Good For The Culture? NieR Automata Allows For Players To Buy PSN Trophies

PSN Trophies

NieR Automata is only a few more weeks away and it seems like there is always something not game play related about it in the news. It was recently reported that players could get a trophy for upskirting the main protagonist 2B among other things. Over the past few days there have been rumblings that something else was going to go on with the trophies for the game. That something was allowing for players to buy their way to a platinum trophy. The question is will that decision be good for the culture of gaming?

How Does “Buying” Trophies Work?

Since this game is not “pay to win”, players cannot buy gold packages outside of the game and must earn it in game by playing.

nier logo
image credit: http://www.gamespot.com/videos/nier-automata-debut-gameplay-trailer/2300-6427948/

According to reports, a reddit user has uncovered that in Japan players can buy trophies using in game currency. Since this game is not “pay to win”, players cannot buy gold packages outside of the game and must earn it in game by playing. The other caveat is that players must also be on their third play through of the game before being able to buy trophies at all. The game boast having multiple endings so for many players getting to a 3rd replay is a possible option.

What Could It Mean For Gaming Culture?

Gaming Culture trophies

We know that gamers are older so trophy hunting is more a battle of time and attrition. If you check PSN profiles and see some of the “seemingly” impossible trophies that players earn one can only stand in awe. Since the inception of trophies, or achievements on Xbox, it was evident that with every platinum that these players were going above and beyond the call of duty. See what I did there?

Will the game have a trophy that let’s other players know you “brought” your way to a platinum?

My concern is that the ability to buy your way to a platinum can start a disturbing trend. Could trophy buying be something adopted by a lot of games including main stream games? Will it call into question every platinum that is earned for this game? Should the game have a trophy that let’s other players know you “brought” your way to a platinum? I checked Playstation Profiles and according to their list there is no such trophy for the game.

Go Platinum or Go Home

Trophies
Image Credit: http://www.nextgenupdate.com/forums/ps3-trophies-game-saves/730149-900-ps3-platinum-trophy-folders-free-cfw-ps3-required.html

Full disclosure, I do not go for platinum trophies. I have one on my PSN profile that I was not actively trying to get. I stumbled across it by accident when I was playing a game that most might not consider worth a platinum. If the trophy doesn’t come during a regular play through then 9/10 I’m not going to have it. That doesn’t stop me from admiring those players that put their time and effort into beating content. Some may think it is more fair for the working/tired adult but it seems to undermine the challenge.

What do you think about “buying” trophies? Do you think it’s fair if players are on subsequent play through? Are you a trophy hunter and have thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below.

How to Get PS4 Games for Half Price: A Cheapskate’s Guide to Game Sharing

Game Sharing PS4

Here’s a nifty way to share PS4 game libraries with a friend without needing to swap discs. If you’ve got a friend who you trust (I know they say trust no one, but sometimes you need to let someone in), and you’re a starving games journalist (not required), PS4 game sharing is the way to go.

Game Sharing

Game Sharing

Game sharing isn’t a secret by any means, but it’s so rarely talked about that I feel like many gamers aren’t aware of it. Other than the trust thing, the only drawback is that you and your friend have to be cool with only buying games digitally. You also need to have an online connection when playing in order for PSN to verify your games.

You probably remember activating your PS4 as your “primary PS4”. This allows profiles other than yours can play the games you have downloaded, as long as the player is on your system. This is one method of game sharing. However, you can also play your digitally owned games by logging into your profile on a separate PS4 and downloading the games you own.

Setting your PS4 as your friend’s primary PS4

Destiny Game Sharing PS4
A great game to share. Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/newgamenetwork/8486223007/

To recap: Anyone can play your digital games on your primary PS4. You can play your digital games on anyone’s PS4 as long as you’re logged into your PSN profile.

Which means you can set your PS4 as your friend’s primary PS4, and set his PS4 as your primary. You’ll be able to play your friend’s games on your system (since it’s activated as “their” primary), and if you stay logged into your PSN profile, you can play any games you own as well. Same goes for your friend on their system. Voila. Game sharing.

Let’s say your friend owns a digital copy of Call of Duty: Fill-in-the-Blank Warfare. Using this trick, you can both play that one copy of CoD:FitBW at the same time. Heck, you can even play multiplayer together, even though you’re a freeloader who doesn’t actually own the game.

This is how my friend and I work things out. When a new game comes out that we both want to share, one of us buys the digital copy and the other sends half the game’s cost via e-transfer to whoever paid the full price. Now we both have access to the game.

Here’s a step-by-step process of how to go about game sharing:

Call of Duty Game Sharing PS4
Play CoD multiplayer together with just one copy. Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/revo27/6989054848/
  1. Log into your PS4 and go to the Settings tab.

