Tag Archives: PlayStation 4

SBox Soapbox: How Did Sony Do @ E3 2017?

Before I get started, let me forewarn you that I’m fresh off watching the conference as I write this. Which may turn out to be a bad thing as I left the conference a little salty. We’ll get to that soon, though.

Welcome back to those who are joining me from my previous post about the Microsoft conference. For those joining me for the first time, I’m dedicating this whole week to the gaming superbowl that is E3 as I cover the big 3 conferences: Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. I will also be covering individual announcements from other conferences later in the week, but for right now it’s time to talk about Sony’s E3 conference. Continue reading SBox Soapbox: How Did Sony Do @ E3 2017?

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SBox Soapbox: The Last of Us Part 2 | Does Ellie Know Joel’s Lie? (Part 2)

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In a previous post, I decided to talk a little about one of my favorite game of all-time (The Last of Us) and my most anticipated game as of right now (The Last of Us Part 2). The Last of Us Part 2 is currently in early development, and the announcement is just a bit over one week old. As with all good things, fans are already taking to the web to share their theories and predictions surrounding this soon to be released continuation of a masterpiece. I, too, have theories and ideas of my own to share regarding The Last of Us Part 2, but for now I wanted to focus on one huge question that will play a vital role in the new game’s story. Continue reading SBox Soapbox: The Last of Us Part 2 | Does Ellie Know Joel’s Lie? (Part 2)

SBox Soapbox: The Last of Us Part 2 | Does Ellie Know Joel’s Lie? (Part 1)

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To me, The Last of Us is one of the closest examples of a game being a masterpiece. In fact, that’s exactly what it is. A masterpiece. By far one of the most fun and immediately immersive gaming sessions of my life. Its excellent mix of action-adventure, stealth, and survival-horror made for a challenging and binge-worthy experience worth having. There wasn’t a dull moment in the game, neither interactively, audibly, or visually. Not to mention that it has the best story in a video game bar-none. I can go on and on about its deep themes, compelling characters, and emotional weight which persists throughout the entire the entire game. And it just so happens now is the perfect time to do so.

Yes, I know I’m a week late to this party, but I couldn’t just not talk about The Last of Us Part 2. Continue reading SBox Soapbox: The Last of Us Part 2 | Does Ellie Know Joel’s Lie? (Part 1)

SBox Recommends: Uncharted 4 – A Thief’s End (Game Review)

Note: SBR never spoils. You are safe. Enjoy!

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At long last, I get to do my first WordPress video game review. I couldn’t have thought of a more fitting first candidate than my most anticipated game of the year, part of one of my favorite video game series of all-time: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

I’ve been a fan of Naughty Dog games since I was a toddler playing Crash Bandicoot 2. That game created my love of platformers and is one of my favorite games to this day. So when I finally got a PS3 in 2012, I knew my first stop had to be Naughty Dog’s latest venture with the Uncharted games. I started with Uncharted 2, then 3 and eventually went back to 1. These games are everything I want in a video game: great story, larger than life action, platforming, third-person combat, optional yet fun collectathons and intriguing puzzles. If there was ever a game made just for me, this would probably be it.

When Uncharted 4 was announced back in November 2013 (yes it’s been that long), I couldn’t have been more excited to continue the story of Nathan Drake wherever he may be. In fact, I bought the PS4 the following year just to play this game. Little did I know it would be a pretty long wait until then, topped off by at least three delays, but it was worth the investment. I now get to stand before you guys today, having finally played Uncharted 4 and loving every second of it. Continue reading SBox Recommends: Uncharted 4 – A Thief’s End (Game Review)

SBox Soapbox: E3 2015 Predictions (Sony Edition)

E3, the video game equivalent of the Superbowl, is almost here at last. With summer being the quiet period in terms of AAA releases, E3 stands to be the fuel gamers need to keep their fire going until the Fall. Everyone knows some of the biggest announcements are made here, which is reason enough for any avid gamer to be excited.

Last time, I shared my predictions for Microsoft’s conference. In continuation of this pre-E3 predictions week, the next major conference to discuss is from Sony.

Continue reading SBox Soapbox: E3 2015 Predictions (Sony Edition)

My Quick Thoughts on Uncharted 4 Gameplay Footage (PlayStation Experience)

There was a lot of news to come out this past weekend due to two big events: the PlayStation Experience and the Video Game Awards. No matter who you are or what games you play, these are all huge announcements. I think it is literately impossible for you to have come out of this weekend with nothing to look forward to. 2015 is going to be one of the best years for games.

I will be commenting on individual announcements from both events. Let’s start with the one I was waiting for most.

