Tag Archives: playstation 4

Death Stranding’s Subtle-But-Significant Achievements

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My overall takeaway from Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding is that it’s a very good open-world game based around a unique gameplay concept. It generally maintains and builds on the parts of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain I liked so much. In particular though I wanna talk about a couple things that set Death Stranding apart from most other open-world games, and I think they apply to Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild too. Continue reading

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Yakuza 7: Why Turn-Based Gameplay Is Such A Big Risk

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So SEGA finally blew the lid off Ryu Ga Gotoku 7 — Yakuza: Like A Dragon, with a trailer and some gameplay. It’s turn-based. This is a shift unlike any I’ve seen, and reactions suggest this has already been a divisive decision. Whether or not I’m personally fine with it is gonna depend on a lot of subtle details when the game is finally in my hands, probably more than a year from now. Continue reading

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[E3 2019] Video Game Platforms And The Pre-Pre-Next-Gen E3

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I have a feeling E3 this year is gonna feel a bit cool because the console gaming industry is starting to move into next-gen transition mode. I’m interested in a lot of games that will be at E3 of course, and I imagine there will be some big surprises, but I’m not going in with any specific hopes and dreams for earth-shattering revelations. Continue reading

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Days Gone: Open-World Games Need Interface Customization

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I decided to try out the early sections of Sony’s latest big PlayStation 4 exclusive Days Gone, and it generally seems okay. The graphics look great (it’s probably the best looking Unreal Engine 4 game I’ve seen yet), riding a motorcycle through the wilderness seems cool, it does all the other Open World Game stuff about as well as an Assassin’s Creed or a Horizon Zero Dawn. What really irks me though is its total lack of user interface options, and I’m starting to realize how important those are to me in games like this. Continue reading

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The Fortnite Cross-Play Controversey Is Indicative Of The Console Business Itself.

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The reason Sony isn’t allowing people playing Fortnite on PlayStation 4 to interact with people playing the same game on other platforms, given by a former Sony executive, is pretty much a microcosm of why Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are in the console business to begin with. It’s all about walled gardens, and when a game gets as popular as Fortnite, it starts to push the envelope of the entire console video game business. Continue reading

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Microsoft Ran Its E3 2018 Media Briefing Like A Streaming Service Would

Microsoft's studio acquisition announcements from E3 2018

One overarching subject came to my mind during Microsoft’s E3 2018 media briefing when the company was revealing the video game studios it had acquired for the purpose of making exclusive games. When people were cheering these acquisitions I realized you’d probably never see reactions like that in other entertainment industries, not for a platform holder or service provider locking up future content exclusively to its platform and services. E3 has almost always been a vehicle for platform wars, and that’s one of the things that’s still really peculiar about console games. Continue reading

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What’s Hiding In The Shadows Before E3 2018?

Cyberpunk 2077 at E3 2018

If Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t one of those games that gets mostly shown behind doors this year, I think it could be the main sleeping giant of E3 2018. We know almost nothing about it, but what little we do know sounds extremely ambitious, and it’s from the developer of one of the best-rated games of this console generation. To me it just feels like it has the most potential in proportion to how little people are talking about it in the run-up to E3. Other than that I guess Super Smash Bros. for the Switch is the big thing I’m looking forward to. That’s another game we know almost nothing about other than what’s obligatory in Smash Bros. games, but is gonna be a main-pillar game for some people (myself included).

Those are the two games that immediately pop into my head in terms of personal interest and potential future hype at E3 2018. In March I wrote about my anticipation for a new Splinter Cell as well, which is looking increasingly likely to be revealed at E3. Something else I hope E3 reveals is the Prey expansion pack Arkane has been teasing. Microsoft is also rumored to be bringing out the bulk of its first party lineup at E3: Halo 6Gears of War 5, and Forza Horizon 4. I guess enough time has passed since the last entry in each of those franchises for at least one of them to show up this year. Another rumor going around is Mortal Kombat 11. The last rumored reveal I can think of right now is that people are speculating Nintendo will show off the new Metroid Prime and a new Star Fox game… or whatever it is Retro Studios has been working on. Continue reading

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Are We Ready To Talk About PS5?

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Some rumblings about a “PlayStation 5” have been going around lately. I either haven’t laid out what I think might happen with the next Sony console or just haven’t done so in at least a couple years. As the current console generation drags on almost two years after the release of upgraded consoles and going on five years since the initial launch of this generation, how much longer do we have to go? Continue reading

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The Faithfulness And Artistry of The “Shadow of the Colossus” Remake

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Shadow of the Colossus is one of my top games of all time. It’s my “desert island game.” I’ve probably completed it close to 20 times and closely examined its art over the decade plus since its original release. So of course I had the special edition of the PlayStation 4 remake pre-ordered, but I was also one of the people more anxious about how faithful a different art and development team would be to the original 2005 PlayStation 2 version.

Many video games get remakes because of the inherently technical nature of the medium and industry. Most people think that with most games simply tossing in more silicon, adding finer details, and implementing more realistic lighting will always improve the experience. Colossus in particular is known as a game that was let down by the hardware of its time. The PS2 version runs sluggishly, and it fakes a lot of visual effects that aren’t suppose do be possible on the PS2. Arguably it’s exactly the kind of game that needs a remake.

Colossus however is also mostly known for its art direction and atmosphere. It was distinct in 2005 and remains distinct today. It’s a very delicate thing that wouldn’t be easy for an entirely different group of people to maintain while adding details with a system two hardware generations and a decade removed from the original version.

There are even a few articles out bringing up some good points about the act of even trying to add detail to a game like Colossus: One from USGamer alleges that the PS4 version looks too much like other video games now. Another from Eurogamer (same parent company) alleges that adding a bunch of detail turns the PS4 version into an inherently different experience that can’t erase the original.

Before my PS4 copy arrived from Amazon I went back through the PS2 version for the first time in years (on a standard definition CRT in fact). After a single run through the PS4 game, I think I half agree with the aforementioned articles. There is a push and pull between the two versions, but the PS4 version makes some significant achievements even as its own game. Continue reading

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