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Found 129 results

  1. How does one make something new while retaining the weight of lore and history that comes with a premise that has been reborn again and again countless times in fiction? Marvel has certainly struggled with this question in their cinematic universe and various game developers have their own takes on classic superheroes. Often each iteration retells the heroic beginnings of the headlining hero or makes some connection with a popular continuity of said character. Insomniac Games seems to have been answered the question by skipping the iconic moments of the wall-crawler's origin story altogether in order to tackle the sophomore issues of being a hero. "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility" - Everyone even remotely familiar with Spider-Man knows the final commandment of Uncle Ben, Peter Parker's father figure who dies early on in his origin story. Usually, when a piece of media starts off with this, we see Parker struggle with figuring out exactly how much responsibility he has to be using his power to help others. Given that Marvel's Spider-Man takes place roughly eight years after the events that made Peter Parker into a superpowered webslinger, it needs to address a different idea. There aren't any quotes delivered on the dying breath of a beloved old man, but the game tackles the issue of what happens to people who have accepted that responsibility but find forces beyond their control pushing them, perverting that sense of duty. How does someone good go on to commit brutal and evil acts despite the goodness they displayed and what does it take to stop them? When Marvel's Spider-Man roars to life with all cylinders blazing, it captures how much larger-than-life everyday struggles can feel sometimes. Clashing with the colossal force of Rhino or dodging the blasts of a villain whose on-the-nose name is "Mr. Negative" can be seen as a fight against the worst parts inside all of us. And part of what makes that resonate so much is that Peter Parker doesn't walk away unscathed. Over the course of the game, these fights take their toll. He is slashed, burned, stabbed, blasted, and crushed. At one point he has so many broken ribs that his allies tell him he shouldn't be standing. Peter, despite all the impediments thrown into his way, continues to do his best to stand by that responsibility, sacrificing himself at every turn. All of this he does while having ample opportunities to walk away and spare himself. In many ways, the way Peter fights as Spider-Man fits into the classic mold of a hero who does what is right no matter the cost to himself. If that's all one is looking for in a game about superheroes, then Marvel's Spider-Man will fulfill that desire. If, however, you're looking for a game that has things to say about the myriad of issues that those acts of heroism touch upon, Marvel's Spider-Man might fall a bit flat. For a super genius with a heart for justice, Peter Parker seems surprisingly unwoke about the systemic issues around him, focusing on the symptoms of various problems instead of the root causes themselves. All of this would be fine if this was a story about a Spider-Man just getting the hang of the hero business, but the game makes a point to show Peter has been at this for a long while now. Of course, one could argue that this version of New York is one without any systemic issues, but the text of the game indicates that's not true. The opening scene has corrupt cops attempting to murder Spider-Man (something that isn't really seen as abnormal by anyone involved); Oscorp routinely poisons the air and water in the name of profits (which Spider-Man fixes, but also doesn't report, effectively letting the billion dollar company off the hook); and both Peter and Aunt May work at a local homeless shelter. However, during all of Spider-Man's running monologues as he traverses the city, he never talks about the systemic issues that lead to those things being problems. Where are his comments about trying to reform the police in some way so as to discourage cops taking bribes? Why doesn't Spider-Man hold the billion dollar corporation responsible for being so focused on profiting that it is willing to allow people to be poisoned? How does Peter Parker not even consider the reality of income inequality staring him in the face when he moves between the world of Norman Osborne and that of FEAST, the homeless shelter at which he volunteers? The omission of any opining comments from Peter on these topics and issues certainly stems from the desire to keep Marvel's Spider-Man as uncontroversial as possible. Clearly, Peter as a character would care about all of those issues, but the game goes out of its way to avoid topics that might be touchy in the current context. Though the in-game world is presented to us as a version of New York City, you won't see Spider-Man or Peter Parker attending a rally against police corruption or breaking up a gathering of Neo-Nazis. There won't be talk about the forces that evict people out onto the street, though the game implies that rent prices are out of control and the care provided for mental health issues is inadequate. Ultimately, its desire to avoid saying anything that might be even slightly seen as controversial leaves Marvel's Spider-Man feeling a bit hollow once the dazzling feeling of swinging between skyscrappers wears off. To clarify, since this topic has become something of a sticking point for the game since its release: The decision to tiptoe around most of its relevant social issues doesn't make Marvel's Spider-Man bad. It's simply a noticeable narrative decision that might lead to its story being forgettable over time. To Insomniac's credit, that shine doesn't wear off quickly. Easily the best parts of Spider-Man are when the game leaves the player to traverse the city and do street-level hero things. Stopping a burglary in progress, disarming a bomb threat, or saving people from the wreckage of a car accident are all thrilling in their own way, but getting to the scene stands as the best part of any of these encounters. Swinging through the city, right from the beginning, feels amazing. The game knows this and has players shooting webs onto buildings within five minutes of booting up the game. As players progress along the three skill trees, new traversal abilities will unlock, making Spider-Man faster, giving him new abilities to keep up momentum, and it results in this gentle learning curve that keeps things fresh from the beginning