PS4 Review: WWE 2K16

WWE 2K16
WWE 2K16

I’m not really into wrestling.  I can go years without watching it on TV.  When I do, it is usually to figure out who’s who in the latest wrestling game.. I enjoyed the PS3 versions of the WWE 2K series (and the SmackDown Vs Raw before that) for the create a wrestler features that allow me to create my own characters and fight.  I especially like creating my own Divas (WWE’s term for women wrestlers) and had many of them, from original ones to ones from other video games, movies, TV and music.  2k Games (who took over for THQ when they went bankrupt) brought the series to the PS4 last year with WWE 2k15, but without many of the features that it had in the last gen, including the ability to create female wrestlers.  That make many fans, including me, unhappy with the game.  This year, however, 2K has brought back some features that the fans demanded.

WWE 2k16 is a wrestling game based on the WWE wrestling promotion.  It is developed by YUKE’s Future Media Creators and Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports.  It is the 17th game in the WWE game series (going back to WWF SmackDown! from 2000) and is the second for the Current console generation.  The game  is available for the PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360.  This review is for the PS4 version.

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Main Menu

The game, similar to the previous versions  has three game modes.  Play allows you to play any match type, from One on One, Tag Team, Triple Threat, Fatal Four Way, 6 Man, Handicap, Tournament and Royal Rumble.  All match types, save Royal Rumble are playable by wrestlers of either sex (though inter-gender matches, sadly, are still not allowed.)  Then there is MyCareer, where you create a (male) wrestler and play as he rises to become a WWE Superstar.  This year’s 2K Showcase features Stone Cold Steve Austin as you replay some of this most memorable matches and unlock challenges in Special Objective sub-mode.  Finally WWE Universe is back, as you can manage the different brands, add you won created wrestlers and play through a year of WWE shows, or ones that you create.

There are a lot of match options in the game.
There are a lot of match options in the game.
Creation Suite
Creation Suite

Yes, the creation suite is back and features the return of Create-a-Show and Create-An-Arena.  Using the logo manager, you can upload custom images to the WWE 2k servers and download them into your game.  You can use it to recreate your favorite wrestling promotion’s set up (such as WCW or TNA) or create your own (The Brazzers arena I downloaded had an interesting design that makes the floor seem REALLY sticky.)  You can also use custom images to create you own title.  You can even choose how Lillian Garcia announces your created title with up to 8 choices  You can also create tag team belts and choose what gender completes for them  Yes, women’s tag team belts are possible and you can have you custom Diva compete for it.

You can create you own champiuonships from Singles competition,,,
You can create you own championships from Singles competition,,,
...to Tag championship for either gender.
…to Tag championship for either gender.

Yes, the Create-a-Wrestler mode has corrected its omission and brought back custom Divas.  There is a variety of custom faces available, which is good because the face morphing tools is complicated  as ye adjust the shape of face parts by moving points around its shape.  You can also map a face form a picture though sometimes it looks off.  There is a variety of hair for each sex (more for males) though for the females, it is missing a few styles from the older games like high double ponytails.  The body shape slider is pretty straight forward, though the height scale is a mess as it doesn’t use feet and inches but a scale from 5.2 to 8.0. were 6.0 comes after 5.9.  and created divas, by default, are as tall as default created males.

You can choose a face template or adjst it manually
You can choose a face template or adjust it manually

As for the CAW clothing options, there is definitely more options than in WWE 2K15.  There are costume parts inspired by WWE performers in a separate tab and there is a  large selection of generic costume parts for both the head, torso and bottom.  There aren’t too many outlandish parts (though there are still halos and angel and demon wings, although smaller) and the sexes do not share parts, with the females not getting clothes like a karate gi and the males unable to wear female clothes,  Also there are no options for patterns, although you can upload a pattern as a logo an apply it to your character’s outfit, though results can be hit or miss.  The announcer name are now made of three parts, a nickname, first name and last name.  There is a large number of options and you can leave one or two blank if you wish.  You can also have one additional attire for your CAWs  Other than that, it is the same as last year.

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You can use uploaded logos on your CAWs
Or use WWE logos, shape or letters to get what you want.
Or use WWE logos, shape or letters to get what you want.

