Of all the delays we've seen this year due to the pandemic, this one somehow felt like the most inevitable. Grasshopper Manufacture and Suda 51 have confirmed the highly anticipated Switch-exclusive No More Heroes III will not see release in 2020. According to the message posted by the developers on Twitter, COVID-19 resulted in work delays on the title, and rather than rush it out, Suda wants his team to prioritize quality as development gets back on its feet.
My PlayStation VR library has slowly but surely filled up thanks to PlayStation Store sales, and while I'm anxious to hear the particulars of Sony's PS4-to-PS5 transition for virtual reality, I can't resist jumping on good deals when they pop up. Many of these games, while fun, are too fleeting to buy at full price.
Sony is running a PlayStation VR sale with around 150 deals lasting through September 23, 2020.
I wouldn't recommend all of these games for every type of PSVR owner, but here are my quick picks:
- The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners ($29.99)
- Marvel's Iron Man VR ($29.99)
- L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files ($24.99)
- Borderlands 2 VR ($24.99)
- Tetris Effect ($19.99)
- Audica ($19.49)
- Trover Saves the Universe ($17.99)
- Paper Beast ($16.49)
- Ghost Giant ($14.99)
- Gorn ($14.99)
- Moss ($14.99)
- Blood and Truth ($14.79)
- Superhot VR ($9.99)
- Arizona Sunshine ($9.99)
- Everybody's Golf VR ($9.89)
- No Heroes Allowed! VR ($9.89)
- Battlezone Gold Edition ($8.74)
- Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin ($7.99)
- A Fisherman's Tale ($7.49)
- Creed Rise to Glory ($7.49)
- Star Trek: Bridge Crew ($7.49)
- Astro Bot Rescue Mission ($7.39)
- Déraciné ($6.59)
- Until Dawn: Rush of Blood ($5.24)
- Tumble VR ($4.99)
- Theseus ($2.99)
(No, Beat Saber isn't on sale. Sorry! That said, it's worth the money.)
Of this list, I'd say Superhot VR, Tetris Effect, and Astro Bot Rescue Mission are essential. For everything else – especially the older titles that are several bucks each – try to see what you're getting into first.
We're no closer to finding out the release date for Demon's Souls today, but vigilant fans have flushed out something else worth sharing: a pair of new screenshots for Bluepoint's PlayStation 5 remake.
One image shows an alternate angle for the Vanguard boss, whose appearance was overhauled for PS5, and the other is a moody environmental shot to help sell the foreboding scale of Boletaria. The screens were spotted on Amazon Australia along with a generic bulleted summary, but the listing was pulled.
There's also some gnarly placeholder box art to check out. I hope the final version – maybe a special limited edition, or even a simple flip cover – can echo the original PlayStation 3 art for Demon's Souls.
On the other hand, I kinda love the idea of the Fat Official making the box. Show some dang respect!
Okay, you've finally wrapped your head around the naming convention. Maybe it came naturally to you, maybe it took a little bit of time. Xbox Series S is the affordable entry-level model, Xbox Series X is the creme de la creme. You've internalized which one is better.
But what does that really mean? Aside from not having an optical disc drive, how much of a downgrade is the Series S from the Series X? Microsoft correctly predicted that people would need some context. That's why it came up with this handy comparison sheet:
The Outer Worlds is a kooky sci-fi world I want to explore more of, and while I think (and hope) an eventual sequel could be a home-run, for now, Obsidian Entertainment is expanding Halcyon with DLC.
The first of the two story expansions is Peril on Gorgon, an intriguing corporate mystery set on a semi-abandoned asteroid that begins with an unexpected delivery. Because this is The Outer Worlds, you don't just get a simple invite to Gorgon – you're sent a detective's severed arm with a recording.
I didn't expect to have this easy of a time slipping back into this feel-bad universe.
Here's a fun bit of news for retro gaming fans: Taito has announced that it is teaming with Natsume Atari to develop a brand new sequel in the KiKi KaiKai series, better known to western gaming fans as Pocky & Rocky.
As reported in this week's issue of Famitsu, KiKi KaiKai: Kuro Mantle no Nazo will be a direct sequel to the action-packed top-down shooter KiKi KaiKai: Nazo no Kuro Mantle, which launched on the SNES way back in 1992. The new sequel will be developed by Tengo Project, who was previously responsible for the excellent remasters Wild Guns: Reloaded and Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors.
The new KiKi KaiKai is no mere remaster, however, promising to be a brand new adventure housed within a modern engine. Fear not, retro-fans, as Tengo Project has noted that it will feature a style reminiscent of the original 16-bit release, albeit with significant visual, audio, and gameplay improvements. If you want to get a taste for the franchise, then the original 1986 arcade version of KiKi Kai Kai is available on the Arcade Archives range.
KiKi KaiKai: Kuro Mantle no Nazo is currently in development for Nintendo Switch.
KiKi KaiKai: Kuro Mantle no Nazo announced for Switch [Gematsu / Ryokutya2089]
After the proverbial mic-drop presentation that Nvidia had last week concerning its GeForce 3000 series cards, all eyes have been on AMD to see what it would do next. As it turns out, we'll have to wait quite a bit to see what the return volley looks like from the lead competitor in the PC graphics card war.
AMD announced that it will air a presentation for its next line of video cards on October 28. The conference will cover both the RDNA2 chip architecture as well as the Radeon RX 6000 series of cards.
