Well, that was quite the launch.

Sony sells over 1 million Playstation 4 consoles in the first 24 hours – for comparison’s sake, the Playstation 3 sold 400,000 on its launch day, and the Wii was the previous day 1 record holder with 600,000 consoles sold. 

What’s up for this week? Oh, just another console release… Considering we only get these releases once every 5 years or so, I think the excitement is warranted. 

Friday, 10:18 am – Gavin

Sadly, I didn’t do that well on the Zelda quiz.  I scored 70% (I’ve never played a handheld Zelda, and am only partially familiar with Majora’s Mask and Wind Waker), but I would note that one of the answers is incorrect.  The quiz asks you which item is not required to beat The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and the “correct” answer is the Bug Net.  I would note that the boomerang is not technically required either – you can make it the entire game without using it.  Presumably they are talking about the requirement to use the boomerang to hit switches, but any switch that can be hit with the boomerang can also be hit with a thrown bomb.  CUT THE SHIT, IGN.

I’m sitting here, just praying that time goes by a little quicker, as today is release day for Super Mario 3D World, and I’ve had an e-mail sitting in my inbox for hours now telling me that my reservation is ready for pickup.  I can’t wait to be 12 years old again.

Wednesday, 5:27 pm – matt

ZELDA QUIZ, looking for a perfect score here Gavin:

http://ca.ign.com/articles/2013/11/12/igns-27th-anniversary-legend-of-zelda-quiz

Wednesday, 5:27 pm – matt

actually LeBron looks terrible in real life too. 🙂 The vita can act as a second screen displaying maps and HUD data. It can also be used to play your actual system with the back touch pad making up for lack of second triggers. so similar to the wii-u, I can play a game on the PS4, and move it onto the VITA if the television is going to be used for something else (yeah right!) 🙂

It seems very quick, menus are snappy and easy to navigate quickly. the controller is absolutely astounding. dual shock has recaptured having the best controller of the generation I think.

Wednesday, 4:27 pm – Gavin

Man…Lebron looks terrible in NBA Live 14.  It doesn’t even look like the same guy.

So matt, am I understanding it correctly that you can use the Vita as a plain-Jane controller, similar to the Wii U gamepad?  I would imagine that games will never be designed around the second-screen functionality (since Sony can’t guarantee that every user will have a Vita, regardless of how low they may price it), which is a drag because of the possibilities with the PS4’s technology, but it does bode well for the generation after this one.

You raise a good point – how many people are attached to the hardware they play games on, vs the games they’re actually playing?  Assuming no major issues between iterations, does it really matter if you play the latest multiplatform game on PS4 or XBox One (or Wii U!)?  Exclusives, in my mind, are really the main driver in what system I buy (or rather, they were, prior to the announcement of the “features” of the Xbox One).  Don’t get me wrong – I respect the PS4’s power, the Xbox One’s versatility, and what I presume will be Nintendo’s reliability (going on history here – Nintendo home consoles are bulletproof).  But at the end of the day, the system I’m going to buy is the one that brings me (game x) or (game y).  Obviously I’ve already made up my mind and decided that the exclusives that matter to me are Nintendo rather than Naughty Dog or Bungie or whomever.

What are the load times like?  I ask because my frame of reference, obviously, is the significantly less-powerful Wii U, which is known for its atrociously bad loading times (in playing Call of Duty: Ghosts, the game hasn’t finished loading even after the cutscene finishes, which is terrible).  It would be interesting to know just how quick the PS4 is in practical terms!

Wednesday, 3:50 pm – matt

well, its here. after a (prolonged) wait, I finally received my PS4 yesterday after about as much bumbling from Best Buy as possible, I have a system, and still haven’t paid for it yet. best case scenario. to celebrate the momentous occasion, and to mark rickys journey in Montreal, I re-wired and cleaned up my entire living room set up and loaded up the system for an update and download few games that were made available to the PS+ masses.

