Blog archive

Friday, 25 September 2020

Amazon announce Luna, a new cloud gaming service to take on Stadia and Xbox Game Pass

Amazon Luna is a new cloud gaming service from the tech giant, coming soon to PC, Mac, Fire TV and iPhone and iPad (via web apps), with an Android release planned for later on. To start with it will only be available in the US and by invitation only, but expect it to branch out to the rest of the world as soon as Amazon can.

More in line with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, it's based of a subscription model, instead of Google Stadia's model where you buy each game. However, what's interesting is that they are angling to have gaming "channels". The main one will be Amazon's own, Luna+, which offers over 100 games for an introductory monthly price of $5.99. They also mention a Ubisoft channel coming in the future, allowing for other companies to come in and set up shop as well.

Games will be streamed at 1080p as standard, with 4K60fps coming soon for select titles – initially it'll target Control, Panzer Dragoon, A Plague Tale: Innocence, The Surge 2, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Layer, GRID, Resident Evil 7, Abzu, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Interestingly Luna+ will let you stream at 1080p to two devices at once, while Ubisoft's channel will only allow one stream at a time.

Following in Google's footsteps is the Luna Controller, which connects directly to Amazon's cloud, shaving the input lag from 57ms to 30 ms. However, you can play with an Xbox One Controller, DualShock 4 or just use mouse and keyboard.

Honestly it was only a matter of time before Amazon turned its eyes to cloud gaming. Microsoft and Google have both entered the arena with their sprawling cloud computing set ups, leveraging their network server farms around the world, but while Amazon is most famous for being a global online retailer, their subsidiary Amazon Web Services (AWS) is actually the dominant cloud computing platform. Oh, and a big part of their network is dedicated to game streaming platform Twitch, with Luna poised to tap into this connection and lure stream watchers to play games via Amazon's service.

Will they be successful? Well, they certainly have a cannier business model compared to Google Stadia, which hasn't captured imaginations with its business model, and Luna is also able to reach iOS and iPad where Google and Microsoft have both stuttered. They're doing this by way of a web app that run in a basic web browser, skirting past the restrictions that the iOS App Store places on streaming services. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft and Google follow suit in the next few months, as both have been angling to get dedicated apps and the home screen presence they have through Apple's stubborn rules.


PS5 pre-orders will be back in limited numbers at Game tomorrow morning

If you're after a PlayStation 5 pre-order in the UK, then I have some good news for you: Game will have limited stocks of console pre-orders sometime tomorrow morning, on Friday 25th September.

It comes after the somewhat chaotic state of PS5 pre-orders last week, with Sony's announcement stream promising that pre-orders would get started the following day, only for retailers to jump the gun and all going at various times with little to no warning. Not quite what Sony had previously promised.

Game was one of the guilty parties, and their website struggled under the pressure – guest checkouts were available, but signing in was broken as anything. They fared little better with the Xbox Series X|S pre-orders on Tuesday, with a queue established for people to sign in, but others able to simply checkout as a guest once more. Then there were troubles with the Klarna financing for Xbox All Access purchases, and they took the site down for half the day to fix their stuff. Oh, and to cap it all off, the company has now decided that all pre-orders will have a £10 delivery fee

So, third time lucky, right? We don't know what time the PS5 pre-orders will return, but "late morning" would imply 10AM onwards.

It's not entirely clear if this restock is limited to Game, or if it's even actually fresh stock. Sony promised that more stock would be forthcoming in the weeks leading up to the 19th November launch in the UK, but a highly anticipated bit of tech like PS5 is going to get more than a few people jumping on a pre-order and then cancelling when they've changed their minds, perhaps even getting multiple orders in.

The PlayStation 5 is coming out in November, heading first to the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea on 12th November, before arriving in the UK and Europe on 19th November. It costs £449.99 for the version with a 4K UHD Blu-ray drive and £359.99 for the digital edition, though Sony have been producing far fewer digital consoles than full fat ones, it seems.

More PlayStation 5 News:


Xbox Series X|S 1TB SSD expansion card priced at £220 / $220 – now available for pre-order [Updated]

Update: The UK pricing for the 1TB expansion card for Xbox Series X|S has now been confirmed at £220, per the Microsoft Store where it's also now available for pre-order. That's a chunk higher than we were expecting, considering the $220 US pricing.

The original article is below.

While we're waiting for a price in the UK and Europe, US retailer Best Buy has revealed the price of the 1TB SSD expansion cards for Xbox Series X|S. It will set US customers back a stinging $220 to double the effective internal storage of the Xbox Series X.

Australian retailers EB Games, JB Hi-Fi and Mighty Ape have also listed the SSD, with their prices in the $360–388 AUD range. In both cases, once we account for sales tax or lack thereof, this would roughly convert to £200 including VAT in the UK. This is, unfortunately, much higher than the £159 listing that was briefly spotted on Smyths Toys.

That's a pretty steep price for a 1TB expansion of the Xbox Series' internal memory, but comes from a combination of factors. Firstly, the SSD needs to match the ultra-high speed specs of the internal SSD, with a raw throughput of 2.4GB/s and a matching SSD controller to work with the Velocity Architecture. However, you can find similarly specced 1TB SSDs for PC that cost around £120-140. So there is clearly a bit of a markup. This can be attributed to a proprietary form factor which allows the SSD to be a plug and play memory card that slots into a dedicated port on the back of the console, and a partnership with Seagate, whose gaming branded storage is always pricier than identical general purpose options.

Thankfully the Xbox Series X|S will both be able to use basic USB 3.0 external hard drives in some ways. You will only be able to play Xbox Series X|S games from the internal SSD or these SSD expansions, but Xbox One games can be run from a standard hard drive, and these drives will also let you backup next-gen games to clear space. We'd expect and hope that the system software has robust tools for transferring games, much like the current Xbox One does.

Just because Microsoft have gone proprietary with their SSD expansion cards doesn't mean things will be much better or cheaper over on PlayStation. Sony have pushed the PlayStation 5's internal SSD to be more than twice as fast as that of the Xbox Series X|S, with 5.5GB/s in raw throughput. You will be able to use a standard PC NVME SSD to expand the internal storage of the PS5, but because of the custom design of Sony's SSD, these will need to be at least as fast as the one in the PS5.

For that reason, Sony will be certifying third party drives for use with the PS5. The one problem? They don't exist yet, and it's only yesterday that Samsung revealed the 980 Pro SSD range that can potentially meet those lofty standards. For a 1TB drive, it has a similar price to the Xbox Series X|S expansion cards.

In other words, unless you've got a lot of cash to spare, you'll be frugally managing your game installs for quite some time to come.


RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Complete Edition for Switch

After being pulled from digital stores only a few years back, the 2004 classic RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 is making a comeback with a fresh release on PC… and Nintendo Switch. Dubbed as the 'Complete Edition,' it comes with both the Soaked! and Wild! Expansions, which is bloody brilliant.

Unlike the disappointing RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures (which was developed by a totally different company), RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 offers Switch owners what they should have had in the first place – a fully fledged coaster sim in the palm of your hands.

For those unfamiliar with the original, what you get here are a set of 18 scenarios where you must take a failing park and build it back up again, utilising the 300 rides on offer to tempt punters (known as peeps) to your park. Everything can be customised, named and micromanaged to the point where you can really call the park your own.

You can fiddle with how much you charge for drinks and how many pickles you put in burgers. Place a coaster and you can tweak all manners of things, from how fast the chain link pulls the cars up the track to the colours of the fences surrounding the ride. Of course, the real joy is in customising the actual tracks, and the classic track placement style is easy to pick up. Sadly, I'm not a very good (or patient) builder. It's very expansive and you can literally spend hours laying down tracks to get the perfect ride.

Management is as in depth as you remember with every penny counted (yes you can change from dollars to pounds). Track your income, play with graphs and change charges accordingly to make the most out of attractions and make the big bucks. Janitors not doing enough? Just grab them and make them clean up the puke.

The controls for the Switch version are decent, but not always great. There's a handy tutorial from the start that also will get you up to speed in about ten minutes, and you'll be diving into the menus on the ZL and ZR buttons and getting around quite easily. The placing of objects can be a little tricky, though. Initially I found myself placing objects and deleting by accident almost immediately, the difference between a tap and a long press the quirk I had to get used to. There's other quirks to get used to as well, and it just gets a touch frustrating at times. Especially when you place something, find you can adjust it and must demolish to start over.

Thankfully, building custom coasters isn't such a hardship. Placing them a piece down at a time, constructing the coaster of your dreams is more than achievable. I ended up building something similar to Alton Tower's Oblivion, a humongous vertical drop designed to make wearing white trousers very risky. Hey, nightmares are dreams too!

RCT3 looks as polished as it can be for a 16 year old game. Some graphical improvements have been made, but nothing feels that noticeable. It's certainly sharper, but that's about it. Just try not to look at the peeps up close. At least the framerate is solid. I jam packed my park and never had an issue. In that respect, it's been well optimised for the Switch, working just as well off the dock as on it.

There are only two modes available: Campaign and Sandbox. The tutorial mode has been neatly folded into the regular game for first time players, but can be switched off through the menu. One thing that's absent is the scenario creator, although I personally didn't miss it. There's enough in the 39 campaign scenarios on offer to keep you busy across the main game, Soaked! and Wild!, and once you have exhausted all of that, the freedom of unlimited cash in a sandbox is where you will probably spend most of your time.

The elephant in the room to address is 'why should I get this when Planet Coaster exists?' Well, aside from the fact that Planet Coaster isn't coming to Nintendo Switch, RCT3 is just good value for money on the handheld. If you want a park management game in the palm of you hand, there's no real competition on Switch, but if you want to play on a big screen? Well, it's hard to recommend it over Planet Coaster on PC or the upcoming console release. Planet Coast is this game's spiritual successor, as Frontier brought their park management sim right up to date and filled it with even more customisation.

Still, RCT3 is a nostalgia-filled package with the great selling points of being able to play it on the go and pause and instantly resume. Compared to its namesake RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures, there's just no competition. This makes for a perfect lounge game to sit back, grab a coffee and chill for an hour or two while you build your masterpiece.


NieR Replicant remaster release date set for April 2021

The release date for the NieR Replicant has been announced at Tokyo Games Show, revealing that the game will be out for PS4, Xbox One and PC on 23rd April 2021.

NieR Replicant – or to give the remake its full title NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… – revives the cult classic action RPG from a decade ago. NieR was originally developed by Cavia as a spin-off from the Drakengard series, but with the curious decision to have two version in Japan – NieR Gestalt for Xbox 360 and NieR Replicant for PS3. This took the setting of NieR and changes the main character to make him a brother for Yonah instead of her father.

The remaster is an extensive one with developer ToyLogic doing a great job updating the game visually and their decision to record dialogue with the original cast of voice actors to now make the game fully voiced.

Following on the Black Box edition for NieR Automata, NieR Replicant will have a White Snow Edition for collectors to gush over. It will include:

  • "Lunar Tear" Collector's Box
  • Steelbook® Case – A metal case featuring stunning artwork by Illustrator Koda Kazuma.
  • Pin Badge Set – Grimoire Weiss, Grimoire Noir, and Grimoire Rubrum pins presented in a specialized display case. Exclusive to the White Snow Edition.
  • Script Set – A set of seven books including the content of the spoken script of the game, exclusive to the White Snow Edition. Packaged in a special hard case, featuring unique cover art by character designer Akihiko Yoshida. Available in English only.
  • Soundtrack CD Set – A two-disc collection – one disc featuring tracks from NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… specifically edited for this set, and a second disc featuring special arrangements, overseen by Keiichi Okabe, of select tracks that are exclusive to the White Snow Edition. The set is presented in a premium Grimoire Weiss-inspired package.