It's already known that the RDNA2 architecture will be used in the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox One S/X, with both of the systems having different proprietary cards in them. With the release date for the Xbox One S/X confirmed to be on November 10, it seems that this will be a good look into the more technical side of the upcoming console releases, just before their launch.
It will be interesting to see what AMD has in store for the PC side of things as bagging the two console hardware contracts for a second generation in a row could be seen as a win in any book, but no one can deny that PC gaming is on the rise. With the GeForce cards looking to be well priced for the tech that's inside them, will AMD be able to win over enthusiasts with a more impressive offering of cards?
We'll find out on October 28.
November 10 might be a date that you've heard thrown around a fair bit today. That's because it's the day that the next generation of Xbox kicks off. It's when Xbox Series X and Series S both launch. It's also when some high-profile games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Yakuza: Like a Dragon will simultaneously debut.
However, that's also when one of the year's finest games finally gets its console port. Gears Tactics, which I was smitten with back in April, comes to Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X on November 10.
Activision and Treyarch lifted the lid on the multiplayer side of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War this morning, and apart from a tightly-edited "reveal trailer" with Duran Duran (always a pleasure) and more meaningful recorded gameplay impressions, the companies let out the beta dates and start times.
There isn't a singular start – Sony made deals – so let's break it down.
- PS4 early access for players who pre-order Black Ops Cold War on PS4 or PS5.
- PS4 open beta.
- Xbox One and PC early access for players who pre-order Black Ops Cold War on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, or PC.
- PS4 open beta.
- PS4, PC, and Xbox One open beta.
The beta is expected to start at 10:00 a.m. ("with exact timing to be decided"). Activision also says that Xbox Live Gold, Battle.net, and PlayStation Plus "in some territories" will be required to play.
As for what's new, my big takeaway is Scorestreaks – you'll keep your streak going even if you die. To compensate for the lack of a hard reset, the better rewards will be pricey, it pays to stay alive and play the objective if you can, and Scorestreaks have specific cooldowns to keep players from "spamming."
You can get an overview of the maps (like the ship-hopping Armada), modes (like the new round-based VIP Escort), and loadouts (Create-a-Class and Wildcards are back with tweaks) in this official blog post.
That said, there's nothing like hands-on time. Hopefully the beta is generous with content.
At long last, Xbox's next-gen pricing is in our rearview mirror. Thanks to revisionist memories, everyone's an accurate industry expert in moments like this. "That's the price I was saying all along!" Yet it's Pachter, not you, who gets all the respect.
(In case you somehow missed the news, the Xbox Series X is launching on November 10 and priced at $500. The lesser-powered Xbox Series S was also formally unveiled yesterday and will be priced at $300 and launch on the same day.)
Today is not only a landmark moment for forward-facing console war marketing strategies (at least for one side), but it's also the conclusion to what we've been blindly stabbing at for nine months. "The things it wants to accomplish are impressive for a console, but how much will it cost?" Now we know, and now we can start making some purchasing decisions.
So, it's time for you to own it -- not necessarily the console, but your past opinion. Where did you think the Xbox Series X was gonna fall? Personally, I think I remember boldly venturing it'd be $400 before I was sure the Series S existed. This was mostly predicated on Phil Spencer saying Project Scarlett "[would] not be out of position on power or price." I thought Microsoft was will to take a significant loss on every machine sold in order to really start this generation on the right foot.
But, now that two models have been confirmed, $500 seems like the obvious price. It always felt like $600 was too high, as no one wants to relive the 60GB PS3 launch debacle. So, $300 and $500 feels like the sweet spot. One device is for introduction to the Xbox ecosystem, the other is for those who are looking for the most out of their console. Putting $200 worth of space between them intrinsically communicates the gap in horsepower.
What were you expecting? Less? More? Also, this seems like as good of a place as any to formally chime in with your PS5 pricing prediction. That way, if you claim to have been right all along, we can check the comments here and call you a filthy liar. Unless you actually were right -- in which case, refer back to my Pachter comment in the first paragraph.
There's always more work to be done to shut down cheaters, and as we inch toward Season 2 of Fall Guys in October, Mediatonic increasingly hopes to stop pesky players from ruining everyone's fun.
In a tweet, the studio apologized for the "cheating problem" in Fall Guys and promised that steps would be taken this week to "expand" the existing detection system before a "BIG" update goes even further.
That larger update – coming in "the next couple of weeks" – will implement the same "anti-cheat used by games such as Fortnite," according to Mediatonic. Easy Anti-Cheat can do the heavy lifting.
I like to think I'm on a hiatus, and when I come back for those sweet Season 2 rewards, hopefully the state of the game is in a better place on multiple fronts – motivating-killing cheaters included.
I feel for you, PC players. I had to switch over to PS4.
Can you believe that the four Zelda: Breath of the Wild Champion amiibo (Daruk, Urbosa, Mipha, Revali) came out in November of 2017? It's true, we tracked it all here!
Since then getting restocks has been a pain, like most figures more than a year out, with individual Champions going for upwards of $30 or more each on the secondary market. Thankfully, Nintendo has been periodically restocking amiibo throughout the years, and they've publicly announced a Champions reprint set for later this year.
Come November 20, which is right alongside of the launch of the new Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity game, all four figures will be available once more. While those four characters have not been officially revealed to be playable, the box art heavily implies that they are.
