Lgndary Thoughts - What's Next for Naughty Dog

Before we get into the Thought, I wanted to give a quick update on this morning. At around 4AM ET my internet went out. I called my ISP and after a few tests, they told me that there was no outage in my area and that they would need to send a technician to my place to fix it. With the earliest spot available being 4PM, I was pretty pissed. But they assured me that there was nothing they could do since it was a hardware issue. But I didn't give up. From the time my internet went out, to 2PM I called my ISP 4 times to see if anything could be done. But every single person I talked to stated over and over that there was no outage, and thus it was a hardware problem. 

And then, at around 3PM, my internet starts magically working again. And then I get an automated call telling me that the outage is over. Furious, I call my ISP again to see what was going on, and why I was told by four different people that nothing could be done until a technician arrived at my place. They dug and dug, and went through two different systems to find out that there actually was an outage, but it had never been logged into their system. 

I wanted to give everyone a small idea of what has been going on over here, but I still take full responsibility for my internet not working, and I am looking into my options to make sure it doesn't happen for that long again. Luckily, I was able to post what I could from my phone without going over my data limit, and then caught up when my service came back on. Hopefully, not too many of you noticed the dip. Thank you again for your understanding. Now onto the actual Thought!

Naughty Dog recently revealed that they are experimenting with new worlds and genres for their next game. This has gotten me very excited as I am not the biggest fan of most of their recent titles. Knowing that they are at least considering trying something new, let's discuss what we would like to see them do next. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

If it were up to me, I would have Naughty Dog make a new Jak and Daxter. It would have to be a direct sequel or even star the same characters. But I would love it if they made a new game in that world. While I am not a fan of the Uncharted series, I do admit that they are very visually impressive. So it would be awesome to see what they could do with a Jak title using all of the new developing techniques that they have learned over the past ten or so years. 

But even if they decide not to revisit Jak and Daxter, I would at least want them to make a game that gives off the same vibe. What I mean is something that, while having the potential to be serious at times, is mostly light hearted and fun. Their past two IPs are both visually realistic and gritty. In my opinion, at least, those two qualities do not provide much of a challenge when making a popular game, as people eat that stuff up. But what would be really impressive is if they made a colorful,   jolly title that is great for completely different reasons than anything else they have ever done. 

To be honest, I am not going to get my hopes up. While many developers have been trying new things this generation, or at least attempting to do things a little differently, Naughty Dog has been firm in their comfort zone. So I fully expect their next game to be very similar in visual style, and maybe even gameplay, to Uncharted or The Last of Us.

Now it is your turn! What are you hoping from Naughty Dog next? Do you want them to continue the same sort of games they have been making for years, or would you like to see them brach out and try something new? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

Lgndary Thoughts - A better way to control the camera

For starters, I would like to apologize for the less than normal amount of posts for the past couple of days. I have been sick, and have had some difficulty getting out of bed. But I am feeling better now, so things will be getting back to normal. Thank you for understanding. 

It seems as if every new generation of consoles brings controllers with more buttons on them. The most recent examples being the Dualshock 4’s touch pad, and the Xbox Elite Controller’s paddles. And while more control options are always nice, it can sometimes be situations where more buttons need to be pushed than is possible. Luckily for us, however, Nintendo has already come up with a solution that makes situations like these much easier. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

For the past couple of weeks, I have been spending almost all of my game time playing Splatoon 2. Like I mentioned in a previous thought, before the game launched, I was determined to give the charger class weapons another shot. I have always loved how they played, but I was horrible at using them in the first Splatoon. But I knew that if I was going to be successful with chargers, I had to get used to playing with motion controls. 

For those that don't know, Splatoon features motion controls for the camera. Many don’t use them, and it is not hard to see why. Adjusting to the motion is very difficult, but I decided to give it a real chance. I played for a few hours on launch day and before I knew it, I was already better than I had ever been. A few more days and I had really grown into motion controls. For anyone that plays Splatoon, I seriously could not recommend them more. 

Onto my main point. After playing Splatoon all weekend, I jumped into Final Fantasy XIV and could not help but try and move my controller around to move the camera. And it actually took me longer than I’d like to admit to adjust back to non-motion controls. And that is when I realized that controlling the camera with motion should be an option for more than just Splatoon. There is no reason that almost every single game out there shouldn't have motion controls for the camera. They would be easy enough to implement, and would of course only be an option for those that don’t like them.

There is so much value in being able to move the camera with a higher level of precision than an analog stick allows. As well as making it so that players can move the camera without taking their hands off of the face buttons. I’m not going to get my hopes up too high, but I certainly hope that developers will see how beneficial motion can be, and start implementing it in many more games. 

Lgndary Thoughts - PS Plus Lineup for August

I haven't written about an individual month’s PS Plus lineup in awhile, but the games for August is going to change that! Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

For those that haven't seen the news yet, here is the PS Plus lineup for next month:

  • Just Cause 3 - PS4
  • Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry - PS4
  • Super Motherload - PS3
  • Snakeball - PS3
  • Downwell - PS Vita
  • Level 22 - PS Vita

Wow, what a month. Just Cause 3 alone makes August far more exciting than anything PS Plus has offered in a long, long time. These are exactly the kind of games that Sony needs to be getting for their service. And while I have heard that there are performance issues with Just Cause, I don't particularly mind. This is what PS Plus should be for, playing games that one didn't play for one reason or another. I’m sure many didn't grab the game because of those issues, but now they can play it without having to pay for it separately. 

As for the other PS4 game, Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry, I can’t say that I am as excited. It is a fairly old game, having released over 3 years ago, and it isn't really a full game either, as it was released as standalone DLC. Having said that, it is still a lot better than most of what we get with PS Plus. 

Unfortunately, there isn't much to be excited about after the PS4 games. Both Downwell, and Level 22 seem to be the usual small indie titles that we are used to, but I can’t say that this surprises me. And the same can also be said of the PS3 games, which also look really cheap. 

But honestly, I don’t really care that much about the PS3 and PS Vita games. In a thought last week, I talked about how PS Plus needs to change, and how the focus needs to be on PS4. For this week at least, Sony has done that. We can only hope that this is the start of a new trend, where we see great and exciting games a lot more often than we are used to. 

Now it is your turn to let me know what you think of next month’s PS Plus lineup! Be sure to vote in the survey, the results of which will be shared early next week, and don’t forget to leave a comment below!

Your thoughts on the PS Plus lineup for August
Excellent lineup!
Could take it or leave it
Very disappointed
survey Maker

Lgndary Thoughts - Sony needs to drop disc support for the PS5

In 2009, Sony released the PSP Go, their first ever digital only system. The concept itself was really great, but the execution was awful. Many developers would not realize their titles digitally, meaning PSP Go owners simply lost out on the ability to play them. But even with the Go’s failure, many gamers have been wanting Sony to make a digital only PS4. But is something like that really viable? Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

The only real problem with the PSP Go was that it didn't have access to every game released for the PSP. This is something that Sony solved with the release of the PS Vita in 2012. That is when Sony required that every developer release their games digitally. This would ensure that players that only wanted to purchase games digitally could do so without limiting themselves. The same can be said of the PS4, where Sony has also made sure that developers release all of their games digitally. 

But Playstation fans are now of the opinion that Sony’s next system should drop physical discs completely, and be 100% digital. It isn't a horrible idea, but we are nowhere near that possibility. For many fans, their internet is perfectly capable of downloading tremendous games in a timely manner. But the vast majority of people don't have that luxury. To make a digital only system would be to alienate a huge portion of gamers around the world. 

But I do believe that something needs to change. Discs are becoming more and more useless, but they still serve to deliver games physically for those that don't have internet. But instead of discs, I think Sony should consider a different way of accomplishing that. Something like a USB stick, or a cartridge could hold several benefits.

Now, you do not have to tell me all the reasons why this would never work. I completely understand the challenges that come with anything other than discs. But that doesn't mean it is impossible. Yes, cartridges are more expensive to make. But if Sony were to invest in a solution that is both more efficient and cheaper than discs, it could be a great change for every kind of gamer.

What do you think? Should Sony try to develop a new kind of physical media that eliminates the need for a disc drive, without removing the ability to obtain games physically? Or should they just ride out discs until everyone has good enough internet to go digital only? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Lgndary Thoughts - What Are You Playing?

It has been awhile since the last time I asked this, and there have been plenty of games that have released since. So tell me, what have you been playing?

I have been spending most of my gaming free time playing Final Fantasy XIV, as some of you probably guessed. There has been an enormous amount of things to do since Stormblood launched about a month ago. I’ve mostly been leveling Dark Knight, and try to learn all of the intricacies to prepare for the new raid. I got to say, I am very impressed with what they have done with the job a t level 70. I wouldn't say it is easier than before, but it is a hell of a lot cleaner to play. 