The Create-a-Moveset and Create-an-Entrance also return.  The Create-a-Moveset is the same as last year, with some moves having their name changed to something generic if a Superstar is no longer with the WWE.  There are only 16 “generic” move set templates, each given a name to reflect what past Superstar inspired it (Charisma Personified is definitely Jeff Hardy).  Unfortunately there are no generic Diva inspired templates (AJ’s would have been nice, but Lita’s and Trish Stratus’s are available via paid DLC).  The Create-an-Entrance again features both an Easy Creation (copy an existing Entrance, adjusting only the video and music) or Advanced (adjust actions on stage, on ramp, outside and inside the ring separately).  Unfortunately there are not many generic entrances and no joke ones like “guy on cell phone” or “Clumsy wrestlers.”  the one they do have are let overs from wrestlers that go pulled from the game, like AJ Lee and the Great Kahli.  and the worse is not custom music.  This is more of an oversight of the system hardware as both the PS4 and Xbox One do not allow you to save music on the system (though they even removed it from the PS3/Xbox 360 versions).  If there is a way around it, I hope they include it in the next game.

I so wanted Nanci Drew's entrance theme to be 'Dead Honey" by Die Mannequin
I so wanted Nanci Drew’s entrance theme to be ‘Dead Honey” by Die Mannequin

You can also upload and download CAWS, custom arena and logos from the WWE 2k16 servers.  But, like the last few versions, the service is really unstable sometimes with the server becoming unavailable.  2k is working on it but it is a bone of contention on the forums.  There is also a limit of 20 downloads every 24 hours and a maximum of 100 custom logos (including those on CAWs or arenas you have downloaded.

You can customize your own arena to play in.
You can customize your own arena to play in.

For those of you who care about the actual wrestlers, there are a lot.  The game post over 120 WWE superstars (not including DLC), but there is a catch to it.  There are some wrestlers that have different version of themselves as individual characters.  Besides wrestles like Mick Foley who had multiple personas (Dude Love, Cactus Jack and Mankind are all in the game, there are two Big shows (one as Paul Wright) two Chris Jerichos, two Kanes, two Mark Henrys (None of which is Sexual Chocolate) two Rocks, three Stings, three Undertakers, three Triple H (including him as Hunter Hearst Helmsley), and five(!) Steve Austins (including Stunning and Superstar versions, with hair!).

Universe mode can see rival form between wreslters
Universe mode can see rivalries form between wrestlers

When it does down to it, what makes a game is the gameplay and graphics.  The controls are almost the same as last year, with the pin kick out meter being different (hate it).  The graphic are nice, but looks the same as last year and there are a few glitches here and there.  Characters wearing long coast during entrances can have a glitch where the bottom of the coat gets stretch across the arena.  Sometimes the announcer messes up the names.  And, on occasion, when she wins, WWE Diva Paige turns invisible and you see an empty ring during the post-match celebration.  She doesn’t do that in real life.  At least, not the last time I checked (and I googled.).

Invisible Paige. She might be naked.
Invisible Paige. She might be naked.
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Lita (available through paid DLC) with a custom logo

Another thing that bothers me is with the custom logos.  While the uploading of the logos is great and a lot of folks are doing creative things, you have to upload the image and then download and it is available to everyone.  You cannot delete any images that you upload either.  I wish there was a custom logo move that you can create your own signs and/or be able to upload something that would only be downloadable by use and would disappear after 24 hours.  That way, if you wanted to create a logo that some might find objectionable that you wanted for you own person use, you could create it yourself offline in the game

Tag Team match
Tag Team match – Avril Lavigne and Candi Cane Versus the Bellas

WWE 2k16 is definitely better than the last game and is on the right track to improving even more.  While the creation suite is great, I still want to see modes like Create-a-Finisher and Create-an-Entrance movie return.  Custom story mode needs to make a comeback as well, as with being able to take game video and uploading them to You Tube and Twitch, I think a lot of folks would have a field day with it  Custom music would be nice, but between the hardware not allowing it (a step back) and the legality of being allowed to upload music (even though the game videos don’t include the Entrance music, even the WWE’s own!) I don’t see it happening.  I was ready to give up on this series after 2k15, but 2k16 roped me back in.  Fans from the THQ days and those who like the series up to 2k14 should check it out.

3.5/5

Helen Huntress and E.Z. Ryder
Helen Huntress and E.Z. Ryder
Candi Cane (from Rumble Roses)
Candi Cane (from Rumble Roses)

 

 

PS4 Review- LEGO Dimensions

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LEGO Dimensions is a LEGO-themed action adventure game developed by Traveller’s Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.  The game comes with three LEGO figures, a vehicle mini kit and a portal to bring them into the game.  It is available for the Wii U, PS3. PS4, Xbox 360 Xbox One.  This review is for the PS4 version.

