This Week On PS Blog – 9/7/19: Spider-Man Artists, RPGs Galore, and Big Discounts

It’s your buddy Sohrab from @SonyRumors and while there was a bit of kerfuffle with last weekend’s This Week On PS Blog (I accidentally backdated the article and so it published to two weeks prior), this week’s is on time and with a flavor that has a bit of everything – from the history of your favorite Spidey suits to the latest discounts on PS4 titles, there’s something for just about everybody. Is the new Spider-Man just too modern of a game for you? No problem, because we’re also going old school with the PS4 remake of Trials of Mana which reimagines the classic RPG from the ground up. But if you’re new school and dig RPGs, there’s an all new IP, Greedfall, coming to PS4.

We’ve even got the sports ball enthusiasts amongst you covered with Madden NFL 20. Living life a quarter mile at a time? Then you’ll definitely want to check out NFS: Heat. Like I said, we’ve got you all covered.

It’s Election Time!

Each month, PS Blog holds a poll to see what your favorite game of the month is and that time is once again upon us.

Justin Massongill, Social Media Manager, SIEA:

That’s right, dear reader: it’s votin’ time. Support your favorite game of the past month — all it takes is a click in the poll below. We’ll close it off at 11:59pm Pacific on September 8, so get your picks in before then. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments and see if you can sway the undecided to your cause. I know what I’m voting for, but I’ll never tell…

From PS Blog:

Players’ Choice: Vote for the Best New Game of August 2019

60% Off of Select Games. Enough Said.

If you’ve been looking for some new games to play, this sale should treat you alright, alright, alright with games like Diablo III: Rise Of The Necromancer priced at $8 or State Of Mind at $16.

Brian Fujimoto, Manager, Digital Games Business, SIEA:

Embrace the funk with ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove!, or motor past your opponents as you cycle through over 125 tracks in Trials Rising. If those don’t pique your interest, fuggedaboutem and join Vinnie on the European front with Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2.

Brianna Reeves:

After closing the recent flash sale, the PlayStation Store is offering up a new round of digital sales. The “Totally Digital” sale on the PlayStation Store just kicked off…and will end in two weeks on Tuesday, September 17th at 8:00 am PST. With this digital sale, PlayStation fans will be able to save up to 60 percent on a number of games across the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita platforms.

From PS Blog:

Save Up To 60% With Totally Digital at PS Store

Our Take:

PlayStation Store’s ‘Totally Digital’ Sale Knocks Up to 60% Off of Numerous Games

This is a Job for IMF

A colorful, weird, and charming platformer for PS4 is arriving on October 8th.

Daley Johnson, Engagement Director, Playtonic Games:

Since the initial reveal of Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, Tonics have been a tough secret to keep. If you played Yooka-Laylee you will be familiar with Tonics. They granted bonuses like additional health, more energy, or accented Yooka’s lizard butt with some very tight blue shorts.

In Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, we’ve added loads of extra ingredients to Tonics for some good old reinvention. This time around they can be combined, too! We asked one of our programmers to calculate how many different tonic combinations were possible and he reckons that number sits at over a million. We’ll take your word for it, Joe.

Tonics can be used to alter…

From PS Blog:

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Launches October 8 on PS4

Football for Those Who Don’t Have Time to Sports Ball

A game of football can take a long time to play, even virtually. Enter Madden NFL 20 with new game modes like Superstar KO, a 3v3 squad play.

Matt Franciscovich, Writer, EA Sports:

Madden NFL 20 has already kicked off the football season, and tons of players are starting Super Bowl dynasties, building their perfect rosters in Madden Ultimate Team, and taking their games to the next level with new X-Factor abilities and Face of the Franchise: QB1. Just when you thought it couldn’t get better, we’ve added Superstar KO mode to the roster.

A completely fresh, fun, and fast co-op eliminator mode, Superstar KO lets you team with friends, select a Superstar KO team (including a sparkling celebrity coach who comes with their own playbook strategies), and play 3v3 Madden games with dynamic rules in the singular Superstar KO stadium. Let’s huddle up in the locker room and break it down more.

