2K Games Confirms Deal To Use Likenesses Of NFL Players In Upcoming "Non-Simulation" Projects


For many years, EA has had a stranglehold on the NFL license. Via their long running and iconic Madden franchise, they signed an exclusive deal with the league years ago that has since left any other other publisher unable to use the popular license. But things seem to be changing, if even so slightly, as a new deal was reached that will put 2K Games in the conversation.

It was announced earlier in the year that the NFL and 2K Games had reached a deal to create games together. The catch was that what they are going to produce will be "non-simulation" games, though what that actually means isn't entirely clear. What those games will look like is anyone's guess, but as reported by Business Wire, 2K games confirmed they have also reached a deal with OneTeam Partners and the National Football League Players Association to use the likeness and numbers of players in whatever they produce, so if you were worried about not having your favorite player in these "non-simulation games," you can rest easy.

It'll be interesting to see what 2K ultimately produces considering it's been so long since someone besides EA has been able to use the NFL license. 2K has created more arcade and cartoony games with some sports licenses they own, such as NBA and WWE. Whatever it'll be, it's a ways out it seems. But in the meantime, Madden NFL 21 will be releasing next month for your football fix.

Moon: Remix RPG Adventure Releases On Switch August 27


Last year, we got the announcement that the infamous 'anti-RPG' Moon would finally be coming to the states via a Switch remake. We hadn't heard anything since then, but now we finally got a date for when those in the west can finally get the game, and it's very soon.

As announced by publisher and developer Onion Games, a new trailer came along to tell us that the title will release next month. The game is often cited as an "anti-RPG," because you play as a boy sucked into a RPG world and must use love, instead of violence, against monsters in an attempt to heal the world. The original release was in 1997 for the PlayStation, and this remake marks the first time since that initial release that the game has been available, and the first time the game will release outside Japan.

Moon: Remix RPG Adventure has been out on the Switch in Japan since October of last year, but will come westward August 27th exclusively on the Switch.

The Sims 4 Surpasses 30 Million Players Since Launch

The Sims 4

The Sims 4 has unquestionably been one of EA's most successful games these past few years, as it ha gone from strength to strength, consistently enjoyed a dedicated a growing playerbase, and still continues to be updated and supported by its developers. That's been reflected in how widely the game has been picked up by players as well, with EA recently confirming in its quarterly financial briefing that The Sims 4 has racked up over 30 million players since it came out.

EA also confirmed that daily, weekly, and monthly active player totals for the game across all platforms reached a record high during the previous quarter (running from April 2020 to June 2020). Considering the fact that The Sims 4's total lifetime player count was at 20 million just some months ago, that's a pretty significant and impressive boost the game has seen.

The Sims 4 is currently available on PC, Mac, PS4, and Xbox One. It recently also became available via Steam.

Star Wars: Squadrons' $40 Price Felt Right "Given the Breadth of the Game" – EA CEO

star wars squadrons

Star Wars; Squadrons is taking an approach that EA games don't usually take at launch. Not only have the developers made it clear that it's not a live service title, the game is also confirmed to feature no microtransactions, while it's also launching at a lower-than-standard price of $40. Specifically where the latter is concerned, why exactly did EA choose to launch the game at a lower price point?

According to EA executives, that price was decided based on the "breadth" of the experience on offer. Speaking recently during EA's quarterly financial briefing (transcribed by Twinfinite), EA's chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen said that in spite of being "an incredible game", Squadrons doesn't offer the breadth in gameplay that other EA titles do, and as such, a lower price point felt right for the game.

"We always look at the games and we want to make sure we are providing the greatest value for our players," Jorgensen said. "Games all have different scale and most of our games right now have huge scale. We designed this game to really focus on what we heard from consumers which is one of the greatest fantasies, to be able to fly an X-Wing or a TIE-Fighter and be in a dogfight.

"So it doesn't have the breadth of some of our games, but it is still an incredible game. That's why we choose to price it at a slightly lower level. To also allow access to as many people as possible who have that Star Wars fantasy."

EA CEO Andrew Wilson also spoke about the same and made comments along the same lines, also adding that Squadrons fits within EA's spectrum of differently priced games.

"I would start with what are the player motivations we're trying to fulfil and what are the expectations of these player groups in fulfilling these motivations," said Wilson. "We start there long before we ever get to pricing. As you've seen from us we have games across the spectrum of pricing, whether that's free to play, or $60, or $60 with an additional live service, or as part of our subscription offerings."

"At the end of the day, as we think about it, we start with the player, we start with the motivations and expectations that they have, and we build the game," he added. "In this case, this is a very deep and immersive game and $40 felt like the right price point given the breadth of the game."

Star Wars: Squadrons releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 2, and will feature VR support on PS4 and PC. At launch, the game will have 8 different Starfighters and 4 unique classes for players to choose from. You can check out extensive new gameplay footage through here.

Halo Infinite Runs at Up to 120 FPS, Multiplayer is Free to Play – Rumor

halo infinite

As much news has been circulating about Halo Infinite's campaign reveal, multiplayer hasn't received as much attention. 343 Industries did confirm that the Grappleshot and Drop Wall would be map pick-ups along with quashing a rumor about multiplayer being delayed. But it seems there's one particularly big leap that it could take – going free to play.

