I finally got around to playing the July 2020 Free PS Plus titles enough to write about them!
NBA 2k20 actually feels like an improvement over 2k19. The Prelude was pretty fun. I started the entire game with a two player match between the Phoenix Suns (me) and the Chicago Bulls (Walker Dennis, originally). I think starting off this way was a good refresher course. It gave me a comfortable zone to practice the game. I only scored one point with the green glow, signaling a perfect shot. The Prelude isn’t too long, I enjoyed making choices throughout it. I do regret ditching Rosario Dawson’s college advisor for Thomas Middleditch’s professional agent. Though I had no real problems minutes later when Middleditch is opening all types of venues for my guy. I also liked how my guy looks the same from 2k19, though I”m sure that’s because I didn’t fuss around too much in the creator option. I did try to download the app to scan my own face, but it kept failing on me.
The true highlight is Lamorne Morris (Winston from New Girl) cuts my character’s hair before the NBA Draft. Just checking his Wikipedia page, it doesn’t look like he has a new series yet, which is absolute bonkers.
Thanks to BMcKayGaming for hosting the beginning of the scene.
So much fun!
I was having some real stress about not making it into the Phoenix Suns, but I totally did it and felt so good!
2k20 doesn’t have any MyNeighborhood related trophies, so I sort of feel like I am now done with the game. I may look into how to get some of the other trophies, but I didn’t earn any besides what I earned after winning that original game.
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Turns out, I only completed one proper playthrough of Erica. So I finished my second playthrough as soon as the game was announced to being a July game. Tonight I plan on playing my third playthrough. I would then be half way through the game, so hopefully I just commit to it. I also really hope to just stumble onto Fallout Girl, but I’ll definitely get it during the sixth and final playthrough. Such a great game, but like Man of Medan, I need a decent break between playing these decision making story based games. Which I have been really thinking about Man of Medan a lot lately, and I really need to do an All Brain Decisions playthrough and another where I kill them all.
Someone was nice enough to really recommend using the phone app for Erica, and I would also join in that recommendation. It seemed like I had extra time to make decisions. It might be better even on a bigger phone or a tablet, but I don’t have that option. When I got to that moment of following Officer Blake or staying in Erica’s flat, I got all types of nervous, as that’s where my original attempt at my second playthrough fell apart. But I was able to follow him and enjoyed following the rest of the playthrough.
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Rise of the Tomb Raider starts off pretty fun. I finished my first night with the game at a camp site. It felt like a good place to stop, but really, I haven’t played enough of the game to really write a bunch about my time with it. I also don’t like this specific post being not published until after the 15th, but I will commit to playing more of the game. At least a few more nights with it.
Every Friday, I search Roku to see if I can watch Ratchet & Clank or any of the three Tomb Raider films, and none of them are availalbe on any streaming platform, which seems like a real missed opportunity when we are subscribed to like five different streaming services. None of the films have been on sale through VUDU either, but I will let you all know if that changes.
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PlayStation Access released their Top Ten Driving Games video, in their series of Top 10 PS4 games :
Which really made me want to revisit Burnout Paradise Remastered. So I played a slew of that game, meaning I did not play any of the other games for a bit. I was bouncing between Burnout Paradise and NBA 2k20, its Prelude being a decent length.
Walker Dennis saw that the Delorean, the Jansen P12 88, is in the game, and that means something to him now (before it was just a cool looking car). He loves placing it in hovering or floating mode, He’s been having a blast with the game, so now he plays between Burnout and Goat Simulator.
The Jansen P12 88 is a great car to look at, but gosh, it gets so easily destroyed, but Walker Dennis is all about driving fast enough to time travel and then crashing the car head on. But I’ve seen him not even driving that fast but still taking a turn a tad short and it destroying the car when only a headlight should have been busted. So it is very fragile.
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Like most people after July 3, my wife and I have become obsessed with Hamilton. Which I really want to play an American Revolution game, but only Assassins Creed III has that setting. George Washington does not feature in that many games besides Assassins Creed III and The Council. So I have been playing The Council a lot more than I thought I would be in such a short span of time. Which I have really been enjoying, though Episode Three doesn’t have enough of George Washington, but I do like how I do bump into him a few times. Which will have to be enough.
