All three major console developers have back-and-forth attitude problems, but none seem to be more-so than Sony. Between constantly setting themselves up for class-act suits from breaking their own Terms of Service or always riding in the shadow of Microsoft, Sony is constantly making us wonder what they are thinking. Upon discussing some things with a close friend whom is also a gaming journalist we began noticing some things about Sony as of late. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent doings – or not-doings – and see if we can sort through any of it.
For starters, Sony finally added the ability to view video, audio, and images from your PC on your PS4 as of the 16th of last month. However, no word yet as to whether they will allow you to save, send, or store images, or even set them as your wallpaper on the console like the PS3 and Vita both allow. Oddly enough, however, if you send an image from the PS Vita to a user on the PS4 they can view it but not save it. The Vita, however, can do both. Also yet to be incorporated is notifications for when your friends come online. Again, this is a feature everything else uses so where is it?
Now, let’s go to the topic of ToS for a moment. They may have saved their asses with many clauses in the ToS now, but will it help their fans’ faith in the company? If you recall the game by Konami ‘Silent Hills Playable Teaser’ (or simply P.T. for short) was taken off the PS Store. Interestingly enough, they sent out notices that ‘if you delete the game demo of P.T. you will be unable to re-download it’. Now, this is merely a demo for a game, but what does that say about Sony’s digital download distribution service? Kind of makes you question whether the risk is worth it to download digital installments rather than just purchase a physical hard copy of a game; especially when even demos are suddenly no longer re-downloadable from your purchase history, no? How would you feel if you downloaded a game like Final Fantasy 14, all the expansions they put out, paid the monthly membership fee, spent three years on the game, and then Sony said “We’re removing the digital copies from our library” shortly before an update forces you to uninstall the game and re-install only for you to find out you are unable to re-download and have to go out and purchase the actual disc – or worse a disc bundle for the expansions as well?
Above: P.T. as it appears on my PS4 now. Note how all additional information has been removed, even my friends’ activity with it.
Backward compatibility from PS3 to PS4 was ‘being looked into’ or ‘worked on’ said Sony since the release of the PS4. Microsoft’s E3 presentation showed they had emulated the 360 and got it to work natively on the Xbox One. Sony’s response to that? Cancelling their backward compatibility plans completely. Yep, good job, Sony! I’m sure giving up on something fans desperately want is the best solution when your competitor pulls it out ahead of you. Can’t see how that WOULDN’T be a good idea! Just another thing to roll your eyes at Sony for.
Sony’s PS4 tries to be Facebook with its social media style features like “People You May Know” or “Discover!” ad-like pop-ups. Oh, how I would love to disable these features! Sadly, much like Microsoft manages Skype and Outlook, you can’t. These things are stuck there taunting or popping up and all you can do is ignore them or be irritated by their presence. Another feature that you cannot do away with is the PS4’s automatic screen capture feature that takes and saves an image of your screen whenever a trophy is earned. In concept it sounds kind of nice at first; proof that you earned the trophy and an image that is saved and tacked onto the trophy when you check it, thus showing how and when it was earned with a picture of it being unlocked. However, that means every trophy unlocked takes up storage space on your HDD until you personally sift through every single image and remove all of the ones with little trophy icons near their name and date. Side note: if you are fast enough with hitting the PS-button on your controller at the time of the notification pop-up that occurs when you earn a trophy you can wind up with it taking a screenshot of your trophy list rather than your gameplay screen.
Above: That stupid Discover pop-up as I turn on my PS4
Above: Me glitching out the automatic screencap of my trophy being unlocked on PS4.
Remember the PS3’s amazing ability to swap controllers on the fly by manually changing what player the controller is set for via numbers one through 4? Well, you can still do that somewhat by changing the logged-in user associated with that controller, but it is much more annoying to back door and not so user-friendly by far. Still awaiting this to be added as well.
