New Steven Universe Game in Development For Consoles

Cartoon Network have announced the Steven Universe RPG being developed by Grumpyface Studios for consoles called ‘Save The Light.’

Steven’s no longer at our fingertips, rather in the palms of our hands as he hits consoles with his very own game. The sequel to the mobile game ‘Attack The Light’ is set to release sometime this summer. Although Cartoon Network haven’t specified which consoles it will be released on for now it’s safe to assume PC, PlayStation and Xbox players will be joining the Crystal Gems in their next adventure.

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The storyline will follow the Crystal Gems as they attempt to retrieve a powerful weapon that was stolen from Beach City. They do so through RPG turn-based and real time combat. There will also be various party customisation and plenty of puzzles to solve. Save The Light will also include an original story written by the show’s creator, Rebecca Sugar.

From the screenshots we can see that we could possibly be able to play as characters such as Connie and Greg who were not featured in Attack The Light.

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Since I’m not a huge fan of playing mobile games it’ll be a breath of fresh air being able to play a Steven Universe game on my console. I am excited to see how it turns out.

The Uncharted Movie: A Disaster Waiting To Happen?

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It’s been hinted that Naughty Dog are being kept in the dark with the position of the Uncharted movie script. They were the ones that came up with the original concept, right? So why aren’t they allowed to have creative control over what’s being written?

Joe Carnahan, known for his work on films such as The Grey has recently finished writing the script for the Uncharted movie. However throughout the past week there has been various reports on what the script could turn out to be like. It was revealed earlier during the week that the Uncharted film would in fact be ‘r-rated’.

Today, Neil Druckmann (A writer for Naughty Dog) had quoted what Carnahan had said throughout an interview along with a reply of his own.

“We know nothing about the film. Wish he’d stop implying it has our support.”

It seems from the evidence that Naughty Dog have very little involvement with the production of the Uncharted film, if they have any involvement at all.

It’s unusual not to see the creative hands at Naughty Dog on board with the pre-production stages of the Uncharted movie. In an ideal world writers from the original Uncharted series could aid the scriptwriting process to help bring Nathan Drake to the big screen. Even a script editor that works at Naughty Dog could advise possible changes would be better than going in completely blind. Get someone to do the job that knows what they’re doing rather than someone who is on the first day of the job. Although this can be seen in another way meaning that you should always give people a chance to prove themselves. 

Just as many video game based movies in the past, it’s just another shot in the dark. Personally I believe that bringing Nate to the big screen could do wonders for the series however on the other hand with recent flops such as Assassin’s Creed are these big budget productions really worth the hassle?

At the end of the day video games appeal to gamers, not movies. 

Why Do Gamers Pour So Much Time Into Video Game Achievements?

Ever since I was little I really enjoyed the idea of being able to collect awards for what I had achieved. I always remembered going round multiple friend’s houses only to see shelves rammed full of trophies, that was something I wanted.
Unfortunately although I worked extremely hard on various things I never had the confidence to join in on competitive events in which I could earn medals or trophies. Sure, I had a few medals from competing in charity walks but other than that I had nothing. However I did win two awards in recent years for the best edited music videos on my college course which I was pretty proud of. Sadly the award was nothing more than a poorly cut plastic 2D Oscar but it was better than nothing.

For a lot of gamers earning achievements adds a whole other aspect to the game that wasn’t there before. A lot of people like completing games to the point where there is nothing else for them to do, they’ve explored, interacted and collected everything there is to offer. Now that’s the true definition of getting what you’ve paid for.

In my case I love collecting trophies on my PlayStation to help get the most out of the games that I buy, without them it would just be the case of completing the main story and then never touching the game ever again. I want to suck every penny out of my purchase by filling up my time with tedious tasks that no other gamer would waste time in doing. But at the end of the day if it means adding a few numbers to your profile, it seems worth it. Silly? I know.

Sometimes getting platinums on the PlayStation is a competitive thing for me. If a friend has the same game it’s always a race to see who can complete it all first, adding a whole new aspect to the gameplay that may not have been present otherwise.

Some gamers go great lengths in order to get achievements, strained eyes and multiple gameplays are just some of the things the average achievement hunter goes through. There was even a case in the past where I purchased an upgrade in a video game just to help out with getting the platinum trophy, sometimes it’s a problem.

