Monday, November 18, 2013

PS4 is in the house. The next generation is here?

PS4 Hardware

The console itself is smaller than the PS3 Slim and weighs less, as I was putting it under my TV I thought that I heard a loose piece moving around but I think it was just part of the case.  The initial build quality doesn't seem as solid as any of the PS3 models, the power supply is inside the unit so there is no power brick so hopefully it won't overheat.  The console does have a light on top and it's not that bright in a dark room, the controller light on the other hand is too bright and can't be turned off so I had some shadows and I could see a reflection in the TV although once I was playing I didn't notice that much.  The controller is much better than the DS3 as it has more weight and the sticks have more resistance, the sensitivity was great and the shooting in Killzone felt really good.  I did notice the systems fan running a bit loud when there wasn't any sound in the game, at first I thought it was my PC but it was the PS4. 

There is a day one patch and it didn't take very long to download and install.  The crossbar interface is back but with a nice face lift, moving through all the options was fast and responsive.  I wasn't able to sign into my profile initially but had to wait a couple of hours since the PSN network was unavailable, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  The PS4 still does it's install stuff but it's automatic instead of a manual process which was needed.  Once the patch was loaded I was able to access the store and download my free PS+ games and the download speeds seemed to be much improved over the PS3.  I do have mine hard wired, the wireless card is only 2.4ghz b/g/n which is not the latest or greatest which is a bit disappointing. 

Since all games have to be installed on the hard drive the games do different things as it installs that make the wait bearable which I will describe individually.  All of the games that I played looked nice and crisp, I was worried that since I had a nice PC I would be jaded by the inferior consoles but I was nicely surprised.  I didn't see that many jagged edges and the frame rates all held up nicely.  There are tons of particle effects that were not possible on the older consoles so the games did look much better than the older gen games, it's not a huge leap like last generation but it does compete with a decent PC graphics card. 

Need for Speed Rivals

This is my favorite game out of all the launch titles, it looks and plays great and has some cool online functionality.  The game runs at 1080P and 30fps which is a little disappointing since 60fps really helps racing games with a sense of speed but I really didn't notice.  The game installs while you are playing the tutorial so there wasn't any wait to start playing.  The game has you playing as a racer or cop and then you have challenges to increase your rank which opens up new cars and gadgets.  If you play online, which you should, you are put in a world with 8 other users who you might come in contact with while you play your single player experience.  It's a neat concept and it works great, you may be a cop that gets called to take out some racers and then notice that 2 of the racers are user controlled which adds a nice dynamic to the traditional single player game, I think we will see this idea in a lot of future games. 

I played for about 3 hours straight and had a blast. 

NBA 2k14

Probably the best looking game that I played, the character models are outstanding during replays although not every player has the same amount of facial detail.  The presentation in the game is outstanding and it just makes EA's efforts look like child's play, you feel like you are watching a real NBA broadcast, it even has post-game interviews.  The game starts with you playing an exhibition game with the Heat and Spurs while the game loads, it took the whole game with 6 minute quarters before it finished installing all of the game, there wasn't any announcers during this time as well.  I won that game with a last second 3 pointer by Wade so that felt pretty good.

The game does play like the last gen titles so if you like that then this is a nice graphical upgrade.  I feel that basketball games are a little tough to recreate with all of the collisions that occur so some of the animations are a little janky.  I went through the tutorial and this game is very deep so if you want to get the most out of it, it will take some practice in combining all the moves before you are successful. You can customize the game to be more arcadey and it's still fun but if you want the games to look like the real counterpart it will take time.

Killzone Shadowfall

I was really impressed with the graphics as the world has a lot of detail to it, the lighting model is great and I've seen some really cool environments.  The game play unfortunately is a bit generic so nothing ground breaking there, I've played about 3 hours of the campaign and I've had a decent time but nothing exceptional. The shooting is much better and tighter than previous killzone games as the others seemed to have too much weight, the shooting feels really good which is due to the new controller.    I played one game of multiplayer and really didn't know what was going on, I got killed by our teams turrets twice so I'll have to spend a little time reading about the different modes. 

Overall it's a decent game but not a system seller. 


Free with PS+.  Do you like defender and wish it was updated with today's graphics?  This game is from the developer of Super Stardust and it's really good that will remind you of playing defender.  There are a ton of particle effects flying around which is impressive.  The game is tough, I was able to beat the first level after an hour and 4 different attempts.  It has the feeling of being the PS4's version of Geometry wars, a downloadable game that is probably the best exclusive game for the console. 

New Releases - November along with 2 new consoles means tons of games.


Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW! (download) -  Maybe good had to see for reviews. 
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag -  Got my copy with my new video card so hopefully it's good.
Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel
Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths (download)
Need for Speed Rivals -
Tank Operations: European Campaign (download - $15)
The Shivah: Kosher Edition (download - $5)
Young Justice: Legacy (download)

Xbox One

Angry Birds Star Wars
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Battlefield 4
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Crimson Dragon (XBLA - $20)  -  Panzer Dragoon sequel?
Dead Rising 3 -  Decent reviews will probably pick this up.
Fighter Within
Forza Motorsport 5 - Debating really upset that it won't support my nice wheel.
Just Dance 2014
Killer Instinct (XBLA - free-to-play)
LocoCycle (XBLA - $20)
Madden NFL 25 -  Hopefully Amazon gets my trade-in of the old version so I can get this at launch.
NBA Live 14 - Who knows if it will be good. 
Need for Speed Rivals
Powerstar Golf
Ryse: Son of Rome - Unsure probably will get bad reviews.
Zoo Tycoon
Zumba Fitness World Party

PlayStation 4

NBA Live 14

Xbox 360

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!
BandFuse: Rock Legends - Has Slash and some other big name bands behind it hopefully it does well.   More of a teacher than a game.
Farming Simulator
Need for Speed Rivals
Soulcalibur II HD Online (XBLA - $20)
Young Justice: Legacy
Zoo Tycoon
Zumba Kids

PlayStation 3

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!
BandFuse: Rock Legends
Blood Knights (PSN)
Contrast (PSN)
Farming Simulator
Need for Speed Rivals
Stick It to The Man! (PSN)
Soulcalibur II HD Online (PSN - $20)
Young Justice: Legacy

Wii U

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!
Super Mario 3D World


Zumba Kids


Stick It to The Man! (PSN)
The Amazing Spider-Man

Nintendo 3DS

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!
Christmas Wonderland 3 (eShop)
Girls' Fashion Shoot
Mario Party: Island Tour
Ohno Odyssey (eShop)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Young Justice: Legacy

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