Top 10 PS4 Games of 2020

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As we are getting into the PS4 latter years and with the announcement of the PS5 launching in the holiday season of 2020, it’s time to take a look back into what games are the must plays of a generation. This list has no strict rules except for one – where possible to avoid remasters. So I’m sorry but the Last of Us and Uncharted will not be making the list. I’ve also tried to keep the list specifically to one entry per genre where possible. So that there is a variety of options for people with all tastes and interests.

#10

Nier, Automata Game of The Yorha Edition – PlayStation 4

Nier: Automata is one of those games that the less you say about it the better. It’s a thrilling and engaging ride from start to finish. A game that demands the hours that go into it to get the most out of your time with it. This is not a game for those who are looking for a quick experience. Nier demands your attention and the only way to treat this dystopian science fiction is to go into it with an open mind and to expect the unexpected.

Glory to Mankind.

#9

God of War Hits – PlayStation 4

Kratos is someone who needs no introduction to long time Playstation fans. Known for slash and burning his way from the deep realms of Hades to the top of Olympus. The 2018 installment of God of War finds us with an older and more refined Kratos, who takes on a journey with his son Atreus to head to the highest point in the realm to spread the ashes of his recently departed wife. This adventure spans the entire realm of Midgar and beyond, and together both father and son learn the meaning of family and how there is no peek high enough or valley low enough to keep family apart.

#8

Persona 5 Royal: Standard Edition – PlayStation 4

Easily one of the most stylish and universally adored JRPG of the modern age. Persona 5 Royal is the semi-sequel to 2017’s critically acclaimed Persona 5. Persona 5 Royal is Persona 5 + and adds more story elements to the already brilliant base story. For those who have never heard of the Persona series, it is a story about a group of thieves who travel into people’s subconscious to reform people from toxic or evil behavior. Traversing this world they utilize the power of their alternative personalities or Personas and are able to use grand forms of magic to achieve their aims. Your player character is falsely accused of assault while trying to intervene in the attempted abduction/assault of a young woman. With a year of probation now under your belt, you’re sent to a family friend’s coffee shop where there you are to attend a new high school and try to keep your head down. But things start to go awry on your very first day where you meet a new friend and a mysterious cat.

#7

Bloodborne

It might surprise some readers to find this Souls game as the one of the generation. But for me this comes at a time in FromSoftwares development where they have really honed in the formula for what makes a Souls game great, but turns it on its head with a shift from more defensive tactics into aggressive moves. Bloodborne is about agility and the ability to take calculated risks while trying to outfox your opponents. It takes place in the most haunting realm of Yharnam where there was so much opportunity to delve deeper into what the world has to offer.

#6

Dragon Quest Builders 2 – PlayStation 4

The much awaited sequel to the excellent Dragon Quest Builders comes Dragon Quest Builders 2 which does everything you’d ever want to from a sequel. More, and better. And it does so in spades having literal worlds to explore now, not just set areas where things get reset and mercifully no bosses that are illogical to the objectives of the main campaign. A stellar script suitable for kids and grownups alike. An expanded and more nuanced crafting system. It’s an absolute must.

#5

Final Fantasy XV: Day One Edition (PS4)

Easily one of my favourite games of all time. FF XV is just a joy from start to finish. The starting scene sets up what the tone of the rest of the game will be for you. This is a coming of age story where you’re forced to watch a bunch of boys grow up a little too fast when their world turns upside down. It’s a testament to the bonds of friendships and what one must go through in order to grow. It’s sometimes silly, sometimes serious and sometimes sad. But it’s a journey worth taking.

#4

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (PS4)

Hellblade Senua’s sacrifice is something very special. As someone who deals with mental health issues – that are often fairly well documented in this blog – I’m always empathetic to the struggles of people with mental health difficulties. Senua’s situation and her journey is very relatable. It’s a crippling tale and often is one that is very difficult to walk through. I know personally I found walking in her shoes and seeing her face her demons to be tremendously tough, but its an experience that – like most things in life – can only be appreciated by the time you’re able to look back and see how far you’ve come.

