The TBoD Re-Cast – The Last of Us Spoilercast

The Last of us  (3)

To mark the re-release of one of our favourite games of all time, The Last of Us Remastered, we thought we woult re-post one of our favourite podcasts that we recorded almost a year ago. So here it is, featuring Cruel Legacey, The Wach and Cartoon Robinson – Here is our TLoU Castpocolypse!

The Last of Us Part 2 Castpocolypse now -Right click and save as to download here

 

The PlayStation 4 – Part 1 – Hardware and UI

ps4 meme

With our pre-orders placed back in July and after months of commentating and speculating on our podcast, finally the 29th of November arrived. A date we have hotly anticipated as the moment we got our grubby little mits on Sony’s fourth iteration of their PlayStation console. Having lived with it for a week now I thought it would be fitting to get some words down about the console in general and the gaming experiences I’ve had so far. This first part focuses on the console itself, my first impressions on the games available at launch will be coming next week.

Aesthetics.

As one would expect, the media has spent a good deal of time comparing the PS4 to the XBox One on every level, its outward appearance being no exception. PS4 consoleVisually it seems to combine a retro feel with a contemporary slant quite literally. The surfaces are sleek and clean, for a while at least, the reflective quarter seems to boggle physics by drawing every particle of dust in your living room toward it like a black hole, if you are a clean freak be prepared to run a rag over it regularly. The LED strip that indicates the console’s on status (or if you are really unlucky its error status) makes it all a little sci-fi, this and other little details I really approve of as it really highlights the thought a due care that has gone into every bit of this console and it’s controller.

The DualShock 4.

If you have listened to our podcast you may be aware my initial encounter with the DS4 was a little underwhelming, as was my time with the Xbox One controller. Looking back at Eurogamer I think my experience with it was marred somewhat by the games I played on it. Now that I have a DS4 of my own I can safely say it is a worthy peer to the 360 controller, the ergonomics of the controller’s provide a surprisingly comfortable grip (something Sony in my opinion has never been good with). The thumbstick orientation is great too, no more unnaturalPS4 DualShock 4 Controller stretching or finger bumping, keeping on the thumbsticks the resistance they provide is quite something making movements more accurate than anything to come before. The triggers too have had some major thought put in, they offer more travel and feel more analogue than digital, if this is the case it could be interesting to see how future games may implement them, for example in a shooter using them to fire semi auto with a half press rather than changing firing modes on the D-Pad.

For me the face buttons offer a similar experience to that of it predecessor, which is no bad thing and the D-Pad actually edges that of the DS3, something I didn’t think was possible. My one gripe would be the options and share buttons are a bit of a reach and certainly I haven’t managed to hit them without looking at the pad, I guess practice will overcome that but with a controller like this that makes everything else feel so natural and well placed this is a niggle keeping it from a perfect score.

The touchpad I have used relatively little so can’t comment on, other than to say that it feels sparsely implemented so far and as it stands may turn out to be more of a gimmick than essential feature. However I could be proven wrong here as I was by the controller in general which stands side by side with my beloved 360 as a tour de force in pad design.

The User Interface

A ghost of the PS3 XMB is still evident in the new UI which, unlike the XMB, is a mostly utilitarian affair. Still flowing sideways the dash is split into two primary rows, PS4 UIthe upper is where all the functional stuff is like your notifications, settings, party, friends and PS store reside. The row below is where the fun happens, all your games are tiled out in horizontally and admittedly this could get a little messy as your library expands but your 5 most recent are place right up front which, unless you are a gaming butterfly, should minimise that ‘Sony scroll’ as much as possible.

Navigation is much breezier than the PS3, eternal lists are far less evident (bar the aforementioned gaming bar and the settings menu which is a touch long-winded)  where you mostly just select, click and in you go. The whole thing is, as you might expect given the beefy internals, extremely snappy and pretty satisfying to move through, offering little to no wait time loading up menus. Design wise, Sony have chosen the very trendy super flat tile look so common in the tech world today, you just have to look at their competitors Microsoft’s console and indeed any mobile OS nowadays to see this aesthetic dominate. I have to say I like it as it gives the dash a crisp appearance.

With social media now infiltrating every part of our modern lives Sony has dished up a more integrated experience in the PS4, right from the outset you can choose to connect with social behemoth Facebook and, if you choose to do so, will pull your profile pic from the site to replace your PSN avatar. The integration runs deeper than that too as the share button (more on this later) will post gameplay videos and images directly to Facebook and indeed Twitter meaning you friends/followers get to share in/be annoyed by your finest gaming moments.

Even the What’s New section mimics Facebook by taking the familiar look of the Timeline and filling it with what you and your friends have been up to on their Whats New ScreenPlayStations, its great for seeing what people have been playing and checking your friends recent trophies or being satisfied when it posts your Resogun high-score. For a Social Media lover such as myself this is possibly one of my favourite features. I will mention it is not all rosy, some features you may have grown accustomed to on your PS3 are distinctly absent. The ability to play MP3’s, set up media servers or watch 3D blu-rays are all lacking from the PS4 at launch. Sony says they are coming down the pipe which if you are an optimist could be viewed as Sony wanting to get the newer features right, or if you are a cynic a ploy to push their Music and Video Unlimited services. Whichever side you take, if you are one of the few who actually gets the media server to work reliably then it looks like the PS3 will have to remain plugged in for now.

Speaking of the proprietary “Unlimited” media subscriptions the PS4 comes with 30 day trials of each, for kicks I thought I would try to see whether it was actually unlimited. Both myself and my girlfriend tested the Music App by searching some really obscure artists we thought it couldn’t possibly have, to our surprise it found us some music by each artist. However we did hit a limit in a sense, in one instance it find an artist but not the particular song we were looking for. We will take that as a partial win, though I think it proves we are more mainstream than we thought.

One honourable mention and my favourite function on the PS4 is the share button, this feature is what boosts this machine from a just console with upgraded horsepower to something truly next-gen. Provided you have set up your twitchPS4 Share Button previously then streaming gameplay takes literally 30 seconds to initiate, it can be done on a whim and takes literally no effort. Experiencing a particularly lovely vista in-game? a couple of taps and you have shared the view with your Twitter followers. Just mowed down a ton of enemies or performed a counter-stab in Battlefield 4? Hit the share button and have that moment immortalized and posted to Facebook. Simple. Brilliant.

So far I have been very impressed by the PS4 and can’t wait to see what else Sony has up it’s sleeve, once I can view 3D Blu-ray then myself (and the 23 other people who adopted 3D and use it) will be very happy.

Have you recently picked up a PS4 or next-gen console?  Think I have missed something? Share your thoughts in the comments.Thanks.

To read Part of our PS4 Review on free games Click Here

The TBoD Podcast – 37 – Well Hung Voices

Salutations Gamers,

In this episode we try to maintain an even keel by talking about the rumours surrounding Fallout 4, the GTA Online black friday event and what the players think of it. We also give our indie game of the week to the C&C based fan made shooter Renegade X.  

However eremenko and Quim can’t help but show their love for their new toy’s; The PlayStation 4.

We talk about the dashboard experience, the share function, the controller as a standalone piece of kit and in comparison to the benchmark that is the 360 controller. Of course we do talk some of the launch titles too, covering Battlefield 4, Resogun, Contrast, NBA 2K14 and Killzone Shadowfall.

Did you get a next-gen console recently? let us know your thoughts and what games you picked up.

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The TBoD Podcast – 35 – PS4 Launch Jizzsploshion

Another week, another TBoD podcast. Our new permanent line up stretch their vocal chords talking about;

The DRM debate that has escalated due to Sonys new ToS,

a touch of class from MS in the console war,

Crinbot and eremenkos excitement over a potential new Fallout game,

all the excitement and troubles of the PS4 launch,

and in our “we called the dog … ” section we highlight “Obduction” the new title from the creators of “Myst” and “Riven” which has smashed it’s kickstarter goal.

Have a little listen, let us know what you think by commenting below, tweeting us, hitting up our facebook page or leaving a review on iTunes.

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Xbox One or PlayStation 4 – Console Conundrum

The next-gen is almost upon us and as a gamer the upcoming console goodness has been increasingly occupying my mind, so much so that even during trivial matters such as work, my cogs are constantly whirring at an ever-increasing rate to fathom out which console to go for. I have both the XBox One and the PlayStation 4 pre-ordered and the time has come to choose a side, and I need help. But before I throw this to the arena for you to give your opinions I thought a background on my increasingly tumultuous thought process may be in order.

It all started way back in February when the Haus of Shuh revealed their plans for the next iteration in Sony’s prestigious gaming history and I, like many of you, was impressed by what they flaunted on stage. The opening vista of Killzone: Shadowfall, the support of indies and pretty epic hardware that console gamers have been drooling over. I recently bought a PS3 and have to say I do think it’s a pretty great platform (bar the controller, more on that later) however for my sins I am an Xbox player by and large, choosing to do pretty much all my gaming on Microsoft’s current console, with much of that time passed having played Halo, I love Halo. For me in general though the XBox 360 is just better, it’s more social, has a better controller, an easier GUI etc etc. So with Sony being first out of the gate with their reveal I was eager to see if Microsoft could come out with the goods.

