The Last of Us Part II is finally happening!

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If you’re heaving into gaming and follow a few gaming blogs, then I’m sure by now you’ve heard the amazing news from this weekend’s PSX 2016 panel with Naughty Dog that they’re finally going to make a sequel to The Last of Us. However, it’s not just a sequel, but part two!

If you’ve played the first game you know that the ending leaves a lot of questions to the player. Questions such as “Why was Joel so selfish?” and “Will he ever tell Ellie the truth about what he did?” It feels so open-ended with so little closure. Ellie is very upset, asking Joel for the truth about the Fireflies not being able to find a cure and Joel outright lies to her face claiming it’s the truth and then it cuts to the credits. Cliffhanger!!!

Naughty Dog says the following about the development of The Last of Us Part II:

“I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to finally be able to say that Ellie and Joel are back for another intense, harrowing, and emotional adventure. Like many of you, we have a deep love for the world of The Last of Us and its characters, and while a sequel may have seemed like a foregone conclusion, that wasn’t the case. We knew that it needed to be a story worth telling and, perhaps more importantly, a story worthy of Joel and Ellie. After spending years on different ideas (and almost giving up), we finally uncovered a story that felt special—a story that evolved into an epic journey.”

A lot of people commenting on all of these news posts are posting negative things about how the sequel will not be good, or why ruin a good thing! Naughty Dog has mentioned the following at their PSX16 panel:

“With regard to worries that a sequel could somehow risk degrading the integrity of the original’s ambiguous ending, Druckmann said, “You have to understand that no one loves these characters more than we do, and we would not do this if we didn’t feel like we didn’t have the right idea.”

“All I ask is that fans of the first one put some faith in us, trust we’re going to do right by them.” he continued. Druckmann also shared some concept art for TLOU2, and confirmed that Gustavo Santaolalla would be returning to score the new game.

I know personally that I have a huge amount of faith in the developers of Naughty Dog to deliver the best video game / story they can create that will follow in its predecessor’s footsteps as well as pave the way for amazing story telling via video games.

Too many times I see developers create games with huge, open worlds. They think the bigger it is, the better it’ll be. But in my opinion, I would rather play a shorter game (between 6 – 30 hours) that is linear but tells an amazing story! I’m all about the story when it comes to video games. I find those open world games are too jam-packed with little itty bitty side quests, trying to make up for an average story (or none at all). Well I’m stoked that Naughty Dog isn’t about making open world games, and I hope it stays like that. I love their games as they are.

Going back to The Last of Us Part II, is anyone else glad that Gustavo Santaolalla is returning to score the new game?? I feel that his score really helps solidify the story. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the full TLOU soundtrack, here it is:

Neil Druckmann is saying that Part II is about ‘hate’. Druckmann explains the following:

“If the first game was really about the love between these two characters, this story is the counter of that,” Druckmann explained early on. “This is story is about hate, through Ellie this time. The first game you play as Joel, this game you play as Ellie.”

Ellie is now 19, and the years spent surviving the collapse of civilization have taken their toll. “She’s gone through some shit,” Johnson said later during the discussion.

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Ellie is on a rampage to kill who? All the infected? The Fireflies? It leaves a lot of questions that we’re all asking, but that doesn’t matter. When Naughty Dog is ready, the answers will be given to us. And they will be granted via their new performance capture technology as seen in the gif below.

This new tech really adds to the game and makes you feel like you’re actually playing real people! I work full time as a video game tester so it’s nice to play a game where they use this kind of tech to capture facial movements, lip syncing and movements is being used. Nothing makes a game more horrible than horribly lip synching, or flat characters with no freaking personality. I know for a fact that Naughty Dog’s used tech similar to this for their first game, so it makes sense to build upon it and make it more realistic. 🙂

Check out the panel at PSX2016!! Get the latest news about the game (trailer is included in this video 🙂

One last thing! A friend of mine shared with me some IMGUR celebratory comics in regards to The Last of Us Part II being announced, and here’s the link but I’m posting my ultimate favorites that I find funny. If you’ve played the game you’ll see why they’re so funny. 😀

And then this one:

For those who might not know about this, Dark Horse has The Last of Us comics you can buy. Tells the story of Ellie in boarding school and how she met her bestie, Riley.

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https://www.darkhorse.com/Books/22-396/The-Last-of-Us-American-Dreams-TPB

Well I hope you enjoyed this rather long post! If you haven’t played The Last of Us yet, I highly recommend it because The Last of Us Part II probably won’t be out until December 2018 or very early 2019. Still two years away.

