Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Renaissance of Fear: The Do's and Do Not's of Horror Games

With the rise of horror Let's Plays and social gaming (such as the PS Share function), the genre of horror has been getting a massive boost this console generation. Games like Amnesia and Slender kickstarted the rebirth of horror gaming, and the release of Outlast made sure that plenty of gamers were on board (especially since it was free on PS4). For a horror fan such as myself, a renaissance of fear is a godsend. We now have a plethora of titles releasing, such as Alien: Isolation, The Evil Within, Silent Hills (hell yeah!),  Until Dawn, Dying Light, and even more beyond that. Hell, I remember when the only horror game I had to look forward to was Resident Evil 6, and now there are so many that I can't even afford to pre-order them all. However, with so many developers jumping onto the spook train, I think that it's important to highlight what works in a horror game and what doesn't. This isn't to say that I don't want developers to explore new, creative ways to scare gamers; I'm just aware of past horror failures that I'd rather not see repeated. So without further ado, the do's and do not's of the horror genre.

DO have jump scares. Nothing is quite as frightening as something unknown suddenly popping out at you, except for maybe the anticipation of a jump scare. Which brings me to:

DO NOT rely solely on jump scares. Jump scares are a fantastic way to scare gamers, but without a solid atmosphere, it's just one jump after another and it starts to lose it's fear factor. Keep us in anticipation, make us dread to turn the corner. The key to making someone afraid is to keep them wondering what's going to happen next, and if your formula is jump scare + jump scare + jump scare, the unknown starts to become pretty damn known.

DO NOT have a lot of action/combat options. The biggest offenders here are the newer Resident Evil titles and Dead Space 3. Fear is derived from vulnerability, and giving the player a fully loaded machine gun doesn't exactly line up with vulnerability. Making the player completely defenseless is a solid way to induce screams (Amnesia, Outlast, Corpse Party), but it's not the only option...

DO have action of some kind. I'd like to see developers get creative with this. It's bad to have explosions and gunfights at every turn, but without something interesting the game starts to get a little stale. Let's look at Silent Hill 2, for example: You have a pistol, as well as a variety of melee options. However, bullets are extremely difficult to come by, and the melee options are slow are unreliable. This not only makes every monster that much scarier, but it's also a guaranteed "Oh shit!" at the beginning of every boss battle. You don't need combat for action, though. It can come in the form of a chase scene, or a monster encounter that requires you to think outside the box to survive (the Kaernk in Amnesia is a perfect example of this).

[Resident Evil 6]
DO have puzzles of some kind. Make the player confused, make them struggle to understand what's going on and what needs to be done. Amnesia, Outlast, Silent Hill, Resident Evil, they all include puzzles of some kind. If you have arrows plastered on every wall, directing you where to go, the game is reduced to little more than a mildly frightening game of tag. But if you include riddles, missing keys, locked doors, repeating rooms, ominous clues and things of that nature, the game becomes more intense and players get more from solving something. However, this can go wrong...

DO NOT overdo it on the puzzles. You're trying to stump the gamers, but you want them to progress eventually. The puzzles should be hard, but not 'half an hour wandering back and forth' hard. A big offender of this was the free demo for the new Silent Hill game, P.T. There were so many points where I had to look up not only what to do, but what in the hell the controls were. There's a part where you have to press R3 and look at a specific point, and in the beginning P.T. gives you the impression that there are no controls besides walking. Many people were stuck at the ending especially (I couldn't even beat it, because there is no clear way to trigger the ending), and as much as I enjoyed the horror aspect of the game, that is simply NOT how you handle puzzles. Make the player baffled, not overly frustrated.

[Silent Hill 2]
DO have a solid story. This goes without saying. If the plot of your game is 'There is a bad man. Don't let him get you.' coughcough*Slender*coughcough, then why the hell would I be interested in playing that? A creepy background story is great, especially as you piece together what happens in your mind. But once again, this can and has in the past gone horribly wrong.

DO NOT make your story crystal clear. There are horror games out there with constant cutscenes and lengthy, explanatory dialogue. That's fine and dandy for adventure games, but this a horror game! Like I touched on before, not understanding what's going on is scary. Amnesia has you waking up knowing nothing, and you find out what the plot is by reading notes scattered around the castle. Rarely is anything explicitly given to you, and even when it is, you can piece it together with the notes you've found to make realizations that some players would have missed. In Silent Hill, you don't even truly grasp what's going on until the very end, and even then it requires some thinking. Feed the story to the player piece by piece, don't shove it all down our throats at once.

[Amnesia: The Dark Descent]
Hopefully some horror developers are taking notes, be it from this or any other source. I'd hate to have this beautiful rebirth spoiled by some games that make LittleBigPlanet look scary. What do you think about the list? Is there something you'd add? Something you disagree with? Something banging on the door over there? Be sure to leave a comment with your two cents below.

Monday, August 11, 2014

BREAKING: Goose papa

Slim shady
Hotter than a set of twin babies 
Egg salmon salmon
Chooga chooga yurts mugga
Hubble roulette ya banned 
Slim harrow 
Hotter than a set of twin sparrows 
Jim Gordon 
Hotter than a set of twin champion fungal throat disease 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Top 10 DLC ideas for LittleBigPlanet 3

The LittleBigPlanet franchise is one of the rare exceptions to the 'All DLC is evil' mindset that many gamers are adopting, and for good reason. It's all entirely optional and you can still get the full LBP experience without spending a dime, but purchasing even one costume can greatly enhance your cosmetic experience in the game by giving you tons of new costume combinations. Every costume you buy is compatible across all LittleBigPlanet games after 2 (LBP 2, LBP Vita, LBP Karting) which will presumably include the upcoming LittleBigPlanet 3.  To make things even better, LittleBigPlanet has costumes from a wide variety of movies, games, and franchises, the most recent addition being the Maleficent Minipack. There are also costumes from fan favorites such as Nightmare Before Christmas, DC Comics, Marvel, Assassin's Creed, God of War, Uncharted, Toy Story, Infamous, The Muppets, Metal Gear, Shadow of the Colossus, Final Fantasy, and many, many, more. Media Molecule still releases DLC constantly, including free packs and costumes for holidays and season changes. With the upcoming release of LittleBigPlanet 3, it's safe to assume that we'll be getting a whole bunch of new DLC in the coming months. Here are ten DLC packs that I would love to see make an appearance sometime soon.

10) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - With all the hype surrounding the upcoming adaption of the Ninja Turtles, now would be the perfect time to release a TMNT pack. It could include the four turtles and shredder, and maybe Splinter if Media Molecule so chooses.

9) History Pack II - I love history, and I know plenty other people do too. I see no reason why Media Molecule wouldn't add in a few new historical figures, such as Josef Stalin, Gandhi, Da Vinci, Caesar, Abraham Lincoln, et cetera.

8) Guardians of the Galaxy - As everyone knows at this point, Marvel is not above any advertising technique, constantly shoving new movies down everyone's throats in any way they can. Most of the time it's pretty cool, though, and a LittleBigPlanet costume pack for their latest film, Guardians of the Galaxy, would be right up their alley. There's already plenty of Marvel costumes available in the game, but including the Guardians would solidify their new higher place in the Marvel universe. The pack would include, obviously, Star-lord, Drax, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot.

7) DC Pack II - LittleBigPlanet's massive DC Comics DLC pack that released early this year was amazing, and it captured most of the essential DC characters that you would want to play as. However, there are still plenty more heroes and villains that I'd love to see included. For example: Darkseid, Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, Doomsday, Plastic Man, Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl, Red Tornado, Robin, Nightwing, Deathstroke, Green Arrow, et cetera. The DC Comics pack is fine as is, but it can be a lot better with another 5 costume pack or two.

6) My Little Pony - Love it or hate it, the My Little Pony fanbase is massive and easily one of the best communities for a TV show. A My Little Pony costume pack, including the likes of Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack would sell very well and most likely get a bunch of fans to purchase the base game. If it sells well enough (which I would anticipate it to), a second pack could be released including Spike, Celestia, Luna, Discord, Chrysalis, and Tirek. A level pack would also be very easy to make and satisfying to play, but that might be overdoing it.

