I really enjoy the Star Wars universe. Not to the point where I know anything about the extended universe, but I like all the movies in their own way. Yes, even the prequels and The Last Jedi. So I'm not the expert that is going to either gush or nitpick when Squadrons throws some new lore my way, but I will admit that I got rather excited when Admiral Ackbar was giving me directions. "I know that guy!" I yelled to no one in particular.
What I also really enjoy is tight, small experiences that do one thing and do it well. This basically summarizes most of the indie scene, but Squadrons also fits the bill. At $40, and with this much polish, it's easy to find an enjoyable experience here.
Super Mario Bros. for the NES wasn't my first game, but it was the first cartridge I ever owned. I treated it like a sacred talisman.
In between Duck Hunt bouts, I made it my mission to memorize the ins and outs of each and every level. Eventually, I got to the end. That simplicity couldn't have come at a more perfect time in my life.
Games have changed a lot in the last 35 years or so, which makes it tough to really dig into Super Mario Bros. 35's streamlined veneer. But it sure is fun in short bursts.
Arc System Works has revealed another all new character headed to its gorgeous-looking anime fighter Guilty Gear Strive. And this one's a doozy. Presenting super-cool federal agent, Giovanna.
On previous lists looking on the Pokémon meta, we've seen both brand new Pokémon set the tier list aflame as well as witness old favorites continue holding down the fort. Now it's time to see what has changed since the base game launched with how the Isles of Armor brought back classic Pokémon, gave current dex Pokémon new tools, and determine how some returning legendaries may fare when the Crown Tundra releases.
Some that were on previous versions of the list, like Gyarados, are still dangerous owing to the strength and longevity of their sets. Others, like Durant, will experience a dip in usage as old rivals like Scizor return, better than ever with new moves like Dual Wingbeat for Scizor specifically.
Cblogs Recap: Week 41
There's no two ways about it, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is one of the major successes of 2020. While the lead-up to Mediatonic's madcap multiplayer title was somewhat subdued, Fall Guys absolutely exploded onto the scene come launch day, even going as far as to crash its own servers under the incredible weight of players eager to get their bean on.
Fall Guys became a household name practically overnight, many of my friends and relatives - including those who generally don't play video games - asked me about it. Hell, even the staff at my local coffee shop were chatting to me about their crown-grasping escapades over the counter (and through plexiglass dividers - mask up, folks). There is that magical zeitgeist that comes around once so often, the zeitgeist where your mum suddenly starts asking you about video games. And Fall Guys had it.
Hamster has released the newest entry to its incredible range of Arcade Archive releases, which now boasts hundreds of old-school coin-op classics. And they don't get much more old-school than this, Sun Electronics' Arabian.
Originally launched in 1983, Arabian is single-screen platformer as was typical of the day. Players control a brave prince on a quest to rescue his fair princess, held prisoner within her own palace. Our young hero sails the seven seas, ventures through dense jungle, and scales the outside of the palace, before finally saving the girl and taking flight on the obligatory magic carpet. The player must gather a selection of vases, spelling out "ARABIAN," while dodging various enemies and hazards strewn throughout the environment.
You can check out the action below, in this video from YouTuber Old Classic Retro Gaming.
October is here and that can only mean one thing: terrible novelty songs on the radio. There are several Halloween songs out there, but obviously, the most well-known is "Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett. But is the song "Monster Mash" about a song called "Monster Mash" or a dance called "Monster Mash?" Or is it both? Or does it not matter because this is the type of argument you should only have if you're high?
That's one of the topics on this episode of Podtoid. CJ, Chris, Dan, and Occams come together to talk Genshin Impact, Super Mario 35, Inframan, granny getaway drivers, and Mafia: Definitive Edition. All that, plus we answer your listener questions, on Podtoid Episode 461.
Spike Chunsoft has released the fourth episode of its excellently in-depth "Dangan TV" show, looking at the inspiration and creation of the adorable and maniacal Danganronpa franchise. The video series was produced as part of the ongoing anniversary celebrations for the visual novel franchise, which has presented fans with a decade of destruction.
Following previous episodes - which focused on specific franchise entries - Episode 4: Hope Keeps on Going is more of a series overview, spotlighting one of Danganronpa's most important features: its stylish soundtrack. Host Megumi Ogata returns to hold court with series planner Shun Sasaki, sound designer Jun Fukuda, and composer Masafumi Takada, whose memorable tunes have scored many a brutal murder and intense confession.
Hello again everybody, and welcome to another weekend. As we already push toward the middle of October in what has been simultaneously the shortest AND longest year in the history of time, I hope that this post finds you very well indeed. The challenge that is 2020 continues, but I hope that you're keeping safe and healthy, and finding plenty of opportunity to rest, recharge, and sink yourself into things that you love, be it video games, movies, music, books, or the warm arms of partners, friends, or doges. You're doing just fine.
As we approach the lucrative holiday season, its time for AAA publishers to start unleashing their heavy-hitters - heavier than ever given the approaching new generation. As such, I've spent the last couple of days checking out Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta. For some reason, whenever people need to be blown up, stabbed, or shot, the lords of Destructoid always call on lil' old me, the Bernadetta of the team, to get the job done.
