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2017 Visual Novel Releases List

Jan 28 2017 05:26 AM | maxijodi in Reviews

Here I will post all in 2017 released and announced Visual Novels or all trophy hunters and all imports members interested in Visual Novels.

 

Please post if you find any missing ones or any mistakes.

 

Buttons under a game will lead you directly to the game in two different Asia stores.

 

 

January Releases:

  • Hana Oboro Sengoku-den Ranki 19.01.2017 VLJM-35427 Otomate [Guide]
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  • Uta no * Prince-Sama: Repeat Love 26.01.2017 VLJM-35402 Broccoli
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  • New Game! The Challenge Stage! 26.01.2017 VLJM-30192 5pb
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  • New Game! The Challenge Stage! [PS4] 26.01.2017 PLJM-80194 5pb
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  • Black Wolves Saga Weiβ und Schwarz 26.01.2017 VLJM-35429 Otomate
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  • Orfreres Bouquet du bonheur 26.01.2017 Dramaticcreate

 

February Releases:

  • Kamaitachi no Yoru Rinne Saisei 16.02.2017 VLJM-30228 5pb
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  • Island 23.02.2017 VLJM-35431 Prototype
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  • Timepiece Ensemble 23.02.2017 VLJM-30211 Entergram
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  • Diabolik Lovers: Lost Eden 16.02.2017 VLJM-35435 Idea Factory
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  • Hatsuyuki Sakura 23.02.2017 VLJM-30219 Entergram
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March Releases:

  • Fata Morgana no Kan [Collected Edition] 16.03.2017 VLJM-35409 Dramatic Create
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  • Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Death of Kiss 23.03.2017 VLJM-35421 5pb
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  • Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Death of Kiss [PS4] 23.03.2017 PLJM-80205 5pb
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  • CHAOS; CHILD LOVE CHU CHU!! 30.03.2017 VLJM-30227 5pb
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  • CHAOS; CHILD LOVE CHU CHU!! [PS4] 30.03.2017 PLJM-80226 5pb
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  • Dynamic Chord feat.Kyohso V Edition 30.03.2017 VLJM-35374 Otome
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  • Klap!! Kind Love and Punish Fun Party 30.03.2017 VLJM-35453 Idea Factory
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Mafia 3 review

Jan 23 2017 01:41 AM | lordmartock in Reviews

Attempt number two. Was halfway done and accidentally closed out the screen...loosing all that work.

 

Story

 

Mafia 3 is a continuation...of sorts...from the second game. The only one to make the crossover is Vito from Mafia 2. He is much older and much more confined to the thought of what little time he has left. He knows it is only a matter of time before they kill him off....but being a "made man", they can't just shoot him in the head. You play as Jackson Clay...a black man just back from Vietnam. If the use of the "N" word (sounding like tigger) offends you...then this game isn't for you.
You come back from Vietnam and join up with your "father" and "brother". I put those in quotes as they aren't your real family. You find out your father is in dept to the Jamaican mob. So you, your brother, and two friends do a job for Marcano....the Italian mob boss in the area. The job goes off with a small hitch...and afterwards, little Marcano (bosses son) turns on you all. Killing your friend, brother and father. The pastor from the orphanage you were at...says you and nurses you back to health. You decide to get even with Marcano by taking everything from him.

 

Gameplay

 

Standard third person until you get into gun sights. You drive around in cars, boats, and can swim in the swamp. One problem though...in case you didn't know, gators live in swamps. Swim too slow...and your gator chow. First trophy I got in the game was by accident...I was trying to hide a body and tossed it into the swamp, a gator jumped and took the body down. DING...trophy time.
You have to take over 9 districts in the game to get to Marcano. Each district has 2 rackets...each racket has a boss and an informant. You take over a racket by doing a lot of damage to the racket. Once enough damage has been done...the boss shows up and you can either turn him or kill him. Take over both rackets in a district...a "mini" boss shows up and you kill them to finally capture the district. You can then pass off control of that district to your lieutenants. You have three lieutenants you recruit during gameplay...Vito is one of them. Each Lieutenant will give you "perks"....and the perks are pretty cool. I really liked the perk where the lady drove up in a car and collected all my cash. Then I didn't have to drive all over the town picking up my "kick-back".

 

Graphics and Sound

 

They did a hell of a job on the cut scenes. I think they spent all their money on the cut scenes...as the clouds look like crap. They just look terrible...I couldn't believe just had bad they were. The city looks really well done, and the cars look great. Not much else I can add about the graphics.
Sound if pretty good too....I really like the playlist they got for this game. Hearing CCR after all these years really took me back. Hearing the sounds of the gators was pretty wild. The voices didn't always match the mouth movements....but that was minor and nothing I noticed unless I was really paying attention.

 


So...overall, I would not rate this game with a very high score. I have to give this game a 4 out of 10. I really wanted to love this game..being a fan of the early games, but I just can't. The repetitiveness of the gameplay is a major downer...and really holds this game back. The graphics are a disservice to the game as well...although the cut scenes do save it a bit. Also...there are 4 trophies which you can't do in a single playthrough...so it is going to take you about 2 1/2 playthroughs to complete this game. Two trophies are for killing all racket bosses and all informants. Two trophies for "recruiting" 16 racket bosses and 16 informants. No matter what I did...there were several racket bosses Clay killed without me even getting the option to recruit them.



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Mantis Burn Racing review by Blondlizard

Nov 25 2016 08:20 AM | blondlizard in Reviews


Mantis Burn Racing – now that’s a title to get the juices flowing. UK’s VooFoo Studios know how to make luxurious looking games, and if you’ve played Pure Pooland Pure Chess then you’ll know what I’m on about. VooFoo know how to turn on the style and now they’ve achieved the same greatness on the track. After a short burst on Mantis Burn Racing your mind is made up pretty quickly. PlayStation has had its share of such racers in recent years, and this pushes the others aside.

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Mantis Burn Racing is a top down racer; think MotorStorm RC, think dusty tracks, tight racing and insane drifts. Mantis Burn Racing has a lot to offer. The main single player mode rolls out a well constructed path of destruction and races. Each race gives you the opportunity to show off your skills. Overtaking opponents while powersliding around a corner, apart from feeling good, also racks up the XP as well. It’s not just about winning races but how you perform. Taking out rows of wooden fencing and debris helps find those precious shortcuts that wipe seconds off a race win – again all helping to rack up that XP.

