[UPDATED 01.08.2014] Holiday Gifts for the Broke-Ass Gamer, “The Wind Rises” feature anime movie by Miyazaki coming to US theatres courtesy of Disney and Touchstone Pictures, Square Enix shows of the swag included with “Final Fantasy X & X-II HD Collectors Edition” for PS3 and Atlus releases the 5th patch for “Dragon’s Crown”

Awesome Holiday Gifts you can buy on the cheap for the Gamer in your family

It’s that time of year kiddies. Whether you’re shopping for the younger, adolescent gamer in your family or the more mature significant other game-guru in your life these gifts are sure to make an impression. In no particular order, here we go!

 

Persona 4: The Animation

The First installment in the "Persona 4: The Animation" series remastered for HD on Blu-Ray. Contains 2 awesome, action-packed discs with episodes 1-12.

The First installment in the “Persona 4: The Animation” series remastered for HD on Blu-Ray. Contains 2 awesome, action-packed discs with episodes 1-12.

 

Persona 4: The Animation Collection 2. Contains two discs with episodes 13-26. If you love the Persona series or are just a fan of great anime, you can't go wrong with this beautiful Hi-Definition Collection mastered on Blu-Ray Disc

Persona 4: The Animation Collection 2. Contains two discs with episodes 13-26.
If you love the Persona series or are just a fan of great anime, you can’t go wrong with this beautiful Hi-Definition Collection mastered on Blu-Ray Disc

 

Want to kill two birds with one stone? Then you can’t go wrong with this remaster of Persona’s serialized TV-run anime for Hi-Definition Blu-Ray Disc. Each Collection sells for around $25 – $40 per set, incumbent upon where you make your purchase. Both sets are fully-dubbed with professional English voice-overs and include subtitles for most other languages. For the video gamer that loves the Persona franchise, then this box set certainly won’t fail to impress and only further their interest in the video game, since the the anime is a complete retelling of Persona 4 the video game. And for fans of anime, they will definitely appreciate the unique characters and story that is synonymous with the Persona universe. Either way, this stylistic anime iteration of the successful video game franchise won’t disappoint the gamer or anime fan in your family.

 

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

 

Ni No Kuni has recently be added to Sony's "Greatest Hits" signature line of games. You can now own this masterpiece of adventure based gameplay and beautiful anime-blended graphics with real time 3D effects for a MSRP of $19.99 brand new.

Ni No Kuni has recently be added to Sony’s “Greatest Hits” signature line of games. You can now own this masterpiece of adventure based game play and beautiful anime-blended graphics with real time 3D effects for a MSRP of $19.99 brand new.

 

NiNoKuni_ScreenShot_PS3.

Ni No Kuni is a marvelous PS3 exclusive developed by Level-5 and revered animation house Studio Ghibli, creators of such excellent full-length anime movies as “Spirited Away” and “Princess Mononoke”. For the adventure or RPG gamer in your family, Ni No Kuni will certainly not disappoint. Featuring beautifully drawn animation fused with gorgeous 3D backdrops, Ni No Kuni was a brilliant joint effort from Level-5 and Studio Ghibli. Oh yes, and it’s also absurdly fun to play as well. You can now buy the game brand new for $19.99 on Sony’s “Greatest Hits” series of PS3 top-sellers.

 

Sony PSP (Model 3000) OR Nintendo DS/Lite

 

Sony's first attempt at a handheld game system was mildly successful, but could not match the stalwart marquee franchises  and pedigree of Nintendo's unique DS handheld. However, that doesn't make the PSP any less cooler or attractive, with 1000's of great games, unique JRPG's just for the PSP, many niche games that found a home on Sony's handheld and AAA titles that were completely remade into a new experience for the PSP (Grand Theft Auto, Tekken 6, God of War, WipEOut, Perona series). Pictured above is the 3000 series, the 3rd H/W iteration and most refined. Forget the clunky and oversize 1000 model, the 3000 revision is the way to go

Sony’s foray into the lucrative handheld gaming market has proven to be very successful after an initial sales slump during those first few growing pain years, recently achieving over 80 million units sold. Although the PSP can’t match the stalwart marquee exclusives and pedigree of Nintendo’s unique DS handheld that doesn’t make the PSP any less cooler or attractive, with 100’s of great games, unique JRPG’s crafted just for the PSP, many niche games that found a home on Sony’s handheld and AAA titles that were completely remade into a new experience for the PSP (Grand Theft Auto, Tekken 6, God of War, WipEOut, Perona series). Pictured above is the 3000 series, the 3rd H/W iteration and most refined. Forget the clunky and over sized 1000 model, the 3000 revision is the definitive model

 

The DS in it's shut-closed state, making it easy to slip in and out of your pocket, backpack, purse whatever. Also, the DS comes in a variety of colors so you can accessorize your H/W as you see fit with your other apparel.

The DS in it’s shut-closed state, making it easy to slip in and out of your pocket, backpack, purse whatever. Also, the DS comes in a variety of colors so you can accessorize your H/W as you see fit with your other apparel. Nifty Swifty!

 

Nintendo has pioneered and dominated the handheld gaming market since the advent of the original Gameboy. The Nintendo DS is no different, featuring a touchscreen display via a stylus pen, a unique portable clamshell design and backwards compatibility with the Gameboy Advance. Now that the 3DS has superseded the original, the DS and DS Lite are dirt cheap with an absurd library of Triple A titles available for $3 - $10 a cartridge. Oh yes, and did I mention just how cool the damn thing looks too?

Nintendo has pioneered and dominated the handheld gaming market since the advent of the original Gameboy. The Nintendo DS is no different, featuring a touchscreen display via a stylus pen, a unique portable clam shell design and backwards compatibility with the Gameboy Advance. Now that the 3DS has superseded the original, the DS and DS Lite are dirt cheap with an absurd library of Triple A titles available for $3 – $10 a cartridge. Oh yes, and did I mention just how cool the damn thing looks too? Pictured above: Nintendo DS Lite. Essentially a more compact version of the original DS with a slightly larger screen and other minor H/W refinements.

 

The best Holiday gift for the gamer in your life is undoubtedly a new games console that their fingers have yet to grace. While the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS may be from the previous handheld H/W cycle, they are no less impressive, extremely fun as game devices, each have an absurd lineup of great games and best of all, each unit can be purchased used for less than $50 – $60. New units may cost $70  – $80 or more, but for those on a tight budget you can typically find a used unit in good condition on Craigslist or from GameStop. When buying from Craigslist always make sure that the seller has pictures to show and always try renegotiating the price, even if they have the item listed as firm. There is always room for negotiation. If the seller wants to sell a package that includes several games and other tangibles such as plastic cases, screen protectors or memory cards, however you only need one or two particular items then always offer a lower price then advertised, they might agree to keep everything together and you’ll get all the extras for virtually nothing! If they separate the desired item from everything else you can always try and haggle a few things back in for a couple extra bucks. Also, it doesn’t hurt if buying as a gift to buy a small bundled deal with a few games and a memory card (the memory stick Duo is essential for the PSP otherwise you won’t be able to save game progress). For the DS and PSP, ensure that both items come with an AC Wall Charger and that with anything you buy from a stranger online, to have the seller demonstrate to you the hardware does indeed work. Finalize the deal by instructing them to insert a game and turn the H/W on, so you can see for yourself that it plays and is fully functional (don’t forget to test it and make sure all the buttons, directional pad and or analog stick(s) are working as intended). If everything is on the up and up and a price is agreed upon between both parties then go for it! Buying a Nintendo DS/Lite or PSP from GameStop isn’t much different than Craigslist, except their is no haggling over price and what you see is what you get. All used handhelds sold via GameStop include the basic necessities, such as AC Adapter. GameStop also provides you with a 30-day warranty on said hardware, with the option to buy into a 1 or 2 year warranty for a couple extra bucks. Whichever route you take in buying either handheld for the gamer in your life, make sure that if you are buying a PSP that the model is 3000 and as for the DS, you’ll also want the DS Lite model. Each variation comes with larger or brighter screens, have their capacity or size reduced and feature other important refinements. It’s also important to note that the Nintendo DS and DS Lite both can play Gameboy Advance games, which is a nice addition and automatically gives you another entire catalog of games to play from. The DS XL does not feature GBA backwards-compatibility.

