PS4 Review: Dead Or Alive 5: Last Round

DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round_20150808170450
DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round_

Rehashes of Fighting Games are not new.  How many versions of Street Fighter 2 were there before Capcom released Street Fighter 3?.  Usually they refine the fighting mechanics, add new stages, characters and costumes and add a adjective like “Super” to the front or a subtitles like “Third Strike”.  Koei Tecmo is following this convention with the Dead or Alive series with Last Round.

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round is a fighting game developed by Team Ninja and published by Koei Tecmo.  It is the fourth iteration of Dead or Alive 5, counting Dead or Alive 5 Plus for PS Vita.  The games is available as a free to play Core Fighter version with 4 playable fighters with the option to buy the rest or as a full game with all 34 playable characters.  It is available for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.  This review is on the PS4 version.

DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round has the same  sexy fighting as before
DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round has the same sexy fighting as before

The main game is the same as the previous versions, with an arcade mode tag battles, story mode, etc.  The Story Mode does not include any of the additional characters from Ultimate or Last Round.  You still can save replays and take pictures in game (in addition to the Share function.)  These are saved on your PS4 hard drive.

The main draw of Last Round is the additional characters and features from the previous versions. From DOA5+ are the Private Paradise clips, where the DOA girls play on a beach on Zach Island for your viewing pleasure.  From Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, you get 7 more characters;  Jacky Bryant (from Virtua Figters, Momoji and Rachel from the Ninja Gaiden series, classic DOA characters Leon and Ein , Phase 4, the Kasumi clone from the Story Mode, Nyotengu, a female tengu (Japanese demon) and Marie Rose, a young girl who’s bucks the trend of all the females having big breasts.

I'm not sure if this is less creepy
I’m not sure if this is less creepy

Last Round adds two more characters to the roster.  From the original Dead or Alive returns Raidou, Ayane’s father, now resurrected as a cyborg.  Also debuting is Honoka, another busty 18-year old girl (it says so on her official bio) who seems to borrow from various fighting styles for her moves.  There are new stages as well such as a beach at night during fireworks and Loreli Castle decked out for Halloween.  Then there are the costumes.

Momoji and Rachel
Momoji and Rachel
Jacky and Leon
Jacky and Leon
Phase 4 and Nyotengu
Phase 4 and Nyotengu
Ein and Raidou
Ein and Raidou
Honoka and Marie Rose
Honoka and Marie Rose

Previous versions had DLC costumes.  Those for the original cast from the first DOA 5 and DOA5+ (cheerleader outfit, Hot Getaway) are mostly included as unlockable costumes.  DLC for DOA5 Ultimate are transferable or can be bought individually, in sets or in one shot for $92.  New DLC are grouped in seasons, which there has been 2 so far. and include Ninja costumes, Christmas and Halloween costume for most characters as well as more bikinis, sexy nurse outfits, a Bath and Bed set and others for most of the female characters.  Of course, this being a Dead or Alive game, most of the female costumes are sexy and/or skimpy.

Some outfits barely qualify as one...
Some outfits barely qualify as one…

Some costumes have a special feature on the PS4 and XB1 versions.  Outfits from the Senran Kagura set can be damaged if hit by a critical hit.  The outfits will be torn and remain that way for the duration of the fight, Other themed outfit sets feature this (Deception 4 and Costumes by Tamiki Wakaki set) with more to be added, I’m sure.

Outfits like the Senran Kagura ones can be damaged.
Outfits like the Senran Kagura ones can be damaged.
Outfit damage last until the match is over.
Outfit damage last until the match is over.

All this DLC can be pricy.  To get both seasons, plus all the Ultimate DLC Honoka’s cheer leader Christmas and swimwear, and all four new girls Hot Getaway movies, it will cost you close to $400.  It seems excessive, but none of this DLC is essential and you can pick and choose what you want.  Buying the Season pass net you an exclusive costume each (angel outfit for Marie Rose for Season 1, and Secret Agent Honoka for Season 2) but, as long as you buy the full game, you have the complete game, with most characters having at least 6 unlockable outfits.

