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TYLERxDURDEN'S Blog

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Quick Review: Dreamgear Dualshock 4 Charge Cord

The PlayStation 4 launched in November 2013 and Sony has yet to provide a lengthened charging cord option for PS4 owners. With the Dualshock 4's seemingly shorter battery life (due mainly to the light bar on top of the controller) gamers are looking for charging solutions.   Many of the third party options offered via Amazon have poorly fitting plugs, break easily and short-out often. This is reflected in review scores with most hovering between 2 and 3 stars. With third party options so undependable and no first party option other than the short cable included with the PS4, many owners have felt helpless...   Until now.   Dreamgear has released a high-quality, 10 foot charging cord for the Dualshock 4. After seeing the surprisingly high reviews on Amazon, I decided to give it a shot. After about a month of use I can say without a doubt that Dreamgear has delivered with this product.     Dreamgear's Charge and Play 10 ft long Charge Cable provides gamers with a longer alternative to the cable Sony packs in with all PS4s. At 10 feet, the cord allows PlayStation 4 owners to charge their controller while they play as opposed to using Sony's cable which doesn't reach out far from the console. Both ends of the cord fit snugly into their respective ports allowing for constant charging.   This is by far the best third party option out there and since there is no first party option, there is no debate. The Dreamgear Charge and Play is a steal at $9.99 too. If the shortened battery life of the Dualshock 4 is frustrating you, invest in this cable. You won't regret it!

Steve Bitto

Steve Bitto

 

Five One-and-Done PS3 Franchises That Could Rise Again on PS4

We're a little more than a year into the PlayStation 4's life cycle and the AAA exclusive line up is still thin. Sequels to major franchises like Killzone and Infamous joined new franchises like Knack and Driveclub building a generally weak library of exclusives. This has left big Sony fans like myself a bit disappointed.   The PlayStation 3 typically had loads of exclusive games launching every year. In many cases, ideas with potential met low sales or mild critical reception due to market saturation. This doomed them to be forgotten and left in the past. Or did it?   While new franchises are exciting, known franchises seem to be more likely to get the green light this generation. The overwhelming majority of games released on PlayStation 4 have been sequels to existing franchises (Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Battlefield) or HD re-releases (Last of Us, GTAV). Maybe it's time for some of the games that only had one shot on PS3 to get a second chance.   Here are five one-and-done PlayStation 3 exclusive games that deserve sequels on the PlayStation 4.   3D Dot Game Heroes   Let me start by saying, From Software and Silicon Studio are probably wishing they would have expanded the customization in 3D Dot Game Heroes to resemble that of a little game called Minecraft. If you haven't picked up on it yet, 3D Dot Game Heroes looks strikingly similar to Minecraft which has sold in the ballpark of 54 million more copies. They had a gold mine on their hands but didn't take it a few steps further making it the perfect game to start this list with.     3D Dot Game Heroes was critically acclaimed but too niche to be embraced by the masses. Bringing the game back now with a dungeon customization mode and a more simple gameplay design would give this franchise the opportunity to blow up. Even if it means piggy-backing on the success of Minecraft, I say go for it.   Afrika   The photography simulator Afrika came to North American PS3 owners back in October 2009. The game put players in the position of a safari photographer tasked with getting a look at wild animals of the African Savanna. More of a graphical demonstration, the gameplay left much to be desired. Just under fifty exotic beasts roamed the plains and swamps but reaching them was often a frustrating trek. Needless to say the PlayStation 4 could not only solve many of the gameplay and exploration gripes but put the PS3 visuals to shame. In a genre that hasn't had a great game since Pokemon Snap, it's time to give the people the photography sim they want.       Heavenly Sword   Ninja Theory's first game on the PlayStation 3 was the start of something great. Heavenly Sword played similar to God of War but had a story with more emotional range than Kratos' which ran dry after the second or third entry.       Unfortunately, Sony never continued the story of Nariko and her clan. Ironically, Ninja Theory's next game, Hellblade, looks quite similar to Heavenly Sword and is a console exclusive for the PlayStation 4. Perhaps they are testing the waters with Hellblade to see how a Heavenly Sword sequel would be received. Either way, this was a strange franchise for Sony to leave on the shelf. Now's the time to bring it back. Are you listening, Sony?   LAIR   Where do you start with Lair? Well, I guess it would be the god awful control scheme. Poor flight controls and button mapping set Lair up to fail from day one. In fact, the game wasn't even playable for most. A patch came that transformed the mess it was to a pretty impressive dragon flight simulator. A dragon flight game with huge, detailed environments and enemy armies staggering in size? Tough concept to drop the ball with then risk more money on a sequel. Sadly, developer Factor 5 of Rogue Squadron, fame closed their doors in 2009. A new developer could really take the Lair franchise a run with it. Behemoth monsters, diverse landscapes and dragon riders sound like a medieval world most gamers would want to get lost in. Myself included.     MAG   MAG is also from a developer who has since been shut down. Historic developer of Socom, Zipper Interactive created MAG or Massive Action Game for the PS3 in 2010. It was met with mixed reviews and less than stellar sales. Despite this, the idea behind it was impressive. Huge multiplayer warzones with smaller skirmishes deciding the momentum of the battle.       Ultimately, a limited amount of game modes and maps left players wanting more early in the going. More content that would never come. The success of Destiny and Battlefield suggest that there is still potential for MAG. In fact, MAG could easily be a combine those two franchises with a first person MMO mission style story mode and the multiplayer mode it already set the groundwork for. Sounds like a home run to me.   So what about you? What franchises do you think deserved more than one entry but never got it? Let me know in the comments below!

