Monthly Archives: October 2013

Has The Delay of Watchdogs and Driveclub Tipped The Scales in The Xbox One’s Favour?

ps4 xbox one

 

Not only did Watchdogs get delayed earlier this week, but the PS4 exclusive Driveclub did as well. That’s minus two big games for the PS4. Watchdogs isn’t a PS4 exclusive and this is also a minus for anyone who has the Xbox One version on pre-order, however this is a much bigger blow for PS4 owners. The PS4/Watchdogs bundle was reportedly the most pre-ordered bundle around the world, therefore stores and websites were having to contact everyone with that bundle on pre-order to give them the sad news. Those picking up Playstation Plus and expecting the PS Plus edition of Driveclub are also left out in the cold, then, too. What if Watchdogs and Driveclub were the two games they were going to pick up on launch day? Disappointment is what. Their pre-order is secure, sure, but are they going to want a PS4 now? Are Killzone: Shadowfall and Knack strong enough to compete against the Xbox One’s Forza Motorsport 5, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome?

 

Although It’s too early to jump the gun and say which console is going to have the better games until they’re actually out, from a buyer’s perspective Xbox One has more exclusive games; which isn’t something we could say about the Xbox 360 throughout this whole current generation. As it stands the PS4 has 32 playable games at launch, and the Xbox One has 21. (It should be noted that some games that are included on the PS4’s list are already available to buy on the PS3.) It’s going to come down to quality over quantity at the end of the day, but having more games to play at launch is something that Sony surely won’t shy away from boasting about. All’s fair in love and console war, after all.

ps4 bundles

Minus the Watchdogs and Driveclub bundles

I’ve heard some people say that both launch line-ups aren’t particularly strong. To those people, I point them to previous console launches. Even with the absence of Watchdogs and Driveclub, this is one of the strongest launch line-ups ever for a console. The absence of blockbusters like Watchdogs and Driveclub now gives the chance of two Playstation Network games to step up to the plate: Resogun and Contrast. Both games have now been added to the Playstation Plus Instant Game Collection, and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from this generation, it’s that everyone loves a free game. Sony have focused a lot of their Playstation 4 promotion towards Indie games and developers, and what better way to get people interested, who may of otherwise been skeptical about these two unheard of new IPs, than to give them away for free.

 

I also can’t help but feel that the Driveclub delay might actually help Driveclub out in the long-run. Gran Turismo is Playstation’s top exclusive and biggest seller, and with GT6 coming out so soon after the Playstation 4’s launch – December 6  – some racing fans may have skipped on Driveclub and opted to wait for Gran Turismo anyway. Now, though, Evolution Studios don’t run the risk of having Driveclub be overshadowed by GT6, and not forgetting that it may have been out-shined by the hugely popular Forza Motorsport 5. There’s usually a drought of games after a console launch, but now though Driveclub can stand on its own and release at any time during the first half of 2014 where it’s going to be in competition with very little else.

A whopping £80 more expensive than the standard PS4 unit.

A whopping £80 more expensive than the standard PS4 unit.

 

So it’s not all doom and gloom, then. In fact, the light at the end of the tunnel is bright in spite of these delays. I’d be very interested to know what you think of the recent delays, and I’d also be interested to know if you are or aren’t picking up an Xbox One or PS4. Feel free to use the comment section below or get in touch with me on Twitter @icon162

 

 

 

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Out This Week

Welcome to another addition of Out This Week, the weekly feature that highlights the week’s biggest new releases in videogames and movies. So read on below to see what’s out, what’s hot and what’s not.

Videogames: 

The Last Of Us DLC – Abandoned Territories Map Pack (PS3) 

TLOU Map Pack

The first batch of DLC launched for The Last Of Us this week, but while it wasn’t the single-player component – which we want the most – we are getting four new maps to play on the great multiplayer mode for £7.99. Even though I’m not a big fan of season passes, I am tempted by The Last Of Us’. They haven’t released what the other two pieces of DLC are going to be included in the £16 DLC, though it’s bound to be another map pack and, hopefully, the single-player component. You also get a 90 minute making of video to sweeten the deal.