of the game until the credits roll. However, once I hit the credits scene, complete with clips teasing what future games in this series will be about, I felt fully and totally done. The side content, while enjoyable based on the traversal mechanics alone, isn't terribly interesting. It serves as a decent distraction while going through the main game, avoiding the charge of being bloated fluff by virtue of the overall solid gameplay mechanics and the various tokens you get from doing them that can be used to upgrade gear or unlock new spider suits. However, the stories relegated to the side missions just aren't that interesting even when drawing on fun bits of lore. (Also, Insomniac, make Mysterio a proper villain, you cowards) It's a bit of a missed opportunity because one of the most intriguing decisions Insomniac made with regards to their Spider-Man game is that there are a number of missions where you take on the role of Mary Jane and Miles Morales and need to use stealth and trickery to sneak through different areas. These segments actually had a lot of potential for expansion into interesting side missions, but are only used in the main story under tightly controlled circumstances. Early on, there is a great section where Mary Jane sneaks into a facility owned by Wilson Fisk to collect some evidence and must do some sneaking and puzzle solving. It's fun and a breath of fresh air; seeing more iteration on that idea would have been really neat, maybe adding a social element to it and some more fleshed out stealth options. Miles is given some extreme hacking abilities that would make for awesome stealth gameplay, too, but that never fully pays off in any satisfying way. The little touches around the edges of Marvel's Spider-Man really give it a lot of character. Subtle musical call backs to The Avengers thrum through the most climactic moments. Gaining momentum while flipping through New York City results in a flurry of stringed instruments adding to the sense of speed and wonder. Different camera options in the obligatory photo mode (something no modern game should be without at this point) give players a lot of different options with which to play and get those perfect shots. The diverse array of suits are also really nice, and it was a great idea to tie them to specific powers that are then unlocked on every other suit. Heck, the game even has a Stan Lee guest appearance which was absolutely lovely. Conclusion: Marvel's Spider-Man might just be the best Spider-Man game ever made. It's gorgeously realized, cinematic as heck, for better and worse, and delivers a powerhouse of a final act. It also isn't perfect. Its side missions are dull, saved from mundane boredom by some rock solid traversal mechanics and adequate combat. Seriously, swinging through a city has never been as fun as it is in this particular Spider-Man game. All of that is built on a story about heroism; what it truly means to not just become a hero, but to live like one, too. While it misses the opportunity to be about a much more encompassing and larger idea of what heroes should be outside of the individual, punching-bad-guys level, that core conceit should be enough for just about anyone to enjoy Marvel's Spider-Man. Here's hoping that the sequel builds off of this simple foundation for a significantly bolder narrative that tackles some of the more grounded problems of our current times. Marvel's Spider-Man is now available on PlayStation 4. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  2. Jack Gardner

    Review: Marvel's Spider-Man

    How does one make something new while retaining the weight of lore and history that comes with a premise that has been reborn again and again countless times in fiction? Marvel has certainly struggled with this question in their cinematic universe and various game developers have their own takes on classic superheroes. Often each iteration retells the heroic beginnings of the headlining hero or makes some connection with a popular continuity of said character. Insomniac Games seems to have been answered the question by skipping the iconic moments of the wall-crawler's origin story altogether in order to tackle the sophomore issues of being a hero. "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility" - Everyone even remotely familiar with Spider-Man knows the final commandment of Uncle Ben, Peter Parker's father figure who dies early on in his origin story. Usually, when a piece of media starts off with this, we see Parker struggle with figuring out exactly how much responsibility he has to be using his power to help others. Given that Marvel's Spider-Man takes place roughly eight years after the events that made Peter Parker into a superpowered webslinger, it needs to address a different idea. There aren't any quotes delivered on the dying breath of a beloved old man, but the game tackles the issue of what happens to people who have accepted that responsibility but find forces beyond their control pushing them, perverting that sense of duty. How does someone good go on to commit brutal and evil acts despite the goodness they displayed and what does it take to stop them? When Marvel's Spider-Man roars to life with all cylinders blazing, it captures how much larger-than-life everyday struggles can feel sometimes. Clashing with the colossal force of Rhino or dodging the blasts of a villain whose on-the-nose name is "Mr. Negative" can be seen as a fight against the worst parts inside all of us. And part of what makes that resonate so much is that Peter Parker doesn't walk away unscathed. Over the course of the game, these fights take their toll. He is slashed, burned, stabbed, blasted, and crushed. At one point he has so many broken ribs that his allies tell him he shouldn't be standing. Peter, despite all the impediments thrown into his way, continues to do his best to stand by that responsibility, sacrificing himself at every turn. All of this he does while having ample opportunities to walk away and spare himself. In many ways, the way Peter fights as Spider-Man fits into the classic mold of a hero who does what is right no matter the cost to himself. If that's all one is looking for in a game about superheroes, then Marvel's Spider-Man will fulfill that desire. If, however, you're looking for a game that has things to say about the myriad of issues that those acts of heroism touch upon, Marvel's Spider-Man might fall a bit flat. For a super genius with a heart for justice, Peter Parker seems surprisingly unwoke about the systemic issues around him, focusing