Steve Bitto

Steve Bitto

 

Much Star Wars in Call of Duty: Ghosts, There Is

Call of Duty: Ghosts is the most recent entry in the wildly popular FPS franchise Call of Duty. The game follows a special operations team known as the Ghosts who are tasked with saving the United States from a powerful military coalition referred to as the Federation. COD: Ghosts sports one of the most diverse story modes I have played in quite sometime. With missions ranging from driving in the desert, sneaking in the jungle, to swimming underwater and even floating through space, there really was never a dull moment. Not until the very end of the game, however, did I realize why it all resonated with me so much...   STAR WARS!   Yes, you heard me right. Call of Duty: Ghosts shares quite a few similarities with the galaxy far far away! Here are just a few of the examples I stumbled across!     "Since you are reluctant to provide us with the location of the Rebel base, I have chosen to test this station's destructive power on your home planet of Alderaan." -Admiral Tarkin   The opening scenes of Call of Duty: Ghosts detail the events that set the story's fictional world war into motion. In the game, Federation forces hijack an orbital missile satellite, ODIN, and reign down fire on major US cities. One of which is the home of the main character, Logan. Logan, his brother Hesh, and their father Elias scramble to survive as they watch their hometown get absolutely leveled. That scenario is not so different from one in Star Wars: A New Hope where Princess Leah watches as Alderaan is obliterated by the original Death Star. Coincidence? Maybe but there's more.       "You were to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness!" -Obi Wan Kenobi   Call of Duty: Ghosts' main antagonist is an elite soldier named Rorke. Years before the events of the main story, Rorke was one of the Ghosts himself. Not only was he a member of the storied spec ops squad but he was the most talented of the bunch. During a botched mission, Rorke is left by the Ghosts and thought KIA. Not only did Rorke survive but he eventually raises an army to eradicate the remaining Ghost forces and take over the world. Sound familiar? Oh yeah... Kind of like how Anakin Skywalker, the most powerful Jedi, turned on his fellow masters of the force and led an army to erase them from the galaxy. The force is strong with this crossover theory but it doesn't end there.       "You can see here, the Death Star orbiting the forest moon of Endor. Although, the weapon systems on this Death Star is not yet operational, the Death Star does have a strong defense mechanism. It is protected by an energy shield which is generated from the nearby forest moon of Endor. The shield must be deactivated, if any attack is to be attempted." -Admiral Ackbar   Now the final mission takes place half in space and half on Earth. The team on Earth must disable the defense array satellites to allow the team in space to approach the orbital missile satellite. Sound familiar? In Return of the Jedi, Han and company take a team to the forest moon of Endor to do what?... To disable the satellites powering the shield generator for the second Death Star. Why did they have to do that? To allow the space team to approach and assault it! Outside of the lack of Ewoks in Call of Duty, these two scenarios are pretty much identical!   Look! Even the Federation and Imperial armies share similar flags!       "Your hate has made you powerful." -Emperor Palpatine   Finally, at the very end of the game, Logan and Hesh find themselves stranded on the beach after seemingly defeating Rorke. Guess again. Rorke shows up and drags Logan off the beach vowing to turn him against the Ghosts. After the credits, Logan finds himself in a cage likely awaiting whatever brainwashing Rorke has in store for him. One might say Rorke is trying to... turn Logan to the Dark Side? Similar to Luke by Darth Vader? Hopefully for Logan's sake there's still good in him whenever Call of Duty: Ghosts 2 comes out.   Well there you have it! Five pretty major similarities between Call of Duty Ghosts and the Star Wars saga. To be clear, I'm not claiming there is any type of plagiarism going on as these examples are pretty general but the comparisons are fun to point out none the less. If you noticed any other similarities, let me know! Sound off in the comments below.   PS: Did the Aegis Combat Ship look kind of like the Super Star Destroyer? Ok ok, I'm done!   Entry Image: www.battlefronthq.com

