Yesterday, gamers across the internet gathered in excitement for a fiesta of Playstation announcements. Sony’s first official “State of Play”, a short form trailer filled livestream, debut was smooth as butter. A few surprise announcements here. A couple exclusives there. And a ton of confirmed release dates made the most of the roughly 20 minute event. Ignoring the awful voice of the digital announcer, it’s safe to say “State of Play” was a success.
But, was it the right move?
Long time Playstation fans are accustomed to narrative driven experiences. A rule that holds true for announcement trailers as well. Looking back on past Playstation events, you’ll quickly find that most trailers ran 2-3 minutes with tons of narrative detail. Whether eluded to or directly presented, the trailers draw you in by presenting a full living world. Cinematic or in game footage, the announcements tend to deliver the beginning of your next gaming adventure.
State of Play, Sony’s equivalent of a Nintendo Direct, took what felt like a very different approach. It crammed as many announcements as possible into 20 minutes with tons of gameplay footage. Gameplay footage that shows what you will be doing without intriguing us with the why we’re doing it. Sure with a game like the PSVR exclusive IronMan VR, coming fall 2019, you don’t need to necessarily know why he’s fighting the bad guys. He’s a superhero, that’s just what they do.
However, with a game like Ready Set Heroes, as fun as the multiplayer action game looks, it’d be great to learn more about the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m personally excited for the idea of 4 player party game. Especially one that looks like the Looney Tunes dungeon crawler i never knew i wanted. It just didn’t feel like Sony. It felt like Nintendo.
It’s not about the violence or adulthood
And before you type “Eh look another guy to grown for fun games.” realize my complaint is not about the games. It’s about the presentation. Years of watching E3, Paris Games Week, Tokyo Games Show announcements have set a certain expectation. An expectation that I’ve quietly watch continue to become less and less important. I’d be lying if I said I knew this was coming. Looking back on the most recent E3 conferences though, I feel kind of foolish for not.
Since the release of the PS4, every Sony E3 conference has featured a short form sizzle reel announcing 10-15 games in a matter of minutes. It started off as just the Indie game reveal. Which was offensive for it’s own reasons we don’t have time to talk about now. And slowly it evolved to what we can now expect to be a regular occurrence called “State of Play”. That’s not the end though. Even during this short form experience Sony managed to pack in a video montage cramming release dates for 8 games into what felt like seconds.
8 Games in 60 Seconds? Whoa.
Games like Falcon Age, Everybody’s Golf VR, Trover Saves the Universe were included in this short montage. Forget release dates, the spotlight on these games wasn’t long enough for me to write down all 8 names. And I write super fast because I have awful hand writing, so to me that says a lot. I want to go back to the good old days when gamers complained not enough games were shown. Ok maybe not that far back. Maybe go back to the short-lived time where the balance was almost perfect.
Regardless, I’m a diehard Playstation fan so I’m going to rock with the team no matter what. But, I’m no yes man. If I see something I’m not particularly excited about I’m going to say something. As of right now, I am not entirely excited for the next State of Play. And considering PlayStation will be absent from E3 2019, I’m concerned. Your move Sony.
Dear PS4 gamers, Sony is doubling down on trying to make us smile. Alongside rumors of PS4 name changing becoming a real thing and allowing cross-play on Fort-Nite, Sony has just reset PSNow Free Trials for all PS4 owners. Even if you’ve tried the PSNow service before, you can dive back in and enjoy a free trial again.
Playstation Now, PSNow, is a service that allows gamers to stream games from a wild collection of classic and current games from PS2, PS3, and PS4. Originally suffering from the same issue most internet based things suffer from, the recent update makes the service a lot more exciting.
Give it a shot and let us know what you think in the comments below.
An Old Mech Game Given The Present of New Life By Future Tech
In a landscape nearly devoid of mech-based adventures, Konami (the company best known for being terrible) dug deep into its bag of old games and gave Zone of the Enders a second life. The irony behind Konami remastering another amazing series by the great Hideo Kojima is pretty amazing, but enough politics. Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner Remastered is a third-person action adventure set in a futuristic world where humans inhabitant both Earth and Mars and war is fought in space. Released for the Playstation 4 and PC on September 6th, 2018, the remaster was developed by Konami and Cygames. Does Zone of the Enders deserve to exist alongside the rest of the recent remasters?
More importantly, how does Zone of the Enders work in VR?