5) Playstation All Stars - Obviously, LittleBigPlanet has costumes from Playstation's popular franchises like God of War, Infamous, and Uncharted. But there are still some All Stars that have yet to appear in LBP, namely: Parappa the Rapper, Fat Princess, Sir Daniel, Dante, Heihachi, Spike, Zeus, Isaac Clarke, and Sweet Tooth.

4) Silent Hill - Silent Hill 2 is the greatest horror game I've ever played, and it's very popular among PS2 era gamers and horror fans. A costume pack and maybe even a level kit could be amazing, including costumes of Pyramid Head, a Nurse, James, Heather, and Robbie the Rabbit.

3) Star Wars - Seriously, how has this not been done yet? Disney clearly has a deal of some kind with Media Molecule, and Star Wars is perfect for a season pass deal like with DC Comics. It would come with 5 levels detailing the original trilogy, and include five packs of costumes so that every character could be represented. The 25 characters would most likely include: Anakin, Obi Wan, Luke, Leia, Darth Vader, R2D2, C3P0, Han Solo, Chewbacca, General Grievous, Emperor Palpatine, Darth Maul, Boba Fett, Jango Fett, Admiral Ackbar, Greedo, Jabba the Hutt, Jar Jar Binks, a droid, Captian Rex, Count Dooku, an Ewok, a Gungan, and Lando Calrissian.

2) Alien/Predator - The Queen Xenomorph, and Predator. Maybe Ellen Ripley and Alan Schaefer could be included as well.

1) Dragon Ball - Of all the DLC packs possible in LittleBigPlanet, a Dragon Ball pack gets me the most excited. There are so many possibilites, and all the costumes would look so cool/cute. The costumes could include Goku, Vegeta, Frieze, Cell, Piccolo, Buu, Krillin, Trunks, Gohan, Roshi, Yamcha, Bulma, Chi-Chi, Android 17, Android 18, and many many more.

There you have it, my personal top ten for LittleBigPlanet DLC. Are there any costumes/packs that you'd like to see that I didn't include? Anything you disagree with? Be sure to leave a comment below!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Top 7 Historical Eras for the next 'Assassins Creed' Project

The Assassin's Creed franchise has been very questionable since it's launch in 2007, but when it comes to the gaming community, it's practically a household name. Gamers have mixed feelings towards the franchise, however, as Assassin's Creed Unity marks the sixteenth game in the franchise, or the seventh main title in the franchise. For a series that debuted seven years ago, it's hardly even debatable that Ubisoft is overdoing it. And yet somehow, every title has achieved critical praise and plentiful sales. Why?

Well, let's compare Assassin's Creed to Call of Duty, another franchise infamous for releasing titles too often. Call of Duty is despised by many gamers because of what little difference there is between each game; Several new maps and a new half-assed thirty minute campaign hardly justifies another installment, but Activision keeps churning new CoD titles out regardless. But whereas Call of Duty releases arguably the same base game every year, Assassin's Creed games each have a separate world, period in history, fleshed out story, and all around uniqueness to them. Ubisoft takes advantage of the wide array of historical periods open to them and manages to create an interesting game every time, even when the game itself falls short (*cough*ACIII*cough*). The Assassin's Creed franchise has been to Jerusalem, Italy, Open seas, and soon revolutionary France, and there's still so much history to delve into! While I must admit that I wouldn't protest the end of the series, there's still plenty of life left in it. Here's a list of five historical periods still not visited by Assassin's Creed that I believe would make for amazing installments.

7) Victorian England

The Assassin's Creed bloodline seem to be very heavy on European territories, so England could fit right in. Victorian England would have a very interesting map, with Neo-Gothic architecture such as the Big Ben (or Elizabeth tower), St. Paul's Chapel. and the bank of England. The Victorian era also hosts many interesting events, such as corruption within the monarchy (that can of course be amplified and blamed on the Templars) , the brief war with Crimea, and Jack the Ripper.

