Monday, 7 September 2020

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Director Feels the Series Must Continue to Change to Remain Relevant

animal crossing new horizons

Animal Crossing has been an absolute revelation for Nintendo. Not only has it been the recipient of incredibly positive reception from critics and fans alike, the game has also enjoyed massive commercial success, having sold over 22 million units within under four months of launch. Not only is it the most successful Animal Crossing to date, it is also one of Nintendo's most successful games ever.

But its developers feel that if the series is to remain relevant and even grow as time passes, it will need to keep evolving and changing with the times to ensure that it doesn't become too comfortable with its formula and hence become stagnant. 

During an online talk for Japan's Computer Entertainment Developers Conference (via VGC), Animal Crossing: New Horizons director Aya Kyogoku remarked that while the game's success has been "a real pleasure", it is also "the most difficult point", in that such growth and success "cannot be sustained without change."

"Protecting IP is not synonymous with protecting product specifications from manuals. Games are entertainment, so you will definitely get tired of making the same things," Kyogoku said. "In order for the series to continue to exist as an IP and for many people to enjoy it for a long time, it is important to continue to challenge and change with the times."

Animal Crossing: New Horizons in itself introduced several major changes to the franchise. Though it stuck to the same larger formula and framework as other games in the series, mechanics such as Nook Miles and the ability to terraform were crucial new gameplay additions. While it's going to be a while before another Animal Crossing game releases, it'll be interesting to see what sort of changes it brings to the table.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available on the Nintendo Switch. You can read our review of the game through here


Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is Positioned to Become One of the Biggest Games of the Year

The PS4 had multiple generation-defining titles. But perhaps more than any of those, Marvel's Spider-Man showed the immense power branding, and the Marvel brand's ability to seamlessly translate into a successful exclusive video game by handily outselling many wildly popular multi-platform games despite only being playable on one console. Regardless of its few flaws, Marvel's Spider-Man sold ridiculously well. As one would easily expect, a follow-up was immediately planned and now we know what that is, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Miles Morales is a popular side-character from the original game and goes pretty far back in Spider-Man lore as an important character. Insomniac could have easily just played things by the book and given us more Peter Parker, but going in this direction with a very different character is proving to be quite interesting as people are currently trying to guess everything that will be different about this game from the last. We do currently know that it will be a smaller game than 2018's Spider-Man, as it is sort of serving a dual-purpose of being a standalone expansion to that game as well as a prologue to the inevitable Spider-Man 2, but that should really only generate more interest than it will lose. This, on top of many other things, is why Spider-Man: Miles Morales has a good shot at being the biggest game of the year.

Another one of those reasons is the fact that the install base is already here. Out of all the games that have and are coming out this year, many of them are brand new IP like Ghost of Tsushima and Cyberpunk 2077. While those games did and are definitely benefiting from nice fat marketing budgets and have plenty of interest, they don't have the luxury of a pre-assembled fanbase ready to go on day one like Miles Morales does. It's true that Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs Legion do have that, sort of, but those games would have to surprise us quite a bit to overtake anything with the Spider-Man name on it at this point.

Fans of the web-slinging arachno-hero don't just go back to 2018 either- no, there's been fans of Spider-Man games for over 20 years now. While most older fans of the IP will cite the PS1 or Dreamcast games as their favorite and ignore everything else leading up to 2018, that still doesn't take away from the fact that this IP, at this point, appeals to a massively wide-array of gamers from completely different generations. There's not much else coming out this year that can say that. This could be totally voided out if it reviews poorly of course, but given the fact that it has that Sony 1st-party polish, an already outstanding game engine and world ready to go, and an appropriate price tag, that scenario seems unlikely at most.