on the symptoms of various problems instead of the root causes themselves. All of this would be fine if this was a story about a Spider-Man just getting the hang of the hero business, but the game makes a point to show Peter has been at this for a long while now. Of course, one could argue that this version of New York is one without any systemic issues, but the text of the game indicates that's not true. The opening scene has corrupt cops attempting to murder Spider-Man (something that isn't really seen as abnormal by anyone involved); Oscorp routinely poisons the air and water in the name of profits (which Spider-Man fixes, but also doesn't report, effectively letting the billion dollar company off the hook); and both Peter and Aunt May work at a local homeless shelter. However, during all of Spider-Man's running monologues as he traverses the city, he never talks about the systemic issues that lead to those things being problems. Where are his comments about trying to reform the police in some way so as to discourage cops taking bribes? Why doesn't Spider-Man hold the billion dollar corporation responsible for being so focused on profiting that it is willing to allow people to be poisoned? How does Peter Parker not even consider the reality of income inequality staring him in the face when he moves between the world of Norman Osborne and that of FEAST, the homeless shelter at which he volunteers? The omission of any opining comments from Peter on these topics and issues certainly stems from the desire to keep Marvel's Spider-Man as uncontroversial as possible. Clearly, Peter as a character would care about all of those issues, but the game goes out of its way to avoid topics that might be touchy in the current context. Though the in-game world is presented to us as a version of New York City, you won't see Spider-Man or Peter Parker attending a rally against police corruption or breaking up a gathering of Neo-Nazis. There won't be talk about the forces that evict people out onto the street, though the game implies that rent prices are out of control and the care provided for mental health issues is inadequate. Ultimately, its desire to avoid saying anything that might be even slightly seen as controversial leaves Marvel's Spider-Man feeling a bit hollow once the dazzling feeling of swinging between skyscrappers wears off. To clarify, since this topic has become something of a sticking point for the game since its release: The decision to tiptoe around most of its relevant social issues doesn't make Marvel's Spider-Man bad. It's simply a noticeable narrative decision that might lead to its story being forgettable over time. To Insomniac's credit, that shine doesn't wear off quickly. Easily the best parts of Spider-Man are when the game leaves the player to traverse the city and do street-level hero things. Stopping a burglary in progress, disarming a bomb threat, or saving people from the wreckage of a car accident are all thrilling in their own way, but getting to the scene stands as the best part of any of these encounters. Swinging through the city, right from the beginning, feels amazing. The game knows this and has players shooting webs onto buildings within five minutes of booting up the game. As players progress along the three skill trees, new traversal abilities will unlock, making Spider-Man faster, giving him new abilities to keep up momentum, and it results in this gentle learning curve that keeps things fresh from the beginning of the game until the credits roll. However, once I hit the credits scene, complete with clips teasing what future games in this series will be about, I felt fully and totally done. The side content, while enjoyable based on the traversal mechanics alone, isn't terribly interesting. It serves as a decent distraction while going through the main game, avoiding the charge of being bloated fluff by virtue of the overall solid gameplay mechanics and the various tokens you get from doing them that can be used to upgrade gear or unlock new spider suits. However, the stories relegated to the side missions just aren't that interesting even when drawing on fun bits of lore. (Also, Insomniac, make Mysterio a proper villain, you cowards) It's a bit of a missed opportunity because one of the most intriguing decisions Insomniac made with regards to their Spider-Man game is that there are a number of missions where you take on the role of Mary Jane and Miles Morales and need to use stealth and trickery to sneak through different areas. These segments actually had a lot of potential for expansion into interesting side missions, but are only used in the main story under tightly controlled circumstances. Early on, there is a great section where Mary Jane sneaks into a facility owned by Wilson Fisk to collect some evidence and must do some sneaking and puzzle solving. It's fun and a breath of fresh air; seeing more iteration on that idea would have been really neat, maybe adding a social element to it and some more fleshed out stealth options. Miles is given some extreme hacking abilities that would make for awesome stealth gameplay, too, but that never fully pays off in any satisfying way. The little touches around the edges of Marvel's Spider-Man really give it a lot of character. Subtle musical call backs to The Avengers thrum through the most climactic moments. Gaining momentum while flipping through New York City results in a flurry of stringed instruments adding to the sense of speed and wonder. Different camera options in the obligatory photo mode (something no modern game should be without at this point) give players a lot of different options with which to play and get those perfect shots. The diverse array of suits are also really nice, and it was a great idea to tie them to specific powers that are then unlocked on every other suit. Heck, the game even has a Stan Lee guest appearance which was absolutely lovely. Conclusion: Marvel's Spider-Man might just be the best Spider-Man game ever made. It's gorgeously realized, cinematic as heck, for better and worse, and delivers a powerhouse of a final act. It also isn't perfect. Its side missions are dull, saved from mundane boredom by some rock solid traversal mechanics and adequate combat. Seriously, swinging through a city has never been as fun as it is in this particular Spider-Man game. All of that is built on a story about heroism; what it truly means to not just become a hero, but to live like one, too. While it misses the opportunity to be about a much more encompassing and larger idea of what heroes should be outside of the individual, punching-bad-guys level, that core conceit should be enough for just about anyone to enjoy Marvel's Spider-Man. Here's hoping that the sequel builds off of this simple foundation for a significantly bolder narrative that tackles some of the more grounded problems of our current times. Marvel's Spider-Man is now available on PlayStation 4. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  3. The PlayStation 2 title that blended the magics of Disney and Final Fantasy into one crazy package, Kingdom Hearts captured the imaginations of a generation of gamers with a smorgasbord of previously unthinkable crossovers the likes of which had never been seen in video games before. The action-RPG, though regarded by many as a classic now, was conceived of as a big gamble that Disney and Square were only willing to take because of the ailing finances of their respective companies. Now, more years than many would care to admit later, the third official installment of the series seems to be on the brink of release. So we have to ask.... Does the original Kingdom Hearts hold up as one of the best games of all-time? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Kingdom Hearts 'Protect Your Kingdom' by Smooth4Lyfe (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03532) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. The PlayStation 2 title that blended the magics of Disney and Final Fantasy into one crazy package, Kingdom Hearts captured the imaginations of a generation of gamers with a smorgasbord of previously unthinkable crossovers the likes of which had never been seen in video games before. The action-RPG, though regarded by many as a classic now, was conceived of as a big gamble that Disney and Square were only willing to take because of the ailing finances of their respective companies. Now, more years than many would care to admit later, the third official installment of the series seems to be on the brink of release. So we have to ask.... Does the original Kingdom Hearts hold up as one of the best games of all-time? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Kingdom Hearts 'Protect Your Kingdom' by Smooth4Lyfe (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03532) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  5. For the past... wow, 11 years, people have been putting forward the name of wisecracking actor Nathan Fillion to be the motion picture face of the Uncharted series. Fillion, known for his roles as a freewheelin' space captain in Firefly and wealthy book author/crime solver in the long-running Castle series, frequently talked about wanting to take on the role, but did not land the part for the official film. Tom Holland is currently slated to play the role of Nathan Drake in the official upcoming film, which will serve as a prequel to the events of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. However, that doesn't mean that Fillion has completely given up hope of staring as Drake. Earlier this week, a 15-minute fan film appeared on YouTube. Directed by Alan Ungar, the short stars Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake and Stephen Lang as Drake's long-time friend Sully. Drake, suspected of stealing an artifact from a mysterious, wealthy businessman quips his way through an interrogation scene - something that's all part of the plan to recover a clue to something bigger than he or Sully could have ever imagined. The short definitely feels like only part of a larger project, though it's probably too much to hope that we'll ever see a feature-length film that elaborates on this particular plot. If anything, this feels like a proof of concept for Fillion as a potential action star. Take a look below: Look, all I can say is #MakeFillionNathan.
  6. For the past... wow, 11 years, people have been putting forward the name of wisecracking actor Nathan Fillion to be the motion picture face of the Uncharted series. Fillion, known for his roles as a freewheelin' space captain in Firefly and wealthy book author/crime solver in the long-running Castle series, frequently talked about wanting to take on the role, but did not land the part for the official film. Tom Holland is currently slated to play the role of Nathan Drake in the official upcoming film, which will serve as a prequel to the events of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. However, that doesn't mean that Fillion has completely given up hope of staring as Drake. Earlier this week, a 15-minute fan film appeared on YouTube. Directed by Alan Ungar, the short stars Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake and Stephen Lang as Drake's long-time friend Sully. Drake, suspected of stealing an artifact from a mysterious, wealthy businessman quips his way through an interrogation scene - something that's all part of the plan to recover a clue to something bigger than he or Sully could have ever imagined. The short definitely feels like only part of a larger project, though it's probably too much to hope that we'll ever see a feature-length film that elaborates on this particular plot. If anything, this feels like a proof of concept for Fillion as a potential action star. Take a look below: Look, all I can say is #MakeFillionNathan. View full article
  7. Every year since 2011, Sega-Addicts.com has done a Dreamcast Dreamless 24-Hour Marathon. From 2015 forward I have taken the reigns and hosted it from my home with staff members and friends joining. Most recently we learned about Extra Life and thought the Marathon was a great chance to raise some money! Collectively over the last two years we have raised over $1,500 for a local children's hospital! And now we are inviting all of you to join us on the internet to raise money for kids while enjoying Sega's last great console on 09/01/2018. This year, we are hosting from the Mega Visions Magazine Twitch page and more ready than ever to tackle some Dreamcast insanity to help the kids! You can check out last year's marathon on YouTube here. Stay tuned for the final schedule in the coming months! We also have a Reddit topic for game recommendations here! Now the die-hard Dreamcast fans will immediately notice we are not celebrating on the actual anniversary (09/09/99) of the console. We are celebrating on Labor Day weekend to allow easier travel for the out-of-towners. We hope you understand and decided to join the insanity on Twitch! Thanks for taking a look, folks. If you feel like helping out, you can print the flyer from the group page and share to all!
