Lgndary Thoughts - The End of Major PS4 Updates?

A major firmware update launched for Playstation 4 about a week ago bringing the system up to version 5.5. But while the update was considered a major one, the feature list begs to differ. What does that mean for software updates going forward? Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

I’ve talked before about how the Xbox One does software updates much better, especially when it comes to how often they are released (average once a month). And I am often told the same thing in response: “The Xbox One is much more like a PC, which makes it a lot easier for Microsoft to push updates faster”. I don’t really buy that the architecture of the PS4 is holding Sony back in any serious way when it comes to speed, but that isn’t something that I am going to focus on today. Because Sony no longer just has a problem with the rate of updates, they have a problem with the quality of them as well.

Despite being a major update for the PS4, version 5.5 only served to introduce modest, mostly boring improvements. If I had to pick the most significant change that 5.5 brought, I would probably have to choose the ability to use images as a custom background (something that should have been available at launch). 

To compare, here is a look at a few features that were added to the Xbox One over the past few months:

  • Game hub information available in the guide
  • Ability to target specific achievements to unlock
  • Ability to save console settings to the cloud
  • Ability to gift games to friends

All of these additions are far more useful and interesting than anything that Sony has brought to the PS4 in awhile. And that is the issue, It wasn’t just 5.5 that was dull. PS4 updates have been lacking for a long time now, with most of them only offering behind the scenes improvements, over user level additions.

I can’t help but feel that Sony is simply done updating their console. To some, this may not be a big deal. I’m sure the PS5 is right around the corner after all. But there are still so many quality of life features that the PS4 could use, and I believe it is a mistake to be done with it where it is now. 

Lgndary Thoughts - March's PS Plus Lineup

A new month, a new batch of PS Plus games. I’m sure many of you already know, but the March lineup announcement for PS Plus was actually very exciting, and for more than one reason. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

For those that missed it, here are the PS Plus games for this month:

  • Bloodborne, PS4
  • Ratchet & Clank, PS4
  • Legend of Kay, PS3
  • Mighty No. 9, PS3 (Cross Buy with PS4)
  • Claire: Extended Cut, PS Vita (Cross Buy with PS4)
  • Bombing Busters, PS Vita (Cross Buy with PS4)

What a month! The trend of AAA games being included continues, but this month goes even further than usual and includes 2 of them. I already own Bloodborne (but am looking forward to having it digitally), so I won’t benefit too much personally, but I am certainly excited for so many others that will finally be giving this game a shot. It is easily one of my favorite Playstation 4 games of all time, and an excellent intro into the “Soulsborne” genre. 

Ratchet & Clank is where my real excitement lies this month, as I have yet to play it. I know, I know. I’m a little late to the party. In the end, however, I am glad that I waited.

But like I said, Sony had more to announce this month regarding PS Plus than just the usual lineup. Effective starting a year from now, the PS Vita and PS3 will no longer receive monthly games from PS Plus. I expect many fans of those systems will be upset, but I believe this is actually great news, and something that I have wanted them to do for awhile. As I have said in a previous Thought, the PS3 and the PS Vita, as sad as it may be, are dead systems. Dropping them would allow for a greater focus on the console that is still alive and kicking today. 

Of course, that won’t matter if Sony simply drops support, and nothing else. Will the absence of PS3/ PS Vita games from the PS Plus lineup mean that more resources can go to the PS4? Will we get more than 2 games a month? Will those games be higher quality? Will more features be introduced? To be honest, I would be shocked if Sony did anything differently at all.

I hate to say it, but Sony is not the kind of company that thinks they owe anything to anybody for any reason. Nintendo gave launch day 3DS owners free games to compensate for the price reduction, but Sony has never thought like that. I can almost guarantee that Sony will say something along the lines of “The service we offer PS4 owners is worth the cost of PS Plus as is. No changes are necessary just because PS3/PSVita support has been dropped”

I’d like to think I’ll be wrong, and there certainly is a chance that I am, but I don’t plan on getting my hopes up. Luckily, the PS4 offerings with PS Plus have been great, so we won’t have to get too upset as long as we continue to get games as good as Bloodborne and Ratchet & Clank.

