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.
To round out my first week with my PS4, I decided to play one of my newest favorites franchises, which I only recently discovered about a year ago. As I was talking about with my Killzone write-up, sometimes it is hard to dive in to a franchise after missing several games before your plunge, but it's then that you have to decide whether to start from the beginning and catch up first, or just start with the newest.
Well, last year when the ridiculously hyped Assassin's Creed III came out, I had to check it out and see what the series was all about. I knew about the previous Assassin's Creed games, as many people had tried to get me in to them before, but nothing about the games ever grabbed me. As bad and narrow-minded as it may sound or come across, the setting for the Assassin's Creed games turned me off, as Europe just didn't do anything for me in context with what the game series was all about. But once AC III was shown to feature American History around the time of the revolution, coupled with the Native American folklore and perspective of the main character, I knew AC III was a game for me.
I didn't know at the time whether or not the series would be up my alley or not, but I didn't care or worry about the franchise as a whole. But after playing the game to near 100% completion, and even buying in to the added DLC stories that I actually wrote about for this blog way back in the second month of this year long project, I knew I was hooked on the series forever.
Actually, forever is a long time. Let's just say, until they do me wrong, I'm all in.
So when Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag was initially released, I was so tempted to pick it up. Naturally, PS3 was my go-to system for all the biggest and best games, which is what I was considering getting the game for. But with only a few weeks wait until the PS4 launch and subsequently, AC IV along with it on launch day, I decided to hold off for a couple of weeks. It was a hard decision, because I was overly anxious to get back into the franchise and play what appeared to be an awesome pirate game, but alas, I held out. At one point I even considered the upgrade program, where you buy the game for the PS3, and then when you get your PS4, you can digitally upgrade to the PS4 for ten bucks more. Ultimately, though, I knew I wouldn't get enough playtime in with AC IV before the new console came out to justify the extra money for the upgrade plan. So I waited.
I'm glad I did, because while I would have enjoyed it on the PS3 I'm sure, it is quite clear that this game was built for the new consoles. It is breathtakingly gorgeous, in every aspect. It's almost scary how beautiful this game is, and I can easily say the wait was worth it. Unfortunately, this is the type of game that demands your full attention in order to fully enjoy the experience, so I question how much time I will put in to this game for the time being, at least with all the other games I have to play and this blog to maintain.
I can not wait for what's to come with this game, however, and see how this new franchise to me will continue to strengthen it's bond with me. For now, however, I need to step away from the PS4 for a brief moment, as another console is on the horizon to grace this year long blog project of mine.
Overall, my first week with the PS4 was a magical one, as I feel it delivered everything promised to me as a Day One adopter of the system. It has it's quirks and kinks to work out, but overall, the first week with it was a smooth transition into the next-gen for Sony consoles. If this is the lowest point for this system, as is the case for launches with every new system, then we as gamers and owners of PS4s have a lot to look forward to in the years ahead.
But first, the Xbox One launch is upon us.
It's really hard to jump into a brand new game without much, if any, knowledge of the franchise, previous stories and plots, or even the basics as to what makes the particular franchise different than others. I have encountered this dilemma several times over the last year, both with individual games I played randomly, but also in some of the "Week Of..." series that happened throughout the project.
While it is fun to learn about franchises that I didn't know much about, I also found it somewhat difficult to just jump into the newest games right off the bat, as I always felt like there was just something I was always missing or not picking up on that I should know going in. Realistically, however, there just isn't enough time to go back and start all the franchises you've missed out on, so it's usually just best to jump into the cold water head first as opposed to dipping your toes in.
When Killzone Mercenary came out a few months ago for the PS Vita, I had no reservations at all about jumping in, as it would be my first Killzone game I've ever played. Being a late adopter of the PS3. and not caring about it back on the PS2, i just never put much thought into the franchise. But when Mercenary came out, I didn't hesitate as I normally would, for one reason. It was a handheld version of the series, and if we learned anything from Resistance: Burning Skies, handheld versions of established console franchises usually don't hold much weight. Not to say Mercenary was on the same level as Burning Skies at all, because that's a very unfair comparison. I pushed through Burning Skies for the trophies but didn't overly enjoy the experience very much, where as Mercenary I thoroughly enjoyed what I played of it.
(Yes, I still need to go back and finish the game. Trust me, it's looming over my head like a black cloud.)
