PSN April Flash Sale: Some Decent Deals For All Tastes

PSN April Flash Sale

 

I guess it’s now a once a month deal or so over at the PlayStation Network when it comes to finding quickie weekend bargains available for a short time. This month’s big deal PSN Flash Sale is a nice lineup of PS3, PS4 and Vita digital games plus a bunch of movies at okay to excellent prices. Don’t forget to poke around the site and look up other deals, as there are some cool titles not part of THIS sale that are part of other promotions. You never know what you might find outside the box, right?

Guitar Hero Is Back. Plastic Guitar Gods, Rise!

Out with the old...

Out with the old…

GH Live (1)

…in with the new!

1. The new Guitar Hero Live logo looks a wee bit like the original Star Trek TV show logo. That made me laugh a bit because it’s not intentional at all. I’m just really old.

guitar hero live 333 (Custom) 

2. Plastic guitars are back after a five year hiatus.It’s hard to say how those who bought the rock games that required real guitars will feel about this. However, it’s entirely possible that both camps will find something to like or not about GHL.

GH Live 4 

3. There are no colored buttons this time and instead of five colored buttons, you get three buttons set into two rows. This is because testing showed most people play GH using three fingers and never got past the harder modes. The game’s easier modes use only three buttons while the harder modes use all six.

GH Live 5

4. There’s an autoplay button on the controller for people who just want to practice the songs or look good cheating. Longtime GH players seem to hate the new controller already, but EVERYONE will need to get used to the new controller should they pick up the game. It shouldn’t take long, though.

Yes, this is ALL actual gameplay.

5. Or: If you owned a PC, Sega CD, 3DO, PlayStation or Saturn back in the 90’s, you’ll be pleased to know FMV games are back (but much better looking). Yeah, that’s right. Gone are the cartoon-like players and now it’s you onstage playing that plastic guitar in front of an actual audience in first person mode. But this time, it’s for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U and mobile devices. Yes, the crystal-clear FMV can run on any current console out there, so you’ll see all looking exactly the same (like it or not).

GHL 215 

6. There’s a music video channel-like online play mode. You can choose from hundreds of videos to battle someone against, there will be a MASSIVE library of songs from classics to indies and overall, this mode may be the bigger deal for some players who love their social sharing stuff.

GH Live 10 

Guitar Hero Live is coming this fall for those systems noted above. So many changes after five years off, right? Will it be a house band in millions of homes, or is the new look and focus on both simplifying and complicating things be too bumpy a ride for the loyal fan base? As usual, we shall see.

PSN Flash Sale: Break Your Backlog With 81 Great Game Deals

PSN Flash Sale Madness 

As soon as I saw this PSN Flash Sale page, this scene from The Bridge on the River Kwai popped into my head and made me cackle madly for a few seconds:

(thanks, The Dork Knight!)
 

Anyway, wow. Don’t pass this one up, folks! It’s ONLY available to US PSN users, doesn’t require a PlayStation Plus account and as you can see, covers PSOne Classics, PSP, PS Vita, PS2, PS3 and even four PS4 titles! I had measly $1.82 sitting in my account for a while doing nothing. Now, all but 3 cents is left because I couldn’t pass up two older PSP games I missed out on. I was tempted to spend more money, but I’m needing to save up for a new TV and some other stuff that can’t wait. That said, YOU know you need about a dozen or more of these games for under a buck each, right? RIGHT? Yeah, I knew it. Go spend frivolously and report back on what you bought so I can live a bit more vicariously than usual.

Tower of Guns Trailer: Shooting Stars (and Everything Else) Via Digital and Retail

Tower of Guns Logo 

While digital games are great, the fact remains that not everyone who wants to play them can do so and more games need both physical as well as digital releases. Grip Games is getting right up in everyone’s alley with Terrible Posture Games’ Tower of Guns. The fast paced arcade-like first person shooter that made a digital splash last year on Steam, now headed to PC, PS3 and PS4 as a retail release. Xbox One owners get a digital only release, as Microsoft seems to believe everything is hunky-dory with the download-only releases and discs are a bad idea for an indie game that’s so short. Or something like that.

Anyway, while I jump up and down happily about this news, you can read a bit of the press release:

Always a fresh experience: Random enemies, random power-ups, random bosses, tons of unlockable items and weapons…even random-level compositing! You never know what to expect when you sit down in front of Tower of Guns.
Crazy powerups: You’ve played first person shooters where you can double jump, but have you played any game where you can centuple-jump? In Tower of Guns, with the right items, you can!
Gun-modifying madness: A gun and its qualities aren’t tied together in Tower of Guns. Do you like rocket launchers? You’ll like them more if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a “Shotgun” modifier. A rocket-launching shotgun is very satisfying.
Single sitting full experience: For all of those who have too many games (or too little time) this is a game you can pick up and play again and again, without remembering where you were or what you were up to. If you’re gonna win, you’re gonna be able to do it over your lunch break.