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Helping you stay ahead is a single burst of speed; this depletes quickly and can’t be relied on to win. Tracks come with intricate turns, corners and the odd obstacle. Smack into a wall or take a corner too wide sees the faltering pack swiftly overtake you and you’re made to pay for your mistakes. Mantis Burn Racing wants you to learn each track if you’re to gain the game’s reward features. Instead of race wins being rewarded with standard silverware, Mantis Burn Racing features Gears. Each race has a number of Gears to win. Also different classes of vehicles open up and give the chance to sling faster cars around each track. Some vehicles are light and have the weight of a Tupperware box, while others feel heavy and sturdy, handy for barging through the pack and sending your rivals off the track. There’s a lot of fun to be had mastering each type of vehicle and also upgrading each one. More fun is offered in the form of multiplayer, with a 4 player local split-screen race, and also extensive online modes for up to 8 players too.

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The soundtrack and sound effects admittedly don’t jump out at you, but the intense races are where your senses get its tingles from. Super responsive controls also help, and with a handful of different views to mess with Mantis Burn Racing is the real deal.

Conclusion

Another class act from VooFoo; well, you wouldn’t have expected anything less, would you? Tight racing, beautifully laid out tracks and addictive gameplay, Mantis Burn Racing is a fantastic fast-paced racing game.

Lizard Rating 8.5/10


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PS VR Hardware Review

Nov 22 2016 07:55 AM | Tenshi in Reviews

Introduction:

 

Hello PS3imports, I'm Tenshi and this'll be my third Hardware Review for you guys and gals. Today I'll be reviewing the PlayStaion VR headset, the first modern VR foray by any of the major console manufacturers. My intentions are to inform, answer any questions you might have, and provide a thought out, somewhat wordy, opinion on why you should or shouldn't jump into this piece of tech. If paragraphs aren't your thing don't worry, I'll have a "pros and cons" list down at the bottom. Remember a review is just a long-winded opinion, if you disagree don't take it personally! You're free to voice counter-opinions. Just as a disclaimer, I'm not a professional writer or journalist, I am compensated in no way for my reviews. Thanks for your time and Enjoy!

 

(Further disclaimer: I do not yet own a PS VR myself, but I have about 12 hours of time with one thanks to a friend.)

 

================

 

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Part 1: What's in the box, and Specs.

 

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So what's in the box?

  • PlayStation VR Headset (CUH-ZVR1)
  • Auxiliary Processing Unit
  • User Manuals
  • Stereo Ear buds (They're cheap tho)
  • One USB cable
  • One High-Speed HDMI Cable
  • AC Adapter and Power Cord
  • One PS VR Headset Adapter Cable
  • A Demo Disc (Content varies by region)
There is a bundle sold which contains PS Move and PS Camera accessories. It should be noted that you must have the camera for VR to work.

 

Let's check those specs.

 

(Sony doesn't make it easy though, not much is known about the processing box for example.)

  • 5.7 Inch 1920x1080 OLED Screen
  • Headset screen refreshes at a variable 90, or 120 FPS.
  • Field of View is near 100 degrees.
  • Auxiliary Processor meant for 3D Audio, Social Screen, and Cinematic Mode.
Well I'd like to point out that at the moment the PS VR is a bit secretive concerning all of it's hardware magic. It's actually a nice headset for the price, it's not as pretty or high-tech as Vive but it's also half the price. I think like the PS4 Pro, Sony is offering a really good deal here for what you get. The ear buds this thing comes with though are quite cheap, if you want really good audio you're gonna have to bring your own headphones.

 

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Part 2: The Games, The Experience.

 

When Sony launched the PS VR they stated 230 Game Developers were working on content for PS VR, and that by the end of 2016 at least 50 games would be out for it. Time will tell how true this pans out to be, but you can find a surprisingly up-to-date list of games here: https://en.wikipedia...tation_VR#Games

 

Unfortunately, at the moment PS VR doesn't have many "must have" titles, but here is a small list of stand-out titles which I think show-off VR to great effect.

  • Driveclub VR
  • EVE Valkyrie
  • RIGS: MCL
  • Robinson: The Journey (From Crytek)
  • Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

 

The future does look a bit better though. Resident Evil VII, Final Fantasy XV and XIV will have VR content, Ace Combat 7, Golem, DOOM, Hatsune Miku, Hellgate and more all look quite promising. For me personally, I must admit it is the Japanese VR scene, indie and big name, which is interesting me the most.

  • Summer Lesson Updates
  • Granblue Fantasy
  • Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash
  • Danganronpa VR
  • Last Labyrinth
  • Story of the Star Fragment
  • Princess Maker
... and so, so much more. The future for PS VR is very bright if development continues as promised.

 

That said, you'll notice a distinct lack of pictures for these games in my review. The truth is it's hard to talk about VR, especially to people who haven't tried it yet. VR is an experience more than anything else and to convey that experience with words, well I'm not sure it can be done without a bunch of weird comparisons. To be honest, most VR games so far aren't terribly pretty, at least not on the level you've come to associate with modern PS4 games. PS4 Pro helps a little bit, boosting games in small, but sometimes visually significant ways... Alas, the true beauty of VR games isn't something that can be shown. You have to try them, you have to strap the screen in front of your face and be immersed into these worlds.

 

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Part 3: So is VR for you?

 

Admittedly it's hard to convince someone to spend $399 or more (if you don't own the camera already) on what most perceive to be little more than an accessory. There are also a couple other things to consider aside from your budget. Do you have enough space in the room where you play? Do you get motion-sickness easily? Are you prone to eye strain or headaches? These are all very real concerns that you should consider before investing in the PS VR, or any VR for that matter.

 

At the moment, VR is an enthusiasts hobby. You gotta have the drive, the want, to try it out. You also need the money and for $399 I'd say Sony's recently released PS4 Pro is the better choice. With Pro, at the very least you can be sure you're playing all your games at their absolute best in the console space, and should you get PS VR later, you'll get the best there too. PS VR doesn't seem to have any "must-have" titles right now, and if I'm being brutally honest some of it's highest rated content at the moment is based on bite-sized thrills which make The Order 1886's original $60 release price actually look decent on a price to content ratio.

 

For casual Gamers, and Gamers on a budget... I cannot recommend the PS VR right now. Despite being the best VR headset on the market in terms of value, the game library just doesn't justify it yet.

 

Now, for Trophy hunters, PlayStation enthusiasts, and thrill seekers? VR is probably for you. Trophy hunters have noted that current VR games maintain a trend of easy trophies and are already figuring out ways to fool the headset into believing it's being worn so trophies can be earned while not even wearing the thing. Thrill seekers are probably the most catered to audience right now, most of PS VR's launch line-up does a decent job at hyping up the machine and giving the end user a peak at the possibilities of VR in the gaming world. I can only imagine that with time, the experiences will get better. PlayStation enthusiasts will notice that Sony's Marketing is really hammering away at VR. They've admitted "word of mouth" will be the biggest boost to sales, but if you've been watching their PR material since E3 there is a clear trend that they are committed to making PS VR successful and desperately trying to partner with as many studios as possible even just for tie-in material.

