: Ben's Week In Review: January 24

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Ben's Week In Review: January 24

Hey look, snow.

If you can't trust Naughty Dog, who can you trust?

I know a lot of people are wondering about the changes we'll see to the standard franchise formula when Uncharted 4: A Thief's End finally arrives in April. But honestly, I wouldn't worry.

And in fact, the developers have really attempted to allay any fears on that score. In just about every interview I read now, another Naughty Dog member is trying to explain that the heart and soul of Uncharted is very much intact. Yes, the levels are a bit larger allowing for more freedom but it's hardly open-world and yes, there are a few choices in the dialogue but as Neil Druckmann said, they're not making a BioWare game. That branching dialogue option only shows up a few times during the game and your choices have no effect on the outcome of the story. And that's the way a linear storyline has to be, of course. There is never anything wrong with advancing, adapting, taking the next step, etc.; to say otherwise means you embrace stagnation, which would ultimately signal the end of any franchise.

What annoys fans - and what can also kill an established IP, deader than a doornail - is when developers do change the heart and soul of a franchise. They don't adapt or progress, they change, they turn the game into a completely different genre. We're not seeing that with A Thief's End and I can pretty much guarantee you won't see it in a sequel for The Last Of Us, either. Naughty Dog knows what they're doing, plain and simple.

You're right, Sony, PlayStation VR CAN'T be a fad

I still remember when we heard rumblings about how 3D gaming was going to be the next wave. 3D HDTVs were big, more and more games were starting to include the option, etc. But I knew it was a fad from the start and why? Simple: It wasn't any good. At its best, 3D was - and will always be - a novelty and nothing more. It will never make you believe that you're in the game or the movie; it will never reach the level of full-on immersion these new virtual reality devices should be able to deliver. 3D was like motion-sensing; a decent gimmick that could be intriguing for a short span of time, but neither had the potential to become the next step in interactive entertainment. Not a legitimate step, at any rate. These actual VR devices have the chance to actually change the industry, which we should probably acknowledge.

So, when Sony said PlayStation VR can't just be a "boom," all I could do was nod. Not only have they dumped a huge amount of resources into this thing, but they're hardly the only company going after VR in 2016 and beyond. It will depend on the game support and a variety of other factors as well, and success is hardly ensured. But it does not fall into the same category as things like 3D and motion-sensing. I still wonder, though, if PlayStation VR really can generate more interest in PS4. I see problems with that.

Personal gaming update

I liked the Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 beta, and I'm thinking anyone who enjoyed the first game will really love the second. It's kind of a breath of fresh air, too; it's not just another multiplayer shooter, as there's a ton of creativity and variety, and no two modes really feel identical (as they so often do in standard military shooters). As for Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster, it's a solid re-imagining but I won't be finishing it. As I said in the "Ugly" part of the summary, there are some games that really need more of an actual overhaul; they need mechanical upgrades because elements like the control or camera need drastic improvement to meet today's standards. The camera, for instance, was mediocre then and just atrocious now.

I can't wait to try out The Witness this week and admittedly, I'm going to have to give Saturday Morning RPG a whirl, purely for nostalgic purposes, obviously. Looking down the road, there isn't much I really want to play in February, though I know Far Cry Primal is coming out. I'm very interested in Republique, too, because it looks like a fantastic stealth adventure, and I'm glad it's coming to PS4 as a complete experience (all the episodes will be out by then).

1/23/2016 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (34 posts)


Temjin001
Saturday, January 23, 2016 @ 10:04:35 PM
Reply

I'm sure I'll enjoy Uncharted 4 a good plenty when it arrives.

I believe PSVR has the odds stacked against it for any kind of sweeping success. There's just too many flashing red warning lights that tell me the thing is going to have a rocky path. Sub-platforms (32X, Ram Carts, CD drive add-ons) or any peripheral required experience seems to turn into a slow death before long. Slap a ~$300 sticker price which requires a $350 console to run it, not including the cost of games and required services, and I see something I just can't imagine being a success.

While I know this VR thing seems like a bigger deal than most gimmickry we've seen in the past, I usually stick to looking at history when it comes to predictions, and I can't shake the thought this is somehow going to overcome all of that.

PGU: Knowing I had a good quality router, I decided to grab the Steam Link for $50. It's like the PSTV but for streaming your PC games from your other room to your bigscreen TV. The prospect of possibly being able to have a nearly one stop shop, without required online subscription plans, or the need to rebuy peripherials, like expensive arcade sticks for fighting games gen after gen, seemed too compelling.
I'm here to say the Steam Link usually works like a 1080p 60FPS champ with unprecedented controller response. It's quite incredible how good it looks and feels in action actually.

But per the usual, the whole thing is built on a general purpose Windows OS designed to accommodate countless configurations. This has you dealing with games that won't launch for crazy reasons, or random windows popping up, forcing you to run upstairs to see what the heck is wrong before you can return to your game.

So for all of those reasons someone could stay away from dedicated PC gaming it's all just the same through your Steam Link on your TV, other than it being on your couch, where having to nurse unexpected computer behavior now requires sprints through your home.







Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/23/2016 10:05:55 PM

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xenris
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 11:12:19 AM

I agree with the whole VR thing. I think it is such a cool idea, but the price point, and the fact that people in general seem to be more casual gamers I don't see VR taking off.

I actually hope I'm wrong with this, but I don't see how its going to explode, given that in reality it is just a gimmick.

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Beamboom
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 3:12:50 PM

Steam Link doesn't run Windows, if that's what you mean? That'd make the box cost twice as much just in licencing.

Last edited by Beamboom on 1/24/2016 3:13:20 PM

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Temjin001
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 6:45:09 PM

Beam, when I said "the whole thing is built etc" I meant to say the whole experience is still done through playing games on Windows.
Sure people can do the Steam OS thing but that closes doors on lots of games when it comes to support. Even graphics card performance shows to take a hit through Steam OS.

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Temjin001
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 7:02:47 PM

Xenris.
Yea, it'd be neat to see it take off somehow.
I love the idea of VR being a legit thing but I don't like the approach I'm seeing.
It needs a few more years for the price to come down and offered as a dedicated platform, not PS5, but PSVR. Standalone. Not sure why Sony is rushing to deliver it on hardware not optimal for the experience. Sorry, that little PSVR external black box doesn't render graphics itself. It does help display the game to be seen on a TV so those who don't have a headset can see what's going on.

As things are now, I have visions of PS4 exclusives being curtailed or changed to meet the demands of a VR peripherial. Remember KZ3's out of place shooting gallery levels? Yea, not cool.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/24/2016 7:03:45 PM

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xenris
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 10:47:05 PM

Yeah the jump to 3D games was silly too. I felt like the graphics took a step back with KZ3 and UC3 because they needed to make it work in 3D.

VR will be similar I reckon. Here is to hoping that it works though, because it would be really cool it it did take off and became more affordable.

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Beamboom
Monday, January 25, 2016 @ 3:16:02 AM

I suspected it was something like that you meant, Temmy. Just wanted to make sure. :)

I'd get me a Steam link if one could use the PC while it streamed to the link. That'd be ultra sweet.


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/25/2016 3:16:21 AM

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Jawknee
Saturday, January 23, 2016 @ 10:37:39 PM
Reply

Meh, the point of remastering a game like RE zero is to give us classic gameplay with better visuals. I'm fine with that. I actually changed the controls to the classic set up when I started playing it. Resident Evil and Zero are two of the very best games on the GameCube and I was happy to buy them in HD. They're better than any RE game that's come out in recent years.

Last edited by Jawknee on 1/23/2016 10:38:15 PM

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bigrailer19
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 12:33:37 AM

I agree. If it's just a remaster don't expect a rebuild or remake. Two distinct differences that seem to be defined pretty well within the industry.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 11:46:34 AM

If I were to play I'd play new controls. Tanks can't work in my head anymore for some reason.


I want Dino Crisis done next.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 11:58:55 AM

I'd much rather have a game rebuilt in some cases than just remastered. In some cases that might mean getting rid of those tank controls.

But I'm not sure how I feel regarding RE. On one hand it's as Jawknee said. On the other it's like you said, World.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 1:09:25 PM

Some fan is remaking Metal Gear Solid ground up with Unreal 4. It looks incredible. Called Shadow Moses:

https://youtu.be/oWc2GNtBurY

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/24/2016 1:10:57 PM

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Jawknee
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 4:27:52 PM

I saw that. I honestly don't like how it looks. As much as I dislike Konami, I'd rather see a proper remake by them using the Fox Engine.

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Aerifale
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 11:00:54 AM
Reply

If they support the VR with the gaming experiences that I want, I will invest. Otherwise I'll be staying far away from an expensive peripheral.

PGU: Dug out my little sister's Wii and decided now is the time to play some of those great games that did come out for the system.

Currently I'm switching between Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii (A-MAZING), Final Fantasy VII (PC version release is really nice) and Starcraft which I picked up for £2 and it REALLY holds up and that's coming from someone who has never played it before and is admittedly not the best when it comes to the RTS genre.

Really want to pick up a copy of Xenoblade chronicles at some stage but by God they are not coming cheap :(

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xenris
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 11:14:08 AM

Chronicles is a great game, I traded it in to EB before realizing the game goes for a high price on Ebay.

Still it is a great RPG but it does have a big grind to it, which if youre into then you are going to love it.

I started feeling burned out by the fetch quests about half way through, but toughed it out because the story is fantastic.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 11:45:56 AM

I'm with you, folks were too quick to dismiss FFVII on PS4. It's greatness.

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xenris
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 11:21:46 AM
Reply

I don't think VR is going to catch on. I want it to, but I don't think it will.

The price point is too high for the average consumer, and the lowest common denominator isn't a hardcore gamer.