  2. Select PlayStation Network/Account Management.

  3. Select Activate as Your Primary PS4.

  4. Select Deactivate.

  5. Get your friend to follow steps 1-4 on their PS4.

  6. Log into your PSN account on your friend’s PS4 and follow the same steps, except this time select Activate.

  7. Get your friend to log into their PSN account on your PS4 and do the same.

Activate as your primary PS4

This is what it looks like.

You can find your friend’s games by logging into their account on your PS4 and checking out their library (the games they own won’t show up in your account’s library unless you already have them downloaded). Then you download the ones you want to share. Again, this only works for digitally-owned games. You still need to swap your discs, pesky physical media that they are.

There you go! You’ve taken the next step in your relationship, and you can finally learn to trust again. Or, you know, you ignore your trust issues and just save money by splitting the cost of the games you share. You do you.

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture Review

In the 5-6 hours it took me to unravel the mysteries within Chinese Room’s Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, I found myself experiencing an abundance of feelings. Confusion, wonder, despair and pity all overwhelmed me as despite it’s seemingly simple premise, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture’s story turned out to be deceivingly intricate.

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is set in an abandoned, post-apocalyptic rendition of fictional Yaughton Valley in Shropshire (England). The player must explore the valley, interacting with phones and radios in the area in order to uncover the nitty-gritty details of the apocalyptic event. Alongside the various means of telecommunications the player may interact with for guidance and information, there are also fascinating orbs of light that accompany and loosely lead the player throughout the game. Occasionally, these orbs trigger various visions of once residents of the valley. Although some visions are initiated naturally, others must be activated. This is done by tilting the controller in order to tune the frequency of the orb, in a sense. When done correctly, surroundings will darken as if night has fallen and the the recollection of past events will play out. Using a combination of the past events visualized and the information from radios and phones, the player must piece together a timeline of events, in order to try to unveil the primary cause of the disappearance of an entire valley.

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Unsettling Setting

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture’s setting is a key aspect to maintaining interest and intensity throughout a evidently slow-paced playthrough. The peaceful and tranquil setting can become almost uncomfortable at times in contrast with the dark and sinister plot of the game. I mean, come on, the 1980’s village setting is eerie enough in itself, let alone with no trace of life anywhere. The setting is equally brilliant for toying with the players ideas of what could have happened. Everything seems untouched, cigarettes sit in ashtrays as if left mid smoke, picnics left prepped upon hilltops, there is no real trail of destruction. This consequently will truly lead the player into questioning the reasoning behind the apocalyptic occurrence.

Finally, there is the matter of how aesthetically pleasing the setting is generally speaking, With lack of human existence, Yaughton Valley appears so pure and naturally rich. Accompanied by an outstanding and extremely haunting soundtrack by composer Jessica Curry, the ambiance of the setting is almost melancholy despite it’s apparent beauty.  The setting as a whole is so well developed by Chinese Room and just adds an important level of depth and emotion to Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture.

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Getting In On The Gossip

Throughout playing Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, the player will encounter apparitions of light – as mentioned prior, in the form of a select few former residents of the valley. These characters include a parishioner at war with himself, a couple – both of which being scientists, an owner of a holiday camp on the valley outskirts, a farmer and also a pushy mother that is renowned for almost watching over the Valley residents. Not only will the player indulge in these stories for their significance in ultimately piecing together what happened, but also for investigating how each story intertwines with the next, gradually developing a more vivid idea of the timeline of events leading up the apocalypse and the many personal questions looming over the residents. The fun in this is derived from the lack of structure to the assortment of information provided. The structure must be the players own. I’d have a notebook ready if I were you.

The characters within Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture are well developed and casted and in being so are easy to revel in. As mentioned briefly before, the complex and riveting stories of the characters within the game are vitally important due to the generally slow-paced style in which the game plays out. There is no combat or particularly fast movement within the gameplay. However, the intensity of the story compensates wonderfully. As you rush between visions and feeds of information, it becomes easy to forget the whole ideal of finding answers as you almost become lost in the soap opera unfolding between the characters you meet.

Towards the end of the game, the player will feel inclined to a great feeling of satisfaction. Their theories on what could have happened are revealed to be correct or not alongside the many loose ends of the stories throughout are tied. They can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Emotionally Ensnared 

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is a game orientated around making the player ‘feel’. To say it accomplishes just that is an understatement. To compare a game that had me feeling how this game made me feel, I could only use Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us. This is mainly because it is the only game that has left me feeling so empty upon it concluding. Despite Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture’s finale, as I watched the credits roll to the hymnal music, I felt uncertain despite having all my questions answered, feeling the only way I could fill the void the game had left within me would be by playing a second time.

Alongside the ending there is the span of emotions the residents’ stories and radio installments will make the player feel. As they come to terms with the relationships between the characters, they will be overcome with feelings ranging from pity to anger to happiness. It is all really overwhelming to be quite honest.