Lgndary Thoughts - The Future of Monster Hunter

Happy Friday everyone! For starters, I’d like to apologize about the lack of a Thought last week. Like I had said, I had to go out of state to visit my sister. But unfortunately, the GPS decided to stop working partway through and we had to finish the drive the old fashion way. It took a lot longer than it should have and was not fun. 

Moving on! Today, I would like to talk about a recent title that came out to tremendous success, and where the developer should take it next. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

As you may have guessed, I am talking about Monster Hunter: World. It launched just a few weeks ago, and ended up selling about 5 million copies within 3 days of release. Making it Capcom’s fastest selling title ever. With that level of success, I cant image they aren’t already thinking about where Monster Hunter should go next, so how about we do the same?

Recently, I was reading some discussion about Monster Hunter: World, and how it compared to Destiny 2. Both of which are multiplayer titles, and both of which are very popular. There were some people comparing each title, and what made them different. One difference that was pointed out was the fact that World had an ending, where Destiny did not. Eventually, players will beat every monster in the game, get every piece of armor in the game, and be down with it. 

To some, this is a good thing. A lot of games these days don’t really end and it can become overwhelming. But I personally think that Monster Hunter would be perfect for the “shared-world” genre going forward. MH: World already suffers from not being seamless enough when it comes to multiplayer, and players all being able to mingle in a hub world where invites can be sent, and guilds made would make things a lot easier. 

It would also be nice to have a fairly constant stream of content coming in. New monsters, new weapons, and new gear would all be givens. And maybe they could even add a new area for an expansion type DLC pack. 

I know there are going to be a lot of people that aren’t going to go for this. The biggest drawback of which is that Capcom would have to make their money back somehow. That would potentially mean micotransactions, paid DLC packs, etc. Which is certainly something to be concerned about. I wrote a few weeks ago about how development prices continue to go up, while the price of games stays the same. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a perfect answer as to how developers can counter that, and continue to deliver content on a regular basis. I’d like to think that Capcom can go the Splatoon route, and do it all for free, but that may be asking for too much. 

At the end of the day, however, Monster Hunter has finally breached into the mainstream and has become the tremendous success that it always deserved to be. Whatever Capcom does with the series in the future, I have faith that it will continue to grow the series like never before.

Lgndary Thoughts - How To Save A Game

Happy Friday everyone! This week I am yet again going to be talking about Street Fighter (I know, I know, I’m sorry). I had planned to write about another topic, but it wasn’t ready in time, so I had to substitute this one in. It is a Thought that I had planned to write for awhile now anyways, so I hope nobody minds. 

The last time I wrote about Street Fighter V, I talked about how the game lets people purchase characters by just playing the game. And how some players were insisting on Capcom giving them more despite the fact that every other fighting game required money for DLC. But today, I am going to talk about how Capcom saved the game from a bare-bones mess, into what it is today. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

Street Fighter V originally launched 2 years ago. Capcom held several beta tests that allowed players to try out the game, and many were very happy with what they saw. The visuals were great, the gameplay was excellent, and the fighters looked awesome. There were some technical issues that needed to be worked out, but most people thought the game was really shaping up to be a great improvement over Street Fighter IV. On top of the excellent gameplay, Capcom had also announced a  shift in their policy regarding updates and DLC. Unlike SFIV, players would have the option of buying characters simply by playing. In addition to that, Capcom also promised players that they would never have to pay for a Street Fighter IV to Super Street Fighter IV style update again. Needless to say, fans of the series were pumped. 

That is, until the game launched. 

Upon its release, buyers of Street Fighter V couldn’t help but notice the glaring lack of what had been standard features of past iterations. Most notably was an arcade mode. A VS CPU mode was also missing, amongst some other, smaller things. So to put in plainly, while the core of the game was great, it was incomplete. 