Steve Bitto

Steve Bitto

 

PlayStation Plus: A Year in the Life

PlayStation Plus is a service offered through the PlayStation Network that gives subscribers access to exclusive and discounted downloadable content. This content includes, Full Games, Game Trials, Betas, Qore, Dynamic Themes, Avatars, and more. I will keep a running tab of how much money I have spent and saved each week by being a subscriber to the service. Not only that but I will also include what trials I downloaded, betas I have enlisted in, etc. since these don't have a real cost value but are exclusive to the service all the same. IGN's PlayStation editors are doing this and I figured it would be a good idea for me to do it here at Game Podunk as well. At the end of the year hopefully I will have atleast saved myself the $49.99 I initially invested!   I wanted to factor in a system so casual gamers could get an idea of how good Plus would be for them. While an avid PSN user like myself values the opportunity to play all the games PS+ has to offer, critically acclaimed or not, casual gamers might have a more mild experience. At the end of the day I couldn't come up with something that worked well so it will be up to each reader to decide whether the following purchases and downloads are worthy of their own hard earned buck!   The Scroll of Savings   February 2, 2011 Digger HD: $9.99 Free Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage: $5.99 Free Karimogi (Mini): $2.99 Free Hero of Sparta (Mini): $4.99 Free LittleBigPlanet Sackboy Prehistoric Moves: $5.99 Free Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 Dynamic Theme: $2.99 Free   February 8, 2011 Stacking: $14.99 Free Qore Episode 33: $2.99 Free Fat Princess: Blue Princess Avatar: Exclusive Free   February 14, 2011: Valentine's Day Flying Hamster (Mini): $2.99 Free   February 15, 2011 Let's Golf (Mini): $4.99 Free Sonic The Hedgehog Dynamic Theme: $2.99 Free Yakuza 4 Demo: Exclusive Free   February 22, 2011 Nothing!   Overall, February was a great start to my PS+ experience. Stacking was excellent and lead my PS+ content for the month. The Minis were fun and gave my PSP some new life. Exclusive demos, Qore and dynamic themes kept the content rolling although they were not my main interest. Apparently, March will be the month of free Sega content for Plus users. Sonic with trophies? Sign me up.   March 1, 2011 Sonic The Hedgehog: $4.99 Free Spyro Year of the Dragon: $5.99 Free PIX'N LOVE RUSH (mini): Exclusive Free Playstation Move Heroes Demo: Exclusive Free   March 8, 2011 Qore Episode 34: $2.99 Free Mortal Kombat Demo: Exclusive Free   March 15, 2011 Nothing!   March 22, 2011 Playstation Move Heroes Game Trial: Exclusive Free Socom 4 Beta: Exclusive Free   March 29, 2011 Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus: $9.99 Free Comet Crash: $9.99 Free Vector TD (mini): $3.99 Free   After my second month with PlayStation Plus I am still very impressed with the program. The first and last week of the month were packed with free content including two PSOne Classics, Comet Crash and Sonic the Hedgehog. The middle of the month wasn't as impressive but still had the early demo for Mortal Kombat (which I loved) and the Socom 4 Private Beta. So while they don't offer free games every week, there is almost always some cool playable content to check out. No official word on whats on the horizon for April but I thought I read something about Red Faction: Battlegrounds. I guess only time will tell!   April 5, 2011 Sonic The Hedgehog 2: $4.99 Free Qore Episode 35: $2.99 Free   April 12, 2011 Killzone 3 Steel Rain Map Pack: $4.99 Free Yakuza 4 Dynamic Theme: $2.99 Free   April 19, 2011 Nothing!   April 26, 2011 PSN Compromised!   