PlayStation 4 and Xbox One officially here, The Last of Us Single-Player DLC Announced, Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea DLC pt. 1 released and ex-Game Informer Editor Meagan Marie makes a good impression as a Cosplayer

Check out my PlayStation 4 Launch Experience with “PS4: Gamer on the Ground” Article

Unless you live under a sand dune on Mars or you have that Helen Keller disease, you probably are aware that Sony and Microsoft have both launched their next-gen consoles on Nov 15th (PS4) and Nov 22nd (Xbox One), respectively. Being a gamer requires that you also understand the finer things in life, like how to talk away that mustard stain on your hoodie as canvas paint or know how to camp out and prepare yourself for a midnight system launch. It’s been nearly seven years for Sony and over eight years for Microsoft, so to say these console launches aren’t as exciting as before is underwhelming. Attending the midnight launch of the PlayStation 4 at my local GameStop, there was so much excitement people could hardly contain themselves as we discussed past launches, the games we loved and why I was the only person at the launch who wasn’t actually buying a system (the latter fact is irrelevant guys, BECAUSE I SAY SO). I tried innumerably to convince my fellow gamers to all pool in their funds and buy me a console, but my desperation only compounded matters for the worse and did me no favorable service. My associate who worked at GameStop told me that I had ZERO chance to obtain a unit without first pre-ordering months a go, so I cried and screamed and begged like a child having a temper tantrum, only to be forcefully removed from the premises. “Act your age” everyone said…. “Nobody wants to see a big, fat almost-30 year old man child writhing on the floor in tears” they said… WELL SCREW YOU GUYS!  OK, so maybe I embellished some of the above statements, and I didn’t actually get kicked out… I left of my own accord with dignity. I did return however with a bag full of chocolate because everyone knows gamers can’t resist big bags of snacks…. and was thus welcomed back to the launch party swiftly. “Chocolates for all” I declared! So as the night went on I snapped a few photos when I could and returned during the evening to my local Best Buy with my entourage in tow to play the PS4 demo kiosk and get some intimate, hands-on time with the console myself. Here’s what happened when trying to play first-party launch exclusive “KNACK”:

 

Unfortunately, we were shutdown and ejected by the evil Best Buy Dragon Queen because the legality of filming violates their PR policies. I couldn’t buy a PS4, I don’t know anyone that owns a unit who will let me rebox and unbox to have my own cool unboxing video then play it for hours while they sit and watch (apparently the only person I do know that owned one wanted to play it all for themselves launch day, go figure) so I did the next best thing:  going to a business that owned one with my film crew and using their free generosity to mooch gaming playtime and record it. Can a broke, ambivalent man-child gamer really be blamed for such gratuitous behavior? For my complete “PS4: Gamer on the Ground” article, click on the following link or click on the tab of the same name under the Editorials tab:

https://hiddendefinition.wordpress.com/editorials-essays-and-gamer-girls-just-a-myth-or-do-they-exist/playstation-4-launch-gamer-on-the-ground/

 

The Last of Us Single Player DLC “Left Behind” announced, Ellie a returning character

I have advocated every chance that has come to pass for TLoU to be a Game of the Year frontrunner and with this next DLC pack, scheduled to be released early 2014 my contention only grows stronger. Naughty Dog has confirmed the single-player story DLC for “The Last of Us” will indeed see the return of Ellie as a playable character and in fact, be a prequel to the core games story. It will also introduce the character of Riley, one of Ellie’s best and only friends at the military orphanage where she was being schooled. If you’ve read the Dark House 4-part comic series “American Dreams” then you should have some idea of what to expect, although the DLC is not an exact recreation from the comics story and appears to take place after the events from the last comic and in-between the beginning of the main game. I implore you guys to read “American Dreams” because not only does it offer a great precursor to Ellie’s backstory, but it also serves as a companion piece to the game’s main narrative. Here’s the teaser trailer for the DLC, entitled “Left Behind“:

 

Bioshock: Infinite “Burial at Sea” pt. 1 released

Return to Rapture before it's downfall and see it as in the utopia Andrew Ryan envisioned. Liz seeks out Bookers help as a Private Investigator in "Burial at Sea".