 

Because VR is hard to sell, hard to explain, the best I can do is say that if you're interested you need to research PS VR. It's a big investment and can seem superfluous. Make sure there are games you are interested in, make sure you can handle the physical space requirements for any games which require you to be moving, and make sure you understand the physical risks with VR. (Motion-sickness and Eye-strain/headaches being the biggest ones.)

 

If you can buy into the hype and convince yourself that the future of PS VR will be bountiful you'll likely find it a bit easier to jump in sooner. That's where I stand personally. I'm not at all convinced that PS VR is worth it right now, but I'll be getting one anyway hoping and preying that Japan takes a liking to it and develops many unique experiences for it.

 

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Part 4: The TL:DR, Pros and Cons.

 

Pros:

  • A new and unique way to experience games.
  • PS VR is technically sound at it's price point.
  • Future support looks great, but time will tell.
  • Very positive word of mouth in general.
  • For trophy hunters, easy trophies seem to be an early trend.
Cons:
  • Regular PS4 users will be getting sub-par experiences.
  • Current game library is lacking.
  • Somewhat hectic setup, lots of wires and the extra processing box.

 

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Part 5: Conclusion

 

Time to wrap up my third review now. Hopefully you're walking away from this a bit more informed, VR is a hard sell right now though. It's even harder to explain in words the type of entertainment it provides. Still, Sony has managed to put forth a VR machine which is quite competitive in terms of tech and price. It certainly has a market and I hope it does well enough to stick around and garner some much needed support. Oddly the demo disc which comes with the PS VR has some regional differences, the content available on the NA version dwarfs the European version by more than double. Importers may wish to consider this...

 

And now the curtains must close. As always I welcome feedback, good or bad, I'll take it on the chin! Feel free to argue my points or ask questions, I'm quite active here and I'll try to answer them to the best of my ability. Once more I thank you all for your time and hope you enjoyed this review of the PS VR.

 

PS VR released on October 13th World-Wide, at $399 USD, $549 CAD, €399, £349, and ¥44,980.



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PlayStation Vita 2000 Hardware Review

Nov 06 2016 04:38 AM | Tenshi in Reviews

Introduction:

 

Hello PS3imports, I'm Tenshi and this'll be the first of what I hope to be a series of Hardware related reviews. Today I'll be reviewing the PlayStaion Vita 2000 model. My intentions are to inform, answer any questions you might have, and provide a thought out somewhat wordy opinion on why you should or shouldn't upgrade/jump into this piece of tech. If paragraphs aren't your thing don't worry, I'll have a "pros and cons" list down at the bottom. Remember a review is just a long-winded opinion, if you disagree don't take it personally! You're free to voice counter-opinions. Just as a disclaimer, I'm not a professional writer or journalist or anything. Originally I wanted to post this review in Dec. 2014, but as you all know I took a break from PlayStation for all of 2015 and just came back to PS3i this summer. Anyway Enjoy!

 

(I'm aware MainComp did a very brief review of his Lime Green model, but my intention here is to be a bit more informative and in-depth. Also a bit more up-to-date, the Vita 2K is no longer JP exclusive.)

 

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Part 1: What's in the box, and Specs.

 

So what's in the box?

  • PlayStation Vita Model #: PCH-2000(XXX)
  • AC Adapter
  • 1X Micro-USB Cable
  • Power Cable (Plug in from adapter to wall)
  • User Manuals

 

Pretty standard fare. Let's check those specs.

 

The specs are largely in line with the original Vita's where it differs mainly is the screen, wi-fi, internal memory, and battery which we'll touch on in Part 2.

  • 5 Inch LCD Screen.
  • Quad-Core Arm Cortex-A9 MPCore capable of 2GHz clock speed.
  • Quad-Core SGX543MP4+ (GPU) tops out ~1.4GHz (Reportedly)
  • 512 MB System Ram
  • 128 MB VRAM
  • 1 GB Internal Storage Memory
  • 2x 0.3 Mega-pixel Cameras

 

Specs wise, PlayStation Vita remains the most powerful portable console we've ever seen at the time of writing. Companies like Square-Enix (WoFF, DQ:Builders), Gust (Atelier Plus), and Guerilla Cambridge (Killzone Mercenary) have shown just how capable the Vita can be in terms of graphics. Vita's OS is fast and snappy thanks to the generous system memory, faster even than PS3's XMB. The Vita 2K plays all the same games as your regular Vita, at the same clock speeds, so don't expect any improvements to framerates or graphics.

 

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Part 2: What separates the 2K from the "Phat?"

 

Well in my opinion just about everything but the button layout. But that's not very helpful so I'll get more specific. First up, let's talk about the screen.

 

Screen:
Remember all the "'dat OLED tho" when the original Vita first came out? Hell it still persists to this day lol. Well forget it. The first thing Sony did to cut costs on the Slim model was "downgrade" the screen to an LCD. It's a good one for sure, but if you're used the vibrant colors of the original model, perfect blacks, and amazing contrast ratios well... It's a hard adjustment for sure.

 

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What I can say is that without playing side by side, you shouldn't notice too much of a difference to be honest. I've long since forgot about it myself. The LCD lacks those inky white blotches you sometimes saw on the original Vita's black screens. That's a plus. But most people will see the screen as the hardest obstacle to get over when it comes to the newer model.

 

Weight:
I've been a gamer all my life and let me tell you, the long hours mashing controllers, clicking buttons, and holding portables at odd angles has not been kind to my wrists. Weight is arguably the first change you'll notice in the new Vita. If you've got bad wrists like me, this is a blessing. Sony officially says the new model is only 15% lighter (20% Slimmer) but boy does it feel like more. The Official weight of the Slim is 219 Grams, compared to the originals 260. It's a difference you can notice, and I think it goes a long way to extending your play sessions just a bit longer before hand cramps start to set in.

 

Battery:
The Vita 2K sports a 2,210mhA battery the same as the original model, but thanks to a more energy efficient screen and other internals Sony has managed to squeeze almost an extra two hours of playtime(on a single full-charge) into the newer model. The original Vita lasted about 4 hours of playing time, a little less if you went full blast with the sound and brightness. Sony claims the slim model can last 6 hours under the same conditions and I'd agree with this assessment. For us here on PS3i, we often leave our Vita's out skipping through VN's, I can tell you with the slim you won't be needing to stay near an outlet as often as you would with your old model. With the brightness down and sound off I've even managed to pull 8-10 hour sessions without a charge.