Two more episodes left! I am starting to worry I will not get to level 15, the trophy I am most anxious about, as the rest of them are going to be easily done by replaying Episode One at least twice more. If I don’t earn level 15 by the end of Episode 5, then I’m going to have to replay the entire game again, and just focus on whatever skills give me the most experience points. Which could be fun as I really am enjoying the heck out of the game.
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I bought Mohjong for two dollars during the July Savings event, and I like either ending my night with a game, or starting my gaming session with it. It is very relaxing. My only gripe is that it has all of this nice background music and setting, but a very gamey sound effect for when tiles match, that I wish was more inline with the aesthetics of the rest of the game.
To celebrate PlayStation Plus turning 10 years old, the July 2020 Free PS Plus Games are :
NBA 2k20, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Erica!
Apparently NBA 2k20 was recently four dollars, but I bought NBA 2k19 when it was three dollars, so I must have missed that other sale. One basketball game would typically be enough for me, but I’m looking forward to playing the latest version of NBA. Apparently 2k21 is slated to come out soonish. Which I forgot it was announced during the PS5 Future of Gaming event. To get back into the game, I redownloaded 2k19 and tried to get some of the easier trophies in MyNeighborhood. Once I got my character from Preclude to the Phoenix Suns, I’m pretty sure I didn’t even play one game as a Sun. Just having the jersey was enough for me. Looking into it, it is a real shame that 2k20 doesn’t have a Prelude, as I saw 2k18 did. It is a nice free DLC tutorial, but I get incorporating it into the game itself, if that is what they even did. My gaming goal for 2k20 will be to start a new character and get him to the Suns again.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is the second sequel to the rebooted trilogy. I have been having Tomb Raider on my mind, since replaying Uncharted 4, and wanting to watch the Tomb Raider films again, especially latest one that I have never seen. Neither of the three films are available for streaming, but hopefully that changes relatively soon. I added 2013’s Tomb Raider to my psprices wishlist, and I see the Definitive edition goes on sale for five dollars, but I wouldn’t mind playing Rise prior to the first game, as that’s what I have.
Erica is a game I bought when it was five dollars. I had remembered it as I had completed two playthroughs and had been forced into making a decision I didn’t want to due to not getting the cursor to land where I wanted to in a third playthrough. Turns out, I had only completed the one playthrough and that had occurred in my third. So I completed my second playthrough last night, using the app, and it did seem to work out better than using the touchpad. I’m going to complete a third playthrough and keep the game in my game rotation for the month of July. There is only six playthroughs, so I should be able to do all six of them in July or August. Using the app did seem to give me a few additional seconds to make a choice, but I could be remembering it wrong.
Some people are complaining about these being the games to celebrate 10 years, but it seems like a pretty decent month to me, and I’m pretty happy that Erica is getting some attention that it deserves.
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NBA 2k20 is currently a $60 game, but goes as low as $19.79, so maybe people are remembering 2k19’s amazing sale and not 2k20.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is typically a $30 game, but goes as low as $8.39.
Erica is typically a $10 game, but goes as low as $4.99.
Our currently running value of PS Plus is $131, with us considering Call of Duty WWII a bonus game. So we’ll round up and add $34 to the total to make $165, and that’s us now in the second half of the year, so I’ll say we definitely have gotten our value from the service for our $45 investment. Plus, hopefully the price doesn’t go up too much for the PS5, but hopefully it still goes on sale for either Black Friday or the holiday season.
NBA 2k20 has the standard edition for $60, and the game is heavily influenced by microtransactions.
5,000 VC for $2
15,000 VC for $5
35,000 VC for $10
75,000 VC for $20
200,000 VC for $50
450,000 VC for $100
There is a Digital Deluxe edition for $80 and a Legend Edition for $100.
Free International Commentary so I’ve downloaded that already.
I’ve never been tempted to buy VC (the game’s currency), but you do earn a small amount with most things you do in the game. Just not as much.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is the 20 Year Celebration edition, so it comes with all five DLC.
Hey, NBA 2k20 has a guide! I immediately checked and no one made a 2k19 guide, so I’m still just stumbling my way through getting those.
