PlayStation Mega Bits: April 2021

Welcome to another episode of PlayStation Mega Bits. Before we begin I first want to thank Will for hosting last month’s show while I was taking some much needed time off. Will has been doing a fantastic job since joining the team and if there’s anybody I trust to host this show with the same passion and energy for PlayStation as I have it’s definitely Will. Also if you’re listening to the audio version or reading the print version of this month’s episode I want to strongly encourage you to head over to YouTube.com/megadads because starting right now and from here on out PlayStation Mega Bits is a brand new video series bringing you the definitive edition of this show where we bring you the biggest gaming news in a small podcast format. Now without any further delay, it’s time to play.

Genshin Impact Comes to PS5

The world of Genshin Impact is getting a PS5 update in a matter of days that brings with it native 4k resolution, enhanced textures, near instantaneous load times and DualSense support. PS5 Players will be able to experience the updated version starting April 28th which is the same day as the launch of the 1.5 update. The 1.5 update of Genshin Impact will introduce a new domain, boss encounters several new characters and a brand new base building mode that allows players to create, customize and curate their own homesteads. This is the feature I am most excited to explore. One of my favorite parts of The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild as the home customization and construction of Tarrey town. There’s something very charming about being able to create a home to come back to after your adventures within a massive fantasy world.
Genshin Impact is my new gaming mainstay. A free-to-play Action RPG that takes the best of Zelda and Final Fantasy and mixes it together to create a truly rich and impressive gaming experience that will keep you coming back over and over again. I’ve been playing every single day for weeks now and I have no intention of slowing down. If you haven’t heard me talk about this game before you should go ahead and check out my Report Card for it which is available on YouTube.com/megadads.

PS3 and Vita Stores Stay Open

In a surprising change of heart Jim Ryan, President and CEO of PlayStation has announced they are reversing their decision to shut down the store fronts on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Sony had originally decided to shutter these stores and move on from that generation to focus on the new wave of hardware. But after a very vocal backlash from consumers the company has made a rather surprising step in keeping these services active. In a recent PlayStation Blog posting Ryan writes that “it’s clear that we made the wrong decision here”.
This is significant as Sony has been under intense scrutiny lately amidst all of the goodwill and pro-consumer moves competitor Xbox has been stacking up. Many have pointed out that PlayStation needs to make an adjustment to their current ways of engaging with the player base in order to push back against the public image that they are losing touch with what their consumers want. Personally I hope that PlayStation has an answer to the issue of backwards compatibility. With Xbox not only offering the option to play most of their entire lineage of gaming on all of their platforms, Sony has a lot of catching up to do to offer a comparable alternative. PS Now is a half step offering only a slim selection of legacy titles and most of them on a streaming only basis. So with fans clamoring for PlayStation to make a move in that direction, taking away one of the only remaining ways to buy classic titles was clearly a bad misstep. Thankfully Jim Ryan made the right call and for now the PlayStation 3 and Vita stores will live to play another day.

Play at Home with Aloy

As we wait to get more information on one of this years biggest titles, Horizon Forbidden West, Sony wants to keep Aloy fresh in the minds and hearts of players around the world this Summer by offering PlayStation players the Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition free for all PlayStation owners. The Complete Edition contains the base game as well as the phenomenal expansion story The Frozen Wilds. Horizon is one of the best new properties at PlayStation and with players craving news about the impending sequel this is a great move to offer the original game at no cost to catch anyone up who may have missed it the first time around. While I’ve certainly praised Horizon plenty of times here at Mega Dads it’s worth noting that The Frozen Wilds addition is one of the best add-on campaigns I’ve ever played. Aloy’s journey to the heart of Thunder’s Drum is exhilarating and visually stunning. I cannot recommend The Frozen Wilds enough so get on this deal before it disappears on May 14th.
In addition to the Play at Home initiative Aloy has found herself dropping on the island in Fortnite as the latest gaming legends character. The Aloy bundle comes with the character, a custom glider, pickaxe and back-bling and if you’re playing on PlayStation platforms you even get a secondary custom skin for her as part of your purchase. I’m fairly big into Fortnite since last season blew the doors off with wave after wave of awesome character additions and I couldn’t be happier to see Aloy join this game alongside so many cool character options.

Wanderer Travels to PSVR

After a few months of uncomfortable silence on the VR front it really seems like the PSVR has hit a massive wave of hype. Studios have been dropping PSVR announcements left and right and I’m here to round up the best ones of the last month so you can stay immersed in all the gaming your eyes can handle. First of these announcements is Wanderer, a time traveling adventure game that puts you in the role of Asher Neumann, a man living in a post apocalyptic world who discovers that his grandfather held the key to traversing space and time. This sets you on a dimension hopping adventure to alter the course of history to prevent the cataclysmic events of your current timeline. Paired with a sentient wrist watch who serves as your sidekick and gateway to the universe, Wanderer looks like an absolute trip of a game and exactly the kind of narrative adventure I crave. Wanderer arrives later this Fall.

How the West Was Whipped

My favorite VR game from last year is back with another story expansion themed around the Wild West. Last month on Mega Dads Live I talked about the cyberpunk inspired Pistol Whip 2089 and how the introduction off storyline, powerups and boss battles shook up the Pistol Whip formula. Now Cloudhead Games is back in the saddle with Smoke and Thunder. Smoke and Thunder will be another five level story addition to the Pistol Whip library and promises thrills, locomotives and explosions. I personally can’t wait to see what it feels like to draw a six shooter in Pistol Whip and I’m secretly hoping they somehow have a horseback riding level as well. Also announced for Pistol Whip is the Concierge mode which will be an enhancement to the games current modifier options. The Concierge will allow you to customize each level to your preferred style of play in a multitude of ways, which is fascinating to me because Pistol Whip already has a huge amount of game modifiers you can apply. So I’m curious to see how that plays out. Smoke and Thunder arrives this Summer.

More Layers Than Ever

Finally in the PSVR Roundup I am very excited to tell you that one of my favorite horror developers, Bloober Team, creators of The Medium and Blair Witch, have announced one of their most acclaimed games is coming to PSVR. Layers of Fear is a series I’ve heard a lot about but have yet to try myself. It’s a psychological horror title that sees the player slowly descend into madness as his supernatural surroundings close in on him. Bloober Team does such a fantastic job playing with their players minds in all of their games and I can only imagine what surprises are in store for us with the VR platform. With the announcement of Layers of Fear coming to PSVR I’m hoping this opens the door to more VR offerings from the studio. They have already released Blair Witch as an Oculus game and I would love to have that game playable on my PlayStation. Layers of Fear lands on PSVR on April 29th.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Crash Bandicoot is back in an insanely charming and hilarious platform adventure. Join Crash as he leaps backwards and forwards through time and space with the help of his friends and a handful of enchanted masks to defeat outlandish villains. This game is like playing through an animated series complete with hilarious jokes and over the top animations. The visuals are bright and beautiful and the music is catchy and upbeat. While the challenge of Crash 4 is quite high, we found that it’s a fantastic “pass-the-controller” game. Elliott and I love tag-teaming the levels and laughing as we play through each new, crazy situation that Crash finds himself in. Crash 4: It’s About Time is highly recommended to lovers of classic platform action.

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