God Of War 3 Receiving Remaster Treatment

God of War

With this being the tenth anniversary of God Of War, Sony Santa Monica has decided that it’d be a good idea to remaster God Of War 3… What?

On July 14, you can expect your PS4 to be graced with the likes of God Of War 3 in shiny 1080p with a smooth 60 frames per second. The standard treatment we’re receiving with all of the recent remakes.

Here is the trailer for the six of you that haven’t already purchased and played through numerous times.

Despite my cynical view on this news, I must admit that it’s impressive how the game manages to look almost as if it were designed specifically for the PS4, even though it’s several years old. What a beauty.

I must ask one question though. Why? I understand that this is 10th anniversary, I get that. But when we’ve already had two separate HD remasters of the franchise along with a rather impressive bundle of the first five titles in the Saga collection, I am thrown off at the choice of remastering only a single game.

When are we going to see a new God Of War? Soon I hope, as this constant business of remastering games that you can find in a bargain bin for 3 dollars is but a cheap grab for quick cash.

VGamerZ’s GameZ of 2015: #6- Bloodborne

Bloodborne

Since their introduction, the Souls games have been taking no prisoners. In this modern gaming age of hand-holdy tutorials and easy modes, Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls are tough stuff. Sure, there are bloodborne players with usernames like 2leet4U_NoScopeZKillah who can breeze their way through (or will tell you they can/did, at any rate), but otherwise…

Really, we’re talking about Monster Hunter levels of newbie-unfriendliness. On their first foray into the games, players can easily be overwhelmed by the mechanics, the difficulty, adapting to a different ‘type’ of combat, all of these factors. So let’s see if the world’s ready for Bloodborne.

For the uninitiated, this is an action RPG from the guys behind Souls, a game both very similar and very different to its predecessors. It is set in the Gothic city of Yharnam, which is in the grip of terrible plague. The sickness has transformed the residents into bestial mutants. Who’s charged with cleaning up the horrors that inhabit the town? Spoiler: you are.

While general movement about the world, items, abilities and such will be instantly familiar to fans of From Software’s previous work, there’s more to this. The games had a rather dark tone already, but Bloodborne is… darker than dark. It’s super dark. What we’re dealing with here is Demon’s Souls as created by Edgar Allan Poe. And Tim Burton.

Bloodborne 2

As has always been the case here, the plot takes rather a backseat. You are cast as a traveller, venturing into the doomed town to try and procure a rumoured mystical remedy there. Instead, you find that just about everyone has been struck down and transformed into big ol’ slavering bite-y, clawy hell-things. It’s a simple fight for survival, which is really all we need to know.

If you’re familiar with Vita hunting classic Soul Sacrifice, you’ll know the sort of monsters you’ll be up against. As well as the sorts of weapons you’ll be wielding. Bloodborne’s action is a constant mix of melee and ranged combat, with the two styles constantly melding into one. Blade and firearm are used simultaneously in combo attacks; firing shots can briefly stun foes which leaves them vulnerable to more powerful melee blows. It’s an elegant system, and helps prevent things feeling overly mashy.

Overall, Bloodborne is one of the biggest PS4 exclusives of the year thus far. The Souls games have, of course, got themselves quite the following, and they’re all eagerly awaiting the March 25 release.

Here Is the Complete List of Games Available on PlayStation Now

PlayStation

Sony has just revealed the subscription plans for their PlayStation Now, a service that costs $20 per month (or $15, if you go for the three months plan) and features over 100 classic and not-so-classic PlayStation games that can be played on the PS4.