Playstation Now seems to be Sony’s over-priced answer to the backward compatibility, charging players an average of $3 a day to rent digital downloads of many PS Classics and PS3 games on their PS4. Not a bad idea with how well Redbox works, but a bit overpriced considering. Try renting a game like Dragon Age: Inquisition, for example. I’ve clocked over 90 hours into that game running side-quests and doing other tasks and still am maybe around the half-way point of the story. Go ahead, do the math at how much you’d have paid renting a game like that at $2.99 – $4.99 a day. Now consider most people don’t have the time to sit in front of a game screen for 12 plus hours a day like I do. The average gamer gets around 3 hours a day to enjoy their consoles and games. That’s $90 to have rented Dragon Age: Inquisition to the half-way point had I not purchased the full game. Sure, you could say that it is a nice way to try a game out before buying it, but isn’t that what free demos are for? Granted most of these games no longer have demos available, but there are always videos of gameplay and the like online. As pointed out by the other journalist, what’s worse is not only the cost for the rental fee, but those who have limits on their bandwidth amount they can use each month are in danger of going over their cap and being hit with additional fees for hundreds of dollars due to the constant send and receive that PS Now requires.
Above: Playstation Now rental prices page on PS4.
Lastly, lets take a gander at the PS Plus free games up to now, shall we? The PS4’s exclusive games have all been new games released on the same day as the PS Plus free games come, meaning that when you received a game such as ‘Tower Of Guns’ for free as a Sony Playstation Plus member that was the same day the game was placed on the market. With the small library of games exclusive to PS4 it is no surprise they’d be running out of things to offer, even with all of the indie games given each month. This month we finally received our first title that had been out for some time prior, ‘Styx: Master of Shadows’. Now, some may look at this as a bad thing, but I, however, am content with this happenstance. For one thing, that means we may end up with some better titles that have already been released such as ‘Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign-‘ in the future. It is, of course, a mixed bag, as you may guess though, since that also means you may end up with free games given you already purchased, as is what often happens to me on Microsoft’s Gold Membership mere weeks to days after I buy a game more often than not. Still, on the flip side once again, this also means we may end up with things other than lackluster indie games; things like Dragonball Xenoverse or A-list titles such as Call of Duty in the future. As the old expression goes; only time will tell.
In the meantime, feel free to tell us what you think below! Do you disagree with my complaints or comments? Do you agree? What features are you looking forward to or hoping they add or remove on the Playstation 4? We’d love to hear your opinion!
Sony really blew away the competition this year at E3 with the announcements of many eagerly awaited games – and some not-so-eagerly awaited. Let’s look at the line-up and highlights of the event.
Sony led off the conference with the anticipated game The Last Guardian which is a story about a boy and his Clifford-sized dog-like monster friend. The graphics look pretty decent as they use a lot of lighting effects to keep a dusty atmosphere as both boy and ‘dog’ traverse through the Prince of Persia-esque environments.
Those of you whom hate quick-time events (sequences in games where you have to time button presses with on-screen cues made famous by the God of War series) will probably want to pass this one by as it seems as though the majority of the game is going to involve them. QTE won’t be the main focus, however, as what makes this game different than the normal Prince of War (as I like to call it) style of gameplay is how you interact with your feathered canine of a companion. The chimera of a creature can be ordered to do things such as jump over gaps and interact with the child in order to navigate the perilous terrain around them. The interactions surrounding the duo are so adorable you will want to vomit hearts and rainbows, which is really the selling point for me considering as much as I love puzzle games The Last Guardian seems a bit too slow-paced for my liking.
Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn really blew me away graphically the moment the video presentation began. I literally whispered “wow” and sat in slack-jawed awe at the visual display before me. “Finally,” I thought, “the PS4 is getting games that utilize its potential rather than the ColecoVision and Flash graphical Indie fest of a library it has had up to now”. Not only are the environments most impressive, but the take on the post-apocalyptic genre is nice as well. The playable character tells the story of how humanity was all but wiped out and in our absence nature was able to thrive again. There is a huge message there punching you in the face like a right-hook from Tyson and I love it!
After the stunning introduction to the story you see the main heroine attempt to take down what can best be described as Dinobot from Transformers meets Turok with her trusty bow and arrow, which also had a futuristic vibe to it. The fight was long and tense and definitely looked to accurately portray a woman with a bow attempting to survive a robo-dino assault. I’ll be awaiting thsi game’s release for certain just to see the graphics and explore the world and story within. Here’s hoping the symbolism never stops coming and gets people thinking about humanity as a whole.Chao
Hitman. Yep, that’s just about all I can say. Hitman. there is no subtitle for this game, which seems to be a growing trend that annoys me; when movies and games make installments to long-running series then name the new one the same as the first. Because, you know, why shouldn’t it be confusing? It worked for Final Fantasy’s number system, right? No! No, it didn’t work then with numbers so stop doing it with names NOW! … ahem…
Anyway, the teaser trailer for this game showed us very little outside of Number 47 has grown blonde peach fuzz atop his head that was once bald. They say it will have exclusive PS4 content and get all DLC on Sony’s console first, but apart from multiplayer announced nothing else has really been detailed at this time.
