Monday Musings 2/10/14

Monday Musings 2/10/14

Welcome to Monday Musings, where I say what's on my mind and hope for the best!  Onward down the stream of consciousness!

Let's get Vita-centric on this fine Monday!...

Saturday, February 15th is the PlayStation Vita's second birthday in North America!  I want to wish an early Happy Anniversary to my favorite handheld device; the portable gaming system I've always wanted!  It's been an awesome first two years, really looking forward to year three and beyond! (BEYOND!)...

"I want to wish an early Happy Anniversary to my favorite handheld device; the portable gaming system I've always wanted!"

Seemingly cognizant of this impending commemoration, Sony let loose a whole bunch of Vita news today!  The most important of which being the confirmation of the new PlayStation Vita "Slim's" arrival stateside this spring.  This new, svelte Vita comes bundled with the Vita PCH-2000 (of course), a digital copy of Gearbox's smash hit Borderlands 2 (yes!), and an 8GB memory card (yes! yes!) to put said digital game on, all for an MSRP of only $199.99 (yes! yes! yes!).  To anyone who has yet to pick up the Vita, or has been on the fence about purchasing one, this is the bundle to get.  It's an incredible value, requiring no additional accessory purchases to get up and running....

Anyone who wants the original Vita with the magnificent, soon-to-be phased out OLED screen better act fast...

And in case you're wondering, an 8GB memory card should be more than enough for most gamers to play comfortably with for some time.  Unless you are obsessive about having all your games on your Vita at once (as your Vita collection grows, especially if you're a member of PlayStation Plus, even a 32GB card won't be able to contain your burgeoning game library!), it's pretty simple to manage your digital library right through the Vita (granted you are connected to Wi-Fi of course), and an 8GB card will store quite a few games at once.  Here's an example of how you might fill an 8GB card for reference (info courtesy of this wiki):

  • Super Stardust Delta - 208 MB
  • Hotline Miami - 959 MB
  • Uncharted: Golden Abyss - 3.2 GB
  • Retro City Rampage - 40.6 MB

  • Plants vs. Zombies - 74 MB

  • Guacamelee! - 327 MB

  • Gravity Rush - 1.4 GB

  • Tearaway - 947 MB

So this equates to just over 7 GB of data.  Obviously, game sizes vary wildly, with blockbuster AAA experiences like Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Killzone: Mercenary carrying hefty download totals, while many of the smaller, yet equally awesome, indie titles take up significantly less space on your memory card.  Any way you cut it, an 8 GB card is more than serviceable, and it's great to see Sony including this card (finally!) in the new Slim bundle for prospective buyers...

Oh and did I mention that Borderlands 2 comes with 6 pieces of DLC (including Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty and Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage), and it's cross-save with the PS3 as well?  Now, a cross-play announcement would be the icing on the proverbial cake...

"Any way you cut it, an 8 GB card is more than serviceable, and it's great to see Sony including this card (finally!) in the new Slim bundle for prospective buyers."

So let's recap this value one more time: PS Vita Slim System ($199.99 presumably, if sold individually), Borderlands 2 w/ Add-On DLC (probably somewhere in the $30-40 range on PSN), and an 8GB memory card (you can usually find one of these between $15-20).  If I'm a betting man, odds are there's at least a 7-day trial for PlayStation Plus somewhere in there as well.  That's $199.99 for a bundle that easily costs around $250 or so for its disparate parts.  It's a great deal... hop on the bandwagon prospective Vita owners and see what all the fuss is about!

Random thought alert:  Reheated spaghetti is actually quite tasty...

Switching gears for a minute... This week in internet meltdowns, the length of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes' campaign was revealed by Game Informer.  The main campaign is reportedly two hours or so, but the open world design of this game could allow for a different approach on subsequent playthroughs.  There are also a number of side missions, as Game Informer describes, which add content to the title.  They mentioned the editors that played the game spent four hours with it, defeating the main campaign multiple times, as well as taking part in several of the side missions (though not all of them) over the course of those four hours.  There will reportedly be five Side Ops Missions (as they're referred to) in the final product.  There's a video with the editors discussing their impressions of the game as well.  Both the article and video are worth a read and watch, respectively.  The crux of the outcry over Ground Zeroes' length stems from the game's price point ($19.99 digitally/$29.99 physically on PS3/Xbox 360, $29.99 digitally/$39.99 physically on PS4/Xbox One).  As the guys at Game Informer discussed, they put in four hours with the game and there are A) still side missions they haven't seen, and B) they still want to play the game and explore this world in different ways.  Speaking in terms of next-gen (can we start calling it current gen yet?), buying the game digitally for $29.99 and getting 4-6 hours of play time out of it is not a bad haul, especially for a game with the production values, reportedly excellent mechanics, and pedigree of Kojima and the Metal Gear franchise.  I don't know about you, but that sounds like something I'd probably be willing to pay for.  Plus, we don't know what other modes or features we may see in the finished product!  Oh, and this is the first glimpse of Metal Gear Solid 5.  METAL GEAR. SOLID. 5....

Here's a novel thought, too... if you don't like the price of the game, or don't think it's worth your money, vote with your wallet...

I finally saw Gravity for the first time this weekend (in IMAX 3D no less!).  Incredible film, incredible experience, Cuaron's got my vote for Best Director...

"Here's a novel thought, too... if you don't like the price of the game, or don't think it's worth your money, vote with your wallet..."

Other delectable Vita morsels revealed today: Release dates for God of War Collection (May 6th) and the newly revealed Sly Cooper Collection (May 27th), confirmation that the incredibly awesome looking Murasaki Baby is coming over to our shores, and beautiful fighting game BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma is getting a Vita version as well.  With the God of War Collection releasing May 6th, I think this gives us a good indication of when we might see the new Vita Slim bundle released...

Anyone *ahem* insane enough to give Insane difficulty a go in Outlast?  This game is nuts (in a good way!).  To see what we thought of it, check out our review here....

Stealth Inc. on the Vita is just so damn good.  Three level sets (6-8) left to S-Rank...

What's that you say? Stealth Inc on the PS4?  Stealth Inc: Ultimate Edition?  Yes, please...

It's a normal thing to have a controller that I claim as my own, and let no one else touch and/or use and/or look at, right?...

"This is pretty normal, right?"

This guy (a friend of the family) was over at my house recently and he was getting ready to play the PS3.  Before taking a seat, he began to search for a controller to use before his eyes landed on my prized DualShock 3 sitting beneath the TV.  As if the heavens had parted, and a ray of light surrounded the controller with a chorus of angels serenading its worth, this guy made a beeline for my DualShock 3.  MY DualShock 3.  Sensing blood in the water, I quickly intervened, preventing him from taking hold of my controller, a stern look of obvious disapproval smattered across my face.  I could tell he wasn't quite sure what was going on, but I handed him a different controller, returning MY DualShock 3 back to where it rightly belonged: in my mitts alone.  While his confusion was palpable, it was also fleeting.  He went on to have a fun night of PS3 gaming on a different controller, not thinking twice about the near folly he had perpetrated.  I slept well that evening, knowing I'd done the right thing...  This is pretty normal, right?

T-Minus 39 days until Infamous: Second Son and counting...

- Ben

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