So opening thoughts, Sony has done a remarkably better job this generation than last, which they arguably approached a little too cocky in developing hard to work with operating system and hardware and subsequently had their ass handed to them on a platter than to Xbox Live. But boy times they are a changing. In the opening night I hooked up my VITA to take full advantage of the each respective platform, it can operate your entire system, or simply work as a second screen similar to Wii-U or certain game enabled tablets. The operating system itself is pretty clean, feels similar to XMB with some new twists, and of course, 16 person player chat.

so obviously the question becomes which system for the long haul, XBONE or PS4? Obviously personal tastes factor into things, I like saving extra cash devoted to a peripheral I have no intention of using, and if I want to I can buy a separate upgrade later if I choose. While first party exclusives still exist, the UBER large games are pretty much always multi platform so it becomes a matter of choosing what system to get with your friends and going for it (as we did several months in advance). I felt that the disappointment Sony must have experienced having Microsoft win the previous generation will push them hard into making sure they win this one.

Wednesday, 12:01 pm – Ricky

Yep, very possible that The Last of Us was over-hyped for me. That said, there’s also been a pretty big lull between each of my play sessions – I feel like most people who enjoyed the game attempted to complete it much quicker, which kept them immersed during and between sessions. I’ve been playing it off and on for 4 months, so not really ideal.

Some good, competitive options for “Week of the Year™”, but when you get new consoles and 1st party Nintendo games so infrequently, you know what week is going to win. 2 days left Gavin, stay strong!

Played some Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag on PC last night. The download and installation was relatively seamless (I’m still not a Uplay fan – why do we need to launch Steam, which launches Uplay!?), and the game is GORGEOUS. Really, this game looks incredible. I mean, really, really good. So good. I only played a portion of the introduction, so I’m still very early on, but I can’t wait to see what it’s like sailing the open sea, visiting islands, battling other ships etc. I’m going to put it on the side burner in favour of TLoU and PS4 stuff this weekend, but man, I know I’m going to spend quality time with this game.

Speaking of PS4, I’ve already got Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty Ghosts thanks to that Best Buy/Futureshop promotion a couple of weeks ago. I’ll be looking to pick-up FIFA 14 when the Backlog Challenge lifts, but that’ll probably be it for a while… I definitely won’t be getting NBA Live 14 though…

CaptureJPG_y8qmb9a86k

Oh EA, you so silly!

Tuesday, 1:33 pm – Gavin

Hm, drag that you aren’t enjoying it as much.  Perhaps it was too hyped for you?  I know I’ve fallen into that trap before.  Could it also be that prior to that, your last epic man-escorts-girl-during-zombie-apocalypse game was The Walking Dead, a game that I cannot say enough positive things about?

I’m looking back at 2013 in video gaming, and I’m having a tough time coming up with as powerful a week.  August 13-20 had Gone Home, Saint’s Row IV, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Disney Infinity (not my choice, but a moneymaker to the extreme), and Europa Universalis IV, and September 17-24 had GTA V, FIFA 14, Zelda: Wind Waker HD, and Scribblenauts Unmasked.  October 8-15 had Beyond: Two Souls (a big release, if not well-received), Pokemon X&Y, Just Dance 2014 (don’t laugh – these games are money factories), and Skylanders: Swap Force (the go-to game for 8 year old boys).  October 22-29 gave us Deus Ex: Human Revolution: The Director’s Cut: Colon, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Batman: Arkham Origins, Assassin’s Creed IV, Battlefield 4, and WWE2K14 (again, money factory).  But even with all of that, two console releases and two premium Nintendo AAA titles?  That’s an all-star lineup right there.

I’m still trying my hardest to avoid anything to do with Super Mario 3D World, but Destructoid released their review, and I only read the tagline and the score: “ONE OF THE BEST MARIO GAMES OF ALL TIME”, and 10/10.  Reddit is overflowing with tons of stuff to do with it, and it’s hard to avoid it all, but it sounds like Polygon gave it a stellar review as well.  Could this be the game-changer that Nintendo has so desperately needed for this console?  I hope so, but either way, this weekend is a gamefest for me.  I’m stupidly excited.  I hope to hell that I’m keeping my expectations as tempered as they can be, but I’m not certain.