And comments about the game or if you want to start a discussion are always welcome! 😀

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Grl

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Dying Light Demo

 

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I thought I’d give Dying Light’s demo a run for its money today. I downloaded it on my PS4 a few weeks ago, and tonight I’m hosting a board game party so I didn’t want to play a game and get sucked into its world, completely forgetting about tonight’s plan. I booted the game and once the tutorial was over I had 1 hour on the clock to play. I decided to do the only side mission available. It was okay. I found my way to a few safe areas, ran around on rooftops, even played with danger by running on the street! Oh look ma, zombies are chasing me! When night finally fell I had maybe 8 minutes left to play so I went out to see how crazy the night zombies really were. At one point I had a bunch chasing me and the game prompts me to push triangle (Δ) to see behind me and the sight was pretty frightening. I definitely died 3 times in 8 minutes. I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t take the elevator up to the tower, so I thought “Let’s see how long I can stay alive outside the safe zone.” Not long. One, maybe two minutes. Maybe more if you can sprint and get on roofs faster.

My opinion of Dying Light is that it’s okay. A lot of people relate this game to Mirror’s Edge but with zombies, and I can totally see that. 🙂 Haha I liked Mirror’s Edge but found it challenging with trying to stay alive and not fall to my death. Dying Light is similar but the only thing killing you is either the zombies or the poor choice of jumping too high. That can definitely kill you. A while back I had spent a few hours watching some guy on YouTube’s gameplay and I honestly have to say that it was more fun watching him play than playing it myself. It’s probably because this guy kept freaking out when the zombies were nearby, and it was extremely entertaining.

••••••• Spoiler alert!! Do not read further if you don’t want to have the END of the game ruined for you!

•••••

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I warned you!!

••• Spoiler beginning…

So a friend of mine owns this game and told me he found the ending to be annoying. I asked him why? What happens? He replies with “It doesn’t.” Hmm, I’m curious now so I’m trying to figure this out. I mention that maybe the game doesn’t end and the expansion pack that’s coming out will finish the story. He tells me that the player beats the bad guy, they get the data for the cure and then they rest on a rooftop with the guy saying “Everything will be okay.” and a final combat is just a bunch of quick time events. Boo. That’s definitely lame in my books.

In any case, I don’t think I’ll be buying this game any time soon. It was okay in my books. When a demo is amazing and makes me want more, then I play the game, but this one kind of made me dizzy. All that first person running around. I also found the controller schemes a bit odd. R1 to jump? Oh well. If I ever see this game on a crazy sale, like $10-15 (in the future of course) I might buy it.

Since there wasn’t much for me to play I can’t really give this an accurate rating, but here is my rating:

3.5 stars out of 5

A definite buy if you love FP views, running, parkour and zombies.

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Grl

 

 

 

Until Dawn – An honest review (spoilers)

  
I was really excited when I saw Until Dawn on sale on the PSN website at Christmas time. I had this 20% off coupon also that came with my brand new PS4.  The game’s regular price was $75, but I was able to get it for $39. After two days of downloading, I finally got to play!

Here’s the game synopsis from Supermassive Games:

When eight friends are trapped on a remote mountain retreat and things quickly turn sinister, they start to suspect they aren’t alone. Gripped by fear and with tensions in the group running high, you’ll be forced to make snap decisions that could mean life, or death, for everyone involved. Every choice you make in your terrifying search for answers – even the seemingly trivial ones – will carve out your own unique story.

Until Dawn is meant to be played multiple times in order to see the entire story.  The player can have their playable character do a little exploration which gives the player a teeny tiny leeway to explore. Unfortunately the game is extremely linear, and the exploration might only take 1 minute. During exploration, the player will find clues and totem pole pieces which gives the player sneak peaks to solving the mysteries of Until Dawn. While it’s labeled as interactive drama and survival horror, I would add this is a mystery-solving game. There are three major categories for clues: the twins, 1952, and the mystery man. I won’t say more since I don’t want to add spoilers so soon in my review.

