PS Plus October Surprises Incoming

Well, this is nice. Given that I’ve never played Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain or the second game in the horror focused Amnesia Collection, next month’s two big PS4 freebies are making me grin in anticipation (or want to hide under the bed as the first Amnesia game on PC scared the hell out of me) The only problems are deciding what to delete from my current library as I only have a 500GB Slim model and I’m working on completing a few RPGs I don’t want to put on that digital shelf.

The other issue is it takes so long to download larger game files that we’re at the point where some titles allow you to play after they’ve downloaded a certain percentage (which is good). But seeing that “Download complete” notice something like two days later (yaaah!) makes me want nothing but discs. Except that these days, even disc games have updates that automatically queue up and download

Anyway, other FREE PlayStation Plus games this month include:

Monster Jam Battlegrounds, PS3
Hustle Kings, PS3
Hue, PS Vita (Cross Buy with PS4)
Sky Force Anniversary, PS Vita (Cross Buy with PS4 & PS3)

Of course, finding time to play the first two games will be tricky, especially with a bunch of other titles vying for attention (Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is my go-to game of the month already, but we’ll get to that in a different post).

-GW

Metal Gear Survive: A Hideous Nojima Game Coming in 2017

Once again, I fell asleep with my laptop on, a VERY bad thing to do. I popped up my fuzzy head to turn it off, but something told me to go poke at facebook and see what was up before I drifted back off to sleep. Oh… my. This is the second thing that caught my eye (ow!):


(thanks, IGN!) 

Oh. Hell. No. Nope. NEIN. Or in the immortal word of one very dead Sith lord:

(Thanks, CineWeekly!) 

Look. I’m not trying to say the game WILL be awful and YES, judging something by sight alone and not by playing it is ALWAYS 100% wrong. That said, Konami’s way off base treatment of Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima is the sole reason this video has so many dislikes on YouTube. Adding insult to injury, Kojima Productions’ versatile Fox Engine is being used to develop the new game. Yeah, it’s Konami’s property and I’m sure Kojima’s contract stated this somewhere in the fine print. But no Kojima involvement on a Metal Gear game is simply Konami pulling the wool over its own eyes and pretending we won’t notice.

(Thanks, Cinema Source!) 

Sorry, Konami. Even if this zombie-filled multiplayer mash-up is better than the Left 4 Dead games, it won’t win you back the respect of Metal Gear fans, people who love game history (making the beautiful, horrifyingly perfect P.T. vanish forever was one of the most spiteful business decisions next to whatever happened with Kojima) or anyone else who knows you’re trying very hard to show that you’re still relevant as an actual video game company.

Thanks for trying, though. PC, PS4, and Xbox One owners who don’t care and just want a(nother) good-looking shooteminnaface zombie game will eat this one up in 2017. The rest of us justifiable cranky souls will more than likely sit this dance out.

Metal Gear Solid V: Konami In Stealth Mode, Dodging Bullets


While this demo of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is incredible, not seeing “A Hideo Kojima Production” or his name (or his studio’s name) anywhere on the demo is a bit heartbreaking. Granted, Kojima does get credit for directing and editing the also great E3 trailer (which also has him properly credited as designer at the end):

But for some gamers the upcoming PS4/Xbox One/PC release itself may as well have “Alan Smithee” in the credits at this point. If you want a real laugh, watch the trailer with YouTube’s closed caption option set to ON. The messed up English that results is pretty damn funny considering the language being captioned in such a wacky manner IS English. Anyway, the game looks great and should sell quite well. But for some fans it’ll be a bittersweet play through with its creator ousted from what could be his best work.

Konami Kills Silent Hills; P.T. Probably Gone For Good

P.T. RIPIf you own a PlayStation 4, love horror-related games and have yet to play P.T., get ready for a little shock. You only have a few hours before that title (which stands for Playable Teaser and was actually a concept demo for the Guillermo Del Toro/Hideo Kojima Silent Hills project that was to feature The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus as the lead) is probably gone forever.

Konami has canceled the project entirely and will be yanking the demo off the PlayStation Network on Wednesday the 29th. The company still plans to keep creating games in the long running Silent Hill series in the future, but the loss of this demo comes as yet another blow to fans of Mr. Kojima’s work. This latest business decision comes not too long after both Kojima and Kojima Studios’ name were removed from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain after still unrevealed disagreements between the creator and company. Both his name and his studio’s name were also chopped from the P.T. demo site in Japan and it seems that once the free demo is gone, it’ll not even be available to download even if it’s been placed in one’s PS4 queue for play at some point in the future.

P.T. Title Screen 7780S (Custom) 

As a bit of a gaming historian and big (but sometimes easily rattled) horror fan, this irks me to no end as well as shows how lousy digital distribution really is in terms of preserving content. Pulling a game demo may not seem like a big deal to many of you and it’s not really a huge deal at the end of the day. That said, given that P.T. showed off more creativity and genuinely freaky scares than some completed games, not having the demo around to show off in the future doesn’t bode well for any other demo or full game deemed disposable by companies who want to erase the past. Foo. Hopefully Konami will reconsider and at some point make the demo available at some point down the road. However, given the company’s kicking Kojima to the curb so abruptly after decades of service (no matter the reason, it’s a shame how things seem to be ending), it’s a bad sign of things to come if other games deemed doomed get dropped on the chopping block.

Anyway, if indeed the demo does disappear forever, there’s always YouTube for watching videos of people playing it. Konami’s official P.T. clips on its Japanese channel seem to be already gone, which is annoying because there were some reaction videos featuring gamers and non-gamers that were flat out hilarious. Oh well. Life goes on… but with a little less great scary as hell stuff to share with like-minded folks.

