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Sony PlayStation Roundup: State of Play

Sony released a new State of Play video today showing off upcoming releases and news in the PlayStation world.



Sony’s State of Play released its third installment today, announcing a bunch of info on upcoming titles for the PlayStation. Let’s take a look at what  we can expect in the next few months from Sony and the PlayStation.


An odd looking title, Humanity is a game coming to the PlayStation 4 from Enhance Games and THA Ltd. The teaser shows groups of people engaging in a battle of some kind and as Humanity will have optional VR support, perhaps the player will be forming teams and fighting other players. Not much else is known currently about the game but it is expected to release in 2020 so we will likely get more information in the New Year.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

A new trailer was released for the next instalment in the Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. A soft reboot of the Modern Warfare series, the trailer shows some of the story of the game including some of the conflict that will be the main feature of the campaign. A young version of Captain Price returns to the game, though it has already been suggested that it is not the Captain Price that we know from the other games but instead a version of him from an alternative narrative where other Modern Warfare events did not happen. The story looks interesting from what is shown in the trailer but it is yet to be seen as to whether it will be as controversial and memorable as the classic Modern Warfare games. Only time will tell.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be released on October 25th, 2019 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows.


Another weird and wonderful game given an update in State of Play is Wattam, a title from Keita Takahashi (Katamari Damacy) and publishers Annapurna Interactive (Journey, Donut County). The game is set around the concept of friendship and can be played either solo or cooperatively. The trailer shows  a bright and colourful world full of random inhabitants such as flowers, noses and even a group of what looks like the poop emoji in a variety of pretty colours. It feels weird even writing that sentence. The tone is very reminiscent of the Katamari games and with various elements to play around with such as puzzles and mini games, I’m certain that Wattam will definitely be an interesting and slightly bizarre experience.

Wattam is due for release in December, 2019 for the PlayStation 4 and Windows.

Arise: A Simple Story

Arise: A Simple Story — a game from Techland and Piccolo Studios — particularly caught my attention during State of Play. I am a huge fan of story based games and Arise looks to be a sweet, sombre and — as the title says — simple story based game. The PlayStation blog gives a synopsis of the game, explaining the story begins with an ending as the player wakes up in limbo after their death. They must then embark on a journey through their past life and explore all their memories, good and bad. The game is sure to be an emotional one and I’m looking forward to seeing more of this title.

Arise: A Simple Story is coming soon to the PlayStation 4.

PS VR Games

A wealth of PlayStation VR games were also announced which I’ll list here.

LA Noire: The VR Case Files: Available now.

Gorn: Winter 2019

Espire 1: VR Operative: September 2019

Stardust Odyssey: Winter 2019

After the Fall: 2020

Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash!: Autumn 2019


There was also confirmation that a demo for the upcoming remake of the 1998 PlayStation One classic MediEvil is available right now on the PlayStation Store. Head over there to download it and get a glimpse of the game before the official release on October 25th, 2019.

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

The latest installment in the infamous turn-based strategy title will be coming to the PlayStation 4 this November in another announcement from earlier today. The title will be brought to the console by 2K Games, having not appeared on either the PlayStation or the Xbox in over ten years.

Civilization VI will release for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 22nd, 2019.

Death Stranding PS4 Pro

A super cool limited edition Death Stranding themed PlayStation 4 Pro was the next announcement from State of Play. The bundle includes a white and black 1TB PS4 Pro with creepy hand prints staining the side. It will be released in a package alongside the game itself on November 8th. There is also a translucent orange DualShock4 controller to go with the console, reflecting the design of the BB pod from the game… minus the floating baby, of course.


Afterparty is an indie game from Night School Studio, developer of the acclaimed Oxenfree, which revolves around two friends trying to escape from hell after they die just before graduating college. Sounds cheerful right? Afterparty may sound like a depressing premise but the game looks far from it. Lola and Milo — the aforementioned dead friends — plan to escape the depths of the underworld by out-drinking the devil himself, partaking in party games and having dance-offs with the other inhabitants of hell. With drinking games, branching dialogue that changes the story and Dave Fennoy playing Satan, Afterparty looks like a fun-fuelled dark comedy and I love it. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Afterparty will be released for the PlayStation 4 on October 29th, 2019.

October PS Plus Games

The free games for the PlayStation Plus in October were also announced. They will be MLB The Show 19 and The Last of Us Remastered so make sure to get them downloaded when they become available.

The Last of Us: Part II

This was the moment that a lot of us were waiting for in this State of Play. A brand new trailer and the long awaited release date for Naughty Dog’s highly anticipated sequel, The Last of Us: Part II. The trailer shows some game play and hints at a story centred on a quest for revenge for Ellie (played by Ashley Johnson). I think there is more to the story than the trailers are letting on and that some things are being purposely concealed, such as the suggestion that Dina — Ellie’s love interest — is murdered and her mission is purely based on vengeance. Whilst I wouldn’t be surprised if Dina was killed and this ignited Ellie’s furious temper, I believe there is more to it than that.

The trailer also shows Tommy, Joel’s brother from the previous game, who is obviously still close to Ellie. We then get another moment we have been waiting for since the first trailer for the game way back in 2016: we see Joel. He looks a lot older and grizzled — clearly having been through a lot since we saw him last — but it’s still Joel with Troy Baker returning to the role.  The biggest feature from this announcement though is the release date for the game, which has been up in the air for years now. Thankfully, we don’t have much longer to wait for the game.

The Last of Us: Part II will be released on February 21st, 2020. For more information on the various editions available, check out Neil Druckmann’s entry on the PlayStation Blog.

Antonia Haynes resides in a small seaside town in England where she has lived her whole life. She's a simple girl with a passion for zombies, writing, film, television, drawing, superheroes, Disney and, of course, video games. Her ideal day would consist of junk food, fluffy pyjamas and video games because quite frankly going outside is overrated. Follow her on Twitter on @RainbowMachete

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Let’s Discuss the Revamped Sonic the Hedgehog Design



The internet has breathed a collective sigh of relief following the release of a new trailer for the upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog movie. Some leaks a few weeks back that turned out to be correct showed the design that we see but the trailer shows a lot more of the new redesign of the world renowned video game character. The movie has been the subject of much attention-mostly negative- after the initial trailer was released six months ago. The first trailer (which initially announced a release date of November 2019) was incredibly poorly received due to the odd design choice for the titular character. With small eyes, a tiny snout and human teeth, the original design was weirdly realistic and resembled an odd humanoid rather than the blue cartoon hedgehog that we all know and love.

The first design for Sonic looked a bit like a child in a Sonic the Hedgehog suit. Creepy to say the least.

The new trailer shows off a brand new look for Sonic which is far more in sync with what we already know for the character. He is definitely an animated character, with the exaggerated features that he has always had in every other iteration. The movie itself still looks cheesy as hell but it looks like a tolerable, even kind of enjoyable sort of cheesy.  The controversy surrounding the terribly received first Sonic design has been so prolific that some even argued that the whole thing has been a marketing ploy and that the character was never meant to look as bad as he originally did. Whatever the case may be in terms of what went down behind the scenes of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, it is clear that even if the film is terrible it will attract a substantial audience of people just curious as to how the whole thing is going to turn out. As a fan of Sonic since the 90’s when I was little, I’m probably going to be one of those people.

Sonic is now appropriately cute, fluffy and more in line with his usual style.

I’m still kind of hoping it can break the curse of the video game movie-like Detective Pikachu did- but alongside the aforementioned cheesiness, it looks like a pretty generic movie aimed at kids rather than diehard fans of the Sonic franchise. Flop or not, at least Sonic is looking far more adorable and less like he might murder you in your sleep. It also shows how the filmmakers were willing to listen to their audience and implement changes following feedback. Incredibly vocal feedback at that.

The comparison between the two designs shows just how much the animators have worked to create a brand new Sonic. Their hard work has certainly paid off.

Sonic the Hedgehog is due for theatrical release on February 14th, 2020.

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Anamanaguchi – [USA] (Album Review)



Few acts boast such renown amongst uber-nerdy video game enthusiasts as Anamanaguchi. Unveiling their debut EP ‘Power Supply’ in 2009, the Chiptune pioneers have pushed their unique brand of 8-bit powered Rock and Pop across various releases, including 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game soundtrack, and 2013’s Kickstarter funded 22 track LP ‘Endless Fantasy’. And with ‘Endless Fantasy’ being their last LP (excluding their stuffed to the brim ‘Capsule Silence XXIV’ compilations), to say fans have anticipated ‘[USA]’ is an almighty understatement.

Six years is a while, so has Anamanaguchi’s latest batch of tracks been worth the wait? Seasoned fans Harry and Kyle are on the scene to offer their takes, from how ‘[USA]’ stacks up against the band’s other offerings, to its effectiveness as an artistic whole.

