Blog archive

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Subarashiki Kono Sekai, The World Ends With You Sequel Possibly Teased By Square Enix Through Countdown

the world ends with you countdown sequel story feature

As you already know Square Enix Creative Business Unit I opened a teaser site for something related to JRPG The World Ends With You, possibly a sequel. Throughout the days, the countdown page has been showing the trailers of the past iterations of TWEWY. Each day once trailer was shown once, for a few minutes. (Thanks Famitsu).

The World Ends With You Sequel countdown site The World Ends With You Sequel countdown site

First off on November 18 midnight JST, the trailer for Subarashiki Kono Sekai on Nintendo DS was shown once.

That trailer features two of the protagonist, Neku and Shiki, showcasing the cool character design of Tetsuya Nomura. The trailer most notably shows the same iconic "Timelimit Within 7 Days" message that appears ingame in Shibuya, and is used for the ongoing countdown.

The World Ends With You Sequel countdown site The World Ends With You Sequel countdown site The World Ends With You Sequel countdown site The World Ends With You Sequel countdown site The World Ends With You Sequel countdown site 12

Secondly, on November 19, midnight JST, the trailer for the smartphone port Subarashiki Kono Sekai -Solo Remix- was shown.

This port was exclusively released in Japan. It was only shown once, and the teaser site went dark again.

The World Ends With You Sequel countdown site 15 The World Ends With You Sequel countdown site 17 The World Ends With You Sequel countdown site 18

Thirdly, on November 20, midnight JST, the trailer for the Switch port, Subarashiki Kono Sekai -Final Remix- , was shown.

That was a few hours ago as I'm writing this. Like the past trailers, it was only shown once. It's likely the trailer airing on November 21 will be the one for the TWEWY anime adaptation.

the world ends with you countdown getting brighter

Lastly, it's interesting to note the countdown page has been getting brighter which each day passing. As if we're nearing toward dawn.

With all this, I think we can safely assume Square Enix is definitely teasing a new game. It might not necessarily be a "The World Ends With You sequel" but I believe we're definitely getting a brand new Subarashiki game.

Lastly, it'll most notably be interesting to see on which console it'll release on. Probably Switch. However I doubt the initial announcement will include platforms info. In any case, we'll be sure to tell you what happens when the countdown ends on November 24 at midnight JST / 1000 ET (Click here for a time conversion table).

The post Subarashiki Kono Sekai, The World Ends With You Sequel Possibly Teased By Square Enix Through Countdown by Iyane Agossah appeared first on DualShockers.


CrossfireX Delayed to 2021 Due to COVID-Related Challenges

CrossFire X

CrossfireX is the upcoming shooter from Smilegate Entertainment and Remedy. For the release, Smilegate is handling the multiplayer segment, while Remedy comes in to put together the single-player campaign. The split in development was always going to make things a little trickier than if it were a single studio; however, COVID-19 seems to have introduced some new challenges. Today, the developers announced that they'll be delaying the game back to 2021 in light of the pandemic.

As with all delays in 2020, this isn't too surprising. After all, studios moving to a work-from-home environment in the middle of development was always going to introduce new problems. At this point, it's almost more surprising when a game isn't delayed by COVID-19. And, if there's a studio I'm more than willing to wait on, Remedy is up there with the best of them.

I'm not much of a shooter fan, especially multiplayer-centric ones. Therefore, I've never played any of Smilegate's previous Crossfire games. That said, with a name like Remedy attached, CrossfireX immediately shot to the top of my most anticipated list. The studio just knows how to build excellent campaigns. When they listed inspiration like Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil, I get very excited. If they can even get close to matching up to those games, I'll be an incredibly happy gamer.

CrossfireX launches for Xbox One and Xbox Series X sometime in 2021. Make sure to stay tuned for future updates. While you wait, do yourself a favor and play Control if you haven't yet.

The post CrossfireX Delayed to 2021 Due to COVID-Related Challenges by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.


Resident Evil First Images from New Movie Set Have Emerged

In case you forgot, the Resident Evil movie franchise is currently in the process of being rebooted. While the property's return to the big screen was only just announced last month, it seems as though filming is already about to begin.

