WE’RE BACK ON THE ATTACK

If a gang of anthropomorphic mutated turtles can master Kung-Fu on behalf of an overgrown, wise rat to overcome absurd odds then I can battle my sloth and procrastination to return this blog to it’s former glory.

 

First things first…. THE GOOD NEWS:

OK, so clearly I’m not dead. This blog, still a great source of pride and freedom of looney tunes rants for me, has seen it’s share of high’s and lows. I went through a period of dark times, but now am emerging physically healthier with clarity and ambition that I have not experienced since trying to find two girls to coerce into an orgy. Starting soon, me and a dear dear dear dear friend who is much cooler then you (deal with it) and whose name will not be disclosed will begin our own Podcast via this website. Talking points will be as follows:

  1. Our own personal thoughts/experiences in terms of life and day-to-day situations
  2. Gaming news/previews and reviews
  3. Exploring PC and PC gaming modification IE: Halo map and model editing, Crysis, Unity Engine programming, Quake mapping and QuakeC etc
  4. Marijuana reform state to state and the current trend of federal drug reform, with opinions on the ground via Colorado, NY and California
  5. Console gaming and the hastening of indie game popularity and digital game purchases and downloads a la STEAM/PSN
  6. Pirate Radio
  7. General news and current events etc.
  8. Talk and discussion of pop culture, movies (new and old) with recommendations of films you may want to watch
  9. Offer up helpful PC/MAC/Linux technical advice

That’s the synopsis of what to expect. Keep comin’ back to HiddenDefinition for air dates and more information when we inch closer to the broadcast. If you like this website, you will probably enjoy what we will be serving up on air. Here’s some other information/news that could be filed under awesome:

 

Steins;Gate has been released in the West by publisher JAST USA to critical acclaim

 

Released this spring in both digital and physical editions by JAST USA, S;G is a deeply original time-paradox story that focuses it's narrative on how to save the people you love after realizing the damaging effects of time travel

Released this spring in both digital and physical editions by JAST USA, S;G is a deeply original time-paradox story that focuses it’s narrative on how to save the people you love after realizing the damaging effects of time travel

 

Using a series of text messages, a group of young people learn they can affect the outcome of the past and future by sending their messages back to a pre-ordained time period. The visual novel has garnered critical acclaim in both the east and west. You can order the digital download or the physical limited edition via JAST USA’s website at: http://jastusa.com/blog/2014/04/02/steinsgate-is-available-now/

 

Summer Sci-Fi Thriller “Edge of Tomorrow” opens in theaters June 6th

 

The cover to Japanese manga "All You Need is Kill" to which "Edge of Tomorrow" is adapted from.

The cover to Japanese manga “All You Need is Kill” to which “Edge of Tomorrow” is adapted from.

The new “smart” sci-fi vehicle for Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt (sooooo hawt) opens this Friday and cinemas nationwide. Based on the Japanese manga “All You Need is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, it features a working stiff (Cruise’s character) thrust into warfare against alien organisms hellbent on world destruction. With no knowledge of combat or the advanced weaponry strapped to his body, the soldier quickly dies only to reawaken hours before deployment in a “Groundhog-Day from hell” scenario. The soldier repeatedly dies in as many horrifying ways as the directors, CGI-artists and producers could think of which is sure to entertain. It’s not until he meets a woman soldier (Emily Blunt) who is experiencing the same phenomenon of a perpetually repeating day that they band together and use these endless death-defying reboots to their advantage to gain every tactical and intellectual advantage against their assailants from the stars. So far, early reviews have pinned this as the first must see science fiction blockbuster of the summer so I myself am I eager to check it out and knowing the source material makes it even more enticing. Watch the latest trailer below:

 

 

The Last of Us “Remastered Edition” hits PlayStation 4 in August and what to expect from Sony at E3

 

The Last of Us REMASTERED contains super-duper AA along with much improved resolution, HD textures and a further draw distance among many other improved features

The Last of Us REMASTERED contains super-duper AA along with much improved resolution, HD textures and a further draw distance among many other sweet ass sweet features