During the PlayStation Experience, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End┬ámade an appearance in the form of long-awaited gameplay footage. Fans have been waiting 5 months since the announcement of the game back at E3 to see Nathan Drake in action “one last time”. About 15 minutes of gameplay were shown highlighting an action scene in the deep jungle. If you haven’t seen the footage yet and wish to follow along, click here to see it for yourself.

I’m a huge fan of the Uncharted series. No doubt about it, this is my favorite PS3 franchise ever, and one of my favorite series of video games. I started with Uncharted 2 (one of my first PS3 games), then Uncharted 3 the next week, and I’m still playing through Uncharted 1. I will assert that Uncharted 2 is probably my favorite. I will also say that Uncharted 4 is my most anticipated game of 2015. I want it bad, and this here footage cemented that excitement for me.

First thing’s first. This game is beautiful. This is a shock to no one because Naughty Dog usually always excels in graphic design. Particularly, few development studios make forested areas as well as Naughty Dog does. (That’s probably because every game they ever made has a forest or jungle section in it). The jump to the PS4 bolsters that beauty by the increase of textures and detail. Nate himself looks near life-like as do many of the other characters in the game.

But of course, the gameplay is the star of the show. We were shown a very standard Uncharted trip: we go from a mountain overseeing an ocean, many hills, and natural plant-life, through a cave to reach a high wall which we climb, where we find enemy forces blocking and patrolling the platforms on our path, then escape them to reach a wall of rocks to climb. That’s pretty much the gist of it… and it was awesome!

It’s been a while since I’ve played Uncharted, so mind me if I mistake certain things as new.

One new feature I like is the use of sharp objects to assist you in climbing. I’m not sure if this was in the original trilogy or not, but I found it a clever expansion for platforming. It could even offer some freedom with the climbing sections, or at the very least some additional strategy. Not just moving the analog stick and see where he reaches and then jumping.

There’s also one other big feature I’m almost certain wasn’t in the other games. That hook-shot lasso thing is the best thing to happen to the Uncharted game in a while. This is next-level stuff, allowing you to traverse through areas much faster and reach areas much further. I can’t wait to use this thing. Now all Drake needs to officially be Indiana Jones is a brown hat.

Combat has also seen some more dynamic moves to add to the mix. As far as gunplay, that’s untouched. Same old, same old. But some of the new hand-to-hand sequences look brutal. The man with his back against the wall slammed the gunman’s face in the rocks before knocking him out. That’s hardcore!

Now the only thing left that was shown is the new face we see towards the end of the video. It appears to be Nathan Drake’s older brother, played by Troy Baker (The Last of Us, Infamous: Second Son, etc.). For one, I do love the fact that Troy Baker is in an Uncharted game. Now I can say that Joel has officially talked to Drake.

I can’t exactly comment too much on his character since we weren’t given much, but I’m going to bet that he turns to the dark side by the end of the game. Just a gut feeling I have. In terms of what Nate’s brother can bring to the story, I think this brings about a lot of interesting outcomes. Just the fact that these two most likely did not grow up together because of the foster system bring s a good bunch of conflict. As a character, perhaps he will be the less experienced but incredibly eager brother who ends up making half the bad stuff happen due to common mistakes. That’s probably not it at all, but I’m just guessing.

Really, this footage was so good to see. It’s been a year since development of this game was confirmed and now I feel my hype is justified. I’m still wrapping my head around the idea that I will be able to play this one day. I can’t wait to see more in the future.

What did you guys make of the gameplay trailer? Was it everything you were hoping for? Does this in anyway make you want to buy the game. Let me know in the comments, so we can discuss this together.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

My Quick Thoughts on PlayStation 4’s 20th Anniversary Edition

Yesterday marked 20 years since the PlayStation 1 was released in Japan. Since then, the little gray box from the creators of the walk-man has come a long way. 20 years later and we have that PS1’s great-grandson, the PlayStation 4, on the market, as well as its portable relative, the PlayStation Vita. Sony has proven themselves as a force to be reckoned with as it now places first place in modern hardware sales.

To commemorate this occasion, Sony is releasing a limited edition PS4 console paying homage to the one that started it all.

This PS4 is colored “original gray” to match that of the PS1. On the hard plastic section of the PS4, you’ll see the PlayStation’s signature button symbols (Triangle, Square, Circle, and X) accompanied by a 2 before each circle to represent 20. On the gloss-finished section of the console, the PlayStation logo exists in its multicolored variant. This PS4 also comes with a gray stand in case you prefer an upright position for your PS4. Lastly is the DualShock 4 controller which also alludes back to the original DualShock Controller. Like the console it comes in gray, and the touch-pad has the same button patterns found on the console.

Basically, its a gray PlayStation 4. Simple but nostalgic. It’s made all the more special by how limited edition it will be. Only 12,300 of these gray boxes will be made. These no doubt will be highly collectible and valuable in the future. It is currently available for pre-order and costs $500 in North America. Official details of exactly when we’ll see these released will be announced during the PlayStation Experience event on December 6.