Both Sony and Nintendo have a healthy amount of games for each of their portables. It should be noted that the PSP, however, is definitely a more well-rounded multimedia device capable of video playback (via special UMD video discs or MP4 file format I believe), music playback, radio tuning, skype, internet connectivity and displaying a variety of image files. By contrast, the Nintendo DS is really only meant for gaming and because it’s Nintendo H/W, it comes with all the great first-party titles that are exclusive to only Nintendo (ie: Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pokemon, Mario Kart, Starfox, Donkey Kong). So if the gamer you are shopping for has a soft spot for Nintendo titles or characters, then certainly the DS is a purchase they’ll be sure to love. Graphically, their is no comparison: The PSP has graphics comparable to a PlayStation 1/2 hybrid in the palm of your hand giving it a distinctive edge for visuals. The PSP renders 3D and 2D graphics very fast, with games like “GTA: Liberty City Stories”, “God of War: Ghosts of Sparta”, “Pursuit Force” and “Need for Speed Most Wanted” running blazing fast. The PSP is also an “RPG Monster”, featuring many great 3rd party RPG exclusives such as the Persona series, “Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep”, “Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together”, “Phantasy Star”, “Star Ocean: Second Evolution”, “Jeanne D’Arc” and “Disgaea 1 or 2”. The DS, by contrast, may not push as many polygons but still has a plethora of great titles, “Metroid Prime: Hunters” and “Super Mario 3D” were both very visually impressive game for the DS. Also, the DS has a TON of great exclusive RPG’s such as “The World Ends with You”, “SMT: Strange Journey”, “SMT: Devil Survivor 2” and “Radiant Historia”. So now that you know the fundamental difference between the two handhelds, go and make an educated decision that surely will impress friends, family and gaming geeks alike.

 

Wreck-It Ralph Blu-Ray

 

Ralph is consoled by the other baddies from their respective games in the arcade. Wreck It Ralph was awesome because for the first time it combined all the characters, good and bad, from video games spanning the past 3 decades. Pictured Above: Bowser, Zangief and Dr.Robotnik

Ralph is consoled by the other baddies from their respective games in the arcade. Wreck It Ralph was awesome because for the first time it combined all the characters, good and bad, from video games spanning the past 3 decades. Pictured Above: Bowser, Zangief and Dr.Robotnik

The Special Edition Blu-Ray of Disney's kick-ass "Wreck It Ralph" movie.

The Special Edition Blu-Ray of Disney’s kick-ass “Wreck It Ralph” movie.

What’s better than playing video games and watching cartoons? Combining a full-length Disney movie that’s about the life of video game characters in an arcade. Featuring such mainstays as Bowser, Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog and Q-Bert, Wreck-It Ralph is about the life of arcade game “bad guy” Ralph from the game “Fix It Felix Jr.“. Ralph is tired of his repetitive daily routine of being the bad guy and the stigma that comes with it. All the other denizens that live within Fix It Felix Jr. treat Ralph differently, looking down on him. Tired of the “bad guy” lifestyle, Ralph seeks out a gold medal that heroes of arcade games often obtain after the player successfully completes the game. He decides to leave his game temporarily to obtain a medal from the sci-fi first person shooter game in the arcade, named “Heroes Duty”. After reaching the tower in Heroes Duty and acquiring a gold medal, Ralph accidentally triggers a “Cy-bug” attack (the enemies of Heroes Duty) and is ejected via an escape pod where he crash-lands in the Kart-racer game “Sugar Rush”, losing his gold medal in the process. Here, Ralph meets racing outcast “Vanellope von Schweetz” and the two band together in agreement to help Vanellope officially race and get Ralph a new gold medal. The two form an unlikely bond and follow the formula of most Disney films where two polar opposites unite to reach a common goal. Featuring the talented voice work of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch and Jack McBrayer, Wreck It Ralph is a fun, awesome movie that combines my love of video games with my childhood adoration of cartoons. Any gamer, young or old, should enjoy this animated masterpiece.

 

Kara No Shoujo Visual Novel (PC) “The Girl in the Shell”

KaraNoShoujo-Banner

Through the games interface, you can easily navigate the intricacies of investigating criminal acts.

Through the games interface, you can easily navigate the intricacies of investigating criminal acts.

Kara no Shojo is an impressive adult visual novel for Windows Computers that includes elements of horror, romance and suspense as your character attempts to out a serial killer on the loose. Taking place in post-war 1956 Tokyo, you play as protagonist Reiji Tokisaka, a private investigator trying to solve a string of brutal murders in and around a local highschool. During the game you will collect evidence, investigate crime scenes, question and pursue suspects all while maintaining an undercover guise as a highschool teacher. Limited by the technology at the time, you must use your wits and knowledge of the locations and citizens to determine the killer’s identification. Kara no Shoujo has intense graphic depictions of violence and gore, along with some sexual imagery common amongst Japanese Visual Novels. Localized for U.S. audiences by Mangagamer, Kara no Shoujo can be purchased exclusively as a digital download from their website for $24.99. Click on the link below to go the purchase page via Mangagamer:

http://www.mangagamer.com/detail.php?goods_type=1&product_code=79

 

Studio Ghibli feature “The Wind Rises” coming to North American audiences with powerhouse voice cast

 

The US Theatrical Movie Poster for "The Wind Rises", opening in US cinemas on Feb 21st with an all-star voice cast.

The US Theatrical Movie Poster for “The Wind Rises”, opening in US cinemas on Feb 21st with an all-star voice cast.

Hayao Miyazaki last anime outing as a director will get a proper farewell in US cinemas, in part thanks to major distribution via Disney and Touchstone Pictures. Miyazaki-san has directed many feature-length anime films, with some of his memorable work commercially released in the States, such as “Spirited Away” (2002 USA) and “Princess Mononoke” (1999 USA). As “The Wind Rises” will be his final curtain call, the project has garnered attention from some big name actors who will lend their voice talent to the US translation. Here’s the complete list of the featured players and their respective roles:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt — main character Jiro Horikoshi

Emily Blunt — love interest Nahoko Satomi

John KrasinskiHonjo, Jiro’s college pal and fellow aviation engineer

Martin ShortKurokawa, Jiro’s grumpy boss

Stanley TucciCaproni, Italian airplane creator

Mandy PatinkinHattori, senior designer at Mitsubishi

William H. MacySatomi, Nahoko’s father

Werner Herzog — the mysterious Castorp

Mae WhitmanKayo, Jiro’s younger sister, as well as Kinu, Nahoko’s caretaker

Jennifer GreyMrs. Kurokawa

Darren CrissKatayama, one of Jiro’s engineering colleagues

Elijah WoodSone, another of Jiro’s colleagues

Even I am a little surprised at just how much of talent has rallied behind the 72-year old Miyazaki’s illustrious swan song. If the early reviews are anything to go by, it appears as if we have a marvelously crafted movie when it opens in theaters on February 21st. The film is about a young man named “Jiro” who dreams of flying but because of his poor eyesight he instead takes to designing airplanes. Set around the time frame of WW2, “The Wind Rises” depicts Jiro becoming emotionally  conflicted and trying to cope, knowing that his work will be used for weapons of war. Check out the U.S. trailer below:

 

 

 

Square Enix shows off the swag for the “Final Fantasy X/X-II HD Remaster” Collectors Edition

 

Available as an exclusive pre-order from Square Enix directly, the FFX/X-II HD REMASTER Collectors Edition is a FF fan's wet dream come true

Available as an exclusive pre-order from Square Enix directly, the FFX/X-II HD REMASTER Collectors Edition is a FF fan’s wet dream come true

 