On top of being a long-beloved franchise in the eyes of millions of gamers around the world, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is coming to a brand new console that is likely to outsell it's competition, at least at first. There are two benefits to this. One, Miles Morales will be taking advantage of the new features of the PS5 like the haptic feedback and ultra-fast solid state drive, and that is sure to pique many gamers' interest as they choose what games to get with their brand spankin' new piece of gaming hardware. Two, it's going to likely be a launch title for the PS5, meaning that the attachment rate of this game with PS5's sold will be extremely high. As anybody who has been a day-one adopter of a new console knows, every launch window only has a small handful of games to choose from, and you're not going to buy a brand new console without at least one new game, right? Right.

marvel's spider-man miles morales

So, then, what are the odds that most PS5 adopters will pick up a copy of Spider-Man: Miles Morales as well? I would say, pretty good. When you pick up a brand new console within the launch window, the urge to get something that's only playable on that system and really shows off what that system can do is quite high and hard to resist for obvious reasons. Most of the other games launching at the end of this year don't meet that particular qualification, as they will also be launching on previous generation consoles, which might give off the impression they won't take full advantage of the new hardware. This includes Ubisoft's upcoming games and Cyberpunk. It wouldn't be surprising at all to see Miles Morales outsell those games among PS5 adopters.

Another big thing that gamers will consider when picking out their first next-gen game is the price. Yet again, in this department, advantage Miles Morales. While Insomniac has not confirmed this yet, there is plenty of solid reason to believe that Miles Morales will launch well under the typical new game price of $60. This is a result of the game being a smaller experience than the previous entry, but I don't think that's going to stop anybody who's interested in buying it. In fact, it will probably lead to even more sales.

After dropping half a grand on a new console, it might not seem like it matters as to whether or not you buy a $40- game or a $60 game at that point, but I assure you, it does. Especially to all those who might not game themselves but are picking up a PS5 as a gift for somebody else. Are those folks, who don't really know the difference between Watch Dogs or Spider-Man to begin with, going to really look at much other than that price difference when deciding which game to get? Some might. I would wager most won't. No matter how you slice it, the cheaper price of Spider-Man: Miles Morales is going to end up as a huge advantage in the PS5 launch-window line-up.

marvel's spider-man miles morales

While 2020 is going to see many fantastic titles with plenty of reasons to buy them and it's going to be a great six months for games in general, Spider-Man: Miles Morales definitely has a few tricks up its sleeve that sets it apart from other games it's competing with. Whether you consider its built-in audience that was formed decades ago and has only been enlarged since, or the fact that other PS5 launch titles aren't nearly as attention grabbing, or just the fact that it's going to be slightly cheaper than most of its competition, it's hard to imagine the game not selling extremely well and likely defining the launch of the PS5. Miles Morales is perfectly positioned to bring more PS4 players over to PS5 than would otherwise come over, as well as sell like hotcakes among those who were going to get a PS5 at launch anyway. With all of that considered, it's easy to see that this game could very well come out from behind and end up being one of the biggest games of the year.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 Guide – How to Perform All Tricks

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2_01

Tricks in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 fall into two categories – General and Special – with all kinds of possibilities contained in each. First, we'll go over the different kinds General Tricks and how to execute them before moving on to Special Tricks.

In General Tricks, you have Grab Tricks, Flip Tricks and Lip Tricks. Here are the controls for all of Grab Tricks:

  • Melon/Method – Left and Circle
  • Weedle/Seatbelt Air – Down, Down and Circle
  • Nosegrab/Rocket Air – Up and Circle
  • Japan/One Foot Japan – Up Left (Diagonal) and Circle
  • Indy Nosebone/Del Mar Indy – Up, Up and Circle
  • Crossbone/Crooked Cop – Right, Right and Circle
  • Airwalk/Christ Air- Down Right (Diagonal) and Circle
  • Tailgrab/One Foot Tailgrab – Down and Circle
  • Benihana/Sack Tap – Down Left (Diagonal) and Circle
  • Madonna/Judo – Upper Right (Diagonal) and Circle
  • Indy/Stiffy – Right and Circle
  • Wrap Around/Body Wrap – Left, Left and Circle

Next, le's take a look at the different Flip Tricks and their controls.

  • Ollie North/Ollie North Back Foot Flip – Down, Down and Square
  • Ollie Airwalk/Ollie Airwalk Late Shove-It – Left, Left and Square
  • Impossible/Double Impossible – Up and Square
  • Varial Kickflip/360 Flip – Down Left (Diagonal)and Square
  • Kickflip/Double Kickflip – Left and Square
  • Hardflip/360 Hardflip – Upper Left (Diagonal) and Square
  • Sal Flip/360 Sal Flip – Up, Up and Square
  • FS Shove-It/360 FS Shove-It – Right, Right and Square
  • Heelflip/Double Heelflip – Right and Square
  • Varial Heelflip/Laserflip – Down Right (Diagonal) and Square
  • Pop Shove-It/360 Shove-It – Down and Square
  • Inward Heelflip/360 Inward Heelflip – Upper Right (Diagonal) and Square

Finally, let's take a look at the different Lip Tricks that can be executed.