Irish toy retailer Smyths Toys has a listing for Xbox Series X and it talks about Halo Infinite running at up to 120 frames per second. This doesn't seem particularly shocking since the campaign demo ran at 4K/60 FPS, making 1080p resolution and 120 FPS doable. But the retailer also notes the "groundbreaking free-to-play experience." This would certainly be a first for the franchise.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer said the multiplayer reveal for Halo Infinite would be "special" and this could be one reason why. Still, until Microsoft or 343 Industries officially announces the same, it's best to take it with a grain of salt. More Xbox Series X news is set to arrive this month, according to Spencer, so stay tuned for updates.

As for Halo Infinite, it will release this holiday season for Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC.

Halo Infinite multiplayer

PS5 State of Play Could Take Place Between August 5th and 11th – Rumor


Sony has been quite the center of rumors lately, especially with reports indicating another State of Play in August. The PS5 will be the focus once more with first and third party game reveals apparently planned. According to VentureBeat's Jeff Grubb on Twitter, the show will take place sometime between August 5th and 11th.

Of course, there's also an "Xboxing day" taking place sometime between August 11th and 22nd. When asked if State of Play would come before, Grubb responded, "Right now, I think it's before. But that is *very* shaky." He also noted that it's the one that can change at the last minute.

When asked if people should look into where State of Play and the Xboxing day are placed on this, Grubb said, "A tiny bit, yes. But still not certain, so no date." Microsoft has already confirmed more Xbox Series X news for August – now it's up to Sony to announce its plans. According to other reports, the PS5 still has some third party reveals up its sleeve which could be revealed "soon."

How will the proximity of both events affect Gamescom? Will we see even more announcements at Gamescom Opening Night Live or perhaps additional details over the actual digital event? Time will tell so stay tuned for more.

Currently, both the Xbox Series X and PS5 are slated to release this holiday season.

PS5 Has More 3rd Party Reveals, Could be Showcased Soon – Rumor


August is just around the corner and more next-gen console news is to be expected. Xbox boss Phil Spencer said there would be more Xbox Series X news this month. Sony hasn't outright announced anything but rumors are already circulating about a new State of Play within the first two weeks.

What's interesting is what could be showcased. Imran Khan, who's an ex-senior editor at Game Informer and current co-host for the Kinda Funny podcast, discussed what he's heard about both companies for August. Hardware and all the details that go with it is one thing. However, as Khan noted, "I've also heard that – I don't know if it's this month or later – but they both do have more software to show. So, whether, like they do it now or before the launch or even after the launch. They both have things that are gonna be like 'Oh s**t, I can't believe they're revealing that here.'"

He noted that Microsoft knows what to prepare for since it would also know what "deals" it doesn't have. What about subsequent reveals from Sony? It wouldn't be too strange, considering rumors that point towards the Silent Hill reboot being officially announced in August. Khan didn't mention Silent Hill but said later in the podcast that there's more to Sony's third-party offerings than Project Athia, Deathloop and GhostWire Tokyo.

"There's more. They're holding onto some things that I'm like really surprised they're holding onto and I wouldn't be shocked if they showed them soon." Again, how soon is "soon" is unknown. Take this all with a grain of salt though since it's possible that any planned announcements could be pushed back.

The Xbox Series X and PS5 are slated to release this holiday season. Whether price and availability details come this month or not, both companies will need to make a move soon. Stay tuned for any updates in the meantime.

Halo Infinite Developer Addresses Art Style and Graphics Quality Concerns

halo infinite

The Halo Infinite campaign reveal has been a hot topic for the past week. Regardless of which side of the fence you're on, there's no denying the sheer amount of feedback that 343 Industries has received on it. In a recent community update, the developer has attempted to explain its philosophy behind the art style, among other things.

For the art style, it admitted to going back to the "legacy aesthetics that defined the original trilogy." "With Halo Infinite, we're returning to a more 'classic' art style which was a key message going back to the very first reveal that garnered enthusiastic and positive responses. This translates to a more vibrant palette, 'cleaner' models and objects with less 'noise', though it doesn't mean less detail. While we appreciate this may not be everyone's personal preference, we stand by this decision and are happy to see it resonating with so many fans around the world."

As for the quality of the graphics, the developer acknowledged the feedback on things being below par. "Negative feedback in this area includes comments around characters and objects appearing flat, simplistic and plastic-like, lighting feeling dull and flat, and object pop-in. We've read your comments, we've seen the homemade examples of retouched content, and yes we've heard the Digital Foundry assessments.

"In many ways we are in agreement here – we do have work to do to address some of these areas and raise the level of fidelity and overall presentation for the final game." What's interesting to note is that the campaign demo build was is actually a few weeks old instead of a few months. "The build used to run the campaign demo was work-in-progress from several weeks ago with a variety of graphical elements and game systems still being finished and polished.

"While some of the feedback was expected and speaks to areas already in progress, other aspects of the feedback have brought new opportunities and considerations to light that the team is taking very seriously and working to assess. We don't have firm answers or outcomes to share yet but the team is working as quickly as possible on plans to address some of the feedback around detail, clarity, and overall fidelity. The team is committed and focused on making sure we have a beautiful world for players to explore when we launch."