So we all know that the PlayStation 4 is closing in or surpassed 8 million units sold by now. This is a big deal, because the Wii U has been out for over two years and has sold approximately just around 9 million units while the PS4 has been around for 6-8 months and smashed those figures to bits. Microsoft is being coy about what their system sales figures are, which is a good indicator that they haven’t come close to Sony’s figures. To stay competitive, they will need to consistently stay focused, especially with GameStop lowering the price of Xbox One bundles below $499. Microsoft has also not ruled out the possibility of shipping X1 units without their super-awesome stupid, dope with the fat ass rhymes Kinect 2.0. Kinect has clearly become so intricate to daily use of the X1 people surely won’t be able to survive without using the voice recognition to turn the X1 on/off and access Netflix while sitting on their toilet shouting commands across the room over their own flatulence. The only kink in the Sony plan for console domination is their lack of exclusive 1st-party games which has been synonymous with the PlayStation platform(s). We should get a nice taste at this years E3 which starts June 10th and goes to June 12, 2014. Sony typically has their presentation on the last day of festivities and here’s hoping they unveil some new first party games and maybe even a couple new IP’s. So far, we only know of The Order: 1886, DriveClub and a new Uncharted game for the PS4, with only DriveClub set to release this year (Oct. 7th). Which means there are several Sony-owned studios that have been lurking idly by in the shadows with no mention of their current projects. Media Molecule, Sony Bend, Studio Japan, Quantic Dream, Guerrilla Games, Team ICO, thatgamecompany, Insomniac Games (if they still have any exclusivity agreements for Ratchet and Clank or the Resistance franchises) etc. Back to Naughty Dog: To tide people over until the next big first-party release (Suckerpunch Studios just released Infamous: Second Son to mostly positive praise), Sony made what I deem a rather smart business move and had Naughty Dog do an in-house port of possibly the best last-gen exclusive for PS3 with updated graphics and all DLC included. Dubbed “The Last of Us: Remastered” edition, PS4 owners will finally get a chance to experience firsthand what us PS3 owners have been losing chunks of our free time over for the past year. This is a good move for both Sony and PS4 owners; it’s a first-party exclusive that anyone who owns a PS4 should get to play and Sony has 8 million units sitting in gamer’s homes with not much in the way of exclusive content. This summer, that all looks to change and it can’t come soon enough. These two console generation have been the most bizarre transition in my history of being a gamer. If you think so too or have something to add about how it sucks that developers seem stuck on continually developing for the lowest common denominator and then “pretty port” their game to current-gen, let us know on twitter at #weirdestconsoletransitionever

 

WatchDogs, Dark Souls II, Transistor and the PS3 is far from dead thanks to 3rd-party exclusives

 

Released for every conceivable platform (yes, even you Wii U) but so far has outsold on the PS4 and looks damn damn nice

WatchDogs, released for every conceivable platform (yes, even you Wii U) but so far has outsold on the PS4 and looks damn damn nice

 

The open-world sandbox hacking and 3rd person shooter, “WatchDogs” released by UbiSoft, where the world you live in can become your means of offense and defense has been selling like hotcakes. Originally scheduled to be released last year along with the new crop of consoles but delayed (obviously for the better), it has been that game everyone keeps talking about and saying how cool it is they hacked into a main streets defensive grid to cease the ingress of police cars chasing you down or how awesome it was they invaded another persons game and captured them for a bounty. The single player campaign is worth the price of admission alone, but the robust multiplayer mode makes WatchDogs absurdly fun. So far, the PS4 has been the de facto platform to experience WatchDogs on however if you own a beefy PC and can deal with the reportedly inconsistent online play, you can make it look reaaal purdy on a high-end computer if you don’t mind the dogged multiplayer for the PC.

Another new release just for the PS4 and PC that was developed by famed Bastion devs Supergiant Games comes “Transistor“.  A sidescrolling/isometric based action-RPG hybrid with a very deep fighting and action system featuring a pleasantly surprising original narrative with a whole city to explore and it’s denizens to talk to. The game plays great, looks great, sounds great (the soundtrack is supposed to be BADASS) and features the sassy, back-talking titular character “Transistor” sword that your character uses as her primary weapon which you acquire in the first act of the campaign. Check out the Launch trailer below:

 

 

Some of the biggest releases so far this year have been cross-gen or avoiding the whole generational gap to begin with, ie: Dark Souls II which was not released for X1/PS4. Those who know the “Souls” series will know of it’s punishing yet genuinely rewarding difficulty. Oldschool gamers will be reminded of the great sense of accomplishment after defeating a difficult foe or acquiring that uniquely obscure weapon/item in Dark Souls II. Although it’s a PS3/360/PC game, it still looks beautiful (especially the deadly but huge bosses you’ll encounter) and watching the sun ripple off the ocean in certain areas is breathtaking… not bad for being jacked into the restraints of 8 year-old consoles. The controls have been made much more intuitive and flow from battle to maneuvering much more flawlessly than it’s predecessors. DSII is also easier to get started with, with less emphasis on the minutia of character customization and allowing the player to jump right into selecting your character class and traits. Another great feature missing from prior iterations: Being able to save MUCH more frequently. In a game where turning your character to fast can spin him/her off a cliff to an untimely death at a crucial point during gameplay, the added frequent save points adds much needed balance to a game where death is literally at every corner and turn. Already receiving some nods as a potential Game of the Year, Dark Souls II is the quintessential difficult oldschool hack-n-slash where patience, skill, exploration and learning your enemies weaknesses without obvious bright colors lighting up the weak spots or NPC’s shouting where to shoot, making DSII a rare breed of game in today’s flooded market of FPS military twitch shooters, 3rd-person sci-fi action “horror” and traditional turn-based RPGs.