Regardless, I had to jump in to Killzone: Shadow Fall, as it was one of the highly touted launch games for the PS4 launch. Despite only knowing a little bit of the franchise from Mercenary, I had not choice but to pick it up. While I didn't feel comfortable starting the campaign yet, as I want to give my full attention to something like that, I tried out the multiplayer. In comparison to Call of Duty: Ghosts, I noticed that hardly anyone was actually talking to the matches. Also, the Warzones are really cool in the way that they are much longer, timed matches, with smaller, individual matches within it, all of which are different. You seamlessly transition from Team Deathmatch to a Search and Destroy type of mission, and so on and so forth.
It was a breath of fresh air compared to the norm, which is fantastic. Sometimes that's all you need. Now don't get me wrong, I completely sucked while playing, as the motions and movements of the game and controls felt differently as well, which are probably normal for Killzone, but nothing I was terribly familiar with. That's not a bad thing, though, it just means I need to play some more, right?
The Killzone franchise is ready for me to join. I'm up on the diving board already, ready to jump in. All it takes is one...more...step.
Once again, leave it to me to go against the overall consensus and do things my way, the way I want to, for myself and no one else. You've read about it a lot over the course of this year, without question, so it should come to no surprise that I am at it again.
Before the launch of the PS4, reviewers rolled out their reviews of all the launch games before hand, in different intervals, according to the review embargoes they were held to. All the reviews did in fact come out before the launch of the system, which was reassuring to consumers who were chomping at the bit to get their hands on some next-gen games. Sure, everyone probably had some sort of idea of what games they wanted Day 1, or at least were interested in, but with a lot of uncertainty of launch titles, many gamers that I know personally were waiting to see reviews for the titles they had their eyes on in hopes of making firm decisions on what games to buy.
Trust me, I understand the logic. I read every review I can get my hands on for games I want, am interested in or even remotely curious about. I'm just a sponge and want all the information possible. Rarely does a review sway me from a decision I've already made, but I'm always curious to see what other people thing of games.
Largely reviews are filled with nitpicking and overly critical opinions, and usually have less about all the good things the game does and more about the negatives. They usually bum me out, which is why I always try to find the best in games when I am playing them, which I have tried to convey on this blog. Like I said, I reviews for the thoughts and discussions they evoke, I just rarely let them guide my purchasing decisions.
I knew I wanted Knack from the first time I saw it. An action-platformer that revolved around combat, unique animation style and an overall whimsical charm to the whole package. Sony also decided from the get-go that they were going to lean on Knack as not only a launch game, but as a mascot for the brand to carry the Sony flag into the next console generation. The notion of of this game being a flagship for the PS4 right off the bat fell flat for the most part, but that didn't keep Sony from pushing the character into the forefront of it's marketing campaign.
For me, however, they didn't need to do a thing. Like I said, I knew this was a game I wanted from the start. The more I saw from it, and even when I got to demo it, there was no question in my mind I wanted the game. It was actually at the top of my must-buy list for the launch. But then, the reviews came out, a couple of days before launch. One after another, reviewers kept labeling Knack as okay, decent and not bad. No one really seemed to like it a lot, however, which disheartened me. But did it change my mind from buying it on day one?
What do you think.
I've heard everyone share their opinions on why they wouldn't be buying this game. Some say it looked like a kids game. Others said it just looked boring or uninteresting. A few people said it didn't look like it belonged on the PS4 at all, noting the graphics being sub-par for what they expected. And a select few even questioned why they should buy the game now when they could just get it for free from PS Plus in a couple of months (hypothetically, of course).
Well, for all those gamers out there who decided to pass on Knack, let me just say this: You are all missing out, greatly.
This game is ridiculously fun. I have spent far more with Knack then I have any other title on the PS4 this far. I just can't stop playing. There isn't any puzzle solving, but the game is still a lot harder than you could even imagine. It looks like a cute little kids game, but the difficulty is crazy at points, even on a medium-difficulty setting. Playing through, I can't help but think that this game is deserving of at least a second play through, for sure.
And remember that iOS game I played a little while ago, the companion app for Knack called Knack's Quest? It works flawlessly, and it is such a pleasure to instantly import all the unlocked treasures from the iOS game directly in Knack. It's a great addition to my experience with Knack, and I couldn't be happier with both.
Overall, this game is shaping up to be my favorite PS4 game of the launch line-up for sure. Granted, I haven't wrote about a few other notably impressive games yet, but as it stands now, Knack has stolen my heart. Just like I knew it would from the beginning.
