Wednesday, November 19, 2014

GTA V Next Gen does just Enough

With yesterday being probably the biggest release date of the year, including such releases as Dragon Age, Little Big Planet, Far Cry, and GTA V remastered; GTA was my only purchase for now.  I loved getting to play on my 360 last year and looked forward to getting to sink even more time into Los Santos.  I traded in the 360 copy rather quickly once I finished the story mode because of the release of the PS4 and the rumor that eventually it would be ported to next gen.  I can say after putting in roughly 7 hours already I am happy to say that it is the same game with even more features and a gorgeous landscape to play in.  The first person mode is probably the biggest edition and it makes for a whole new game completely.  Having played the 7 hours almost exclusively in first person I can highly recommend the game on that alone.  The population has been given a huge boost seeing more cars and people every step of the way.  Finally the amazing draw distance allows for you to see for miles and not see all of the same texture popping that previous open world games bring with them.

Then there is the online aspect, which sadly I only played for about 3 hours at launch of the original due to issues and trading in the game so fast.  I look forward to getting more time with it and it looks like plenty has been added as well.  Far more options for customization have been added to give characters a more life like look.  While the number of players have been increased to 30 giving it a more chaotic feel to the terror players bring to the city.  I want to shoot for as many trophies as I can and may even go for the level 100 trophy that could lead to the plat.

Back to the first person mode though, I am enjoying playing like this thoroughly.  There were several times I was taken through regular animations but due to the perspective I found myself laughing out loud at what ensued.    Accidentally falling off a building resulted in flipping through the air till I hit the ground.  Getting hit by a car a flying over the hood brought some laughs as again I was sent flipping through the air.  Doing things like parkour running over roof tops is a fun perspective on the regular roll that characters did often but really didn't bring a cool feeling like it does now.

Overall it is the same amazing GTA with even better graphics, fun new first person mode, and some extras for online.  If you never played GTA last gen this is a must have, but if you did enjoy playing GTA V I would highly recommend returning to the game to experience the new items.  Rockstar was smart on this, and if this is what they get from a remaster on next gen, i can't imagine what GTA VI will bring!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Review

Well I officially got the platinum trophy for Call of Duty and felt I could give it a true review and impressions of the latest installment.  For the most part it is like all other Call of Duty games, but it does bring some nice additions and it makes for a pretty fun time.

Single Player Campaign

I am not a huge multiplayer gamer like many are, so Call of Duty brings something different for me.  I enjoy playing through the single player campaigns a lot more than most and this was no different.  With the reveal that Kevin Spacey was playing a key role in the story, I was very excited to get to play through it,  Now I will say the story was predictable, but that was made up for by the performance of Spacey and the over the top nature that you got from it.

You play as Mitchell, a marine who witnesses his friend die in action and loses a limb, but is redeemed by his best friends dad (Spacey) who is the CEO for a private military agency named Atlas.  As an Atlas officer you look to save the world from a terrorist with some twists and changes along the way.  The tech, gadgets, and vehicles bring a nice change of pace during each mission that lasts around 5-7 hours.  Missions included a driving a hover bike, a car, a tank, a boat, and a plane.  Overall it was one of the better campaigns I have played in the series and Kevin Spacey was a welcome addition that makes it an overall fun play through.

Co-Op Mode

Similar to both zombie mode as well as Horde mode from the Gears of War series, Exo Survival is a fun co-op mode that see's you go against wave after wave of varying enemies.  The nice addition is upgrade points from kills and completing round objectives that lead to kill streaks, perks, and additional upgrades to weapons and exo suit.  It's a fun time, but gets too easy once your exo suits and weapons are fully upgraded.  You can also play the mode offline or online with friends and randoms making it a fun time waster for a while.  The biggest negative is your points and skills are tracked outside of the game and no levels to be acquired like there are in the regular online mode.


Online mode is the bread and butter for most when it comes to COD, but not as much for me.  It was hard to get into and felt almost too fast and chaotic online to really enjoy.  it almost felt as there was no skill needed to compete rather than pulling the trigger first over you opponent.  The maps are small and almost funnel you to each other while also bringing in too many UAV's that allow you to see each other at all times.  With the new jet packs and other mobility added along with the fire power, COD would be wise following some of Halo's MP maps and make some bigger options that bring more space than the small maps that bring the same chaos that a map like shipment yard brought in the past.  

The single player alone is a fun and quick campaign to complete, so because of this I would say Rent the game to take advantage of this.  If you are an MP fan, then you will probably want to buy to sink time into the MP aspect.  Kevin Spacey was a great addition and I look forward to who they add in the future to the series, however, I cannot recommend this as a long term buy due to the short campaign mode.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sony Reveals PlayStation Vue

Sony has revealed a new TV service that will hopefully provide people a way of cutting their cable out completely.  Currently Sony revealed roughly 75+ channels at launch including Fox, NBC, ABC and Viacom, which includes channels like MTV and Nickelodeon.  Pricing hasn't been revealed and Beta testing will begin this month for people who live in New York, followed by Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.  The rest of the service will launch early 2015.   The service is said to allow live TV watching, as well as storing certain shows for 28 days in the cloud where you can access them at any time from many different devices.  Pricing has not been revealed however they have said it will not require a contract or have termination fees and simply be a month to month service.

My Thoughts
With so many streaming choices out there the key to success is options.  Hulu Plus is similar but you pay to watch more shows and still have to watch commercials.  Netflix doesn't have new shows the day after so it is a completely different service.  With more and more networks doing streaming like CBS and HBO we may be closer to an ala carte deal for cable and that would honestly be the best choice for consumers.  But honestly would the cable companies even allow it?