Background With Anamanaguchi

I first heard Anamanaguchi around 2010. At the time I was neck deep in my Slipknot phase (a phase I’ve yet to grow out of judging by how much I replayed ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ this year), so their goofy electronic schtick didn’t tick my boxes. But as time passed I developed a stronger fondness of them, so much so that I enthusiastically backed their 2013 LP ‘Endless Fantasy’ on Kickstarter. Now I’ve seen them live twice, followed their progress over the years, and can proudly proclaim my superfan status. – Harry

The late 2000s saw a shift in pop culture: suddenly, geek chic was all the rage. G4 was at the height of its popularity, pixel art infested countless pieces of media, and video games were undeniably cool. Few other pieces of media encapsulate this cultural zeitgeist more than Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game. Based on the popular comic by Bryan Lee O’Malley, the Scott Pilgrim game featured Anamanaguchi’s crunchy pixelated Rock sound, which melded perfectly with the colorful 16-bit beat-em’-up gameplay. Older Anamanaguchi albums are more than just music: they’re a trip back in time to a brighter, more innocent era of pop culture and gaming. – Kyle

Introducing [USA]

I was excited for ‘[USA]’, but that’s stating the obvious based on my prior words. The LP kicks off with its titular track, introducing affairs with an amalgamation of predictably glitchy bleeps ‘n’ bloops. It’s straight up Anamanaguchi, their Chiptune flair intact. This is good, as Anamanaguchi sans Chiptune is like spaghetti sans sauce (still awesome, but lacking a key ingredient). “USA” is chanted as instrumentation morphs stylistically, crescendoing in dynamics and tempo, and setting the stage for the lead single.

“Lorem Ipsum (Arctic Anthem)” is an LP highlight. Stepping out the gate with Vocaloid-y singing, an aesthetic of grandiose gorgeousness is speedily cemented. This later juxtaposes with the rapid-fire rhythms of Luke’s drumming and manic synthesizer arpeggios that run around like an 8-bit-ified (Sega Master System) Sonic the Hedgehog. This mental meld of melody, Drum and bass, and all manner of other musical magic finally sinks into a sea of atmospheric spookiness, concluding in an out of left field (yet utterly engaging) way. “Lorem Ipsum (Arctic Anthem)” avoids predictability through each and every beat of its journey, but nails catchy accessibility to a tee. A masterclass in creative songwriting, it sets ‘[USA]’s’ bar sky high. – Harry

The weeks to ‘[USA]’ releasing were positive ones, marked by enticing singles like “Lorem Ipsum (Arctic Anthem)” and “Air On Line”. Anamanaguchi’s distinct Rock-flavored Chiptune style had undergone a stylistic shift in the band’s 2013 release ‘Endless Fantasy’, where the band shed off some of its punk flair in favor of dreamier synth tones. In the six years between LP releases, Anamanaguchi experimented with singles and EPs featuring sonic palettes characteristic of modern J-Pop (“Pop It”, “Miku”). While the band stretched its legs with poppier beats, it did mark a further departure from the traditional Rock-oriented sound that had defined much of their earlier work.

‘[USA]’ in many respects displays a return to Anamanaguchi’s roots. Tracks like “On My Own (feat. HANA)” and “Air On Line” boast driving guitar riffs, thumping drums, and fluidly complex intricacies. Yet, it’s more than clear that Anamanaguchi has evolved beyond their geeky beginnings to cultivate an airy soundscape of bright pastel colors and crystal clear tones. It doesn’t always hit the mark, but the highs that ‘[USA]’ can reach prove that the guys have still got it. – Kyle

Negative Bits

Unfortunately, said sky high bar is scarcely met again throughout the rest of ‘[USA]’. Plenty of tracks, like “The C R T Woods” and “Overwriting Incorporate”, are serviceable, but fall short of the laser focused compositional direction and melodic magnificence that Anamanaguchi are so super slick at. ‘[USA]’ suffers from banality, with tracks like “Tear” and “We Die” meandering noisily without focus, and big chunks (particularly the interlude-like tracks “Speak To You [Memory Messengers]” and “Apophenia Light [Name Eaters]”) feeling akin to ‘Capsule Silence XXIV’ cuts (i.e. decent demos, but not kickass LP standouts). – Harry

Much like Harry, I found a large chunk of the album rather dull to get through. Admittedly, Anamanaguchi has an undeniable talent for their synth instrumentation. However, what pushes their work beyond generic electronic music is their ability to anchor that instrumentation to a melodic through line built on catchy hooks and unexpected turns. “Lorem Ipsum (Arctic Anthem)” is one of the few tracks that manages to pull off this floaty, ethereal sound because it moves forward with purpose and constantly engages your curiosity. The same can’t be said for several of the other synth-heavy tracks, too lost in their own sound to offer anything truly engaging. – Kyle

