PlayStation Plus prices to increase

I couldn’t believe it when I saw the email but after a quicks search through Google it seems to be true. Sony’s PlayStation Plus service will be going up in price. This is however only for European and Australian gamers. I’m not sure how the new prices will compare to other countries such as those in the United States. The prices will go up at midnight on the 31st of August for European and Australian gamers. The email states that the prices will go up as follows:
Monthly membership will go up to £6.99 (usually £5.99)
Quarterly membership will rise to £19.99 (usually £14.99)
Yearly membership will rise to the price of a brand new game at £49.99 (usually £39.99)

The only good bit of news from this is that because it only is effective from midnight on the 31st of August, you can renew your membership for at least a year now and save at least £10. PlayStation Plus membership can be stacked on your account which means that if you are willing to, you can mass buy PlayStation Plus codes for 1 year and add them all to your account, although this method may be costly, it may end up saving you up to £10 per year.

The fact that these prices are going up in Europe and Australia suggests that Brexit is not to blame. I’m sure a lot of gamers in Europe and Australia will be incensed like I am because of this 25% price increase. Memberships in the United States cost around $59.99 which means that this may just be a price increase to make the prices more similar. I hope they are not increasing these prices because of increased costs of running this service because they don’t seem to have been improving any of their services at all especially considering how many times PlayStation Plus has been down the past 2 years. Hopefully, *fingers crossed* they do start actually taking the service seriously with these price increases and improve their infrastructure and security. And hopefully, the free monthly games as part of PlayStation Plus also improve considering that I am now paying the price of a brand new game every year.

The last price increase for the PlayStation Plus service was also for the United Kingdom in 2015, with South Africa, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and India also affected in 2014. Although, that time the price increase in the United Kingdom was only for the month and three month memberships.

What are your thoughts on these price increases? Will you be affected?

August’s Xbox Live Gold Games

If you have Gold subscription service with Microsoft’s Xbox Live, then you are entitled to some free games below! School is on the horizon for many students so spent your last summer days with the following during their free time:

Xbox One

  • Slime Rancher (August 1-31)
  • Trials Fusion (August 16-September 15)

Xbox 360 (compatible with Xbox One)

  • Bayonetta (August 1-15)
  • Red Faction: Armageddon (August 16-31)

August’s PlayStation Plus Lineup

A new month gamers and that means new free games to all Sony PlayStation Plus members. Sadly its the month that many students go back to school, but before the doom and gloom set in you can get these free games with the right system:

PlayStation 3:

 

  • Just Cause 3
  • Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry

PlayStation 4:

 

  • Super Motherload
  • Snakeball

 

PlayStation Vita:

 

  • Downwell (crossbuy with PS4)
  • Level 22

 

 

A Hat in Time is Coming to the PS4 and Xbox One!

Prior to Yooka-Laylee, FreezeMe and Poi, there was one other 3D platformer that started the whole genre revival off. Named A Hat in Time, the game starred a character called Hat Kid as she collected pieces of time in various worlds, all while avoiding the machinations of the evil Moustache Girl. It looked great, did really well on Kickstarter (raising over $296,000 in funds there) and eventually kicked off the entire N64 collectathon revival altogether.

But while the games it inspired came and went, A Hat in Time has continued trucking away in the background.
We’ve seen fantastic new levels set in places like a train and a film studio. We’ve seen interesting costumes and mechanics from the game posted on Twitter.

And in general, we’ve seen a lot of things that indicate this will be an amazing 3D platformer. Perhaps even the true return to form the genre has needed.

Yet for all that, it wasn’t ever really announced for consoles. Somehow, the latest in a genre made for home consoles has remained a PC exclusive since the start of the development.

But that’s now changed! Why? Because as the title suggests, A Hat in Time has now been announced as coming to the PS4 and Xbox One! Here’s the official trailer about these two console releases for the title:

It’s pretty good all things considered. However, it still leaves one very obvious question here.

And that’s why it’s not been announced for a Nintendo system yet. Seriously, this game is made for the Nintendo audience. It’s inspired by Mario Sunshine, Banjo-Kazooie and the Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker.

It’s a game the Nintendo fanbase would adore, especially if you take their interest in Yooka-Laylee and Super Mario Odyssey as an indicator here.