As for Sony's foray into streaming and live TV through the internet, the biggest thing will be cost.  The New York Times speculated the service could cost $60 a month, which is better than most cable companies and satellite companies offer.  However, this cost will only be a bargain based on the channels provided.  I believe the internet based TV to win the majority of subscribers is the one that signs up Disney and includes ESPN.  The biggest thing that cable companies have over consumers is local sports and blackouts.  As someone who loves my local sports teams, I can't watch those without cable thanks to blackouts.  This leaves me no option but to subscribe to cable in order to follow my teams.

How well the streaming is will be another big part, but streaming videos hasn't been an issue to netflix and Hulu, but with net neutrality becoming a big player in the media, it could cause problems to things like the vue with ISP's.  I am glad Sony didn't waste time at E3 or other game based shows promoting this service like Xbox did with Xbox Tv.  This was a perfect way to announce the name and give an update to a service briefly mentioned last year at CES.  Only time will tell if the choices and channel lineup expand to make this a true viable option.

What do you think?  Would you consider this service?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

MS Wins Exclusive War 2014, But Sony can Bounce back 2015

2014 shopping season is upon us and it looks to be a good one for gamers as I detailed in my black Friday sales post.  With the year drawing to a close and Sony experiencing one of it's best sales years for PlayStation we get to see that MS is pulling all the shots to try and cut into that lead.  With Xbox bundles going for $330 this holidays, MS could see a jump in sales.  When it comes to games however, MS has hit more than it has missed.  Since launch MS has released Dead Rising 3, Rise, Forza, Titanfall, Sunset Overdrive, and the Halo Master Chief Collection.  Sony on the other hand hasn't seen as many with releases of Killzone, Knack, Infamous, MLB the Show, DriveClub, and LBP3.  MS was smart and made sure to have as many exclusives in the launch window to set themselves apart, and even so the PS4 still out sold the Xbox One.

With MS trying to bridge the gap in sales this holiday, what does 2015 look to bring in the way of exclusives?  Sony may not have brought the exclusives to launch, but they do have the first party studio power that MS does not.  With studios like Naughty Dog working on Uncharted 4 and another game yet to be announced, Sony Santa Monica working on a new game(most likely a new God of War), Media Molecule yet to announce its PS4 game,  Quantic Dream working on the Dark Sorcerer, Sony Bend, and then of course the announced exclusives like Bloodborne, The Order, No Man's Sky, Until Dawn, Let it Die, and Grim Fandango.  Yes, I know some are timed but I will give MS credit with some of their timed exclusives as well.  MS has so far announced Quantum Break, Tomb Raider, Crackdown 3, Fable Legends, and of course Halo 5.  Sony really has a fast amount of exclusives and a variety as well for each gamer out there.  All of this might be why MS is going so hard to make up sales this holiday season when Sony really has nothing and MS has such big titles like Sunset Overdrive and The Halo Collection.

As a Sony fan, I know what Sony is known for and that is the hardware, and also having the most robust network of first party studios that they developed over the years.  These studios are what will make the difference in each platform and I look forward to the many of announcements that are imminent.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Why the PS4 may still Win the Holidays

Microsoft is showing they are going all in this holiday season when they announced a $50 discount on all Xbox bundles.  Many people have now gone on to say that this move will finally get the Xbox One to the number one selling console for the month of November.  However, I believe that this move will not bring Xbox to the front based on a few facts and the recent results in sales that both consoles have had.

This isn't the first deal on the Xbox
MS has done many different promotions since launch and have yet to overtake the PS4 in sales.  The first major promotion was when Titanfall was to be released.  Many claimed the game alone would sell the console, but then MS went all in and decided to discount the Kinect bundle with Titanfall to $450.  Getting the Kinect console for $50 less and a free copy of Titanfall?  No brainer right?  Well PS still outsold Xbox that month with only Infamous Second Son being released.

Next, MS announced, after stating that the Xbox required kinect and would never be unbundled, that a Kinectless Xbox would be coming and would match the PS4's $300 price tag.  Game, set, match right?  PS again out sold Xbox and has continued to since.  In fact Sony has had the number one selling console since launch each and every month and just recently hit the 13.3 million mark worldwide.  

Black Friday Deals have yet to be Released
Many are shocked that Sony has yet to announce any sort of price cut or deal to combat MS's price cut.  However, I believe Sony knows that even with this price cut they will still sell a ton of consoles making the profit that much greater.  But if Sony decides to pull out some sort of deal, it could be lights out for MS's chances to overtake PS during a months sales competition.  This month not only marks the price cut but also the release of MS's biggest release of the year in The Master Chief Collection.  If MS can't beat Sony during a month when the only Sony exclusive is Little Big Planet, they may be in trouble and lose some momentum.  So far the very few black Friday leaks have shown an additional savings on Xbox to a price of $329.99, but a leak has also shown a PS bundle of GTA V and The Last of Us for the regular $400 price tag.  Both decent deals, but it begs the question of whether or not there might be something better.  

Since the announcement of the $50 break, MS has sold out of their Sunset Overdrive bundle at the $350 price tag.  The sad news is people are still demanding this bundle, but MS may have made the mistake to make it a limited run, Losing out on a large number of sales for people wanting this bundle.  usually bundles like this continue for a long time, but many MS reps and reps at other retailers are saying the bundle will not be restocked, another missed opportunity.

So if Sony does any sort of deal they should stay neck and neck with MS, but if Sony matches Xbox's $350 bundle price, look out as we may see a record month for PlayStation during the same time a huge exclusive like The Master Chief Bundle is released.

