Showing posts from December, 2015

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag - Freedom Cry

After having played Unity, it's DLC Dead Kings, and Syndicate extensively over the last few months, it was interesting to come back to Black Flag's expansion: Freedom Cry. Adéwalé is - in my opinion - one of the most interesting assassin protagonists in the series, and getting this little dedicated slice of the universe did him justice. Adéwalé was a former slave in Trinidad, and later became the quartermaster for Edward Kenway. After the events of Assassin's Creed 4 he became captain of his own vessel - the Victoire - and during the time of Freedom Cry, he captains the Experto Crede.

The year is 1735, and Adéwalé is setting his responsibilities as an assassin aside briefly to help the Maroon rebellion in Saint Dominique. After getting in touch with some of the higher-ups in the rebellion, Augustin Dieufort and Bastienne Josèphe, we're shown the Maroon's secret base in a coastal cavern located Southwest of Port-Au-Prince. The rest of the premise is a simple, but p…

Saints Row: The Third - Season Pass

You're not paying $20.00 for only a couple of vehicles and outfits - you're also paying to get the final three DLC packs for free, which I believes saves you less than a buck - but still, money saved is money saved. There are some freebies within the Season Pass though, which are the two outfits (both a male and female one), and two very cool vehicles (a motorcycle, as well as a sporty car - both of which are red).
The Season Pass doesn't save you a whole lot of money - just a bit of pocket change, but it is worth it to have the few extras that come with it, and not having to worry about whether or not you have enough points to get all three big DLCs. If you have 1600 Microsoft Points, or will be playing a LOT of Saints Row: The Third (as I have), go ahead and buy this pack - you won't be sorry. But it is unfortunate that we don't save more money.
Saints Row: The Third - Season Pass gets an 8 out of 10.

- Bryan

Level Up - Weekly News Update (12/20-12/26)

PlayStation 4

Sony Defends Decision to Charge for PlayStation 2 Titles on PlayStation 4
PlayStation 2 games on the PlayStation 4 have prompted a bit of backlash for PlayStation fans. Sony is charging between $9.99 and $14.99 for the re-releases, but some people think they should be free for previous owners of the titles. The developers however have pointed out that bringing the games to the current generation is not inexpensive. Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida had this to say:
"We are able to add Trophies; some people really care about Trophies, so we can provide that. And it takes some time for our staff and quality assurance and licensing and everything to bring back these games. So it takes us time and cost. So we felt that we should charge."PlayStation 4 Games Secure Highest Console Average Scores
According to metadata across all games this year, the PS4 had the best console games, beating out Nintendo and Microsoft's Xbox One. The system's average reach…

Bryan's Top 10 Games of 2015

At risk of sounding cliche, what a year it's been! The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One finally got that traction they were looking for, and developers have started using this generation's experience to bring things to the next level. There's a clear winner for the number one spot of this list - but maybe there will be some surprises on the journey there. If you've been around for a while, you'll know I love a long and thoughtful introduction, but I think it's about time to dive right in. Without further delay, here's my top 10 games of 2015.

Note: Click any game's picture or score to head over to my review of it.

Number 10: Score: 6/10

Simply put: Rocket League was the meat and potatoes of the PlayStation 4 library for quite some time. It was pure protein that absolutely anyone could enjoy - and to this day is one of the two games my entire immediate family enjoyed playing together. I gave it a 6 out of 10 because it can get old after earning the platinum trop…

Assassin's Creed Unity - Dead Kings

Assassin's Creed Unity was a fun, glitchy romp. The Dead Kings DLC is very much the same thing. I had a great time with it, but the frequent Ubisoft server disconnects caused a 15-second freeze every time and it happened at least 10 times with my five or so hours in-game. With that said, I still really liked it because the gameplay still holds up even after playing the far superior Assassin's Creed Syndicate. Seeing as the base game can generally be found for 10 dollars or less and this content is free, there shouldn't be too much of a reservation if you're even slightly interested.