#3

Fortnite

It would be remiss of me to leave Fortnite out of this list. From the way it has introduced gaming into homes to making prime time media, it’s undeniable to say that Fortnite has surpassed its name as transformative media. It’s sparked dance classes based on characters’ movements or dances in-game. There have been multiple books on it as well as a ton of merchandise. So much so, if you go into clothing retailers on your local high street you would be able to pick up a Fortnite shirt somewhere. As its seasons roll on its popularity shows no sign of ceasing. A tribute to the mechanics of this battle royal shooter.

#2

Shovel Knight (PS4)

There were lots of choices for platformers for this console generation but the one that sticks out the most in my mind is Shovel Knight. Be I a fool for the graphic style or simply just watching too much Game Grumps, Shovel Knight has managed to plant itself as a favorite of mine. From creatively stunning level design to inventive co-op options to a fabulous sequel and add ons. If you’re into platformers and haven’t played it – its some of the best that there is to offer.

#1

Rocket League Collectors Edition (PS4)

When you think racing games on PS4 Rocket League always seems to rear its head time and time again. It’s not too surprising to see why. This co-op driving game is easily accessible to new players while still proving a suitable challenge for experienced drivers. It certainly comes under the descriptor of “easy to pick up and hard to master” there will never be two matches that will be the same. With its unique options that unlock for your car customization the possibilities to express yourself are endless. And with online matchmaking, it’s an easy recommendation for anyone who owns a PS4.

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Secret of Mana – Why I’m excited about the remake.

In August 1993, the game was released initially as Seiken Densetsu 2 in Japan on the Super Famicom (SNES) but sold outside Japan as Secret of Mana. Now, as of 2017 Square Enix is has decided to remake the beloved series which will be released in North America on February 15, 2018.

Earlier this summer, a Mana collection containing three pillars of the Mana theme; Final Fantasy Adventure, Secret of Mana, and Seiken Densetsu 3.  This was Japanese exclusive for the Nintendo Switch. Now the second game in the series is headed to the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita as well as Steam.

According to Famitsu, this is a full remake with full voice-overs, a new musical arrangement, other new elements like upgraded gameplay and graphics. It will also have local multiplayer on all platforms. All sounds so far so good, right?

Well, with the launch of the SNES Classic launched at the end of this year I’m not too sure. If you were one of the lucky ones, who got these hands of one of these elusive mini consoles you will already have access to the legendary RPG. One of the charming things about the SNES Classic will find that, among other things, the most exciting inclusions was the inclusion of the range of JRPGS. One of the things about the SNES Classic that I love is that its entire library of games has lasted the test of time, so they’re still great today. There are very few games on the consoles roster that I wouldn’t play, which for me was a more enticing prospect than the original NES mini.

So, I’m reminded of how good Secret of Mana is with the SNES mini, but I was struck by how much it could benefit from an update. I’m, personally, not concerned about the new art direction that it’s taking. Chibi style is something that I’ve always had a soft spot for that style, and while there seem to be some odd texture choices, it’s not enough for me to be super concerned.

This is primarily because I’m so excited that there will be a new generation of players who will be able to experience this incredible game with no significant changes to its narrative other than its visual aesthetics. I have a similar feeling of optimism surrounding the remake of final fantasy 7 (although, I’m less pleased with it being episodic, but I digress). So, for now, I’m going to trust that we’re going to get the remake it so richly deserves.

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E3 2017 – EA Press Conference [Noobist.com]

Courtesy of Noobist.com : Everything you need to know about EA at E3 2017

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Original Article to be found at Noobist.com

E3 2017

Ah, E3 2017. Gaming’s version of Christmas. Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 for short) is an annual conference where all walks of life from the video games come together to discuss what’s coming up in the industry this year. Everyone attends: from software developers to retailers and everyone in between. A lot of hype happens around this conference as the big names in industry showcase what they have to offer for 2017.