What Does all of this Really Mean?
Fan boyism aside, and I know this is a PS blog, however all of this is actually a good thing.  No matter what console you back or love, these types of competition only benefits the consumers.  In less than a year Xbox has dropped from a $500 only option, to options ranging from $350 to $450.  With Black Friday around the corner we as gamers will benefit from bigger sales and easier ways to get new consoles and games.  Gaming will become more affordable and everyone will win.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sony giving Sneak Peak at Upcoming Plus Titles

Sony has done a huge favor to gamers by announcing the next two months worth of free PS4 titles, which includes two AAA titles.  It is a smart move by Sony going into the holidays, but also fan service to gamers as it shows us that finally AAA free games are coming to PS4 very soon.  Here is a list of the announced games coming to Plus.

Injustice: Gods Among Us - PS4
Secret Ponchos - PS4

Infamous: First Light
The Swapper

These announcements are big with so many subscribers Plus expiring who bought it with the PS4 that it makes sense to preview it now.  Not to mention and couple bad months worth of game that didn't bring a ton to make people excited for.  It also hinders the sale of any of these games with gamers knowing it will be coming for free so soon.

I briefly played Injustice at launch, and was unable to finish the story mode so i look forward to going back to work on it.  Not a huge fighting fan but it is a decent game and I always love DC and comic book stuff.

I don't know too much from Secret Ponchos except that the idea sounds interesting and people who have played it have said it has been a lot of fun. The website for Secret Ponchos describes the game as 

Secret Ponchos takes place in a dramatic Wild West setting, full of tension, stylization and attitude reflective of a graphic-novel. In a town crawling with bandits, murderers and bounty hunters you are an outlaw with a bounty on your head and everyone is gunning for you. In order to survive you must be the best and to gain notoriety you must defeat your opponents–claiming their achievements as your own. How many you kill and the rewards you collect define your legacy.

Infamous first light is a prequel DLC that was released as a full retail game.  It follow Fetch from Infamous Second Son and lets us follow along as we find out more about her background from the original game.  It is a super easy plat as well with a 41% completion rate!

Lastly we are getting The Swapper, the fun side scrolling puzzle game that came out last summer.  I nearly bought this when it was released because of a PS Plus sale.  Glad I didn't and look forward to getting to play with it very soon.

Overall, I believe that Sony hit a home run here especially around the holidays and showing us that our patience for a AAA title have finally paid off!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How Batman Arkham Asylum Changed Everything

I have recently been playing through Batman Arkham Asylum on my PS3 and it has come to my attention that we owe so much to this title for games that we have today.  BAA was probably the first licensed game that succeeded in every category: Story, Graphics, game play, and even voice acting.  It is because of this that we have gotten successful sequels as well as other decent licensed video games such as the recent Shadow of Mordor that copied BAA's combat system.  Comic book games, especially, have seen some of the worst adaptations, which includes the dark knight himself.  Stinkers such as Superman 64, Batman Begins, Batman Dark Tomorrow, Almost any X-Men game, and Aquman on Xbox just to name a few.

Comic book's should be easy to put into games based on the simple fact that the stories are written, characters have powers and attacks, and each villain is a easy boss battle waiting to happen.  However all the games I listed before failed and failed miserably.  The biggest issues those previous games had were the controls.  For some reason it was hard to program the different powers and give the user controls that didn't make it horrible to play.  Cameras were terrible and the lack of open worlds caused the most problems as powers had to be limited as a result.  The biggest culprit of this has been Superman, who has yet to see one single good game created off of his property.  No one can get the flying mechanic right ruining the most essential part any Superman game could have.  There is one game series that almost got it completely right and hasn't been seen or heard from since and that is the Spiderman 2 video game that many thought before BAA was the best comic book game. Opened world web-slinging was done perfectly and honestly Superman could take note.  Add in BAA combat and you have the perfect Superman game.
With Rocksteady, who developed BAA, being done after Batman Arkham Knight, many are wondering if they might tackle a different DC character or a bunch in a Justice League game in time for the Justice League movie that comes out in 2017.  All I want is a good Superman game and I believe Rocksteady could do it.

What Comic book games have you thought have been done well? Bad?  Who should make a new comic book game?  What characters should be used?

Comment and follow the blog for news, reviews, and debates.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Grand Theft Auto V First Person mode is official!

Well the long rumored first person mode is official as today Rock star and IGN released a trailer for first person mode.  Another video by IGN detailed thoughts on the new mode and the info they gave should make everyone even more excited to get the next gen versions.

  • Details! All cars have full details down to the radio, speedometers, and even showing you rip the wires to hot wire the car
  • First person mode is easily switchable thanks to the camera button.
  • When accessing your cell phone no new screen appears, you read off the cell phone directly
  • All weapons have added detail and include looking down the sights when aiming
  • Characters are fully animated when riding with you while you drive.
This are just a few details, but honestly being able to experience first person mode really opens up new ways to play the game.  Add in all the details, extra draw distance, and other add on's and GTA V is going to be an awesome game on next gen.  Nov 18th can't come soon enough

Call of Duty:Modern Warfare Preview

That Next Gen COD

Now I know Ghosts was released for next gen systems at launch, however this game was made for next gen and scaled down for 360 and PS3, making it the first true next gen COD game.  So far I have played a few hours, playing some campaign and an hour of Exo Survival.  It is a super fast paced game with the new jump mechanics and smart grenades that really add a bit of strategy.  The difficulty on the campaign isn't terrible as I have been playing on veteran and having very little trouble.  