Recently, a new series of images from the Resident Evil movie set leaked online, many of which harken back to the roots of the video game series. As seen in the tweet below from Residence of Evil, which is a community dedicated to all things RE, the first pictures from the new movie's set feature many notable pieces of iconography.

Three of the images in question show off a helicopter which contains logos and insignias for the Racoon City Police Department and its accompanying S.T.A.R.S. unit, to which the notable characters Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield belong to. The final image is a little bit harder to make out, but it looks as though it could resemble an outside look at the Spencer Mansion, which is the locale in which the first game in the series takes place.

It's a bit hard to make out from these pictures alone how this film might turn out, but I do have to say that I'm excited to see the result all the same. Knowing that the source material that is being pulled from for this new film adaptation mainly revolves around the first two Resident Evil titles, I'm hoping that the movie is a fun watch at the very least.

For now, Resident Evil still doesn't have a release window, but it will star the likes of Kaya Scodelario, Robbie Amell, and Hannah John-Kamen to name a few. It's also once again being made by Constantin Film, the same production company behind the previous RE movies.

The post Resident Evil First Images from New Movie Set Have Emerged by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.


Kate Bishop Joins Marvel's Avengers in Early December

Marvel's Avengers

Despite a bleeding player base, Marvel's Avengers is still moving well ahead with its plans for the future. The most notable post-launch content plans for the game are set to begin rolling out in the next few weeks when the first new hero joins the roster.

Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics held a new War Table stream for Marvel's Avengers today and in the process announced when Kate Bishop will arrive to the game. Bishop, who is an archer that trains underneath Hawkeye, is planned to hit all iterations of Avengers early next month on December 8 as part of a free update. Originally slated to arrive a bit earlier in the year, Bishop will mark the first new character that has joined the game since its September release. Other ensuing characters slated to join the game include Hawkeye and Spider-Man, with the latter being exclusive to those on PlayStation platforms.

In addition to being a new playable character, Bishop will also boast her own story missions. Crystal Dynamics says that her substory focuses on Bishop's pursuit to track down Hawkeye. In the process, she gets entangled with AIM and a new foe, while also having to unravel a "conspiracy involving Nick Fury." This set of missions has been likened to a comic book arc, with more to roll out for all other characters that are joining the game.

Based on the footage shown of Bishop, which you can see in the video embedded in the tweet above, she looks like she could be enjoyable to utilize. Whether or not she bring back players who have fallen by the wayside since launch remains to be seen, but this seems like a good first step for the future of Avengers.

The post Kate Bishop Joins Marvel's Avengers in Early December by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.


Sackboy: A Big Adventure Review — A Hand-Crafted Journey Worth Taking

Sackboy: A Big Adventure, PS4, PS5, Sumo Digital

Since I got my PlayStation 3 in 2010, the LittleBigPlanet series has always meant something to me. It was one of the first PS3 games I played and I loved how creative the series was. What I think has made LittleBigPlanet and its spinoffs stand out to me personally is that it has always reminded me of my mom who passed away four years ago. She was always a creative, crafty person and whenever she'd see me play it, she'd stop what she was doing and watch it. It's this random gaming memory I've had and whenever a new LittleBigPlanet game or something from Media Molecule is announced, I always think of her.

With Sackboy: A Big Adventure, developer Sumo Digital has taken what made the series special and expanded upon it. Instead of the usual play, create, share style for a LittleBigPlanet game, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a 3D platformer that still has the charm and style Media Molecule put into the series back in 2008. Thanks to its awesome level design, music, and visuals, it's one of the best platformers out this year and is a solid reason to pick up a PlayStation 5.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure follows Sackboy in Craftworld as Vex, the game's main villain, kidnaps Sackboy's friends and aims to use the Topsey Turver, a device that'll turn Craftworld into a land of terror. From here, it's up to Sackboy to defeat Vex and become a Knitted Knight, which is one of Craftworld's legendary knights. Over the course of the game's 10-hour story, you'll explore five different worlds that are packed with levels to complete, characters to meet, and challenges to overcome. The story is charming and filled with a lot of heart. Each character you meet has their own quirks and they never overstay their welcome. Here and there, you'll get a story cutscene in each world but it never overshadows the level you're playing. The writing and humor throughout also aligns with what we've seen from the LittleBigPlanet series in the past.

