In the past two years, I’ve spent an almost upsetting amount of time and money catching up on the greatest of what the last generation of consoles had to offer. On my PS3, I went into Uncharted territories, explored the BEAUTIFUL world of Ni No Kuni, fought the Reaper threat with a squad of my best fictional friends, assassinated political figures, saved the world by becoming electrifyingly inFamous, became the man in the lighthouse that took me into the worlds of both Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite, thought with Portals, fought my way through the west to get back to my family, slain Colossi beneath their shadows, became the Batman, went on a life changing Journey, slaughtered thousands of gang members and aliens as The Boss in the Saints Row gang, became a father in the zombie apocalypse, and felt a spectrum of emotions through The Last of Us.
I’ve played a lot of games. In short, when I got my PS3 three years ago, I caught up on gaming greats from all the way back when the last generation first came out. But my list of games to catch up on has grown incredibly thin. Sure the list is still there because I haven’t played all the greats such as Heavy Rain and Metal Gear Solid games, but I think I’ve hit a threshold on older games. I thought it was time for a change. A time to instead of living the glories of the past, it was time to live the glories of the present.
So in the name of glory, I bought a PS4.
The Sony PS4 & the Dual Shock 4
As long as I’ve been ‘on the fence’ between the two consoles, whether I should take a leap of faith and try something new (the Xbox One) or stay loyal after PSone, PS2, and PS3 provided me years of entertainment (PS4), I kind of always knew in my heart that I would go with the PS4. That sounds about as stupid and dumb as it can get when you talk about a man and his consoles but as a ‘hardcore’ gamer, a decision like this truly reflects your personality and the gravity of personal choices.
The PS4 is a sleek machine, matching the size of the PS3 and has a neat multi-colored line across the console that reminds me of the Wii blue line that lights up. You have seen pictures on the internet, so I don’t need to explain the actual machine too much, because other then removing and inserting discs, the hardware itself doesn’t warrant much attention.
The controller on the other hand is worth talking about. While I loved how awesome the Dualshock 3 fit in my tiny hands, others have criticized it for its small design and lack of change over the past 3 consoles. The Dualshock 4 completely revamps the Sony controller. The triggers and bumpers to flare out more, making it more seamless to switch between R1 & R2. The face buttons and d-pad remain in the same spot. The thumb sticks show large improvement as I didn’t really like the mushroomy sticks in the previous ones. In the past, my thumbs would slip off occasionally in extended running sequences, so I like that these sink in a little bit. I haven’t been using the share button as much (I’m thinking of linking it to my twitter if that’s a thing). The options button has essentially become the start button, so no change there. What’s really cool is the track pad button. This track pad, when utilized well, is an easy to reach button that works very well, such as being an inventory button or an in-game menu screen. And the nightmare of typing in video games has been curved by using the tracking pad to type in names. Speakers and sound isn’t a new thing to reach controllers, but when utilized properly, the speaker system in the controller is a neat ‘meta’ device. For example, in The Last of Us, recordings and flashlight noises come from the controller, giving a small degree of surround sound.
Playstation Plus Freebies
Playstaion Plus is required for playing online when you upgrade to PS4. That means you have to pay the $50/year to get the chance to play with your BFF-Jill while PS3 users were blessed with playing online for free. While Xbox paved the way for online subscription fees and showing they work commercially, Playstation paved the way for rewarding their pay-for subscribers with free games. So with Playstation Plus, I’ve got Velocity, DC Universe Online, Sportsfriends, Fez, and Road Not Taken. I do like the fact that my library will grow from month to month with games that will increasingly go from indie games to last year’s greatest hits. The only downside is that it means that I’ll eventually increase my hard drive size in the years to come.
The Last of Us Remastered
So I bought the Last of Us for PS3 after quickly learning it’s not a game to miss. It is easily one of the best games I’ve EVER played, so I didn’t hesitate for a second when I bought essentially the same game for PS4. This game is sharper, includes a bundle of DLC I’ve never tried, and another chance to get better at the unforgiving and visceral multiplayer. I recently finished the main game on Survivor for the first time (a big up from my normal play through) and finished the Left Behind DLC on Grounded (which was incredible enough to write about in a whole new article). I’m on week 3 in the multiplayer and learned a lot about how unnecessary it is to actually win the games over earning enough parts for my survivors. While by no means a casually fun game (even multiplayer is a stressful endeavor), I’ll continue to sprinkle this in to hopefully get Grounded and Grounded+ on the normal campaign.
Injustice Gods Among Us: Ultimate Edition
I’m a DC maniac, so getting this game was a hands down purchase. Although it wasn’t a particularly great port and doesn’t really show the power of the newest generation, I had (and continue to have) a great time with this game. Playing through the story was awesome and felt like a super long episode of Justice League or Justice League Unlimited (it very much mirrored the Justice Lords episode). What was even more pleasant was the return of the voice actors that voiced those characters. Normally we get celebrity voices like Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau, or Keri Russel in the animated movies, but Kevin Conroy as Batman, Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman, and George Newbern as Superman gave me nostalgic chills. Like all fighting games, they are an acquired taste and grind once you finish the story and to actually get ‘good’ requires more effort then most games, but I’ll always have those moments of adrenaline and gratification after a good fight.
Released only this past Tuesday, this games was legitimately the first high-budget game I got that was meant to be on the PS4 and not a port or remaster. It’s definitely a mix of Borderlands and Halo. Destiny features some cool mechanics, like the speeders, open world missions (patrols), and exciting powers. But I can’t help but feel…nothing, when I play. The story is…either extraordinarily simple or extraordinarily convoluted based on if you want to look into the lore or just take whatever Peter Dinklage says for face value. I’m only level 8 and just finished the Earth missions, but the enemies have been a little repetitive, and the raid bosses are more annoying then exciting. The powers feel like last-resort emergency buttons based on their long cool downs, so I’m never prone to mix up the fighting with throwing in my awesome ground pound, unless I’m about to die and I normally die anyways. I’m mixed right now, but like I’ve said, I’ve only played it for 2 days, so hopefully it picks up with enemy variety or excitement.
Upcoming Titles for 2014
Here’s a list of games I’m really pumped to get during the rest of 2014.
- Shadow of Mordor – Who doesn’t like Lord of the Rings?
- Assassin’s Creed Unity – The first game I’ll get that is meant for only the current generation (other games have previous generation ports that can sometimes hold the current generation back)
- Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham – As a fan of DC and Legos, it doesn’t get much better than this
- Advanced Warfare – Because I’m still kind of a bro and enjoy quick games of bloodshed every once in a while
- Little Big Planet 3 – Adorable, catchy music, and challenging puzzles ahoy!
- Dragon Age 3 – I’m on the fence, never played one before, and it looks very intimidating.
Let me know what you’re playing and what you’re excited for!