: Ben's Week In Review: April 13

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Ben's Week In Review: April 13

Well, another week during which I couldn't tear myself away from FFX HD. ;)

What exactly is a "forced" microtransaction?"

There's no way that's a black-and-white question. When I heard Evolution Studios say that Driveclub absolutely wouldn't feature "forced microtransactions," I wondered about their definition of "forced."

Does it mean the player can complete the game without paying for any extra equipment or features? Okay, but what if it's possible yet very difficult? Things get even more complex when you consider that Driveclub will be driven - pun intended - by the community at large. Therefore, doesn't the necessity of microtransactions depend a great deal on what your opponents and allies do? How can we predict that? I think the bottom line is that despite what publishers and some developers say, microtransactions are just a sneaky way of separating you from your money.

I understand the principle, of course. And nobody is forcing you to purchase those microtransactions; in fact, with the free-to-play model, even if you hated the game, you still didn't lose any money. Buyer beware, as always. And once again, the obvious holds true: We have microtransactions because they work. Hence, many people are buying them. Businessmen simply meet demand; consumers create that demand.

Kojima may have a respectable man-crush on Western developers

Hideo Kojima made headlines by telling the developers of Tom Clancy's The Division that they're "so good, it makes me want to quit my job." But you know, this isn't the first time he has heaped very high praise upon a Western developer. He was also one of the first prominent Japanese designers to admit that Japan was lagging behind in the video game world. He often cites top-tier Western productions during interviews, and he's said he wouldn't mind collaborating with Western devs on the famed Metal Gear Solid franchise. It's really cool that he has a great respect for other developers outside Japan, but...I dunno, seems like he likes 'em a little too much.

And besides, he shouldn't downplay his own achievements. He tends to shrug off much of the acclaim that comes his way, so it almost seems like he's transferring that praise to Western designers. Like I said, it's tactful and diplomatic of him, but I still think he should acknowledge his own legendary contributions to this industry.

Personal gaming update

As I said above, it's still all about FFX in the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster. I'm in the Calm Lands now, running around Capturing fiends and powering up for the Mt. Gagazet trek. I last played the game over 12 years ago, but I distinctly remember the Gagazet section as being quite formidable. I did forget, however, just how far you have to go before you gain access to the airship. You gotta take down Yunalesca before you get to travel! Still not sure how far I'm going to go, but I've already logged over 30 hours, which is ridiculous considering how little time I have and how big my backlog is. ;)

I won't be playing any more of The Witch and the Hundred Knight; it had promise and I liked some of the different concepts, but it was just too irritating overall. I can't stand games that make me cringe. Oh, and I know The Last of Us: Remastered is getting a ton of attention, but I've said everything I need to say on that matter.

4/12/2014 Ben Dutka

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Comments (35 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, April 12, 2014 @ 10:21:34 PM
Reply

I figure forced means the game won't become unreasonably difficult or long if you don't pay for more stuff. I don't really think customers are creating the demand for this stuff though, we would prefer it all come on the disc. I think the businessmen are creating the demand by holding extras for ransom. We pay because we like a full experience with all the bells n whistles, even if it is extortion.

Koji better be careful getting so in love with Western stuff, Ground Zeroes dipped into the 8 territory for that which isn't where he belongs.

PGU: Gotta break from FFX's hard Gagazet Seymour battle while I write a 15 page paper on my favorite book Frankenstein. (Frankly it's amazing that I've been able to add to PSXE lately) The Gagazet part of the game is very punishing and I'll need freedom time to grind. I got Lightning Returns at a reduced price to put a cap on the series, and I've placed my honest unbiased opinions in this editorial:

http://www.onlysp.com/lightning-returns-a-haters-honest-opinion/


Also have a dream of getting a wheel for my PS3 some day and driving around. I hate car games but many of you said how great Burnout Paradise was as an open world car game, which is the only kind I thought I could stand. And DAYUM it is FUN! I love the crashes. I still can't afford a wheel but it'll be way better when I can.

Plus I watched the Bayonetta anime and that made me decide to add the game to my final PS3 collection so I got it for a few bucks.

Trying to squeeze time in for Second Son but those powers are so much weaker and fewer in number than Cole's that it's hard to have the same kind of addictive fun of the other games.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 4/12/2014 10:21:46 PM

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Corvo
Saturday, April 12, 2014 @ 10:33:04 PM
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Long as there's no 50$ single car micro for Driveclub it'll be alright. forza went too far with that crap.

