Monthly Archives: July 2016

Players Using The Original PlayStation 4 will be able to Transfer Their Console’s Data onto The PS4 Pro.

It’s no secret that plenty of Sony fans are eagerly anticipating the company’s forthcoming release of the PlayStation 4 Pro, but some gamers who are still enjoying the comforts of the standard PS4 are undoubtedly wondering whether or not they should make the leap to the enhanced version of the console. With that in mind, perhaps Sony’s recent reveal that those who are currently using the original PS4 can transfer their data to the PlayStation 4 Pro will serve as an enticement to purchase the 4K-enabled system upon its launch this November.

According to a video on PlayStation Access’ YouTube channel, PlayStation UK community manager Hollie Bennett detailed that PS4 fans will be able to utilize the feature by way of an Ethernet cable. Apparently, users will eventually be able to copy and then transfer games, saved data, videos, screenshots, system settings, as well as many other details with the use of this process.

Furthermore, the ability to move data across PlayStations will supposedly work between any two PS4 consoles, regardless of its status as an original, Pro, or Slim model. Of course, these aren’t the only stipulations involved when it comes to shuttling information from one Sony platform to another, as the impending Update 4.0 for the PlayStation 4’s system software will have to be installed, while the same user account will need to be signed in to both systems.

As of writing, Sony has yet to unveil the actual date of availability for Update 4.0, but it did, however, state during the recently held PlayStation Meeting that it will release a firmware update sometime next week with the launch of the PS4 Slim in order to add support for high dynamic range color to all of its consoles. Nevertheless, it’s currently unclear as to whether or not this specific piece of software will indeed be version 4.0.

Should the ability to transfer PS4 data via Ethernet cable be a smooth as it sounds, then Sony fans will get to experience a much easier process than the present methods. For now, users can either back up one PS4 to an external hard drive to then restore that data on a second system, or they can log in to their PlayStation Network account on the new console — provided PSN being down doesn’t impede them — and manually re-download all their previously purchased materials.

Taking all of this into consideration, it seems as if Sony is putting a lot of its resources into ensuring that the PlayStation 4 Pro becomes a success. Naturally, though, it remains to be seen as to whether or not fans will respond well to all of these mid-cycle console upgrades, for the soon-to-be flooded market of proprietary gaming systems could simply drive players toward building their own PCs.

The upgraded iteration of the PS4 known as the PlayStation 4 Pro is set to launch on November 10, 2016, while the PS4 Slim comes out on September 15, 2016

Review about Brut@l

Brut@l is a throwback to old-school ASCII dungeon crawlers, which is most evident from its visual style. The game uses a black and white aesthetic, and functions like a 3D version of the old 2D ASCII games. Items, enemies, and the player character all appear to be made up of symbols on a keyboard, but while Brut@l looks like an ASCII title, it plays more like a modern dungeon crawler than anything else.

In Brut@l, players hack and slash their way through randomly generated dungeons, with the ultimate goal of reaching the 26th floor. The dungeons are filled with environmental hazards, collectibles, and secrets, but since the game sticks to its strict ASCII-inspired graphics, everything in the game looks very similar, offering players little in the way of visual variety.

Gameplay consists almost entirely of walking around and button mashing, though Brut@l does allow for some more advanced techniques, such as throwing a shield and rolling out of the way of enemy attacks. For the most part, however, players can expect to spend most of their time with Brut@l mashing on the square button, which makes for a very repetitive, and oftentimes boring, game.

Brut@l‘s repetitive nature is a glaring issue throughout the entire experience. Even though players are able to choose from four different characters, they all largely function the same way, and they all share the same skill tree. This means that switching to a different character is not an effective way to break up the monotony, though playing as the wizard has some added perks that make him the most entertaining character to play as in the game.

The developers tried to make Brut@l less repetitive by adding a crafting system wherein players are able to create potions and weapons. Unfortunately, the crafting system isn’t deep enough to add any significant value to the experience, and feels a little tacked on. Speaking of tacked on, the game also uses a hunger meter, which rarely factors into the gameplay, and seems to be there just to make players waste food every so often.

The hunger meter plays almost no role in the game, so it’s easy to forget it’s even there. But while players will probably not die from starvation in Brut@l, they will likely die from the game’s many bottomless pits. Since Brut@l uses permadeath, falling into one of these pits can be very frustrating, especially when it happens due to poor camera angles.

The game’s use of permadeath is not a bad idea in and of itself, but from one round to the next, players carry literally nothing over. All the work done to level up a character is erased. The items players collected, crafted, and enchanted are gone forever. Other modern permadeath games have managed to offset the potential frustration of losing so much progress by helping players still feel as though they’re advancing in other areas, but no such accommodations are to be found in Brut@l.

Some of Brut@l‘s frustrations are alleviated a bit when playing the game in co-op, but co-op presents its own issues. For one, the game does not feature any online co-op, so gamers can only play with someone locally. It’s possible to utilize the PlayStation Share feature to circumvent this issue, but it seems like a game of this nature should have featured online co-op from the start, as opposed to making players find some roundabout way to do it.