 The game’s mechanics also contain an in-game system called the “Butterfly Effect” in which any choice of action by the player may cause unforeseen consequences later on. Players will make difficult decisions during ethical or moral dilemmas, such as sacrificing one character to save another. The Butterfly Effect system blurs the line between right and wrong decisions and it is possible for players to keep all eight characters alive as well as having all eight of them die, allowing for many different paths and scenarios as well as offering several different endings for each character. I found the Butterfly Effect a neat part to this game.  When an effect took place, I would push R1 and see what changes I made to the story. During gameplay, the player gets the chance to play each character, making decisions along the way. This could be good, or annoying, especially if you like a specific character and then get switched to another less desirable character. Finally, this game reminded me a lot of Beyond: Two Souls, especially in the pause menu with the close-up of the character’s face, and the climbing prompts. But this is the only resemblance it has.  With six players, there are literally hundreds of possible endings.

And now for the honest review. If you haven’t played the game but intend to, please don’t read any further as there will be some spoilers!

(Spoilers ahead)… Ok you’ve been warned…

…….

Until Dawn claims to be of the horror genre (as well as interactive drama). My current beef is with the horror part, and that is that it is not scary. Until Dawn is disappointing as a horror game because it relies solely on jump scares to make it scary. I’ll admit I jumped once or twice in the beginning, but the “scares” became almost predictable. This game likens to a horror film that tries to be scary with jump scares and music changes, but after the second “scare” I was able to know when something would jump out and I was bored. The reason I’m disappointed in the horror is because I read a review of the game before playing it for the first time that said it was really scary. That reviewer must have been paid well. LOL. Bastard. It’s like playing a cheap horror movie. Haha. Speaking of cheap horror movie, I hate some of the characters. It’s possible to keep all of the characters alive, but when I was playing I wanted  some of the characters to die. In my first run, the one character I hated the most ended up surviving and killing someone I liked. All because of my choices made through the game. 

Another disappointing aspect of the game is how short it is. A full playthrough only takes 9 hours. I didn’t know when I first played that this game requires multiple playthroughs to get the full story. I realize now that with the shorter playthrough, the multiple plays and cumulative hours played would make it longer. As of today, I only played it once and I only got a small portion of the story solved so I can’t spoil that part for you. 🙂 Now that I know it’s more interactive drama and less horror, a second run will be more enjoyable. I honestly thought this game would be solved in one run, and perhaps it could with the aid of a walk through, but then what fun would that be?

Things I like about this game:

  • Graphics
  • 3 mysteries to solve
  • I really liked how the right stick controlled the face and flashlight position.

Things I don’t like :

  • Plays like an interactive movie
  • Jump scares aren’t scary
  • Short playthrough
  • Not all characters are likeable, which was probably their intent.
  • It’s not worth $75. If you can, buy it when it’s 50% off or more.

All in all I would say this game has potential when all the mysteries are solved. I understand game production is expensive, but I can’t justify paying full price for this game.

My rating? 6/10 

Should you play this? I say yes, if you’re okay with an interactive movie-style mystery game. Don’t ruin it by watching videos of it first or reading any more reviews.

Enjoy! 

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

The Last of Us – Grounded Mode – Take Two

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As you may or may not know, I’ve been playing this game on grounded mode. It’s pretty frickin hard when there’s tons of infected around. They don’t take cover, they just charge you, and that can mean instant death if you’re not ready with a brick or a gun.

The first time I played on grounded mode, I had to cheat a few times and lower the difficulty. I brought it down to hard, and of course the game autosaves at that point which means your entire game is now registering as complete on that level, even if you brought it back to grounded. Even if you changed it for a few minutes and then put the difficulty back, you won’t unlock Grounded Mode New Game Plus. Learned that the hard way. So, I did what any hardcore gamer would, I restarted the game on grounded. AGAIN.

The second time through it was a little easier. I learned how sensitive the hearing for the clickers was, that you can’t sneak up on a runner that’s stalking around, and the chapter, The Hunt, is the biggest pain in my backside. So far I’ve spent approximately 12 hours trying to work on this checkpoint where Ellie is stuck in a cabin with this guy and fending off infected. All this on grounded mode, the HARDEST mode ever. I played today for about 8 hours, and I give up for the evening. I wonder how many more hours or days this will take??

For those who are curious, here’s a video of what I’m trying to accomplish (keep in mind this guy makes it look easy – which it isn’t – especially when you run out of ammo).

I’m currently still inside the cabin. I have made it all the way to the last two infected before David says “Screw it, let’s get out of here,” but I bit the dust when I got attacked by an infected because I was out of shotgun ammo, and too slow on the bow. Send some good vibes my way. I could really use some help to get out of this checkpoint.

