Tag: insomniac games

Notable New Gaming Releases: Spider-Man 2, Super Mario Bros Wonder, and More…

Well, the holidays are drawing near and that means it's about time for the final (and oftentimes, biggest) titles of the year to arrive. Case in point, this week saw the release of two, (Marvel) Spider-Man 2 and Super Mario Bros Wonder. The follow-up to 2018's amazing Spider-Man and 2020's spectacular Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Spider-Man 2 represents the next logical step in the franchise by allowing you to swap back and forth between the two main characters from both of those previous entries. It also appears to have upped the ante by bringing in popular comics villains Kraven the Hunter and Venom (undoubtedly among others).

Meanwhile, Super Mario Bros Wonder appears to be bringing the same style of charming family-friendly 4-person multiplayer fun that 2013's outstanding Super Mario 3D World offered, but in a uniquely new, yet tried and true 2D setting. No matter which console you own, a Switch or a PS5 (or both), it seems like you've got something new you're going to want to try out. And for those without either, read on for a list of new hotness for you to play too.

‚ÄčAlso out in the last 12 weeks, a new Sonic the Hedgehog title that seems to be not entirely unlike the new Super Mario Bros game; the first new Forza Motorsport title in 6 years, and a follow-up to the pretty groovy 2019 strategy title, Wargroove. Be greater. Together. Jump past the break to see more new releases from the last 84 days.

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2021 (Late to the Party Edition)

Well, 2022 is already 2/3rds of the way done, and now that the "new" generation of consoles (that came out nearly two years ago) are finally starting to become easier to obtain at the suggested retail price, it seems that the time is finally right to discuss the best games from the prior year. Assuming you can still remember that far back, 2021 was actually another decent year for gaming. Even though the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 remained next to impossible to obtain at sane prices, they both saw the release of some great new titles and even the occasional exclusive (although in the case of the Series X, the term "exclusive" may be somewhat generous). There were also a number of big releases for the Switch and PC as well. Please read on for a list of the best games of 2021, according to myself:

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2009 – A 12-Year Retrospective

Well, it's a new year and I'm back again with another best-of retrospective. This go round, we'll be taking another 12-year look-back, at the best games of 2009, and unlike with the last one, I'm happy to be able to deliver it in a more timely, and thus, sensible fashion. 2009 was another great year for games. But really though, aren't they all, just about? Let's just say, it wasn't any slouch. Please join me as I take a look back at some of the following reasons why.

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AJ’s 2021 E3/Nintendo Direct & September PlayStation Showcase Roundup

Sorry for the delay in posting the usual June E3 news but I (like so many others) was waiting on Sony to get with the program and give the fans at least some idea of what they can expect to get excited about over the next year or two. Well, a year later Covid-19 still wouldn't take a hint and kindly flock off so this year's E3 event still wasn't the typical show everyone is used to. It was back, though, online only and rebranded as the "Electronic Entertainment Experience", but I'll always take some kind of a show over no show at all.

Microsoft and Bethesda got things going with their first E3 press conference as one singular industry titan. Followed shortly after by Nintendo, who did their now-standard E3 Nintendo Direct presentation. Sony, however, decided it was too cool for school, skipped E3 altogether and waited till just this month to hold their own upcoming releases showcase. But now that we've heard from all 3 players, I can finally round up the highlights for you.

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AJ’s Upcoming Gaming Releases Roundup – 2021 Edition

Well, my Best Games of 2020 list is done now, so it's time to move ahead to 2021. There's a lot to look forward to over the next 11 months. Assuming the release dates all hold, that is. At any rate, it's looking like it should be another solid year for gaming, all in all. Go ahead and read on for a list of 12 particular highlights that you should be able to play all of before the year's end.

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AJ’s Picks: The 12 Best Games of 2020

It's so nice to be out of 2020. Between the pandemic and a multitude of various other reasons, it was surely a year most people would sooner forget. But that being said, 2020 wasn't actually a total loss. Despite several titles having to see their release dates pushed back due to the challenges of working through social distancing and quarantines, it was overall a pretty fantastic year for video games. Don't believe me? Well, just read on and see for yourself as I recap 12 of the very brightest spots in an otherwise pretty dark year.