I already wrote about Resogun, a free game offered by Sony for PS Plus members that was available day one of the PS4 launch. For non-PS+ owners of the new console (which is ridiculous to even think about), the game can be purchased for $15, which all but proves how much of a value the service is. And they aren't just garbage, throwaway or older games either, as Resogun clearly shows off that Sony isn't afraid to give away GREAT games.
Sure, members would have be perfect;y content with such an awesome game like Resogun, as I would assume most day one adopters of the new console probably picked up at least one PS4 game to play on the new system. I can't imagine someone spending that much money, time and effort into getting a brand new system and not getting a game to play on it, especially considering games just don't come packed in with new consoles like they used to be.
Actually, was that just a Nintendo thing? Has any other console ever packaged in a game to a new console, that wasn't a package deal of some sorts? I honestly don't know the answer to it, and if I wasn't writing this blog, I would go research it. And by the time I'm done here, I will forget to look it up, so alas, I turn to you dear readers. If you know, let me know! Educate me! I dare you!
Anyway, before I veer too far off the beaten path, let's get back to the matter at hand. Day 322, game 322. I played Contrast, which amazingly enough, is another free game for PS+ members to enjoy on their new PS4 systems.
Contrast is a breath of fresh air, especially for gamers who may not like the hyper-frantic pacing and visuals of a game like Resogun. It's not a shooter, it doesn't have a leaderboard to stress and obsess over, it doesn't take place in space, and definitely won't come close to giving you a seizure after a few minutes of gameplay. You see, Contrast is a puzzle-platformer that is oozing with a noir feel, as it takes place in the 1920's in Paris. It tells the story of a little girl and her imaginary friend, on an adventure together. The thing that makes this game unique, however, is the clever use of lighting, and more specifically, shadows.
You switch from 3D adventuring around the world to 2D platforming, all with the push of a button. You play as the imaginary friend, and she is capable of turning herself into shadows which allows her to use every other shadow in the game as platforms in order to make it to previously unreachable parts of the map.. Switching between 3D and 2D is the key to traversing the city, as mastering the light sources and manipulating them to your advantage is your only hope of survival. Thankfully, the game doesn't punish you for dying, which makes it feel encouraging to go off and explore at your will.
I understand this game won't be for everyone, just like Resogun isn't. But the fact that these are two excellent games for gamers to enjoy for free on day one of the new PS4 is something you can't shake a stick at, as they say. You don't have to download them if you don't want to, and you don't have to risk your hard earned money for something you might not like.
Kudos to Sony, for reaffirming the dominance of the PS Plus service as an industry leader.
I've talked before about how Sony got it absolutely right with their PlayStation Plus service. It took a little while for them to get their feet under them with it, but once they did, they hit the ground running and never looked back. At the time, they didn't have any competition for what they were offering from either Microsoft or Nintendo, but they didn't want to leave any doors open for either of them to try to swoop in on their game.
Recently, Microsoft joined in on the reindeer games, but ultimately, it doesn't even come close to PS+. While the services are somewhat different as far as what they offer the customers, they both now offer free games to subscribers. Sony has offered several amazing games for free for quite some time now, while Microsoft has delivered sub-par and dated games since they started offering free game to their Gold members.
With the release of the PS4, the PS Plus membership is now required for online play, which never was the case before. While most Sony fans should have been PS Plus members already because of all the free games and discounts, now it's a necessity. But fear not, because they aren't changing how they go about business and what they actually offer their members. As of day one for the PS4, all PS Plus members received not one, but two free games to download for their newly acquired PS4s: the unique puzzle-platformer utilizing shadows and light called Contrast, and the insanely hyperactive arcade shooter called Resogun.
Resogun is from the developers of the Stardust games that have graced a few of the Sony platforms. When the Vita was released, Super Stardust Delta was at the top of the list for must-have games for the system, despite the fact that it was merely a downloadable title from the PSN. Well, that same development team is back with a new spin on the classic formula they had perfected already, delivering another exceptional launch title for a new Sony platform. This time, however, they offered it up for free for PS Plus members.
Sony knows what they are doing, folks. No one is allowed to question that at this point.
The game itself is fun. It's really hard, but a lot of fun, and thankfully, it's perfect for picking up and playing for a minute and not being forced to invest a lot of time into it. The graphics are insane, and with so much movement and chaos on the screen at once, it's obvious immediately how the upgraded processing power of the new console will be able to propel gaming to heights never before dreamed of.