As you play each level, you'll have to collect orbs that are scattered around. In order to make it to each world's boss battle and the next world, you'll have to collect enough orbs to proceed. Usually, the orbs are either in hidden parts of the world, in secret rooms, or are in plain sight. For the most part, orbs are fun to discover and each level cleverly hides them. However, some may require help from a co-op partner which can be annoying for those playing solo. If you need help finding any, the PlayStation 5 version features help videos that show you how to find each orb. It's a helpful feature, but it also doesn't feature any voiceover explaining what's being shown. That said, each video is short and gets to the point.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure, PS5, PS4

With each world you visit, you'll take on missions that have a ton of variety which keeps things exciting. Where Sumo Digital has evolved the series is increasing Sackboy's skillset. Instead of only being able to jump and grab things, Sackboy can now do things like punching and rolling on the ground. Some missions will have you on a moving platform while others have you dodging hazards to reach the finish line.

One of my favorite levels is a water-based level where you're going inside bubbles and moving onto the next at just the right time. At first, levels won't be too difficult to complete but it gets harder over time. Missions in the last world, in particular, have a lot more going on which really tests the skills you've built up throughout the game. What can be annoying sometimes is if you get knocked out by an enemy twice, you die and have to go back to the last checkpoint. Thankfully there are plenty of checkpoints in each level; however, being able to be hit twice before dying can drain your four lives quickly depending on your skills.

For those that don't want to worry about losing your four lives in each level, there's an option to have unlimited lives which is a nice touch. Like other LittleBigPlanet games, platforming can be a little finicky and you won't always land where you meant to. There were several times where I'd jump or grab onto one specific part of a level but then fall to my death or get knocked down by an enemy. Sumo Digital has improved so many things on LittleBigPlanet's gameplay and the platforming still feels great, regardless of some hiccups.

By far, the standout levels are ones that are aligned to the beat of licensed music. One level features Uptown Funk and it was such an amazing surprise. Others contain music by Brittney Spears and Foster The People. From the environment to the enemies, each aspect of these music-based levels is synced to the songs perfectly. There aren't as many of these as I'd like to see, but they're so well done and breathe new life into the game. These levels also complement the game's original music which has that signature LittleBigPlanet sound. Each song is lighthearted and warm, while also immersing you in each world.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure, PS5, PS4

In some levels, you'll get to use power-ups. The main ones thrown at you are rocket boots with repulsors, a throwing star, and a grappling hook. These among others pop up throughout each world and make the levels far more fun. The power-ups aren't just tacked on for no reason either, as the levels are built around them. For one, like the throwing star, some missions require you to throw it on a surface that teleports you to another area of the level. Meanwhile, the boots and repulsor have you flying from one part of a level to the next while defeating enemies. Like the music-based levels, the power-ups were a highlight of Sackboy: A Big Adventure for me. Each one is so fun to use and they help from each level feeling stale one after another.

Towards the end of each level, you'll come across boss battles before moving onto the next world. In other worlds, there will also be mini-boss battles thrown in, too. For the most part, each battle isn't too difficult. However, they're all kind of structured the same way in that they each have three phases to them. Where they start getting repetitive comes when Vex is the boss battle. His battles don't really evolve much over time with the only difference being that he'll add one or two more challenges to overcome.

With every level in the game, you can also play with up to four people. Currently, the game doesn't support online play but that'll be added by the end of this year. You can, however, play through local co-op. The levels are designed with co-op in mind and it's a blast to play with other people. It's a mode that doesn't feel tacked-on and it fits the game well. There are even stages in each world that are co-op only and put your teamwork to the test. Even though co-op being a major part of the game, you can still play all the levels by yourself. The addition of co-op is just a feature that makes the game even more enjoyable.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure, PS5, PS4

Throughout some areas, you can also find cubes that unlock Knitted Knights trials. These are timed levels that'll put your skills to the test. Depending on how quickly you finish one, you'll earn orbs that can help you get closer to unlocking certain stages. Like the story levels, the Knitted Knights trials are fun but very challenging. Each is well-made and makes you want to try again for a better score. In addition to unlocking Knitted Knights trials, you'll also have the chance to obtain different costumes. Some of them are unlocked depending on how many bubbles you collect throughout the story but others can be purchased in Zom Zom's shop which is located in each world.