That’s a big if though, it won’t be easy…

TOG_screenshot1 TOG_screenshot2 TOG_screenshot3 TOG_screenshot4 TOG_screenshot5

While there’s no exact release date, the deal between GRIP Digital s.r.o. (digital version) and SOEDSCO (retail version) means more people will be playing and enjoying this one and having a blast. Once a release date zips into the inbox, expect an update.

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin Trailer: Die Learning to Die

DSII_SOTFS_PS3_2D_EN DSII_SOTFS_PS4_2D_EN DSII_SOTFS_SteamX11_EN

DSII_SOTFS_SteamX9_EN DSII_SOTFS_X1_2D_EN DSII_SOTFS_X360_2D_EN

 

Coming to PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 on April 7, 2015, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin will bring FromSoftware’s hard as hell-made nails game to those new consoles with a number of changes and improvements over the original release. For those rolling their eyes about the prospect of repurchasing the game just for spiffier visuals and every bit of DLC content included for free, fear not. Enemy placement throughout the game is vastly different and their AI has been dialed up even further.


 

Additionally, the number of enemy mobs has been increased, making the already challenging game much more so. All that and it seems that both offline and online players will have to now worry about a super-tough new foe that can invade their games with intent to do them in. Online fans looking for a fight will love the now 6-player PvP, although “love” is kind of a subjective term here. There’s nothing quite like being invaded mid-game by a bunch of people who you don’t know who may or may not be wanting to help you adventure.

05-6playes_multiplayer_01
 

Finally, that subtitle refers to an all-new NPC who’s chock full of information and meeting up with him will no doubt lead to new areas and content in the game. As you can see here, the official Dark Souls II website has announced a new patch for current owners of the original game that adds a ton of new features and content that will prepare players for the April release of Scholar of the First Sin. The great thing about all this is this reworked version of Dark Souls II is not only geared for veteran players who’ve mastered the game, but new players who want to see what all the fuss is about.

01-Forest_of_Fallen_Giants 02-The_Gutter 03-Forlorn_01 04-Forlorn_02 06-6playes_multiplayer_02 07-ThePursuer_and_Ogre 08-No-man's_Wharf 09-Brightstone_Cove_Tseldora 10-Huntsman's Copse

Yes, From has also added new NPC’s who can assist new players with the ins and outs of survival in such an unforgiving world. But don’t expect casual hand-holding or an assist if you bite off more that you can chew. The latter is what the assorted not so wee beasties are supposed to to and I’m betting plenty of players old and new will become meals off wheels when Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin arrives in about two months.

January’s PS Plus Lineup (Provided PSN Is Working!)


 

Poor Sony has been through the wringer this year. Between “hackers” hitting a few of the company’s entertainment divisions and among other things, knocking PSN offline for a bit over the last holiday weekend and a truly crazy class action lawsuit allowed to proceed, all of 2014’s successes seem so very far in the past. Nevertheless, PlayStation Plus subscribers will still be getting a bunch of free games as usual. January’s list of freebies is a nice one indeed, but at this point, it’s all up to whether or not PSN will be running properly so gamers can actually get all of that content. The privileges of membership, indeed…

Persona 5: Last Gasp on the PS3/First Breath on the PS4…

Persona 5 2015 bg 

Atlus’ long running Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series of games has always been a reliably sturdy franchise for fans, surviving a few major artistic and gameplay changes some dislike while providing deep and generally well written plots as well as some interesting characters. The company has been teasing Persona 5 for a little while now as the game is still in development in Japan, and as this latest teaser shows, some of the familiar elements are back. Expect high-school age kids finding out they’ve got hidden powers called Personas, Japan at the brink of some sort of apocalyptic destruction, and dozens of hours of gameplay not counting plenty of side-quests. Demon fusion, teen angst, maybe a bit of romance options and a number of returning good, evil and neutral NPC’s to chat with will no doubt also be par for the course.


