This week in video games, September 6, 2016: No Man's Sky, Dead Rising, new Mario

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      This week, the price for PlayStation Plus is going up, Dead Rising games get remastered, and Nintendo drops a new Mario-themed 3DS handheld. First, though, a look at the space-adventure game No Man's Sky.

      Explore an entire universe with No Man's Sky

      What to say about No Man's Sky?

      The space-adventure game, developed by Hello Games and recently released for PS4 and Windows, has been unfairly judged against what fans hoped it would be instead of its own merits.

      No Man's Sky is not for everyone, that's for sure.

      It's what I imagine being a true explorer would be like: sometimes breathtaking, often boring. It is repetitive, it is tedious, it is bland.

      And I love it.

      I sat down to turn it on and play through the opening sequence, which involves you becoming aware of your surroundings on a strange planet.

      I looked up again six hours later.

      In that time, I explored a planet and its moons. I catalogued alien flora and fauna and mined resources that I used to craft and trade. I learned snippets of an alien communication and tried to use them in conversation.

      No Man's Sky is almost meditative. There is a story anchoring the experience but, frankly, I ignored it, choosing instead to take my time and go where I wanted to go instead of where the game sent me.

      I'm getting glimpses at the narrative, and it seems a bit thin. But it's a great framework for the imagination, providing just enough detail so that you have a sense there's something bigger but vague enough that each player will be able to bring their own story to the game.

      You can do some trading and you'll get involved in some basic space battles but, really, No Man's Sky is exactly what was promised: a neverending exploration of a vast galaxy.

      Since the game was announced, I've been joking that No Man's Sky might be the last game I ever need to get. I'm not sure it's a joke anymore.

      No Man's Sky


      PlayStation Plus membership getting more expensive

      I'm a fan of PlayStation Plus, the service from Sony that gives gamers access to multiplayer modes on some games and a handful of free games each month.

      But the price of being a member is going up by $20.

      On September 22, the cost for an annual membership jumps to US$70. Pricing on the three-month membership will be $30, and a one month goes to $12. With the number of free games that come to members, I think a PS Plus membership is still good value.

      My suggestion is to renew your subscription on September 21 so you can delay the price increase by a year.


      Dead Rising games developed in Vancouver get remastered

      Capcom's zombie apocalypse gamesDead Rising, Dead Rising 2, and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record—are coming to PS4 and Xbox One.

      The three games are being released digitally on September 13 for US$20 each, or as a bundle for $50.

      Whle the first game (2006) was developed in Japan, subsequent titles in the franchise were created in Vancouver at Capcom Vancouver (formerly Blue Castle Games). That studio has been working on Dead Rising 4, which comes out on December 6.

      Dead Rising 4


      Nintendo lowers price on classic games, releases Mario-themed New Nintendo 3DS

      There's a new Nintendo 3DS handheld, and it's got Mario all over it.

      The Super Mario 3D Land edition of the New Nintendo 3DS is priced at $200. It comes with two removable cover plates so you can personalize your 3DS, one with images of the platforming plumber, Mario, and another with 8-bit renderings of classic Nintendo characters.

      It also comes with Super Mario 3D Land preinstalled.

      Nintendo has also dropped the price of some games. Animal Crossing: New Leaf and the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker are among the games that are now available for only $30 as part of the Nintendo Selects program. Also available at that sale price are Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, developed in Vancouver at Next Level Games.

      Select Wii U games, including Lego City Undercover, are also being added to the Nintendo Selects program.

      Super Mario 3D Land