October 8, 2014
Some Goofy Sights From Destiny
First I wanted to say sorry I haven’t posted more, with life, school, work, Destiny, Shadows of Mordor, Forza Horizon 2, and Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS has taken all of my free time. I will however, try to take the time more often to post, and starting with that here are a couple of videos I put together to show some of the goofy things we have been up to in the world of Destiny. My thoughts on Destiny are split, the story is a incoherent mess, the loot system is all based on chance, the voice acting is hit or miss (mostly misses); but the game play keeps me coming back almost everyday. Enjoy the videos and will be back shortly with another post.
September 8, 2014
Prepare for Destiny
The servers are up, the game is waiting in store rooms around the country in anticipation for the midnight release, and the forums (Bungie.net and others) are filling with excitement. Destiny launches at midnight (though some territories already have it due to it being the 9th already, curse you Aussies and Kiwi) and the hype machine has hit maximum overload. This hybrid MMO/FPS/RPG/Kitchen sink, will be the first non-Halo title to come from Bungie since 2001 title Oni. Bungie finished off their side of the Halo franchise with Halo: Reach (released in 2010), passing the Halo torch to 343 Industries. Since the departure of Halo, Bungie has been focused with delivering a new IP. I, personally, have not been this hyped for a game since Halo 3 (coincidentally another Bungie title). I played the post E3 Alpha, and then in late July, played the Beta on three different platforms (PS4, PS3, Xbox One), and even though much of the content between those trials was the same, I could not be more hyped for this game. If you have not yet caught the Destiny bug, then I have several pieces of media, that will try its hardest to entice you.
First up is three tracks from the beta, that I am more than certain are in the final game. Just a note an official soundtrack has not been released yet, but I am hoping that will change very shortly, since the soundtrack is easily becoming my favorite of the year. The soundtrack was composed by Bungie’s resident craftsmen, Martin O’Donnel (who unfortunately is no longer with Bungie) Michael Salvatori, and special guest Sir Paul McCartney. The soundtrack is robust, dynamic, and full of contrast. Taking the tribal drums, epic choruses, rock, and electronic elements from Halo; they have crafted something that feels fresh yet familiar. Below are three of my favorite tracks from the beta, I had a list of them to choose from, but these three stand above the crowd. Enjoy!
1. The Last Array
2. Deactivating the Mesh
3. Sepiks Prime
Last, but not least, are two trailers. The first is the live action trailer that was directed by the helm of Tron Legacy, Joseph Kosinski. The trailer is all fun and fluff, trying to get the general public interested and it does a fair job. The second trailer is the Gameplay Launch trailer and does a much better job of hyping the game. Enjoy!
For anyone that played the Alpha this is for you…..
I can’t wait to see everyone starside!
July 14, 2014
Gaming in Stereo: Old is New Again
As the eighth generation of consoles are still relatively new, new games are hard to come by, and development can be delayed while learning the ropes for these consoles. As games that are next gen specific like Batman: Arkham Knight are seeing delays, we are seeing a return of previous gen games that pushed the older hardware to their breaking limits. This past January we saw the re-release of Tomb Raider in the Definitive Edition for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. At the end of this month we will see the re-release of The Last of Us in the Remastered Edition for the PS4, and at some point this year Grand Theft Auto 5 will jump to the new hardware as well. While some may scream that this is simply a money grab from companies, I see this as an opportunity for people to play gems that could have taken visual, performance, or even gameplay hits from the aging seventh gen hardware. I purchased Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for the PS4 recently and I am surprised over how good the game looks and run on the fresh hardware. I still have my original 360 copy and that was by no means an ugly game, but their is a stark visual and performance contrast. This maybe the continuing trend of HD releases we received during the last gen, which I was well on board with. Playing the game the past couple of days has also given me a new respect for Jason Graves incredible score. Graves is also known for scoring the Dead Space franchise, Murdered: Soul Suspect, and Alpha Protocol. Tomb Raider’s soundtrack may have been something I missed in the past ( with the amount of games I play and soundtracks I listen to, something just get lost), but I am correcting that today with a look at its fantastic score.