Agent Honoka costume is a bonus for Season Pass 2
Agent Honoka costume is a bonus for Season Pass 2

If you only have a last gen console and have one of the previous games, this is an easy pass.  If you have a PS4/XBOne, this is a great fighter for your console.  With the DLC continuing into the next year and with a new character and level coming in Spring 2016, there is enough to keep it fresh, exciting and sexy.

Hitomi dressed as Yumi (Senran Kagura)
Hitomi dressed as Yumi (Senran Kagura)

4/5

DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round_20150808180736
Halloween 2014. Nice…
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Phase 4 as Ikargura and Kasumi as Asuka
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Tina as Katsuragi and Mila as Hikage
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Momoji
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Rachel in Halloween costume
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Kasumi in a battle damaged outfit.
DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round
Secret Agent Honoka
DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round
Nyotengu all wrapped up in ribbons. Festive!
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IT’S OVER!!!!!!

Review: PlayStation TV

(Note:  This Review is my Opinion only.  This is not a paid post, I am not a professional reviewer.  This is just one man’s opinion.  All photos were taken with my PS Vita and all screenshots were taken on the PlayStation TV.)

PlayStation TV
PlayStation TV

It’s been, what, close to three years since my review of the PlayStation Vita?  I remembered how I had such high hopes for this system.  And to me, it delivered.  There are some good games out there, some original, some ports, that make the system worth it.  But with smart phones and tablets becoming so prevalent, and with Nintendo’s ever popular 3DS, the VIta has struggles, at least outside Japan.  Sony, however, has tried to  make it an accessory to it’s home consoles, especially the PS4.  Remote Play, promised for the PS3 but never made it, is a big part of the PS4’s plan.  This connectivity, built in from the start, is the basis for the PlayStation TV.

With the PlayStation TV, you can stream your PS4 games to any TV your PS TV is hooked up to using remote play,  You use a PS3 or PS4 controller paired with the PS TV to control the games.  You cam even stream PS3 games through your PS4 using the PlayStation Now service (imagine the bandwidth fees!).  Like the PS Vita, the PlayStation TV acts as an extension or your PS4.

But, at its core, it is a PS Vita.  The interface is the same as the Vita, with the bubble icons.  It uses the PS VIta memory cards for it’s expandable memory (it only has an internal memory as 1 GB.)  There is a slot for your PS Vita games so you cam play them on a bigger screen.  It even up-scales the game to improve the graphics (a feature the original PS Vita had, but it was never implemented.)  Now you cam play your potable games on your home TV.

The bubbles are back!  Background:  My dog, Azrael
The bubbles are back! Background: My dog, Azrael

“But,” you might ask (or maybe not but… just play along!), “most Vita games have touch controls.  Do all Vita games work on the PlayStation TV?”  The answer is no.  From what I tried, PlayStation All Stars and Metal Gear Solid 2/3 HD do not work.  Samurai Warriors 4, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 1 & 2, Dead or Alive 5+, Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remix, and Senran Kagura do.  Borderlands 2 did not work at first, but will after you update the title (even gives you the console control scheme!), so there is a chance more games will work.  For Touch controls, you click on L3 for front screen and R3 for rear pad controls, with a pointer appearing on screen.  With the PS4 controller, you can control the pointer with the touchpad.  It might be a little awkward, but it works.

You can adjust your controller settings here.
You can adjust your controller settings here.

Another thing that works are some of your PSP and PlayStation One games you have digitally on you Vita memory card.  These games, though up scaled on the PS Vita, might look a bit rough, especially some of the PS One titles, but it is nice to be able to play some Vita games on a larger screen.  Like on the PS Vita, you cam remap some of the controls for your games.  So you can map the D-Pad to the Right analogue stick and give some PSP games the control scheme it needs.

Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remix works fine on the PlayStation TV, though there was a bit of slow down at first
Final Fantasy X-2 HD Remix works fine on the PlayStation TV, though there was a bit of slow down at first
PS Store works like it does on the Vita.  You can use it to determine  some (if not all) of the games that are compatible.
PS Store works like it does on the Vita. You can use it to determine some (if not all) of the games that are compatible.

All and all, it seems the Sony is looking for ways to extend the Vita’s brand..  I do not have good internet at home so streaming of PS3 games from PS Now is not in the cards.  I hope to use it to extend my PS4 to the living room so I can game and watch for the mail.  The PlayStation Vita might give Vita games another chance (maybe convince some to buy it,) but it is a good way to extend you PS Vita gaming at home.

3.5 out of 5

PS Vita Review: Samurai Warriors 4

Samurai Warriors 4
Samurai Warriors 4

(Note: This review is my own personal opinion. This is not a paid review. All pictures have been captured in game on my PS Vita.)

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SAMURAI WARRIORS 4 is a third person hack-and-slash developed by Omega-Force and published by TECMO KOEI. It is the latest installment in their SAMURAI WARRIORS series and is also available on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita The version reviewed is the PS Vita copy.

Battles can take place in open fields to walled castles
Battles can take place in open fields to walled castles

SAMURAI WARRIORS 4, like the previous versions of the series presents a fictionalized account of Japan’s Sengoku period from 1555 to 1615 A.D. Most of the characters are based on real people; some might have not have actually been in the battles they are featured in due to their age at the time or, in case of the female characters, their sex as the women did not fight. Some didn’t really exist. Each character has a stylized costume and weapon to stand them apart for others. Each has a special Musou attack. when they magically bring down fire, ice, move as super speed etc to destroy the enemy.  So, you know, not historically accurate.

Helynne preforms a Musou attack
Helynne preforms a Musou attack

The game play feature levels with a large map with a main objective (usually defeat a certain enemy or get to a certain area) and defeat conditions (die, enemy commander escapes etc.). You battle through hundreds of enemy soldiers with the occasional named officer or one of the opposing faction’s main characters. As you defeat your enemies, you get experience and level up, becoming stronger and harder to kill, which carries over to the next battle. You can also get more powerful version of your weapons for fallen enemies or buy or upgrade them between battles.

Custom Characters are back!
Custom Characters are back!

There are three modes to this game: Story Mode, Free Mode and Conquest Mode. Story Mode has you play each of the factions story, sometimes replaying the same battle on different sides as it goes through the period. Free Mode lets you replay any level you have completed as any character that you have. Conquest mode lets you create your own character and travel through feudal Japan, meeting the famous warriors of the period and fighting in battles to gain fame.

As for the creation mode, you get about 20 slots for created characters. You can customize their sex, face, costume and name.   You can choose for 6 different weapons at first, unlocking new ones as you complete the relationship quest for the many characters from the main game in Conquest Mode. You can even use pictures from you PS Vita’s memory and create custom character portraits and Musou Kanji for your created characters.

You can upload jpegs for custom portraits or Musou kanji.
You can upload jpegs for custom portraits or Musou kanji.

SAMURAI WARRIORS, much like all of TECMO KOEI’s WARRIOR games, hack and slash game with some historical depth but not much. They keep retreading this period with each installment, much like Dynasty Warriors and Three Kingdoms-era China, adding more quasi-historical characters. Still, I find them fun and I like the option of custom characters. I really liked Samurai Warriors 2 Empires on my Xbox 360 back in the day and though 4 does not have the Empire mode (maybe a future iteration?), the conquest mode lets you take your created character into this world.

SAMURAI WARRIORS 4 also features cross-save and cross goods compatibility. You can upload you save from on platform and download and play it on another (i.e. PS4 to PS Vita). Buying extra costumes and weapon DLC entitles you to goods for all three versions. This is good as I can take my game with me on PS Vita when I travel, then upload it them download it on the PS4 and continue where I left off.