Naturally, sales of Street Fighter V did not meet expectations, and was being outsold by other fighting games in tremendously less time. Even when Capcom added a cinematic story mode, and made many other improvements, the game could not shake the perception of being bad or a waste of money. It started to feel like no matter what Capcom did to the game, the perception of what it used to be would continue to hold it back. It wouldn’t be enough to add an arcade mode, or VS CPU mode, or anything else. They needed something bigger. 

Enter Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. A brand new version of the game that redesigned the menus, added new play styles for characters, added not just 1, but 5 arcade modes, just to name a few of the new features. And to top it all off, this entire version of the game was 100% free to all existing owners of Street Fighter V. 

With one release, Capcom generated a ton of hype around their game, fixed almost all of the problems the original release had, kept those that already bought the game happy by giving them free content, and destroying any perception that the game was unfinished. It took them 2 years to do it, but Street Fighter V is finally the game it should have been all along, and more. When faced with criticism, Capcom didn’t walk away from the game, or try to defend it, they actually worked hard to listen to the fans, and delivered. That is how you save a game, and other developers in similar situations would be wise to take notice. 

Lgndary Thoughts - February's PS Plus Lineup

Happy Friday everyone! The month of February has just started and with it comes a new batch of Playstation Plus games. Unlike last month, however, I am not going to forget to write about the new games. So welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

For those that missed it, here is February’s lineup:

  • Knack, PS4
  • Rime, PS4
  • Spelunker HD, PS3
  • Mugen Souls Z, PS3
  • Exiles End, PS Vita
  • Grand Kingdom, PS Vita (Also available on PS4)

Starting with Rime. Personally, I’m pretty excited that Rime is included in this month’s lineup. I have been interested in the game since it was first announced, and couldn’t wait to play it. That is, until it launched. Initially, I didn’t pick it up when it first released because I was waiting on the Switch version. But when that released I heard it didn’t run so well on the Switch, and that a lot of problems weren’t even exclusive to the system. Despite the issues that apparently were present in some form on every console, I still wanted to try the game. Enter PS Plus! Now I get to play the game without having to buy it separately. That way, if I don’t enjoy it for any reason, performance issues or otherwise, I wont be too upset. Something I think PS Plus games are perfect for. 

Moving on to Knack. I actually have Knack, and have had it since the PS4 launched. But I am still very happy that it is apart of PS Plus this month. I have talked about this game on the site in the past, but I don’t mind saying it again. Knack is not a bad game. Knack is actually a pretty good game, and one that I enjoyed a lot. The reason it has such a bad rap is back when the PS4 was about to launch, the press was given a very limited amount of time with each launch title, and could only play them for a few minutes before having to go off and write a review. And when you play Knack on easy mode, for 20 minutes, it is easy to think it is a bad game. That is why the reviews were bad, and everyone else kind of went with it. This is something that still bugs me to this day. 

But if you play it on a higher difficulty setting, and actually give it a chance, I think most people will enjoy the hell out of it just like I did. That is why I am stoked that so many people are going to have the chance to play it, and see for themselves that it isn’t as bad as so many people made it out to be. 

All in all, there isn’t anything this month that I am just sitting on the edge of my seat to play. But I am still very satisfied with the lineup. I get to play something that was on my radar, but didn’t want to risk money on, and a lot of people will get to play something that they heard was awful. 

But what do you think? Are you still happy with the direction PS Plus has been moving in? Or do you think Sony could do better? Let me know in the comments below!

Lgndary Thoughts - The Price of Free Content

When Street Fighter V launched 2 years ago, it brought some significant differences from other titles in the series, some bad, but others good. Today, I’d like to talk about one of the best changes that Capcom made to Street Fighter, and why greedy players may ruin it for the rest of us. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

As I am sure all of you know, almost every single fighting game released these days has additional characters added after launch in the form of paid DLC. A practice which I am all for, and believe to be fair. New playable characters cost money to make, so I am more than happy to pay money to play them. This is a standard practice, and I believe most people have no problem with it. But instead of simply towing the line, Capcom decided to mix things up a bit with Street Fighter V, and give players another option.

