Friday, November 15, 2013

Game Diary - twelve hours with a PS4.

I was feeling terribly under the weather, but even illness couldn't dampen my mood yesterday.  I was so excited and so happy that whenever I needed to go out through the office, all I ever wanted to say to anyone was "you're totally awesome."

When Jim asked why I was in such a good mood today, I could only reply, "well, it's a big day!"

"Ohhh," Charlie nodded - Charlie often refers to me as "a total nerd," and knew why I'd booked a week's vacation.

"What, are you getting engaged?" Jim asked.

I grinned. "Well, I am beginning a long-term relationship."  Charlie just rolled his eyes, but his judgment could not diffuse my jubilation.

I was nervous, last night, waiting in line.  "What if I get shanked as I leave the store?  What if I get it home and it's one of those launch units that just don't work?  What if everyone in this line, waiting in the cold, has the EB Games Platinum card to "jump the line" on midnight releases, rendering its power meaningless?  The parking lot is really icy.  What if I slip and fall and don't think to ensure the PS4 is cushioned by my inconsequential mortal coil?"

"I'm really thirsty.  I hope this lady in front of me somehow senses how thirsty I am and gives me a sip from that water bottle."

None of that happened.  The worst thing that happened was the dude behind the register kept trying to up-sell me to EB Games' warranty ($130 for two years, $80 for one!), an extra controller, more games, and kept on trying to tell me he was trying to do me a favor in doing so.  It's like, this month alone I've spent about a thousand dollars in your store - I've bought enough from you.  Stop it.

Even that couldn't kill my mood, though.  As I left the counter I turned to the other folks fresh in from the cold, now fifth, sixth, seventh in line for their PS4s and exclaimed "it's like Christmas!"

The second-worst thing was that, like many other PS4 early adopters, I found the PS4's PSN access wasn't exactly ironed out, right at launch.

It may be fine now, I don't know - but last night it took me about ten tries (spread out over three hours) to actually get the thing associated with my PSN account so I could claim my rightful PlayStation Plus freebies.  Resogun, for the record, is as awesome as they say.

I'm not a shoot'em up kinda' guy, of course.  Sure, I played the arcade version of 1942 like everyone else, and I enjoy a few rounds of Super Stardust HD as much as the next fellow, but the bullet hell shooter was never in my wheelhouse.  Resogun, though, feels like something I'll probably put far more hours into than I'm comfortable with.  It's fun, challenging, beautiful and weirdly addictive to someone who doesn't favor the genre.

Also worth noting about the PS4 - the much-talked-about sharing features.  The message boards I frequent are lit up with people talking about streaming their footage - it appears to be far more popular than we'd anticipated - and, for my purposes, the ability to capture screenshots is very appealing.

I snapped every screenshot in this post with the share feature, firing it up on to Twitter.  I am disappointed that the screenshots are a paltry 1024 x 576, nowhere near the actual resolution Resogun and Shadow Fall run at, but having this option is way, way, way better than what I dealt with with the PS3 - bound at all times by only the screenshots the publishers or game journalists captured and made available.

Like the Vita's screencap feature, this really frees me up and will come in super-handy.

I haven't tried Knack or Battlefield, Contrast or Assassin's Creed.  I've downloaded Warframe, but again - haven't touched it.  Killzone Shadow Fall is...

Hard to pin down.  Y'know how games kind of feed into your "gamer sense" of where you should go, what you should do next, and why?  Shadow Fall doesn't.  I've repeatedly gotten lost for ten or fifteen minutes at a time in this game, having no idea what I'm meant to do next because the game doesn't implicitly tell you - it just gives you a waypoint somewhere behind a door you can't figure out how to open.

At the same time, it's comfortable to play, the OWL drone is tons of fun, and is incredibly good-looking. I have a feeling this is one of those campaigns that get better the second time you play it, but whether or not I'm willing to give it twice its allotted shot will depend on the affection I have for it once the campaign comes to a close.

So far?  Very pleased.

Momohime and a PS4 in one day.  Like Christmas indeed.

Oh, and the fact that Sony's own 7.1 surround sound USB-dongle headset doesn't work with it sucks balls


  1. I was going to wait on the PS4—my PS3 backlog, thanks mostly to you, is enormous. I'm having *strong* urges today. I know things aren't perfect yet, and that the system will probably be worlds more useful and user-friendly in 6-18 months, but dang it. I want a PS4.

    I'll probably have one before Christmas now.

  2. I've yet to go through all my launch games, but I don't expect there'll be one that makes the PS4 a required purchase. Waiting a year is probably the wisest thing you could do...

    But on the other hand, imagine all the PS+ games you'll miss out on between now and then.

  3. Miss out on? Or just keep in download-limbo, waiting until the day I own one? I've already taken care of "owning" the first offerings.

    That's actually what will probably push to a purchase sooner than anything else, "Honey, we NEED to get a PS4. Look! I already have all these games for it."

  4. My plan has always been to wait til like January to grab one. With inFamous Second Son getting pushed back to late March, well, that -should- have gotten a lot easier.

    It did not. I will be in a store tomorrow that will very likely have PS4s in stock. I'm not sure I have the willpower.

  5. That's exactly the reason I avoided Best Buy like the plague today.

  6. Glad I am not the only one getting stuck in Killzoner.