But that's enough about me, let's hear about you. I love the fact that you continue to fill out the comment section each and every week with hundreds of posts discussing your current gaming obsessions with your fellow community members. So whatever it is you're playing, whether an old favourite, a recent release, or just grinding through the backlog, be sure to take a moment to fill us all in on the action. You might even find your next obsession in the discourse while you're at it.
Have a safe and pleasant weekend, from all of us at Destructoid.
Back in 2016, Amazon Game Studios made a big deal about breaking into the industry when it announced three huge projects that would release over the coming years. Breakaway, Crucible, and New World were all ambitious titles, each drawing on some of the biggest trends in the industry at the time. Unfortunately for Amazon, things have not gone its way. Breakaway was a bust, shutting down in 2018. New World is still on the way, though it's launching later than originally planned.
Then there is Crucible and its odd journey to release and then un-release. The game launched in May of this year, only to go back into beta less than two months later. The plan was to fix what was wrong with the game, but that didn't happen. Instead, it was announced Friday night that Crucible is no more.
In an update posted to the PlayCrucible website, the developers confirmed they are discontinuing development on the title. Servers for the game will remain online until November 9, 2020, and they are offering a full refund for any purchases made. The developers are transitioning over to work on New World.
It's tough to know what to say about this whole situation. We've seen games-as-a-service titles fail quickly before, but the fact is, we're four years out from Amazon Games Studios' big reveal of its grand entrance into the industry, and it really has nothing to show for itself. All that money spent, all those studios acquired, and all those big names hired, for two absolute clunkers. Maybe the third time will be the charm, and New World does sound interesting, but will there even be a market for it when it launches next year? Or, will all the hubris and errors in judgment that have plagued Amazon so far continue to spoil its ability to compete in this industry?
The Indivisible roadmap has come to an abrupt end. This crowdfunded game will cease development without fulfilling all content obligations to backers. That's because developer Lab Zero is being dissolved.
A month ago, it was revealed that Lab Zero underwent massive layoffs as the studio was unable to pay its employees. Now, there's one more Indivisible update on Switch before development and the developer shuts down for good. On October 13, Indivisible's Switch port will get a patch that adds Razmi's Challenges, New Game+, and local co-op. That'll bring the Switch version up to speed with the other platforms.
Here's the statement that publisher 505 Games released:
As information continues to trickle out about next-gen consoles, we keep getting new pieces of the puzzle that inform our purchasing decisions. Here's a relatively niche one from Digital Foundry that's going to become increasingly relevant over time: Any old SSD is a good option for storing and running backward compatibility games on Xbox Series X.
Digital Foundry's extensive breakdown is embedded above, but the gist of it is that the Xbox Series X's expensive proprietary nVME SSD doesn't offer much of an advantage over a SATA SSD when it comes to the backward compatibility library. We're talking load speed differential of around one second.
The reason for this is that backward compatibility titles don't make use of the Velocity Architecture that Microsoft has developed for video games on Xbox Series X. Without that optimization, the proprietary SSDs are just acting like SSDs. Considering the price point of an average SATA SSD versus the $220 Seagate Xbox Series X SSD, it'd be foolish to waste precious internal storage space on backward compatible games.
However, and this is important to note, any Xbox Series X optimized title has to run off of the internal storage or the proprietary external SSD (which functions the exact same as the internal SSD). The SATA SSD option is only applicable to backward compatibility for that reason. But, seeing as how every generation of Xbox coming together is one of Microsoft's selling points, most people will probably have some old stuff that they want to keep installed.
The other takeaway is that everyone should probably stop running their games off of HDDs if they can afford to. Spinning disk drives lag way behind everything else in these tests. If the next generation is largely about getting you into your games quickly, why pay for the new machines just to undo those advantages with inferior tech?
Bandai Namco has revealed the first DLC character of One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4's third character pack - as if its roster wasn't already bursting at the seams. As revealed in Weekly Famitsu, the next seafaring legend to join the party is the mighty samurai Kin'emon.
Hailing from Wano Country, Kin'emon was once a retainer for the country's powerful rulers, the Kozuki Family. However, once his Wano fell to the Kurozumi Orochi, Kin'emon took to the ocean, searching for brave warriors to aid him in his efforts to take back his homeland. To this end, Kin'emon formed his own party, the Nine Red Scabbards, and has allied with the Straw Hat Pirates on numerous occasions.
One of the omnipresent conversations hanging over the next generation of consoles is what exact tech improvements can we expect. Everyone has come to terms with the fact that this isn't going to be mindblowing stuff like moving from SNES to N64 back in 1996. We may never see that kind of jump ever again.
As we inch closer to the launch of PS5 and Xbox Series X -- and we're almost exactly a month away at this point -- we're starting to see some hard data about what new consoles are able to achieve. This morning, The Falconeer's developer, Tomas Sala, shared exact performance comparisons for how his game runs on Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X:
Look, we've been through this before, so I'm setting the expectation that there is no new confirmation of another Skies of Arcadia game in the slightest. Even though we all want it to be so.
But no one is quite as much of a champion for this classic RPG than Kenji Hiruta, one of the lead designers of the game. For many, many years now he's been tweeting about it on occasion, like earlier this year when he noted that he "really, really" wanted to develop the sequel. The fervor over this particular push was so great that Hiruta said that he was even sending all of the outpouring of cries for a sequel to Sega directly: which hopefully will pay off one day.