Having two free, complete games right off the bat thanks to Sony was just another reason why the launch of the PS4 made me smile. Even if Resogun quickly turns that smile into sheer frustration and hallucinogenic visions of space particles everywhere.
"[BLEEP] you and your stupid dog, [BLEEP]!!!"
This is how my thirteen year old son and I were welcomed to the fabulous online community after our first match we played together. Oh, Call of Duty ... how I missed you and your ignorant, childish, bigoted and bullying ways. Or not.
One of the several games I picked up for my PlayStation 4 on launch was Call of Duty: Ghosts. I was going back and forth on which system to pick it up for, either the PS4 or the upcoming Xbox One, or whether I was even going to get it at all. For some reason, however, I really wanted to play it, after skipping out on the last couple of Call of Duty games. Yeah, I had bought them for my son, but I have't spent very much time at all with the series in a few years, and quite frankly, that itch was back.
So on a whim, and because my buddy James was getting it for the PS4, I decided to pull the trigger and go for it. Did I want to play it for the single player campaign, the new extinction mode, or for online multiplayer? Well, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find out that I actually did get the game for the multiplayer mode, because it's Call of Duty - why else would I want to play it?
Okay, to be fair, I actually do want to play the single player campaign, mainly so I can play the mission in space. But for the most part, the multiplayer mode was calling me. And with my son over for the weekend, who has been playing Ghosts on the 360 since I bought it for him when it first came out a few weeks ago, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to jump in and experience the definitive version of the game first hand.
Sorry, Microsoft fans, but the PS4 does boast true 1080p for Ghosts, while the X1 only has 720 scaled up to 1080. In reality, this doesn't really matter that much at all, and you could only really tell if you had both versions running side-by-side simultaneously, or so I here. For the normal gamer who isn't looking to find minor flaws in things, it's all the same.
Playing the game, I ran into the same problems I always do when I jump into a new Call of Duty, or any multiplayer FPS for that matter. I have no knowledge of the maps when I start, and I spend most of the match running around like a maniac, spending more time trying to figure out the lay of the land and my way around then actually killing people and participating in the team activity. For what it's worth, I'm just not that good at these types of games, and usually end up on the losing team because my kill/death ratio is horrendous. Every once in a while I'll accidentally have a good match, but it's more of a fluke than anything. I always have fun playing though, despite my shortcomings on the battlefield, and that's what's important.
My boy, on the other hand, is awesome. Of course, these are the only type of games he really plays, but still, he is good at them. He knows all the weapons, all the maps and best places to rack up the kills, and best load outs for the maps. Watching him play is really cool, but playing along side him is fun and frustrating at the same time. I mean, he's 13 and I'm almost 30, and have been playing video games for twice as long as he has been alive. I shouldn't be relying on him to give me advice on playing a game!
Well, long story short, during our first match, he was talking about the guard dogs in the game, and how much he liked using them. He was talking with excitement and youthful joy in his voice. I didn't think about it before hand, but with my PS4 Camera that I had set up, it was acting as a microphone as well, thus picking up our conversation the whole match. My daughter was even singing the song "Radioactive" throughout the apartment, as she listened to it on my iPad, so I'm assuming everyone heard that as well. And honestly, I don't care, because that's why they include the option to mute people you don't want to listen to.
So because of my son going on about the dogs, it apparently rubbed someone else in the game the wrong way, and he felt the need to go on a profanity-laced tirade after the match. Was he mad we lost? Was he mad that a 13 year old was the top scorer of the team anyway? Was he just annoyed by the talk of how cool the guard dogs are coupled with a five year old girl singing "Radioactive" in the background? Who knows, and I certainly never will find out.
But one thing's for certain. I didn't really miss the online multiplayer community of Call of Duty at all.
As you may or may not know or remember, I started this year long project of daily gaming and blogging at the beginning of this for one reason. Looking ahead into the future sometime late last year, it was quite evident that 2013 was shaping up to be one of the biggest and best years for the video game industry of all time. Not only did we have one big title after another scheduled for release, but we had the end of two consoles' life cycles and the beginning of two new, "next-gen" systems in their places.
Back before I started the blog, no one really knew anything about the new Sony and Microsoft consoles, other than they would probably be coming out this year, and all the information we would need would be presented at the 2013 E3 conference. Without the details ahead of time, I didn't really know what to expect from the new consoles, and even if they were worth being excited about, but ultimately, I didn't need them to be awesome. For this year-long blog, just them being released would aid me in adding some content to the blog, good or bad.
