Saturday, 5 September 2020

Nintendo Celebrates Super Mario 35th Anniversary With New Clothing Line

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Nintendo has been announcing the release of new video games to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Super Mario. And recently they even revealed a brand new clothing line inspired by the long running and beloved franchise, which will be exclusively available at BlackMilk:

According to the status update on the official Nintendo of America Twitter account, there will be a sneak peek of the line on September 30th. The clothing will go on sale starting October 5th at 5pm ET. Just from the one piece they happened to reveal in the above tweet, this'll definitely be a great collection worth getting your hands on.

Thanks to a sudden Nintendo Direct on Thursday the Super Mario 3D All Stars collection — which will feature Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy — was revealed. It's funny that after months of these games being rumored, Nintendo just drops the news on our unsuspecting laps.

All three titles will have higher resolutions: Super Mario 64 while remastered will only be running at 720p whether or not you're playing handheld or on the big screen. Both Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy will play in 720p undocked and 1080p docked. Super Mario Sunshine and Galaxy will both have 16:9 screen ratio, and Super Mario Galaxy will add joycon support to replace the Wii controller motion gameplay. A massive OST featuring tracks from all three games will also be included in the collection.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is set to release exclusively on Nintendo Switch. If you are planning to get a physical copy be sure to pre-order as soon as possible. 3D All-Stars will only be available until March 31, 2021, so there will be a very short supply unless you purchase digitally. You can pre-order the game right now on Amazon.

To check out all of the Mario announcements, you can watch the full direct on Nintendo's official YouTube channel.

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Super Mario 3D All Stars Received Several Heartwarming Japanese Commercials

Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Thanks to a sudden Nintendo Direct on Thursday the Super Mario 3D All Stars collection — which will feature Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy — was revealed. To promote the brand new collection, which will be releasing on September 18th for Nintendo Switch, Nintendo's Japan released four heartwarming commercials promoting it:

The overarching theme of these commercials is that Super Mario 3D All Stars is a way for those who grew up playing these games, particularly Super Mario 64, to connect with those playing them now for the first time. Whether it's parent and child, new players and veterans, everyone can come together and enjoy these titles. It's a sweet and touching message, and the commercials are done incredibly well.

It's funny that after months of these games being rumored, Nintendo just drops the news on our unsuspecting laps. All three titles will have higher resolutions: Super Mario 64 while remastered will only be running at 720p whether or not you're playing handheld or on the big screen. Both Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy will play in 720p undocked and 1080p docked. Super Mario Sunshine and Galaxy will both have 16:9 screen ratio, and Super Mario Galaxy will add joycon support to replace the Wii controller motion gameplay. A massive OST featuring tracks from all three games will also be included in the collection.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is set to release exclusively on Nintendo Switch. If you are planning to get a physical copy be sure to pre-order as soon as possible. 3D All-Stars will only be available until March 31, 2021, so there will be a very short supply unless you purchase digitally. You can pre-order the game right now on Amazon.

To check out all of the Mario announcements, you can watch the full direct on Nintendo's official YouTube channel.

The post Super Mario 3D All Stars Received Several Heartwarming Japanese Commercials by Allisa James appeared first on DualShockers.


Crunchyroll, Adult Swim Announce A Shenmue Anime, Will It Be Good?

In a surprising move, Crunchyroll announced at the Virtual Crunchyroll Expo an anime adaptation for Shenmue is coming, titled Shenmue The Animation. It'll be a 13 episode TV anime produced by Crunchyroll itself and Adult Swim. The anime itself is made by Telecom Animation Film, the studio which recently worked on the anime adaptation of popular Korean manga Tower of God, which was also co-produced by Crunchyroll.

Yu Suzuki is credited as Executive Producer for the anime, and it'll be directed by Chikara Sakurai, a veteran animator who also directed Magimoji Rurumo and the second season of One Punch Man at JC Staff. More details like airing date, the cast and further names on the staff will be coming later. It's likely the cast will be the same one as in Shenmue 3. We'll know for sure when a first trailer comes over. An official Twitter opened for now:

Shenmue The Animation reveal key visual

Note that something related to Shenmue was recently reported to be revealed. It turned out to be Shenmue The Animation.