Of course, the question is whether there's enough time left. Halo Infinite is slated to launch with the Xbox Series X this holiday season (which could be in November, as per Microsoft CFO Amy Hood). In these next few months, 343 Industries still has to showcase multiplayer among other things. We'll see how things pan out as more gameplay footage is revealed.

Halo Infinite is currently in development for Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC. It will be available at launch on Xbox Game Pass and support Smart Delivery.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 is Out Now on Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass

yakuza kiwami 2

The story of Kazuma Kiryu on Xbox One continues with the release of Yakuza Kiwami 2. The critically acclaimed remake of the 2006 classic is now available for Xbox One (and through the Microsoft Store for Windows 10). It can also be played through Xbox Game Pass. Check out the release trailer below.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 sees Kiryu dragged back into the underworld when the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance are on the brink of war. Along the way, he'll deal with Ryuji Goda, the Dragon of Kansai, and old nemesis Majima Goro. Speaking of which, Majima is also playable and has his own story scenario.

Utilizing the Dragon Engine and sporting improved visuals all around, Yakuza Kiwami 2 also features Heat Moves and the Clan Creator from Yakuza 6, rounding out an already great game. It's also available for PS4 and PC via Steam. Check out our review for it here.

Though it's unconfirmed whether the Yakuza 3-5 and Yakuza 6: The Song of Life will be on Xbox One (or PC, for that matter), Yakuza: Like a Dragon will release on November 13th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. It will release for Xbox Series X in Q4 2020 and later for PS5.

QuakeCon at Home 2020 Live Schedule Revealed

QuakeCon at Home

Following the live event's cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bethesda Softworks confirmed that QuakeCon 2020 would be a digital-only event. A schedule for the same has since been released with the event running from August 7th to 9th. It will air live on Twitch.

The schedule includes titles like Fallout 76, DOOM Eternal, Prey (2017), The Elder Scrolls Online, Dishonored and The Evil Within 2. Oddly enough, there's nothing on Bethesda's upcoming releases like Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo. The latter isn't that surprising since it doesn't have a release date but that still doesn't explain the former's absence. Maybe at the next State of Play for PS5, rumored to be happening next week?

Of course, the other elephant in the room is the complete lack of any "reveal" or update on The Elder Scrolls 6 or Starfield. There might be some new details during the "Welcome to QuakeCon at Home with Pete Hines" segment. But don't count on any gameplay, much less a release date.

Check out the full schedule below for more details.

August 7

  • 12:00 p.m. – Welcome to QuakeCon at Home with Pete Hines
  • 1:00 p.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online Voice-Over Chat – Featuring Jennifer Hale and Robbie Daymond
  • 2:00 p.m. – Fallout 76 – A Colossal Problem Boss Event
  • 3:30 P.m. – DOOM Eternal – Ultra Nightmare with Achievement Hunter
  • 5:00 p.m. – Representation in Video Games
  • 6:00 p.m. – Prey Tell: An interview with Actress Janina Gavankar and Lead Producer Susan Kath
  • 7:30 p.m. – DOOM Eternal Panel with Hugo Martin and Marty Stratton
  • 10:00 p.m. – Alienware Hour with Rxysurfchic | Final Achievements in DOOM Eternal

August 8

  • 12:00 a.m. – Fallout 76 – C.A.M.P. Competition and Showcase
  • 12:30 a.m. – Fallout 76 – Australia and New Zealand Community Session with Tyr, MoonlitCharlie, and Captainoob
  • 2:00 a.m. – Fallout – Cooking Show with Bethesda Australia and New Zealand
  • 3:00 a.m. – Fallout Cosplay – Interview with Snovcreations
  • 4:00 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online Charity Stream for Unicef
  • 5:00 a.m. – Prey: Mooncrash – You Decide
  • 6:30 a.m. – The Secrets of DOOM Eternal
  • 8:00 a.m. – Arkane 20: Dishonored with Elly the Geek and Arkane Studios
  • 9:00 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online – Conquering Icereach
  • 10:00 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Challenges – Team Stormcloaks vs. The Imperials
  • 11:00 a.m. – Fallout 76 – Creative C.A.M.P. Building
  • 12:30 p.m. – DOOM Eternal Battlemode | Friday Night Fights | Invitational Finals
  • 3:00 p.m. – CHAD: A Fallout 76 Story Podcast – QuakeCon at Home Edition
  • 5:00 p.m. – The Best The Elder Scrolls Online Roleplay on Twitch
  • 6:00 p.m. – A Dishonored Tabletop RPG Adventure featuring Arkane Studios' Harvey Smith
  • 8:00 p.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online Gearless and Fearless Dungeon Run featuring Nicole Savoy
  • 10:00 p.m. – DOOM Eternal with 3 Chubby Bastards
  • 11:00 p.m. The Elder Scrolls Online Stream with Top UFC Middleweight Rob Whittaker and Pete Hines