There's also some platform specific pre-order bonuses to look out for:

  • PlayStation®4 system – All editions will include an exclusive PlayStation®4 system dynamic theme and avatar set. Pre-orders will also include a digital copy of the mini soundtrack featuring a sampling of songs from the White Snow Edition soundtrack CDs.
  • Xbox One – Pre-orders will also include a digital copy of the mini soundtrack featuring a sampling of songs from the White Snow Edition soundtrack CDs.
  • Steam – All editions will include a special digital wallpaper collection. Pre-orders will also include a digital copy of the mini soundtrack featuring a sampling of songs from the White Snow Edition soundtrack CDs.

If you haven't played a Nier game before here is what Dom wrote in his review for NieR Automata.

NieR: Automata is the epitome of a sequel you didn't know you needed. The original NieR was itself a spin-off to the Drakengard series, and one that, whilst gaining a cult following, certainly didn't achieve the kinds of sales that most risk-averse publishers would consider worthy of a sequel. Yet here we are, with a second Yoko Taro-helmed NieR game, this time boasting the action-gaming heft of PlatinumGames firmly behind his uniquely dark vision.

Yoko Taro's unique storytelling ability has matched perfectly with the committed development culture at PlatinumGames, making NieR: Automata a mature and thought-provoking action-JRPG. Its tight combat and compelling narrative sets it apart from both its predecessor and the Drakengard series, and it's utterly essential for fans of the genre.

You can read the full review here.


Serious Sam 4 Review

Some game series continually reinvent themselves, adapting and changing to bring new perspectives and new mechanics in each subsequent iteration. Think of the shift to 3D in Mario or Zelda, or even the different playing styles introduced in the later Spyro titles. Such devotion to innovation and progression is a noble aim, but sometimes this leads us to overlook the games that resolutely stay true to their nature, come hell or high water. All of which brings us nicely to the adventures of Sam Stone, long-time fighter against the alien hordes threatening the Earth.

Since his debut in 2001, Sam has taken on hundreds of thousands of baddies, with the series' trademark tongue-in-cheek presentation and parade of cheesy one-liners. Without wanting to render the following review redundant, it's safe to say that Serious Sam 4 is definitely a Serious Sam game, and you'll be more than satisfied if that's what you want.

Unusually for a Serious Sam game, there is a focus on narrative and character to provide a bit of context for your shooting. This isn't Croteam's attempt to produce a cinematic affair to rival The Last of Us, but instead shows a desire to add some more motivation and development than the usual arbitrary sequence of arenas.

The tone here is wonderfully silly. Set as a prequel to the rest of the series, an early conversation outlines that the AAA (Sam's squad of alien artefact hunters) are in Italy to look for a Russian bishop who knows the location of the Ark of the Covenant, which contains the Holy Grail, which is actually an alien artefact. This exchange is immediately followed by a comparison to Dan Brown that is swiftly dismissed by Sam who reveals that he is more of a Philip K. Dick fan. This unexpected reveal of Sam as a literary connoisseur is less than subtle, but indicates that the Sam Stone in this game is more evolved than the original Duke Nukem tribute act character.

The end result of this backstory still amounts to 'shoot thousands of enemies in series of arenas' but rather than historical ruins and open spaces, Sam 4 drops you into guerrilla warfare across the streets of Rome and Paris. Whilst looking like a military shooter such as Battlefield, the game is still very much old-school Sam, with over the top gibbage and ludicrous weaponry. Unlike the recent Doom games which emphasised getting up close and personal, most battles in Sam 4 will see you running backwards and employing plenty of circle strafing. The game's open areas are perfectly suited to this and it really comes into its own when it reverts to this kind of environment.

Though not giving Unreal Engine 5 a run for its money, the visual design of Sam 4 is wonderful, and there are some genuinely gorgeous vistas and cityscapes to take in if you get a moment's respite. Character models are less impressive, although the familiar enemies have clearly had a lick of HD paint applied.

The emphasis is on smooth gameplay. I initially started playing on a GeForce 1050ti that hovers just above the game's minimum specs, and while it wasn't particularly good looking, I was really impressed with how smoothly the game ran. The epic battles were totally playable at a consistent 60fps. An upgrade to a GeForce 2060 and a quick test on a Vega56 let us ramp up the graphics to Ultra and still easily reach 60fps. If you've got the hardware you can easily shoot for higher resolutions and frame rates for even slicker performance.

The aforementioned enemies and weapons are the real focus of Sam 4 though. There was a terrific sense of nostalgia continually invoked by the screams of the headless kamikaze bombers and the hiss of the scorpion's miniguns warming up. The sound design as a whole is surprisingly effective (with some pretty decent music too) and really goes to ensuring that trademark Serious Sam feel. Add in some truly enormous boss fights and the usual ludicrous hordes and you have the perfect antidote to the cinematic, sneaky-stealth shooters that Sam has always been set against. I came to the game fresh from The Last of Us Part 2 and, despite the undoubted brilliance of Naughty Dog's game, I found Sam to be a refreshing experience.

Variety is added through a number of vehicles to help you traverse some of the more open areas. These range from the functional to the ridiculous. One of the highlights is a level that includes a jolly trawl across the French countryside on a combine harvester, with predictably gory results. This may or may not be a nod to the deliciously trashy UK horror film Evil Aliens –a highly recommended good-bad film – but was a perfect fit for Sam. Early trailers also revealed the game's Popemobile – a 50 foot mech armed to the gills, and the setpiece boss fight involving this holy steed is another memorable moment.

Sam doesn't have to work alone, either. Many levels see him accompanied by fellow AAA fighters who can help thin the herds, but as well as these AI companions, the entire campaign can be played through online co-op. This adds a surprising layer of strategy to arena combat as you can work with your partner to either divide your attack or focus on larger threats. There were some memorable moments in our quick blast in this mode as one of us could pick off the smaller enemies flanked and focussed on the biggest. Both of you play as Sam, which feels a little strange, but there's no arguing over pick ups and collectables. The old Gauntlet player in me missed the squabbles over who needed that health pickup more, but it makes the co-op easy to play with anyone.


Microsoft Flight Simulator major Japan World Update is coming for free next week

The first World Update for Microsoft Flight Simulator was announced at TGS, with Microsoft playing directly to the Japanese audience watching with a comprehensive overhaul of how Japan is depicted in the game.

The free content update is coming on 29th September, bringing with it more accurate representations of six Japanese cities based off high resolution photogrammetry, six hand-modelled airports as well as a range of iconic historical and modern landmarks and a new digital elevation map.

New landing challenges and a new discovery flight will also be coming to the game.

All the locations and icons featured in the trailer are:

Cities

  • Yokohama
  • Tokyo
  • Takamatsu
  • Tokushima
  • Sendai
  • Utsunomiya

Hand-modelled Airports

  • Nagasaki Airport
  • Suwanosejima Airport
  • Shimokishima Airport
  • Kushiro Airport
  • Kerama Airport
  • Hachijo-Jima

Landmarks & Locations

  • Itsukushima Shrine
  • Mount Aso
  • Ikitshui Bridge
  • Hashima
  • Horyu-Ji
  • Tower of Wind
  • Mount Fuji
  • Kobe Port Tower
  • Shirakawa-Go
  • Himeji Castle
  • Amanohashidate
  • Great Seto Bridge
  • Matsushima Bay
  • Hakone

Unfortunately there's still no word on when and how Microsoft Flight Simulator will be making the jump to console, but this major update is great to see and a good sign of things to come for the returning flight sim giant.


This is what's inside a Fall Guy and it's… Oh dear…

Fall Guys has been the cute and cuddly hit of the summer, but now that summer is behind us and the spectre of Halloween looms in autumn, Mediatonic have revealed the true horrors of what lies beneath that Mr. Blobby-esque exterior.

Surely just a joke, right? Right? Well, those canny social media types running the Fall Guys account have decided to put it in the hands of the public which, as we all know, is how totally brilliant things like Brexit and Donald Trump's presidency happen. While the poll is ongoing, can you guess which of the three options given to you is currently winning?

Yeah, it's totally number 3. This also officially means that an un-costumed Fall Guy is actually naked.

Anyway, Season 2 is expected to start sometime in October with Mediatonic revealing at Gamescom 2020 a set of new levels and a cutesy medieval theme. Before we got to that, though, the team brought a major mid-season update last week that they dubbed Big Yeetus and Anti-Cheetus. That added Easy Anti-Cheat software to try and crack down on cheaters in the game, while also spicing up the action with the randomly spawning Big Yeetus spinny hammer and some light remixes to existing stages.

Following on from Big Yeetus is going to be a big task, but they've already teased his "new friend". Some community suggestions for this include Thicc Bonkus and Mince Meetus

Source: Twitter


Rainbow Six Siege update 1.94 removes vote to kick feature

Ubisoft have released their first mid-season Y5S3 update for Rainbow Six Siege. Available now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, this latest patch ushers in some late fixes the developers had originally intended to include before the launch of Operation Shadow Legacy.

Rainbow Six Siege update 1.94 (officially referred to as Y5S3.1) rolls out a host of minor fixes which can be found in the full patch notes further below. One interesting highlight worth mentioning is the removal of the vote-to-kick feature from Quick Match games. According to Ubisoft this tool was being abused, leading to its removal.

Earlier this month Splinter Cell's Sam Fisher joined the Rainbow Six Siege roster as part of Year 5 Season 3 Operation Shadow Legacy. Headlining this latest season of content is Fisher himself – codenamed "Zero" – as well as a rework of fan favourite map, Chalet. Ping 2.0, map bans, and match replays have also been crammed in as Ubisoft shifts away from its usual template of adding two Operators each season to just one, focused on refining the core game.

Rainbow Six Siege Update 1.94 Patch Notes

BUG FIXES

GAMEPLAY

  • FIXED – Mismatched SFX when picking up a hard breach charge gadget.
  • FIXED – Operator shields will flip in first person POV after swapping out the shield and performing a melee attack.

LEVEL DESIGN

  • FIXED – Various clipping/dynamic clipping issues.
  • FIXED – Various issues with assets/props on maps.
  • FIXED – Various LOD issues on maps.
  • FIXED – Various minor caster mode details.
  • FIXED – Various vault issues.

CHALET

  • FIXED – Various vault issues on Chalet.
  • FIXED – Jukebox in 1F Bar on Chalet can be vaulted onto.
  • FIXED – Various drone collision issues on Chalet allowing drones to go OOB/OOW, or blocking drones.
  • FIXED – Defuser can't be picked up if dropped behind the boiler in B Main Garage on Chalet.
  • FIXED – Defuser can't be picked up if dropped in certain spots on Chalet after forcing collision.
  • FIXED – Defuser can't be picked up if dropped in a specific spot on EXT Helipad Trail of Chalet.
  • FIXED – Drones are not destroyed when thrown OOB on Chalet.
  • FIXED – Issues with Secure Area mode in 1F Fireplace on Chalet.
  • FIXED – Operator can go OOB by forcing collision in EXT Helipad Trail of Chalet.
  • FIXED – Players can't vault down to B Backyard stairs on Chalet.
  • FIXED – Potentially exploitable position on Chalet.
  • FIXED – Some gadgets float when attached to solarium windows on Chalet.
  • FIXED – The table in B Wine Cellar of Chalet can't be damaged by explosives.

