Finally! PlayStation 5 News

After what I feel was longer than necessary (felt the same with Microsoft), the PlayStation 5 showcase has finally come, and we have prices and dates! PlayStation 5 launches November 12th in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea. The remaining countries can expect it on November 19th. As for price, the PlayStation 5 will be $499 and the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition will be $399. Here is a link to PlayStation Blog that covers this plus some.

While I don’t think Sony had much of a choice with the $499 price tag on the PlayStation 5 to compete with the Xbox Series X, that $399 price tag for the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition was a smart move. Just too clarify for those that might not know, the only difference between these two PlayStation 5’s is that the more expensive version has a disk drive for physical media, and the less expensive one doesn’t, digital only. Other than that, the exact same hardware is powering each one. You can’t even compare the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition with the Xbox Series S. This is going to be Sony’s biggest strength this next generation. To be honest, I really hope Sony put more effort into producing the Digital Edition as I expect that to be the hotter console. I’ve already moved to all digital, so that would be the one I’d go for to be honest (and sorely tempted).

Now, as for the Showcase, if you missed and want watch it, here is the YouTube recording skipped ahead to where it actually starts:

As for my thoughts, it was a decent showcase. While no huge surprises for me considering all the predictions I kept seeing, it was nice to see certain titles officially confirmed. The big games that caught my attention that were officially announced were Final Fantasy XVI and a new God of War. What I also appreciated was the fact all but one of the titles shown included gameplay running on a PlayStation 5. To be honest, they looked nice. Spent a lot of time during the Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales paying more attention to the details than watching what was happening. Had to watch it twice. I was also excited to finally see some gameplay for Hogwarts Legacy. There were some other nice titles highlighted, but the ones I linked were the ones I enjoyed the most. Was a little surprised not to see new Horizon Forbidden West gameplay though.

Sony also announced what is one of their takes on backwards compatibility with their new PlayStation Plus Collection announcement. With this service on the PlayStation 5, gamers will get digital access to some nice PlayStation 4 titles right off the bat. Based on the video, it isn’t streaming either, you can download them, which is nice. However, I’m expecting to hear more regarding backwards compatibility outside of this new service. Sony still has time; but this is where I do feel Sony is still lagging a bit on.

In all, I think Sony did a decent job covering some ground I felt they lost to Microsoft. While I don’t think they have completely caught up, that $399 price makes a significant impact. That alone makes me feel that Sony will have a strong launch. I still feel that the Xbox Series X will do fine as well though at this point. In both cases, neither really have any unique launch titles. Yes, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Horizon Forbidden West are exclusive to PlayStation; but it was officially announced today in that PlayStation Blog I linked in the start of my blog that they will also launch on PlayStation 4. They will run much better on PlayStation 5; but they are still not PlayStation 5 exclusives. Doesn’t seem like we will see any true PlayStation 5 console exclusives until 2021. Not to mention some of those titles are also releasing on PC, like Final Fantasy XVI. This primarily impacts my decision as I have a PlayStation 4 and a decent gaming PC, so I feel less likely to jump on the PlayStation 5 launch party. Regardless, I still feel that Sony will have a strong PlayStation 5 launch.

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X

Sony vs Microsoft, PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X, hyperbolic fandom vs reality, and how PC’s are far superior. Honestly, who cares? Those who are avid PlayStation fans, are going to buy the PlayStation 5. Those who are avid Xbox fans, are going to buy the Xbox Series X. All while there will be the constant back and forth as to which is better. Hmm, now where have I heard this all before, hmmm (PlayStation 2 vs Xbox, PlayStation 3 vs Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One). War, war never changes.

Okay, so I might be a little tired of the constant back and forth. Can’t say my Twitter feed is helping either. Sarcasm aside, this at least helps speak to the constant competition between Microsoft and Sony (purposefully leaving Nintendo out of this as I feel they have moved into their own niche), which is a good thing. Competition helps drive a company to bring their ‘A’ game. In the case of Microsoft and Sony, I think they have. Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X look like solid systems, each with their own advantages.

While the tech geeks are geeking out about teraflops, I really don’t think that is going to a factor in what your average console game cares about regarding which system they buy. Ultimately, I really think it will just come down to what games the gamer cares about, which system it is releasing on, and systems they have previously owned.

In the case of the Xbox Series X, the biggest buy factor that I feel it is has is the fact it can play Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games out of the box. I decided too skip the Xbox One this last go around; but this backwards compatibility alone has me really considering getting an Xbox Series X. I still have plenty of Xbox and Xbox 360 games that I find myself pulling out my older systems from time to time to play; but being able to just play them all on one system, I’m sold. Outside of that, I don’t have any other reason to get one considering that Microsoft has been releasing a fair number of their big releases on PC recently and I have a gaming rig.

In the case of PlayStation 5, lets face it, they have the exclusives when comparing it’s library against Xbox; and those exclusives are very much AAA titles that very much deserve that classification. God of War, Spider-Man, The Last of Us, Uncharted, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Ghost of Tsushima to name a few. They are just amazing games that I honestly feel a little bad for those that haven’t had a chance to play them. Especially if any of those games fall into a given gamer’s wheelhouse. For me, it is the games alone that will likely drive me to eventually getting a PlayStation 5. Granted, I’ll likely wait for PlayStation 5 Slim as the current design is a bit of a beast. That, and I’ll give the system some time to go through it’s growing pains and ideally get a more stable system.

Here is my prediction, both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are going to sell well. One will likely edge out over the other; but I predict both will do just fine. As the prices haven’t been released yet, I’m not sure which one might do better. Suspect which ever is the cheapest, will likely edge out the other. Considering there is a pure digital PlayStation 5, I’m thinking that will be the least expensive next gen system, so I’m leaning PlayStation; but time will tell once the prices are officially released. Either way, I’m looking forward to what this next generation has to offer.

