Tag Archives: PlayStation

My Thoughts on Sony’s E3 2016 Press Conference

e3-2016

The time has finally come to discuss the biggest video game event of the year once again: the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2016. I’m humbled by the fact that this is the second E3 I’ll be spending with you all. This wouldn’t be as fun if I was simply taking in these announcements by myself with no outlet to express that information. So, hopefully this is as fun for you as it is for me.

There have been E3 conferences and events the past couple of days, but my sights as always were set on the Big 3 companies: Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Monday saw the release of possibly the only two major showings of E3, so today I would like to share my thoughts of the show with you all, continuing this time with Sony. Continue reading My Thoughts on Sony’s E3 2016 Press Conference

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My Most Anticipated Games of 2016

You know what’s ironic? Last year I made a post about my most anticipated 2015 games. I looked at the post again, and out of the 11 games I mentioned (omitting the runners-up) only 6 of them came out. The rest were delayed to this year. You can imagine 2015 was a pretty disappointing year, at least for me.

I guess there’s a bright side to that. I’d rather have a good game later than a broken game now. Besides, I won’t be waiting much longer now. And there are still a lot of great games coming out in 2016 (hopefully).

Here are a couple of the games I’m looking forward to in the next 12 months of life. This is in no particular order; I’m just going off the top of my head. Continue reading My Most Anticipated Games of 2016

SBox Soapbox: Are the GameStop Retro Game Prices Fair?

Early last week, GameStop launched their retro games program exclusively on their website. This has been something we knew was coming for months, but after months of speculation, worry and anticipation we finally get an answer to one pivotal question: how’s the pricing?

Everyone seems to have a different opinion on these prices. Some say it’s too high and that GameStop is nickel-and-diming gamers, while others call the prices fair for the most part.

Based on a quick skim of the different sections, the opinion I hold is that pricing tends to be relative to platform, with your occasional “WTF level” price scattered in between. To test this, let’s make an experiment to prove my theory. Continue reading SBox Soapbox: Are the GameStop Retro Game Prices Fair?

My Thoughts on Sony’s E3 2015 Press Conference

This week is E3 week- the annual event where miraculous gaming announcements practically reign from the heavens for our viewing pleasure. Need I say more? Nope, I’d rather just start talking impressions on what was shown.

Continuing with the E3 coverage, let’s discuss repeat Day 1 closing act Sony. Before we start, click here for my predictions post from last week as I will be referring back to it. Continue reading My Thoughts on Sony’s E3 2015 Press Conference

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 made 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!

The 7th Generation of Gaming In Review: Intro

 

Greetings peeps!

It’s funny how we end up coming up with ideas. For example, Sir Isaac Newton developed the concept of gravity when he was hit in the head by a fruit. Dr. Brown from Back to the Future came up with a time traveling DeLorean when he hit his head on a sink. And I created this new segment of blog posts while being up all night with a sickness I am assuming is a fever. Neat, huh?

Today I would like to announce a new series of posts I would like to make. For those of you who don’t know, a time period of a group of video game consoles are active and competing is known as a “console generation”. A console generation begins when the first new piece of hardware is released which replaces the previous generation. We are currently in the 8th Generation of video game consoles, which consist of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS, and Vita. However, the generation we will be referring to will be the 7th Generation consoles: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS, and PSP.

The 7th Generation of consoles was a hell of a game changer to say the least. For one, it is one of the longest console generations ever, lasting since 2004 with the release of the DS. This generation was also timed perfectly with the changes in online and social media. That generation has introduced new game trends, new ways to play, new ways to make games, and new ways to interact with the game and its developers. We also picked up a mainstream not present in console generations prior.

The 7th Generation of gaming will be forever remembered for its paradigm shifts and what it has offered to gaming. Now whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is up to you.

I do realize that the 7th gen is not completely done yet. However, we are already nearing the end as games start making the shift to newer hardware. This is a good time to take a good look at this time period and analyze what makes this console gen stand out.

In these posts, I will look at each aspect of gaming and comment on them all. These aspects include Online Multiplayer, DLC, Social Media, Social Justice, Indies, etc. The goal is to decide what this generation stood for and what it will most likely be remembered as.

I was originally going to make a post called “What Will the 7th Generation Be Remembered As?” I decided to separate the all these aspects instead of just making a long-winded post that people are going to read the first few paragraphs of and get tired of. Besides, I can;t possibly fit everything into a single post.

Be on the lookout for this series of blog posts, because they’re coming your way soon. These probably won’t be the longest posts to make. I won’t go into too much detail about some of these since these are just my thoughts with some explanation.

Hope you can join in on the fun and in the discussion.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

Part 1: Generation of DLC

Analysis: The Last of Us movie

The San Diego Comic Con is quite an exciting time when it comes to announcements. Doesn’t matter is your a massive geek or a casual fan of entertainment. It doesn’t even matter if your into comic books, movies, video games, television, or anime. Everyone can get something out of Comic Con, and sometimes you won’t even see certain things coming.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than a year since The Last of Us endured and survived on store shelves. The little game has come a long way since then with multiple award nominations, an upcoming next generation Remastered edition, and now a feature length movie to coincide with our Uncharted movie news.