6) Revolutionary Russia

The birth of Marxism, the reign of Lenin, and the birth and reign of Stalin are all infamous for their corruption. And according to Ubisoft, where there's corruption, there's Templars. Revolutionary Russia is possibly one of the most propagandized and immorally governed places in recorded history (right up there with Rome, Nazi Germany, and Israel)  and would work incredibly well with Assassin's Creed lore. Not to mention the weapons used against the Bolsheviks would be awesome, featuring hammers, knives, guns, swords, and the like.

5) Sparta

Ubisoft seems to be going in chronological order with each game so maybe going back this far in History wouldn't work out too well, but I still think it'd make for a great game. The Battle of Thermopylae in particular (or the 300 battle) is filled with opportunities to add in secretive Assassin stuff.

4) Feudal Japan

This is an extremely broad era, but to fit in with the chronological approach, a Japanese Assassin's Creed game could take place during the Meiji period. The Assassin you play as would presumably be a Samurai, making the Meiji period perfect for a game. The decline of the Samurai class could be attributed to some shady Templar dealings, and the Satsuma Rebellion would make for a brilliant end-game battle.

3) Nazi Germany

If there's one thing that the PS3/360 generation of games has taught us, it's that people love Nazis. Well, fighting Nazis, not... nevermind. World War II had one of the largest impacts on the world when compared to other historical events, and the amount of information about the Third Reich and World War II available at this point is more than enough to create an immersive 1940's Germany in a video game. A World War II Assassin's Creed game could go in multiple directions, but personally I'm partial to the idea of an anti-Nazi German man doing whatever he can to take down Hitler, which may or may not include posing as a Nazi and infiltrating their operations. Maybe it's not the best fit for Assassin's Creed, but I'm confident that Ubisoft can pull it off.

2) Egypt

Egypt is in the same vein as Sparta, but would have an incredibly unique weaponry and setting. Once again there are many different periods in Egyptian history that can be taken (perhaps leading into another Ezio-like trilogy), such as the reign of king Ramesses II and the Ptolemaic line of rule.

1) Denmark (Vikings)

My number one pick for an Assassin's creed game would definitely be Nordic. Denmark life was so different from other cultures that a Viking game in Assassin's Creed would without a doubt be a breath of fresh air that the gaming community is craving. From the barbaric weapons to the sea travel and exploration to the all around badassery, a game set in Norway, Denmark, or Sweden would be incredible. The Battle of Svolder could be a nice central topic for the game, but there's really so much potential for any point in the Viking Age.

Would you want to see any of these games come to life, or just let the franchise die? Got any ideas of your own? Be sure to leave a comment below.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Serial Smoocher Still at Large

Throughout the past week, several local residents have reported seeing a suspicious, kissing prone figure wandering the streets of Gonilocia. Police reports indicate that anywhere upwards of 28 people have been smooched in this time frame, with 6 people dead and 11 hospitalized already. Despite their best efforts, the local authorites have been unable to find this serial smoocher, or Maximum Smooch, as victims have dubbed him. "It's unlike anything I've ever seen, really." Detective Spooks McButtons, the lead detective on the case, reports. "Most smoochers kiss around for the thrill, the excitement that comes with bloodshed and violence. But this Maximum Smooch character... [he has] shown no signs of pleasure or even regard for his victims. One kid, even, got smooched right on the nose and flew back into a wall. Cracked his head clean down the middle, but [Maximum Smooch] was already gone by the time he could look up."

   Witnesses have described Maximum Smooch as a "Pale, bony man[us] with piercing white eyes" and "...hard to miss". There is currently no indication of any targeted sex, race, or religion, but nearly all of the smooching assaults have taken place at or around the Ooglestein family cemetery. There was only one woman, Sabrina Gamga, who was able to get a clear shot of his face on camera. Please be wary of any and all characters with similar appearance.

