Out today exclusive to PlayStation 4 is Knack 2. It’s a fun platformer, a sort of cross between the Lego games and Uncharted via Ratchet and Clank, with goblins and robots to keep you punching. The original, one of the first titles to come out for the PS4, was pretty pedestrian. Does the second instalment follow in its predecessor’s plodding footsteps, or does Knack 2 punch above its weight? Meet me after the… wait for it… jump! to find out.
Every year when The Show comes out, I follow the same routine: Create a new player from scratch and head into Road to the Show. This year, my mountain-man bearded, 6’4″, 220-pound first baseman from Florida (you can’t select Toronto for some reason) wasn’t doing very well in the showcase games where you get scouted for the upcoming draft. Even though he looked like a bearded hulk, he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat and ended up being projected to go late 2nd/early 3rd round. I wasn’t happy about it, but ended up being drafted late by the Houston Astros. Then something happened. Read the rest of this entry
Burns and I got the VIP treatment at the Scotiabank Theater last night in Toronto at the 2016 Playstation E3 Experience, and we couldn’t have asked for a better event. Playstation came out guns blazing, showcasing exclusives, remakes, remasters and VR in a flow that felt more like movie trailers than a conference. Very little talking by execs and almost all video and gameplay – the way a PS4 event should be. Here’s a rundown of some of the bigger announcements. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve never played the original Shadow of the Beast (Amiga, 1989), but from what I’m told, this game is a pretty faithful remake. It’s a short play – roughly 3 hours on normal – but it’s an enjoyable mix of counter-based combat and side-scrolling platforming.
Ratchet and Clank is one of the most fun games I’ve played all year. It’s not long – about 6-10 hours depending on how much of a perfectionist you are – but it’s chalk full of great gameplay and fun and interesting characters.
Playing Bloodborne is like smashing your head against a wall, a very gory, slimy wall, again and again and again and again. It’s hard. You cry out like a Canadian curler on the ice screaming to the heavens, “HARRRRRRRRRRD.” Fighting a Bloodborne boss is your own private Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise learning by dying over and over, you as Tom in a blood-slicked waistcoat, axe in hand, repeatedly crushed and beaten and mauled. But sooner or later, mostly later, the patterns click, strategies emerge, and at last you vanquish the horrific beast before you, gouts of blood splaying through the air. When it happens, the feeling is pure ELATION. The sheer dopamine rush of joy when you pound that fucker out of existence is immense, a wave of happiness bigger than Kanye’s ego suffusing your entire being. And then it’s onto the next and the gruelling hunt begins anew. Exclusive to the PS4, Bloodborne is one of the best games of the year. But for the horror-loving gamer on your Christmas list, is it all masochism?
Yeah, I know. It’s last year’s game. The raves, the kudos, they fell on the 2014 side of the calendar. But Dragon Age: Inquisition is big enough to sprawl across more than a single year. Just this October, Bioware released the Game of the Year Edition, with all the downloadable content of the previous twelve months included alongside the original award-winning game. If you’re an RPG fan, or you know somebody who puts on the elf-ears before they sit down to play, this is a huge classic title well worth the time. More than the dungeons and yes, of course, the dragons, Dragon Age: Inquisition is about relationships. Friends, lovers and allies, the game’s at its best when you’re playing these roles. Funny how that works, with surprising charm and depth.
It’s almost a myth. Two brothers, separated and raised in different nations. Similar, and yet different. And only one can be king. Okay okay, pretty melodramatic. But that’s the story of two monster games clamouring for Santa’s favour this holiday season. The Xbox One-exclusive Halo 5: Guardians from 343 Industries carries the torch for the legendary Halo franchise, while Bungie’s brought its heavy-weight space-faring shooter Destiny: The Taken King to both the Xbox and PlayStation sides of the fence. Which of these triple A franchises comes out on top? Pull the trigger and we’ll take a look.
Sony announced a few days ago that they’ve sold over 30 million PS4 consoles. Not too shabby. What blows my mind is the Sony wags think that at least half of those gamers have never played Uncharted. That’s so crazy town banana pants. Uncharted is one of the most influential franchises of the last generation; it’s like saying you never played Halo. Well, practically. But maybe you didn’t. Life, the movies, or that persistent need to come up with a better Facebook status got in the way. Maybe you’re just, god, young, and you never had a PS3. But it’s okay. You can make it right with the world, because Naughty Dog’s put out Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection. With Christmas coming, this could be a great chance for you or that curious gamer in your life, the one with their arms all withered and bent like a T-rex from clutching a controller to their chest, that somehow didn’t get around to hanging with Nathan Drake and the Uncharted crew. Featuring all three Uncharted titles formerly exclusive to the PS3, these titles have been polished and buffed for the next console generation. But if you never played them, why would you bother with a revamped reissue? If you ever wanted to be Indiana Jones, hunting for antiquities across the globe, fighting the bad guys, wise-cracking with a whiff of the supernatural breathing down your neck, then this is the franchise for you.
If the world was made of LEGO, our world, the real one, you’d smash it to bits. You know you would. I would. Who wouldn’t? Mahatma LEGO Gandhi maybe. But they haven’t made that movie into a hilariously enjoyable video game just yet. And that’s probably fine. What has made it to the LEGO gaming world is a great collection of pop culture franchises, all ready to splinter and fly apart into glorious bouncing multicoloured cubes. My girlfriend and I have played the LEGO Batman games, which are wonderful fun. Star Wars, The Hobbit, The Avengers, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones have all gotten the LEGO treatment. So with the ripping success of this summer’s Jurassic World, it’s only fitting that Spielberg’s dinosaurs should be bricked too.