Hey. If you are reading this then that means you have found my blog. It's not hard to miss though, but it's nice to see that someone is reading it. Not much to go on than what I've written over there.
I also try not to spoil any game. No matter if it's old or new.
Today Sony released their new console of this new generation with the PlayStation 4. As gamers get their new system and look beyond what is coming, I am going through my top five favorite PlayStation 3 games. These are my opinion and mine alone. The PlayStation 3 had a rocky start, but as games started to come out, it became what it is now. A great system that has some of the very best this generation has offered. As with any list I make, these are not ranked.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima must have stressed out over Metal Gear Solid 4. Released in 2008, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was one of the very first to show what the system can really do and it became a showcase of the system since. Taking place nine years after the events of Metal Gear Solid for the original PlayStation, Snake, Otacon, and the rest of the series characters tries to take down The Patriots. This was the finale story of Solid Snake and what transpires is one of the best games of this generation. While I do consider Metal Gear Solid 3 as the best of the series, Metal Gear Solid 4 is a close second. Freedom of choice, great boss battles, and a story that concludes nearly 50 years of Metal Gear Lore gave Solid Snake the swan song he deserves. With Metal Gear Solid V coming, it is going to be difficult to top this.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
When Uncharted 2: Among Thieves came out in 2009 it became THE PlayStation 3 game. Even now, it is the best-reviewed game of this generation. A sequel to 2007 Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, it follows Nathan Drake as he searches for a mythical stone against a War Lord. The game is fast, fun, and has great characters. Uncharted 2 made Naughty Dog and Nolan North a household name. The train sequence is still one of the most fun stage in all of gaming. Not even Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception matches the sheer brilliance of Uncharted 2. With Uncharted 4 just announced, it will be interesting to see what the Uncharted games looks like on PlayStation 4.
The Last of Us
While Grand Theft Auto V came out this year along with The Last of Us, I would have to say that The Last of Us is the better game. It further proves how brilliant Naughty Dog is with its fantastic story and characters. The Stealth Horror game gave something that most survival horror games in consoles has been lacking, atmosphere. Troy Baker became the new Nolan North overnight. The Last of Us is one of those games you have to play to truly appreciate what it does. Not only is it the best of the PlayStation 3, but the best game of the year.
Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time
Since the PlayStation 2 days, the Ratchet and Clank series has been a Sony Marvel, with great characters, weapons, story, and worlds. The Ratchet and Clank series reached its high with A Crack in Time. A Crack in Time delves deeper into the history of the Lombaxes and Clank. It features the return of characters like Dr. Nefarious and Captain Quark, while having new characters like Alister Azimuth. I would like to see a game that has Alister Azimuth has the main character. Insomniac Games was in top form and everything they learned from the past Ratchet and Clank games is fully realized here. It has great action moments for Ratchet and great puzzles and platforming for Clank. Along with Going Commando for the PlayStation 2, A Crack in Time is the best Ratchet and Clank game.
God of War III
The God of War series has always been a showcase of what the Sony systems can do and God of War 3 is no exception. Since the first God of War in 2005, it has been one of Sony’s biggest franchises. When God of War II for the PlayStation 2 ended, a few months after the PlayStation 3 launched, fans has been waiting to see what God of War III would look like on the new system. Their hopes was not in vain as God of War III, even to this day, is one of the best looking games of the system. While it does not do anything new in terms of gameplay, its story and puzzles is some of the best of the series. The final fight against Zeus is one of this generation’s best boss fights. God of War III is a technical marvel that only the PlayStation 3 can do.
That was my picks of my most favorite PlayStation 3 games. It took a few years, but when PlayStation 3 finally hit its stride, it went in strong. Next week, the day the Xbox One launches, I shall post my most favorite Xbox 360 exclusives.
Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly has a reputation of being one of the scariest games ever made. It is right up there with Resident Evil 2 and Silent Hill 2. Released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Fatal Frame 2 kind of lives up the hype. You play as one of two twin sisters, Mayu and Mio, as they try to escape a lost village and investage on what happened to the residents there. The atmosphere and setting is chilling and it makes use of the haunted feel of the game. As great as the setting is, each area can feel the same and it can become frustratingly easy to get lost in as you try to find the next objective. The atmosphere loses some of its power because of this, but the scares never lose its power and if you happen to let your guard down that is when the ghosts will appear. There are a number of types of ghosts that you will see. Some will lead you to your next destination, and others that will attack you. It does not happen often, but there will be a couple of times where a certain ghost will kill you in the slightest touch. You can defend yourself with the Camera Obscura. This camera will allow you to take photos of the ghosts you will meet in the game.
When you take a picture of a ghost, you will exercise them. The better the picture, the better the damage, and the higher points you will get. You can upgrade your camera by using sprit orbs and the points you have earned. The camera is fixed and the control feels like Resident Evil. The camera rarely becomes a problem. If you use the camera, it switches to a first person where you can move around in.
The story and the game are dark. At first, you will read about this ritual, but as you continue the game, you will learn more about the cultish village and the reason behind the ritual. Murder, suicides, human sacrifice, and the power of twins are heavy themes in Fatal Frame 2. Grim stuff only gets darker as you continue. The grim tone comes to life thanks to its excellent sound design. The voice acting of the twins and ghosts are chilling. The wind, music, and the footsteps will leave you uneasy. I would not call Fatal Frame 2 a survival horror, but it is pure horror. Fatal Frame 2 is more effective than most survival horror games that have come out in the past few years on consoles.
One of the most important aspects of horror is pacing. This is where the game slightly veers of course. It is very easy to get lost and it breaks the flow of the game. Worst yet, there is this section near the end of Fatal Frame 2 where you need to find puzzles pieces. This blatant use of padding never did any good in games. It would not be so bad if they send you to a new area, but you have to go to the same places over again. Fatal Frame 2 has a lot of backtracking, more so than Resident Evil 2 and Silent Hill. You will enter the same three houses two to three times just to find that key or map to continue. By either key or diary, there is always something to find, so exploration is a big factor into Fatal Frame 2. The puzzles are well made but you have a time or move limit to them. You can ignore them because nothing happens and if you do manage to fail the puzzles you can do it again with the pieces back to where it was.
Fatal Frame 2: The Crimson Butterfly is a good game. It may not be as good as Resident Evil 2 or Silent Hill, but it is far creepier and sometimes scarier than those games. If horror is your thing, then give Fatal Frame 2 a shot.
No one likes buying sixty-dollar games that will only last six hours or less. You get the game and beat it that day. Some people would not mind the six-hour game because it is something that they do in their spare time, and depending on their lifestyle, they might not get a lot of time. So getting short game gives them a chance to finish a game. I fall on the latter; I can complete a game in one day. When I finished Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, it took me about eight hours or so to complete it. I was playing all day and I enjoyed most of it. The ships section is a series low. To some people it can take a week or a month to complete a game like that. To make sure that consumers are getting more bang for their buck, developers would include a multiplayer aspect of the game. Some games thrive on single player, some game excel at multiplayer. The main reason I see why multiplayer is added into the games is that the single player has very little replay value. I can play games multiple times, but having that incentive to continue playing makes it that much better. It is why Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is one of the best games of this generation.
BEFORE THE HATE
You can sink hours into the game’s multiplayer, but the multiplayer has to be good enough to go through all that. There is a reason by Battlefield and Call of Duty is as big as they are when it comes to multiplayer. The developers, Dice and Infinity Ward/Treyarch respectively, take their time to perfect what they had created. As they are working long hours into the night, making great multiplayer experiences other developers look at that success and try to put a multiplayer component where it does not belong. Tomb Raider and God of War Ascension come to mind. Tomb Raider is one of the most underrated games of this year. God of War Ascension was one of the most disappointing and it was clear that most of the staff was focusing their time with the multiplayer than the single player. Tomb Raider had the opposite; it had a great single player while the multiplayer is mediocre. If there was more focus on the single player of God of War Ascension, then I felt like it can sit beside the original trilogy as one of the best action games around.
