It's almost December, and you know what that means: Frenzied shopping for your loved ones (and maybe a few things for yourself). Is there someone on your list who you know is a big PlayStation fan, but you're at a loss for what to get them? Don't worry; we got your back. Here are some of the hottest gifts that PlayStation owners will be sure to love.
Are you a western gamer interested in Dead or Alive Xtreme 3? Well then you best get your ass to an import website because it doesn't look like the game will be making it our way.
Even after the publisher said fan demand coul...
Thus far, Sony's South Korea presser has been predictably light on news. Shu has some sweet checkered pants. There was a lengthy dubstep dance routine. Only 3,200 people are watching on Twitch.
PlayStation VR has hogged the s...
PlayStation's holding a press briefing in South Korea right now. It's hard to tell what's happening. People are speaking in Japanese and the show's being translated into Korean. I speak neither of those languages.
The show ki...
After skipping out on gamescom, Sony took center stage at both Tokyo Game Show and Paris Games Week within the past couple months. Those major showings seemingly weren't enough as PlayStation has yet another press briefing up...
A few weeks ago, Eurogamer saw Official Voice of Everybody Ever™ Nolan North perform the voices of a few of his many, many characters. Now, we get the Official Voice of Everybody Nolan North Doesn’t Voice™ ...
[Update: MonkeyPaw Games tells us "those who have the Japanese version will be able to upgrade to English.]
Tomba 2: The Evil Swine Return is making a comeback this week on PlayStation Network.
The sequel wound up being Tomba...
This news is a little bit old because we reported it last week, but now it's confirmed. Super scary horror game Until Dawn is getting an add-on, and that DLC will be playable on PlayStation VR.
The expansion is called&n...
Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet, Tearaway) has shown how its interesting new game, Dreams, works with a live demo of the game in alpha state that included plenty of rat possession.
Every player creates a custom Imp who follo...
Tecmo's Deception: Invitation to Darkness is being re-released on PlayStation Network next week in North America, according to the latest episode of the PlayStation Blogcast.
Ahem. Before we go any further, let me just warn y...
Nathan Drake's voice actor, Nolan North, reckons we don't want to see an Uncharted movie.
In an interview with GamesNewsOfficial, North said that fans are so invested with the Drake we know and love (and lust after - although that might just be me), "no matter who's the star of it," we just don't want a movie.
Today, Sony announced a permanent price cut for the PlayStation 4 in the United States and Canada. The system will be available for $349 USD in the US and $429 CAD in Canada, and will apply to all the upcoming holiday bu...
Street Racquetball, one of the more obscure titles in D3 Publisher's budget-priced Simple series, is coming to PlayStation Network next Tuesday, October 6, as a PSone Classic. Mmm, yes, classic.
In Japan, Street Racquetball&n...
Today, Capcom announced a PSN port for original PlayStation classic Mega Man Legends. It will be re-released next Tuesday for $9.99 and work on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. PSP owners are out of luck, and not just because ...
Friends, Romans, countrymen: lend me your ears. Also, your eyes. I'm going to need your full attention for this one. Give me your other three senses too while we're at it.
Sony kicks off the Tokyo Game Show festivities in a ...
I agree that 20 years of PlayStation in 20 seconds would've been more apropos, but, hey, I don't run the PlayStation Twitter account. And for good reason. It would just be full of tweets like this. Or like this. And no one wants that (clearly).
Anyways, here's that thing I was talking about earlier.
Sep 05 //
Obscure Video Games The game follows a trio of heroes -- a monkey, a pig and a kappa -- on their quest to, uh, kill a bad guy. I'm sure there's a little more to it, but without knowing Japanese or the original story, I can't really tell you. What I can tell you is that the game is a fairly by-the-numbers action platformer where you jump and kill, with each level ending in a boss fight. The monkey sprays a bunch of mini-monkeys, the pig breathes fire, and the kappa throws the plate on his head. All three characters can throw enemies around the screen, which is admittedly quite fun to watch.
