Next month, we hope that some of you will join us in playing in the first episodic, adventure game of the RF Generation Community Playthrough. In March, we will tackle Life is Strange, a game developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix. Life is Strange features five episodes that chronicle the turbulent teenage years of Max Caulfield who has the mysterious ability to rewind time after witnessing an unexpected tornado. Guide Max through this modern, coming of age story and help her learn how to use her time-shifting powers to prevent this natural disaster from demolishing her town.
Life is Strange has been praised for its fantastic character development and effort to tackle certain subjects considered taboo for video games. It has won several awards including Develop Industry Excellence Awards (New Games IP - PC/console & Use of Narrative), Golden Joystick Award (Performance of the Year [Ashly Burch]), Global Game Awards (Best Adventure & Best Original Game), The Game Awards (Games for Change), Playstation Official Magazine (Best Episodic Adventure & Best Moment), New Statesman's (Best Game of 2015), and received countless other nominations and runner-ups awards. Life is Strange is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam/PC, and PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (both via download). We hope that this pick interests you and that you'll take the time to join us in March!
It's amazing for me to think that I don't like indie games as much as I "should." When I was growing up, I tended to restrict myself to listening only to bands who were on a short list of only the most exalted independent record labels. Everything else was "sold out" or "too trendy." Yeah, I was one of those kids in high school.
You might think given that kind of holier than thou upbringing I'd be heralding the current indie boom in video gaming, but quite frankly, I'm not really feeling it. Don't get me wrong. I am certainly cheering on smaller teams making games that are touching a select amount of players with whom their work resonates. After all, month after month on the RFGPlaycast it seemed I would try to break down the "problems" with modern triple-A video game design, and the indie movement is providing so many answers to my pleas for innovation. Having said that though, every time I try an indie game, I rarely get into it enough to bother finishing it, despite the fact that they tend to be shorter than mainstream titles. There have been a few exceptions like Limbo, but I haven't gotten deep into an indie game in a while.
I recently sat down with The Unfinished Swan and although I can't say I have changed my tune on indie games, I did enjoy it more than most others.
This February, we are taking a step away from classic platforming to bring you a beautiful and haunting action role-playing game. Folklore, which was developed by the now defunct, independent Game Republic, Inc. and released in 2007, is an RPG that is deeply rooted in the Celtic Otherworld of Irish Mythology. The game centers on two characters, a young lady named Ellen and a journalist named Keats, which are both playable in the game and have different intertwining plots. These two characters also differ in play style; Ellen uses a variety of powers for strategy and favors a defensive stance, while Keats attacks with more brute force and can release built up energy to perform stronger attacks for a period of time. Together, the two of you work to unravel the mystery that the quaint village of Doolin hides. To do this, you must seek out the memories of the dead in the dangerous, Folk-ridden Netherworld. Participants will not only battle the inhabitants of the Netherworld, but also go back and forth between there and Doolin village to solve puzzle-esque quests and advance the story.
While in the Netherwold, participants will utilize attacks called "folk," which are powers absorbed by defeating the various creatures there. You absorb these powers by locking onto the creatures spirit and performing shaking and yanking motions with the Sixaxis motion control, rather than using a conventional button interface. While you can absorb the powers of nearly all of the inhabitants of the Neatherworld that you encounter, you can only map four at a time to the controller's action buttons. This adds an interesting dynamic to the game, since different kinds of "folk" are better suited to certain situations.
As a fan of story based games, I have to say that I love a game that takes you on a ride. Catherine is the kind of game that you can sit back with, relax, and watch an incredibly compelling social dilemma unfold before the protagonist's eyes. Lately, I've been thinking about companies from Japan. So many people have been crying out about the doom and gloom of the market and how Japanese development has been lagging behind while the Western world advances. This couldn't be further from the truth, as Atlus is one of Japanese gaming's oldest surviving names, but fastest risers in the global market. Persona 3 got the name out, Persona 4 kicked the door open, and Catherine broke the door's frame. Persona 5 is currently one of the most anticipated Japanese developed games since Atlus presented its masterfully crafted initial trailer.
