Sony cancels shutting down the PlayStation Store on PS3, PSP, and PS Vita

In a surprising move, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Jim Ryan, has revealed that the PlayStation 3, PSP, and PS Vita will continue to have their respective PlayStation Stores after critical feedback from their users.

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Review: Nioh – Where the First Western Samurai Fight

+Creative use of Japan’s Sengoku Period
+A unique take on the Bloodborne and Dark Souls franchises combat systems
+Each stage requests players to spend hours clearing every inch of them
+Each boss provide a unique scaling of difficulty
+Armor designs feel historically accurate and quite well rendered

-Stats feel almost useless in comparison to Dark Souls or Bloodborne
-The approach to coop decreases the games overall difficulty
-Little variation or importance of different builds
-Graphics and performance could use some better PlayStation 4 Pro optimizations


What do you imagine when someone mentions Japan’s Sengoku Period? Cities lavished in lanters lit to walkways, Sakura Tree’s dropping beautiful pink petals upon the ground, and perhaps Samurai clad in their armor walking among dirt roads? Or do you imagine a land filled with mystique and fantasy where mystical creatures roam? That’s exactly what Koei Tecmo has done as they show their fondness for Japan’s rather sumptuously rich history.

Nioh is one of those games that follows the tradition of the Dark Souls-inspired combat while also entrenching itself with touches of Ninja Gaiden. After all, what more could we expect from Team Ninja, the minds behind the Ninja Gaiden franchise? Much as you’d expect, this is a game that balances out the virtue of patience and the value of learning how to defend yourself against a lethal enemy. This is something Team Ninja has been known for in the past and continued to do so quite well to this day. This means tactics, dexterity, and a keen memory will play a rather large role in order to overcome the inevitability of dying, and dying a lot.


The game takes place during the explorations of protagonist William Adams, a true Western Samurai, whom adventured to Japan in the 1600’s. Our story uses this factual piece of history as its smelting point and forges forth from there. The game, however, depicts him as a an hunting down an antagonist whom just happens to be an occultist, by the name of Edward Kelley, whom actually exists in English history. Both of these men are hunting down one of the same thing: Amrita. This magical stone is abundant and Japan, it has also been seen as an artifact that holds power, and could turn the tides of war in Queen Elizabeth I’s fight against Spain.

However, this also means death is a heavy feature in this game and it’s not tied to the frequency of player deaths, but also the fact Japan is torn in war and ridden with yokai (demons). If you ever wanted to see a blend between anime, gaming, and a good Akira Kurosawa film, here’s your chance. Koei Tecmo blended perfectly the chaos of ruins and corpses littered across the lands. However, Nioh’s elegance isn’t due to the scenic creativity that Koei Tecmo exhibits with this game, but rather its combat.


Much as you would expect, Nioh is a title that thrives upon creativity and its artistic measures. It’s a game that bases itself around the premise of combat with multiple enemies. Combat is one that shines most when players are taking on enemies in one-on-one duels. Here players will exhibit choreographed combat based upon the stance in which they choose. Whether it’s deducing an enemies combat capabilities by standing in a over-head stance or whether or not it’s by making low-stance quick attacks. Here players will take on enemies decorated in ancient Japanese armors. Even the Yokai themselves dawn these kinds of designs. However, it follows through with their discipline and attack with their greatest combat efficiency. However, this game will make you debate upon whether or not to attack enemies in crowd.

The highlight to this aspect is it follows rather well into the game as players will find themselves moving between Jutsu or Onmyo focused builds. This will determine whether or not players will alternate between using ninja combat tactics or magics to enhance their combat prowess. As players gain experience from combat, they will notice Amrita serves much the same purpose as souls from the souls series. They will invest their Amrita into specializing William to their play-style. Unlike Dark Souls, however, it’s no longer about how well you can balance your talents, but instead, what weapons you decide to use and how you want to use them. If you prefer sickle and chain, then you may want Kurisagama, while Body will drive you to be more efficient in combat with spears.


When looking at Nioh, managing stamina, rather ki for the sake of this game, is quite the task, and something that you’ll find yourself doing quite often. To complicate matters, enemies will find themselves moving away from combat, and even letting ki regenerate before diving back into combat once more. To alleviate this players can opt to use stamina enhanced consumables as well as ki-specific weapon enhancements to allow combat to last longer. If you’re a  more dexterous player, a quick shoulder button push of the R1 will help you refresh your stamina recovery boost. Also, this will help you bolster against enemies who corrupt the ground around you and ensure ki can’t regenerate.

Outside of combat, Nioh is aesthetically as well as audibly pleasing. Followed by its carefully crafted Japanese aesthetics, the game serves up a rather palpable dish of creativity, and authenticity. In comparison to most modern games, it’s one of the closest things players will find themselves enjoying for such a challenging adventure. Artists Hirohisa Kaneko and Tsutomu Terada deliver a pleasing art style that serves Nioh quite well. Between their delectable art style and Yugo Kanno’s compositions, players will find themselves sucked into Nioh for hours on-end.