What makes-or-breaks a platformer, though, is enemy variety, visual style and boss design. And this game misses on all three counts. There is a very limited selection of enemies, and they are repeated constantly throughout the game. For example, you will get really sick of seeing these little Chinese soldier guys:
As you can see here, the graphics and visual style are both just really bland. It sort of reminds me of the original Gex with its pre-rendered 3D sprites. Occasionally you'll see some nice pixel art in the background, but the developers really cut corners for the most part.
The pharaoh here is typical of the bosses in the game -- cute, but uninspired. They don't have a lot of moves, and they don't require any strategy except hitting them until they blow up. I was having trouble with a few of the bosses until I realized my special attacks could bring them down really fast.
There are only a few cut-scenes in the game, which is good because they are terrible. The squeaky voices made me want to stab my eardrums. Maybe I'm not the intended audience.
If everything I've said so far wasn't enough to turn you off from playing Fuuun Gokuu Ninden, there's one more thing -- the price. Not only is this game extremely rare, but for some reason it's actually in-demand among collectors. Expect to pay about $100 for a complete, used copy. It's not a bad game overall, but it's also not "fuuun" enough to recommend that kind of purchase.
Now watch me fail at trying to kill the final boss:
At least it's not another DBZ game A big part of the fun of doing this column is discovering old games I've never heard of and trying to figure out why they've been forgotten. Sometimes it's because they are terrible, unplayable messes. Other times it's becaus...
WANT TO FEEL OooOoOoOoOoLDDDD?!?!?1 Aqua Teen Hunger Force is a 15 years old television program. Remember television? That humble technology before Snapchat, million view pre-teen Minecraft let's plays, and Super Porn?
PlayStation Experience went through some growing pains for its inaugural show in Las Vegas last year. The spirit of the convention was right, but attendance seemed low, major publishers didn't have much to show, and there we...
[Update: The website has been updated revealing the above trailer for Attack on Titan (working title) for PS3, PS4, and PS Vita coming in 2016. No real gameplay details have been revealed but I noticed when Eren is flyi...
Jul 12 //
Nekoburo - Cats Block (PS Vita, PlayStation TV [Reviewed])Developer: F K Digital Publisher: Neko EntertainmentMSRP: $7.99Released: July 7, 2015
Square alien cats made of electrical waves are passing the Earth when a solar storm strikes, knocking them to the planet. One of the cats gets found by a human female who takes him home and treats him nicely, so he decides to summon his pals through her television to join him living with his new servant. If this somehow related to the gameplay other than featuring said cats, it was never apparent.
Levels consist of a standard falling from the top of the screen match three mechanic, three cats fall from the top of the screen that can be moved left to right and be reordered on a tilted playing field. Each level has a specific quest such as clearing a certain number of cats of a certain color within a timelimit, or surviving for a set amount of time while cats drop quickly. Matching three or more cats of the same color in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line will clear them. Clearing cats also fills up a meter that grants items that help clear the board such as horizontal and vertical bombs, a grid warp that clears a set of nine surrounding blocks, clearing all cats of a single color and a rainbow block that clears the entire board.
Acquiring these items and knowing when to use them are an important part of the game, as each level seemingly has a specific way to complete it. For example, one level has what look to be tofu blocks slowly advancing from the bottom of the screen that can only be cleared with items or clearing cats in horizontal lines. In this level the only real way to complete the level is to constantly build up and use items to keep the middle of the screen cleared, as the middle is the only area that can cause a failure, the other rows don't matter and stack up past the edges of the level with no repurrrrrrcussions.
The levels are laid out in such a way that it forces you to learn the mechanics of the game with no hand holding. One level may require so many vertical bombs to be used to clear it, thus teaching you how to effectively use them, another may require rainbow blocks be detonated which is extremely important in later levels.
After every 10 levels a new cat will materialize through the TV in the human's house, in tow with its own personality, background information and colorful comic. Unfortunately the dialogue and background information is so poorly localized it is basically incomprehensible. I've played a lot of poorly localized games in my day -- looking at you Zero Wing -- but this one was easily the worst. Here are two examples of the awfully translated text: "He hope to become an charming men as chocolate," and "Even though fiery rude, he have sense of justice. He did something that against the grain with him, because think to much."
Nekoburo isn't exactly a hard game as it is random -- or more specifically, the difficulty is mostly due to the random generation of the falling cat blocks. Sometimes, exactly what is required to complete a level will spawn, other times you'll have to work for it. This isn't specific to any level though, so it isn't like the levels are specifically designed to spawn cats in a certain way, at least it seems that way on the surface level. Multiple attempts at the same level will eventually yield positive results, allowing level completion, other times the game just seems to be against you. Though this is the case with most puzzle games, so it isn't exactly a new problem with the genre -- it's just worse here.
Between levels you can customize the apartment with furniture, and play with the cats with toys, both of which are unlocked by completing certain goals attached to them. While the cats are uber cute, this portion of the game left much to be desired; the furniture can't be moved, and the toys aren't exactly fun to play with more than once. One of the toys is turning on the TV for the cats to watch, the screen just lights up white as the cats sit there, not what I'd call a toy or entertaining.
The story mode can be completed in around six or seven hours, mostly due to trial and error. A survival mode is unlocked around half way through the story mode that is just an endless mode that increases in difficulty, much like marathon mode in Tetris. As there are no online leaderboards and the furniture is little more than pallet swaps there is little reason to continue playing once the story mode is finished unless you're a completionist.
The best thing about Nekoburo: Cats Block is the art style; everything is bright, colorful and super adorable, but take that away and you're left with a generic, poorly translated puzzle game with a tilted playing field that doesn't compliment gameplay.
Nekoburo is certainly not the cat's meow.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Pussies I love pussies, my dad loves pussies and my Grand Peppers loved pussies before he met his untimely demise on that trampoline -- RIP Grand Peppers may you continue to love pussies in the afterlife. But, we are all fluent in th...
Xbox boss Phil Spencer said "I think our industry is better when more people who made decisions on games play." Basically meaning executives of gaming companies would make better decisions if they themselves were ga...
I was rooting around YouTubes as one does when a number of (hah) zeros caught my eye: 10,018,000. That was the view count on the PlayStation upload of the Final Fantasy VII remake announcement trailer (there's an additional m...
"I hope this fills your head with questions. That's natural." That's what Media Molecule's Alex Evans had to say about Dreams, the studio's latest project. He nailed it; Dreams has me wondering what the hell it is, whil...
May 30 //
Silent Hill was as much about crumbling economics as it was about night cries and picket fences. Much like Resident Evil’s Raccoon City, the dilapidated lakeside town was undone by greed. America losing its values to modernisation was a recurring theme in survival horror. It was a warning from those whom had lost their own traditions to capitalist growth, not that far removed from the J-Horror zeitgeist at the time.
But more often than not, Silent Hill takes its inspiration from days gone by. Old Silent Hill's influences are worn on street names and ledgers, from Stephen King to Sonic Youth to Psycho. Even the intro pops to the sounds of vinyl, its theme song in equal parts Eastern tremolo and Western twang. These influences come together to create small-town America on the slide, full of “mom & pop” stores and tight-knit suburban mazes.
But rather than a tourist, you’re a trespasser. Horror in all its forms has this element of invasion. Here, Harry Mason breaks into homes, schools, and hospitals, as he searches for his missing daughter. Though the overall plot ends up becoming more about the Otherworld, his parental fears are always at the forefront. Essentially, it's not Harry's story, but Alessa Gilesspie's. As the player, and as Mason, we're the outsiders looking in.