Catherine was released in Japan and North American in 2011, with Europe and Australia getting a release in early 2012. The plot revolves around infidelity and is one that many of us have likely heard about, if not experienced first hand. Vincent, the games protagonist, gets caught up with a blonde-haired, blue-eyed young beauty named Catherine one night after all of his friends leave him alone at the bar. From here, the player chooses whether he wants to court her for the long run or remain faithful to his girlfriend, Katherine. The girls represent the ideologies of "Law" and "Chaos." Law is doing the right thing no matter how much it might hurt; Katherine is a structured being in complete charge of her life and represents Law. On the other hand, Catherine is more of a loose cannon that Vincent can't seem to get rid of no matter what decisions you make; she represents Chaos. Which one of these ladies will you choose, or will you choose the single life?
So your 2015 New Year's resolution is to join in and play more of the community playthrough titles, eh? Well start off January with a bang and hook up with the RF Generation Playthrough Group as they ring in the New Year with a NES cult classic and a lesser known, but fantastic, shoot 'em up, adventure title.
I have been excited about the release of Tales of Xillia 2 since I played and reviewed the first one a few months ago (http://www.rfgeneration.c...-Tales-of-Xillia-2755.php). I greatly enjoyed the main characters and writing of the original game and thought that the plot took plenty of nice turns that were not as predictable as an RPG veteran would expect.
So, Heavy Rain. Pretty awesome PS3 exclusive. One of the big memes it spawned was from the very early scenes in the game, when Ethan takes his family to a mall and hisson, Jason, gets lost. During this segment you have to run through the mall yelling for him: pressing X to Jason. Ethan's recorded line of him screaming Jason kind of caught on because, well it was amusing. First there was the flash game. Now there's the song/music video:
OH GOD! SOUND THE FANBOY ALARMS! Insomniac Games, longtime developer of exclusive Sony properties like Spyro (before it got sold to Universal), Ratchet and Clank, and Resistance have sold their souls to the devil! They are teaming up with EA Partners and making a new IP that will appear on PS3 and 360! This is the first time Insomniac has made a game for anything other than a Sony platform, and Sony fanboys are going absolutely apeshit with negativity over the announcement. "RATCHET AND RESISTANCE ARE GOING TO EA! THEY SOLD THEMSELVES OUT TO THE DEVIL! THE WORLD'S ENDING! HAVING A GAME ON ANOTHER SYSTEM ONLY SPELLS DOOM!" hahaha no.
Insomniac has been never owned by anyone. They're independent and will remain so, but they still have strong ties to Sony. Sony still owns the big franchises, AND Insomniac is going to be doing further games in those series exclusively for Sony. As Insomniac's CEO Ted Price said, they will continue working on games with Sony. It's just this new IP that's going to be done with EA that will be on 360. However, some Sony fans can't really understand that and throwing huge fits about it. They just see the words "Insomniac making a 360 game" and go into instarage mode.
no see you just took a huge shit on sony so no-one who has a ps3 will like you no excuses sell outs
You money grabbing tossers. Im telling you now, if Ratchet and Clank standards continue to slip, and us PS3 owners get a WORSE game to conform to XBOX mechanics, i will never buy another Insomniac Game again.
i just wanted to say !!WHAT THE F***!! joining with EA that's one of the dumbest shit i ever heard in my gaming history. EA is going to f*** you over so bad i can't wait to see your faces and what you guys have to say. GOOD LUCK. the only thing that doesn't bother me is at least it's not with Activision and that it's going multiplatform.
you guys just lost alot of fans and respect for going multi!!! you aren't getting any money from me anymore jackass and trust me LOYALTY and RESPECT goes along way so f*** you Insomniac games!
Couldn't care less right now. I feel like your any other game studio out there and it's all about the $$$.
