Posts Tagged ‘ps vita’

What’s up All-Stars?! This week’s show is all about Gamescom. Kyle and Nooch tackle all of the Gamescom news and give their opinions on the PS4 release date, the 15 new game announcements, the Vita price drop and much more! On Episode 8, Kyle and Nooch each made 5 Gamescom predictions. This week, find out who got the most right! For the dedicated PI listeners, there are a few important housekeeping notes near the end of the podcast. Also, be sure to stay tuned at the end for some glorious bloopers! PI!

P.S. Troy Baker – we love you!

You can listen to the show here.

-Kyle

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What’s up All-Stars? We’re in the midst of a massive flood of information,  spilling out of the Gamescom 2013 dam. Most of the new info is regarding Sony and it’s PS4. As many of you know, inFAMOUS is my favorite franchise in gaming, and a personal favorite of Podcast Infinite team. I’ll break down new details that I gleaned from the Gamescom trailer of inFAMOUS Second Son. Here we go!

A new voice actress – 

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Is that…Laura Bailey, I mean Laura Willingham?

Delsin Rowe, the main character of inFAMOUS Second Son, is played by the illustrious, Troy Baker. Delsin meets a new character, who just so happens to be a conduit, in the Gamescom trailer. Her name is Abigail Walker (no, not related to Ryan), aka Fetch. Now, by listening to her voice and simply looking at her face, I can tell you with 99.999% certainty that she is played by Laura Bailey. Who is Laura Bailey, you ask? Well, she’s Lady Comstock in BioShock Infinite. But more importantly, she’s married to Travis Willingham. Troy Baker was Willingham’s best man in his wedding. And, Willingham plays Delsin’s (Baker) older brother in inFAMOUS Second Son, Reggie. So, even though Laura Bailey has not yet been confirmed as Fetch’s actress, you heard it here first. inFAMOUS Second Son is like one big star-studded family affair!

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Go Fetch!

Delsin’s new power –

Delsin is a conduit, just like Cole MacGrath was in the first two inFAMOUS games. But unlike Cole, Delsin’s real ability isn’t locked to just one specific power. Delsin’s true conduit ability is to absorb the powers of any conduit he comes into contact with. As mentioned above, Fetch is a conduit herself. At first glimpse, it looks like her power is electricity just like Cole MacGrath. But, why is her energy pink in color? It’s because she’s a girl, right? Wrong! Delsin touches Fetch and absorbs her powers and it’s still a pink hue for him, as well. Hmmmm. Well, SuckerPunch has since confirmed that Fetch’s power involves neon. Yes, neon. You know, neon signs. However, there is no word as to how you actually use neon as a power. We do know that you can recharge your neon powers by absorbing neon out of those classic vibrant bar signs.

Delsin’s two confirmed powers are smoke and neon. He is able to recharge his smoke power by passing by exploded cars, buildings on fire, etc. He can also disintegrate and dodge enemy attacks, fly, pass through chain-link fences and air ducts, and suffocate enemies with his smoke abilities. I’m sure there will be much, much more things Delsin will be able to do with his smoke powers, and vastly different things with the other powers he gains…like neon.

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Neon Delsin

inFAMOUS Second Son’s release date – 

It has been confirmed that inFAMOUS Second Son will be released in February 2014. The exact date is still unknown. With the PS4 launching in North America on November 15 of this year, February is a mere 3 months after launch. However, many of us agree that those will be the three longest months of our lives.

A return to comic book cut-scenes –

In the Gamescom trailer, we briefly see the infamous comic-book-style cut scenes that started in the original inFAMOUS. There was hardly any in inFAMOUS 2, and it’s that amazing art style that helps tell the overall story! Good news, it looks like they’re back in full force. Well done SuckerPunch!

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Cut-scene from inFAMOUS 1

What does Second Son mean –

At this point, we only have two trailers and a brief gameplay demo to gather as much information on inFAMOUS Second Son as possible. But, let me start to decipher what “Second Son” might mean.

1. The main character, Delsin Rowe, has an older brother, Reggie. That makes him the second son in his family…literally.

2. The only other main character in an inFAMOUS game has been Cole MacGrath. This makes the brand-new Delsin, the second playable character in the inFAMOUS series.

3. In the first two inFAMOUS games, there was a group of people called “The First Sons.” These people were responsible for the development of the Ray Sphere (what gave Cole his electric powers). Without spoiling the games, The First Sons were quickly villainized in the story-line. So who are The Second Sons? Who knows at this point. Just know that The First Sons played a major role in the two previous inFAMOUS games.

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Second Son!

For more on inFAMOUS Second Son in the coming months and all things PS4, PS3 and PS Vita keep it here on Podcast Infinite.

PI!

-Kyle

I’m a big fan of RPG’s and I’ve played many over the years. But, I am a newbie when it comes to the action/beat-em-up RPG genre. I like fighting games, but I’ve never been good at them. Learning combos take time, practice and patience; three things I don’t have much of while playing video games. I’ve never a big fan of beat-em-up action games like God of War or Devil May Cry. But, I liked Dragon’s Crown. I liked it for one simple reason: it’s really fun.

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Dragon’s Crown

Presentation

Vanillaware developed Dragon’s Crown. If you’re familiar with this very talented development studio, you know that it isn’t surprising that Dragon’s Crown packs stunning hand-drawn visuals. If you’ve never heard of Vanillaware, well now you have. Dragon Crown’s color palette is something fit for a king. Very vibrant pastels are used on every inch of this gem. The over-stylized character models are right at home, even if over-sexualized. This is a Japanese-inspired RPG. No one should be shocked that the Sorceress looks the way she does. This game is gorgeously groomed from head to toe. I can’t even begin to fathom how many hours were put into painstakingly hand draw every little animation in the game. But, my eyes are ever grateful for Vanillaware’s patient talent. Words really can’t do the presentation of this game justice. Just go buy it!

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Behold the beauty

Gameplay

It is in the gameplay department where Dragon’s Crown hits a homerun on it’s first pitch in it’s first at-bat. But, Dragon’s Crown unfortunately strikes out on it’s next time up to the plate. Not a baseball fan? Okay, let me go into full detail to explain.

First at-bat:

Dragon’s Crown has 6 unique character classes: Fighter, Wizard, Sorceress, Dwarf, Elf and Amazon. Choosing a character is a built-in difficulty level. Playing as the Sorceress is recommended for expert players, while playing as the Fighter is recommended for beginners. The character selection breaks down each character’s difficulty level. This is a very cool feature right off the top.

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Pick your character

In true RPG form, leveling up and collecting loot are at the cornerstone of gameplay in Dragon’s Crown. Leveling up is straight forward: you get experience points based off of how successfully you defeat enemies and clear levels. But, there’s a deeper caveat. You don’t have to travel back to the hub town once you complete a level. You can earn a higher experience multiplier by moving through to the next level. Keep in mind, you and your teammates will not regain any health, items, or anything else you’ve lost. Yes, this includes loot. It’s one heck of a risk/reward system. A very clever gameplay design choice that undoubtedly adds depth. You will find chests full of loot that are graded from E to S. E being the lowest rarity grade and S being the highest rarity for loot. Your NPC companion, Rannie, will collect coins and open said loot chests for you throughout your journey. But, in true Dragon’s Crown form, there’s a catch. And this catch might be what makes the game for me. You don’t know what you received when it comes to your collected loot. All you know is the grade of it. So, when you venture back to the hub town you can get your stash of loot appraised but it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. So, do you appraise your loot to see what items you got or do you sell your loot blind, without even knowing if it is the rarest item in the game? The choice is yours.

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Rannie

Every time you level up, you earn a skill point. These can be used to upgrade your character. If you’ve ever played an RPG before, this should be straight forward. Think Borderlands here. Each character has a specific set of skills you can upgrade/unlock. Then there are common cards all characters can share when it comes to skill points. Those being stats like increased health, defense, etc.

Like Borderlands, you can play Dragon’s Crown online or locally with your friends. This game is meant to play with others. If your friend’s don’t own Dragon’s Crown or if you don’t have three extra controllers, don’t fret. You will stumble upon numerous NPC’s in the game. Use them! It’s how the game is supposed to be played; four characters on the screen at all times. In a beat-em-up RPG like this, playing with your friends means hours upon hours of addictively fun gameplay.