Nioh – PlayStation 4
Team Ninja
Koei Tecmo, Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan
Cost: $59.99
Release Date:
Available Now

With the Twilight missions offering a rise in difficulty and rare pieces of crafting materials as well as armor, there is surely quite a bit for them to take in until the DLC releases later this year. Just remember, the Dojo does serve a purpose and will offer rare resources that you will quite frankly need later on within the game.

That brings forth the need for players to enjoy such a unique title and spend the hours they should on it. Just note that this game is not for players who haven’t played games such as Dark Souls and Ninja Gaiden and will offer a challenge that surpasses that of what they might be used to. With that being said, Nioh is a unique title, one that offers up new challenges around every corner and will keep gamers busy for hours on end. Just remember, this game will kill you, over, and over again.

Our review is based upon a retail version of the game we purchased. For our review, we used a PlayStation 4 Pro with a 7200RPM HDD.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.

 Final Score: 9 out of 10

About the Writer:


Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.

Op-Ed: Why Returning to Bloodborne is Amazing After a Year


There’s always something unique about games from the team at From Software as well as Sony Studio Japan. Both have created tremendously creative titles and ones that constantly pushed players to the edge of their seats. Even with some of the latest games, it’s hard to say that any of them have really done what titles like Bloodborne and Gravity Rush have done. Bloodborne of course being the one that both teams worked together to create in order to bring hardcore Souls franchise fans over to the PlayStation 4 due to the titles exclusivity.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m a glutton for punishment, more punishment, and even more punishment when it comes to difficulty. I spent days, if not weeks conquering Demon’s Souls only to forget to save my trophy progress, back-up my save data, and unfortunately lose it all. That doesn’t mean I haven’t put the game to the back of my mind, but it didn’t have the beckoning Bloodborne did after having been stuck at the notorious boss Gerhman. Having fallen many times to his blunderbuss or even his scythe in its heavy weapon mode, I resumed coming back a good 100+ times only to die in some other manner. Finally I found myself in frustration only to uninstall the game, open up some hard drive space on my PlayStation 4, and move onto other games I had backlogged from being busy as a journalist as well as an office aid.


After spending almost a year away from Bloodborne and a 1TB HDD upgrade on the review PlayStation 4, I felt it was time to come back to the game since the DLC had launched. Last night was the adventure that I never thought I would have. Why? I didn’t play the game much in coop. I honestly didn’t find the need for it since at the time my internet router (luckily it wasn’t my ISP or the modem) seemed about as dependable as a car with little to no gas going down a highway. You see where this going, I can imagine. After a few small tweaks, new router, new HDD, and even an upgraded internet speed through the ISP, it was time to once more resume Bloodborne, but this time? In coop. As you can imagine, I did run into a few headaches where I found myself being kicked from the games server till falling upon a few suggestions to shut down my PS4 completely, and then restart it after a few minutes. After doing that I was once more on my way to attempting the Chalice Dungeon’s, farming up Blood Echoes, and even once more attempting to slay Gerhman once and for all. Sadly? I didn’t know the little trick about the umbilical cords playing a role into the games ending like I should’ve. Only having had my character use 2/3 needed for the perfect ending? I found myself with the “OK” ending and at the help of my buddy Garret Sullivan (thanks again, man!). After having killed him, it was time to head onto New Game+, but at a speedy pace with his help since I managed to pick up the DLC. 20 bucks for a bunch of new cool stuff and bosses that will make me break my teeth from clenching my jaw? Sounds like fun.

But returning to Bloodborne after a year was something different than what I thought it would be. Rather than being a small adventure of relearning everything, it was like riding a bicycle. Little by little, it all comes back, and players will find themselves once more accustomed to what they had been doing. Sure their sense of direction may be a little off, but not in the manner it might be a game breaker. We’ve all been there. Ever tried to go back to playing a game like Rainbow Six after a few hours of Call of Duty? Yea, doesn’t work out well for some. Trust me, I’d know. Heck even returning to Fallout 4 was a difficult after a few long sessions of Call of Duty or Battlefield. Though I know that is not the topic of today, but let that sink in a bit first.

When returning to Bloodborne there were a few difficulties I was faced with. One, I had to relearn the control scheme to some extent. Luckily I’ve played enough of the Souls games this wasn’t too hard to do, but figuring out a few special commands, that was a different challenge all together. Secondly, figuring out the areas I was using to farm in order to gear out. Thirdly, was the difficulty of re-learning my timing for Gerhman. Fourthly, trying not to walk away from the game again, and successfully not doing so. Fifthly, was talking myself into buying the DLC since my pal Garret has vowed to once more take my filthy casual self through the new content. But what made coming back to Bloodborne unique wasn’t like what you’d expect with games like Call of Duty where everything gets tweaked, rebalanced, and based on how players play. Instead Bloodborne finds itself with a few minor tweaks, upgrades, and eventually all new content, which it recently has. The uniqueness behind it is the fact the game is easy to come back to. While relearning your timing, footing, and pacing may be a bit disorienting at first, Bloodborne is one of those that comes back to you rather quickly once you remember where you were and through a bit of trial and error. If you can get past that? Bloodborne is a game that deserves the appraises it has gotten. It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for the title.

IF you are interested in our review for the DLC “The Old Hunters” stay tuned to our website for it coming soon.


About the Writer:


Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.