The Last of Us Part 1 is my first time experiencing this critically acclaimed and generally beloved game. I wasn’t doing a lot of gaming at the time it was first released which was in June 2013. About a year later, a remastered version for the PlayStation 4 was released. And at that point, I was still a few years away from really coming back to gaming.
Before I talk about my experience playing The Last of Us Part 1, I think it’s crucial to share where I’m coming from as a gamer. I missed nearly all of the PS3 era and the early part of the PS4 era. At the time I was busy building my career as a media professional – covering more politics, sports, and tech over gaming.
It wasn’t around 2016 to 2017 that I jumped back into gaming again. I inherited my brother’s PS4 as he transitioned to the PS4 Pro. My feelings towards gaming has been largely the same since. I really jumped back in at the perfect time – to a point where gaming has matured quite a bit.
I did most of my gaming on the original PlayStation and the PS2. But I had to pull back because I became too consumed by gaming and had neglected my school work. Going from that era to the PS4 was quite the leap. Especially for someone like myself who is used to the grind-heavy hours of JRPGs and who’s jaws dropped at 3D polygons I can control on the TV.
And that’s how I feel about experiencing The Last of Us Part 1 in this fully remade form. It’s a leap, and I’m glad I’m soaking in the story in this presentation.
Definitely a Remake
Naughty Dog, the game’s developer, and Sony PlayStation have really gone out of their way to market this as a Remake and not just another remaster. And really, it’s largely true.
To be able to get a frame of reference, I played the early hours of the game both on the Remake and the Remastered version. The visual differences are very evident.
First off, the environment, textures, and character models look and feel a lot more real on the Remake. It’s really hard to explain in detail. And not even this side-by-side video comparison by IGN can fully showcase the visual leap.
After all, the console generations are a little closer to each other than the more massive Remake that Square Enix did with Final Fantasy VII.
The improved visual cues and controls help with it too. The visual cues on the Remake are now in white – more in keeping with the tone and look of the game. In the Remaster, the on screen elements were more colorful and it felt more gamery. It’s a subtle change and one that may not matter to most people, but it is noticeable nevertheless.
The controls, too, feel more fluid. There was something about the controls on the Remaster that felt heavier than the one on the Remake. Although, it really isn’t by much. But the combination of the better visuals and improvements in gameplay certainly signals a ground-up rebuild. Which stays true to how the game has been marketed so far.
I’m not gonna go into detail since you can check all of that out on the PlayStation Blog, anyway. All I can say is that every little improvement – especially the accessibility ones – they mentioned is no hyperbole. Everything does feel like an upgrade.
Is it just a cash grab?
Even after playing a good chunk of the game, I still haven’t made up my mind on whether The Last of Us Part 1 is even really necessary.
If, like me, this will be your first time experiencing the story, then it’s an easy recommendation. And perhaps that is the main point of the Remake. To get players who missed out on the initial release to experience the game but by 2022 standards.
For fans who have played the game before, it’s hard to have to shell out the price of a new game for a story you’ve already experienced before. If you fall in this category, perhaps it’s more prudent to wait for discounts and price drops, or for it to show up on the PS Plus subscriptions.
As a first-time player, I’m having a grand time. Very similar to my experience with playing Uncharted 4 which I also missed when it first came out. Going through the game in the PS5 enhanced version included in the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection was an absolute joy.
Certainly a marketing tool
But like Uncharted, I am firmly in the camp that The Last of Us Part 1 is a rather expensive marketing tool to accompany Sony’s foray into live action movies and series.
The release timing of the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection happened right around the time the Uncharted movie starring Tom Holland (Spider-Man in the MCU) was released. And just as The Last of Us Part 1 is coming out on September 2, 2022, HBO dropped a trailer of the The Last of Us TV series starring Pedro Pascal. It doesn’t take a genius to put two-and-two together.
That said, these Remakes aren’t phoned-in efforts. They are very much done with much love and care by the developers. And they’re definitely the best way to experience the games today.
The GameSir G8 Galileo is great for PS Remote Play
While we wait for the PlayStation Portal
We happen to be in a region where the PlayStation Portal has yet to be released. Good thing, PS Remote Play is available and GameSir has a controller you can hook up to your smartphone that’s readily compatible. Enter the GameSir G8 Galileo.
You might not see it right away, but the biggest difference with the G8 Galileo compared to other smartphone controllers (even the ones GameSir made themselves) is it’s actually full size.
Most smartphone controllers prioritize portability. Thus, they’re more compact. That means smaller face buttons, smaller thumbsticks, and generally smaller overall profile.
Usable, sure. But not exactly ideal for people with chubby hands like yours truly.
This is also one of the primary reasons why, despite owning a Backbone One, I’ve rarely used it for its intended purpose. And the reason why the PlayStation Portal is appealing to me.
The GameSir G8 Galileo changes all of that because of its size. It’s also not just larger. Its ergonomics are great too. Your hands will sit nicely on the nice, curved handles for a more comfortable, more enjoyable handheld gaming session.