There’s something that feels good when playing a game and a little notification springs up on the screen with a bleeping noise to inform you that you’re on your way to completing the game. It’s as if you’ve brought a jigsaw and you’re gradually putting it together in order to get that shiny 100% completion. A jigsaw is a pretty pointless thing but people buy them because they’re a form of entertainment rather than just buying a print of the same photograph. Piecing the puzzle together allows you to study each piece individually as you connect them all and create a picture. It’s the same concept with hunting for achievements, on one hand you could simply play through only to forget about it but going for the achievements allows you to explore and appreciate what the developers have made.

Although frowned upon by many gamers I will admit to checking out a trophy list before even considering to purchase a game. Trophies have become an addictive and ludicrous part of my gaming experience, I genuinely find it hard to play a video game without trophies now I’m so used to it. Perhaps it’s become a problem over recent years that’s stopped me from playing a few games?

I have a lot of friends that question me on my addiction to trophies and achievements across video games, I can’t even say that I’m decent at it. Nothing can beat the feeling of completion. But at the end of the day it’s all about having fun and although I sometimes get extremely frustrated whilst grinding one million XP it’s all worth it in the end – even if it is only an added number on a digital profile. The feeling of completion and being praised for it is the key to it all. 

Just remember that an elastic band is the achievement hunter’s best friend. Also coffee…lots of coffee.

Are you addicted to pointless video game achievements? Have you ever done anything out of the ordinary in order to get an achievement? Let me know!

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Review – ‘The End Of Any Adventure Games Coming Out Anytime Soon.’

I wrote this review after the release of Uncharted 4. I thought it would be best to post it than to never post it at all. Other than Firewatch this game really knocked it out of the park for me this year.

Uncharted 4 : A Thief’s End, also the end of any adventure games coming out anytime soon. From breathtaking visuals to storytelling like no other; Uncharted’s finale was more than any fan could have asked for.

Nathan Drake finds his long lost brother on his doorstep after 15 years of believing he had left him for dead in a Panama prison. Wanting to continue their hunt for Henry Avery’s treasure Nate decides to leave his civil life once again for the rope swinging, bridge breaking and arm aching adventures he missed whilst being stuck inside an office filing paperwork. From there on out Nate travels the world with his brother Sam to look for the treasure whilst being chased by some people who also want the treasure. An old friend who goes by the name of Rafe and an owner of a company called Shoreline called Nadine who then partners with Rafe to help bring Drake down.

Uncharted 4 was an experience I’ll never be able to forget, the first time playing was an emotional roller coaster of uncertainty and excitement. Naughty Dog made the game to feel more like a movie, knocking down other games on the market that fail to keep such smooth transitions and continuity. The decision not to have loading screens was the best decision ND could have made. Without cutscenes you are always immersed in the game, not ever wanting to leave your seat. It helps bring across the idea that the player is Nathan Drake, a continuous storyline that you as a player have to face with Nate.

I didn’t want to mention graphics since that’s not what makes a video game at all, but it certainly does improve it. This game has a beautiful personality and a pretty face to match, light environments are phenomenal, motion capture is beyond anything I have ever seen before and the shading creates the realist feel that everyone wants. If Nate is in Scotland, you’re in Scotland. If Nate’s climbing the side of a cliff, you’re climbing the side of a cliff. It all goes back to the continuity and flow of the game, the graphics and programming being a separate category in it’s own right. The team at Naughty Dog really smashed this one, a revolution in video games. More developers will pick up on their techniques and begin to create masterpieces just as beautiful as Uncharted 4, but never the same.

There was one scene during the game where it’s a muddy environment and you’re in an off road 4×4. Nate’s just had an emotional conversation with Elena and they’re driving in silence together, a song from the soundtrack called ‘For Better Or Worse’ began to play so I stopped the vehicle to take in my surroundings. Everything was so… beautiful. The landscape, the characters, the music and the overall feel of being in the front seat of the off road vehicle and driving on the muddy terrain.

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Whenever Nate dropped into the water only to mutter the words ‘refreshing’ I could feel the chills of the water up to my hips. When characters felt emotions you could tell by their expressions and through your connection with them on screen. You knew how they were feeling because you lived through their emotions with a dualshock 4 controller, a TV and a PS4.

I grew up with Naughty Dog games, from playing Crash Bandicoot on the PS1 to playing Jak and Daxter on the PS2 pretty much my entire childhood Naughty Dog have always been there. Truth be told I only played the first couple of missions of Drake’s Fortune back in 2010 before picking up the whole remastered trilogy in 2015. Well worth it, I instantly fell in love and became a fan just like every other Naughty Dog game prior to Uncharted.

Uncharted 4 really made the PS4 worthwhile, nothing on the PS4 had really blown me away since I first got it. However this game was spectacular, I’m still in shock as to how amazing it all was.

