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PS4

Review: Unravel

Feb 08 // Caitlin Cooke
Unravel (PC, Xbox One, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: Coldwood InteractivePublisher: Electronic ArtsReleased: February 9, 2016MSRP: $19.99 Unravel’s story begins with an elderly woman making her way up to bed as Yarny, the game’s darling protagonist made from red yarn, comes to life downstairs. His adventure begins just outside of the cottage, roaming through the garden and into the beyond in search of lost memories made by the family that once inhabited the house, unraveling himself along the way. Yarny is able to roam freely throughout the cottage, a landing area for the ten chapters in the game which are accessed through framed pictures. Each photo transports our hero to the area it was taken where he encounters fragments of lost family memories, pictures frozen in time. At the end of each chapter he places the memories into a photo album that starts to come to life, weaving pictures into a story. [embed]339641:62166:0[/embed] To capture all the memories you guide Yarny through various terrain and strategize on how to make it past obstacles without unraveling him too much, as he only has limited amounts of yarn before reaching another spool. At first the game throws a lot of yarn techniques and mechanics at you quickly, but with time they start to become second nature. Coming up with clever solutions using environmental props along with grappling, swinging, climbing, rappelling, and tying knots for points of resistance are key to making it through. The yarn puzzles are fairly easy to figure out without being too simple -- each task is fairly small and broken up, not requiring long chains of thought but at the same time being challenging enough to feel rewarded when making it through. There were a few areas I was stuck on for longer than I’d like, but for the most part I found them to be fun and clever. Surprisingly, the levels never felt repetitive and the game was kept fresh by experimenting with the yarn’s mechanics in new environments. Outside influences also give a bit of flavor, requiring additional thought behind the puzzles -- for example, landslides, animal chases, and active machinery all play additional parts to the game beyond the yarn. Because the yarn is finite and will stop unraveling if you use too much, being cautious with solutions is critical to making it past obstacles. Yarny will get visibly distressed and emaciated if you pull too far away -- but don’t worry, you won’t kill him, he just won’t stretch any farther. If you find yourself in a particular bind (literal or no) you are able to reset back to the last save point by holding the down button. This is an extremely useful and necessary feature as it is quite possible to accidentally get yourself in an unsolvable situation. Spools act as save points along with providing the additional thread, and are fairly regular throughout the levels, however there are some small stretches that can wear thin if you’re not careful and make too many mistakes. Unravel as a whole is a whimsical and endearing adventure, pulling you further into the atmosphere through the intricate textures and bright effects. In one of my favorite levels you make your way through a snowy farm, rolling pine cones to make snowballs. The environment was so realistically captured and joyful that I felt I was right there with Yarny rolling around in the snow. Textures and light within the environment are slightly exaggerated, but in that magical way that makes fond memories stand out brighter. Everything from a log to a puddle comes to life beyond what’s contained in reality, almost like watching the most beautiful sceneries replay in your head. There’s a certain sadness to the experience that I can’t quite explain, perhaps lost nostalgia and a lingering familial longing that tugs at the heartstrings. It’s not necessarily "sad" or depressing in the traditional sense, but a thoughtful tale that brings forth various emotions throughout that will vary depending on the player’s personal history and connection to the story. These emotions are certainly drawn out even further by the sepia tones and lovely violin accompaniment, along with the self-discovering nature of the game. Unravel cherishes the best moments in life while recognizing the hard battles we sometimes face as families, all wrapped up within delightful gameplay and stunning scenery. The atmosphere is so compelling that I couldn’t help but feel like a piece of my own story was wrapped up in the game with the rest of the photo album. It’s rare but a special thing when a game manages to impart a story that touches strings deep in the heart, and Unravel manages to meet and exceed this feat. Get ready to have all the feels. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Unravel review photo
Simply beautiful
At first glance Unravel feels akin to Little Big Planet with its adorably miniature yarn-clad mascot, but don’t let it fool you. It’s a heartfelt story with little communication beyond imprinted memories, woven wi...

The Division photo
The Division

Ubisoft deliberately keeping PC version of The Division 'in check' with consoles


PCMR 4EVA
Feb 08
// Vikki Blake
Ubisoft has intentionally kept the PC version of The Division "in check" with the console editions. While the PC version will be have a greater range of graphical settings, the developer has also introduced some PC-like ...
Battalion 1944 photo
Battalion 1944

Is it about time to revive the WW2 shooter?