For now, Hiruta is turning his gaze to something much more attainable: an HD remaster. Tweeting on the 20th anniversary of Skies of Arcadia, he once again notes that all of this "depends on Sega," and that he is "working on something related to Sega of America." He says that whatever this development is it "may be a small change, but not zero. WE are changing something."
Vague! But of course Hiruta is bound by NDAs and can't share what it is just yet. My guess? Merch. That would be a "small" change, but something that brings Skies of Arcadia back in the public eye again in some capacity. Perhaps Hiruta can use monetary gains to prove to Sega that people still care about this series.
It's a longshot! But I'll take it. You know what? I probably should make a Skies of Arcadia news tag at some point. Why not now?
Kenji Hiruta [Twitter]
I'm not about to argue that any of us should prioritize getting Sackboy: A Big Adventure over other PlayStation 5 launch games like Demon's Souls or Spider-Man: Miles Morales, but you know what? It looks better every time I see it. This latest trailer – a story spotlight – fills me with feel-good vibes.
Squaring everything away for local multiplayer on PS5 will be a pricey proposition – you would need a ($70) DualSense for everyone since DualShock 4 controllers won't support PS5 games – but there is a silver lining. Sackboy: A Big Adventure is also playable on PS4 as a $60 cross-gen release.
Unlike Horizon Forbidden West or even Miles Morales, I'm not too worried about any potential performance concessions with the PS4 version of Sackboy. (I hope I don't regret that optimism.) For those of us with way too many DualShock 4s, it just makes sense to go that route for couch co-op.
Save data for Sackboy will transfer from PS4 to PS5 once an update rolls out "shortly after the release of the game," according to Sony. This process "will vary title by title for cross-generational games."
The free PS5 pack-in Astro's Playroom will be a nice warmup for whenever I get around to playing Sackboy, but I get the distinct feeling that most of us will skip this at launch and circle back later.
Let's use the buddy system: I'll remind you if you remind me – preferably once there's a deal.
Super Mario Bros. 35 is out now for all Switch Online subscribers, and I highly recommend you give it a try.
It's a perfect random weekend game, given that the stakes are generally low round-to-round and if you don't like it, you can move on to something else. There's definitely room for improvement, but for now, Nintendo is working on fixing some bugs with its first patch (1.0.1).
The patch notes are extremely simple: three issues have been fixed, one of which essentially equates to the good old "stability" patches Nintendo is known for. The other two specifically address problems like enemies flooding the screen without Mario having to move forward, as well as bugs with player icons not showing up.
However, there is no mention of fixing players who have potentially hacked the game, who have been sporting 99,999 coins in matches (allowing them to stand still and spam the item roulette to tackle any situation). Hopefully Nintendo is able to address that issue soon enough.
Version 1.0.1 [Nintendo]
Xbox has channeled its inner Epic and is bringing that Fuck You energy to its battle with Apple. Everyone has a problem with the draconian way Apple runs its App Store. Currently, Microsoft is jammed up because it can't bring Xbox Game Pass game streaming to iOS devices without passing a review for each and every individual game on the service. Amazon's Luna and Google's Stadia are in the exact same situation.
"Nah, that's not how this is going down," Xbox says (probably). According to a report from Bloomberg, Xbox head Phil Spencer called a meeting with all employees to declare that Xbox game streaming will be on iOS devices in 2021. So, what changed? Microsoft found a workaround.
Next year, Xbox Game Pass will be offered on iPhones and iPads via a "direct browser-based solution." Because Xbox Game Pass won't be an app, it won't be subject to the usual App Store policies. Now Microsoft's challenge is building out a browser version that's functional in ways that offer a smooth app-like experience. Nevertheless, Spencer is quoted as saying "We absolutely will end up on iOS with Game Pass."
In the same meeting, Spencer also confirmed that getting game streaming onto Windows 10 PC is still in the works but has been pushed back to next year. This is a feature that Microsoft confirmed in 2019. It's presumed that this will operate through the Game Pass app on PC, but there's a chance there will be an option for a browser-based experience too.
Microsoft told employees it plans to release a browser-based app for the Xbox Game Pass streaming service next year that will get around Apple App Store rules: 'We absolutely will end up on iOS' [Bloomberg]
After hearing the good news today about the PlayStation 5's backward compatibility plan for PS4 games – in short: almost everything will work on the new console – we're now left to think about which of our PS4 games will be particularly well-suited for PS5. Ghost of Tsushima is in that conversation.
According to Sucker Punch Productions, PS5 players will be able to benefit from "frame rates up to 60FPS" in Ghost of Tsushima using the Game Boost feature. They'll also get even faster load times.
PS5 owners playing with Game Boost will see an extra option to allow frame rates up to 60FPS, and while loading speeds on the PS4 are already great, just wait until you see them on the PS5!— Ghost of Tsushima ð® OUT NOW (@SuckerPunchProd) October 9, 2020
"Select PS4 titles will see increased loading speeds on the PS5 console, and will also leverage Game Boost, offering improved or more stable frame rates," Sony explained today in a blog post. "Some titles with unlocked frame rates or dynamic resolution up to 4K may see higher fidelity."
It makes sense that a late-PS4 gem like Ghost of Tsushima would use this PS5 feature, but it's always nice to hear these things confirmed ahead of time so we aren't left wondering. It's also interesting that the frame rate increase is coming as an "extra option." Performance over resolution, always.