The combat is satisfying, especially when you shake it up. There aren’t combos, per say, but you will quickly learn what moves to use in succession in order to be successful. Dragon’s Crown is NOT an easy game. It’s this challenge, the uniqueness of its characters, and it’s immensely fun way to play with your friends that make it’s gameplay second to none. Dragon’s Crown is very satisfying. Dragon’s Crown is very polished, deep and refined. Dragon’s Crown is fun! Gameplay is king when it comes to video games. It’s no surprise that this Dragon’s Crown is made out of 24-karat gameplay.

Second at-bat:

The narrator really shines in telling an old medieval-like tale of knight and dragon proportions. Well, at least from the start. About five hours into the story, you quickly pick-up on the fact that the narrator is saying the exact same thing every single time you travel to a vista you’ve been to a million times before. Luckily, you can mute the narrator in the options. Yes, you travel to the same places a million times. This is a thing, too. There are only 9 unique worlds to play through. And then there is a hub town where you can do everything from outfitting your character to resurrecting fallen players. As I’ve stated above, there are too many enemy types to count; every one of them unique. This helps playing the same levels over and over again, a bit more doable. So does the fact that enemies scale to your level. But, for someone who hates doing the same thing twice, this game will get very repetitive, very quickly. Playing with friends is a blast! Again, the gameplay is really fun and rewarding, BUT too much of a good thing can be bad.

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Poof!

You spend the first several hours, essentially doing carrier missions, learning the intricacies of the game. This is fine, but this is all story-related. You will quickly realize that the story feels cumbersome a it takes away from the stellar and insanely fun Dragon’s Crown gameplay. This is a very peculiar situation that I have never really stumbled on in a game, before. It is so strange to say that Dragon’s Crown would be better off without it’s story. But it would. The story takes you out of what makes Dragon’s Crown so good…and way too often. Especially during the first half of the game. For what it’s worth, on harder difficulties you skip the monotonous beginnings of the game. So there’s that.

This is very much a nit-pick. But, I feel like I have to mention it anyway. Dragon’s Crown is a 2D side-scrolling game. But, the screen has depth to it. Think LittleBigPlanet, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of playing as a Sackthing. I played as the Elf on my main playthrough. What makes her unique is her bow. She can shoot arrows at enemies from across the screen. In fact, Elf players are rewarded (and most effective) staying far from the action. This is where screen depth on the 2D plane becomes incredibly frustrating. So many times you feel like you’ve got an enemy lined up from across the screen. You fire the arrow and miss because the enemy isn’t actually on the same line as you are. This happens with up close melee moves, as well. But, it is more pronounced while fighting from afar.

The Verdict

Many of my colleagues were trying to get me to tip my hat for what score I was going to give Dragon’s Crown, well before I finished the game. I wouldn’t budge. But, I told them one thing: it’s really fun. And really, what more do we want in a video game?

+Gorgeous Hand-drawn Art

+Incredibly Deep Gameplay

+Numerous Replayability Options

-Very Repetitive

-Story Gets In The Way

-Can The Narrator Shut Up Already?

Dragon’s Crown: 8.5/10

 

*Dragon’s Crown is a PS3/PS Vita exclusive. I only played the PS3 copy of the game. I recommend the bigger screen for playing this game. Battle scenes get very clustered and chaotic. Anyways, Dragon’s Crown is NOT a cross-buy or cross-play game, but it is cross-save. Meaning you have to buy both versions separately if you want both the PS3 and Vita versions. Also, Vita players cannot play online co-op with PS3 players, but you can carry your game saves back and forth between PS3 and Vita. So, as you can imagine, there is only one trophy list and hence only one platinum trophy. No double plats, sorry guys!

PI!

-Kyle

What’s up All-Stars?! It’s just Kyle and Ryan holding down the fort this week, with Nooch being his pretty boy self, basking in the California sun for a week. Kyle and Ryan tackle the depressing PS All-Stars news, the joyous Tomb Raider news, and even talk about possible Game Of The Year candidates. Also, Kyle let’s the listeners behind the curtain a bit, and talks about how his review of Dragon’s Crown is coming along. Kyle surprises everyone with a Guacamelee! review, while Ryan talks up Metro: Last Light. Did we even mention Gamescom and the possible PS4 and Xbox One release dates? We sure did! It’s a great show! PI!

You can listen to the show here.

PI!