Madden 18 Longshot

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This year’s E3 lineup starts out strong with a gripping introduction to the campaign mode of Madden 18 Longshot. If you’ve been following any of my work for long, you’ll know I’m not into sports games. They just don’t do it for me. However, I have to say, that the story mode of going through the drama of what it would be life to be an American Football Star had me engrossed. House of Cards engrossed. Hook. Line. And Sinker. Well done, Madden, well done. You can check out the trailer yourself and let me know what you think about it in the comments below.

Star Wars Battlefront 2

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Moving onto Star Wars Battlefront 2, you have to give credit where credit is due. CEO, Andrew Wilson admits from the get-go that they had a lot to learn from Star Wars Battlefront.

Two years ago we launched Star Wars Battlefront and we got a lot of feedback. A lot of it positive and a bunch of it constructive. That’s a uphamism for not as positive.

You know what? I respect that. I appreciate the fact that he can admit that there were a lot of frustrated fans and players from the rather hollow experience that Star Wars Battlefront was. Time will tell as to whether or not they have indeed learned their lessons from the first Battlefront and what will change in this iteration of the franchise.

While microtransactions are still a thing, there is a lot to be said for the studio electing to not have any paid DLC with Battlefront 2. They’re aware the goodwill they built up vanished when they charged what they did for what was essentially four maps. Let them try and earn it back I’d say. They’re aware the game will sell, but they will be under more pressure now to not take the mickey with it.

Battlefield 1

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It’s always reassuring to know that Battlefield 1 will not be left out of the E3 love this year. As Andrew Gulotta, Producer of Battlefield 1 talks through the success of the franchise so far. Though, it did give way to some of the most awkward montages of games live streaming/YouTube experiences of playing BattleField 1 that I’ve ever seen.

It illustrates the power and where the influence for games are going these days (to the players and influencers). It hit home to me at that moment two equally powerful things. 1): They’re paying attention to the movement of gaming and where the hubs are. This is good. 2): They’re taking streamers and YouTubers content to present at E3. Yikes.

The reason why I say Yikes is because it makes me very self-conscious about how young the industry is, and yes, these moments are crucial to a gamers life. I don’t know why, but it showcased this way felt invasive in a way I can’t describe. Communities are built around these things, and generally, it’s not for the benefit of the publication of these communities.

Not that I feel that showing these communities to a wider audience isn’t useful or beneficial – but my fear is for the larger audiences of these conferences that it may just perpetuate the stereotypes of what we face already as gamers. I think that’s what I’m the most uncomfortable with. That and the lack of diversity in that clip. Those who were talking about the engagement in their communities were predominantly white men. I only saw one female, and I know a lot of women who play Battlefield, so this made me feel uneasy.

In the name of Tsar is the latest expansion coming to Battlefield one and it will contain eight new maps all based around the Russian Army around World War 1. There will also be a new competitive battlefield experience, based on the feedback that they’ve received from fans. Patrick Söderlund talks through what to expect in this update.

Later this year we are going to give you a new competitive Battelfield experience. We’ve heard you. You want a smaller, tighter experience focused on teamplay.

We can look forward to hearing more about it at Gamescom later on this year.

FIFA 18

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FIFA is FIFA is FIFA. I know next to nothing about it, except that Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (no not that one) is on the cover of it and contributed his data to the game to help it be more realistic. For those in the eSports world of FIFA,  you’ll be pleased to know that EA is heavily investing in the scene and that more championships and leagues will be coming to your monitors soon.

Need for Speed: Payback

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A bit of Burnout mixed in with some Horizon style open world with the regular additions of the Need for Speed franchise. So, what’s not to like? We’ll find out more about it soon in due time.

A Way Out

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A Way Out is probably EA’s most exciting new title for this year’s E3. From the Studio that did Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. This Prison breakout game is one that should interest the wider community, giving some Last of Us/Uncharted vibes. Lots to be excited about given how stellar Brothers was. I’d be cautiously optimistic about what comes next for this studio!

There is a lot to digest from this E3 2017 presentation from EA. It shows a different side of the company, one that is painfully aware of itself and the market. Yet, hasn’t really hit the nail on the head regarding tone and approach. That being said, there is a lot to be looking forward to in the next year with an impressive lineup of old and new titles.