Blog Archive

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Jump Rope Challenge Remaining on Switch eShop Until Further Notice

Jump Rope Challenge, Nintendo Switch,

Revealed back in June as an alternative to the out of stock Ring Fit Adventure, Jump Rope Challenge sees players take their Joy-Cons and jump. The premise is as simple as that. Watching the on-screen counter, players use their Joy-Cons to replicate a jump rope and compete for high scores.

The game was initially only scheduled to be on the Nintendo Switch eShop until today, September 30, however, Nintendo has now confirmed that won't be happening. The change of heart is due to the fact that "new jumpers are joining". The download numbers are likely to have risen over recent times due to the impending removal, as players rush to get the free download before it disappears.

The game was designed by a group of Nintendo developers who wanted to add some extra activity into their day. It dropped at the perfect time for players, with many people gripped by lockdowns due to the pandemic, leaving them looking for an easy way to get a little exercise.

Nintendo also shared some very impressive numbers from the title. Since the game's release less around three months ago, players have jumped a total of 2.5 billion times.

While Nintendo has said that Jump Rope Challenge isn't being removed from the Switch store on September 30 as planned, they haven't indicated if it will still be removed at a later date. They simply say that the title will stay on the eShop "until further notice."

The news that Nintendo is willing to change their plans regarding time-limited releases is a welcome one. Super Mario 3D All-Stars released less than two weeks ago and is slated to be removed from stores, both physically and digitally, on March 31, 2021. If there's any chance that the excellent collection of three of Nintendo's best titles, along with the soon to be released and then removed Super Mario Bros. 35, will remain on sale, then that's great news for consumers.

Jump Rope Challenge is available now, for free, on the Nintendo Switch. Make sure to download it before Nintendo potentially removes it at a later date.

The post Jump Rope Challenge Remaining on Switch eShop Until Further Notice by Sam Woods appeared first on DualShockers.


The US Navy Spent $2 Million on Marketing for its eSports Team

Navy eSports Team

According to a report from Vice, the US Navy has spent $2 million USD on marketing for its venture into eSports. This information came to light in documents obtained by Vice's tech division, Motherboard.

Specifically, the Navy contracted a"full-service marketing agency" named Young & Rubicam, with the goal of reaching younger viewers and developing better recruitment techniques.

"The objective of this initiative is to develop a relationship between the Navy and the eSports community, to encourage these ingenuity seekers to view the Navy as aligning with their interests and providing the rewards that they seek, ultimately inspiring prospects to want to join the U.S Navy and the influencers to support or recommend the service," said the document.

This comes after repeated PR disasters for the U.S Navy sports team, the Goats and Glory, as well as a call from some U.S Congressmembers to ban recruitment to military services via Twitch.


Back in July, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, pushed for a total ban on military services using Twitch as a recruitment tool, although the vote was swiftly brought down. Over 100 Democrats joined Republicans in denying the measure. "It's incredibly irresponsible for the Army and the Navy to be recruiting impressionable young people and children via live streaming platforms," Ocasio-Cortez told Vice.

However, a possible ban on recruitment was the least of the Navy eSports team's concerns. Earlier this month, the team streamed Among Us, with players naming themselves "Gamer Word," "Hiroshima," and "Japan 1945." "Gamer Word" is a common euphemism for the n-word.

The post The US Navy Spent $2 Million on Marketing for its eSports Team by Otto Kratky appeared first on DualShockers.


CD Projekt Red is Requiring 6-Day Work Weeks for the Launch of Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077

As one of the most highly-anticipated titles of the year, Cyberpunk 2077 has been long in development by CD Projekt Red for several years, requiring the full force of the Polish company to deliver. While CD Projekt Red has previously expressed the desire to try and reduce crunch on its employees and developers–extended periods of work that can often stretch across months (or even years)–the studio seems to be falling back on mandating crunch in the lead-up to the title's release this November.

In a report from Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, developer CD Projekt Red has seemingly begun to enforce an extended 6-day work week in the last stretch of development for Cyberpunk 2077, which launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC this November (and next-gen platforms at a later date). According to the report, a year ago CD Projekt Red confirmed to Schreier (with Kotaku, at the time) that the studio was "committed" to lessen the impact of crunch on the studio and the health of its employees. However, according to an anonymous employee, the studio is requiring an extended 6-day work week in order to finalize the title ahead of launch, with the studio sending a company-wide email on the mandate.

Specifically, the report details that some employees have "already been putting in nights and weekends" on the title for well over a year, while the game has been sent for certification for both Microsoft and Sony's approval for its console launch. However, the crunch at the studio will seemingly be focused on correcting bugs and final issues before launch.

According to the email, CD Projekt Red studio head Adam Badowski explained that "the entire studio is in overdrive," and that employees would be expected to put in "your typical amount of work and one day of the weekend" in the final weeks before the game ships. While the overtime will be paid for employees, Badowski expressed that "I know this is in direct opposition to what we've said about crunch," but explained that "we've extended all other possible means of navigating the situation."

Crunch and excessive overwork have been a recurring issue in the games industry, and CD Projekt Red has notably been a studio with reports of extended lengths of crunch over long periods of time. Especially in light of the pandemic and the development challenges that it has presented for many studios, this is likely another factor that is contributing to the need to put in more work by employees ahead of the already stressful time of preparing the game for launch.

Cyberpunk 2077 will release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on November 19, 2020. The game will also be coming to Google Stadia, PS5, and Xbox Series X/Series S at a later date.

The post CD Projekt Red is Requiring 6-Day Work Weeks for the Launch of Cyberpunk 2077 by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.


Google Stadia Pro Adds Dead By Daylight, Celeste, and More for October

Stadia

With the platform coming up on its one year anniversary, Google Stadia has continued to expand its offerings for Stadia Pro members with new additions to its roster of free titles. With spooky season coming up, Google has some new titles coming in October that fit right in for the month, alongside the debut of some fan favorite indie games for the service.

Google has officially announced its lineup of new Stadia Pro titles coming to the platform for October, with six new titles being added starting on October 1, 2020. You can take a look at the official trailer highlighting all six new additions below for October:

Dead By Daylight highlights the new games being added for October, which will bring Stadia owners the multiplayer-focused title right on time for Halloween. Alongside Dead By Daylight, the new Stadia Pro additions will also include Superhot: Mind Control DeleteLara Croft and the Temple of OsirisHuman: Fall FlatJotun, and Celeste.

Alongside the reveal of the new titles coming to Pro members, Google also detailed in a blog post that Risk of Rain 2 is also being added for purchase starting today at a discounted price of $19.99 for its launch. Specifically, the Stadia version will also feature a brand new level called the Sundered Grove that will be debuting first on the platform for players.

In terms of the offerings this month for Pro members, Dead By Daylight is obviously a great treat with Halloween coming up, especially with the title continuing to receive new content updates, such as the upcoming "The Realm Beyond" update. Additionally, CelesteJotun, and Superhot: Mind Control Delete are some welcome indie gaming experiences for Stadia Pro members that haven't had the chance to play them yet.

The post Google Stadia Pro Adds Dead By Daylight, Celeste, and More for October by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.


PlayStation China Hero Project is Having An Online Event Tomorrow

PlayStation Lost Soul Aside

Tomorrow PlayStation will be holding an online event that will bring new updates and announcements from projects under their China Hero Project initiative. According to the project's official Twitter, the China Hero Project is to "help China local developers create good console games," which is helped by Sony Interactive Entertainment.

The presentation is to take place tomorrow at 7 pm GMT which translates to 4 am PST/7 am EST. While there is no news as to what games will be a part of the presentation arguably the title that is most anticipated for a development update is Lost Soul Aside.

Lost Soul Aside is a JRPG that was originally started on by Yang Bing who released a beefy and impressive trailer back in 2016. Sony later brought it as one of the initial games under the China Hero Project. Since then we have gotten very few updates and ChinaJoy 2019 where the China Hero Project last gave us updates on their titlesLost Soul Aside was absent with Bing saying that they are still hard at work on the game.

Earlier this year Bing said that his goal was for the game to release sometime in 2020, but that was before COV-19 came to be so there is no telling what the current status of its release is. We will release all the important news from the event once it goes out.

The post PlayStation China Hero Project is Having An Online Event Tomorrow by Cameron Hawkins appeared first on DualShockers.


Bartlow's Dread Machine Review — One Gear Short of Great

Bartlow's Dread Machine, Beep Games, Tribetoy

Bartlow's Dread Machine is an inventive take on classic bullet hell gameplay. The game takes on the look of an old-school parlor game; however, it's not just the look that Bartlow's seeks to emulate. Even your gameplay faces the same restrictions that an actual parlor game would. You're controlling a physical piece on a track, which dictates your movement. It's quite the trick, and it makes Bartlow's Dread Machine stand out within the genre.

The teams at Beep Games and Tribetoy have crafted something that is, at times great. The game looks phenomenal. The music perfectly fits the vibe. And, most importantly, the gameplay feels good. Plus, they constantly throw new mechanics at you to spice everything up, but also only do the gimmicky stuff once. This means you're seeing new stuff all the time, and none of it feels stale because the game doesn't overstay its welcome.

So "why isn't the score higher?", you might be asking yourself. And the answer is pretty simple. There are a few things from both a systemic and level design perspective that keep me from bumping up my grade any further. But first, let's talk a little more about what Bartlow's Dread Machine does right.

It cannot be overstated how well the team nails the aesthetic they're going for. Even as you play, you can see the physical gears turning behind the scene to make the game move along. I really love how your paper-craft character gets filled with bullet holes as you take damage. It's all so perfectly done that I'd almost recommend picking the game up just to see it in action for yourself. And the story is downright bonkers. You play as a member of the secret service trying to save President Teddy Roosevelt from a group of Anachro-Satanists. As you might expect, it goes places.

The moment-to-moment bullet-hell gameplay is pretty solid, but it's the mechanics of the game emulating a physical machine that takes it over the top. You and your enemies can only move along a track, meaning you can't just dart around the battlefield as you like. Instead, you have to quickly plan your movement to make sure you're not locked into a corner. As you go, you'll face off against several enemy types that force you to change up tactics.

Speaking of changing things up, the devs do a good job of tossing new, one-off mechanics at you quite often. You might find yourself fighting off a giant tentacle monster one mission and then playing a short Space Invaders hybrid in the next. I won't spoil them all for you, but know that the new mechanics introduced keep things fresh throughout. On top of that, you can unlock new gear and weapons between missions to improve your loadout.

So, Bartlow's has a great look, solid gameplay, and a genuinely crazy story. What's the problem? It all comes down to a mixture of difficulty and gameplay systems that left me feeling a little down on the game as a whole.

In my first run through the game, I played on normal with the base character; as you progress through the game, you'll unlock new characters with their own unique starting gun and stats. Unless I'm missing something, you can't switch between characters (or difficulty) without completely starting over. This is important.

Toward the tail end of the game, there is a big difficulty spike. Now, I hear what you're saying: "people who write about video games are bad at video games," am I right? And maybe that's true. Maybe I just suck at Bartlow's Dread Machine. However, the rest of the game was challenging, but certainly doable on normal up to this point.

Then, I spent around two hours slamming my head against this pope-shaped wall. After that, I went to the Steam forums to see if anyone else was having this problem and saw that I wasn't the only person struggling. So, I decided to swallow my pride and start over on Very Easy difficulty.

For this go-around, I decided to try out one of the unlockable characters. She was able to easily make her way through the full campaign, especially because your gear and weapon unlocks carry over from save to save. However, even on Very Easy, I hit that same roadblock.

On the lower difficulty, everything else was a total cakewalk. Not once was I even close to death. But it didn't matter. I still couldn't beat that level. So, I decided to give it one last chance with a new character. I found one who has a gun that lets you hit more than one enemy at once and went through the entire campaign again. Finally, I beat the level. And the rest of the game was, again, a total cakewalk.

Now, I don't know if it was the gun or my new gear, or just me getting better at the game, but it definitely felt like there's something off with this specific level. Maybe the devs are planning on you playing through the game more than once. With your unlocks carrying over, that would make some sense. But then it's strange to make this one section so difficult, even on easier difficulties. And the fact that you can't change characters makes the whole thing even more frustrating.

Bartlow's Dread Machine, Beep Games, Tribetoy

Look, I don't rate my experience with Bartlow's Dread Machine lower because I (and a few new Steam pals) had a tough time with a boss. Instead, it's the weird decision to force me to replay the entire game to change characters. If the idea is that I'm supposed to unlock the higher-level gear to get through the tougher parts, that's impossible unless you start over or just grind out the same levels over and over again. You simply don't earn enough cash in the course of the campaign to unlock the big-ticket items.

In a lot of ways, Bartlow's Dread Machine feels designed completely around early access. The game originally launched with just three of its six worlds. So, people who like the game may have played it over and over again, unlocking gear along the way.

Each time they added new content, there were new characters to unlock and play with. However, as a one-shot experience, it fails to deliver all the goods. My hope is that they iron some of that out post-launch because, if they nail progression and take away the ability to switch agents from mission-to-mission, they'll have a great game on their hands.

Bartlow's Dread Machine is a good game; don't get it twisted. If the art looks good to you and you want a bullet-hell title that keeps you on your toes, you should consider giving it a playthrough. However, a few odd design choices keep it from being great.

The post Bartlow's Dread Machine Review — One Gear Short of Great by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.


Marvel's Avengers Captain America and Iron Man Are Getting New Hasbro Action Figures

Marvel's Avengers

With its release earlier this month, Marvel's Avengers brought players into Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix's take on the iconic comic book universe and heroes such as Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor, and Ms. Marvel. Like any good comic property, Marvel's Avengers is getting some signature merch of its own with new figurines based on two of its core heroes from Hasbro.

Marvel Games' VP Bill Rosemann shared photos of new Hasbro action figures based on Captain America and Iron Man from Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix's Marvel's Avengers. The two figurines are featured as part of the Marvel Legends toy line, and showcase Captain America in a black stealth suit, and Iron Man in his blue atmosphere suit. You can take a look at both figurines below, which were announced at Hasbro's PulseCon:

Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics released Marvel's Avengers earlier this month, which we reviewed shortly after launch and scored at a 6.0/10. In our review, we noted that the game has a compelling and action-packed single-player campaign (especially lifted up by the presence of Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel), while the multiplayer component of the title delivers a bit more of a mixed bag. However, with new heroes set to be introduced such as Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, and eventually Spider-Man, there is promise that the title can improve its online experience down the road.

Marvel's Avengers is available now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, with the title also coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X/Series S at a later date. You can take a look at additional images of the Captain America and Iron Man figurines from Hasbro below:

The post Marvel's Avengers Captain America and Iron Man Are Getting New Hasbro Action Figures by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.


Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty! Heads to Nintendo Switch in October

With the upcoming release of Soulstorm, the Oddworld series is heading into its next chapter with Abe and the rest of the Mudokkens. However, if you're looking to catch up on the series' earlier installments, the remake of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee is finally heading to Nintendo Switch owners next month.

Publisher Oddworld Inhabitants has announced that Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty! will be releasing for the Nintendo Switch on October 27, 2020, putting the remake of Abe's first odd-venture just in time for Halloween. Pre-orders for the Switch version will officially begin on October 13 through the Switch eShop, with standard and limited physical editions also available to pre-order at retailers now. You can take a look at the official trailer for the Switch version below:

For those that haven't played it previously, New 'N' Tasty! is a remake of the first entry in the Oddworld series with fully remade visuals and gameplay enhancements from the original PS1 title. Initially released in 2014 on consoles and PC, New 'N' Tasty! offers players the chance to revisit the first entry in the series with modern visuals that stay true to the series' trademark dark humor and setting.

Aside from the release of New 'N' Tasty! on Switch, Oddworld: Soulstorm is the upcoming next installment of the long-running series and has been confirmed to be coming to PS5, PS4, and PC. At the moment, the title is on track to release sometime later this year, but no firm release window or date has been confirmed just yet.

Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty! will release for Nintendo Switch on October 27, 2020, and is available now for PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Wii U, PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.

The post Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty! Heads to Nintendo Switch in October by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.


Diablo 4 Update Digs Into the Sorceress' Enchantment Mechanic

Diablo 4

Diablo 4 is still in the middle of development, which means the team at Blizzard is slowly rolling out new details in the form of quarterly updates. Previous blogs have given players a look at things like the open world, story-telling, and the Barbarian's Arsenal system. The newest update gives us a better look at the Sorceress, in addition to a brief write-up on skills, leveling, and end-game.

The Sorceress' Enchantment system serves as the meat of the post, so let's start there. Blizzard's goal with Diablo 4 is to give each class its own unique mechanic. The Barbarian can swap between several weapons and increase their power through the Arsenal system. Meanwhile, the Sorceress uses her powers to enchant skills.

Basically, you're turning some of the Sorceress' active skills into passive bonuses to enhance and alter her abilities. The example they use in the post is the Meteor skill. When used as an active ability, you choose where your meteor hits, but if it's used as an enchantment, it will strike randomly as you attack. This makes it a bit more random but opens your loadout up for other skills. Of course, I want to see it in action before I pass final judgment. It seems cool though.

Outside of the Sorceress, the post mostly just told us that we'd hear more about everything else in a later update. They did share some nuggets about how the game is handling its skill tree. Most interestingly, that you'll only have access to around 40% of all skills by the end game. That should translate to more opportunities for build diversity among players.

That said, it was a lot of "we hear your complaints, check back next time" from this one. The Sorceress is, without a doubt, big news. I just wish some of the other stuff was more substantial.

Diablo 4 is in development for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

The post Diablo 4 Update Digs Into the Sorceress' Enchantment Mechanic by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.


Demon's Souls PS5 Receives New Screenshots and Details on Digital Deluxe Edition

Other than Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles MoralesDemon's Souls is likely the most-anticipated PS5 launch game for many prospective purchasers of the next-gen platform. Fortunately, the wait until launch day has today become a bit easier as some new information on the Soulslike that started it all has come about.

PlayStation today let loose a slew of new looks at Demon's Souls via some new screenshots, and boy howdy, does this look like one pretty game. The new images give us a number of different looks at the game including some that showcase certain vistas, others that highlight iconic enemies and bosses, and even one that zooms in on the player character's armor to show us just how detailed this remake really is.

In addition to the screenshots themselves, it was also announced that Demon's Souls will be released in a Digital Deluxe Edition as well. This version of the game will cost $89.99 and will only be available via the PlayStation Store. As for what it includes compared to the standard edition, you'll be able to gain access to a number of in-game items that includes specific armor and weapons. Additionally, you'll also be able to net the game's original soundtrack for your own listening pleasure, too. I'm not sure if these goodies are worth the $20 price difference, but hey, the option is there if you want it.

All in all, this continues to be the PS5's must-have game in my own opinion. To be honest, I would be fine with holding off on picking up the console at a later date if Demon's Souls was not a launch title. However, considering just how gorgeous Bluepoint's latest looks to be, I should be there playing this on day one.

Demon's Souls is due out on the same day as the PlayStation 5 and will release on November 12. If you want to get a look at all of the new aforementioned screenshots, you can check out the gallery down below.

The post Demon's Souls PS5 Receives New Screenshots and Details on Digital Deluxe Edition by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.


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