Return to Rapture before it’s downfall and see it as in the utopia Andrew Ryan envisioned. Liz seeks out Bookers help as a Private Investigator in “Burial at Sea”.

The first part of a duo DLC single-player pack for Bioshock: Infinite was released on November 12th for a MSRP of $14.99, or if you have the Season Pass then it’s available digitally as a download now for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. “Burial at Sea” is a two-part adventure that returns the player to Rapture in it’s glory days before plasmids corrupted the loyal denizens into Splicers and all hell broke loose.  Featuring some new weapons and a whole new story, you’ll play as private investigator Booker DeWitt hired by very more adult, demure persona of Elizabeth in the first part then take over and play as Elizabeth in the second part.

I was really disappointed with the story direction featured in Bioshock: Infinite’s single-player two part DLC “Burial at Sea” and although the concept and the return of Liz and Booker are certainly welcome, it seems so much more could’ve been explored within Infinite’s universe instead of returning to a glorified Rapture. Probably the most intriguing, albeit silent protagonist in a game this year was Infinite’s “Songbird“, the giant mechanical fowl that served as Elizabeth’s frightening ward in the main campaign. For all the lip-service Irrational paid to it’s newest terrifying creation (the collectors edition featured a 12-14” statue of the character and was aptly dubbed “Ultimate Songbird Edition“), Songbird was hardly featured in the core game and ultimately relegated to a minor supporting role. It seems their was so much back story for this character and situational set pieces that could’ve been crafted within a DLC campaign to give Songbird a more involved role. Am I the only one that feels this way? Comment below and speak your mind about what your ideal DLC scenario for Bioshock Infinite would’ve been.

 

Cosplayer Meagan Marie strikes a pose and brings her characters to life

Recently featured on Kotaku’s Fancy Pants (http://kotaku.com/5876329/the-very-best-of-meagan-maries-cosplay/), I knew she looked familiar. Sure enough, flipping through some of my past print editions of “Game Informer” I saw Meagan’s picture appear several times co-mingling with other GI editors, game developers and game industry folks. Not only is she a hell of a writer, but she can cosplay with the best of them. Take a look for your self:

Meagan-Marie_as_Anya-large

Meagan portraying Anya from Gears of War, one of the few female gears that could take down herds of the locust with the boys

 

Meagan as Marie Antoinette, the ill-fated last queen of France and dare I say, one of the original "it-girls" before there even was a Hollywood.

Meagan as Marie Antoinette, the ill-fated last queen of France and dare I say, one of the original “it-girls” before there even was a Hollywood.

If you want to see more of Meagan’s tireless effort to recreate our favorite fictional and non-fictional characters, then go to her website and admire her skill as only us gross, girlfriend-less gamers could; by showering her with lots of praise and stalking her. Just kidding Meagan, all my subjective comments come from a place of gamer love

Meagan Marie’s WordPress Blog:

http://www.meagan-marie.com/

P.S.  You’ve cosplayed titular gaming characters, historical and mythical figures and even sci-fi badasses. But their seems to be one missing from your resume that happens to be my all time favorite gaming character: Samus Aran. Yes, I know it’s been done but there are so many different ways to approach her. A strong female lead when console gaming was still in it’s infancy and female heroines were uncommon, most women in games were relegated to the “damsel in distress” cliches. Her revelation came as a pleasant surprise to most gamers who played through the original Metroid and were expecting anything but. One of the original Nintendo stalwart characters, Samus has always been my favorite and if Nintendo would release a new Metroid game where she resumes the role of the silent, lone-wolf character (no more talking please, Samus spoke enough in “Other M” to last the next three generations of Metroid games), I would instantly go out and buy a Nintendo console just to play it. Just a thought, or rant. Whatever.

 

SAMUSARAN-spacesuit

 samus_aran_down_after_fight_w_motherbrain

 

metroid_samus_aran_desktop_1024x768_free-wallpaper-38500

Advertisements

HiddenDefinition turns one year old, PS4 launch title Driveclub delayed until 2014, Official PS4 FAQ posted by Sony on their blog and next-gen AAA title Titanfall will NEVER come to PS4

HiddenDefinition’s One Year Anniversary!