  • BS Boneless – Right and Triangle
  • Andrect Invert – Upper Left (Diagonal) and Triangle
  • One Foot Invert – Down Right (Diagonal) and Triangle
  • Gymnast Plant – Down Left (Diagonal) and Triangle
  • Tuck-knee Invert – Left and Triangle
  • Reacharound Invert – Down and Triangle
  • FS Noseblunt – Up and Triangle
  • Switcheroo – Upper Right (Diagonal) and Triangle

Much like General Tricks, Special Trickles fall into different types. These are Grind, Flip Tricks, Grab Tricks, Lip and Manual. Each is worth a specific number of points so knowing which ones to go for and perfectly chaining them in a single run takes practice.

Here are all the Special Tricks, sorted into their respective categories, along with how much they're worth.

Grab Tricks

  • Casper Flip 360 Flip – 2500
  • 360 Varial McTwist – 5000
  • FS 540 – 4500
  • Kickflip Superman – 1500
  • Kickflip One Foot Tail – 1100
  • The 900 – 9000

Flip Tricks

  • 540 Flip – 1450
  • 360 Double Flip – 1450
  • Hardflip – 1450
  • Hospital Flip – 1200
  • Nollie Flip Underflip – 1050
  • Heelflip Handflip – 1200
  • Quad Heelflip – 1200
  • Kickflip Backflip – 3000
  • Hardflip Lateflip – 1500
  • Half Flip Casper – 1200

Grind

  • Hang Ten Nosegrind – 400
  • Hurricane – 400
  • Big Hitter II – 500
  • Crail Slide – 500
  • Nosegrind to Pivot – 500
  • Nose Grab Tailslide – 400
  • Cab Flip FS Boardslide – 400
  • 5-0 Overturn – 500
  • Heelflip Darkslide – 400

Lip

  • Hardflip BS Nose Picker – 400

Manual

  • Nose Manual Nollie Inward Heel – 1400
  • Rusty Slide Manual – 1400
  • One Foot One Wheel – 1400

Nintendo Updates Official Direct Archives Ahead Of Potential Next Direct

Nintendo logo

Nintendo is in something of a weird place as it now stands. The company has been selling Switches like crazy, but their actual first party output has been somewhat dry. While there have been a few high profile releases, such as Animal Crossing and Paper Mario, the company has nothing set for this holiday season. As always, people are also wanting more and more, with hopes that a big Direct is coming soon. And while it's impossible to say for sure, some new evidence points to it happening.

As pointed out by Reddit user ShowtimevonParty, Nintendo just updated the official Direct Archives. Why is this important? Well, as highlighted, this tends to happen right before a Direct is dropped. For instance, prior to the Mario 35th video last week that saw the announcement of Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Super Mario 3D World, the Archives were updated on September 1st, and for last month's Partner Showcase it was updated 11 days before that dropped.

It's not an exact science obviously, and it could very well mean nothing in the end. There have been rumors that a Direct focused on first party games is coming, but Nintendo has been hard to gauge of late. We'll just have to wait and see.


Xbox Series X and PS5 – 12 Big Ways They Will Change Games

The wait for the next-generation continues with rumors claiming that the Xbox Series X and PS5 will launch in early and mid November respectively. However, for all the numbers and hardware specs that have been thrown out, how will these actually change gaming as we know it? What improvements can be expected to one's usual gaming experiences? Let's take a look at 12 such features here.

Native 4K

Gaming in 4K isn't necessarily new, as seen with PC games. However, native 4K gaming, that too at an affordable budget, is something that's been out of reach for many. The PS4 Pro and Xbox One X provided different solutions, from checkerboarding to native 4K but the PS5 and Xbox Series X will both be capable of native 4K out of the box for most games while also offering a higher graphical fidelity and other features. These include…


System Shock Remake Shows Off Dismemberment And Trippy Cyberspace In Latest Videos

system shock remake

System Shock has always been something of a legend. The immersive sim shooter was a precursor to the acclaimed Bioshock series, and now it's getting a makeover for a new generation thanks to Nightdive Studios. We've seen several alpha builds of the game in action to give us an idea of what to expect. Now, there's more with two very different aspects of the game getting highlighted.