OPERATORS

ZERO

  • FIXED – Sensitivity for Zero's Argus Camera on controllers is higher than intended.
  • FIXED – Inconsistent replication for Zero's Piercing Camera for players who have reconnected to the game
  • FIXED – Multiple damage decals from Zero's camera when deployed on certain surfaces.
  • FIXED – Visual issues with Zero's Argus Launcher reticule and crosshair while hipfiring and ADS, respectively.
  • FIXED – Zero's Argus Launcher crosshairs are not being affected by the disable state when inside Mute's jammer AOE.
  • FIXED – Zero's Piercing Camera can be deployed multiple times in the same spot.
  • FIXED – Zero's Piercing Camera floats if deployed on a barricade that later has its perimeter destroyed.

CLASH

  • FIXED – Clash's shield animation can be stopped by pressing any spring/shoot buttons.

IANA

  • FIXED – When using Iana's Gemini, her 1.5x and 2.0x scopes will change to a different scope on the Gemini.

NOKK

  • FIXED – Scopes are held closer to Nokk's face when prone when her HEL is active.

USER EXPERIENCE

  • FIXED – ADS Sensitivity settings are not being saved after restarting on console.
  • FIXED – In custom matches, duplicate pings can occur when switching sides.
  • FIXED – Missing SFX while in support mode after dying.
  • FIXED – Various issues lost in-game voice chat functionality.
  • FIXED – Various issues with in-game voice chat.
  • FIXED – Various minor bugs in PvE.
  • FIXED – Various UI/HUD issues.
  • FIXED – Various visual cosmetic/shop issues.

Source: Ubisoft


Kirby Fighters 2 is out now on Nintendo Switch for all you Smash Bros. Kirby players

Nintendo have announced and released Kirby Fighter 2 for Nintendo Switch, a full sequel for one third of Kirby: Triple Deluxe on Nintendo 3DS. The game is available now for £17.99.

The game is, to be as reductive as possible, Super Smash Bros. but everyone is Kirby all the time. It's all about 4 player battles, putting Kirby's main power to absorb and copy abilities to the fore. The main difference to Smash is that you don't have knock people out of the area, just reduce their health to zero.

There's seventeen abilities, from Sword, Ninja and Beam, through to Bell, Yo-Yo, Artist and more. The newest copy ability is Wrestler. Other characters like Gooey, Bandana Waddle Dee, Magolor, Meta Knight and King Dedede also make their appearance.

The main game is battle mode, where you can fight solo or as a team, across a wide range of stages new and old. There will be environmental effects as well as items to pick up. Up to four players can play with split Joy-Con, there's also local multiplayer and online play.

There's also a Story Mode, where you can team up through a series of battles to reach and defeat King Dedede and Meta Knight at the top of the tower, picking up boosters between floors. Single-Handed mode is a solo battle mode to take on 9 increasingly difficult battles.

We reviewed the original Kirby Fighters as part of Kirby Triple Deluxe, back in 2014. As part of that bundle, Dan said at the time that "It's a fun distraction but its longevity is questionable. I played through it once and have no desire to play it again." Though this was likely hampered by being on 3DS and alongside other game modes.

Hopefully a standalone release and the way that the Switch engenders multiplayer and co-op can make it a bit more engaging this time around?


Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Gaming Headset Review

The end of the year is always a big deal for console accessory manufacturers, but it's even bigger when there's a new generation of consoles galloping toward you from the horizon. So it's no surprise that Turtle Beach, creators of many, many headsets, have returned to their line up and given it a fresh spit and polish. Here we're looking at the Stealth 600 Gen 2, a revamped version of their entry-level wireless model.

The Stealth 600 was a solidly built bit of kit, and the 600 Gen 2 continues in a very similar vein. It's heavy on the black matte plastic – Turtle Beach's cheaper headsets always are – but it still feels solid and well put together. There's actually a surprising amount of heft to them in your hand, but they're not unwieldy or overly heavy once they're on your head.

In the name of comfort there's a thick, PU-covered piece of memory foam beneath the headband, and each of the memory foam earpieces is covered in soft black fabric. The texture of the fabric actually looks like it could be scratchy, but they're gentle and comfortable against your skin and feature Turtle Beach's excellent glasses 'notch' that means those spectacle wearers amongst us won't be dying from temple pain after fifteen minutes.

The adjustment sliders are constructed from the same black plastic as the rest of the headset, but they have sturdy incremental notches for staying in the place once you've got them set to the right size. Both earcups will also rotate flat so you can comfortably wear them around your neck, and largely the whole headset simply does a good job of being comfortable.

You'll find all of your controls along the rear of the left earcup, bringing together the Power and Mode buttons, as well as dials for volume and chat and the USB-C socket for charging. There's two versions of the headset, the one we're reviewing compatible with PS4, Switch and PC via its USB Type-A dongle, and the Xbox counterpart connecting to current and next-gen machines directly via Xbox Wireless. Either way the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 is a purely wireless offering, and thankfully its battery is capable of up to 15 hours of use before needing another charge. In testing it was certainly within that ballpark.

The audio performance of the Stealth 600 is, much like the rest of the headset, reliably solid. There's four different EQ settings, from the catch-all standard setting that offers a pleasantly well-balanced soundstage, through a bass-boosted offering that suits music and explosive gameplay to a tee, and a footstep-focussed EQ for those serious FPS aficionados.

There's some real thump to action games using the bass-boost setting. Playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare sounded brilliant, bringing the explosive action to life in impressive fashion, while the treble-heavy footstep mode is perfect for catching out brash Warzone players. The standard setting is a great catch-all option though, and there's an excellent level of detail to everything you can hear.

The downside to the solely wireless setup is that interference can occasionally enter the mix. I could detect a minute amount of distortion on PC, but it was completely covered by any level of audio. However, at times when playing on PS4, sat some five or six metres away from my console, I felt there was some unwanted noise entering the mix. It's disappointing that it's not a completely pure wireless signal, but I do have to wonder whether I'm just particularly sensitive to it. Your mileage may vary.

When you're not listening, you'll be talking and the Stealth 600 has a handy flip-down microphone arm that folds away in the left earpiece when not in use. It's a perfectly acceptable mic, but there's no way to angle it any closer to your face – and therefore your mouth. You can tell thanks to the audio sounding thin and distant. You'll be fine, particularly if you're naturally the loudest person in your chat party, but there are better mic set-ups out there.

With an RRP of £89.99, there's some serious competition in this price category, and few are as serious as the Corsair HS70, which boast better signal quality and a more grown-up design. Alternatively there's the Razer Nari Essential, which misses out on the full-fat Nari's bells and whistles but will happily cushion your head in their voluminous ear cushions.


Squad 1.0 release brings 50v50 battles to the tactical FPS

After five long years in early access, the tactical first person shooter Squad has reached a 1.0 release today, bringing with it an expanded 50v50 game mode.

The game was built as a spiritual successor to the Project Reality mod for the classic PC shooter Battlefield 2, but expanding the experience to encompass teams of 50 players apiece. As in the mod, communication and teamwork is pushed to the fore, with each player choosing particular roles.

The large battle maps are based around locations in Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe, which is pretty de rigeur for the modern day shooter, and within that teams will have to build and fortify bases, set up and protect supplies while battling the enemy. You also have access to armored cars, tanks, personnel carriers, and helicopters.

Squad 1.0 features a new map set in the city of Fallujah and a new Middle-Eastern Alliance faction. There's also the expanded 50v50 mode, which has been in testing over the last few months. A step up over the 40v40 servers, there will now be 50v50 servers to play from.

Oh, and the game also now has mod support, so if people want to take Squad and turn it back into a more arcade experience like Battlefield, they can!

Source: press release


Baldur's Gate 3 early access delayed by one week, but here's a trailer about romance

Baldur's Gate 3 has been delayed once again, but not by much. The new release date for the game's early access is 6th October, just a week after the previously announced date. The early access release will be available for Windows PC and Google Stadia.

To help soothe fans through the trying times, the latest community update video has shifted to give players a glimpse of what they can expect from the game's romance and companionship features. In other words, Larian have finally talking about sexy times with elves and stuff.

More seriously, they talk about party dynamics and how they react to your choices. The game hopes to capture the breadth of D&D by adapting to the dialogue options you pick, how you engage in combat, and just how you explore the world. For your party, your united by having an Illithid tadpole in your noggin, but you'll have to overcome your differences in order to survive.

There are hundreds of permutations that determine how your relationships grow, with Larian aiming to create something intimate, authentic and reactive. Much of that will come at the end of a day of adventuring when you set up camp. Here, the party puts down its weapons and talks in cinematic dialogue.

Lead writer Sarah Baylus said, "We are trying to make these relationships feel real and feel like the relationships you have in the real world. You will meet some people who you have nothing in common with, some will be useful to work together but that is going to be the extent of it. But there could be situations where you get on really well, you share similar goals and you love travelling together."

"We want these relationships to feel like they would in the real world, like you are falling in love with someone or you are falling in like with someone, or you just feel attracted to someone. That should all feel real and authentic."

Sounds fascinating, and we can't wait… OK, we can wait to see how it comes together.

Source: press release


The new Xbox phone app lets you install any game, even if you don't own it

There's a new Xbox app available for Android devices, and currently going through certification on iOS, that adds a really interesting new feature for ardent gamers: the ability to remotely install games. Any games. Even ones you don't own.

The feature is quite a minor tweak in the grand scheme of things, but it's a useful new tool for gamers when games can take a mind-numbingly long time to download or install from disc. Now, you're probably not going to just randomly download games that you have no intention of playing, but it's a great tweak for gamers who still want to buy their games on disc. You can pre-order the game from your chosen retailer, download from Microsoft, get the day one updates as soon as they're available and then simply pop the disc in when it arrives and start playing.

You can download the new Xbox app (which is currently in beta) from the Google Play Store.

The feature was confirmed by users on Resetera earlier this week, and has also been demonstrated for future games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla, downloading a 100MB placeholder file until such a time as the Xbox can download the rest of the game date once it's gone gold.

Essentially, it's formalising the role that discs have had for much of the current generation. Yes, they come stuffed with 50GB of data (or more on next-gen), but you have to install games to the console hard drive and games often transform and expand dramatically through patches. That day one Destiny 2 disc? Well, it's literally just an unlock key. Always has been, really.

 

This is all part of Microsoft's revamped Xbox app for mobile. Currently in a beta release, it will adopt the new UI design that is coming to all current Xbox consoles alongside the launch of the Xbox Series X | S, and is intended to have deeper connections to the consoles. You'll be able to set up a new console using the smartphone app, for example, any time you hit the Share button, you'll be able to then watch it and decide how you want to share it from the app, and there's all the messaging, achievement and other features you'd expect.

The app will also build in Remote Play streaming from Xbox consoles, finally enabling a long-promised feature. This isn't the same as the Cloud Streaming from Xbox Game Pass – a separate but connected app – but streaming from the console you own. Because of this particular distinction, the Xbox app should be able to pass through Apple's iOS certification and rules, unlike the ill-fated Game Pass streaming.

Source: Twitter, Resetera


Maneater swims to PS5 & Xbox Series X with ray-tracing support, 4K60 and free next-gen upgrades

Tripwire Interactive's "shARkPG" Maneater is making the leap onto PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X for their respective launches, with the free next-gen upgrade bringing a major bump up to 4K60 and throwing in some ray-traced lighting for good measure.

The lower-powered Xbox Series S will also benefit from increased fidelity and frame rate, though will likely have more modest targets. Meanwhile, PC gamers will not be left out, but will have to wait until early 2021 to get their own updates and enhancements.