Right now, there are 101 PlayStation 3 games available on PlayStation Now, but Sony has announced that in the future they plan to bring to their service PS2 games as well as titles from the original PlayStation. But until that happens, this is what you can actually play on their service – the complete list of games available on PlayStation Now:

  • Anomaly Warzone Earth
  • Batman Arkham City
  • Ben 10 Omniverse
  • Ben 10 Omniverse 2
  • BioShock Infinite
  • BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
  • BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma
  • BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend
  • Bound by Flame
  • Chime Super Deluxe
  • Contrast
  • Crazy Taxi
  • Critter Crunch
  • Cuboid Ultimate Bundle
  • Darksiders
  • Darksiders 2
  • de Blob 2
  • Dead Island
  • Dead Island Riptide
  • Dead or Alive 5
  • Dirt 3
  • Dirt Showdown
  • Dynasty Warriors 7
  • Earth Defense Force 2025
  • echochrome
  • El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
  • Enslaved: Odyseey to the West
  • F1 2013
  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • God of War: Ascension
  • Grid 2
  • Grid Autosport
  • Guacamelee!
  • Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi
  • Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
  • ICO
  • inFamous
  • Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days
  • Killzone 3
  • LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
  • LocoRoco Cocoreccho!
  • Lumines Supernova
  • Madagascar 3: The Video Game
  • Metal Slug
  • Metal Slug 2
  • MotorStorm Apocalypse
  • MX vs ATV: Reflex
  • Nascar 14
  • NBA 2K14
  • Nights Into Dreams
  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
  • Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
  • Overlord: Raising Hell
  • Overlord 2
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
  • Papo & Yo
  • Piyotama
  • Planet Minigolf
  • Port Royale 3: Gold
  • Pure Chess
  • Rainbow Moon
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
  • Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault
  • Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus
  • Record of Agarest War
  • Red Faction: Guerilla
  • Renegade Ops
  • Resident Evil 5 Gold
  • Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game
  • Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken
  • Saints Row 2
  • Saints Row The Third: The Full Package
  • Saints Row IV
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Shatter
  • Siren: Blood Curse Episodes 1 – 12
  • Skullgirls Encore
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
  • Sniper Elite V2
  • Soldner – X: Final Prototype
  • Sonic CD
  • Sonic Generations
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Episode 1
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Episode 2
  • Spelunky
  • Super Street Fighter IV
  • Tales From Space: About a Blob
  • The King of Fighters XIII
  • The Last of Us
  • The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief
  • The Sly Collection
  • The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season
  • Tokyo Jungle
  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
  • Vessel
  • Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown
  • Warmhammer 40,000: Space Marine
  • Warhawk
  • XCOM: Enemy Within
  • Zen Pinball 2: Zen Pinball Classics

As you can see, there are some nice titles available and all genres are covered, but also a lot of filler content. However, with titles like Uncharted, Xcom, The Last of Us, Resident Evil or NBA 2K14, there is a good choice of games for a decent price – all worth trying out on your new PlayStation 4!

What do you think though? Is PlayStation Now worth the $20 monthly price tag or there should be more titles available at this price?

Retro Corner: Metal Gear Solid

Solid

We’re stretching the definition of ‘retro’ a little with this one, but nuts to that. Who’s counting? This is a bona fide classic, right here, and that’s good enough for me.

Metal Gear Solid
hit the PlayStation in 1998, the first 3D installment in the stealthtacular Metal Gear franchise. It continues the story of our studly hero Solid Snake, once again sent into hostile territory alone in that skin-tight sneaking suit of his. Avert your eyes, and let’s reminisce.

The game is set six years after the events of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. It’s a similar mission for the anti-hero, a story of ventilation shafts, hiding in cardboard boxes like a big girl and lots of grey and brown army bases.

This time around, a terrorist group dubbed FOXHOUND (renegade special forces types) has commandeered a small Alaskan island. Shadow Moses is the site of a nuclear weapons disposal facility, which is just the kind of place you don’t want a angry band of crazies waving their guns and threats around.

Metal Gear Solid 2

The island is home to the nuke-armed mech Metal Gear Rex, whose destruction-tacular capabilities will be unleashed on the world if the group’s demands aren’t met. In short, the U.S government is up to its nose in the brown stuff, and a stealthy one-dude operation is in order.

In keeping with Metal Gear tradition, the story is utterly nutty. There are cliffhangers and bizarre events out the wazzoo right here. Traitors are actually triple agents, nobody’s who you think they are and everyone’s lying to everyone else. But don’t worry, you’ll have half-hour codec conversations about nothing at all to clue you in on all this useless stuff you don’t care about.

