: Ben's Week In Review: June 22

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Ben's Week In Review: June 22

Summer is here! What are you going to play during the barren hot months?

The Vita is toast

As much as I like the little machine, as much as I believe in its unparalleled raw potential, the PlayStation Vita is - tragically - dead in the water.

I'm surprised Sony doesn't think we see it. There are virtually no games coming out for it and when I say that, I'm referring to exclusive software. Games you can play on other platforms, like the PS3 or PS4, just doesn't cut it. We saw no new titles during E3 and now, Sony is flat-out admitting that the machine is down to relying on indie offerings and Remote Play. You mean, the indie games we can get anywhere else and the Remote Play that doesn't really work half as well as advertised? Sony had this messed up from the start.

If someone is leaving the house, they're not bringing the Vita and a smartphone with them. That's the first problem. The second problem is that if the unit can't distinguish itself in some way, what's the point of having it? You think anyone is going to spend $200 on that thing for Remote Play and some indie titles, most all of which can be enjoyed on multiple other platforms? I'm sorry to say it, but I'm willing to bet that the Vita doesn't last through 2015. You can try the PS4/Vita bundle if you like, Sony. You and I both know it won't work.

Alien: Isolation is starting to sound like my kind of game

So, two important pieces of information arrived this past week, both of which were very encouraging to me:

First, they say Alien: Isolation comes in at around 15 hours. That's a perfect length for me because I don't have a huge amount of spare time these days. Secondly, the developer described it as a "Metroidvania" type experience, in which you can return to previously explored areas and open up new portions of the map. You know, the "old-fashioned" structure where you'd find a certain item or piece of equipment, which would then allow you to backtrack and open up sealed-off sections? It began way back when with The Legend of Zelda and I've always loved it.

This is one of the reasons why some of my favorite games of all time were the 2D Castlevania and Metroid installments. I just always enjoyed seeing something I couldn't bypass, with the knowledge that I would eventually get past it...I just had to keep moving, and I had to be vigilant in my search for new stuff. If Isolation is done correctly, that could be the sleeper hit of 2014.

Personal gaming update

I had plenty of fun with that Destiny alpha, as it proved to me that Bungie was on the right track. I think too many people were quick to pass final judgment, not quite understanding that it was an alpha. I mean, that's not even a beta. I've been part of alphas before and let me tell you, I've never participated in an alpha test that was half as accomplished as Destiny's. That's exciting, I think. As for UFC, eh...too irritating. I don't like the sport, anyway.

I'm right at the end of Wolfenstein: The New Order, so I should finish that very soon. Then it's back to finish Grand Theft Auto V. I've decided that should take precedence over Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, although I can't exactly explain why...

6/21/2014 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (21 posts)

Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 1:30:33 AM

I can't believe Sony themselves are withdrawing from supporting the Vita with quality productions so soon. With a company that boasts about how it's all about the games at E3 yet then runs with their tail between their legs with their relatively new handheld, feels just pathetic.
I also think PS Now is in for some trouble. So they refreshed the lineup of software for us beta users and then revealved the pricing structure. It's like $2.99 for 4 hours. $5.99 or something for 3 days. Up to like $30 for 90 days. The game lineup right now is like FFXIII and FFXIII-2 and Ninja Gaiden 2 etc. That's crappy pricing for old software. Here for so long I thought PS Now was a buffet style offering of like $10 a month and unlimited access to whatever games they have up, like netflix. But nope. It's this hokey pricing scheme that'll kill it dead.

