WipEout: Omega Collection Review, PS4

Wipeout as a brand is synonymous with Playstation, first spinning up in PS One disc drives back in 1995. Finally some Wipeout love is hitting the PS4, but it’s not a brand new game. Unfortunately it’s a remastering of 2012s ‘Wipeout 2048’ for the Vita and ‘Wipeout HD + Fury’, circa 2008 from the PS3. That said, Wipeout: Omega Collection in 1080p and running at a silky 60fps on the PS4, makes this uniquely Playstation experience….. an absolute blast to play.

Wipeout is a high-speed-arcade-sci-fi-racer based around antigravity ships with shields which use weapon pick-ups to get an advantage on the racetrack. There are a wide selection of ships to be used with different strengths and speeds depending on the race mode being undertaken. Each futuristic manufacturer has a range of ships and these unlock as you level up. There is something along the lines of 50 ships and 25 tracks across all the remasters, with many of the original electronic soundtracks being cleaned up too for the PS4 release.

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EB EXPO 16, LiveBlog

logo_eb2016It’s 2016 and we embark once more to Sydney’s Olympic Park (maybe Brisbane next year guys?).

This should be an interesting collection of thoughts as the day goes by in a blurry exhausted haze.

Remember to read from the bottom up.

 

17.33

Skylanders Imaginators, making amends.

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Had a play with Imaginators and while it may just another Skylanders game it is fair to say that they are bringing something really new this year.

Forgetting the vehicles of Superchargers, Imaginators lets you build your own Skylanders from hundreds of options.

So, the traditional figures are pretty much bunk. Time to throw Creation Crystals into the mix, but here’s the rub. Once you create a character it’s pretty much locked to that crystal, some people won’t like it, but I don’t mind. It makes you think about the strategy of building your ultimate Skylander and probably being priced around. .99 cheaper than the figures of 2015.

The crystals are elemental based and give access to base body types, then you can dress them up with unlockable skins and weapons. I like the system, it’s breathing life into the franchise. There will be Sensei figures that will add upgrades and experience to your creations, so there is still the need to gather some of the new batch plus you will be able to introduce your old characters too.

After that it’s a classic Skylands adventure, platform and smash and level up, with a few experience earning gizmos thrown in. In fact the selfie mode is more appealing than the Dead Rising one.

Back to Skylands? Yes please, sign me up.

15.43

Driveclub VR hands on.

PlayStation Stand EBExpo16

Ok, managed to get into a quiet slot and jump behind the wheel of some Driveclub VR and it was awesome.

The depth of field is nice with a floaty 3D effect, the response time of the visor to the screen is good enough. Not forgetting this is a mass market product for the home. And the immersion just got me straight off the bat.

The race started and I was driving, really driving, while the VR and sound did a lot for that you have to credit the steering wheel and force feedback with som of it. Regardless, I’m so in – even with a minor problem. I am somewhat myopic and not wearing glasses with VR doesn’t work for me. As such my varifocals struggled to keep everything in focus, I may have to resort to contacts and that’s my excuse for hitting a few walls, even if I did manage to bash my way to the front and win.

VR 10 mins in? Yes please.

14.20

Hands on with Steep.

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Steep is a mountainous playground for thrill seekers in the snow.

What more do you need, the demo offered all types of the 4 sports on offer. Controls are pretty intuitive and the visuals are really quite breathtaking, if a little white.

I jumped onto a snowboard eager to relive some1080 style skills, which almost got there, but ended up being more of a Snowboard Kids wipeout.

I might not manage being the fastest on the snow, but love the Wingsuit and Paragliding for some nice views.

14.12

So, Phil Spencer the actual Head of Xbox came to Sydney and addressed the crowd. I have to admit initial scepticism, but the man sells a genuine story his focus is the community and exploring the best future for his brand.

I have to say I was won over by his no nonsense approach along with the rest of the crowd. The message is clear Xbox might not be launching into VR this year, but they are laying the foundations for the future.

The line up of recent and future games looks strong, Forza started the session along to the tune of “I don’t want to fall in love” – the game obviously has other ideas. It’s stunning and the social aspects or Blueprints that were demoed are a step up.

Follow that with an enthused showing of Dead Rising 4, even though it’s hard to forget the failings of the series back in my 360 days.

Gears of War looked shiny and exciting, returning to an older Marcus is the draw for me, but being without Xbox – it can likely wait.