Apparently so
Feb 07
// Kyle MacGregor
Years ago, World War II shooters were everywhere. Then the bubble burst. Activision, EA, and all the pretenders trained their sights on more contemporary settings, quickling transitioning series like Call of Duty, Medal of Ho...
Titanfall photo
Titanfall

Report: Titanfall 2 will include single-player mode


Retelling American war stories in space
Feb 07
// Kyle MacGregor
Titanfall 2 hasn't been revealed yet, but a sequel to Respawn Entertainment's 2014 shooter is in the works and is planned for release "sometime late this year or early next," according to the series' lead writer Jesse St...

Street Fighter photo
Street Fighter

It looks like Street Fighter V whitewashed Sean


From Sean Combs to Sean Astin
Feb 07
// Jonathan Holmes
Though we likely won't know for sure until the full game is released on February 16th, right now it appears that Brazilian Street Fighter III brawler and little brother to Street Fighter V's Laura has gone through a radi...
PS4 photo
PS4

Bit.Trip Runner2 jumps to PS4 this month


Cross-buy with Vita version
Feb 07
// Kyle MacGregor
Runner2 is coming to PlayStation 4 on February 23, Choice Provisions has announced. The auto-run platformer will support cross-buy compatibility with the Vita port Choice Provisions released a couple years ago. Unfortunately,...
Song of the Deep photo
Song of the Deep

Thirsty for details about Song of the Deep? Drink up this video


Not my best headline
Feb 06
// Zack Furniss
Us folks at Destructoid didn't attend PAX South this year, so we've been keeping our collective eyes on any information that continues to dribble out now that it's over. Windows Central attended the event, and was able t...
DCUO cross-play photo
DCUO cross-play

DC Universe Online rolls out cross-platform play


PS3, PS4, and PC
Feb 06
// Jordan Devore
As of this week, DC Universe Online now supports cross-platform play between PC, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. That means you'll be able to play alongside folks who own the game on a different platform, "including in grou...

Review: A Boy and His Blob

Feb 06 // Brett Makedonski
A Boy and His Blob (Linux, PC, Mac, PS4, PS Vita, Wii, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: WayForward TechnologiesPublisher: Majesco EntertainmentReleased: October 13, 2009 (Wii), January 20, 2016 (Re-released on other platforms)MSRP: $9.99 WayForward's take on A Boy and His Blob is intentionally vague and that's possibly its best quality. In an opening sequence reminiscent of EarthBound, a child is woken in the middle of the night to a crash outside his window. After a brief bout of exploration, Blob is discovered. From there, it's just adventuring for the sake of adventuring, and saving the world for the sake of saving the world. Blob is billed as the greatest asset, a shapeshifter who can perform about a dozen different functions. For example, Boy feeds Blob a jellybean and Blob turns into an anvil. Or a soccer ball. Or a trampoline. Over the course of 40-some levels, variations of this sequence play out hundreds (maybe thousands) of times as the main function of this puzzle platformer. You wouldn't think it from the game's title, but Blob is actually a tertiary character. If it were named more accurately, this would be called A Boy and His Jellybean Wheel. A disconcerting amount of time is spent in a time-frozen state clumsily navigating a menu of the level's eight-or-so pre-assigned jellybeans. After a jellybean is thrown and Blob (hopefully) performs his duties, it's only a matter of seconds until you're forced to again pull up that menu. That process sucks the life out of A Boy and His Blob. Even though most of the game's levels are notably short, they often feel like arduous endeavors because the pace grinds to a crawl. Puzzle solutions are usually easily identifiable -- in fact, there are often giant signs pointing out the answer -- but their execution is needlessly slow and sluggish. [embed]338372:62152:0[/embed] Making matters worse, there are many many instances when Blob simply won't do what you want. Blob has a tendency to shift shapes just ever-so-slightly not quite where intended. It's annoying at first, but becomes a detriment in later levels. That combined with stiff and unresponsive platforming controls often leads to starting the section over from scratch.  And, that's all when Blob is actually on-screen. It's not uncommon for Blob to be missing altogether, either because it was left behind or it hopped into an abyss. When this happens, the game would like for the balloon jellybean to be tossed, causing Blob to eventually float to your position. Mercifully, however, there's a call button that can just be impatiently pressed over and over until it balloons your way automatically, slowly but surely. What A Boy and His Blob has on its side are intangibles, of sorts. They're plucky attributes that significantly and understatedly enhance a game, but don't necessarily make a game. For instance, there's no denying A Boy and His Blob's innocent aesthetic, unspoken emotion, or charming spirit. Those are the qualities that make the game more tolerable than it would otherwise be. Without much option of anything besides leaning on the NES version's method of using Blob (a non-playable character) as the means of gameplay execution, WayForward's take on A Boy and His Blob is frustratingly imprecise and inaccurate. But, by deviating a bit and adding the jellybean wheel, it killed any momentum and turned the game into a slog. That is truly the worst of both worlds. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
A Boy and His Blob review photo
Blah-b
A Boy and His Blob, a 2009 "re-imagining" of the NES game of the same namesake (and recently re-released on current platforms), is an interesting case study. When does retro game design and a devotion to source material becom...