Another issue with co-op is the fact that players can’t unlock trophies in co-op mode. While this may seem like nitpicking, it does somewhat discourage people from playing the game with friends, as they earn more rewards for playing solo instead. Playing in co-op also tends to exacerbate Brut@l‘s struggles with the camera, so players need to be weary of that as well before inviting a friend over for some dungeon crawling.

Overall, Brut@l has an interesting look, and old-school gamers will probably appreciate its nods to one of gaming’s oldest genres. It functions on a basic level as a competent dungeon crawler, but its repetitive gameplay combined with its cheap deaths will make most gamers look for other options. The game just doesn’t reach the same heights as others in this year’s PlayStation PLAY program, so those looking for some quality new indie games on PS4 may want to look into Headlander or Bound instead.


BioShock 2

ghjuThe original BioShock was an incredible experience: an engrossing title that provided a number of fresh takes on the first person action genre, as well as drew from a number of literary and philosophical texts – resulting in one of the most engrossing stories in videogame history. The extraordinary mix of story-telling, immersive exploration, and enjoyable combat made playing the original BioShock a unique as well as rewarding journey.

For a franchise built on originality, almost everything in BioShock’s sequel is too familiar. In BioShock 2, the greatest strengths of the original title are still present — but they haven’t evolved in any significant way. In terms of the visual aesthetics, enemy types, and core gameplay, the campaign portion of the sequel could be mistaken for a lengthy DLC add-on episode.

That’s not to say the title isn’t worthy of a retail disc, because there is plenty of content to justify the price. It’s just that the game doesn’t look or play particularly different. Which, for some players, may not be a bad thing. The bottom line is this — if you enjoyed the first BioShock, you’re likely to enjoy the sequel. It’s got all the strengths of the first title, with a few minor improvements, but also a few questionable changes.

2K Marin has made sure to provide the franchise with a satisfactory evolution in the story; however, a story that doesn’t really get going until the latter half of the game. That said, the developer didn’t do much in the way of evolving the gameplay — the first BioShock wasn’t perfect and there are definitely some missed opportunities in the sequel.

The gunplay still lacks the kind of precision players have come to expect from first person shooters. It’s not that the targeting is a total mess — but it is imprecise. BioShock 2 does add damage bonuses for location dependent shooting (headshots, etc) but in the last couple years, many developers have already taken this concept several steps further (i.e. shooting off a foot disables but doesn’t kill an enemy). As a result, BioShock 2’s lack of evolution in this regard is confusing — especially considering 2K Marin’s inclusion of a multiplayer component.

Additionally, the title utilizes fewer opportunities for exploration – favoring a more streamlined approach. Players are no longer allowed to go back and search for audio diaries or “Power to the People” stations you may have missed. While this definitely prevents players from having to backtrack through massive empty levels, it also deprives players the opportunity to take in the atmosphere once the dust has settled – somewhat lowering the replay value.

As a trade-off, the game offers brief moments where the player is allowed to walk around the sea floor — outside of the city. But, these moments add almost nothing to the game. They’re beautiful, but there’s no underwater combat or puzzle solving. They occur, predominantly, as interludes between levels.

The most notable change, however, and the one that 2K Marin has been touting the most, is the protagonist. In BioShock 2, you play as Delta, one of the original Big Daddies. Delta was put out of commission prior to the fall of Rapture and players assume control of the character ten years later – when Delta suddenly reawakes.

Like many things in BioShock 2, this “change” doesn’t have particularly large implications — save for one. Where the story in BioShock was mainly about the fall of Rapture, most of the story in BioShock 2 revolves around the relationship between Big Daddies and Little Sisters.

As a result, 2K Marin decided to make sure that relationship is evident in the gameplay. The choice to “Harvest” or “Rescue” a Little Sister isn’t quite as cut and dry this round. In order to get more substantial amounts of ADAM, and subsequently plasmids, the player is now encouraged to protect each Little Sister twice, while she harvests ADAM from pre-determined corpses. As soon as Delta sets the girl down to harvest, Splicers will be drawn from the environment, and the player must protect the Little Sister until the harvest is complete (about a minute). Once the girl has drained all of the ADAM from two corpses – the player is then allowed to rescue or harvest her for the ADAM (you can always harvest a Little Sister outright, and skip the protection missions, but you’ll receive significantly less ADAM).

The game-mechanic is challenging at first — hacking machines and setting up traps beforehand offers the same type of strategy needed to take down Big Daddies in the earlier portions of the original BioShock. That said, there are simply too many Little Sisters in the game, and the placement of the harvest points aren’t particularly unique (meaning, individually, they don’t usually challenge players in a different way). If 2K Marin didn’t want to cut down on the amount of Little Sisters, then they could have at least diversified the amount of ADAM harvests each girl needed to take part in — i.e. this Little Sister needs to harvest from two corpses, while this girl only needs to harvest from one.

As a result, a significant chunk of the campaign is not taken up by story-driven objectives; instead, players spend a lot of time on a series of goals that reappear each level – i.e. fight a Big Daddy, protect a Little Sister twice, fight a Big Daddy, protect that Little Sister twice, fight the third Big Daddy in the level, protect another Little Sister twice, then fight a Big Sister (more on her in a bit).