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AJ’s (Non-)E3 2020 Roundup

The Covid-19 pandemic has made 2020 anything but typical. With nearly every major public event cancelled, it's no surprise that E3 would be among the casualties. Yet, despite there not being an actual Electronic Entertainment Expo this year, that didn't stop the big players from still making their obligatory mid-year gaming announcements. So, E3 or no, I've still got plenty of great information to round up for you.

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The PlayStation 3: A 12-Year Anniversary Retrospective

Well, it's another 12-year anniversary today and that means it's time once again for a retrospective of one of the great consoles of recent gaming history. This time around we have the distinct pleasure of taking a look back at the somewhat-remarkable run of Sony's PlayStation 3. Though news of its release came with lofty expectations, a series of unfortunate decisions over its lifetime (particularly at the start) did keep it from becoming the console titan it was meant to be. Despite this however, an extremely solid and varied library, along with a couple of strategically competitive moves allowed it to still finish out the generation neck and neck with the competition.

Coming off of the runaway successes that were the PS1 and PS2, it seemed as though Sony could do no wrong. Regrettably for them however, this was not the case. In the years and months leading up to the launch, Sony made a series of blunders that all contributed to a less-than-stellar start. For starters, they let Microsoft beat them to launch with the Xbox 360, a full year before the PlayStation 3 would be released. This gave the 360 plenty of time to carve out a decent foothold in the market and prove itself worthy of gamers hard-earned dollars. In addition, Sony selected the uniquely designed Cell processor for their system, which, while theoretically capable of delivering better graphics than the Xbox's more traditional Xenon processor, didn't really do so in practice. Making matters worse was the fact that the Cell's unorthodox design initially caused many third-party developers to struggle to deliver games that looked even as good as the 360 versions.

As if those two shortcomings weren't bad enough, there were two arguably even bigger issues with Sony's system. At the time Sony announced the PS3 to the world, they were in the midst of a legal dispute over the vibration technology in their controllers. As a result, the PS3 ended up having to launch without it. At that point in time, vibration had already been an industry standard for nearly two generations and was utilized with both the PS1 and PS2. More importantly, the previous year's Xbox 360 had it (and even the upcoming Nintendo Wii was advertising it). Sony was eventually able to settle the dispute and release a vibration controller for their new system, but not until almost a year and a half after the PS3 had already been released.

Finally, the most egregious error Sony made was with the price. Whereas the 360 was competitively priced, the PlayStation 3 was anything but. Questionable design decisions, such as their risky gamble to go with their expensive new (and not yet industry standard at the time) proprietary Blu-ray disc format, as well as the inclusion of additional internal hardware to enable backward compatibility for PlayStation 2 games, drove production costs through the roof. This resulted in a significant price disparity between the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, to the tune of 125 to 200%, depending on which models you were comparing. This means that in some cases Sony was asking for twice as much money as the competition, for a system that, to many gamers, was an arguably inferior offering.

Thankfully, despite these regrettable decisions, Sony was eventually able to turn the system's fortunes around. Shortly before correcting their embarrassing lack of a basic vibration controller, Sony pursued an aggressive (and costly) campaign to ensure that their Blu-ray technology did in fact become the industry standard. Then, starting in 2007, Sony also began selling PS3s with revised hardware configurations (such as the lack of an ability to read PS2 discs) in order to bring costs down. All of these measures together, in addition to the ever-increasing strength of exclusives available for the console, managed to change the PlayStation 3's reputation from a largely unnecessary exercise in extravagance to a genuinely compelling and competitive entertainment machine.

That library, in particular, is what we're here to talk about. And while it was a bit difficult to limit this list to just these 12, it's hard to argue that they're not all fantastic titles. So without further ado, here are 12 of the very best reasons to have owned a PlayStation 3:

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