In that same vein, amiibo functionality may work similarly to how it operated in Hyrule Warriors proper.
Nintendo of America [Twitter]
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom will eventually get an "update for next-gen consoles to support native 4K/120fps signal via HDMI 2.1," according to FDG Entertainment. There aren't currently any plans for a new physical release on PS5 and Xbox Series X, and the PC version already has 4K support.
If you bought it on Switch, well, you might want to consider double-dipping down the road.
The longer Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom sticks around, the better – it's one of those great but underappreciated games that people might discover in a sale, impulse buy, and fall in love with.
I'm super pleased with the recent-ish Wonder Boy revival in general. Such great vibes.
Electronic Arts has removed a series of Amazon-sponsored flash ads from its MMA simulator UFC 4, following a huge backlash from fans on social media and Reddit.
The offending feature would cause adverts for Amazon TV show The Boys to appear on-screen between rounds and replays. In a video uploaded to Reddit by user Ydino, the ad even popped up as a part of the U.I. mid-match. While this sort of heavy on-screen advertising is authentic in regards to UFC's televisual style, fans were fuming to see the same kind of advertising appear in-game, particularly as the ads were activated one month after UFC 4's launch, and thus were not previously referenced in any of the game's reviews.
In a statement to Eurogamer (later appearing on Reddit), EA announced that it was disabling mid-match advertising: "It is abundantly clear from your feedback that integrating ads into the Replay and overlay experience is not welcome. The advertisements have been disabled by the team and we apologize for any disruption to gameplay that players may have experienced."
"We realize that this should have been communicated with players ahead of time and that's on us. We want to make sure our players have the best possible experience playing EA Sports UFC 4, so ad integration in the Replay and overlay experience will not be reappearing in the future. Thank you for your continued feedback on EA Sports UFC 4."
EA responds to fan backlash to in-game ads in UFC 4 [Eurogamer]
I remember when Stardew Valley came out. I was preoccupied with a lot of work at the time, but vowed to get to it as quickly as I could: bearing a lot of fond memories for the Harvest Moon series.
The minute I booted it up, I knew that I wouldn't let it go anytime soon. My wife and I ended up playing it side by side across two platforms, eventually meeting in the middle when the multiplayer update was released. We plan on playing it with our kid one day. We love it that much.
But all good things must come to an end. When? That depends on how creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone feels after update 1.5 arrives. We already know that they are working on several side projects, but the base Stardew Valley game could end up becoming something else entirely: or get a new 1.6 update.
Speaking to Game Informer, Barone says that they are "not willing to commit to Stardew Valley 1.6," but they also "don't think [update 1.5] will be the end." Despite the lack of commitment, Barone says that they "would not be surprised" if there was another update in them, or "multiple updates," or a true sequel. After 1.5 ships, they'll "decide what the next step is" for the series, also throwing in a "who knows?" qualifier.
It's vague; but hey, when the bulk of the work has been done by one person, you can definitely see where they are coming from. Hey Barone: a break is also on the table if you want to take it! You've earned it.
How Stardew Valley Keeps Building On Success [Game Informer]
[Update: Sega has confirmed that Yakuza: Like a Dragon will launch on November 10 on Xbox Series X/S. It also slyly hints that "release information on all platforms (read: PS5) in the coming weeks." We might have a timeline for Sony's big PS5 date/price reveal, if not sooner.]
We are about to enter new territory when it comes to the Yakuza series, and we're all going to be doing it together: On November 13.
Today, Sega has announced that Yakuza: Like a Dragon will be available on PC, Xbox One and PS4 on that very date, with vague promises of when the next-generation versions will hit. Sega has clarified, and say it with me now, that the Xbox Series X edition will be available "on day one of its release," with the PS5 port coming "at a later date."
Sega is celebrating the news with a trailer titled "How Will You Rise," which showcases more RPG elements of the game and our hero Ichiban Kasuga. This is a very rapid-fire clip, showcasing "20+ unique jobs" and some of the wackier elements of Like a Dragon in just under two minutes.
It's entirely possible that the Xbox Series X is actually out on November 13, and "day one of its release" is just third party PR talk for "Microsoft is the one that gets to announce its console release date."
CD Projekt RED has double-downed on its previous promise that Cyberpunk 2077 will feature no microtransactions whatsoever in regards to its single-player campaign.
The Polish developer made the affirmation after discussing in-game purchases attached to the RPG's multiplayer component - a separate commodity expected to launch sometime in 2021 - during a financial earnings call. This led some fans and news outlets to report that CDPR was going back on its earlier statement that Cyberpunk 2077 would be microtransaction free.
CDPR clarified that this was not the case. "Nothing changed," reads a brief statement on Twitter. "Cyberpunk 2077 is a single-player game with zero microtransactions. One single purchase. No tricks. Don't believe the clickbait... Cyberpunk multiplayer/online, which is a separate project, will have some microtransactions, but we said that a year ago already. Like always, expect us treating your money with respect."
Cyberpunk 2077 launches November 19 on PS4, PC, and Xbox One. It will arrive on PS5 and Xbox Series X at some point in 2021.
This morning, Microsoft made it official following myriad leaks: the next generation, as far as they are concerned, is happening on November 10. Boom.