The announcement comes as Tripwire celebrate the game passing the 1 million copies sold milestone. John Gibson, CEO of Tripwire Interactive said, "The Tripwire team has been overwhelmed by the great reception Maneater received since it launched earlier this year, and we can't wait for players to experience the thrill of playing as a deadly shark in all of her powerful glory on next-gen consoles. With next-gen Maneater has never looked better with amazing ray traced water and smooth 4k 60FPS gameplay, but the adventures won't stop there, as fans can expect even more exciting news about the future of Maneater soon."

It's a pretty unique game, all told, with players taking on the role of an orphaned shark pup who sets out for revenge. Along the way, it will evolve, gaining new abilities and growing in size until it's the one and only apex predator around.

We gave it a decent review earlier this year, finding it a decent concept, but lacking in variety. Jim wrote in our Maneater review:

"Maneater is a crazy concept come to life, Tripwire somehow managing to cobble together a silly ShaRkPG that is more than just a ten-minute novelty. There's no denying it's an exotic catch, but when it comes to quality open world action games, there's plenty more fish in the sea."

Source: press release


No Man's Sky Origins update is out now – massive 3.0 patch marks start of a new era for the game

Hello Games have launched the latest major update for No Man's Sky, but this one is bigger than most. No Man's Sky Origins is also known as update 3.0, and brings sweeping changes and new features to the game, going so far as to add more planets to the vast procedurally generated galaxy that players can already explore.

Last week, Hello described this as "the beginning of something new, as No Man's Sky continues to grow and evolve."

Those aforementioned new planets are in addition to all the existing planets in the game, and they can be formed in both existing systems and new solar systems that feature binary stars. The worlds can now feature volcanoes, multi kilometre mountains, and huge new buildings, and they can be wracked with new weather effects, such as firestorms, lightning, and tornadoes. Existing planets will retain their existing formations, so player bases will remain untouched, but there's plenty that's new to explore.

There's also new NPCs to meet on planets, as well as new fauna, and (in a move that will please many a Dune fan) sandworms.

There's a lot, so the patch notes can be found below.

No Man's Sky is out for PlayStation 4 with PSVR support, Xbox One, and PC with VR support. Might this platform list expand as games consoles soon embark on their own new era? Hmmm?

No Man's Sky: Origins – Update 3.0

PLANETARY GENERATION

  • New planets have been created in most star systems.
  • Planets can now generate much more varied terrain, including mountains four times larger than anything previously possible.
  • Terrain generation for existing planets has not been affected, and player bases have not been reset.

PLANETARY VISUALS

  • Planetary terrain rendering has been significantly improved.
  • Planetary colour diversity has been significantly increased.
  • Planetary lighting diversity has been significantly increased.
  • Large numbers of new plants, rocks and other objects have been added to each planet type, over doubling the available diversity.
  • In addition, scorched planets have a chance of becoming volcanically active.
  • Lush planets also have a chance of becoming marshlands or swamps.
  • Every planet has a small chance of becoming infested with bizarre alien growths.
  • This generation change has been done in such a way that no existing planet will have its fundamental type or hazard changed.
  • PC players with planetary visual quality set to 'Ultra' will see grass and other decorative props rendered out to larger distances.
  • A number of issues have been fixed that could cause patches of grass and other objects to pop out of existence when close to the player.

ATMOSPHERIC VISUALS

  • The visual quality of cloud rendering has been significantly improved.
  • The pattern of clouds seen on a planet from space now matches the environmental conditions on the planet.
  • During storms, cloud coverage now increases and darkens.
  • Cloud coverage levels are now procedurally generated and vary from planet to planet.
  • Cloud coverage levels now vary over time.

STAR SYSTEM VISUALS

  • Additional stars have been added to the universe.
  • Some systems now have binary stars.
  • There is a rare chance for a system to have ternary stars.

PLANETARY FAUNA

  • A large number of new, highly exotic creatures have been added to the universe.
  • Some uncharted systems may contain planets that are populated by rare cybernetic lifeforms.
  • The diversity of insect and flying life has been increased.
  • The behaviour and animations for flying creatures has been significantly improved.
  • Flying and swimming creatures can now flock together.
  • Creature generation has been reset. However, previous creature discoveries are now noted in the 'Extinct' section of the Discoveries page.
  • New cooking products have been added, reflecting the range of novel meats and other sustainably harvested ingredients made possible by the new creature types.

PLANETARY WEATHER

  • New weather and other atmospheric events have been added.
  • Planets may experience shooting stars and meteor showers. Distant meteor showers are beautiful, but it is advised to avoid standing at the impact site.
  • Lightning may now strike during storms.
  • There is now a rare chance that tornadoes can form during a storm.
  • Some extreme temperature worlds may experience firestorms, where the very surface of the planet may erupt into flame.
  • Anomalous planets may now experience strange gravitational events.
  • During storms, the Exosuit can now take advantage of the extreme conditions: superheated temperatures can be processed into improved jetpack efficiency; freezing temperatures prevent Mining Beam overheating; high radioactivity increases mining yield; dense toxic gases can be recirculated for additional stamina.

PLANETARY BUILDINGS

  • Previously empty planets now have a range of abandoned and/or ancient buildings.
  • New colossal planetary archives have been added to the building generation.
  • The archives contain the historical and literary records of the Gek, Korvax and Vy'keen.
  • The archives are also home to a large number of NPCs and shops.
  • The archives contain mapping stations that reveal the presence of nearby ancient ruins.
  • Valuable ancient artifacts may be exchanged at the archive. The presented artifact will be swapped for a different item, and this cultural exchange will be rewarded with standing.

SANDWORMS

  • Some planets are now home to colossal worms. Watch your step.

TRADERS

  • Trader ships now occasionally land on the planet's surface.
  • These traders sell a range of exotic goods, including black-market upgrade modules.
  • The scrap dealer found about space stations will now exchange pugneum for rare or exotic contraband items.

USER INTERFACE

  • The game's interface has had a total visual overhaul, including the boot flow, all in-game menus and screens, and the Analysis Visor.
  • The space station and planetary base teleporter UI now match the interface used on the Space Anomaly.
  • The teleporter interface now more consistently shows screenshots of the target base.
  • The teleporter interface now displays information about the system or planet being warped to, such as weather or system economy.
  • The Discoveries page now displays more information about where to find creatures. For example, locational information and active times of day are now listed.
  • The Discoveries page now allows filtering of star systems based on inhabitants or solar class.
  • Systems may now be hidden from the list of discovered systems.
  • The Discoveries page system / planet view now displays more accurate information about player bases.
  • A local information guide has been added to the mission log. This guide displays detailed information about your current planet or star system, as well as tracking the progress of your discoveries.
  • Planetary base markers now display the name of the base.
  • Deleting a base from the base computer now has a warning element to help prevent accidental deletion.
  • A number of places in which the UI did not respect disabling press & hold have been fixed.
  • Fixed a number of visual issues with the display of information on the Galaxy Map.
  • The number of items in an inventory stack is now displayed in the popup header.
  • A depth readout has been added to the player HUD when underwater.

PHOTO MODE

  • New photo mode filters have been added.
  • Photo mode controls over fog and cloud density have been fixed and improved.
  • Photo mode controls over vignettes have been fixed.
  • Photo mode control over FOV has been fixed and improved.
  • Photo mode control of depth of field has been improved, with separate controls for focal depth and distance.
  • Photo mode now captures stormy conditions accurately.
  • Photo missions from the mission board now offer more assistance in locating an appropriate planet to take a photo.

CRAFTING AND ITEMS

  • A number of lesser-used crafting products have been removed from the game.
  • A smaller number of new crafting products have been added to replace them.
  • The number of specialist survival products have been reduced. The stack size for the remaining survival products has been increased.
  • The stack size for Glass has been increased.
  • A range of new buried items have been added to planets. These can be found and processed to reveal a range of exotic and interesting new items.
  • Fixed a number of issues with items being in the wrong place in the Catalogue.

MULTI-TOOL UPGRADES

  • Multi-Tools can now be upgraded at the Multi-Tool technology merchant aboard most Space Stations.
  • New inventory slots can be added, up to a maximum size for the current class. These slots cost a large number of units.
  • Multi-Tool class can also be upgraded for a significant amount of nanites.
  • Multi-Tool Expansion Slots allow the addition of an inventory slot for free. Find these upgrade circuits while exploring planets.

PORTAL INTERFERENCE

  • Portal interference for conventional portals has been removed. Players may explore freely.
  • After going through a portal, the return portal will remain active until you leave the planet. Your previous system is added to the list of available destinations at the space station teleporter.

OTHER FIXES

  • Improved the handling of the third person camera when on slopes, to avoid the camera becoming stuck in grass.
  • Reduced player and camera jitter in third person.
  • Improved the performance of the third person auto-follow camera when going up and down steep slopes, so that the camera attempts to adjust for the angle of the slope.
  • Reduced the auto-centre strength on the falling camera.
  • Trade economies have been rebalanced, so that the economy will be less affected by the mass selling of non-specialist items.
  • Player freighters now supply power automatically to all base parts placed aboard them.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the Mining Speed bonus to not actually increase the speed of the mining laser.
  • Fixed an issue on the Nexus participants screen that caused the player name to be blank if they are not aboard the Space Anomaly.
  • Added diminishing returns to resource extractors, so that after building a large number of extractors in one place, the amount extracted by each new extractor is slightly less.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the mode select screen to be invisible in ultra wide resolutions
  • Fixed an issue that caused the Eye of the Korvax helmet to be black.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented markers placed on crashed freighters from clearing.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the lighting on the children of helios to be overblown.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed players to delete a freighter storage room while standing inside it.
  • Fixed a number of issues with base building parts looking incorrect when seen at a distance.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the lighting inside large cylinder rooms to be overly bright.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the text "%EXOTIC%" to appear in some Nexus mission descriptions.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented some abandoned starships from being claimed, even though there was no NPC with them.
  • Fixed an issue that caused dead creatures to become embedded in the terrain.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the lightning to be overblown on some rare props.
  • Fixed an issue that caused underwater props to appear overly bright.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the mining laser impact effect to stay active forever.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented some time-based missions from starting correctly.
  • Fixed an issue that caused some mission UI elements to appear during warp.
  • Fixed a mission blocker that could occur when being awarded a product and technology recipe at the same time.
  • Fixed a number of interface errors that could occur during the process to upgrade an inventory.
  • Fixed an issue that caused an inventory transfer warning to pop up at inappropriate times.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the portable refiner to be missing its audio.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause mission markers to fail to place correctly when the player was in an abandoned system.
  • Fixed a number of issues that could cause Nexus missions to mark the wrong system.
  • Fixed a number of occasions where Geks were referred to as 'it' rather than 'they'.
  • Fixed a text glitch that could occur when leaving a technology shop.
  • Fixed an issue where NPC pilots did not have their name above their speech box.
  • Fixed an issue where players were always awarded Gek standing from some interactions, even if the interaction did not involve the Gek.
  • Fixed an issue where Nexus exploration missions would send players to planets without many creatures.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the rarity description of creatures in the Discoveries menu to be incorrect.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the flora and fauna description of a planet to be incorrect, eg saying there were abundant fauna when there were not.
  • Planets will no longer be labelled as 'paradise' if they have any hostile environmental conditions.
  • Fixed an issue that caused starship trail customisations to appear on other players' ships.
  • Fixed a mission blocker that could occur when mining cadmium for the Soul Engine.
  • Fixed a number of issues with using the Steam Overlay in VR.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the Terrain Manipulator's flatten mode from syncing in multiplayer.
  • Fixed an issue that caused exploration frigates to display incorrect information when viewed through the Analysis Visor.