To put it mildly, April was not the best month for the PlayStation Network or PlayStation Plus. Although I really enjoyed both Sonic 2 and the Killzone 3 DLC, they were overshadowed by the PSN outage/personal info debacle which began on April 20. It will be interesting to see how Sony compensates Plus members in relation to the rest of the PSN community. Will April showers bring May flowers for Sony, stay tuned...   May 3, 2011 PSN Downtime Continues   May 10, 2011 PSN Downtime Continues   May 17, 2011 PSN Up! Store Down!   May 24, 2011 PS Store Still Down   May 31, 2011 PS Store Still Down   April was bad but May was worse. With the PlayStation Store down for the entire month there was not a single update of PlayStation Plus content. Sony has stated that there will be multiple updates per week until the content is caught up so perhaps an overloaded June will make up for the lack of content. Sony is also adding 60 days to current Plus user's subscriptions so while the damage is not yet undone the news isn't all bad. Hopefully June will have plenty of content and get PS Plus back on track.   June 2, 2011 MAG Interdiction Misson Pack: $4.99 Free Qore Episode 36: $2.99 Free   June 3, 2011 MAG Escalation Mission Pack: $9.99 Free   June 7, 2011 Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2011: $9.99 Free Infamous 2 Dynamic Theme: exclusive Free   June 14, 2011 Qore Episode 37: $2.99 Free Streets of Rage 2: $4.99 Free   June 21, 2011 Nothing!   June 28, 2011 UNCHARTED 3 Drake“s Deception Multiplayer Beta: Exclusive Free   The Return of the PSN! June was my favorite month of Plus so far. As a big MAG fan, getting all the add-on content for free was a nice surprise and got me back into the game. Magic: The Gathering and the Uncharted 3 beta left me satisfied and smiling as well. Hopefully these high quality offerings continue and aren't directly correlated to the fact that every PSN user had Plus as part of the PSN Welcome Back package this past month.   July 5, 2011 Bomberman ULTRA: $9.99 Free Medievil: $5.99 Free Alien Zombie Death (mini): $3.99 Free Qore Episode 38: $2.99 Free   July 12, 2011 Golden Axe: $4.99 Free Back to the Future (Full Series): $19.99 $9.79   July 19, 2011 Nothing!   July 26, 2011 Nothing!   July is my favorite month of the year. With it comes amazing weather, my birthday and now, excellent PS+ updates! Not only did Sony put out loads of free content but they also had their annual Summer PSN Sale where PS+ users got 50% off! I only snagged Back to the Future but I was tempted by Hard Corps: Uprising and Pixeljunk Shooter 2. Medieval was one of my favorite PS1 games so it was a pleasant surprise to see it offered for free this month as well! Six months through and I am doing quite well! Hopefully the second half of my subscription it just as fruitful!   August 2, 2011 Crash Commando: $9.99 Free Destruction Derby: $5.99 Free Qore Episode 39: $2.99 Free OMG-Z! (mini): Exclusive Free City Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free   August 9, 2011 Comix Zone: $4.99 Free Crash Commando Add-On Bundle: $4.99 Free   August 16, 2011 Nothing!   August 23, 2011 Resistance 3 Multiplayer Beta: Exclusive Free LittleBigPlanet Dynamic Theme: $2.99 Free   August 30, 2011 God of War Origins Collection Demo: Exclusive Free   August wasn't the best month for PlayStation Plus but after last Spring it certainly wasn't the worst either. Crash Commando combined with the DLC was a fun game to play although it didn't hold my attention for long. The big offering for me this month was the Resistance 3 Beta. As a huge Resistance fan, I couldn't help but put in a ton of hours demoing the latest from Insomniac and I was impressed. With the entire PS1 library to offer, I was alittle disappointed with Destruction Derby but I guess free is free. The LittleBigPlanet Dynamic theme was icing on the cake though and Sackboy is still running in circles on my background. I have yet to hear what Sony is offering in September but lets hope they try to blow users away!   