Category: News

Topical, time sensitive, new releases.

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for June 20th + “Wow, That’s A Game!?”

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for June 20th + "Wow, That's A Game!?"

Now that E3 is over we can get back to the flood of exciting and free new releases… ohoh no, this is… this is a downright drought! For the week of June 20th we’ve only got two free offerings: Yang Xiao Long joins the roster of BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle while Bimboosoft offers a free Avatar icon from Dream Match Tennis VR which they describe only as “the tennis ball”.

It’s such a slim week that I want to fill out this post with a feature I like to call WOW, That’s A Game!?. In looking at the PlayStation Store every week I’ve started noting some of the more dubious entries on the platform that I’ll point out during slow weeks like this. Fair warning, these aren’t necessarily free things!

BRIKS 2 comes from Smobile, makers of some of the PlayStation’s most generic, lightly animated and titillating Home Screen themes. In BRIKS 2 you can play a game of Breakout on top of those same lightly animated wallpapers and yes, you read right, this is the sequel. From what I can tell BRIKS 2 doesn’t actually change much over the original but both remain on sale for $14 and $16 respectively.

That’s an egregious price for what looks like a pretty simple offering given that most of the art already exists and is even sold separately on the PlayStation Store. Nevertheless, I respect Smobile’s resourcefulness, turning one product into another. It also gives me vibes of the arcade game Fantasia 2, the sensationally NSFW knock-off of Qix that I have a strange, earnestly non-sexual fondness for.

Resident Evil 2 Remake pays homage to the scrapped Resident Evil 1.5

Resident Evil 2 Remake pays homage to the scrapped Resident Evil 1.5

Watching Sony’s E3 demo of Resident Evil 2 with Capcom’s Mike Lunn and team, I was initially just excited to see the game in action. I’ve skipped all the previous remakes and haven’t touched the game since 1998. Nevertheless, like many, RE2 was a huge moment for me in gaming and so I’m more than happy to see Capcom focus on it instead of pushing ahead from RE7.

But almost as soon as they started running around the Raccoon City Police Department I couldn’t help but see a little bit of the fabled Resident Evil 1.5 in the updated design. This mythical prototype version of the game featured a different starring female, Elza Walker, and relied on the station’s shutter system to block or open access to the building. This version was ultimately scrapped but footage was released and so it’s become one of those gaming legends.

Now twenty years later we see Leon using those same slatted shutters to open paths around the station and possibly use them for crowd control as originally intended. Though not shown, the crew from Capcom also mentioned that boards will be available in limited supply to close off access to intruding zombies from windows or doorways. It makes me wonder if Elza might even show up or if the game’s other abandoned design elements like stat-boosting gear will make an appearance.

Whether fully intended or not, this feels like the Resident Evil team finally closing a loop on one of the series’ most mysterious developments. I’m even more excited now to get back to Raccoon City and see what I remember and what all has changed! Resident Evil 2 is currently scheduled to release on January 29th, 2019 on PlayStation 4 and Capcom’s already got a pre-order up on Amazon.

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for June 13th – E3 Edition!

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for June 13th - E3 Edition!

I was hoping for a little more excitement for this week’s E3 freebie update but, well, we got Fallout Shelter right?

It’s old news now but Todd Howard and Bethesda announced near the end of their E3 presentation that the free-to-play vault builder, Fallout Shelter, was “available… right… now” on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. While the Switch may be the most desirable place to play the game, PlayStation Plus members at least get a free pack of goodies to give their adventure a kickstart. The only other major notable is a free demo of the upcoming Shining Resonance Refrain from Sege and a free theme to commemorate the launch of Unravel 2 from EA.

Beyond that we’ve got the regularly scheduled PS+ bonus for 3on3 FreeStyle and Fortnite is giving subscribers an exclusive new outfit in the PlayStation®Plus Celebration Pack 2. Surviving Mars also has a new add-on this week, the  Mysteries Resupply Pack, which actually looks to make the game harder by adding more unexpected events.

Smartphone Labs has released a free avatar icon celebrating themselves and NBC Sports now has an official PlayStation 4 app, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Grab ‘n go… back to watching E3 trailers!

E3 2018: Could MARS bring classic lightgun games to modern screens?

E3 2018: Could MARS bring classic lightgun games to modern screens?

Peripheral maker PDP wants their new standalone lightgun system, MARS, to debut in 2019 as a modern and unique gaming platform. But all I can think is that it’d be a great place for Sega, Konami, Midway (via WB Games), Taito, and even American Laser Games (via Digital Leisure) to finally bring their arcade and console lightgun games to modern TVs without compromise.