If you've got Ghost of Tsushima already, or you're planning to start soon, note that your PS4 save file will transfer and the game will be playable on PS5 "on day one" through backward compatibility. Talk about a convincing reason to pick this back up again with the soon-to-be-released New Game+ mode.
If most other major PS4 exclusives can see improvements like this, the PS5 will be off to a strong start.
Amid the new Festival of the Lost celebration in Destiny 2, Bungie recently shared a new development in Destiny 2's New Light experience: a completely overhauled new player onboarding process.
Bungie shared some concerns recently that brand new players, some of which who have never played a looter shooter before, are becoming overwhelmed by the pacing of the game. I can easily see that, because by their own admission, you basically get one level to really get your bearings, then it's off to the races. That's changing later this year.
On November 10, alongside of the new update, Destiny 2 will be getting a special NPC that will assist players in learning the ropes. "Shaw Han" will be wandering around the Cosmodrome wasteland and will accompany you for the "first few missions." These new quests will allow you to learn more about the loot system, as well as multiple weapon types, the UI and even things like quest collection and completion.
Bungie says that the goal is to fully educate players on the various facets of Destiny 2 before they are on their own in The Tower: the game's hub zone. They also are banking hard on the nostalgia factor of the Cosmodrome itself, which will feature areas from the original Destiny. Ah, it feels like just yesterday I was playing the alpha, then discovering the loot cave, then grinding out the Vault of Glass for raid gear.
Time flies! Now new players can forge their own memories by jumping into Destiny 2: this game needed something like this for a while.
This Week at Bungie [Bungie.net]
Bloober Team has narrowed the holiday release window for The Medium down to its final release date: December 10, 2020. The dual-reality psychological horror game will be playable on PC – through Steam, the Epic Games Store, and the Microsoft Store – and also Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
Having been burned by launch-window console games before, for me – and I hope this doesn't sound too reductive – The Medium has fallen into that weird gray area where I can't tell if it stands out because it's an early next-gen game or because it's just inherently that compelling on its own. A little of both, maybe? The spirit-world premise is promising, and they've got Akira Yamaoka, so I'm feeling hopeful.
One thing I am sure about: the price. It's nice to see this game launch at "only" $50 when higher-profile games are coming out of the gate at $70. I'm sure it'll find an audience beyond Bloober Team's base.
We're knee-deep in October, and already people are starting to feel those creepy Halloween vibes. Such is the case with Splatoon 2 hosts Pearl and Marina, who are set to do battle once again in the Nintendo Switch shooter.
Nintendo has announced the coming of another classic splatfest, which will see the community duke it out over the Halloween tradition of "Trick or Treat." Of course, the mischievous Pearl will be standing firmly in the corner of Team Trick, while her more happy-go-lucky pal Marina will captain Team Treat.
Players will pick their preference before engaging in multicoloured warfare over the course of the weekend, with the winning team being decided by three points earned via Normal Play, Pro Play, and a public vote. Back in 2018, Marina's Team Treat took the win by capturing both play points, despite losing the public vote. Will this year tell a different tale?
The Halloween splatfest goes live the weekend of October 30. Stay Off the Hook.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is set to bust the whole lore framework of Breath of the Wild wide open.
While a lot of folks expected it to be another hack and slash first and foremost, it seems like Omega Force and Nintendo are really going all-out in terms of providing extra depth to the Hyrule that was introduced to us in 2017. The first major tidbit that's come out of a recent Treehouse stream? Link is from Hateno Village.
Okay, so astute Breath of the Wild fans (the ones that read the compendium books) probably already assumed this. In fact, in the Creating a Champion tome, it was specifically mentioned that Link is "not of nobility," and "may have been" from Hateno Village. The idea of Link coming from a small town and becoming Zelda's most trusted knight would certainly fit with Link's noble origins in most of the series. You can hear the Treehouse bit on Hateno village here, roughly 12:20 in.
The other implication, of course, that people are now wrestling with: Link probably had to buy-back his own house in Hateno! Folks may remember a similar thing happening to Bilbo Baggins at the end of The Hobbit. But in the realm of Hyrule, waiting 100 years to start demolishing someone's house seems like it's the right amount of time.
All of this is making me more excited for Age of Calamity: hearing it confirmed on-stream as a plot point is something else entirely when compared to reading a small passage in passing in a book. It seems like Age of Calamity will directly deal with the origins of Link, and potentially most of the other cast, who only play supporting roles in Breath of the Wild.
Fallout 76 is still playing the catch-up game in terms of making up for all of its bugs at launch, but the team is slowly getting there (minus new glitches that pop up along the way).
The next update finally has a confirmed release date (October 13), at which point "a number of bugs and community-reported issues" will be fixed. Naturally, since this is Fallout 76, new items are being added to the Atomic Shop and more "behind the scenes groundwork" is happening for the upcoming Steel Dawn update, still slated for later this year.
Treasure hunting Mole Miners are also coming back via an event, which will kick off on October 15. Bethesda is touting "improvements" for their return, allowing them to spawn all over the map and dynamically scale up to level 50. In short, they should be dropping more relevant loot now and actually feel like they're part of an event; and not just a random useless mob. The reward pool has also been scaled in a way that provides players with unique items. Yep: this is all Destiny-esque stuff that should have never been stingy!