Coming exclusively to the PlayStation 3 and Vita handheld, the Hi-Def Remake of Final Fantasy X and X-II will have several launch day editions, including a special Collectors Edition (pictured above) for $80.00 being sold exclusively through Square Enix’s Online Store. The regular edition, limited edition and collectors edition all launch on March 18th. For more information on this CE of FFX/X-II HD or to place an order, please refer to the following link:

http://na.square-enix.com/us/blog/final-fantasy-xx-2-hd-remaster-collectors-edition-announced

 

Atlus releases new Update Patch for “Dragon’s Crown” on PS3/Vita

If you couldn’t get enough of Atlus awesome 2D-homage to fantasy beat-em-up’s titled “Dragon’s Crown”, then you should be pissing your pants ecstatic that another new Update patch has been released (this is the 5th I believe).  Not just a “glitch fix” download, this update includes several awesome new features to keep you coming back for more. Some of the new additions include:

  • New “Ultimate” Difficulty mode added
  • Level Cap has been raised from 99 to 255
  • New Dungeon added called “Tower of Mirages” that includes tens of thousands of levels to hack and slash through

And the best part about all this good stuff? IT’S FREE! No DLC, No Season Pass and no Episodic Content required for Dragon’s Crown. All the extra content being released by Atlus is free. Other companies really need to start following this business model. Seriously though, when Gearbox released the Update Patch that raised the level cap a second time in Borderlands 2, then had the gall to charge $$$$ for it, I WAS NOT PLEASED. So thank you Atlus, for doing something that all game developers and publishers should be expected to do: offer incremental additions and changes that improve and add to gameplay for free.

 

BEYOND: Two Souls Review in progress, New PS3 Releases and PS4 won’t support Bluetooth Headsets out-of-the-box

Beyond: Two Souls, the, last true great character and story driven PS3 exclusive for this generation?

Quantic Dreams curtain call for the PS3 has polarized gamers, critics and news outlets a like. I'm currently about to start the long, arduous process of playing through David Cage's latest attempt at combining conventional game interactivity with cinema-style writing and actors with extraordinary results. Visually, the game is probably the prettiest thing available for Sony's console and it should be, as Cage and company have had years to develop the engine, assets and mo-cap technology that take great advantage of multifaceted Cell processor.

Quantic Dreams curtain call for the PS3 has polarized gamers, critics and news outlets a like. I’m currently about to start the long, “arduous” process of playing through David Cage’s latest attempt at combining conventional game interactivity with cinema-style writing and actors that hopefully achieve extraordinary results. Visually, the game is probably the prettiest thing available for Sony’s console and it should be, as Cage and company have had years to develop the engine, assets and mo-cap technology that take great advantage of the multifaceted Cell processor.

The PlayStation 3 has had a great run, and it’s still not over with. Sony has publicly stated that the PS3 is meant to have a 10-year life span, which is entirely feasible as Sony supported their PS2 while the PlayStation 3 faced multiple first-party software delays, extreme ineptitude with it’s online support and sub-par multi-platform releases. The Wii outsold the Wii U consistently month after month when Nintendo’s new console got off to a rocky start, thanks to an absurd amount of first party software delays and an abundance of third parties choosing not to release their multi-platform titles for Nintendo’s next-gen console. While Nintendo recently announced they have discontinued manufacturing Wii consoles, It’s no surprise then that a month from now when the PlayStation 4 comes to town, PS3 owners should expect the same level of support they’ve been receiving for years from Sony. Nintendo still has the 3DS and the Wii U will get a boost this holiday with some strong first-party support, and while Microsoft doesn’t exactly have a strong track record of supporting their previous console iterations, they should acknowledge that their are still somewhere in the neighborhood of 70+ million households with XBOX 360’s. Eventually it previous-generation will drop off as the PS4 and Xbox One gradually takes their place, but there will still be a strong level of support from Sony. However, while  multi-platform titles are a no-brainer to see releases on both last-gen and next-gen PlayStation consoles, what we may not continue to see much more of is first-party exclusives for the PS3. Beyond: Two Souls is a huge first-party release for Sony, simply because it may be the last PS3 exclusive outside of Gran Turismo 6 to be released for awhile.

Sony will concentrate most of it’s efforts to shifting it’s first-party studios from the out-dated Cell-powered PS3 and acclimating their prized studios with the much more developer friendly x86 8-Core AMD powered PS4. Typically, the first batch of games for a new console are watershed titles; games that players will recognize and instantly be attracted to. Sony, however, has chosen to release two brand new IP’s in Knack and Drive Club. The only recognizable franchise is Killzone: Shadow Fall which has always been a show-off title for Sony’s platforms. The sandbox shooter will take advantage of the PS4’s new touchscreen on the Dual Shock 4 controller and the integrated mic. However, Shadow Fall’s most significant contribution will probably have nothing to do with gameplay at all, but instead will be the title that demonstrates what the new horsepower Sony has under their sleek new parallelogram-shaped box is capable of: Particle effects, larger depth of field, higher resolutions running at a solid 60 fps, high-res textures, background UI computations with the “SHARE” button…. etc. Shadow Fall looks to be a visually stunning game and while the Killzone franchise has never reached the level of success like Microsoft’s HALO series, on launch day that won’t matter because Microsoft doesn’t have Halo, or any new exclusive FPS to compete directly with Shadow Fall. Sony can simply win by default, as Microsoft did back in 2006 when it released the XBOX 360 a year a head of Sony’s PS3. MS showed up to the party first, and many gamers didn’t feel it was worth the wait for a console that was more expensive and included extra features they didn’t care about (ie: the Blu-ray Drive, Micro SD slots, four USB slots; although as a retrospective Sony clearly made the right move implementing BD as Blu-Ray has become the go-to replacement for DVDs, and as the price continually dropped for the PS3, gamers saw that owning a game machine that included a BD drive and a bevy of great exclusives was a clear win-win choice).

Titles like Beyond, Heavy Rain, The Last of Us, Ni No Kuni, Uncharted, Little Big Planet, Journey, Puppeteer, Ratchet and Clank, Gran Turismo, Resistance, Killzone, WipeOut, Metal Gear Solid 4, Kingdom Hearts Remix, Persona 3, 4 (and hopefully 5) show that Sony clearly has a broad selection of first-party content and clearly aren’t afraid to take chances with more daring content. As long as Sony can keep the great exclusive content coming, the PS4 should be just as, if not more successful than it’s predecessor. Here’s hoping that my play-through of Beyond: Two Souls leaves a lasting impression on me like all the great aforementioned Sony exclusive content. Oh and by the way, Team Ico, if you’re still out there, please let us know if the “The Last Guardian” is really still in development or it has been sucked into the gaming abyss of lost titles, otherwise known as vaporware. PS3, PS4, PS Vita, I don’t care at this point anymore- JUST RELEASE IT FOR ONE OF SONY’S PLATFORMS ALREADY!

New multi-platform and exclusive PS3 releases that you shouldn’t pass up

A couple of awesome re-releases have come to pass this October. First and foremost, if you haven’t yet played Borderlands 2 or found reason to buy it yet, Borderlands 2 GOTY Edition  (released October 8th in NA) contains all the DLC packs on disc that were released for the title over the past year (there were like 6 or 7 DLC packs for this game, SERIOUSLY) along with the crucial update which raises the level cap and two new playable character classes. I have easily put well over 80-100 hours into BL2, so I traded in my old copy towards the GOTY Edition because I know i’ll be playing the new content and maxing out my character class again.

Released Oct 8th, BL2 GOTY includes over $100 worth of DLC and other awesome goodies for the massive FPSRPG

Released Oct 8th, BL2 GOTY includes over $100 worth of DLC on disc and other awesome goodies for the massive FPSRPG

Another great GOTY Edition released October 8th was Dishonored Game of the Year Edition which includes all the awesome DLC packs ON DISC released for the critically acclaimed Stealth-FPS hybrid. Again, if you have yet to play this title here’s a great reason to pick it up. At only $40 brand new, Dishonored GOTY Edition is a great addition to any gamers collection who is looking for a serious FPS challenge.