Keep thinking about buying the MGS collection but I keep not doing it. I did have an hour of fun with MGS ground zeroes. Wish I cared about collecting everything. Did manage to meet that one guy you save. It blew my mind. Anyways, Kojima is a funny guy who loves movies and food. Merica tends to have a lot of those things so it makes sense he also loves the games from here as well.

Platinumed SH2. Never again will I play that piece of garbage HD port. Especially sh3... HOW CAN YOU MESS UP THAT MUCH IN A PORT?!

Second Son is so much fun to play I can't believe it. Big stress relief from the crap that is silent hill hd collection.

As much as I love Dark Souls 2, I wanted to say something ironic. It has no soul. Its packed with content and everything in the middle but it really has no lasting feels for it. Not like Demons Souls did and not even like Dark Souls. I can tell they went quantity over quality and thats all fine and dandy but I really feel like I missed the big picture of the game. I loved the lore from DS and DKS, which is next to non-existent in DKS2. The game is fun and everything but I really hoped for some extra story stuff that had to do with dark souls. It should have been its own game, seeing how it has nothing to do with it. I guess once the PC gamers get it and they hack and mod it to death I'll find out if that boss is actually the final boss and if so... 2/10 final boss score.

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, April 12, 2014 @ 10:50:50 PM
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I just think that microtransactions are shady as, no matter how you want to look at them. I can see how and why they work, but I don't really understand why someone would buy a game, only to pay their way to success. I mean, I play games for the challenge of learning the systems, overcoming the odds and seeing the stories. MTs reduce the need to learn the systems and reduce the odds, so two strikes out of three... not for me.

Kojima is working with Western developers... KojiPro L.A. are supposedly doing the new MGO for TPP. I wouldn't say that he seems to like Western devs too much, but I don't much like his taste in games. I really don't understand the appeal of The Division (even though I enjoyed Ghost Recon Future Soldier). It's a post-apocalyptic city-set MMO shooter. I'm sure it'll be pretty good, but very little about that seems as though it deserves the praise it's getting.

Personal Update:
About twenty hours into Mass Effect. Mostly a good game, but the UI needs serious work. Only able to hold 150 items, and no ability to easily drop lots of them at one time is infuriating. Also... I'm not fond of the lack of urgency. Had to get off the Citadel in a hurry, and now I'm just cruising through the systems cleaning up side-missions while the big bad enemy amasses its forces (or not, because I'm free to take as much time as I want with no penalty). It just doesn't make sense. And I know that that what RPGs are, but I'm really not feeling it with ME.
Not much other than that.
Peace.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 12:04:52 AM

Just so you know, the other 2 games are like that too. Giant frickin threat to everything happens, then you tiptoe in the tulips for like dozens of hours until you're ready to go.

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Temjin001
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 12:12:13 AM

I finished ME3 a few weeks back and I didn't think the ending was nearly as disappointing as the backlash made it out to be. I was satisfied with the ending personally.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 1:27:59 AM

But Temjin if you played it recently you must have had the additional content ending they released right?

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 4:32:07 AM

World,
Eh, with few exceptions, that's RPGs in general, though. The only RPGs that I've played that actually address the issue in some way are FFXIII/LR; Demon's Souls and Valkyria Chronicles, and three of those four do it by being largely linear affairs.

Skyrim, Oblivion, Fallout 3, FFIV, Deus Ex, to less extent VCII; they all let you p**s about chasing butterflies and similar nonsense while this supposedly massive threat looms in the background. I know that time limits aren't a popular concept around these parts, but I think that the main questline of a lot of RPGs could actually do with one, and then allow you to itty about doing whatever you want afterwards.

As for the ending... I'll worry about that when I get to it in 100 hours, or however long it takes.

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xenris
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 2:50:26 PM

The lack of urgency in ME1 is a little ho hum, they could have put a timer in it or something like that to make you have to go to the citidel or get a game over or have a hugely different ending. I didn't have a problem with the inventory I never understood the complaints and I beat the game about 6 times.