From PS Blog:

Feel Like an NFL Superstar in Madden NFL 20’s Superstar KO Mode

Scarlet Spider Suit, Spider-Punk Suit, and So Many More. Oh My.

Long time webheads know that Peter Parker’s famous classic Spidey suit has gone through many iterations over the past 60+ years, and that’s not even including upgraded battle-tech variants like the Iron Man-inspired MK1-4 suits. In the PS4 exclusive Spider-Man, an embarrassment of riches await us when it comes to Spidey suits, but designing them, let alone incorporating them into the game, was no easy task.

James Stevenson, Community Director, Insomniac Games:

As part of the one-year anniversary of the game, we wanted to give you some more details about each of the suits and how they were made. The character art team at Insomniac Games took the time to give their thoughts on each of the amazing suits in Marvel’s Spider-Man!

Brianna Reeves:

Probably most intriguing is the design philosophy behind the title’s default garb, the Advanced Suit. According to Senior Character Artist Leroy Chen, the Advanced Suit was primarily crafted with a “form follows function” reasoning in mind. Therefore, every piece of material that constitutes the suit’s design must represent the varying levels of flexibility and protection that Spider-Man needs while performing heroics.

The Vintage Comic Book Suit represents another Marvel’s Spider-Man original. Shader Technical Artist J Tuason brought this suit to life, emulating the look of vintage comics by crafting a shader. Unsurprisingly, according to Tuason, this was a “huge challenge.” The hard work certainly paid off, though, as this suit seems to be a favorite amongst fans.

From PS Blog:

The Secret History of Marvel’s Spider-Man Suits, As Told By Insomniac Artists

Our Take:

Marvel’s Spider-Man Artists Breakdown the Designs of the Game’s Many Suits

PS Now, an Amazing Service You Probably Haven’t Tried

Google Stadia might be the talk of the industry, but it’s Sony who got there years ago with PlayStation Now, the monthly cloud-based gaming streaming service. So what’s new? 10 additional games!

Brian Dunn, Senior Marketing Manager, PlayStation Now:

Hello, PlayStation Now fans! It’s September, summer is almost over, and we’ve got a big little lineup of ten new PS4 games joining the PlayStation Now library of more than 800 games. Starting on September 3, enjoy gems like LittleBigPlanet 3, Gravity Rush 2, Farming Simulator 19, Vampyr, and more. Download any of these and the more than 300 PS4 (and PS2) games in the service and play on your PS4 or PS4 Pro, and stream any of the 800+ PS2, PS3, and PS4 games to your PS4 or PC.

Keri Honea:

Sony announced this morning that ten new games will be available in its PlayStation Now service as of September 3, 2019. In fact, all ten are PlayStation 4 titles.

From PS Blog:

PS Now September Update: LittleBigPlanet 3, Gravity Rush 2, and More

Our Take:

10 New Games Added to PlayStation Now Service, Including Vampyr and Gravity Rush 2

Hack and Slash Enemies by the Dozens

If you’re into killing enemies by the truck load and have an affinity for PS3 graphics, I’d like to introduce you to Warriors Orochi from Koei Tecmo, the devs behind the insanely fun Dynasty Warriors series. Sure, the game might not be the most gorgeous PS4 title out there, but if you want to turn off your brain for a while with something a little less high stakes, this could be what you seek.

Tomohiko Sho, Producer/Director, Koei Tecmo:

From his legendary Ninja Gaiden quests to his lightning-fast fists and kicks in the Dead or Alive franchise, Ryu Hayabusa is undoubtedly a true Koei Tecmo icon. That’s why the producers of Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate are proud to announce Hayabusa’s inclusion in our upcoming game, as he returns to the Warriors Orochi series after a five-year hiatus to join over 170 playable characters, including others like Joan of Arc and the goddess Gaia, in a 1 vs. 1,000 over-the-top action experience.

Keri Honea:

The game contains various main storylines as well as side stories to keep players occupied as they learn all about this new world the Warriors Orochi were called to. Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate will even have a brand new ending for players to uncover.

Koei Tecmo also hinted that in the upcoming months, they will announced even more new info for the game, including new game modes and more “Koei Tecmo All-Star” characters. Just in case it wasn’t insane enough with the number of playable characters and waves of enemies, they plan to take it beyond over the top.

From PS Blog:

Ryu Hayabusa Joins the Fight in Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate

Our Take:

Ninja Gaiden’s Ryu Hayabusa Joins the Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate Party

OG RPG With New School Graphics and Gameplay

I’m not gonna lie, I’m a bit of a graphics whore and JRPG junkie, but the two don’t often go hand in hand. With countless classics out there like Secret of Mana, unless there’s something there to draw me in visually, I just can’t play. Sorry Final Fantasy VI, which I’ve heard such wonderful things about. Enter Trials of Mana, a ground-up remake of Seiken Densetsu 3.

Gillen McAllister, Content Producer, SIEE:

The short version is a game named Seiken Densetsu 3 came out in Japan way back in 1995. It retained certain elements of its predecessor, known as Secret of Mana in the West — high fantasy setting, lush visuals, an emphasis on real-time combat — while expanding on others. You still played with a party of three characters, but now you had a cast of six to choose from, with the storyline altering depending on who you selected as your core trio.

Yet despite Secret of Mana — receiving global critical acclaim on launch, its follow-up never released outside of Japan.

Fast-forward to June this year and Square Enix made a surprise announcement: it was hard at work on a Seiken Densetsu 3 remake. And with a new version comes a new name: Trials of Mana. Same characters, same world, but rebuilding everything else to make it look, sound and play like it had been created for today’s audience.

Jordan Boyd:

Seiken Densetsu 3 released as one of the last major JRPGs on the SNES. As previously mentioned, the game never made it to western audiences and could only be played with fan translations. What’s most interesting about the game is the fact that players had the option to choose three of six characters to play as throughout the story. This was unlike anything previously seen in any of the other Mana titles like Final Fantasy Adventure and Secret of Mana. The rest of the cast does appear throughout the game, but certain scenes are omitted in their absence. The Trials of Mana remake will take this similar approach with character selection before the game begins.

From PS Blog:

How Trials of Mana Reimagines an RPG Classic You’ve Never Played

Our Take:

Trials of Mana Release Date Announced Following Leak

catherine full body review featured

Choosing Your Own Adventure Has Never Been This Mature

The often weird, bizarre, and hilarious PS3 puzzle-RPG has arrived on PS4, remade from the ground up with all new visuals and voice overs. What hasn’t changed are the consequences of your actions with over 500 platforming stages and 18 unique endings.

Jonathon Stebel, Communications Manager, Sega of America:

From Catherine to Catherine: Full Body, our localization team had to work with about 165,000 Japanese characters in text and 6,000 new recorded voice lines, adding up to about an additional 60% of content on top of the original Catherine. Here’s a few behind-the-scenes details about the work that went into turning that into a game that would play well for an English-speaking audience.

The original Catherine featured a star-studded English voice cast, including Troy Baker, Laura Bailey, Michelle Ruff, Yuri Lowenthal, and many more. After eight years away from the recording studio for this game, the simplest thing to do would be to recast these characters with new actors, right? Possibly! However, in order to preserve the integrity of Catherine: Full Body’s English voiceover, our production team worked hard to bring back every English voice actor for the main cast, and a vast majority of the side cast, to record their character’s new lines.

Lucas White:

My reaction to Catherine: Full Body feels in a lot of ways like a side effect of personal growth over time. I was drawn into the original’s striking visuals and edgy themes back in “the day,” and found intrigue in its messy themes and scenarios I could barely relate to at the time. Nearly a decade later, I’m a full-on adult with a family and a tattered list of life experiences that goes on for miles. Now I look at Catherine and while it’s still fun to engage with its systems, and the soundtrack still rips, I don’t find it nearly as clever as it wants me to. All I see is a story that embraces its own toxicity, with views on relationships so useless and counterproductive it’s almost suspicious how desperately it wants Vincent to be a hero.