Speaking of an earlier beat, "laying the groundwork" for Steel Dawn is a good sign that the next expansion/update probably won't get delayed. Real talk: that's going to be a huge boon for Fallout 76, which is already in a decent spot following the major free Wastelanders update. The seasonal track and enhanced focus on Fallout 1st/microtransactions aren't great, but the game has been bolstered by a great deal of free stuff.
If you ever happen to pick the game up at a deep discount and don't spend any money, you can get a decent amount of time out of it.
Inside the Vault [Bethesda.net]
For years, a common Final Fantasy XIV (and by extension, PS4) "hack" has to been to install an SSD drive in your PS4 just to lessen the load times for hardcore XIV players. Given that the whole process won't be necessary on PS5, it stands to reason that the in-house SSD will provide some sort of benefit. Square Enix confirmed today that this is indeed the case.
Revealed on the Letter from the Producer LIVE stream, Square Enix says that by the time patch 5.4 comes out (which is titled Futures Rewritten), it will allow the game to not only work on the PS5, but also take advantage of faster load times. Otherwise, the game will mirror a PS4 Pro's performance on a PS5.
As someone who has played FFXIV on an SSD-ready PC, a PS3 and a base PS4/PS4 Pro, this improvement is a godsend. Even on a Pro, load times between areas (which is very common for high level players, teleporting around at will) can be prohibitively long. That said, producer Yoshi-P did note that a proper PS5 edition has not been fully confirmed yet.
As far as other big 5.4 fixins go, there's going to be a new trial, an unreal trial, more story ("MSQ"), another raid wing (Eden's Promise) and the Matoya's Relict dungeon. Once again Square Enix is ambitiously trying to sate both the hardcore and casual playerbases with these two different approaches.
Final Fantasy XVI seems like it's in good hands.
We already sort of knew this because Yoshi-P was on the case, but Square Enix seemingly hasn't jumped the gun years in advance like they have in the past. In fact, a good deal of Final Fantasy XVI's foundation seems like it's already done.
Laid out plainly on Square Enix's own recruitment site (as translated by Gematsu), developers have "already completed basic development and scenario production," with "most of [their] staff carrying out work remotely." Right now the team is working on "large-scale resources and boss battles," as well as "large-scale cutscenes and stages/fields."
In other words, most of the story seems mapped out, they just need to fill in the details. This is basically a done deal when it comes to the framework of the game, so there probably won't be a "Versus XIII" style complete reworks at this point. It's a subtle comment, but it's an impactful one.
No one wants a repeat of Final Fantasy XV's troubled development cycle: which had issues up until the bitter end when multiple DLCs were canceled. Yoshi-P is handling this fantastically so far, both tempering expectations while giving the fans what they want: a debut trailer with actual gameplay and not vague cutscene-based promises.
Ever since Sony confirmed that the PlayStation 5 would be backward compatible with PS4 games, there has been a cloud of confusion hanging over its functionality. It doesn't extend to any generations before PS4, and PlayStation architect Mark Cerny says "nearly all" last-gen games will run on PS5. We've been left wondering how vast that list of omissions will be.
As it turns out, it's not bad at all. Sony released a list of the 10 games that won't be available via backward compatibility and are only playable on PS4. Here they are:
[Update: The full patch notes have been released by Blizzard. You can find a list of some of the bigger changes below, or check out the entire thing here.]
Big changes are coming to World of Warcraft, and they're happening before the Shadowlands expansion. On October 13, actually, when the pre-patch hits.
The most important thing to note is easily the "level squish," which is bringing level 120 players down to 50, to make progression more meaningful (read: leveling will grant you new abilities and talents).
You can also change your gender and appearance at the barbershop at will, which grants you more customization options, like tattoos for dwarves and less/more bone exposure for undead. Corrupted gear will be cleansed when Shadowlands hits and season four will end.
So that's all of the housekeeping stuff. In terms of content, you're called into action to combat an undead invasion in Icecrown. It's confirmed as a "limited time event" with special rewards: aiming to end around when Shadowlands launches. Par for the course! I hope that the "tee-up" pre-patch questline has some meaningful beats.
Shadowlands Pre-Expansion [Battle.net]
Despite having only launched one month ago, Crystal Dynamics' superhero extravaganza Marvel's Avengers is struggling to maintain a strong community. Recent statistics for the PC platform show a daily engagement of less than 2,000 players, which is already leading to matchmaking problems for the multiplayer-heavy title.
Speaking with Kotaku, Crystal Dynamics CEO Scott Amos directly addressed the drop-off in users, and laid out plans for Marvel's Avengers going forward - plans that the developers are confident will see players return for another round of comic-book action-adventure.
"Every day we fight to make the best game possible for our community," said Amos. "We have a great community management team at Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix who funnel all of your concerns, suggestions, and feedback to the development team daily. We are listening. We are making fixes, improvements, and additions as fast as we safely can to make Marvel's Avengers the game we all aspire it to be."
"We will continue to add new content to the game in the coming months as we address issues and overall game balance, including loot distribution and quality of life features everyone is clamoring for to improve our day-to-day experience from accessibility to co-op communication tools to balancing the economy! We are confident that we'll see PC players (as well as those on Xbox One and PlayStation 4) return to the game as we add exciting new late-game content and demonstrate that we continue to be focused on improving the game."
VR has been innovating for some time now, creating completely new spaces for experiences that demand more physical activity: perhaps best showcased with the 1v1 dueling subgenre.