@Temjin, I think the backlash was worth it if you played through the others. It just felt like a rushed cop out of an ending. Plus so many interesting story threads were treated poorly. I don't want to spoil anything but it made all the choices in the other games feel like they had NO weight to them. Also the "science" behind the ending made no sense either. It just felt like a mess of a game to me, one that needed more time in development.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 3:26:30 PM

ehh I don't really think of it that way at all, Dragon Age doesn't do that. You do do a lot of messing around in RPGs but they also tend to have events in a sequence instead of giving you the last boss at the beginning then sending you on your way.

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Temjin001
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 5:20:59 PM

World, while I got to see the extended ending on my first go, the additional content only served to help illustrate what was already implied by the events of the original original ending. But yeah, I did appreciate having more content.

Xenris. I figured the upset was from those who really studied out the plot points from the prior games. But I never felt that invested in the more minute details to have noticed. So while I do consider myself a fan and have played through the original 2 games, ME2 was played quite extensively, I wasn't left dismayed. I was somewhat impressed that newer characters in ME3 like EDI presented a type of foreshadowing to the culmination of the plot. I felt that was a mark of quality and well thought out storytelling, as an underlying reoccurring theme was present from beginning to end both from Shepard's interpersonal friendships and the overarching plot. I don't think ME3 was perfect by any stretch. And I do think ME2 was the better game. But for me I was presented with satisfying closure and I'm eager to see future titles from the franchise.

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BikerSaint
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 12:04:04 AM
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I've never played any "micro-transaction" games & don't plan to start anytime soon either. I mean, with all the 1000's of great games already out, there's more than enough there to keep me preoccupied the rest of my natural born days.

As for Kojima, Hey, I guess it's hard to be a genius without having your own little idiosyncrasies and/or tics(like most great geniuses seem to have, IMO).

My PGU.....
Just got 100% completion on Rain & am now in Act 1, Curtain 2, of Puppeteer & I have to say that I'm enjoying both.

BUT....I have 1 new major pet peeve now......

WTF is with this new thing I've noticed lately of there being "NO PLATNIUM" in games.

Hell, I'm not a trophy whore so I don't normally go out of my way to get every one of them in most games, but when I do, I should've at least had 4 plats by now.

But, thanks to getting 100% in 3 no-plat games I've played so far, I still only have 1 plat(& that's only for Mafia 2), just because Infamous: Festival of blood, FC3: Blood Dragon, & Rain don't give out any plat trophies for getting 100 completion.

WTH???, Sony should include making plats a mandatory part of the trophy list on all games, whether they're AAA, indie or whatever..

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 8:00:35 AM

Plats are for full games only. That's how it works.

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BikerSaint
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 6:40:33 PM

Killa,

Since I'm not really sure if I'm understanding you correctly or not on what you meant by full games, can you elaborate some more?????

As for myself, I would consider that FC3 BD & I:FOB were all stand-alone full games in their own right.

And in my eyes, Rain was a definitely a full game.

Also as another point of contention, I've been noticing that on the PS Blog's comment section the last few months, more & more commenters are constantly asking if that upcoming featured game will have a plat trophy or not, so I know that I'm not the only one wondering why every game that already has trophy support aren't automatically including a "plat" with the rest of their trophy listings.

I mean I figure that it's got to be such a easy=peasy small little thing to implement in satisfying the gaming masses(or at least for those who are able to 100% their game).

And if I(or any gamer for that matter) can take the time to get 100% competition in their game, then those same developers can also make damned sure to include a "Plat" for that same game too.
So as the Nike ads used to say....
"Just do it"!!!!!!





Last edited by BikerSaint on 4/13/2014 6:49:25 PM

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H8WL3R
Monday, April 14, 2014 @ 8:46:13 PM

I like that games have platinum trophies as well, but I'd rather that multi-player trophies and DLC content trophies didn't count towards the plat though and remained separate, unless of course it's an online only game.

I mean take games that have been out for however long, but whoever is responsible for keeping them open decides to shut them down, well then there is no longer any way to get those trophies now (SOCOM and Resistance series as examples). Also if a person simply wants to play the single-player campaign, but in order to platinum they need those other trophies as well. Same thing for DLC trophies whereas the person can't or simply doesn't intend to get that DLC but needs it for the plat.

I think it would be nice if the platinum was for obtaining all single-player main content trophies. Anyone else agree?

