Category Archives: Playstation

Friday notes (What I’m playing edition)

- Woohoo!  The site has been up for 2 days without crashing.  Gotta love memory leaks in applications that cause database crashes. Or something.

- Dan has been bugging me to pick up Sniper Elite 3 and I just wanted to put forth a script to summarize almost every conversation that I have with him.

(Enter Glen.  A man, who even as he is approaching middle age, is still dashingly handsome.)

(Enter Dan.  A very strange individual.)

Dan: Hey! You should buy <insert game that came out in the last week.>

Glen: Why should I buy it?

Dan: Because it new and it’s a game.

And scene!

Seriously, this happens almost every single week.  It doesn’t have to be new games either.  Last night he was telling me that I should buy Bases Loaded on WiiU, because I should.

I think that living inside Dan’s mind would be one of the scariest places in the history of the world to be.

- Having said all that, I did try out Sniper Elite v2 (due to the fact that Steam had the game for free a few months ago) and have found that while playing it on the easiest setting that it is quite good.  It is certainly incredibly violent, but it does let you do something like this.  My best to this point is 2 kills with one shot, but it is fun to try and line up those kinds of shots and then pull them off.

I can imagine that the new version of the game has improved some of the aspects of the controls and graphics, but I’m definitely enjoying this game for the $0 that I paid for it.

- Also on the playlist of late is Assassin’s Creed IV for the PS4 and what has been interesting for me is that, for the most part, I’m completely ignoring the story (except to unlock the capability to complete certain events) and just cruising around from island to island wrecking the Caribbean and blowing up forts with the big-ass cannons on my ship.

I have absolutely zero interest in the multiplayer side of the game, but boarding ships and killing random Spanish and British sailing crew has been a blast for me.

- With my Club Nintendo rewards points, (I have far too much Nintendo stuff, and am still pissed about missing out on the Mario Bros shoelaces that they offered in the past) I picked up Kid Icarus 3D for the 3DS.

I don’t know if I was some sort of gaming savant in my earlier days or if my skills have faded that much, but the game kicked my arse when I played it last night.

There seems to be a great deal of nostalgia about making games hard again and I feel that eventually we’re going to reach a point where someone will create a game that punches you in the face every time you make a mistake just to make it “hardcore.”

Having said that, there is still something to completing a massive achievement in a game.  I still remember the feeling that I got when I beat Mike Tyson in Punch Out (had to use the cheat code to face him, as I could never beat him after defeating everyone else in the game.)  There is just something special about the challenge that was in some of those old games, so I will stick with Kid Icarus for a while and see if I can find some of my old skills, rusty as they are.

 

Monday notes

- Looks as though Dan is going to win the race to 100 followers.  I’m just not that popular it appears.  (Anyone who sat in my high school lunch room could have attested to that fact.)

- As we get closer and closer to the World Cup, I have been spending more and more time playing Football Manager 2014 in a way to connect more with my building love of soccer.

With the January transfers now being a part of the default roster, I decided to take another shot at running Crystal Palace to see if I could get them to avoid relegation in FM, as they did in real life.

Tony Pulis can not be given enough credit for keeping Palace up this year, as I have found through my time with the game that it is incredibly difficult to keep that squad from being relegated.

Thanks to some monumental efforts from Ince and Chamakh I was able to grab 17th place in the Premier League (by 3 points) and stay up for one more year (and get a 2 year contract extension.  Woot!)

I have had more fun with this game over the past six months than any other game in recent memory.  Even though I can simulate every game, I find myself watching each match and yelling at my players when they make a bad play and pumping my fist in the air when they make a great one.

It’s still priced at $12.50 on Steam and is worth every penny.

- E3 begins with Microsoft, Sony, EA, and Ubisoft all having press conferences today.  Not sure how much there will be out there as far as sports gaming from them, but I’m sure that Dan and I will be commenting when we have a chance.