 

Released in March of 2014 by Namco-Bandai, Dark Souls II is the amalgamation of everything that has made the two previous entries awesome. All three games developed by From Software.

Released in March of 2014 by Namco-Bandai, Dark Souls II is the amalgamation of everything that has made the two previous entries awesome. All three games developed by From Software.

 

Other games that have been released exclusively for the PS3 since the beginning of 2014:

  • Drakengard 3 from Square Enix
  • Deception IV: Blood Ties from Tecmo Koei
  • Tales of Symphonia Chronicles from Namco Bandai
  • Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky from GUST
  • Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster from Square Enix
  • The Witch and the Hundred Knight from NIS America

Coming soon is Namco’s Tales of Xillia 2, one year after the first installment came to the West. The JRPG is slated to hit stores August 19th and if it’s as good as the first Xillia, I will be sure to pre-order the Collectors Edition which is currently going for $130. Included in the CE version are ” a figure of one of the new main characters, Ludger Kresnik, a replica pocket watch (it doesn’t run), a cat key chain, a CD of selected tracks, an art book, and alternative costume DLC of characters from past Tales game” (quote taken directly from DESTRUCTOID at http://www.destructoid.com/tales-of-xillia-2-coming-west-this-august-collector-s-edition-detailed-273589.phtml). If you are curious as to what this all amounts to here is a picture to give your brain visual stimulation:

 

Tales of Xillia 2 Collectors Edition includes everything pictured above. All you need is $130 and patience since the game doesn't drop until August 19th, or something.

Tales of Xillia 2 Collectors Edition includes everything pictured above. All you need is $130 and patience since the game doesn’t drop until August 19th, or something.

 

New system updates for PlayStation 4 that add new features and “system stability”

Latest OS update for PS4 is version  1.71 which is a cumulative update, picture above taken from the US Playstation Blog

Latest OS update for PS4 is version 1.71 which is a cumulative update, picture above taken from the US Playstation Blog

 

If you’re waiting for Sony’s engineering gurus to come around and add MP3/CD Audio/Video file or DLNA support to the PS4, be prepared to wait a little longer. While the new update(s) adds some much ballyhooed features,  basic functionality such as DivX, MP3 playback and UI customization are still inauspiciously MIA. New to version 1.70-1.71 are the ShareFactory video editor, new settings to dim the lightbar on the Dualshock 4 and now the capability to enable or disable HDCP (huge win for those of us who hate DRM). Those are some of the major improvements, for a complete list click on the following link for the official US Playstation Blog:

http://us.playstation.com/support/systemupdates/ps4/

 

And don’t forget to check out HiddenDefinition’s Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film preview for 2014

A month or two back I completed a rather comprehensive guide for science-fiction, fantasy and action/fantasy films that are scheduled to be released or have already released this year. It needs a little TLC, but it’s still pretty accurate plus it includes full synopsis and a few crass, sarcastic remarks about most of the movies premises from yours truly. If you are looking for what to expect out of 2014 for movies, look no further then HD’s Action, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film Preview. Check it out at here: https://hiddendefinition.wordpress.com/culture-movies-and-everything-else/sci-fi-movies-to-watch-out-for-in-2014/

 

And now …. THE BAD NEWS:

 

Frowny-Face-632x474

It hasn’t been all blue skies and sunshine. While there has been a lot of good things happening (see above, captain obvious) there has also been turmoil at the usually insulated Sony first party studios. Naughty Dog had some kind of falling out with Head Writer for the Uncharted series Amy Hennig, as well as losing a few other key members that were imperative in the creation of Uncharted and The Last of Us. Evolution Studios, responsible for the oft-delayed first-party PS4 exclusive Drive Club has also lost it’s Director and Sony Santa Monica had an unknown project in development cancelled. Also, while this occurred several months a go, Studio Liverpool, responsible for the awesome sci-fi racer WipeOut had it’s doors shut by Sony. While game studios putting up the “out of business” sign is nothing new, the frequency at which Sony is cleaning house and the questionable nature of these high-profile departures has left me wondering what the hell is going on within these AAA developers.