 

Another change with the battery is HOW it charges now. No more proprietary cable! Any Micro-USB cable will do, even the one you use for your phone. Just plug it into the Vita's AC adapter and you're good to go. This change can only be viewed as a good thing. Micro-USB's are cheap, easy to find, and always in stock. The Vita's original cable though? You likely don't have any extra on hand, they cost more, and most brick-and-mortar stores have stopped carrying them.

 

Colors:
The OG Vita had it's share of limited editions and alternate colors, but Vita 2K has seen a much larger supply of colors and LE's over time. Unfortunately some have become hard to find nowadays, but for importers, Sony Japan is still making new colors to this day. Scheduled for Holiday 2016 is Metallic Silver and Metallic Red.

 

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America and Europe however, where official Vita support has largely dried up usually only offer the console in typical "Piano Black."

 

Memory:
Don't get your hopes up, the Vita 2k still uses those annoying and expensive proprietary memory cards. That said, the 2K model does sport 1GB internal memory which likely isn't enough to install most games, but if you bought all your games physically, this would be enough space to hold your saves, and some of the smaller patches. At least for a little bit. Sadly, once you insert a memory card into the system you can no longer opt to use the Internal storage until you take the memory card out.

 

Networking:
The only real thing of note here is that the 2K model does not come with 3G. Not a single one of them. General Wi-Fi quality seems to be about the same as the original Vita's. Which is to say, somewhat lacking, often buggy, but not deal breaking. Keep your Vita close enough to your wireless router and you'll be fine.

 

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Part 3: Should you upgrade?

 

I've seen the argument that the screen alone disqualifies the Vita 2K from counting as an "upgrade." I'm here to tell you that's a pretty poor line of thought when you consider all the other benefits. I've had mine for about a year now, and when I got it, I liked it enough to sell my First Edition Vita just a month after having it. It's lighter and feels great in your hands, the backing of the Slim actually has slightly wider grooves for your fingers. The extra battery life comes in real handy when you're traveling, or skipping through some longer VN's. (*Wink, wink*) I'm not sure if my original Vita just had mushy buttons, but the 2K model seems to have better more clicky buttons. Especially helpful is that the Start, Select, and Home buttons are no longer sunk into the machine but actually stick out.

 

If you've got a working Vita 1K and like it just fine, I don't think you have to upgrade. Eventually your charging cables will break though and you might be forced to. The screen is arguably the only benefit over the newer model, and I admit that is a big part of a portable device, it's not like you can change it like you would with a TV. If your original model is starting to wear down and maybe you're not so happy with it anymore, then absolutely you need to jump on the newer model. Likewise if you've got money to burn, or maybe you're an enthusiast, then the Vita 2K should probably be apart of your collection. Once you adjust to the new screen (it's not that hard, trust me), it's all benefits from there.

 

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Part 4: The TL:DR, Pros and Cons.

 

Pros:

  • Longer battery life. (Average of +2/+4 Hours)
  • Lighter Weight, feels better in your hands.
  • Micro-USB charger.
  • Internal Memory (1GB) just in-case.
Cons:
  • OLED Screen replaced by cheaper LCD screen.
  • Slightly less premium "feel" than original model.
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Part 5: Conclusion

 

Time to wrap up my first review. Hopefully you're walking away from this a bit more informed, I tried to lay out the facts pretty good. As it's a review I also had to include my opinion of course, otherwise this would just be some weird tech report lol. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions about the Vita 2K. Lemme know if you liked the format of this review, I wasn't sure how to present it, I've never reviewed anything in my life before. :lol That said, sometime soon I'll be presenting a review for the PS4Pro, inside I'll have screenshot comparisons of Pro vs. Regular PS4!! If you're on the fence about upgrading or not, I just might be able to convince you. Be sure to check it out when I post it up this week!



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PS4 Pro Review and Discussion

Nov 07 2016 11:44 PM | Tenshi in Reviews

Introduction:

 

Hello PS3imports, I'm Tenshi and this'll be my second Hardware Review for you guys and gals. Today I'll be reviewing the PlayStaion 4 Pro, the most powerful console ever built at this time of writing. My intentions are to inform, answer any questions you might have, and provide a thought out, somewhat wordy, opinion on why you should or shouldn't upgrade/jump into this piece of tech. If paragraphs aren't your thing don't worry, I'll have a "pros and cons" list down at the bottom. Remember a review is just a long-winded opinion, if you disagree don't take it personally! You're free to voice counter-opinions. Just as a disclaimer, I'm not a professional writer or journalist, I am compensated in no way for my reviews. Thanks for your time and Enjoy!

 

(This Review is aimed mostly at users still rocking 1080p TV/Monitor sets since that's what I am using. I'll try to touch on 4K as well, but you will most likely need a 4K Screen for best results. As a warning, this review will be image heavy considering the need to show the difference between Pro and Regular model PS4's.)

 

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Part 1: What's in the box, and Specs.

 

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So what's in the box?

  • PlayStation 4 Pro Model #: CUH-7000
  • Power Cord.
  • User Manuals
  • One Dual-Shock 4 Controller (New model)
  • One Micro-USB cable
  • One High-Speed HDMI Cable
  • A cheap single ear Mic for online chat.

 

About what you'd expect, everything you need to get your console experience started.

 

Let's check those specs.

  • A Custom x86-64 8 Core AMD "Jaguar" (Clocked @ 2.13GHz, OG PS4@ 1.6GHz)
  • AMD Radeon based GPU w/ 4.20TFLOPS of power. (A 128.3% increase over Regular/Slim PS4)
  • 8GB of GDDR5 System Memory
  • 1 GB DDR3 Ram (Reserved exclusively for System UI and App-switching)
  • A 1TB 5400 RPM HDD (Default at launch)
  • Blu-ray Drive, 6x Speed for BR, 8x Speed for DVD.
  • 3x USB 3.1 Ports

 

Specs wise, PlayStation 4 Pro is an upgrade in every conceivable way compared to the standard and newer Slim models. I'll get specific in the next section but hot damn! Just take those specs in! At an entry price of $399(USD) you'd be hard pressed to get power like this out of anything else currently. The addition of 1GB DDR3 Ram is exclusive to Pro models, and I'll detail that as well. Unfortunately games without a Pro patch will not be able to take advantage of the extra horsepower and so for legacy games the PS4 Pro will shut off half of it's GPU and downclock itself to Standard PS4 clockspeeds. PS4's lead designer, Mark Cerny, says this is to prevent random glitches in older games which are programmed for very specific clock speeds and parts. Considering how closed off consoles are, I think we can trust his words. It should be noted that in official Sony documentation all games after Sept. 2016 should be shipped with a Pro patch. Whether they actually enforce this, well, we'll just have to wait and see. (So far, the future looks bright though!)

 

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Part 2: What separates the Pro from the Slim/Regular?

