Resident Evil 4 Remake Finally Launches Next Week

Resident Evil 4 VR Mode out Dec 8, standalone PS VR2 gameplay demo available same day by Kyle Burleson for the PlayStation Blog

The wait is almost over – Resident Evil 4 VR Mode releases on PlayStation 5 on Friday December 8, 2023. This free DLC brings a new level of immersion to the main story of Resident Evil 4 using the unique capabilities of PlayStation VR2.

After months of waiting and waiting, the Resident Evil 4 remake is launching in its true form. If this is anything like RE4 on Quest, then PS VR2 owners are in for a treat.

Chapter Select: Season 6, Episode 8 – Pokémon X and Y

Art inspired by the Pokémon Y start screen, designed by Max Roberts

Turn down the 3D slider and turn up the volume! Roller skating fiend Max Roberts, stylish flame Logan Moore, and the nine foot giant Tomas Franzese wage war discussing the merits of Pokémon’s first 3D outing. Was this new dimension the next step in evolution for the series or did these games fall flat?

Download (54MB) – Episode Transcript

Super Chapter Select is a premium version of the show that provides access to longer and exclusive episodes, as well as bonus videos. Sign up for $2.50/month or $20/year to gain access to everything!

Pokémon X and Y

Metacritic – 87/100 for X and 88/100 for Y

This episode was originally recorded on September 27, 2023.


Max’s Twitter @MaxRoberts143

Logan’s Twitter @MooreMan12

Tomas’ Twitter @TomasFranzese

Researcher, Editor, and Producer – Max Roberts

Hosted by Logan Moore & Max Roberts

Art inspired by the Pokémon Y start screen, designed by Max Roberts.

Kaitlyn Dever is Rumored to Play Abby in HBO’s The Last of Us

Exclusive: ‘The Last of Us’ Season 2 Eyes Kaitlyn Dever for Abby by Jeff Sneider for The InSneider

Back in August, The Last of Us showrunner Craig Mazin told the L.A. Times that he had found an actress to play Abby Anderson in Season 2. To that end, I hear that Kaitlyn Dever is in talks to tackle the role.

Should a deal make, Dever would join Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in Season 2, which is expected to premiere on HBO in 2025. In the game, Abby is positioned as a rival to Ramsey’s Ellie — a role that Dever herself was once eyed for, having done a table read as that character.

I’m happy to present the exclusive screen test footage of Kaitlyn Dever as Abby in HBO’s The Last of Us.

In all seriousness, I think this is good casting overall. Kaitlyn is immaculate in Booksmart alongside Beanie Feldstein. It’s one of mine and Abby’s (my wife, not the game character) favorite movies. We watch it whenever we need a good laugh. We also enjoy her in Rosaline and Ticket to Paradise.

She’s not only in comedies, which would be a stark contrast to The Last of Us. She’s starred in Netflix’s Unbelievable, Hulu’s Dopesick, and recently the horror movie No One Will Save You, which looks right up my alley. I can’t speak to her performances in those, but wager she does a good, if not, great job given her work I am familiar with.

The obvious point is that Kaitlyn is not jacked/stacked/built. Anyone can bulk up in the gym, but she’s not exactly the force of nature that Abby (the game character, not my wife) is in Part II. In reality, she is physically a lot like Ellie. And like the quote from Sneider says, Kaitlyn did a table read for the role of Ellie. I suspect that the show is not going to jump right into the opening hours of the game, but rather take the chronological approach, which gives them more flexibility in Abby’s buffness.

Another fun fact I learned since this rumor broke was that Kaitlyn played Cassie in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. I heard Colin Moriarty mention it on Sacred Symbols and was surprised. If she is cast as Abby, this would not be her first rodeo with Neil. Whoever they do get for Abby, I hope they give them a heads up about the unfortunate and shameful amount of vitriol that will head their way.

Uncharted 4 and the Case of the Missing Mips

For U4 disc space was at such a premium, we wrote a program to record over many playthrus, which textures never showed their highest mips and just deleted them from disc.

I came across this Uncharted 4 development anecdote that was shared by Kurt Margenau on Twitter.

A brief definition on mips, thanks to the Unity user manual:

A mip is effectively a cached, downsampled version of the original texture.

So, Uncharted 4 was crammed full of this high resolution textures that ate into the Blu-Ray disc limit of 50GB. To help alleviate this mountain of data, Naughty Dog just wrote software that looked at playthroughs of the game and flagged which textures never loaded all the way.

