Category: Sony

Generally speaking, anything to do with PlayStation or Sony. Look to the tags for anything more specific.

This PlayStation 4 Theme sums up America’s Summer 2017

Ever since Sony added themes and avatars to the PlayStation 3 there has been a steady flood of hilarious, questionable, and downright litigious offerings. As someone who has been looking at the PlayStation Store almost every week for the last nine years I’ve seen it all: sports team themes, sleazy model themes, all manner of generic “abstract” themes, and questionable licensed themes.

The latest player in the game of prolific production has to be Top Rated. There isn’t a way to search by publisher on the PlayStation Store but I feel like the majority of offerings I’ve seen since the PlayStation 4 launched are from Top Rated. And one of their latest creations is a blissful amalgamation of America’s Summer 2017.

There’s a burger, there’s a red Solo cup, and there’s a hand that is endlessly spinning a USA fidget spinner. You can look upon it forever all day for only $2.99 which in some cases is more than the cost of an actual USA fidget spinner. The description is also pretty much perfect: O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming. Get yo fidget on.

Fidget on, you entrepreneurial content creators. Fidget on.

No Man’s Sky returns with the massive Atlas Rises free update

No Man's Sky returns with the massive Atlas Rises free update

I’ve gathered you all here today to say goodbye, my dear video games. From my hot summer friend Crossout to my latest acquaintance, Just Cause 3. We had some fun and I’ll take these memories with me back into the stars because the Atlas Rises update is out for No Man’s Sky and I’m pretty sure my life is now forfeit to it.

The update was preceded by the Waking Titan ARG (which I completely avoided, I hate ARGs) and from its hints and some data mining the fanbase had surmised that we’d finally be getting ancient portals to use as a kind of fast travel. Sure enough, the latest addition to the game’s Release Log includes these portals but the game has gotten so, SO much more.

The biggest headline-grabber has to be the long-awaited addition of multiplayer. Described as “very limited”, up to 16 players at a time can see one another as glowing orbs and communicate via proximity-based voice chat (on PlayStation and Steam, it’s a no-go for GOG players right now). The release log adds that it’s “an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op” so future updates may allow players to customize avatars, exchange gear, and probably dance.

The next biggest bullet point is story. “Thirty hours of new story content” fleshes out the lore that the Waking Titan ARG hinted at. The game so far has had several separate story threads told through hidden computer logs and ancient ruins as well as its mainline Atlas Path. All of these paths now have new chapters of middle-school-caliber poetry to read. More interestingly is a new “interdimensional race” of NPCs whose appearance revolves around the fragmenting of the game’s reality. Honestly, are they writing these major updates and regenerations of the universe algorithms into the storyline?

Of the remaining changes, the next most major ones revolve around flying. Chief among them is the much-demaned ability to fly closer to the ground. Previously there was this invisible wall that would keep you from swooping around among a planet’s terrain. It was disheartening (not to mention pretty unrealistic) but now you can disable the safeties and smash into canyon walls all you want! You can also use your freighter to navigate the universe and jump to new systems, space combat and enemy AI has been refined, you can now hail other spaceships and potentially avoid a fight, and you can deploy mid-atmosphere gas harvesters to gather crafting elements out of the sky.

No Man's Sky returns with the massive Atlas Rises free update

Less flashy, but literally game-changing updates include a more functional galactic map system for navigating the stars, a whole new planetary biome type, new ships and freighters, a rebalanced economy with new supply and demand systems, NPC guilds to rank up in, procedurally generated quests, gigantic crashed freighters that you can mine for resources, and seriously, there’s still more.

I’m not going to rewrite everything here, especially since I have yet to lay my own hands on it. I will be kicking up my stream game again if anyone wants to watch me stumble through all these additions. For now I’ll let the Release Log fill you in on the rest.

NieR: Automata invades Spelunker World through August

NieR: Automata invades Spelunker World through August

Tozai has revealed the latest Spelunker World cross promotion after a long break from new content and naturally it features Square Enix’s most goodwill-garnering title of 2017, NieR: Automata. The details page is broken at the moment but all you really need to see is that new loot that lets you dress up your hapless spelunker as 2B, 9S, A2, and Emil.

The promotion begins July 27th and runs through August 24th in both the U.S. and Japanese versions of the game. I’m not sure if I’m ready to return to the grind just for some chibi gear but I might pop in to see if they did anything clever. NieR subverts a lot of video game conventions and if they squeezed something like that into Spelunker World I’d hate to miss it. Video probably coming soon!

I did not expect to play through Apocalypse in 2017

070617-apocalypse

I’ve got a lot of games I’ve never played (just like everybody else) and the backlog shelf has been swelling over the last two years. So I finally set out to record some new Just Checkin’ videos where I at least boot them up to make sure the discs work. I managed to get one game out of the way before stumbling into a morning session with Apocalypse, otherwise known as The Bruce Willis Game.

I had written it off after playing the demos they put out before the game’s release but here in 2017 I found it quite playable and even clever in spots, if mindless and repetitive. The game is short and fairly easy up until the final boss fight and gave me plenty of time to soak in the weird 90’s aesthetics.

Willis’ character, Trey Kincaid, was originally intended to be the player’s sidekick but his involvement dwindled during production and he eventually took the starring role. So not only are his lines the most typical gung-ho battle cries, it’s a little fourth-wall breaking due to the change in roles. And the immortal line, “strap one on, it’s time to jam!!” still confuses me to this day.

 

Things really get interesting in the final level where Trey assaults the White House which is surrounded by a moat of lava and is filled with fire-spewing politicians in suits. The final battle with The Reverend starts in the oval office and expands to an arena of stone and flesh stitched together around the Seal of the President. It feels more fitting today than it ever did in the 90’s.

The episodes are rolling out every three days through July 12th and end with some bonus content and stuff I dug up on the disc. You can follow along with the playlist above or subscribe and catch all of my random videos.

Six Years later, Fortnite still looks really great

All jokes aside about Fortnite’s prolonged development cycle — it was first announced in 2011 at the long-gone VGAs — the game still looks super appealing to this day. Epic finally put a date on the game last week and have spun up the PR machine leading up to its oh-that’s-soon July 25th release.

We’ll surely see a demo coming out of E3 but for now the trailer above pretty much has me sold. It was originally pitched as Minecraft meets Left 4 Dead but the mazes of traps on display recall gleeful memories of Orcs Must Die. I also seem to remember the forts being pretty small the last time I saw the game in action. Now we’re talking about bases so big you can use boost jump pads to launch around inside them. Designing and defending something of that scale should be hilarious, and then sad, and then hilarious again.

All told, I’m still not sure I’ll buy it, even at the Standard Edition price of $39.99 but, umm, I’m glad it’s finally happening. Those more dedicated than myself can spend up to $150 for various “limited edition” bonuses if you pre-order on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or PC before the launch.