Ok seriously, I need to know who is using PlayStation now? Sony just added 105 games to its streaming service and that means there has got to be some type of big demand for it. I’m begging any small amount of people who read my post to comment on this.
I get the idea of PS Now and it’s pretty solid. Except for the part where the subscription and rentals are overpriced. America doesn’t even crack the top 10 when it comes to fastest internet service, so I can’t imagine it working very well an unless you have your console connected directly to your modem there are bound to be fustrations.
If PS Now came in at a cheaper price, then I’d be more than happy to buy in and rent from a hug catalog of PS3 games. I mean I’m all for renting games on my console. It’s something I’ve wanted for the longest. However, I’ve always thought of it more as you download the game and have like a week to play it before it locks you out. That way there is no connection problems. Maybe I should take a weekend and try it to see if it’s really worth the price of admission.
As you can tell from the title of this piece, I have no problem with games that launch with only multiplayer. I liked games like Titanfall and Evolve. I know some are ready to call foul and say a game is nothing without a decent single player to craft its identity and story but I’m here to just say your wrong. First and foremost a game is about the gameplay. The narrative is just a concept that grabs and motives the player to play. Think cops and robbers. However, that is an argument for another day. The real problem is the pricing of these multiplayer only games.
I am terrible at Bloodborne. I am by no means an expert gamer, nor do I try to be. When I play something, I just try to enjoy the best a game can offer. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy Bloodborne. I am having a great time and the fact they I am not any good has made the most of my experience with the game.
The charm of the hardcore game is perseverance. Learning through trial and error. Losing is part of learning the game and a really good hardcore is a game that even though you keep dying, it will have you coming back for more. You didn’t lose because the game was unfair but because you made mistakes or didn’t prepare enough. Having never played the Dark or Demon Souls series that proceeded Bloodborne, I literally had no clue what I was getting into when I first popped the game in. So I had an idea. I have friends who are avid fans of the Souls games, so why not stream on twitch.
In the beginning I thought it would be funny just for my friends to see me epically fail at life as I constantly got destroyed over and over again. However, it soon became something more. Soon my friends watch began to give me advice, let me know what weapons worked best, what happens when you shoot enemies at the right time and cheered me as took on my first boss battle (which I have still yet to beat). Sure they laughed at me but it was harmless and my failures were pure comedy as I raged and cursed at the screen. I was an experience unlike any other where my friends and people who watch guided me through my journey and empathized with me as I almost reach my goal.
This is one of the reasons I looked forward to the PS4 when it was first announced. That sort of connectivity and conversation that you sometimes only have on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. An experience that transcends just playing with each other.
I will continue my plays of Bloodborne this way, with my friends watching and guiding me on because sometimes its ok to bad at something and enjoy it despite your flaws. If you want to join and throw some advice my way, you can watch me at Renagade11. Hell, I doubt it, but maybe I can even beat the game one day.
So Mario Maker is coming out today, Yay!!! I’m getting it and hopeful a Classic 8-bit Mario Amiibo. This game is a concept implemented way before Nintendo even conceived or thought of Mario Maker. Look at Little Big Planet or even PC hacks like Kaizo Mario World. However, this is an official Nintendo Mario themed play-create-share game, so we are in for something special.
What is troubling is that Nintendo’s constant need for control might diminish what creative work may come out about the game. Recently we’ve seen things like old speed runs and Kaizo Mario levels taken down just because Nintendo doesn’t like the idea that someone hacked their game and made it their own. Basically Nintendo has a firm stance against mods.
Now that Nintendo has their own controlled platform were people can make Mario creations it should be better but only slightly. One of the things people like to do in creation tools is recreate their favorite games, make levels based off of their favorite tv shows and characters. That’s what we do, it’s fun.
YouTube is just as bad as Nintendo, because their copyright system makes it so any video featuring any unauthorized use of another’s property can be taken down. Don’t get me wrong, these companies do have every right to take down these videos if they don’t like how their properties are used. However, that goes against everything that YouTube and gaming is all about.
Games give you control, inspire creativity. With a game you can make it your own thing and very rarely are two experiences the same. People always play games against the way it was intended. They are called house rules, adding your own variation towards how the game is played. YouTube was created for people to share their videos and experiences. Often that means people share their experiences with their favorite form of art. From music covers and movie spoofs to speed runs and game mods.