Thursday notes (gaming stuff)

- Last evening I finished up Wolfenstein: The New Order for the PS4 and I have to say that while the gameplay was that of a pretty standard first person shooter (with some pretty fun weapons,) the story really surprised me throughout.

With a game that has you blasting away at hundreds of 1960′s Nazi’s, you would think that it would be pretty easy to just have a cookie-cutter “all of them are evil” story involved, but the game surprised me with it’s ability to create some more complicated narratives of what it would have been like for people to have lived in a time where the Germans won World War 2.

Also, I have to give credit to the people at Bethesda and Machine Games for making a first person shooter game that does not include a multiplayer component.  Personally, I can’t remember the last time that I enjoyed playing an FPS game online, so purchasing this game was a way to support a company and studio for taking the chance on putting out a single player focused game.

- If you’re a Playstation Plus subscriber (and really, every PS3, PS4, and Vita user should be) you will be getting NBA 2K14 for the PS3 as part of the free game selection in June.  It’s not as strong of a game as the PS4 or Xbox One versions are, but it’s still a very solid basketball game for the price of… sort of free.

I do have to say that it has been great to see sports titles appearing in the monthly free titles as that was always a genre that was neglected in the PS Plus library.

- Continuing on the Playstation kick, I started playing MLB 14: The Show for the PS4 late last week and other than the large scale graphical improvements to the game I just wasn’t all that impressed by the Road to the Show mode (which is all that I’ve had time to tackle to this point.)

One of the things that impressed me the most about the My Player mode for NBA 2K14 for the PS4 was how much different and improved that mode felt over the previous generation versions.  I didn’t get any of that with the Road to the Show for MLB 14 and I guess the whole thing just left me feeling like it was missing something that made it really great.

I’ll give some of the other modes a look and see if any of them change my feelings on the game, but for now… meh.

Tuesday notes

- Somebody is taking a road trip to Columbus!  My daughters just about lost it this morning when I told them we would be going to see Crystal Palace play.  My wife won’t be able to attend, so it’ll be interesting taking the girls on an 8 hour drive to see a soccer match, but it should be worth it and we will definitely be coming home with some new Eagles gear.   Can’t wait.

- For those of you who trade in your games (Dan….) Target is having a deal where they are offering triple value on their trades for this week.   For example, Grand Theft Auto 5 for the PS3 is getting $45 in store credit right now.

As for me, I’ll be trading in the PS3 version of Diablo III (for $30) and picking up the new addon for the PC (which is priced at $30) along with a few other old PS2, original Xbox, and GC games that have bizarrely high values.

- Speaking of Diablo III, it took Blizzard a few years to get to this point, but the game is really great right now and I’m having as much fun with this as I did with Diablo II back in the day.  There is still something special about every Legendary drop and waiting to see what valuable goodie you’re going to get from it.

If you’ve held off until now, you should really pick up the game either for consoles or for the PC.  Both are terrific at this point.

- As for upcoming games, we have Wolfenstein and Transistor releasing today, Watch Dogs next week, and Mario Kart 8 at the end of next week.

Trying to remember this many games being released right before E3, but maybe I’m just getting old and having a hard time remembering details like that.  #oldmanproblems

Wednesday notes

- So, if you’re a Playstation Plus subscriber (and really, if you have a Vita and a PS3, it’s almost silly not to) you get access to PES 2014 as one of the free games for May.  If you haven’t looked at the game yet, I highly advise that you download it and then try out Paul’s option files for the game.

Again, I just enjoy playing PES more than FIFA at this point (even though I own both.)  I haven’t messed around with online matches though, so if anyone wants to give it a try, send me an email or post a comment and we can give it a go.

- Also on the Playstation Store is the new release of Football Manager Classic for the Vita.  I love the cloud save capabilities of the Vita version so that you can play your franchise on the PC version, then take your Vita on the road with you and continue that same game.

We can only hope that other games follow this model in the future.

- My guess is that we might get a post from Dan today once we have a result from Manchester City and Aston Villa’s match.  A Man City draw barely keeps Liverpool alive.  A loss by Manchester City would change things dramatically.