  8. In 2010, renowned RPG developer Level-5 released Ni no Kuni: Dominion of the Dark Djinn for the Nintendo DS in Japan. The game received a huge wave of attention due to the unique collaboration between Level-5 and the famed film animation studio Ghibli. The game saw a worldwide release a year later for the PlayStation 3 under the title Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Though the two games had much in common, including storylines and cutscenes, the games were developed by different internal teams within Level-5 and played very differently. With the extra year of polish and additional content, the PS3 version wowed critics and audiences alike with smooth visuals, a fully orchestrated soundtrack, and an awful lot of heart. Is Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Super Mario Land 'Welcome Goombo Probably' by Suzumebachi (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03708) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  9. In 2010, renowned RPG developer Level-5 released Ni no Kuni: Dominion of the Dark Djinn for the Nintendo DS in Japan. The game received a huge wave of attention due to the unique collaboration between Level-5 and the famed film animation studio Ghibli. The game saw a worldwide release a year later for the PlayStation 3 under the title Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Though the two games had much in common, including storylines and cutscenes, the games were developed by different internal teams within Level-5 and played very differently. With the extra year of polish and additional content, the PS3 version wowed critics and audiences alike with smooth visuals, a fully orchestrated soundtrack, and an awful lot of heart. Is Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Super Mario Land 'Welcome Goombo Probably' by Suzumebachi (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03708) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  10. Free games are going way for PlayStation 3 and Vita owners. Games for both systems will appear on a monthly basis as part of PlayStation Plus until March 8, 2019. After that time, the games already gained through PS+ will continue to be available so long as the user subscribes to PlayStation's online service, bot no new games will appear each month. After the cut off date, all PS+ titles will consist of PlayStation 4 games. No other aspects of the service are slated for obsolescence. The free games available for March include the following: PS4 Bloodborne Ratchet & Clank PS3 Legend of Kay Mighty No. 9 Vita Claire: Extended Cut Bombing Busters It will be interesting to see if PlayStation will up the number of PS+ titles offered for PlayStation 4 owners to compensate for the drastic reduction in monthly games for their subscribers. View full article
  11. Free games are going way for PlayStation 3 and Vita owners. Games for both systems will appear on a monthly basis as part of PlayStation Plus until March 8, 2019. After that time, the games already gained through PS+ will continue to be available so long as the user subscribes to PlayStation's online service, bot no new games will appear each month. After the cut off date, all PS+ titles will consist of PlayStation 4 games. No other aspects of the service are slated for obsolescence. The free games available for March include the following: PS4 Bloodborne Ratchet & Clank PS3 Legend of Kay Mighty No. 9 Vita Claire: Extended Cut Bombing Busters It will be interesting to see if PlayStation will up the number of PS+ titles offered for PlayStation 4 owners to compensate for the drastic reduction in monthly games for their subscribers.
  12. Fresh off of seeing Crash Bandicoot's swell in popularity following the release of the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, Sony seems to be angling MediEvil to be their next big blast from the past. The franchise ran from 1998-2005 and consists of MediEvil and MediEvil 2 (MediEvil: Resurrection, too, if you count a remake of the original as another installment). Though there have been some re-releases of the titles on PSN and a few appearances by series protagonist Sir Daniel Fortesque in Sony projects like Everybody's Golf 2 and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. The undead series might be one of the lesser known Sony properties, but clearly one that the company feels deserves another chance to find an audience. MediEvil stars Sir Dan, a gifted storyteller given the station of knight and made honorary captain of the Royal Battalion, which turns out to be a real bone-head move when an evil wizard named Zarok returns from exile and tried to wage war against the kingdom. Sir Dan dies immediately from an arrow to the eye... only to be resurrected centuries later when Zarok, who was defeated previously, pops up again to cast a spell resurrecting an undead army. The only one in the kingdom gifted with undeath and a thirst to prove himself a hero, Sir Daniel Fortesque takes up his sword and sets off to save the land from the undead menace. MediEvil comes from the same vein of action-platformers that formed the backbone of late 90s video games in Crash Bandicoot, Mario 64, or Spyro the Dragon. While it might not have been a smashing hit at the time, perhaps it can make more of a splash twenty years later with a new coat of paint? So far, not much is known about the resurrection of MediEvil. It's coming to the PlayStation 4 in 4K and it will likely be out in the next year or so. It's unclear whether this remaster will include the full MediEvil series or if it will only be the first game. How do we all feel about MediEvil remaster?
  13. Fresh off of seeing Crash Bandicoot's swell in popularity following the release of the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, Sony seems to be angling MediEvil to be their next big blast from the past. The franchise ran from 1998-2005 and consists of MediEvil and MediEvil 2 (MediEvil: Resurrection, too, if you count a remake of the original as another installment). Though there have been some re-releases of the titles on PSN and a few appearances by series protagonist Sir Daniel Fortesque in Sony projects like Everybody's Golf 2 and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. The undead series might be one of the lesser known Sony properties, but clearly one that the company feels deserves another chance to find an audience. MediEvil stars Sir Dan, a gifted storyteller given the station of knight and made honorary captain of the Royal Battalion, which turns out to be a real bone-head move when an evil wizard named Zarok returns from exile and tried to wage war against the kingdom. Sir Dan dies immediately from an arrow to the eye... only to be resurrected centuries later when Zarok, who was defeated previously, pops up again to cast a spell resurrecting an undead army. The only one in the kingdom gifted with undeath and a thirst to prove himself a hero, Sir Daniel Fortesque takes up his sword and sets off to save the land from the undead menace. MediEvil comes from the same vein of action-platformers that formed the backbone of late 90s video games in Crash Bandicoot, Mario 64, or Spyro the Dragon. While it might not have been a smashing hit at the time, perhaps it can make more of a splash twenty years later with a new coat of paint? So far, not much is known about the resurrection of MediEvil. It's coming to the PlayStation 4 in 4K and it will likely be out in the next year or so. It's unclear whether this remaster will include the full MediEvil series or if it will only be the first game. How do we all feel about MediEvil remaster? View full article