Have you ever played TLoU on Grounded Mode? If so, tell me about your experience in the comments below 🙂

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

Dead Space – Necromorphs and nasties.

Dead Space was a very strange game to me when I first played it. Isaac, the ship’s systems engineer doesn’t have a speaking role in this game. I was told by others that it really helps you to connect with the character. I can see how this works.

The story takes place in 2508 where a “planetcracker” ship called the USG Ishimura has sent out a distress call, and the USG Kellion is sent out to investigate. After a guidance system malfunction crashes the Kellion into the Ishimura dock, the crew tries to seek other means of transport. They quickly realize that the ship has been overrun by necromorphs, and they are infecting the whole ship as well as re-animating the dead crew. Exciting events happen later on in the game, events which I will not mention as 1) I’m only in Chapter 7 and 2) I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

The first time I played it, it was on the Medium difficulty. I’m not like most gamers. I don’t play a game the first time around on the hardest difficulty. For me, the reason I play video games is for the stories. And I want to enjoy the story too, so I play it on easy. It doesn’t make me less of a gamer, it just means I don’t want to be banging my head against the wall because it took me forever (and many deaths) to get past certain sections. And that’s what happened on Medium. I got to the beginning of Chapter 5 where I was locked in a room with a necromorph who had renewable limbs and could not die, and about 5 others. By the time I reached this room I was out of ammo. I even tried loading a few saves back and buying more, but I ended up even further from that room without ammo. The only thing I could do now was delete my save file and try again, so I did that. I started again on easy and now I’m enjoying myself much more. 🙂

I wanted this time around to be different, so I went to the advice of the interwebs for weapon suggestions. I bought the Pulse Rifle, the Ripper, and the Contact beam. I barely use the last two, so I gather as much ammo as I can, and sell it to buy nodes. Nodes are important to upgrade your weapons. I’ve fully upgraded the damage to my Plasma Cutter (the first weapon you are equipped with), and one shot to the legs of most necromorphs kills them, which is pretty awesome. This saves me on ammo. The Contact beam ammo sells for $4000 each, which adds up quickly. The Ripper sells for slightly less, around $3250 or $3750 and if you don’t need it, selling it makes sense (or saving it for later). In short, if you want to excel in this game buy the Pulse Rifle, the Ripper, and the Contact beam. Having these fully upgrades for NG+ will be a life saver.

Weapons aside, never in my life have I ever want a video game character to die as much as Kendra. She’s so whiny and so disrespectful of Hammond, the commander, that I want her shut up and die. She does seem to disappear near the beginning of the game, but sadly she lives after all. I really want to punch her in the face.

Things I liked about this game:

  • It can be pretty creepy, what with all the sounds and voices you hear while walking through the corridors.
  • Sneaky necromorphs play dead in hallways, so it’s always advisable to shoot them before getting too close. Also, shooting human corpses and dismembering them saves them from being re-animated by facehugger necromorphs which transform them.
  • Necromorphs drop ammo or money based on the weapons you are actively carrying.
  • You can upgrade Isaac’s rig and weapons, and they carry over to new game plus.
  • Doesn’t have an online/multiplayer option so it’s easier to get all the trophies.
  • It’s a third person view.
  • It has good replayability because the player can play new game plus with all their upgraded weapons, and collect more for other trophies.
  • There are up to 5 cheats for this game: http://deadspace.wikia.com/wiki/Cheats_in_Dead_Space

Things I disliked about this game:

  • Kendra
  • Nodes are expensive. They’re worth $10,000 a pop, and that’s why I carry a Contact beam weapon.
  • The asteroid shooting section. The right stick sensitivity sucks and the first time through it took me nearly 20 times before I beat that section. It can be hard to see and aim at those asteroids.
  • You can’t change the difficulty setting once you’ve chosen it and started a new game. You have to restart from the very beginning.

My star rating? 3.5 out of 5.

Overall it’s a good game, and I’m looking forward to playing Dead Space 2 where Isaac actually speaks. I say if you like survival horror games, this is one to try.

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

Stuck in the Sewers – Survivor Mode – The Last of Us

  
It’s hard to tell from this photo (because PS3 doesn’t have that share ability), but I’m down to only a 1.25 bar of health, 3 bullets in total, 2 arrows, and some Molotov cocktails I’m going to save for the ensuing infected battle/ambush near the exit. 