In an attempt to keep the player base active, Capcom made it possible for Street Fighter V players to buy additional DLC characters without spending real money. Instead, players can buy them with what they call fight money, which can be earned by winning matches or completing other in-game challenges. Yes, using real money is another option, but those that can’t afford to buy their favorite character can simply earn them for free. 

And yes, earning enough fight money for a character can be a grind. But the point is that it is an option that Capcom had no obligation to give. No other fighting game allows players to earn DLC characters by simply playing the game. The latest Super Smash Bros. didn't, Tekken 7 doesn’t, and even the newly released Dragon Ball FighterZ doesn’t. And no one complained about that either. Again, most people believe paying for extra DLC characters is a fair practice, because it is.  

But in the past few weeks I have seen some fans exhibit an attitude that I find to be incredibly greedy, and short-sighted. They feel that the work it takes to earn characters for free is too much, and that Capcom should give players more fight money for completing certain tasks. For them, it isn’t enough that Capcom offers players a way to get characters for free, they want it to be easy as well. They are forgetting that essentially every other fighting game in the world don’t even have a free option, let alone one where the characters are practically given away.

To be honest, I believe it is getting to the point where I think Capcom made a mistake in letting players earn characters for free. Not only are they giving up money that they would get from players actually paying for the DLC, but they get attacked by making it too much of a grind too? Meanwhile, other fighting games are coming out with DLC that requires a cash payment, and they are receiving nothing but praise? Capcom has got to be incredibly confused, because I know that I am. 

This is a perfect example of gamers being given an inch, and wanting a mile. I don’t like to use this word very often, but this is as clear cut a case of entitlement as I have ever seen. And I can only hope that players knock it off before Capcom realizes that they should never have given a free option in the first place, and exclusively took cash as payment for their DLC. 

Lgndary Thoughts - January's PS Plus Lineup

I hate to admit it, but I have, yet again, completely forgotten to talk about PS Plus for the past couple of months. The holidays were so crazy that PS Plus completely slipped my mind. But I am here to correct that today. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

For starters, I would like to let everyone know that from now on, I will be focusing almost exclusively on the PS4 titles in PS Plus thoughts. The PS3 and PS Vita systems are mostly dead, and their PS Plus lineups are almost never worth talking about anyway. I know that I pretty much already did this in the past, but I’d like to make it official. Moving on!

For those that haven’t seen, for whatever reason, here is the PS Plus lineup for January:

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, PS4
  • Batman The TellTale Series, PS4
  • Sacred 3, PS3
  • The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, PS3
  • Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness, PS Vita (Cross Buy with PS4)
  • Uncanny Valley, PS Vita (Cross Buy with PS4)
  • Starblood Arena, PS VR

There you have it, yet another AAA title with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Like I talked about last year, it continues to seem as if there was a shift in what Sony’s goals were each month with the service. In the past, we would often go months with nothing notable at all being offered, but it looks like those days are over. For comparisons sake, take a look at every PS4 game released through PS Plus since last July:

  • July - Until Dawn and Telltale's Game of Thrones
  • August - Just Cause 3 and Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry
  • September - Infamous Second Son and Strike Vektor EX
  • October - Metal Gear Solid V and The Amnesia Collection 
  • November - Bound and Worms Battlegrounds
  • December - Darksiders II and Kung Fu Panda
  • January - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Telltale’s Batman

As you can see, every month for the past 7 months Sony has included one AAA title for PS Plus members. There was an exception however, with November. While I’m sure many were happy with Bound, it still can’t be called a AAA game. And it actually caused me to worry a little bit that they would go back to their old ways. But December, and especially this month with Deus Ex, have proven that wrong.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an awesome game, and exactly the kind of title that should be given away with PS Plus. It released almost two years ago, so most people that were ever going to pay money for it already have, and with a price of $17 on Amazon (in November), Square Enix wasn’t making much off it anyhow. Having it available through PS Plus means that Sony wins by hyping a lot of people up about their service, but it also means that those who might never have played the series can give it a shot, and maybe turn into future customers. It’s a win win, so let’s just hope that more developers realize this, and continue to let Sony offer AAA games every single month.