I apparently made some mistake in my first two playthroughs of Erica and did not earn Fall Out Girl, so hopefully one of the other playthroughs has me redo one of those activities, but it is pretty early on in the game, so it shouldn’t take too much and the recommended sixth playthrough is essentially play the entire game except do this one thing towards the end, so that’s when I will ensure I annoy each of the ladies then.
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I’ve been making some great headway and keeping with my gaming rotation. I will have to modify it to include two new games, but it was fun during the previous cycle. It really just helps when I have so many episodic games to play.
I finally earn the Kifflom trophy in Grand Theft Auto V, which was one of the non-story related trophies I felt I was capable of earning. I believe I did what was necessary to earn my million dollars for Online, but clearly I never checked again. I will sometime around July 15, when I try to earn another million dollars. Then I will play another mission or so. I left the game where Michael is working for a movie producer and Franklin and Trevor are doing some mission Michael is not involved in. So I will do the Franklin/Trevor mission and another studio mission as that was fun, and call it good.
I started playing Ratchet & Clank, and kept just thinking to myself, what an amazing game! I really want to watch the movie now, but it isn’t streaming anywhere and I really don’t want to spend more than five dollars through VUDU and I want to say it was still asking $15 for it, and it came out in 2016 and I’m probably the only one wanting to watch it who hasn’t. Well, I guess they just announced Rift in Time, so the desire is probably coming back, but I will watch for a sale for it.
Just because I was already at VUDU, they want $18 for the Angelina Jolie two films, and $15 for Alicia Vikander’s 2018 remake. I do like how Lara Croft has been portrayed by two Oscar winners, she deserves that. Jolie won for 2000’s Girl, Interrupted, Best Supporting Actress, and Vikander for 2016’s The Danish Girl, Best Supporting Actress, so also fun that they both won for Supporting Actress, as well. $33 is a bit much for those three films, I’ll say. Shame VUDU isn’t doing a three movie bundle like they often do for other movies, but that’s probably a rights issue.
I left Ratchet & Clank on Gaspar looking for 60 brains, which was super annoying to me as I found 40 on my own, and can’t really fathom where the other 20 could be. Then I was reading the guide, and at some point, we earn a map that makes finding the brains way easier, so I’ll have to make progress and come back. I really liked the flamethrower weapon, the Pyro Blaster. I have it completely leveled up to 5, so I’ve taken it out of my weapon setup, but I’m missing it dearly, but I clearly won’t use other weapons otherwise. Well, that isn’t true, I was using Mr. Zurkon as well, who I also loved as our buddy buddy. I do wonder if Clank is jealous or annoyed by Mr. Zurkon. Mr. Zurkon gives these amazing quips and I also have him maxed at level 5, so he’s out of the rotation. The game is a lot harder without my main assets, but that’s on me, I should have been balancing them more. Turns out, in New Game Plus, I can raise these higher to level 10, so I’m excited about that possibility.
I really got into Detroit Become Human playing for several more nights than I was expecting. I was also surprised to see Connor come back, as I got him killed in the very first mission. My Connor, unfortunately, is not very good, he’s let Kara escape (as how could I let him capture her? She’s the best!), but he also failed to catch the bird Android person and also failed to figure out where murderous sex robot went, which he’s upset with himself almost as much as I’m upset with myself over it. The bird android, I get, as we lost track of him in that final stage, but the sex robot, we were doing everything possible, but I was having to talk to more androids than expected.
Kara and Alice are still save, and we got new buddy Lucifer now too. We’ve been to the abandoned amusement park. That mansion where we meet Lucifer was intense!
Markus has met his crew and I want to ship him and North so hard! Turns out, she’s played by Minka Kelly, so she’s giving Kara’s actress, Valorie Curry a run for her money. But I still like Kara more, especially as Markus keeps doing at least one thing that annoys North, but then she makes it pretty clear what she wants to have happen next happen, and I make those decision so easily, even if it annoys the rest of the crew. Valorie Curry was on Amazon’s The Tick, so now I really want to watch that show.