It makes me wonder if and how the team handled this for The Last of Us Part II given it went to a two-disc package, effectively doubling the height of their ceiling. A few quick searches peg the launch version of A Thief’s End at 55~ GBs1, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy at 45~ GBs and The Last of Us Part II at roughly 78 GBs. On the PS5, the Lost Legacy Collection is pegged at 90~ GBs, but that’s two games. It’s be interesting to know the breakdown of the file sizes given the PS5 game doesn’t have multiplayer, but it has higher quality assets. Feels like something that’d be covered in a GDC talk about bringing games to new hardware.

Like @TheDrencrom asked, I wonder (and assume), these full (or fuller) textures would have been added back to the PS5/PC version of the game, especially considering the PS5 SSD would/should remove the need for redundant textures, since it can load so quickly.

What a neat tidbit that reveals more about the process behind maximizing the PlayStation consoles.

1. 50 or so GBs on the disc and then a 5GB day one patch.

The 2023 Controller Collection Update

It is that time of the year again. While I have moved again, I don’t have a snazzy layout photo of all my controllers; maybe next year? There have been some interesting changes this time around, and I have a correction to last year’s tally.

Last year, I claimed that I only added a secondary DualSense. That’s not accurate. I also bought the Splatoon 3 OLED Switch console, so I added those beautiful Joy-Con to the collection. I did sell the pink and green Joy-Con to help pay for that console, so the total remained the same, but I did have newer Joy-Con.

And we have the same situation this year. Of course I was going to buy the Tears of the Kingdom OLED Switch. So I have added those Zelda Joy-Con to the collection and the Tears of the Kingdom Switch Pro controller. I still only had my launch Pro Controller, so I figured now was a good time to buy a second one.

The Zelda-themed Switch wasn’t the only new hardware I brought into the fold. I also bought the PlayStation VR 2 headset, which of course came with its own controllers. Now that I have the physical space, I need to get back into VR gaming.

My in-laws gave me some of their old consoles, an NES and a PS2. Those came with their own sets on used and abused controllers. I’m serious about the abuse. Some of the PS2 controllers have been chewed to high heaven.

My own parents finally gave me their SNES Classic that they ended up buying. So we can add those Wii remote plug styled SNES controllers to the mix as well.

The big controller acquisition of the year was a glorious garage sale find. I was able to find a Rock Band set for PS3—wireless drums, guitar, and mic—the whole shebang for $50. I just need another guitar for a bass player to have the band back together.

Before adding up the new total, we need to say goodbye to those we lost this year, or more accurately, those we sold. I did a little house keeping this year to pay for my Extron Crosspoint switch and the upcoming RetroTINK 4K. I sold off my Super NT with the 2.4 Ghz SNES controller I bought for it. I also parted ways with my Splatoon 3 Switch and those gorgeous Joy-Con. That hurt the most.

At the end of it all, this year was big for collecting controllers. I went from 58 to 70. 😬 I feel like triple digits are in my future before too long. Thank God I have the space for them now, right?

2 Fast 2 Furious: Turbo Charged Prelude – Super Chapter Select

Hello everybody! Back in July, Logan and I announced Super Chapter Select. It’s a member-supported tier of the show with longer shows, exclusive episodes, and bonus videos. As we wind down Season 6 – Pokémon here, we decided to release a special from each season during these interstitial weeks.

This week, I’m putting out us watching the 2 Fast 2 Furious: Turbo Charged Prelude short film. We also watched the Los Bandoleros short film, as well as produced movie commentaries for 2 Fast 2 Furious and Fast Five. Season 4 – The Fast and the Furious also has an exclusive episode discussing Better Luck Tomorrow, one of Justin Lin’s first films and Han’s first appearance. We hope you enjoy seeing this stuff.

If you’d like to see everything we have to offer, you can sign up for Super Chapter Select right now! It is only $2.50 per month or $20 a year! You’ll get access to nearly 30 hours of member-exclusive material across almost all our seasons. I’m real proud of what we make and I think you’ll enjoy it.

What Happens When You Remove the Click

Giorgio by Moroder on Music

Last week, the defunct group Daft Punk put out a new mix of one of my favorite albums dubbed the “Random Access Memories (Drumless Edition).” It’s leans the total opposite way of Giovanni Giorgio’s interview during my favorite track Giorgio by Moroder.

And I didn’t have any idea what to do, but I knew I needed a click, so we put a click on the 24-track, which then was synced to the Moog Modular. I knew that could be a sound of the future, but I didn’t realize how much the impact would be.