 

This second teaser trailer reveals not much at all other than some of the new cast of characters and their names. Additionally, as this will be the first Persona game for next-gen (or current gen if you’ve already made the switch), it will be interesting to see the differences between the PS3 and PS4 versions of the game. I’d imagine the more powerful PS4 will run the game at a steady frame rate and probably feature ore detailed environments. But outside that fighting game, the series has never been about super flashy visuals or lightning paced action. We’ll keep an ear to ground for more on this one, but let’s just say a chunk of time is being carved out in order to dive deep into this one and play it at length.

Unmechanical Extended Edition: Get A (nother) Grip Games Goodie in 2015!

Unmechnaical EE banner 

Grip Games is at it again with a cool enhanced update to one of its popular titles. Unmechanical Extended Edition is coming in 2015 for PS3,PS4, Xbox One courtesy of Grip and developers Teotl Studios and Talawa Games. Given that the original game was a critical success on multiple mobile platforms and PC, a console version with a bit more content was pretty much a no-brainer. Exclusive to the console versions is a new chapter that allows playing of the puzzle/adventure/platormer hybrid as a new character. Grip has also announced the Vita version of the game has been canceled, at least for the time being. The press release notes this, however:

While it is possible that this version will eventually be released, it definitely won’t be simultaneously with other versions.

Ouch. If speculation must be made, I’d imagine that getting Unreal to play nice on the Vita is probably trickier than expected. That or there are other issues keeping this one from its Vita debut. In any event, if Grip and company manage to work things out and get the game up and running, an update will be posted as soon as any news arrives in the inbox here. In the meantime, here are five screens to check out.

Unmechanical_1 Unmechanical 3 Unmechanical_5 Unmechanical 6 Unmechanical 8

Right now, sometime in January 2015 looks like when we’ll see Unmechanical Extended Edition land safely on home consoles. Stay tuned for more on this one…

Review: Falling Skies: The Game

Falling Skies The Game PS3Platform: PlayStation 3 (also on Xbox 360/Wii U/PC)

Developer: Torus Games

Publisher: Little Orbit

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Official Site

 

Score: C+ (70%)

You could say that there are two types of turn-based strategy game fans out there: those who’ve played XCOM and those who yet haven’t. Falling Skies: The Game works better for those in the latter category as well as those XCOM fans who won’t bash this too harshly for its intentional lifting of much of that game’s mechanics. While it’s a well-made game and plays just fine with only some pesky camera issues in tight spots, a few gameplay flaws knock it down from being a great entry in the genre. However, if you’re a big enough fan of the show, the game will probably warrant a buy right off the bat. Just don’t expect anything revelatory in the plot or handful of familiar characters you’ve come to know and love and you’ll more than likely have a fine time over a rainy weekend… Continue reading

Godzilla IS Coming After All. THANK YOU, Bandai Namco!

Well, oopsie. Remember that Godzilla game Namco Bandai was only releasing in Japan I wrote a little post about back in September? Oh, how wrong I was about that game staying overseas. But here’s a case where me eating crow pie is a something I don’t mind doing at all. In fact, make mine a double, please. Check out the big reveal trailer below. Earplugs in, first. It’s LOUD:

The Japanese version is out this month, but Bandai Namco Games is going to be taking time to properly localize the game and get it out in North America and Europe in Summer 2015 for both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Excellent. If you watched the September trailer along with this new one, you’ll see that the game looks quite spectacular and fans should be pleased that they’re finally getting a decent Godzilla game this decade.

“But what’s it about?”, you ask? Funny you should ask, kids. It’s late and I’m lazy… so let’s go to the press release!

COMPLETE & UTTER DESTRUCTION

Godzilla, the King of the Monsters, first appeared in 1954. Scientists studied Godzilla and found that they could harness energy from the monster. Called “G-Energy,” this seemingly endless source of power was used to better the lives of all mankind. 60 years later, just when mankind’s memory of the beast faded, Godzilla appeared again. Godzilla destroyed at will, all in search of more G-Energy. Such irony, the same G-Energy which was used to better the people’s lives, also caused Godzilla to awaken. Can the G-Force, mankind’s last hope, stop Godzilla? What fate awaits Godzilla once he has consumed all of the G-Energy, and grown to his full potential?

Bash your way through over 20 stages of mayhem. Explore Mission Mode, Diorama Mode, and King of Monsters Mode! Collect G-Energy in each stage to Power-Up your Godzilla up to 100 Meters tall! Your offensive and defensive prowess will increase with your size.

Okay, that sounds like a cross between a super awesome sci-fi flick and an Enzyte commercial at 3am (remember Smilin’ Bob?), but for Godzilla fans like me, it’s all good. Expect more on this one soon. I can now go to sleep a very happy guy. See you tomorrow, folks!