HAPPY BIRFDAY TO US

HAPPY BIRFDAY TO US

If you had told me this site would’ve survived beyond a year, gained a cult following of a mind-blowing six people (hey, it’s a small cult and everybody knows cults are almost always more effective with a limited resume of cryptic followers, just look at the Manson family) and rocked the online gaming community to it’s core I would’ve scoffed in your face and possibly spit on you (OK, the last point is clearly a lie). But here we are, a year later and HD is still going lukewarm strong. To commemorate this insignificant landmark that surely noone will recognize I ripped off a funny pic courtesy of IMGUR. Thanks to whoever thoughtfully took the precious time to create the above craft and post it, if you feel you deserve more credit please comment on this post and I’ll text you dickpics. Just kidding, they’ll be nip pics, I do have some shame. So, let’s do a little dance, sing a little song and drown this forgettable occasion in a plethora of news! ON WITH THE NEWS!!

Sony confirms that PS4 launch title DriveClub is delayed until early 2014

UK based Evolution studios PS4 racer "DriveClub" will not be available day one, or even this year for that matter (screenshot taken from in-game)

UK based Evolution studios PS4 racer “DriveClub” will not be available day one, or even this year for that matter (screenshot taken from in-game)

This is the second big launch loss for Sony, as Ubisoft announced earlier that their new IP for next-gen and current-gen consoles Watch Dogs was also delayed until 2014. DriveClub is a team-based racing sim that…. well we don’t know too much about it yet but from the above image it certainly looks very pretty. It’s too bad, since Microsoft will have Forza which also admittedly looks awesome and will be available during the Xbox One launch. As I’ve stated multiple times on this site and I will now reiterate, anytime a game is delayed it’s typically for the greater good. Nobody wants a glitchy, cobbled-together mess pushed out the door just to make a release date because then nobody wins. So while in the short term it’s definitely a blow to Sony’s already iffy first-party launch lineup, in the long term will be better for it. DriveClub was also supposed to come free with PlayStation Plus membership for those who signed up after the PS4 launched, obviously offering incentive to pay for Sony’s lucrative premium online service. In it’s stead, Sony is now offering the moody platformer “Contrast” as the free replacement digital game download which is still a bargain. While Contrast may not contain the same broad appeal as an arcade/driving simulator for early adopters, from all reports Contrast is a game that is beautifully crafted and offers a twist on the platform genre. Also, there is a little title called Gran Turismo 6 which is going to be released in December for the PS3, so I’m sure all you racing fans can manage. Either way, Sony has you covered. If you’ve yet to see Contrast in action, here’s a the trailer as a refresher:

Sony clarifies what the PS4 can and cannot do during it’s infancy with the official PlayStation 4 FAQ

Sony has released a 30-something page FAQ that covers everything A-Z with it’s newest console. If you have any unanswered questions regarding the next-gen behemoth that haven’t properly been answered outside the realm of speculation, you can find out whatever it is you need to know with official confirmation on Sony’s US Blog. Notable points of interest include the system will not play audio CD’s or MP3’s, which is kind of a bummer but Sony has insisted that it has listened to our shrieks of discontent and says that these issues may be remedied in future firmware updates. Also worthy of mention (which I posted in a news article back several weeks a go) is that the PS4 does not currently support bluetooth headsets. While the PS4 will include it’s own headset bundled, this is certainly puzzling as many gamers have pricey bluetooth sets of high-quality and it seems that for a next-gen console bluetooth would be an obvious mandatory inclusion. Hopefully after Sony works out whatever they need to after the console launches, will get some kind of update that doesn’t render our expensive bluetooth headsets as just relics for the aging PS3. For the full FAQ, click on the link below:

http://blog.us.playstation.com/2013/10/30/ps4-the-ultimate-faq-north-america/

EA confirms that developer Respawn’s next-gen blockbuster “Titanfall” is a Microsoft exclusive