- Anyone playing Hearthstone?  People keep telling me that it’s worth looking at (considering the fact that it’s free.)  Just curious.

- More as the week goes along.

 

Monday notes

- Sports On Earth does a much better job of summing up what is going on with the Brewers right now than I ever could, as they detail what has been happening with the team during their 10-2 start (including winning their last 9 in a row.)

It’s hard to think about big series in April, but with 3 against Pittsburgh (already completed,) 3 against St. Louis, then another 4 at Pittsburgh, there is a lot of interesting games in the NL Central early.

Also, while it’s impossible for the Brewers can keep playing like they have, it’s been sure been fun to see how many interesting ways they can win games of late.

- Dan was giving me grief for not mentioning the Brewers lately, but I have been paying as much attention, if not more so, to Crystal Palace’s play over the last few weeks.  Getting 9 points over the last three weeks has pushed them from 17th place (and in serious danger of relegation) to 12th place and 7 points clear of 18th (with 1 game in hand) with 5 games to play.

While I still have so much to learn about the Premier League, and soccer in general, I just love the passion that the Palace fans show at every game, whether at home or on the road.  I’m glad that I picked the Eagles to support as this season has been a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

- The other thing that I’ve been watching was the end of yet another Islanders season.  That organization frustrates me to no end.  Maybe next year they’ll sell the team and fire Snow… maybe…

- FIFA World Cup 14 is due to release tomorrow for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and while I loved the previous game, I really couldn’t get into the game based on the demo.  The PS4 and Xbox One versions of FIFA play incredibly well and are very fluid, but the older version of the game engine just doesn’t seem to hold up very well after having experienced the new versions of the FIFA game engine.

- Konami has released their own World Challenge DLC for Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 and while it doesn’t have the full presentation that the EA Sports game costs, you could get Pro Evolution and the DLC for just over half the price ($29.99 for the game at Amazon – $4.99 for the DLC) of picking up FIFA World Cup 2014.

Something to think about.

 

Wednesday notes

- Hopefully you’re all able to get your brackets in.  I have mine completed, not that it will be any good (I’m pretty bad at them traditionally,) but it is done in time.

- Picked up a copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf and you should have seen how excited my daughter was to be able to visit the village I made in my game.  It really is the simple things that amaze them sometimes.  Of course, as soon as I got the game, I had plans for the next two evenings so she couldn’t come and visit my village again.  It’s tough being a parent (and having a life outside of home.)

- I have to admit that I’m a bit curious and jealous of the tech writers that are getting a chance to try out Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift at GDC, but the good thing is that it is going to be a few years before the headsets come out for the Playstation and PC.  Still, the tech looks cool and they could make for some interesting gaming experiences.

- Lastly, I’m very excited to start playing inFamous: Second Son over the weekend.  The first two games were two of my favorites in the previous generation and I look forward to being an truly evil bastard who will be destroying large parts of Seattle very soon.

Thursday notes

- Long time, no see.  Work=crazy.  Moving on.

- Front Office Football 7 now has a Steam Greenlight page.  Do Jim a favor and give it a thumbs up to get it onto Steam.  Steam really needs more of these types of sports games on it and Jim’s game is one of the best.

- Yesterday my copy of Titanfall showed up via Gamefly and all I was able to do was to install it. (I had hockey last night and I’m trying to do as much of that as I can before my surgery.)  I’ll give the Xbox One version a go before deciding whether or not I want the game or not (for either consoles or PC.)  I’ve read some reviews that state it is a First Person Shooter for people who don’t usually play those sorts of games.  I guess I’ll find out if it works for me….

The Xbox One has been a huge buyers remorse device for me since I purchased it, so I’m really looking for something that makes me use it more because I haven’t found much to do with it to this point other than letting my kids watch Amazon Instant Video in the living room while yelling “XBOX SELECT” at it.

- When a feature is removed from Madden, it’s a good guess that it’s because the NFL wanted it out.