Street Fighter V looks as unimpressive as any of the Street Fighter 4 games. The only good news I have for former fans such as myself who disliked 4 was that 5 will be the last game to use the engine. They announced “New characters” through their “Here Comes A New Challenger” label from in-game, but I was let down when I saw it was merely Birdie from the Alpha series and Cammy from the normal series.
Oh well, Capcom, you dropped the ball again. You could have had your token eye-candy pin-up poster-girl, me, but instead you chose that hussy Cammy White. Here’s hoping SFV doesn’t use the slow-movement and crappy combo system Street Fighter x Tekken used and they go back to the EX series for moves and combos. Oh well, I guess I’ll go shopping with Eliza Masters while I wait for Capcom to fix this series.
Indie developer Hello Games’ creation No Man’s Sky began quite unimpressive as well as equally uncomfortable. Whether it be nerves or what I am not sure, but the man on stage fumbled, twitched, stuttered, slurred, and acted as if he were on cocaine and needing a fix. I’m not knocking him, mind you; I know stress and nervous tension better than most – especially in public – and I felt uncomfortable because watching him made me mentally place myself in his shoes. To him I say this: you’ve got a great concept of a game with great originality behind it so be confident – I’m rooting for you!
No Man’s Sky is a game with nearly infinite worlds to explore. It began like a first-person spaceship shooter and turned me off until he showed how many worlds there were by zooming out amongst what seemed like infinite space of stars. He then informed us that they were not stars, but suns around each solar system that could be explored. That’s VERY impressive! There was one huge ball of light in the center of it all which we were informed was our objective – to get to that planet. So, how is this all achieved? You go to the planets and gather information by researching elements, features, and environments (yes, I realize I am using that word a lot but it is the best word for these style of games), all of which are fully destroyable, by the way. You then send the collected data off to whomever collects it all and either explore for more or leave the planet to move on to the next. Exploring the planets places you into a traditional FPS gun-holding mode of gameplay, which made me much more interested in this game than the space sim navigator FPS I originally thought it was.
The game is sandbox and uses a random generator for the worlds – to most extent – which means you and your friends may never see the same planets and replay value should be high. I wish Hello Games the best of luck with this title and promise I will be one of the masses to pick this title up the first chance I can!
Dreams by Media Molecule was visually confusing as much as it was intriguing. The question is whether it can be labeled as a ‘game’ when I feel it is much more better suited being placed amongst ‘apps’ for a genre as it is really an animation studio. The spokesman said creating worlds, animations, and everything was fast and easy, but honestly, it looked gruelingly long, arduous, and strenuous for those of us without a lot of patience – especially considering moving, bending, and placing pieces was all done by motion controls. I would say this seemed like it would be more at home on the Wii U, but Nintendo’s console could never host these graphics.
Truly, the ‘game’ LOOKS great! The scenes used in the trailer were very creative and artistically assembled. The ability to share and download other people’s works along with the claim you can build and animate anything or even make your own games with it made me instantly think of Little Big Planet. You can bet good money there will be some impressive animations done in Dreams and posted on youtube even years after the PS4 is a dead system. If you’ve got the patience for it and want to make animations using the PS4 then there is no better way to go than Media Molecule’s Dreams.
I will most definitely give it a try – maybe build myself and Felicia battling Pyron’s Huitzil army for old time’s sake, since we still haven’t gotten a Darkstalkers live-action movie. Best part of this app of a game? I can fully make my Dream come true!
In what was undoubtedly the most confusing and short demo in the conference, Firewatch, a new first-person shooter was revealed. Apart from having a sarcastic snarky leading guy you play as and an off-screen navigator of a female talking to him, I couldn’t place what the premise of the game was about. The graphics remind me of Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts, so I’ll just end there because frankly, I haven’t anything else to say about this game at this point in time.