September 6, 2011 Assassins Creed Revelations Multiplayer Beta: Exclusive Free Altered Beast: $4.99 Free Astro Tripper: $4.99 Free Plants vs. Zombies: $14.99 Free Clouds Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free   September 13, 2011 Bulletstorm Game Trial: Exclusive Free   September 20, 2011 Resident Evil Directors Cut: $4.99 Free Resident Evil 2: $2.99 Free Resident Evil 3 Nemesis: $2.99 Free Resident Evil 4 HD: $19.99 $10.00   September 27, 2011 UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Drake's Fortune MP Pack: $2.99 Free UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Golden Weapons: $.99 Free UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves PlayStation Heroes Pack: $2.49 Free UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Sidekick Skin Pack: $1.49 Free UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Siege Expansion Pack: $2.99 Free UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves - Eye of Indra 1-4: $1.49 Free UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Nathan Drake Avatar: $.49 Free UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Tetram Avatar: $.49 Free   September was... WOW! PlayStation Plus completely paid itself off in that month alone! Sony offered up tons of critically acclaimed free games, free content for exclusives, an anticipated beta and big discounts on new HD games! Strategic zombie decapitation in Plants vs. Zombies, Resident Evil 1-4 (4 in HD) for only $10 and all the DLC for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves free packed into one month is absurd! If you are even remotely interested in PS Plus, Sony has proven that they will try their damnedest to make you proud of your investment.   October 4, 2011 Qore Episode 41: Exclusive Free Costume Quest: $14.99 Free Elemental Monster Online Card Game: $.99 Free   October 11, 2011 Nothing!   October 18, 2011 Burn Zombie Burn!: $4.99 Free   October 25, 2011 inFAMOUS Festival of Blood: $9.99 $7.99   PlayStation Plus slowed down a bit in October. Although I downloaded less content, the overall quality was on par with previous months. Costume Quest, Burn Zombie Burn and inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood are all enjoyable experiences that represent the best the PSN has to offer. I am thirsting for a good beta but I'm not sure there will be any in November. Two betas I would love to see on PS+ are Starhawk and Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City but we'll have to wait and see. Unrelated to PS+ but equally awesome: DC Universe Online goes free to download and free to play November 1!   November 1, 2011 Hydrophobia Prophecy: $9.99 Free Crash Bandicoot: $5.99 Free Crash Bandicoot 2: $5.99 Free Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped: $5.99 Free Crash Team Racing: $5.99 Free Qore Episode 42: Exclusive Free   November 8, 2011 inFAMOUS 2 Festival of Blood Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free   November 15, 2011 Nothing!   November 22, 2011 Nothing!   November 39, 2011 de Blob 2 Game Trial: Exclusive Free   Another good month for PlayStation Plus. My PSOne Classics are starting to rival my collection of originals! I'm not sure how I feel about the new format where they offer the majority of downloads at the start of the month. Although they offer a good amount of content, I enjoyed have little surprises every week or two. The PlayStation Network has had a lot of ups and downs this year, it will be interesting to see how they close it.   December 6, 2011 Spyro the Dragon: $5.99 Free Tomb Raider Underworld: $14.99 Free I am Alive Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free Qore Episode 43: Exclusive Free   December 13, 2011 Marvel Pinball: $9.99 Free   December 20, 2011 Nothing!   December 27, 2011 Nothing!   