August 9

  • 12:00 a.m. – Bethesda Cosplay – Competition Showcase
  • 12:30 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online – Australia Community Session with Tamriel Downunder
  • 2:00 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls – Cooking Show with Bethesda Australia and New Zealand
  • 3:00 a.m. – DOOM Eternal – Nightmare Blindfold Challenge with TheSpudHunter
  • 4:00 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online – My World with Aeyvi
  • 5:00 a.m. – Fallout 76 Sightseeing
  • 6:00 a.m. – Fallout 4 – ItsJabo's Speedrun
  • 8:00 a.m. – Fallout 76 – Global Community Team Free Play:
  • 9:30 a.m. – Speedrunning DOOM Eternal on Ultra Nightmare
  • 11:00 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online – PvP Masterclass with RubenSky
  • 12:00 p.m. – DOOM II | FFA Finals | Take the Crown
  • 1:00 p.m. – A Dishonored Tabletop RPG Adventure (Continued)
  • 5:00 p.m. – Quake World Championship – Grand Finals
  • 7:00 p.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online – Live Art Creation and Chat
  • 8:00 p.m. – Prey: Mooncrash with Lawrence Sonntag and Ricardo Bare
  • 9:00 p.m. – The Evil Within with Poiised and TeeCup181
  • 10:00 p.m. – The Evil Within 2 with John Johanas and Jonny Roses

Fairy Tail Review — Far From The #1 Guild

Fairy Tail is a long-running manga and anime series. It was one of the bigger shonen series at the height of its popularity, running concurrently to the "Big Three" (Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece). It has since concluded a few years ago, but it made enough of a splash for Gust to develop an RPG based on it, so here we are.

I'll preface this review by saying that my knowledge of the source material is very limited. I've only seen a few episodes of the Fairy Tail anime and have read none of the manga. This kind of game project is usually catered more to fans, so I am not the target demographic; this I freely admit. Much of the specifics of story arcs and character dynamics are lost on me here, relying entirely on the game and a little extra research to fill me in past the first half-dozen anime episodes.

Still, I am a fan of Gust's Atelier series, having played through most of the English releases in the franchise. Between that and the trailers looking promising, I raised my hand for this review. Given that it's possible to get enjoyment out of the Sword Art Online games without prior knowledge, for example, I'd been hoping for a similar feeling here.

Alas, that was not the sentiment I got out of the Fairy Tail game. This is a game for fans of the series, which is great! Unfortunately, it really didn't do much to convince me to want to become a fan, either. What few glimpses of interesting concepts, characters, and stories the game has are largely undone by painfully mediocre gameplay and presentation. There's nothing here that hasn't been done by other JRPGs before, and usually much better.

Fairy Tail opens at the end of the Tenrou Island arc, starting immediately with a tutorial boss fight against Hades. The events here play out quickly, offering both rapid-fire introductions to characters and gameplay mechanics. This arc ends with the titular Fairy Tail guild sealing themselves and Tenrou Island in a protective bubble, narrowly avoiding death from the dragon Acnologia.

When the bubble goes down, the reason for this rushed opening becomes apparent: while not much time passed inside the shield, seven years passed for the rest of the world. Fairy Tail had been the top-rated wizard guild prior to this moment, but now they've largely been forgotten and left destitute. Now, both the characters and the player have an excuse to build everything back up from the very bottom. Clever!


The rushed tutorial now takes its time to establish a few things and get you into the rhythm of the game. Fairy Tail also includes an encyclopedia to refer to, with short page-long descriptions of the story thus far. It'll be filled with background on characters, terminology, and systems to check back on as the game unfolds. A welcome inclusion, though it naturally cannot fill in all the details and nuance of the full manga/anime series thus far.

As a wizard guild, Fairy Tail is tasked with numerous requests by the populace. These become the quests that you'll spend the bulk of your time doing. Some are just repeatable and generic "go to X region and kill/find Y" quests; others are more designed, require specific members to be present, and feature dialogue and cutscenes involving them.

Gameplay will fall into the rhythm of taking a task from the guild's request board, seeing a brief scene talking about it, then going off to find an item or have a battle. See a brief wrap-up scene, return, cash in, and repeat. Doing so will increase your money and renown, which serves both as a currency to improve both your characters and guild facilities. Renown will also see your guild rank increase over time, with higher ranks granting access to new areas and more requests.


Concurrently to this runs the main story. Having to restart from the bottom, the Fairy Tail guild decides that the best way to reclaim their notoriety is to win the upcoming Grand Magic Games. As such, the story quests will see you training and preparing for this, before taking part (and beyond). Almost all of these main story scenarios involve battles, so this leads me to the combat system.

Fairy Tail is a turn-based JRPG. You'll have a decently sized ensemble of characters that you can bring into your team, each with unique abilities. The initial five from the tutorial consist of Natsu, Lucy, Gray, Erza and Wendy; after the tutorial, you'll only be able to field up to three, expanding back up to five as it progresses. More characters like Juvia and Gajeel will join as story beats continue.

Since every character is a wizard, there are a few light twists on an otherwise standard JRPG formula. Both your health point and mana point bars become crucial, as running out of either sees your character knocked out. Basic Attacks are incredibly weak and still cost a single MP to use, so you're encouraged to predominantly use your magic.