 

Well the short of it is that it's a much more capable PS4. In this section I'll break down the technical aspects and get into the details for you. This part might be a bit overwhelming if you're not familiar with some technobabble and short-hand I like to use. If you tend to be technology illiterate remember that you're free to ask questions after the review! :thumbsup

 

CPU, GPU, and Custom Chips:

 

Let's start with the consoles CPU. Here what we actually have are two Quad-Core AMD designed "Jaguar" CPU modules which work in tandem, as if they were a single 8-core unit. These are clocked at 2.13 GHz (compared to 1.6GHz of the original PS4) for a theoretical peak performance of 134.4 GFLOPS. (OG PS4 peaks at around 102 GFLOPS). Nowadays the CPU of consoles generally tends to be the weakest part, and this is not without consequence. Fortunately for the Pro we are looking at a decent boost. It's nothing ground-breaking, but this higher frequency CPU will absolutely allow for a more stable frame-rate in games which are patched for Pro support. We should also see quicker processing of background tasks, and should developers pursue it, some more graphical effects which tend to be more CPU than GPU bound. These effects include but are not limited to: Draw/View distances, Amount of Objects on screen (think more people in crowds in AssCreed games), Certain Anti-Aliasing Techniques, and Particle Physics. Of course there are non-graphical upgrades too, one could be better A.I. but I imagine Sony wouldn't let that happen on account of wanting games to be equal among all PS4 users in every department but graphics.

 

Next up the GPU. Sony and AMD have basically shrunk (from a 28nm process to 16nm) and then doubled the original PS4's GPU. Here we find 2,304 cores spread across the PS4 Pro's 36 Compute Units (64 cores per CU). The GPU in Pro mode is upclocked to 911 MHz, compared to the originals 800MHz. This puts the Pro's theoretical peak performance at around 4,197 GFLOPS. Generally you'll see this rounded to 4.20 TFLOPS though. Overall you're looking at a 128.3% increase in graphical and compute power as compared to the Original and Slim model PS4's. Sony has more than doubled available power to Game devs.

 

Custom Chips: Like all PS4 models before it, the Pro includes several custom chips on it's motherboard. Sony have never really detailed many of these for security reasons, but we know about the following.

  • Separate Audio Processing Unit: Similar in nature to AMD's TrueAudio
  • On-die Memory controller responsible for maintaining the shared 8GB GDDR5 memory pool.
  • An Auxillary ARM-Processor with it's own pool of 256MB Ram, to assist with OS features and background tasks.
  • Baked into the PS4 Pro's GPU is a hardware level feature which helps the "checkerboard" rendering technique, making it easier to implement. (Details are VERY scarce on this feature at the moment.)

 

Graphics:

 

This is likely the main draw of the review. Arguably this is the section that will make or break it, entice you to upgrade or push you towards waiting. As a warning you should note that I cannot demonstrate true HDR benefits to you without an HDR Capable screen. HDR is a technology still in it's infancy, and sadly, the price of your TV likely dictates the quality of HDR you'll see. Cheaper sets will have cheaper implementations and expensive flagship TV's will have seemingly eye-melting, super bright, but very life-like implementations. If you'd like to read about HDR see here: http://www.digitaltr...-tvs-explained/

 

Let's talk about downsampling. Sony refers to this as "supersampling" lately, but the process has been around on PC for ages and we say "downsampling" because what your device is doing is taking an image being rendered internally at a higher resolution and scaling it down to your displays actual resolution. This generally results in a massive boost to overall image clarity and quality. It is currently the best possible form of anti-aliasing, and tends to add details on screen because you are compressing more pixels.

 

What PS4 Pro can do for you on a 1080p TV: Are you ready? (Click pictures for full-resolution)

 

PS4 Pro Titanfall 2
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Regular PS4:
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What you're seeing on the Pro version is better shadows, better lighting, better foliage, a lack of jaggies thanks to better AA, better texture details and less blur. What I can't show you in still images, is the FPS, and Titanfall also gains a SOLID 60 FPS on the PS4 Pro. (Compared to 60FPS with drops on OG PS4.)

 

COD4 Remaster FPS Comparison (via DigitalFoundry)
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Paragon:

 

Regular PS4:
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PS4 Pro:
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Skyrim 4K Mode downsampled to 1080p

 

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Skyrim on a Regular PS4

 

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Horizon Zero Dawn @ 4K on Pro: (Best viewed on 4k display)
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Horizon Zero Dawn Downsampled to 1080p on Pro:
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Notice here that in the 4k shot you get a great amount of detail but Aliasing and edge artifacts are present. However in the downsampled shot your jaggies disappear and the IQ is cleaned up. Of course some finer details are lost, but this is why I argue that 1080p TV owners will actually get the better deal with PS4Pro. (Not to downplay how much of an improvement it will be for 4K TV users.) The important thing to keep in mind here is that this is just the beginning and these examples are just a few of many already floating the net.

 

Here is a list of games already prepped for Pro's launch: http://blog.us.plays...ps4-pro-launch/

 

The benefits don't stop there, for VR games we also tend to have better... well everything. Most importantly for VR, higher and more stable FPS.

 

PS4 Regular
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PS4 Pro
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(Here, lighting will depend on where you are in the tunnel, but focus on the dashboard and road edges, the brick pattern in the back, etc...)

 

Weight, Look, and Balance:

 

The PS4 Pro is slightly heavier than it's original counter-part. Sitting at around 7.3 pounds, while the newer slim manages a cool 4.6 pounds. I can't imagine this will matter to too many people, a home console doesn't tend to be something you carry around often... right?

 

As for looks...

 

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I've heard mixed opinions on it. Some compare it to a big mac, but personally I think it falls in line with the PS4 design philosophy just fine. It's tiered, it's sleek, and it's obviously a part of the PlayStation family. I like that they kept the LED strip, it has been moved though obviously. An important note here is that those old touchy capacitive buttons are gone and they are now replaced with actual clicky mechanical buttons. No more accidental disk ejects or power offs! No more static build-up!

 

Remember how your old PS4 did this?

 

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The wobble was caused because the original PS4 only had 3 feet and they weren't very stable. This was a wide-spread complaint, if a bit overblown. Worry not however, the Slim and Pro models now come with 8 feet for maximum stability! (Somewhat joking lol)

 

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Power and Extra USB:

 

The PS4 Pro is manufactured from new parts and on a smaller process than the original model. Like the slim Sony has opted for a 16nm process to create the APU and other parts which run the PS4. Overall this has led to more energy efficiency, except when running games in their Pro modes. This lines up of course with the increase in soecs. The PS4 Pro's has a stronger power supply, rated for 310 Watts total. You'll also notice that because of this it comes with a heavy-duty power cord similar to what you saw with "Phat" PS3's.