Insomniac did some amazing things in The Unspoken nearly four years ago and CCP rocked it with Sparc a year later. While Resolution Games' Blaston isn't quite as ambitious as those two, it's also keeping that same competitive spirit alive in 2020.
Today during this morning's special Pokémon stream, The Pokémon Company unveiled a new promo for Sword and Shield. Naturally, it involves Pikachu.
From here on out, special Pikachu will be distributed for Sword and Shield, tailored around the idea of it being "Ash's Pikachu" with eight different hats. The first one is available today, with more coming later "through various means." If history is anything to go by, codes doled out during tournament streams and the like are a safe bet.
To get the initial rat, enter "P1KACHUGET" into your copy of the game.
To unlock the second version, use: "1CH00SEY0U."
A third version has been released: "P1KAADVANCE."
As well as a fourth version: "V0LTTACKLEP1KA."
There's even going to be a full website for it! It's not live at the time of publication, but The Pokémon Company says more info will be available here. You can also take a look at the array of hats below.
In today's contest you can win a Switch copy of Darkwood from Super Rare Games!
Super Rare Games is at it again! This week they're keeping in line with the Halloween spirit and offering up Darkwood, an atmospheric top-down survival horror joint.
You know the drill, y'all -- read all about it, and enter to win below!
CD Projekt Red has given us a lot of looks at Cyberpunk 2077 over the past few months. For instance, we've gotten insight to all the different role-playing Lifepaths, we've learned how the detective-like Braindancing works, and we've been introduced to the gangs of the city.
As we barrel toward Cyberpunk 2077's November 19 release date, CD Projekt is kind of running out of things to show us. That's why an entire episode of Night City Wire is dedicated to how the cars go vroom.
Sucker Punch Productions is putting in work for New Game+ mode in Ghost of Tsushima.
Along with armor loadouts (!), a new horse, Ghost Flower-fueled vanity items, another upgrade tier for your sword, bow, and armor, and "extremely powerful charms that can help Jin unleash devastating attacks and may change the way you play," there's this: the Charm of Canine Recruitment.
If you felt bad about slaying all those Mongolian dogs in Ghost of Tsushima – especially back-to-back with The Last of Us Part II – then you'll want to unlock this charm in New Game+ to befriend them.
The other big part of update 1.1, the co-op Legends mode, also has dog petting. This might seem like a small detail in the grand scheme of things, but it goes to show that they're passionate about NG+.
I'm glad I wrapped up the platinum trophy grind last week. I'm ready for all of this.
Supraland is one of countless cool-looking games that got away from me in 2019. The timing wasn't right – and to be honest, it still kind of isn't! – but my interest in this 3D metroidvania persists.
If you're intrigued by a first-person sandbox adventure game with secrets to find, puzzles to solve, and skeletons to clobber, you might be pleased to hear that it's coming to consoles. After gaining traction on Steam, Supraland is releasing for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 22, 2020.
The solo developer, David Münnich, teamed up with Humble Games for these console ports.
There's still a PC demo to check out on Steam if you're curious about this stick-figure world. I appreciate the user reviewer who called Supraland the "platonic ideal of a late '90s/early '00s game." I hear that.
Big news out of GameStop today. The in-store experience is going to morph from an underpaid employee asking if you'd like to pre-order a game or buy a protection plan from behind a desk, to an underpaid employee asking if you'd like to pre-order a game or buy a protection plan with a Microsoft Surface in their hands.
A new "multi-year strategic partnership" between GameStop and Microsoft will outfit store associates with Surface tablets. A press release from GameStop says "The mobility of Microsoft Surface will allow associates to move freely within the store footprint, meeting the needs of customers faster and more efficiently." There's no escape!
The crux of this deal is far more boring, though. It'll also see GameStop's backend shift to Microsoft's Dynamics 365 which is a series of cloud-based business applications. GameStop will also move to Microsoft 365 and Teams at some point for better internal communication.
Lastly, it's mentioned that Xbox All Access -- the rent-to-own payment plan for next-gen Xbox -- is coming to GameStop. That's nothing special, as All Access is already offered at the other big-box retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy.
Anyway, great news for GameStop employees who want to feel a little more tech savvy. Hopefully no one gets fired for streaming xCloud to their Surface while on the clock.
One Epic freebie this week is extremely chill. The other? Extremely not chill. Opposites attract or something. Both are waterlogged.
Abzu and Rising Storm 2: Vietnam are both free on the Epic Games Store this week. Abzu is a mostly-relaxing swim through the sea where you'll marvel at underwater creatures and try to unravel an obscure mystery about civilization's downfall. This promotion comes just one month before Abzu developer Giant Squid debuts its next game, The Pathless, as a PS5 launch game.
Rising Storm 2: Vietnam is less about taking it easy and soaking in the sights. It's a large-scale multiplayer shooter that recreates battles of the Vietnam War. It's asymmetric in its gameplay, leaving players to execute different roles and operate different machinery.
Next week's Epic games ramp up the spooky Halloween vibes. At least partially. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is half of the Epic giveaway. The other half is beloved micro-strategy game Kingdom: New Lands.
I don't know what it says about Outriders that I feel the need to exhaustively recount the details of this game every time I write about it. Maybe that I think the name is forgettable, maybe that I think it has a forgettable premise. Anyway, here goes:
Outriders is the Square Enix-published shooter from Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly. It looks half Destiny and half Gears of War, and it's billed as one of those infinitely-running games-as-a-service looter shooters. And, it's not launching on time.