Last edited by H8WL3R on 4/14/2014 8:56:34 PM

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Temjin001
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 12:37:16 AM
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PGU: Been playing Infamous SS and Killzone Shadow Fall.
Infamous has been good solid fun. There's nothing particularly outstanding about it other than how nice it looks but it's still very satisfying all around.

KZ, on the other hand, is surprisingly only pretty good at best by my liking. I would've been happy with a Second Son style offering, where the formula doesn't change and the graphics get a nice facelift, but instead it's something much different. Whether it's feeling directionless in levels, to contrived and crappy implementations of narrative directed game play sections, to AI that seems poor a lot of the time, to the bland story, to the annoying tension building percussion that is way too loud by default, to the OWL's funky behavior and wonky control mechanisms, it just feels half baked. I admire their attempt in trying something new but the problem I have is that everything new they tried is really problematic and poorly done. It all feels like something that needed more time to flesh out and develop. I'm deep on the 6th chapter. Maybe it turns itself around during the last half....


Last edited by Temjin001 on 4/13/2014 12:39:14 AM

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 12:48:17 AM

Your avatar scares me...

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Temjin001
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 12:49:25 AM

I forgot to mention the annoying canister puzzles during the third chapter... and all the cheap deaths the game nails me with randomly.

..alright done ranting. it's mostly all negative but I just expect a lot more from GG. I know they can do better.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 4/13/2014 12:52:26 AM

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Temjin001
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 12:49:48 AM

haha, lawless. Okay, it changes tonight!

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 4:43:39 AM

Wanted to reply more fully earlier, but had little time.

I find what you have to say about KZ interesting. I mean, we have surprisingly many people coming here onto PSXE to say that they feel that most of the new-gen games don't feel new enough; criticising iF:SS and Knack and ACIV and Thief and whatever else. And then, here you are as a contrarian talking about how the shift towards trying new things in KZ really didn't pay off...

Now, obviously that new-gen sense is going to be a balancing act that's going to take some time for developers to get a handle on. And I know that you're criticising the implementation of the new things, rather than the new things themselves, but it still seems odd, considering the widespread call for new things.

Also, Batman?

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xenris
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 2:54:29 PM

I just got Second Son for my birthday and I agree its good solid fun. Its fun to play, and mess around in. It is a little repetitive though, I wish they could have spiced some things up a bit but still its a good start.

The only part of the game I don't like is the moral choices, they are so forced and so silly, they were better handled in the other infamous where missions were completed differently and that was your moral choice. They need to go back to this in the next game they make.

I played the free KZ multiplayer weekend and it was fun. Not something I would get PSplus for but it felt like a PC shooter which is good in my books. Will probably skip on buying it though I have heard its mediocre.

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Temjin001
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 5:31:30 PM

Lawless. Yah, it's really a gamble on the devs part. If the dev deviates from the norm they run the risk of making something that feels worse but on the flip side if they succeed they can have something really remarkable. I feel something like Infamous SS, while could never be outstanding by being safe and traditional as it is, delivered something satisfying to those who like the franchise for how it's been. KZ on the other hand tried new things but failed miserably at creating an alternative that stands as high as past efforts. I could really list a ton of things that needed to happen or be fixed that would've gone a long way to improving whats there for me. For example, having larger areas can be nice and all but here it doesn't usually work because they don't give you any kind of mini-map. It's upsetting too because you have an instrument that does an environment trace to detect enemies in the area. Why they couldn't convert that to telemetry data and provided a map is beyond me. It would've gone a long way towards eliminating times of feeling lost. Other ideas, like hacking robot spiders was just half hearted, not to mention controlling them is terrible.
But I'll stop. I know you're a smart guy so when you get a chance to play it I'm sure you'll agree that it could've been a lot more.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 4/13/2014 5:32:36 PM

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homura
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 4:51:02 AM
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I think Hideo was amazed by the visual graphics of The Division. Maybe he saw a level of realism in "The Division" that he wants to achieve in his game that's why he said that joke.

PGU:

Still playing Record Of Agarest War 2.