Corvo returns to wreck havoc on those who wronged him in the GOTY Edition which contains all DLC packs on disc. The total pack is a very lean $40.

Corvo returns to wreck havoc on those who wronged him in the GOTY Edition which contains all DLC packs on disc. The total pack is a very lean $40.

And last but not least, Capcom Essentials is a collection of Capcom games this generation. Released also October 8th that includes 5, yes FIVE full-fledged signature releases from Capcom this console cycle. Included in the bundle: Dead Rising 2, Resident Evil 6, Devil May Cry 4, Super Street Fighter 4 and a download code for Megaman 10. I’m not sure why Megaman 10 wasn’t included on disc, especially for the PS3 version which can take advantage of absurd amount of storage space used by BD discs. Anyways, here’s a breakdown of the bundle for the XBOX 360 version:

The Capcom Essentials 5-in-1 bundle may be a nice addition to your collection if you don't own any of these titles, although you probably can pick up most of these titles used for under 10-15 dollars. The MSRP is $59.99 for this new bundle, so it may be more of a matter of convenience to have all these games in one package.

The Capcom Essentials 5-in-1 bundle may be a nice addition to your collection if you don’t own any of these titles, although you probably can pick up most of these titles used for under 10-15 dollars. The MSRP is $59.99 for this new bundle, so it may be more of a matter of convenience to have all these games in one package.

For PS3 Exclusives, there are a couple obvious choices.

We had Beyond: Two Souls, which was Sony’s big exclusive for October. For September, we had the whimsical platformer Puppeteer which was released for a reasonable $40 brand new. And on the digital front we had the PSN exclusive puzzle-platformer RAIN which came out mid-October. And for you rabid Last of Us fans, we have the first of the DLC multiplayer content being released October 16th. It’s a map pack that contains around 4-5 new maps.

Released September 10th to mostly positive reviews, Puppeteer is the latest retail release from Studio Japan. You take control of a puppet (duuh) missing his head and throughout the game you obtain different heads that each give you a unique power . You also obtain a pair of shears that you wield as a sword and also as a means to "cut: through certain parts of a level to access new areas or navigate through specific areas. You will also face some pretty intense boss battles, which many reviews highlighted as the games strongest moments.

Released September 10th to mostly positive reviews, Puppeteer is the latest retail release from Studio Japan. You take control of a puppet (duuh) missing his head and throughout the game you obtain different heads that each give you a unique power . You also obtain a pair of shears that you wield as a sword and also as a means to “cut: through certain parts of a level to access new areas or navigate through specific areas. You will also face some pretty intense boss battles, which many reviews highlighted as the games strongest moments.

PlayStation 4 won’t support Bluetooth headsets for chat, Sony confirmed to Game Informer

With the PS4 and XBox One on the near horizon, new details are emerging about both consoles as launch day nears. One little nugget of info is that existing PlayStation 3 Bluetooth Headsets will not be compatible with the PS4’s chat features. This is definitely a bummer, since I own a Sony licensed and manufactured Bluetooth set that works beautifully with my PlayStation 3’s online gaming. Fortunately, I didn’t pay much for it so if need be I can replace it if Sony hasn’t fixed this glitch with a firmware or software update to the PS4 OS. I won’t be purchasing a PS4 probably until a year or two into it’s life cycle, so PS3 headsets will eventually be made compatible by a firmware update. If you own a Sony Pulse Bluetooth headset (which costs around $100).

The PlayStation 4 will include a simple headset/mic combination, but these typically are not as clear sounding as Bluetooth sets. As previously mentioned, an update will provide compatibility for Sony’s branded PULSE headsets and Sony will issue a system update to provide this compatibility in the coming months, but would not specify an exact date. The included USB headsets will be mono, so you essentially get what you pay for (the bundled PS4 headsets are free, btw).

Exclusive PS3 digital title RAIN released for PSN, Added new Sci-Fi “Must See” Movies for 2013, Beyond: Two Souls “Special Edition” available as a pre order via GameStop AND “The Last of Us” Multiplayer DLC revealed- sort of

Let it RAIN, oh let it RAIN on PSN

RAIN has officially been released to above average reviews, and although it’s not the auteur masterpiece we were all expecting from Studio Japan, it’s a decent enough melancholy platformer that gives off no pretentious ideas about more than the sum of it’s parts. I have yet to play it, but for a downloadable title from PSN striking around $14.99, I will probably be purchasing it in the future. In case you forgot about this intriguing title, it features a boy and girl in an alternate world where it almost always rains and you must collaborate with the girl to survive the dog-like beasts. The game only lets you see the silhouettes of the characters as the rain pours on them or you walk through the puddles in the cobblestone streets. Here’s a video clip to refresh your memory (btw, I love the haunting soundtrack that gives each instrument an almost human like emotion):

New movie “HER” added to my must-see Sci-Fi Films of 2013

I have come across a sci-fi love story that only Spike Jonze could craft. The movie, titled “HER” casts Joaquin Phoenix as recluse, anti-social middle-aged man that adapts to a new Operating System on his computer, which surprise: Features human like qualities through it’s projected voice (played by Scarlett Johansson). Suri for the next generation, I suppose? The trailer eludes the character becoming conflicted from separating his feelings from the OS to the real world. I’m already interested….. ARE YOOOOU?

Here’s the trailer in all it’s 2 and half minute glory:

Beyond: Two Souls Special Collectors Edition with 30 minutes of additional gameplay and “making-of” videos plus the soundtrack

I am very much looking forward to this game, although many are dubbing it an “interactive movie” but it looks to be the last truly great (here’s hoping) PS3 exclusive we shall receive this year. With the PS4 on the horizon (IT’S LITERALLY LIKE ONE MONTH AWAY FROM LAUNCH) I doubt will see much more really triple A exclusive’s for my beloved PS3. Beyond has also caused somewhat of a stir in the European market, as the PEGI (think ESRB but for the UK) has censored 10-15 seconds of gameplay from the EU release so it could achieve a 16+ rating, while the game in the states maintains an MA 18+ rating. Sony has been mum on what exactly was censored, but it seems ridiculous to try and achieve a larger audience by cutting out what I can only assume are a 10-15 second scene of nudity or extreme, brutal violence. At least the PS3 is region free so you guys can import the NA version. If you pre-ordered the game via GameStop, you’ll receive a special “Collectors Edition” with tin case, soundtrack and some gameplay extras, amongst other things. Here’s a look at the special edition for Beyond, which hits NA markets Oct 8th:

Naughty Dog devs dish out details for the forthcoming multiplayer DLC, to be released on Oct. 16th via PSN and the single-player DLC coming December/January

“The Last of Us” creators have divulged some very interesting information regarding their latest upper echelon of a videogame. The first DLC pack will be the  Abandoned Territories map pack for multiplayer which includes the following new maps:

  1. Suburbs map
  2. Bus Depot map
  3. Hometown map
  4. Bookstore map

Unfortunately their are no new screens to associate with what the maps may appear as, however one of the map includes random dust storms making the multiplayer gameplay more dynamic for this particular map. Also, Naughty Dog has stated they are creating new concept art and the single-player DLC will be “ambitious” but will not apparently intersect with Joel and Ellie’s timeline. This single-player DLC will feature a completely new character, so it should be very interesting. Either way, I’m totally all over it when it releases this winter.

AND FINALLY……

Sony has quietly released a new firmware update for the PS3. Version 4.50 features a huge radical change, renaming the PlayStation Network on the XMB to “PSN”, plus some mumbo-jumbo about switching off trophy displays for your friend list. Thanks Sony, that was really worth 15 minutes of my life last night.