On that day the Xbox Series X and the Series S will release, and the floodgates have been opened for every other publisher to say "hey, our stuff is coming too." Ubisoft is one of the first to fire off that salvo, noting that Assassin's Creed Valhalla is coming on November 10 for the Xbox Series X and the Series S. It'll also launch on PC, PS4 and Stadia on that same date. The publisher boasts that the game will run at 60FPS "in full 4K resolution" on Series X.
Ubisoft also explains that Watch Dogs: Legion, which is still slated for a current-gen release on October 29, will be a "day one" Xbox Series X/S title on November 10, and will benefit from "hardware accelerated raytracing" on Series X/S. Oh, and the "Smart Delivery" system is still a go for both games. As a reminder, if you buy the game on Xbox One or Series X/S, you can play it cross-generation for free. Cross-save between Xbox One and the X/S is in too.
Believe it or not, it's already been five years since the launch of Undertale. A blend of visual novel, RPG, and retro arcade action, Toby Fox' labour-of-love won over an army of fans with its emotional narrative, iconic cast of characters, and great chiptune soundtrack.
To celebrate five years of Flowey, Papyrus, Undyne, Sans and pals, Fox and Fangamer are teaming up to present a free online "concert stream," with select tracks from Undertale's great OST being performed live by MUSIC Engine. The concert is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15, with festivities kicking off at 19:00 PT / 22:00 ET. Fans can watch the concert on the official Undertale website and YouTube channel.
On the same day, a selection of new Undertale merchandise will also be released. The new range will include a "Stay Determined" shirt, among other items. Proceeds from merch sales will be donated to the United Way COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
Undertale is available now on PS4, PS Vita, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Ready for another Switch Pro rumor? Lets-a-go!
Wait Switch Pro?! Yeah, about that. Every few months or so an insider will remind us that an upgraded version of the Switch exists in the planning stages, and Nintendo may or may not release it within a broad window of time: usually a year or two. It's the Nintendo insider way: vague strokes. But this time we may have another kernel of information as to what that Switch Pro could entail: 4K visuals.
According to Bloomberg, Nintendo is not only upping their Switch hardware production by 20% (which ups their fiscal year goal to 30 million Switch units sold), but they're also "asking developers to make their games 4K-ready." Bloomberg states that these comments came from "several outside game developers speaking anonymously." HDR capabilities are not mentioned at all in this report.
You know the drill here. This story is labeled as a rumor multiple times over, but there will come a time where Nintendo eventually plays ball and splashes onto the 4K scene. Given that a few of their older games still trounce over most of their competition (Galaxy 2 is still gorgeous), Mario in 4K is going to be a trip.
Nintendo Boosts Switch Production by Another 20% [Bloomberg]
Microsoft has officially announced the price and launch date of its new next-gen hardware. Xbox Series X will launch on November 10, priced at $499 USD. It will retail for £449 in the U.K.
According to creative director Tetsuya Nomura, the Kingdom Hearts team is already hard at work on a brand new title in the beloved RPG series, with the goal of launching the mystery title in 2022 to coincide with the franchise's 20th anniversary.
"I'm working hard towards the 20th anniversary," said Nomura in an interview with Famitsu. "I myself have already switched to thinking about the next work, and the Kingdom Hearts team has already started working on something new. Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory came just before we started working on the next title, so the main staff was able to assist. When we're able to announce something in the future, I think it will be full of surprises, so please look forward to it."
I scream, you scream, we all scream forever. In a year as exhausting as 2020, it'll be nice to chill out with a comfy, familiar, cathartic theme park management sim game like RollerCoaster Tycoon 3.
Developer Frontier (through its new Frontier Foundry label) is bringing RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition to Nintendo Switch on September 24, 2020, for a kinda-pushing-it $29.99. A PC re-release is also popping up on Steam (it's been MIA for new buyers) and the Epic Games Store on the same day.
Apart from the Soaked! and Wild! packs (I always dug the straightforward naming), RCT3: Complete Edition will have "new controls designed to help you build the ultimate theme park" and "widescreen for the first time, with full 1080p resolution and increased compatibility for new PC hardware."
RCT3 never clicked with me to the same extent as the Chris Sawyer classics, but I appreciate having a chance to plop this onto my Switch on a lazy afternoon. Time to start dreaming up demented rides.
Do our virtual park-goers deserve to suffer? Probably not! But it's tradition.
There was some high-profile The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild news today. It didn't have anything to do with the sequel, though; it had to do with an unexpected prequel.
Out of nowhere, Nintendo announced Age of Calamity which serves both as a Hyrule Warriors spinoff and a Breath of the Wild prequel. However, this attention paid to Zelda doesn't mean anyone should expect to hear anything about Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 anytime soon.
Series producer Eiji Aonuma nipped that in the bud right away. In a detailed Age of Calamity trailer breakdown, Aonuma says "We mentioned in the June 2019 Nintendo Direct presentation that we had started development on the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Many people around the world are still playing Breath of the Wild, so I'd like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Everyone, thank you so much. Regarding the sequel, in order to make the vast world you've enjoyed exploring in the original game even more impressive, the team is working hard on its development. So, you'll have to wait a bit longer before we can provide more updates."
The Breath of the Wild sequel is in "It's ready when it's ready" territory. Nintendo, like every company, has had its share of production struggles because of COVID-19. Given how the original turned out to be a masterpiece, Nintendo clearly isn't going to rush the sequel out the door. We'll just have to wait to hear more. In the meantime, Age of Calamity is here in November. Get your Zelda fix that way.