The story so far seems like it follows the regular pattern, best friends join the military, friend dies, main character goes back to war in honor of said friend.  Nothing revolutionary, however, we get a animated Kevin Spacey that does his job well.  not to mention the always, in every single game, great Troy Baker who plays the main character that you control.  I have made it through the first two missing being able to get all mission trophies, which are not that hard.  The trophies each mission carries with it are simple enough if you know what they are as you go in and look for your opportunities.
As for the Exo Survival mode, many will immediately compare it to horde mode in Gears of War, and they would be right.  In my short time playing I have realized getting hooked up with regular players can make it tough, as most players are spreading out and getting killed quickly.  If it plays like Horde, it would be much smarter to team together and find a good location that you can't be surrounded in.  that was always key to managing horde mode and people haven't realized that just yet.  Currently my best run is wave 10 where I lead in kills and revivals, but until I can find a good group of guys to play with, I feel like I won't get much further.  I love the mode, but don't love peoples strategy at the moment.

Overall, i can say it does have a better feeling than most COD's I have played and I may stick with it for longer than previous titles.  That is until GTA V is released in the middle of the month.  Stay tuned for more updates on COD, as well as GTA V coverage.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Black Friday off to an Early Start

Damn it Feels Good to be a Gamer...

Well now that Halloween is over, the race to the holidays are on, and if you are a gamer or know a gamer it's the best time of the year.  Besides the obvious list of amazing content being released in the next month, gaming sales will be rampant.  Microsoft have sent out the first shots by discounting all Xbox bundles $50 to $349 for the Sunset Overdrive bundle, and the Assassin Creed bundle while the Call of duty bundle will be $449 since it has a 1 TB hard drive upgrade.  This is huge seeing as in less than a year the Xbox one has seen a $100 price cut thanks to the loss of kinect and the $50 price break.  I can only imagine that Black Friday will see even more value as retailers fight for gamers hard earned cash.  

In fact Dell has already seen its black Friday ad leaked with two deals for gamers.  The first sees even more discount to the Xbox showing that the system will sell for $329.99.  While also showing an unannounced PS4 bundle that includes both GTAV and The Last of Us.  With that said, Dell is not known for its amazing black Friday ads making many assume that Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, and Target may be lining up even better deals.

So if your a gamer or will be getting a gift for one, this is the best time of the year to get them that next gen system.  Fan boy arguments aside, the heated competition between Sony and Microsoft have created an amazing pricing level to these systems as each one fights to take hold of the market.  This competition only benefits gamers everywhere and should make every gamer excited for the future.  Gamer overall has seen a huge jump that no one predicted making this one of the best times ever to be a gamer.

Quest for Platinum Updated

I finally got an update to my race for plat, As I have platinum'd 3 more games since the last update.  I also updated the current plats being worked on legitimately with Batman Arkham Asylum and Call of Duty Advanced Warfare.  Batman should be done as I am almost done with he story and only have the fun combat challenges to go.  If you just got this game for free with PlayStation plus, go play it and play it on hard!  It is a ton of fun and not too difficult.  As for COD, I pick that up today and it seems like an easier plat than most games, so I look forward to working on that one!

Keep coming back for more reviews, editorials, and opinion pieces!  Feel free to like, comment, share, and subscribe to my blog!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Upcoming Games that will be Featured Here

Well Broketober is coming to an end and brought with it a wealth of games.  I only ended up purchasing Shadow of Mordor and NBA 2k15, but I was able to try Alien Isolation and the Evil Within.  Both of the two latter games were not my cup of tea but both good games in their own right.  Now we look forward to November and a few very big releases.  November brings the new Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, Little big Planet 3, Dragon Age, and Far Cry 4.  Not to mention re-releases of Grand Theft Auto and the big Master Chief Collection.  With all these games coming out I have to limit my purchases with Christmas right around the corner and have already preordered Call of Duty and GTA V for my PS4.  I will admit as a die hard PlayStation fan, the Master Chief Collection is an amazing idea of what can be with a large series remaster and Sony should take note if the rumors hold true to an Uncharted re-release for PS4.

I look forward to both of my purchases as Call of Duty finally looks like a newer take on the series that should bring fun and the single player story should get a boost from Kevin Spacey's character that seems to bring that Frank Underwood vibe from House of Cards.  I am not a huge multiplayer fan, but the recent leak of zombie modes has me excited to take the game online.

As for GTA V, it was one of my all time favorite games when it came out last year, but releasing so close to a new console I didn't sink into it the time it deserved.  So after moving over to the PS4 I look forward to getting to experience the game again and seeing what kind of improvements it brings.  Not to mention my love for trophies now and being able to collect some fun ones that GTA brings.

Look forward to my review of Call of Duty sometime in the second week of November, and GTA V's review near the end of November.  Please feel free to comment with what you think will be the best release of November?

Shadow of Mordor Review: GOTY Candidate

Killing Bad Guys has Never been this much Fun!

Shadow of Mordor was simply a buy due to the process of buying games cheap that I wrote about in the previous post.  But as the game came closer to release the hype started building for me, then came the reviews.  IGN, Polygon, and Joystiq gave it above a 9 and immediately I was extremely excited to get my hands on the game.  Not only am I a Lord of the Rings fan, but with the fighting mechanic identical to the awesome Batman Arkham Asylum games I knew this game would be for me.  Once I did get my hands on the game I wasn't disappointed one bit.


Now the story for Shadow of Mordor isn't the best, you play as Talion, a ranger whose family is murdered and then he is murdered as well.  He is able to come back though thanks to an ancient Elven ghost named Celebrimbor who is known for creating the rings of power.  Talion's mission is to get his revenge while Celebrimbor wants to take down Sauron for his betrayal.  For the most part the story is the simple revenge tale with some side characters along the way, but honestly the story could be skipped entirely.  The boss fights are few and far between, and the final boss is quite a disappointment after all the cool battles you get into throughout the game. Generally SoM is a decent Lord of the Rings story, but it's the game play that completely shines in this wonderfully gory game.