Even though we’ve known that plans were being made for this movie for a good while, to get a confirmation and big announcement was such a surprise. It’s even more exciting (and terrifying) for me because The Last of Us is my favorite game of all-time. If Hollywood can get this right, we’ll have a beautiful and epic blockbuster coming our way.

I know this movie is light-years away from now, but we can still analyze what we know now and see how much our current facts really tell us about this project. Additionally, I want to share my thoughts on what I want to see from the film.

The first thing we know is that movie will be distributed by Screen Gems, a Sony-owned company. From what I gathered, Screen Gems is one of 4 specialty production arms known for a mixed assortment of genres, but most notably horror and action. Their film library is actually not too great. Their most notable films include the remake of CarrieThink Like a Man (including Too), the Underworld series, and Dear John. However their most known and profitable movies are the Resident Evil movies. In fact, their highest grossing film is Resident Evil: Afterlife. This is actually quite concerning. The Resident Evil movies don’t sit too well with gamers nor with many moviegoers. These guys clearly aren’t the best at video game adaption.

To the credit of Screen Gems though, while many of their movies are sub-par at best they do house some noteworthy movies. Heck, I actually liked the Underworld movies. Besides, it’s not fair to the movie to assume the worst too quickly.

What was announced at Comic Con was that Sam Raimi was the producer of the movie and Neil Druckmann is writing the film.

Sam Raimi is known for many movies whether as an actor, director or producer. I personally know him best for directing the Spider-Man trilogy. He is also known for movies like the Evil Dead series, the Darkman movie, and Oz the Great and Powerful as well as TV shows Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. I think Raimi is a trustworthy addition to the staff, especially since I’m a fan of a lot of his work.

As for Neil Druckmann, well… he’s the writer and director of the freaking game! Could you have picked a better choice to write a movie about The Last of Us? We’ll at least have a well written film here. If you need to be further assured, he also worked on the Uncharted series.

There currently is no confirmed director, but I can see wither Druckmann or Raimi filling that position. I wouldn’t oppose to it much either. Together with Screen Gems, I see a pretty good combination of people. All benefactors seem to be focused on horror and action, Raimi knows how to make a fun blockbuster, and Druckmann assures that we’ll have a faithful representation of the game in this movie.

The one place we have for speculation is the cast. Who will play Joel and Ellie? Let’s keep in mind that Naughty Dog and Neil Druckmann have the absolute final say on casting choices.

We already have a good idea for Ellie as she already has a potential actress picked out: Maisie Williams. For those of you like me who don’t know, she is best known for playing Arya Stark in Game of Thrones. Now I just started watching the show, so I’m not too familiar with characters at the moment. However is this goes through, I couldn’t be happier. She looks like a perfect candidate, though my one concern is if she will look 14 by the time filming starts. Her character Arya is also known as a head-strong, tough character lending her perfectly to a role like Ellie.

Fans are reporters are also suggesting Elle Fanning of Maleficent and Ellen Page of X-Men: The Last Stand and Beyond: Two Souls among others for the role.  I’m not really against these choices either, but I like many others prefer Maisie Williams for the role.

As for Joel, that’s anyone’s guess. Popular opinion from the fans seem to lean on Hugh Jackman. I have to agree that Jackman seems like the perfect candidate. Especially when you consider his portrayal of Wolverine, he can definitely pull off Joel’s personality. This would be my first choice. Josh Brolin is another popular choice, and I wouldn’t oppose to him either given that he does have Joel’s look about him.

The one aspect I’m wondering about is how the story will be executed. I say this because movies nowadays go for about two-and-a-half hours give or take, especially major blockbusters like this one is trying to be.  The Last of Us is over 3 hours long with cutscenes alone; and this is without the action scenes represented through gameplay. Obviously there’s going to be elements that are cut, but which parts?

The game takes place in the span of a year, following 4 stories spread across the 4 seasons. Each season minus Spring introduced new characters that greatly impacted the story, such as Tess, David, Marlene, Tommy, Henry and Sam. The most efficient route is to either rush certain parts or cut them entirely. I’d imagine Henry and Sam’s part could be cut, Tommy’s would be side-lined, and David’s would be shortened. I think it would be a shame to do that, but time is the enemy of many movies. (Just ask The Amazing Spider-Man 2). I could be entirely wrong, though. I trust that Neil Druckman will represent all his characters in a way that makes sense.


 

Well, that’s my side of the whole movie. I’m insanely excited as I am nervous. Keep in mind my observations could entirely far-off, but this is the way I personally see it. Do you guys agree at all, or do you feel differently. Let me know so we can speculate together.

I’m Sbox180. Thanks for reading!