I found some screenshots I took of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn that I took in the first month of 2.0’s release, back in 2013. I thought it would be nice to compare the look of the game then and now.
I have played two games in the past month that I could safely say are among the greatest games I’ve played ever. The first, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, artfully advances the mechanics of open world adventure games, and the interactions of those mechanics, in a way that future games should aspire to emulate. It is a game where the act of playing the game brings immense joy and delightful surprise. The second, by contrast, is a game that I think is amazing in how it conveys a story through its mechanics and through the inherent structure of a video game. The story of Nier: Automata could not be told through any other medium, not without losing much of the impact and connection I felt playing this game. To put the cart before the horse, I think that if you have any investment in video games, either as your primary means of entertainment or as the premier form of interactive fiction, you owe it to yourself to play through Nier: Automata.
Shin Godzilla is having a limited showing in Sydney, and as this film was directed by Hideaki Anno, the famed director of Neon Genesis Evangelion, I decided to go and watch it. I highly enjoyed the movie, but before I elaborate on what makes Shin Godzilla a great Godzilla movie, I will warn that there are spoilers below, though I will try to be vague about specific plot points.
Virtual Reality is now… a reality! Apart from issues shipping the things out to their anxiously awaiting fans, the Oculus Rift CV1 and the HTC Vive are now in the hands of consumers ready to experience the closest thing we have to the Matrix. Or Sword Art Online. I am one of those fans, having been in possession of a HTC Vive for a few weeks now and can give my thoughts on preparing for VR and using VR. Prior to getting the Vive I was upgrading my PC, not only in preparation for the Vive but also to play games at higher settings with smoother frame rates.
Weighing up the PlayStation 4 Pro
I am in the market for a PlayStation 4. With the upcoming release of Persona 5, Gravity Rush 2, Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian, there is finally a number of games that are not available on the PC that I would like to play. So it is quite fortuitous that Sony announced two new models of the PlayStation 4, the Slim and the Pro. The Slim is the unsurprising smaller and more efficient second rendition of the base PS4, while the Pro represents a new change in the console hardware lifecycle that was previously only seen in Nintendo’s handhelds, namely the New 3DS. The PS4 Pro promises greater graphical power, allowing it to support output to 4K televisions, but also to improve graphical quality and/or framerate at 1080p. The Sony conference also spoke at length about support for HDR-capable televisions, but through firmware updates every PS4 model will support HDR.
If you have a 4K television, it would be an easy decision to upgrade to the Pro (though for some inexplicable reason the PS4 Pro does not support Ultra 4K Blurays, the Xbox One S does though). So for the rest of us, the decision is whether to get the Slim (or stay with the base model), or get/upgrade to the Pro. (As a side note, if you already have a base model PS4, the only reason to upgrade to the Slim is the addition of support for 5GHz wifi and the ac wifi standard.) Here I’ll give a brief overview of the changes the Pro brings over the base/Slim models and some of the other stuff talked about in relation to the Pro.
Stranger Things 2
Star Citizen: Gamescom demo
I am very, very impressed with the current state of Star Citizen. Having voiced and animated characters in missions is a huge step in making the multiplayer part of the game much more interesting and immersive. Plus, what they’re pulling off with their modified Crytek engine looks unbelievable. I know I should temper my expectations, but I am really excited for its eventual release in two years or more.
My Thoughts on No Man’s Sky
It’s fair to say that No Man’s Sky has been a hot topic recently, with a very popular release accompanied by a vocal outcry over perceived and actual omissions and shortcomings of the game. Having played No Man’s Sky for a couple of hours now I think I have a good sense of what the game is and where it’s going, both in terms of the game itself and the planned updates that will add features like base building. Put briefly, I feel that No Man’s Sky is an excellent podcast game – like Minecraft, a game I can just spend hours in while listening to podcasts at my leisure.