In today's contest, you can win Star Trek: Discovery content for space MMO CSC!
I honestly didn't know there was a such thing as Star Trek Day, but here we are! Space MMO CSC just hit its 1.0 patch, bringing along new content and a sweet new collab with Star Trek: Discovery. We're giving away some free content for the game, as well as some deluxe Star Trek bonus items -- read below to find out how to win!
Tawna exists in Crash Bandicoot as a character that Crash 4 developer Toys for Bob isn't entirely comfortable with. She is Crash's girlfriend in the first game, and really only serves to fulfill a damsel-in-distress role. She's a buxom bandicoot and she needs saving -- that's more or less the extent of her character development.
In Crash 4, Toys for Bob is using the thematic time-warp hook to reimagine Tawna. She's getting a punk rock makeover and a lot more autonomy.
Joining the roster as a playable character in Crash 4, Tawna is described as "an experienced adventurer" and "a daring, driven, and confident hero." The edgy punk aesthetic reflects that, as Toys for Bob tries for a look that conveys independence and toughness.
Tawna is unique in more than just appearance. She has a unique moveset that's highlighted by a hookshot ability for speedy traversal. She also has a wall jump ability. Toys for Bob says that it aimed for a fast and fluid feel for Tawna's platforming.
All of that is on display in the video that's embedded above. If you'd rather get the words straight from the horse's mouth, Toys for Bob outlines everything about Tawna over on the PlayStation Blog.
Tawna Gameplay revealed for Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time [PlayStation Blog]
Club Nintendo – at least to those of us who fondly remember Club Nintendo – was one of Nintendo's finest fan initiatives. If you stuck with the rewards program during its heyday, I'm sure you still have cool physical collectibles propped up on a shelf or tucked away in storage somewhere for a rainy day.
Nintendo isn't revitalizing that plan anytime soon, but the current program, My Nintendo, has gotten a trio of physical rewards for Splatoon 2 and Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition in the United States. It's almost like the old days! Except for the fact that you'll need to cover a shipping fee.
There's a September 30 expiration date and a limit of one of each item per account while supplies last.
To earn points, you can see which missions are up for grabs on this page. At the bottom of the list, past the game-specific goals, you'll find a bunch of generalist objectives that you can earn in a browser, for free, without much fuss. Don't forget about those (even cooler) Super Mario pins, too.
Physical items are so much more meaningful than the average digital trinket, and as much as I appreciate Gold Point discounts, I'd love to see this stuff become a recurring perk for My Nintendo.
[Thanks, Inquisitive Ravenclaw]
Here is a true story about my first interaction with the Xbox brand.
It was my freshman year in college, and my dorm room was the most popular place to be. Not because people liked me -- they didn't and most still don't -- but because I was the only person on the floor with a GameCube. People would come by and we'd spend hours playing Mario Kart: Double Dash and Super Smash Bros. Melee. It was a dope time.
One day, my roommate asked if I had any first-person shooters. I didn't, but I said I'd go to GameStop and pick one up. So I hopped on the bus to the next town over and moseyed on down to the mall looking for something that could be like Halo. I asked the sales representative if there was an FPS for the GameCube that would suffice. I walked out of that store with a copy of Turok: Evolution. Two hours of that shit-stain of a game was all it took to convince my roommate to go buy an Xbox.
That's actually been how I've experienced most Xbox titles; I've just had a roommate who owned the system themselves. A few years later, a different roommate would bring home the Xbox 360, and the two of us spent many weekends racking up kills in Call of Duty 2 and Gears of War. As it was his console, I didn't get a chance to play some of the 360 titles I was most interested in, like Alan Wake and Viva Piñata. Instead, I just picked up a Wii and a copy of WarioWare: Smooth Moves. That was enough to get me through the rest of the school year.
As much as I have enjoyed the time I've spent gaming on Xbox consoles, there hasn't been anything to convince me I needed yet another system in my entertainment center. Spending $40 to $60 per game is expensive enough as it is supporting Nintendo and Sony. But with the reveal of the Xbox Series S and the continued growth of the Xbox Game Pass service, I'm ready to become a three-console household.
It was real touch-and-go with Lords of the Fallen 2 for a long time. The first game was developed by Deck13, but that studio moved onto making The Surge for Focus Home Interactive. So, publisher CI Games tabbed Defiant Studios for the sequel. That didn't go well, as CI Games ripped the game away from Defiant after "inadequate execution" of a vertical slice of gameplay; Defiant went on to say it "categorically [disagreed] with the portrayal."
Sounds like enough to kill a project, right? Lords of the Fallen 2 might have fell down, but it got back up and dusted itself off.
CI Games has opened a new two-city studio that will work on Lords of the Fallen 2. Named Hexworks, this team is located in Barcelona and Bucharest. Hexworks was created with the explicit purpose of focusing on fantasy action RPGs.
As for Lords of the Fallen 2, a few things have changed. Hexworks is appealing even more to the Souls-like sensibilities, saying that the sequel will be even more challenging than the original. There's a tonal shift too, as the developer describes this game as leaning more into dark fantasy rather than power fantasy. Lastly (and this may seem obvious now), Lords of the Fallen 2 is slated for PC and next-gen consoles; if everything had gone to plan all along, it probably would've been a current-gen game that had released by now.
What the heck was Killer7 even about? Japan being on the brink of war with the United States? Political parties being infiltrated by terrorists? Brutal assassinations being carried out against key political figures? It sounds like a Tom Clancy novel, and I don't mean that as a compliment. So why is it that I now have an urge to play it again?
