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(Philippines, May 6 2014) – Since the launch of the Playstation 4, Sony’s console has not only proven itself as the superior console against its competition, it has in my opinion taken the advantage for this console generation. XB One has showed off nothing but inferior ports (in 720p) while Playstation 4 runs the same game in 1080p at 60 fps. The Wii U is last gen. Sorry Mario, the adults are talking here. Sony has also been taking all the right steps in being pro-consumer with the gratuitous Playstation Plus service and Share Factory the game play video editing software for the Playstation 4 which came with System Software Update 1.7. Yesterday, we had the honor to partake in an exclusive meet and greet with spokespersons from the regional office of Sony in Singapore.

The main purpose of this media briefing led by Teoh WahKeong (Marketing Manager) is to announce launch dates of upcoming Sony console games for the PS4, PS Vita, and PS3 which will soon be available in select Sony Stores in the Philippines. There was also a mention in passing of strategic channels which I believe would be our mainstay game chain stores. While we are acclimated to the whole gray market supply chain, it would be great for Sony and stores like Datablitzand iTech to work hand-in-hand to grow our local gaming market. Below is a list of the games that were previewed during the event and their release dates:

  • (PS4) Murdered: Soul Suspect – June 6, 2014
  • (PS4) MLB 14 The Show (R3) – May 6, 2014
  • (PS3) Drakengard 3 – May 21, 2014
  • (PS Vita) Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma – June 2014
  • (PS Vita) Mind Zero (May 27, 2014

We were able to try a couple of interesting titles such as Drakengard 3 (hack and slasher), Mind Zero (Looks like a Persona Q for the PS Vita), and Murdered: Soul Suspect (a detective game where you play as the spirit of a dead detective).

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Other inclusions in this briefing are highlights of the Software Update 1.7 which includes Share Factory and the remote play function for the PS Vita TV with the PS4 allowing you to play your PS4 games at another TV should your living room be occupied.

Our take away from this is Sony is legitimately targeting South-East Asian countries such as the Philippines as a relevant market for their video games division. We are hoping that the prices for Sony Philippines distributed games will remain competitive with the current prices in the grey market and possibly the inclusion of the Philippines as an official PSN location. This would also mean better availability of PSN Cards which are unfortunately marked-up by local retailers.

We will be updating you all with new developments in this renewed push by Sony’s gaming division in the Philippines as it happens. Be sure to stick around to find out more in the coming months.

only magic can support those puppies.

Kill ‘Em All!1

cool picture
The Witch and the Hundred Knight

The Witch and the Hundred Knight sounds like a storybook fairytale full of magical creatures, royalty, enchanting forests, lavish kingdoms and eloquent speaking characters to fill your imagination of happiness and love. The game has all of this actually, with an extra spoonful… no, mouthful.. no, maybe a tub full of evil with an awesome soundtrack and deep and strategic gameplay. Development started in 2010 and was released in Japan on July 25, 2013. The localized release for the US is on March 25, 2014 while Europeans can except the game to release a little earlier on March 21, 2014. The Witch and the Hundred Knight (I’ll shorten it to Witch Knight) is an Action-RPG with Rogue-like qualities where your main goal is to help your master pretty much destroy the world. You play as the Hundred Knight, a tiny black familiar that kinda looks like Midna from Twilight Princess, to serve the foul-mouthed, slender, pretty, and powerful swamp witch, Metallia. You start out as a dumb and weak familiar with little to no abilities but as you progress through the unique and interesting story, you’ll start to figure out a lot about the game’s setting and the mystery of Metallia’s life while learning strategies for combat. The dialogue in WitchKnight is one of its best qualities as it will keep you interested in reading/listening through the whole script. It also comes with both English and Japanese voice acting. You’ll slowly start to realize why Metallia is a stone cold bitch as you learn more about the story, while accompanied by character art in the dialogue screens.

only magic can support those puppies.
Only magic can support those puppies using that Bra.

The soundtrack of WitchKnight is incredible as it feels cheery and quirky despite the game’s dark humor based storyline. It doesn’t feel repetitive at all and helps keep you alert through some of the grinding you need to do. Most enemies have their own voices too and the sound of the pillars you need to find is an important part of the gameplay. Witchknight has a nice storybook look in terms of its stage design and colors. They all seem to look good together as if it looks like a painting. Although the game is 3d and plays in 720p, the in-game character models really could have been much better. It’s already 2014 and even if the game was developed in 2010, the character models could have looked a little bit more… “HD,” a little sharper and a little less PS2-like. Would have been great if they could have made the characters stand out from the background more, especially Metalllia’s. For the gameplay, combat is basically hack and slash with some QTE’s for dodging. However, as the tutorials will show you, there is a lot more to the gameplay that it seems. You will need to develop a strategy per stage due to the Hundred Knight’s GCals, enemies and weapons. Gcals is basically like charmander’s flame. As you move through the stage, it slowly lowers until reaching 0 which will make you incredibly weak. You also have access to 5 types of weapons, with 3 weapon qualities among all of them. The rogue-like nature of WitchKnight also gives you random loot and weapons, a limited storage space (at first) and random bonuses depending on how much combos you pull out. There’s also a damage-chaining and a grading point system that could have used a tutorial but is actually easy to figure out once you notice it. There are many mixes of strategies that you’ll need to use every time you go out to fight, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Because of the combat system and customization you’ll be doing, the game can be pretty easy or pretty hard, depending on what you use and what level you are. Stat growth is dependent on what facet/form you will use throughout the game. While it might be tempting to spam attacks, the 5 weapon system will actually make you think about not spamming certain attacks to certain enemies. I recommend playing in Hard mode, just so it feels more fun.