Some games does not need multiplayer, but other games do. The Call of Duty has been a juggernaut since the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007. Apart from having a fun single player, Modern Warfare had a great multiplayer. Since then the primary focus on the Call of Duty franchise is its multiplayer. The same could be said about Battlefield. They had their big multiplayer brake in 2004 from Battlefield 2 for the PC. Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Halo are some of the biggest multiplayer games of this generation.
SOLO OR WITH A FRIEND
Next month will mark the arrival of the new systems, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and there will be a new line up of games to play. The Division, Destiny, and Deep Down will be multiplayer only; I can only hope that they will do what Borderlands and Left 4 Dead did allow for solo play. They should have offline modes where you can play whenever you feel like. No matter if you are online or not. The rocky start of Grand Theft Auto Online showed us that online will take a hit with that many people playing. It can be so bad that you cannot play it or worse losing your character progression and never getting it back. With everyone trying to play the new game, even if it is solo, every online only game is going to have a rough start. Even MMOs like World of Warcraft and Everquest had rough moments, even more so when expansion packs came out.
If games had single player the player can learn the game without fear of doing something that will upset a teammate. Alternatively, if the severs are down they can still play the game. If you are like me and do not play online, you can still have all the fun on single player mode. I played Co-Op on Borderlands 2 and had a lot of fun with it, which same feeling of fun was still there for the single player. I would not want to pay seventy for a game that might not work sometimes. At least with single player offline, I can play whenever I feel like it. As the years go by, I can see that there is going to be many games coming out that will have online only. I hope that single player games will not and co-exist with each other. With Grand Theft Auto V grossing a billion dollars and the excitement over Kingdom Hearts III, I do not think single player modes will die out.
I think it is safe to say that everyone wants a Darkwing Duck game, and why not? The setting alone has the potential to be good. You have likely heard this version before, but a Darkwing Duck game that plays like the Batman Arkham series. This would be excellent, but the thing with Darkwing Duck is that he is not much of a fighter. What would it take to make a great Darkwing Duck game? With the success of DuckTales remastered, I think it would be smart to release a remake of the NES game first. This would set up Darkwing Duck to those that did not grow up watching the show. Then, if successful, I think it would be time to tackle the big objective of a great game. Make St. Canard open world. The world of St. Canard is big in itself. In the center of St. Canard has towering buildings that the entire area will see. This would allow for some great missions. If it were up to me, the start of the game would start small. The S.H.U.S.H organization has a new invention that would detect crime happing at that exact moment. This would allow Darkwing Duck to go the crime scene to try to stop the crime or investigate what happened. This would allow for puzzles for Darkwing to solve. He will use the gadgets he made at his disposal; this is where the Arkham influence would kick in.
I AM THE STORY THAT GOES NOWHERE
My story would be that the Fearsome Five would steal S.H.U.S.H’s invention and Darkwing has to stop them before using this device for their own schemes. Each of the Fearsome Five will have missions that are based on that villain. Megavolt will have missions based on the power of the City, The Liquidator would deal with the water and shops, Quackerjack would deal with the objects mostly toys, Bushroot will deal with the plants. Negaduck will overview all of the schemes. This is until the real Negaduck comes to town. I have heard that one of the episodes that was being planned was the Galvanized Negaduck would come and Darkwing and Negaduck would force to work together. This would be an excellent episode and this would come in the start of the game. The Fearsome Five will not be the only villains in the game. A side story will have Steelbeak and Taurus Bulba team up to try to stop Darkwing Duck.
I AM THE VOICE THAT HAUNTS YOUR DREAMS
Because of the nature of the show, the game will not be as violent as the Arkham games, but it will have some action in it. What comes to mind is Stranger’s Wrath. You go around the open world St. Canard and you tag up criminals. Instead of getting money for each criminal you capture, you will get fame. The harder to catch a criminal, the better the fame. The downside is that if you do damage to the city, the less fame you will get. Darkwing Duck’s need of fame has always been a driving force of why he dons a mask. This will not be a game where you need X amount of fame to go to a story mission, but the better the fame, the easier the story missions will be. Considering that he also has Gosalyn and Launchpad at his side, this could lead to some co-op. While having a playable Launchpad could be a bit tricky, he could be a side character that gives you items via palate drops. Gosalyn could easily be Quiverwing Quack and that would be the co-op missions.