It certainly captured my imagination when I was younger. Cool characters, bizarre graphics, and cryptic dialogue, all presented in a heap reeking of weirdness. It was the ultimate style-over-substance game. Forget whether or not the gameplay was good, there was nothing like it at the time, and arguably, there still isn't.
Weirdness may not get you sales, but it definitely helps you stand out if you apply it to the correct areas. Paradise Killer is coated in the salve of abnormality, but will it cure the rash of the mundane, or is it just taking care of the itch? If I've lost you with these analogies, trust me, it's about to get more confusing.
This past July, Minecraft Dungeons got its first major DLC with the Jungle Awakens pack. Now, it's headed to somewhere decidedly colder.
Creeping Winter is out today, which once again lightly continues the game's narrative while providing a new biome to explore and conquer. The title of the DLC is quite literal, as the theme is described as what I'm referring to as "spooky cold." Slippery ice, a classic gaming trope, is also a go. I think I'm in, folks!
The DLC also comes with an update, which provides some upgrades for free for all players. Daily Trials are in, which can net you four gear pieces as a reward. The game is also getting new merchants as well as new weapons and armor.
As a reminder, if you own the upgraded edition of Minecraft Dungeons, you'll net this DLC and Jungle Awakens for free. You can find the full patch notes for the update below.
Minecraft Dungeons Patch Notes [Minecraft.net]
Codemasters has announced that its upcoming racer Dirt 5 will not its secondary launch date of October 16. The mud-slinging sequel is now expected to launch November 6 on PS4, PC, and Xbox One.
In an announcement on Twitter, the British developer thanked fans for their ongoing support and admitted that it "sucks" that Dirt 5 has been further delayed. Codemasters noted that it still expects the next-gen editions of the sequel to launch in 2020, with free upgrades to owners of the PS4 and Xbox One editions of the game. You can read the full statement in the tweet embedded below.
Dirt 5 launches November 6 on PS4, PC, and Xbox One. It will launch on PS5 and Xbox Series X sometime in 2020 and on Stadia in 2021.
The saga of Horizon Zero Dawn's PC patching continues.
Shortly after launch, Guerrilla Games aimed to squash some bugs with patch 1.01, but it seems as if it wasn't enough. 1.02 quickly followed suit, then 1.03. But some users, with some configurations, were still having issues. Now it's time for 1.04 to take a mean swing.
At least 10 different crash instances have been repaired, including ones related to menus, AI routines and even attempting to create a save file when every slot is full (that's a deep testing cut!). "General CPU performance" has been raised by 1-10% depending on your setup and camera cuts should be less jerky during cutscenes. HDR coloring should be smoother now across the board if your setup supports it.
What's on the menu in terms of known errors that Guerrilla hopes to eventually fix? "Out of memory" errors, HDR fixes, problems rendering Aloy's hair (haha), issues with "specific GPUs or hardware combinations." Nasty business! Optimization scavenger hunts remind me of that one time that a specific series of errors would cause Castle Crashers save data to delete itself.
nWay Games has released an impressive trailer for the next DLC combatant headed to Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid. Hailing from 2012 series Super Samurai, Lauren Shiba brings her acrobatic agility and exquisite swordplay to the great tag-fighter on September 15.
The 18th head of the Shiba clan, Lauren Shiba took up the mantle of Red Samurai Ranger for the Super Samurai series. As you can see in the trailer below, Shiba's digital counterpart excels when attacking from the skies and in close-quarters, cutting the air with devastating and balletic sword swings. Shiba is also capable of launching a barrage of ornate, and mystical butterflies to distract and overwhelm her opponent.
World of Warcraft mounts used to be a badge of honor. In Vanilla, having a mount meant something: that you had earned the hordes of gold required to ride it. Slowly, over time, Blizzard started giving out mount rewards in-game like candy, while allowing players to buy them directly for real money.
Since then, mounts have moved from a scarcity to a "gotta collect them all" commodity. Blizzard is swift to capitalize on this, providing "mount sales" and special limited-edition mounts tied to physical products. Now, they're allowing players to choose from one of five new mount concepts to appear in Shadowlands: but this one will be free for expansion owners.
Basically, head to the Blizzard forums from now until September 18 at 3:00PM PT, and you can have your say. Once a winner is chosen "every player with Shadowlands activated on their account" will get the mount: right now, the estimated completion time is the first quarter of 2021.
You can find all of the options below, and there's a good spread! At least one is magical, one is cute, another is sickening, the Nerubian Swarmer is probably scary and the Wandering Ancient sounds regal. My vote is for the Swarmer: the Nerubian race was one of my favorite aspects of Warcraft III.
Choose the next Shadowlands mount [Battle.net]
Nightdive Studios, in association with developer Valiant Entertainment, has released a new trailer for the upcoming remaster of 1999 adventure Shadow Man, which is currently in development for PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
The new video features higher-res gameplay from the former PS1, N64 and Dreamcast release, while showcasing the remaster's new lighting engine and post-processing effects work. Shadow Man will be powered by Nightdive's own "KEX" engine, which was previously used to remaster System Shock, Turok 2, and Forsaken.
So we got a fair bit of Super Mario 3D All-Stars gameplay out of that initial salvo of announcements, but thanks to some more advertising materials, you can piece together a bit more.