Normally, I wouldn’t comment much on these kinds of things, because special edition consoles is nothing new. Eventually, you’ll start to see every console in every color imaginable. I have also always been of the ideology that the original, default design of any console is the definitive and preferred version of a console. I was even offered a Destiny edition (white) PS4 when I bought the system and said no. Color palettes have always been frivolous to me.

I now denounce that ideology. I finally understand. I want this gray PS4 in my house NOW!

Maybe it’s purely sentimental and nostalgia-based. (After all, my first game console was the PS1). We’ve all been suckers to nostalgia before, so that’s probably my reasoning. Nonetheless, I can’t get over how much I love this design. Almost everything to the ‘T’ is perfect. I know all they did was make the dang thing gray and throw some symbols on there, but who cares.

Tell me I’m not the only one who’s all over this thing. This is the first time I’m looking at a console I own and wishing I waited a little longer. Granted, I probably wouldn’t have bought it even with its rarity because $500 is a little too high for just a color change. I’m a cheapskate and that’s how I roll. But had I the ability and the timing, I would’ve pre-ordered the thing already.

I’m really glad that Sony made this decision, but I do have one little gripe: the price.

Rare or not, you should at least put a couple PSone classics downloads in there for that price. Had I been in charge, I’d make it interesting by placing a different download voucher for a different game in each box. You know what I mean? Like 100 of them include Crash Bandicoot, another hundred have Spyro, another 100 have Resident Evil, and so on. At least give us something more than just a gray box to encourage that extra $100. It wouldn’t kill you since each PSone classic costs between $6 and $10.

Other than that, what’s not to like? This was a great way to celebrate 20 strong years of the PlayStation brand. I would understand if you feel differently than I do. There’s that part of me that’s saying this isn’t that big a deal. However, for what it’s worth, I think it looks beautiful. I feel jealous of the person who gets their hands on that box.

As for Sony, thank you for the life-time of fun you’ve given me… Now, tell Naughty Dog to make a new Crash Bandicoot game already!

What are you guys’ thoughts on this limited edition PS4? Would you/will you buy it if you can? What are some fond memories you have with PlayStation throughout the years? Lastly, would you buy an anniversary console for Wii U and Xbox One? I honestly would love to see a NES looking Wii U or a Xbox One with that big green X on the top. Let me know in the comments so we can start a discussion.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

SBR First Impressions: PlayStation 4

Monday afternoon I come home from a pretty good day at school. I’m getting my haircut, and my dad steps out to pick up my little brother. After I’m done my dad comes back with my mom and picks me and my other little brother up. Randomly, they tell me if I want to get the PS4 now. They told me that since I’ve been saving up for so long that they would just pay it off for me. And so we went, and I come home with a brand new PlayStation 4 console and a copy of Infamous Second Son.

So, it’s been almost a week and I have been playing the crap out of the system. I thought I would give you guys my first impressions on the console from what I’ve experienced so far. Keep in mind that this won’t cover everything about the system. The point of a First Impressions review is that it’s not as in-depth as a regular SBR.

Anyway, my PS4 experience is pretty positive so far. While I’ll argue that there isn’t much change from the PS3 to 4, it’s still a good piece of hardware.

Ecstatic-wise the console is pretty much a rhombus with 2 flat sides for if you choose to place the console upright. I have the system lying horizontally in the middle of my console shelf. Surprisingly it isn’t as heavy as I thought. I’d argue that my 160 GB PS3 is heavier than the PS4. It’s easy enough to hook up, requiring no more than a source of power and HDMI.

As far as the deign, the only complaint I have is with power button. Before I turned the system on, I hadn’t the slightest idea where it was. The power button is actually found where the plastic shell meets the gloss finish at the mid-left of the machine. It’s a thin, straight line with the world’s smallest power symbol. It’s so small it’s hard to see at first. When you find it, it works fine enough, but the only other nitpick is that it’s not too easy to turn off without using the controller. You have to press and hold the button to turn it off completely, otherwise it’s on stand-by mode and emits a yellow light. Doing this also causes you to get prints on the glossed area.

Again, just an irrelevant nitpick, but I feel it should be stated.

Once you turn it on, it asks you to connect your controller via the provided USB charger and begin the set-up process. Set-up is actually impressively quick. Earlier this year I had to set-up my Wii U which took a good time longer to set-up in comparison. As of this post date, the system update is extremely fast- lasting no longer than 10 minutes. It may become longer as the PS4 gets older, but for the time being its relatively fast.

At last we reach the main interface of the system. The layout looks nice and organized. I’m sure everyone knows how it looks like by now, but it strays a bit from the PS3 and PSP’s interface by utilizing 2 lines: one for your apps/activities and one for your system/profile options. You couldn’t get anymore user friendly if you tried.

You’ll notice that everything runs fast and near instantaneous. I especially noticed this when going to the PS Store and then going back to the menu. The PS3 would’ve taken upwards of a minute trying to launch and load the PS Store, but with PS4 you’re there in a heartbeat.

I will admit that launching and running games could be a bit faster, but I shouldn’t say that too soon since I need at least one more game to confirm that there is an issue.

An additional feature of the PS4 was its built-in gameplay capture device. This allows you to upload pictures and gameplay footage to the web at your desire. There is also an editing tool for your recorded gameplay. You can even broadcast gameplay which can be seen on Sony’s personal hub. It even includes quick broadcasting to various services like Twitch. All these things are done easily by pressing the “Share” button on the controller. It’s a great feature to have and I’m very excited to try this out… unfortunately I can’t.

As of right now, the PS4 will not allow me to demonstrate or try this feature because my main PSN account is a sub account. Regardless of whether you access the master account and set the sub account to allow this feature, a bug in the PS4 will stubbornly insist that the sub account not be able to Share anything at all. And no, you cannot change the date of birth on the sub account to work around that rule; at least I don’t know of a way. Hopefully this will be fixed soon so I can give it a try. However, I turn 18 in March, so I guess it won’t be my problem for very long.

If anyone knows how to counteract this bug, please let me know.

Then there’s general performance. The game I bought with my PS4 was Infamous: Second Son. It runs incredibly smooth. Seldom do I find any semblance of slow-down. The PS4 is capable of 1080p graphics at 60 FPS, which is the highest modern day setting as of right now (until 4K resolution becomes the new standard). The graphical output is definitely beautiful, though I wouldn’t say it’s that big of a jump from the PS3. Nonetheless it still makes games looks polished and new.

I should mention that I have yet to try out any multiplayer features at this time; neither gameplay nor private chat. So, I can’t exactly cover that yet. I will say that I like how Sony includes a mic and earpiece with the system. I will definitely utilize it when I get the chance.

Lastly, let’s discuss the controller. This is the first time in three console generations that Sony has changed their controller design. As a lifetime fan of PlayStation I was originally saddened by this fact and thought I was going to not like the new controller by comparison. Once I started playing the game, I was singing an all new tune. You’ll get used to the controller in no time flat, even with its new bells and whistles.

The PS4 controller is not all that different from past Sony controllers. Any previous adopter of a PlayStation will be right at home here. The D-Pad, face, and Home buttons remain relatively untouched as is the gyroscope for motion gameplay. The differences are only initially jarring, but eventually seamless.

The analog sticks now have a more defined nub which I actually find more comfortable. The triggers have only seen a difference in the R2/L2 triggers. They are similar to the Xbox’s LT/RT counterparts, but maintain the same width and bulk of a PlayStation controller. The handles have also seen an improvement with new rubber grips. This not only makes it easier to handle but is sweat resistant. No more stick gamepads!

Now to address the elephants in the room. The signature select and start buttons are now gone. In its place are 2 new buttons and a (approximately) 1×3 inch touchpad. I have already discussed the Share button which I can’t fully utilize for the next few months. The Options button acts as the start and select button and does that well. The touchpad may be the one thing you’ll have to get used to when first using the controller, but you’ll get the hang of it. It’s accurate enough and responds to touch extremely well. You can also press in the touch pad so that it can act as an extra button. Lastly you have a big, blue LED light emitting at the base. This is the point sensor similar to the Wii-mote. It also works really well in recognizing position.

Overall, it is a very good controller. I quite like it and thought I wouldn’t like it as much as I did. It fits the hands nicely, takes quick to familiarize with, and functions well. Even the new features work really well. Whether I would prefer the controller to the PS1, 2, and 3 controller I can’t yet say. If your skeptical, rest assured that it looks crazier than it actually is.

In closing, I quite like the system so far. It’s designed well, runs fast whether your streaming, playing, or shopping. There’s no noise issues, no major obstacles, and no technical issues. It does the job it has to do very well: play games. I’m impressed with the machine so far and hope to continue having fun with it in the future.

As far as recommendations, take a look at the game library and decide if there are enough games to suffice your game fix. When you reach a point where there is enough to last you a while, then pick up the system. It is certainly something you should pick up eventually.


And those are my early impressions of the PlayStation 4. To my fellow PS4 users, what are your thoughts on the PS4? And what games are you looking forward to most? Mine is Uncharted 4.

Also, feel free to drop your PSN name in the comments so I can add you. I have a PS3, too, so feel free to add me whether you have either system. My username is SBox180.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!