Sonic Lost World (3DS/Wii U) 

sonic lost world

There’s been a lot of Sonic games. A lot. At this point in time, there’s more bad Sonic games than there are good ones. Although I only played a short demo at this year’s Eurogamer Expo and I haven’t played the full game yet, I can say that Sonic: Lost World is no Mario Galaxy, unfortunately, that some fans may have been hoping for. It’s received very polarising reviews around the board, though, and it currently holds a 62 rating on Metacritic. So, not the worst rated Sonic game by any stretch of the animation, and maybe a good one to get the kids for Christmas. Speaking of games for kids…

 

Skylanders Swap Force (Wii/3DS/Wii U/360/PS3) 

skylanders swap force

I’ve never played a Skylanders game and I probably never will, because the games aren’t exactly targeted at twenty-year-old males, though If I was a little kid again then I know Skylanders Swap Force would’ve been the talk of the playground. The game looks colourful and fun enough, and it’s actually outshining Sonic with an 85 rating on Metacritic. Interestingly enough it’s been released on the Wii — is anyone still playing their Wii?

 

Movies: 

Captain Phillips  

Tom Hanks Captain Phillips

It seems like it’s been a while since I’ve seen Tom Hanks in a film, and I almost – almost – forgot how good of an actor he really is. Never have I seen an actor portray someone in a state of shock of so well. It’s a powerful film that’s made even more tense just knowing that it’s based on a true story. If you don’t know the true story of what happened to Captain Phillips, then you’ll probably be better off going into the film not knowing the outcome. The pirates in the film all deserve credit as well for bringing the story to life and commanding as much screen time as Hanks. One of this year’s best.

 

Escape Plan 

escape plan

Both Arnie and Stallone have been in their fair share of poor movies as of late (excluding Expendables, of course) but, believe it or not, Escape Plan is the first movie that sees these two action icons slug it out in a good old fashion prison fisty-cuffs. Why on earth 50 Cent is playing a computer expert in the film is beyond me, though, and those who have seen the film are reporting that he’s terrible in it. So listen up, singers/musicians: stop being terrible in movies. Yes, I’m talking to you, Rihanna. Rant over. If you do like your action meaty and your story cheesy, then Escape Plan is the one for you at the cinema this weekend.

 

That’s it for this week, guys, but be sure to check back next week to see what’s being released in the world of videogames and movies.

 

 

The Videogame Releases of October

October is a mammoth of a month for games, with Grand Theft Auto V’s online launching, the PS3 having its last exclusive swan song with Beyond: Two Souls, and with Nintendo coming out swinging with two of their biggest franchises’ in Zelda and Pokémon.

GTA Online (Oct 2)

GTA Online

Well well well. Is this the worst online mode launch for a console game since Gears of War 2’s multiplayer in 2008? Perhaps it’s too early so say – considering the online component only launched two days ago – but only a minuscule amount of people have been able to play so far. Personally speaking I’ve had no luck whatsoever, even in a private online session. Hopefully this time last week we will have all forgotten about the launch woes because we’ll be having too much of a blast robbing banks with friends! GTA’s online launch woes does leave me to wonder this, though: If the online had’ve launched alongside the game’s initial release (September 17) then we probably could’ve all been playing online smoothly by now already.

Platforms: PS3 & 360

Rain (Oct 1)

Rain

Having just played through Rain to completion only a few hours ago, I’m going to make a bold statement: This is this year’s PSN equivalent to Journey/Unfinished Swan. I will say that it doesn’t quite reach the same high heights of the two aforementioned games – which most games don’t – but it is the standout PSN game of 2013. An adventure game with simple-yet-effective puzzles and platforming that will stay with you thanks to its powerful, atmospheric soundtrack and heartfelt story. It’s fairly short, clocking in at no more than six hours, but it’s worth every penny of its £10/$15 asking price.