As for the hardware, the recently released XboxS looks very nice in the flesh, more compact and sexy. However the chat was all about the Scorpio which will be raising the bar come 2017.

Now, where’s mister Spencer – I need to ask for an Xbox handheld…

10.39

Popping Corn Theatre
Phil Spencer and Xbox presentation – imminent.

10.02

Farming Sim

Strangely quiet over here….

09.56

Hands on with Tombraider PS4.

Yes it’s been on the XB for a year, but this is the first time I have had a play and it look terrific. The weather effects (I was in a blizzard) are top notch and it feels very familiar to the recent reboot, amongst other third person leaping adventures.

My only concern after 5 minutes was Lara’s relentless internal monologue…

09.54

PlayStation Stand EBExpo16

It’s been a long day so far, waking late and racing for a plan, 4 trains and now an hour into the show. I need coffee and bacon STAT.

First impressions, the show is loud and full of hands-on experiences as usual, but exhibitors do seem a touch thin on the ground. Sony have the majority of real estate with a heap of VR hands-on and queues to match, not forgetting CoD and Skylanders, as they brought Activision and partnered with Warner too.

With Battlefield 1 weeks away the absence of EA is noticeable, Ubisoft and Xbox have hefty stands while Namco/Square and 2k are present. 2K with their Mafia 3 inspired movie theatre.

Bethesda have a big Dishonored 2 showing, More on that later.

EB Expo16, Playstation Line Up

logo_eb2016There’s not really any other way to do this apart from dump a text heavy press release in the wild.

The Playstation Stand at EB’s Olympic Park Expo is going to be choc-full of hitherto untested joy, its like Christmas again.

Now – which screen will have The Last Guardian demo on?

PlayStation Brings Show Stopping Line Up To EB Expo in 2016

Players will have the chance to step into the immersive world of PlayStation®VR ahead of its highly anticipated launch on October 13 and be the first in Australia and to get hands-on with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Multi-Player

27 September 2016 – Sydney, Australia: PlayStation® Australia is giving gaming fans attending this year’s EB Expo the chance to experience the future of play and entertainment, with PlayStation®VR (PS VR) and PlayStation®4 (PS4™). The PlayStation booth will give fans a sneak peek of the upcoming, highly anticipated titles for PS4. Whether players want to enter the post-apocalyptic world and reclaim the ruins of a forgotten civilization with Horizon Zero Dawn™, or sit in the cockpit and rev an engine in DRIVECLUB™ VR, there is something for everyone.

ps4_ecosystemFans will also be able to get hands-on with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare multi-player before the Beta opens on October 15th on PS4. The spectacular line-up of games and hardware featuring on the PlayStation booth includes: PlayStation VR Powered by PS4, PlayStation VR is a virtual reality system that takes console gaming to the next level of immersion. Titles available include: ?

  • DRIVECLUB™ VR: Get behind the wheel and be transported to some of world’s most stunning locales, as this virtual reality edge-of-your-seat racing will test your skills and reflexes ?
  • Farpoint: Set off on a perilous journey into an hostile alien environment in Farpoint, available exclusively to PS VR ?
  • PlayStation VR Worlds: Step into PlayStation VR Worlds and journey through five unique and exclusive PS VR experiences ?
  • RIGS Mechanized Combat League: Set in the near future, you will pilot fast, large, heavily armed athletic sports machines in gripping matches held at incredible arenas around the globe ?
  • Until Dawn™: Rush of Blood: From the developers of horror survival title Until Dawn, strap yourself in for the most disturbing arcade-style rollercoaster ride you’ll ever take
  • EVE: Valkyrie™: Explore an intricate sci-fi universe like never before, where you will experience deep-space aerial dogfights and nerve-shredding tactical incursions ?
  • Batman Arkham VR: Immerse yourself in the Dark Knight’s Universe and redefine what it means to Be The Batman, exclusive to PlayStation VR ?
  • Call of Duty Jackal Assault: The first-ever Call of Duty PlayStation VR experience, will allow those at EB Expo to enter the cockpit and take control of a Jackal, the personal fighter jet in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare ?
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard: Prepare to be taken to a whole new level of immersive horror and terror with PS VR PlayStation 4

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The Playstation Eco-system, EBEXPO 2016

ps4_ecosystemThere’s a lot going on in the world of Playstation and VR is just the tip of it, for anybody with a vested interest then VR has to be intriguing – a next level jump to accessible gaming that raises the bar on immersion.