PS4 Coming to Japan in February, PS VitaTV announced and new releases for August – September

Sony not releasing Playstation 4 in it’s native homeland until February

In a move that has Japanese gamers SHOCKED, dropped and rolling around more than Pikachu Sony has fessed up that their latest console won’t launch in it’s home territory until February, three months after the North American and European launch. Why? Simple really, NA and EU have proven themselves to have a bigger core market of early adopters and since the console is being released around the holidays it’s a given that many boys and girls will want one come Xmas. Christmas is nowhere near as big a deal in Japan as it is in NA and EU so Sony is targeting the markets where the console will sell fast and pick up the most steam quickly. Japanese gamers are furious with the console giant, crying fowl that waiting for a product created in their homeland which won’t be available until months after launch is unfair. All I can say to them is, HOW DOES IT FEEL? Seriously, American gamers waited close or over a year for the original PlayStation to launch in the states, months for the follow-up PS2 and the same for the PS3. Japanese gamers always get everything first, so the fact that you guys only have to wait 3 months instead of A YEAR or something incredulous is nothing compared to what American gamers typically wait for the latest and greatest from the Japanese-owned Gaming Giant. So sit back my fellow Japanese gamers and pop a xanax or k-pin, I think you guys can wait it out for 3 months.

Sony is launching their new microconsole and expansion to the Vita, the “Vita TV” in Japan this Fall and the hype building behind it is making a good case that Sony should consider a NA and EU launch in the near future as well 

If you haven’t yet heard the word, word WORD WORD BIRD IS THE FUCKING WORD then let me break it down for you: Sony is releasing a new add-on/expansion/console to the public in the form of their Vita technology, only slimmed and trimmed down into a small, tiny white box that connects to your TV and will use a Dual Shock 3 or possibly DS4 contoller. Out of the box, the Vita TV should native play proprietary Vita-based flash card games on your HD TV’s. This is big news, because now not only can you enjoy all the Vita has to offer in exclusive games (Persona 4 Golden, Soul Sacrifice, Gravity Rush, Tearaway, Killzone: Mercenary, to name a few) as a stand-alone console BUT it will also play PS One classics via the PlayStation Network and even better yet, eventually stream PS3 and PS4 games via remote play. This could be huge for those who have multiple TV Sets and don’t want to buy multiple PS4/PS3 consoles to associate with each TV set, so the Vita TV acts as an extender and allows for remote play from both systems using your router or local LAN connection. While not all this functionality has been confirmed, it will most likely be incorporated in the final release of the product. Let’s also hope Sony does away with the god-awful proprietary Memory Cards that the handheld Vita uses for storage for the Vita TV (the prices for Vita Memory Cards, much like it’s predecessor the PSP which used the Memory Stick Duo are both outrageous). Here’s hoping they go with something more mainstream like SD/HC cards or USB Flash drives. For the complete skinny check out this promotional video from Sony and this image courtesy of CNET from the Toyko Game Show which shows off the unit in detail and all it’s H/W ports:

The recently unveiled Vita TV which shrinks all the power of the Vita into an affordable, tiny box. Picture above: I'm only assuming here, but it appears to be the flash-card slot were you insert Vita-native games meaning it will play the entire catalog of Vita exclusive games, and oh yeah.... also includes remote play capabilities with the PS3 and upcoming PS4. Not bad for $100. Let's hope it makes it's way to American and European shores.

The recently unveiled Vita TV which shrinks all the power of the Vita into an affordable, tiny box. Pictured above: The front of the unit, which I’m only assuming here, but it appears to be the flash-card slot were you insert Vita-native games meaning it will play the entire catalog of Vita exclusive games, And oh yeah…. also includes remote play capabilities with the PS3 and upcoming PS4. Not bad for $100. The rear of the unit includes an HDMI port, Ethernet/LAN port, Memory Card Slot and AC Adapter port. The device also includes an internal 1 GB of internal Flash storage and wi-fi capabilities. Let’s hope Vita TV makes it’s way to American and European shores.

Latest PS3 Retail, Downloadable and DLC Releases as well as a new awesome console bundle for PlayStation 3

The last 30 days or so have been busy for out PlayStation 3. While the console may be nearing it’s next iteration, Sony vows to provide full support for the PS3 simultaneously while the PlayStation 4 is available. Sony achieved the same level of success with the PS2 during it’s end-of-days scenario while the PS3 was still in is it’s infancy and didn’t really have any killer apps. Sony has consistently reaffirmed their support for their previous-gen console with exclusive and multi-plat releases while supporting their newest offering, the PS4. Below is a list of notable new PlayStation 3 exclusive and multi-platform releases from mid-August to the end of September (all release dates are for North American territories):

AUGUST 13th: PAYDAY 2

The Heist continues with Payday 2. Plan out a strategy with your AI or Co-Op buddies to maximize your capitol or go in the old fashioned way- guns blazing. Whatever ideology you prefer, it sounds like one hell of a coop romp.

The Heist continues with Payday 2. Plan out a strategy with your AI or Co-Op buddies to maximize your capitol or go in the old fashioned way- guns blazing. Whatever ideology you prefer, it sounds like one hell of a coop romp.

August 20th: DUCKTALES REMASTERED

Although technically a retail release, this PS3 version contains a code to download the digital version and a collectors pin. The game has garnered critical acclaim as a faithful translation that pays homage to the Capcom NES classic. If you're like me and HD space is at a premium and you just like your games on disc, not to fret, Capcom will also release a PHYSICAL disc copy of the game at retail on November 12th, 2013.

Although technically a retail release, this PS3 version contains a code to download the digital version and a collectors pin. The game has garnered critical acclaim as a faithful translation that pays homage to the Capcom NES classic. If you’re like me and HD space is at a premium and you just like your games on disc, not to fret, Capcom will also release a PHYSICAL disc copy of the game at retail on November 12th, 2013.

August 20th: SAINTS ROW IV

THE SAINTS ARE BAAAACK BITCHES! Take on an Alien horde and protect your nation (literally) as you play as a pissed off President of the USA. What's not to love? Thank god their are still some games out there that are just great, kick-ass, silly fun  akin to Duke Nukem.

THE SAINTS ARE BAAAACK BITCHES! Take on an Alien horde and protect your nation (literally) as you play as a pissed off President of the USA. What’s not to love? Thank god their are still some games out there that are just great, kick-ass, silly fun akin to Duke Nukem.

August 20th: SPLINTER CELL BLACKLIST

Another critically acclaimed entry in Tom Clancy's tactical 3rd person action/espionage thriller Splinter Cell comes to every conceivable console on August 20th, 2013.

Another critically acclaimed entry in Tom Clancy’s tactical 3rd person action/espionage thriller Splinter Cell comes to every conceivable console on August 20th, 2013.

August 20th: THE BUREAU XCOM DECLASSIFIED

Another follow-up to the classic X-COM franchise, this iteration doesn't quite measure up to the "Enemy Unknown" reboot released by Firaxis quite some time a go. Receiving mostly average to mediocre reviews, only the most ardent fan need apply

Another follow-up to the classic X-COM franchise, this iteration doesn’t quite measure up to the “Enemy Unknown” reboot released by Firaxis quite some time a go. Receiving mostly average to mediocre reviews, only the most ardent fan need apply

August 27th: FINAL FANTASY XIV A REALM REBORN

Square Enix tries to revitalize it's FF franchise by re-releasing FF XIV as "A Realm Reborn". Sporting loads of new features and improved graphics, this MMORPG remains PS3 exclusive    for consoles. You can also pick it up for the PC.

Square Enix tries to revitalize it’s FF franchise by re-releasing FF XIV as “A Realm Reborn”. Sporting loads of new features and improved graphics, this MMORPG remains PS3 exclusive for consoles. You can also pick it up for the PC.

August 27th: HATSUNE MIKU PROJECT DIVA F

This continuation of the popular Hatsune Miku rhythm dance and music game has been a popular franchise in Japan for awhile and is quickly spreading it's J-POP love across the states.  A PS3 and PS Vita exclusive, any fan of the series should purchase this.

This continuation of the popular Hatsune Miku rhythm dance and music game has been a popular franchise in Japan for awhile and is quickly spreading it’s J-POP love across the states. A PS3 and PS Vita exclusive, any fan of the series should purchase this.