-Kyle

Guacamelee! is the best VIDEO GAME I’ve played so far this year. And yes, I’ve played The Last of Us and BioShock Infinite. Let me explain. I grew up with the Sega Genesis and SNES. Most games on these two systems were, almost exclusively, 2D platformers. You know, the Mario’s, Donkey Kong’s, Sonic’s, Castlevania’s and Metroid’s of the world. Not only does Guacamelee! harken back to Castlevania and Super Metroid explicitly, but it may do some things better than both of them. Guacamelee! is everything a video game was and should be.

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GOTY 2013?

Presentation

Guacamelee! is gorgeous. This game takes place in Mexico. The art-style and soundtrack certainly reflect this. From a vibrant color palette to mariachi-like music, the aesthetics in Guacamelee! are astounding. The game is littered with chickens, pinatas, coins, barrels, chupacabras, armadillos, chests and the living dead.

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Come here big skeleton. Those green fists are so…

Story

Guacamelee! is NOT about story. And this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, there is no voice acting in the game. But, I feel like voice acting wouldn’t be welcomed. Was there voice acting in Castlevania or Super Metroid? Nope! Guacamelee! is old school. You play as Juan, an everyday agave farmer. Less than five minutes into the game, the Lord of the Living Dead, Carlos Calaca, kidnaps your love interest. Juan’s love interest is El Presidente’s daughter. Hmmm, where have I seen the rich/famous girl falling for the working class guy… Anyways, Calaca kills Juan five minutes into Guacamelee!. Juan then inherits a mask that has special powers. Juan is reborn as a luchador and sets off to rescue El Presidente’s daughter. Guacamelee! doesn’t take itself seriously when it comes to story. If you’re looking hard enough, there are some hilarious text boxes while in conversation, and some amazing easter eggs. These include a boss saying “Trololololololol,” Grumpy Cat posters, and even the character from 2012’s GOTY, Journey, laying dead on the side of a mountain. Let’s face it: Guacamelee! hits it out of the park with gameplay, not story!

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It’s a Journey, I suppose

Gameplay

Gameplay is king when it comes to video games. Plain and simple. Guacamelee! pays a lot of homage to the classics. It is indeed a Metroidvania game. “Metroidvania” is a genre that acknowledges how games like the original Castlevania and Metroid were played. Essentially, 2D platformers that existed in an open world (unlike Mario games). You learn skills and moves as you progress through the game, but to unlock all of the secrets and gather all of the collectibles you must double-back to unlock certain areas with new skills/abilities that you’ve learned. It’s an addictive and rewarding gameplay choice, that old school gamers will remember very well.

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Platforms and PORTALS?!

Since you play as a luchador, hand-to-hand combat is at the crux of gameplay. This hand-to-hand combat is very deep and only gets deeper and richer as the game progresses and you learn new moves. Simply mashing the square-button will work for the first hour. After that, if you haven’t learned and experimented with more powerful combos, you will die and die often. Guacamelee! is a hard game. There’s no way around that. If you’re more of a “new school” gamer and grew up with first-person shooters, Guacamelee! is not the game for you. It’s not easy and it’s mostly up to you, the player, to figure out what works and what doesn’t, when beating up baddies. With that being said, there is a luchador dojo that you can enter and practice/learn combos in.

As you move through the game, you learn new special moves that are color-coded. For example, your uppercut punch is red and your body slam (the frog slam) is green. Why the colors? You will come across enemies with have, let’s say, red blobs surrounding them. This a shield that can’t be broken unless you hit them with the special move that corresponds to that color. Then you can relentlessly combo them into oblivion. You will come across areas that are blocked by colored blocks. Again, if the block is red, you have to uppercut it in order to break it. Now you know how secret areas are marked.

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Soooo many enemies!

Now, special moves are not only for combat and unlocking secret areas. They are crucial in platforming, as well. The uppercut can get you into hard to reach places about you. The “Goat Fly” can get you across gaps that are far too wide for a double jump. It’s literally brilliant what Drinkbox Studios developed here. At times, Guacamelee! feels like a fighting game. There is a trophy for a 300 hit combo! At other times, it feels like a classic Mario game. Then it feels like a Metroid game, as you unlock secret areas with new abilities. It’s brilliant, brilliant fun.