Overall, throughout the player’s journey through Yaughton Valley, it is apparent there is a prominent feeling of fear as the player will no doubt question how they play and proceed throughout the game as if they were living the events occurring within the game for themselves.

Everybody's Gone To The Rapture™_20150908194822

All In All  

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture does well to exhibit that a game does not require intense, hands-on combat, a dangerous and unpredictable setting or even ‘living’ characters in order to be a wonderfully emotional and memorable game. Developers masterfully ensure players have guidance if required via the orbs of light, but can also explore the post-apocalyptic setting to their own leisure if they wish. With its primary focus being enlightenment of the unknown, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is quite a frightening and uncomfortable game. The setting, Yaughton Valley in which most residents live in each others pockets, aware of one another’s business is perfect for making the game more believable and all the more creepy in being so.

Despite the profound sense of emptiness I felt upon finishing this game, I would still recommend it to anyone that loves a game with the ability to not only test you mentally, but to also truly make you feel.

Playstation Summer Sale Week 1 Begins

Casually perusing the Playstation store as I do every so often, I was shocked to see the words ‘Summer Sale’ appear. Did we not already have one a few weeks back? Probably not. Am I delusional? Probably.

Regardless, we’ve been graced by the Playstation Gods once again, as the Summer Sale is either just starting or returns for the second time this year!

Below are some of the greatest deals of the first week.

Summer sale Week 1

 

Far Cry 4 – If you have the desire to save money and hunt all sorts of animals  in the Himalaya’s, look no further. Step into the shoes of Ajay Ghale and prepare to have your eyes repeatedly pecked out by birds. Yep, birds.

Apotheon – If you’ve ever had a desire to play a game that looks like ancient pottery art, you’re in the right place. Apotheon is a Metroidvania with a gorgeous art-style and some innovative combat. You can do worse.

Trine 2: Complete Story – If Lost Vikings and some fairy tales of old had a baby, it would be Trine 2, a gorgeous puzzle platformer from Frozenbyte definitely worth checking out.

Slender: The Arrival – Remember PewDiePie exaggerating the scare-factor of Slender? Remember him screaming incessantly into the microphone until you closed the tab and sought out psychiatric help?  You can somewhat recreate that horrible memory by playing Slender. Good luck.

More deals await your deliciously full wallet on the official Sony blog.

The Games You May Have Missed: Cel Damage HD

Cel Damage

HDification (because that’s a term) has really been Sony’s thing of late. They’ve brought us the rather spangly Final Fantasy X HD, and a rather cool new God of War combo pack. And just when high definition couldn’t get any higher or… definitioner, there was another more obscure entry.

Feast your eyes on Cel Damage HD, which has just arrived on PSN.

This more obscure entry originally hit the Gamecube, PS2 and Xbox in 2001. It’s a brilliantly toontastic racer from Pseudo Interactive, which basically eschews the ‘racing’ in favour of ‘cutting your competitor’s SUV in half with a big ol’ chainsaw.’ Oh yes indeed. Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, and we’ll take a look.

As we know, cartoon characters take all kinds of unholy punishment on a regular basis. How many anvils did Tom take to the face in pursuit of Jerry? How many cliffs did Wile E. Coyotte plummet over? And yet, resilient buggers that are, they always returned unscathed. And that’s the premise of Cel Damage.

In this demented car combat game, a crew of toon-freaks (safe in the knowledge that their death is never permanent) shoot, freeze, burn and otherwise explodinate each other. You can choose from the likes of Sinder, the furious demon midget, Fowl Mouth, the 1930s gangster duck, and B.T Bruno the portly truck driving dude. Each have their own personal weapon by default and their own vehicle. Not forgetting, naturally, their own selection of ‘humourous’ soundbites.

Cel Damage 2

There are three modes of play: Smack Attack, Flag Rally and Gate Relay. The first is merely a contest for ‘kills,’ while the others are a little more race-flavoured. Gate Relay sees you dashing in an underpants-on-fire hurry between checkpoints on the map, and Flag Rally has you collecting flags. Flags that roam the level independently on tiny little stumpy flag-legs.

Along the way, you’ll work through arenas sorted by a theme. Wild West, Space, Spooky, the usual cliches are out in force. On each, you’ll find Mario Kart-esque power up boxes, containing a random weapon. Some are more deadly than others, or allow for more fiendish tactics, and there’s a wide range. Freeze rays, tommy guns, hand grenades, axes, that old favourite the boxing-glove-on-a-spring… you’re spoilt for choice.

Cel Damage HD is not a remake. As with the HD Editions before it, this is simply a prettier version of what has gone before. It’s also rather a shame that the developers didn’t take the opportunity to add any online functionality. Nevertheless, the cel shading does look eye-massagingly pretty in HD. A little like the Wii U Edition of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.