Source: Hello Games


Will Hades come to PS4 and Xbox One?

Last week, we saw rogue-like dungeon crawler Hades triumphantly stride out of early access and into version 1.0 with its launch on PC as well as the Nintendo Switch.

However, since its recent release and the subsequent praise from critics (see Jason's Hades review) PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners have been asking whether Hades will launch on other platforms.

At present, the only way to get your hands on this GOTY 2020 contender is to either buy it for PC via Steam or the Epic Game Store, or grab the handheld version through the Nintendo Switch eShop.

It's worth noting that developer Supergiant Games have a track record for releasing their titles on multiple platforms with the sublime Bastion, Transistor, and Pyre all being available on Sony and Microsoft consoles.

With the launch of Hades 1.0 after being in early access since 2018, Supergiant Games were asked whether a PlayStation 4/PlayStation 5 version of the title was in the pipeline to which they replied:

"Hey, we've launched v1.0 of Hades only on Nintendo Switch, and PC and Mac via Steam and the Epic Games Store. We'll be considering opportunities to bring the game to additional platforms down the line. Thank you for your interest."

A PlayStation and Xbox release of Hades seems pretty likely then, but when can we expect it (if at all). There's a good chance the developer wanted to test the water with launching it on Switch first but we should also take the upcoming launch of next-gen hardware into account. Maybe Supergiant are simply waiting to drop cross-gen versions for both the PS4 and PS5, as well as the Xbox Series X|S. That would be our guess, at least.

In our review, we scored Hades an untouchable 10/10 – here's an excerpt:

Hades is one of the best roguelites of all-time. It's a phenomenal achievement in story telling, gameplay, and an absolute treat for both your eyes and ears. It's astounding, and it's always been fairly astounding through Early Access, but this final release cements it as one of the greats. If you like roguelites, and even if you don't, you should probably get in on this as soon as you can.

Hopefully an announcement on the game's multiplatform release isn't too far away.


Ori and the Will of the Wisps Switch Review

As the music swells at the opening of Ori and the Will of the Wisps, a lump forms in my throat. This isn't because I've longed for Microsoft games to make the jump to Nintendo consoles – admittedly a portable Gears of War would be pretty great – it's because Ori and the Will of the Wisps is one of the most emotionally affecting games of the year. Now, a mere six months after its initial release, it's made its way to the Nintendo Switch so you can experience it pretty much anywhere you go.

It's hard to put into words how completely this game has melted into my heart – I've already tried once for our original review. It is beautiful, within and without, with the visuals evoking timeless paintings of long-forgotten landscapes while the music reaches down into your soul and dredges up your pain, your wonder and your joy. Will of the Wisps storytelling is touching and emotionally mature, and in the same vein as the opening to Pixar's Up will have you reaching for the hankies without a word having ever been spoken.

For the uninitiated, Ori is a spirit creature, and Will of the Wisps continues her story in the wake of the events of The Blind Forest. Niwen is a world of magic and majesty, taking in leafy, verdant forests, dank underground kingdoms and the frozen climes of the mountainous regions to the east. Wrestling this artfulness into a compelling game saw Moon Studio turn to the classic Metroidvania formula, and Ori's ever-expanding range of platforming abilities steadily unlocks more of this incredible world as you progress.

The move to Switch has precipitated a few necessary changes to the game's graphical output, and chief among them is the move to 1080p when docked, and 720p when undocked. Losing the crystal-clear 4K image from Xbox One X (or a gaming PC) may hurt some of the most ardent resolution-o-philes, but Will of the Wisps' art style is so strong that it makes next to no difference in action.

The game's visual language is still perfectly clear enough to tell you where you need to go, and how you can get there – or more likely that you can't get there until you've unlocked some new ability. There is similarly a reduction in anti-aliasing, resulting in some rougher edges, mainly where a character might move against a static background, but once you're in Ori's flow you won't have time to notice, and nor will you care.

This is a game that relies on drawing you into its reality, where your fingers and thumbs become a crucial component in Ori's quest to save their adoptive brother Ku. It loses none of the impact and weight that it carried on Xbox One, and playing on handheld is a wonderful way to feel even closer to the game's events. Pop a pair of headphones on and you can treat Will of the Wisps like a good book, curling up with it as you sink into a sumptuous audio-visual eiderdown.

That implies that it's comfortable, perhaps even, that it's a walkover. While there is an Easy mode that's going to let you experience the story without too much friction, the Normal mode is a resolute challenge that relies on careful timing, exceptional reactions, and a clear understanding of routes and pathways through the labyrinthine world. There are times where you might become frustrated, particularly against the spectacular boss creatures, but you have to believe me; this is a game you must see through to the end.


Rocket League update 1.82 live, Fortnite event times confirmed

Here's a double dose of Rocket League news to brighten your day. Alongside their newest update for the hugely popular online game, developer Psyonix have also introduced their Fortnite "Llama-Rama" crossover event.

Rocket League update 1.82 is now live on all available platforms including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC. You'll need to download and install this newest version before you can hop online and start playing again. For the full 1.82 patch notes read further down.

It's a huge week for the SARPBC sequel for a number of reasons. Having just gone free-to-play, Rocket League has also kicked off its first live season which includes a Rocket Pass loaded with more than 70 tiers of unlockable rewards. This new feature layers on some extra replayability via challenges and a stream of bonuses with more available to those fans who cough up for Rocket Pass Premium.

Hang on, there's even more news. Rocket League has scored its own Fortnite crossover event with a series of Event Challenges being added to the game this Saturday, September 26 at 11PM BST UK time, through until October 12. Each challenge comes tagged with its own Fortnite themed reward – completing them all will award you with the Battle Bus.


Rocket League Update 1.82 Patch Notes

CHANGES AND UPDATES

User Interface

  • The Play Menu will now correctly remember the last chosen Competitive or Extra Modes Playlist between sessions
    • Casual playlists will also be saved and highlighted starting in our next update

BUG FIXES

General

  • The Play Menu will now correctly remember the last chosen Playlist between sessions

  • Fixed a bug causing team color adjustments to change which preset is being customized

  • [Steam] Fixed Steam input support for controllers including Sony DualShock 4, Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

  • Glowing wall cage effect fixed in Mannfield, Farmstead

  • Fixed a bug preventing successful friend invites to Nintendo Switch accounts on the 'Recent Players' list

  • NBA flags now appear correctly when customizing a car

For more on Rocket League, you can beam yourself back to 2015 to read our original review of the game at launch.

Source: Rocket League


Modern Warfare Season 6 release date announced with new Warzone content

Activision have officially announced Modern Warfare Season 6 and with it comes a slew of new content as well as some changes to the ever-popular Call of Duty: Warzone.

Let's start with the release date. Modern Warfare Season 6 kicks off next week on September 29th, so if you have any Battle Pass tiers you still need to unlock in Season 5 then you'd better hurry.

Headlining the upcoming season are two new playable operators Modern Warfare fans should be familiar with by now – if they've played the singleplayer campaign, that is. Protagonists Farah and Nikolai will be joining the ranks as unlockable heroes tied to the Season 6 Battle Pass.

Having been rumoured for some time now, Call of Duty: Warzone is finally getting its very own underground rail network. As shown in the Modern Warfare Season 6 reveal trailer, we see Farah and Nikolai move their way through a metro subway system, weaving between passenger cars and tunnels.

Infinity Ward have confirmed that the trains will be operational in-game, allowing players to navigate the Warzone map at an accelerated speed. As with any new Warzone content, expect players to descend upon the underground station when Season 6 kicks off. There will no doubt be some cools extras and Easter eggs tucked away down there. For a better look at how the rail system will work, here's an image of its route map.

But wait, there's more. We've seen a glimpse of what Season 6 has to offer though we're still waiting on news from Activision in regards to new weapons, competitive maps, Gunfight maps, and other content. Die-hard fans will also be keeping their eye out for the full Season 6 Battle Pass.

The pass will be available on September 29th when the new season goes live on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It will be priced at 1,000 Call of Duty points with 100 tiers to unlock.

Source: Activision


Wasteland 3 update 1.1.1 targets console stability and the Antique Appraiser perk

Wasteland 3 update 1.1.1 is out today across PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, targeting some of the main issues that players have had with the game.

In particular, they've focussed on stability on consoles and fixes for co-op getting stuck at 33% loading, while the Antique Appraiser perk has been rebalanced so it's not just ridiculously powerful. This follows on from the update earlier this month that also aimed to fix co-op and stability. A few more patches, and Wasteland 3 should be as stable as PS4 and Nintendo Switch system software!

There are still some known issues that they're working on, but this should generally make the game more enjoyable.

Wasteland 3 launched last month to rave reviews, picking up a 9/10 from Thomas – here's what he had to say:

"Wasteland 3 is a delight to experience with some of the most engaging RPG mechanics in the series to date. Its dense and detailed world is only outshone by the character and its cast of vibrant and wacky characters, who are all brought to life by the introduction of voiced dialogue. If you're a fan of RPGs, isometric-adventure games or turn-based combat, Wasteland 3 is an absolute must."

You can catch the full list of Wasteland 3 changes below.

Wasteland 3 – 1.1.1 Patch Notes

Performance and Stability

  • We've made over a dozen individual changes aimed at improving performance and stability, especially on consoles. We're continuing work on additional improvements for future updates.
  • Some slight load time improvements have been made. We're finalizing some more impactful load time reductions which you'll see in a future patch.
  • Fixed an issue where if computer consoles were used during combat, game performance would decrease.
  • Performance has been improved when using Precision Strike.

Co-op

  • Load screen hangs (i.e. 33% load bug) have largely been resolved for co-op games. In a few cases the load bar may appear to be stuck at 33% but will eventually load after 5 or more minutes. We're aware and actively working to resolve these.
  • Addressed an issue with the Direct Connect option that was preventing some guests from connecting to their hosts.
  • Fixed crash that could occur in co-op while players engaged with Major Prasad.
  • Players with different build versions are now blocked from playing with each other.
  • [Xbox One] Resolved an issue where the user would not be able to join a second game if it was hosted by the same person.

Quests and Gameplay

  • The Antiques Appraiser perk no longer triggers on Scrap. This closes a loophole in which Scrap could be simply bought and sold for a profit using the Antiques Appraiser perk. We found that in some cases the perk was giving players far too much money when Scrap was included. Of note, this change will not be reflected in the text descriptions until a subsequent patch.
  • Antiques Appraiser now has a 5% chance to multiply the value of Junk by 40x, down from 50x.
  • A persistent issue with the Fishlips encounter which would result in the game locking up has been resolved.
  • Resolved an issue where the epilogue song would sometimes not play all the way through.
  • Merchants now round up item values, instead of down. Buying in bulk is always better!
  • Liberty's Warbots are now immune to hacking, which should make her appropriately more challenging.
  • Resolved an issue where the Survival Skill was granting Animal Whisperer abilities.
  • Resolved an issue where some missions related to the Gippers were unable to be completed under specific conditions.
  • Resolved an issue where players were being charged the correct amount of skill points on purchase, but the tooltip and the bar were using the wrong value to calculate/display the cost.

Source: inXile


Big In Japan sale returns to the PlayStation Store

Sony have kicked off the latest Big in Japan sale on the PlayStation Store, trotting out another of their regularly occurring promotions. In fact, they're overlapping with the Double Discount sale still going until the end of September!

Big in Japan is kicking off today and running through to 7th October. Let us know if anything catches your fancy. Maybe Resident Evil 3 for 50% off?

Head over to the PlayStation Store to browse, or scroll down for the full list via HUKD (because the official PS blog is now officially completely useless for all this).