Shenmue is a very particular game where players spend most of their time investigating and questioning NPCs. It's often compared to the Yakuza series but it's actually very different. Mainly in how Shenmue has way less action and fights. Most notably the first Shenmue game, which I assume is what will be adapted with these 13 episodes. If it turns out well, it might be a good entry point into the franchise for those who never owned a Dreamcast or didn't try out the recent remasters. Keeping all of the above in mind though, I assume there will be a lot of changes made for Shenmue to work as an anime series.

Moreover, the story of Shenmue in itself isn't particularly innovative or interesting. The adventure of protagonist Ryo Hazuki trying to avenge his father by pursuing Lan Di is a typical martial arts story. What makes Shenmue so impressive and memorable is its game package. How it encompass this story, its charismatic characters and resonating themes. It's still one of the most immersive games ever to this day. I have a hard time imagining how the anime will reproduce Ryo questioning everyone, knocking on every door, and longingly examining every shelf and drawer he comes across. If it does manages to pull it off though, it'll definitely be a fun experience for any 20 years long Shenmue fan.

Shenmue 3 did a lot of things wrong, most notably its battle system, but it wasn't as bad if you actually like the series. Personally, my main gripe was how it barely advances the overall story, especially considering how Yu Suzuki teased it a few weeks before release. Maybe this anime will be a good way for fans to wait until Shenmue 4.

In a short video interview for Shenmue The Animation, Yu Suzuki said he hopes fans will warmly welcome the series. Director Chikara Sakurai mentioned he was too poor to buy the game back when it released, so he's really happy to be working on this project now. However, he needs to be careful and not go overboard with doing everything he wanted to back then but couldn't:

Crunchyroll in the past has already been on anime production committees of certain anime series, guaranteeing itself the licensing rights to stream those series in the process. On February 25, 2020, Crunchyroll announced a new "Crunchyroll Originals" label that will include everything it produces or co-produces. Shenmue The Animation should be under that label.

Shenmue III is available now on PS4 and PC. Shenmue I&II the remaster compilation, is on PS4, PC, and Xbox One if you'd like to discover the series.

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Fortnite iOS Playerbase Drops By 60% Amid Fight with Apple

Fortnite Apple iPhone Epic Games Lawsuit download free drama

Don't be fooled by Epic Games and Fortnite's confident position and marketing campaigns — according to their recent court filing against Apple, the battle royale powerhouse is hurting hard from the protracted fight. According to recent filings, the company has lost over 60% of its iOS playerbase (accounting for Mac and iPhone players) since Fortnite was removed from the App Store.

News comes from a late-night filing from Epic Games, seeking a preliminary injunction against Apple's removal of the games from the App Store. In layman's terms, Epic is asking the court to force Apple to add Fortnite to the App Store until a verdict can be reached in the actual trial.

If all that sounds familiar, it's because it is — Epic Games previously tried to file this motion and was blocked by a judge, arguing that there was no actual showing of harm. Epic Games in filing this motion is certainly laying it on heavy, discussing how poorly the game is performing lately as compared to prior Apple's decision to remove the game from the store.

According to Epic Games, this includes a more than 60% reduction in players on iOS devices:

The user outcry has been deafening, showing real harm to the public interest. Daily active users on iOS have declined by over 60% since Fortnite's removal from the App Store. And removal already has resulted in a loss of goodwill and irreparable damage to Epic's reputation.

The reasons for this should be simple to deduce — for one, people looking to redownload the game (or download it for the first time) will be blocked from doing so. Anyone who is upgrading or replacing phones are out of luck if they are looking to play Fortnite.

Perhaps more importantly, iOS Fortnite players are getting a worse, stagnant version of the game as compared to other platforms. Without Epic's ability to update the game to add any of their big-ticket PR stunts or substantive gameplay fixes, a stark rift has formed between those playing on iOS and those playing on anything else.

On the other hand, we can expect Epic Games is likely gaming some of these numbers for maximum effect for the judge. While we know that there is a 60% drop in iOS users, it isn't immediately clear how many of these same users will simply pick up a Nintendo Switch, PS4 controller, or any other device to play Fortnite.

Fortnite is available now on most every platform, so long as you aren't trying to play on an iPhone. Let us know below who you think will win this argument in court.

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CD Projekt Red Has Spent Over $121 Million Developing Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077

We all know how big Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be. From all of the different customization options, the interweaving decisions that will be tracked throughout the game, and developing a living city people actually believe they are at, CD Projekt Red was going to drop some big bucks on this games development. And so they have.

In a new corporate report (via Tweak Town), the development studio stated that they have spent over 448.513 PLN ($121 million) developing Cyberpunk 2077 as well as some other unannounced projects. This also includes the development of a multiplayer mode that is coming to Cyberpunk 2077 as well as the new Witcher game that was sort of announced.

Cyberpunk 2077

 

 

On top of that, spending on game projects has gone up 77% to 111 million PLN in the first half of 2020 mainly due to the delay of the game.

"Expenditures on development projects (114 274 thousand PLN), mainly related to Cyberpunk 2077, which has entered its final, most intensive (in terms of expenditures) phase of development, along with other projects underway at CD PROJEKT RED and development of new technologies in the GOG.com segment."

It was also stated that there are currently two separate teams at CD Projekt Red. One is finishing up Cyberpunk while the other is on The Witcher Series which is made up of Gwent, Thronebreaker, and that new mobile title that was announced a few weeks ago. However, it is stated that a new singleplayer Witcher title is in the works.

Cyberpunk 2077 is set to release later this year on November 19 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The game will also be coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X as free upgrades for those who bought the current-gen versions.

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Why Play Mario With a Controller? This Modder Plays it With a Lego Figure

Lego Nintendo

Nintendo's surprise direct yesterday gave fans of Mario games a ton of new options for playing their favorite platformers.  There's a Game & Watch you can pick up, or you can run through a few of the all-star Mario titles in a collection on the Switch. But for some people, that's not enough. Some people see their Mario lego sets and think "well, why don't I just use this as a controller?"

I can only assume that was the thought going through the head of one modder, who goes by @r1ckp on Twitter. He somehow figured out that he could make a neat program that turns that otherwise useless Lego Mario figure into a pro gaming controller, or at least, a great one for Super Mario Bros.

A video posted on the modder's Twitter page shows him getting around stage 1-1 with his hacked controller. By tilting Lego Mario forward or backward, the mustachioed hero's digital version would run forward or back. If you're watching, it's a pretty astonishing sight. Just don't mind the sounds that Lego Mario makes, even if they're much, much creepier than they should justifiably be.

Moving around is only one part of Super Mario Bros. though, so what about pipes and tossing fireballs? A second video shows how @r1ckp solved those issues too, which has something to do with small Lego platforms and more unholy, demonic sounds coming from Lego Mario.

I'll say it right now, I would absolutely pick up a modded controller like this – sure it's not practical but it's undeniably cool. On second thought, only if it comes with a mute button.

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Cyberpunk 2077 Won't be Delayed Again, Reaffirms CD Projekt CEO

Cyberpunk 2077 was supposed to release all the way back in April, but for a number of reasons, the highly-anticipated RPG has since been delayed multiple times to its current window in November. Fortunately, for those who were worried that the game might not make its date before the end of 2020, CD Projekt has now said otherwise.

During today's investor call for CD Projekt that went over statistics from the first half of the year, company President and CEO Adam KiciƄski reiterated that Cyberpunk 2077 will indeed be launching in a little over two months. KiciƄski said that the project is nearing its final stages, and is even nearing its submittal for final certification. Despite nearing its "final" build though, KiciƄski said that CD Projekt Red will still continue to work on Cyberpunk 2077 up until launch day, which isn't shocking whatsoever. Nearly all games that release nowadays have some sort of day one patch, after all.

While some might scoff at the notion of Cyberpunk 2077, you know, actually releasing, KiciƄski overall sounded extremely confident that the current launch date will be met. The fact that he went as far to admit that certification is upon the studio backs up that notion, too. If you've been fearful that the title will somehow slip into 2021, it seems like there's a very good chance that it won't — thank goodness.

We'll finally be able to get our hands on Cyberpunk 2077 when it releases later this fall on November 19 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. A version of the game for Stadia is also in the pipeline, as is next-gen iterations on PS5 and Xbox Series X. All three of these latter installments still do not have specified launch dates, however.

Thanks to @Jackjakeaa for the heads up on this story.

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Tormented Souls Developer Talks About DualSense and How It Could Change Horror Games

Tormented Souls, Dual Effect Games, DualSense

In a new interview with SegmentNext, Gabriel and German Araneda, the duo who lead Dual Effect Games, spoke a bit about the PS5's DualSense controller. The team is currently working on Tormented Souls, a throwback to classic survival horror games. The game isn't confirmed for next-gen consoles yet. However, the Araneda's are obviously thinking about what they could do with the next-gen controller. Give the game's trailer a watch below, if you haven't seen it yet.

In the interview, the devs say the DualSense could be "transcendent for horror games" on the PS5. They point to how teams could use the controller to simulate a spider's leg wriggling against your palm as you try to solve a puzzle. That ability to add extra sensation into development sounds like one of the better use-cases for the DualSense we've heard so far.

Outside of this interview, the only thing that's really gotten me interested in the DualSense is how Deathloop plans to use it. There, the devs are using the new triggers to simulate a gun jamming. So, when it happens, the trigger locks in place. Features like that will really add to immersion in PS5 games.

Of course, without more people getting hands-on with the DualSense, we don't really know how well these things translate. To be clear, the ideas for Tormented Souls and Deathloop both sound incredible. However, for now, they're just ideas. Hopefully, the controller gets out to a wider audience soon.

Tormented Souls is scheduled for Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2021. A PS5 or Xbox Series X release hasn't been announced yet, but wouldn't be surprising. Granted, those consoles actually need a release date first, but hopefully, those are coming soon.

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Crusader Kings III Review — A True King's Legacy Has Been Born

Crusader Kings, Crusader Kings II, Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury, Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon, Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics Expansion, Henrik Fahraeus, Linux, Mac, Paradox Development Studio, Paradox Interactive, PC, steam, Xbox One

Crusader Kings III is that rare sort of game that immediately takes your breath away. The goal is a simple one: to elevate the status of your dynasty in any way you see fit. But the sheer breadth of ways to achieve that goal make for a genuinely new experience each time, even within the same campaign.

It's the kind of title that promises near endless possibilities and actually acts on it. As the player you feel empowered to make any decision, to abide by or deviate from history — at times encouraged to seek alternate paths to victory — and create a legacy that's meaningful for you.

After choosing from either the year 867 or 1066, you take on the role of a noble or ruler from a domain of your choice whether that be a kingdom, tribe, country, or city-state. Each ruler is shouldered with the burden of their entire dynasty's future on their shoulders with the end goal not only its survival but that it thrives and establishes a legacy that will last through the ages. As the player, you must ensure that every decision will positively influence yourself, your subjects,, and the kingdom at large.

You'll notice immediately Crusader Kings III's menu design, which appears clunky and overly-complicated at first. However, as you play, it becomes apparent how well organized the layout truly is. The amount of information available to you is staggering and the UI does an exceptional job at organizing such massive amounts of game data to track at any given moment. Aiding in that is the immensely vital Issues tab located at the top. Issues is a treasure trove of valuable info that helps players better focus and delegate important tasks such as who needs to be married, what wars can be declared, displeased vassals, and much more.

The developers also devised an ingenious mechanic called the Tool Tip, which disseminates large quantities of information about the various terms used in the game. Essentially, a light blue word(s) indicates that you can hover over it, which summons a pop-up box defining the term. Within that box may be more words, which can also summon a pop-up once ghosted over without dismissing the previous boxes. It's non-intrusive, informative, well-designed, and optional.

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While the menus relay all this valuable intel information about the current status of your kingdom, there are several stats that you should pay attention to that are vital to your progress.

The first is Fervor, which governs how devoted your subjects are to the current religion. Smaller religions have more fervor while larger ones (such as Catholicism) are vulnerable to heresy, which means a ruler decides to create their own branch of a given religion and tries to convert other subjects under them. Fervor can be traded for favors from the religious head, can be used to change the tenets of your religion to create a heresy, a means to measure control in your territories, and a way to declare war on foreign city-states and countries to increase the size of your own domain.

Second is Renown, one of the most important stats. It's a measure of how far your reputation precedes you and can be used for random events that require you to throw around said reputation for your benefit or others. It's also used to change your level of Crown Authority, or the sovereignty of your dynasty's rule, as well as to permanently increase certain dynasty traits that makes your overall campaign more effective. And as you gain more Renown, you increase its ranking.

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And the third is gold. This valuable resource is the driving force of most things in game, as in real life. You need money to consolidate your titles, declare war, buy new troops, build up military bases and infrastructure in your capitals, and maintain your army's supplies. You also need it to bribe nobles, curry favor in your court, hire head court physicians, recruit visitors to your court (which is a great way to accumulate powerful knights and talented council members), host feasts to reduce Stress, increase Crown Authority alongside Renown, and most other things. You generate gold primarily from ensuring a steady stream of revenue from taxes as well as from raids, ransoming or releasing war hostages, as a payment for an arranged marriage, or bargaining for money from your religious head.

Your player character also generates Lifestyle experience points naturally over time, which go toward Lifestyle Perks. You choose from several Lifestyle Focuses and then unlock Perks that grant your ruler special effects that make things like war, diplomacy, or family affairs much easier to handle. And since there are so many Perks to choose from, even if you stick with a Lifestyle that suits that ruler's specialty, your player character will be guaranteed to pass on before you unlock everything. This means that the choices you make on what to focus on are extremely important since there's simply not enough time to learn everything available. It also creates a true sense of identity and emphasizes that the best way to rule is by what that ruler is best at, with no "one truth path" that tends to crop up in strategy games like this.

Any ruler worth their salt doesn't rule alone and Crusader Kings III understands this as well. Divvying up your court responsibilities are the members of your Council: your spouse (if they aren't a part of their own court), the Religious Leader that precedes over the religion of your region and monitors heresies (the title name varies based on the culture and religion), the Chancellor in charge of domestic and foreign diplomacy and affairs, the Steward who governs treasury and property, the Marshal that maintains control in all your territories and armies, and your Spymaster who protects you from hostile schemes and keeps your own schemes a secret.

Each position is governed by a particular stat, so the obvious choice would be to appoint the best person for the position, right? Unfortunately, as the game so perfectly demonstrates, your vassals or those who rule smaller territories under you expect to be handed positions of power regardless of their actual competency. So you must wrestle with the difficult options of having the best person, which ensures your city-state is running smoothly, but also deal with the constant threat of mutiny, or appointing someone possibly ill-fitting to keep them happy but at the cost of sloppy ruling and a much higher risk of disasters.

War is one of the biggest parts of Crusader Kings III, as it's the primary means to seize new domains and titles to pass on to your heir. There are several kinds of wars such as ones that require a claim to a title (or you could send your Chancellor to fabricate one), a Holy War based on religious differences, a vassal or peasant uprising due to lack of control or other perceived injustice, a war of defense against an invading threat, or a call to action from an ally embroidered in their own war.

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War is complex and requires careful management and planning. Not only do you need to understand how the main components of your army — levies are the main mostly peasant force, knights are the commanders, Men-at-Arms regiments bolster the power of your army, and siege are for breaking down reinforced walls of a capital — but you also must become familiar with terrain and its effects. Learning how to utilize rally or summoning points to concentrate your army in the most effective start points, when to split up your army, if conquering or stability is the best course of action, and whether you have the manpower or funds to start a war with another domain in the first place all come into play.. It's refreshing to see this title establish that while war is an important and often inevitable part of rulership, it's just as vital to know when to wait and when to choose peace instead.

Once you acquire new lands, it's your duty to properly build on, manage, and protect them from foreign attackers. You must also keep an eye out for the level of Control you have within separate capitals of your domain. If it dips too low, you might have a peasant uprising on your hands that needs quashing (though you could allow for this and forceably recruit the leader as a powerful knight). And while cultural diversity is important, sometimes it can serve to fracture a kingdom and weaken it, also contributing to a lower Control. This means that you must ensure when conquering areas with different cultures, you must invest time into converting them to your belief system. This balancing of expansion and stability ensures that once you expand your empire you actually put in the work to properly maintain it rather than simply collecting new plots of land with no consequences.

There are other ways in Crusader Kings III to expand your empire other than war, such as forging alliances with other nations through peaceful negotiations, marriage (which is its own complex system of combining positive Congenial traits, avoiding negative ones, ensuring compensation, etc.) or assassinating rulers and other nobles who stand in your way of succession. And though war remains often the easiest and most effective method, there are plenty of ways to avoid conflict as well.

The signature gameplay mechanic of Crusader Kings III, and what really sets this title apart from other strategy titles, are Schemes. Schemes are essentially plots that either yourself or other members of your court can carry out. These can range from Personal Schemes such a fostering a friendship or simple goodwill between two people, or the more devious Hostile Schemes that involve seduction or murder. When your player character is carrying out a hostile scheme, you can recruit people in your court to aid in it and increase the chances of success. Of course there's always a chance that the scheme could be discovered or you could be found out as the perpetrator, either of which comes with the risk of imprisonment and a reputation that follows you to your grave. Conversely, others can plot against you and members of your court, with the only protection at your disposal being your Spymaster and your own quick wits.

Schemes are honestly such a darkly fun and refreshing mechanic to work with thanks to that constant sense of danger at being discovered or failing, as well as being able to commit acts of adultery and murder freely for whatever petty reason you choose. During my own playthrough, I felt a rush of adrenaline at being able to assassinate one of my own council members with no consequences. Or at least no immediate consequences.

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Once you successfully pull off a hostile scheme, you now have a Secret. This secret can be discovered by a member of your court and used as blackmail against you, resulting in a Strong Hook. Hooks are divided in Strong and Weak, with the former a result of something illegal or illicit and the latter more of a small favor owed. And while weak ones are one and done deals, strong ones last a lifetime and means that you can be manipulated. Conversely, you can and should seek out hooks to utilize as well, since they can help smooth out arrangements and create unexpected allies. For instance, during my playthrough, I found out that my mayor was a cannibal and gained a Strong Hook on him after some blackmail. This also meant that he could never oppose me no matter how disgruntled he became, which is also an extremely handy effect.

Depending on the nature or personality traits of your character, they can either thrive in such wickedness, derive no pleasure from it but see it as a necessary evil, or be haunted by the act and cause Stress levels to rise. What's even better is that other than the Stress mechanic (which at low levels are very manageable but higher levels bring the risk of worsening mental health problems and even mental breaks) the game doesn't punish you for choosing options that oppose your nature.

For first time Crusader Kings players, the wide berth of options and possibilities of what to accomplish in a single run can be intimidating. Luckily for that, there's a handy tutorial that guides you through the first major decisions of a campaign in Ireland, as well as most of the features that will become available to you as you continue your playthrough. It's paced well and does a thorough job of walking you through the major mechanics without holding your hand for too long. As a bonus, as you encounter new scenarios for the first time, an option for more help on navigating it will appear. And the best part is, you can keep playing this campaign until its completion, which is a fantastic way to try out various mechanics and get more acquainted with the game in preparation for an entirely solitary campaign.

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One campaign spans across many generations, so it's imperative that players plan for the present as well as consider about how their actions will affect the future of their dynasty. And for that there are plenty of tools at a player's disposal. You can navigate menus to view your entire dynasty, spend Renown to unlock Legacies that decide how your dynasty will be viewed by and govern both nobles and commoners, become the head of your culture and decide what long term inventions it will develop, hone the Fervour generated for your culture's religion and weaponize it for conquests or eventually create your own, and more.

But all this talk about the vast array of gameplay features, mechanics, and inner workings of Crusader Kings III is nothing without the feeling of being in a living, breathing world. And honestly, the world building is the biggest strength of this game. The title spans across Europe, most of Asia, and North Africa, so you can imagine the level of diversity that would have to be layered in. And as I previously outlined in my preview, it exceeded my expectations far beyond what I could have imagined possible.

The most important aspects such as culture, religion, and character models are all extremely accurate to the title and time period. While the characters themselves look like they were beaten with ugly sticks, they have exactly the proper ethnic features and clothing which change as they move up or down ranks and grow old, sick, or injured. Each religion and culture is well researched right down to the obscure tenants and beliefs of each one, and stand out completely from one another. A religion and culture based on Christianity is significantly unique from a Pagan one, one based in Hinduism, and a Buddhist based one. Just scrolling around the watch mode and reading through them is a surprisingly educational experience and shines a fascinating light on how people lived during these time periods.

Adding to this sense of realism are sexual orientations. Just as in real life, every person in Crusader Kings III has an orientation, with the most common being heterosexuality. But there's also homosexuality, bisexuality — and as a pleasant surprise — asexuality. Though no one is above the duties of nobility to marry and procreate, this feature is far from being merely cosmetic as it determines who you can seduce for a Hostile Scheme. It sounds minor but it's an interesting touch that makes the title feel that much more grounded and fleshed out — it reminds you that these are actual people with lives, wants, and needs beyond "marriageable meatsack."

Of course, a PC title of Crusader Kings III's magnitude isn't flawless. You'll no doubt come across strange glitches that will throw off events and remind you that yes, this is in fact a computer game based on imperfect code. For instance, once I was arranging an important marriage that would grant me an alliance, which had to be approved by a noble in the spouse's court. However, this high ranking noble happened to be a four year old girl who wrote me a very well written letter of approval after the affair. Another event had a noble in my court express to me their extreme displeasure at another noble's behavior, who was himself.

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Between the amount of rulers you can choose from (which is easily in the hundreds, if not thousands) to all the ways you can augment your kingdom, the options for navigating the royal court and all its personal and professional trappings, who and how you can groom your heirs, the variety of schemes to take part in, and more, there is no truly right way to approach your own playthrough.

Crusader Kings III is a game that you become completely engrossed in as you play, and obsess over when you're not. I found myself constantly playing out scenarios and strategies for my kingdom, dreaming of the moment that I unite an entire country under my powerful rule, and celebrating the highs while cursing the lows of noble life. Even if you're not a strategy game fan, the person-focused approach to the genre allows for players to build more intimate relationships with your family, allies, and greater kingdom. Not only is it fun, but it's impactful and the experience stays with you long after you close down the game after a long session.

The post Crusader Kings III Review — A True King's Legacy Has Been Born by Allisa James appeared first on DualShockers.


Spelunky 2 Heads to PC via Steam at the End of September

A few weeks back, Mossmouth finally announced in the most recent edition of PlayStation's State of Play that it would be releasing Spelunky 2 on PS4 on September 15. Despite the release date announcement for Sony's platform, however, PC users will still left in the dark as to when the roguelike would head their way. Well, now that wondering has ceased.

Spelunky 2 developer Derek Yu took to Twitter today and announced the launch date for the game on PC. It will be launching via Steam near the very end of the month and will drop on Tuesday, September 29. Furthermore, those who are looking to pick Spelunky 2 up on release can add it to their wishlist right now.

While it's a few weeks after the PS4 iteration of the game, it's very good to see that Mossmouth was able to stagger our both versions of Spelunky 2 so close to one another. Personally, I'm just torn on what platform to play it on. As someone who primarily played the first entry on PS Vita (RIP) quite a bit, I'm naturally leaning towards PS4. That said, I really do wish the sequel was still coming to Vita. Oh well, it had a good run.

Stay tuned for more on Spelunky 2 from us here at DualShockers over the coming weeks. We should hopefully be able to share a review with you in addition to some other forms of coverage as its release nears.

The post Spelunky 2 Heads to PC via Steam at the End of September by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.


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