Here’s your weekly dose of all the Sony and PlayStation news that we have for you. Enjoy!
UK PlayStation Store Sales
Last week we looked at the deals currently on offer in the US PlayStation store so this week we’re going to see what offers are available in the UK store. For PS Plus members, there are some great discounts up to 75% such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for £12.49, Mortal Kombat X for £10.39 and HITMAN– Game of the Year edition also for £12.49. There are also two games for £25 offer going on which includes games such as The Last of Us Remastered, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, Batman: Arkham Knight and Until Dawn. Along with these offers, the UK store is also offering a wide selection of games for under £9. These include large titles, such as Tomb Raider for £5.79, Battlefield 1 for £6.49 and Watch Dogs for £5.79, but also indie games like Unravel for £4.99, its sequel Unravel Two for £7.99 and Little Nightmares for £6.49. There are some great games available with deals such as these both in the UK and the US. So why would you want to do anything other than play video games this Christmas? I know that’s what I’ll be doing.
PlayStation Classic Drops in Price
The PlayStation Classic has had its fair amount of mixed reviews since it was released at the beginning of December. It hasn’t had quite the same effect that the SNES and the NES classic have had. Most likely because of this lackluster reaction combined with the run-up to Christmas, the price for the PlayStation Classic has already dropped on Amazon in the US store. The Classic is selling for $74.99 down from $99.99 with options for a used version for as low as $65.99. With games like Metal Gear Solid, Rayman, Final Fantasy VII and Tekken 3, the Classic may still be worth a try for avid PlayStation fans desperate for some nostalgia.
Check out the deal below:
“My PS4 Life” Shows your Stats
A cool new feature was recently released by Sony recently allowing PlayStation 4 players to view some of their gaming stats. The feature allows you to see what the rarest trophy you’ve achieved is as well as what game you have spent the most hours on and what your very first game on the PlayStation 4 was. It’s a pretty fun feature but currently only available to the EU, so here’s hoping that the US and the rest of the world will get hold of it soon. I personally found it a bit of an embarrassing insight into my gaming habits, having spent over 1000 hours on Overwatch and wasting so much of my life on Mass Effect: Andromeda. My rarest trophy happens to be Dream Daddy related. I have no regrets on that one.
I’ll paste the link below so feel free to have a try and see if you’re able to create your own personal video.
Trailer of the Week
Kingdom Hearts 3: Final Battle Trailer
Yes, this week’s trailer is yet another Kingdom Hearts one. The “Final Battle” trailer appears to be the last one that will be released, due to the game coming out in just over a month. We get a few new details here, notably, a summon of the character Stitch from Lilo and Stitch, a look at Remy the rat from Ratatouille along with a Keyblade themed after the film and a look at some mini-games including a Tangled dancing game.
The theme song from the game Don’t Think Twice from Hikaru Utada is heard as well as a longer listen to the song Face my Fears which features Skrillex. I wasn’t sure how much of a match Skrillex would be for the Kingdom Hearts universe but the song is surprisingly catchy and works well with the tone of the series. I’ve posted it below so you can decide what you think about the song.
A little more of the story is shown in the new trailer and fans of the Kingdom Hearts series are showing concern due to the dark nature of it, particularly towards the end where Sora’s friends all seem to be consumed by Heartless. Trailers aren’t always that reliable though, often being edited a certain way to throw people off of the scent of the real story.
We’ll find out soon enough what will happen to Sora, Donald, Goofy and the rest after its release on January 29th, 2019 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Indie Game of the Week
I’m going to be completely honest about this. Hotline Miami almost broke me. It kicked me hard in the butt. And then it kicked me again in the kidneys when I was writhing on the ground in pain. It’s safe to assume that I found it somewhat difficult. But I had so much fun playing it and its one of the best indie games I’ve played to date.
Hotline Miami is a top-down, 2D pixelated shooter set in 1980’s Miami developed by Dennaton Games and published by Devolver Digital. It was released for the PC in 2012 and then on the PlayStation 4 in 2014. The game centers on a silent protagonist who is given instructions to kill Russian gangsters via a series of telephone messages. The player must then go to the destination and murder them all in whichever way they feel fit. That’s about it, but the game is executed in such a brilliant way that each level feels different and unique.
The style of Hotline Miami is reminiscent of a retro video game, with a top-down perspective of your character. The objectives of the game, killing all the bad guys you come across in a grisly fashion, give the game a more modern feel. It’s a clever way to combine both contemporary and retro elements. The narrative also feels more like a modern day video game. There is an air of mystery throughout due to an unknown caller giving the player their missions by leaving them on the answer phone as well as the visions that the protagonist gets of masked men. They wear the same masks that are available to the player to hide their identity when going on a murder spree, leaving more questions as to who they really are. The game itself was inspired by the neo-noir film Drive and there are definite similarities but also a key difference. Whilst the neo-noir genre of film is a modern take on the retro film noir style, Hotline Miami is a retro take on a modern game style. There is grotesque violence, quirky neon colours, and modern futuristic elements but it is all done with retro graphics styling and music. It creates a highly addictive, intriguing and enjoyable gaming experience.
Gameplay wise, Hotline Miami is simple but tricky. The player maneuvers around various buildings hunting down enemies with melee weapons or guns. This was simple enough to grasp but defeating enemies is another matter entirely. Enemies are one hit kills, but so is the player character. Moving carefully and with a formulated plan is essential as a single hit will kill you and start you back at the beginning of the level. The A.I. not only have lightning fast reactions, but they are also unpredictable as they will occasionally vary their movements. This means that no matter how much you plan, you can get caught out at any time. This happened to me a few times. I carefully planned my route, had defeated every bad guy and was about to take out the last one when he suddenly changed his path. He then proceeded to shoot me in the face. Whilst frustrating at times, I found myself wanting to keep replaying it until I got it right. Each level is fresh due to the changeable nature of the AI. There are also various weapons to choose from that are randomly generated so in one level you may be able to slice up enemies with a katana but if you die, you may have to replay the level with a broken bottle or baseball bat. Bad guys are drawn to the sound of gunfire, so melee weapons can often be a good tactical choice. There is also a choice of animal masks which are unlocked as the game goes on. Each one offers different benefits, such as faster movement or providing extra ammo to the player.
Hotline Miami is a gory and glorious indie game with fun and brutal gameplay which also offers a genuine challenge. I started getting the hang of the game eventually, though I had already died countless times by that point. The kitschy neon and 8-bit soundtrack combined with the gritty violence and subtle narrative on the criminal underworld of 80’s Miami make for a game that works so well that I keep going back to it despite the constant punishment it dishes out.