 

(Thanks Eurogamer)
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Also of note, the PS4 Pro is the only model to sport 3 USB ports. Specifically the Pro's extra USB port is in the back, and this is perfect for those of you wanting to hide some of your PSVR wire mess.

 

HDD and Memory:

 

All PS4 Pro models will be launching with a 1TB HDD as a standard. What's interesting though is that exclusive to the PS4 Pro model, Sony has opted for a SATA III port as the HDD connector. In theory this will allow the PS4 to better take advantage of faster HDD/SSD's that you can install yourself.

 

System Memory remains the same 8GB GDDR5 pool as the standard PS4, although bandwidth has increased to 218 GB/s which will help the Pro load better textures on screen faster. A 1GB DDR3 segment of memory was added exclusively to the Pro model which is dedicated for App-switching and hosting high-res UI elements. Mark Cerny later revealed that it also frees up to 512MB of the 8GB GDDR5 RAM which was previously held in reserve by the system for these things. This means developers will be able to use an extra 512MB of RAM exclusively on the Pro and this will likely go towards better textures.

 

Networking:

 

The PS4 Pro model plays host to a new Wi-Fi card capable of utilizing the 5GHz frequency that has become more common over the last couple years in high-end routers. 5GHz is a much faster frequency than your standard 2.4, and PS4 Pro is the only PlayStation console capable of tapping into that. Also of note is that because 5GHz frequency is newer, and somewhat more rare among consumers, there generally tends to be less interference on this channel in populated areas. An excerpt from NetGear on bandwidth:

 

"Higher frequencies allow faster transmission of data, also known as bandwidth. Higher bandwidth means that files will download and upload faster, and high-bandwidth applications such as streaming video will perform much smoother and faster. Therefore, the 5GHz with its higher bandwidth will provide much faster data connections than 2.4 GHz."

 

Of course if you prefer a solid ethernet connection, fret not, of course the PS4 Pro also supports a wired connection to the internet.

 

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Part 3: Should you upgrade?

 

If you're happy with your current PS4 and plan to run it 'til it's dead than you can probably afford to put the Pro off for now. As it is, PS4 Pro is just an extension of the PS4 family. It will play all the same games as the regular PS4, and Sony has mandated that there can be no exclusives for the PS4Pro at this time. When you take a long look at all of it's increased specs and new features, and you find yourself doubting or questioning whether you need them, I would just wait. The PS4 Pro won't sell out, and it's bound to get price drops in the future. If you're one of those guys who complains about a loud PS4, I'm sad to tell you that early reviews and recordings put the Pro on the same footing as the launch PS4 in terms of noise, especially when running in Pro mode. (I believe Eurogamer recorded 55dB peak and noted it could be heard from across the room) This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, the cost of more powerful tech is more electricity and electricity makes heat which the console needs to cool. However if you find your PS4 dead or dying, and you're not hard up for cash than the PS4 Pro becomes a no brainer, even for the doubters.

 

On the flip-side, if you are an enthusiast, a hardcore PlayStation fan, someone who likes graphics, or maybe you just want the best possible PS4 Experience? Then Yes, a million times, Yes. I cannot recommend the PS4 Pro enough. Not only is it a step up from the regular PS4 on all fronts, by all accounts, and for all purposes, but it is in-fact the most powerful home console ever built at this moment. Going forward all PS4 games will have a Pro patch, and though we're uncertain of what exactly those patches will increase we know it will only bring benefits. The bottom line is that PlayStation 4 Pro will be the best possible way to experience all of your console games for the time being. With block busters like FFXV, Battlefield 1, Call of Duty, and many more already promising support, you can rest assured that you'll be playing these games at their best in the home console space. I really would like to stress that at this price point, Sony's PS4 Pro is unmatched by any other consumer grade electronics, a comparable PC with all the bells and whistles would cost at least double. There are literally no downsides to upgrading if you've got the money or enthusiasm. At the very least, you're looking at greatly improved image quality, more stable FPS, and better multi-tasking.

 

Finally as a general reminder I'd like to point out that HDR is available on regular PS4's as well, but if you have a 4K display capable of HDR you will obviously be better suited with the Pro. With a regular PS4, you're just going to get 900-1080(ish)p images upscaled to your 4K TV. With the Pro however you'll be getting images rendered much closer to 4k, some games even native(Like Skyrim), resulting in a much cleaner and detailed picture. I have aimed this review at those of us with 1080p sets, but Sony's marketing is railing hard for 4K users and with good reason. You guys will absolutely notice a difference.

 

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Part 4: The TL:DR, Pros and Cons.

 

Pros:

  • Guaranteed, no less than 1080p output on all future games.
  • Guaranteed enhanced graphical effects in all games patched for Pro support.
  • Automatic downsampling to 1080p will vastly improve overall Image Quality. (Not available on 4K displays)
  • That said, the higher resolutions will greatly improve 4K viewing experiences, offering much more detail.
  • Custom hardware chips and checkerboard rendering allows PS4Pro to punch above it's weight on 4K TV's.
  • More stable FPS thanks to a stronger CPU.
  • The best possible way to experience PS4 games will be with Pro.
  • Likewise the best possible way to experience PSVR Games will be with Pro.
  • An Extra USB 3.1 Port on the back of the machine might come in handy for VR users.
  • Pro is the only PlayStation console at this time which supports the faster 5Ghz Wi-Fi frequency.
  • An extra 1GB of DDR3 System Ram speeds up App-switching and frees up some memory for games to use.
Cons:
  • No UHD Blu-Ray Drive (I'm confused too, don't worry)
  • Technically speaking, most AAA games won't render in "Native" 4K.
  • Unable to boost performance of your non-patched games.
  • Game improvements left entirely at the mercy of developers.
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Part 5: Conclusion

 

Time to wrap up my second review now. Hopefully you're walking away from this a bit more informed, it is one heck of read looking back on it. No matter how you slice it, Sony has managed to put forth a machine which improves on the normal/slim PS4 in all fronts. You simply cannot go wrong with it. I love technology and follow the Video Game industry with a great amount of passion. Even with a beefy PC like mine I simply must say, the PS4 Pro is an impressive piece of tech that belongs in every PlayStation enthusiast's collection. Going forward it will be the absolute best way to experience PS4 games and there is no way to get around that.

 

And now the curtains must close. As always I welcome feedback, good or bad, I'll take it on the chin! Feel free to argue my points or ask questions, I'm quite active here and I'll try to answer them to the best of my ability. Once more I thank you all for your time and hope you enjoyed this in-depth review of the PS4 Pro.

 

PS4 Pro is released on November 10th World-Wide, at $399, €399, £349, and ¥44,980.