Positive Bits

Nevertheless, there are flashes of brilliance here. “Sunset By Plane (feat. Caroline Lufkin)” is Anamanaguchi firing on all cylinders, delivering energetic poppy bombast in spades. Porter Robinson’s co production is evident in “Air On Line”, resulting in a smooth stomper of happy hooks. “B S X (feat. Hatsune Miku)” incorporates choppily glitched-out singing from the iconic Vocaloid, serving as a pseudo-sequel to the 2016 single “Miku”. “On My Own (feat. HANA)” sees Anamanaguchi’s Chiptune/Pop/Rock melting pot bubbling away again. And speaking of Chiptune, it’s wonderful to hear mountains of 8-bit eccentricity throughout ‘[USA]’, proving even as their sound matures, Anamanaguchi still celebrate where they came from with beaming pixelated smiles. – Harry

As a whole, ‘[USA]’ still deserves a place worthy of praise in Anamanaguchi’s discography. Porter Robinson only collaborated with the band for “Air On Line”, but his style bleeds wonderfully into tracks like “Up to You (feat. meesh)” and “Sunset By Plane (feat. Caroline Lufkin)”. The kawaii-infused J-Pop rhythms and hooks are infectiously catchy, but don’t let that fool you: Anamanaguchi haven’t lost their edge. “B S X (feat. Hatsune Miku)” and “On My Own (feat. HANA)” show that the band can reach back into their deep musical pockets and bring out their signature hard Chiptune Rock to surprise you with something intimately familiar. – Kyle

Final Thoughts

In typical Anamanaguchi fashion, ‘[USA]’ is ambitious from start to finish. ‘Endless Fantasy’ is bloated, but stylistically spot on, whereas ‘[USA]’ trims the fat, but gets a little lost in its journey. Glistening gold sits alongside stale pies, and that description is a fitting metaphor for elements of ‘[USA]’: it’s odd, and doesn’t make much sense (and perhaps that in itself is a metaphor for the real life USA?).

Still, when Anamanaguchi’s latest is good, it’s really good, and there’s bundles of genius in the 8-bit boys yet!

Check out, stream, buy or consume ‘[USA]’ in your preferred capacity by clicking HERE!

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Star Wars Fan Films Embrace the Essence of A Galaxy Far, Far Away



There is no doubt that dedicated fans are capable of creating brilliant, fan-made content, but the Star Wars fan base has a habit of going above and beyond in making incredible works of art that often surpass official entries in the franchise. Two relatively recent short fan films — one released last week, the other released in March of this year — are great examples of this.

The first is a 1970s/80s-style cartoon from YouTuber Wilkins Animation called Dark Empire Episode One: The Destiny of a Jedi. This animated short is incredibly reminiscent of classic cartoons — so much so that it is difficult not to feel a pang of nostalgia upon watching it. The style gives off a He-Man vibe due to the quirky animation, stellar voice work, and vibrant colour scheme. The story is set after The Return of The Jedi as Han, Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO embark on a mission to save Luke and Lando, who are stranded on war-torn Coruscant. I won’t spoil anything in case you want to check it out for yourself, but the story is engaging, and I couldn’t help but feel that I wanted to see more when it came to an end.

Have a watch below if you want to see more, and to check out Wilkins Animation’s Patreon to support their work, click here.

The second fan made film is a slightly older (from March 2019) one called Battle of the Dreadnoughts, by YouTuber EckhartsLadder. The film is significantly shorter than the 12-minute Dark Empire cartoon, clocking in at about three and a half minutes. It depicts a space battle between the New Republic’s Viscount Class Star Defender and the Empire’s most dangerous of all its weapons, the Eclipse Super Star Destroyer. Battle of the Dreadnoughts may be short, but it is astounding in quality. Upon my first viewing, I was certain I had accidentally clicked on a scene from the movies rather than a fan-made project. The accuracy, attention to detail, and sheer scale blew my mind and — as with the Dark Empire animation — left me wanting more from the content creators involved.

Check out EckhartsLadder’s Patreon here and their Twitch account here.

There is no doubting the talent of the Star Wars fan base, but these two films in particular are incredible works of art both in their own right and as Star Wars fan projects.

For more Star Wars, have a read of our Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer breakdown.

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