  14. Today Kaz Hirai announced the end of an era. Not the real Kaz Hirai, of course, the president and CEO of Sony probably has more pressing things on his plate than a Twitter account. No, the legendary CEO Kaz Hirai parody account released a statement to let the world know that 2018 would be the final year it would be active. In a rare moment of seriousness, the fake Kaz Hirai explained why the account would be coming to an end: Hello, For over 6 years now I have been running this Twitter account. I originally started it because I wanted to make jokes about video game news, rumours and press conferences, but I knew nobody in real live that would have got them. Between then and now I have somehow inexplicably managed to gain over 100,000 followers. This has included people in the games media that I read on a daily basis, people who have worked on some of my favourite games and, most importantly of all, Shuhei Yoshida. It has been, from the very start, a ton of fun. It has been great interacting with people, whether they were well known names in the game industry or random schmucks just like me. It has been cool seeing tweets show up on Reddit, Tumblr, Neogaf, and even in Sony Press Conferences. I enjoy seeing everybody's reactions, whether they are positive or negative (or just plain confused because they haven't worked out I'm fake yet). I'm still kind of shocked with how well this has gone, and how long it has lasted. Recently though I have been tweeting a lot less often. While I still spend plenty of time playing video games, I spend a lot less time following video game news. I don't watch every press conference like I used to, and I am now not normally online when a big story breaks. I also find myself repeating jokes more and more often. It turns out there are a finite number of ways you can say "nobody wants a Vita" or "The Last Guardian/Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts has been delayed!" I have therefore decided that 2018 will be the last year of this Twitter account. I realise announcing the end this far in advance makes me sound incredibly self-important, but I chose to do it this way for a few reasons: I want to do the account for one more E3. I also want to give myself time to do a proper ending for this account. I don't know what it is yet, but I don't want it to just peter out. I am rubbish at giving up things, and this announcement will force me to end it. I don't know what exactly when I will end it, but it will definitely be after E3 2018. Between now and then I will try to tweet more often and make my tweets a bit better, too! I want to thank anybody who has followed, replied, liked or retweeted. I hope that you have enjoyed one or two of my tweets as much as I have enjoyed writing all of them. Many Thanks, Fake Kaz Hirai So, we have a few more months of jovial jabs at the game industry from the best fake CEO around, but after that? The game industry's social media landscape will be a slightly colder place. Here's to you, Fake Kaz Hirai! View full article
  15. Jack Gardner

    Popular Twitter Account Closing Next Year

    Today Kaz Hirai announced the end of an era. Not the real Kaz Hirai, of course, the president and CEO of Sony probably has more pressing things on his plate than a Twitter account. No, the legendary CEO Kaz Hirai parody account released a statement to let the world know that 2018 would be the final year it would be active. In a rare moment of seriousness, the fake Kaz Hirai explained why the account would be coming to an end: Hello, For over 6 years now I have been running this Twitter account. I originally started it because I wanted to make jokes about video game news, rumours and press conferences, but I knew nobody in real live that would have got them. Between then and now I have somehow inexplicably managed to gain over 100,000 followers. This has included people in the games media that I read on a daily basis, people who have worked on some of my favourite games and, most importantly of all, Shuhei Yoshida. It has been, from the very start, a ton of fun. It has been great interacting with people, whether they were well known names in the game industry or random schmucks just like me. It has been cool seeing tweets show up on Reddit, Tumblr, Neogaf, and even in Sony Press Conferences. I enjoy seeing everybody's reactions, whether they are positive or negative (or just plain confused because they haven't worked out I'm fake yet). I'm still kind of shocked with how well this has gone, and how long it has lasted. Recently though I have been tweeting a lot less often. While I still spend plenty of time playing video games, I spend a lot less time following video game news. I don't watch every press conference like I used to, and I am now not normally online when a big story breaks. I also find myself repeating jokes more and more often. It turns out there are a finite number of ways you can say "nobody wants a Vita" or "The Last Guardian/Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts has been delayed!" I have therefore decided that 2018 will be the last year of this Twitter account. I realise announcing the end this far in advance makes me sound incredibly self-important, but I chose to do it this way for a few reasons: I want to do the account for one more E3. I also want to give myself time to do a proper ending for this account. I don't know what it is yet, but I don't want it to just peter out. I am rubbish at giving up things, and this announcement will force me to end it. I don't know what exactly when I will end it, but it will definitely be after E3 2018. Between now and then I will try to tweet more often and make my tweets a bit better, too! I want to thank anybody who has followed, replied, liked or retweeted. I hope that you have enjoyed one or two of my tweets as much as I have enjoyed writing all of them. Many Thanks, Fake Kaz Hirai So, we have a few more months of jovial jabs at the game industry from the best fake CEO around, but after that? The game industry's social media landscape will be a slightly colder place. Here's to you, Fake Kaz Hirai!