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Ride review by blondlizard

Apr 17 2015 04:36 AM | blondlizard in Reviews

RIDE, the brand new motorcycle racing experience from Milestone, offers you a chance to delve deep and submerge yourself into the world of motorbike racing. A departure from the usual Milestone formula, RIDE takes a big step in the right direction.

RIDE eases you in slowly; clear, precise menus and a rider profile are waiting to set you up for the road ahead. If you’re not familiar with motorcycle racing, there is a tutorial explaining racing lines, shifting weight, front and back braking and tucking into corners – it’s all there. For a newcomer, RIDE really does explain itself well. Your customised rider comes complete with a squeaky clean set of leathers, stylish urban clothing and even an array of funky his and hers hairstyles.

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At first glance RIDE is exciting, slick and fresh. With a game-title shouted in capitals RIDE needs to impress, and with the amount of motorcycles and manufacturers on offer it certainly does. There are over a hundred motorbikes to collect from Ducati, Kawasaki, Triumph, Suzuki and Yamaha to name but a few. Each one is highly detailed, and when entering the in-game photo mode these machines look pretty incredible – not hitting the DRIVECLUB level of detail but still beautiful all the same.

There’s not a huge difference in handling between bikes, but belting down a straight and releasing the throttle as you tuck into a sharp hairpin bend certainly feels that bit riskier the more powerful the machine you’re mounted on. As with car simulators the only real way to taste the true sense of speed is opting for the different helmet cams. Tossing from corner to tight corner leaning in feels so smooth, you can really enjoy the physics of these brutal machines. Racing in RIDE feels spot on and can’t be faulted. Don’t think you’re going to be thrown off these powerful machines with ease. RIDE wants you to enjoy their races and tries to keep you seated as much as possible. Because of this we have a bike simulator/racer that can be enjoyed by anyone.

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RIDE brings in different locations by the atlas-full. Descending countryside lanes, Speedway circuits and full on racing circuits, it’s a mammoth and varied journey ahead that makes each ride an interesting one. Visually the track and locations unfortunately don’t have the same detail and excitement that the bikes display. Stadiums and venues do look rather static and lack excitement. If you want epic looking lush forest locations wait for Uncharted.

Where RIDE departs from other Milestone releases is the different types of races you need to take part in. World Tour is the game’s single player mode. Events consists of head-to-head races, drag races which require perfect gear changes, timed races and even overtaking events which really make RIDE an interesting and varied game. There are also Championship rounds, and new racer name titles to unlock. There are subcategories of each of the eight modes, and a further elite set of races to complete. In single player mode, placing first, second and third gains you credit and reputation points, and credits can be spent on upgrades and buying new bikes. Each new upgrade displays the new super powers whether it be Engine, Transmission, Brakes or Wheels.

The more races you win the more credits you earn and the quicker you can get your machine to scream like a banshee. Each event can be entered by simply purchasing the appropriate motorcycle. Reputation points see you climb the in-game leader boards. Trophies are awarded for climbing this golden ladder, and talking of trophies Milestone have given you a very easy platinum trophy to race for.

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Unfortunately slowing the action down to a halt are the intrusive loading times. We get rather spoiled wanting games to load quicker than a Kawasaki H2R. Loading screens displaying in-depth overviews and manufacturer history can take the sting out of the wait. Also the menu soundtrack helps, this music a better choice than some of the guitar-shredding anthems heard in-game.

Once you’re dipped into the single player mode RIDE also has another avenue to head down and that’s online. Here you can impress and leave your online opposition for dust or slam into a tree. With so many options to mess with each race can be as hard or easy as you want.

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Conclusion

Milestone have delivered a huge new biking experience crammed with content, motorcycles and a fresh new racing path to race down. Only niggling slow load times and some lifeless stadiums spoil the fun. RIDE is deep enough for your motorbike racing fanatic yet accessible for the less educated rider. Part sim, all fun, get on your bike.

Lizard rating 8/10

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Magus Review

Aug 14 2014 03:39 PM | BobbbyLight in Reviews

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Magus is a game that doesn't need to exist, probably shouldn't, but does. If you watch the teaser trailer, you can tell this game takes itself seriously. Very seriously. Between the music which gives the feel of grandeur to the inclusion of slow motion on a character model that should probably never, ever be given a slow motion view due to its really poor graphical quality (unless we're time traveling back to 1996, then it's pretty cool), you can tell the gamemakers were very intent and tried their best to make a game people would love in a game world that we were to have found awe.

Well, Aksys (learn how to spell, guys) did part of what they set out to do. This game provides awe. You will be in awe that not only was this game made, it got a digital AND hard copy release. Sit and think about the fact that The Last Guardian will probably never see the light of day. Then get your physical copy of Magus and cry into the pages of its manual.

Writing this review after playing the game and then doing a quick YouTube search for some additional nuggets of info brought me to the video below. If you have already played this game, do yourself the favor of watching that interview, conducted by PlaySation.com. Here's a little nugget about the game, straight from the developer's (Richie Casper) mouth.

"We kind of based it, in a lot of ways, what we'd think the real world being. So, for example, if somebody else in 2013, Tokyo, Japan, all the sudden had magical abilities. You know, people would be like' Holy Crap! Who is this guy?" and you kind of think 'Okay, these guys, do they have God-like powers..."

I'm stopping there with the quote, because I have played Magus. That quote is not close to describing anything Magus. Not. One. Bit. Again, if you have played this game, watch that video and realize he is indeed talking about Magus. Let that sink in and try not to blow your brains out knowing you live in a world where someone said any of the words that man says, about Magus. When he compares this to Marvel movies, just take a deep breath and remind yourself life is worth living.[/size]




As soon as the game starts, you know you're in for a treat. The graphics truly do appear PlayStation 1 in quality. Maybe early PS2 quality if we're looking to be generous. One of the first things you will get to is pick some dialog. I won't lie... I skipped through 90% of the dialog after I got to see some of these little gems of options like "For now, why don't I used these godly powers to get us out of this shithole?" to "So, I'm a God, huh? So what exactly am I the God of? Debauchery? Wanton Slaughter?" Magus' dialog options (which are, unfortunately, text only) seem more like part of a slapstick comedy on the fantasy world. That's a problem, because this game isn't a comedy. At least it wasn't intended to be.

Voice acting from the other characters is of the so-bad-it's-good variety but after subjecting yourself to the "gameplay" here, you are going to want to skip all text and story options to just get this damn thing over with.

This game can be beaten, literally (and I hate the overuse of that word) by holding the R1 button and running through the levels. That's it. You shoot some magical fireballs out of your hand and kill the most uncreative enemies we've seen in gaming in decades. There are Atari games with more personality than this.

