Category: Sony

Achieving: 200 Miles followed quickly by a Satisfying Death

I’d been working my way towards Mile 200 in The Flame in the Flood since January but after a hospital visit, weeks of feeling terrible and then a Disney vacation I didn’t get to finish it off until just this past weekend. There are 6 parts in total if you want to watch a longer leg of the journey but it really wraps up nicely in the final episode above.

After hitting the 200th Mile *DING* I decided to end my run as spectacularly as possible by dying from 10 simultaneous afflictions… amid a bear attack *DING*. Then I remembered that there’s a Director’s Commentary mode so I started a new game, listened to some early dev talk and managed one last Trophy for staying on the river for 10 miles without stopping *DING*.

Achieving: Tales of Pointless Self Reward retold in brief posts whenever we feel like it.

Achieving: Stealthy Steampunk Satisfaction in The Swindle

Achieving: Stealthy Steampunk Satisfaction in The Swindle

I started out not thinking The Swindle was very good. It wants to combine Spelunky with Mark of the Ninja into a roguelike stealth/action game but the finicky controls keep it from feeling as solid and reliable as its predecessors. Nevertheless, it’s got style, an amazing soundtrack and some clever gadgets tucked up its sleeves.

Completing the game in 100 days feels as much like an accounting class as it does a heist. You need to raise over £500,000 to access all the districts leading up to Scotland Yard where the game’s McGuffin is stashed. You’ll never do it by farming the starting area in the slums so you initially have to be choosy about which of the 30+ upgrades you buy. One of them is a teleporter that lets you zip through solid walls, obviously decreasing the difficulty, and the other is a computer you can use to extend the 100-day deadline (for an exponential fee).

I managed to rely on neither of them and was still well prepared for the major swindle… until I boned it up. In the final stretch I slid off of a wall directly in front of the last guard who stood between me and the goal. I’ll take the blame on that one after a nerve wracking hour spent infiltrating the place, but that mechanic has dropped me into trouble numerous times before. See, it’s finicky.

Second attempt and it’s getting a little later than I wanted to be up playing. Once again I gingerly explore the randomly generated tower which, this time, is filled with sound detecting bots that launch out a flurry of thief-seeking, one-shot drones. Super. After even more time with this tower I’ve finally quelled the opposition in total silence and set up a path to run straight out in case something tricky happens after I grab the goods (which I’d never done up to this point). After the requisite pause for effect, I grabbed it and ran on my pre-planned path, completely uneventfully to the finale of the game. That there. That felt good.

The A-rank I was given only made me feel better so I reloaded my save and set off for another Trophy: to Ghost a bank while killing every enemy. It was essentially what I’d just pulled off on the final mission only with slightly less opposition so I had it done in about 25 more minutes. Icing on the cake for the evening, and another Ultra Rare, less-than-1%-completion Trophy was scored.

Achieving: Tales of Pointless Self Reward retold in brief posts whenever we feel like it.

Spoons-On with Dragon Quest Builders at Menchie’s

The minimal amount of promo goods filled up the tiny space

While doing some more Delisted work last week I checked in at Licensemag.com where I look to see what games have upcoming licensing deals. Lo and behold, there’s Dragon Quest Builders in a deal with Menchie’s, one of the many nationwide froyo franchises. I immediately signed up and redeemed their DLC code but over the weekend we decided it’d be worth the trip to check out the point-of-purchase experience.

I lit up even before we got into the place at the sight of Pippa and Rollo beaming out of the front door. Posters, window clings and tabletop standees adorn the tiny space but only one of them implies what Dragon Quest Builders even is. The single employee on duty said that her and the boss have been trying to figure out what these colorful characters were from. Katy and I explained and got the usual blank stare and “oh ok,  that’s cool” response. A simple PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita logo would’ve helped a lot.

Character selections are clever but I think they could've been clever-er

I did like the touch of calling out specific flavors as “So-and-So’s Favorite” but I think they missed the mark on the selections. I mean, a Blue Slime probably has to go with a blueberry flavor right? I really can’t remember a lot of the food items in the game but I’m sure there were better accompaniments than cake batter, Reese’s peanut butter and chocolate.

Finally, after we ate (I had carrot cake with graham cracker crumbs, Katy had a mix of vanilla and chocolate) I asked if I could grab a couple of clean cups and the girl also gave us a pair of pins. She said they’ve been trying to give them out but nobody wanted them. Awww. Please allow this 40-year-old couple to take them off your hands!

Now to hang onto these for 30 years

It’s been a long time since a game I cared about got a real world promotion. It was genuinely exciting to see it advertised outside of the typical game shops and surprising to see Dragon Quest marketed in North America, period. JC from Tiny Cartridge said it best, “most importantly: Square Enix, in the year 2017, has gone out of its way to advertise a Dragon Quest game. This is far outside of what I’m used to, and I love it.

If you’ve got a Menchie’s nearby and if Dragon Quest ever meant anything to you, take a look; you’ve got until January 31st for the promo.

Hands-on with PaRappa the Rapper Remastered

I had to Believe, and now PaRappa the Rapper is going to be playable on a modern TV! Announced at PlayStation Experience, PaRappa the Rapper Remastered is coming in 2017 alongside updates of LocoRoco and Patapon but right now the game’s release date is December 31st, 2017! That has to be a placeholder date since Sony also released a free playable demo on the day of the announcement.

And here it is, all 10 minutes of it. Check out Chop Chop Master Onion in HD fidelity so fine you can practically get a paper cut from his edges! How’s that for PR hyperbole?

Relive the PlayStation Lifestyle of 2008 with this Blu-ray

Want to remind yourself of how Sony was selling the PlayStation 3 lifestyle in 2008? In the mood for some old game trailers you may have forgotten about? Do you love Blu-ray movies? There’s something for everyone on this 2008 “Welcome to PlayStation 3” promo disc that I picked up at a flea market back in April.

It’s a little odd that it was produced on a Blu-ray and you’d need a Blu-ray player (one of the PS3’s biggest selling points back in ‘08) in order to watch it. Nevertheless, there’s some choice marketing tomfoolery in Part 1. Lots of happy gamer dudes dancing around while playing, mimicking Minority Report hand gestures to navigate the XMB interface that never, ever worked that way. The PSP segment is also great, projecting gameplay footage on billboards and the sides of buildings when you were actually staring down at a tiny screen and ignoring the world. There’s even a “Karen” moment akin to the Nintendo Switch reveal trailer where a guy hands his PSP to a DJ at a party to really bring the heat with his Sony Music-approved playlist.

I know I’m way behind the curve on video resolution with 4K steamrolling its way into homes but this is also one of my first 1080p recordings. Oh yeah, it’s presented in 4 parts because I fully expect copyright claims to come down hard on these movie trailers and Sony BMG tracks. So far it hasn’t been blocked worldwide like my Guitar Hero Live video.