It's hard to believe that 3D All-Stars is nearly here, and that it's set to go away early next year. But alas, that marketing strategy seems locked in at the moment, and it's paying off for Nintendo: as 3D All-Stars is currently (at the time of publication) the number one best-seller on Amazon's gaming list.
Here are a few fleeting looks at the game beyond the announcement video, which you can view above.
In the biggest video game release week in some time, Square Enix' Marvel's Avengers successfully beat out Activision's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 & 2 and 2K Games' NBA 2K21 to take the number one spot of the UK Charts.
Despite receiving mediocre reviews, the superhero extravaganza sold enough physical copies in the UK high street to debut in the premier position, no doubt thanks to the extremely attractive and popular Marvel Comics branding. However, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz, Marvel's Avengers sold only a third of the launch numbers of the last major Marvel release, Marvel's Spider-Man, which hit the PS4 back in September 2018.
Elsewhere in the charts, CD Projekt RED's epic RPG sequel The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt saw a huge spike in sales, rocketing the 2015 release back up the charts to number 11. This is no doubt due to CDPR's recent reveal of a next-gen release for The Witcher 3, with free upgrades offered to players who own the PS4 or Xbox One edition of the game.
Now that the 10-ish hour campaign honeymoon for Marvel's Avengers is over, some folks have either started digging into the endgame, or have peaced out entirely due to the grind. Whatever the case might be, share who your current main is, or was.
What are your options? Well, look above! Or below! The top showcases all of them in their off-brand MCU glory (minus Ms. Marvel), with the bottom providing text options to lock in your vote.
As for me, I have to go with my boy Iron Man. It's a hoot to be able to fly around the battlefield and tower over everyone but Thor, and building into different weapon specs allows for some ranged variety: a great way to combat the homogenized feel of the melee system. Oh, and being able to cover up that aforementioned off-brand MCU mug with a helmet is a must.
Black Widow is also a close second, as her ultimate ability can wreck shop in a group tussle, but Hulk is also sufficiently Hulk-like to warrant a go every now and then. Pick your poison!
Today, SNK and Amazon have announced the final eight games headed to their Prime Gaming suite, and they saved a few of the best titles for last.
Those new additions are: The Last Blade 2, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Metal Slug 3, Samurai Shodown V Special, The King of Fighters '97 Global Match, The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition, The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match and Shock Troopers.
Although Garou is widely available at this point it's easily one of the more prolific fighters in SNK's catalog, as is the often missed Last Blade 2. You're also basically collecting every major retro King of Fighters game ever made at this point too, with three of the eight games on offer today hailing from that franchise. As of today, there's 22 SNK games available for Prime Gaming members.
Oh, in case you forgot, and are wondering why I'm calling it "Prime Gaming" instead of "Twitch Prime," Amazon re-branded the service last month. Basically, they're trying to ensure that it's uniform with Amazon Prime benefits for more marketing penetration, rather than directly linking it to Twitch; a seemingly separate service. Ostensibly, nothing has changed.
Loot [Amazon Prime Gaming]
Doom Eternal felt like a pretty complete experience solely as a single player game, but if you want, there's more DLC on the way. Or if you're fortunate enough to have it on PC, there's plenty of mods: and knowing the Doom community, there will be plentiful mods for years on end.
Speaking of mods! Proteh has just released a full version of Doom Eternal: Horde Mode, which is fairly self-explanatory in that it adds the modern classic gametype in. It's very traditional in that it takes place during a "series of rounds," which will focus on multiple locations that ramp up in difficulty.
You'll start things off with a shotgun and both of its weapon mods, then build from there. As you complete rounds, you'll net upgrades from just about every corner of the game that you can apply as you see fit. It's a pretty well-rounded, fully-featured mod: and frankly, sounds better than a lot of official horde modes.
To boot, it features "places you have never fought before in Doom Eternal," and there are no checkpoints until the final round. Good luck! One proviso: to get the mod to work, it replaces the "Exultia" stage of the game. So if you have the mod installed, you can't play that level in the meantime.
Horde Mode [Nexus Mods]
Game Source Entertainment, a Hong Kong software distributor, briefly hosted a listing for a Ninja Gaiden Trilogy, supposedly coming to PS4 and Nintendo Switch platforms in 2021.
While the listing was swiftly removed, fast-thinkers over on ResetEra were able to capture a cache of the product page, which notes that the compendium bundles 2007's Ninja Gaiden Sigma, 2009's Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, and finally 2012 release Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge.
According to the listing, the trilogy is scheduled for release in March of next year at a price point of around $40. We will keep you informed if there is any official word forthcoming from Ninja Gaiden publisher Koei Tecmo.
Hong Kong distributor lists Ninja Gaiden Trilogy for PS4, Switch [ResetEra / Gematsu]
Have you had a good summer? If you're waking up to all sorts of crazy new game announcements, you might be!
Today, Nintendo revealed Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity for Switch. What is it?! Good question!
According to the publisher, it's a "a new story set 100 years before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild." Essentially, you're seeing the Great Calamity, the catastrophic event that sets up Breath of the Wild's narrative, first-hand, through the beat 'em up Hyrule Warriors lens. It's basically a spinoff of Hyrule Warriors and a prequel to Breath of the Wild at the same time. Wild!