Perception is the key to the story and scares. Memories are skewered to point where friendly faces are misjudged and emotional attachments lead to narrow-minded decisions. Harry falls through the layers of reality, like the waking waves of a bad dream, and sees the town for what it really is.
The Otherworld is an abstract place, clearly a concept that reflects its tortured conduit. What could’ve possibly been a new paradise takes a horrific form because of Alessa's abuse and lack of care by her mother, Dahlia Gilesspie, and Dr. Michael Kaufmann. Later games would force the perspective onto the main protagonist, and at times would suffer for it, but few would capture that “traveller in a foreign land” feel of their predecessor.
It's because of the Otherworld that Silent Hill is relentless and oppressive. It constantly toys with the audience, waiting to take shape, and gradually stripping away the safety nets. Harry is shown to be extremely vulnerable, early on. He stumbles off steps, puts out his hands as he crashes into walls, has to catch his breath, and is a terrible shot. Our first contact with the Otherworld ends in seemingly death. It’s a far cry from the shrug-it-off antics of S.T.A.R.S. or Edward Carnby P.I.
Every attempt is made to obfuscate the audience, either by claustrophobic gaze, location, sounds, or virtual threat. Radio static is both friend and foe; warning us of monsters beyond the flashlight's reach and ramping up the tension just by letting us know that something's there. Ominous, hollow synths give way to industrial noise, punishing and overbearing. Akira Yamaoka’s soundtrack is comparatively brutal to his later work, the kind of unsettling cacophony that would give a pre-Grammy winner John Congleton nightmares. Even at its most calm in the Fog World, the music still sets your teeth on edge.
And yet, by the final act, where reality is in actuality nothingness, Silent Hill does an amazing job of drawing sympathy out of horrific circumstances.
To many, Lisa Garland is the human face of Silent Hill (both town and title), and our perception of her stems from Alessa’s own memories. She’s seen as this kind and selfless nurse that only wants to help, but as we delve deeper, endure and learn, we discover what lies beneath. The bright smile, the homely uniform, and her position of warmth and care, are all her “picket fences.” By the end, we find out Lisa was a drug addict, terrified of her only patient.
Through Harry, she finds the strength to push onwards, only to realise her own fate was already set in stone. Truth shatters the façade, breaks down her body, and we’re confronted with yet another disturbing subject of horror. For Harry, it's too much and he runs away. But for once, instead of the oppressive percussion of Yamaoka’s themes, we’re treated to the melancholic Not Tomorrow. These were people, not monsters.
In a time of hi-five heroics, Silent Hill offered no such compliments. The best ending closes on a bittersweet note. The town is still lost to the Otherworld, though probably not as powerful as it once was, and Harry doesn't quite get his daughter back. In a shot mirroring the intro, and with his cop friend, Cybil Bennett, standing in for his deceased wife, there's the nagging suspicion that for all we've done, it might just happen again.
Sure, we saved a young girl's soul, but we didn't really win anything. Only lessons and traditions were learned. Maybe that was the point, considering the start of this article.
As a game, the first and only PSX release has undoubtedly aged in the last 16 years. But much like the low-budget horror movies and low-fi recordings it emulated, Silent Hill overcame handicap through inventiveness. The Otherworld, the town, the storytelling, they were all informed by thinking outside the box. Everything we know about Silent Hill – every fan theory, every femme fatale characteristic, run-down aesthetic, social commentary, urban quest, childhood memory, occultist lore, and personal demon – stems from this very title.
So it might be a little frayed around the edges, and certain conveyances are needlessly obscure, but for a mainstream horror game that was intended, quite cynically by Konami remember, to chase after that sweet Resident Evil success, it really was a very unique and artistic beast. It's still wonderful to think how something like that could be produced by such a small group of rag-tag developers, left alone to their own devices in a fairly corporate environment.
Of course, though we had survived our first trip through the dark side of Americana, the world had been left open for more lost souls and more horrific layers to come…
What's going on with that radio? Western horror, Eastern eyes. That was what made Silent Hill memorable for a generation. It was visceral and relentless, oppressive and paranoid, and underlined with a tragic tale that hadn’t been seen on the normally e...