December was a pretty weak month for PlayStation Plus. I expected Sony to close the year out with a bang but instead they went out with a whimper. While Tomb Raider: Underworld was a quality offering as a free game, the PS1 classics had already been included in previous updates and Marvel Pinball provides only a limited experience without any of its DLC packs (which were not free). With all that said, I expect January and 2012 in general to pack some impressive offerings through Playstation Plus.   January 3, 2012 Swords and Soliders: $9.99 Free Syphon Filter $5.99 Free Syphon Filter 2: $5.99 Free Syphon Filter 3: $5.99 Free Darksiders Full Game Trial: Exclusive Free   January 10, 2012 Nothing! (Wanted Crysis on sale but missed it)   January 17, 2012 Starhawk Beta: Exclusive Free   January 24, 2012 Assassin's Creed Revelations Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free Hitman Absolution Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free Qore Episode 44: Exclusive Free   January 31, 2012 Nothing!   Sony kicked of 2012 with an impressive PlayStation Plus line up. The complete series of Back to the Future games were available for free along with the entire Syphon filter series. Unfortunately, I already purchased Back to the Future earlier this year through a PS+ sale so I missed on that free game. In the second week of the month Sony ran a 12 in '12 sale which offered great PSN games for 50% off to Plus users. I was too busy to take advantage of the sale however and missed out on Crysis and Pixeljunk Sidescroller. Dynamic themes and the beta test for Starhawk rounded out the exclusive content for the month. It's doubtful that Sony will follow up the great start to 2012 with an equally impressive offering but last February was quite impressive so I'll keep my fingers crossed.   February 7, 2012 House of the Dead 3 Demo: Exclusive Free Simpsons Arcade: $9.99 Free Final Fantasy V: $9.99 Free   February 14, 2012 House of the Dead 3: $6.99 $4.89 Far Cry 2: $9.99 Free Battle Fantasia: $19.99 Free Fatal Inertia EX: $29.99 Free Inferno Pool: $9.99 Free Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars: $9.99 Free House of the Dead 3 Dynamic Theme: Exclusive Free   February 21, 2012 Nothing!   February 28, 2012 Dark Jak Avatar: Exclusive Free                 Bottom Line   Current Investment/Savings: $82.64/$499.05   Well that's it for 12 months of PS Plus and the verdict is in! WINNER!   I have saved loads of money on everything from full downloadable games to PSOne Classics to Dynamic Themes. With almost $500 in savings, it's hard to argue with the amount of content Sony is offering but what about the quality? Over the past year I received discounts on games like Resident Evil 4, House of the Dead 3, inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood and Crysis (offered but I accidentally missed it). In addition to the discounts, I received critically acclaimed games like Stacking, Costume Quest and Plants vs. Zombies completely free!   As a hardcore PSN user I took advantage of each and every Plus offering but many people wonder if PS Plus still beneficial for casual PSN users. The answer is yes. Even if you're not going to download Qore episodes, Dynamic Themes, and PS Minis, Playstation Plus is still well worth the investment. Exclusive betas like Socom 4, Resistance 3, Assassin's Creed Revelations and Starhawk in addition to free games like Hydrophobia: Prophecy, Tomb Raider: Underworld and Far Cry 2 are excellent draws for the casual crowd.   PlayStation Plus is the best and most generous offering of gaming content out there. Now that PS Plus has finally hit it's stride, the year ahead promises to be the program's best year yet. Do yourself a favor and subscribe now!  

Steve Bitto

Steve Bitto

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