But what do you think? Have the past couple of months looked good to you, or do you think Sony should do better? What would you like to see in next month's lineup? Don’t forget to leave a comment below, and be sure to have a great weekend!

Lgndary Thoughts - A Problem Of Economic Proportions

Happy Friday everyone! I apologize for the lack of posts over the past few days. It was certainly a little busier this week, especially for Nintendo fans, but it still hasn’t picked up like I thought it would. Hopefully soon though!

For this week, I would like about Destiny 2, and the difficultly in pricing video games today. It is something that I have talked about before, but I wanted to go into a little bit more detail. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

For those that don’t know, Destiny 2 has been under a tremendous amount of heat since it launched last year. One of the biggest changes over the first game that has fans in uproar is Bungie’s new approach to micro transactions. When the first Destiny launched, it didn’t feature MTX at all. This changed with the Eververse store, which got a lot of hate in the beginning, but most fans cooled off when they learned the store would be cosmetic only.

But all of this changed with Destiny 2, and we recently found out it was no accident. According to Jason Schreier over at Kotaku, Bungie made a clear and deliberate decision to move away from releasing expansion packs as often as they used to, and try to make up the money from micro transactions.

And as someone who enjoyed the first Destiny a lot, I hate that this is what they did with the sequel. And while Destiny 2 suffers from more than a micro transaction problem, they are perhaps the most significant stain on what should be the top of its genre.

But having said all that, I have to admit that I understand the difficulty in making decisions like these. $60 was worth about $20 more 15 years ago than it is today. That may not sound like much, but essentially developers are making 25% less for each game sold than they were in 2003. Meanwhile, the cost of video game development has only gone up. In 2003, we were playing games on the Playstation 2. Think of all the improvements that have been made in graphical fidelity in that amount of time. And on top of it all, Destiny, like many other games, take place solely in an online environment. Adding yet another cost.

So where does a developer make up that money? Not just so that they can keep pushing profits higher and higher, but so that they can just make what they would have in years past. There are, of course, several options (a monthly fee, micro transactions, etc), but I don’t think fans would be very happy no matter what they did. I almost think that they best solution is to simply raise the base price of a game by a small amount. But like I said, I’m sure a lot of people would disagree with that approach.

At the end of the day however, a line of thinking like this is mostly only true for smaller developers. Yes, Destiny 2 was an incredibly expensive game to make, and I’m sure it costs a lot of money to run the servers that customers play on. But it also made an insane amount of money, and I honestly think that even more people would buy it, and the expansion packs if it didn’t target players with horrible micro transactions at every turn. Just look at Splatoon 2. A game where Nintendo is constantly adding new maps, weapons, and clothing items every single month, for free.

I understand that it is a business, and that developers and publishers should work to make as much money as they can. But the route that many of those developers are going will only serve to destroy the industry, instead of growing it.

Lgndary Thoughts - What Are You Playing?

I hope everyone had a great holiday break!

Hello everyone! The first week of 2018 is coming to a close and I think things are starting to get back to normal. The past few days have been slower than I thought they would be, but I’m sure next week will be a lot more busy.

For the first Thought of 2018 I decided it would be nice to have a more relaxing discussion of what we all have been playing. I figured it would be even more appropriate than usual because I’m sure many of you have had some extra time to game over the break. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

For the past month or so, almost all of my game time has been going to Final Fantasy XIV. Unfortunately, I haven't been doing anything to actually advance my main character. A few friends and I are considering switching servers, but I wanted to do a lot of research before making a decision that big. So in order to get all of the information I would need to decide, I have been leveling a character from scratch on the server in question. Even though I was able to skip all of the cutscenes, it still took an absurd amount of time to catch up to the current expansion. I wish I could say that I have come to a decision, but at the very least leveling the character has made sure I won’t regret it no matter what server I end up on.