I will never buy an insomniac game ever again and I own every single one you have ever made. Congrates, your fan base that you have built on for over a decade is now gone and all the respect with it, have fun with those 360 fanboys
This deal is kinda unique though. As Kotaku said, there's never been a situation like this before. It's not really like Rare because Rare was owned by Nintendo then got sold to MS. Not really like Bungie because they still appear to be loyal to Sony and are willing to work on the franchises that made them a big name in the first place. It's not like Square because they aren't leaving one company to go to another (like they did with Nintendo to Sony). Not like Factor 5 or Sega either. It's a pretty unique deal and I'm excited to see what comes of it.
I wish the best of luck to Insomniac with their new IP, and hope it's a huge hit. They really deserve it. In the meantime, let's just laugh at all the fanboy hilarity that this move has generated.
Stupid decision Insomniac, Hope your new project fails!!!
So yeah, I haven't done a blog entry in quite some time, but I figured why not come back with a bang? Here's my yearly Black Friday deals post, a little early this time. As far as I know, everything on this post should be accurate. I used leaked scans from the ads found at blackfriday.info and some info from cheapassgamer.com. However, I did start working on this post about a week and half ago, so deals may have changed last minute. I'll review it on Thanksgiving day to check and see if what I have is correct. If you see any errors, please leave them in the comments.
Items in bold are ones that I think are pretty cool and worth checking out.
First things first: here's some notable deals I want to get out of the way from retailers that don't get a special spot in the listing:
Dualshock 3 for $30 at RadioShack Lego Rock Band FREE when you buy $20 of stuff at Old Navy
For PC gamers, Steam is having day long sales every day for the next five days. They have some GREAT deals right now, like Osmos for only $2 and Batman Arkham Asylum for $25. Check this page every day for new offers.
PS3 owners, Sony is having a sale on various PSN games this week.
$5: Bomberman Ultra Comet Crash Flower The Last Guy Prince of Persia Classic
$7.50 Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao Smash Cars
$15 Fate/Unlimited Codes (PSP)
Killzone 2 DLC sale: Flash and Thunder for $3, DLC Bundle for $10
Anyways, now on to the brick and mortar stores. Click on the link to skip directly to the store you want to see.
Hey you, yeah you, want some free DLC for LittleBigPlanet? Of course you do. All you gotta do is go to this website http://www.us.playstation...ywondergames/default.aspx, click the big green redeem button and you'll get a code that will net you a free download of the Nose Mythology Pack. The pack includes a few costumes and a bunch a bunch of create mode goodies. If the code doesn't work for you, try clearing your web browser's cookies and generating a new code, or just using a different browser. It took me two times to get a code that worked.
Today at the gamescom convention in Cologne, Germany, Sony finally confirmed alltherumors of the PS3 Slim. The new unit will be 33% smaller and 36% lighter than the existing models. Most importantly, it will launch on September 1st for $299. Can't wait that long? All PS3 systems are now $299, effective tomorrow.
Here's SCEI CEO Kaz Hari unveiling the new PS3 model at the gamescom press conference. It also gives you an idea just how much smaller it is when he holds the system in his hands.
I recently decided to get GameFly because I found that there were so many new games I wanted to try out, but not necessarily buy them. So far, i've been very impressed by the service. So much so that I thought I'd let you all know about my experiences so far. If you don't know, GameFly is a rental service, much like NetFlix, that allows you to rent games by mail.
First, let's talk about the main part of the service, renting. Their library of games is extensive. They have almost any game you could want for PS3, 360, Wii, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, DS, PSP, and GBA. So far it seems like most of the games I've wanted to rent are readily available, with the exception of brand new games, which tend to have Low to Very Low availability. But usually they'll be more available in a week or two once the initial renters have returned their copies.
The process of selected what games you want is fairly simple. You simply search the site for the game you want to rent and add it to your GameQ. Once you have titles in your GameQ, you can rearrange them to tell GameFly which you would like to have top priority. When you return a game, they will pick the next available game out of your GameQ and send it. Pretty simple.