Destiny‘s new expansion DLC entitled The Taken King was shown at E3 and honestly… I’m just as unimpressed about this game as I was when I hit 32 Warlock last year. The boss is seemingly inspired-by (or flat-out stolen from) the main antagonist and name-sake of the Diablo series, for starters. apart from that, it will most liekly be another pointless loot-grind fest all so your legendary weapon will scale and take as many shots to kill a level 1 hobgoblin as it did when you were level 1 with a starter gun. Thanks, Bungie, but I’ll pass once again. for the rest of you who like Bungie’s Destiny series, however, look forward to endlessly farming a muscular winged, tailed, talon-clawed Diablo clone.
Yet another installment in the Assassins Creed series entitled ‘Syndicate‘ was announced. This time you have the option of playing as Jacob or his cousin Evie Frye. The Cane-sword weapon seems particularly nice, but I just cannot stay interested in this series at the rate in which they keep doling these games out. Too many games in the same series too fast is literally what killed Guitar Hero and forced Activision to place the series on hold for a while. Assassins Creed could probably do with the same delicate care.
Square-Enix unveiled a new final Fantasy game; World of Final Fantasy. Hey, do you like final Fantasy’s older games? Do you want to play as older, more iconic characters from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras? did you like the chibi art in Chocobo’s Dungeon 2’s FMV sequences? Do you collect bobble heads? Then has SE we got a deal for you! In all seriousness, there isn’t much revealed outside of concept at this point and a brief amount on story, so I’m not certain what the battle system will be like.
Final Fantasy 7 finally gets a remake! With an impressive high-graphic teaser trailer stating “The promise has been made” and “They’re back” SE made the audience fan-girl scream regardless of gender. They didn’t show in-game footage, unfortunately, so we still do not know if the impressive eye-candy will be nearly as such in battle and when navigating the environ. Either way, you can expect you won’t be a purple Lego wanna-be anymore!
Indie developer Devolver Digital showed four very short trailers for upcoming games. Ronin, a sidescroll flash-like animated hack n slash Strider clone. Eitr, an old-school arcade beat em up RPG that reminds me of Shadows Over Mystara or Cadash for the Turbo Graphix 16. Mother Russia Bleeds, a Streets of Rage-style brawler with insane kills and a whole bunch of gore. Lastly, Crossing Souls, a game that… a game that um… well, it… hmm. I can’t tell what is going on in this game; dance moves for attacks? It is a beat-em up, maybe? Zombies Ate My Neighbors homage, possibly? Retro City Rampage rip-off? I have no clue.
Shenmue 3 is coming out at long last, fueled by your money via kickstarter. Honestly, I understand kickstarters being used for the average man, but when you are a huge company like Sega, for example, that has been in the game development business for years, is it really all that necessary to use a kickstarter to fund something you are obviously going to make a large profit on anyhow considering fans demanded it for over a decade? Well, either way, it is coming and it is here, regardless, so we can eagerly await its completion now.
Batman is going to die. Joker has been dead for 9 months. The civilians in Gotham are awaiting the next new threat but one never comes. This is all told to us by a cop walking down the streets in a 1950’s Chicago setting which we see from his PoV while listening to Frank Sinatra’s I’ve Got You Under My Skin. He enters a cafe and someone tells him a gentleman won’t stop smoking (odd considering it was legal in the 50’s to smoke anywhere) at the table near him. The cop goes to check it out and is attacked by what looks like a Zombie.
What happens next is a first-person shooter of a fight that reminded me of the opening gameplay to The Darkness 2. I was really confused how this FPS demon killer (that also really reminded me of Condemned) was part of the Batman series, but just then it flashed ‘Batman Arkham Knight‘ onto the screen. Wait, wasn’t that game an open-world beat em up like Asylum and City? Apparently, as we are then told, this is part of the Scarecrow’s Nightmare Missions downloadable content. I’m still confused, but hey, Frank Sinatra!
Project Morpheus, the virtual reality system was talked about. It will utilize four-player local co-op. that’s all I really got out of that entire showing, to be honest. Whether people realize it or not VR has existed for a long time (Sega had a decent hologram game in arcades in the early 90’s, so just go from there). It will be nice to see VR reach the average home and consumer, but I am not really impressed by the concept anymore.