Secret of the Island Complete – Jason Graves – A very percussion heavy piece, laid with early Japanese/tribal feel; Secret of the Island is a great representation of Yamatai, the island in which Tomb Raider takes place. When the strings enter you can feel the sense of danger; the mysterious Storm Guard; the Sun Queen, Himiko; and the deranged cultist led by Mathias. The percussion makes this piece, enjoy
SOS Tower Final In-game (unreleased) – Jason Graves – This track was not on the official soundtrack, but thanks to SoundCloud and Graves, we get to listen to what is one of the more happier moments in the game. The part of the game where this piece takes place is a huge step for Lara. Still shaky about her surroundings, she is less than confident to climb the dilapidated radio tower. She does, and proves to herself that she can do this, she can become the character we know. The sight from atop the tower is beautiful, and this piece captures that wondering beauty.
A Survivor is Born – Jason Graves – The main theme from Tomb Raider, is sweeping, beautiful piece of production. Lara’s theme that starts around the (1:25) mark is epic, encasing all that Lara has been through on Yamatai and becoming the strong protagonist she is meant to be. At the (2:02) mark, the Lara theme is played again but by a solo piano. I love how in the piece there is the same central theme, the same notes even, played three different ways, at different tempos; but yet it all fits together so perfectly. I hope you Enjoy!
June 10, 2014
Sony Press Event Aftermath
Being very entertained by Microsoft this morning, Sony had to bring their A game to the table tonight, and they didn’t disappoint; well mostly didn’t. There was plenty of games, a movie trailer, and some new hardware (at least coming to America). Lets to the announcements because there is plenty to cover.
Destiny – a new gameplay trailer kicked off the press event with several details coming about the summer beta. PlayStation users will be able to join the beta on July 17th. There is a special alpha preview that you can register for at greatnessawaits.com/destiny that will run for this upcoming weekend. If you are selected you will be notified via email and your PlayStation 4. When Destiny launches, it will launch with a bundle featuring a white PlayStation 4 with white DS4, Destiny and 30 days of PlayStation Plus.
The Order 1866: A new gameplay trailer was shown and the game was shown with a much darker tone. It looks like what Resident Evil should have been. This game was pushed to next year, but I am still really intrigued by it.
Infamous First Light – The first DLC expansion for Infamous: Second Son. The DLC will focus on Fetch, the conduit you received the neon powers from.
Little Big Planet 3 – This came out of left field and I am happy that it did. The Little Big Planet series has been fantastic on every Sony platform the series has graced and now its taking another evolutionary step. There are three new characters that will accompany Sackboy, each with their own special abilities. There is Oddsock, a dog like character that is all about speed; Toggle, who has the ability to shrink and grow; and finally, Swoop, a bird that has flight. The best news is all the creations from both Little Big Planet and Little Big Planet 2 will be playable in LBP 3. The game will release in November of 2014.
Bloodborne – a new game being developed by From Software and being directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki of Dark Souls fame. The game will release in 2015.
FarCry 4 – A gameplay trailer was shown off with many improvements over 3, though 3 was great in its own right. The game will release this fall.
Dead Island 2 – Just a pre-rendered trailer was shown, but the game looks like it will be set in the states some where. The trailer has a humorous attitude compared the to original Dead Island trailer.
Paradox Entertainment – Paradox is developing 4 different PS4 titles, and Magicka 2 will hit the console. It also was one of the funniest trailers of the show so far.
Grim Fandango – The Tim Schafer classic point and click adventure is getting an overhaul for the PS4 and PS Vita.
Devolver Digital – The publisher had a sizzle reel showing off some of its upcoming titles coming to the PSN including Broforce, Titan Souls, Hotline Miami 2, Not a Hero, and The Talos Principle.