As a PlayStation 5 launch title, Sackboy: A Big Adventure features stunning graphics and lighting. Its visual style reminded me of games like Yoshi's Crafted World and Kirby's Epic Yarn which all have this hand-crafted feel to them. Each of the game's five worlds have a distinct style that is bursting with personality. The lighting also helps each are pop so much more. While not a graphically intensive game, it's a great showcase for what the PS5 can do in terms of making creative platformers that anyone can enjoy.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure, PS5, PS4

Besides its graphics, the PS5 version also takes advantage of the DualSense controller. Depending on what surface you're walking or running on, the controller will vibrate in a similar way to a game like Astro's Playroom. A missed opportunity though is that it would've been cool to see the game use the adaptive triggers whenever you're using a power-up. For example, when you're charging your repulsors, the triggers could have used some tension. Another potential use is whenever you're picking up an object or enemy, there can be some resistance before you let go of the button. These aren't major, but they'd be cool features to add to further use the DualSense and its cool technology.

There's so much to love about Sackboy: A Big Adventure. The levels are so inventive, creative, and fun to play. The game is filled with so much content, including levels that continue to unlock once you've completed the main story. There's also the ability to purchase costumes, re-do missions to get a higher score, and so much more. Levels are filled with so much variety yet each one fits into each world so well. With each level I played, I could tell Sumo Digital put a lot of thought and love into each aspect of the game. From Sackboy's moveset to the enemies and locations, it feels like a step up from other LittleBigPlanet games. While there are already so many great PlayStation 5 games to play, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is one you shouldn't sleep on.

The post Sackboy: A Big Adventure Review — A Hand-Crafted Journey Worth Taking by David Gill appeared first on DualShockers.


Bethesda Titles On Xbox Will Be "First or Better" According to Microsoft Boss

At the recent Jeffries Interactive Entertainment Virtual Conference, Microsoft Xbox's CFO Tim Stuart indicated that future Bethesda Softworks titles will likely arrive on Xbox's ecosystem of platforms before others or even be better than those other versions available. The statement came a few months after the massive $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda parent company Zenimax Media Inc. by Microsoft.

Since September's announcement, both Microsoft and Bethesda had remained pretty tight-lipped about what changes would be going into affect with this acquisition. Most of the questions and speculation have revolved around how exclusivity and releases would be handled. During the conference, Stuart went on to directly address these burning questions and stated that development within Bethesda would shift to follow a "first or better or best approach on our [Microsoft] platforms."

All of this could mean that we'll see better optimization and more features if not just timed exclusivity for future titles within the Xbox and PC versions. Stuart also made an emphasis on Game Pass and if something will fit into the ever-growing library of that subscription service then that's where it will find its home. So everything still remains on a game by game basis and will likely vary with not every release following the same exact pattern

Microsoft also previously stated that forthcoming titles from other Bethesda studios, such as Arkane's Deathloop and Tango Gameworks' Ghostwire: Tokyo, will remain as timed-exclusives for Sony consoles until coming to Microsoft's at later dates. With these new statements, timed exclusives will more than likely be given less freely to Sony and other platforms outside of Xbox and PC as they continue to bolster their lineup of content present on Game Pass.

Exclusivity is often a major topic of contention in the games industry with general consensus being that it's an area that Microsoft has sorely lacked in recent years. With the updates regarding their approach to Bethesda titles going forward, this could very well continue to change the landscape of how exclusives are handled. Timed exclusives have been more common and we could start to see this happening with more and more first-party properties if this model proves to be successful for Microsoft in the long run.

The post Bethesda Titles On Xbox Will Be "First or Better" According to Microsoft Boss by Camilo Olmedo appeared first on DualShockers.


The Appeal of Yakuza As Told By My Non-Gamer Wife

Game series Yakuza TGS 2020

Recently, I've been playing a ton of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. It's a phenomenal new direction for the series that changes things up in major ways while also providing a clear path for moving on from Kiryu's story. However, there is one major problem: it's literally tearing my house apart. I'm playing it on PC, which means my wife Amy can't watch me play it before she goes to bed every night. It's something she's done for almost every other game in the series. However, I didn't think this was a big deal until she let me know otherwise. It was then that I found my wife thinks she "knows Yakuza."