There’s little to say that you don’t already know about Metal Gear Solid. It’s perhaps the most ambitious game the console every saw, and years ahead of its time in a world of Crash Bandicoots and Spyro the Dragons. A truly cinematic experience, and a game replete with memorable moments.

Floating physics in gas masks, cyborg ninjas, big ol’ dudes brandishing helicopter gatling guns… this one has it all. As a child, I found the gameplay revolutionary; discouraging the usual mindless trigger happy antics for more methodical play I’d never seen before. Almost two decades later, it remains one of my favourite games of all time.

Retro Corner: Speed Freaks

Speed Freaks

After Super Mario Kart, the kart racer became a thing. An utterly immense, ridiculously size-tastic THING. In a manner akin to the Doom clones, everybody was suddenly at it. Even the Crazy freaking Frog got himself a toontastic racer.

Predictably, few could hold a candle to Mario Kart. There were some high-profile clones that were worthy rivals, though. Crash Team Racing in particular is the big one for me. Then there are the more obscure releases, which offer up some cult kart-racery of their own. Step forward, Speed Freaks.

This one hit the PlayStation in 1999, from FunCom Dublin. It had rather crappy working titles (Wheelnuts, you say?), Jamiroquai’s Travelling Without Moving playing in the intro movie, what’s not to like?

Unusually for the genre, there are no familiar mascot characters to play as here. You choose from a roster of six original personalities, with a further three unlockable later. They’re not the most inspired bunch, with hackneyed punk guys and racing-obsessed little dudes in motorbike helmets among them, but it’ll do. They’re a friendship group, and the character select screen pans around their clubhouse of sorts. It’s a fun little touch.

Speed Freaks 2

But naturally, fun little touches are the mark of the kart racer. This is no tediously sim-y Gran Turismo. Power-ups will fly, rockets will wang friends in the face on the final stretch and assorted swear words will ensue. Speed Freaks is no different, it has a full complement of genre staples. Homing missiles, little puddles of… something to lay on the track and cause opponents to spin out, bombs, you know how these games work.

The tracks are varied and deftly designed, and it’s a pleasure to cruise around them. Here, too, FunCom are playing it safe, with all the familiar tropes from busy highways to jungle tracks accounted for. But this isn’t to say that Speed Freaks isn’t its own game.

Perhaps the best little innovation here is the speed boost mechanic. Alongside the pick-ups, boost tokens are strewn about the track. Collecting these gradually fills a meter on the HUD, and it’s up to you how to manage what you’ve accumulated. You use your boosts for as long as you hold the trigger, allowing you to opt for one long burst of speed or several more controlled ones. Saving it up will grant you a more pronounced effect, which is something else to consider while you’re racing.

It’s a system I haven’t seen implemented quite this way anywhere else, and it’s so effective during play.

Speed Freaks is quite conventional at its heart, as we’ve seen. It has the familar crop of time trial and tournament game modes, too. But it does what is does so much better than most pretenders. An underrated title (if you’ve heard of it at all) from the heyday of kart racers.

‘Soul Sacrifice Delta’ and the Lure of the Platinum Trophy

Sacrifice

For many of us, the lure of the trophy/achievement is a powerful one. It grabs us by the man-plums and squeezes relentlessly. In some extreme cases, the trophy hunter is born; a dangerous breed of player enslaved to their gamerscore or… y’know, PlayStation’s little percentage counter thing.

As for me, I’m a little more selective. I like to keep my Platinum-ing to my very favourite games, those that warrant my taking the extra mile.

Right now, that’d be Soul Sacrifice Delta. This series (Delta and the original Soul Sacrifice) is something special. Something horrifying and crap-your-pants ghastly in places, but also special. I’d go so far as to call it PS Vita’s only unique IP worthy of the name.

The brainchild of Mega Man’s Keiji Inafune, the games combine two disparate concepts: the Monster Hunter-style hunting game and Tim Burton’s taste for the quirky, creepy macabre. Essentially, you play as a sorcerer who hunts Archfiends (fellow mages transformed into hideous abominations by their various vices), doing battle with magic that costs your very body and soul to cast.