I meant to keep playing even more but then I was reading up on what skills I need in The Council and it made me really want to play that game. Seriously, I really want more people to play The Council. The first episode is free, and I love how it is a TellTale style of game, but with a skill tree. I love the act of finding out which skills I need, I make a list, when it comes time to pump skills into the tree, I find out which ones I really needed during the previous quest, and I raise those skills and see how it effects the next quest. I completed Episode 2, and just having a great time with this historical fiction. I can’t wait to jump into Episode 3!
I finally got around to playing Metal Gear Solid V : Ground Zeroes. I thought I was doing a pretty decent job at stealth, but I would blow my cover, but I eventually got my two buddies rescued. It got intense towards the end of it, but I figured out a path, and got her out of there. I hate to write this, as it may be controversial, but I think I much prefer Sniper Elite IV’s stealth to Metal Gear Solid V, but I was instantly taken by Sniper Elite IV, and I will give Ground Zeroes a couple more tries and try to get good with it.
I finished Chapter Eight of Uncharted 4, such a fun game. Here is another game where there is just a lot of fighting, and I forget that besides amazing set pieces, that the game is a cover shooter. Like, I forget all of the combat that is required to get through, just to get to the next place. I’m playing on Normal, and I’m sure the two lower difficulties probably has less enemies, but after completing a chapter, I usually feel pretty good with my progress.
I finished the second episode of King’s Quest. Still really enjoying the game. I had to do one full run of Episode 2, and then pretty much two thirds of a playthrough, twice, to get the other two endings. I recall reading Episode Four might be the same way with having to create saves to save time, but I’m still here for it. A fun game, the characters are fun, not enough of Amaya for my taste, but she was barely in the first episode as well. I doubt she becomes the future queen, but if she is, that would be amazing.
Doing these episodic games, I was reminded that we never completed the first episode of TellTale’s Back to the Future game. So I completed my run, and then I helped Walker Dennis complete his run. He started the second episode and the controls seem to be a tad better. There was a lot of back tracking in 1955 that I wouldn’t have minded so much, if when I press the left direction, Marty walked in the left direction. Because of camera angles, or not implementing a better control scheme, I was holding down to make him to across the screen in the right direction. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but I was running across the central area and going to the soup kitchen and the jail a bunch, and the controls could have been a tad better.
A game that has pretty much perfect controls is Batman : Arkham Aslyum. I finished the game with locking Harley up and moving onto the Botanical Gardens. I forgot how creepy those lunatics are, and two different ones jumps on my back and gave me quite the freight! That’s when I knew it was bed time. I meant to play more, but then the free games were announced I wanted to play Erica’s second playthrough and that took almost two hours, but I still had enough time to knock out some easier trophies in NBA 2k19.
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Because I had filled the PS4 with my current game rotation and to make room for Erica and NBA 2k19, I had to delete Uncharted 4, Ratchet & Clank, GTA V (which was probably the only one I really needed to delete), and Detroit Become Human. It was fun to revisit those games, but removing those games freed up a bunch of space. Oh, and I deleted Final Fantasy XIV as well. I clearly was not coming back that game any time soon. So I should have enough space now for Rise of the Tomb Raider and I will delete NBAS 2k19, once I have 2k20. I thought progress carried over between games, but I also clearly never finished a season, so what would I be carrying over? I just checked and NBA 2k20’s demo is not the prelude, it does not have a story mode that benefits the game, so that’s pretty disappointing. So I will spend a night (hopefully) of running around the neighborhood to earn the Marathon Man trophy and delete 2k19 in preparation of 2k20.
I’m sure I will redownload Uncharted 4 and Ratchet & Clank again as the desire will return, especially Ratchet & Clank, as I’m sure Rise of the Tomb Raider will scratch the Uncharted itch.
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My beautiful wife got me the best Father’s Day present ever! I am now the proud owner of a PlayStation Vita! I’ve been wanting one for so long! She also treated me to a 16GB SD card so I was able to fill the thing up with so many games, that I eventually had to delete a few as I got carried away with wondering how many filled up the 16GB as the first few games I downloaded, were super small. Turns out, and I’m still getting used to the store format through the Vita, but I did claim some additional games that I didn’t think I did. So that has been nice, and even one game I didn’t even know I had access too. That game is Super Mutant Alien Assault.