Big in Japan Sale

PlayStation 4

  • 428: Shibuya Scramble – £8.99 (80% off)
  • A.O.T. 2 – £24.99 (50% off)
  • A.O.T. 2 Deluxe Edition – £42.49 (50% off)
  • A.O.T. 2: Final Battle – £38.49 (30% off)
  • Accel World Vs. Sword Art Online – £11.24 (75% off)
  • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown Deluxe Edition – £20.99 (70% off)
  • Adk Damashii – £2.99 (75% off)
  • Aegis Of Earth: Protonovus Assault – £2.39 (85% off)
  • Ai: The Somnium Files – £24.99 (50% off)
  • Akiba's Beat – £3.19 (80% off)
  • Akiba's Trip: Undead And Undressed – £3.89 (87% off)
  • The Alliance Alive HD Remastered – £26.99 (40% off)
  • Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection – £3.99 (75% off)
  • Arcade Game Series 3-In-1 Pack – £1.62 (75% off)
  • Arcade Spirits – £11.19 (30% off)
  • Art Of Fighting Anthology – £2.99 (75% off)
  • Ash Of Gods: Redemption – £8.74 (65% off)
  • Atelier Ryza: Digital Deluxe Edition – £41.99 (30% off)
  • Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness And The Secret Hideout – £34.99 (30% off)
  • Bayonetta – £13.99 (30% off)
  • Bayonetta And Vanquish 10Th Anniversary Bundle – £20.99 (40% off)
  • Black Clover: Quartet Knights – £7.67 (84% off)
  • Black Clover: Quartet Knights Deluxe Edition – £8.47 (84% off)
  • Blazblue Centralfiction – £7.19 (85% off)
  • Blazblue Chronophantasma Extend – £3.19 (80% off)
  • Blazblue Cross Tag Battle – £3.99 (75% off)
  • Blazblue Cross Tag Battle Special Edition – £13.49 (70% off)
  • The Caligula Effect: Overdose – £17.99 (60% off)
  • Castlevania Anniversary Collection – £3.99 (75% off)
  • Castlevania Requiem: Symphony Of The Night And Rondo Of Blood – £3.99 (75% off)
  • Catherine: Full Body Deluxe Edition – £25.19 (44% off)
  • Chaoschild – £4.99 (80% off)
  • Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy! – £16.49 (50% off)
  • Code Vein Deluxe Edition – £32.49 (50% off)
  • Code: Realize ~Bouquet Of Rainbows~ – £13.49 (70% off)
  • Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ – £17.99 (60% off)
  • Conception Plus: Maidens Of The Twelve Stars – £19.99 (60% off)
  • Contra Anniversary Collection – £3.99 (75% off)
  • Contra: Rogue Corps – £9.24 (75% off)
  • Crystar – £24.99 (50% off)
  • Danganronpa 1/2 Reload – £15.74 (55% off)
  • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls – £8.24 (67% off)
  • Dark Rose Valkyrie – £8.99 (80% off)
  • Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers – £17.49 (50% off)
  • Devil May Cry HD Collection And 4Se Bundle – £19.99 (50% off)
  • Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth — Hacker's Memory – £11.24 (75% off)
  • Digimon World: Next Order – £9.99 (75% off)
  • Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories – £34.99 (30% off)
  • Disgaea 1 Complete – £17.99 (60% off)
  • Disgaea 4 Complete+ – £26.99 (40% off)
  • Disgaea 5 Complete Bundle – £17.49 (50% off)
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy NT – £12.49 (50% off)
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Digital Deluxe Edition – £19.99 (50% off)
  • The Division 2 — Standard Edition – £4.24 (83% off)
  • The Division 2 Warlords Of New York – £11.99 (76% off)
  • Dragon Ball Fighterz — Ultimate Edition – £13.59 (84% off)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot – £28.49 (43% off)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Ultimate Edition – £44.99 (40% off)
  • Dragon's Crown Pro – £9.99 (60% off)
  • Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen – £7.99 (60% off)
  • Dusk Diver – £17.99 (40% off)
  • Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires – £26.99 (40% off)
  • Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition – £11.99 (25% off)
  • Dynasty Warriors 9 Digital Deluxe Edition – £27.99 (30% off)
  • Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow Of New Despair – £3.19 (80% off)
  • Earth Defense Force 5 – £23.99 (40% off) / £19.99 Plus (50% off)
  • Earth Defense Force 5 Deluxe Edition – £37.19 (40% off) / £30.99 Plus (50% off)
  • Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain – £24.99 (50% off) / £17.49 Plus (65% off)
  • Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain Ultimate Edition – £36.99 (50% off) / £25.89 Plus (65% off)
  • Earth Defense Force4.1 Wingdiver The Shooter – £9.49 (50% off) / £6.64 Plus (65% off)
  • The Elder Scrolls Online – £5.99 (60% off)
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor – £27.49 (50% off)
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor Collector's Edition – £37.49 (50% off)
  • Exist Archive: The Other Side Of The Sky – £14.99 (70% off)
  • Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force – £4.99 (80% off)
  • Fatal Fury Battle Archives Vol.2 – £4.79 (60% off)
  • Fighting Ex Layer (Standard Version) – £7.24 (75% off)
  • Final Fantasy IX Digital Edition – £8.49 (50% off)
  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – £7.99 (50% off)
  • Final Fantasy VII – £6.49 (50% off)
  • Final Fantasy VIII Remastered – £7.99 (50% off)
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster – £12.49 (50% off)
  • Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age – £19.99 (50% off)
  • Final Fantasy XV Multiplayer: Comrades – £3.99 (50% off)
  • Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD – £12.49 (50% off)
  • Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition – £14.99 (50% off)
  • Fire Pro Wrestling World – £13.49 (70% off)
  • Fire Pro Wrestling World — Deluxe Edition – £22.49 (70% off)
  • Fist Of The North Star: Lost Paradise – £10.39 (35% off)
  • Fu'Un Super Combo – £2.99 (75% off)
  • Gabbuchi – £3.24 (50% off)
  • Gal*Gun 2 – £6.99 (80% off)
  • Gal*Gun 2 — Complete Edition – £29.99 (40% off)
  • Gal*Gun: Double Peace – £2.39 (85% off)
  • Gal*Gun: Double Peace — Ultimate Edition – £19.79 (40% off)
  • Garou: Mark Of The Wolves – £4.79 (60% off)
  • God Eater 3 – £16.49 (67% off)
  • God Wars Future Past – £15.74 (65% off)
  • Grand Kingdom – £13.99 (65% off)
  • Gravity Rush 2 – £12.94 (63% off)
  • Gravity Rush Remastered – £8.24 (67% off)
  • Guilty Gear – £3.99 (50% off)
  • Guilty Gear Xrd Rev.2 – £5.24 (85% off)
  • Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- – £2.39 (85% off)
  • Gundam Versus – £7.99 (50% off)
  • I Am Setsuna – £16.49 (50% off)
  • Illusion Of L'Phalcia – £7.19 (40% off) / £5.99 Plus (50% off)
  • Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes Of Heaven – £7.19 (85% off)
  • Judgment – £20.99 (58% off)
  • Jump Force — Deluxe Edition – £19.49 (75% off)
  • Katana Kami: A Way Of The Samurai Story – £14.99 (40% off)
  • Kill La Kill — If – £7.19 (55% off)
  • The King Of Fighters '97 Global Match – £4.79 (60% off)
  • The King Of Fighters 2000 – £1.99 (75% off)
  • The King Of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match – £2.99 (75% off)
  • The King Of Fighters 'Collection: The Orochi Saga – £2.99 (75% off)
  • The King Of Fighters XIV – £6.39 (60% off)
  • The King Of Fighters XIV — Special Anniversary Edition – £13.99 (60% off)
  • Kingdom Hearts All-In-One Package – £26.99 (70% off)
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix – £15.99 (60% off)
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue – £15.83 (67% off)
  • Kingdom Hearts III – £16.49 (70% off)
  • Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries Of Fujisawa – £1.99 (90% off)
  • Labyrinth Of Refrain: Coven Of Dusk – £22.49 (50% off)
  • La-Mulana – £7.91 (34% off)
  • La-Mulana 2 – £14.99 (25% off)
  • Langrisser I And II – £27.99 (30% off)
  • The Last Blade 2 – £4.79 (60% off)
  • Last Labyrinth – £26.99 (27% off)
  • The Last Remnant Remastered – £7.99 (50% off)
  • Left Alive Day One Edition – £12.49 (75% off)
  • The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel – £17.49 (50% off)
  • The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel II – £20.99 (40% off)
  • The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel III – £34.99 (30% off)
  • The Lost Child – £17.99 (60% off)
  • Lost Sphear – £15.99 (60% off)
  • Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite — Deluxe Edition – £14.99 (70% off)
  • Mega Man 11 – £12.49 (50% off)
  • Mega Man X Legacy Collection – £7.99 (50% off)
  • Mega Man Zero/Zx Legacy Collection – £18.74 (25% off)
  • Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 – £7.99 (50% off)
  • Megadimension Neptunia Viir – £10.49 (70% off)
  • Metal Max Xeno – £13.99 (60% off)
  • Metal Slug 3 – £2.37 (75% off)
  • Metal Slug Anthology – £6.39 (60% off)
  • Metal Slug XX – £6.39 (60% off)
  • Monochrome Order – £7.19 (40% off) / £5.99 Plus (50% off)
  • Monster Of The Deep: Final Fantasy XV – £12.49 (50% off)
  • My Hero One's Justice – £13.74 (75% off)
  • My Hero One's Justice 2 – £28.49 (43% off)
  • Namco Museum Archives Vol 2 – £11.99 (25% off)
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 – £7.99 (50% off)
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road To Boruto – £11.99 (70% off)
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy – £14.39 (70% off)
  • Necropolis: A Diabolical Dungeon Delve – £3.99 (75% off)
  • Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch Remastered – £15.99 (60% off)
  • Nier: Automata Game Of The Yorha Edition – £17.49 (50% off)
  • Nioh 2 – £31.34 (43% off)
  • Nioh 2 Digital Deluxe Edition – £50.24 (33% off)
  • Nippon Marathon – £2.99 (70% off)
  • Odin Sphere Leifthrasir – £17.49 (65% off)
  • Omega Quintet – £2.49 (90% off)
  • One Piece Burning Blood – £7.49 (85% off)
  • One Piece Burning Blood — Gold Edition – £9.74 (85% off)
  • One Piece World Seeker Deluxe Edition – £23.39 (70% off)
  • One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 – £24.99 (50% off)
  • One Piece: Unlimited World Red — Deluxe Edition – £8.24 (75% off)
  • One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows Deluxe Edition – £29.99 (50% off)
  • Onechanbara Z2: Chaos – £4.99 (75% off)
  • Oninaki – £22.49 (50% off)
  • Our World Is Ended. – £11.24 (75% off)
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 – £3.99 (60% off)
  • Persona 3: Dancing In Moonlight – £11.24 (55% off)
  • Persona 5 – £9.99 (80% off)
  • Persona 5 Royal – £37.49 (25% off)
  • Persona 5 Royal Deluxe Edition – £38.49 (30% off)
  • Persona 5 Royal Ultimate Edition – £55.24 (35% off)
  • Persona 5: Dancing In Starlight – £12.49 (50% off)
  • Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection – £33.29 (63% off)
  • Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness – £15.74 (65% off)
  • Punch Line – £8.74 (75% off)
  • The Quiet Man – £2.99 (75% off)
  • Rabi-Ribi – £3.99 (75% off)
  • Raging Loop – £14.99 (40% off)
  • Resident Evil – £3.99 (75% off)
  • Resident Evil 0 – £3.99 (75% off)
  • Resident Evil 2 – £17.49 (50% off)
  • Resident Evil 3 – £24.99 (50% off)
  • Resident Evil 4 – £6.39 (60% off)
  • Resident Evil 5 – £6.39 (60% off)
  • Resident Evil 6 – £6.39 (60% off)
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Gold Edition – £13.99 (60% off)
  • Romancing Saga 2 – £9.99 (50% off)
  • Root Letter – £3.19 (80% off)
  • Root Letter: Last Answer – £5.74 (77% off)
  • Saga Scarlet Grace: Ambitions – £18.74 (25% off)
  • Sakura Wars – £32.49 (35% off)
  • Sakura Wars Digital Deluxe Edition – £39.59 (40% off)
  • Samurai Shodown Neogeo Collection – £24.49 (30% off)
  • Samurai Shodown V Special – £4.79 (60% off)
  • Samurai Shodown VI – £4.79 (60% off)
  • School Girl/Zombie Hunter – £11.99 (70% off)
  • Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal – £11.19 (68% off)
  • Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal Shinobi Rivals Edition – £13.49 (70% off)
  • Sephirothic Stories – £5.99 (50% off)
  • The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights Of Britannia – £11.99 (75% off)
  • Shining Resonance Refrain – £8.74 (65% off)
  • Snk Heroines Tag Team Frenzy – £26.99 (40% off)
  • Song Of Memories – £8.99 (70% off)
  • Soulcalibur Ⅵ – £13.74 (75% off)
  • Spirit Hunter: Death Mark – £17.99 (60% off)
  • Spirit Hunter: Ng – £22.49 (50% off)
  • Star Ocean — The Last Hope — 4K And Full HD Remaster – £8.49 (50% off)
  • Star Ocean First Departure R – £11.38 (33% off)
  • Star Ocean Till The End Of Time – £8.49 (50% off)
  • Star Ocean: Iaf Digital Edition – £9.99 (60% off)
  • Steins;Gate Elite – £24.99 (50% off)
  • Steinsgate 0 – £3.99 (80% off)
  • Steinsgate: My Darling's Embrace – £12.49 (50% off)
  • Street Fighter 30Th Anniversary Collection – £12.49 (50% off)
  • Street Fighter V: Champion Edition – £18.74 (25% off)
  • Strider – £2.39 (80% off)
  • Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment – £3.99 (75% off)
  • Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet Complete Edition – £12.49 (75% off)
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization Deluxe Edition – £8.99 (85% off)
  • Sword Art Online: Lost Song – £11.24 (75% off)
  • Taiko No Tatsujin: Drum Session! – £9.99 (80% off)
  • Tales Of Berseria – £3.19 (80% off)
  • Tekken 7 – £7.99 (80% off)
  • Tokyo Ghoul:Re [Call To Exist] – £24.99 (50% off)
  • Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters: Daybreak Special Gigs – £4.79 (70% off)
  • Tokyo Xanadu Ex+ – £9.99 (80% off)
  • Trails Of Cold Steel III Digital Deluxe Edition – £40.29 (38% off)
  • Umbrella Corps – £2.39 (80% off)
  • Umbrella Corps Deluxe Edition – £3.29 (78% off)
  • Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[Cl-R] – £24.49 (30% off)
  • Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[St] – £5.99 (70% off)
  • Untitled Goose Game – £11.99 (25% off)
  • Utawarerumono: Deception And Truth Bundle – £8.99 (80% off)
  • Utawarerumono: Mask Of Deception – £6.24 (75% off)
  • Utawarerumono: Mask Of Truth – £6.24 (75% off)
  • Utawarerumono: Prelude To The Fallen – £34.99 (30% off)
  • Utawarerumono: Zan – £24.99 (50% off)
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4 – £9.99 (60% off)
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4 Complete Edition – £17.59 (56% off)
  • Valkyria Chronicles Remastered – £5.59 (65% off)
  • Valkyria Chronicles Remastered + Valkyria Chronicles 4 Bundle – £19.79 (56% off)
  • Valkyria Revolution – £3.99 (75% off)
  • Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story – £2.49 (75% off)
  • Vanquish – £11.99 (40% off)
  • Void Trrlm(); //Void Terrarium – £14.99 (25% off)
  • Warborn – £13.99 (30% off)
  • White Day — Ultimate Horror Edition – £19.79 (40% off)
  • White Day: A Labyrinth Named School – £4.99 (80% off)
  • Windjammers – £4.79 (60% off)
  • The Witch And The Hundred Knight 2 – £17.99 (60% off)
  • The Witch And The Hundred Knight Wicked Bundle – £21.99 (60% off)
  • The Witch And The Hundred Knight: Revival Edition – £13.99 (60% off)
  • World Of Final Fantasy – £9.99 (50% off)
  • Worldend Syndrome – £8.74 (75% off)
  • Yakuza 3 Remastered – £9.99 (50% off)
  • Yakuza 4 Remastered – £9.99 (50% off)
  • Yakuza 5 Remastered – £11.99 (40% off)
  • Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life – £11.99 (25% off)
  • Yakuza Kiwami 2 – £11.99 (25% off)
  • The Yakuza Remastered Collection – £28.99 (42% off)
  • Yakuza Zero – £10.39 (35% off)
  • Ys Origin – £6.39 (60% off)
  • Ys VIII: Lacrimosa Of Dana – £19.67 (59% off)
  • Yu-No: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World. – £22.49 (50% off)
  • Zanki Zero: Last Beginning – £9.99 (80% off)
  • Zero Escape: The Nonary Games – £14.99 (70% off)
  • Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma – £11.99 (70% off)