I’ve been playing Call of Duty: Ghosts for the Wii U.  It started strong for me, but quickly devolved into gimmicks.  The game is lukewarm rice pudding.  The setpieces look great and the physics are fine, and when you pull the trigger, the weapons have a certain “oomph” to them that you can actually feel, but the story is impossible to care about, the characterization is garbage (though the voice acting is strong, especially from Stephen Lang, whom you may remember as the bad guy from Avatar, and Brandon Routh, whom you may remember as the flying dingus from Superman Returns), and the game feels significantly more linear than its predecessors (admittedly, I’m only comparing it to MW1 and 2).  You just kind of amble along from one action sequence to the next with no real regard for why you’re doing what you’re doing.  You never really feel any sense of tension within the game.  I’ve had no problem dying, so it’s not a difficulty issue; it’s just that modern military shooters will always be measured up against Modern Warfare 1.  If I may be so bold as to make a ridiculous comparison, Modern Warfare 1 is Die Hard.  It’s paced extremely well, the characters feel unique and there’s a bad guy who isn’t a cartoon.  Meanwhile, Ghosts is A Good Day to Die Hard.  At this point, it’s just going through the motions.  Sure, there are lots of explosions and bullets fly around all the time, but there’s no substance to it.  Plus, the much-vaunted “Fish AI” is only seen in one level, and it’s a stupid level that you’re going to hate.

Plus, the game looks like ass.  Not the setpieces – they look great, and the physics work well enough, but the in-game cutscenes, where you see NPCs interacting with each other during “dramatic moments”, look HORRIBLE.  I don’t believe that this is a failing of the Wii U because I’ve seen plenty of games where the graphics looks just fine for a system with its level of power.  No, this is a failing of Activision and Infinity Ward.  I know what this game looks like on other platforms.  It’s demonstrably worse on the Wii U.

All in all, I’m glad I didn’t pay for this game.  I would hate to have this on my shelf knowing that I gave money towards it, because it’s overall not a good game.  You’ve been here before and you’ve seen all of this before, better.  I devoured MW1, but with this, I’m just sort of trudging through it.  I know my tastes have changed since I played MW1, but not that much.  Be warned – this is a game you’re going to want to pick up for the multiplayer aspect, not the campaign.

Tuesday, 12:02 pm – Ricky

Pound for pound, I can’t think of a better week for video games in 2013 than November 15th-22nd. Two new console launches, plus MASSIVE hitters released from the Nintendo camp.

No gaming for me recently – I’ll be downloading and booting up Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag on PC tonight, just to see how pretty it looks. Otherwise, it’s a solid focus on The Last of Us, and then PS4 time this weekend!

It’s really unfortunate, but The Last of Us just hasn’t grabbed me in the same way it seemed to grab matt, Albert and the rest of the known gaming world. There’s a great story with great characters here, but every so often this gorgeous movie video game asks me to play some inane stealth sequence, or to solve some “puzzle” that inevitably involves a ladder hidden in a patch of tall grass. I wish I could just sit back and enjoy the beautiful art, voice acting and story. Alas, that mode does not exist… yet. I’ll keep playing of course, because I’m hooked on The (Mis)Adventures of Joel and Ellie, but I will be sorely tempted to simply beat everything to a bloody pulp vs. stealthily managing my way through levels.

Monday, 3:25 pm – Gavin

PS4 released?  Whatever.

Xbox One?  Please, child.

November 22nd is the day the SUPER MARIO 3D WORLD comes out.  I haven’t day-one’d a game in ages, but I will literally sprint out of work on Friday to head home and be 12 years old again.  IGN accidentally broke the review embargo and gave it 9.6/10, but that has since been taken down.

It’s also the day that A Link Between Worlds comes out, but I must resist the urge to buy a 3DS.  I’m hoping that at some point, all DS titles are released for the Wii U.  There’s no reason not to – the second screen is already there.  Unlikely, but a man can dream.

Monday, 8 am – Ricky

Not much gaming for me over the weekend, but this week will hopefully buck that trend. I’ll try and wrap up The Last of Us (I’m about halfway through according to matt) and I finally get the PC release of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag.

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