Our bland hero Arno is back for another round, this time in Saint-Dennis (known as Franciade at the time), still struck with feelings of loss from the events of the main game. Then somebody at a tavern sends him out to find a treasure hidden in a secret tomb. Arno meets evil grave robbers, spends some time with Napoleon Bonaparte, and finds a kid inside a series of underground tunnels. We&#…

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag - Alevine

Aveline is a single-player add-on for Black Flag that came as a limited time exclusive to PlayStation 4, included in the purchase of the game. As the name suggests, you play as the French-African assassin Aveline, making it a continuation or spin-off of Assassin's Creed 3. In the year 1784, on Connor's request, Aveline traveled to Rhode Island to find an escaped slave Patience Gibbs in order to recruit her into the assassin brotherhood. Since Aveline is well known to slaves across America's colonies, Connor thought she would be the natural choice for the mission. It's a heck of a setup for such a contained and concentrated DLC offering.

After finding Patience in the end of the first third, we learn that she has a mysterious charm that the Templar doctor Edmund Judge wants to get his hands on. Patience has a nasty habit of running though, and doesn't immediately accept Aveline's help which gets her into trouble on more than one occasion, and loses that importan…

Level Up - Weekly News Update (12/13-12/19)

PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4 Top-Selling Console in US for November 2015
Sony's PlayStation 4 was the top-selling overall console in the United States during November 2015, Sony announced today ahead of the NPD Group's official report for the month. Xbox One outsold the PlayStation 4 in October, which finally for one month dethroned the console giant. Sony is reporting its strongest Black Friday in history as far as retail sales.

Hideo Kojima Starts Independent Studio First Project Partner With Sony

Hideo Kojima has officially left Konami and is working on his first independent studio's game directly with Sony for a timed exclusive later coming to PC. Kojima later said that he got many offers from different publishers, but he said he "gels well with Sony."

Xbox One

16 New Titles Added to Xbox One Backwards Compatibility List
The new games include:
BraidDeus Ex: Human RevolutionDoritos Crash CourseFable 3Halo: ReachHydro ThunderIron BrigadeKane and Lynch 2Motocross Madn…

Rock Band 4

I've probably played over 1,000 songs in Rock Band 4, and if there's a way to keep track I'd be very interested in getting the exact count. Whether it be with friends and family or alone, I just can't seem to shake its hold on me. I've been a longtime fan since playing the first entry in the series at a once-local retailer during a "demo day" back in 2007. Every iteration always gave me the feeling that they were just big fat song packs with slightly better graphics and better peripherals, but then in comes Rock Band 4 making itself look like the one and only.

There's a funny story hidden in the main tour mode - but you have to pay attention to a bit of text and see the results of it for a single show. Generally the band is presented with two choices to make every few shows, one of which usually yields more money, the other earning more fans. The destination is the same, but the stories are different enough to justify running a second band through th…

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag - Blackbeard's Wrath

Blackbeard's Wrath is a small, multiplayer focused DLC for Black Flag. Included in the $2.99 package (or free if you're a Season Pass holder) are three new characters and four very specific trophies to go along with them. If you've had any experience with the multiplayer, you'll know that the servers are sparse and a bit clunky, and that characters don't play differently at all - making this add-on a bit of a niche buy.

The new characters include Blackbeard, the "Jaguar," and a woman known as Orchid. They look nice enough but their only purpose is variety during the character select screen or hunting for trophies, and I believe they all have unique taunts. Those trophies don't come easy like the base game's or even Freedom Cry - in fact with the servers in the shape they are (and were when this first came out even), it'd be hard to get in a public lobby let alone in the required specific game modes needed.

The four additional trophies are:

Level Up - Weekly News Update (12/6-12/12)

PlayStation 4

Eight PlayStation 2 Games Ported to PlayStation 4
Sony announced eight titles from PS2 coming to PS4. The new system does not connect with the PS2 Classics from the PlayStation 3 era, nor do original discs work. All games are "soft remasters," meaning that they're upscaled to 1080p, include digital manuals, and have full trophy, Remote Play, Share Play, Live Broadcast, and Activity Feed support.

The games available for purchase at $15:
Dark CloudGrand Theft Auto 3Grand Theft Auto: Vice CityGrand Theft Auto: San AndreasRogue GalaxyThe Mark of KriThe game available for purchase at $10:
Twisted Metal: BlackWar of the Monsters There is promise for more depending on the success of the unveil at PlayStation Experience.

PS+ Subscribers End Year With $1,053.36 in Free Games
PlayStation Plus is a program for Sony's PlayStation 3, 4, and Vita that allows for a suite of online play and tools along with free games with no strings attached every month for $50. In 2015, S…