The most interesting aspect of the battle system is the enemy grid. Each enemy will be placed on a 3×3 grid. Your characters aren't on the field, but their abilities each have specific ranges and areas that they can affect. Oft-times, your list of magic won't do that much more damage than your basic one tile ability, but instead, have added effects and can hit additional tiles. A few abilities can reposition enemies on the grid to make subsequent AoE strikes hit harder, and enemies can also occasionally move themselves around. It ultimately becomes a case of judging whether to use MP to clear the field or just conserve it and focus fire. It's not Radiant Historia levels of battlefield manipulation, but it's something!

You'll also have a party gauge that allows you to trigger a Magic Chain when full. This lets you have your party members attack one after the other for less MP before ending on a massive finisher. These chains can get pretty ridiculous, and I knocked out whole boss phases in a single one on many occasions. Most of your upgrades serve to increase the power of these chains, and increasing character bonds by using them in requests together further increases their duration.

There are other considerations to the battles, such as characters being able to trigger Awakening after taking enough damage. This grants brief stat bonuses and potentially new forms and moves. You can also expend Awakening to avoid an incoming attack, or follow up an ally's attack with another. There are definitely many options in the battles, and they're probably the most well-developed part of Fairy Tail.

Here's the problem, then: Fairy Tail is way too easy. Playing on normal difficulty, I was very quickly reaching points where I was breezing through even bosses without challenge. You have the tools and power to dispatch enemies so effortlessly that Fairy Tail just becomes trivial to play. This problem only gets worse if you decide to actually engage with more of the side content, as doing the extra requests or exploring zones fully will see you overleveled in no time.

Since this is where the bulk of unique character interactions and dialogue happens, fans will want to engage with it, thus turning the game into a cakewalk. Worse still, the main story will frequently set points where you have to reach a certain level or guild rank to advance. The option to power through it is removed, thus throwing the gameplay balance out the window. Any attempt to dig into the battle system or really utilise party strengths just becomes pointless when you can breeze through everything.

The ease of battles also has run off effects into other systems. In addition to your guild requests, you can upgrade Fairy Tail's guild facilities through finding materials in the world. These give all sorts of bonuses, but it all amounts to making you stronger, so it's easier once again. Mixing and matching your party members to increase their bonds for added dialogue? Also increases their power. Side quests and exploration will award equippable Lacrima gems, and you can even craft powerful character-specific ones. These are all the most generic stat increases you can imagine, and it makes the game easier still. Everything loops back into making my time with the game an exercise in patience as I steamroll all obstacles, rather than enjoying the systems.

Still, I've played through worse gameplay systems for the sake of a good story. So once again, I was disappointed to not really find that here. That isn't even the fault of it being a Fairy Tail adaptation, either; there was honestly quite a lot to like, but the sheer breakneck pace of the game means everything happened super fast and then was gone a moment later.

Everything is rushed through, and usually not for any reason beyond budget. There will be multiple scenes in which interesting events are described in a couple of text boxes and a still image, only to thrust you back into mundane requests. Numerous characters and even major antagonists will be talking, but only have a portrait rather than a character model. So effectively, you're left watching your party have dialogues with people off-screen.

Those limitations didn't stop them from having a fully animated cutscene of the female Fairy Tail members at a swim party, though. Gust has its priorities, it would seem!

In fairness, those priorities carried over to the stylised character models and attack animations; those are very on-brand for the original designs. The rest of the presentation isn't really better though, with most environments being incredibly bland. Fairy Tail's world consists of stock biomes, generic enemy creatures, and only a few series-specific inclusions. All the omissions and lack of polish seriously added up. No effort was put into the game's performance, either. Despite the fairly bland visuals, the frame rate is absurdly low and dips into comical territories during flashier attacks and bigger zones.

I did want to like Fairy Tail, and there were points where character and charm shone through. But these good moments were very quickly hamstrung by more rushed scenes, easy battles, and cheap presentation. The end result is a lot of fine ideas executed in cheap, mediocre ways that hamper their enjoyment. It's a perfectly serviceable but completely uninspired JRPG. There's nothing here that hasn't been done so much better. I can't help but feel that Gust made all the basics of an Atelier game, only to entirely remove the intricate crafting systems and presentation that typically carry the series. Slap a Fairy Tail skin on it, and here we are.

Fairy Tail was a game made for existing fans of the series, through and through. It offers very little to actually entice me to become a fan or learn more about the source material. I can absolutely respect that the game isn't for me; even so, I couldn't help but feel that dedicated fans of the series deserve a much better attempt than this. It checks all the boxes and reminds players of the highlights and character moments of the greater series, but only puts in the barest effort doing so.

That might be enough for you, but I think fans should have better. As for those who aren't fans, it's probably better to skip Fairy Tail. Even hardcore JRPG fans will find it not worth playing instead of something much better. This is just too mediocre to recommend for all but the most dedicated fan. Still, I hope you find what you're looking for here if you do take the plunge.

The post Fairy Tail Review — Far From The #1 Guild by Kris Cornelisse appeared first on DualShockers.

Halo Infinite Multiplayer May Run at 120 FPS and Be Free To Play According To Retailer

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite has been one of the games of the moment since it played a huge part in Microsoft's Xbox Games Showcase. There's been plenty of talk surrounding the grappling hook, recreations of the game in both Minecraft and Dreams and most importantly, Craig, the now infamous brute who has now been meme'd many times.