Game Play

If Assassins Creed and Batman Arkham City had a baby that was set in the Lord of the Rings universe, Shadow of Mordor would be that baby: that is a good thing. The combat in SoM is some of the best from a hack-em-up type game, and brings with it some of the most satisfying kills I have ever witnessed in a video game.  As each Uruk limb and head went flying I found my self cheering and feeling like a giddy school child.  The one complaint for the Arkham series was that combat couldn't be interrupted during animations making it riskier to preform certain moves, SoM changes this allowing a counter move at any point and during any animation, which makes complete sense when we think about what a real life battle like this would be like.

Besides the combat, the other star of the game is the Nemesis system within the game that makes each kill and death that much more important.  Die at the hands of a low level Uruk and see him ascend the ranks to become war chief, or kill a difficult opponent just to see them return and mock you for being unable to completely kill them.  During my main play through I was fighting against a nasty Uruk that had almost no weaknesses and was super strong.  I was able to uncover that I could kill him instantly with stealth kill and I was able to defeat him.  However a little while longer he came back as a body guard of a warchief and over powered me.  I went on a hunt after my death to seek revenge and was able to kill him again.  However, in one of the final battle he appeared again as my rival in an epic final battle against my own Uruk army.  It was one of the coolest moments I have ever experienced in games as I was in disbelief that the Uruk I had the longest feud with ended up becoming one of the final boss battles due to our rivalry in the game.

As the game goes on and you upgrade Talion, you become very powerful and can take down a herd of Uruks very easily using different combos, but it still doesn't take away from the satisfaction of chopping of limbs and heads.

Final Verdict

SoM is officially on my list of must buys as well as a candidate for game of the year for me.  The game play is one of the best and had the story been better it would have won GOTY from me in a landslide.  Everyone should give this game a try as it has been the best games for next gen systems in a state of gaming that hasn't seen many big releases.  SoM came out of nowhere for most and hopefully the good publicity and good sales figures can bring us a sequel in the near future.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How to Play Games Cheap

In the past year something amazing has happened for gamers that has created a very easy way to play all the games that are released and rarely pay anything out of pocket.  It has allowed me to play games I never would have tried due to the lack of extra cash I have around for gaming.  Thanks to Best Buy and their Gamer's Club Unlocked program the they revamped last year, gamers everywhere can take advantage of what I speak of.

The program normally costs $120 for 2 years but their are rumors it may drop permanently to $99.  However, the program has been on sale numerous times for $30 and starting next week with the purchase of any game over $39.99, you can get the program for this cheaper price.  What the program allows is 20% off all games that are considered new and not used, 10% off of used games, and an extra 10% on trade ins.  All of this allows for some huge savings over a period of time and the ability to play games for next to nothing.

Since getting into this program last year, I have spent only around $100 or so on nearly 14 new release games.  Because of this I have been able to enjoy games I would never have picked up in the first place, games like Wolfenstein, Shadow of Mordor, Lego Marvel, and Infamous Second Son.  Now to really take advantage of this program and save serious bucks there is a certain process I follow.  First it is best to also use Best Buys preorder promos such as the $10 certificate for each preorder and pickup.  This process alone was able to get me GTA V preordered for free during November.  With GCU all new games are priced at $47.99, or around $52 after taxes which gives you around another $10 in savings.  The big thing to really keep your money going is watching trade values with Bestbuy.  For a month or so after a game is released it can fetch around $40 at Best Buy for trade in, which means if you can keep the game for a month or less can get you $44 trade in credit after GCU.

So if I say get the new Call of Duty on Tuesday, I will pay $52, I will also get a $10 certificate 15 days later, and then play the game until either I am done with it or 3 to 4 weeks after getting it I can then trade it in for a $44 gift card.  In the end I only lose around $2 out of pocket for nearly a months worth of play time.  The best rental deal that kills Redbox rentals or anywhere else that rents video games.  This process can seem tedious but it can really afford people to get to play any game they may show interest in.

Feel free to let me know if you have found a better way to work Best Buy's GCU or how many games you have been able to play since getting GCU in the comments.  There will be more posts to follow including some reviews of the biggest games from this fall and what many have called Broketober.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Review Friday - Watch Dogs

Almost done with this game and have already completed the story so i feel that I can now give a fair review for Watch Dogs.  Watch Dogs had a lot of hype as being a next gen launch release, but after a delay did not come out till a couple of months ago.  One major thing I noticed about the game right away was that it did not look like some of the early trailers and game play from before release looking a lot less impressive then originally thought.  The idea is pretty good overall and the hacking is done well, however the game does a lot of the same over and over again.  Go to mission location, hack or shot your way through, mini-hacking game, escape police or attackers.  It is fun for the first half, but as I am cleaning up 100%, the game has gotten old.  I could see how this could become a franchise, but I am not sure if I would want to continue to pick it up unless the hacking changed or they added other game play mechanics.

Also I did notice some glitches when it came to attacking large crowds or even getting a vehicle stuck.  One time I did not have a clear exit to my car on either side and when I excited the car my character just appeared in the middle of the car glitching and it required a complete restart in order to fix it.  When it comes to the trophy crowd, Ubisoft made a big mistake creating a trophy like traced that is completely based on other players and Ubisoft's servers rather than player skill.  This will upset and frustrate some who have a hard problem getting people to tail them.  It can also cause a lot of headaches to a game that would otherwise be easy to platinum and just take a bit of time.