PlayStation VR

  • Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories – £34.99 (30% off)
  • Last Labyrinth – £26.99 (27% off)
  • Megadimension Neptunia Viir – £10.49 (70% off)
  • Monster Of The Deep: Final Fantasy XV – £12.49 (50% off)
  • Persona 3: Dancing In Moonlight – £11.24 (55% off)
  • Persona 5: Dancing In Starlight – £12.49 (50% off)
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Gold Edition – £13.99 (60% off)
  • Tekken 7 – £7.99 (80% off)

PlayStation Vita

  • Garou: Mark Of The Wolves – £4.79 (60% off)
  • The King Of Fighters '97 Global Match – £4.79 (60% off)
  • The Last Blade 2 – £4.79 (60% off)
  • Metal Slug 3 – £2.37 (75% off)
  • Windjammers – £4.79 (60% off)
  • Ys Origin – £6.39 (60% off)

via HUKD


Naughty Dog rebrands The Last of Us 'Outbreak Day' celebrations for the very obvious reason

Given the pandemic that continues to afflicting our planet, Naughty Dog have decided that it's necessary to rebrand the fan celebrations for The Last of Us that are traditionally held on 26th September each year. What was previously known as 'Outbreak Day' will now be 'The Last of Us Day'.

Many fan celebrations pick the date they are held on from the game universe and lore in some way. So Mass Effect's day is on 7th November in reference to the N7 rank of Commander Shepherd, Star Wars is on 4th May because it's a bit of a soundalike for "May the Force", and Bungie Day is on 7th July because that studio has traditionally been obsessed with the number 7.

Outbreak Day has been held for the last seven years on 26th September because of the canonical day on with the Cordyceps infection reached the tipping point and led to the downfall of modern civilisation. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic continuing the spread throughout the world, and seemingly making a comeback in Europe as we head into autumn, Naughty Dog have decided that continuing to call it Outbreak Day doesn't really sit right. So, The Last of Us Day it is, but it's still attached to the emblematic date.

Naughty Dog also tease that they have "exciting things" planned for the date. We'll keep an eye out on Saturday to let you know what they are.


The Girl of Glass: A Summer Bird's Tale Review

The tradition of the Bildungsroman, or coming of age story, is well established in literature and readers have enjoyed tales of protagonists reaching maturity and independence for centuries. The immersive nature of video games makes them a perfect fit to continue this legacy, as the player embodies the character's development. This can be as grand as the increased powers of the typical Metroidvania or RPG, or as intimate as a visual novel's textual narration.

In The Girl of Glass, developer Markus with Friends has delicately blended several traditional gaming genres to tell a touching and inspirational story of one fragile girl's journey. But do these different genres fit together to produce a beautiful stained glass image, or are they a cracked and broken mirror?

The titular Girl of Glass is Kristal, a young girl we first meet as an underappreciated helper in a strange circus filled with unusual characters. Naive and nervous, her glass body perfectly represents her fragility and innocence. The circus is a refuge from the tyrannical rule of the Eagle, a terrifying leader whose followers threaten the safety and sanctuary of the circus. As the game builds, we discover that Kristal has hidden potential that can help turn the tide of resistance against the Eagle and usher in a new age of freedom. It's a fairly standard video game backstory with an unassuming character slowly becoming aware of their destiny, and fits perfectly with the coming of age tradition. As the story progresses, though, it becomes surprisingly dark and philosophical.

Aesthetically, The Girl of Glass is an absolute delight. The static backgrounds and character designs are beautifully detailed and colourful, with a hint of animated masters Studio Ghibli. The clarity of the design is particularly welcome too, as point and click adventures are too often cluttered with overly busy screens leading to frustrating pixel hunting. While dialogue is text-based, there is voiced narration which helps to develop the modern fairy tale atmosphere.

The story is developed and delivered through point and click adventure sections, as you talk to characters, find objects, and solve puzzles to move forward. The conversations here are largely well-written and take in some interestingly philosophical issues, ranging from the power of the individual to carry out their will, to the horrors carried out in the name of capitalism. There is a powerful underlying narrative about the individual establishing themselves against the defining cultural drivers of justice, industry, and religion – with the game's boss fights taking us through these aspects.

The point and click puzzling is relatively simple, with none of the bizarre leaps in logic that are so common in the genre and the focus clearly set on developing the narrative. Each area has a character you can talk to for hints so there is no danger of getting stuck and frustrated.

It is therefore a really jarring tonal shift when you enter into the strategy combat parts of the game. While these take place on a familiar turn-based, grid system, they are extremely punishing and feel very different to the gentle nature of the rest of the game's exploration. While this is probably deliberate and the effect is interesting, there will be many players who will bounce off this mode and not get to fully enjoy the rest of the game.

Combat is not optional, and the difficulty levels only change the number of hit points you can lose before being defeated (dictating how many stars you receive for achievement purposes) rather than changing damage levels or actual challenge. As later battles become more intricate and rely on using the full range of abilities and powers that you unlock, there is the potential for some really frustrating roadblocks. Given the length of these battles, having to retry the whole thing (plus the lengthy conversation beforehand in several cases) feels overly punishing. I finished the game, but think that an easier story-focused option would increase the potential audience.

Combat relies on traditional element-based attacks, with individual energy bars for abilities. Manipulating space on the battlegrid is the key, and anticipating your enemy's moves in order to neutralise their powerful attacks is essential. When this works it's a great system, and pulling off a series of successful moves is really rewarding. However, it is too easy to make mistakes and find yourself irrevocably damaged and needing to restart. With battles being long-winded affairs, especially boss fights, this gets repetitive fast.

As well as the tonal dissonance between the gentle point and click adventure and the punishing strategy battles, there is an inconsistent tone in the narrative and writing. Some of this may be a translation issue, but the sudden shift from fairy tale to swearing felt forced and didn't fit with the overall aesthetic for me. I did, however, enjoy the more philosophical aspects of the game. Literally fighting against monsters that represent the horrors of capitalism and oppression opens up some deep conversations about the role of these forces in controlling Kristal's life. There were some nice nods to the likes of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard here.