Little Dragons Café

Found this to be a very pleasant surprise. Yasuhiro Wada (Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons creator) is teaming up with Aksys Games on a new game called Little Dragons Café. I’ve been a big fan of Harvest Moon since Harvest Moon 64, so looking forward to what Yasuhrio Wada has in mind with this one.

Outside of what I’ve seen since yesterday, not much has been released outside of a late summer 2018 release on the Switch and PS4 and some plot details. The game follows a brother and sister who have to take over their mom’s café after she falls into a deep sleep. After their mom falls into a deep sleep, a strange old man appears to inform the siblings they need to raise a dragon in order to save their mom. Not only will they have to manage the café, learn to cook, and grow crops to support the café, they also have to raise a dragon at the same time.

Definitely suspect the growing crops and managing the café will likely show some Harvest Moon influence, I’m really curious how the and raising a dragon and cooking will play out. I figure raising the dragon may be somewhat familiar with how animals are raised in Harvest Moon, but kind of sounds like there will be a unique twist that will involve more then just raising them. As for the cooking, I really hope it will be more than just selecting the ingredients. Hoping for something kind like Cooking Mama or Cook, Serve, Delicious!.

Really hoping we get more screenshots and potential gameplay soon. With a late summer 2018 release, I’d imagine both aren’t far off. Can’t say I’d think of these going together, but looking forward to running a cafe while raising dragons.

Dragon Quest Builders Review

Got a little gem for Christmas, Dragon Quest Builders for the PS4. Wasn’t expecting a lot, and was pleasantly surprised.

To sum up the game, Builders takes place in an alternate timeline after the events of the first game where the Dragon Lord wins. Your character is woken up after a long slumber by the games Goddess, Rubiss. Similar to many builders, you start with nothing. Big difference is you are actually given a propose. Rubiss sends you off to help rebuild the world with quests to guide you, side quests to unlock new building recipes, and an overarching story. Not the most in-depth story, but I still found it entertaining with a bit of humor thrown in.

Similar to Minecraft, the land and structures are made of different boxes, soil, stone, wood, etc. However, vegetation and decorations look like how they would in Dragon Quest. All crafting is done at crafting stations, each one with a unique list of recipes. Periodically, you are given a blueprint for a unique building. As for resource gathering, it is fairly easy. You don’t really have to go far, our dig a deep mine to gather what you need. For the first time in a builder, I actually want to build an intricate town.

Regardless of all the fun I have been having, I admit the game could be improved on. While building is the primary focus, combat plays a role and is not the greatest. My biggest complaint is the enemy hot boxes. Doesn’t seem to matter how close I am to what I’m fighting, I found myself missing a lot. Move in a little, and I find myself taking damage because I walked into the enemy. Definitely made some enemy fights more annoying then needed. I was able to adjust to it better the more I played, but something that could be improved on.

I also feel that the build area in each chapter feels a little too restricted. While you do have room for what you need to build in each chapter, you aren’t given any extra. True, you can build outside of the designated zone, but it doesn’t count towards the game progress. Just hoping they give you more room in the next one. Fortunately, the game has a free play mode called Terra Incognita where you can build to your hearts content.

Overall, I feel like this is a good game and worth playing if you are a Dragon Quest and builder genre fan, regardless its faults. I’m still playing it, having a blast, and looking forward to Dragon Quest Builders 2. Release is still TBD at this time, but what they have announced as some of the enhancements, I can’t wait!

To Many Assassins

With the yearly release of a new Assassin’s Creed (that being Origins), I’ve finally decided to get back into play the series. However, it wasn’t the newest release I started to play. It is one of the previous games I’ve felt like it was long overdue I play it, Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. Yes, I know, this one came out in 2013; but after the Ezio trilogy, I honestly lost interest.

Don’t get me wrong though, I loved the first two Assassin’s Creed games. The open world, the stealth, historical accuracy of the environments, and the parkour movement, what wasn’t there to enjoy. I even achieved 100% completion with Assassin’s Creed II. Then with the release of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, this is where my interest started to waver. Brotherhood was essentially just an extension of II as you basically started off right where it ended and are back in Rome. Then comes, Assassin’s Creed Revelations where you are once again playing Ezio; but now you go back and revisit the areas form the first game. The did add and update some game mechanics; but for me, I was expecting at some point they would follow another assassin from Desmond’s past, not just two across four games with one going through three of them. Top that off with them coming out one year after another, I just tired of the theme. Just felt like they were phoning it in a bit not wanting to take a chance with a new assassin.

My interest started to peak again with Assassin’s Creed III as they finally switched focus to a new assassin during the American Revolutionary War. Except at this point, I feel compelled to finish Brotherhood and play Revelations so I’m not missing any story elements. I just couldn’t get myself to play them and didn’t want to just watch the cut scenes on YouTube to catch up. One Assassin’s Creed release after another, I just kept skipping them to play catch up first.

I’ve finally decided to get back into Assassin’s Creed after seeing the reviews for Origin and to give up on trying to catch up by playing all previous games. Instead of Origin, I decided to play Black Flag as I’ve been wanting to play this ever since it was released. I must admit that this game is scratching that Assassin’s Creed itch, along with that same itch I got when playing Sid Myer’s Pirates. Just having a blast sailing the seas, picking a fight with random ship, and just being a pirate assassin. Thinking after I finish this, I may just skip over to Origin as I also really like the idea of visiting ancient Egypt. I know both Unity and Syndicate were well received (especially Syndicate); but I must come to realization that I just won’t be able to get through all of them. Just going to focus on the ones that interest me.