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December 3, 2015

Introducing: PS4nukkah!!

Get it?  It’s clever, because if you think of it as one word (with the 4 as an A), then it reads like “Psanukkah”.  And that sounds like Hanukkah.  Or pretty close to it, at least.

…It was either this or “PS4nzaa”.  Count your blessings.

Well, here we are.  After two full years on the market, the PS4 finally has a games library worth being excited about.  Granted that library is still full of holes, and it pales in comparison to what the Wii U’s been offering for much longer without a shred of fanfare, but for what it’s worth?  The PS4’s got some good games on it now, conclusively.  And with the holiday season encroaching upon us all, I see no better way to honor that dramatically-reduced rate of disappointment than by talking about some of those games.

Under normal circumstances, I’d be doing something like this for the Wii U.  But in order to not be such a biased fanboy, I’ve opted to switch gears and talk about what Sony’s latest has to offer.  It’s only fair, after all.  What games will I talk about?  I’m guessing that you already know the answer if you’ve read some of my other posts.  But for the sake of argument -- and a cohesive miniseries -- I’ll say that there’s going to be a certain theme attached to each of these four games.

What’s the theme?  Well…

I think “Elements” is an interesting song for a number of reasons (as expected of one of my favorite bands), but unpacking it would take focus away from this mini-post.  What’s important to note is that the theme of PS4nukkah is the same as Stratovarius’ song: elements

I’ve gone on at length about how stories -- the best of them, most of all -- have a spirit that characterizes them.  Through its cast, events, aesthetic, or style, any form of art has the potential to convey a spirit to its audience.  It’s an appreciable effort; when done well, it lets a person feel the essence of a story (ideas or otherwise) on an intimate level -- and as a result, get shaken to the core.  Video games may take a lot of heat, but they’re just as capable of having that effect and affect as any other medium.  Until Dawn proved that not too long ago.  And now, these four games are going to do the same.

Fear.  Anger.  Sorrow.  Joy.  They’re all powerful emotions, for sure -- and as it so happens, each of the games on the docket plays to one in particular.  In what capacity, you ask?  Well, I’ll keep that a secret for now.  But as it stands?  Their ability to play to certain spirits makes them stronger.  They were already strong games to begin with, sure; I expect most of them will top several GOTY 2015 lists.  But on a personal level, there’s something I found in each that helps them go beyond being mere button-bashers.  I hope you’ll all stick around and go on the journey with me throughout the holiday(s).

Well, relatively speaking.  It’s not as if I plan to toss up one post for every day of Hanukkah, after all.  So the plan is to have those four posts go up at certain points throughout December.  Remember the four elements. Fear.  Anger.  Sorrow.  Joy.  They’re the lynchpin of the whole miniseries, and proof of what a game can do when it commits to a specific creative vision.  I’ll be sure to explain why each game is good, but it’s like I said: they’re more than mere button-bashers.  You’ll see what I mean soon enough.  For now, though?  Hold tight.  The content is on the way.

And since fear is the first one up, we might as well start with a bang.  Or a whimper.  From me.

Yeah.  Time for my runback.  

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