Friday, November 17, 2017

.HACK//G.U. Last Recode (PS4)

The reemergence of ".HACK//G.U." on the PS4 is a welcome sight, especially for a guy like me who missed out the first time around. It is a complete reissue that holds up quite nicely to today's quality standards, and includes the entire series in upscaled graphics along with some bonus content for a less than retail pricing in an impressively polished package. The series as a whole does what anime and games like "Sword Art Online" do, but in a much more intelligent and mature manner. Dare I say a darker manner. The series as a whole encompasses an ever changing virtual world in which a protagonist known as Haseo faces moral dilemma, and real world threats that impact the lives of those engaged in the ongoing ordeal. The journey is one that harkens back to an earlier state of internet social media when forums and email interactions were in a more primitive state. Through a mock OS interface, and dives into the virtual world the game touches base on current world technological advances and the concerns therein. All while discussing the nature of online freedoms, the policing of online and offline social interactions as well the ramifications that something as seemingly harmless as an online video game can have on real world society.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

PS4 DualShock 4 Controller (REVIEW)

I feel this review needed to be done. Since the launch, and my purchase of the PS4 console I've had to buy 3 Sony brand controllers at the ridiculous price of $64 each. The controller that came with the console seemed to last the longest while one I bought on the side for local co-op use lasted a couple of months, or less. The third even less than that. The fact of the matter is these new technologically sophisticated controllers are more poorly made than last-gen's PS3 controllers. It's as if they were made to be a malfunctioning cash cow product for Sony to milk. There is no reason whatsoever that controller such as the PS4 DualShock 4 should cost a third of the price of a PS4 console. Nor is there a reason it should break so easily. There's no excuse for it. The fact that $15 PS3 controllers have a longer lifespan than a PS4 reflects this reality. The truth in this will ultimately be revealed on December 31st of this year when Hori releases their budget priced PS4 mini controller that does away with the touch pad, and adds three center buttons that operate in a similar manner. My only problem with the mini controller is that it will not have a port for a headset which again feels like a way for Sony to continue having their monopoly on the PS4 controller market with no other viable options made available at a reasonable price.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Demon Gaze II (PS4)

While NISA's "Demon Gaze II" isn't the profound spectacle that a lot of their mainstay titles are it possesses a simpler charm that incorporates a mixture of first-person dungeon crawling, and interactive storytelling to great effect. Two elements which come together quite nicely in a not so overbearing, or chaotic kind of way. The story this time around which is fairly much standalone in itself leans only a little on the previous game, and uses the lore of the established Demon Gazer as a means to set the stage for the fight against a tyrant who is burning up the souls of the citizenry for star power in order to build up an army of subservient demons. The game opens up abruptly throwing a lot of confusing conversation pieces at you, but as you play onward your created character's role in the plot is made known. As it turns out you were a revolutionist who was a part of a revolutionary party that was trying to overthrow Asteria's current ruler, Lord Magnastar. Before the game even began your character was abducted by an unknown individual, and bestowed with the power of the Demon Gaze. A power that allows you to capture demons in your eye, and control them. Upon rescue by your comrades you, and your amnesia stricken self are brought back to Stella's Place. An HQ of sorts, and base of operations for the previously mentioned revolution. A place where your memory, and purpose will slowly return as the fight before you is engaged ...

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Way of Redemption (PS4)

Pixel Cream releases what should have been, in all due respect, a free to play game. It is filled with an obvious drive to make more cash beyond the initial sales price, and doesn't shy away from promoting the extra paid for options at the main menu listing with little in the way of incentive for paying up or even playing for the offered rewards. Not only that, but it is in all accounts laid out like a free to play game. The game in question, "Way of Redemption", is at base level a hybrid of the hero MOBA genre and table hockey or volleyball sports genres. It features seven different mythological, and futuristically fabricated heroes/heroines battling for redemption with more to come, supposedly. It has online league play as well as 1v1, and 2v2 battles in both offline and online format. The catch being that online co-op can't be partaken of on the same console.

As with most free to play games of this build you'll also find in place the ill-advised cross-play between PS4 and PC. Something that is only in place to build up a community for money making sake without consideration of the ramifications for inviting two server based communities that cannot be cross-moderated. A community is also something this game does not seem to have, regardless. At heart "Way of Redemption" is a game with a backstory never fully realized, and only hinted at through team names (Revenge & Salvation), brief mythology bios, and a scrolling caption at the bottom of the main menu screen that discloses the reward for winning is the cleansing of your sins. The experience is peppered with the usual microtransaction options, loot chests, and minimalist mechanics/features that are glamorized through a fairly decent visual presentation.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Well ... CoD WWII Got Good

After my candy coated meltdown about CoD WWII being an abomination, and bastardization of a pivotal war in human history I logged back into the game to find it did a near 180. As if on cue the developers fixed two of the main issues I was complaining about. The loading times are greatly improved, and you can now back out of matchmaking after a match. The whole matchmaking bit looks entirely new for some odd reason, and it is itself a huge improvement over what once was. So, adding back in a little of that maple syrup flavored sweetness I think the game is alright now, albeit with the inclusion of the usual community tampering. The experience is probably more along the lines of an "8/10" at this point, and that is me still tacking on the historical inaccuracies I mentioned in the previous write up. The whole diversity for diversity sake BS. I close with a slow congratulatory hand clap from yours truly to those at Sledgehammer. Way to pick yourself up out of the trenches, and soldier on!

Why CoD WWII Sucks PeePee

Honesty can come in different varieties. Kind of like candy. It can be hot as hell, lip puckering sour, hard as a rock, tongue twistingly tart, or sweet like maple syrup. The honesty in this particular review is going to be brutally sour like the worst sort of lemon you've ever dared to put to your mouth. The experience has left a rather bitter taste on my gaming palette, and I need to say some not so nice things about the game ...

When I first began playing CoD WWII I saw a small glimmer (Destiny, lol!) of hope that was quickly dashed to bits on the included virtual beach of Normandy by two glaringly obvious problems. For one thing the loading times were on par with dial-up internet. I'm not even joking. The game's loading screens take the longest time loading of any game I've ever played on modern consoles. Last generation, and this generation. It's as if the think tank at Sledgehammer and Activision thought they could push sales of the Pro PS4 console, and Xbox One X by making loading times so horrendously inferior to the OG consoles. Despite having arguably the best graphics in a CoD game to date ( even on the OG consoles) there is still no excuse for the lengthy loading times. Even Bloodborne, and Dark Souls load quicker than this piece of horse shit, and they present way more environmental details than CoD WWII does. There's no excuse for it.