 

Irrational Studios closes it’s doors for Good. Director Ken Levine desires to focus on independent, more narrative-driven digital games

 

Boston developer Irrational Games has shuttered it's doors for good on the heels of Bioshock Infinite's final DLC release "Burial at Sea Pt II"

Boston developer Irrational Games has shuttered it’s doors for good on the heels of Bioshock Infinite’s final DLC release “Burial at Sea Pt II”

 

Probably one of the most gut-wrenching studio closings in quite some time, Founder and Director Ken Levine has decided to shut down Irrational Games located in Boston, MA. Not for lack of creative ideas or studio funding, this decision was made completely at the behest of Levine and a few other key members. In a official statement made available to the press, Levine says:

“To meet the challenge ahead, I need to refocus my energy on a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers. In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: A small team making games for the core gaming audience”

Since publisher Take-Two and 2K Studios actually own the Bioshock franchise, this certainly does not mean we won’t see anymore Bioshock games, they just won’t be developed by the founding studio Irrational. The last official release by Irrational was the DLC for Bioshock Infinite “Burial at Sea Pt. II“, which received much due adulation for allowing players to play as protagonist Elizabeth and use her tear abilities to take on a more stealth-like approach to rediscovering Rapture. R.I.P. Irrational, you will truly be missed.

 

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[UPDATE] Sci-Fi Movies of 2013 list Finished; Reviews Reviews Reviews Reviews! Much to do about reviews….The PS4 Launch Edition may include a PS4+Vita Bundle and most current features of the PlayStation Network will still remain free when the PS4 Launches

New Review added, plus several more on their way and Awesome Science-Fiction Films of 2013 list compiled and posted

Dear enlightened HD readers, thank you for sticking by my floundering blog all these days. I am working on adding a ton of new content, including a section dedicated to my most second favorite form of entertainment: Movies! Although a passive experience, I enjoy cinema very much and while In no way am I qualified to write reviews about films, I certainly can still make recommendations on which films are worthy of your Almighty Dollar to see in the theaters or buy on VOD/Blu-Ray/DVD. I just finished compiling my top picks for interesting, awesome and maybe even some original science-fiction movies for 2013, with each film receiving a brief synopsis and accompanied by their respective YouTube trailers.

Here’s the link with Five of my top picks (thus far) of interesting science-fiction films to be released this year:

https://hiddendefinition.wordpress.com/culture-movies-and-everything-else/awesome-science-fiction-movies-for-2013/

For my fellow gamers, I have been working feverishly to finish some of my recent game purchases so they can be reviewed. Coming soon to HD’s Reviews are “Sound Shapes” and the recently released, retro style fantasy brawler “Dragon’s Crown“. In the meantime, I have reviewed Gearbox’s blended FPS/RPG masterpiece “Borderlands 2“. You can read the review by clicking on the following link: Borderlands 2 Review

Sony reaffirms that most services for PlayStation Network will remain free and a PlayStation 4+Vita Bundle could be one of the launch editions this holiday season!

While not much of a surprise, Sony has reaffirmed that most non-gaming services offered via the PlayStation Network will remain free. The PS Plus Membership is required to actually play PlayStation 4 titles multiplayer online. Other portions of PSN, such as accessing Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, the game-video recording feature touted by Sony at the PS4’s February reveal and text/voice chat along with basic features such as maintaining your friends list, messaging your friends etc will all still be free (as it should be). Microsoft, in stark contrast, requires an XBOX Live Gold Membership which costs $59.99 a year to access any of the consoles services online features. Just another reason I choose Sony over Microsoft for this current generation of consoles. For a cash-strapped gamer, free online+multiplayer was a HUGE selling point in my decision to trade in my XBOX 360 towards the PS3.

A great idea for a PS4 Bundle: including Sony's under appreciated handheld, the Vita. All PS4 games will be capable of Remote Play, meaning that you can start your game on the PS4 and if interrupted, take the game with you on the move using the Vita. A really cool feature and it would definitely make sense for Sony to create a bundle including both consoles since they compliment each other extremely well. Although just a rumor for now, hopefully this will materialize into reality quite soon.

A great idea for a PS4 Bundle: including Sony’s under appreciated handheld, the Vita. All PS4 games will be capable of Remote Play, meaning that you can start your game on the PS4 and if interrupted, take the game with you on the move using the Vita. A really cool feature and it would definitely make sense for Sony to create a bundle including both consoles since they compliment each other extremely well. Although just a rumor for now, hopefully this will materialize into reality quite soon.

