The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


March 1, 2013

Joe Hadsall: Lot to like about Playstation 4, but not much to see

JOPLIN, Mo. — I've always had a rule when it comes to home video game consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox: Wait a year.

When a new piece of hardware comes out, wait a year. The price will have dropped, the technology inside will be more reliable and the game library will be bigger. It'll be a better experience all around.

And history has proven me right. They don't stop making games for old-and-busted systems when new hotness system comes out, after all. That seems like it runs counterintuitive to the geek lifestyle. But this geek ain't made of money, so I keep my geek-mode in check.

While I'm enchanted with the new PlayStation 4 system that was announced earlier this month, I won't be waiting in line to buy a system during its anticipated release at the end of this year.

That being said ... man, does the system look sweet.


Great games

With the exception of "Halo," and all the Mario games, Sony has always had the edge on exclusive titles and franchises. And it's no surprise that, according to IGN, Sony has all of its 12 main studios working on PS4 titles.

During an announcement last week, Sony officials announced the existence of the system and showed a controller (more about the lack of information later). They also showed trailers and gameplay footage for a few great-looking games, including:

  • "Knack," a cartoonish platformer with a Pixar-like feel. Gameplay involves a little Clank-like robot that can increase its polygons exponentially to fight an army of goblins. The environments have a great mix of vivid and muted hues, depending on the level.
  • "Killzone: Shadow Fall," the fourth in the first-person shooter franchise. The cloaking tech on the Helghast baddies looks pretty slick -- even though any cloaking tech that can be seen is, by definition, terrible.
  • "Driveclub," a racing game from the studio that developed the impressive "MotorStorm" -- that game's rugged tracks helped sell a few PS3 units. This one appears to have a unique cockpit view as well as painfully detailed models of actual cars surpassing "Gran Turismo" levels.
  • "Infamous: Second Son," one of the bigger attention-getters during the PS4 conference. This story line involves Conduits, the literally charged new race of humans, but currently has no sign of protagonist Cole MacGrath. While the trailer featured no gameplay, the darker, grittier story line looks promising, and Sucker Punch Studios did an awesome job with the first two games in the franchise.
  • "The Witness," a first-person puzzle platformer from the designer of "Braid." I have no idea what is going on with this game. From the footage, it appears to be spiritual kin with "Myst" and "Portal," in that your reward is getting to see more interesting stuff as you puzzle through.
  • "Deep Down," the working title of a fantasy dungeon adventure game. Again, the trailer didn't show much gameplay, but the gorgeous graphics of a dragon breathing fire directly in the face of a character made me look at "Skyrim" a little differently.

Text Only
  • 071814_whiskeydicks.jpg Stretching out: Whiskey Dick's can do more in a bigger downtown location

    For the Whiskey Dick's owners, it isn't a matter of what's in a name but more of a place where everybody knows your name.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Film-Hollywoods Ape M_Cast.jpg Benji Tunnell: Great CGI, solid writing make 'Apes' a near-perfect blockbuster

    A couple of weeks ago, we saw "Transformers 4," a big, computer-driven blockbuster film that was symbolic of all that is wrong with filmmaking today.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • polyphony.jpg Marta Churchwell: New Mexico marimba group returns for concert Sunday

    They're back. Polyphony Marimba, the Santa Fe, New Mexico, band that wowed the crowd with African music during a Downtown Joplin Third Thursday last summer, received such a response to that performance that they're coming back on Sunday.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • River Regatta 2013.jpg Dave Woods: Nevada regatta makes for a birthday escape

    In just three weeks, I'll spend my 50th birthday floating down the Colorado River with 35,000 of my closest friends.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow 1 Story

  • 071814_pickin trimmin.jpg New festival focuses on short independent films

    As Jack Truman saw his films play in festivals around the world, one lingering thought persisted: He wished that such festivals existed in his hometown area.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071614 Glory Days_72.jpg Glory Days Music to resume weekly in-store concerts

    The staff at Glory Days Music have been working their business as usual. Musicians demonstrate guitars, drums and other instruments. Music is sold; lessons are taught. But something has been missing.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug_joe-hadsall-112613.jpg Joe Hadsall: All the hidden secrets in "Weird Al's" "Word Crimes" video

    I sincerely believe the "Word Crimes" video will become the most important song in history, and the most mandatory-to-watch video in schools across the country.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug_joe-hadsall-112613.jpg Globe Phone Test: Concept is clever, but transitions tricky with Asus PadFone X

    It's kind of embarrassing to point this out, but "Candy Crush Saga" is one of the best ways to illustrate how well the Asus PadFone X, a smartphone and tablet combo really works.

    Anyone who has more than one device will understand this situation completely: Let's say a player fires up "Candy Crush" on his tablet computer and really digs the game. A lot. So much so that he downloads it to his smartphone.

    Only there's one problem: All the progress made on the tablet is stuck on the tablet. The smartphone has a completely separate path of progress, meaning the player has to play each level twice. This makes progress through the game twice as long. (This problem can be fixed by signing up for the game on Facebook, but no one really wants their Facebook friends to know they spend so much time crushin' candy.)

    The Asus PadFone X is the dream solution to this nightmare of a problem.

    Available exclusively from AT&T, the device is actually two devices. A standalone smartphone can be plugged into a tablet computer, meaning the owner can take his pick of how he wants to play the game, and all the progress he makes is saved on one device's hard drive.

    AT&T loaned us a device that we tested for more than two weeks -- didn't like having to send it back -- and we found a lot of its qualities and quirks.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tantric tours in support of latest studio album

    "37 Channels," the latest album from Hugo Ferreira's band, features a lineup of guests including Hinder's Austin Winkler, Shooter Jennings, 3 Doors Down drummer Greg Upchurch, Uncle Kracker guitarist Kevin McCreery, Saving Abel guitarist Scott Bartlett and Leif Garrettt.

    July 11, 2014

  • 071114_steve cindy head.jpg New exhibit combines works of married couple

    Steve and Cindy Head create different types of art, which means they can be each other's best mentor. Steve makes mixed media works assembled from photographs, headlines and more; Cindy paints vivid patterns and fanciful scenes with bold color palettes.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo