Cyber Shadow Review

I remember when I first saw Cyber Shadow. It was the day of my flight to Boston for PAX East 2019, which was my first major game convention. Yacht Club Games has announced they were publishing Aarne “MekaSkull” Hunziker’s cybernetic ninja action game. I was writing for DualShockers at the time and was the writer assigned to meet with and cover Yacht Club Games’ final pair of Shovel Knight games and on March 27, 2019, Cyber Shadow was thrown into that mix as well. I am a die-hard fan of Yacht Club Games and was completely thrilled.

I was immediately hooked and became laser-focused on any and all Cyber Shadow announcements and updates. What attracted me toward Cyber Shadow the most wasn’t its retro-aesthetic, ninjas, or even Yacht Club Games themselves. It was the fact it was completely developed completely by Hunziker. There is something inspiring and fascinating about one-person development. You just have to look at the trailer and then you’ll think “one person did all of this?!” Granted, the music was done by Enrique Martin; Yacht Club Games came onboard as the publisher; there were QA testers and translators, but on the whole Cyber Shadow is Hunziker’s game. And after roughly seven years in developmentCyber Shadow is finally here.

Cyber Shadow is without a doubt the next big indie game. It is an expertly crafted action-platformer that stands with the best. The world of Mekacity and Shadow’s journey through it are woven together wonderfully where each element of the game comes together to elevate each other. Cyber Shadow is more than the sum of its parts and all of those parts alone add up to be quite a bit.

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Entering a 3D World – Thoughts on the PlayStation 3D Display

I have have been on a collecting kick lately. I have suddenly been fretting over the PS3 and Vita stores suddenly shutting down. I’ve been slowly rebuilding my physical PS3 collection. I even snagged a copy of Metal Gear Solid for the PS1 finally. Frankly, this collecting kick has been a PlayStation one.

As I bought PS3 games, I noticed the 3D game logo on the box of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Arkham City, and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. It’s a small-ish icon that indicates the game can be played in 3D on a compatible TV. Then I remembered that my friend bought one of those PlayStation 3D Displays and ended up giving it to his younger brother. I reached out and one trade later, I became the proud owner of a 3D TV.

After a snafu with which glasses to buy off eBay, I finally ended up with Sony TDG-BR100 Active 3D Glasses. They use 2032 batteries instead of an internal, rechargeable one. Turns out that decade old batteries that haven’t been recharged regularly aren’t a good fit for a sustainable accessory. The rest of the tech in built into the display itself.

Before diving into the 3D effect itself, I want to talk about a few other details with the display. It is a 24’’ screen and has two HDMI 1.4a ports and one component input. It has a whitewash sort of look from the edges of the display, especially on a black image. I probably need to spend some time properly calibrating it, but the white light is slightly off-putting. Thankfully, this disappears when 3D is actually in use and I usually end up ignoring it once I am actually in a game.

The 3D itself can be auto-detected stereoscopic 3D, side-by-side, or top-and-bottom. You can toggle this with a 3D button on the rear of the display. This is incredibly useful when it comes to 3D gaming outside of the built in support in the PS3 or Xbox 360.

Now for the star of the show, the actual 3D effect. I know I am nearly a decade late, but what a cool, additive effect. This isn’t VR nor is it the iconic red and blue anaglyph 3D of yore. The closest comparison I can think of is the 3DS actually. While some 3DS games were actually designed with and for 3D, the small set of PS3 games I have tried have made it an bonus effect, enhancing the games by giving them depth and a sense of space.

Uncharted 3 (unsurprisingly) wowed me the most. Most reports from the time touted Uncharted 3 as the “killer game” for 3D gaming and it’s easy to see after a few minutes between the games I tried. The next time I play any of these games, I do plan on giving them a run on my PS3 in 3D.

What makes this display more than just some PS3 accessory, is the simple fact that it accepts any 3D signal over HDMI. So I can finally do things like play GameCube games in 3D like Nintendo originally experimented with . If 3DS emulation gets better, it could easily be a 3D display for playing those games on the “big” screen.

I am extremely happy to have this technology in my collection now, giving me a new way to play old games. It is a super small subset of titles within a smaller subset of video output, but it is still a part of gaming’s history. Plus, Naughty Dog made a game with it. So I had to own it.

The Cross-Generational Bottleneck: Cyberpunk Edition

Cyberpunk 2077 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Review by Destin Legaire for IGN

While I had just as much fun playing Cyberpunk 2077 on PC as Tom did playing for his review, on the base PlayStation 4 or Xbox One it is a different game entirely. It fails to hit even the lowest bar of technical quality one should expect even when playing on lower-end hardware. It performs so poorly that it makes combat, driving, and what is otherwise a master craft of storytelling legitimately difficult to look at. It is not an exaggeration to say that I’ve felt nauseated after playing because of the terrible frame rate. It really is that bad, and it’s very suspicious that CD Projekt Red refused to provide console review copies ahead of launch.

I’d say it is more than suspicious. It was downright intentional. They knew the state the console version of the game was in, deliberately showed PC-only footage, and took people’s money anyway. CD Projekt Red figured it would be easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.

Seeing is believing though.

This is the type of bottleneck I feared for cross-generational games. Cypberpunk 2077 “runs” on 11 different platforms (PS4, PS4 Pro, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, PC, and Stadia). From a business perspective, I understand wanting to launch on last generation consoles. There are 165+ million PS4 and Xbox One consoles out in the world. I think it is safe to say the vast majority of purchases this past week were for those platforms. CD Projekt Red spent a lot of goodwill this past week.

Halo Infinite is supposed to run on nine different consoles. I think Xbox will slowly kill off their cross-generation support by running out the clock for the promised two years of support. Sony may have made the right call by not promising all their games will be cross-generational and instead announcing them as they see fit.

I bought Cyberpunk for a couple of my friends for Christmas and now I’m starting to think coal would’ve been a better present.

– Logan Moore via Twitter

I was one of the friends. If he bought me coal, at least it’d work as intended. Thankfully, I can wait until the proper PS5 version is released in 2077.

PS5 at First Blush

Next-gen is finally current-gen. With both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X in the house, I feel extremely happy and excited for the future of gaming. I don’t think it is any secret that I was more excited to get my hands on the PS5 than the Xbox Series X. Finally having the white, curvy monolith standing next to my TV makes the future of gaming a reality to me. Here are my first impressions after having a PS5 for a few days.

The Console

After a tantalizing reveal process led to a surprising console design, the white and black design has grown on me. I think the PS5 is sleek and sexy. It reminds me of the original PS3 with its shiny and curvy exterior.

The disc drive resonates in a low hum when copying data from the disc to the SSD. It’s actually much more prominent than I hoped for. When playing a PS5 game, the disc is solely used to verify the game since all the data is required to run off the SSD. I tried The Last of Us Part II (shocker, I know) and the disc seemed to be constantly running, which left the hum. This somewhat surprised and disappointed me. If you’ve got your speakers turned up or play with headphones, you’ll never notice this while playing. I haven’t put a disc inside my Xbox Series X yet, so I’m not sure how loud it may or may not be.

11/16/20 Update: Turns out that The Last of Us Part II had not finished installing entirely. I realized this when I had to download a patch for Spider-Man: Miles Morales this morning. Turns out that The Last of Us Part II had 30GBs remaining to install. That is why the disc drive was running constantly. I let the game finish installing and after booting the game, the disc drive went silent.

Outside of the disc drive, the PS5 sounds whisper quiet to me, which is exactly what I expected.

The UI reminds me of a fusion between the PS3 and PS4. The biggest change is that pressing the PS button on the controller brings up a small XMB switcher instead of taking you to the home screen. Lots of muscle memory is going to have to be broken to get used to this new UI.

The DualSense Controller

Holding the DualSense for the first time, it makes a killer first impression. Even without powering it on and feeling all the new tech inside, the heft and material quality is top notch. I could easily see this becoming an all time great in the Game Controller Hall of Fame.

Then you play a game and feel the new haptic motors and resistive triggers. This is like the HD Rumble in the Switch Joy-Con but amped up; if it had a marketing name, it might be called 4K rumble. I haven’t been this immersed with a controller since the Wii Remote. Simply magical.

Speed

Spider-Man loaded from the PS5 menu to gameplay before I could finish sipping my orange juice. – Me

Set Up

Set up was smooth. The PS5 also lets you use your phone to log in, just like the Xbox Series X. One cool part was being able to install a disc-based game while the console did its own updates. Makes it much easier to jump right into playing once set up is done.

Astro’s Playroom

2018’s Astrobot’s Rescue Mission is not only one of PS VR’s best games, but VR as a whole. Now the next Astrobot game comes with Astro’s Playroom preloaded on every PS5.

There has not been a pack in game this delightful since Wii Sports. It proves how unique the DualSense controller is. It also doubles as a wonderful celebration of PlayStation’s history. Every reference I recognized and connected with slapped a silly grin on my face. Asobi Team proves their innovative platforming design once again. Never underestimate the power of PlayStation.

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered detailed – PlayStation.Blog

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered detailed by James Stevenson for the PlayStation Blog

Public confusion about upgrade paths and access aside; Holy cow! Taking a two year old game and slapping a new *code* of paint on it is yielding incredible results. I am so flipping stoked to see ray tracing on my own TV and games. I am curious what the final resolution will be for both the “Performance Mode” with its 60fps and the normal 30fps mode.

The other big news is the entirely new face of Peter Parker. Like, Insomniac cast an entirely different face. It’s wild.

This does bring us to one of the bigger changes. In order to bring the best performances to players with our next-generation Marvel’s Spider-Man games, we have recast the face of Peter Parker. We loved working with John Bubniak on the original game; however, to get a better match to Peter Parker/Spider-Man actor Yuri Lowenthal’s facial capture, we have cast Ben Jordan to be the face model for Peter Parker on the PS5 console. He looks incredible in-game, and Yuri’s moving performances take on a new life.

The technical reasoning makes sense. It’s hardly a secret that Insomniac is working on a proper Marvel’s Spider-Man sequel. Building this next-gen model of Peter is the right call for the development process, especially if Peter makes an appearance in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. It’s just strange that Peter now looks younger than Miles. Sure, the comparison shots in that particular tweet show Miles one year after the events of Marvel’s Spider-Man, but it’s not like Miles was a spring chicken in that game either. I wonder if they tweaked other main characters like Mary Jane or Miles. Heck, did Aunt May get the younger treatment?