Now, a European toy superstore may have just added some fuel to the Halo fire by leaking some massive information regarding the game's multiplayer. A listing on the Smyths Toys website has suggested that Halo Infinite's multiplayer will be free-to-play and run at up to 120 FPS.

While the listing has now suspiciously been removed by the retailer, quick-witted viewers managed to grab screenshots of the information. The original listing said:

"The legendary Halo series returns with the most expansive Master Chief campaign yet and a groundbreaking free-to-play multiplayer experience. Enjoy up to 120 FPS and greatly reduced load times creating seamless gameplay with Xbox Series X."


The initial Halo Infinite multiplayer rumour was that it was delayed, however, that was quickly shot down and this rumour that it will be free to play is far more enticing to fans than any potential delay.

The Free-To-Play model has been hugely successful in games like Fortnite, Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone so it's no massive surprise to see Halo Infinite adopting it. While the game doesn't fall into the Battle Royale genre like its counterparts, a similar "Battle Pass" system could well be implemented.

Yesterday developers 343 industries answered questions and addressed concerns around some of the hottest issues surrounding Halo Infinite – these included the art direction of the game and the chances of a multiplayer beta.

Halo Infinite is due for release on the Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Windows PC alongside Xbox Game Pass later this year.

The post Halo Infinite Multiplayer May Run at 120 FPS and Be Free To Play According To Retailer by Sam Woods appeared first on DualShockers.

343 Addresses Halo Infinite's Graphics, Chances Of A Multiplayer Beta, And Craig The Brute In Its Community Update

There's been a lot of talk around Halo Infinite since its gameplay reveal last week during the Xbox Games Showcase, all a mix of good, bad, ugly (depending on who you ask), and Craig.

In its latest community update, posted Thursday night on Halo Waypoint, developer 343 Industries set out to address most of Infinite's major points of conversation, the biggest of which — well, aside from the internet's new favorite Brute — being its graphics.

Infinite's campaign demo received a good deal of criticism for looking visually underwhelming, especially when it's taken into account that this game is supposed to be the headliner for the launch of the next-gen Xbox Series X later this year. Common complaints consisted of characters and environments looking flat, instances of object pop-in, and dull and simplistic lighting.

343 heard all of it, saw the Digital Foundry analysis too, Halo community manager John Junyszek wrote, going on to explain that Infinite's look is the result of a choice in overall art style and a level of visual fidelity that's still a work in progress.

"Based on our learnings from Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo Wars 2 – along with strong community feedback – we decided to shift back towards the legacy aesthetics that defined the original trilogy," Junyszek explained. "With Halo Infinite, we're returning to a more 'classic' art style which was a key message going back to the very first reveal that garnered enthusiastic and positive responses. This translates to a more vibrant palette, "cleaner" models and objects with less "noise," though it doesn't mean less detail.

"While we appreciate this may not be everyone's personal preference, we stand by this decision and are happy to see it resonating with so many fans around the world."

Junyszek added that the build used to run the gameplay demo was several weeks old by the time it was shown off, and had various graphical elements and in-game systems still being fine-tuned. Some of the feedback the team was already aware of and working on, he wrote, but that fans also raised some new points that devs are now assessing.

"We don't have firm answers or outcomes to share yet but the team is working as quickly as possible on plans to address some of the feedback around detail, clarity, and overall fidelity," Junyszek wrote. "The team is committed and focused on making sure we have a beautiful world for players to explore when we launch."

Soon after Infinite's campaign gameplay debuted, 343 had to squash a rumor that the game's multiplayer was delayed. It will be there when the game launches. A pre-release beta though? That one is up in the air.

"The Xbox Games Showcase was only meant to focus on Halo Infinite's campaign. However, I can't blame you all for being curious about the multiplayer experience," Junyszek wrote. "As Chris Lee mentioned in his blog which accompanied the demo last week, our original plans for large-scale flighting aren't where we originally intended in large part due to the challenges of working from home during the COVID-19.

"At this time we're honestly not sure what is going to be possible in terms of flighting but we still hope to have an opportunity for broader public hands-on before release. And, as we've previously stated, we'll be relying on flighting and continued feedback and community partnership well beyond launch as we grow and evolve the game together."

As for the chances of a public release of the campaign demo: No luck there, have to wait for the game to come out.

Other news and notes from Thursday night's update:

  • Craig the Brute is basking in his internet stardom: "We've all laughed very hard at the nonstop stream of Craig memes the community is cranking out. Craig is thick-skinned and seems to be taking it in stride though all of this fame and attention seems to be going to his head."
  • Nicolas Roye (voice of Octane in Apex Legends) plays the Pilot, and Darin De Paul (J. Jonah Jameson in Marvel's Spider-Man and Ardyn in Final Fantasy XV) plays the Banished War Chief Escharum.
  • The story takes place a good amount of time after Halo 5.
  • The campaign demo revealed a more open-world structure to the ring, and in turn, 343 is trying to keep kill barriers or "return to battlefield zones to a minimum. "There will always be some exceptions, but usually if you can see it, you should be able to go there."
  • As confirmed last week, the campaign supports two-player splitscreen and four-player online co-op. The game will also have LAN support.
  • The Battle Rifle is returning, but will be joined by a new pistol (MK50 "Sidekick") and shotgun (CQS48 "Bulldog"). For right now, the classic Magnum and Tactical Shotgun aren't in the game.
  • The Easy, Normal, Heroic, and Legendary campaign difficulties have carried over into Infinite.
  • The new Grappleshot (Master Chief's fancy new grappling hook) will carry over into multiplayer as an item that can be picked up on the map.
  • Black undersuits will be in the game to let your armor stand out more, and players who liked Halo Reach's level of armor customization might be very happy with Infinite.
  • Players who managed to reach Spartan Rank 152 in Halo 5 will get a "a token of appreciation" in Infinite.
  • Forge is back, and will have undo and redo buttons.
  • There will be no paid loot boxes in Infinite as far as microtransactions go.
  • Infinite will be available on PC through Xbox Gamepass for PC, the Microsoft Store, and Steam.
  • 4K resolution at 60 frames per second is the target for the campaign on Series X, but PC players will have more settings to play around with that will be talked about later on.
  • Gareth Coker, of Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and Will of the Wisps fame, is one of three new composers contributing to Infinite's soundtrack.

Halo Infinite will launch alongside the Xbox Series X this Holiday.

The post 343 Addresses Halo Infinite's Graphics, Chances Of A Multiplayer Beta, And Craig The Brute In Its Community Update by Nick Tricome appeared first on DualShockers.

The King of Fighters: Awaken Movie Trailer Released, Set to Arrive in 2022

The sequel to 2017's The King of Fighters: Destiny, King of Fighters: Awaken, just got its first trailer, and it shows off some of the series' most popular characters, including the series protagonist, Kyo Kusanagi and his rival, Iori Yagami. Sporting some downright gorgeous CGI visuals thanks to Original Force and iDragon studios.

The trailer, which is almost entirely in Mandarin, features The King of Fighters '96's final boss, Goenitz wandering into a temple with Kusanagi hot on his trail. Quick to defeat the villain, Kyo does his best to dispose of Goenitz, before realizing that his fire is entirely ineffective against the towering priest. The trailer then cuts to the movie's title.

After fading to black, the camera pans down on a city street lined and lit up by neon signs to Iori Yagami feeding a cat some milk. After that, a boy walks up behind him to tell him something. Thanks to a translated version of the trailer by YouTuber Banden, we now know that the boy is telling Yagami that his rival is dead.

Set to premiere in 2022, there's no official word on any western adaptation or translation of The King of Fighters: Awaken at this point, however, considering the TV series from the same studio received a release on YouTube and Steam, it's a safe bet that we'll be able to see it with English subtitles.

Considering the trailer features the villain from KoF '96, it's safe to assume that the upcoming animated film is an adaptation of the storylines from the same game.

Because the TV show, The King of Fighters: Destiny was released as a tie-in to a game from Tencent, the movie's 2022 release window has sparked speculation among fans about the future of the franchise. SNK announced that The King of Fighters: XV was scheduled to be released this year, but because they have been suspiciously tight-lipped about the games's release, some are speculating that it may release alongside the movie's theatrical debut.

The post The King of Fighters: Awaken Movie Trailer Released, Set to Arrive in 2022 by Charlie Wacholz appeared first on DualShockers.

2K Gets The Go Ahead To Use NFL Players In Its Upcoming Football Games


Back in March, 2K and the NFL announced a partnership to develop a run of "non-simulation" football games, but there was a key piece missing from the puzzle.

The deal cleared the way for the publisher to put out an NFL-licensed game starting in 2021, something it hasn't done since releasing the much-beloved ESPN NFL 2K5 back in the summer of 2004. However, at no point in the announcement was there mention of the NFL Players Association, a union agreement 2K would also need in order to feature the league's players in its upcoming football titles.

On Thursday, that piece fell into place. 2K, the NFLPA, and the NFLPA's group licensing representative, OneTeam Partners, announced a deal that will allow the names, numbers, images, and likenesses of NFL players to appear in whatever projects 2K has in store.

"We're thrilled to be working with the NFLPA and OneTeam to bring the biggest and best stars in football to the games we're working on," 2K President David Ismailer said in a statement. "We want to give fans experiences that are authentic, memorable and fun, and having a roster of real-life sports heroes through the Players Association and OneTeam is a huge part of delivering on that promise."

Specific titles, developers, and released dates have yet to be announced, but 2K's first NFL game is expected to be out next year and within parent company Take-Two's 2022 fiscal year. Most likely, the game's being set up to launch right around the start of the 2021 NFL season.

In a football game market nearly monopolized by EA's Madden NFL franchise, word that 2K was getting back to making NFL-licensed games again was encouraging news. Unfortunately, perhaps to the dismay of many fans, a true competitor to Madden these games won't be, as the "non-simulation" label implies more arcade-like experiences (think NFL Blitz, NFL Street, or the football equivalent of NBA 2K Playgrounds).

Speaking of Madden, EA had its own licensing deal with the NFL extended through at least the 2025 season by the league's owners back in May. The extension keeps Madden as the lone series of simulation-based NFL games for the foreseeable future, and granted EA the ability to develop mobile and arcade-style games as well.