I have also been keeping up with Splatoon 2. I swear, every time I play that game I love it more and more. I don’t get to talk about it much since this is a Sony site, but I think Splatoon is one of the best new IPs put out by anybody in a very long time. 

I also played it more because my roommate’s brother got it for Christmas. Much to my embarrassment, however, he is actually already at a higher level then me despite only being 13 years old. But I guess that is what happens when kids have nothing else to do over the holiday break!

And that is pretty much it for me! Like I said, I had to spend a lot of time just leveling a new character in Final Fantasy, but now that that is done I’ll have more time to get back to my backlog. Hopefully everyone else has been having more fun than me! Don’t forget to leave a comment below, and be sure to have a good weekend everyone!

Lgndary Thoughts - Something Fishy Is Going On With God Of War

For starters, I’d just like to apologize again for this week. It turns out I had, and still have, the flu. I almost never get sick, and this time really kicked my ass. 

On the plus side, however, I couldn’t have picked a much better time to be sick, as news is starting to slow down due to the holidays. And speaking of the holidays, I imagine that next week will be pretty much dead in regards to news. Of course, I’ll post whatever I can, but I wouldn’t expect much. Either way, I should be feeling a lot better by the time news starts to pick up again in a week or so. 

I’d also like to thank everyone for the kind comments, they really meant a lot to me and definitely helped my will to live. Now, onto the Thought!

Another Friday, another Thought! This week, I’d like to talk about one of Sony’s biggest games for 2018, and how we know suspiciously little about it. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

At E3 in 2016, Sony officially announced a new God of War title. Simply titled, God of War, the new game is set to take a new direction for the series. With a more open world, a deeper combat system, and an entirely different setting all being new features. A new companion for Kratos, Atreus, is also something new for the series. 

But there is something just a little bit odd going on in regards to the way that Sony is showing off the game. What I mean to say is that, for a game that is suppose to come out within the next 3 months, we have seen a very small amount of actual gameplay. In the past year and a half since the original announcement, we have only been shown short clips of gameplay that didn’t really seem to exhibit anything too exciting. There could be a few reasons for this, but I have one idea that I believe makes a lot of sense.

I think God of War could be pulling a Metal Gear Solid 2.

Let me explain what happened with that game, beware of spoilers for those that would rather not know. Before the launch of Metal Gear Solid 2, all the marketing and promotion for the title only showed Solid Snake as the player character.  And no one had any idea that that Snake was only the player character for the first 2 hours of the game. After that, Raiden would make his entrance, and be revealed as the true main character of Metal Gear Solid 2.

It would make a lot of sense if Santa Monica was trying to pull the same thing with God of War. Have Kratos be playable for the beginning of the game, and then switch to Atreus at some point early on. Maybe there could even be a time skip to go with it. This would explain why they haven’t shown us much of a game that is coming out very soon. 

There are other possibilities of course. Maybe the game isn’t quite ready for launch and a delay will be announced here soon. Or maybe they know they don’t have to show much footage to generate hype. I also know that Santa Monica is very attached to the character Kratos, so I don’t know that they would want to take a risk and abandon him yet. 

Having said that, I would be so much more interested in the game if Atreus was the main character. The new God of War is set to shake up the core of the series significantly, and I think it is only appropriate that a new face go along with it. I say have a proper send off for Kratos, and then don’t look back.

What do you think Santa Monica is up to? And perhaps more importantly, what do you hope they do? Be sure to leave a comment below!

Well, that is it from me folks. For everyone celebrating the holidays next week, I hope you all have a great time. And for those that aren't, I hope you all enjoy your week too! Thanks everyone!