The Vorton Portal, which make Dimension jumping possible
The Vorton Portal, which make Dimension jumping possible

The game follows three characters, Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle (from LEGO: The Movie) as they travel through different dimensions to stop the evil Lord Vortech.  Vortech is tearing through different LEGO world searching for the Foundation Elements. With these items, Lord Vortech can unlock the Foundation of the Universe recreate all of reality.

The game takes you to many worlds, such as Oz.
The game takes you to many worlds, such as Oz.

The different levels consists of worlds based on different LEGO properties.  Some worlds are from LEGO’s properties, such as Ninjago, Chima or The LEGO Movie.  Others are from licensed properties that LEGO has been making sets of for years (DC Heroes and Lord of the Rings) or more recent licences like Scooby Doo and The Simpsons.  The even got properties that haven’t got the LEGO treatment before.  Some are pretty out there (Midway arcade covers a slew or old Arcade, like Spy Hunter) and some are properties that should have gotten the LEGO treatment before, like Ghostbusters and Doctor Who.  Then there’s Portal 2, a computer game that you wouldn’t expect to get a LEGO treatment but works very well.

Chell interacts with Wheatley in the Portal 2 level.
Chell interacts with Wheatley in the Portal 2 level.

There are open world levels for each of the different LEGO worlds.  Each world has different objectives like escorting Scooby Doo’s parents in the Scooby Doo world, or fighting crime with the Flash in the DC Comics world.  Each world has tasks or actions that can only be completed by certain characters not necessarily from that particular property.  To enter these worlds, you must have a mini-figure that goes with that world.

You can explore the fields of the Shire in Middle Earth
You can explore the fields of the Shire in Middle Earth
...Or attend a rave at Wayne Manor in Gotham City.
…Or attend a rave at Wayne Manor in Gotham City.

Like Disney Infinity, to add characters, you have to buy additional packs.  There are three types of packs: Fun packs, with includes a character and a vehicle/item mini kit; Team packs, which have two characters and mini kits; and. Level Packs,which have a character, two mini kits and level based on that property.  So far, they include Back to the Future, The Simpsons and Portal 2.  The Doctor Who level pack is coming this November and two more packs, Ghostbusters and Midway Arcade, are scheduled for next year.

Travel between worlds
Travel between worlds

Much like Disney Infinity and Skylanders, you need certain figures to get to certain areas.  While having only the Starter set will allow you to beat the game, you won’t be able to get 100%/  You have to get certain characters to access some areas and open worlds and some, like Peter Venkmen from Ghostbusters, are not out until next year.

Scooby Doo World
Scooby Doo World

Unlike Skylanders or Infinity, the toys are actual toys.  They are normal LEGO figures and bricks, with the base being what loads the characters into the game.  But the bricks are a functional part of the game.  You even build the Dimension portal as you play the game.   You even follow on screen instructions to build the mini kits and there is no physical instructions with them. This is optional (the portal set comes with an instruction manual) as the LEGO pieces are just set dressing, but it adds to the fun.  You can upgrade your vehicles, too, unlocking two other configurations with unique abilities.  If you don’t want to build the LEGO. you just need the base.

In the Portal 2 world, there is cake!
In the Portal 2 world, there is cake!

But here is the best part of LEGO Dimensions:  The different characters interact with each other.  While Disney Infinity has each world separate (except in the Toy Box, which is great), the story in this game has Joker invading Springfield, GLaDOS sending Orcs after you, amongst other things.  The characters you have sometimes interact depending who else you have on the portal.  Wyldstyle gets chatty with Wonder Woman, Scooby Doo sings the Batman theme and Homer can’t believe a dog can talk.  They all have a few phrases when they enter or exit the game.

There is a lot of hidden details referencing the source material.
There is a lot of hidden details referencing the source material.

LEGO Dimension is a fun game with an interesting hook.  Traveller’s Tales have been doing LEGO games for years and it shows in this one.  Of course, there is one obvious omission (LEGO Star Wars), but there is enough different properties to make up for it.  I mean, Doctor Who!  In LEGO form!  With packs scheduled to come out until next year,  the game is posed to stay fresh and relevant.