Overall Watch Dogs was a decent new IP with a good idea.  However with some time and more effort I feel Watch Dogs could become a good franchise.  Evener with its recycled game play, Watch Dogs is a good title for either next gen system and a fun time.  I can't, however recommend this title as a buy and would definitely categorize it as a rent, or wait for a sale.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hype up Thursday - DriveClub

A game that was delayed almost a year from when it was supposed to release can sometimes lose hype or be written off.  But what Sony has done with DriveClub was the right move and now the game hasn't looked any better.  Everyone was excited for a launch day racing game like DriveClub, and then again for the spring, but with the game now being released in the fall almost a year from the original date: people are still hyped.  Every detail that is released brings new beautiful screens and videos of a game that could rival or even outperform Microsoft's Forza series.  Just a few days ago Sony released a new video detailing night and weather driving, a feature that will finally appear in Forza this fall after being asked for since the first Forza hit the 360.

The look of the cars on the next gen PS4 look stunning and almost make you even more excited for the prospects of a Gran Turismo sequel in the near future.  But for now we get a great looking racing game completely built around social media and connecting with other racers.  The other great part is that everyone on PS4 with Plus will get a small portion of the game at release.  Now I know this part has been the source of scorn as it seems we will be getting a lot less for free then originally thought, however, it is still a free portion of the game to really see if this game is for you.  I see it as a large demo with unlimited time to play the core of the game and get a feel for what it has to offer.  I think this could really translate into retail copies being sold and the game being a success.

I am very interested to see how the social aspects of the game work and feel within the boundaries the game has.  That is why a larger demo really makes sense so I can experience those things first hand.  We have yet to see the full car list but many cars have been seen through the trailers and game play videos to get an idea of some of the cars.  One detail that was released that I found amazing was the fact that each car took about 7 months to put in the game and includes over 260,000 polygons!  the tech specs and small details they have fit into the game are astonishing and bring subtle features car enthusiasts have been asking for  since last gen.

You can play DriveClub on October 7th (barring another delay) and I for one am extremely excited.  This is a big deal since I am not a huge racing fan overall and look forward to the tech side of this game.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Retro Wednesday - NHL 2004

This retro Wednesday is near and dear to my heart with a gaming series that I grew up on.  In fact the first ever PlayStation game I ever got was NHL 96 for the PS1.  I woke up Christmas morning to my PS1 and NHL 96 and never looked back.  That game was awesome with great presentation, which makes me laugh at what they offer today.  NHL 2004 is the subject of this Retro Wednesday due to getting a large back log of NHL games when I got my backwards compatible PS3.  I currently have 2003-2007 on PS2 and only fired up 2004 due to my favorite player being on the cover: Joe Sakic.  Some people may remember the Danny Heatley was originally on the cover, however the summer before the game was released Heatley was in a car accident that killed a teammate due to speeding.  Heatley was charged with vehicular homicide and after the verdict EA decided to change covers to Joe Sakic.  However, due to production of the game already the Heatley cover was still released and available to the public.  I was happy to find a Sakic cover since when I originally owned the game I had a Heatley cover.

As for the game play itself, I found the game very hard to get used to.  I started out on the hardest difficulty and was thrashed 3-0 in my first game.  shots were 70-25 me and not once was a really able to get a good scoring chance.  The computer hooked and slashed the hell out of me making it impossible to enter the zone, and every time I made a pass, my teammates would skate away from the puck after I had passed it, which was frustrating.  The three goals were all tap ins on one timers which I now remember was the only way you could really score before the skill stick was introduced in 2007.  The next game I set the difficulty to Medium, the next step down.  Lost 4-3 in OT after getting a 3-0 lead.  A lot better but the hooking and slashing was still bad.  Upped the penalties and a majority of the game was played with specialty teams.  The game really had no balance. 

As for the game modes, the franchise was great as you created a virtual GM and had news stories released after bad losses or good wins.  Was a cool feature at the time that today's games don't have either.  the rest of the usual suspects are here with play now and all that, but this was also the first game to feature online mode with head to head games.  Of course I could not play this since servers are long gone and I am sure there would be no one else playing it.  

Overall I enjoyed my stroll down memory lane and the best part about it was looking at rosters and player ratings and asking myself if that player ever lived up to their rating or what happened to certain players.  My Avalanche was stacked this year in what many had labeled us Cup favorites with a roster consisting of Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Rob Blake, Paul Kariya, and Teemu Selanne.  Ultimately injuries and bad goaltending lead to the teams failure and the beginning of the end in Colorado.  It is always fun to see how sports games hold up over time and what features they had that today's games don't or are touting as "new".  It is fitting that I would use NHL 2004 for Retro Wednesday when EA is planning on shedding more light on NHL 15 next gen today.  Make sure to stay tuned for my impressions on what they release later today!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tuesday PS News

Another week of smaller news for Sony fans, however there are a couple of stories to note that have come up in the last week

Beyond Two Souls PS4?

You read that correctly, two German retailers have listed Beyond Two Souls for PS4 to join the already announced The Last of Us Remastered on PS4.  This could be expected being a big exclusive from PS3 and Quantic Dream that Sony would want people to be able to experience on their PS4.  I already wrote a blog in support of remastered games and this may just be another one to add to the list.  Add this to other rumored titles like the Mass Effect collection and a possible Uncharted collection and the remastered games list continues to grow.

Are there any other titles you would want to see come to next gen?

More PS4 Bundles for Europe

Europe has already seen a PS4 plus Vita bundle as well as a Last of Us Bundle, and now they will be getting a Driveclub bundle.  This bundle makes the most sense for Europe as it is one of the hot beds for racing games with a game like Gran Turismo selling the best in the territory.  You have to figure Sony wants to give a leg up for Driveclub in the racing loving territory and this bundle does just that.

