Category: Culture

It’s Free! on PlayStation Store for November 27th

It's Free! on PlayStation Store for November 27th

I look at the PlayStation Store every week out of my own curiosity so why wouldn’t I pass on the word about some free junk?! Let’s sort that page by “price: lowest to highest” and see what’s bubbled up for the week of November 27th.

Avatars & Themes
As expected, there’s a bunch of free avatar icons and themes in the mix. Cat Quest recently launched on PlayStation 4 and the team at PQUBE have released five cute avatar icons and one ruggedly handsome mustachioed cat sailor to celebrate. If you feel the need to redecorate your dashboard on the cheap this week there’s a free static theme from PAYDAY 2 and even a free flashy dynamic theme to celebrate Rez Infinite’s one-year anniversary. Hey, happy birthday Rez Infinite!

 

It's Free! on PlayStation Store for November 27th

Demos & Add-Ons
If you’re one of the people who still uses SHAREfactory to edit clips on PlayStation 4 and you aren’t totally disgusted with Star Wars Battlefront II then there’s a free video package to play around with in the app. I don’t know, add some Star Wars themed stickers and transitions to your rant videos about lootboxes or whatever.

If you’d rather play some games there are two new demos to grab: one for Destiny 2 and one for Steep: Road to the Olympics which is actually a “beta” version of the full game coming December 5th. You can also get a serious boost in Titanfall 2 with a free Jump Start Add-On that basically unlocks everything and gives you some Experience boosts. I haven’t kept up with the game at all but this sounds a little desperate to me. Meanwhile, I’m not sure if it’s desperation or if Sega finally understands Sonic fans but they’ve got free “Sanic” t-shirts for Sonic Forces this week. Given the way those custom characters look this is literally a memes-on-memes situation.

 

It's Free! on PlayStation Store for November 27th

Free Games!
“Arcade Never Dies!” proclaims the description of Knights of Valour, the extremely peculiar free-to-play adaptation of the 1999 arcade brawler. No, it’s not my long-prophesied virtual token, instead the designers at the dubiously named studio, Games in Flames, are counting on you to buy $5 and $10 packs of reforging stones to buff up your gear or $15 to straight unlock characters. Alongside the game there’s a free pack of junk for PlayStation Plus members to dull the microtransaction sting if you do decide to jump in.

It’s pretty wild: taking an old arcade game and retooling it with modern free-to-play hooks. I’m not expecting to fall into its trap but I’m interested to see how they turn an hour-long arcade game into a grueling grindfest. The whole Dynasty Warriors/Three Kingdoms style also has me on board. Isn’t Dynasty Warriors 9 here yeeeeet?!

*All titles are for North America unless specifically noted.
Availability probably varies wildly depending on your region.

Happy Thanksgaming from GameLuv!

Happy Thanksgaming from GameLuv!

~ May your autosaves be fresh and your load times be fast ~

Dana asked me to whip up a “video game Thanksgiving” wallpaper for her this weekend and the image that came to mind was simple: a traditional illustration of a pilgrim gathering with a big ol’ Castlevania wall meat centerpiece. I’m happy to say that it turned out just as I pictured but I forgot to save the image and only pasted it into our Facebook chat.

I wasn’t happy with Facebook’s compression when I copied it back out so I spent a bit more time on the version here to make it our official (and inaugural) GameLuv Thanksgivinggaming wallpaper. To all those partaking in the holiday, Happy Thanksgiving from the GameLuv crew. And to everyone else, Happy [DAY OF THE WEEK]!

P.S. Click the image or this link for the full-sized 1920×1080 wallpaper.

These Kinect-free re-releases are a little sad

 

These Kinect-free re-releases are a little sad

I don’t know if it’s liberating or disappointing for Frontier Developments to see their premiere Kinect titles retooled for controllers and re-released to puff up the Xbox lineup. For me it’s totally liberating as I was eager to start both games but quickly tired of recalibrating the Kinect and feeling my arms go limp after pretend petting elephants.

But Frontier was on par with Rare when it came to their dedication to Kinect. They weren’t just shoveling out titles to cash in on the fizzling motion control fad. Frontier put some real heart into the darling little Kinect launch title Kinectimals and expanded on it With Bears!. It was the wholesomeness of Kinectimals that I feel landed them the chance to combine their love of amusement park sims with the most beloved amusement park of all: Disneyland.

Again, they could’ve done the cashgrab and slapped a fresh coat of paint (and Mickey bars) on their Thrillville engine. But from what I remember they put as much love into Cinderella’s dress as they had the doe-eyed Kinectimals. Then they became one of the few studios going all-in on Kinect for Xbox One where they combined all their past experience and expertise for Zoo Tycoon.

Four years later, Microsoft has finally given up on Kinect and set their internal teams on Frontier’s founding titles to make them 100% less demanding to play. Now Kinect Disneyland Adventures and Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection (alongside Rush: A DisneyPixar Adventure, not from Frontier) are available for $30 and are Play Anywhere compatible on PC and Xbox One. Like I said, it’s great news for gamers — those who skipped the titles because of Kinect or are just now coming to Xbox looking for family-friendly fun — but I can’t help feeling a little remorse for all of Frontier’s efforts as well.

Nintendo grows its Fashion Brand with Forever 21, Shu Uemura

Nintendo grows its Fashion Brand with Forever 21, Shu Uemura

Now more than ever, Nintendo isn’t just in the business of making video games, it’s a b-r-a-n-d brand, “lifestyle” style. Sure, we had breakfast cereals and Happy Meal toys in the 80’s but even my wildest, sugar-addled hallucinations couldn’t have dreamed up $500 Super Mario cosmetics, Mario Kart bodysuits, Metroid cropped belly shirts or a Game Boy clutch. But that’s the world we find ourselves in, one where Nintendo is reaching just as far into fashion and cosmetics as it does into die-cast cars and action figures.

There’s loads to be said about what this all means to society and our acceptance of brands in place of individual personality but I’ll leave that to people much smarter than me. Instead I’m just going to post another gallery of Nintendo products from Forever 21 and Shu Uemura that I personally thought inconceivable until I saw them. Check it out below and look back on our last round of Nintendo fashions from LeSportsac and Uniqlo earlier in the year.

My favorite time in MMOs: Halloween

Jack O Lantern ArcheAge

I’m not a big MMO gamer. I played a bunch of ArcheAge and loved it, and I have played a few free ones on console like Neverwinter. I played Final Fantasy XIV on my PC for a while, but when I tried to activate the same account to play on PlayStation 4 instead, it said my birth date was wrong. I recently started over at what I consider the best time of the year in MMO games, Halloween!  I love Halloween more every year in general, partly because more stores such as Target are supplying the gothic style decor I want. I also love the Disney Haunted mansion ride if that frames this better.

Back to ArcheAge, the first MMO I really dug into.  I have a fond memory of decorating the house Shawn and I had with our friend MinKyung.  I thought I had photos of that, but I only found one.  I did get very nostalgic looking through all the posts on my tumblr though.  Good times.

Decorating with Minkyung

I got on this kick recently when I got an email about all the Final Fantasy XIV Halloween stuff on sale.  This may all be last year’s stuff but it’s new to me.  Strongly considering that broomstick mount and maybe the outfit with the bent tip witch’s hat.

My favorite time in MMOs: Halloween

[Editor’s Note: Oh wow those outfits are adorable! The chocobo especially!]