At first, I had no intention of redownloading games I have played on the PS4 that were cross play, but then I realized how silly that was as that eliminated like 20 games, and I decided against that policy when I realized I had 20 Vita games, when I thought I only had like six.
Every Wednesday, I’m going to check psprices (I do this regardless) to see the cheap Vita games and slowly start building my collection. Especially if the game is cross play as I like to give them a shot on the big TV before playing them on the Vita. I bought Blasting Agent : Ultimate Edition as it was $1.19, and worth a risk. I saw Cel Damaged was on sale for $3, but I think I can hold off on buying games until they are under $2, especially as I have so many new games I haven’t even played yet.
I did buy Demetrois : Big Cynical Adventure after reading it was a visual novel with a twist, and I think I really want to turn my Vita into a Visual Novel machine, as those seem to be perfect carry around and play type of games.
I write that but I have been playing King Oddball like crazy! To the point, where I want to reinstall it onto the PS4 as I’ve been making crazy progress, but I’m also okay with not doing that. Such a great game, if you want Angry Birds, but with a floating head that throws rocks using his tongue, King Oddball is the game for you!
I also been playing Sparkle 2 for a lot longer than I ever gave it a chance on the PS4. I am mentally committed to playing it until I earned the Play for 4 Hours trophy, but I’ll probably see it to the end.
Divekick is a very fun fighting game, either we jump or we are divekicking. I did one playthrough as the bear character and now I’m currently playing as Dive, brother to Kick. Though I am playing with the YOLO gem, so one kick to me, and I lose and I have to kick my opponent five times, one kick per round. It is for a trophy, and it like King Oddball, as a real “just one more go” feel to it.
Draw Slasher is not the Ninja Fruit clone I thought it was going to be, but I understand now where they make that comparison. It is more of a side scrolling fighting game, where we are constantly swiping our sword at opponents. Pretty fun, I beat the boss and felt good with my progress. I’m essentially just trying out a slew of games to see what I take too.
For instance, I did not take to Atomic Ninjas, there is a lot of depth and abilities to the game, maybe a few too many, and I’m just plain not good at it. Like, I felt good at the beginning of the tutorial, but then it goes on for like six additional abilities and then I try it for real, and I just end up bouncing around the area and shoving people into fire.
I sort of want to buy a 32GB SD card, but those things are so expensive but I just want to have access to all of my games. Which is silly a the PS4 has clearly trained me to only keeping like six games at any given time.
Blasting Agent : Ultimate Edition was fun until I got to the second boss fight. It took so many tries, but I did it, and felt I got my $1.19 out of it. It also served as a cautionary tale to maybe not just buy every dollar game out there.
I really want to get Uncharted : Golden Abyss, I rather not spend $15 on it, but I think I might just be getting to the point that I want to play one of the best Vita titles out there. I also saw there was Batman Origins Blackgate for the Vita, and I sort of want that game too. Hopefully with people’s interest in the Vita since that one moment in The Last of Us Part 2, sales for games will start kicking in. I saw there are already two company’s who are going back to developing games for the system, so hopefully that is a new trend.
I’m still no good at 36 Fragments of Midnight, but I feel like it could be a perfect Vita game. Usually I tuck Walker Dennis in at night, then I sit and play on the Vita until he falls asleep, which has been nice as there were a few nights (too many, to be honest), where I started getting sleepy myself, and either dozed off or became to sleepy to hang out with my wife. Now I am pretty alert and ready to hang out, so it has been worth it.
The Vita has a tutorial to learn more about its function, Welcome Park, and there were trophies associated with it, so I gave that a try. I’m no good at that jigsaw puzzle, but I’m never good with those where we are missing a piece and have to move all of the tiles along to form the puzzle.
I’m hoping Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross go on sale, they were on sale in March or so, and if I knew I was getting a Vita then (it was still a dream at that point), I would have bought them when they were $5 each, instead of $10. If they had trophy support, I would just buy them right now, but they don’t, so I’m holding out for a sale.
So a lot of gaming stuff is happening around me and I’m super excited for July!