Check out this combo demo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB77axX02OI



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___________
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 4:58:34 AM
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forced is a pretty subjective term a little too open to interpretation.
i just dont understand why the game has MCs in the first place, i mean what the 120 bucks were paying for games is suddenly not enough!?
yea, shove it up your a$$!
im all for MCs as long as the game is F2P, afterall that IS why they were invented!
ive always been saying thats a perfect way to sell more copies of your game and eventually make allot more money from it.
man if i had a nickel for every time i or someone i know did not buy a game because of its price, but then was loaned it or got it on sale, and ended up loving it to death and spending more time playing that than others, id be the richest thing in the universe!
hell infamous one of my favorite new IPs a perfect example i was not going to get that the videos looked really generic and repetitive to me, but then i downloaded the demo and i swear i played the demo for hours every single freaking day till the game came out, i couldnt get enough of it!
neir another example i was not going to get that, then a friend of mine brought it over and i loved it and spent oh so much time with that game!
borderlands 2 the same thing, i HATED the original, but again a friend of mine brought it over and here i am over 50 hours spent on that game now!
not to mention the amount of games i havent bothered with because i dont think i will get enough out of them, like destiny for instance that looks oh so freaking cool, but i HATE MMOs so i wont be playing it.
i loved skyrim, but i wont be buying elder scrolls online because 1 its a MMO, and 2 monthly subscriptions?
seriously?
that is so 2008!
remember what happened to star wars the old republic?
what was suppose to be a massive hit, it is one of THE most expensive games EVER made, and EA had to switch it to F2P so quickly because they were making no money off it!
same will happen to this.

point is F2P really opens up a game to everyone, everyone can get a taste of the game, see everything it has to offer.
and another beauty of microtransactions is you get to choose what you want to pay for.
instead of going and paying 120 bucks for KZSF, why cant i say i wont touch the MP so ill just buy the campaign for x less the 120RRP?
F2P and MCs really open up a whole new set of buying options and will expand your audience massively so i really cant understand why were still being forced into these stupid old archaic pricing systems!

one thing ive always hated about koji, and this pretty much goes for all asians, and no thats not racist, is there such hypocrites!
hes constantly whinging that japanese development has suffered allot from where it use to be, which it most certainly has, but instead of taking it upon himself, a japanese developer, a SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM, instead of fixing it, he contributes to it.
infuane another perfect example.
if i had a nickel for every japanese developer ive heard complain about the state of their industry, but then go and cause the exact problem which their complaining about, again id be the richest thing in the universe!
instead of whining about the problem, especially since your the source of the problem, how about you actually try to fix it!?
hes constantly whining oh your games so much more creative than mine, oh im so sick of MGS, i want to kill snake and leave.
WELL DO IT!
whos holding a shotgun to your head saying nope you cant leave the studio, and saying nope your not allowed to work on anything but MGS?
all he does is whine about things, never ever tries to solve the problem.


still in the process of trying to get CLoS 2 working on steam, god i am so f*cking sick of buying games off steam and them not working for months!
really dont understand why it is so f*cking hard to get a PC game working.
really pissed me off i was so excited for this probably one of my most anticipated games for the year, especially because of the combat system is one of the very few which is actually so indepth and so much fun!
and its sitting on my HDD, and has been for 2 freaking months now, laughing at me!
GGGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i hate the april - july months its just so boring and uneventful!
nothing really coming out till watch dogs, than after that nothing really big until destiny in september and i hate MMOs, so for me nothing really big till probably late october!
oh well gives me some time to catch up on the indie classics, i wish TTG would hurry the *&^% up and release the final episodes for their two games, really want to play them but i hate the episodic crap so i refuse to play them till everythings out.
might jump into the bioshock infinite DLC tonight really been wanting to start that and now all the DLC is finally out theres nothing holding me back.
well that is of course if steam decides to work..................

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PlatformGamerNZ
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 6:45:59 AM
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well yeah he's praising the devs we've being buying for years but the japan stuff is just a case of devs taking their eye of their audience and becomes something else and fails miserably

happy gaming =)

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 8:03:57 AM
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Let's not forget the rant of Cliffy B after Microsoft was forced to remove the 24hr online check in for XB1. He defended microsoft over the gaming community and said we should expect more micro transactions.
So, I think I would rather pay a little extra to not have to have a dependable internet connection all the time while I play a friends game. We can afford it with the 100$ we saved buying the PS4 over XB1.