I AM DARKWING DUCK
I do not want this to be dark and moody like in the Arkham games. The reason why Arkham games works like that because it fits with the tone of Batman. In Darkwing Duck, I would like a more colorful world. The hardest part about this game is getting the voices. I would love to see everyone come back as his or her respective roles, assuming they are still alive. The one thing that must happen is that Jim Cummings must return as Darkwing Duck and Negaduck.
What I want out of a Darkwing Duck game is something that is fun and stays true to the original series.
You cannot go all crazy without reason. If you do, then all that insanity you have planned goes out the window is it becomes repetitive. Thankfully for Saints Row IV, the crazy antics this game has is fully within reason. After wrapping up a story line from Saints Row The Third, The leader of the Saints becomes President of the United States. As he heads to the Press Lounge to clean up a mess about something he or she said, aliens attack the White House. The alien leader Zinyak kidnaps the President and his or her staff that includes Shaundie, Kenzie, Pierce, Ben King, Vice President Keith David, and a few others. While the story and the situations you a put in are over the top, it is told rather well. All these characters are fleshed out.
The Sweetest Dream Will Never Do
I was honestly surprised how well the story is played out. Saints Row The Third had an OK story, but it was not fully realized. Here in Saints Row IV not only is it realized, but it feels like it even wraps up events that happened in the first two games. I would delve into the loyalty missions, but I do not want to ruin the surprise. While the story is surprisingly good, the game play is why we play these games, and it is a good thing that Saints Row IV plays is great. Saints Row IV drops you off in a virtual Steelport and after some tinkering from Kinzie; you will eventually get super powers. They include super speeds, gliding, fire attacks, and even buff.
These new powers does come with a price, when having your super speed up to max levels, crossing a bridge will cause the frame rate to drop, but only for a couple of seconds. The most annoying thing is that the game will freeze on you a few times. Sometimes the menu will not even load, and you would need to do a hard reset on your system of choice. As annoying as these issues are, it did not stop me from enjoying Saints Row IV. I hope that Volition, the creators of the series, will look into fixing on most of these problems.
Saints Row IV took me nearly 40 hours to do complete. That includes the activities, the challenges, and the missions. The missions can range from main, loyalty, and side. The Side missions are just the activities with context. You do a series of activities and you will unlock things like weapons and better abilities. Most of these activities are fun to do.
You Can Be A Guy Or Girl.
If you played Saints Row before, then you know that mixing your own playlist over Saints Row IV's radio stations is back. Gliding around with Aerosmith's I Don't Want To Miss A Thing is something I did not know I want. As simple and easy as it is, it is one of my favorite moments of gaming this year. I went with songs I know and like. Biz Markie, OutKast, Presidents of the United States, and even Haddaway was in my playlist. The best part is that you do not even need a car to listen to the soundtrack. Which is good because once you get your super sprint ability, the vehicles becomes useless. Once you max out the super sprint ability, you can knock them away causing them to explode.
The same goes for weapons. Except for a few story missions, the weapon I used the most was the Dubstep Gun. It may be a joke, but once you max it out, it is no laughing matter. You can beat most of the game with this one weapon alone. Different skins bring in different tracks. The default track was the one I used. Every gun has a different skin, and the coolest thing about it that a few ties into movies including Aliens and No Country For Old Men. There is even a powerful, hidden gun related to Men in Black.
The big question however. Should you buy it? I would say yes, but not yet. There is 40 hours of content here, but the main story itself is not that long and there is no carry over. You cannot transport your past skill into a new game. This means you would have to find all the clusters all over again if you want to get the most out of your abilities, and there is over 1000 clusters spread throughout Steelport.