You receive the game disc/cart only in an envelope that opens up into a pre-paid return envelope. Inside the envelope you'll find a protective cardboard sleeve with a paper sleeve inside that contains your game. You can keep any game as long as you want. Once you are done with a game, just put it back in the envelope, drop it in the mail and they'll take care of the rest. Once they receive your game, they'll ship out the next available game on your GameQ
In addition to offering rental services, GameFly also has an extensive library of used games for you to buy at a discounted price. Often times, their used game prices beat out GameStop. For example, I bought Prince of Persia for PS3 from them for only $22, whereas GameStop was charging $27 at the time I bought it. Another example: GameStop wants $55 for Red Faction: Guerilla whereas GameFly only wants $43 for it. Another nice thing about GameFly is that if you rent a game and you end up enjoying it, you can opt to keep the game without having to send it back. Oh, and all you CIB whores out there, don't worry, if you decide to keep the game, they will mail you the case and instructions for free. Since the case and instructions haven't been touched by anyone, they're in perfect condition. Oh yeah, I should also mention that all 6 games I've rented from GameFly so far have been in mint condition with no scratches or fingerprints of any kind.
Their shipping times are pretty good too. I live in Minnesota, and it usually takes three days for me to get a game from them or for them to receive a game I send back. However, sometimes when sending a game back, they will use something called fast return, where they ship your next game as soon as they get tracking confirmation from the post office that you put the game in the mail. I haven't figured out how that works yet, however.
Their plans are pretty well-priced too. $15.95 per month for one game out at a time, $22.95 for two games, $29.95 for three games, and $36.95 for four games.
GameFly offers a program called GameFly Rewards to all of its members at no charge. Every three months you are a member, you will get $5 GameFly Dollars to used in their used game store. Also, if you're a member for six months, you will get 5% all purchases from them, and if you're a member for a year, you'll get 10% off. So the longer you remain a member, the better of a deal you'll get if you buy games from them. Add that on top of the $5 they give you every three months, and the savings start to stack up pretty well.
Click here to give it a shot! They have a free trial, and your first month is discounted if you decide to keep going with them.
Love them or hate them, zombies have been in video games since the early eighties and don't look like they're going anywhere any time soon. In Valve's latest release, Left 4 Dead, you play as one of four survivors during the zombie apocalypse. Left 4 Dead features four scenarios where you must guide the survivors to a designated spot to be picked up before they are overwhelmed by the zombie horde. Left 4 Dead is a first person shooter, developed by Valve owned Turtle Rock Studios, using the Source engine. Left 4 Dead received a number of awards for it's multiplayer modes at the end of 2008, but is the game really worth your while? Let's take a look at the game and find out...
I'm pretty sure most of us here have played that NES classic, Contra. What better way to celebrate its legacy than to turn it into a series of LittleBigPlanet levels? Well, that's what a bunch of people from the NeoGAF forums thought of, and they decided to make it a reality in a collaborative effort called LittleBig Contra. Using a lot of assets (including the paint gun) from the Metal Gear Solid DLC, they've managed to make a near perfect conversion of the original game.
To locate the levels in LittleBigPlanet, search for the creator's PSN names. I've listed all 8 levels below in this order, "Level Name: PSN Name"
Base 1: SaitoHalifax
Base 2: SaitoHalifax
Energy Zone: El_Beefo
Alien's Lair: gevurah22
I've played through first two levels so far, and I must say that I am very impressed with their creative skills. I glanced at the others briefly, and they seem just as brilliant as the two I've already played. The only weak spot are the base levels. Remember how those were a 3D perspective in the original? Well, they tried to replicate it, and the results are decent at best. However, considering the circumstances and the limitations LittleBigPlanet placed on the level creators, I'm rather impressed. If you have a PS3 and LBP, you must seek out these levels as they are some of the best examples of what can be done with LittleBigPlanet's creation tools
Oh yeah, the Konami Code is most definitely in these levels.