We here at Goniloc's Grotto strongly encourage all residents of Gonilocia and nearby areas to lock their doors and windows, and abide by the Spooks McButtons task force recommended curfew of 1:08 pm. Stay safe everyone, and rest assured that this serial smoocher is top priority for our community at this time. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

What I want to see in a Playstation All-Stars sequel: Characters, Stages, Modes, and more

Playstation All Stars was disregarded by many as a shameless Super Smash Bros clone, and understandably so. The layout of the battlefield was extremely similar, and the concept of a mascot fight is nothing new. However, once you pick up the controller, the similarities end. Personally, I enjoyed Playstation All Stars more than any Smash bros game. I like the characters a lot more, there was more diversity between each character (no re-skins), the game had a lot more customization, it took more skill, and many other things made it shine for me personally. However, Sony Santa Monica really fucked up in some ways. They barely marketed the game at all, they neglected popular fan suggestions, and when those requests were about to be fulfilled, they fired Superbot and put in two playable advertisements as characters. If a sequel were to be released for the Playstation 4 and the Playstation Vita, I'm positive that it can be a hit if, y'know, they don't make blatantly idiotic decisions. Here's what I'd like to see in a Playstation All Stars sequel.

Character line-up is a large factor for any fighting game, with All Stars being no exception. You can have a buggy, rushed, and poorly developed fighting game and still make it fun by adding in cool characters, as seen in Cartoon Network Punchtime Explosion. However, Playstation All Stars was developed extremely well, alas was only just recently perfected. Superbot and Sony got some really cool characters into the first game, but there are some great characters that should have been included. Of course, no character should be taken away this time around; they have 24 characters already balanced and designed, the only possible issue I can think of is rights to the third party characters. Here are the characters that I feel would enhance the game the most with their relevance and unique traits:

1. Dart - (Legend of the Dragoon)
Does Sony own him?: Yes
Why he should be included: Sony Santa Monica had him halfway finished as DLC, then scrapped him. The fans were begging for his inclusion and Legend of the Dragoon was a very popular RPG on the PS1

2. Abe - (Oddworld)
Does Sony own him?: No, but they had the rights to him for (cancelled) DLC.
Why he should be included: They had him halfway finished as DLC, and scrapped him as well. He's a fun, unique character from a fun, unique platformer and could have made the game more interesting than it already was.

3. Pyramid Head - (Silent Hill)
Does Sony own him?: No, but they are on good terms
Why he should be included: Silent Hill released exclusively on the Playstation One and re-defined the horror genre. When Silent Hill 2 released on the PS2, it was regarded as one of the greatest horror games ever and it remains in that position today. Silent Hill is an important franchise for Playstation, and Pyramid Head's inclusion would acknowledge that as well as add to the horror representation in the game.

4. Crash Bandicoot - (Crash Bandicoot)
Does Sony own him?: No, but they did at one point. However, Activision will probably ask for a ridiculous amount of money.
Why he should be included: Crash was the mascot of Playstation for a good while and had a massive influence on the platformer genre. I would be amazed if anyone objected to his inclusion.

5. Spyro the Dragon - (Spyro the Dragon)
Does Sony own him?: No, but they did at one point. However, Activision will probably ask for a ridiculous amount of money.
Why he should be included: Essentially the same situation as Crash; he's an iconic face that contributed to the platforming genre greatly and is practically mandatory for a Playstation fighting game.

6. Ezio Auditore - (Assassins Creed)
Does Sony own him?: No, but Ubisoft has shown time and time again that they prefer Sony
Why he should be included: Assassin's Creed was originally going to be a PS exclusive, and even though it isn't it's still a massively popular game with a unique approach to stealth and history. Ezio is an important face in gaming and he would have an interesting fight style.

7. Iota - (Tearaway)
Does Sony own him?: Yes
Why he should be included: There was a disappointing lack of Vita representation in the first Playstation All Stars. Iota is from one of the most popular Sony handheld games ever and would fit right in the game's atmosphere. He would also have a very unique move set, as well as a costume for Atoi, his female counterpart.

8. Chimera - (Resistance)
Does Sony own him?: Yes
Why he should be included: Resistance was one of the first games on PS3, and it was fleshed out into a fantastic trilogy with a game on the PS Vita as well. Resistance was represented in two stages, minions, and backgrounds, yet there was no character. The Chimera could wield some very interesting guns and melee attacks and further represent the franchise.