Sony's sure taking virtual reality seriously. It wasn't long ago that we weren't completely positive if Project Morpheus was meant for a retail release, or if it were just a research and development project to show off emergi...
We now live in an era where an "exclusive Early Access beta test that can only be obtained by pre-order customers at participating retailers and download the app" is a thing. Whereas demos used to be straight-forward marketin...
This year's E3 will be a bit busier than usual, due to some press conferences we're not used to seeing. Bethesda, Square Enix, and a PC-centric show will all play a part in making the news schedule more hectic than it wo...
May 14 //
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (PS Vita, PS3, PS4 [tested])Developer: Square EnixPublisher: Square EnixReleased: May 12, 2015MSRP: $49.99
In terms of the entire package, the PS4 version is the exact same compilation as the original remaster release. The international versions of both base games, Eternal Calm, Last Mission, and the super weird audio drama are all here. Nothing in terms of gameplay content was added or removed. However, there appears to be an alteration or a major bug affecting FFX's random number generation.
People even more keen than myself on FFX have noticed the RNG system is completely broken in the PS4 version. Random encounters and events are supposed to be, well, random. However, this is no longer the case in this version. Encounters always occur when they are supposed to, they will always have the same enemies, and the battles will always play out exactly the same way. No matter how many times the game is reset, the occurrence and outcome of encounters or events that involve the RNG system are set in stone.
This has a drastic affect in key aspects of the game. Say you're having trouble on a specific boss, and if you could just land that twenty-second hit it would change the tide of battle for you. Well, the bad news is on the PS4 version you're always going to miss that twenty-second hit as it stands. Additionally, this changes ribbon farming, blitzball, and likely everything else that involves RNG. I couldn't test every aspect of this, but I could easily predict down to the second when my first battle against two Chimera would occur during one of my saves in the Calm Lands. I could have tracked this up to as many subsequent "random" encounters as I wished. I checked the exact same save file on PS3, and encounters were always random. FFX-2 does not appear to have this problem.
A major complaint of the PS3 and Vita release was the new rearranged soundtrack. It seemed a lot of people simply outright hated its existence, whereas others would have at least preferred the choice to switch to the original soundtrack. Thankfully, players now have that option at any point during their playthrough. I actually really enjoyed the remaster soundtrack, but on my current playthrough it's been nice to use the original. It sounds amazing. The Besaid Village theme in particular sounded the best even back in 2001. Unfortunately, the background music system also has a major bug in the PS4 release.
Background music on the PS2, PS3, and Vita versions continued playing where the track left off once a battle occurred, but now this is no longer the case. For a game like FFX that has a ton of random encounters, you will likely only ever hear the first ten or twenty seconds of a track unless you stop and listen to the music. It appears to have to do with how the soundtrack switching system was implemented, affecting both FFX and FFX-2. The soundtracks sound amazing, which makes this bug so unfortunate. Hopefully it can easily be fixed in a future patch.
Cross-Save was a great feature of the PS3 and Vita version, and it's been extended here for the PS4 version. Once a particular game is fired up, all old saves that were stored in the cloud previously can be accessed just as quickly and easily as before. It took me less than a few minutes to install the game, start up Final Fantasy X, load a save from awhile back, and instantly pick up right where I had left off at that point. That's pretty cool.
The PS4 version of the remaster has even more enhanced visuals, which is pretty amazing considering how incredible and smooth the game looked on PS3. To check this, I started a fresh playthrough on both consoles on the same television and played them alongside each other. The PS4 does have a slight graphical enhancement overall, but I really only noticed it because I was looking for it. There's a sort of extra crispness to the PS4 version, and the occasional aliasing issues that were still on the PS3 version are gone here. It's not a major overhaul, but the improvements are there.