Hopefully people’s creations in Super Mario Maker won’t be blocked or censored due to mild copyright issues.
So Apple is set to announce their new Apple TV today and it’s rumored to add games …. and that thought terrifies me.
Now don’t get wrong I love the Apple TV as much as the next person. It works supremely well with the iPad and iPhone and AirPlay is perhaps one of the best things ever invented. However, the gaming landscape of the iPad and iPhone is a virtual cesspool polluted with shovelware, clones and pay to play penny grabbers. I have a feeling the new Apple TV will be no different.
What really scares me about the new Apple TV is how popular it might become. It’s rumored to come in at $150, which is cheap in comparison to consoles. Apple has a legion of devoted fans that will buy anything they put out. Publishers in turn will start to flock to whatever is hit.
I’m not saying that these games will be better than big production games. What I’m saying is that publishers will want to devoted more time and resources to these semi-free, shovelware games because they will eventually make them more money in the end. I mean look at companies like Konami, Square-Enix and Sega already grasping at the app game market.
I’m I wrong to have these fears or should I be worried publishers will push aside better quality games for money makers?
Sony recently announced Uncharted 4 story DLC and I got excited. I mean, come on, The Last of Us DLC was so good. How could I not get excited? However, it sparked a conversation between a friend and I about whether or not story DLC is good or bad.
Obviously, he had negative feelings about the announcement. I put in my two cents about how great it was going to be but for him he felt like in order to create story DLC most developers take out something from the main story. Therefore, the experience as a whole is cheapen because something is left out.
I somewhat agreed that sometimes that can happen and gamers are left quite robbed in order for companies to make an extra buck. My rebuttal to that was Mass Effect’s DLC. Unfortunately, he said he hated the most. For him it was the perfect example of chunks of story cut out in order to sell to us later. I choose to think of it another way. Like a movie. In film, a lot ends up on the cutting room floor because it distracts or doesn’t make sense to the story as a whole. Mass Effects DLC stories were like deleted scenes and when they are all package together in a “Game of the Year”, it’s like playing a director’s cut. They expand the world and story but it’s not necessary to enjoy the original product.
We came to a consensus that if Uncharted’s DLC is anything like The Last of Us, then we will be satisfied. However, our conversation stuck with me. I began to think about my recent experience with a big name game and story DLC. It was not good, in fact it happens to be the worst experience I’ve had with story DLC to date.
Batman: Arkham Knight is a fantastic game … It’s story DLC on the other hand is shit. I don’t mean to be crass but it has been the worse thing I have ever spent money on. Every bit of DLC was a quick cash grab attempting to get more pre-orders and extra money. All the extra stories were mediocre and barley last 15 to 30 mins long. I regret getting caught up in the hype.
I have had good experiences in the past though. I do believe story DLC is the best kind of extra content because these developers literally build worlds. I’m there are a ton of ideas left out that DLC’s gives them the chance to explore. I do still wonder, are we alright with story DLC if it runs the risk of destroying the main plot or no effort is put into it?
My Amiibos need love. They have become more collectables to me than interactive toys. It’s not that Nintendo hasn’t made them useful or given them purpose. Several games have cool little ways that interact with Amiibos. However, the Amiibos are not useful in the way I want them to.
I am a big fan of the toys to life genre that has imploded since the reimagining of Spyro into Skylanders. Am I sad there aren’t traditional Spyro games? Yes, but what has spawned from the backbone of our nostalgia has given a new generation of gamers something worthwhile to remember from their childhood.
Hell, I’ve said it before. I wish we had these during my childhood. My biggest problem with Nintendo’s little gems is that they don’t add anything significant to their games. A few costumes unlocked for Miis in Mario Kart, a few character costumes for Mario Maker and a few items in Zelda but not much else.
What the Amiibo need is its own game. Something like Skylanders or Disney infinity to really make it something special, at least from a gameplay perspective. A game where you Amiibo become characters you can upgrade, take to your friends house and show how your Amiibo is different from any other.
They best examples of great Amiibo integration have been Splatoon and Super Smash Bros. Wii U. Splatoon’s Amiibo essentially act as DLC providing extra missions, equipment and minigames that are not part of the main game. I mean how awesome would it be if you got a little figure every time you bought DLC. Nintendo should do this more.
Smash Bros. takes the Amiibos in an interesting direction but it’s not without its fault. You can customize, name and train your Amiibo but they are regulated to nothing more than pets. You can’t control them or play as them.
