Tuesday, February 9, 2016

GameTrailers Shutting Down

I never thought I'd see the day, but the well known GameTrailers.com is officially shutting down. Over the years they have provided gamers with everything from reviews to live streams, but now they are closing their doors after 13 years.

Really it's quite the shock. For me personally, GameTrailers was one of them "go to" sites that I'd often find myself visiting. Their reviews helped provide insight on games I was unsure of, I'd often find some pretty interesting news stories from them, and I also have some pretty fond memories of watching their E3 coverage on Spike (as well as online once their TV time ended). I've always liked GameTrailers, and I really do hate to say goodbye.

For more information, check out their official Facebook announcement:


The Platinum Log - Assassin's Creed II

 Oh the Assassin's Creed series. Can you believe there was a time where these games were scarce, and people actually longed for another? Well, there was, and I was one of those people.

Back when I first got my Xbox 360, I really didn't know what games I wanted. I mean there were a few that caught my eye, but others I was unsure of -- Assassin's Creed was one of those games. I had seen it in stores when it first came out, and I had seen some trailers, but it was one of those games I figured I'd never play as I didn't own a console to play it on. Well, things changed, and after looking at some gameplay videos of it online I was actually impressed. Graphics looked amazing (for the time), the huge open cities looked great, and I loved the whole climbing aspect (as in, being able to climb up buildings and what not). It looked like a lot of fun, but I still wasn't sure. Then, my computer was hit by lightning, the PSU was fried, and I found myself at Best Buy waiting for Geek Squad to repair it. That's when I saw Assassin's Creed on sale, and I decided to go ahead and buy it.

Really I did like the game to an extent. It became repetitive, and you didn't have much control over your equipment, but I liked it for what it was. It was a great early 360 title, and I did enjoy the story; it just had some issues that annoyed me, and kept it from being one of my better games. Then, Assassin's Creed II was announced, and the hype began. AC2 seemingly fixed nearly everything I didn't like about the first. You could swim, there was a real armor and equipment system, the story was more personal, and the gameplay and weapons were greatly refined. This was a game I couldn't wait to play, but sadly it wasn't going to be released for quite awhile so I had to wait... And wait...

The day Assassin's Creed II came out I was in my first year of college, and I remember sitting in my Drafting class listening to others talk about it. There were quite a few people in there hyping about it just as much as I was, and it only made my wait for the game harder. It was only around 8 AM at the time, and it wouldn't be until close to 4 PM that I'd finally get to buy it (not counting the hour drive home). That day seemed to drag on forever, but the moment I was able to I headed right over to GameStop and picked it up. It was actually kind of funny once I got there. Since my dad and I rode together (as he worked down the street), he walked into the mall with me, and the GameStop employee assumed I was a kid bringing in a parent to play it. He explained why the game was rated M to my dad, as I stood there holding my ID.

When I finally got home, I was all set. I didn't have class the next day, and I was ready to play the game non stop (and so I did). That night I ran through most of the intro chapters, and the following day I worked my way through the main story. By the weekend I was nearly finished, and by that next week I was wrapping things up. I'd talk to friends on XBL party (whom were also playing it), and slowly make my way towards the different hidden chests and caves to unlock the final set of armor. These memories were some of the best that came from my Xbox 360, and once I finished the game I still wasn't ready to stop. Putting aside the ending, I wanted more, and I wasn't ready to stop playing just yet. So, after seeing people online posting about getting 1000/1000 achievement points, I decided to go for it as well.

The good news was, I had gotten most from just playing the game, while others were easy ones I actually tried for and had gotten early on. All I had left to do was mostly collection related tasks, and for that I had to spend hours running around the cities collecting feathers... It was frustrating at times, and multiple times I was almost ready to quit, but I stuck in there and accomplished my goal. The final achievement unlocked, I posted online joining those in the 1000/1000 topic, and then sat back looking at what I had accomplished. Here was a game I loved, and for the first time in any game I had gotten all of the achievements. Along the way many memories were made (despite it being such a short time), and I was excited for what was yet to come. I wanted more Assassin's Creed, and I also wanted more games that I would like enough to do everything once again. The funny thing is, I still hope for more games I'll enjoy, but I'd prefer it if AC took a break. Sure, I'll keep buying the games, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing... (If you can even still consider it a good thing.)

Even so, this was the moment achievements started to matter to me, and I began doing all that I could to unlock them. I don't regret a thing.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Platinum Log - Gravity Rush

Welcome to yet another new blog series (yes, yet another one of these)! Starting today I will be doing something I like to call "The Platinum Log," or just Platinum Log for short (no need for "the"). In this series I will be sharing stories and memories of different games that I have personally achieved a 100% clear of achievement wise. Of course the name of this series comes from the Platinum trophy on PlayStation Network, but my selection of games will not be limited to just PlayStation. Any game I received 1000/1000 of on Xbox Live, or any Steam game where I've unlocked achievements will count as well. I'll also go as far as including games on other consoles with their own built in achievement system (for example, Nintendo games). Of course there's also some games I won't be doing, as not every game I've done this for has some sort of nostalgic story to go along with them -- or rather, they wouldn't be interesting enough. In other words if it's a game I bought for the heck of it and just ran through, it most likely wont be included in this series.

So, with that out of the way, let's get started.

