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.