4.5/5

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PS4 Review: Disney Infinity 3.0- Star Wars Saga pack

Disney Infinity 3.0
Disney Infinity 3.0

Disney Infinity is an open world/sandbox action-adventure game developed with Avalanche Studios and published by Disney Interactive.  It is a sequel to the original Disney Infinity game and Disney Infinity 2.0. The game is available on multiple platforms  including PC and iOS devices.  Like the other two, it required the purchase of figurines and “Play Sets” to gain more characters and levels..  I am reviewing the PS4 Saga Starter Bundle, which included the game, the Twilight of the Republic and Rise of the Empire playsets and a exclusive Boba Fett figurine.

Twilight of the Republic follows the Clone Wars cartoon.
Twilight of the Republic follows the Clone Wars cartoon.
Boba Fett takes on all comers!
Boba Fett takes on all comers!
Rise of the Empire tells a very abridged version of the Original Trilogy
Rise of the Empire tells a very abridged version of the Original Trilogy

The basic game has been improved from 2.0.  The game starts with several quick scenes from the various properties (Star Wars, Inside Out and a racer starring Mickey Mouse) and leads into the new and improved Toy Box Hub.  Here you can  use any Infinity character to go through tutorials and challenges such as racing, platforming combat and, how to use your sidekick.  Sidekicks are AI characters that follow you around and help out in combat.  You can use them to get to certain areas or you can equip them with weapons and items that grants them abilities to hep you, such as healing or invisibility.

Side kicks can help you in you Hub and your Toy Box adventures
Side kicks can help you in you Hub and your Toy Box adventures

Once you open up all the areas in the Hub, you can go back and play different challenges.  The Hub doesn’t stay quiet those as enemies send to spawn and come out of the combat zone, attacking the townsfolk.  Occasionally, a Star Destroyer will appear and you will have to get in a X-wing and destroy a wave of TIE Fighters.  You also can build your own personal space called an INterior, decorating it with various picture and items you’ve unlocked.

You can create a home  in the Hub called the INterior.
You can create a home in the Hub called the INterior.
Sometimes you will need to take to the skies in an X-wing to defend the Hub from the Empire
Sometimes you will need to take to the skies in an X-wing to defend the Hub from the Empire

The Playset work the same as the last two games,  Old playsets do not work on the new game and only characters the setting of the playset will work wit them.  Only Anakin, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan and Yoda will work with the Twilight of the Republic set and only Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie work in the Rise of the Empire.  Cross over coins are back, allowing other Star Wars characters play in those levels, but, unlike last time, all characters in the franchise can play in either Playset as long as you find their particular cross over coin (Boba Fett’s is located by the Saarlac in both playsets, by the way.).

You will need to find her cross over coin to allow Sabine Wren to play in either Star Wars playset
You will need to find her cross over coin to allow Sabine Wren to play in either Star Wars playset

There are additions playsets as well.  In addition to the Inside Out set currently and the Force Unleashed set coming out in December, there is something called the Toy Box takeover playset, where Syndrome (from the Incredibles) stealing Mickey’s magic wand and taking over the Magic Kingdom.  Every character is playable in this Toy Box as you fight bad guys from the various properties, including Marvel and Star Wars.  There is also a Toy Box Racer and a 4 player Marvel Battle Arena coming out later.

Boba Fett vs. Pirates in the Caribbean.
Boba Fett vs. Pirates in the Caribbean.

Of course, there is the Toy Box itself, an sandbox in which you can create your own level.  Community created content is back and toy boxes created in previous versions and uploaded can be re-downloaded again.  You can create levels that allow any character or ones that only a specific one  There is tons of levels available and once you unlock different building sets with blue sparks earned in game

Some user created levels are for specific characters.
Some user created levels are for specific characters.

All previous Disney Infinity characters are playable in the Toy Box.  With the exception of all the Star Wars characters (who are unlockable, if not immediately playable in/ both sets) and the Inside Out characters in their set, all the new figure are only usable in the Toy Box or Toy Box Takeover.  I would have like to see a Playset for the Star Wars Rebels characters or one for Tron 3.0, but I’ll have to settle for ones created in the Toy Box

Boba Fett!
Boba Fett!

Disney Infinity 3.0 is a definite step in the right direction.  Having more to do in the Toy Box lets players use their favorite character, even if they are from different properties (which would be great for kids)  The Toy Box takeover was good idea, but I feel it should have been built into the game  With LEGO Dimensions promising (and delivering) crossover between various brands, 3.0 seems a bit lacking, but still offers a decent, all-ages Star Wars experience to tide you over until Episode 7.  Or Star Wars Battlefront, at least

4/5

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Disney Infinity 3.0_20150830151050
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Disney Infinity 3.0_20150830192808
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Let it go.

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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

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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