What a shame.

Snake No Longer Solid: Kojima, Konami Part Ways

I'm Going
 

A cryptic tweet and some rumblings from the business side of things later and it looks as if Hideo Kojima/Kojima Productions and Konami are breaking up at least in terms of the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Gamers and industry folk are all going “!” at this news as they speculate on the reasons for the rift turned split. I’ll save the guesswork for deciphering the facts to come later on, but Konami is pushing forward in that way big corporations that own assorted IP tend to do. They’ve removed Kojima’s name from the marketing materials for Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and is currently looking for a team to help create a new Metal Gear Solid series. As lousy as that news is to many core MGS fans, you’d best believe applicants will be jockeying for the opportunity of a lifetime… Continue reading

Retro Sunday: The Maze of Galious

The Maze of GaliousSo, I’m soaking in La-Mulana EX on the Vita (or, it’s kicking my butt six ways ’til Sunday and today’s Sunday!) and I finally realized one game that was a huge influence on it is still out there and free for anyone to try. The Maze of Galious is an excellent fan-made remake of Konami’s 1987 MSX classic Knightmare II: The Maze of Galious.

Anyway, if you’re up to the challenge of a game made to test your skill while showing off some cool features implemented by the team who remade it, go grab this now and take it for a spin. You’ll get two playable characters, a HUGE map to explore in any order you wish and ten bosses to face off against. It’s “pay attention!” gaming at its finest, as while you can go anywhere you like, death awaits at the slightest mistake on your part. Have you got what it takes to get Popolon and Aphrodite to the end of their journey? I can very safely say that this game sure doesn’t think so because it tries its hardest to stop you from succeeding.

Maze of Galious SS14

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Secrets of Eternity Super Edition: It’s in the Cards!

Yu-Gi-Oh logo
 

SECE_SE-Tucks_ENThe next time you see some kids or teens sitting around playing with Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, you should probably tip your cap in their direction or something nice like that. As the #1 trading card game in the world (25 billion cards sold!), it’s also a means to get those kids into math, tactical thinking and becoming more social with each other through play.

For the uninitiated, You-Gi-Oh! is “a game of strategy, where players create individual Decks of cards collected from Structure Decks and Booster Packs. Two players engage in a Duel while using cards that represent powerful monsters, magical Spells and surprising Traps. Duelists with well-constructed Decks, dominating monsters, solid strategy and good fortune are the victors…”. But that’s just scratching the surface. Watching matches play out is a surprisingly compelling affair that can be likened to a competitive chess tournament with complicated rules only fully grasped by seasoned players. Continue reading

Suikoden II on PSN: Millions Rejoice They Don’t Need to Spend Millions…

Suikoden IIWell, okay. A copy of Suikoden II doesn’t cost “millions” these days, but it’s not cheap at all. Some have paid close to $100 for the game disc alone, while mint condition to sealed copies can cost many times more. Of course, Konami hasn’t made a patina coated penny in profits from those sales. But starting tomorrow, all that changes when the game finally arrives on PSN as a PSOne Classic. It won’t cost much (hopefully under $20) and is still one of those deeper than it looks on the surface games that’s been generating desire since it went out of print.

Granted, it seems that it only got a single production run and until this point in time never got a western re-release. Now, (well, tomorrow) it’ll be in the hands of PS Vita and PS3/PS4 owners who can finally play what’s been called one of the greatest JRPGs ever made. Hmmmm… of course, now the BIG question remains will saves from this game also work with the Suikoden III, the PlayStation 2 follow-up that used the previous game’s files to grant players bonus content. Methinks Sony will need to tweak that Content Manager software the PS3, PS4 and Vita use to share that data when the time comes. I still have my physical copy of the third game, but I sold off my SII earlier this year because I needed the money. I bet the farm on Sony and Konami finally making things right and thankfully, that’s seemed to have paid off. Whee.

Silent Hills: No Scare-City of Screams In This Soon to Be Horror Hit…


 
Now that a possible few million people have been scared half to death or so from that P.T. demo which has since been revealed as a teaser for the latest Silent Hill game, I’d say Konami, Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro have got the attention of horror fans as well as curious folks who just so happened to be handed a controller just to see what happens.


 
Naturally, the reaction videos here are priceless, but Konami proves it’s not sexist at all because below you get to see a bunch of guys and gals at this year’s Gamescom nearly peeing themselves while trying to play that demo. Yeah, I wasn’t there, but I did play it at a friend’s place and yup, it gets pretty effective at times. Of course, part of the scare factor is the looping around the same map that changes so randomly I’ve yet to hear of two people having the exact same experience.


 
With all that looping around, crazy changes to the area and yes, those incredibly realistic visuals that play with your fears (if you hate cockroaches, darkness, messed up ghostly faces filling your screen and a few other things, break out the adult diapers), it’s clear that Sony and Konami have got a pile of money coming their way once this game is released… Continue reading

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Gameplay – 30+ Minutes of Kojima Productions Madness!

 
Konami Japan’s YouTube channel put up a few Kojima Station E3 videos during the show, but the one everyone wanted to see was of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in action. Let’s just say that boy, did they come through big time on that. Now you can slide that slider back and watch the entire broadcast that talks about the game and its assorted features and such, but if you’re just interested in seeing what the Fox Engine can do on the PlayStation 4, well you’re all set on that front at about 49 minutes in. The game looks fantastic, that offbeat Kojima sense of humor is in full effect (the “Phantom cigar”, cardboard box stealth and “Fulton” balloons are priceless!) and overall, this brief taste of the game shows what’s coming sometime in 2015 when the game actually hits retail and digital outlets. it may be madness, but it’s the best kind in action as far as seeing this game’s creative team outdo itself here…