Project Morpheus: The PS4 VA Headset

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After much speculation Sony has FINALLY announced the much rumored VR headset for PlayStation. The prototype with the code name Project Morpheus, gives us a look as what could possibly be the future of PlayStation.

PlayStation Head, Shuhei Yoshida said that (virtual reality) “may well shape the future of games” he also stated that the company will be looking at the headset as a medium and not just a peripheral. Project Morpheus will be making its way into devs hands shortly, with a few partners already said to be on board.  
 
Dr. Richard Marks of PlayStation research and developed mentioned that Sony is thinking outside of gaming as well. Stating that he has been working with NASA to create a “virtual walk on Mars”
 
 
No official specs or price has been announced.

With the Oculus Rift, PlayStations’ Project Morpheus and Microsoft rumored VR headset it looks like gaming could get even more interesting later this year.
 
-Tony
Source : IGN

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Mario at the Muesem: My ideas for a Mario 64 Sequel

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Look, we all want a direct sequel to Mario 64, it would be glorious. There is no doubt about that. But what exactly would that look like? How about I “paint” you a picture of an idea I had.   (eh, see what I did there)
 
You start in the Mushroom Kingdom in the court yard to Princess Peach’s castle. But instead of going into the castle you explore around a bit and find another building around back. That building is The Royal Mushroom Kingdom Museum (name patent pending). Why a museum you ask? Well you know a world with such a “colorful” heritage such as the Mushroom Kingdom MUST have a museum to document many great moments in its history as well as to showcase the kingdoms many   creative (toads probably) minds.

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 Mario walks into the museum and what do you find? Paintings/worlds a la 64. But there is a difference. Remember that Van Gogh-isq stage in NSMBU? Of course you do, it was the one area where you really feel the game getting creative and really thinking outside the box. Well what if some paintings in the museum were similar to famous works of art. Like that level in NSMBU or could you image a Picasso themed level or M.C.   Escher? That shizz would be cra…sorry. Not all levels would be rip offs of famous painting of course, there would be original ones and maybe even some that are levels from other Mario games. You could throw in a couple of 8bit inspired levels maybe even a modern interpretation of different levels in the Mario series. I know if I was a Toad artist and I heard/saw of a marvelous Italian plumber saving our kingdom from a giant monster that kidnapped our princess it would be something I would want to document it in my own works of art, but with my individual take on what I heard/saw. This could make the levels feel familiar but also different.
 
The levels themselves would probably play just like Mario 64 in the fact that you would look for X number of stars and would really focus on exploration and reliability. The bottom line is that a premise like this would really allow for creative level design, something that would be vital in keeping the formula fresh.

Oh and one more thing. Say you’re looking at the last painting or at least you think it’s the last painting. Mario jumps in and it starts with what you (the player) thinks is the final boss battle with Bowser. All of a sudden Bowser unzips his own skin and it’s really King Boo in a costume and traps Mario in the painting. All of a sudden the lights go out and the museum becomes haunted…..(see where I’m going with this) BAM Luigi steps up to take out all the ghosts (Luigi’s mansion style) and save his bro from the painting.
 
I hope my explanation makes sense. I am trying to write this frantically at work on the company dime. Let me know what you guys think? What would you add to this idea? Does this sound like something that would be a cool or am I totally out to lunch?
 
-Tony-

Retro Fun: Ice Hockey

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Every moment of everyday we are surrounded by amazing technology. From phones and tablets to smartwatches and game consoles with realistic graphics tech is all around us and is a good part of our daily lives.  But it’s only when we take a step back can we really fully enjoy the simple things. I was reminded of this last week while gaming at a friends house. Usually we would play some recent game that one of us just picked up, but this time was different the game we were playing was the 1988 NES classic Ice Hockey.

Sure the graphics didn’t come close to anything readily available today. And sure the controls felt limited (only A and B buttons) and bit clunky. But that all added to the excitement and fun. Sitting there playing 1 on 1, not online but in the same room right beside someone, locked in an intense battle. There was even moments I jumped off the couch screaming from a goal either made by me or a goal I carelessly let in after a few minutes of back and forth. It has been awhile since I felt that kind of energy from playing a game. I miss having those kinds of moments as they grow fewer and further between. Now don’t get me wrong I enjoy current games as well and there are plenty of great titles out there now. But this was a different feeling. It actually almost shocked me how much fun I was having with such a basic game. 

I guess my thought process behind this post is to remind myself not to get caught up in grinding in games or achievement and trophy hunting to the point of frustration.  Games to me are about entertainment and enjoyment mostly. And if I have to jump back to retro games (which I do often) with a buddy beside me on a couch to get that enjoyment back, so be it.

Leave a comment on your thoughts on the subject. Do you engage in retro gaming and couch co-op from time to time, or is it all about the latest and greatest graphics?

-Tony-

Next-Gen Thoughts, So Far

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After a long hiatus from well, life getting in the way the Midnite Edition is back and firing on all pistons. I will be trying my darnest to upload posts on the regular. That being said I wanted to share some thoughts so far on the Xbox One and PS4.
 
The Xbox One and PS4 have been out for a few months now and I’m starting to see some common trends in the way I use both consoles. I play way more games on my PS4 and consume way more media on my Xbox One. Even though both consoles haven’t had much to play in terms of AAA titles, I can really feel the indie support with the PS4. There are plenty of indie gems that fill the PlayStation store during these times of slow AAA releases. About half of them are even free with a PS+ membership. This is something I just don’t see with the Xbox One.
 