Let It Die – A new game from one of my favorite dev’s Suda 51.
Abzu – A game by Giant Squid (comprised of former Journey devs)
No Man’s Sky – The game that captivated the Spike VGA’s last year is debuting on the PlayStation 4. The gameplay shown was impressive and I can not wait for this title.
Project Morpheus – the Sony VR headset is at the show.
Youtube is coming to the PS4’s share capabilities
Guns up, Kingdom Under Fire 2, and Planetside 2 are all Free to Play and are all coming to the PS4 in the next 12 months.
PlayStation Now will hold an open beta on the PlayStion 4 with PS3 titles. The beta opens on July 31st and will move to the PS3 and Vita shortly after.
Four new titles are coming to the Vita – Child of Light, Tales of Heart R, Tales from Borderlands and Minecraft.
PlayStation TV, which was shown at Tokyo Game Show 2013 and has been on sale in Japan for some time is coming to the US. The unit will run $99 for the standalone, and a $139 bundle that will come with a DualShock 3, 8GB memory card, and a copy of The Lego Movie video game. They are now available for pre-order.
Mortal Kombat X – The newly announced title was given its first gameplay footage, and it looks awesome. Scorpion faced off against Sub-Zero, and two new fighters were pitted against each other. The title will launch next year.
The Last of Us: Remastered – The phenomenal PS3 title from Naughty Dog hits the PS4 with beefed up visuals on July 29th, 2014.
Grand Theft Auto V – After all the speculation, it is coming to next gen via the PlayStation 4. The new version will be able to take your GTA Online character and money via transfer, so you can pick up where you left off. The game will release this fall.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – A new trailer showcasing the upcoming Kojima Productions opus was shown. The game is looking fantastic and having recently playing through Ground Zeroes, I can not wait for this title.
Batman: Arkham Night – New gameplay footage was shown off and it broke my heart. This game is looking incredible and I have to wait until next year.
Uncharted 4 – To close out the show, Naughty Dog showed off the first official trailer and title for Uncharted 4. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will hit the PlayStation 4 next year. I am really sad to see this franchise end, it has been truly a great ride.
June 9, 2014
Here is the E3 Schedule
Here is the times and dates for the big E# press events. Microsoft kicks off here in just 15 minutes which you will be able to watch right here on The Gamers Blog. If you would like to catch Microsoft’s and Sony’s press event, you can on their respective consoles. The Xbox Live Event Player and PS@E3 app are available to download and you can watch all the press events live. Hopefully we will see plenty of new titles and some very good reasons to own these new consoles this year.
June 3, 2014
And the Delays keep coming…
2014 was looking like a great year for games. We had big hitters such as Batman: Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3, Tom Clancy’s: The Division. The Order:1866, The Elder Scrolls Online (console version), and many others. The latest title slipping in to 2015 is Batman: Arkham Knight. Thought this makes my fall release schedule a tad easier on the wallet, this was my most anticipated title of the year. So now I have Destiny, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Evolve, Smash Brothers Wii U, Lord of the Rings: Shadow of Mordor, and the recently announced Forza Horizon 2 to look forward too. Not a bad line up of games to get me though the cold winter, but the Dark Knight will sadly be missed. I agree that game creators should take their time, more time could mean a better, more finished product. Here is a list of everything that has been pushed back so far.
-Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4/One/PC) – 2015
– The Elder Scrolls Online (PS4/One) – atleast 6 months, could be December, my money is on early next year.
– Tom Clancy’s: The Division (PS4/One/PC) – 2015
– The Witcher 3 (PS4/One/PC) – February 2015
– The Order:1866 (PS4) – 2015
– Steam Controller (PC) – 2015
– Mad Max (being developed by Just Cause 2 developer Avalanche Studios) – 2015
– Half-Life 3 – 2054
Hopefully with E3 a week away, we see some more concrete titles coming this fall, and more reason to put money down on a new console. Even if 2014 does end up on the weaker side, 2015 should be a smashing year for gaming. If any other delays are announced I will update the article.