If you do end up buying it, please buy it new. While it is perfectly fine to have games like The Last of Us, we all need to remember why we play games to begin with; Fun. It is not perfect, but it is an entertaining game. While most studios want to be serious and be like movies, they seem to forget that movies can be dumb fun also.
The next generation of consoles is looming nearer and nearer, and it feels that there is a shift on what defines Next Gen. Back then, next gen was about hardware and what the systems can do. Now, it is about what this new batch of consoles can do besides gaming. Sony and Microsoft are trying to take the TV landscape. While PlayStation 4 is primarily a game console, they did announce at this year’s E3 that the Sony TV Division, which produces shows like Breaking Bad and Justified, is making shows that they think the gamer would like. It will be up to the fans to decide on which shows continue on or not. Amazon did something like this earlier this year. The PlayStation 4 will have some aspects of TV, but it is nothing, so far, compared to what Microsoft is planning with Xbox One. You can switch apps at the touch of a button. You can have a TV show, a game, and some other apps running at the same time and switch them on the fly. They have even reached a multimillion-dollar deal with the NFL to have a more rich and enhanced way to pertecapte for Fantasy Football. A good portion of the Xbox One’s reveal was about Sports and TV. Most gamers, of at least of what I have seen, hates or does not care about all that. What they do care about are the games. Both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have a solid line up of games. From Quantum Break to The Order: 1886. From Sunset Overdrive to InFamous: Second Son. Both systems have games that show a lot of promise.
NEXT GEN NOW
This does raise a question on what makes next gen next gen. Is it having a more immersed experience like what Microsoft is trying to do with the Kinect? Or is it the social features that Sony is doing with the PlayStation 4. Maybe the hardware design and graphics do it. To me this is what next gen is to me:
On the current gen consoles, Grand Theft Auto 5 is what I would like to see Next Gen do. Have this vast world with many activities to do. The two games I can think of that does something like this is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Destiny. While Destiny does have a MMO type feel to it, it does have the vast worlds to explore. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is trying to have more things to do and have a much bigger map that Skyrim. I have not seen much on all three games, just what they released, they do look better than most Next Gen games. Especially Grand Theft Auto 5 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. They seem to take a scope of a world and expand upon it. While most developers are going to try to the push for high-end 1080p HD graphics and 60 Frames per Second, to me the most important thing is gameplay. No amount of HD graphics and high steady frame rate is going to save you if your game is not good. Recently there was a rumor that the PlayStation 4 needs 3.5GB for the Operating System. Since then an unknown developer has said that this was false and there are indeed games that are using 6GB of the system currently in development.
BITS TO BITS
In its 30-year history since the launch of the original Nintendo, there has been a massive jump of hardware specs. I am not going to claim I know anything about hardware specs. I have no idea what makes DDR3 and GDDR5 so different. Nevertheless, from the past I always used memory as bits. The 8 bits of the original Nintendo, to the 128 bits of PlayStation 2. The PlayStation 3 had 256 bits. This is how I see tech. If Sony and Microsoft had stuck with a somewhat tradition, we would have 512 bit for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Instead, Sony and Microsoft jumped it up to 8GB. It is very possible to say that they needed those gigs to make graphics better. Grand Theft Auto 5, The Last of Us, and Halo 4 all still look stunning in this 256-bit console generation. Even frame rate did its job in 256 bit. It is true that not every game does 60FPS, but games like Call of Duty and Ratchet & Clank showed that it could be done. To me, what make next gen next gen are the vast worlds developers are creating. As for Next Gen games, Destiny is already doing this.
If developers can make a game with 1080p graphics and a rock solid 60fps, that is great. As long as the game does not chug as it does in Blight Town in Dark Souls, I do not care if it is 1080p or 720, 60fps or 30. I only care about if the games are good. I guess what I want most of all is what I have always wanted. Good games that in each generation becomes bigger and bigger as long as they still retain all the fun that I had when I first played them when I was young. Just a fun, vast experience is what I want. It is all that I will ever need.