Playable characters include Link and Zelda to start, with "more popular and fan-favorite" cast members to be announced: the box art (in the gallery below) should clue you in on a few of them. Local co-op multiplayer is in, "Dozens of gripping cutscenes" will also help make this feel like a true prequel, Nintendo contends. If you digitally pre-order, you can net a "Lucky Ladle" item. It's out on November 20 and you can find the official site here.
Honestly the whole pitch for this game is genius. Breath of the Wild has sold 18.6 million copies on Switch alone, so there's a built-in audience there. Plus, you're re-using the system of an already existing beat 'em up, so you don't need to build a whole open world RPG from the ground up. It's a win-win for Nintendo.
A while back we heard about some sort of Sega announcement window that would give us more Sonic news, but current events have been pushing all that back. Now, thanks to an advertisement in an internally distributed trade resource (that went public this past weekend), we know when all of that might actually come to fruition: 2021.
According to the Licensing Source Book Europe (which boasts about the $6 billion in franchise revenue to date), there will be a huge blowout 30th anniversary for Sonic in 2021 that will function as a "year of celebration." It will entail "new games, digital content, events, major announcements and a tailored licensing program."
Now, don't get too excited. "New games" could mean "one new 3D Sonic game" and one or more mobile runners. Or, multiple mobile games. Or, it could bring us a 2D Sonic, or a proper follow-up to Sonic Mania: who knows! Either way I hope there's a follow-up to Sonic Forces soon that gets the 3D formula back on track.
Sega, take your time, and blow everyone away with Sonic Adventure 3. I know you said a few years back you weren't interested, but that was right before Sonic Forces came out.
What started an entry in the budget-minded Simple Series of games in Japan has blossomed into one of developer Tamsoft's most well-known franchises. Onechanbara, the zombie-killing hack 'n slash series that stars beautiful bikini-clad girls, has blossomed since its 2004 debut with multiple sequels spread across several consoles, but next month, it's taking the series back to the beginning with Onee Chanbara Origin.
Like the recently released Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2, Onee Chanbara Origin -- and yes, that is the proper spelling of the series now -- is a remake of the first two games in the franchise that released as part of the Simple Series in Japan, and apparently in Europe as Zombie Hunters. To give you an idea of what it'll play like, check out this totally metal trailer.
[Update: A full 90-second trailer for the Xbox Series S has leaked on Twitter, courtesy of user @_h0x0d_. The video confirms Xbox Series S specs and capabilities, as well as a "November 2020" launch date. You can check out the trailer at the foot of the article.]
Microsoft has officially confirmed the existence of the Xbox Series S console. The lower-powered, more affordable edition of next-gen Xbox hardware will launch later this year for $299 USD. In the UK, the console will retail for £249 GBP.
Microsoft's hand was seemingly forced after leaks sprung up on both Windows Central and tech site Thurrot, showing off the Xbox Series S and announcing the price point. This was swiftly followed by an official announcement from Microsoft on Twitter, with promise of further details in the very near future.
September has arrived, and in any other year, this would be the kick-off to a monster release schedule rolling into the holiday season. But in the year of COVID, so much is still up in the air. We don't know the release dates or prices for the next-gen systems, we don't know if Nintendo has a trick up its sleeve for November, we don't even know if the games we're looking forward to over the next 12 weeks will be hit with a last-minute delay.
But we do know there is still so much to talk about with the industry, and on this episode of Podtoid, CJ, Chris, Dan, and Charlotte get to chatting about Marvel's Avengers, Moon, Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and speaking German. All that, plus we answer your questions, on Podtoid Episode 457.
It's still a few years away, but the potential of Unreal Engine 5 to define the next generation of gaming is very real. The demonstrations for it so far have been impeccable, and with some talented art directors, we could see some truly astonishing looking games on the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Or, we'll see the same crap they're making with Unreal Engine 4.
Either way, a game's engine is a part of its identity. Sadly, some franchises are in the midst of an identity crisis. While I understand why it's ideal for developers to work with one engine over many years, there often comes a point where the age or limitations of an engine hinders the potential of the series. Sometimes, to save a series, you have to make a change.
Thankfully, there are many options available for developers looking to revitalize a franchise. That's the basis of this Destructoid Discusses post was prompted by Brett Makedonski, who got the idea when Jordan Devore brought up the fantastical prospect of a new Dead Rising game made with the Resident Evil engine (Psst...Capcom, you should do this). That led me to ask the rest of the Destructoid staff to name a game they'd love to see made in another franchise's engine.
Work continues on the remaster of Westwood Studios' 1997 point 'n' click adventure Blade Runner. A newly released video from developer Nightdive Studios gives fans their first look at the classic adventure's spruced-up cutscenes.
While the late '90s character models are present and correct, Nightdive has seemingly done a good job in making the FMV sequences crisper from a visual standpoint, with smoother edges, higher resolution, and added fluidity to their animation. Though it must be said that the shading has lost its nuance. Scenes featured in the video include the opening pet store massacre, and Rep Detect agent Ray McCoy traveling through Los Angeles circa 2019... Yeah...
I'm fairly predictable when it comes to Square Enix rhythm games: I see one, I play it. I even have a Japanese 3DS that I primarily use to play Theatrhythm Dragon Quest. But when Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory came along, it spoke to me in a way that few other rhythm offerings have from the publisher.
Recently, I sat down with Ichiro Hazama (producer), Tetsuya Nomura (director) and Masanobu Suzui (co-director) to have a quick chat about the upcoming project.