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Robin Taylor
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Posted: 03 July 2018 at 12:58pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I am about to finish God of War and it is a stunning work. The narrative is at the same level of Uncharted or Horizon Zero Dawn but must importantly Last of Us. It is a very satisfying character action game that retains the feel of previous GOW games with a meaningful layer of the unintentional consequences parents can have on their kids with even the best of intentions.

I highly recommend it

RT
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 04 July 2018 at 11:02pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Really looking forward to buying it.  Sony is currently at war with Amazon, so you can only get it there via third party sellers. It's happened before and will likely happen again.  Sigh. I've got enough of a backlog that I can wait for a price drop or the GotY Edition which will surely come out by end of year.  
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Robin Taylor
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Posted: 05 July 2018 at 8:53am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I finished GOW and goddamn Matt, you have to play it. I am going to buy it so I can go back and do the post narrative stuff.

RT
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Robin Taylor
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Posted: 11 July 2018 at 8:09am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Beating GOW and E3 sent me back into playing Assassin's Creed: Origins which is easily 40-80 hours of gameplay. I found that after getting good in GOW I really enjoy the combat more in AC:O.  I prefer sneaking around and stabbing fools with the wristblade but the move to level enemies doesn't always make that possible unless you grind crafting materials to upgrade the blade as quickly as possible.

Either way, the Dark Souls lite controls in both games have become rewarding enough to me that I might actually give Dark Souls:Remastered a serious go.

RT


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Matt Reed
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Posted: 11 July 2018 at 8:34am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

FWIW I tried DARK SOULS II earlier this year and regretted the purchase.  Couldn't get into it.  Slow and terribly boring to me.  I was expecting something more along the lines of DARKSIDERS II which is, itself, inspired by the DARK SOULS franchise and a game I throughly enjoyed.  Wasn't to be.  Quickly gave up on it.  YMMV.
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Robin Taylor
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Posted: 11 July 2018 at 9:21am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I had tried all of the Souls games and Bloodborne was the one I got the farthest in, because it was so fast and snappy. The need to commit to actions with deliberation with no ability to cancel a dodge or a strike is very frustrating for me, but there are mini-bosses in GOW that took me over a dozens attempts to beat, so maybe now is the time.

RT
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 12 July 2018 at 10:19am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

FWIW Robin, I'm having a blast playing THE FRACTURED BUT WHOLE.  Every bit as hysterical as the original.  Different power set and fighting style, although still turn based, but that's to be expected going from a D&D setting to Superheroes.  The base game is also longer than the original plus, unlike the original, it comes with DLC.  Strong recommendation from me.
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Robin Taylor
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Posted: 12 July 2018 at 11:55am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Huh. Art is subjective AMIRITE? It didn't hit with me but maybe I will give it another chance now that there is some distance

RT


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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 July 2018 at 10:08am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

RETRO GAMER #183 is out today. One feature pertains to the history of TETRIS:


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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 20 July 2018 at 4:57am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

So, Donald Trump is in the PlayStation 4 SPIDER-MAN game, then?



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Matt Reed
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Posted: 03 August 2018 at 12:37am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

As I am nearing the end of GOD OF WAR, I am left feeling sad.  This game is stunning, no two ways around it.  Sony has been been cranking on all cylinders.  First with HORIZON: ZERO DAWN which was absolutely fantastic and now with GoW.  

Let's start with the story.  I don't want to give too much away, but it's one of the most powerful stories I've ever experienced in my long 40+ years of playing video games.  It's at turns humorous, emotional, and gut wrenching in execution.  You play the God of War with his son and to say that the game starts with a father that is none too pleased to even have a son is an understatement.  But the journey they undertake is breathtaking in it's reach. As you play you see the subtle turns in the father; from near loathing to acceptance to love and then despair.  It's the little asides that make all the difference in this game. Don't be one of those gamers that just needs to complete the quest, but instead follow your son's urging to explore because it's in the side quests that you discover who you really are in relation to your child.  But it doesn't stop there.  At a certain point in the game, the child becomes a teenager in his responses and actions, which makes total sense given the situation and what he has learned.  It's a fascinating and frustrating experience that feels oh so real.