(Note: VR Review does not impact the overall score of the game because it is not the originally designed experience.)
There should absolutely be a standard for allowing companies to use the term “Remastered” for any future game release. Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner treads the line between just better than the craptastic Shenmue remakes that Sega released and the absolutely stunning Yakuza remakes that Sega released. One major advantage for Zone of the Enders is the great way that the game was originally designed to not look hyperrealistic. The visuals paired with the level of fun the game carries makes it very possible to kick back and look beyond the broken character models. Without ever having been to Mars, its safe to assume that Zone of the Enders did a great job recreating exactly what the surface of the red planet looks like.
“Developers truly benefit from the skill of using cartoonish art styles and Zone of the Enders wins heavily thanks to its anime style.“
VR: The game looks worst. The real question here is: was anyone expecting any other response? When playing in first-person through VR the game doesn’t look bad but it definitely doesn’t feel immersive. Think about this one thing for a second. When playing in third-person all of the lasers and explosions are happening, visually at least, in front of the character. When playing in VR the player can look at all the angles of this lighting special effect that was designed to be viewed head-on. Boom, worst, not entirely immersive but not bad. Shenmue was still worse and it wasn’t even in VR.
For anyone who has not played the first Zone of the Enders, STOP. There will be spoilers ahead because Zone of The Enders: 2nd Runner is a direct sequel. With that said, it’s been damn near 15 years, so get over it. Ready? Let’s go. The game takes place two years after the events of the original game. Playing as Dingo Egret, a miner working on the planet Callisto who comes across the all-powerful orbital frame, Jehuty. That is literally the last part of simplicity this game has until the very end credits. From that point it goes into true Kojima mode with main characters dying and being revived, past significantly important characters appearing then suddenly deciding they want absolutely no part of the new story, and a world-destroying battle between two superweapons on the brink that falls on poor Dingo’s shoulders to be smack dab in the middle of.
Anyone who has ever been a fan of Gundam, Metal Gear or any mech-based anime will absolutely love this. Anyone who read that last sentence and thought what the f*ck is a Gundam, maybe stay away.
VR: Same story. Really not sure what anyone expected to see here.
Sound effects help to drive the validity of any game’s atmosphere and Zone of the Enders sounds like a robot war. Nailed it; not a beat missed. Lasers flying by sound way more dangerous than they look. Explosions are short-lived, but in the moment they sound very great. The voice acting and dialogue is great even though it doesn’t seem like any of it was updated for the remaster. It was just really great from the source. The menu sound effects sound exactly like the sounds from Metal Gear Solid 1-3 so super fans should be prepared for some nostalgia. Some excellent nostalgia. Damn Konami why you do Kojima so bad.
VR: Sound is the most critical aspect of VR. If the game sounds right the player can get fully immersed in the experience. Zone of the Enders takes place in space and space is, by most accounts, pretty quiet. That empty atmosphere is great as long as there are no other sounds in the outside world. Most people can’t afford to play their VR in an isolated perfect environment but everything else sounding great is definitely a VR experience.
Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner Re-Mastered is a remastered PS2 game, and it definitely shows. The control schemes are extremely dated and very light on motor control demands. There are only a handful of buttons used from the entire DualShock remote. Even with the highly bragged about adjustment of the way the secondary weapons button works it still feels super dated. The biggest issue with the controls for the game is found in the lock-on system. For whatever reason, the lock-on system locks on to whatever target that it wants to and when changing targets, probably due to the fast-paced gameplay, the thing goes bonkers. Rather than simply pushing the analog stick towards the closest target to lock on, the game just cycles randomly through all the targets on screen. That’s a really bad thing to happen when playing what is essentially an on-rails shooter.
VR: Probably the best VR experience available to date. The entire game is playable in VR and it feels amazing. Jumping into the cockpit of the super mech known as Jehuty is everything most people want from a VR experience. This is a VR Experience that should not be missed. With better visuals, it would be the epitome of VR gaming. It still suffers from most of the things that made the non-VR version hard to play but in VR those are well worth the pain.
Wooooooooooohoooooooooo. Playing Mech games is arguably always fun. Anyone who disagrees is entitled to their opinion but is completely wrong. Outside of the frustration of losing a battle due to a faulty lock-on system, it’s very easy to let time fly by as Jehuty flies or slides all around the surface of Mars, the interior of a massive space battleship. It’s an on-the-rails shooter for the most part in the vein of a super modernized Gradius, but who didn’t like throwing quarters in those old arcade machines? The other issue with the game that hinders its fun levels just a tad is that the save system doesn’t play entirely nice with pick up and play gamers. Fortunately, the PS4 rest mode is a nice workaround for this objective-based issue.