I have also, of course, been spending a lot of time in Breath of the Wild. I still haven't beaten in yet, but that isn't from a lack of playing. There is just so much to do, and I want to do as much as I can before taking on Ganon. I actually discovered something new in the game just the other day. I don’t want to spoil if for those that haven't seen it yet, but it was one of the most incredible things I have ever discovered in a video game. Like I have said previously, I have never felt a greater sense of adventure and discovery playing a game than I have in Breath of the Wild. 

Looking to the future, I am also getting excited to play Splatoon 2. I played the demo of splatfest last weekend and had a ton of fun. I gave chargers a shot in a few matches and didn't do too terribly, so I think I might try to give them another shot when the game launches this week!

What has everyone else been playing lately? And what are you looking forward to playing in the future? Be sure to leave a comment below!

Lgndary Thoughts - Playstation Plus Needs to Change

With tomorrow being July 4th, I am not sure how much news there will be. But I'll be sure to post anything I come across!

Do not be fooled by the fact that Playstation Plus members will receive Until Dawn this month. Yes, Until Dawn is actually a great score when it comes to PS Plus titles, but for the past few months the offerings have been less than stellar, and the service as a whole is long overdue for a revamp. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

Playstation Plus launched as a service in June of 2010. Back then, playing online was free, so Sony had to be a lot more creative to make the service attractive. They mostly succeeded in doing this, and a lot more goodies were offered back then. The monthly games were of course there. But there was more than just that.

For starters, there were a lot more random rewards for being a PS Plus member. Many game betas would only be accessible if you were a subscriber. Avatars and themes for PS Plus members were also common.

One of my favorite benefits was the option to try games before they were bought. For the PS3, there were dozens of games that PS Plus members could download and play in full for one hour. The entire game was downloaded, and nothing was restricted, including trophies, for that one hour. It wasn't a groundbreaking, or even widely used, but it was something.

But these benefits have mostly disappeared now that PS Plus is required for online play. Sony has gotten lazy, which is putting it kindly, since they believe PS Plus users will stick around no matter what. While this may be true, it is despicable that Sony behaves this way simply because they can. And changes need to be made to truly make the service worthwhile. 

To start, support for the Playstation 3 needs to stop. Most Playstation fans have moved over to the PS4, and even more have bought the PS4 without previously owning a PS3. The same case can also be made for the PS Vita, albeit to a lesser extent. But whether Sony drops support for both of these systems, or just the PS3, it will be a necessary sacrifice to be able to focus more on PS4 users. The biggest benefit would be from better monthly games, but other things could be done too. 

The point here is that Sony needs to do a lot more than just improve the quality of monthly PS Plus games. When the service first launched, it felt like a monthly goodie bag for subscribers. But now it feels like a requirement that only offers something amazing once in a blue moon. 

At the very least, if Sony doesn't want to return to the glory days of PS Plus, then they need to offer a different option for those who don't want all of the extra benefits. I’m talking about a $20-$25 option that will simply allow subscribers to play games online. I don't believe it to be an ideal situation, but it is something that needs to be seriously considered if Sony refuses to enhance the full subscription.

Where would you like to see Sony take PS Plus? Or maybe you think it is fine the way it is? Either way, be sure to leave a comment below!

Lgndary Thoughts - The PS4 Pro Gets Some Competition

As usual, news has slowed significantly now that E3 is over, which is never fun. On the plus side, however, it has given me time to work on Valkyrie Revolution for the review that goes live on Tuesday! The slow news period has also meant that I can continue my work on a few special things I have planned for the site. I can’t talk about them yet, but I will soon!

Also expect to see Lgndary Thoughts come back with a little more frequency, including today! There was a lot of news at E3, and I plan on writing about a lot of it. Today, I will be talking about the Xbox One X, and how it compares to the PS4 Pro in terms of market strategy. Enjoy!

At E3, Microsoft officially announced a more powerful version of the Xbox One, called the Xbox One X. And even though it will launch an entire year after the PS4 Pro, it is still a direct competitor. So let’s see how they compare!

For starters, the price of the Xbox One X is a full $100 more than the PS4 Pro, but that cost does come with some nice perks. The X is easily the more powerful of the two systems, and by a fairly significant margin. It is also smaller, and better looking than the PS4 Pro. Which is something that will make for a good selling point.

But when it comes to power, I’m not sure Microsoft’s bet will pay off. At the end of the day, I wouldn't be surprised if developers simply made an “enhanced” patch for their games that did the same thing on the PS4 Pro, and Xbox One X. To put it another way, I don't think developers are going to put in any extra work to make a version of their game just for Xbox One X. And if they do, it will be minimal improvements. 

But at the end of the day, I largely believe that Sony has made the smarter decision with the release timing and price of the PS4 Pro. You may have noticed that Sony hasn't really started pushing the PS4 Pro yet. But now that the Xbox One X has been announced, I’m sure that will change very soon. By not marketing the Pro when it launched last year, Sony has ensured that most people are unaware of its existence. So when consumers see ads for the Xbox One X, and PS4 Pro later this year, many will assume that they are essentially the same thing. And if people do think they are the same thing, that $400 price tag for the Pro is going to be a huge draw for those looking to make a purchase. 

Microsoft can counter this by pushing their “most powerful console ever” tagline, but I don't think it will be enough. Either way, it is going to be interesting seeing how these two consoles sell, because the future of consoles themselves could change depending on how well, or how badly they perform. 

What do you think of the Xbox One X? And how do you think it will do against the PS4 Pro? Be sure to leave a comment below!

Lgndary Thoughts - Ranking this year's E3 Press Conferences

E3 2017 has wrapped up. It may not have been the year everyone was hoping for, but at least we had a few exciting announcements. More than that, I learned a lot this year. This was the first year where I was able to focus totally on the site during E3. I admit that I did get a bit overwhelmed with the amount of news that poured in, but I know I will only do better in the future. 

Back to the topic at hand, I decided to close out the week with a ranking of all of the E3 press conferences this year. Be sure to give it a read and then leave your own ranking in the comments. Enjoy!

#6 - This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who watched Bethesda’s conference. It was short, had an insane amount of filler content, and the actual announcements were dull. Don’t get me wrong, The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein II look like they could be great games, but they certainly aren't huge announcements. Especially considering it was obvious those two titles would be revealed. At Bethesda’s first E3 conference a few years ago, they said they wouldn't have one every single year. I think it is safe to say that this should have been one of those years. 

#5 - Up next is Electronic Arts. EA’s conference is going to be one you either loved or hated depending on how you feel about sports games. I couldn't care less about them, so their conference didn't excite me. I will say, however, that A Way Out looks phenomenal. Few new titles revealed at E3 looked as interesting and unique as A Way Out, and it alone is what saved them from being last in my list. 

#4 - I may get some heat for this, but I am putting Sony behind Microsoft this year. I believe both of them were mostly viewed as disappointments, but at the very least Microsoft announced new things. Sony’s show wasn't even a press conference, it was just a stream of trailers. But that would have been fine if they had showed us something new or exciting. Instead, they mostly just redid what they did last year. The saving grace was, of course, Shadow of the Colossus. While it wasn't a new game announcement, the remake still looks incredible and I can’t wait to play it. 

#3 - Microsoft and Sony were pretty even for me, but I did decide to put Microsoft on top this year for a few reasons. For starters, they had a real conference, as opposed to Sony’s trailer reel. They also had the advantage of announcing the Xbox One X. It isn't anything groundbreaking, but new hardware announcements are always exciting, even if they are just revamps. The final announcement was the Xbox backwards compatibility reveal. Games are obviously the most important thing when it comes video game systems, but software features are important as well. Sony has continued to fail with this, so Microsoft gets extra points for continuing to push for more than games. 

#2 - Ubisoft didn't have an incredible E3 press conference this year, but unlike everyone below them, they didn't disappoint. To put it another way, Ubisoft delivered a standard performance. And that was really refreshing in the face of so many others dropping the ball this year. Assassin’s Creed: Origins looks to be a massive improvement over recent titles in the series. Beyond Good and Evil 2 was very exciting, even if it is still so early in development. And they also had a new IP to announce with Skull and Bones. 

#1 - Who else but Nintendo? They had, what felt like, the only standout performance this year with multiple new game announcements, huge incredible reveals, and interesting new gameplay for previously announced games. It was a bit on the shorter side, but at the very least it was packed with exciting announcements. I know a lot of people feel that same way, but that is just a testament to how well they did this year. 

How would you rank all of the press conferences this year? Be sure to leave a list in the comments below!

