A new & improved GTA V

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“Good things come to those who wait.”

In the case of GTA V, that wait was just little over a year. Improved visuals and performance were to be expected. But features like a first person view? I didn’t expect that.

I guess Rockstar wanted to pluck the mod community’s low hanging fruit and include a first person view themselves. I think it looks great. I just hope it’s actually plays properly with that perspective. I think it’s something that will be better experienced in a subsequent playthrough though. GTA titles were made with a third person camera in mind and some sight gags could be overlooked when playing through the eyes of the character.

PS4 System Software 2.0 is now available

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playstationlogoYou cannot suspend or resume your game but you will be able to pause and resume your downloads with the System Software 2.0 for the PlayStation 4.

I suggest you read this post from their blog and watch the video because they didn’t list every change in their release notes. In fact there are so many undocumented improvements, unearthing them has become a game in itself. Voice chat quality and contextual PS button prompts are among the many improvements that Sony failed to mention.

Of the tentpole features, I’m most excited for YouTube support. I will finally export more videos of glory and idiocy for the internet to see. There’s also an actual YouTube app to view said videos.

Still, I can’t help wonder what could have been. Sony was pretty bad with version numbers with the PlayStation 3 System Software updates and they continue to under deliver for a momentous increment like 2.0. Suspend and resume functionality should have been included or at least they could have saved the big 2.0 for that feature.

Many of the improvements and updates are nice additions but they could have been included in a dot release. The first big update around the one anniversary of your console should be more than things that should have been there on day one.

What’s going on with Square Enix & Nomura?

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First he was unceremoniously removed as the director of Final Fantasy Versus XIII XV. Then there was his worrying open letter about “harnessing burning anger into Kingdom Hearts 3″ and now we learn that Kingdom Hearts 3 will ditch Square Enix’s internally developed Luminous Engine for Unreal Engine 4.

What’s going on with Square Enix? Is Luminous Engine that difficult to work with that it was actually more cost effective to go out an license Epic Games’ latest release? Or is this Nomura sticking it to Square Enix and refusing to use their internally developed engine?

The early Agni’s Philosophy tech demo was impressive if not a little far reaching for the current generation of consoles but Final Fantasy XV’s most recent trailer showcased the engine in a very positive light. The gameplay demonstrated could have featured Sora and his Disney friends and I wouldn’t have been none the wiser.

Unless Nomura has another PR meltdown, I’m guessing we’ll never know why they switched engines. And if Final Fantasy XV launches with a impressive visuals featuring both breadth and depth, we’ll be in a better position to infer.

There are boats in the Witcher 3

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I keep forgetting about The Witcher 3 but every so often, Namco Bandai and CD Projeckt Red will release a trailer to remind me that Geralt of Rivia’s adventure is just around the corner.

This franchise has taken a weird path to relevance for me. The first game was a memorable for the wrong (or is it right?) reason. The sequel was a gorgeous successor that left me wanting more. It fixed nearly every issue I had with the original but I felt it rushed the final chapter.

The Witcher III looks like it’s an expanded rendition of The Witcher II and if they maintain the level of quality in an open world, we’re in for a real treat. But I worry because filling out an open world is costly and other titles who’ve travelled this path stretched themselves a bit too thin leaving uninteresting caves and silly collectibles for players.

We won’t have to wait long to see the fruits of their labor. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt debuts  early next year on February 24th for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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