Additionally, Square claims more NPCs and monsters received enhanced models. I didn't notice any of these in my current playthrough (it's really hard to just stumble upon these without knowing specifically which were enhanced), but seeing poor-looking character models in the same scenes with enhanced ones was a big complaint, so it's nice to know this was addressed in some fashion.
However, some other major complaints were not addressed at all. Cutscenes, for whatever reason, are still not skippable and there's no option to toggle between the old character models and the remastered ones. These types of things don't detract from my experience, but they were definitely huge complaints upon release last year, and it's unfortunate they weren't taken care of here. Some of those cutscenes are really long, man.
As is stands, the PlayStation 4 version of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster is not the definitive version of the compilation. Even for super fans of Final Fantasy X, it's hard to recommend a version of their favorite game that has broken RNG, a background music bug, and still no skippable cutscenes no matter how beautiful the game looks or how incredibly fast it loads now. With an MSRP of $50 it's also a really hard sell to a brand-new player when the other two versions are currently so much cheaper, even more so if they already own one of those two versions (especially since they launched at $40).
The PS3 version does lack the original soundtrack, but other than that it offers the truest experience of Final Fantasy X and X-2. If you must have it on PS4 or that's your only option, I'd honestly recommend waiting for the RNG and background music issues to hopefully be patched soon and the inevitable price drop. If those two major issues are ever fixed, the PlayStation 4 version of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster would easily be the definitive package.
Spira never felt so good Barely over a year after its original release on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster makes its way to the PlayStation 4. A remaster of a remaster, if you will. However, the original releas...
Remember when the PlayStation TV was selling for $99.99 back around its October 2014 release date? Well now it's all the way down to $39.99 today in a seemingly random half price deal at GameStop.
PlayStation TV is $39....
KeithTheGeek Woke up to find the qposts filled with favorite pokemon. I'm gonna be that guy and say his favorite is Charizard. Too lazy to go dig up a picture, but I don't have to. Yall already know what he looks like.Shinta CONTROVERSY: I'm playing Ninja Gaiden Black right now and the truth of the matter is that Ninja Gaiden 2 is the better game. The combat is just so much better, and the pacing is as well. NGB is still a 10/10 to me though. NGB's combat is just alot slowerSir Shenanigans Since I was a lad who actually followed Pokemon, Scyther was green and sharp and cut his way to my little heart, where he remains today.JohnSmith123 Hmm. I unlocked something called Balam. I wonder what that i-oh. OHHHHH.Jinx 01 Always respect your waifu. And never have more than one, polyamory is bad mkayEdgyDude Just realized Deadpool releases this week and started praying it doesn't suck.Solar Pony Django You guys probably already know this but Feraligatr is my favorite Pokemon.JPF720 Proudly stand as (possibly) the only person whose favorite Pokémon is this guy
Scrustle Haven't cared about Pokemon in about 10 years, but I used to like this guy.Oridan Hello, here is a pokémon that I like.Jed Whitaker And another one. And another one. And another one.
You smart.ooktar When did the Waifu War turn into a Pokemon debate?Fuzunga I think about this a lot for some reason. Parismio This is a PSA: Never trust anyone who doesn't wet their toothpaste before brushing their teeth! Those people are clearly evil and their waifus are probably shit too!Lawman Going back to Gravity Rush, I think I forgot how much I love it. The visuals, the interesting designs, the dreamy music, likable characters, and of course, just floating all over the place like it's no big thing. It blends together so well.Gamemaniac3434 One of my personal favorite pokemon. taterchimp I had a rough night and I hate the fucking Eagles, manNiwannabe Okay, here's one last Fuck, Marry, Kill to determine the truest of waifus. Donald Trump, Jed, Dreamweaver. Go.BaronVonSnakPak I don't normally bitch about life on the internet, but I need to vent. It's been a REALLY shitty week. Hopefully life's been treating my fellow 'toiders better.Torchman Mandatory reading