I can't say enough about the acting.  From the mocap to the VO work, this game is astounding.  HORIZON: ZERO DAWN was the same way in that the acting was so superb it made you feel for the characters in a way that rote performances and half-assed mocap does not.  Christopher Judge as the titular character "Kratos" and Sunny Suljic as his son "Atreus" are standouts.  The empathy shown in many a cut scene (so well integrated into the story as to not even feel like a cut) is groundbreaking.  Danielle Bisutti as "Freya" is a wonderful counterpart to the aggressive Kratos and an emotional core you can hold onto.  Alastair Duncan as "Mimir" who is affectionally called "head" throughout much of the game is a delight.  He brings just the right amount of gravitas to the situation but also acts as levity to lighten the mood.

This is not really an open world game on the order of GTA, but much more open than any of the UNCHARTED games. Certain adventures put you on a track and you have to finish that track to more forward.  Take that for what you will. That's not a knock on the game. Far from it.  I think it uses that device to further the connection between the two main characters in a way an open world game could never achieve. 

In the end?  This gets my highest recommendation.  If you loved HORIZON, you'll love this game.  For the record, I came into this game having never played a single game in the franchise. Although I had always heard of GoW, I wasn't interested because it was a hack and slash game based more on combo moves than anything else.  Those games bore me, so I skipped every single one. Not until this GoW did I decide to dip my toe in the water and I'm glad I did. 

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Robin Taylor
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Posted: 03 August 2018 at 10:15am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I can't wait until you get to the actual end as I am excited to hear your reaction. This games absolutely elevated the form and at this point is my personal game of the year.

RT
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 03 August 2018 at 10:31am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Is it bad that I preordered the LE Spider-Man PS4 Pro even though I already have a PS4 Pro? I currently own the Glacier White PS4 Pro, so I figure Iíll be able to sell it used and just be down what I wouldíve spent on the included Spider-Man game. Or if Iím lucky, since the white version seems to be currently unavailable in the US, I might recoup what I originally spent on it. 

One of the many available Spider-Man PS4 Pro skins might have been less effort. Or more. I hate trying to adhere skins correctly.


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Robin Taylor
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Posted: 03 August 2018 at 10:42am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Let me know if you are selling your original Pro :)

RT
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 04 August 2018 at 1:36am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

 Robin Taylor wrote:
This game absolutely elevated the form and at this point is my personal game of the year.

Agreed.  I have high hopes for RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2 but it has a high bar to cross to just equal GoW.  
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Rich Marzullo
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Posted: 09 August 2018 at 8:00am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

FYI, Sony is releasing an extremely limited edition, 2TB PS4 Pro later this month to commemorate 500 million total PlayStation units sold over their 24 year history.


I'll be purchasing a PS4 Pro in the next few weeks, but now I'm wondering if they'll mass produce the Pro as a 2TB console at some point. 
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Robin Taylor
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Posted: 09 August 2018 at 12:58pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

The new Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer is wild. I am very excited for this game

RT
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Bob Simko
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Posted: 09 August 2018 at 4:09pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

The new Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer is wild. I am very excited for this game

RT
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Yeah...I may have to call in sick...for a few weeks!
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Robin Taylor
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Posted: 10 August 2018 at 8:22am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

On Matt's recommendation I am going to start the Fractured But Whole and see how it goes. Also going to try and finish Far Cry 5

RT
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 17 August 2018 at 9:21am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Curious how it plays for you!  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I finished GoW a couple of weeks ago.  Been too busy to post about it until now.  Great finish.  Won't spoil it, but I had no idea what was coming.  Very subtle yet satisfying.  I do wish that there was some DLC coming, but the lack of it doesn't put me off the game especially since extra content like that can be incredibly hit or miss (see the recent DLC for FAR CRY 5. Ugh).  Really looking forward to where they take the franchise next.

As I'm about to start a gig in a week and SPIDER-MAN and RED DEAD REDEMPTION are fast approaching, I didn't want to spend money on a gap filler.  Fortunately PS+ has MAFIA III for free download this month.  I had wanted to buy it a while ago, so I'm glad I waited.  After about 20 hours, I'm doubly glad.  It's not that it's bad, just that is such an obvious ripoff of GTA.  While the story is somewhat compelling, the execution is far from original and, in fact, frustrating at times.  For example, there is no fast travel.  At all.  The map is rather large, yet for some inexplicable reason the developers refused to include a fast travel option between safe houses, long a staple of these types of games.  When you have to make a collection at various houses (which only go up to a set limit until you collect), you literally have to drive from one end to the other.  Crazy.  The AI is also incredibly stupid.  You can literally whistle ASSASSIN'S CREED style your way through enemy territory.  Few if any AI notice their gang has suddenly gone missing making clearing warehouses and enemy strongholds increasingly boring and tedious affairs.  