Ever since I found the glitch to unlock all the difficulty trophies playing NG+ on Survivor mode, I’ve been pretty obsessed with this. I want to get most of the trophies, but I don’t know if I want to play the game 8 times, you know? In this run, I’ve already missed one Firefly pendant and a two notes, so it looks like I’ll have to pick them up during another playthrough, or load the chapter and play it again. Hoping that with a new save, it’ll count toward my trophy for all collectibles.

I’m about halfway through the game, in the Sewers with Sam, and I must say that on Survivor it’s really a challenge. It really feels like the survival horror Naughty Dog meant it to be.  It was certainly fun to play on easy, and I’m glad I did it twice (regular and NG+) because it means that I know what to expect. However, I started Survivor mode right after I finished easy NG+. One thing you’ll notice is you don’t have/find that much ammo or supplies, and all the enemy senses are heightened. Another thing I have noticed is that if I don’t have the supplies to craft a health pack, Ellie just gives me one, but only if all the battling is over and when we’re safe. I think I’ve received 3 or 4 full health packs from her. Nice surprise.

Well, let’s hope I can get out of the sewers alive tonight, and before bedtime. Wish me luck!

Update!! Oh my goodness, I made it through the sewers in sneaky stealth mode with only 2 arrows!! I was able to recover them 3 times which meant 2 arrows killed 2 runners and one clicker, which sadly needed two arrows. But I survived!! 

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

The Last of Us – My favourite game of all time


Before I start, this is… MY FAVOURITE GAME THUS FAR!!! I mean this game. WOW. Nothing will ever be as awesome as this game. Well maybe something will match it or top it some day. 🙂 But for now it’s my ultimate fave.

For those of you who haven’t played this game by Naughty Dog, I’ll try not to write any spoilers, and I urge you to buy this game. You will NOT be disappointed.

I’ve already played it twice because me, I love this game, and it doesn’t dole out trophies willy-nilly. Ok, there are trophies for collecting all the firefly pendants, and the last time I plays TLoU I thought I picked them all up, but I guess I wasn’t thorough enough so I didn’t get the trophy. Speaking of trophies, I got the one for playing on easy mode, but when I played on normal mode I was having problems in one area of combat, and I switched the difficulty for 2 seconds, and the game remembered that and no trophy for me. Looks like I’ll be replaying it on normal again. I do intend on playing all the difficulties, because I want more than a 2% trophy completion. Two percent for playing the game once. Crazy! Naughty Dog set up the trophies in such a way that the player would have to replay the game on every difficulty level, and check every nook and cranny for collectibles.

This game has a great story, too. Some people might not think it’s an original storyline, a city overrun with zombie-like infected, but who care? All that matters is is that it tugs at your heartstrings and makes you love this game.

And then there’s the DLC, Left Behind. I won’t say anything to spoil it, I promise, but if you haven’t yet played that but you’ve played the main game, I think you should buy it. Why?? Not only do you get Ellie’s side of the story, but it explains a part of the main game as well.

What do I love about this game?

  • The main menu. You boot the title and you land on a window with an ivy growing through some broken glass, sun shining, and a breeze blowing through the curtains. In the background is some really soft instrumental music. Already it’s an amazing start.
  • The graphics of this game are phenomenal.
  • I love the mechanics of hiding, crouching and stealth.
  • The Left Behind DLC. It’s $15 on the PSN webiste, and totally worth it.
  • I love how easy the characters are to control, and the fact it’s in third person mode. I don’t have anything against first person, but this game wasn’t meant to be played that way.
  • That the main character carries a backpack and must take it off to craft items.
  • Crafting items is slow and realistic. This is epic. It can really be scary when you’re in a situation with infected nearby, and you need to make something. Any characters hanging out with you will urge you to hurry up which increases the urgency of going faster.
  • Speaking of crafting items, I like the melee weapons Joel can create using scissor bits with sticks or bats. Take that, infected!!! Whack!! Oh!! Molotov cocktails. Gotta love the fire it makes! These are great for bloaters.
  • Finally, I like listening mode. This option is available for most difficulties except for the hardest levels which doesn’t have listening mode. I don’t know if I could play this game without listening mode.

Do I have any dislikes toward this game?

  • I would have liked maybe a few more trophies than just awarding one for completing the game on one difficulty (minus the collectibles). I had to really think hard to find a dislike.

This will remain my all time fave unless I specify otherwise.

My rating? 10 stars!!

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl