Firstly, my sincerest apologies for the title of this week’s PS4A Picks. Now, with that awkwardness out of the way, let’s get down to business. Over the last couple of weeks, Dolph rediscovered Rocket League (again), Mitch and I both died a lot in the amazing Nioh, while Sam resisted the temptation to pre-order the entire range of new Overwatch Funko Pop figures.
While I could have played all sorts of incredible games over the last two weeks, once again an old favourite grabbed my full attention. That’s right: I’ve been hitting a big inflatable ball with a car again, and it feels good.
I don’t know if I can truly quantify what makes Rocket League so addictive. The controls are perfect. Rumble is almost too much fun. Some games are a one-sided whitewash, and that either makes you want to do it again or do better next time. Some are balanced on a knife edge and make the adrenaline pump faster. And then there are the goals. When you pull off something completely outrageous, and it works exactly as expected – such as using the boost to fly behind a frozen ball that is hovering above your own goal, then hit the boxing glove to fire it across the entire arena into the opposition’s net – it makes you feel god-like. For me, Rocket League is close to video game perfection, and that’s why I keep coming back to it.
So yes, the PSVR became an expensive piece of plastic over the last two weeks, thanks to an almost old-school game (fun fact: Destruction Derby was a complete time sink for me back in the mid-’90s), but I don’t mind at all. Imagine Rocket League in VR? Now that would be something…
This week has seen me play a whole lot of Nioh! I think I prefer it to From Software’s offerings, mostly because the Japanese folklore and Yokai interest me greatly, and I like that it’s a fair bit faster. It’s an amazing game with dozens of hours of content to play through. I’m several main missions and sub missions in and it keeps pulling me back in for more. It’s an incredible game and I know I’ll be singing its praises throughout the year – I’m glad more content is planned!
I’ve returned to Freedom Wars too, which is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Due to a weird DLC issue, I’ve started over (which is fine, it’s been so long!) and I’m having a blast with it. I look forward to playing it more and, hopefully, one day we’ll see the series appear once again, but on PS4.
I originally wanted to talk about Hitman season one. I wanted to talk about the satisfaction of pulling off a flawless assassination. I wanted to talk about how difficult it can be, and how it forces you to think logically and fast.
However, that was before Funko, the company who bring us the seemingly infinite Pop Vinyl range of toys, announced the second wave of Overwatch models. They have created some of my favourite characters in one of my favourite caricature styles. Reinhardt and D.Va will be available in a bumper 6″ size, sporting their default skins. They are said to be released in April, but I will be pre-ordering as soon as I can. Oh, yes. I’m supposed to talk to you about gaming and not my excitement about some models of an old German man and a young Korean woman.
Final Fantasy XIV has lost a merchant of dye. I have come to the end of a frustrating series of attempts to make money, only to have someone else undercut my price by an outrageous amount. Instead, I have decided to level all Disciples of War classes to level 30, but this goal may be delayed as I have a large distraction heading my way. Its name is Overwatch Competitive Season 4 and its attraction will be all-encompassing.
Like Mitch, I’ve also spent much of the last week playing Nioh, Team Ninja’s amazing competitor to From Software’s Souls games. I was a huge fan of Bloodborne back in 2015, but I must confess to using the official strategy guide religiously during my time with the game. However, Nioh doesn’t have one, so I’ve taken it as a personal challenge to complete as much of the game as possible without looking anything up on the Internet, which is a promise I’ve managed to stick to so far.
Admittedly, it means that my progress has been pretty slow, but it’s subsequently been much more rewarding. Despite only being on the second main mission (excluding the prologue and tutorial), my play time is already over six hours, and the time has flown by. The level and enemy design are both incredible, as is the sound design and music, and let’s not forget the atmospherically tense gameplay. It’s not for everyone, but my early impressions of Nioh are extremely positive.