August 27th: KILLER IS DEAD

The North American Box Art for Killer is Dead, published by XSEED Games. Definitely retains the style that game creator/writer "Suda 51" compliments all his games with (ie: Lollipop Chainsaw)

The North American Box Art for Killer is Dead, published by XSEED Games. Definitely retains the style that game creator/writer “Suda 51” compliments all his games with (ie: Lollipop Chainsaw)

Written and Directed by famed Japanese game creator "Suda 51", Killer is Dead puts the player in command of an assassin with a cybernetic arm. Using a 3rd person perspective and unique cel-shaded anime-style art, Killer is Dead aesthetics are uniquely Suda, but the games confusing story and sloppy combat mechanics make this one of Suda's less favorable games. A rental definitely, try before you buy. Oh yeah, and lots of barely clothed chicks are peppered throughout the game. It wouldn't be a Suda 51 game if there weren't some naked chicks meandering about in-game though!

Written and Directed by famed Japanese game creator “Suda 51”, Killer is Dead puts the player in command of an assassin with a cybernetic arm. Using a 3rd person perspective and unique cel-shaded anime-style art, Killer is Dead aesthetics are uniquely Suda, but the games confusing story and sloppy combat mechanics make this one of Suda’s less favorable games. A rental definitely, try before you buy. Oh yeah, and lots of barely clothed chicks are peppered throughout the game. It wouldn’t be a Suda 51 game if there weren’t some naked chicks meandering about in-game though!

August 27th: MADDEN NFL 25

Instead of the annual numeration of Madden 14, EA decided to capitalize on the games 25th Anniversary of existence. The Madden franchise has become a stalwart sport series for every console and although this particular version doesn't differ all that much from the previous incarnation it will be interesting to see how the PS4 and XBOX One versions perform against their 7th gen counterparts.

Instead of the annual numeration of Madden 14, EA decided to capitalize on the games 25th Anniversary of existence. The Madden franchise has become a stalwart sport series for every console and although this particular version doesn’t differ all that much from the previous incarnation it will be interesting to see how the PS4 and XBOX One versions perform against their 7th gen counterparts.

August 27th: LOST PLANET 3

Capcom releases their final installment of the Co-Op sci-fi thriller Lost Planet 3 on August 27th. The game features plenty of action and mech-driven combat but reviews have been mixed with most critics praising the kick-ass visuals. Hardcore fans of the series should enjoy it however.

Capcom releases their final installment of the Co-Op sci-fi thriller Lost Planet 3 on August 27th. The game features plenty of action and mech-driven combat but reviews have been mixed with most critics praising the kick-ass visuals. Hardcore fans of the series should enjoy it however.

August 31st: PAINKILLER HELL & DAMNATION

This classic PC FPS finally hits home to consoles. Developed by "People Can Fly" who released the cult classic Bulletstorm, this title has experienced multiple delays since April of this year and finally saw retail release August 31st. Containing the Hell and Damnation expansion pack and the original Painkiller campaign, the game has been optimized for consoles but unfortunately not in the best ways. The game has received mixed to negative reviews and compared to Painkiller: Black Edition available on Steam for less than $15, which is considerably much better than the console variant in terms of graphics, play mechanics and sound/music, if you have a decent PC with an older GFX card then running Painkiller should be no issue. The console port retails for $29.99 brand new.

This classic PC FPS finally hits home to consoles, ported by Nordic Games and The Farm 51. Developed originally by “People Can Fly” for the PC who  went on to develop and release the cult classic Bulletstorm, this title has experienced multiple delays since April of this year and finally saw retail release August 31st. Containing the Hell and Damnation expansion pack and the original Painkiller campaign, the game has been optimized for consoles but unfortunately not in the best ways. The game has received mixed to negative reviews and compared to Painkiller: Black Edition available on Steam for less than $15, which is considerably much better than the console variant in terms of graphics, play mechanics and sound/music, if you have a decent PC with an older GFX card then running Painkiller should be no issue. The console port retails for $29.99 brand new.

A screenshot from Painkiller: Hell & Damnation ported to PS3/360. The game is your traditional anti-hero sent to hell to kill off hordes of demons in bloody, gory and bad-ass weapon fashion, as pictured above.

A screenshot from Painkiller: Hell & Damnation ported to PS3/360. The game is your traditional anti-hero sent to hell to kill off hordes of demons in bloody, gory fashion with bad-ass weapon weaponry at your disposal, as pictured above.

September 3rd: DEAD OR ALIVE 5 ULTIMATE

The franchise that started it all with bouncing babes in the sun with breasts disproportionate to their actual body size. The game has received mixed to positive reviews and was recommended for new players to the series, but also having a lot to attract to longtime diehard fans.

The franchise that started it all with bouncing babes in the sun with breasts disproportionate to their actual body size. The game has received mixed to positive reviews and was recommended for new players to the series, but also having a lot to attract to longtime diehard fans.

September 3rd: DIABLO III

The classic PC isometric hack-n-monster-slasher and dungeon crawler includes 4 player couch Co-Op. The game has garnered critical acclaim amongst most news oulets.

The classic PC isometric hack-n-monster-slasher and dungeon crawler includes 4 player couch Co-Op. The game has garnered critical acclaim amongst most news oulets.

 

September 3rd: FARMING SIMULATOR

Finally, a game that simulates what life would be like living on a farm!  JUST WHAT WE ALWAYS WANTED /sarcasm. Seriously though? When they though about developing and publishing this title, did anyone stop to think "is this really a good idea?" I'm sure there will be some folks interested in this title, but it will be a small, niche audience at most.

Finally, a game that simulates what life would be like living on a farm! JUST WHAT WE ALWAYS WANTED /sarcasm. Seriously though? When they though about developing and publishing this title, did anyone stop to think “is this really a good idea?” I’m sure there will be some folks interested in this title, but it will be a small, niche audience at most.

 

September 3rd: RAYMAN LEGENDS

Originally scheduled as a Wii U exclusive launch title, Legends has been delayed nearly a year to make it a multi-plat release and add more baddies, more levels and some additional polish. The wait has been well worth it, as the game has been critically acclaimed across all platforms, with the Wii U and PS3 versions coming out on top. The game also supports local couch co-op. Can't wait to get my grubby hands on this one!

Originally scheduled as a Wii U exclusive launch title, Legends has been delayed nearly a year to make it a multi-plat release and add more baddies, more levels and some additional polish. The wait has been well worth it, as the game has been critically acclaimed across all platforms, with the Wii U and PS3 versions coming out on top. The game also supports local couch co-op. Can’t wait to get my grubby hands on this one!

 

This co-op crazy platformer has huge crazy bosses, variety upon varieties of locales and vivid, colorful 2D graphics. Screenshot courtesy of Videogamer.com

This co-op crazy platformer has huge crazy bosses, variety upon varieties of locales and vivid, colorful 2D graphics. Screenshot courtesy of Videogamer.com

 

 

 

[UPDATE 8/25] Sony PS4 Official Launch Date Announced, Vita Price cut looming and new videos, reviews posted

Sony's Next-Generation Console, the PlayStation 4 has a confirmed official launch date for NA and EU: November 15th and November 29th, respectively.

Sony’s Next-Generation Console, the PlayStation 4 has a confirmed official launch date for NA and EU: November 15th and November 29th, respectively.

Well it’s official, you foaming-at-the-mouth, can’t get enough news Next-Gen Gaming bastards: Sony will launch it’s next-gen console, the PlayStation 4 on November 15 in North America and in Europe November 29th. SCE Chief Executive Andrew House made the announcement at this year’s GamesComm, a annual game expo and fair taking place in Germany, Europe to be precise. Also announced is that soon the PlayStation Vita will drop to a lower price point from $249 down to $199 (I’ve been advocating for this for quite some time, and if the Vita is incorporated into the PS4 as much as Sony has defined it to be, it will be a must-have companion piece for hardcore gamers. Not to mention that the Vita has it’s own catalog of games, around 150 I believe, so that will instantly add value to your PS4 collection since the Vita itself has Vita-specific and exclusive games designed for the maligned handheld. House also mentioned that the PS4 console will be available in 32 countries worldwide during the holiday season.