The hardcore Destiny community forgets why we play

Feb 06 // Darren Nakamura
There are a lot of possible answers to that question, but the most common among the hardcore players is because they are not at the maximum light level, or don't have every piece of exotic gear. Basically, they're in it for the stuff. This isn't some mindblowing revelation. Bungie has employed specific knowledge of human psychology in order to hook people into the loop. It's a classic Skinner box through and through, and Bungie wants players to keep hitting that lever for the chance at getting a food pellet. This is even more apparent now that Bungie has shifted to its limited-time events. I read a sentiment about the Sparrow Racing League from late last year that paraphrases to "I play SRL because the loot drops are high and frequent." More recently, Iron Banner Rift has seen players manipulating the Mercy Rule to intentionally throw matches and get to the end-of-game rewards more quickly. The problem with this mindset is that it treats the game like work. As players, we should be saying "I want to engage with this content because it is entertaining," not "I want to get to the end of this content as quickly as possible because my number might go up." I played a decent bit of SRL when it was around because the racing was a nice change of pace to the usual shooting. I played the most recent Iron Banner because Rift is my strongest game type and I knew I'd enjoy the process. I run King's Fall because it's a great feeling coordinating six Guardians into a well-oiled machine. Heck, I will still run the old raids, Vault of Glass and Crota's End, despite that they drop useless rewards. I play Destiny for the intrinsic value. I play Destiny because it is entertaining. When you treat a game like it's a job, then the saltiness comes out. Farming materials for the exotic sword quest is a good example. If you view it as an item on a checklist and try to power through it as quickly as possible, you're in for a bad time. Sure, you can mainline material routes for four hours straight to get it, but it'll be a boring four hours. Instead, I would go on Patrol, grab a few materials, participate in public events, kill some Taken champions, and head back to orbit when I felt like doing something else. It probably took me twice as long over multiple days to finish farming, but that was eight hours of enjoying myself instead of four hours of hating the world. The economics here are clear: if you play only for the reward at the end, you rob yourself of the enjoyment throughout. I implore players: divorce yourself from the reptilian part of your brain that is so susceptible to Destiny's operant conditioning. If you ever find yourself playing because you feel you have to rather than because you want to, ask yourself, "Am I enjoying this?" If you find yourself more interested in the reward at the end than the content in which you use the reward, ask yourself, "Is this worth it?" If your answers to those questions are no, there's no shame in finding something else to do, inside the world of Destiny or outside of it. Never forget the reason we play in the first place: to have fun.
Destiny opinion photo
Forget chasing loot for once
I've been playing a lot of Destiny lately -- late to the party, I know -- and going deep into the rabbit hole almost requires players to frequent r/DestinyTheGame or some other similar community site. Without it, I'd never kn...

Contest: Win a copy of Nitroplus Blasterz

Feb 06 // Kyle MacGregor
[embed]339227:62151:0[/embed]
Contest photo
Four PS4 codes up for grabs
The localization team at XSEED Games has generously given Destructoid four PlayStation 4 codes for the studio's excellent new fighting game Nitroplus Blasterz to give away you fine people.  For a chance to win ...

Tomorrow Children photo
Tomorrow Children

The Tomorrow Children beta returns this weekend


The only 'big game' I care about
Feb 05
// Jordan Devore
I attempted to play the recent beta for The Tomorrow Children only to realize that, darn it, I was a few hours too late. After going through the brief tutorial section, I rode on a subway that was supposed to run to a town wi...
TrackMania photo
TrackMania

TrackMania Turbo hits PC and consoles in March


Back on the radar you go
Feb 05
// Jordan Devore
At some point during the past several months, TrackMania Turbo slipped off my radar. Which is a shame, because it looks super good. You can air-drop from a helicopter into a race and drive upside down on magnetic rollercoaste...
H1Z1 photo
H1Z1

H1Z1 is becoming two separate games


'King of the Kill' and 'Just Survive'
Feb 05
// Jordan Devore
Daybreak plans to split up its multiplayer zombie survival game H1Z1 on February 17, 2016. It's becoming two titles: H1Z1: Just Survive, an apocalyptic open-world experience with the usual scavenging and crafting, and H1Z1: K...