Treyarch showed Black Ops 3 and pulled me in, I must admit. I am a fan of World at War, black Ops, and Black Ops 2, but saw the futuristic trailer for the game a while back and it turned me off. Their E3 display pulled me back in with fast-paced combat, 4-player cooperative missions. wall-running. New character loadout system, and much more. Well played, Treyarch, well played. So long as your aim assist can still be turned off, unlike Infinity Ward’s where “off” doesn’t do anything, then I’m sure I will like this game just as much as your others.
Sony announced Star Wars Twilight of the Republic to be included into Disney Infinity 3.0 and will have a PS4 exclusive starter set and allow PS4 users to purchase and play as Boba Fett first.
Star Wars: Battlefront got some in-game FPS action shown and it looks pretty fun. To me, I hope it will feel like a modern-age counterpart to the old Playstation title Dark Forces where I had fun exploring the environments in Lucas’ world. There will be co-op missions as well as other multiplayer features as is the focus of the game, not unlike Call of Duty.
Uncharted 4: At Thief’s End closed out Sony’s press conference with some high-adrenaline-pumping non-stop action of Drake and Sully fleeing for their lives through gunfire, into a deadly high-speed race in a clunky truck, hanging by a rope attempting to dodge pillars and other deadly objects just longing to turn Drake into a mancake. I’m not a fan of the Uncharted series and have not liked any of the ones I have played, but this game looks about as challenging and tense as being in the actual gunfight and getaway can be. I may have to give it a shot.
So, to summarize the pros and cons:
Indie developers doing impressive things even old-school developers are not attempting to do with new technology with games like No Man’s Sky and movie-making apps like Dreams.
Shenmue 3 announced after what was about fifteen years since the last game.
A new Uncharted title is coming to the PS4 at long last.
Hmm, I feel like there was an important one I am forgetting. Maybe a final Fantasy title of some kind everyone wanted? Oh1 That’s right! Square-Enix announces that World of Final Fa- nah, just kidding, FINAL FANTASY VII GETS A REMAKE AT LONG LAST!
Still no update on the status of backward compatibility. Meanwhile Sony still attempting to rob people with their highly over-priced rental system, which one can only hope is a temporary charge as they build the library for BC.
Flickers of the new Metal Gear Solid and Tearaway PS4 port were flashed in an interlude but turned out to merely be cock-teases as they weren’t even honorable mentioned, let alone glanced at outside of those AMV-like flashes.
Sony still not mentioning PS3 features coming to PS4 such as the media streaming or storing to and from PC and PS4 like the PS3 had, being able to turn off that annoying Discover bullcrap, turning off the automatic screencap of trophies when they unlock, or being able to see when friends come online via notification.
Still no new Katamari Damacy announced for PS4 or Patapon game announced for PS4 or Vita
Capcom making Street Fighter V and merely shows what looks exactly like 4 but with Cammy and Birdie.
Still no new Darkstalkers game and I’m not DLC for SFV.
As promised in my earlier article, today we are going to look at some footage and screenshots on the long-awaited remake of Final Fantasy 7 coming to PS4.
To begin, let’s take a look at the teaser trailer.
As you can see, the graphics have been completely re-hauled and look even more fantastic than Advent Children! Compare them to the graphics from the FMV sequences of Crisis Core, assuming the in-game graphics look remotely as nice, and we could be in for a real treat!
Above: Cloud Strife in Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core
Above: Cloud Strife in the remake coming to PS4 of Final Fantasy 7
Above: Even the iconic playground used in many anime and games (most likely playing tribute to 1988’s Akira – another post-apocalyptic futuristic setting) shines visually.
Granted, the Crisis Core image is from a Playstation Portable game and there is a huge difference in both hardware and graphics between a PSP and PS4, but considering that is the last entry we’ve had him in graphically, it is the best we can use for comparison outside of the Advent Children movie. Honestly, I was amazed to see the iconic playground show up in the trailer, but damn does it look good!
It is definitely nice to see visually, but will the in-game graphics look anything close to the video and screenshots given to us thus far which all appear to be FMV sequences? I am hoping so and eagerly awaiting the release. More news to come in the future.
In the meantime, tell us what you think! What Final Fantasy game would you like to see remade and why? Personally, I’d be interested to see what Final Fantasy 9 would look like with this kind of spit and polish, but that’s just me; what’s yours?