Probably one of the biggest 3rd-party exclusive titles coming next-gen will never be making the rounds to Sony PlayStation, EVER. Electronic Arts confirmed recently that the Respawn-developed title will be an Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC/Windows exclusive for it’s lifetime. Many folks believed (as did I) that “Titanfall” was a timed exclusive, meaning the title would be available only for Microsoft gaming platforms for a period of 4-6 months before their licensing period expired and then it could be ported to the PS4, however that’s just not the case. Respawn took to the web to clarify this was a surprise as much to them as it was to those purchasing a PS4 over Xbox One, stating this was clearly a decision that came from the publishing giant EA and not them. Certainly disappointing, however many Sony first-party studios have yet to even announce their own projects so I’m quite sure that the Sony faithful will be rewarded in time with a variety of kick ass exclusives. Naughty Dog, Media Molecule and Quantic Dream have all yet to show off or announce any next-gen titles (Sorry, but “The Dark Sorcerer” doesn’t count). This is what happens when you throw a crap load of money at a publisher and say “See that game one of you’re studios is developing, it’s ONLY coming to our platforms”. The good news is if you own a PC, Titanfall is still very playable as long as your system is up to spec. I don’t blame Microsoft for locking this game up, if it weren’t for exclusives then owning a Sony or Microsoft branded console would be utterly pointless. Gamers buy dedicated gaming consoles for the exclusive games that only they can offer. Otherwise, there would be no point as every title would be multi-platform, which in turn would lead to almost no competition and ultimately drive up price, or just kill of the console market all-together. This is why Nintendo will NEVER allow any of their stalwart first-party games and characters to touch another console manufacturer. Oh and by the way, if you’re looking for a bargain this holiday season and want a new console but don’t have the scratch to invest in the PS4 or Xbox One, may I recommend another viable option: Nintendo has released a special “mini” version of the Wii (aptly named the Wii Mini) which is bundled with Mario Kart 8 for $99. Nintendo doing what they do best, manufacturing and selling a game machine that just plays games, no more, no less. What more could you ask for?

The Wii Mini comes to retail Nov 17th. and includes a copy of Mario Kart Wii. On the negative side, unlike it's bigger brother the mini does not include S-video or SD card support, so you'll have to make do with standard composite A/V cables. However, the Wii was never an HD console to begin with so I don't see this as too big of a deal. Also, it lacks internet support so you won't be able to access the virtual console but again without an SD slot to save your downloads, this doesn't really matter anyways.

The Wii Mini comes to retail Nov 17th. and includes a copy of Mario Kart Wii. On the negative side, unlike it’s bigger brother the mini does not include S-video or SD card support, so you’ll have to make do with standard composite A/V cables. However, the Wii was never an HD console to begin with so I don’t see this as too big of a deal. Also, it lacks internet support so you won’t be able to access the virtual console but again without an SD slot to save your downloads, this doesn’t really matter anyways.

More new PlayStation 4 bundle rumors that supposedly includes a whole lot more for very little more money and Naughty Dog releases new update for “The Last of Us” that includes new multiplayer mode…. FOR FREE! WEEEE!

For a scantily clad, mere 100 dollar more investment you can purchase an awesome new PS4 Bundle that includes a game, extra DUALSHOCK 4 controller AND the new PS4 Eye camera

New PS4 bundles have been spotted online for sale in Europe that include a whole lot more extras for a very reasonable extra $100 sheckles.

New PS4 bundles have been spotted online for sale in Europe that include a whole lot more extras for a very reasonable extra $100 sheckles.

The inevitability of the new console launches from Sony and Microsoft are becoming more and more of a reality every new day that rises upon us. Next-Gen is almost here, and Sony has been rumored to soon announce a killer new bundle that includes (GET THIS:)

  • The PlayStation 4 Console + all standard A/V or HDMI cables plus AC Power Adapter
  • PS4 Launch Title KILLZONE: Shadow Fall
  • TWO Dual Shock 4 Controllers
  • PlayStation 4 Eye Camera
  • Plus all PlayStation 4 Bundles, whichever you purchase contain a Headset for communication via multiplayer or Live Chat services