- So, plenty of details are out there now about the new RBI Baseball and there is good and bad there.

Good:

Simplistic Gameplay

Season Mode

No Pay to Win

Unlockable Jerseys via Season Mode

Bad:

Few Gameplay modes

First console game from MLB AM

To this point, the Good outweighs the bad, but we’ll have to wait and see if it the game turns out to be a fun and entertaining sports product.

- Lastly, I think I’m going to be buying a second copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf in the next week or so.  My daughter ended up taking my copy when I gave her my old 3DS at Christmas and she has become completely addicted to the game.  I’m still a bit sad that I had to erase my village to let her take over as mayor in her own game, so I guess her enthusiasm for the game has got me interested in playing it again as well.  Gotta love the kids.

MLB 14: The Show Quick Counts and Player Lock

Sony has announced some of the details today about the new Quick Counts and Player Lock features that have been implemented in MLB 14: The Show.

I have to say that I’m torn about such a feature.  While it’s great that they will have a way that might actually allow people to play through an MLB season without having to sim a great deal of games, I would be curious to know how much statistical analysis has been done to know how accurately they could put forth those kinds of counts in the game play.  If it’s being completely at random, without any knowledge of the strengths (or weaknesses) of the hitters or pitchers, then it really becomes just a time saver and nothing else.  If, on the other hand, they would be backing it up with historical count information for each player, then it could be pretty interesting.  (Of course, this says nothing about how it would be handled for new players that enter the game.)

It’s safe to say that I’m thinking about this a bit too much.  Probably just way too geeked up for baseball season to start.

Tuesday notes

- Typically with a basketball arena, you don’t want these sorts of things happening

Gotta figure that the person in that seat is a bit unhappy with things right now (and feeling pretty damn lucky right now.)

- Finished up Tomb Raider last Friday night and was entertained throughout.  $60 entertained?  Ehhhh…. I’d have to say no.  Considering you have been able to pick up the game on the PC for $5 over the last few months, I would have to say that the graphical additions to the game wouldn’t have been worth the price difference for me.  Thankfully, I rented it and didn’t have to deal with the post-purchase guilt.

- Tomorrow morning is my meeting with the orthopedist at which point I will be finding out what they want to do to address the labrum tear, arthritis, and bone spurs, on my right hip.  At this point I’m hoping for a surgical plan just so I can get the damn pain resolved and start  training for the marathon that I want to run at the end of the year.  The person in charge of my hockey group has different plans and he just wants me to play through pain for the rest of my life (he just doesn’t want to find a sub for 6 or 8 weeks.)

Either way, we should have a plan tomorrow.

 

Wednesday notes

- The pond hockey tournament in Eagle River was terrific last weekend even though there we were skating in wind chill temperatures as low as -20 below zero.  I did grab some video from a home-made camera mount on my chest protector, so I’ll see if I can grab that in the next few days and get some of the “highlights” posted.  The weekend went far too quickly and I’m already looking forward to the tournament next year.

- Not that I got a chance to see much of him when I was growing up, but Pete Maravich was one of my favorite basketball players when I was a kid.   Watching the videos of some of his highlights on Youtube show you some of the amazing things that he was doing almost 40 years ago, and it is very easy to picture a player like himself being in today’s game without any issues.  If you get a chance, take a look at the story that was written over at Sports on Earth about the relationship that Pete’s two boys had with the game after he passed away.

- Last week, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for the PS4 showed up from Gamefly and it is one of the most fun games that I’ve played in recent memory.  It pulls very heavily from the Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed style games, but doesn’t have all of the machismo that those games provide.   While there are some disconnects in the story as Lara transitions from a simple researcher to a stone cold killer, the cut scenes at least give you the feeling that violence isn’t the action that she wants to take but that it is put upon her out of necessity.  I can highly recommend that people rent the game, at the very least, as it is a beautiful game to watch as well as play.

- Anyone else as geeked up as I am to watch men’s Olympic hockey start up?  Canada, Russia, and the US all take the ice tomorrow.