Now, this isn't meant to be a gate-keeping thing. As you'll see below, she absolutely knows at least a little about Yakuza. And to be honest, I really just want more people to love my favorite series. I'm not about to belittle someone's knowledge of the lore. However, I really wanted to see how much she does know. When you're just a mildly disinterested passenger through a plot that spans nine video games full of hours and hours of content, how much can you actually learn about this wonderful story? So, let's find out why Yakuza is such a great series from someone who has never played them for a second. If videos are more your thing, you can watch our full "interview" below.

The first thing that's clear is that, regardless of how much time you've spent immersed in Yakuza, Kiryu is without question "a cool dude." As my wife was quick to point out, he has excellent fashion sense. His tailored suits with "like a triangle collar" are extremely memorable. And, while his main skill might just be fighting, my wife also made sure to note that he's a kind soul who values his friends. He even sort of adopted a little girl. If there's a more loveable protagonist in gaming, I haven't met them yet.

However, what quickly became clear in talking with my wife is that, outside of Kiryu, the things that stood out the most in Yakuza were the bonkers mini-games. From wondering if Donald Trump could be a partner in the business management game to her being sort of disgusted by the cabaret clubs, it was obvious that I spend way too much time playing the side games. In fact, outside of a few scant details that we'll get to soon, I'm not sure if my wife actually knows anything about what's actually happening in the mainline Yakuza games.

That's not too surprising if you're a Yakuza fan. Sure, the sensational crime drama at the center of everything is gripping and meaningful. But really, most of what makes this series so special are all the wacky hijinks happening on the periphery. The fact that my wife picked up all of this while drifting in-and-out of watching me play is a testament to how good Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has gotten at crafting believable worlds. She may call Majima "the guy with the eye patch," but she knew the ins-and-outs of the UFO catcher machine.

When it comes to actual plot details, it was soon proven that her recollection was few and far between. To my wife, the games kind of run together. For instance, she knows there are multiple prison outbreaks. In fact, she can give you some surprisingly detailed accounts of how Saejima escaped his sentence. However, she couldn't tell you why he's in prison or why he's bothering to get out. Heck, I don't even think she knows who Saejima is outside of his dumb haircut.

Sticking with Saejima's exploits she knew that, in his first escape, he ended up on the beach in front of Kiryu's house. But she thought Kiryu just decided to buy a beach after leaving the Yakuza. It was a surprise to hear that he was actually running an orphanage. Sure, it's like the biggest plot point in Kiryu's story at the time. For her, all that's important is that Saejima scared Haruka that one time. And, as is tradition, she doesn't know Haruka's name. Truthfully, if you put a gun to my head and told her to name five Yakuza characters, I'd be dead. I have literally no doubt about it.

Her recollection of Saejima's escape in Yakuza 5 is a little more detailed. She remembers him swinging that big pipe to take out all the baddies. Which, to be fair, is one of the great "holy crap" moments in Yakuza 5. Though, it is a bit weird that she doesn't remember Kiryu literally becoming Neo from The Matrix and dodging rockets. She absolutely saw that scene, but I guess there's only room for so many hijinks in that brain of hers.

Part of her remembering Saejima's second escape so well is that, for whatever reason, she is in love with Baba-chan. I don't think it's a romantic thing. Though on that topic, she did say Kiryu in Yakuza 0 was "a hot dude." Instead, I think she just likes that she can call him "Boba Fett" and annoy me. Either way, she was absolutely devastated to learn that her favorite Yakuza character might be a bad guy. Though, she probably deserves that disappointment. I mean, who in their right mind thinks Shigeki Baba is the best Yakuza character?

Yakuza Kiwami 2

While some of her Yakuza-related opinions were incredibly surprising, I have to say that it was completely expected when she started to wonder why the games get lewd at times. She was very concerned by a substory that involves a girl selling her panties to strangers. When I floated the idea that maybe the girl was just down on her luck, she let me know that the girl looked like she was 13. Which, to be fair, probably isn't okay.

She also wanted to make sure to mention the erotic videos you can watch. Of course, when I told her the videos were real-life women and not "cartoons," she was less than happy. I tried to point out that there's no actual pornography in the Yakuza series. I don't think she believes me.