Meanwhile the players on the other systems are… perhaps a little less endearing towards games like this.
=Remember, Rare tried it on the Xbox and Xbox 360. It’s why Microsoft bought them, and why Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Viva Piñata, Banjo-Kazooie Nuts and Bolts and others were released on Microsoft’s systems.

Yet their fans didn’t really care. The games just didn’t sell to the Xbox demographic.

Which is something I suspect may be the case here too. A Hat in Time is a good game, and it’s nice its coming out on Xbox One and PS4…

But it’s just the wrong type of game for those consoles in general. It’s one Nintendo fans would likely buy into more.

So let’s hope Gears for Breakfast takes some notes and announces a Switch port at some point. Cause if so, I’m buying the game on day 1!

How to Skip the Sheikah Slate in The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild

As anyone who’s ever played The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild knows, the Sheikah Slate is a massive part of Link’s adventure. It holds the world map, as well as a way to warp between areas. It’s used for runes, like remote bombs and stasis. And with everything from cutscenes to Divine Beast manipulation and photography requiring it, it’s basically the most important item in the entire adventure.

But did you know you can skip it entirely?

Yep, thanks to an interesting new bug, you can actually escape the Shrine of Resurrection without even getting the Sheikah Slate! Here’s a video showing how it works:

As well as some quick instructions:

  1. Open a save file where you’re outside the Great Plateau (or in a shrine), and go to a ledge.
  2. Press A to climb down and pause on the same frame
  3. Once this is done, head back to the title via the menu and start a new game
  4. If done correctly, Link should collapse the second he wakes up in the Shrine of Resurrection
  5. And voila, he’s now outside the Shrine minus Sheikah Slate!

This works because the game has a really bad way of handling save data. Put simply, it doesn’t quite clear your state between save files or new games.

So if you’re sneaky, effects can be carried between them. Did this bug with a normal shrine instead of the Shrine of Resurrection?

You’re now outside of the shrine’s boundaries in the void. Or stuck in a wall somewhere.

Saved the game while in some dangerous substances and reverted to a file where you’re on a horse?

The effects have carried over, and you’ve either got auto healing or just dropped dead on sight.
The list goes on and on. Cause the game just doesn’t clear save data correctly.

Either way though, doing the bug mentioned lets you skip the most important item in the entire game. But what effects does it have?

Does it break the game wide open?

Not quite. For one thing, the game does act like you have the slate where cutscenes, shrines, towers and Divine Beasts are so concerned. So if you ever need to scan a terminal (or are planning to upgrade it at the Hateno Tech Lab), don’t worry. That still works fine in this game state.

You can also use runes like normal, since the L button’s quick select menu works as it usually does. So unless you’re one of the 1% of players who actually open the slate to switch runes (apparently that’s actually possible?), you won’t see anything different there either.

However, there are still other effects the lack of Sheikah Slate has on the game.
For instance, without the slate, time never progresses. What do I mean by this?

Well apparently the cutscene that plays when you first enter the Great Plateau also starts the in game clock. It’s what kicks off the whole day and night cycle thing.

So without it, time remains frozen at the time you started the game. This in turn means that the Blood Moon never happens.

In other words? You can pretty much permanently kill every monster in the world while this state is active, turning Zelda into a game with (NPC only) final death.

It also completely disables the map in the game. As a result, not only can you not view it by press – (since the Sheikah Slate doesn’t exist), it doesn’t appear as a mini map either. So if you want to do a full blind run of the game… well this could be just the ticket.

Same goes for teleporting too, since without access to the map you can’t warp anywhere. That’s brutal for a new player, but certainly makes things a tad… more interesting for those who consider warping a bit out of a cop out.

Finally, it’s not permanent either. Don’t like not having a Sheikah Slate? Simply go back to the Great Plateau and get it, since you’re able to pick it up at any time. Because of that, while some aspects of the game aren’t possible (like manipulating the Divine Beasts), you can simply go back and get the slate if you want to complete them further down the line.

So give it a go if you’re interested. It’s an interesting way to play the game, and provides a nice bit of extra difficulty for those people finding Master Mode just a tad too easy.

Have fun!