- Lastly, I’m really excited to see Crystal Palace play against Everton today as the new additions to the squad really made a big difference in their offensive play style during last Saturday’s game against West Brom.  It’s asking a lot, but if they can steal 3 points on the road today, they can push themselves up to 10th in the league table and the chances of getting relegated become greatly diminished.

Thursday notes

- Currently, I am on the road on the way up to Eagle River to the USA Hockey Pond Hockey championships.

I really look forward to this trip every year as it is a great weekend of hanging out with friends and now that i am getting a chance to play, that just makes it that much better.

Now I just have to hope that my hip holds up for the three games, but I am sure that it will be fine.

I will try to post some pictures from the tournament, either over the weekend or when I get back, to give you an idea of what the environment is like.  It is pretty damn cool, in my book.

- In a curious development, EA Sports announced FIFA World Cup 2014 today.  In and of itself that isn’t too surprising, but what was interesting was the fact that it is only being released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and is skipping the PS4 and Xbox One.

The PS4 and Xbox One versions of FIFA 14 were good upgrades of the previous generation software and the new engine offered some nice changes to the old FIFA engine and it is too bad that they are being passed over for this game.

I am anxious to play this when it comes out though as FIFA World Cup 10 was one of my favorite sports games on the PS3.  Hopefully the features this time around are as good or better than that version to justify the 59.99 price point. 

- Have a good weekend.

Tuesday notes

- For the first time (out of only 3, so far) I will be passing on the “free” Playstation 4 title that comes as part of my Playstation Plus subscription.  For the month of February, it’s Outlast, a horror title ported from the PC version that was released in September of last year.

I’ve never liked the horror genre in either movie or game format, and can’t recall a time where I ever really wanted to be scared intentionally.  Just not my cup of tea, I guess.

- In Steam streaming news, I keep trying out new games via the beta and last night Runner 2: Legend of Rhythm Alien was up.  Again, I was surprised by the lack of latency issues with the game as I was able to play the game without any issues, which is pretty impressive considering how time sensitive you need to be with your button presses.   At this point, I’m still very impressed with the beta.

Monday notes

- Well, I managed to make it an entire year without seeing an NFL or college football game and survived to tell the tale.

To be honest, I haven’t missed watching football to this point.  I’ve gotten so much more interested in soccer that it has completely filled that sporting void in my life.

Also, based on what I heard, the game last night wouldn’t have been worth the time to watch anyway, so there is that.

- I didn’t mention it in the podcast, but I got into the Steam in home streaming beta last week and I have to say that I’m pretty amazed with the performance and general lack of latency issues.  As I’m in the process of starting to put together a new gaming system, my “big gaming rig” is an old Intel i7 with a GTX 570, and I was able to stream quite a few different games (over a 1GB network) from that PC to my “old” desktop system which is 6 years old and has a NVIDIA Geforce 9800 series card.  The Steam setup was able to stream games at 720P that would never have stood a chance of running on that system normally.  (Some of the games that I have tested so far were Batman: Arkham Asylum, Lord of the Rings: War in the North, and Borderlands 2.)

Another one of the other benefits, of the beta client, is that you can be signed into Steam on multiple computers at the same time (an annoyance that I’m happy to not deal with any further.)

I’m certain that the streaming capabilities will improve as development continues for it, as this will have to be a big part of the Steam Machine process in order to get Windows games running on Linux hardware.   Based on my early time with it, it’s going to be something that everyone with multiple PC’s at home will enjoy (especially those of you that are looking to pick up a Steam Machine.)

- Lastly, I started to play Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for the PS4 over the weekend and I have been incredibly impressed with the game thus far.  I have no idea why I didn’t give the game a look before, but I have to say that it is graphically stunning in the early stages.

Also, while I’m sure it is be easily accessible with a button press, it is rather nice that the Playstation camera responds very well to commands such as “Open Map” and “Close.”  Probably the first time, outside of playing some of the Playroom with my youngest, that the Playstation camera has actually come in useful for gaming.

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