I want my Amiibo to be more than statues because that was what I was sold on. Hopefully, Nintendo has something great for them in the future. Otherwise, they will stay collecting dust on my shelf.
So I was up late the other night replaying Batman: Arkham Knight and I’ve come to a realization: The Ridder is an annoying insignificant little prick.
Now don’t get me wrong, from a game play perspective his challenges, riddles and puzzles are fun as hell. However, from a story perspective, I have no idea how the hell Batman deals with him.
When looking back at the previous Arkham games, the Riddler was possible one of the coolest things in the games. His riddles were full of Easter eggs for every Batman fan. He even sort of makes sense in the first Arkham game, with Batman trapped in the Asylum and every taking their chance to pick at him. A lot of the time though he just seems to be in the way.
As I played through the main campaign, trying to defeat Scarecrow and figure out the mystery of the Arkham Knight (huge let down by the way, figured it out a third of the way through the game), the Riddler was like that little fly that won’t stop landing on your face. I found myself leaving all the Riddler mission until after I finished the main campaign.
The weird part is I guess this is testament to how well Rocksteady did justice to the character of the Riddler. He is needlessly egotistical and has a massisive superiority complex. Sometimes I feel the like Batman should just ignore but that won’t work work because the Riddler would just put lives in danger just to prove he is better and Batman won’t let him. Then I got to thinking that’s the problem: Batman won’t let the Riddler win. I’m not talking about letting the Riddler kill a bunch of people but just feeding his ego.
What if Batman went against the Riddler like he does in the game. Stops whatever ridiculous game he has got for him. Takes him to jail but then just sits him down and goes “Let’s play a game a Chess Nigma”. Of course Riddler agrees boasting how he will have already won by the first move. All Batman would have to do is make is look like he is winning and at the last second lose on purpose. Would this not be the Riddler’s greatest accomplishment? Would he not just stop because he bestest his greatest enemy and endlessly brag about it every time he got a visit from Batman in jail?
I don’t know. Maybe a comic book writer needs to weigh in on this but after three games the Riddler wears a little thin.
If you were a kid in the 90’s, chances are that you had a Give Yourself Goosebumps book or two. One of the best children’s horror series ever (honestly they don’t make enough children’s horror series anymore). The allure of these books were that you were a part of the story and even more than that you chose how your adventure would unfold. Were you going to turn to page 54 to go down that dark scary ass basement? How about flipping the page to 99 to explore that creepy swamp your aunt told you to stay out of? The choice was up to you. Goosebumps is the reason for my love affair with today’s choice based narrative games.
I had not truly played narrative games that let you affect the story until I bought Mass Effect 2 on the Ps3. Captivated. That’s the only word I can use to explain what I felt playing this game. I was a part of a space opera and every things I said and did as Commander Shepard had consequences. From the relationships I could forge to who lived and died. All of it was dependent on what kind of person I wanted Commander Shepard to be.
While I love the Mass Effect series, the pinnacle of these narrative driven games has to be game from Telltale studios. Their stories keep you eagerly awaiting for the next chapter in their episodic adventure. However, what sets them apart is not just how well their stories are crafted but the nature of the choices you make.
When you are in a conversation as Commander Shepard, the choice you make are clearly defined. Paragon and Renegade. Good and evil. However, what makes a Telltale game better is that every choice is a big shade of grey. It leaves you wondering, was that choice right or was it wrong? What will these characters think of me? Your choices are defined by what you feel is necessary not what the game tells you is good or bad.
Right now I’m currently playing Life is Strange (which is a far better game to me then Remember Me) and Game of Thrones. The least to say is i am hooked. While many are quick to claim these games have no real gameplay, I say you games have no freedom. You are told what to do, complete the mission as dictated and while you can move the character, ultimately you end up doing what they want you to do. Don’t get me wrong I love playing games but giving me the choice of where the story goes is the ultimate illusion of freedom.
It’s ok Capcom. If you don’t want to give us a new Mega Man game, that’s cool. In meantime we have Mighty No.9. The spiritual successor’s new trailer shows off the Mega Man style action in all it’s glory. Mega Man’s creator Keiji Inafune and the team at Comcept really outdid themselves with this one. Now if only they could make their own Mega Man Legends style game…
The game is coming September 14th to just about ever console imaginable.