All the info on upcoming PlayStation 4 games, including Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, Gran Turismo Sport and more
By Nicholas Yong
Not even Sony were prepared for the amount of gamers that hit KL Live for the first Sony PlayStation Experience (PSX) event in Southeast Asia.
At one point the crowd stretched so far back that you couldn’t see the end of the line anymore, and that’s no surprise - especially since gamers were lining up since 5am to be the first to try some of the upcoming PlayStation 4 (PS4) games before anyone else.
We had a hands-on opportunity with most of the games on offer, as well as hear and speak to some of the the developers who attended the event. There’s so much to say and talk about, so here’s 11 things you should know that happened at PlayStation Experience 2017:
MARVEL VS CAPCOM: INFINITE
It’s been six years since the release of Marvel vs Capcom 3, and to switch things up it’s now a 2-on-2 fighting game, and there's a lot of neat features for players new to the fighting game genre.
Promotion Producer Tomoaki Ayano and Assistant Producer Kansuke Sakurai (whose English was fantastic) from the Capcom development team talked us through the Auto combo and Easy Hyper Combo - just button-mash Square to perform sick combos that could even launch your opponent into the air, and when he's down for the count, press Triangle and Circle together to launch your finishing move.
Then there’s the Infinity Stones - six of them are at your disposal to mess with your opponent. Each Stone can do one of two things. There’s Infinity Surge, which players can use anytime by pressing L1 - so if you pick the Time Stone you can do a quick dash. The second is the Infinity Storm, which activates by pressing L1 + R1 to unleash the Stone’s super power, like the Space Stone which traps your opponent into a box. There’s a lot of depth involved in picking the right stone with the right pair.
They also mentioned Marvel had a big role in selecting the characters for the new MvC iteration, which explains the introduction of Rocket Raccoon and Captain Marvel and the lack of old favourites like Cyclops and Wolverine (RIP Berserker Barrage).
The load times are still noticeable in the playable game on the floor, but it is extremely easy to pick up and play. Simply button-mashing alone looks as good as watching the pros on-screen, and these auto-assists can be turned off if you want a challenge.
Roleplay Avengers Infinity War with Ryu and Chun-Li from 21 September.
GRAN TURISMO SPORT
This has to be the most beautiful, most realistic Gran Turismo ever to be released.
So beautiful, that current generation consoles and TVs aren't able to showcase it’s true potential. While current generation displays average at 1000 nits, Gran Turismo Sport is prepared for 10,000 nits of display power.
Gran Turismo legend Kazunori Yamauchi was on-hand to explain about the new game features, most of which we’ve already covered in these 6 reasons to be excited about Gran Turismo Sport.
He did explain further about the FIA-approved e-racing championship: There will two professional leagues where racers can either represent their countries (Nations Cup) or side with their favourite car make (Manufacturer Fan Cup) for players of any age. It will culminate in a world final, where the winners will be awarded at an FIA ceremony alongside real drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
Sad to say Singapore isn’t on the list of countries to represent in the “World Cup” of racing - “Kaz” Yamauchi explains he needs the push from the national automotive club of our country to show interest in joining. But he is delighted that nations like the UK and Australia with over 100 years of motorsport history jumped on the bandwagon as soon as they could.
He also explained why there isn’t a PlayStation VR standalone version of the game - while VR mode is one part of the Gran Turismo Sport and you can drive selected cars in VR, he says playing VR for hours on end would be very difficult.
And will we see a return of Gran Turismo 6 track making app? No plans yet unfortunately.
Read our hands-on review of Gran Turismo 6 here, then get ready to start your engines in October.
Final Fantasy XV: Monster of the Deep
I know what you're thinking - What was the Square Enix team smoking when they decided to release a fishing game spin-off. But I had plenty of time playing the hands-on demo with the PlayStation VR and PlayStation Move controllers, and it’s quite the fishing experience - a bit of Sega Bass Fishing.
The developers (Malaysian Wan Hazmer included) went on a real fishing experience when embarking on this game. In Hazmer’s words, this game isn’t a spin-off as it’s not closely related to Final Fantasy XV, and it’s as close to actual fishing as you can get without the boring parts like waiting hours for a bite.
Oh and remember this Prompto VR shooting game? It's not happening. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbhhmoY78gI)
The actual game revolves around catching as much as fish you can, completing quests to collect cash to buy better rods and baits.
First you use the sonar device on your left hand, to see where the fishes are hiding. Then cast the rod with your right hand while pressing and releasing the trigger button (took me a number of times to get this right, before I could really throw it afar). If there’s no bite, you can use the left Move controller to simulate reeling the rod in, or press the trigger on the right Move controller to auto reel-in.
You know if got a bite the moment you cast the rod - a bite is hit and you’ll have to reel-in the fish moving your left Move controller on the crank as fast as you can, and pulling the rod according to the direction as pointed.
Once caught, you are holding the fish on your left hand. You can take a closer look at its shaking body or try to show it to Noctis, who’s fishing alongside you. When you’re done admiring your catch, just place it into the basket in front.
Yes, you won't be playing as any of the Final Fantasy XV boys, but rather as yourself.
There’s also a boss battle - The one we tried had us wielding a crossbow on our left arm, so we shoot the gigantic fish until we're prompted to cast the rod.
At the end, you share the cooked fish with the boys, and you can grab a picture of your fishing achievement from Prompto (or try to steal a bite from Noctis).
In the final game, you will have a health bar, and be able to fish in open waters. The car makes a comeback - though its not confirmed if it can be driven. And even if you only have the PlayStation VR, it can also be played with the DualShock 4, but it won't be as cool.
Final Fantasy XV: Monster of the Deep will be available on digital download only from September this year.
Monster Hunter World
To say this was the game I was most looking forward to is wrong. It’s more like I’d sell a part of my soul for a chance to try the latest in the Monster Hunter franchise, but sad to say there wasn’t a playable demo available.
Instead, the man behind the popular action-hunting genre and game producer Ryozo Tsujimoto was on-hand to talk about this new instalment of Monster Hunter, as he walked us through the Ancient Forest quest to hunt the Anjanath. Else not much new things were revealed.
If you haven’t tried Monster Hunter before, the gist of the game revolves hunting monsters, some small, some of epic porportions and powers, then obtaining their parts to make better weapons and armor. The best part is up to four hunters can team up together, making this social game one of the most popular games in Japan.
For veteran hunters who’ve been out of the loop for some time should know that Monster Hunter is now one seamless map - gone are the numbered zones and loading times from before. You can also use the environment to your advantage, like jumping from a tree to climb a monster, or preparing a trap.
Plus no more wasting time searching for the monster - scout flies hover and track the monster’s scent so you can follow the flies to find your prey.
Waiting for your friends at the Guild Hall is also a thing of the past, as now they will be able to seamlessly drop into a quest that you’re facing trouble with. Oh, and you can also switch weapons and armor at the camp, perfect when another monster you didn’t expect makes an appearance.
I did get a chance to ask why the iconic “Guts” pose, the one your hunter will strike after downing a Potion or Well-done Steak. He says that was implemented as a deterrent in older area-based Monster Hunter games. As Monster Hunter World’s map is seamless, there’s no reason to include the “Guts” pose any longer.
Trap monsters and cut tails in 2018.
EA Sports’s hit football game has never been seen anywhere else until now, so I jumped at the chance to play. The playable build featured last season’s top teams and player models. There was no other gameplay feature except a match demo either. And I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures or video, so you’ll just have to take my word (or Ronaldo’s word) for it.
I tried to put some new gameplay features to the test, like team styles and improved player positioning. Through passes, long balls to the target man do seem to look fluid, and crossing the ball feels so much easier, if only I knew how to shoot better.
FIFA 18 will make its way to your buddy nights 29 September.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Lets cut to the chase - Dragon Ball FighterZ is everything it’s made to be, and will probably be the best fighting game in existence if you grew up watching Son Goku kick serious butt.
The demo gameplay provided is the same as the one from E3- You choose between a 3-man team of Son Goku, Vegeta, Son Gohan, Cell, Majin Buu (fat) and Freiza, and two stages. From there, it’s a flurry of punches, kicks and super moves, with combinations done by pressing a single button continuously.
You’d swear each move looks like it was pulled directly from the anime/manga, from the poses, to the fighting style and speech. It’s possible to go 3-on-1 down, and still manage to fight back by evading and timing your moves right - and if you’re lucky, dash behind your opponent and unleash a Kamehameha.
Arc System Works’ latest hit will arrive next year.
Taiko no Tatsujin
The hit arcade drum game makes it way to the PlayStation 4, mini drums and drumsticks included to make the home experience that much more seamless. It plays exactly like you would on the arcade, with songs like Japanese Let it Go, Doraemon and that catchy PPAP among the familiar playable tunes.
One gripe I had about the game was hitting the Blue portion, the side of the drum. Either my timing was a little off or I simply couldn’t hit it well enough. The pros who played on-stage proved it was the latter though…
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
When I got the chance to try this game out, the attendant in-charge told me I could not play it alone; I needed two friends in order to even start the game.
I returned later to see what’s the fuss behind the latest in the Dissidia fighting game franchise. This time, a 3-on-3 simultaneous battle and a port of its Japanese arcade version made by Team Ninja.
If you only played the original PSP incarnations, just think of it as a more smooth and fluid version of the game, with special summons and a bunch of new characters up to FFXIV Online. It’s also a little more crazier, what with six characters duking it out at the same time.
Create dream Final Fantasy matches when the game arrives early 2018.
Hidden in the corner of KL Live (so dark I couldn't take clear pictures) is a PlayStation VR game called Light Tracer, a different take on the platforming/puzzle genre. In your left hand you control the camera, in the other you wield a wand that blasts a ray of light, pointing to where your cute chibi character should be walking towards.
If you haven’t clicked the video above already, then let me spoil it for you - the little character walks across tiny paths, climbing a puzzle-like structure to the top. At times you’ll need to jump across certain areas, miss and its a bottomless fall for the cute character. You need to constantly change perspective with your left hand to make sure you’re walking right.
Higher up the levels there are certain mechanisms you can control with the PlayStation Move controller, like a lift or a crank that can move paths in the stage. There’s also a boss when we played, but because your character had no weapon, you had to manoeuvre her onto a platform that activates a mirror wall, which will reflect the boss’ attack.
Overall I managed to sweat so much that the VR headset was returned drenched. A great concept that we’re looking forward for its final release in September.
Final opinion: The crowds
To say the event hall was full is a bit of an understatement - throngs of gamers flooded the small KL Live space to try the latest games, with long lines for close to every game on offer.
Part of the problem stems from the gamers themselves - people who entered from early in the morning have no pressure to leave, so they maximise their time at PSX for as long as they can - leaving a long queue trickling in with not enough attendees leaving.
Either the next PSX (wherever it may be) be held in a venue twice or thrice the size in anticipation, or set an entry fee with free PlayStation swag thrown in for top value - gamers can and they will throw their hard earned cash for a chance to be the first to play A-level games.
I’m crossing my fingers for the next Sony PSX to return to Southeast Asia soon.