  16. Naughty Dog has always been a company that took risks, and there's certainly an argument to be made that Crash Bandicoot was one of the biggest risks that the company ever took. The project set out to overcome the main problems that plagued early 3D game design, create what they hoped might become an unofficial PlayStation mascot, and took a chance on Sony's new platform, the original PlayStation. The remastered Crash Bandicoot trilogy has become the best selling game of the year so far, so that begs the question: Is Crash Bandicoot one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Crash Bandicoot 'All for Wampa' by Rexy (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02414) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  17. Naughty Dog has always been a company that took risks, and there's certainly an argument to be made that Crash Bandicoot was one of the biggest risks that the company ever took. The project set out to overcome the main problems that plagued early 3D game design, create what they hoped might become an unofficial PlayStation mascot, and took a chance on Sony's new platform, the original PlayStation. The remastered Crash Bandicoot trilogy has become the best selling game of the year so far, so that begs the question: Is Crash Bandicoot one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Crash Bandicoot 'All for Wampa' by Rexy (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02414) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  18. July's PlayStation Plus free game roster is up. The line-up features a healthy mix of slasher horror, political intrigue, and Pomeranians surviving post-apocalyptic Japan. Adventure horror title Until Dawn and the season pass for Telltale's Game of Thrones series make up the PlayStation 4 offerings. PlayStation 3 owners can download Tokyo Jungle and Darkstalkers Resurrection. For Vita, Element 4I and Don't Die Mr. Robot (with cross-buy on PS4) are up for grabs. From July 4 to October 24, PS Plus users also received the mobile-focused quiz game That's You! to mark the launch of PlayLink, an initiative that allows players to interact with games using use their smartphones. What do you think of July's Plus offerings? View full article
  19. July's PlayStation Plus free game roster is up. The line-up features a healthy mix of slasher horror, political intrigue, and Pomeranians surviving post-apocalyptic Japan. Adventure horror title Until Dawn and the season pass for Telltale's Game of Thrones series make up the PlayStation 4 offerings. PlayStation 3 owners can download Tokyo Jungle and Darkstalkers Resurrection. For Vita, Element 4I and Don't Die Mr. Robot (with cross-buy on PS4) are up for grabs. From July 4 to October 24, PS Plus users also received the mobile-focused quiz game That's You! to mark the launch of PlayLink, an initiative that allows players to interact with games using use their smartphones. What do you think of July's Plus offerings?
  20. God of War's Norse setting, family-focused story, and presence of Kratos' son aren't the only big changes for upcoming sequel. The game also features a dramatically altered presentation thanks to a single, behind-the-shoulder camera that replaces the series' classic fixed camera angles. In an interview with Eurogamer, Game Director Corey Balrog, lead animator on God of War I, director of God of War II, and script writer for God of War III before departing Sony Santa Monica, discussed in-depth the motivation for the team to change the camera angle: The aspiration when I got back was to tell a much more personal story. God of War is traditionally known for these cinematic, pull back cameras, which I think are fantastic. But trying to get in there and really get to know the character a little more, I realized it'd be interesting if we got closer. [...] There was big [internal] resistance, but I have probably one of the best teams in the business, so as much as they were pushing back, I think they all kind of wanted this crazy challenge. Balrog also addressed concerns about the player's control over the camera, something fans of the series seem to be divided on: The player won't always have control, although that was the aspiration at the beginning. We eventually got hit by the sobering reality that sometimes you just have to nudge the player and let them see what you want them to see, but it's always a nudge. You always give them a little bit of a sense of freedom, so that it does feel like you're experiencing all of this in real time. Balrog's motivations are radically shaking up the God of War formula for the next entry, defying fan expectations and how leaving Santa Monica during God of War III's development helped mature him as a writer and director. God of War releases in March 2018. You can watch the game's latest trailer from Sony E3 2017 presentation here.
  21. God of War's Norse setting, family-focused story, and presence of Kratos' son aren't the only big changes for upcoming sequel. The game also features a dramatically altered presentation thanks to a single, behind-the-shoulder camera that replaces the series' classic fixed camera angles. In an interview with Eurogamer, Game Director Corey Balrog, lead animator on God of War I, director of God of War II, and script writer for God of War III before departing Sony Santa Monica, discussed in-depth the motivation for the team to change the camera angle: The aspiration when I got back was to tell a much more personal story. God of War is traditionally known for these cinematic, pull back cameras, which I think are fantastic. But trying to get in there and really get to know the character a little more, I realized it'd be interesting if we got closer. [...] There was big [internal] resistance, but I have probably one of the best teams in the business, so as much as they were pushing back, I think they all kind of wanted this crazy challenge. Balrog also addressed concerns about the player's control over the camera, something fans of the series seem to be divided on: The player won't always have control, although that was the aspiration at the beginning. We eventually got hit by the sobering reality that sometimes you just have to nudge the player and let them see what you want them to see, but it's always a nudge. You always give them a little bit of a sense of freedom, so that it does feel like you're experiencing all of this in real time. Balrog's motivations are radically shaking up the God of War formula for the next entry, defying fan expectations and how leaving Santa Monica during God of War III's development helped mature him as a writer and director. God of War releases in March 2018. You can watch the game's latest trailer from Sony E3 2017 presentation here. View full article
  22. The concept of creating cinema in virtual reality is still in its infancy, but those interested in the format's potential can check out the first short film from London-based VR studio, Breaking Fourth. Titled Ctrl, the film is coming to PlayStation VR and centers on a young e-sports player named Liam, who competes in a strategy game tournament where viewers have "front row seats" to the action. However, Liam may be fighting for much more than just a tournament victory. According to Breaking Fourth, Ctrl aims to explores "themes of power, control and escapism...whilst forcing you to confront the unrelenting nature of the character’s reality – and as the plot develops, you may find yourself reflecting on your own experiences…" The film was shot in full 360 degrees, offering watchers a completely immersive experience. You can get a feel for Ctrl by checking out its trailer below. PlayStation VR owners intrigued by the project will be able to download Ctrl from the PlayStation Store this Friday, June 23rd. You can read more about the movie by reading Breaking Fourth's PlayStation Blog post.