May 21, 2014
New Arkham Knight Gameplay Trailer Ignites!
The gloves are off as Rocksteady takes one last knockout punch to the Batman franchise before moving on, and the new gameplay trailers made my inner fanboy scream with glee. The game is scheduled to be released this fall on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. This will not be a cross generation game and the visuals show, the visuals are gorgeous. The batmobile makes a huge presence in the trailer, as I stated in my first preview, it will play a major roll in the game, both for combat and traversing the environment. The trailer does hint at the villains that will take center stage; Two-face, the Penguin, Scarecrow, and the mysterious Arkham Knight. Also shown in the trailer is Oracle, a.k.a. Barbara Gordon. She was in the previous two titles but only in voice, and I am glad we are seeing her character even more fleshed out in Knight. I am still trying to figure out who’s behind the Arkham Knight mask. At the ending of Arkham City we had several villains fall, and for the sake of repetition, I hope they stay that way. They did hint at a Talia al Ghul, Bruce Wayne relationship in Arkham City. Could Damian Wayne make an appearance? We also have Hush and Azrael (Michael Lane) that are unaccounted for after City. I hope you enjoy the trailer as much as I did, and it is very nice to have Kevin Conroy back as the Dark Knight.
May 12, 2014
Gaming in Stereo: The Lineage of an Assassin
Assassin’s Creed is one series I never tire of. Some may argue that the yearly titles are starting to set in franchise fatigue, and to a point, I agree. But unlike other yearly releases, they are given ample development time, they are always trying new ideas and mechanics (some that stick and others that only appear once), and the sheer amount of content you get can be staggering. To me, they are like taking a walk through a history book, but with fun action doodles in the margins. I am currently working through Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, since I play these on the consoles I waited till I was able to play the PlayStation 4 version of the title to jump in. For a cross-generation title it is quite stunning. Black Flag has been a dream come true since I finished Assassin’s Creed 3. One of the standout elements from AC III was the naval battles, which in Black Flag, take the forefront. As a bonus we received one of the best pirate themed games of all time, something Disney (Pirates of the Caribbean) could never deliver. Jesper Kyd has helmed most of the series as composer. Kyd composed the scores for Assassin’s Creed, II, Brotherhood, and shared duties on Revelations with Lorne Balfe. Balfe scored parts of revelations and Assassin’s Creed III. I have shared Balfe’s work on AC III on a previous Gaming in Stereo. Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, a spin off of AC III that landed on the PS Vita (later consoles and PC) was scored By Winifred Phillips. Black Flag was scored by Brian Tyler, known for the excellent Far Cry 3 soundtrack. Though some people, myself included, were a little disappointed when Kyd didn’t return for Assassin’s Creed III, but I feel it was for the better. Kyd did a great job differentiating the sound of AC and AC II, and I feel fresh composers did the same for the following titles. Today we are going to look at those different sounds with some tracks from Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed II.
Jesper Kyd – Ezio’s Family – Assassin’s Creed II
This track is simply beautiful. With the piano, stings, and vocals it feels very fitting for renaissance time period. Since the Assassin’s Creed series is a tale of two time periods, one modern and the other a historical point in time, the track adds an electric guitar element at the (2:44) mark. Easily one of my favorite tunes from this series, enjoy!
Brian Tyler – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Main Theme
Brian Tyler captured the escapades of Edward Kenway perfectly with this theme. The drums and violins give a sea shanty feel, breathing a sense of playfulness in to the tune. The frantic drums at the (1:29) are the highlight, but like the game, this feels fun. You can feel in the music that Kenway likes his “privateer” lifestyle, though the game does have its more serious moments as well.
Bonus Track: Brian Tyler – On the Horizon
I am going to let the bonus track speak for itself. There are epic drum sections later in the piece, so listen for those. This does show a more serious side to Black Flag, enjoy!