VR: How do you make a fun game more fun? Add the latest technology to its tool belt. Playing Zone of the Enders 2nd Runner in VR mode feels like the way it was meant to be played. Zipping around Mars in first person perspective could only be more exciting in a Sword Art Online style full dive mechanism that doesn’t exist yet. Just to reiterate, everyone should play Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner in VR Mode at least once. It is truly an experience.
Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner is a remaster like no other. Sure, a ton of remasters exist that look a million times better, but Zone brings a brand new element to the game that hadn’t existed previously. Hideo Kojima must have shattered at least three or four rooms’ worth of valuable merchandise when he saw what Konami was able to accomplish with one of his crazy ideas. Honestly, it’s a bit confusing as to why Konami didn’t make the VR mode a more significant marketing push for the game. Priced at only $29.99 brand new, this is a must-have experience for anyone interested in VR.
Scratch that, anyone with a PSVR or PC-based VR system needs to get their hands on Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner today. Especially since the evil monsters at Konami published the game, so we never know what to expect. This last good review pushed them to start making pachinko versions of the game.
Alright so maybe my inner MGS fan read into the avatar name to hard but this VR game looks awesome. Multiplayer Co-Op launching on October 9th for PSVR is Evasion. Check out the trailer below and see “GreyFox” for yourself. And don’t hate me this game deserves the clickbait attention. (Also that might be GreyFox, I’m on hold with the developers, Archiact, right now.)
This video is not only a discussion of PS4 exclusive titles. It’s also a sequel to another video we made about 7 months ago. Chet was team Xbox for the longest time. Not anymore, thanks to the lack of any interesting games other than Forza. Which is great if you like racing. But that doesn’t cut the bread does it? Anyway, he’s got two more major PS4 titles under his belt, and he is rather impressed.
So here it is, a fresh take on the new God of War from a guy who never played any of the others. And also, Detroit: Become Human.
Summer’s just about over but if you live in New England you’re still in the middle of a heatwave with absolutely no end in sight. You also may be going back to school and that really sucks if you don’t like school. You wanna know what else sucks? The games you can get for free in September with your favorite premium services! Okay, half of these are decent.
Xbox Live Gold
Prison Architect – Strongly related to the “tycoon” family of games, this game is a micromanagement strategy game that puts you in control of your very own prison. Who exactly is this game for? Maybe it’s you, check it out.
Livelock – “Livelock is a fast-paced cooperative top-down shooter where you and two of your friends are tasked with controlling the Capital Intellects through the post-human conflict.” -YouTube. This game here looks pretty. Pretty tough.
LEGO Star Wars III – It’s a LEGO game, and if you’ve played one LEGO game you’ve played them all. But it’s a good formula so why change it? This one takes place during the “Clone Wars” cartoon for Star Wars.
Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World – I’ve never heard of this game. Has anyone? I don’t know. Here’s some gameplay footage on a game channel that deserves your traffic.
Destiny 2 – Looks like somebody wants people to buy into their next expansion pack, eh? Enjoy this boring-but-fun MMO-lite FPS until you run out of missions from the main game. But seriously though, it’s a Bungie game, so the shooting mechanics are top notch.
God of War 3 – The new God of War game made waves over how great it was, possibly being GOTY material with all the good reviews it got. But if you need at least some context, now you can with this previous title.
Another World: Anniversary Edition – This is an old title in the history of gaming. Praised for its spectacular animation at the time, this game is a cornerstone over what made adventure games so great
QUBE Director’s Cut – A portal-style test chamber series that revolves around colored tiles and boxes. It’s okay I guess. It originally launched with very basic content but this re-release added greatly to the game’s features.
Nintendo Switch Online
Nintendo is supposedly launching their paid online service this month but the launch date is always changing, so who knows? It will be just $20 for a year. We do know that you will be getting 10 classic NES games with another 10 to be announced after. The games are: Balloon Fight, Donkey Kong, Dr. Mario, Ice Climbers, the Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. Super Mario Bros. 3, Soccer and Tennis. Good list.
Nothing yet. To be updated if games become available as free weekends or flash sales.