I hoped for the best, however, as I really wanted this year to actually be remembered as the best of all time, as that would only add more clout and importance to my project both immediately and in the long run as well. With that being said, I pre-ordered both consoles immediately after watching their E3 press conferences, as that was the soonest I could officially begin the wait for the next generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles, the PS4 and the Xbox One, respectfully.
The tagline for the PS4 marketing campaign was "Greatness Awaits." Well, the wait is over, and I, like many of other people around the country, finally have a PS4.
And boy, is it great. But I'm not here to write a review for the system, as clearly I need to put it through its paces before giving my full impression. No, I'm here to do what I've been doing all year long, and that's write about games.
Among the handful of games I played on my PS4 the first day, one of them was strictly for my five year old daughters sake, and because my curiosity wouldn't allow me to wait to check it out. The Playroom is an application/game that's installed on every PS4, whether you like it or not. At the very least, it's a glorified demo that showcases the new, reinvented and redesigned DualShock controller, aptly named the DualShock 4. Of course, this is all The Playroom is good for if you only have a DualShock 4 to use. Aside from showing off the new controller, however, The Playroom is a "proof of concept" game developed to utilize the new PlayStation camera and show how developers could integrate its functionality into games.
Think the Microsoft Kinect, only more like the PlayStation Move controllers, as the light bars on the controller are read by the camera, just like the old PS Eye did with the Move controller wands. It also incorporates Augmented Reality much like the Nintendo 3DS did and later the Vita did as well.
In The Playroom, you can interact with a flying robot on the screen with hand gestures, you can play a virtual game of air hockey with a second player using the new touch pads on the faces of the DualShock 4 controllers, and you can hang out with a mob of mini-robots that call home inside the controller, allegedly. All of the different games and interactions you can have within The Playroom are far too hard to fully explain, as they really need to be seen to completely understand their charm.
My daughter loved playing with me, and in all honesty, that completely justified the purchase of the camera alone. Sure, there will be more games coming to use the camera, as DLC for The Playroom has already been announced, so I'm not worried of it not being used ever. Also, you can use voice commands with the PS4 via the microphone in the camera, and they work well so far. Best of all, there are trophies to be had within The Playroom, and that was an unexpected surprise that was the cherry on top.
The potential is there for this technology to fully enhance gaming as we know it, now it's just a matter of time before developers take it seriously. But even if it remains more of a niche gimmick, as I half expect it to, it is still fun and a great addition to the new console. Can't wait to check out the Kinect 2, but that won't be until next week. For now, it's just me and my PS4, all week and all alone, right up until the launch of the Xbox One.
That is, if I can actually pull myself away long enough. As it stands right now, that is harder than it sounds I think.
Microsoft rolled out Smart Glass a while ago, and despite the hype before hand, it's release didn't quite receive the fanfare they expected. Maybe it had a lot to do with its limited functionality and overall lack of support or connectivity with pretty much everything. However, going into the next generation of consoles with the Xbox One, Microsoft promises to integrate it more into the overall experience of the console for the gamer.
Well, consider me completely uninterested. I don't want to have to use my iPhone or iPad while playing games in order to gain additional gaming experiences. I really have no use for that in my life. However, the possibility of integrating mobile devices and applications with games I'm playing on my console could work in some aspects. and oddly enough, Sony seems to have figured it out already.
Knack is going to be a launch day title for the upcoming PS4, and is developed by one of Sony's in-house studios. Well, in preparation for the console and game launch, they decided to go ahead and put out a free game/app on iOS that ties in directly with Knack. The game is called Knack's Quest, and if all works as it seems like it should, it will be the perfect bridge between my phone and console gaming, at least in my own humble opinion.
It is basically a Bejeweled-type of match three game, playing exactly like you would think. Depending on what level you are playing on, there are different level-specific items on the game board that all do and act differently. As you pass stages and levels, all the points you accumulate from your play time gets dumped into a progress bar that keeps track of your points, as you try to reach the point total goal. Once you do, you unlock an item, which is always a single part/piece of something bigger. All these items and parts of items that you accumulate supposedly will transfer somehow over to your game of Knack, allowing you a head start on all the cool upgrades and items in the actual game.
Like I said, I'm not sure how this is going to work, but if it does, how cool will that be? A free bejeweled-style game that unlocks bonus content in the console version of the game? I'll take that any day.
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Games played for project : 365