I received a copy of LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga on the PS3 for Christmas. it's been on my wishlist in various incarnations on the previous generation for some time, I'd just never gotten around to buying it. Oddly enough my daughter's boyfriend bought it for me, which made me immediately suspicious, but so far there appear to be no strings attached. Or engagement rings.
One of the things that has really irritated me this generation is not just being able to stick a game in the machine and start playing, far too often they're plagued by a huge update before I can even begin, pleasingly LSW:TCS had none of this, nor did it require any installation. Travellers Tales have earned my respect immediately.
The music, as is to be expected, is excellent. For me the sound of the theme music is enough to make the hairs on my neck stand up, it takes me back to the day when my parents took me to see Star Wars (none of this 'A New Hope' rubbish, it was just 'Star Wars') and even hearing it play at the start of every level and chapter it still has that effect. It's just that good. The sound effects are straight from the movies and I have absolutely no complaints about them; lightsabers hum, blasters shriek, tie fighters squeal, Jawas do whatever Jawas do, Tusken Raiders wave their arms about and do that funny laugh thing, droids say 'Oh no' in a robotic voice just before you shoot them.
Unlockables are present by the ton. For a collector it's a dream, and even after about 30 hours of game time I'm still only just over half way through. Some of them are the usual useless filler, a la big head mode in beat 'em ups, but then there's some genuinely useful stuff that helps, improving fighting abilities, and guiding you to locations of hidden items. I won't spoil the game by revealing what they are, but suffice it to say one of them makes you feel like a real jedi when you use it, none of this Luke Skywalker learning stuff either, proper Yoda in full battle mode.
The levels are big enough to provide a challenge, but not so big that they feel overwhelming, although the ones involving vehicles can be somewhat frustrating as the control scheme is a little odd, I found it far to easy to flip whatever ship I was flying in a 180 and suddenly I was heading heading in a direction contrary to the one I intended. That aside these levels are few and far between, and the pod race in Episode 1 is a heap of fun, I just wish that blasters were enabled in subsequent playthroughs, then Sebulba wouldn't have it so easy.
The fighting aspect leaves me feeling a little disappointed. It's not a massive problem, it's just that I can't aim where I want with a blaster, it's taken care of by the game, frequently shooting harmless bits of scenery when I could really be doing with blowing the crap out of the fully shielded Droideka that's hammering away with it's blasters right next to me. The Jedi and Sith are also pretty ineffectual in large scale battles as they tend to flail around waving their lightsabres as they please and deflecting blaster bolts anywhere but back at the enemy who fired them. As I mentioned one of the unlockables addresses this, and from then on playing one of these is pure awesome.
Each character type has a small range of different abilities; Jedi & Sith can move objects using the force; Gungans can leap really high; Jawas can enter small tunnels; droids can unlock doors. After completeing story mode for a chapter the ability to switch between these types at will makes figuring some of the extras out in the level quite a challenge.
Hidden within each level are 10 minikit cannisters, which you must collect to increase your stash of studs (the LSW:TCS equivalent of money) which you can use to buy extra characters, ships etc, and these contribute towards your brick count for the game. There are 160 bricks to earn in total, earned by collecting minikits, acheiving a certain number of studs in a level, completing the level, and the most onerous: a timed challenge mode where you have to locate 10 cannisters in a different location to the minikit ones. It takes long enough to find all of the minikit cannisters, without dragging it out by timing you to find another 10. I've only attempted a couple of these, and failed on both count., I loathe timed sections in adventure games, they seem such a forced (no pun intended) way of extending what is otherwise a great game. Because of this simple fact I'll probably never complete the game 100%, fortunately as it's the PS3 version and it was released before trophies became mandatory there's no huge incentive to do so, unless of course they release an update that enables them, and then? Well, we'll just have to see.
I love the game. It's LEGO, it's Star Wars, it's a video game. I really don't need much else.