A rumor that has been making it’s way down the gamer totem pole is that their will be a PlayStation 4 SKU that includes the Sony Vita in a bundle. Sony’s much maligned and floundering handheld needs a big boost if it’s to survive against Nintendo’s 3DS and the onslaught of Smartphones, Tablets and casual mobile gamers in general. The Vita is a powerful little handheld and will be capable, come PS4 launch day, of remote play. In other words, you can start your game on your PS4 console, go outside for some fresh air and resume the game where you left off on the Vita all without interruption. A very cool feature indeed. Also, since the Vita has it’s own exclusive catalog of games, people who purchase the rumored PS4/Vita Bundle, rumored to have a MSRP of around $500, will have instant access to a multitude of decent Vita only software. There are a good amount of Vita games, including some of Sony’s stalwart franchises in special Vita-exclusive versions such as Uncharted, Assassins Creed, Resistance, Killzone, Metal Gear Solid, Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale and some new IP’s such as Gravity RushSoul Sacrifice, the soon to be released Tearaway (the next upcoming hit from Media Molecule, responsible for all those awesome Little Big Planet titles) and my favorite, Persona 4 Golden (the reason I currently have a Vita on my gamer “must lust” list of gaming purchases I want oh-so badly to make).

Upcoming Playstation 3 Releases and Bargain Bin Sleeper Hits

With Sony focusing much of it’s effort on the impending reveal and release of the PlayStation 4, many forget that the PS3 still has a wealth of diverse content still available, with new games on the horizon. Let’s take a look at the releases for the month of May.
residentevilrevelations_screens2_0011
May 21stResident Evil Revelations: A HD Console port of the successful Nintendo 3DS handheld version of the game. Supposedly, this title is attempting to instill the “survival horror” atmosphere that made the first few installments on the original PlayStation and GameCube so successful. So far, previews have been quite warming and if you are a fan of the franchise and hoping it returns to its genuine horror roots, then this title may seek your interest. But don’t take my word for it, there is now a demo available on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Marketplace and the Wii U eShop available for download, so give it a try and let me know what you think by posting a comment!

GRID-2-LiveRoutes

The LiveRoutes feature allows players to constantly change track design on-the-go.

GRiD2_screen_06

Impressive visuals, great collision detection, cut-throat enemy AI and 82 tracks should make Grid 2 a very compelling and addictive racer

May 28th Grid 2: A racing game being released by racing enthusiast company house CodeMasters. Grid 2 is a sequel to the successful original release which garnered near universal positive reviews for it’s unique gameplay mechanics. The original featured exotic track locales all over Europe extending to Japan and the sequel will be no different, reportedly including up to 82 tracks. Also packed into this non-traditional racer is a split-screen competitive mode, which is nice to see since most new releases opt strictly for multiplayer via online exclusively. There is something to be said for gaming with a group of close friends in the same room, the comradery just cannot be matched. Also, the LiveRoutes feature in Grid 2 allows players to build custom maps on the fly. Not quite sure how this works, but nonetheless I am quite intrigued and have been looking for a new racer since Split/Second came out.

fuse_boxart_ps3

Fuse was developed by the same team that brought you the Resistance series of exclusives on the PS3, so I’m hoping the PS3 version will be visually superior and more stable then it’s XBOX counterpart

fuse3

May 28thFuse: A four-player co-op based FPS shooter being released by everybody’s favorite company, Electronic Arts. Fuse has you in command of a special-ops type team codenamed Overstrike-9. Whilst on a mission your squad discovers a new type of weapon revolving around the properties of a mysterious and dangerous alien chemical. While examining this new type of weapon your squad’s weapons and bodies briefly become exposed to this volatile substance. Each member of your team now posses a unique ability that will allow you to strategically fight the hordes of solders and mechanical robots swarming your way.  While playing in 4-player co-op mode gives you the most fun to be able to exercise all your partners special abilities with your friends, single-player will also allow for control over each character involving “the Leap”, a gameplay element meant to allow one player to switch between the four different characters and benefit from their different skill sets. Also another release that features local co-op, a nice touch for the gamer that still likes real social interaction during their game playing. The FUSE DEMO has  been available for download since May 7th on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace. The online four-player co-op demo or two-player split screen (SCORE!) allows you to experience the full range of unique aberrations in each squad mate caused by exposure to the Alien artifact. Post your comments below on what you think of Fuse.

And of course, rounding out this week’s posts is a special look at Bargain-Bin priced PS3 software ($16 or less) that have been generally overlooked by the gaming public but are excellent games in their own right and offer oodles of fun for ridiculously low prices. This weekend, I shall explore some of these sleeper hits and tell you why their worth the scantly clad investment listed on the sticker price of the package. Look for this article under my REVIEWS section.