August IGC Preview

August is already here (practically) and looking back I realized it was around this time last year that I started posting about the instant game collection. So here’s to a year of this column (of sorts), and more years to come.

We’re in the second month of the new format, where we get two games per platform (PS4, PS3, PSVita), although in the notes for this month, it appears that a few of the titles are cross buy, so it ends up being more than two each. However, we’ll still be getting them all at once. First up, the video. Skip that if you would prefer to read 😛

Alright readers, here goes.

On PS4 this month, there’s a new title releasing called “Road Not Taken.” It’s a “rogue-like puzzle game,” in that some of the elements are procedural, but I didn’t hear mention of permadeath. It’s puzzle-like because there are a limited amount of moves per room, and you have people to rescue before you move on to the next. This seems like an indie game that will end up on other platforms as well, so check Steam if you aren’t a Sony guy/gal. The second title is Fez, which we had a little bit of a talk about on the podcast not too long ago. Remember the Phil Fish stuff? Yeah you do. Regardless, this is a title I haven’t played so I’m willing to check it out, though that dude’s attitude kind of makes me want to skip it. That one is cross buy across all three platforms. It’s a platformer with some puzzle-y stuff.

On PS3 (aside from Fez), there’s Crysis 3, which seems to be a popular series. I played the 2nd one a couple of years ago for a few moments and don’t remember being overly impressed. It does seem to have some cool features but they keep using the word sandbox in their description of the game, and I just don’t see it being that. Keep your eyes open for the next podcast, and you’ll hear more about what I think makes for a sandbox game. Still, it’s cool that they’re still giving us AAA titles for free, even if they’re old. I skip a bunch of them anyway due to hardly ever boarding the hype train. The other title is a game called Proteus, and I do remember seeing this one when it released earlier, both on Steam and PSN. It truly looks like a walking simulator, no sarcasm intended. Apparently the music changes with the mood of the world, and the island is procedurally generated, so no two playthroughs are alike. I’ll probably fiddle around with it, but nothing really exciting here.

On PSVita, the best game of the bunch (most likely) is Dragon’s Crown. I bought the game last year when it released (almost to the day if I remember correctly) and had a blast with it. It does have some ridiculous character models, but the game is a lot of fun especially if you loved Golden Axe type games. It has more depth with items and levels and all that good stuff, plus local or online multiplayer. This one too is cross buy, so PS3 owners will get a copy. Maybe I’ll go back and play it some more. I did beat the game on normal, but there’s further difficulties and more stuff has been added via patch since I last played it. Lastly, another new released specifically for the Vita, called Metrico. It’s another simplistic platformer, and I really can’t say much else about it.

Looks to be a pretty decent month, particularly if you don’t own any of the games. If anyone has a PS4 and tries out Road Not Taken, let me know how it is.

#instantgamecollection #playstationplus #igc

Sona Rework + Gnar Reveal

A new patch is coming down the pipeline in League of Legends. This time around it’s number 4.13, and with it comes a lot of tweaks and fixes like a normal patch. It’s been a long while since I went over some patch notes or really paid attention to the game, but outside of the Doom Bots mode that I talked about recently, there hasn’t been a whole lot going on. I know the pros are doing there thing and I haven’t been really watching. I like when the action heats up in the fall, that’s when the best games happen. So yeah, it’s about time some news came out of League that I really care about. I’ll leave the link to the patch notes here, so you can read them if you’re curious. One part that I did find particularly interesting was this little tidbit:

Toasters rejoice!

  • Improved match loading speeds by 10-30%, particularly for older machines

Not only is that pretty damn funny, since I’ve made the toaster joke countless times, but it’s also a great improvement. Loading times can be atrocious, and that sometimes makes me not want to play the game. On a serious note, there are some nice fixes/changes in the full notes, but I didn’t want to spend too much time on that. The biggest part of this patch that I’ve got my eyes on is the Sona Rework.

You might recall that I spent some time at the end of season 3 trying to promote out of bronze. It was my first season of ranked play, and I didn’t take it very seriously, but I wanted to get at least to silver, and I managed to accomplish that. I ended up using Sona in a large portion of the ranked games that I played, and had some success. I really enjoy playing the support role (though solo-top Shen was a blast too), and I loved playing Sona. So much so, that when given the opportunity to play her in ARAM still feels like a treat. She’s been one of my favorite characters for a long time, so seeing her get some love is a great. The question is, is it really love? Or a hidden nerf?

Looking at her skill updates, I feel like it’s nice to have a visible aura rather than the implied one, but apparently they’ve actually reduced the range of the auras, and rather than being a continuous passive, the passives are better but only for a couple of seconds. All of the added benefits when using power cords seem to be better, but since I haven’t tried her yet, I’m not sure if this rework is going to be awesome or not so hot. I know that other reworks I’ve written about ended up being for the better (Master Yi, Rengar, among others), but time will tell on this one. I hope they didn’t ruin one of my favorites.

They did give her a visual update as well, and though I’m not overly fond of her base model, the Pentakill skin looks better than it did before. I look forward to trying her out.

Another reason why I’m excited to talk about League again, is that there’s finally a new champion on the horizon. It feels like so long ago that Braum came out, but I realize it really hasn’t been that long. I picked him up not long after his release but I’ve been on sort of a break from the game so I haven’t messed around with him all that much. I hear he’s been pretty well-liked on the pro scene. Anyway, the new champion was teased a while ago (which I somehow missed) and was revealed earlier today. His name is Gnar, and he’s one angry Yordle.


I love Yordles. At least a couple of them. I don’t understand my affinity to short races, but it’s there nonetheless. Gnar is an interesting champion in that he has the two form thing going like a few others do (Elise, Jayce, Shyvanna), but it’s based in a different way so as to stay fresh. Basically, the little guy has a couple decent abilities and as he does stuff, he builds rage. That sounds like Tryndamere or Renekton, I know, but he actually changes form after an ability is used once his rage bar is full, or after a few seconds of it being full. This means he’ll take a little finesse to master. His abilities change once in this form, and he has to be “Mega Gnar” to use his ultimate. When he’s Mini, he is more agile and has some poke, when he’s Mega he’s more in your face brawler. I like the trading of styles like that so I think this champion will be a fun solo-top champion.

It never fails, I’ll take some time off from League of Legends, but I’ll always be back when cool new stuff is there to try out. More on this as I know more.

#leagueoflegends #gnar #sona