 

Just a screen shot of an unrelated game (VANGUARD PRINCESS) used as a Musou Attack Kanji.  Nothing to see...
Just a screen shot of an unrelated game (VANGUARD PRINCESS) used as a Musou Attack Kanji. Nothing to see…

SAMURAI WARRIORS for the PS Vita is available in physical media or as a download for all three Sony platforms. The game costs $39.00 on the PS Store for the PS Vita. A physical copy for the PS4 costs $69.99 CDN.

4/5

PS4 Review- Diablo 3- Reaper of Souls Ulitimate Edition

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls
Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls

 

Diablo 3 is one of those games that would be perfect for the consoles.  The first Diablo was on the first PlayStation years ago and played well.  Though Diablo 2 did not comes out for the consoles, but there were games that followed its footsteps, such as Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and the Untold Legends.  Last year, Diablo 3 came out for PS3 and Xbox 360 and it was a great game.  Now, the Reaper of Souls add-on has come out as an Ultimate Edition with the full Diablo game plus the new chapter for Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One and PS4.

Monk Class (female)
Monk Class (female)

 

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Edition lets you play through Diablo three as one of six different characters:  Monk, Sorceress, Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Crusader or Witch Doctor.  You can choose the sex of your character, which has no effect on stats, and rename the character, but there is no modifying their looks, save for what armour you equip.  Each class has his/her own reasons to investigate the falling star that starts off the game, with their back stories filled in through cinematic scenes and interaction with NPCs.  Act 1 starts you off in New Tristam, near where it all began and the game takes you through the world (and beyond) to prevent the return of Diablo and defeat the remaining Lords of Hell.

One of the Bosses
One of the Bosses, Azmodan, who wants the Black Soulstone which contains Diablo’s powers

Reaper of Souls adds a final chapter to the story, which sees a fallen angel, Malthael using the powers of Diablo to become the Angel of Death and wipe out all of humanity.  The chapter ties up loose ends form the main quests and adds more to the games lore.  Additions like Adventure mode, Nephalem RIfts and new NPCs add new choices in the game.

 

Opening movie for Reaper of Souls
Opening movie for Reaper of Souls

The controls for the PS4 version are excellent.  Attacks and skills are assigned to certain buttons, but they can be customized if you wish.  The touchpad accesses your characters skills and items and Options access, well, options lite difficulty, video and audio options..  Movement with the left analog stick feels natural for a game like this and the right stick activates a dodge feature.  The only thing I would like would be a way to rotate the map.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition (English)_20140821200322

Inventory and Skill page are access through the PS4 touchpad
Inventory and Skill page are access through the PS4 touchpad

Some might be turned off by this being a full priced game, especially if they already own a copy of Diablo 3.  Reaper of Souls includes a lot of re-playability., especially as the new classes..  Those who want to continue on their adventure from the regular console edition can upload their characters to the server from the old game and re-download their in RoS.  You can even transfer your characters from PS3 Diablo 3 to PS4 Reaper of Souls.  I assume that it is the same for Xbox 360 to XBone.  As well, you can start the game over with you character after you beat Diablo with all levels and inventory carrying over.

 

Beating the bosses results and a lot of loot!
Beating the bosses results in a lot of loot!  Diablo is no exception!

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls is a great game with tons or replayability.,  It is a personal decision if one new act and two new classes are enough to warrant a full price purchase, but if you upgraded to a PS4 or XBone, it is a great game for the new systems

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Edition is available for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.  This review is based on a digital downloaded game for PS4.  Game retails for $64.99CAD Next Gen, $44.99CAD Last Gen.

THIS REVIEW IS MY OWN OPINION AND IS NOT A PAID REVIEW.  ALL PICTURES ARE FROM MY PS4 USING THE SHARE FUNCITON

Review- Playstation 4 (PS4)

Sony PlayStation 4
Sony PlayStation 4

As you could probably tell from previous entries, I tend to favour Sony in the Console Wars.  Not that I don’t like Microsoft and the Xbox, but after going though 4 Xboxes in the first four years (compare to 2 PS3 in the same time), I tend to trust Sony with their hardware more.  Although I’d like to get a XBOne and enjoy both systems, I have to face facts that I cannot afford both, at least not at this time.  So, I went with the PS4.

The overall look of the system is nice.  Both Sony and Microsoft’s consoles are big black slabs of plastic, but I like the PS4’s aesthetic better.  The system comes with a DualShock 4 controller, with the new touchpad, build in headset/microphone jack and a HDMI cable, which means we can get up to 1080p right out of the box, unlike the PS3, where you to get another cable.  It also comes with a short (3 ft) charge cable for the controller.  The PS4 doesn’t comes with the PlayStation Eye camera and it is not needed for most features, except for The Room, a preloaded app on the 4’s dashboard.  Unless you really want to try that out and post videos  of yourself playing a game, talking smack or having sex.  No wait, they frown on the last one…

PS4's new interface
PS4’s new interface

The main menu interface is different that the PS3.  Gone is the XMB, replaced with icons for What’s New and ones for any games you had recently played and apps on you system.  Under the game app, you can see available DLC, what friends have been playing with the game, any pictures or videos you captured and what achievements you have recently gotten.  There is also Apps for the Sony Video service and Music Unlimited.  More on those later.  Options for PlayStation Store, notifications, Friends, Account (Which can be linked with Facebook), Settings and Power can be accessed by pushing on the controller.

Looks so real, you can almost feel the plastic brick under your foot!
Looks so real, you can almost feel the plastic brick under your foot!

Graphically, the games that I do have (Assassin’s Creed 4, Killzone: Shadowfall, Lego marvel Superheroes and some downloaded ones such as DC Universe Online,.) all look good.  I suspect that the graphics will continue to improve over the next few years.  Game run up to 1080p with very good frame rates.  We should start seeing from  more games later this year, though I am excited for Infamous: Second Son later in March.

Assassin's Creed 4
Assassin’s Creed 4

One of the features I an excited about is the integration with the PS Vita.  Most, if not all, games cam be remote played from your Vita.  As long as you have a good intent connection (and I don’t.  Thanks Bell!)  you can stream you games through WI-FI or the internet.  The PS4 also promises a second screen function for most games.  I have yet to see it, but using the PS Vita as a control and using it to manage you inventory or solve a puzzle would help with the immersion.

Sony also recently updated the PS4 to be compatible with the PlayStation wireless headsets.  It works well for talking in online games or even just keeping the sound to yourself.  As well, with the Facebook integration, you can now allow Friends to see your real name (as on Facebook) instead of your PS ID.

Now, I do have a few nitpicks with this system.  One is why did they change the type of cable for the controller charger cable.  They went from a mini-USB to a micro USB (like on most non-Apple cellphones).  The one they provided is too short to plug and play and I can’t find a decent cable over 4 ft (there is one third party cable from Dream Gear but the micro-USB nub is too long to fit in properly.)

Another is the ability to save songs and movies on your hard Drive.  Though the system lets you take screenshots and video of your games, you can only watch them on the PS4 or uploaded to Facebook or to the video service.  Any movies you buy on the PSN can only be streamed on the PS4 not downloaded (and from some reason not all videos are available.)  Finally, the Music Unlimited  service is your only choice for music and you must subscribe to that (over and beyond the PlayStation Plus).  The music is streamed, not downloaded.  You cannot load songs through a USB drive or PSP/Vita and there is no media connectivity with your PC.  This has been brought up to Sony and they said something along the lines of “we’ll consider it.”  This concerns me because when the WWE 2k series comes to PS4, I would like to have custom entrance music.

Overall, the PS4 is a good machine.  Most of the video game press seem to be giving the PS4 the advantage early in the game.  While some blips can and have popped up (unable to watch YouTube in the web browser), most can be solved with a system update.  Hopefully this year we will see games that will wow us and truly usher in the next generation of gaming.

DCU Online- One of my favorite MMORPGs and it carries over any toons on the PS3 version.
DCU Online- One of my favorite MMORPGs and it carries over any toons on the PS3 version.