Originally scheduled for this holiday season, Outriders has been delayed until February 2, 2021. Whether or not it's still a next-gen launch window title depends on your definition of launch window. Regardless, it won't be around right away when people have new consoles.
People Can Fly also announced that Outriders will have full cross-play support on all platforms. This is important because it's a current- and next-gen game. It'll launch on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X. It's also part of the Smart Delivery program on Xbox that detects which console you're playing on and automatically delivers an optimized version.
I look forward to again explaining Outriders the next time I write about Outriders.
The Fall Guys Season 2 update rolled out today on PS4 and PC, and so far, it's a little underwhelming.
If you're the type of dedicated player who maxed out the first battle pass and won't mind doing it again for new outfits (like an orc costume) or other new cosmetics (like fancy nameplates), then you'll be fine.
If you're someone who adored the first few weeks of Fall Guys but quickly fell out of love with the repetition, expect history to repeat itself – if you even manage to rekindle the flame in the first place.
There are four new stages in Season 2 – Knight Fever (a gauntlet race), Egg Siege (a team game with more protected bases), Wall Guys (a stair-building game), and Hoopsie Legends (a solo hoop-diving game) – but there's no consistent way to access them. Instead, they're mixed in with the existing levels.
Borderlands 3's Halloween event is half trick and half treat. Gearbox hasn't exactly gone all out, as it's mostly just rolled out the same festivities as last year. However, getting through it all should be a little quicker, and no one is going to say no to that.
Bloody Harvest is back for the second year (although it existed in Borderlands 2 as well), and this dance has all the same steps. Meet Maurice on Sanctuary III, farm Hecktoplasm drops from haunted ghost enemies, take the portal to Heck (which is its own in-game location), and go kill Captain Haunt.
Here's what's in it for you, apart from the loot that drops on the ground:
For years AMD processors were known as the "budget" chip when it came to building a gaming PC. If you wanted to truly call yourself an enthusiast, you always went with the Intel chip because it was, by and large, the industry leader. Not content to be second fiddle, AMD set out to claw its way to the top of the processor market with its Zen architecture that launched in 2017.
Ever since, AMD's processors have been slowly usurping Intel processors' previous leads in nearly every benchmark. That trend looks to continue when AMD releases the 5000 series of Ryzen 3 chips next month.
During a half-hour stream today, AMD rattled off multiple wins for its new chips. With performance boosts against its own previous line as well as competitors' while still using the same AM4 socket, the 5000 series is looking to be a beast of a processor line for both gamers and content creators.
Some of the highlights include a 2.8x efficiency bonus in performance per watt compared to the upcoming Intel i9-10900K chip and a 26% frame rate performance improvement over the Zen 2 3000 series at 1080p. In a moment that felt like it was stripped right out of Silicon Valley, AMD also revealed that the new Ryzen 9 5900x was the first processor to break a 600 score on the industry-standard Cinebench benchmarking tool.
Now, this could all be corporate peacocking, but it seems like AMD has finally pulled ahead of Intel's processor offerings and has potential to be the dominant force in both gaming and workstation computers. The new line of chips will be on store "shelves" starting November 5.
There will be four chips released as part of the Zen 3 5000 series, and here are their specifications.
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (launching at $799)
- # of CPU Cores: 16
- # of Threads: 32
- Max Boost Clock: Up to 4.9GHz
- Base Clock: 3.4GHz
- Default TDP / TDP: 105W
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (launching at $549)
- # of CPU Cores: 12
- # of Threads: 24
- Max Boost Clock: Up to 4.8GHz
- Base Clock: 3.7GHz
- Default TDP / TDP: 105W
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (launching at $449)
- # of CPU Cores: 8
- # of Threads: 16
- Max Boost Clock: Up to 4.7GHz
- Base Clock: 3.8GHz
- Default TDP / TDP: 105W
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (launching at $299)
- # of CPU Cores: 6
- # of Threads: 12
- Max Boost Clock: Up to 4.6GHz
- Base Clock: 3.7GHz
- Default TDP / TDP: 65W
After the stream, I was talking with my friend and fellow community member TheBlondeBass about how it seems like we're really hitting a new pace when it comes to PC component evolution.
Between AMD's news and the announcement of the Nvidia 3000 series of graphics cards, the tech landscape is seemingly on an exponential rise in performance. It's a wonderful time to be a PC gamer and we'll continue to get a better look at the generation to come when AMD reveals the new RX 6000 series of video cards on October 30.
Everyone is packing in the Switch eShop releases for the holidays! It's a huge day today with over 40 games hitting the marketplace: good luck sorting through them all.
The marquee releases this time around are I Am Dead, The Survivalists, FIFA 21 Legacy Edition and Ikenfell. The Switch is also welcoming the pair of Prinny games on the system on October 13, which were announced way earlier in the year. On that same day, Minecraft is coming to Smash Ultimate.
So while Nintendo doesn't have a whole lot planned (yet) in terms of software, the Switch platform itself is fairly healthy in terms of 2020 offerings. As usual, there's a mix of both old and new in the below list, which is rolling out from today through October 14.
The PlayStation 5's launch is going to come with an infestation. I doubt most people will mind.