Compare this to Microsoft Xbox One console launch, which still doesn’t have a set launch date and won’t be completely rolled out until next year in many other territories.

Sony also livecast their GameComm’s conference via the internet while Microsoft held their conference to a select few in the gaming press behind closed doors. Sony also reiterated their strong support for smaller, independent-based developers by reveling in the PS4 exclusive and non-exclusive content offered via the indie developers showcased at the GamesComm expo available through Sony’s various gaming distribution channels, such as the PlayStation Network. 

A Review of the classic MetalSlug X for the PSOne has been posted along with various exclusive gameplay videos AND the unboxing of Tales of Xillia Limited Edition for PS3

HiddenDefiniton is not just PS3 and current-console centric, but we also like to indulge in gaming’s past, reminding us of how far we have come, how fun these games still are and being nostalgic for nostalgia’s sake. The PS3 is really a wonderful piece of hardware, playing not only current-gen games but PSOne classics, where it all started. Earlier PS3 units even had the H/W capable to play PS2 games, then later to reduce cost PS2 games were played under the aura of software emulation. However, Sony has since removed the PS2 backwards-compatibility citing that they kept their newest platform restricted to a price-barrier which was not competitive. So the PS2 back-compatibility features were axed in favor of a lower price point. Now the remnants of Sony’s early PS3 backwards-compatible units are considered a rare find and usually cost upward of 200-300 dollars depending on the type of PS2 capabilities and other features that have since been removed from the early brethren of PS3 units. Sony has a consistent knack for castrating it’s features from early models of their consoles and H/W from future models to make them more affordable, although I wish they could find a balance between both. Typically, if you find a used PS3 that contains four front USB ports and a flip-cover on the front of the unit for Micro-SD storage-type cards, these are usually the units that contain the much sought-after PS2 backwards compatibility. However, it should be noted that ALL PS3 units still support PSOne games, a great feature since the PSOne has a huge library of excellent games yet to be converted into a digital format for Sony’s PSN storefront. I took the time this past weekend to play through a SNK-PSOne Classic: Metal Slug X. A straight arcade port with all the bells and whistles one would expect from an arcade port. I also took it upon myself to record gameplay video borrowing my friends HD Camcorder, with droll commentary of course! It’s all included in the review of Metal Slug X. I hope you enjoy a stroll down memory lane of this fun, yet mindless 2D Contra-like shooter as I shall be doing more of these classic retro reviews when time permits. Enjoy! Click on the following link to view my review and watch exclusive gameplay video of Metal Slug X:

https://hiddendefinition.wordpress.com/about/metal-slug-x-review-psone/

Released during the glory years of the PSOne, this classic arcade port from AgeTec includes quite literally a blast from the past as developer  SNK includes everything more from the arcade port, including cooperative mayhem.

Released during the glory years of the PSOne, this classic arcade port from AgeTec includes quite literally a blast from the past as developer SNK includes everything and more from the arcade port, including cooperative mayhem.

PS4 On it’s Way to American Shores as it passes FCC inspections, Sound Shapes for PS3 rocks!…Final Single-Player DLC Campaign released for Aliens: Colonial Marines final Story-based DLC available for release & why I won’t be buying it [UPDATED: August 11th at 2:30 AM, 2013]

The FCC inspects the PlayStation 4 Devkits and the home-based Console units which both have passed FCC Regulation this week

Reference

According to Engadget.com (as per the link above) Sony’s latest console has passed FCC regulation and that makes it one step closer to setting sail for American shores. The Sony PS4 Devkit was apparently already approved by the FCC earlier this week. The Devkit, which is supposed to cost around a modest $2,500 (a much more reasonable price point than the full-featured PS3 Devkit which can cost nearly $10,000 for complete unit) is not yet for sale by Sony but has been loaned out to certain Independent Developers who have caught the eye of Sony. Eventually at some point, I’m assuming the full fledged Devkit will go on sale for all game developers, big or small, once the console has properly saturated the market. For more information on developing for the PlayStation 4, please visit http://us.playstation.com/develop/. Here’s part of the schematic’s Sony sent over to the FCC (again, courtesy of Engadget.com) to give you a better idea of this process:

A List provided by Sony to the FCC for it's physical and some internal specifications such as it's MAX Clock Frequency hovering around 2.75 GHz.

A List provided by Sony to the FCC for it’s physical and some internal specifications such as it’s MAX Clock Frequency hovering around 2.75 GHz.

Also, here’s a physical specification image sent over by Sony to assist the FCC in providing and attaining proper measurements perhaps?

A schematic of the visual appearance and measurements of Sony's PlayStation 4

A schematic of the visual appearance & measurements of Sony’s PlayStation 4

Best of PSN Collection has me hooked with the Dynamic Sound Platformer “Sound Shapes”

After installing some of the games included on Sony’s awesome “Best of PlayStation Network Vol. 1” Compilation I have fell in love with Queasy GamesSound Shapes“. It’s a great little platformer that includes awesome contemporary and retro music from popular groups such as Beck, Deadmou5 (don’t know if I got that spelled correctly, feel free to rampage me with corrections in the comments section), I Am Robot and many others. You play as this little amorphous blob-type creature that looks conspicuously like a egg cooked over easy. Sound Shapes retains the basic platformer elements such as jumping, speeding up using the square or trigger button to run and complete larger jumps as well as using different colored platforms to latch on to so that you can move around them, even upside down, without fear of reprisal. Also, the more sound shapes you jump and acquire during each level the more robust and awesome the music becomes. By jumping on certain sound shapes or certain platforms, you can add a drum beat, vocals, snares, hi-hats and the like as well as vocals, choruses, keyboard and guitar chords. Depending on how you play you have the ability to radically change the music from the beginning spawn point until the levels end. Hit all the right notes and you can unlock more features that can be used and added in the level editor to your own maps. What an awesome way to skyrocket the value of the games replay-ability. While I have yet to delve into the map editor myself, I have taken the basic tutorial and it seems overwhelmingly simple, easy to understand and even friendly to newcomers not used to game modification. Each series of maps is divided by a number of campaigns, and each campaign is essentially a different album from a variety of music artists. To further the games expandability, you can download new albums to add to the diversity of campaigns available as well as unlockables that can be used in the level editor. You can also purchase via the PlayStation Network Store new drum kit samples, new 8-bit retro samples etc to add to the games already ridiculous amount of musical content. Look for my full review coming soon!

One of the first campaign series of levels with the album comprised by musician "I Am Robot"

One of the first campaign series of levels with the album comprised by musician “I Am Robot

Aliens: Colonial Marines finally gets story-based expansion via the latest DLC pack. The real questions is: Does anyone care and does Sega and Gearbox really deserve more money for this abomination of gaming?

The Short Answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT. and the long answer is 100 PERCENT ABSOLUTELY NOT!

After spending over $100 on the collector’s edition of this piece of garbage game and being seriously disappointed, they should be giving any DLC that is half-way decent away FOR FREE to it’s customers that bought or preordered this game brand new. The final DLC pack, entitled “Stasis Interrupted” involves three different characters who awake from their cryosleep only to discover in horror that their transport ship has been plagued with a scourge of Xenomorphs. The DLC’s intent is on resolving the half-hearted (OK, no heart really) attempt for Hick’s back story that took place between the end of Aliens and the beginning of Aliens 3 in A:CM is supposed to be answered in this DLC pack. Really though, at this point does anyone still care about this game? It was without a doubt the biggest letdown of 2013 for me after seeing those also FALSE and FAKE trailers that ran on high-end PC’s which were actually developed by TimeGate studios and had virtually no involvement or input from Gearbox, other than GB telling TimeGate to make sure the E3 2012 demo “look awesome”, regardless of what the XBOX 360 and PS3 could actually handle. The notorious demo, which can still be seen in all it’s glory shows many things that never made it to the full game, maps that were significantly altered and the AI looking much sharper and imposing than the games final release. Thanks to several absurdly huge updates for both Console and PC version, the game Is much more playable now then when it was initially launched in February. Unfortunately, the PC version benefits from this the most as updates and patches that can severely modify the game’s content can only be released for the PC version. I am holding out very little hope that the graphical anomalies, dynamic lighting, better textures and sharper AI will also be included in the future console patches and updates.