In spite of her balking at the more risque side of Yakuza, it's clear that my wife still likes these games. In fact, as we talked about Judgment, she proved to essentially know the entire story. I was a bit surprised given how little she actually knew about Kiryu's tale. However, it seems the cop drama really hooked her. She also thinks Hoshino looks like a little boy and wouldn't believe me when I told her he's a grown adult lawyer. I think it's the backpack, but who knows? Either way, she pretty much ran down Yagmi's story beat for beat. It was awfully impressive.

At the end of our Yakuza discussion, I asked her if she had any final thoughts. It was there that she reconfirmed that I made the right choice in deciding who I'm spending the rest of my life with. She let me know that if we have kids, Yakuza is the first game they'll play. I just need to "censor the panty parts." And for everyone else who isn't married to her, the words she used to sum it up were pretty clear: "If you're interested in racing, if you're interested in fighting, if you're interested in…entertaining men," this is the series for you.

The post The Appeal of Yakuza As Told By My Non-Gamer Wife by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.


Cyberpunk 2077 New Videos Highlight Keanu Reeves' Role as Johnny Silverhand

The latest edition of Cyberpunk 2077's ongoing video series, Night City Wire, took place today and compared to all of the episodes we've seen before, this one was the most breathtaking.

The majority of this episode centered around the notable involvement of actor Keanu Reeves with Cyberpunk 2077 and the part he played in its creation. In one video, which you can find below, Reeves talked about what attracted him to working with CD Projekt Red and the process that he underwent to be featured in the game. The footage features quite a bit of information from Reeves and also shows a lot of behind-the-scenes footage of him doing both voice acting and motion capture for the project. If you're someone who loves Reeves, the video is absolutely worth a watch.

The second video which CDPR then showed off was dedicated to Reeves' character, Johnny Silverhand. Set to be one of the primary characters within Cyberpunk 2077, the trailer gave us more information on Silverhand's role within the story and how he plays off of the primary protagonist, V. While much of Johnny's larger role within Cyberpunk 2077 has yet to be divulged to prevent spoilers, it definitely looks as though he'll be one of the major players within Night City.

Cyberpunk 2077 is set to finally release early next month on December 10 and will be coming to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, and Stadia. If you'd like to check out the new Johnny Silverhand trailer in particular, you can view it down below.

The post Cyberpunk 2077 New Videos Highlight Keanu Reeves' Role as Johnny Silverhand by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.


Grand Theft Auto Online Appears To Be Getting a New Map Soon

Grand Theft Auto 5, Rockstar, Grand Theft Auto Online

We've known for a while that Grand Theft Auto Online was set to get its "biggest update ever" sometime soon. Fans speculated all kinds of potential things that the announcement could be. Today, the team at Rockstar has dropped the first big teaser for the update. It seems like it's going to be a massive map expansion to give players tons more to do. Give the teaser a look for yourself below. See if you can come up with any other possibilities.

Some fans are likely disappointed by Rockstar's continued focus on Grand Theft Auto Online. After all, more time with GTA Online could mean less time on GTAVI. That said, when your game has sold over 135 million copies, it has to be tough to leave it behind. That type of cash cow doesn't come around too often. And, as much as I hate scummy microtransactions, if gamers keep pumping money into those products they're going to stick around.

Plus, it's also not like Rockstar can't develop massive open-world titles in tandem with updating GTA Online. I mean, Red Dead Redemption 2 is obviously a thing. Regardless, there are scores of gamers out there who are going to have a ball with this new slice of content. I'll be very interested to see if we get any new game modes or mechanics alongside the new map. Hopefully, they'll add a collection of new mini-games.

This being a teaser, we don't know exactly when the update will launch. That said, I wouldn't expect to wait much longer to explore the new landmass in Grand Theft Auto Online. The game is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It hits next-gen in 2021.

The post Grand Theft Auto Online Appears To Be Getting a New Map Soon by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.


PlayStation 5 Review — Do Not Underestimate

It didn't dawn on me until I started packing up my PS4 the other day that Sony's previous console generation likely stands as my favorite platform of all-time. Not only did it have a killer library with personal standouts like God of WarBloodborne, and Persona 5 Royal, but the PS4 is in some ways the entire reason why I'm currently where I am at in life. The job that I have here at DualShockers, the friends that I talk to daily, and the passion that I have for the larger video game industry all in some manner stems from the PlayStation 4.

