Tag Archives: PS4

The Small-But-Important Differences Between Ghost of Tsushima And Other Open-World Games

Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima is a game I went into with cautious optimism because of my exhaustion with its “open-world go from waypoint to waypoint until you’ve cleared all the icons on the map” design. I couldn’t finish the 2018 Spider-Man game or either of the last couple of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed games because of this. Actually I don’t think I’ve cleared the map of a Ubisoft open-world game since Far Cry 3 back in 2012 — the game that arguably popularized this whole formula. After a few hours of Tsushima, I’m pretty much fully committed to the game, and the differences between it and the aforementioned games are actually pretty subtle.

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The Last of Us 2 is Just The Latest In Decades of Game Review Controversy

As of this writing I’m probably not even halfway through The Last of Us Part II and I didn’t read any of the reviews. What has alarmed me though is how, apparently, the game’s developers and fans have reacted to some critics, which has opened up a bigger conversation about other times game publishers and fans expressed displeasure with critics. This kind of stuff has been coming back over and over again at least since the early 00’s.

With TLOU2 in particular this is compounded by critics being barred from digging too deep into the game’s story so soon after launch, a whole lot of fans who need TLOU2 to be the greatest game ever, and people mad about its prominent display of female and LGBT characters. TLOU2 is more than just a game now to a lot of people, it’s kind of a symbol.

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Call of Duty 2v2 Public Alpha: What Would Bring Me Back to COD Multiplayer?

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I haven’t touched Call of Duty multiplayer since Modern Warfare 3 back in 2011. I haven’t really been on PvP shooters in general lately, largely because of how much COD influenced so many other games. I’m not saying the changes Infinity Ward is making to this year’s Modern Warfare are definitely bringing me back, but they at least have me looking in its general direction and trying out the 2v2 public alpha this weekend.

What has me interested is for once they seem willing to subtract things from the game rather than just piling on more and more every year, and what they’re adding seems subtle, but potentially significant. The whole MW reboot project seems like for once they’re carefully stepping back and taking a hard look at everything they’ve been doing since the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007. 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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Homogeneity In UI

Maybe you’ve noticed the proliferation of certain gameplay features in blockbuster games over the last few years: map screens full of icons, experience points, skill trees, crafting, you name it. Maybe I’ve already complained here before about how this trend is making open-world games too homogeneous, but I never noticed a main factor in that homogeneity — the user interface it’s all wrapped in.

A good example is this tweet from September comparing skill trees in the recent games Shadow of the Tomb RaiderHorizon: Zero Dawn, and Assassin’s Creed Origins. It goes further than that, but what surprised me are the games where I don’t mind these features — where I don’t mind gathering experience points, collecting icons on a map, or managing my gear. The main difference seems to be that they simply make the whole user experience look different. Continue reading

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My Own Guide To the Yakuza Series, I Guess (Since People Keep Asking) [UPDATED]

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Update (May 22, 2018).

So SEGA just announced its also going to release Yakuza 3Yakuza 4, and Yakuza 5 on PS4 over the next couple years. These ports probably won’t come out in English for a long time, and they aren’t going to be exactly like Yakuza 0 and Kiwami. They’re going to be straight ports of the games as they were on PS3, just with a higher resolution and framerate. This means they won’t have the gameplay features 0 introduced like the multiple-fighting-style system or passing random pedestrians in distress. Playing them after the newer games will feel like a serious downgrade in terms of gameplay features.

I think there are generally two paths to go here depending on whether you care more about the gameplay of the Yakuza series or the story arc of the whole saga.

If you care more about the gameplay — the combat system and minigames, just play everything in order of release for whatever hardware you own. If that’s only a PlayStation 4, then start with Yakuza 0 and Kiwami, then just go straight to Yakuza 6, then play Kiwami 2. After that, the PS4 remasters of 3, 4, and 5 might actually be optional. If you want the full emotional impact of the saga and its characters and don’t care about gameplay downgrades, then just play the games in chronological order of when they take place. That means waiting for Kiwami 2, then the upcoming remasters.

Original Post.

There are plenty of guides to SEGA’s Yakuza series that have popped up in the year since Yakuza 0 became the game to finally get the franchise some recognition in western territories after 10 years of longtime fans begging for localizations that then sold very little. The official English website for the franchise has a whole timeline and character spreadsheet. Even still, people keep asking where they should start. When I bought Yakuza 6 the cashier asked me where they should start after I told them I’d played all the previous games. I guess it couldn’t hurt for me to put down my own opinion on where to start based on what systems you own and whether you miss out by skipping any games. 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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[E3 2017] Capcom’s Big Risk With Monster Hunter World

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One story of controversy from E3 2017 has been Capcom’s announcement of Monster Hunter World. It’s the next mainline entry in a franchise that’s probably one of Capcom’s main revenue sources, but it seems to be abandoning the platforms that made it popular. Some fans are not pleased, and it seems Capcom is taking a big risk by changing the nature and platform of the game. Continue reading

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PlayStation Experience 2016: Maintaining The Status Quo

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Sony had a pretty good showing at PlayStation Experience 2016, even though a lot of it was really more of what the company showed off last year. Overall, Sony’s last few large game presentations have just solidified the main difference between it and Microsoft that has probably existed since the later part of the previous console generation: first and third party exclusives.

Sony definitely showed off big new reveals like The Last of Us Part IIUncharted The Lost Legacy, Wipeout Omega Collection, or the remasters, but a good chunk of the show was just more footage of what we saw last year. We got new Yakuza games (in English), more footage of Ace Combat 7Ni No Kuni IIGravity Rush II, that Nier sequel, Gran Turismo Sport, and so-on. Continue reading

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