Also the value proposition is very strong in the PlayStation ecosystem. The lower price of the console, the free games with PS+, remote play with the vita and the eventual PlayStation Now service are all big wins for Sony. It really shows a sense of strategy and a good idea of where the industry might be headed. In a time when studios are laying off dozens of employees at a time, it’s really smart and vital that PlayStation supports indie devolvement. Octodad anyone? I personally can’t wait for that game.
 
But the battle is really only just starting. Titianfall (an Xbox One exclusive) will be launching on March 11 th and from what I have seen from the beta a few weeks ago this game will be a system seller. All in all it’s an exciting time to be a gamer. Especially if you have both systems, like me. Leave some comments what are your thoughts with next gen so far?
 
-Tony-

Titanfall: Where’s the Single Player?

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Titanfall is undoubtedly one of most anticipated games of the next-gen. When I saw the demo during E3, I immediately wanted to jump into a mech and start messin’ stuff up. Fast forward a few days and it was unveiled that the game wouldn’t feature a single player campaign. I have to say that disappoints me. I might be the minority here but I enjoy single player modes in my games even in first-person shooters. The reason that the studio decided to omit the single player is that they felt it would split their team in 2 and end up with two different feeling experiences. A valid point indeed as there has been quite a few games that feel like another mode has just been tacked on because everyone else is doing it. A good example of that is Far Cry 3. The single player is amazing but the mulitplayer felt rushed and included just because and had players flooding message boards with complaints.
So in that aspect I can understand the decision. I just hope there is some narrative and enough content in the multiplayer to justify a 60 dollar price tag. What are your thoughts? Anyone else a little disappointed by this, or are these types of games best suited for mulitplayer only? Sound off in the comments

-T-

Ubisoft: Nothing But Franchises

In a recent interview with The A List Daily Ubisofts Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Tony Key was asked if Watch Dogs will see a sequel. “Absolutely. That’s what all our games are about; we won’t even start if we don’t think we can build a franchise out of it.” Tony replied. He also mentioned that the cost of development is too high to make anything other than a blockbuster. So what does this mean for us, the end users, the gamers?

Well you can bet that there will be another Assassins Creed and Far Cry and now I guess Watch Dogs too. But is that what we want?  Sure Ubisoft has some amazing properties but recreating those same experiences over and over again leads to less innovation and frankly to me feels like a money grab. Some people may argue that Assassins Creed already has become a little long in the tooth. And do you really want another Raving Rabbits game? 

The point is regurgitating franchises over and over again leads to the same experiences over and over again as well. Games like The Last of Us wouldn’t get made and couldn’t get made with this mind set. How can we ever get rich new experiences that push the boundaries if we have to play the same game time and time again. In my mind its nothing more than a money grab, if you build it they will pay. I guess what could you except coming from the mouth of the sales and marketing guy.

What are your thoughts on matter? Are you satisfied with getting a new Assassins on a yearly basis? Sound off in the comments?  
-T-

Souce: http://www.thealistdaily.com/news/tony-key-interview-part-1-now-were-in-blockbuster-world/

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, No It’s the Man of Steel Review

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I watched the Man of Steel the other day and I can honestly say I have never been so nervous going into a movie. This movie has been getting mixed reviews from fans and critics a like. And being a fan of superheros and comics in general I wanted this film to be an experience. From the beginning this movie was in a tough spot there is a lot riding on the success of this film. If the film didn’t hold its own the chance of a Justice League movie would be shot. It’s also the 75th anniversary of the character. But most of all if the film didn’t work it would be awhile until someone had the stones to reboot the franchise once again. So did the film live up to the daunting task of bring this hero to modern times and making us believe it?

Yes, I think it has. This movie is not the perfect film and frankly there is no such thing as a perfect movie. This movie is about an alien trying to figure out who he is and what his purpose is on this planet. The character of Superman is extremely complex. He feels alone, living a life that isn’t his, hiding his true self until he can dawn his tights and cape and reaches his full potential. And that’s what this movie is about. That journey.

One of the aspects that I really liked about the film is how they jumped back and forth into those defining moments in Kal-El’s life. To the moments where his adopted parents shaped his values and beliefs. It’s not something you see often in a superhero movie with all those flash backs. And I think it worked well. It gave you an insight into those moments, but didn’t overwhelm you with too much back story all at once.

I have to say the cast was amazing. Harvy Cavill is Superman, he embodies the role well. Even though I feel like we have only scratched the surface into his character, he played it well. We even see a glimpse of some humor from him, in an otherwise somber performance given the tone of the film. There is no doubt in my mind that his character will be explored deeper in future films. Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe had some of the best acting in the film and that’s super important as these two father figures play an essential part of shaping both Clark Kent and Kal-El. Actually in the case of Russell Crowe, I never really liked him at all as an actor, but his performance as Jor-El is spot on and should be applauded. The only casting choice that I am not sure about is Amy Adams as Lois Lane. I don’t feel that she really represents the tough investigative journalist that Lois is suppose to be. That being said I will give her the benefit of the doubt that her character will grow, given that this film again is about Kal-El’s journey to become Superman.
Overall I think the movie is a good re-introduction to the character. And I give this movie a passing grade. It’s worth a watch in theater. I just hope in future films we continue to see tremendous character development. This is a very good jumping off point for the DC universe.  What are your thoughts on this movie? Sound off in comments!
-Tony-