Marvel's Spider-Man PS5 remaster will have its own trophy list, but no cross-gen saves

With the announcement of a Marvel's Spider-Man remaster for PS5 last week, set to be available exclusively via the Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition, Insomniac have understandably been bombarded with questions from fans curious about what this means for the game.

In answering those questions, it's been clarified that no, you won't be able to transfer a save file from the original PS4 version of the game, but you will then be able to run through the game and earn all those trophies (and a fresh platinum trophy) all over again.

The Spider-Man remaster will be bringing across all of the enhancements that Insomniac have made to the game engine and the game assets to take advantage of the PlayStation 5. This means that the game will feature higher detail game characters for Peter Parker and others, it will also feature ray tracing and other enhanced visual effects, and the game take advantage of the console's SSD, 3D audio and DualSense controls. Oh, and it'll have some new suits.

Clearly the remaster and the Ultimate Edition in general is geared more towards newcomers to Insomniac's take on the Spider-Man universe, giving those that haven't played the game on PS4 a way to start from scratch but also have next-gen finery. I'm sure that some people will be tempted to pick it up to replay the original adventure, but it's a slight shame there's not at least the option to import a save. After all, while not confirmed, you would have to expect that saves will transfer between generations for Miles Morales, and all the other cross-gen games. Spider-Man's status as a separate remaster likely has some backend implications for how Sony's consoles handle save files.

Speaking of which, last week's announcement also revealed that Spider-Man: Miles Morales was a cross-gen game, coming to both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, with an upgrade path to next-gen. It was a surprising turn of events, considering the tone of Sony's statements about their first party games over the past half year, but a welcome one for those unable to upgrade at this time to be able to still enjoy some of Sony's upcoming games.

In our review of Marvel's Spider-Man, Gareth wrote:

Marvel's Spider-Man does a spectacular job of making you feel like the ultimate Spider-Man. From swinging through the city at high speed to fighting off legions of enemies by zipping between them and pulling them into the air, its gameplay looks like a scene from the films. It's remarkably well realised in terms of its world, design, and even technically, with short loading times and a rock solid framerate even on the base PlayStation 4. If Spider-Man is your thing then this is an essential purchase.

You can read the full review here.

Source: Twitter


Evergate Review

Navigating the afterlife as the child-like spirit Ki, Evergate is a game that asks you to explore past memories that depict Ki's connection to another soul. As you continue through the game's particular twist on the indie platformer, you learn more and more about the story of Ki's life.

The platforming of Evergate is simple to pick up, but comes with the twist of Ki's Soulflame. As you jump, you can activate this beam, slowing time as you point it in a particular direction, and then use it to propel yourself forward. The goal is always the same, to reach the next gate and skim through to the next level and part of the story. That might sound simple, but the beam must intersect with one of the many yellow crystals on screen and end on one of the magical glowing panels in order to propel you forward. As the game progresses through the different landscapes, your Soulflame ability changes as new crystal types appear. It could transform to being able to create platforms or teleport you to where you need to be instead of acting as a method of propulsion.

Part of the puzzle is working out the route and how to use your abilities to collect essence, which is scattered throughout the levels. Collecting essence allows you to gain abilities that help you advance through the levels. Evergate is ingenious in its conception, with each aspect of gameplay well thought out to create a beautiful world to explore.

A problem I found, however, was that the game could be so frustratingly difficult, even in the earlier levels, which all had a suggested completion time of around 20 seconds. Some levels took me up to an hour to complete, due to one specific grievance. Evergate demands pinpoint accuracy. If you miss a jump or a beam activation by a split-second, you will invariably need to restart the level. This led to a lot of repetition, which turned to frustration, and then mistakes, more repetition, and so on. It feels more like a vicious cycle rather than the interesting puzzle platforming I believe Stone Lantern was aiming for. For a game that is so simple in design and concept, Evergate is unwaveringly and infuriatingly difficult in ways it didn't need to be.

An easy fix, as it were, would be to have a more forgiving difficulty setting. While I can push myself to struggle through the levels, there's not much fun in suffering through a game, no matter how enjoyable the concept is. Masocore platformers have their place and appeal, but the difficulty here is less a technical challenge and more how finicky the timing is.

Despite this, the landscapes depicted were beautiful and detailed, with an eerie glow reminiscent of Ori and the Blind Forest. The atmosphere varied between the areas, from a dark, almost unnerving Chinese forest to the open, calm, icy plains of Alaska, allowing you to travel the world alongside Ki.

Not only is the artwork stunningly varied from level to level, but the score adapts itself for each world, matching the visual aesthetic depicted. This stunning level of synergy allowed for true immersion, letting you feel as you belong to the memories in the game. Between levels, memories are depicted more clearly as the levels seamlessly connect to one another. Above all, the animation in Evergate is impeccable, and is the game's saving grace.


The Xbox One X jumps up 1,368 places on the Amazon sales charts

I'm not saying that naming your new console almost identically to your old one is a bad move but there may be just one or two disappointed faces around the Christmas tree come this December. Today, on the launch of pre-orders for the Xbox Series X, Microsoft's old console, the Xbox One X, has jumped as massive 1,368 places up Amazon's 'Movers and Shakers' charts, and at full price as well.

The 431% increase in sales could be attributed to a sudden interest overall in the Xbox brand or.. well, that's about the only thing I can think of other than people have just bought the wrong console. It's a very odd time to be buying a soon to be obsolete console at top dollar, especially when the more powerful Xbox Series S is $255 cheaper.

The 1TB Xbox Series X is at number eight in Amazon's charts and also has an entry at number 15, where the console is packaged with a controller. Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Cyberpunk 2077, and Watch Dogs Legion, all on Xbox One, have also seen huge sales boosts but as they all come with free Xbox Series X upgrades that appears to make sense.

There are another anomalies, a Switch controller has had a 4,385% increase for no apparent reason, it's not on sale but maybe there was an new advertising campaign. Anyway, if you have just bought an Xbox from Amazon maybe check you got the right one, just in case.

You can't blame consumers for getting the wrong console, Microsoft themselves are also having trouble.

If you have not ordered your new console yet here in the UK then be wary of extra charges. Anyone who ordered a PS5 last week from GAME will not be charged, but anyone who ordered an Xbox Series X|S today will get the £10 on top. Any future orders of PS5s, Xbox Series X|S, or Oculus Quest 2 from GAME will have that charge too. Eurogamer has been trying to get a comment from GAME, but the company has yet to offer any answers as to why this charge is being levied when other retailers are offering free delivery on all pre-orders for the next generation of consoles.

According to Eurogamer's sources the decision for the delivery fee has come from GAME's parent company Fraser Group, though that is yet to be confirmed. Currently, retailers are waiting for more PS5 pre-orders and Sony apologised for how the pre-orders were handled. Today, Xbox Series X|S pre-orders went live and you can see the current state of availability of Microsoft's console in the UK and North America.

Source: Amazon via Twitter


Remothered: Broken Porcelain release date brought forward

Modus Games has announced a release date for change for the upcoming horror title Remothered: Broken Porcelain, and this is not a delay. Instead, Modus has confirmed that the release date for Remothered: Broken Porcelain has been moved forward instead of pushed back, and the new release date is October 13th. The reason for the move according to Modus is the fact that October is a stacked with releases, so wanted to move slightly away from the packed window.

Shane Bierwith, EVP of global marketing at Modus, said:

"This is an incredibly busy month for games, particularly horror games. While moving dates forward isn't common, we'd like to allow horror fans to get their hands on Broken Porcelain early so players can have more time to experience all the great games releasing around Halloween."

Remothered: Broken Porcelain had been delayed before with the original August release date pushed back to October 20th. The game sees the return of Rosemary Reed, the protagonist of Remothered: Tormented Fathers, as she looks to continue the story in the search for Celeste. There is also a new protagonist called Jennifer who is trying to find her way out from the horrifying Ashmann Inn. In our preview of Remothered: Broken Porcelain, Steve wrote:

As a taster for the full game, this preview worked really well. It is clear that Stormind Games have listened to fans and critics in refining the central mechanics, and the initial hints at the storyline certainly have me intrigued. I hope that the object interaction and QTEs are tightened up in the full release, but am looking forward to spending some dark autumn evenings exploring the horrors of The Ashmann Inn and whatever other locations the game includes.

You can read the full Remothered: Broken Porcelain preview here. The game is to be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC for £24.99/€29.99 and Nintendo Switch for £29.99/€34.99.

Source: Press Release


GAME begins charging £10 delivery for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S pre-orders

Lots and lots of people have been, or attempting to, order next generation consoles. Be it the PS5 disc or digital version, the Xbox Series X, or the Xbox Series S, there has been plenty of interest. Various retailers have been selling out of consoles as people look for stock and get a confirmed order. Some of those who have pre-ordered would have gone to the UK's most well known gaming retailer GAME in search of stock. What was not expected was for GAME to start charging a £9.99 delivery charge on next gen console pre-orders.

Anyone who ordered a PS5 last week from GAME will not be charged, but anyone who ordered an Xbox Series X|S today will get the £10 on top. Any future orders of PS5s, Xbox Series X|S, or Oculus Quest 2 from GAME will have that charge too. Eurogamer has been trying to get a comment from GAME, but the company has yet to offer any answers as to why this charge is being levied when other retailers are offering free delivery on all pre-orders for the next generation of consoles.

According to Eurogamer's sources the decision for the delivery fee has come from GAME's parent company Fraser Group, though that is yet to be confirmed. Currently, retailers are waiting for more PS5 pre-orders and Sony apologised for how the pre-orders were handled. Today, Xbox Series X|S pre-orders went live and you can see the current state of availability of Microsoft's console in the UK and North America.

Source: Eurogamer


The Elder Scrolls Online won't leave PS4 after Bethesda Microsoft deal

Developer ZeniMax Online Studios have announced that The Elder Scrolls Online will not be dropping support for PlayStation 4 following this week's news that parent company, ZeniMax Media, has been acquired by Microsoft.

It's a huge get for the Xbox brand and one sorely needed as Microsoft and Sony lock horns yet again with the impending launch of the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5, the latter seeming like the more popular option among most.

However, with Microsoft having snapped up ZeniMax – and therefore, Bethesda – this has left many questioning what will become of future and existing titles published by the company, including The Elder Scrolls Online.

Well, according to ZeniMax Online Studios, support for the PlayStation 4 version of their ever-expanding MMO, as well as the newly launched Google Stadia version, will not cease as a result of the surprise buyout. Here's an official statement from Studio Director, Matt Firor:

By now I am sure that most of you have heard the exciting news: Zenimax Media (the parent company of Zenimax Online Studios) has signed a deal to be acquired by Microsoft, including Bethesda Softworks and all of its studios, including ZOS. I want to take this moment to reassure the entire Elder Scrolls Online community that ESO will continue to be supported exactly as it was, and we fully expect it to keep growing and thriving on each of the platforms that are currently supported. We are very with news, and can't wait to see how the two companies working together can make ESO even better for everyone.

I definitely want to thank you, the dedicated community that makes Elder Scrolls Online the huge phenomenon that it is today – we created the world, but it is you all: the fans and community of the game that give it life. Thank you so much for being part of the success story of ZOS and ESO – and rest assured in the knowledge that we are focused on supporting you for many more years to come.

While ESO will remain unaffected, it's likely that the Microsoft deal will mean future projects from Bethesda studios will be exclusive to Xbox platforms or Game Pass.

The Elder Scrolls Online recently launched its latest expansion, Greymoor, earlier this year.

Source: Twitter (@TESOnline)


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