PS Remote Play
Another big area of convenience is you don’t necessarily have to have the GameSir app to make it work. Simply download the PS Remote Play app, register, and fire it up.
To make sure it’s on PS Remote Play compatible mode, just press the Share and Options buttons simultaneously. Those are the tiny buttons on the left and right hand side of the controllers right above the left thumb stick and the face buttons.
Upon pressing simultaneously, make sure the color on the GameSir logo on the lower right part of the controller is white. That’s how you know it’s on PS Remote Play mode.
Once done, just easily plug-in your smartphone with a USB-C port on GameSir’s signature flexible USB-C plug and off you go.
Actual play time
Here’s a quick Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 gameplay using the GameSir G8 Galileo along with the HONOR Magic5 Pro with Remote Play:
— rodneil (@rodneilquiteles) November 30, 2023
This under a minute clip, naturally, isn’t representative of the entire Remote Play experience. Anyone who has tried it before knows that with extended play time, you’ll likely experience a few hiccups here and there. That’s just the nature of the beast.
That said, this whole set-up has been generally great. Other than Spider-Man 2, I’ve managed to play a handful of quick NBA 2K24 games like this. I still racked up a handful of wins despite suffering from occasional latency trouble.
The feel of the controller is fantastic and is easily the most enjoyable out of every other smartphone controller that I’ve tried before. And I’ve tried a few other than the Backbone One. There’s the GameSir X3, GameSir X2 Pro-Xbox, and the Razer Kishi V2.
Compatible games, mapping
Depending on the platform you’re on, the GameSir G8 Galileo will work on multiple other games. If you’re an iPhone 15 Series user, Remote Play, select Apple Arcade games, and even the AAA games set to release for that iPhone will work with this controller.
For Android users, it’s the usual handful of controller supported games that will work with this. For everything else, you’ll have to resort to mapping — a task for those with patience.
You can buy the GameSir G8 Galileo here: https://bit.ly/gsg8galileo
Use G8Creator on the Coupon Code for 10% off.
Netflix is getting three classic Grand Theft Auto games next month
All three in remastered glory
If you need something light to play amid the bushel of bigger games released this year, you might be sleeping on Netflix’s growing library of games. After packing a significant amount of indie classics on the platform, Netflix is now adding more mainstream hits starting next month. Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition will arrive on the platform in December.
While it’s no Grand Theft Auto V, the trilogy collection three of the most iconic titles in the series: Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas. The three games represent an era when Rockstar Games had unparalleled dominance in the open-world genre. Released in 2021, the collection releases the trilogy for modern systems, complete with upgraded (albeit controversial) graphics.
The trilogy is a big get for Netflix. Though the platform’s games catalog already has certified hits (such as Spiritfarer and Into the Breach), Netflix’s new feature hasn’t taken off as much as the company would want. Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy might be its most iconic addition yet, potentially boosting its value for subscribers (especially those who don’t want to pay full price for old games).
For Rockstar Games, the addition couldn’t have come at a better time. The studio has already confirmed that it will release the first trailer for the much-awaited Grand Theft Auto VI next month. The series is about to get a big boost.
If you want to play Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, the three games will drop on Netflix starting December 14. As with all of Netflix’s other games, the trilogy is available for free for all subscribers through a mobile device.
Dragon’s Dogma 2 release date known; pre-orders now open
The Arisen are back
Dragon’s Dogma 2, the much-awaited sequel to Dragon’s Dogma which debuted in 2012, is officially releasing on March 22, 2024 as confirmed by Capcom.
Pre-orders for the single player narrative driven action-RPG is now open. It will be available on the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Steam in the Standard and Deluxe editions.
The Deluxe Edition includes the following additional items:
- Explorer’s Camping Kit
- 1500 Rift Crystals
- Dragon’s Dogma Music & Sound Collection
- Items: Wakestone, Art of Metamorphosis, Harpysnare Smoke Beacons, Ambivalent Rift Incense, Heartfelt Pendant, Makeshift Gaol Key
The story of the sequel still revolves around the Arisen, whose heart is taken by the Dragon.
Players control the Arisen and can customize them. The development team has simplified the process of creating characters.
These Arisen are accompanied by mysterious beings called Pawns who are devoted to serving them.
In the game, the Arisen get caught in between the human kingdom of Vermund and the beastren nation of Batthal. They differ in their thoughts towards the Arisen and Pawns, all while having to deal with the Dragon.
The sequel mirrors the world setting of the first game. However, the adventure takes place in a parallel world that is much bigger.
New vocation, new monsters, new settlement
Dragon’s Dogma 2 also features a new vocation exclusive to the Arisen called Trickster, which wields the Censer and uses the smoke it produces to conjure illusions.
This leads to the enemy being confused into fighting themselves through illusions or increasing the power of Pawns for a limited period.
Additionally, the giant Talos emerges from the sea, giving players another monster to figure out how to stop.
The showcase also previewed a glimpse of the Sacred Arbor, an elf settlement where elves communicate with each other but will need the help of a nearby Pawn to be understood by players.
A first glance at the upcoming game’s footage and additional information can be viewed on the Dragon’s Dogma 2 Showcase 2023.
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