I love that song so much, I had to mention it when I chatted with Robert Ashley earlier this year.

The Last of Us Part II Remastered is Real

From rumor to leak to official announcement on a Friday night, Naughty Dog has announced The Last of us Part II Remastered is headed to the PS5 in just two months. You can check out the trailer below, but I’d say if you don’t know the overall course of Part II, I’d just stay away from it.

While the irony that The Last of Us now has more remasters and remakes than original games is not lost on me, there’s more to this release than I anticipated. The bit I am most excited about is the Lost Levels.

A new set of Lost Levels in Part II Remastered allow players a unique chance to check out some playable sequences previously cut from the game. These aren’t fully finished levels, but rather early-development slices that not only let you see some new glimpses of Part II’s world, but also include embedded developer commentary to give them richer context.

I plan to dive right into these. I believe Part I also includes full developer commentary in the game itself, but sounds like a rare treat from any developer. My mind immediately goes to the boar encounter that was dropped late on. You can see what appears to be the playable dance that was datamined in the same story as well. I guess the joke is on the reddit users who wanted “cringe to be cut forever.” There will also be commentary in the game’s cutscenes.

As someone deeply invested in Naughty Dog’s on the stick style storytelling, this developer commentary is the highlight of this release for me.

On a technical front, it’s what we’ve come to expect from Naughty Dog’s PS5 efforts.

The Last of Us Part II Remastered will feature enhanced graphics, including native 4K output(1) in Fidelity Mode, 1440p upscaled to 4K(1) in Performance Mode, an Unlocked Framerate option for TVs that support VRR, increased texture resolution, increased Level-of-Detail distances, improved shadow quality, animation sampling rate, and more.

Just two months ago, when this game leaked on LinkedIn, I pondered what could really be brought to the table on a technical side, since the original game got a dedicated PS5 patch. The boon I’m into is what will likely be a native 4K resolution with an uncapped 40~fps framerate and VRR. This just means the game will look and run better than before, not that it didn’t look stellar already.

Thankfully, for the financially conscious and those worn down by the flood of remasters and remakes at full price, PS4 owners can upgrade for $10. This is great for all players, although I’ll be snagging the W.L.F Edition for steelbook parity with Part I.

The addition that has likely garnered the most discussion is the brand new “roguelike survival mode” dubbed “No Return.”1 It’s a pure gameplay mode, which Naughty Dog hasn’t had in a game since Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End‘s multiplayer mode.

The mode includes a host of playable characters to choose from…each come with their own traits to suit different playstyles. Players will chart their own course on each run, choosing between various stealth and combat encounters that will pit you against a range of enemies, with unique twists that can add new, unexpected factors to any given encounter.

Each run will offer a new chance to decide what rewards you get after each encounter, how you spec out your character, and more. Unlock more characters, skins, and more as you progress to use in the mode, customize your own runs, and compete on a global leaderboard as part of a Daily Run. We’re excited to share more about No Return as we get closer to launch.

From my own review of the game, this was my three word summary of the gameplay.

Refinement. Fluidity. Weight.

I am eager to game a playground to use the mechanics in. I suspect this will be an even better taste of the multiplayer game.

In the end, this package is more than I think anyone expected for a remaster. I think that’s a good thing. The deck is clear now. There are no more games in the series to remaster or remake. Naughty Dog’s engine is fully on board with the PS5. Whatever comes next, is going to be new, even if it is set in this world. That may be the most exciting thing about this remaster.

1. Love the logo treatment with the inverted label maker coloring and font. Tactile, survival vibes.

Thursday Night Stream – Uncharted 3

I’ve been kicking the can of an idea to adapt my Art of Escalation piece into a video essay. Seemed like a solid template to build off into a video. So when trying to pick a game to stream tonight, I figured why not Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

I have a list of some set pieces I think I ought to get raw footage of, most of all the Château itself. I thought it’d be fun to bounce around some of the best set pieces Uncharted has to offer.

Come swing by the stream tonight at 8:00 PM EST to hang out while I play and capture some of the greatest hits from Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

Chapter Select: Season 6, Episode 7 – Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Art inspired by the Pokémon Brilliant Diamond start screen, designed by Max Roberts

Space and time collide! Sinnoh-native Max Roberts and Pokémon Historian Logan Moore study the mythical origins in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Did the jump to the DS double the fun or cause GameFreak to double back on design?

Download (52MB) – Episode Transcript

Super Chapter Select is a premium version of the show that provides access to longer and exclusive episodes, as well as bonus videos. Sign up for $2.50/month or $20/year to gain access to everything!

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl

Metacritic – 85/100 (73/100 for Brilliant)

This episode was originally recorded on August 18, 2023.


Max’s Twitter @MaxRoberts143

Logan’s Twitter @MooreMan12

Researcher, Editor, and Producer – Max Roberts

Hosted by Logan Moore & Max Roberts

Art inspired by the Pokémon Brilliant Diamond start screen, designed by Max Roberts.

Blue Eye Samurai

I have not been this enamored with a show in quite some time. I haven’t binged a show in years. Blue Eye Samurai is worth your time. If you need to see something from the show, just watch the teaser above. Also, do not read the show’s description on Netflix. Skip the “this season on” bit at the end of the first episode. You’ll be hooked before that comes up anyway.

Glad this came out before I cancel Netflix at the end of the month. I’ll resubscribe for season two.

As a notice, the show features graphic violence, nudity, and sexual content. It’s easy to skip past the rating, but I wanted to give readers a heads up.

So Netflix just put up episode six “All Evil Dreams and Angry Words” on YouTube in black and white. Obviously, don’t just jump into this blindly1, but this episode comes right after the season’s best and it is an absolute gauntlet. I will watch this again just to imagine it as a Kurosawa black and white joint.

1. If I were to pick an episode in the middle of it all to show random people, it would be this one though.

Changing Things Up for Chapter Select

Hello everybody! I hope all is well. I’m here today with an update on the production cycle of Chapter Select going forward. To cut to the chase, we are loosening up the production cycle to give us more time to make seasons, while removing self-imposed deadlines that are starting to feel unachievable. In turn, this means seasons will take longer to release, but the quality will increase. Let’s break it down.

Only Releasing Seasons when Complete

After we wrap up Season 6 – Pokémon here next month, we are shifting away from releasing in some semblance of real time. Every season up to now has had overlap between playing and recording with the season’s release. For example, right now we are planning on recording Pokémon Black and White this upcoming Monday. We recorded the first episode of season six, back in May 2022. Right up until the deadline we’d have to hit for every episode to release in 2023, we has recorded six or seven episodes. These last four episodes have taken much long than anticipated due to all sorts of factors.

If we had just held ever episode until the season was complete, we wouldn’t have this race to the finish line we are experiencing and have experienced with each season so far. So we are removing that restriction.

What this will do for the show is let us up the production value. I can try new ideas and techniques during the edits that previous crunch wouldn’t allow for. I can go back months later and fix or add something that occurred to me mid-season without worrying about breaking seasonal continuity. It gives us more time to play the games!

Logan and I will still have internal deadlines. He works well under some sort of goal. We are just going to keep those to ourselves and give you all the show when it is ready to go. Therefore…

No More Two Seasons a Year

We are no longer promising two seasons a year. We want to make this show and get it to you as soon as possible, but we are no longer adhering to a bi-annual schedule.

You’ll still get Season 7 – Metroid Prime in 2024: It won’t take us over a year to play four more games. I’d love to get Season 8 – Castlevania out in the year too, but we will have to wait and see.

I feel like these two changes go hand-in-hand. There’s another (selfish) benefit to these changes though.

I can play more video games that I want.

This year, I’ve played almost entirely games exclusive to this show. I love that. I’ve never had a higher completion percentage in a single year. I want to play all the games we pick, or we wouldn’t have picked them. But there are so many other games that I want to spend time with and I haven’t because I feel locked to this show.

I haven’t touched Tears of the Kingdom. I haven’t play The Last of Us Part I. I started Dead Space on stream and haven’t gone back. All this Alan Wake II talk has me so fascinated to play those games. I feel such a strong dedication to adhering to our schedule that I’ve almost exclusively touched Resident Evil, Pokémon, and Metroid Prime in the last year and a half.

As I approach 30, my life and time are shifting. I am prioritizing spending time with my wife and daughter. My day job doesn’t involve gaming at all. I get maybe an hour a day to play before anyone wakes up. Or edit a show. Or write posts. etc. etc. etc.

So What’s on Deck?