As with Monster Hunter, there are a great variety of ways to customise and build your character. And as with Monster Hunter, I found it all buttcheek-numbingly addictive.

Soul Sacrifice Delta 2

I’ve always seen the genre as the kind that you’ll immediately dismiss –and never touch again– if it doesn’t click with you, but will spend hundreds of hours with if it does. I’m firmly in the latter camp, which is what led me to pursue that Platinum trophy in the first place.

Its sequel, Soul Sacrifice Delta, is a big game. Surely the biggest handheld release I’ve ever tackled. With the DLC pacts (stages) that have been steadily released since launch, it’s a bumper package for sure. And yet, it isn’t too daunting a task to attempt that Platinum.

For me, the series offers the best kinds of trophies. It’s more of an ‘explore everything the game has to offer’ sort of affair, as opposed to titles that demand ridiculous score feats or something similar. Something like attaining top ranks in all three factions, for instance, caters well to players who switch builds and classes often. Which is perfect for me.

In short, I find Soul Sacrifice’s trophies to be that rare thing: a crop that are fun and natural to go for, and still decently challenging, without being frustrating.

The Best Games You’ve Never Heard Of: Crimsonland

Crimsonland

Why, yes. Crimsonland does sound like a generic, craptacular, low-budget horror movie. You know the sort of thing: drunken youths wander about an abandoned amusement park at night and everybody wonders who’s going to have their pancreas impaled by the crazed killer first.

Well, fear not. That’s only kinda sorta the deal here, and in a good way anyway.

Crimsonland
is, in fact, a twin stick shooter from 10tons Entertainment. It first hit the PC in 2003, and has just this month made it to PS Vita and PlayStation 4. By all accounts, it’s a rather generic entry in the genre, but there are some brilliant touches that set it apart. Let’s take a look.

As a tiny space-dude (and on the Vita screen, as a really freaking tiny space-dude) you have one simple objective. Namely, to murderize. You appear in a series of arenas, are beset by all manner of nasties, and must dispatch them before they do the same to you. If you’re familiar with the likes of Robotron and Smash TV, you’ll know the score.

Mostly, it’s the variation on this basic concept that keeps the game appealing. In one mode of the original release, your character was stationary, and you defeated the encroaching horde by typing out the words above their heads. It was a fun little throwback to Typing of the Dead, and an example of the cheeky, slightly crazy spirit that runs throughout the game.

Man that's a violent screenshot. Hence the name.
Man that’s a violent screenshot. Hence the name.

The first mode on offer in the PSN edition is Quest. This is a procession of sixty stages, divided into chapters. Don’t let that fool you into thinking there’s a story going on here, though, because there isn’t. Not a bit of it. Instead, this is where you unlock perks and weapons for the meat of the game, the survival modes.

There’s the regular vanilla version, a blitz variant in which you have only an assault rifle, one with limited ammo and scarce one-use weapon pickups, and more. You gain experience for destroying the monsters, and can pick a perk with each level you reach. While this is all rather standard, I enjoyed the quirky humour and imagination that went into naming these abilities and describing their effects.

As quite a fan of twin stick shooters, I’d have to say this is one of the best I’ve played for some time. The weaponry is weighty and varied, and there are a lot of them to choose from. Quest mode is quite large too, and actually warrants play with the way that the unlocks work. It’s a fairly obscure download title, but it’s one that fans of such won’t want to miss out on.

“How’s THIS for an Idea for a Game?” #1- The Murderous Monkeys of ‘Ape Escape’

Monkeys

Ah, chimps. We all know how adorable these hairy little buggers are. Monkeys are, of course, undeniably brilliant, but chimps just take the cake. They’re mischievous, intelligent and aren’t averse to playing with themselves in zoos regardless of who’s watching. What’s not to like?