It has been really weird that Sony has yet to release any bundles and all the U.S. is getting is the white Destiny bundle.  The biggest omission to the U.S. would be a PS4 and Vita bundle that makes the most sense and would help move even more Vitas', but we have yet to see that.  Hopefully Sony reveals a black Friday bundle of some sorts.

PS4 Struggling in Japan

Sony' dominance of Japan has not carried over in Japan like the other territories it has succeeded.  In fact the PS4 is being out sold by the struggling Wii U and even the Ps Vita.  My take on it is that Nintendo is still one of the kings there, and that the Japan market is more interested in handhelds than anything else.  Hopefully releases like Blood Borne and Depp Down can possibly bring better sales to the PS4 in the coming months.

Bioshock Vita

Every day it looks more and more like a Bioshock Vita won't be happening like some rumors stated.  Bioshock creator Ken Levine has stated that they are still waiting to see if Sony and 2k can work something out but as of now nothing has been reached.  Ken detailed his idea for a Bioshock Vita game by saying that it would be like "Final Fantasy Tactics-style game set in pre-fall Rapture".  I would really be interested on how the game would play on Vita and if they could get the Bioshock feel from the first two games.  Sometimes it really does feel like Sony is pushing the Vita into more of a companion role for the PS4 than a stand alone system and that is truly sad.  It is a great device with a lot of potential.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Weekend in Gaming

A great 3 day weekend that saw me out of the house a lot playing golf and of course the obligatory fire work show.  However I did get some more time into Watch Dogs and would say I am three quarters of the way through campaign and will soon just be doing trophy clean up.  Hopefully somehow I get tailed 5 times before then but I am not very optimistic for that one as I haven't been tailed once.  Really Ubisoft, a 100% luck based trophy that has to be done by other players is the dumbest thing ever!  The story itself is interesting and the hacking idea is fun, however now I am finding the game to get boring as it is rinse and repeat with every mission.  Go to compound, find a way to use cameras to eliminate as many bad guys as possible, run in and shot the rest, and hack.  That's it every single time.

I also got a little bit of time in for NHL 2004.  It is very interesting going back to older sports titles I remember well from my childhood.  Also seeing the rosters and ratings from then are a lot of fun with nostalgia.  My Colorado Avalanche was stacked this year and seeing that I remember how optimistic that year was for a cup run, but bad goaltending was there undoing after Patrick Roy retired the year before.  Fun time to see how the game played and boy was it arcady-like.  Big hits and really the only way to score was one timers.  Oh how the shot stick has really changed the way to play the game.  I am getting excited for NHL 15 and first next gen hockey game.  Only a few more months to wait for that.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Review Friday - Wolfenstein: The New Order

Today is the first installment of Review Friday, I will either review a new game or an older game from my backlog every Friday for your enjoyment.  Since my recent platinum of Wolfenstein I figured it was in order for the first full review done on this blog.


Wolfenstein is set post WWII in an alternate world where the Nazi's have won the war and now control the world.  You play as B.J. Blaskowicz, an America who wakes up to the war being over and Nazi's in control of everything.  He joins a group called the resistance looking to take down the Nazi army.  The story itself is one of the best I have ever played for a first person shooter.  The game starts of slow but after B.J. wakes up the game hits a furious pace and never looks back.  With few slow downs or really dumb missions, Wolfenstein takes you all over the place including the moon.  The secondary characters are fun and the writing really makes you appreciate them and actually care about what happens to all of them.

Game Play

This game is like a lot of first person shooters, however it really likes to keep with the classic shooter that the original Wolfenstein was with health packs and an actual health meter without full health regeneration.  The only negative that can get kinda annoying is the fact that the game requires you to push a button to pick anything up.  Other then that minor complain, the game is a fun shooter with smooth controls.  The game does a great job of bringing variety to the game play from driving a car in one level, to a giant robot with a turret and bombs, to floating on the moon.  It definitely doesn't get boring to play with the many different levels that the game offers.

Final Thoughts

With so many review sites and such on the net, I want to make these short and sweet and end with my final thoughts on the game.  Instead of scoring each game I will simply give it a pass on it, rent it, or buy it rating since points can be so generic.  Wolfenstein is a great surprise for many including myself and in a time where games have been so scarce it brings plenty of fun for several hours and with the game being on sale this week for $39.99 at most retailers I have to give Wolfenstein a Buy!

Verdict: BUY

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hype Up Thursday

Welcome to the first installment of Hype up Thursday.  Every Thursday I will post a blog about an upcoming PlayStation game to be hyped about and give you all the news and information regarding that game!

Hype Up Thursday: The Order 1886

The Order has been one of the most hyped next gen game since its announcement with the PS4 back in 2013.  Since then things have gone from good to bad to good to unknown to we think it will be good.  Many game outlets were able to play it at the beginning of this year and were not very happy with what they played.  Follow that with a delay push that moved the game into 2015 and then a not so great on stage demo that included a lot of cut scenes and timed button sequences that left many unsure.  However, since the demo more journalists have gotten hands on experience with the game and come away impressed by how different the game feels and looks compared to early demos.  This has brought back the hype and excitement to learn even more about the game.  

The Story

This excerpt is taken from the wikipedia page for the game that explains the story line.

The Order: 1886 is set in an alternate history London, where an old order of knights keep all of the world safe from half breed monsters, who are a combination of animal and man. In the game's history, around the seventh or eighth centuries a small number of humans took on bestial traits. The majority of humans feared these half breeds and war broke out. Despite the humans outnumbering the half breeds, their animal strength gave them the upper hand in centuries of conflict.

