Last of Us Demo Impression

The Last of Us demo was finally unlocked today, though a bit later than it was supposed to, no problem for me though since I just decided to play some God of War: Ascension multiplayer for an hour assuming it would get fixed by then(which it did). The demo downloads very quickly, first its the launcher, then it downloads the actual demo once the launcher is complete. Once I got into the game the very first thing I noticed was the resemblance to the Uncharted series, I don’t know if Joel’s animations are brand new or if he’s using the one Naughty Dog used for Drake but they both look like they share the same ones, or at the very least they share some. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, the animations from Uncharted are very good. Luckily for us though that appears to be the only thing both game share in common.

The demo’s setting was a pretty dark and moody one, it reminded me of some areas in Fallout 3. You can clearly tell that shit has went down in the area, buildings collapsed, gaping holes all over the place, nature slowly but surely reclaiming the area. It’s very beautiful. Unlike Uncharted, this is more or less a stealth game. See, supplies are limited, there is no regenerating health, plus there is an enemy known as Clickers(more on them a bit later) who can kill you in one hit. Another thing that is also interesting is that ammo is very scarce so you’ll want to be very careful with it, also you must take into consideration the sound’s the gun makes as well because it WILL alert other enemies. This is obviously out of Naughty Dog’s comfort zone and even if the game doesn’t sound appealing to you(I recommend you give it a try though, ND is unarguably one of the best developers of this generation), at the very least you got to give them credit for trying something they’ve never done before.

For you newbies the game also has an option that lets Joel see through walls when standing still to help you out, don’t fret though you hardcore gamers, this option can be turned off completely, though if you plan on not using it I recommend you play with some really good headphones. The demo was fun and definitely made me a bit excited for the game, the problem with it though was that it was far too short. It can be completed in like what, 15 minutes? The Clicker’s also disappointed me. You only meet two in the demo and one is handled through QTE(seriously, fuck the person who thought of QTE, laziest mechanic in gaming), you only get to handle one of them your way. One thing I really like about the Clickers though is that they’re blind so they won’t be able to see you, the way they find you is by listening, so to distract them you throw bricks and bottles around to divert their attention somewhere else(this is possible with all the enemies). There wasn’t much to fight in the demo unfortunately, as a matter a fact, there were only like 8 enemies. It’s a demo though so whatever. All I’m saying is that if you plan on buying/renting GoW:A only for the demo don’t even bother, if you do that, buy it for God of War, not the demo or else you’ll feel disappointed.

The Last of Us releases June 13, 2013 in the US, so be sure to check it out if you’re interested.

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PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale Review

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Yes, the Sony Smash Bros. “rip-off.” Since it was announced, this game was the center of controversy, but does it stand on its own? Short answer; yes. Now I’m sure you want me to get more specific and I’ll be doing just that. For starters, let me just start by telling you that this game IS’NT a Smash Brothers rip off like so many like to label it. the combat is completely unique, punching & kicking doesn’t take any health away from your opponent, instead it builds up a super meter(think “Street Fighter”), there are 3 specials with each taking more time to reach but easier to land.

Now this might sound as a poor decision but it works out really well, it introduces a new meta game. Think of your opponent’s AP meter as your health. However, the problems with this mechanic is that because your attacks don’t truly do any damage to your opponent I would often find myself playing against people that that use whomever has the easiest Level 1 supers, which would arguably be Raiden. One tricky game this had to do was somehow appeal to both the hardcore and casual, and while I do believe it has succeeded in appealing to the hardcore it doesn’t such a great job for the casuals. Yes, anyone could essentially just pick up a controller and play but the game only features 2 game modes; time and stock/reverse stock. The story mode also leaves much to be desired. There’s no true story to this game, it’s never explained why our all-stars are brought together; they just are. Instead we’re given static images at the beginning and ending with a very underwhelming boss battle.

The game features 20 unique characters and 14 stages(with 2 characters and 1 stage coming in in February for free, for the first 2 weeks.) Now while I certainly don’t know Superbot’s definition of a PlayStation All-Star (I’m looking at you Dante, you don’t even have a single game out.) none of the characters play the same excluding the 2 Coles which SuperBot stated they had to, in order to get Sucker Punch’s approval. Instead of having one stage dedicated to one franchise, All-Stars does something much more interesting, it mashes up 2 franchises instead. Some are really cool, like Invasion which pits Killzone and the Ape Escape franchise. But not all are great, like Franzea, which is combines Metal Gear Revengence and Loco Roco; the interaction between the 2 franchises is kind of forced and doesn’t work well, I might even go as far as to say it kind of feels lazy. While all characters are unlocked from the get go there are plenty of other things to unlock instead.

Unlockables feature titles for your profile, minions who cheer for you when you get mutli kills, Icons and backgrounds. My only problem with the unlockables is that I truly didn’t care for any of it except for the minions; I would’ve preferred more unlockable costumes. The art for the game is also not the most attractive, instead of having a single unified art direction everyone sticks pretty closely to the art direction of their own game and on paper this sounds cool but once it’s done it doesn’t look all that great. Because of the characters don’t look like they belong together.

While it might seem that I’m being critical on the game its actually really good. It’s a fighting game with a lot of depth, but that’s all it is. For better or worse this is a hardcore game that tries to and successfully mixes things up in the fighting genre. And with Sony’s cross buy program this game sounds that much more appealing

Rating: 7.5/10