As such, to say that my excitement and expectations for PlayStation's future are quite high would be putting things lightly Fortunately, my initial impressions of Sony's latest hardware, the PS5, have been mostly positive. Despite some strange issues that I have been running into with the hardware and some personal disagreements regarding the console's new UI, the PS5 seems poised to be another winner for Sony in the years to come and is already getting off to a hot start.

Before I even finished unboxing the PS5 and had it hooked up to my television, there were a few things that immediately stood out. For starters, the PS5 is as ugly as all get-out. I'm sorry, but I've remained quiet on this point for the most part in the system's lead-up to launch, and I have to get my feelings out in this review. The PS5, despite looking unlike any PlayStation console before it, might be the goofiest-looking video game console ever made. If you're someone who typically likes to display your hardware for everyone to see, I highly encourage you to stash this thing away somewhere secretive instead. Your houseguests don't need to hurt their eyes when visiting your home.

The other aspect of the PS5 that immediately caught my attention was that of the DualSense controller. Upon first putting it in my hands, it felt really natural to hold. While your mileage may vary depending on the size of your own hands, Sony's DualSense might be the most comfortable controller to simply play with right now. It also has a ton of minor improvements that have been baked in compared to the DualShock 4. The grips on the backside are excellent, the joysticks feel smoother, and without even taking into account what's going on internally, I like the feel of the triggers on their own a lot more.

That said, it's hard to talk about the DualSense without what is also going on inside because, hot dang, what's happening within the controller is quite impressive. There has been a lot of talk about the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers in particular, and for once, both features seem to have lived up to the hype. To use one example, shooting a web in Spider-Man: Miles Morales and feeling the tension in the web reverberate through the triggers is unreal. If you're not sold on the DualSense already, I'd be shocked if that didn't change for you mere moments into playing the PS5's pack-in game, Astro's Playroom. It's not only one of the best games that has ever launched with a console, but it's a fantastic way to highlight what the DualSense is capable of.

DualSense Controller PS5

Honestly, the DualSense itself is the most immaculate part of the PS5 overall. The only downside is that I definitely see these new DualSense features speeding things up on my path to inevitable carpal tunnel syndrome and/or arthritis. Still, the DualSense far and away stands as the most "next-gen" feature about this next-generation so far, and I really hope other developers continue to iterate with it in the years to come.

While the most physical component of the PS5 is definitely a highlight, the virtual one has left something to be desired. Specifically, I'm talking about the console's UI, which has seen some pretty substantial tweaks compared to the PS4. While much of the user experience has remained pretty similar, there have also been many strange additions on Sony's part that has made navigating the PS5 a bit of a chore. The most notable of these is that, despite being a bit more streamlined in some regards, there are also a few too many submenus. There are also a handful of other new additions, but not all of them I can say I enjoy.

For now, I'm also struggling to understand the use of some of the other features that Sony has added to the UI. Being able to track your mission progress percentage, trophy completion, or even get tips in real-time is pretty novel, but each aspect feels a bit half-baked at the moment. Mission progress percentages I have found serve little purpose, as do the tips that you can get for certain games via help videos. In contrast, these videos are somewhat cool and potentially can be helpful for some users, but it's an aspect of the PS5 that has essentially gone unused for myself. There's honestly not much of an incentive to really use any of these tools, and the PS5 itself hardly advertises that they are even present.

PS5 PlayStation 5

There are numerous other choices with the UI that I currently don't love. The fact that game folders have also been removed, Trophies now scroll horizontally (yuck), and PS4 dashboard themes have been left on the previous hardware kind of sucks, even if that latter point in particular is understandable. That said, other choices like being able to jump in seamlessly and out of the PlayStation Store have been marvelous. It took two generations, but I'm glad we don't have to launch the PS Store as a separate app any longer. Let's hope that searching for games can become a bit easier with this new setup.