I think in the future when they begin to merge VR, with motion sensing, that will be a gimmick I would like to try out. But would I drop 500 bucks for something like that? No.

Its just to much for something that will ultimately be one of those things you show your friends and family at get togethers to say look how neat this is.

PGU:

I've been playing The Secret world on steam right now, its an MMO and I'm really digging the environment, the atmosphere and the investigation quests are just amazing and require real puzzle solving where you have to think outside of the box. The last quest I did I had to kill myself so that I could talk to a ghost who killed himself in a jail cell. The game didn't tell me to do this, there were just cryptic hints in a police file which again I wasn't told to search the computer it was something I had to figure out on my own.

I can see this frustrating most gamers but to me, it is a breath of fresh air.

Been playing Toukiden Kiwami on the PS4 now and again and that games is really great for people looking for a Monster hunter styled game that is a little more streamlined.

Last game I have been playing is Earth Defense force 4.1 the remake on the PS4. It is glorious, 60fps new content previous dlc and did I mention 60fps?

Even in split screen the FPS stays around there, and this is a series notorious for dipping to around 10 fps on the PS3.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 11:45:08 AM

The thing is, the VR helmet can already be used with the camera and Move.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 11:44:02 AM
Reply

VR will work but it will take time and be declared dead once or twice first.

Dark Cloud 2 on PSN!!! I just started but wow it's so much better than the first.

I had a great weekend with a sweet new gal. Not much of a gamer but we can forgive that. The Revenant was an incredible movie!

I also learned Fallout 4 sucks when your niece is sitting there directing your every movement every 5-10 seconds.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/24/2016 11:52:01 AM

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bigrailer19
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 12:00:29 PM

What level are you in Fallout 4? I'm at level 22 - just started - and I feel like the game is just opening up.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 1/24/2016 12:00:38 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 1:01:37 PM

I'm level 43 and she's still wide open. If you want to widen the map quickly go ahead and do some missions for The Brotherhood. (but don't bring Piper if she's your girlfriend she hates them) I don't like the bastahds myself but soon they take you on a cool trip that cracks open lots of the map you might have had to fight impossibly into otherwise.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 1:10:56 PM

My buddy said once he hit level 45 he had to put the difficult on the hardest setting as he felt invincible.

I do wanna open the map but I'm a let the game take me to those places as you suggested. Yeah I like all the factions so far but the Brotherhood seems to be the most vendetta led. The others that I've come across have a struggle to succeed. Anyways...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 3:10:38 PM

It does make you strong but I didn't focus on my health or damage resistance cuz I wanted to be a weapon and armor smith as well as hacker and lockpicker so on normal it's still a challenge. That's how these games mold so well to us and remain RPGs even though there's heavy shooting elements.

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bigrailer19
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 3:17:09 PM

We are playing the exact same build I imagine, from the sounds of how you are playing.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 3:41:24 PM

Awesomesauce homie :)

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MRSUCCESS
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 4:02:24 PM

I really loved Dark Cloud 2 on PS2. It was somewhat "kiddy" but definitely a breath of fresh air.

I watched the trailer in the PSN store and as much as I loved it, I can't force myself to play it again. The game can be very time consuming as far as the side quests, weapon upgrades and building new towns.

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xenris
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 6:47:39 PM

Dark cloud 2 is such a fine game.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 1:05:32 PM
Reply

Star Wars nerds! I found something great. I wanted to watch the original films without Lucas' terrible extra CG, Hayden Christensen, and butchered editing and found out no such thing exists. The loser buried them.

Thankfully a fan on the net called Harmy has created Despecialized versions of all 3 films through painstaking reconstruction. You can get them on the net, it's not super easy but totally worth it.

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xenris
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 6:48:20 PM

Lets hope disney or someone releases them ... again?

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Jawknee
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 7:00:31 PM

Is the screwed up versions with the crappy CGI shoehorned in really the only copies available? That sucks. I wanted to buy the originals on BlueRay but I won't if I have to suffer that terrible "update" made by George Lucas. He's a turd for messing with the originals.

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Hexen
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 7:15:47 PM

World are you by any chance getting Megadimension Neptunia on feb 2?It looks like it will be the best one yet.

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xenris
Sunday, January 24, 2016 @ 10:49:02 PM

@Jawknee

Yeah as of right now unless you luck out and find a really old VHS you aren't going to find the originals on DVD or blue ray.

I didn't mind the first alteration that much, but he got carried away down the road.

Also I too preferred the puppets over the CGI, he could have just enhanced the visual and audio and left the FX out of it >:(

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, January 25, 2016 @ 9:35:14 AM

yeah I love Neptunia, and there's a new one coming that look better. I forget the name, come check back with me when u see me and ask.

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Banky A
Monday, January 25, 2016 @ 7:21:42 PM
Reply

DARK CHRONICLE/CLOUD 2 HYPE.

I got the Platinum on PS2 but I don't think I'll be able to humanly get a verified one now on PS4.

Jesus Christ the Spheda and missable photos.

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