PGU: Just finished TR:DE. Gotta say, going into it I didn't think it would be contending with Uncharted. Perhaps I got a shinier first time experience than most, having started and finished on the PS4, making it feel more impressive to me. But as it is I think Crystal Dynamic's has a stronger formula going for it than Naughty Dog has for their's. Granted TR is more like Uncharted meets TLoU with the survival aspect but I feel the arcade'y approach with lots of dialogue with Uncharted might feel dated faster. I'm interested to see what will happen if CD hits the next-gen with their TR sequel before ND hits with U4. I feel like if ND recycles the same Uncharted formula as the first three games, it'll get pegged for being more show than substance while TR, if it succeeds in being a worthy successor, could be held to a higher esteem, even without the shinier graphics.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 6/22/2014 1:32:09 AM

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 1:38:04 AM

Would have been cheaper to implement the B/C onto the console rather than paying to play the games over a laggy, compression artifact ridden internet connection.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 3:15:23 AM

It would have been both cheaper and better Cesar... For us. To Sony that would have just been a missed opportunity to make profit instead.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 9:41:48 AM

Never stop posting here Temjin.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 2:35:37 PM

I think the lure of a resurrected (loved and well known) franchise, and the same style of gameplay (as Uncharted) with a different story is why TR is so good and fulfilling from a gamers perspective. Looking at both Uncharted and TR really the only comparison is the gameplay, but Uncharted is more comparable to the earlier games in the franchise than this reboot. While the TR reboot is dark and is written. In a way that's similiar to TLOU.

My point is I never thought for a second that the TR reboot was anywhere near the accomplishments of the Uncharted series from writing to graphics. Same goes for TLOU. However now that you've brought up the interesting point of it being in the middle of both ND' gems it makes me think about its promising future. But while it is promising if the next installment succeeds how long will it be before gamers want something new? I mean again I go back to it (in my opinion) not quite achieving the level of completeness and excellence of the Uncharted series. And yet here we are at the upcoming release of Uncharted 4 and asking for something more (rightfully). New characters, upgrades and all of the above are being wanted after Uncharted 4 despite the series excellence.

So while the next couple of TR might be more attractive because we have a dilusion of it being more refreshing, I can't say with any confidence that it will ever give gamers the same sense of epicness that Uncharted 2 gave all gamers who got to enjoy it.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 6/22/2014 2:36:15 PM

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 3:09:21 PM

That pricing is nuts, they will have to switch to a buffet offering or die.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 1:32:30 AM

Sony should shift the Vita from a handheld into a PS4 peripheral. Make it do what the WiiU's tablet does, but better. That may be able to save the poor thing.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 2:02:41 AM

Sony's doing what makes sense. Why compete against the hundreds of Iphones and Android phones and whatever Nintendo releases when they dominate that industry. Sony's always been about being good at everything, and now they are shifting into being the best at a few things. Sadly, its the way its going to have to be for them to survive. Vita isnt dead yet though, somehow, that thing is still selling. Not a lot, but enough to keep it relevant.

Didn't play much this week other than Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate and FFXHD. I forgot how much crap I had to do in the monster arena, and how fun it is to test your party against the big bad beasties. Also, training with legendary AI in DOA5U is some scary stuff. World wasn't kidding.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 9:44:58 AM

"Sony's doing what makes sense."

I'd say completely reversing your stance on a product 2 years into its release makes little to no sense. It alienates the existing customers that have bought your product and it confuses potential customers from making future purchases.

Last edited by LimitedVertigo on 6/22/2014 9:45:19 AM

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 9:42:08 AM

the vita was always doomed from the start with a seriously overpriced system, lack of games, overpriced required accessories, and lack of features.
$onys admission of relying on third party titles recently was just the final nail in the coffin.

isolation looks really interesting looking forward to that.
happy to see its not just you and the alien, but there are also human enemies in the game so you can play a bit of cat and mouse if you want.
looks really cool.

just finished watch dogs last night.
bit disappointed with the story, i mean allot of things were not explained and it all just feels a bit thin and simplistic.
you get the answer to why the job went bad but thats about it, as for every other little store within the game is just left in the air.
just feels like they could of done SO much more from a story standpoint.
the lead writer for the game at the EB expo last year said he wants people to walk away from the game and seriously question their security and how they feel about privacy and everything being connected.
i expected some massive conspiracy thing some big statement about how our privacy is being invaded and the like, but nope it does not really do or say anything.
you hack all those computers and have access to so many videos but there all just stupid crap like CTOS spying on someone watching TV.
wow thats so interesting someones watching TV OMFG!
come on!!!!!!!
exactly why i couldnt be bothered doing any of the side missions or hacking any of the computers, every time i did something i was greeted with stupid insignificant crap like that!
could, and should, of done SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more with the story!