Personally I can’t wait, however I do find the VR label being a touch ambitious, not having had a hands on yet. My designated slot is 18:30 Friday…I understand the VR rig coupled with a headset will offer substantial ‘suspension of disbelief’ which will add to immersion, but I’d be more inclined to apply the VR badge to a full blown holodeck.

That said, I can’t wait.

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Grand Kingdom – Beta Preview

GrandKingdomBetaGrand Kingdom was a surprise to me, but it seems to be a pretty big thing.

The blurb offers a deep and satisfying strategy title, with a host of exciting options and It’s not far off from what I have seen.

Revolving around building a team of mercenaries the player sides with a nation of their choosing and dungeon crawls their way through the world. On top of that there is an online meta game that allows players to take part in larger wars. Pushing attacks either into or out of the nation, it’s an interesting concept and adds further layers to the game part base building tower defence and part skirmish level strategy.

The style of the game is basic, yet quite nice to look at. Classic Manga lines mixed with water coloured backgrounds. The character classes are all well represented and there is enough graphical variety to make them look good in a crowd.

The engine reminds me of classic Might and Magic games, where the strategy is a 2d affair on a set stage. Something that will work well on the Vita version. The strategy does offer good opportunity for depth as classes show off their skills, magic attacks and ranges. Like Othello it’s easy to grasp the concept, but there is plenty to master.

I’ve enjoyed the experience and like it a lot, I just wish I had more time to throw into a title like this. In th meantime checkout some of the video below.

Tearaway Unfolded, PS4 review

Tearaway_logoA Couple of years ago now Media Molecule showed the world exactly how you make the most of the Playstation Vita and all its functionality. More importantly they wrapped it up in a unique and inspiring title that never once felt gimmicky or strained. Tearaway made full use of the system cameras, touch screen and  rear touch pad, delivering a joyful game experience like no other.

Now the game has been reimagined for the PS4, expanded on in some ways and tweaked for the console controller. Personally I could not wait to delve back into the papercraft world on the other side of my console’s camera and experience again the journey of Iota the Messenger.

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A day in the life of the #EBExpo15 (live-ish-blog)

EBLOGO2015It’s time for the annual mission to Sydney, an early start followed by a redeye flight, a few hours on the show floor and time to chat with some like minded people while poring over this years exciting new releases.

The plan is to hit this post up with a story of the day, so let’s see how it goes.

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2 Weeks and counting… #EBEXPO

EBLOGO2015Just under two weeks before the doors are flung open at Sydney’s Olympic Centre for EB Games and their now annual extravaganza. We might not have an event of E3 calibre, but its a great way to give the industry a pre-xmas hype right on the cusp of Silly Season, also known as the October to November release window.

With hands-on demos galore and the chance to spend time with the occasional developer the show is well worth a visit for anybody remotely interested in seeing what’s around the corner.

Latest press release follows and a few appetite whetting videos.

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Lego Jurassic World, PS4 Review

Lego_JW011993, the year conventional cinema died and the year that dinosaurs ruled the earth once more. Universal studios were surfing a cash cow that was about to change everything. Since then we’ve seen spectacle after overblown spectacle thanks to blue and green screen technology, CGI has become a mainstay and arguably the wow factor has gone. Fast forward to 2015, Jurassic World is a big budget crowd pleaser and opening takings show that the dinosaurs still have pull.

Of course there’s a game along with all the other merchandise you could think of and of course the best people to take up that challenge are Travellers Tales by wrapping the concept up in lots and lots of Lego bricks.

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Farming Simulator 15, PS4 Review

Farm_sim_15_packI was lucky enough to grow up on a farm right here in New Zealand and I understand all too well the time and energy that goes into making a living off the land. The Farming Simulator games are a new experience for me as a gamer and I must admit, my real-life experiences had made me somewhat dismissive towards the franchise…..but I now get it. The digital land you initially turn sod on to make a quick buck quickly becomes more than just a piece of earth and actually becomes…your farm.

During the set-up, you choose one of the two farm maps. The somewhat hillier topography of the Scandinavian farm, suits more livestock, small cropping and forestry. Where the wide open spaces of the flats in the USA is akin to an Iowa or Indiana farm, far better suited to massive crops of corn and cereals with HUGE machinery used to covers the hectares. But, to be frank, both types can be used and worked in anyway you chose if you are willing to put in the time.

Farming Simulator 15

Farming Simulator 15

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