Remember when I mentioned that your character, Juan, dies at the very beginning of the game? Well this means he’s dead. So he now exists in the world of the living dead. Not only does this netherworld fit into the whole Mexican theme, but it makes for completely original and stunning platforming. Some enemies and ledges/platforms only in exist in the real world or in the world of the living dead. Once you learn the ability to switch between the two worlds, at will, things get interesting. Near the end of the game, I experienced the most challenging yet rewarding platforming that I have ever played. I died time and time again. But, this level (and you’ll know what I’m talking about when you get to it) was so expertly designed and was really a stroke of genius, that I felt very accomplished when I finally completed it. Some reviews of Guacamelee! say that the flipping between both worlds wasn’t used enough. I’m not sure if these people played the same game I did. You do it all the time and it is married to both combat and platforming alike.

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Luchador(s)

Unfortunately, Guacamelee! is far too short. It took me just over 5 hours to complete on my first playthrough. It is complete with boss battles, but there’s only four of them. Each one is unique, as is their level. There’s plenty of treasure chests and orbs to find after you beat the game. And then there’s hard mode. For what it’s worth, there’s local co-op available, too. So, replayability is not an issue. But, I could’ve played this game for 20+ hours. A five hour campaign moved too quickly for my taste. Keep in mind, at full price it’s $14.99 on the Playstation Store. I have PS+ so I got it for about $8. So, we’re not paying $60 for a five hour game…

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Guacamelee!

The Verdict

Guacamelee! is a cross-buy and cross-play PS3/Vita exclusive (that’s coming to Steam). It’s also downloadable, only. I played it on Vita all the way through and then tried it out on PS3. Both are awesome. I preferred Vita, as platformers are perfect portable games. Even though you can exchange your save data back and forth between the two versions, there is only one trophy list.

Games like The Last of Us and BioShock Infinite push the gaming platform forward and challenge the groundwork of gaming, as they do. They are very unique and original experiences that shine in storytelling. Essentially, they blur the lines of what a video game is. They argue that games are now more like pieces of art. Guacamelee! is clearly a video game. And that’s perfectly okay. It’s an old school gamers’ game. It does everything right. Because of its charm and deeply rooted origins, we as gamers owe it to Indie developer, Drinkbox Studios, to bring up Guacamelee! in Game of The Year discussions later this year. I will say, Gucamelee! is easily the best downloadable title on PSN this year and is the best Indie game I’ve played this year, as well. Drinkbox Studios should be on everyone’s radar, if they weren’t already.

+Gorgeous Art-style

+Extraordinary Platforming

+Clever Humor

+Numerous Replayability Options

-What Story?

-Too Short In Length

Guacamelee!: 9.0/10

PI!

-Kyle

You’re in for a treat this week! Nooch tells us why Ni No Kuni might be Game of The Year. Kyle argues his case for Guacamelee being the best game he’s played so far in 2013. And, Ryan speaks directly to Miyamoto and goes hard on Nintendo in a fiery rant. Fasten your seatbelts and keep your hands inside the ride at all times…Podcast Infinite starts right now! PI!

You can listen to the podcast here!

Sony Santa Monica has been completely silent since inheriting Super Bot Entertainment’s, Playstation Allstars Battle Royale. Well, up until today, that is. Santa Monica wrote a “Support Update” on their community forums that you can read in full length here. But, they didn’t have good news.

I’ll summarize for you:

1. No more DLC characters or stages – “There will not be any new DLC characters or environments released for PS All Stars. We were proud to work with SuperBot Entertainment and they created a great game, but the characters that have already been released to-date represent the full content for PS All Stars.”

2. Pre-order costumes for Dante, Raiden, Heihachi, and Big Daddy will be released on PSN for free on August 27.

3. Both Zeus and Isaac are still owed their third costumes. Those will be released on PSN, for free “later this fall.”

4. A possible patch is coming “later this fall.” – “This is still in the early stages of research and development. Even if everything goes smoothly with the development and implementation, the patch will not be finished until later this fall. In particular, we’re assessing all character strengths, weaknesses, and functionality for adjustment considerations in this patch. We have been monitoring your feedback in the forums, and will continue to follow your thoughts throughout the process.”

This is  such a shame, as PS Allstars is such a great game. But, this is a perfect example of what happens when games don’t sell. Speak with your wallet and support things you like and care about. We can only hope and dream that a sequel comes to the PS4, somewhere down the road. Until then, you can find me tearing it up with Good Cole until the servers are shut down. Long live All-stars!

-Kyle