While there are a few things to enjoy, on balance this is a disappointing game to be sure.  Good enough to kill some hours, but definitely only worthwhile if you can get it for free.  
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Robin Taylor
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Posted: 17 August 2018 at 12:03pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Hey Matt

I loved Mafia III and I think the reason there is no fast travel is very subtle. Given you are playing a black Vietnam vet during the 60's, police presence in the game is much different in feedback than in GTA. The blue "halo" that appears when police notice the player character has different behaviours in different neighbourhoods. In poor neighbourhoods, especially that are predominantly black, the police respond slowly if at all. In wealthy white suburbs response is almost instantaneous and in force. 

There are no fast travel points because the developers are trying to create the sensation of always being under threat and watched by forcing your to drive everywhere, something GTA doesn't do.

There are a ton of articles around this game by POC and they are really worth reading. I do agree the game is way way way too long.

RT
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 18 August 2018 at 12:35am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I guess I haven't played deep enough into the game, so that aspect might be interesting...for a couple of hours.  But as a rule?  I think it wears out its power.  Then having no fast travel becomes an exercise in tedium.  So far I think it's been fairly easy to outrun cops, but add the bulletproof wheel upgrade and added speed via tires and engine?  Is it really all that hard? 

I dunno.  Interesting in thought, but I think poorly planned out in execution.  Open fast travel later in the game when the lead becomes more powerful.  Make it a district bonus or something.  As it is, driving to make collections between just three widespread districts is a chore.  Can't imagine when there are double that number. And for god's sake make the AI smarter. I played one mission yesterday where a van driven by an AI had driven into a warehouse parking lot (one that I was supposed to clear out), so all the enemies were focused on that guy (someone they couldn't kill) which made it so easy just to off the first guy firing on the van, wait for the next guy to come down, off him.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  San Andreas had smarter AI than this!  
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 22 August 2018 at 10:55pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

So...now that I've spent about 15-20 hours more with the game, I will say that some of my complaints about MAFIA III have been addressed.  Still no fast travel (which I hate) but I don't need to travel to safe houses to pick up my cash.  I'm now exploring different aspects of the city, which is great, but am still going through the same basic warehouse I encountered in the early parts of the game.  Problematic and boring.  There are a ton of fetch quests that make the game incredibly repetitive and no service is done when it's through the same warehouse in one area of the city as it is in another "miles" away.  

I was really hoping elevating to the level where you go after the capo's would make it different in some way, but it's not.  It's exactly the same.  Perhaps the boss levels are different or more exciting, but so far I'm still able to get through most of the missions by "whistling" my way through.  The AI is so dumb as to not suspect anything, even telling you "I think I'll check over here" before they check exactly where you're hiding so as to make a stealth kill easy.  I've taken to go in guns a'blazing (which is not my preferred style of play) just to make things interesting.  Even then, it's only marginally better at best.  

There have been a few interesting maps to be sure, but those are few and far between.  Many end on a map you've already played so you know exactly where foes are and how to sneak past them to get to your target.  

This is a "review in progress" so I'm entitled to change my opinion.  But so far it's a long trudge to get to one of the few interesting boss challenges I've faced so far.  At this point I don't think it's a horrible game, but I still think it's GTA "light" with very little in the way of something new brought to the table. A fun diversion made doubly so because it was a free game, but would have been a disappointment at a sale price a year after release let alone at full price day of.  
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 23 August 2018 at 12:42am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

I do have to add that not all PS+ free monthly games are this way.  A while ago they offered JUST CAUSE 3 for free.  If you read about it, the game was riddled with glitches upon release so much so that (like the most recent Batman game) they pulled it from PC never to offer it again.  But whatever they did in the interim, it worked.  I had never played this franchise, but fell in love with it the moment I started playing.  It's irreverent and fun.  You rarely visit a map you've visited before and getting there is half the fun.  I may not buy JUST CAUSE 4 which is slated for release in December, but I will definitely keep my eye out for it  on sale. It was just that fantastic of an open world game in the GTA mold that, nonetheless, made it its own...something that MAFIA III has yet to do (except for cut scenes) in over 40 hours of gameplay.  Take that for what you will.
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Bob Simko
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Posted: 23 August 2018 at 7:59am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Finished FAR CRY 5...meh...fell flat big time. Started STICK OF TRUTH...hated
the gameplay so 86'd it after about 30 minutes. Grabbed MAFIA III based on
above but haven't started yet...also based on a chat with Matt last night I
snagged GoW off the PS Store after noticing it had a price cut. That should
keep me until RDD2 & Spider-Man.
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