Still, like all cutesy things we love, monkeys have a dark side. We’ve heard horror stories of people falling into baboon enclosures and having their faces chewed on as a low-fat entree, but it gets worse. Apes aren’t above making tiny spacecraft and shooting you with lasers.

We’re not talking Planet of the Apes, although that would have been a fantastic little touch. This is Ape Escape, right here, home of the most sadistic simians you ever saw.

True enough, these little guys weren’t evil to begin with. They were corrupted by their leader, Specter, a performing monkey who happens upon a super-smart helmet made by a local mad scientist. Jamming it on his furry head, he gets all magalomaniacal. Crafting many more helmets for his hairy legions, he send them off into the past and future –the mad scientist also has a time machine, naturally– to shape history to his own design.

Yes, this really is the story of Ape Escape. I’ve no idea where this demented business came from either.

You don't see that every day.
You don’t see that every day.

In this 1999 PlayStation classic, you play as the professor’s young friend Spike. His objective is to follow the marauding monkeys through time and catch them (literally, in a high-tech net), depositing them back in their own time. It’s a rather brilliant platformer, and the first title designed exclusively for the console’s fancy new dual analog controller.

Most importantly, though, it featured a huge library of these dudes. Each had their own personality and stats, and a cheeky personality to boot. Some couldn’t fight back, simply dropping banana skins as they ran from you to make your pursuit more of a pain in the butt. In later levels, which were set in a more futuristic time, they were truly troublesome. They were armed with rifles and other weaponry, and would even pursue you in tanks or aeroplanes. Smarter than the average monkey, for sure.

A certain amount of them were required to complete levels, but each had a further quota of hidden apes. Oftentimes, you’d have to acquire a certain gadget later before returning to the stage in question. When caught, each had their own entry in an album of sorts, which was amusing enough in itself to make your thorough completion worthwhile.

They were real little pests too. At one point, you had to steer a tiny RC car around an elaborate maze to scare the lil’ guy, so he’d flee from his safe area and you could give chase. Ape Escape was brilliantly toontastic, innovative and a little more devious than its adorable facade suggests.

Housemarque Announces New IP, Alienation

Alienation

Housemarque, responsible for the masterpiece Resogun, has announced it’s newest title at this years Gamescom. Alienation takes players on a co-op adventure in the vain of Dead Nation, but with Aliens … You get it?

What separates the two apart beyond the setting, is the new ‘help your team’ or ‘go rogue’ options it seems to present. This could mix up the gameplay quite a bit, creating an entirely new set of rules for how a game like Dead Nation would’ve been played.

Here is the trailer in its entirety for your viewing pleasure.

I enjoyed Dead Nation, though I felt it didn’t really have enough character or staying power to offer up a rich experience I’d go back to. In other words, it wasn’t Resogun or Super Stardust HD.

hat separates the two apart beyond the setting, is the new ‘help your team’ or ‘go rogue’ options it seems to present. This could mix up the gameplay quite a bit, creating an entirely new set of rules for how a game like Dead Nation would’ve been played.

Alienation, I hope, will break the mold of Dead Nation and offer us PS4 veterans a chance for some jolly cooperation, or personal gain via betrayal.

Until Dawn, Horror Reinvented?

Horror

After having Sony tease “horror reinvented” for a week, everyone at Gamescom expected something big. What we have received, is ‘Until Dawn’.

If that title sounds familiar, it’s because it was being shown off a PS3 title years ago, but has since gone dark. Supermassive Games has kept quiet for quite some time, however …

Now, with a fresh coat of paint, we’ve been given a trailer detailing just what Until Dawn has become. Check out the viedeo below to see for yourself:

I must admit that I find little interest in this title. It’s not that it looks particularly bad, just that with a tagline like “horror reinvented”, you’d expect something that shies away from one of the biggest horror clichès of all time. It is a story of 8 teenagers staying in a cabin, and of course, as you and everyone else expects, a deranged killer is on the loose.

The only interesting part of this trailer in my eyes is that everyone can die, or everyone can live. This seems to suggest that choices will be a massive part of the story in Until Dawn, but until we see more, I’ll remain skeptical.