So let’s break this down shall we? The standard PS4 bundle which includes the console, controller and headset costs $399. The aforementioned recently announced bundle contains all the extras for a total price of $499, the full price of rival Microsoft’s Xbox One console. Considering the fact that the MSRP on the PS4 Eye Camera is rumored to be around $100, the launch title Killzone: Shadow Fall will probably retail for around $59.99 and a new Dual Shock 4 Controller will most likely set you back another 50-60 dollars, your savings will be in the approximate range of 120 dollars. This estimate is hypothetical of course, since we truly won’t know the price of a Dual Shock 4 Controller, PS4 Eye Camera and Killzone launch title until they actually hit retail shelves. The prices offered via numerous online retailers such as Amazon maybe special prices for those who laid down the $100-200 in advance for preorders of the unit. If you have evidence to back up or refute my calculations, please don’t hesitate to comment and let me know. It should be noted that so far, this rumored bundle is only be spotted for sale in Europe so let’s hope Sony does the right thing here and makes it available to the states, yes?

Naughty Dog releases free v1.03 update for “The Last of Us” that includes new multiplayer mode called “Interrogation”

I have probably given up more hours of my life to TLOU’s surprisingly robust and addictive multiplayer portion then one would like to admit, but that is just a testament to Naughty Dog’s brilliant game design for their critically acclaimed summer PS3 blockbuster. In a recently new patch available for download via the PlayStation Network (version 1.03 to be exact) players will be greeted to a new multiplayer mode entitled “Interrogation“. While I haven’t played the new game mode for myself, I have heard mixed things about it. However, I won’t complain since it’s a free addition and not some hacked off bit to be locked away later as a DLC pack. I commend Naughty Dog on their commitment to keep “The Last of Us” fans constantly engaged via free updates and upcoming DLC packs. In the new Interrogation mode, you must literally torture your human opponents via shiv kills and other nasty executions to discover the whereabouts of their teams lockboxes. Once your team homes in and finds the precious booty,  your team must continue interrogating other opponents to ward off oncoming attackers and find the remaining additional lockboxes. If you’ve played this mode and loved it or hated it, comment and let me know, YES YES?

Xbox One-Eighty: Microsoft reverses it’s DRM and “always online” policies for it’s next-gen console

Xbox_One_Kinect_Console

Microsoft’s Xbox One, pictured above with the bundled Kinect camera/motion capture interface is priced at $499 and scheduled to hit retail shelves in November of this year.

In a move that has sent awe-confused ripples through the gaming community and set every gaming and technology internet forum afire, Microsoft has reversed their stringent DRM and online restrictions for the Xbox One. I have been around for every incarnation of a “next-gen” console since I was given a NES for Christmas back in the late 1980’s and I have never seen anything like this. For “features” that were touted by several high-ranking MS employees to be intricate and fundamental to how the console works, this reversal on their own policy creation is confusing and shocking, to say the least. It’s like a politician flip-flopping on their own failed policies, trying to sustain damage control. But is the damage already done? Can Microsoft regain the legions of once XBOX faithful to their floundering console (which hasn’t even been released yet) who have already claimed to switch over to Sony’s PS4, or is it to little, to late? Also, if it’s this easy for MS to remove these features 6 months before the consoles release that they apparently worked so hard to implement, whose to say that they won’t again reverse their policies once the Xbox One has a solid foot hold in the market via a firmware update?

MS certainly has an uphill battle to climb from here on out, but this policy reversal may have done more damage than good. Even though many gamers, journalists and bloggers were criticizing MS for their anti-consumer approach towards their next-gen console, many also considered the Xbox One’s always online and DRM to be true features of a next-generation console. The capability to share any game that has been installed on your system amongst 10 designated family or friends and the new features to be able to resell or share your digital downloads on Microsoft’s always connected landscape have now been removed in favor of the more tried and true tangible copy of game lending, selling or reselling. Here is the full blog post from Microsoft Xbox Chief Don Mattrick, straight from the horses mouth:

“Last week at E3, the excitement, creativity and future of our industry was on display for a global audience.

For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future.

Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.

You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.

So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:

  • An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
  • Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console — there will be no regional restrictions.

These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.

We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.

Thank you again for your candid feedback. Our team remains committed to listening, taking feedback and delivering a great product for you later this year.”

-Microsoft Xbox Chief Don Mattrick

Source:  http://news.xbox.com/2013/06/update