The UK Standards for Advertising (not sure if this is the actual name, but I think it’s close enough. Essentially, it’s kind of the U.K.’s equivalent to America’s Better Business Bureau) actually reprimanded Sega for falsely advertising their product and forced Sega to accompany banners that appear during each of the game demos and trailers which have all left us feeling very betrayed. The demos and trailers now must display a message forewarning anyone watching that “THIS FINAL PRODUCT DOES NOT LOOK ANYTHING LIKE THIS DEMO” or something to the effect of “THIS DEMO IS A RENDER BEING PLAYED ON A HIGH-END PC AND THIS IS NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FINAL VERSION OF GAME” or something along those lines. How embarrassing for Sega…a once well-known console and game developer now relegated to 3rd party publisher partly based in BAD DECISIONS like releasing A:CM upon the world when it clearly should’ve been canned altogether or had it’s release date pushed much further back so Gearbox, TimeGate, Demiurge or WHOEVER WAS WORKING ON THIS TRAINWRECK had time to properly correct this mess and make some good of it. Unfortunately, companies only answer to one entity: their shareholders. If they lose profit and nothing is gained from pouring millions of dollars into A:CM over that ridiculously long 7 year development period then the other companies that support Sega could jump ship, leaving them in financially dire straights. It’s not as if Sega is a bad publisher. Actually, quite the contrary. Sega has released some excellent console games, including the PS3 awesome PS3 exclusive “Valkyria Chronicles“, “Vanquish“, “Resonance of Fate” and their awesome “Sega Genesis Collection”. They also have released a few decent PC games over the years, such as the Company of Heroes series.

Even more saddening is that TimeGate Studios, the company largely responsible for trying to put this hulking disaster of a mess together during the past several years has had to layoff many employees and I believed, as of this writing, filed for bankruptcy. Also as of this writing, I’m not sure if TimeGate even exists as a game developer anymore. Even more upsetting and sad, considering the amount of slander Gearbox sent their way after the initial backlash from fans over the internet during the games release. Anonymous GB employees were quoted as saying that TimeGate had made a mess of the game when they had their paws on it and threw away most of the assets and work GB had already completed, although I don’t know what these were since several TimeGate employees responded to the negative and unfounded Gearbox posts on Reddit by simply stating that “The work, assets etc. Gearbox presented to us during A:CM’s final last years of troubled development clearly did not amount to 7 years of work Gearbox had been claiming”.  Many in the gaming community theorize that during these 7 years that A:CM was supposed to be in development, GB actually using Sega’s money to finish up their prized IP “Borderlands” and begin and finish work on “Borderlands 2“. While Sega are nowhere near completely innocent in this mess of a release, after year 6 Sega probably should’ve done a little investigative work and saw that their hard-earned capitol wasn’t even going to one of their published projects but to another Gearbox game entirely.  Bottom line: I have never seen such a disaster and aftermath following a games release since the likes of the Diablo 3 server fiasco and even going more far back, John Romero’s constant hype of his new studio Ion Storm’s first release “Diakatana” after splitting from legendary game developer ID Software which built the game into this amazing object of hype and fervor, to the point where there was no way it could be realized. Diakatana was critically panned by the press and public and Ion Storm went under not to far after. You think developers and to a further extent, publishers, would’ve learned their lesson with constant game failures of seismic proportions since the late 90’s and on but they still haven’t seem to get it yet. Games still get stuck in development @#!*% , they are continually hyped to the point of no return and have their release dates constantly pushed back and back and back AND BACK only to be released as underwhelming, buggy, graphically inferior and just altogether crap games. With all that has gone wrong with A:CM, the bankrupt game studio, the cancellation of the Wii U version, the constant patches and fixes, the non-stop finger pointing by Gearbox employees (just take a look at Randy Pitchford’s Twitter page who is floundering in his dismissal of gamers accusations that his company was just trying to innocently release it’s creative vision on the world but failed at their attempt – OK MAN, whatever. you. say) and the U.K. enforcing Sega to put disclaimers on all the games trailers and demos stating that the demo represents the final product in no way. Oh yes, did I also mention that several gamers have joined together in a Class Action Lawsuit against Sega for falsely advertising A:CM? I mean, their case does kind of have merit ALREADY, what with the U.K. calling fowl on Sega’s misrepresentative game trailers for A:CM.

So I guess if any of you are really interested to see if “Stasis Interrupted” is worth the 10, 15 or whatever amount of money for this DLC pack to a game that never deserved our hard-earned dough in the first place is really your call. If the DLC pack actually corrects all the bad graphics, horrible AI and terrible characters that crapped their way into the initial release and somehow salvages the story and interjects some emotionally-invested characters into this title, then maybe the ten-dollar investment for this DLC may be worth it. However, after already paying over $100 for the special edition of this game, I can personally tell you unless it’s free I have no intention of investing any more of my hard earned time or money into this mess that is Aliens: Colonial Marines.

New Page Added – Want to play some good ‘ol non-practical jokes or looking for info on interesting new movies? Check out my Culture/Misc Pages. Also, Sony confirms digital game sharing and reaffirms it’s commitment to small, indie-based game developers

Now if you were put in this situation constantly, wouldn't you want a little self-satisfaction via the means of a good, personal fuckover?

Now if you were put in this situation constantly, wouldn’t you want a little self-satisfaction via the means of a good, personal fuckover?

I have just added a new section to diversify my ever-expanding blog. The Culture, Movies and Misc page is dedicated to everything from what clothing I think is hideous, to playing jokes or fucking over your friends for personal gain or just good ‘ol fashioned revenge to information on the latest movie releases! Yes, my little blog is growing exponentionally and I’d like to thank everyone who comes back on a regular basis and especially those who follow my blog….all 6 of you 🙂 So, go check out my article under the shiny new Culture portion of my blog on great ways to fuckover enemies, frenemies and people you just generally don’t care for one damn bit. I even added a poll to the article to see where some of you stand on these issues of personal gratification at the expense of anothers misfortune (regardless if they deserved it or not). Here’s the poll:

Anywho, here’s the direct link to the Culture section of HD:

https://hiddendefinition.wordpress.com/culture-movies-and-everything-else/

Sony basing importance on digital game sharing for the PS4 and every unit will ship with Sony’s PLAYROOM app

Sony has confirmed that your digitally downloaded games will not be contained and isolated to just your own PS4. You can go to a friends console, login in using your PSN ID and have instant access to your digital game collection. Talk about a great way to freely advertise content to gamers who may be on the fence about a particular title. And while this concept isn’t exactly revolutionary (you can currently login to your PSN account from another PS3 to access your digital game downloads, not quite the same thing as you would have to redownload and install the title to that persons particular PS3 and use up one of your licensee activations), it certainly sounds more convenient then the current trade of digital game “sharing”.

Also, even though the PS4 Eye camera was canned as a pack-in for the launch bundle of the PS4 to shave $100 off the price, Sony is still including it’s Playroom app to showcase the potential features of the PS4 cam. Although you would have to purchase the optional peripheral to enjoy the full gamut of features the Playroom software offers, it may sway early adopters into purchasing the cast-off camera if the Playroom offers some really cool features (and from what I’ve seen and heard, it does). I guess we will just all have to wait until launch day to really find out….*sigh* Here’s a tech demo video showing off the Playroom with PS4 camera in tow (video courtesy of Engadget):