The studio released two different videos for the game. One of them shows off the trippy cyberspace levels where you navigate through a simulation with light puzzles and shooting. The other is all about gore as a developer diary that shows off how the developer implemented the new bloody dismemberment system in the game. You can check out both below.

System Shock is scheduled to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. At one point, it was said to be a 2020 release, but as of now no official date has been set. Another title in the series, System Shock 3, is also currently in development by a different studio.


10 Features Developers No Longer Use In Their Games

Like everything else in the world, the video games industry is constantly changing and evolving. Industry trends, staples, and common practices often fade away and pass into memory, and in this feature, that's what we're talking about. We'll be talking about ten things that were once hugely prevalent in games industry, but have now either becoming very rare, or have faded away completely.

INVISIBLE WALLS

Technology keeps advancing at a rapid rate, which means developers constantly find themselves with new tools to create more ambitious and open games. One very particular byproduct of that in the last decade or so has been that artificial invisible walls that would prevent players from accessing areas in the world that should logically have been accessible are not nearly as common as they once used to be. Of course, we do still get some invisible walls, but thanks to games now being much more expansive than ever before, and the fact that developers have also gotten much better at masking what would once have been invisible walls, means that this is an industry trend that has disappeared almost completely.


Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition Highlights Updated Cinematics In New Trailer

Blade Runner Enhanced

1982's Blade Runner is an interesting case study in film. Initially, it was a flop, but it managed to capture the imagination enough to continue to be influential for years to come and even spawned several continuations. One of those was 1997's adventure game, simply entitled Blade Runner. That game was largely acclaimed, and was recently announced to get a remaster by Nightdive Studios. We now get a look at what to expect in the game's many cinematics.

The latest trailer shows a comparison between the original release and the upcoming Enhanced Edition. The game always had a pretty sharp style, so the original doesn't look bad, but the framerate change (going from 15FPS to 60FPS) is incredibly noticeable and the resolution bump cleans things up. Despite sharing the name of the film, the game is actually a sidequel that intersects with the movie's plot and features the likeness of some in the film's cast.

Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition is set to release this year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.


Shadow Man Remastered Shows Off Improvements In New Teaser

featured_shadowman

It was over 20 years ago that Shadow Man originally released. The third person shooter was something of an instant cult classic when it launched on the Nintendo 64. Based on a comic book series of the same name, it saw you navigating The Deadside, a dark and voodoo-infused version of the underworld. And now it's time to revisit that, all new and improved.

Developer Nightdive Studios announced the remaster earlier this year, and now we have a second teaser. The game will have a huge host of improvements including a remastered soundtrack, new and dynamic lighting and effects, updated controls and AI, modern resolution options, as well as the addition of once cut content. You can check out the teaser to get a look at some of the visual improvements up close.

Shadow Man Remastered will release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC. As of now, there's no announced date or time frame for when to expect it outside sometime in 2021.


PS5's Official UK Website Changes Launch Window from Holiday 2020 to Late 2020

ps5

When the PS5 will launch exactly is a question that has remained unanswered, much to the frustration of many. Sony's official stance has consistently been that the console will release during Holiday 2020, while multiple reports have indicated that the company is planning a November release. But a new development indicates that the console's release might be a bit staggered in parts of the world.

PlayStation 5's official UK webpage has mentioned the aforementioned Holiday 2020 launch window for a while, and had been doing that until rather recently (via Wayback Machine), but it's now been updated to mention a "Late 2020" launch window. Recent reports have indicated that though the PS5 will launch in some markets – such as North America, for instance – this Holiday, its release might be pushed back to later in the year in other regions. It's worth noting that the PS5's official US webpage still mentions the Holiday 2020 launch window.

Sony have made it abundantly clear that the PS5 might launch with stock shortages, which is something that other recent reports have backed up as well, so it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine that they might go with a slightly staggered launch for the console in different regions as a result.

For now, Sony haven't made any official announcements, so things are still up in the air. An insider recently said that a PS5 event was planned for mid-September, and if that does happen, it's likely we'll hear more concrete details about the console's launch and pricing there. Stay tuned for more updates.


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