finally got back to playing wolfenstein the new order.
love that game theres something so satisfying about the gun play the guns just feel so satisftying especially the shotgun blowing peoples limbs off NEVER gets old!
or the laser gun seeing enemies explode in a red mist...... beautiful!
its a shame the game was not as open as bugthesda would have you believe.
whenever they showed off the game they always picked one of the few levels which had multiple layouts and also big environmental hazards which when tripped would avoid a massive shootout.
i just wish every level was littered with those, and not 1 per 5 levels or so.
also the moon, oh SWEET i get to walk on the moon!
for like 2 minutes than your back inside.
seriously, why couldent we have a massive shootout on the moon that would of been so cool!

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 12:30:41 PM

Vita would do far better if the remote play feature worked w all the triple AAA titles and if the vita game could be played on TV through the ps3 or ps4 hell make the vita work like the pad for the WIIu I'd buy one then

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 12:41:09 PM

So, the Steam Summer Sales is upon us again and I picked up a stack of games, with the highlights so far being:

Xcom: Enemy Unknown
I'm not a big fan of strategy games in general, but this game here really is very good. I'm not far into it but thus far I've loved every minute of it. Very cool blend of traditional strategy view and random "cut scenes" where the view changes to third person view. It's details like these who adds to immersion to me, and makes it less of a "board game feel".

The Swapper:
Ok, THIS is a gem. A small indie game, 2D platformer puzzle kind of game with an incredible atmosphere, both thanks to a cool way of telling the story and all graphics actually being made in clay and photographed! Very cool detail.
The setting is sci-fi and fun game mechanics with the puzzles spun around your ability to create clones of yourself and swap to them (hence the name) as needed.
Very, very good game.

Last edited by Beamboom on 6/22/2014 12:43:10 PM

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 1:04:20 PM

I'm on the Green team and I'm anticipating being one of the 30 that gets free games!

So far I've spent $60. Can't beat picking up the entire Dead Island series for $9 and DeadRising3 for $37. It's addictive checking the store several times a day to see what team is winning/flash sales.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 2:03:28 PM

Yeah I know - it's really addictive indeed!

I'm on the pink team. The green team just totally rolls over the rest of us. I don't even get how there can be such a difference...!

I try to not get too carried away and stick to buying titles on my wishlist only. But man, it's even tempting to re-buy titles I've only got for the PS3, just to get'em over to a more persistent platform. It's that cheap!

Last edited by Beamboom on 6/22/2014 2:18:19 PM

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 2:54:09 PM

Shots fired.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 2:58:02 PM

I know what you mean. I've bought quite a few games off Steam that I also own on PS3. One of them being the latest Tomb Raider. I couldn't pass it up when it was on sale for $10 around the time the "upgraded" PS4 version came out.

Shots have been fired, Team Green will conquer!

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 3:11:40 PM

Vita can still be a pipeline to Japanese games at least, though I know that's not popular anymore.

I've had a crazy need for shooters lately. I just jump from one to the other. I love shooting sh*t.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 4:07:25 PM

::Waving from PC island::

"There's shooting everywhere!"

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 9:18:59 PM

You should acknowledge LV, World.

After all, it's basically all the PC has had for two decades. ;)

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 10:07:10 PM

Ben, you smarty pants!

Don't forget Star Craft2, that too!

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 @ 6:58:25 PM

I don't believe that the vita is on its last leg. If that were the case, then why is it that I cannot seem to stop selling them at my job. At least 3 a day, constantly going out of stock. Ever since then release of the slim vita, they have been selling like hotcakes. Don't discount the vita just yet. Great mobile device with toons of RPGs coming out for it.

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