Gravity Rush / Gravity Rush Remastered

Gravity Rush, this is a game that is very special to me, and one of the main reasons I even bought a Vita to begin with. When this game came out, I actually rushed to Walmart, bought the first copy on display (the Walmart employee even flat out said this was the first Vita game they had even sold in general), and made my way back home -- to wait. The thing is, I didn't have a Vita yet, but I knew I wanted the game and I couldn't wait (so I didn't). Of course I was a bit disappointed when I opened the case only to find that it was almost completely empty with only a small card in the center, but oh well, I still had it.

A few days later was when I finally got my Vita, so the wait wasn't too bad, and despite buying Uncharted with it, Gravity Rush was the first game I put in. Instantly I was blown away that such a game was on a handheld, and before I knew it I was pulled into it's world. I was flying through the sky, fighting strange monsters, racing down the streets with my "Gravity Slide," and pulling off special gravity based attacks -- it was a lot of fun. So, what did I decide to do? Go for the Platinum Trophy of course.

Gravity Rush was a game I didn't want to end, so I decided to do everything I possibly could to make it last. This included getting a Gold ranking on every challenge, fighting all of the extra bosses, and collecting enough gems to hit the 40,000 mark. There was quite a bit left for me to do once I finished the game, but with how much time I spent on it in general, it didn't actually take that long. Time was flying by, trophies were popping up left and right, and before I knew it I had reached my goal. The platinum trophy appeared on my screen, and the little 0 on my PSN card rolled over to a "1." It was the first time I had gotten all of the trophies on a PlayStation game, and I was happy that it was Gravity Rush. Sure, I had tried to achieve a few platinum trophies in the past, but for one reason or another I had always stopped. This was the first time I had ever got myself to stick it out till the end, and it truly did feel like an achievement. (At least, when it came to PlayStation games.)

Jumping ahead almost four years later, and now Gravity Rush Remastered is out. With it being such a long time since I first played the game, I went ahead and ordered myself a copy of it, and once again dove into it's world. I wasn't sure if I would feel the same way about it as I did back then, but once I got started my concerns faded away. Before I knew it I was reliving my time with the original, and once again I unlocked each and every trophy. This time I watched a 25 become a 26, and looking back on it all it has been a long journey to this point. So much has happened to me over these years, and sometimes it is hard to believe it's been so long since I even got my Vita. My college years are gone, I'm now working full time, and "real life" has finally begun. And with this new Platinum, a new chapter in my gaming life begins as well.

It's been a fun ride, but here's to the next 24!

(Wow, I was level 10 back then...)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Vita Owners, still can't log into the PS Store? Try this trick!

With new games going up on the PS Store for the PlayStation Vita (such as Digimon), here's something you may want to know about. This was actually passed along to me by fellow writer GlacialLeaf, but I figured I'd go ahead and pass it along.

As some of you may know, after the latest Vita update the store no longer wants to work as it should. While some people are fine and can access the shop without issues, many others have found themselves waiting at a loading screen with nothing ever actually loading. Sadly there's not much we can do about this until Sony works on it on their end, but there is a trick that may help you gain access again. So, if you're one of the people who cannot get in, try this:

1. Hold the PS Button to bring up your Vita's menu.
2. Check flight mode/airplane mode to turn it on.
3. Hold the Vita's power button, and fully shut down the system.
4. Wait a few seconds and turn the Vita back on.
5. Hold the PS Button again, and turn off flight mode.

Once you have done this, try logging into the store and it should work. Of course there's always a chance it still won't load, but if that's the case all you can do is keep trying.

Hopefully this helps out everyone who has the issue, but I can't make any promises. Sorry...

Monday, February 1, 2016

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Out Tomorrow

Oh the 90s. Remember the days when schools were filled with kids arguing over which was better Pokemon or Digimon? Well, it looks like we're going back! Tomorrow marks the release of the first Digimon game to be released over seas in quite some time, and they're kicking things off in a bit of a different way. While the Digimon you may be familiar with was aimed at kids, this one takes a different approach instead. Namco Bandai realize that the old fans have now grown up, and rather than focusing on bringing new kids into the series, they've released a game that's more enjoyable for teens and young adults -- especially ones who grew up with the series.

Rather than having kids running around with their digimon friends, this game lets you step into the shoes of a young hacker after they are pulled into a virtual world -- one where digital monsters exist, and not everything is as it seems. This world is one that is filled with hackers, and it isn't long before they use this cyber space to pull off attacks in the real world. Eventually the main character has his/her body half digitized, and they are thrown back into the outside as well. Here they meet with a detective who specializes in cyber related crimes, and their adventure begins.

As for the gameplay, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is one that's a mix of our everyday modern world, and a futuristic cyber world. While in the real world you'll be able to visit multiple real world locations across Tokyo (where you'll have access to shops and other necessary things), and you'll also be able to send yourself into the cyber space of different electronics. Here the game takes on dungeon crawling gameplay where you'll make your way to the end of each area, while fighting and collecting monsters along the way -- monsters that will make up your party as well. Since you yourself play as a "normal human," you cannot fight other monsters, but you're able to use ones that you have collected to fight instead. These monsters are issued commands in a turn based style, and they come in a wide verity with multiple ways to upgrade and evolve them. It's pure classic JRPG gameplay, mixed with collecting, dungeon crawling, and strategic battles.

Even if you're not a fan of Digimon (such as myself), this is a game that may be worth checking out. If you're a fan of turn based RPGs, or have ever been interested in a Digimon game in the past, now would be the time to check it out.