My wait would end three months later, with bated breath I sat patiently watching the countdown tick away, then rather impatiently waited through Major Nelson’s pre show babble and finally it began. I would see what I would be playing on for the next seven years. It’s on! Look at all those awesome….sports…..and T…V….shows…yaay. To say the least I was a little confused by the whole reveal, and the following statements both conflicting and unpalatable, always online, can’t share games etc all of it left me a little glum. Microsoft butchered my expectations and as the month went on and as the bungles continued they literally gutted those expectations in front of me and cooked up the sweet meats and served them as a TV dinner, so along with the rest of the internet I pulled the napkin out of my collar pushed back in my chair and walked out of the Xbox diner.

So off I went along with the rest of the internet over to the food truck Sony had parked up just outside and realised the food from here looked a lot better. Games by the baker’s dozen, full on support and open publishing for indie developers, all told the social aspects of the platform had been greatly improved and the hardware on paper even trumped that of the Xbox One. The one niggle I had was with the PlayStation controller, in fairness to the DualShock 3 it isn’t the worst controller in the world but in my opinion it’s not far off, it is small and flimsy and those thumbsticks might aswell not be attached the amount of good they do. Conversely the 360 controller is a tour de force in-game input and frankly made me happy to hold it. However reading reports about the DualShock 4 being worlds apart from its pigmy predecessor and claims it was even better than Microsoft’s current gen offering I thought “Screw it, this is my next-gen console” and the pre-order went in.

Happy in my choice I was more than ok to watch the news unfold for both consoles, particularly in Camp Redmond which each week seemed to be in the press for one thing or another, good or bad. It seemed to be one gaf after another for a time with their mixed up messaging and overly corporate double speak. A day came (about a week later) when Microsoft finally heard the raging mob on Twitter and reversed their always online policy, however I was still scorned from what I perceived as their initial attempt to shaft me. Of course that wasn’t the only U-turn, they changed their policies on pre-owned games, lending games to friends, including a headset and then being able to turn off the “always on” Kinect. Essentially what Microsoft did was bring everything in line with Sony’s stance in the most crucial areas.

Regardless of what you think the reasoning behind these changes were, whether it to please gamers or to maximise profits, which lets face both companies are trying to do on both counts, to me it seemed that all my objections were gone and the XBox One became a product I would quite like to have for the first time. But was it worth choosing over the PS4? Well just to be sure another pre-order went down, you know, just in case, then cancel it later when I was sure.

Then came Eurogamer 2013, the day I could hold a PS4 controller and finally be sure I had chosen the right platform for the next few years. So after queueing to get into the Sony area I finally held the controller and to my chagrin it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Now admittedly my first experience was marred by the fact that Blacklight Retribution was an early build and I was unable to invert the Y axis but I did spend about 40 minutes actual game time with the controller so got a decent idea what I would be playing on for the next few years. Now don’t get me wrong the DualShock 4 is by far and a way worlds better than the DS3, the thumbsticks are solid and a lot more response and in fact the whole build in fact feels a bit more premium, however, having heard it was more ergonomic I would have to disagree to some extent, sure it is shaped to fit in my hands more comfortably compared to the last iteration, but to me it still suffered from causing my grip to be a touch too narrow which for me if I were to game for a few hours on end could become a problem. I think this is down to Sony’s insistence in keeping to their “iconic” controller shape. Sorry Sony but that retro controller shape is not applicable these days so move on for the sake of my hands.

The Xbox One controller however was bloody lovely, mainly because its pretty much the same as the 360. Also Titanfall, a console exclusive (maybe), was next level awesome. Also Xbox is an ecosystem I am invested in with a gamerscore and large friends list that would be have to be basically left behind. But on the other hand the Xbone’s features, whilst cool, I wont really use that much, like the Kinect, or wont be available for some time after launch, like video sharing to YouTube. It is a good product in my eyes but feels rushed and unfinished in some areas. Also I don’t think I am the target audience for the One, sure I love Halo, I mean it cemented my love for video games as a grown up, but I don’t play Fifa/Madden or Call of Duty or watch much TV and that’s where Microsoft have their gaze fixed. They have cast their net wide but it seems the catch of the day isn’t me.