Review: Tachyon Project

Feb 05 // Chris Carter
Tachyon Project (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One)Developer: Eclipse GamesPublisher: Eclipse GamesReleased: July 15, 2015 (PC, Xbox One), Jan 19, 2016 (PS4)MSRP: $9.99 Tachyon, as the name probably suggests, is housed upon a foundation that involves a cheesy cyberpunk hacking plot. Players are placed into a dystopian future of sorts, hacking police stations and corrupt governments by way of a tiny ship. In a way, it's kind of like the setup for the Sly Cooper spinoff Bentley's Hack Pack, but a lot more serious. And really, there is a bit of charm there, especially if you dig the cyberpunk aesthetic. I commend Eclipse Games for trying something other than the "menu to shooting" approach, and it helps ground the campaign a bit and give the whole affair meaning. Some light commentary during missions also helps make things interesting while you're blasting away. The soundtrack, like the story, has a muted, chill feeling to it, which I dig. While Happy Hardcore songs during bullet hell dodging is great, I like the low key electronica soundtrack here, as it meshes well with the game's dark hues and not-too-bright neon visuals. Gameplay-wise, Tachyon operates on a twin-stick control method, with two sets of power-ups mapped to two buttons. That's all you really need to know, and once you start progressing on your journey, more options will open up. The shooting bits in general work well, and I like how using your normal cannon has a recoil effect (but not jarringly so) -- forcing players to course correct and get to know their ship a bit better. Players can also min-max stats by choosing a new chassis to suit their own style of play. I'm more of the defensive health-conscious player myself. Levels primarily stay engaging because of interesting enemy types. It's mostly stuff you've seen before, but black holes that suck up bullets, kamikaze ships, and generally aggressive AI will keep you on your toes. It's also easy to tell everything apart and identify its logic, so you don't have to constantly guess what a specific enemy type is. Tachyon Project isn't a remarkable shooter, but it's well-designed on several levels. There's no multiplayer to speak here, but with a decent campaign, lots of customization, and New Game+/Endless modes, you'll be perfectly fine going at it solo. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Tachyon Project photo
Hackin' like Jonny Lee Miller
While the shoot 'em up genre isn't the king it once was, more and more gems are coming out every passing year. New development studios are taking to Steam and mobile, and even Cave is coming out of the woodwork to become rele...

Tekken 7 photo
Tekken 7

Tekken 7 Retribution updates Steven 'Don't Call Him Steve' Fox's outfit


Oh and Akuma has an EX meter
Feb 05
// Chris Carter
Bandai Namco has provided a ton of new screens for Tekken 7 Retrbution, their update of sorts to the base game, and it gives us a few new looks at characters like Paul, Hwoarang, Devil Jin, Alisa, and of course, Fox. Interest...
Dragon Ball photo
Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball Xenoverse sold the most in America


Europe was second
Feb 05
// Chris Carter
Europe may love its One Piece, but North America loves its Dragon Ball. Bandai Namco has shared the sales statistics for Dragon Ball Xenoverse, and they clock in at a massive 3.13 million copies shipped. Shipped, sold, whatev...
Destructoid Rocket League photo
SW33T!
Mr. Destructoid has been around for almost 10 years now (!!), and in that time his cold steel frame has graced a few video games. First there was Bomberman Live, then came Raskulls and BurgerTime World Tour. Heck, the green m...

Destiny photo
Destiny

Bungie makes several interesting changes to Destiny PvP matches


Changing the Crucible
Feb 05
// Vikki Blake
Bungie’s weekly update has been rebranded This Week at Bungie… and that’s not the only change coming from the Destiny developer this week. There are two new Crucible playlists headed our way - Freelanc...
Grand Theft Auto Online photo
Grand Theft Auto Online

GTA Online is still making shedloads of money


So don't expect a new GTA game just yet
Feb 05
// Vikki Blake
If you thought the hype around Grand Theft Auto V - and specifically, the multiplayer component GTA Online - was over, think again. Addressing an earnings briefing (via Gamespot), CEO of Rockstar’s publisher Take-Two sa...
Tribute Games photo
Tribute Games

Ninja Senki DX looks mega good, man


Releasing February 23
Feb 04
// Jordan Devore
Tribute Games is bringing Ninja Senki DX to PC, PS4, and PS Vita on February 23. This is an expanded version of a rather good freeware action game from 2010, which, from our prior coverage, it sounds like a number of us have ...
Gray blue PS4 photo
Gray blue PS4

This limited-edition Uncharted 4 PS4 is $400


That controller, though
Feb 04
// Jordan Devore
Sony is preparing a limited-edition 500GB PlayStation 4 bundle in time for the release of Uncharted 4 on April 26, 2016. The console is gray blue, with a touch of gold lettering on the front that says "Sic Parvis Magna" (grea...

F.A.N.G is a poopy pigeon in Street Fighter V

Feb 04 // Steven Hansen
[embed]338701:62136:0[/embed] You see the above image of F.A.N.G seemingly flapping about with his giant sleeves? He does that. Homie will literally go airborne and carpet bomb the entire horizontal plane with poison bombs like an awkward pigeon dropping shits on businessmen. Actually I love everything about F.A.N.G's movement, not just a special that looks like you modded a humanoid character model rigged onto a small bird's animations. Even his walk is a Looney Tunes style creep complete with hunched shoulders and craned arms like a goofy t-rex or Montgomery Burns. What I love less is my inability to use the character to annoy people. You see, F.A.N.G is a charge character, requiring second-long maintained button presses in various directions to properly execute moves and my slow ass just plays Ken in Third Strike so I'm screwed. Look at this hieroglyphic shit.  The only "charge characters" I want to know about are the digits of the credit cards I steal. The good news? I performed admirably with Chun-Li after years of disuse, enjoyed the hell out of Laura (like souped up Yoga Bro Ken and Chun-Li, her kicks are dynamite). Actually, question: is it more or less racist if F.A.N.G isn't Chinese? Because he looks like an XCOM Thin Man, but when I was playing as Chun-Li she noted that his favorite number, 2, was not written out in proper Chinese characters on his shirt and questioned if he's really Chinese at all. We might just have a really big Mickey Rooney Breakfast at Tiffany's fan who really wants to blow Bison for some reason.
First hands-on with FANG photo
Plus move list because I can be helpful
I know what you're thinking with Street Fighter V (PS4, PC) less than two weeks from release: everything is mined. There was the big reveal that Arcade mode will have standard text and art stories to be followed by a post-lau...

Odin Sphere photo
Odin Sphere

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir hits Europe in June


Same as North America
Feb 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Vanillaware's Odin Sphere remake is coming to Europe this June, NIS America just announced. The PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita action RPG will be available both at retail and via the PlayStation Store with...
Rocky Horror Far Cry Show photo
Rocky Horror Far Cry Show

Far Cry Primal does the Time Warp


Oh, fantasy free me
Feb 04
// Brett Makedonski
Far Cry Primal has a new trailer and it's really well-produced. It's a reverse look at some of the major eras of combat in human history, all culminating in a showdown with a CGI sabretooth tiger. But, it also reminded me of "Time Warp," and now I've been listening to that all morning long. It's just a jump to the left, then a step to the right...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft is overhauling its website with some new features


Haha, the current site is classic
Feb 04
// Chris Carter
I still remember buying Minecraft in 2009, and the original site really hasn't changed all that much. But Mojang (and thus, Microsoft) has really been making strides since the acquisition, finally releasing the game on W...
Metal Gear Fallout photo
Metal Gear Fallout

Oh my god this Metal Gear mod for Fallout 4 is great


Skull Face
Feb 04
// Chris Carter
The best part of Fallout games are often the mods. And with the settlement system and the texture packs involved, there have been some really great ones for Fallout 4. This one made me laugh repeatedly though, as the "Al...
Mirror's Edge photo
Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge Catalyst is getting a closed beta, and you can register now


Then buying won't be a leap of Faith
Feb 04
// Brett Makedonski
Before Mirror's Edge Catalyst releases on May 24, you have an opportunity to take it for a test drive and kick the wheels a little bit. Well, "test run" might be a more appropriate term considering this game is all about...
Street Fighter V photo
Street Fighter V

Capcom will host a livestream event for Street Fighter V on the heels of its launch


Presentation on February 10
Feb 04
// Chris Carter
Street Fighter V is nearly here after months of hype and beta testing, but Capcom isn't done promoting it just yet. The publisher has announced that they will hold a special presentation event on February 10, which basically ...
Toukiden photo
Toukiden

Toukiden 2 looks, well, like this


Devilishly good-looking
Feb 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Toukiden 2 was announced at Tokyo Game Show last fall, but little else has been revealed about Omega Force's upcoming demon-hunting game in the months since then.  That is, until now. Koei Tecmo has opened the open-world...

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