9. Delsin Rowe - (Infamous)
Does Sony own him?: Yes
Why he should be included: Infamous: Second Son is a wildly popular game for the PS4, and with all the different powers he has, his move set would be beautiful. I also really want to fight against Delsin as Cole McGrath.

10. Cloud Strife - (Final Fantasy VII)
Does Sony own him?: No, but Square is on great terms with Sony and VII was a PS exclusive
Why he should be included: Cloud is one of if not the most iconic face of the Final Fantasy franchise. Many fans will agree that it's the strongest game of the series, and Cloud's giant sword would be awesome to battle with.

11. Old Snake - (Metal Gear Solid)
Does Sony own him?: No, but many MGS games have been Playstation exclusive.
Why he should be included: Metal Gear Solid has always been a Sony heavy franchise, and Old Snake deserves an inclusion. MGS 4 was a Playstation Exclusive, and that's the game that Old Snake is featured in. He's also a badass and would amazing to play as.

12. Sora - (Kingdom Hearts)
Does Sony own him?: No, but Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 are Playstation exclusive.
Why he should be included: He's an important character for the PS2 and summoning Disney characters would be badass. Enough said.

13. Ethan Mars - (Heavy Rain)
Does Sony own him?: Yes
Why he should be included: Heavy Rain is a great PS3 game that had no representation in the Playstation All Stars at all. Ethan could punch, kick, stab, and JASON! He could be a joke character, if nothing else.

14. Joel and Ellie - (The Last of Us)
Does Sony own them?: Yes
Why they should be included: The Last of Us is known fairly unanimously as the game of the generation. Widely recognized as one of the greatest games of all time, I think it'd be pretty ridiculous of Sony not to include any content related to the Last of Us in the game. Joel and Ellie could be an interesting team, with Joel throwing bricks and Ellie assisting in super moves and grabs and the like.

15. Wander - (Shadow of the Colossus)
Does Sony own him?: Yes (I think...?)
Why he should be included: Shadow of the Colossus is a very powerful and breath taking game that took a lot of creativity and talent to muster up. Also a very widely praised game, I think that SotC at least deserves a stage. However, the main character Wander would be very interesting to see on the battlefield, utilizing the horse Argo and that weird beam of light thing-a-ma-hooz.

16. Nemisis - (Resident Evil)
Does Sony own him?: No
Why he should be included: More horror representation (especially considering Resident Evil was massively popular on PS1 and PS2) as well as another heavy hitter should be something that no one will complain about.

17. Batman - (Arkham Knight)
Does Sony own him?: No
Why he should be included: I'm positive many people will disagree with me on this, but Batman could fit right in. Rocksteady has shown preference towards Sony, and right now Batman dominates superhero video games. Using his fists and wide array of gadgets, Batman would be a really fun character to play as. There could also be a skin for his Injustice costume, maybe even a LEGO Batman costume. C'mon, is there anyone who wouldn't want to see Batman fighting Sackboy?

18. Lara Croft - (Tomb Raider)
Does Sony own her?: No
Why she should be included: More female representation is always a good thing, but more importantly, Lara was a key figure in the PS1 line up. Since then, she's been in many games available on Playstation consoles, and the recent Tomb Raider reboot as well as upcoming reboot only increase her relevance. I for one would love to see her go against Nathan Drake.

19. Knack - (Knack)
 Does Sony own him?: Yes
 Why he should be included: He's a very unique character in both appearance and attacks, and since the Playstation All Stars sequel would no doubt be releasing on PS4, it'd be good to have some PS4 representation.

20. Traveler - (Journey)
Does Sony own, uh, it?: Yes
Why it should be included: Journey is another popular PS exclusive, and with so many current video games featuring guns and tight clothing, we need a unique character. Traveler could use it's (or his? I have no idea) sash and dive into enemies. Perhaps better suited for a stage, Journey needs some representation.