So that puts me back at square one. Do I go with the PS4 – a product which has the raw power and variety of gaming experiences but to me is a little lacking in having a truly great controller, whose launch exclusives don’t grab me and lets face don’t have the proven chops for a seamless online matchmaking experience, or do I go for the Xbox One, home of Halo, a brand I am invested with solid input and online infrastructure but which seems to a degree to exclude me from its demographic from the outset.

If you made it through this read then thank you and if you have an opinion on what I should choose answers on a postcard please, or in the comments below. Any advise will be taken kindly. Thanks again.

-The Quim Ninja

TBoD Podcast – 24 – Super Master Chief Brothers

Greetings consumers of interactive media, here are bringing you Episode 24 of The TBoD Podcast and it’s a doozie.

Before diving into the show proper we show our disapproval toward Connor White, Co-Founder of the AGL and his blatant cheating in the Halo Global Championship.

We then talk about the numerous announcements from Xbox camp since our last show, including the Project Spark beta and Steve Ballmer’s retirement.

We cover Sony’s explanation for their several verbal salvos at Microsoft and the cross-platform party chat they plan on implementing.

We also preach on Batman, Beyond Two Souls and Dice and Destiny.

Please leave us a comment and let us know what you think, we will be sure to give you a shout out next show.

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TBoD Podcast – Episode 23 – Gamescom 2013 Teil Eins

Gutentag Teabaggers

Thanks to a technical bumbling we are later than usual but this show is sure to cater to your thirst for gaming news straight from this years Gamescom.

Naturally we discuss all the information so far about the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4

We also get blood flow for Battlefield 4 and discuss the subscription model taken by Elder Scrolls Online.

An article Quim clumsily mentioned regarding AMD’s latest texture technology that only the PS4, and not the Xbox One, will take advantage of can be found here.

This and a ton more stuff on TBoD. Please leave a comment and rate us on iTunes. Thanks!

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TBoD Podcast – Episode 20 – The Cable Guys

Ello Ello Ello,

Welcome to a bit of a landmark for us, Episode 20 of our little old podcast.

The boys mark the occasion by talking about cables for a bit then share their latest foray into games they have played this week.

They then get their pundit on with regards to the latest Xbox One and PS4 news and non news aswell as the latest exciting tech news out of camp Nvidia.

Finally they answer a listener question from last week on what franchises would make us choose one console over the other.

We had a bit of fun (and ice cream) making this one and would love to hear your thoughts, leave us a comment or tweet us. Cheers me dears.

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TBoD podcast – episode 19 – Return of the Red-eye

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Down to just the dynamic duo for the second week in a row Quim and eremenko discuss what they’ve been up to in gaming this week along with a whole host of gaming news including;

Oculus Rift pricing

Photo-Realism in next gen consoles

One Finger Death Punch in our Indie spotlight

a loop hole that allows you to buy an Xbone or Ps4 on the cheap

and much much more, give it a listen and feel free to agree or disagree in the comments below.

TBoD Podcast – 18 – Big Willy Style

It’s hot as balls out and Quim got the fever – the hay fever – but that doesn’t stop the TBoD Capo’s in their quest to cast.

In this Ep (between Quim’s sniffles) the lads share their views on the following news stories and points of interest: –

Microsoft’s plan (or lack thereof) to release the Xbox One in Japan.

Darth err Don Mattrick’s plan to get Microsoft to buy Zynga years ago.

Those launch day next-gen consoles all gone on Amazon.

They then get a little excited about GTA 5 gameplay shown in the latest trailer!

All of this plus the usual quick fire stats, dogs named Indie (minus the soundbyte) and how eremenko is going to blow a load on the Steam Sale

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Please leave us some comments people. Thanks.

Artists impression of blue Exoplanet discover by Hubble telescope

Artists impression of blue Exoplanet discover by Hubble telescope

TBoD Podcast – Episode 14 – The E3 Corral

As the less than witty title suggests this is our round-up of E3. *groan*

We are joined by X Limitz Blackz to discuss what caught our eye and what impressed us most at this years E3 conference. Amongst others we talk about Dead Rising 3, Titanfall, Battlefield 4, Mirrors Edge 2, The Division, ESO Online, Destiny and Super Smash Brothers.

As Limitz and Quim consume more alcohol, the burning question over which console is greater than the other start surfacing. However at 2 hours and 30 minutes we had to draw a line under that, look forward to more on this next week.

What games caught your eye the most? Is there something we missed, Hit us up in the comments.

(Edit: – Sorry for the lack of links to what we discuss this week, I was kind of rushed to get this set up, if you want a list of sources, tweet us @teabagordie and will link you up. Cheers, Quim)

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Or Search for us on iTunes ‘Teabag Or Die’