Indie darling Bugsnax is set to launch day-and-date with the PS5. Developer Young Horses announced the November 12 release date this morning:
As you know by now, first-party Nintendo games rarely go down in value in the first few years of their existence. The same can be said about Pokemon Sword and Shield, which is still rolling with a $60 MSRP. It looks like the upcoming "complete editions" are going to be using that same tactic.
In case you missed it, The Pokemon Company announced recently that there was going to be a physical bundle for both Sword and Shield that also packed in their accompanying season pass. Thanks to an Amazon listing for Pokemon Sword, we now know exactly how much that's going to cost: $90. In short, that's literally just the price of the game itself and the actual digital pass ($30), which comes with two DLC expansions.
So basically, if you prefer physical and haven't picked up the new Pokemon game yet, you can either opt for this package or the original run and just buy the pass manually. The box says that "no separate download" is required for the expansion pass. Also note that this new edition comes with 100 Poke Balls and a Pikachu/Eevee uniform (which were originally pre-order bonuses).
The "Game + Expansion Pass" physical bundles will be released on November 6.
Given that it is pretty much the greatest-selling video game of all-time, it's no surprise to anybody that Minecraft was tipped to be adapted for the silver screen. However, it seems that Steve and friends will have to hold on for their cinematic debut, as Minecraft the movie has been officially pushed back.
The delay is part of Warner Bros. current conundrum regarding is movie release slate for the coming years. As is the case for all major studios, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has played havoc with the production of several major motion pictures, sending release schedules and launch projections into chaos.
Originally slated for a 2022 theatrical release, Minecraft has now been taken off the calendar completely, as Warner Bros. attempts to reschedule production and release dates for a number of upcoming heavy-hitters, including The Suicide Squad, The Batman, Dune, Black Adam, and the fourth entry in The Matrix franchise.
While this news might be disappointing for Minecraft fans anticipating the world-building franchise's big screen adventure, they can at least take heart that the brand remains incredibly strong. Summer will see the recently announced "Caves & Cliffs" expansion added to the game, while sister title Minecraft Dungeons also has new DLC on the way. Add to that the anticipated appearance of Steve and Alex in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and things are looking pretty cosy for the residents of blocko-land.
The Batman delayed as Warner Bros. shuffles calendar [The Hollywood Reporter]
For Honor was released all the way back in 2017, but Ubisoft Montreal has been steadily supporting it since then, to the point where it's outlasted many other similar online games.
It's kind of Ubisoft's thing lately, a service they've also extended to long-running titles like Rainbow Six Siege. So it was kind of inevitable for them to announce that For Honor would come to the next-generation, and the transition is going to be fairly smooth.
Ubisoft announced the news on Twitch, noting that the Xbox Series S version of the game is targeting 1080p resolution, with PS5 and Xbox Series X hitting 4K. "Current-gen game owners on PS4 and Xbox One" will be able to play For Honor for free, with the option to transfer over "all of your purchases and inventory automatically." 60FPS gameplay is being targeted "for all next-gen consoles in early December."
These updates will be playable "at each respective console launch," so November 10 for Xbox Series S/X and November 12 for PS5. The unavailability of 60FPS gameplay right away isn't great, but it's probably a casualty of the current global climate. A month isn't that long to wait, especially if you're upgrading for free.
For Honor [Twitch]
Compile Heart has released the intro movie to the next release to Go! Go! 5 Jigen Game Neptune reVerse, the next release in the Hyperdimension Neptunia anime RPG franchise, which also happen to be Nep-Nep's first foray into next-gen gaming!
To be honest, it's a little disappointing, consisting of no more than a bunch of hi-tech screen wipes and some standard character portraits. But at least our ears can enjoy the guitar-heavy vibes of title track "For Share!!", composed and arranged by araKEN and performed by Japanese techno-rockers Zwei.
I don't think it's unbelievable that Monster Hunter Rise is running on a standard Switch, but a lot of folks are skeptical. Well, producer RyÅzÅ Tsujimoto recently spoke to Eurogamer to clear the air on that.
According to Tsujimoto, everything we saw these past few weeks was running on a standard Switch. When asked about a potential Switch Pro, he stated: "Well, obviously we have no idea whatsoever what the plans would be in that direction, but even at the moment you actually have two different Switch hardwares you're targeting - you've got the the original Switch which has the docking mode, so that's something we've already borne in mind to make sure that the game isn't making any undue assumptions on the hardware owned by the player."
"That direction" that he's referring to is a Switch Pro. While it could happen at some point (or he's bound to an NDA), Monster Hunter Rise was in development for way longer than the Pro would have been in the works. Tsujimoto also clarifies that Rise has been in the works for "about four years," and the company specifically asked the director of Monster Hunter Generations to make a title "for the next portable," which would eventually be the Switch.
He cites porting the RE Engine to Switch as a "new challenge," but given that it is a first-party engine after all, the developers know those challenges inside and out and were able to adapt. Tsujimoto says that in the end, they hit a target of "a comfortable 30 frames per second."
So basically, it was tough to get working, but they did end up finishing the job. While that stable framerate is still up for debate in the final version, Capcom seems to have "figured out" the Switch at this point.
Art in Heart's beautiful-but-quirky roguelike GONNER2 has received a launch date for its Nintendo Switch release. The surreal adventure will hit the eShop on October 22.