You need to use specific weapons or your damage will be worthless.
You need to use specific weapons or your damage will be worthless.

Despite the need to grind in some stages, it doesn’t really feel boring and you definitely need to be alert because you need to monitor the Gcals, your HP, and what weapon you use, and the way of attacking you do. It’s hard to go on auto-pilot mode because of this, and that’s a great thing for the game. WitchKnight has a top-down view style and the controls are solid. The game also allows you to move the camera around which is very useful for this type of game. A concern about the camera though, is that certain stages have elements like trees or houses that block and hide your character. This is mainly annoying during combat, especially since you need to know what’s going on and what to do. And again, the character models sometimes blend too well into the background that it may sometimes be hard to find enemies especially if their colors are similar to the stage. Thankfully, the locking system will be able to counteract some of these issues. Those character models still really should look better even if the game was developed in 2010.

Stages look nice and painting-like but the Character models really could have looked much better.
Stages look nice and painting-like but the Character models really could have looked much better.

Another negative thing about the game is that even though it guides you through a tutorial for many of the features of the combat system and the game itself, most of the tips appear only during the loading screen and there is no ability to find these tips in the options or extras. The tips are very useful and could have been easier to access. But I guess it also makes the game more challenging, so it didn’t bother me that much and it helps players think about things which is something of a lost art these days. No tutorials option might alienate stupid people though. Some of WitchKnight’s features such as raiding houses and upgrading weapons do become useful, it also feels unrewarding and unneeded at times. Repeating the stages also doesn’t feel necessary to finish the game. Only super-completionists may really appreciate these features of WitchKnight. In conclusion, The Witch and the Hundred Knight is a solid, well-made game. It’s very enjoyable to play, the story is great and interesting (for me anyways), the characters are very unique and have plenty of personality, the soundtrack is great to listen to and is well worth buying the Limited Edition for. 1 – GET IT? METALLIA’S JAPANESE PRONOUNCIATION SOUNDS LIKE METALLICA, SO I USED METALLICA’S FIRST ALBUM AS A REFERENCE FOR A TAG LINE. IT IS ALSO A REFERENCE TO THE EVILNESS OF THE WITCH METALLIA

:yes I Liked These

  • The combat system in relation to the item customization
  • The music is great and should be in your playlist
  • The characters are fun
  • Metallia is such a great heel
  • I like the dark storyline; if you think it’s too dark, you’re too sensitive

:kobeyuck  I don’t like these

  • The PS2-like character models in 2014
  • So many bars at the HUD to monitor
  • Sometimes the background and elements makes your characters hard to see

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With the Xbox One announced, we can now directly compare what Microsoft and Sony has to offer for us gamers this generation.

Here is a chart comparing both consoles’ many components. Very similar — CPU, Blu-Ray /DVD combo drive, RAM, etc. Major differences are the controller features and the slightly more advanced GDDR5 RAM of the PS4 among others. Both consoles will be released around the same time this year but pricing has yet to be announced.

Components Microsoft Xbox One Sony PlayStation 4
CPU 8 Core CPU custom built by Microsoft Single-chip custom x86 AMD “Jaguar” processor, 8 cores
Graphics Processor D3D 11.1 chip with 32 MB embedded memory 1.84 TFlops, AMD Radeon Graphics Core
Memory (RAM) 8 GB DDR3 8 GB GDDR5
Memory (Storage) 500 GB HDD Not yet announced
Optical Drive Blu-ray/DVD combo drive Blu-Ray/DVD combo drive
I/O USB 3.0 USB 3.0
Communication Ethernet, three different 802.11n radios (for connecting to controller and other devices), WiFi Direct Ethernet, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR)
A/V HDMI input and output, 1080p and 4K support, Optical output HDMI 1080p and 4K support, Analog-AV, Optical output
Controller Xbox One controller with redesigned directional pad Motion-sensing six-axis, clickable touch pad, share button
Motion Control New Microsoft-developed Kinect camera, with 250,000-pixel infrared depth sensor and 1080p camera PlayStation Eye dual lens 1280x800x2 camera
Price Not yet announced Not yet announced
Availability Later this year Holiday 2013