Although it wasn’t 100% in some places the small things I picked out were so tiny they were hard to spot. It was as if I was finding it so difficult to pick out bad points that I began to nit pick at anything I could. For a start Uncharted will be Uncharted, the repetitiveness of bridges falling or Nate destroying everything he’s ever touched is what makes the game. But wouldn’t it have been nice to have seen something a little different?

Every Uncharted game includes the same plot. Hunting the treasure, facing bad guys that also want the treasure, being one step ahead of the bad guys and yet somehow still failing to see them already at the treasure because they stole your leads. Repetitive gold. It sells and it works, there’s no fault in that as long as it’s entertaining. That’s one thing Uncharted 4 did better than any of the other games in the series, kept the same repetitive nature but added twists to spice it up slightly. This made the overall gameplay and plot a lot more interesting to follow.

Deep down Uncharted is about following what you love no matter how hard it may be to do so. Nathan Drake risks his life time and time again and for what? A few trinkets in his closet? He does it because he loves it, the feeling and the adrenaline rush of it all is enough to push him even further.

Naughty Dog made a phenomenal masterpiece on this one, I can’t wait to see their next game. (Still internally hoping for Jak 4)

Why Firewatch Is My Game Of The Year

This year has been an awful year for video games and gamers alike. However the majority of the time there’s a silver lining to situations like this one. The only games I found decent enough to mention this year were Uncharted and of course Firewatch.

Firewatch is the gorgeous debut game from Campo Santo that released on the 9th of February 2016. You play as Henry (Rich Sommer), a man seeking to find something to take his mind off of the loss that he’s suffered. Henry decides to volunteer as a fire lookout in the Wyoming forest.

Henry doesn’t really have a lot left other than a handheld radio that he uses to contact his superior in another watchtower. Delilah (Cissy Jones) guides you along the way through the radio making you feel a little less lonely in the large forest.

Things get a little mysterious when you start to leave your watchtower to investigate the forest and discover everything is not as it seems. (No spoilers – I’ll let everyone play it!)

It’s also set in 1989!

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The game is more or less focused on the story rather than riveting gameplay however the beautiful scenery and witty dialogue makes up for what some people label as a ‘walking simulator’.

I found out about Firewatch only a few days before it’s release but that didn’t stop me from making the decision to purchase it as soon as it was out. I did a small amount of research on the game before, it was nice to see the names of so many brilliant people on the development team. A lot of them ex Telltale Games employees which is where I was able to recognise their names from.

The artwork for the game was created by the one and only Olly Moss. You would probably be able to recognise his work if you saw it, especially his Star Wars pieces. You’d also be able to see some quality artwork stolen from Moss if you were to open the game case to Borderlands 2, but we’ll save that for another day. Either way, Moss’ art style fitted perfectly inside of the world and with the flow of the game as a whole. I found myself staring off into the sunset in the game far too often.

I’m a huge fan of storytelling games and the different techniques that developers use in order to enhance the story. Although Firewatch didn’t have any major decisions that drastically changed the game there were many options throughout to help tweak the dialogue that Henry and Delilah exchange later on in the game.

At the very beginning you’re given Henry’s backstory where you’re prompted to chose what he did throughout his difficult situations back home. This really helps shape what Henry says to Delilah and how they both react to particular things. Delilah may remember something you said earlier on in the game and make reference to it nearer the end. Although it doesn’t have something as vast as Until Dawn’s choices and consequences it still has some to an extent.

There’s one point during the game that if you say the wrong thing Delilah becomes upset with you making her stay silent for a good couple of minutes as you trail around on your own. It gives off an eery feel and really makes you feel alone in the large forest, especially when strange happenings have been going on the entire time you’ve been there.

The game time clocked in at around four hours but don’t let this put you off, those four hours were the best four hours I’d spent gaming this year.

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Overall I’d pick Firewatch as my game of the year over anything else purely over the fact that it was nurtured to it’s release. Beautiful graphics and gameplay along with top voice actors and a gripping story, what’s not to love?

I even loved it so much that after it’s release I created a project at college on it regarding what it would take to adapt it into a film. I worked on the presentation with a few friends and it was really interesting to think of different concepts regarding the game and storyline. However a few months ago I saw that Firewatch will be adapted into a film which took me by surprise, I’d love to see how it turns out.

What I loved most about the game was that you could tell that the developers really cared about this project, it’s extremely well pieced together with near to no faults. There’s far too many developers recently caring more about deadlines and profits than the quality of the content they’re producing. Campo Santo are definitely on the road to success and I can’t wait to see what they create next.

Firewatch is going to be a hard one to beat.