While I'm talking about aspects of the console that I don't enjoy though, I might as well mention a handful of other weird issues that I have been having. Speaking purely to my own experience, multiple games on PS5 have experienced frequent crashes for me or have been unable to boot up for one reason or another without me needing to completely restart the console. I've also had one hard freeze where I outright had to rip my power cable out of the back of the machine, which is a bit concerning. That's not to mention other weird notables like my Wi-Fi constantly disconnecting or my fan occasionally powering on at a level that seems a bit unordinary. These strange troubles in tandem with other anecdotal problems that I have heard of related to the console's rest mode have made me uneasy about using the console on occasion.

I also find it downright bizarre that the PS5 won't let you download minimal updates for certain games without first clearing space on the SSD despite the fact that you might already have a ton of memory left available. This, in addition to the fact that the console implores you to download PS4 versions of PS5 games when purchasing them in the storefront, is just a strange oversight. Sony should have been able to rectify some of these qualms beforehand, but at launch, it has been a confusing experience.

Last (but certainly not least) among my chief complaints, I cannot stress enough that the little over 600GB of space you have with the PS5 just flat-out doesn't cut it. As of this writing, my SSD is basically already filled up, at least to the point that the PS5 will let me without needing to download more updates for other games without clearing space. Considering game sizes aren't getting any smaller either, for the PS5 to have shipped with so little memory feels like a major flaw. I understand that console manufacturers need to find a way to cut costs somewhere when assembling these systems, but to be already micro-managing my storage on day one just sucks.

PS5 Close up

Look, I know I sound down on the console overall, but I cannot stress how much I have been attached to the PS5 since it released. A lot of that is because, like during the PS4 era, the PS5 continues to have a killer lineup of games. Titles like Astro's PlayroomMiles Morales, and Demon's Souls (review coming soon) have not only held my attention at launch but have been games that show off what the PS5 is capable of in more ways than one. None of these aforementioned titles feel like games I'll look back upon in a few years and say, "Well, they were all pretty great for launch games." No, these are all games that are just flat out really, really good. Compared to the Xbox Series X, which I found to be lacking in the software department, Sony has come out ready to show off what it's capable of right away and has set for itself a fantastic tempo.

I also find the console's general tech to be incredibly galvanizing. The lack of loading times, the ability to seamlessly run 4K and 60fps on a handful of titles, and the fact that PS4 backward compatibility functions work just as advertised are all major bonuses. There's a lot under the hood here with the PS5 to take advantage of, and while I'd normally say I'm looking forward to seeing what developers can do with these specs, I think many are already tapping into the console's potential. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that any fears of developers not properly optimizing games for this system as cross-gen releases–here's looking at you, Horizon Forbidden West— have essentially been dashed. The jump between PS4 and PS5 games seems vast enough as it is that I can easily recommend jumping in right this second if you're at all interested in what the launch lineup has to offer. For once, I don't feel cheated for being an early adopter.

Even if this current lineup of games doesn't intrigue you, I also have to mention more specifically that I'm quite impressed with the backward compatible functionality for PS4 games. While I still wish the console could play games further back in PlayStation's history, booting up a Yakuza game from the PS4 era in mere moments is awesome. The noticeable visual upgrades with other games like God of War and Days Gone really makes each feel like completely fresh experiences in some ways. I wouldn't suggest that you buy the PS5 purely to play games from the PS4 at a higher fidelity, but this functionality still sweetens the pot quite a bit, especially when backward compatibility isn't something that Sony has historically been best at.

At this very moment, I definitely have my misgivings about the PS5; I really wish games would stop crashing for me so often, and I think the user experience itself needs some of those much-needed stability updates that the PS4 received so often to avert qualms like this in the past. Again, it sounds like I have had more issues than the regular user, but they have still been issues all the same. Problems aside though, there really hasn't been a moment since the PS5 arrived on my doorstep that I haven't found myself wanting to play it, which I think says a lot.

As a whole, the PS5 continues to improve upon what Sony already found success within the PS4. It's yet another novel piece of hardware that contains a stellar lineup of must-play games, which is really all you can ask for in a console. Combined with the DualSense, which I have no problem saying already is the single most compelling and enjoyable controller ever made, it's hard not to see the next-generation being bright for PlayStation. The PS5 will undoubtedly be the console that I utilize the most in the coming years, and if Sony can find a way to iron out the console's kinks right now, it could prove to rival the PS4 as one of my favorite video game platforms ever made.

The post PlayStation 5 Review — Do Not Underestimate by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.


No comments:

Post a comment