divekick in the direction of your opponent. You can perform a kickback, which is an evasion maneuver, for most characters by hitting the kick button before jumping. Also, pushing both buttons at once will perform a special move, individualized for each character. If you manage to hit your opponent before they hit you, you win. Just one hit ends the round. The fact that there is even a health bar is comical in its own right.
Each fight consists of a best-of-nine series, which basically means the first one to win 5 rounds, wins the match. With one-hit kills, the matches usually go pretty quickly, unless you and your opponent play a game of chicken and just keep jumping up, afraid to make the first move. In reality, this game is all about timing. Nail the timing of your kick and you'll reign supreme. If your opponent has better timing than you, that will mark success in their favor. Sure, some skill comes in to play, but overall, it's a lot more random and luck driven than skill-based. Which is why this game is fun, not frustrating.
This game is available for Steam, but also for PS3 and Vita, which are available as a cross-buy. Buy it for one Sony platform, get it for the other one for free. Sweet deal, huh? For me, I'm playing it on my Vita, but only because it is such a fun, quick little game to pick up and play in short bursts, especially on the go.
So there you have it. A fighting game I can fully support. That is, until some who has never played before challenges me and destroys me. At that point, I'll swear off fighting games forever. Maybe. Probably not, but it's nice to think about anyway.
Want to know a secret of the gaming industry? You might have already heard it, but possibly ignored it, overlooked it or flat out dismissed it. So here I am, bringing you a total pro tip, free of charge, because that's just how I roll.
The Playstation Plus program is hands down the absolute best deal for your money in console gaming, and I would almost go as far as to say just gaming in general. And that would include Steam.
Every month, Sony is dropping a handful of free games on to the laps of subscribers, ranging from full-fledged retail releases to PSN gems, both for the PS3 and the Vita as well. Better yet, one PS+ subscription nets you the benefits for both systems, so those who are rocking the home game console and it's handheld counterpart are reaping in the benefits on both gaming fronts.
One of the latest PS+ treasures offered up for free was Dokuro, a charming little platformer that is designed in a style not seen before (that I can remember, at least), for the Vita. The entire game is artistically designed as if it were all chalk art, which is a cool take on the "hand drawn" style that is more commonly used. The plot is a common one; you are trying to save the princess. Spoiler alert for anyone not keen on knowing about the first minute of a game. The game play follows suit with the plot, where you control the protagonist in his quest to save the princess. The twist is you start out with the princess, as she is constantly running to the right of the screen, which obviously leads to the end of each level.
While she runs on her own, she still requires the assistance of you for clearing enemies out of her path, creating platforms for her to continue on and essentially just making her route to the end of the level as easy as possible. The first few levels are quite easy, and the solutions to the puzzles in each area are simple enough to show you how to play the game. But by the time the first boss comes along, the game ramps up its level of trickiness - which is a good thing.
None of the "puzzles" are really hard, but without thinking outside of the box, they could cause quite the problem. And that is one thing this game does exceptionally well. It makes you think differently about the environment and the path to take. It opens your eyes to a new way of thinking and makes you look at the possible solutions in different ways than you are used to. And that's a great thing.
It's games like Dokuro that really showcase how special the PS+ program really is. I just hope you believe me on this.
I've been going back and forth on how to approach the posting for this blog. There are many, many different directions I can go with it, some of which are controversial, others that aren't. I want to be careful in what I say, hoping not to imply something I don't necessarily mean but at the same time not holding back on my true opinions and reactions about this game. Maybe it's because of the lull of summer, or maybe there is true validity in the controversy this game has sparked recently, but regardless, I'm going to attempt to mix it all together in one blog post, as is only fair.
First thing's first, however. Dragon's Crown is an amazingly well-done, exciting and overall fun game, hands down. I don't know how else to properly convey that, and quite frankly, I don't think I need to.
This is the game I have been waiting for, clamoring for, for my Vita. It is a 2D side scrolling, dungeon crawling, beat'em up loot grabbing, artistic, stylistic grinding type of game, blasted with RPG elements and overall over-the-top design. And it's almost perfect. The story gets in the way of the game play sometimes, as I just want to keep pushing on, leveling up, looting and discovering the fascinating world they have created. But hey, I understand the need for a story. I just wish it was done differently.
Oh, I picked up this game for the Vita instead of the PS3 for specific reasons, despite everyone saying that while the two versions are identical, the action gets a little hard to keep up with on the smaller screen of the Vita while the PS3 version is brilliantly beautiful. Well, without seeing the PS3 version, I think the Vita version is just as gorgeous. Plus, I have so many unfinished games on my PS3, I didn't want to add another one to the shelf, so with it being portable, the Vita version is ideal for me to pack around with me and grind through as I please. Not being tethered to my home console will increase the chances of me putting the time into this game that I so desperately want to.
Now I could go on and on about how this the very experience I have craved forever, about how this is what I wanted Soul Sacrifice to be. I could talk about how I haven't hardly put the game down, playing it on my breaks at work and any free time I could squeeze it in. But instead, let's shift gears just a little bit.
When this game was reviewed by a journalist for Polygon, the internet essentially went into a frenzy. I don't want to go into the full details, as they are easily found with a quick internet search, so I'll give you a quick break down. This writer, who happened to be female, ridiculed the game harshly for the artistic style, as it dramatically and drastically exaggerates the characters in the game, even more specifically, the females. While wearing little clothing, the female bodies are, how should I say, slightly disproportionate, with certain characteristics greatly enhanced. While she had every right to be offended and disgusted, which led to a bad gaming experience, the comments that the story got were down right mean, hateful, rude and uncalled for.
Just because you don't agree with a person's perspective on a game doesn't entitle you to personally attack them an question their motives or qualifications as a game reviewer. Despite the fact that she used choice words that could be taken as inflammatory when describing the audience she thought this game was made for, there are always better ways to handle situations like this.
Personally, I understand her concerns with the artistic style, but I also see the game as being over exaggerated all around, not just the females, so I can also understand why people would think her comments were a little hypocritical. I don't have a problem with the style, as I understand that this is a design choice and honestly, I have seen far worse offensive styles in a game. I also have to consider that I am not seeing it from a female perspective, and if I could, maybe I would see it differently.
Ultimately, it's just a giant can of worms. I guess what it comes down to is having an opinion is a right, not a privilege, but it is something that can be taken advantage of without proper understanding of how to articulate your opinion. There is also a very thin line between being opinionated and attacking someone with your opinions, and if you're not careful, you could not only step over that line, but sprint across it to a dark and seedy place that isn't easy to come back from.
If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
For me, however, I have a LOT of great things to say about Dragon's Crown. I just want to keep playing it instead, thought.
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Games played for project : 365