April 30, 2014
Sharefactory hits the PlayStation 4 Today
The long awaited PlayStation 4 firmware update, 1.70, hit the console today, and in tow, SHAREfactory. SHAREfactory is a new application that lets you edit your gameplay recordings with ease and pizzazz. The app is free to all PlayStation 4 owners, though you will have to download the app. After you download the app you can take any of your previous gameplay captures and edit them into works of art. The interface , which is pictured above, feels a bit like Windows Movie Maker, which isn’t a bad thing since Movie Maker is extremely easy to use. You can edit the videos, music, transitions, the theme, and just about anything else. This is a tip I got from the Official PlayStation Blog about capturing video for the editor, take short clips like your editing. If you take short clips, it is worlds easier to string them together to make a more cohesive product. There is a simple way to do this. When you have set up what you want to accomplish with the clip simply double tap the share button to start recording, once you are finished tap the share button again to stop recording. Next it will take you a menu where you can simply press square to save that file for later use, and you are finished. SHAREfactory comes with sample music, which I used in my sample video below, or you can use your own simply by putting music on a USB drive and plugging it into the PS4. For that music to work, you need to have a folder on your USB drive labeled /sharefactory/music, with the music you want use in that folder. After you are finished editing your video simply hit options and then render video. Once the video is finished, you can then upload it to social media and grab it for your own use. Both next gen consoles now have video editing software, and we are all better off for it. Previous gen hardware required addition hardware that could be a bit pricey, now everything is simply built in. Having now tooled around in both Upload Studio on the Xbox One and SHAREfactory on the PlayStation 4, I do prefer SHAREfactory to Upload Studio. Upload, as a hub to share and watch videos is fantastic, it just needs some better editing tools. It feels a tad simplistic when you see what you can do with SHAREfactory. Now on the PlayStation 4, I wish there was a hub to upload and share videos, instead of posting them to Twitter or Facebook. Below is a quick video I made in SHAREfactory. The game clips are from Resogun, which I had to play through the first level twice to get the clips right. The audio is one of the standard tracks in SHAREfactory, the whole editing process took me about 15 minutes, so excuse the rough edges. If I took my time and utilized something like the photo mode in Infamous: Second Son, I could pull something much greater from my creative bones. If you have a PS4, I urge you to give SHAREfactory a go and hopefully create something special.
March 10, 2014
Prepare for Titanfall!
Two giant games release when the bells toll at 12 tonight. Respawn Entertainment will debut their next gen FPS that blurs the lines of competitive shooter and cinematic story telling. I got my hands on the beta a few weeks back and have been itching to dive back into Titanfall’s symphony of mechs and free running. Titanfall will release at midnight tonight both in digital and physical formats on the Xbox One and PC. Also releasing tonight is From Software’s next test in gamers patience, Dark Souls II. The Souls series is something I came late too, finally diving into Demon’s Souls right before the tentative server cut off date. I played Dark Souls on the 360 shortly after its release and loved it, thought the titles are not for everyone. The games are a bit clunky and it takes time to learn the combat and nuances. You must also accept the fact that you will die, a lot. If you can be patient, the game is very rewarding giving that great difficulty feel from the NES days. Dark Souls II hits the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 tonight and the PC on April 25th. I will be at my local Best Buy tonight picking up Titanfall. I enjoy midnight releases, meeting fellow gamers, and the excitement in the air as the countdown to midnight approaches. A bit of warning if you are picking up the Xbox One version of Titanfall, the game will require a 800 MB update as well as the install, so expect a small wait once you pop the disc in. The PC version of Titanfall is available for preload over at Origin, the download is roughly 50GB, about 30GB is uncompressed audio files. Is anyone planning on picking up either title? I should be on Titanfall on the Xbox One for a bit, if you would like to join, send an invite to CABXYZ, new people are always welcome.