While that may seem like a lot of characters, I believe that with enough effort and cooperation from their respective owners they could all join the Playstation All-Stars ranks quite comfortably. Now, as for stages, I really enjoyed the selection that Superbot provided us with in the first installment. The concept of one game invading another really made the fights feel alive. However, there simply weren't enough stages. The developers could have without a doubt included more, and I really hope that in a sequel the devs, whoever they may be, take full advantage of all the IPs that Sony has to offer. Here's a list of some of the stages that I'd like to see:

1. Gravity Rush X Journey - This was actually a planned stage for DLC, along with the characters Dart and Abe. However, despite my best efforts with #ReleaseDart (shout out to everyone who participated!), all three items never made it into the game. It's a shame, really, as it's a very nice idea. There's some concept art floating around online, some of which can be seen below.

2. Bioshock X Tearaway - Something that really irked me about the stages in PS All Stars was that even though we got Big Daddy as a playable character and two Bioshock stages, we never got a Rapture stage. When I think about Bioshock, I think about Rapture. It's a really cool place, too, and would be an interesting setting for a fight. Picture this: several platforms, including stairs, with a sprawling glass wall in the background. Maybe have the 'Circus of Values' machine in one spot. Then, all of a sudden, the finger from Tearaway smashes through the glass. Water starts pouring in, which sends in some Bioshock debris (rusty metal, seaweed, rocks, etc) along with some scraps and confetti from Tearaway. Once the stage is completely submerged, Rapture is raised out of the water and the glass now looks out onto a papery field with dancing squirrels and the like.

3. Devil May Cry X Infamous 2 - Devil May Cry never got a stage in the first game, and Infamous never got to invade anyone. Imagine battling in Limbo city from DmC, jumping around floating debris and buildings, when suddenly Bertrand in his monster form comes stomping in. He begins smashing things even more, eventually smashing the big chunk the players are on and having them crash in the middle of New Marais, by the clock tower. The players will be battling on a crumbling building from Limbo in the middle of New Marais, when Bertrand comes back, this time battling Mundus in his massive form from the end of DmC.

4. God of War X Uncharted - I know that this would be God of War's fourth stage, but hear me out. The fight begins on Mount Olympus, with that badass music from the Zeus boss fight playing. You're duking it out, when Gaia climbs to the top. She stares and watches the fight, maybe dropping a fist every now and again, but eventually turns around to reveal her back. On her back is the tree from Uncharted 2, along with lots of those evil monster things. They jump down and begin destroying columns, that then fall and possibly crush you, but then become platforms.

5. Fat Princess X Medievil - You play in the Red Castle from Fat Princess, when the blue team comes and begins attacking. Then green fog rolls in and Medievil zombies begin attacking the blue knights, occasionally tossing some up and at the players.

I have many more ideas for stages, including franchises such as Tekken, Silent Hill, Parappa, Assassins Creed, and more, but I'd rather not waste time dreaming and instead leave it up to the developers. Now, as for modes, I felt that the first game would've been received a lot better with the addition of one or two solid modes. Here are four modes that I think the sequel could really benefit from:

1: Health Bar mode - Obviously there'd be some issues with balancing, but it doesn't really matter as it wouldn't be the main focus and would be fun as all Hell. Everyone could get 1000 health, and you lose health based on how much AP an attack would earn. For example, an attack that normally nets you 45 AP will instead make the opponent lose 45 health.

2. Story mode - While an Arcade mode is awesome, it is by no means a replacement for a story mode. There are so many possibilities for this that I'm not even going to bother going in depth.

3.  Boss mode - This is getting a little creative, but if the devs are down for it I'd love to see it. Imagine a mode where you go against bosses from the story mode as well as bosses unique to this mode. Polygon man would be a forerunner, but you could include many bosses from throughout Playstation history to make things interesting (Kronos, Dollface, The Beast, a Fat Princess giant, etc). Make it compatible with all four players and you're golden.

4. Endless mode - You go against an endless horde of enemies, each with one life, and see how long you can last. Compatible with both regular and health bar mode.

While I still have plenty of ideas for a potential Playstation All Stars sequel, I believe that that should sum it up for one article. Oh, and of course, get the original voice actor for Jak this time! Do you have any characters you'd like to suggest? Maybe a stage mash-up on your mind? Be sure to leave a comment below! Until the inevitable follow up to this editorial, game on!