Lgndary Thoughts - E3 Hopes and Dreams

Can you believe that E3 2017 is less than a month away? I can, due to the hype that is starting to build pretty quick! I thought I’d post a more relaxed thought this week where we can discuss not what we think will be at E3, but what we hope will be there. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

Medievil - With all the talk of old games getting resurrected, I am always sad to see that Medievil isn’t mentioned as much as it should be, as it would be the perfect game to breath new life into. And I don't mean a remaster. This might seem far-fetched, but hear me out. Medievil needs to be brought back as a casual, fun type of souls game. I honestly think it would be perfect for it. I’m not saying that they have to use every element of a souls game, just enough for it to fit in with the genre. And I would be very interested to see a type of souls game for people that are more fun oriented, as opposed to challenge oriented. 

Spyro Trilogy - While I am very happy for fans of Crash Bandicoot, I can't say that I am particularly excited for the N.sane trilogy. I played the games when I was a kid, but I honestly don't remember them too fondly. Spyro, however, is a completely different story. That is why Sony should do everything they can to give it the same treatment that Crash received. I even think a remastered Spyro trilogy would be a lot more popular than Crash’s. Spyro is the better game after all!

Dualshock 4 Pro - I still think it is crazy that this doesn't exist yet. The only reason I can imagine Sony not producing one is because it would be “copying” Microsoft. But that is no excuse to not go forward with a great idea. And if they are afraid of being perceived as copy cats, they can always take steps to distance themselves from the Xbox Pro Controller. Maybe it could still be made with premium materials but without the ability to swap parts. This would differentiate it between the Xbox controller, while also bringing the price down. But I honestly don't care how they do it, I just want a premium Dualshock.

Dreams - For those that don't know this, Dreams was actually one of the very first PS4 games ever announced. It was revealed before we even saw the PS4 itself. So the fact that we still know almost nothing about this game is unbelievable. On the upside, however, I do feel that this E3 will finally be the one where we get our first real look at the game. And personally, I am hoping for a 3D LittleBigPlanet. LittleBigPlanet was a side scrolling platformer that put a huge amount of emphasis on creating and sharing. I would love if Dreams took that same concept, but made it a 3D platformer instead. We already know that players will be able to create things in a 3D space, so I don't think Dreams turning out to be a 3D platformer would be too much of a stretch. Still though, I’m not getting my hopes too high for this. I think a 3D LittleBigPlanet might sound too good to be true. 

E3 is right around the corner, and I’m starting to get more excited than I have for Playstation in a long time. These are just a few of the things I am hoping to see at this year's event, but now I want to hear from you! Remember, these are not predictions. So go crazy with what you hope to see! Have a good weekend everyone!

Lgndary Thoughts - How To Keep PS4 Sales Up

Sony announced that the PS4 has surpassed 60 million in sales worldwide, with 2016 being the systems best year so far. But Sony has stated that they expect sales to start declining in 2017. While I believe that is a natural assumption to make, as all consoles slow down at some point, it isn't set in stone. So having said that, let’s discuss what Sony could do this year to really push even higher sales numbers. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!

A rumor has been making the rounds the past couple of days stating that Sony has struck a deal with Capcom to get Monster Hunter 5 on PS4. I personally believe the rumor is fake, but it would have some serious implications if it were true. Monster Hunter is an insanely popular series in Japan, the place the PS4 has struggled the most, so if Monster Hunter 5 really were to be an exclusive, system sales in Japan would sky rocket. It might even be what it takes for the PS4 to surpass the PS2 in sales. But like I said, there is no reason to believe that rumor and I would be shocked if it came true. 

Coming back to reality, I believe one of the best things Sony can do to keep PS4 sales up is something they have been very successful at in recent years. Having a constant stream of quality first party titles. Bloodborne, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and The Last Guardian (just to name a few) are the kind of system sellers that they need to keep pumping out. Detroit and God of War give me a lot of hope for the future, as long as they keep the quality up. 

The final aspect of the PS4 that I think Sony needs to focus on is the system itself. Microsoft has done an excellent job at updating the Xbox One on a regular basis, and I think it is time Sony does the same. We go months and months in-between system updates, and most of them end up being fairly lackluster. More dedication needs to be placed in PS4 system updates, and they need to start getting creative and thinking outside the box if they want to stay competitive in that space.

The PS4 has been an incredible success story, but that success doesn't have to stop anytime soon. These are just a few of the things I believe will keep it selling well into the future. What do you think? Be sure to let me know what you think Sony can do with the PS4 to keep those sales numbers up!