Do You Invert Your Controls?

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Here’s a pet peeve of mine: inverted controls.

I used to invert my controls. Up is down. Down is up. Invert Y axis.

Why? It is, well it was, the standard for console games at the time. I remembered wrapping around the concept of a first person shooter in 2000 by playing Red Faction. I don’t play PC games at the time, so I had never discovered Quake and Half-Life. Doom was ok, but there’s no Y-axis controls. This was my first foray to narrative-driven FPS. It was pretty good.

The first thing I did not get is why is it inverted. Until I made the connection by imagining myself pushing and pulling the character’s head. Makes sense. Even makes even more sense when piloting aircraft, which is how it is controlled in real life.

Then, after the jump to the 360/PS3 generation, suddenly all the controls default to non-inverted.

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[PS Plus Reviews] January 2016 Quick Round-up

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January 2016’s line-up of free PS Plus games is… interesting. A remastered classic and a surprise sequel to an old almost-forgotten game on the PS4, AAA titles by EA on the PS3 and games that fit right in the PS Vita’s handheld form.

Here’s a quick rundown of all the titles available, free for PS Plus subscribers for January 2016.

PS4

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Hardware: Rivals

A car combat game, a sequel of sorts to one of the earliest online multiplayer game on the PS2, Hardware: Online Arena. Jeeps and tanks duke it out, with weapon pickups, interesting stage gimmicks, and wacky style.

I wrote a full review on this, noting it’s lack of content on launch, but could be better in the future.

[link to review]

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Grim Fandango Remastered (also available on PS Vita)

Grim Fandango used to be criticised for how hard the controls were. Now with this remaster, you can experience it with an easier one. Surprisingly, this classic adventure game aged well, with some negligible issues.

[link to review]

PS3

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Medal of Honor: Warfighter

I did not get the chance to experience this FPS, but this is a full AAA shooter. It didn’t perform well on launch due to heavy competition, but from the looks of it the singleplayer campaign is a decent experience to go by.

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Dragon Age: Origins

Played this game on PC years ago. Loved it. This is Bioware’s take of a grim high-fantasy RPG. A long and engrossing intro depending on your chosen race and origins (hence the title) with a deep tactical combat and branching paths based on dialogue. I cannot say for sure how this game plays with a controller though. A good timesink of an RPG.

PS Vita

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Futuridium EP Deluxe (also available on the PS4)

I strongly believed this game, a space shooter with puzzle-like, short-burst levels, works best on the Vita, hence being catagorised here. Despite that, I gave the PS4 version a go. I don’t like it as much, but a well put together game that someone will genuinely like it.

[link to review]

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HISTORY Legends of War

This is an odd choice, but understandable. All in all, this is a tactical strategy game, think XCOM without grids, based on World War II. Obviously I have never played it and unable to since I don’t have a Vita, I only watch footage from YouTube for info. For what I see, I have mixed feelings on this. But maybe give it a go?

What do you think of the line-up this month? I personally have mixed feelings, but give them a shot? Shoot your opinions in the comments below.

[PS Plus Reviews] January 2016- Futuridium EP Deluxe

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Disclaimer: This post is made as an entry for PS Asia’s PS Plus Junior Reporter competition. The points and views raised in the review however are not affected in any way.

I am no fan of arcade bullet hell. I am also not a fan of one rougelike element- permadeath, as in no checkpoints in between long stretches of gameplay.

So Futuridium EP Deluxe should not be a game for me to enjoy from the start. It is a spaceship shooter, but it’s not a bullet hell shooter. It’s an arcadey spaceship shooter with short bursts of levels, cleverly designed, and rewards smart manouvering rather than twitch reflexes.

It’s not bad, but I have reasons why I don’t enjoy it as much, but maybe it tickles your fancy, as it is, at the end of the day, a very well-put game regardless of its indie status.

Do note this game is available for both PS4 and the PS Vita. This review is based on the PS4 version.

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How to Play Videogames Responsibly

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Or, “Some Tips to Hopefully Stop You Or You Children Being Chronically Addicted to Videogames”

Videogames, and playing one, has a sort of stigma among Malaysians. It’s a thing of luxury, only rich kids can afford gaming consoles. True during the PS2 and PS3 era, where spending RM2000 and RM4000+ is a huge expenditure, but now ironic when people felt a PS4, costing around RM1300-1500 expensive when most of them can afford RM2000+ iPhones. Apples and oranges comparison, but you get the point.

Another new stigma growing proponent among our society is how addictive it is. Now with more free-to-play games and mobile devices capable of running them grow more accessible, many new people have just got a taste of gaming. Unfortunately, some have grown quite an addiction to it, to point of parents seeking psychological help.

But what if we can prevent this from happening? Here’s some tips, for you the average gamer and you the parent of an average gamer, based on personal experience, on how to play games responsibly, so we all can still be productive individuals while still spend some time for gaming.

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[PS Plus Reviews] January 2016- Grim Fandango Remastered

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Disclaimer: This post is made as an entry for PS Asia’s PS Plus Junior Reporter competition. The points and views raised in the review however are not affected in any way.

Well this is a surprise. Grim Fandango is known to be one of the last great adventure games of the now-defunct LucasArts. Released in 1998, it’s actually the first foray of LucasArts into complete 3D games, leaving the legacy SCUMM engine, pixelated 2D graphics and point-and-click controls.

This game is directed Tim Schafer, now known for his company Double Fine, famous for Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, running the biggest crowdfunding game on KickStarter at the time, and an interesting Let’s Play series. Somehow Double Fine managed to recover this IP from the demise of LucasArts after Disney purchased LucasFilms- and its sub company LucasArts- and now re-released in a remastered form.

So, with some HD retextures and some changes made, does the Remastered version able to capture the nostalgia of the original, and make it accessible to the new generation of gamers? Read on to find out. Continue reading

Let’s Discuss The Beginner’s Guide (SPOILERS)

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This is a spoiler ridden discussion post about The Beginner’s Guide. If you haven’t played it, go do so! Grab it on Steam. Too expensive? Then watch this full playthrough of it- yes, it’s not a long game. Or even a “game”. But it’s totally worth discussing! Go watch this full playthrough by Woolie and Liam of the Super Best Friends embedded here, then read the rest of the article.

Wow, The Beginner’s Guide is one heck of a journey, huh?

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[PS Plus Reviews] January 2016- Hardware: Rivals

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Disclaimer: This post is made as an entry for PS Asia’s PS Plus Junior Reporter competition. The points and views raised in the review however are not affected in any way.

This January there’s supposed to be a release of a PC game called Hardware: Shipbreakers. Thankfully, the developers, who used to work on the Homeworld IP, managed to get in touch with new owners Gearbox and officially brand their game as a proper Homeworld game instead of a spiritual successor. The game then changed names to Homeworld: Shipbreakers before finalised as Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak.

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Thank goodness the developers opted to not use Hardware as their series name, else people might get confused that Hardware: Rivals is also of the same IP. Instead, Hardware: Rivals is an online-only multiplayer car combat game, a successor to Hardware: Online Arena, one of the first online games on the PS2. Yes, this is no indie game, a sequel of sorts, and it’s a first party game developed in-house by a new team at Sony.

Car combat used to be a genre in the PS1 era, with titles like Twisted Metal and Vigilante 8 leading the charge.

So, a modern day online-only multiplayer car combat game? Is it as fun to play nowadays? Read on to find out.

Note: This game is available for free for January 2016 PS Plus subscribers.

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