PGU: Infamous SS, Unit 13, Some Shadow Fall. Still need to beat Shadow Fall, but it's so much harder than past KZs. And it doesn't feel anything like the past two entries. It's not a bad game, but I'm starting to regret the $60 spent on it. In fact I would say that I've enjoyed KZ:Mercenary more.

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 8:23:51 AM
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Also. I didn't know the GDC was going on this week. Now I have an hour or so of catching up on the youtubery.
Personally I think VR could work and I'm not against it. So long as it never gets in the way of the art of video games. Although better VR than publisher profit earnings. Maybe it will be the lesser of two evils. I was also a supporter of 3D and the PS Move and neither of those made it very far. Wonder where VR will be two years down the road.

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mid10smaradoarg
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 10:20:58 AM
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Incomplete not a single word of H-HOUR WORLDS ELITE.

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Underdog15
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 12:38:59 PM

Pardon?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 1:59:44 PM

^ What he said

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xenris
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 2:55:43 PM

This guy is kind of spamming different articles but basically it is a game on Steamgreenlight being made by ex zipper guys that looks like Socom.

However what he fails to realize is that its not being released or advertized on consoles, at least not yet.

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Underdog15
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 7:03:01 PM

Ah, I see. Glad it didn't really matter.

Xenris, I hope you make a lot of money as an interpreter.

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xenris
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 3:00:48 PM
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Right now I've got a lot of games to juggle between work. I am coming to the end of my Dark souls 2 playthrough and while I love the game, I think that the first two souls games felt more coherent and had just more connected and alive feeling worlds. I like the bits of the lore that make the world feel connected to DS1 but it just feels like its lacking something.

Playing Infamous Second Son and its good fun, just got it for my birthday. I also got RAGE which is a great game too. I am really impressed with the animations in that game, and the art direction in general.

The last game I got for my birthday was Playsation allstars and I must say I had a blast with that an 3 friends over the weekend. It does feel almost exactly like smash bros, and while I don't like how you can only get points by landing your special I do think the game is a ridiculous amount of fun for a party brawler.

Other than that I preordered Drakengaurd 3 and am super looking forward to getting my hands on that in May.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 8:26:24 PM

I preordered it too, I know I shouldn't have but something about it is calling to me. I'm gonna enjoy the Nier costume bonus.

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xenris
Monday, April 14, 2014 @ 12:05:59 AM

I sadly didn't preorder it in time to get the japanese voice DLC which sucks. I heard the japanese trailer and it sounded way way better. Oh well I kind of like the campy anime voice acting so its not the worst.

Why shouldn't you have? Its by the NIER team did you play NIER? It was fantastic, at least I thought it was :P

What I have seen Drakenguard looks to be really crazy and dark and twisted which is something I don't get a lot of in my games.

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Bromus398
Sunday, April 13, 2014 @ 9:50:17 PM
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Just finished up my Hero run of Infamous: Second Son. I heartily enjoyed it, definitely a step up from the other Infamous games -- which I also enjoyed a lot, but this one felt like a bit more personal of a hero's journey and that clicked with me. Granted, the voice acting and just beautiful mo-cap really sold a lot of the moments toward the end more so than the story itself, but I couldn't find much if anything to critique the game on. There were a couple of goofy camera moments, and a couple of glitched fights where I just bounced around after getting hit once and just had to wait until I died to gain control again, but these instances were extremely rare -- the glitch only happened once, and the camera a handful of times. I will say that I'm normally not a fan of open-world games, but Infamous always did it for me. The games remind me of a refined version of the old Spider-Man 2 open-world gameplay. I'd give this one a 9 out of 10

I'm also doing a run through of FFX with the expert Sphere Grid. I definitely enjoy the expert Sphere Grid set up much more than the original. The game itself still has its annoyances -- Blitzball I'm looking at you. I'm also reminded a bit more of why I didn't play the PS2 version more than a couple of times (I've played most of the FF games a couple of times, with my favorites hitting 5-6 playthroughs) with the introduction of voice acted cut-scenes really kind of detracting from the proceedings for me. Not that I think they're terrible by any stretch of the imagination, just a bit more melodramatic and not quite as affecting or entertaining as some of the translated dialogue before voice acting became a part of the games. I'm still at a relatively early spot in the game, but I'm enjoying the grind in spots.

Looking forward to doing a run of Infamous SS as a villain, and finishing up Tomb Raider on my PS4 as I keep getting distracted from it.

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