From PS Blog:

Bringing Catherine: Full Body to Life in English

Our Take:

Catherine: Full Body Review – Love is Mindless

Push It To The Limits!

With Need For Speed: Heat, the team at EA has gone back to the drawing board and returned with something fresh – an all new racing game that combines drag racing, street racing, cop chases, destruction, and that Fast and Furious fantasy lifestyle in one gorgeous-looking game.

Gillen McAllister, Content Producer, SIEE:

Sanctioned events are organized and run during the hours of sunlight, letting you perfect those racing lines and chase leaderboard glory on closed courses. Illegal activities are greenlit after sunset, battling for pole position on the open roads of a street-lit Palm City. But with added thrills comes increased danger: you need to weave through nighttime traffic and escape a growing pack of cop cars.

EA has already talked about the game’s story and car customization. We also know that Palm City is an open world inspired by iconic landmarks along the US eastern seaboard: the sweeping Georgia mountains, the sun-kissed streets of Miami.

But we wanted to take a longer look under the hood to get to grips with its gameplay mechanics, find out what form multiplayer is taking and more. After a quick spin on the Gamescom demo, we sat down with Ghost Games to talk how the studio is evolving street racing.

From PS Blog:

4 Ways Need for Speed Heat Evolves the Street Racing Genre

Days Gone DLC

The Mode You’ve Been Asking for is Here

Your days might be gone, but in the New Game Plus mode, your old saves won’t be. Get ready to replay the highly underrated PS4 exclusive with a whole new arsenal at your disposal.

Jeff Ross, Game Director, Bend Studio:

I’m excited to announce that Days Gone will be releasing its New Game Plus mode. This has been the most requested fan feature since we launched back in April, and it will be available on September 13 through a downloadable update.

Players can now re-experience the epic journey through Days Gone, this time with the advantage of previously earned weapons, bike upgrades, NERO boosters, skills, recipes, encampment trust and credits, collectibles, and trophy progress unlocked from the beginning.

Brianna Reeves:

With New Game Plus, players will be able to journey through the Days Gone experience once more with all of their upgrades from a previous playthrough intact. This includes NERO boosters, Drifter Bike upgrades, skills, recipes, camp trust and credit, and more. The only requirement for using an old save is that players will have to have previously played through the “I’m Never Giving Up” story arc.

Of course, choosing a difficulty for the new mode will factor into the mode’s arrival. Standard difficulties such as Easy and Hard are options. Even Survival, added post-launch, will serve as an choice. However, two new difficulty modes are being added: Hard II and Survival II. Both are slated to appear in NG+ and the regular experience for new players.

From PS Blog:

Days Gone Gets New Game Plus Mode September 13

Our Take:

Hop Back on Your Bikes, as Days Gone Is Getting New Game Plus

An MMO-like Game Without the Commitment

Rejoice, for one of the most anticipated games of the year has just arrived on PS4. By the time you’re reading this, you’ll be able to head to the PS Store and purchase Monster Hunter World: Iceborne for $40 and jump online with 3 of your mates to conquer the expansive world, filled with all types of, well, monsters!

Yuri Araujo, Manager, Social Media & Community, Capcom U.S.A.:

So let’s break down some of the types of hunter motivations here:

Starting with our first, sophisticated hunter, they seem to have quite the appreciation for weapons, both crafting and mastering them. In Iceborne, we’ve expanded upon nearly every weapon tree in the game, added some new customization options and entirely new combos and moves.

Next up is our team player, with a strong sense of leadership. While Monster Hunter doesn’t technically set players into given roles (tank, support, etc.), a well-oiled and diverse hunting party can conquer even the toughest challenges we have to offer. These folks can also be great mentors to new hunters with Iceborne’s new Hunter Helper feature which offers rewards to incentivize helping even more.

