Launch window exclusives are a very specific type of game. They tend to focus more on showing off the potential of the hardware at the expense of doing anything particularly memorable in terms of gameplay and story. As such, these are titles that you can quickly find in the bargain bin after release. They’re neat for a little bit but soon forgotten when actual good games start coming out.
Take The Order: 1886, for example. I got it as on Black Friday 2015 for $10. It released for $60 back in… February 2015? That can’t be right. The PlayStation 4 launched in November 2013. How did something that was clearly designed as a system showcase not come out until some sixteen months after the console launched?
Some people call them walking simulators. The people in marketing prefer to call it interactive storytelling. The one thing that we can all agree on is that games like Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture are among the most divisive in gaming. Rapture itself has review scores ranging from 100% to 25% and is on best, worst and blandest games of 2015 lists.
I have a mixed history with walking simulators myself. While I loved The Stanley Parable, I had Gone Home figured out in about a half-hour but had to walk the experience through to the end. Where will Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture fall on the walking simulator spectrum?
In an unusual gaming controversy, Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA) applied for a trademark of the term “let’s play” back at the end of October 2015. The application was discovered by the internet over the last week. This sparked a not insignificant controversy over SCEA trying to claim ownership of a fairly common term in the gaming world.
Funnily enough, the controversy should have been over before it even started. Before the news of the copyright application broke, the US Patent and Trademark Office refused Sony’s application.
There’s not one but two video game trailer roundups today. The first one comes from this year’s PlayStation Experience event that Sony held over the weekend to celebrate all things PlayStation and generate a little bit of hype as we cross the halfway point between this year’s and next year’s E3.
The PlayStation Experience had a lot of new footage and new games unveiled at the show this year. I’m thinking that it might worth saving up for a press trip there instead of E3. Anyway, we have 18 trailers from PSX to show you including a story trailer for Uncharted 4, the first look at gameplay of the Final Fantasy VII remake and the unveiled Ni No Kuni II.
When we first found out that Final Fantasy VII was coming to the PS4 as an HD remake, people were extremely disappointed. After all the hope that came with the Final Fantasy VII PS3 tech demo from 2005, people have been clamoring for a full remake of the game in the style of the Final Fantasy: Advent Children movie. Instead, December’s PlayStation Experience event showed the original Final Fantasy VII slightly cleaned up for PS4.
It’s funny what Square Enix had up their sleeve to be played six months later. Sony scored a major coup for the PlayStation press conference at E3 with the surprise reveal of a major remake of Final Fantasy VII.
After a day full of big announcements and exciting reveals, it all comes to an end with Sony’s big annual press event. We’re used to Sony having something big up their sleeve to excite gamers but no one’s positive what that might be. Unlike what I expected from the Microsoft press conference, could third-party titles and exclusives be Sony’s big coup this year?
Over the last few years, quarterly financial results time hasn’t been Sony’s friend. The company has been hurting on the income statement and balance sheet thanks to underperformance from their TV and mobile device divisions. However, they have been buoyed by the sales success of the PlayStation 4.
Now, Sony is trying to turn back towards profitability and is putting the PS4 at the forefront of their plan.
I’d give up writing about Ubisoft but their constant corporate about-faces about graphics and framerates and the console wars is just an absolute gold mine of laughs and punditry and page views. After three different explanations for the framerate and resolution of Assassin’s Creed Unity being 900p and 30 FPS from Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Massive is singing a completely different tune when it comes to Tom Clancy’s The Division.
There have been a lot of complaints about the graphical fidelity and the smoothness of video of games on next-gen consoles. However, Ubisoft’s treatment of Assassin’s Creed Unity isn’t just upsetting one console’s user base but the whole of gaming.
In an interview with VideoGamer, AC Unity senior producer Vincent Pontbriand said that the resolution of ACU would be set at 900p and framerate locked to 30 FPS on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The reasoning behind that is so baffling that everyone has turned against Ubisoft.
In America, the big EA Sports title is Madden 15. Every football fan that’s also a gamer buys Madden every year. We have a similar thing here in Canada. Since most of our sports fans are hockey fans, it’s EA’s NHL series that gets the buys. If you’re buying this year’s NHL 15 on the PS3 or 360, you played it last year. It’s just NHL 14 with a roster update as EA Sports is wont to do with its legacy-gen titles that aren’t big in America (see also: FIFA). Their focus is on developing the current/next-gen title. Well, that’s what they want you to think.
While NHL 15 is a huge step up in presentation with far better graphics and TV style presentation that looks ripped from NBC, a bunch of the features that gamers enjoyed on the PS3 and 360 aren’t here this year. Like the Madden games at the start of the last generation, fan-favourite features were left out of the next-gen launch title and will be reintroduced later so they can be heavily touted by the marketing people. The actual on-ice gameplay is supposed to still be great. Whether you’re going to want NHL 15 depends on whether you really care about all the off-ice features that are missing or trimmed this year.
Well, there’s always next year. Right, Leafs fans?