By 1886, the war still goes on, but the humans almost have martial law. A new threat emerges in the form of the lower classes rebelling against the rich and the social order, with the Knights supporting the well-to-do upper classes and nobles. The game features four main protagonists from the same squad, who each has a given name, and the adopted name of one of the original Knights. The oldest is Sebastian Mallory, the second to bear the name of Sir Percival, and the descendant of Thomas Mallory, who in the 1400s wrote Le Morte d'Arthur, the definitive Arthurian Text. A close friend of Grayson, he is one of the best Knights in the history of the order.

Why You Need to be Hyped

Many say that the order will be the first truly next gen experience, and with it being compared to a Gears of War shooter set in the Victorian age, it will be a must buy for all PS4 owners.  The graphics from the cut scenes transition perfectly to game play and the use of Licans instead of zombies really makes the interest peak in something new.  Be prepared to face off against those Licans when the Order releases on Feb 20th, 2015.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Retro Wednesday

Thanks to some feedback I received on the format for this blog, i have come to a daily schedule that people can look forward to based on the day during the week.

Monday - Weekend in gaming
Tuesday - Gaming News
Wednesday - Retro Gaming Day
Thursday - Hype Machine (Taking a look at upcoming games)
Friday - Game review Friday

Hopefully this brings some diversity to the posts and is able to connect with many different readers who can find a day that they enjoy.  So without further ado, the first retro Wednesday for this LS PlayStation blog.

Jersey Devil
There was a time that is starting to fade from memory that kids today will never experience: Rental stores.  It was the best memory I have always had of going on Friday after school to the rental store, whether it was my local grocery store that had a movie department, the mom and pop rental place, or the chain Hollywood video and Blockbuster that opened later on in my small town.  This was back when I didn't have a ton of access to game reviews and information that lead to a lot of blind rentals. Every Friday I would rush to the game section and browse completely based on the game cases.  This is what lead me to my first retro title for this section: Jersey Devil.  
That cover grabbed me that day in the store and made me choose it to take home and enjoy over the weekend.  I don't remember the game itself super well, but after watching some videos on the game memories kept coming back.  As platformers go it wasn't the greatest game, in fact it was a pretty bad game.  Clunky controls and bad camera angles plagued the game at every turn.  I always thought when i was a kid that Jersey Devil was just his name and truly he was a bat ala Batman.  i think this kinda drew me to like the game being a batman fan.  You could punch kick and glide as Jersey Devil to defeat the antagonist Dr. knarf.  you fought some weird mutated things and solved puzzles just like any other platformer.

Back then like I had mentioned before there was not easy internet access for me, so games that became difficult almost became impossible due to getting stuck and having no idea how to proceed.  With no guides available I remember getting frustrated and being unable to proceed to finish the game.  Honestly a lot of games in my childhood were not completed due to this fact as well as time that I spent with rental games.  It makes me wonder what I missed in regards to games I didn't finish.
This game popped up in my head recently when I heard it referred to on a gaming website, so i figured it could be a decent start to my retro Wednesday series.  Did you guys play Jersey Devil and have memories of it?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

PS News Tuesday

July PS Plus

It's another Tuesday, and another day of news.  Not a ton of big news was announced, but with it being the first Tuesday of the month, it now means new PS Plus games for all!  This month PS4 sees a strong showing of Strider and Towerfall.  Towerfall originally hit it big as the best game available on Oyua, now there is no reason to even keep the thing out with a free copy on PS4.  And Strider is a very well reviewed game about Ninjas... what more do you need?!

On PS3, Sony is giving the decent Dead Space 3, which is not as good as the first two but a decent AAA title.  Also, PS3 will be getting Vessel, Which I have not seen a lot of or know a lot about, but free is free.

Finally the beloved Vita get's a couple of good games including Muramasa Rebirth and Doki Doki universe.  both these games are great pick up and play games and continue the strong lineup of Vita PS Plus titles that continue to fill my memory cards.


FIFA 15 has released a beautiful trailer showing off the new graphics and animations for the game and boy does it look good.  I am very excited seeing all the sports games up their game for a second go around on next gen systems.  Not sure which game i will prioritize, but i am definitely leaning either NHL or FIFA after what I have seen.  Check out the trailer below if you have not seen it and look forward to playing the game this Fall!


A couple big sales going on this week at different retailers for Playstation owners.  The big sale is at Best Buy who have the Sony Gold Stereo Wireless headset on sale for $69.99 from the original $100 price tag!  These are the best wireless headsets for the price, so go pick them up before the sale ends!

Another game that I just finished that is definitely worth the price is Wolfenstein The New Order.  You can pick it up from almost any retailer this week for $39.99, and it is very much worth it at that price.  Very under rated game.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekend in Gaming

Another Monday... another weekend in gaming journal for everyone out their in Sony land.  Spent the entire weekend finally working on Watch Dogs after finishing Wolfenstein last week.  If you are in need of a game to play please grab Wolfenstein, very underrated.  As for Watch Dogs, at first I was very confused with this game and its controls.  However after playing for a while it finally started to make sense and actually become fun.  I am not looking forward to the Plat solely on the online luck trophy traced which requires you to be tailed by 5 other gamers.  This is completely random and there is really no true way to track this.

After Watch Dogs I am not sure what to sink my teeth into as I have so many games right now since I got my PS3.  I have Uncharted 2 and 3 to clean up a bit more with trophies.  But also games like L.A. Noire and the entire Batman Arkham series.  I really want to try for some more trophies in NBA 2k so that I can trade in before it becomes worthless in trade in price.

I do have the Last of Us preordered for PS4 and look forward to sinking more time into that.  What are you guys playing and what do you think I should move onto next?