All next-gen’d out


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I say all, that is if you don’t count the Wii-U.  The other day I finally picked up a PlayStation 4.  Yes I got a PS4 to go with my Xbox One.  All kitted out for this apparent ‘next-gen’ of gaming platforms, and yes feel pretty good about it.  I hesitated for a long time over the PS4, not because I didn’t think it was a good console.  It’s very much a good console, but at the time I chose the XB1, it was the games, primarily the exclusives and well, familiarity and comfort with the brand that made my decision.  A year on, and well, it’s nice to have something new, isn’t it?

I was very much sold by the new ‘glacier white’ edition Sony had released in wake of Destiny, and thought it was a good a time as any to buy.  The games I feel are still not quite there for me, with exclusives like Uncharted 4 and The Order 1886 still scheduled for next year, and it lacks that killer-app compared to XB1 (Sunset Overdrive, to some extent also Halo: The Master Chief Collection) but I did pick the console up with Drive Club.  I also traded some games to get my hands on Assassin’s Creed Unity, one of the best looking multi-platform titles currently available, and that alone shows off my purchase pretty well.

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– direct capture using the ‘share button’ –

What do I think of the machine as far as how it works?  Slick and familiar are the words that come to mind.  The operating system isn’t as colourful or flashy as XB1, and goes for a somewhat clean and smooth version of PS3’s cross media bar which was never that appealing.  Sony haven’t tried anything radically new here but it functions well enough.  I haven’t got to grips with the ‘share’ button or the Share Factory feature, which is PS4’s version of XB1’s Upload and Record That features, and at first glance they look more clunky (but got to love the screen shot capture feature).  I am also quite disappointed that PS4 does not support external HDD’s for improving the storage space (you can use an external HDD but it only allows back ups and the storage of media, not for playing your downloaded games off …unlike XB1), which could be an issue, and I for one would rather not open up my PS4 to install an internal HDD.  It is very fast at installing games off the Blu-ray though…big difference compared to XB1.

Only the future and playing more games will really prove this machine’s value in comparison to the XB1, and I’ve still yet to see the value in the touch-pad or speaker on the controller (which does feel very nice I might add).  Early days but I’ll report more as I find it.

Glacier White PS4

Gamescom gameplay stand-outs


I have kept a close eye on this week’s games convention in Germany, Gamescom and some of the gameplay videos that have surfaced really impressed me.  I think there were some exciting reveals, even if the increasing focus on Indie titles leaves me a bit cold (I tend to find these budget games get a bit boring after a few plays…).  But I’m all for the blockbuster franchises and games like Call of Duty Advanced Warfare and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt looked very impressive.

My highlights though remain these two:

Quantum Break

Format: XB1

Developer: Remedy

 

Assassins Creed Unity

Format:  XB1 and PS4

Developer:  Ubi Soft

 

Sadly at the moment only AC has a release date (pencilled in for Oct 28) but Remedy seem to be keeping tight lipped about when we’ll get our hands on the very cool looking QB.  Either way, lots to look forward to for gamers.

Whilst waiting for GTA4


Well until the great day arrives, with the imminent arrival of Grand Theft Auto 4, which is pretty much guaranteed to kick all sorts of ass, I am revisiting some games in my collection I’ve allowed to gather dust.  They are namely: 

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption 

Assassin’s Creed

between online bouts of Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4, oh and trying to progress in Zack & Wiki.

To be honest, I am mainly playing Zelda…which is a fine game and probably next to Super Mario Galaxy, a gem for the Wii right now.  It just pulls me in once I take the time to concentrate on its well polished but devious gameplay.  I also hope to progress a little further in Metroid also, as last time I played it, I recall getting well and truly stuck.  Grr. 

Assassin’s Creed on the other hand, despite superb graphics, just feels a bit boring – maybe I’ll trade it in, along with Rainbow Six Vegas (which I have completed) and perhaps Project Gotham Racing 4 – which just feels rather tiresome too…yes its pretty, but doesn’t grab me like Test Drive Unlimited did (and still does).

…roll on Grand Theft Auto 4 due out in the UK on 29 April 2008

The red ring of DEATH


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Well it finally happened, and I am both mortified and a little bit surprised.  Even though I had read countless reports across the internet and even heard it be reported on television’s Watchdog programme – I still hoped that it wouldn’t happen to me.  More fool me, I think now.  Yes my XBOX 360 has suffered the infamous 3 Red Lights, which basically means your console is f****d.  No more Assassin’s Creed for me, or Half Life 2 – at least not until closer to Christmas.  😦 . 

On a plus side, it gives me ample chance to both return my attention to this website, and also get into Metroid Prime 3, which it has to be said was formerly playing second fiddle to ‘the creed.

New game purchases


Picked up a couple of new games recently, and here’s my first impressions of both:

 Metroid Prime 3: Corruption  (Nintendo Wii)

I enjoyed but never completed Metroid Prime on the Gamecube, with its atmospheric alien worlds and intelligent sci-fi game play…yet it did get very tough towards the end, and I admit to feeling sorry I did not try harder to complete a game that has gone on to be a classic.  So maybe I’ll make up for it by giving this one a go?

It utilizes to great effect the Wii’s unique motion sensitive controls for aiming your gun, movement, solving puzzles and lasooing objects.  At first as a fan of console first person shooters, this felt rather strange but also refreshing, and the degree of control the method gives you is amazing.  Now I have only really touched the surface of this game, and couldn’t say if it’s intial quality and eye-cathcing level design remains throughout – but so far this is engrossing stuff, and easily one of the better games on Wii, considering how much crap seems to be out on it right now (with possible exception of Super Mario Galaxy…but thats a story for another time…).

 Assassin’s Creed  (XBOX 360)

Now this has been hyped for months with freequent internet sneak peaks promising a true-next gen experience.  Of course this is just clever marketing, and in the end what this comes down to is Prince of Persia on a much grander scale.  It’s obvious from the start that this has been a labour of love for the designers, and the art design is absolutely breath-taking.  Add to this a top-notch medievil setting and a cool-as-ice assassin for you to control, and the presmise could not be better.  What surprised me instantly, is that not all this game is set in the medievil times, and is infact also set in the near-future where an imprisoned man is being experimented upon as two scientists tap into his memories (and therefore the memories of his ancestors) as he lies hooked up to a machine.  This wierd sci-fi off-shoot in my opinion gives the designers an excuse to set further Assassin’s Creed games in whatever time period they choose…but it’s relevance to this one game remains a mystery.

Anyway so far I am slowly progressing through it, have done a couple of assassinations, and am enjoying how free it all feels, with the ability to more or less go anywhere and do anything, depending of course as with most games like this, on how much trouble you wish to course yourself.  I can see how some can knock it for being repetitive, but well when it looks this good, and you have such a degree of control over your character – it never really gets boring – so far, at least.