LCD, Plasma, LED, and OLED screens sure are pretty but they just don’t work with the NES Zapper, the Justifier, the GunCon, or practically any other at-home lightgun to date. We got close with the Wii but I don’t think the fidelity was quite there, and besides, everyone just shoveled out meager carnival shooters instead of doing the work to update arcade classics. What I’d love to see MARS become is a Wii-like Virtual Console exclusively for lightgun games. Or if you prefer, MAME without having to resort to a mouse.

Sega alone could supply a ton of games I’ve had on my mind lately: Brave Firefighters, Virtua Cop, L.A. Machineguns, Let’s Go Jungle, and of course our beloved Ocean Hunter. Midway’s T2: The Arcade Game, Taito’s Operation Wolf, Exidy’s outrageous Chiller, and Konami’s Lethal Enforcers are just a few others that come to mind. All of the home versions of these games were hobbled by the hardware of their time and then locked away once we moved off of CRT screens.

Mobile processors are more than powerful enough to authentically render these games today and with MARS we could finally have the peripheral to make them feel equally authentic to play. Yes, the guns look a little wimpy but they appear to have enough buttons to accommodate any classic shooter I can think of. They may even have force feedback or motion sensors hiding inside but all that is still a mystery.

E3 2018: Could MARS bring classic lightgun games to modern screens?

I can’t even think of a 4-player arcade lightgun game.

What’s powering MARS, how does it feel, how much will it cost, and which developers are on board will all hopefully be revealed next week at E3. If even one classic lightgun game is in the roster I’ll start grandstanding for other publishers to join in. It’s been far too long since I’ve been able to play so many lightgun shooters and MARS seems like it could have that specific niche locked down.

What about you? What lightgun games would you like to be able to play on a modern TV?

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for June 6th

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for June 6th

What a week of free stuff! You can now play a free demo of my favorite game of 2018, Metal Gear Survive, there’s an awesome PlayStation 4 PRIDE theme from Sony Europe, and there are at least 8 free Avatar icons from Fortnite. What’s more, there are a bunch of free offerings for a handful of Japanese titles this week:

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle: Blake
Download and play as Blake Belladonna, member of Team RWBY and wielder of the powerful Gambol Shroud. Blake’s unique skills and powerful attacks make her an ideal tag partner in combat!

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle: Platinum, Kanji, Orie
Download Cross Tag Character Pack 1 to add three new fighters to your roster! Character Pack 1 contains Platinum the Trinity from BlazBlue, Kanji Tatsumi from Persona 4 Arena, and Orie Ballardiae from Under Night In-Birth.

FINAL FANTASY® XV – Party Pack (COMRADES Exclusive)
This bonus pack includes a set of masks featuring the likenesses of Noctis, Gladiolus, Prompto, and Ignis, as well as a pair of festive Birthday Glasses. For use exclusively with MULTIPLAYER EXPANSION: COMRADES.

NOBUNAGA’S AMBITION: Taishi: ‘Megohime’ Officer Facial Graphic
A special bonus for NOBUNAGA’S AMBITION: TAISHI. The facial graphic of Megohime, wife of Masamune Date, who staunchly supported her husband even after she was taken as a hostage to Kyoto.

NOBUNAGA’S AMBITION: Taishi: NOBUNAGA’S AMBITION Day 2018
‘Additional BGM that can be used in ”NOBUNAGA’S AMBITION: Taishi” 10 pieces of BGM available for free. Allows BGM such as Fragrant Wind (Sengoku Daimyo theme), The Indefatigable (Yukimura Sanada’s theme), and Beautiful Expedition (The Siege of Osaka theme) to be used in this title. By changing the BGM, you enjoy gameplay with a different atmosphere.

NOBUNAGA’S AMBITION: Taishi: Sokyu Imai Officer Data
Officer data that allows ‘Sokyu Imai,’ who was held in high regard by Oda Nobunaga and Hideyoshi Toyotomi as one of three masters of the tea ceremony, to appear in the game.

Knights of Valour: Magic Power Gift Pack
Available for PS Plus members. Receive beginner’s top-class weapon and more free items!

Contents:

– Silver Wings: Diao Chan’s exclusive purple class weapon.

– Sickle Hook: Guan Yu’s exclusive purple class weapon.

– Scale Armor: Rare armor of Green class.

– Jade Ring: Rare ring of Green class.

– Strategist’s Bag ×2: Randomly performs a magical skill.

– 100,000 Silvers.

Haaaaaaaaave fun! Cya next week with what will hopefully be a jam-packed assortment of freebies direct from E3.