Jordan Boyd:

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne will add Master Rank hunts into the game, meaning all of the available monsters will be more akin to G-Rank hunts from previous games. With that in mind, Rajang definitely won’t be a pushover. Many of the in-game armor and weapons are getting new designs with Master Rank stats, which may help you stand up to these foes. Players can also revisit some of their favorite monsters in the game to acquire their new shiny equipment.

On top of the new Master Rank hunts, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is also adding a new snow map called Hoarfrost Reach, as well as plenty of new and returning monsters. Hoarfrost Reach will have new obstacles that players will have to adapt to when hunting. Heavy snow means hunters will move slower, and the colder environment makes stamina drain faster.

From PS Blog:

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Out Now on PS4

Our Take:

Rajang Will Be the First Monster Added for Free in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

playstation 4 digital

A Look at What You’ve Been Playing. Yes, You Specifically.

A look at the top downloaded PS4 and PS VR games during August 2019.

Justin Massongill, Social Media Manager, SIEA:

Madden NFL 20, uh… [insert past-tense football verb here] to the top of the PS4 charts last month at PlayStation Store. […]

Beat Saber carved a path to the top of the PS VR list, and the juggernaut that is Fortnite reclaimed the F2P throne.

September’s looking spicy — what do you think this month’s charts will look like?

From PS Blog:

PlayStation Store: August’s Top Downloads

An All New IP for PS4

With a release date of September 10th, Greedfall invites you to a new world that takes cues from 17th century lore and features haunting forests, beautiful mountains, dangerous swamps, and unique cities. With magic at your disposal, a companion party system which allows you to travel with two characters, and choices ahead of you that determine the game’s ending, this new RPG should be on your radar.

Claire Léger, Project Manager, GreedFall:

The world of GreedFall is inspired by 17th century history, and the sense of wonder and exploration that permeated society due to new discoveries in countless fields. The game has echoes of colonial themes, yet it doesn’t mirror history in this respect — what happens is up to you.

The world of GreedFall is full of different people and factions, quests and creatures, and everything has a history and a reason for being there. Whether you delve into these mysteries or not is your choice.

From PS Blog:

10 Key Details About GreedFall, Hitting PS4 September 10

Playing the Classics

All around nice guy and the head of the recently Sony-bought studio, Ted Price lists the games he’s playing on PS4. For a busy guy like himself, it’s honestly surprising that he even gets time to play, but what’s not surprising are the games he’s chosen.

Ted Price, CEO, Insomniac Games:

Choosing a game to play is a major decision, at least for me. I’m a completionist so I pick my games very carefully, knowing I’ll spend many hours exploring a world, getting to know its rules, characters and lore. It’s exciting but daunting at the same time. So, I do a lot of research. I read reviews. I talk to my teammates and I try to pay attention to what’s breaking through the noise out there. When I finally do make the choice to jump in, there’s no feeling quite like being fully absorbed in a completely new reality, experiencing a creative team’s unique vision.

From PS Blog:

Discover The Creators: 6 Games Ted Price Thinks You Should Play

Borderlands 3 Goes Gold

Drop it Like it’s Hot

A look at all the new games arriving on PlayStation in September.

Justin Massongill, Social Media Manager, SIEA:

Explore (and plunder) exotic new locales set far away from the dusty planet of Pandora (though you’ll be spending some time there, too) and outfit one of four wildly different new Vault Hunters with equally wildly different offensive loadouts. Fan-favorite characters return, new villains rise, and you (and your bazillions of weapons) will be right in the middle of it.

From PS Blog:

The Drop: New PlayStation Games for September 10, 2019

Podcast Time

Justin and Kristen nerd out over:

  • Control
  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
  • Games as sauces
  • Blasphemous
  • Madden NFL 20
  • Celeste Chapter 9
  • Borderlands 3
  • Risk of Rain 2

PS Blog Writer:

This week, Kristen tries to convince Justin to play Control, but he’s trapped in the clutches of Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. Plus, a particularly saucy listener letter kicks off a strange new conversation.

From PS Blog:

PlayStation Blogcast 343: Sauceborne