I do admit, there is an attempt at RPG character elements in the way of swab-able armor, unlockable skills, etc., but when you can beat the game without ever looking at these options, because all you need is your little fireball-like thing, there's no point in ever using any of the character building you are given option over, no matter how shallow or deep they could be.

On top of being uncreative and looking like a PS1 game while also having your TV screen covered in Vaseline, it is glitchy. Sometimes the glitches are funny, like when a bad guy will stand 10 feet from you and just stare at you. Even though 25 of his friends tried real hard to take you down, he's just kind of bored so he can't be bothered. He'll just keep his spot for now.

Only he can't, you have to kill him to unlock the visible (sometimes invisible) walls to get to the next part of the level. This is where the annoying glitches come in. You might be standing at a door wondering why in the hell it won't open for 10 minutes. Well, you probably missed an enemy that needs to be killed at the beginning of the map. By miss, I mean said enemy is probably stuck in a rock or wall.

There are 2 reasons to play this game. You want a quick platinum or you're looking for something to laugh at for a while. I can't even recommend this game on a "so-bad-it's good” basis because it's too long. At 4 to 5 hours, you just wish it was over halfway through. If you need to play something just as bad, but shorter, play Unearthed.

This is a game that was made with the utmost sincerity and with an aim to make something great. Aksys failed. They failed so badly that I'd be surprised if anyone put money behind them again for another game. Yes, this is so bad; it should put them out of business. I am sure there are high schoolers who have put together more interesting games in their introductory computer programming classes. There is no doubt Magus the gamehas some God-like qualities. It’s God awful.[/size]


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OMG HD Zombies review by blondlizard

Jun 28 2013 07:21 AM | blondlizard in Reviews

Laughing Jackal bring Zombies to the Vita and lots of them. OMG HD Zombies is a remake of the PSP 2011 release OMG-Z, one I never played so I’m new and fresh and ready for the kill.

You’re a lone gunman standing in a Zombie infested playground and the aim is to take out as many groaning undead as possible. Actually 3 bullets is all you have, so no Bruce Willis hero antics here. Working out the best method to rid the screen of these unsavory folk is where the fun begins.

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The screen is solidly packed with Zombies. Laughing Jackal could not have fitted any more in with a shoe horn, it really is a Zombie fest. How each Zombie takes a bullet is the way you can complete and unlock new levels. Some, when hit, will explode causing others around them to hit the deck also. These chain reactions are the best and most satisfying ways to clear a level. Others turn into a pool of blood infecting other unlucky bystanders. There are also burning barrels that when fired upon explode, use these wisely.

A menacing sound track D-12 style sets an eerie feel to the game. A lovely blood red finger, on the Vita, appears when moving between menus.

The controls are very simple; the game offers touch or the left stick to move the cross hair. As the screen is heavily packed to the rafters, choosing which Zombie to target is sometimes easier with the left stick. As you progress through the 100 levels, each location changes and a different approach is needed to work your way through the killing spree.

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If you want to blast away a whole screen of Zombies Rambo style, then head to the PlayStation Store. Here is an option to purchase ZIT Grenades, but don’t get addicted to these, they come at a price. Remembering you only paid £2.99 for the game does help your decision. But if you want a kill that creates a chain reaction then planning and timing your shot is needed. A touch of the on screen icon will show the health meter of each Zombie. This helps greatly knowing which walking dead is the least fittest and likely to drop with one bullet.

OMG HD Zombies becomes quite an additive game. Returning to levels to gain a medal and better your body count brings a challenge to this neat little action puzzler. The striking art style with the combination of blood reds and greys are simple and effective. In game currency can be used for upgrades and the added online leaderboards and trophies help add more interest to your zombie slaying time.

With pools of blood, bullets and the walking dead, Rob Zombie would be at home playing OMG HD Zombies.

Lizard rating 7-10

Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Laughing Jackal
Developer: Laughing Jackal

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Grid 2 Review by blondlizard

Jun 04 2013 10:00 AM | blondlizard in Reviews

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Grid 2 – Review PS3
After Codemasters flung Dirt at us, now comes Grid 2. A return to track and city street racing complete with brutal online gameplay. It’s been over four years since the first Grid shook our senses, so is this the racer we have been waiting for?
Straight off it’s a monster. Loud Forza type engine roars with solid heavy handling instantly deliver a real powerful jolt to the system. Only to be played in surround sound – it’s brutal, fast and slick. Grid 2 has a size 14 boot print stamped all over it.

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World Series Racing (WSR) is the main story in the game and becoming the world’s motor sport dominating legend is the aim. Amassing fans by meeting sponsors objectives and winning racers is the way to do it. With changing menus, Codemasters have created a fresh look and racing pattern to follow. Your dusty garage is where you select the first race type. Lovely touches like small particles floating in the air and hot steam flowing from the low fat latte oozes quality. You can just about taste it. The detail is incredible and that’s just the garage. Winning more racers sees you up root and head for more plusher surroundings.

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Grid 2 racing is awesome. Handling is a touch on the arcade style but when drifting and losing the back end, feels more Sim like. Each vehicle feels very different but after milliseconds you don’t care what you’re driving as every power house beast drives perfectly. We’re not talking Forza or GT5 car beauty but the display in front is utterly pleasing. The bonnet reflection though is truly stunning. Again the detail here is breathtaking. We have all have seen this stuff before but not on this grand scale. There is YouTube, text messaging and even ESPN interviews bring racing to a new level. LiveRoutes also brings constantly changing tracks to each race so you never play the same lap twice. Background music that kicks in at certain hair rising moments is genius too. Codemasters have honed down this racer to something special and nailed it with a rivet gun.

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The different race types that make up Grid 2 are Elimination, Point to Point, Checkpoint and standard track races. All look gorgeous, but really you’re not going to notice too much – there is a race to win here. The lack of interior view is not a deal breaker for me personally because there is so much else on offer. As I said earlier, the online game play is brutal. Just like in Need for Speed Most Wanted, expect to be randomly side swiped into a corner and then steam rolled by the other five players. Bonnets, tires, bumpers and other not so fortunate wrecks shall all litter the track demolition derby style. Here winning races earns you cash for new vehicles. Along with the engrossing career mode and massive multiplayer, Grid 2 is unstoppable.
As far as trophies go, there are 42 Bronze :bronze, 5 sliver :silver , 3 gold :gold and of course a Platinum :plat on offer.

Codemasters have introduced new elements to the racing genre and have created a beautiful, loud, aggressive title. Looking for a Sunday drive, then best leave your string back driving gloves at home, this is Grid 2 and it’s a animal.

Lizard rating 9/10

Publisher: Codemasters
Developer: Codemasters
Release Date: May 31st, 2013

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