Platform: PS3

The Legend of Zelda: The  Wind Waker HD (Oct 4) 

wind waker

Super Mario 3D World is arguably the Wii U’s biggest game of the year, but from where I’m sitting, Wind Waker HD is Ninty’s biggest of the lot. We all loved the Gamecube, right? Well those of us who owned the thing most certainly did! I’ve got a confession to make, and it’s one I’m not proud of: I never played Wind Waker on Gamecube. I know, I know; I’m a terrible person! But, and I assure you of this, I’m going to make up for my sins and play the hell out of Wind Waker HD. Man, HD remakes are awesome, aren’t they? Fingers crossed for that Super Mario Sunshine HD remake!

Platform: Wii U

Dragon’s Crown (UK, Oct 11)

Dragon’s Crown was released over in North America at the start of August, and I’m not entirely sure why we’re getting it a few months later in the UK – other than the fact that we get stuff late sometimes. I can’t help but feel as if the August release date would’ve faired much better for Dragon’s Crown, though; as, well, as you can see from this list October is a pretty big month for games and Dragon’s Crown is now running the risk of being buried at sea by the bigger names. Personally speaking, I think I’m gonna have to pass on Dragon’s Crown for now. Not because it doesn’t look great, but because there’s other games that are taking priority at the top of my list. And not to mention that Beyond: Two Souls and Pokemon X & Y are both out on the same day.

dragon's cornw

Platforms: PS3 & PS Vita

Beyond: Two Souls (Oct 11)

Heavy Rain is, at this point in time, my favourite PS3 game. It is without a doubt one of my favourite games of this generation, too. Beyond: Two Souls has been my most anticipated game of the year, and my gut reaction is telling me that it’s going to be special. Real special. I was fortunate enough to go hands on with a generously lengthy demo just last week at Eurogamer Expo, and I wasn’t disappointed. It plays similarly to Heavy Rain, but yet it feels so refined and different. A lot of people may have already pegged The Last of Us as their final swan song for the PS3, but those people have peaked too early.

beyond two souls

Platforms: PS3

Pokémon X & Y (Oct 12)

Pokémon was the first game I ever played on a handheld. (It was Pokémon Blue on the Gameboy Colour, if you were wondering). The franchise will always hold a special place in my heart, like it will to many others too. Ever since Blue & Red there’s been vast improvements throughout  instalments, but X & Y, by the looks of things, is a new breath of fresh air with its polygonal 3D graphics. Don’t worry though, Pokémaniacs, this is still Pokémon and you know and love it, with gym badges to collect, Pokémon to collect and bad guys to battle. Editors Note: I’ll totally be picking up Pokémon Y.

pokemon x and y

Platform: 3DS

Sonic: Lost World (Oct 18)

Sonic’s back! How many times have you heard that before? I feel like I’ve typed it enough times in the short time I’ve been writing about games, but no matter how many times he gets knocked down, you just can’t keep the speedy, blue hedgehog away. I got to go hands on with the Wii U version for a short time at Eurogamer Expo, and while my socks weren’t knocked off, I was impressed enough to put it on my huge pre-order list. It had the feel and upbeat tone of Sonic Adventure 2, and the new enemies – the Sinister Six – may look directly targeted towards kids, but the stage I played was very challenging. Unfortunately I didn’t get to play the 3DS version, but it does seem as if all the marketing is focusing on the WII U version. Probably not a good sign. Regardless of how it fairs critically though, this is sure to be an early christmas presents for the kids. Right, Mum?

sonic lost world

Platforms: Wii U & 3DS

Batman: Arkham Origins (Oct 25)

I don’t think I had ever been more excited for a game than I was for Arkham City in 2011. And I know I wasn’t alone in this feeling either, as it was one of the best selling games that year. I’ve got some bad news though (well, for me at least): I was majorly disappointed with the demo I played of Arkham Origings. It didn’t take the golden goose of worst game of the show award (that went to Ryse: Son of Rome) but it just felt exactly the same as Arkham City and it looked exactly the same too. That may not sound like a bad thing considering Arkham City was pretty darn great, but why we’re receiving a prequel now from Warner Bros. – not Rosksteady, the creators of Asylum and City – after the Joker was killed off in Arkham City is beyond me. I love Batman as much as the next person, but the chances are I’ll be giving Arkham Origins a miss.

Batman Arkham Origins

Platforms: 360, PS3, Wii U