Well, like I mentioned before, we are in the endgame of Season 6 – Pokémon. Our episode on Pokémon Diamond and Pearl is out this Wednesday at the usual time. We are set to record Pokémon Black and White this upcoming Monday; which gives us a month to play Black 2 and White 2. 🙃

Our episode on Metroid Prime Remastered has been recorded. I’m sure we’ll jump to Federation Force after this Pokémon rush. 🙃

We haven’t started playing Castlevania yet. I am eager to get started. Heck, I would have already, if not for the lock on Pokémon. All the more reason to open up this scheduling release valve. We do have a great slate of guests lined up for Castlevania though. I am amped to make these episodes with the folks we’ve asked. I think you all will enjoy them too.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this and more so for your understanding and patience. Even 15 years into making shows, I’m still learning, adjusting, and improving. I take that all as a good sign. Here’s to our best seasons to come.

Christian Gyrling is Leaving Naughty Dog after 17 Years

Naughty Dog via Twitter

Our Head of Technology Christian Gyrling has decided to leave Naughty Dog after an amazing 17-year career at our studio. We’re grateful for his many contributions to the studio, our games, and his teammates. We will miss christian greatly and wish him the best of luck on where his path leads next. Travis McIntosh, a 19-year veteran at Naughty Dog, will succeed Christian as Head of Technology.

This departure is just five months after Christian took on the role of Head of Technology. That title was proceeded by being a Co-Vide President since December 2020, alongside Alison Mori.1

Christian started at Naughty Dog in September 2006 working on Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. He had many titles at the studio, with his longest stint being a Lead Programmer from January 2010 to March 2017. As I understand it, Christian is one of the many people that make Naughty Dog’s internal engine sing. It’s what makes them look and run so well on Sony’s hardware.

Travis McIntosh has also been a Lead Programmer and Programming Director at Naughty Dog since 2004, with his first title with the team being Jak X: Combat Racing.

I wonder why the shake up so soon after a promotion.2 I’m curious what Christian is off to do next. There has to be a deep well of knowledge, not just about Naughty Dog’s own engine, but of the PlayStation architecture as well. For a studio that hasn’t put out a new game this year, there sure is a lot happening at The Kennel.

Side note: I couldn’t find a leadership page on Naughty Dog’s site. I should get on that.

1. Who took on the role of Studio Manager and Head of Operations when Christian took on Head of Technology this past July.

2. Is going from Co-Vice President to Head of Technology a promotion? The leadership promotions/shake up in July 2023 after Evan Wells announced his retirement read to me as a clarification of the leadership at the studio. Folks seemed to be put into more clearly defined roles. Maybe I’m wrong about that.

The Trailer Masters Strike Again in Early December with GTA VI

We are very excited to let you know that in early December, we will release the first trailer for the next Grand Theft Auto. We look forward to many more years of sharing these experiences with all of you.

Thank you,
Sam Houser via Twitter1

Well I’ll be…

Friendly reminder that Rockstar makes immaculate trailers. I consider these Red Dead Redemption II trailers to be all-timers, alongside the 2017 Breath of the Wild trailer and the “Everyone is HereSmash trailer.

Another friendly reminder would be to not believe any release window in said upcoming trailer.

1. I can’t call it X. I can’t.

Racing in Banjo-Pilot – Super Chapter Select

Hello everybody! Back in July, Logan and I announced Super Chapter Select. It’s a member-supported tier of the show with longer shows, exclusive episodes, and bonus videos. A failure on our part was to not really show that content to our audience. We figured the concept was ubiquitous in the space, that the promise of that content was enough.

Now, that feels rather foolish on my part. I think we are making some neat stuff and potential members should know what they are paying to get access for. So in the coming weeks, we are opening the gates a bit.

In the interstitial weeks between the remaining Season 6 – Pokémon episodes, we’ll be releasing one member special video to the public from each season. This week, we are starting with one of the first videos we made.

Using the power of the MiSTer FPGA platform, Logan and I raced in Banjo-Pilot, the GBA racing game that we did not play for Season 3 – Banjo-Kazooie. We filmed this last May when Logan was in town for a work trip. We also filmed Logan playing Grunty’s Revenge for the first time and our FireRed/LeafGreen Pokémon battle (which you will see in a few weeks 😉).

We hope you enjoy seeing this stuff. It’s going to be neat to see how the quality and style grows over the course of the seasons. When we made this, we didn’t even have a name picked out! I was figuring out game audio versus our own. It ought to be a neat display of the show’s production growth.

If you’d like to see everything we have to offer, you can sign up for Super Chapter Select right now! It is only $2.50 per month or $20 a year! You’ll get access to nearly 30 hours of member-exclusive material across almost all our seasons. I’m real proud of what we make and I think you’ll enjoy it.