  23. The concept of creating cinema in virtual reality is still in its infancy, but those interested in the format's potential can check out the first short film from London-based VR studio, Breaking Fourth. Titled Ctrl, the film is coming to PlayStation VR and centers on a young e-sports player named Liam, who competes in a strategy game tournament where viewers have "front row seats" to the action. However, Liam may be fighting for much more than just a tournament victory. According to Breaking Fourth, Ctrl aims to explores "themes of power, control and escapism...whilst forcing you to confront the unrelenting nature of the character’s reality – and as the plot develops, you may find yourself reflecting on your own experiences…" The film was shot in full 360 degrees, offering watchers a completely immersive experience. You can get a feel for Ctrl by checking out its trailer below. PlayStation VR owners intrigued by the project will be able to download Ctrl from the PlayStation Store this Friday, June 23rd. You can read more about the movie by reading Breaking Fourth's PlayStation Blog post. View full article
  24. Knack was the poster-child for the typical launch game: a decent showcase of the PS4’s technical capabilities while just being serviceable as an entertaining video game. While I feel Knack receives more vitriol than it probably deserves, the throwback-style platformer also didn’t light my world on fire enough to have me salivating over a sequel. But that’s what we’re getting, and after playing Knack 2 at E3 2017, I'm not convinced that there's much there to sufficiently separate itself from its predecessor. Knack 2’s primary hook is the addition of two-player co-op. Players can romp through the colorful world together, whether from the outset or during single play thanks to a drop-in/drop-out feature. Platforming makes my soul smile, so I coerced my fellow attendee into choosing the traversal-focused opening segment (the other available level was an action-heavy combat showcase). Knack 2’s mechanics and design are identical to the first game save for a new shield Knack can conjure to repel attacks, adding a wrinkle of depth to the beat-em-up-style combat. The cooperative gameplay design featured in this slice was nothing remarkable. Seesaw platforms, ziplines across gaps, floors that dip in and out of walls. It sounds like I’m skipping details, but I really can’t think of anything mechanics worth discussing in-depth. Knack 2’s challenge mainly derived from my less-than-skilled partner struggling to keep up with me (not his fault. I’m quite adept at platformers). Thankfully, hitting the right trigger lets players instantly warp alongside their companions, which helped keep our adventure rolling along. A team-up attack is also present, although there weren't any enemies worth using it on. We did, however, gang up on some unsuspecting crystals and crates. As we hopped about and pummeled anything that wasn’t made out of metallic Toblerones, I couldn’t help feeling I’d had my fill of the game once the demo wrapped up. Everything felt like an extended déjà vu sequence guest starring a stranger, and nothing presented in my particular demo (I never got around to the combat scenario) compelled me to want to play another Knack game. Co-op worked well enough and should be welcome addition for fans, though that’s primarily because most games are inherently more fun with someone else and not because anything Knack 2 did with the feature. We’ll see how everything comes together when Knack 2 launches September 5. But unless you’re a diehard Knack enthusiast or feel deprived of 3D platformers and will take anything, I wouldn’t expect much to get you on board if you weren’t keen on the first title. View full article
  25. Knack was the poster-child for the typical launch game: a decent showcase of the PS4’s technical capabilities while just being serviceable as an entertaining video game. While I feel Knack receives more vitriol than it probably deserves, the throwback-style platformer also didn’t light my world on fire enough to have me salivating over a sequel. But that’s what we’re getting, and after playing Knack 2 at E3 2017, I'm not convinced that there's much there to sufficiently separate itself from its predecessor. Knack 2’s primary hook is the addition of two-player co-op. Players can romp through the colorful world together, whether from the outset or during single play thanks to a drop-in/drop-out feature. Platforming makes my soul smile, so I coerced my fellow attendee into choosing the traversal-focused opening segment (the other available level was an action-heavy combat showcase). Knack 2’s mechanics and design are identical to the first game save for a new shield Knack can conjure to repel attacks, adding a wrinkle of depth to the beat-em-up-style combat. The cooperative gameplay design featured in this slice was nothing remarkable. Seesaw platforms, ziplines across gaps, floors that dip in and out of walls. It sounds like I’m skipping details, but I really can’t think of anything mechanics worth discussing in-depth. Knack 2’s challenge mainly derived from my less-than-skilled partner struggling to keep up with me (not his fault. I’m quite adept at platformers). Thankfully, hitting the right trigger lets players instantly warp alongside their companions, which helped keep our adventure rolling along. A team-up attack is also present, although there weren't any enemies worth using it on. We did, however, gang up on some unsuspecting crystals and crates. As we hopped about and pummeled anything that wasn’t made out of metallic Toblerones, I couldn’t help feeling I’d had my fill of the game once the demo wrapped up. Everything felt like an extended déjà vu sequence guest starring a stranger, and nothing presented in my particular demo (I never got around to the combat scenario) compelled me to want to play another Knack game. Co-op worked well enough and should be welcome addition for fans, though that’s primarily because most games are inherently more fun with someone else and not because anything Knack 2 did with the feature. We’ll see how everything comes together when Knack 2 launches September 5. But unless you’re a diehard Knack enthusiast or feel deprived of 3D platformers and will take anything, I wouldn’t expect much to get you on board if you weren’t keen on the first title.
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