Still, while Madden will remain video-game football's headliner, 2K is at least making it so it isn't the only show in town anymore.

"2K has a proven track record of high-profile and successful business relationships with other sports leagues, professional athletes and their collective fans," Steve Scebelo, Interim President of NFL Players Inc. (the NFLPA's licensing and marketing arm), said in a statement. "The label makes some of the best sports video games in the world, and we look forward to working with 2K, our players and OneTeam on future projects."

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Bethesda Releases Details on Upcoming QuakeCon at Home Stream

QuakeCon 2020, Bethesda

On a post on Bethesda's site, Bethesda has provided details on the upcoming QuakeCon from Home, including info on panels, giveaways, and more. The event runs from August 7-9.

The first panel to kick off the 25th anniversary of QuakeCon is with Bethesda's Pete Hines where he welcomes viewers to the virtual convention. From there, there will be panels on games like Doom Eternal, Fallout 76, and The Elder Scrolls Online. Besides panels, there will be free game skin giveaways for titles like Doom Eternal, Quake Champions, and Fallout 76.

In addition to panels, viewers will be able to donate to charities such as UNICEF, Direct Relief, and The Trevor Project. For fans that want QuakeCon 2020 themed merch, Bethesda will sell clothing, a mousepad, and pin themed after the event. The items are available for preorder now.

"Because the world is a different place right now, QuakeCon is going to be different this year too, but the beating heart of QuakeCon remains strong," said Bethesda. "It's still a celebration of our amazing communities, and it's still about coming together to share our love of games. Because we can't be together in person, we're hosting three straight days of streams focusing on games, the people who make them, and the people who love them."

Like other major gaming events in the world, QuakeCon 2020 had to be canceled due to COVID-19. That being said, the event has carried on through this upcoming online event. Other major gaming conventions to be canceled or postponed include GDC, Gamescom, and E3 2020. These cancellations and postponements have caused publishers like EA and Ubisoft to replace their E3 conferences with their own digital events that happened in mid-June and early-July respectively.

The 25th QuakeCon starts on August 7 and ends on August 9. As more news comes out about QuakeCon and what's announced there, we'll be sure to let you know.

The post Bethesda Releases Details on Upcoming QuakeCon at Home Stream by David Gill appeared first on DualShockers.

Red Dead Online Leak Possibly Points to Halloween Content

Red Dead Redemption 2 Mystery Solved Civil War Ghost Sounds Bolger Gate RDR2 PC PS4 Xbox One Rockstar North Games

Just after getting a new update that added a new role and outlaw pass, it seems like Red Dead OnlineRed Dead Redemption 2's online component, could be getting another update before the year's out.

Dataminers combing through the files of Red Dead Online's latest update made some surprising and frightening discoveries. First and foremost, it seems like Red Dead Online is scheduled to get a new outlaw pass after October 19. The update that brings this new season pass will also include a ton of seasonal content as well. A screenshot of some of the leaked content from @Rockstar_Actu, which you can find below, shows just some of what could be coming to Red Dead Online in just a few months. On the list are new masks for horses, emotes, an extremely spooky machete and new themes for your speakeasy.

Of course, none of this has been confirmed by Rockstar, so it must all be taken with a grain of salt. It's entirely possible that this content ends up not being used at all and the excitement is for nothing. That hasn't stopped the cowboys and cowgirls of the Red Dead Online Reddit board though, where this leak has gotten many asking for some spooky content.

What I have to speculate on is whether or not this leak could be hinting towards something else for Red Dead Online. Rumors about another zombie uprising sweeping across the five states have been around in Red Dead Online and Red Dead Redemption 2 for a while now. I'm certainly not saying that we're going to be getting some rootin'-tootin-zombie-shootin' action, but it would be a wonderful surprise for players.

The post Red Dead Online Leak Possibly Points to Halloween Content by Otto Kratky appeared first on DualShockers.

X-Men: Mutant Insurrection is the Latest Dice-Based Co-op From Fantasy Flight Games

X-Men: Mutant Insurrection, Fantasy Flight Games, board game

With Gen Con Online in full swing, mega-publisher Fantasy Flight Games is announcing upcoming games left and right. Earlier today, they dropped news about a new Twilight Imperium expansion. And now, the team has revealed X-Men: Mutant Insurrection, a dice-based co-op for up to six players. Check it out below.

X-Men: Mutant Insurrection obviously has a big IP behind it; however, the game also boasts a star designer. Richard Launius is the brain behind games like Arkham Horror, Defenders of the Realm, and Elder Sign. Joining him is Brandon Perdue, who's had a hand in some of the Star Wars: Imperial Assualt expansions.

Mutant Insurrection lets you and your friends choose between 16 different X-Men as you embark on different adventures. The game uses a mixture of card combat and dice rolls. It looks like an easy-to-grasp system, which should make this a decent game for families to hop into.

At the very least, the mutant standees are going to look great on your table. They're even including a cardboard Blackbird for your heroes to ride on. As with most Fantasy Flight Games, the components, as a whole, look phenomenal. Enticing new players to join in should be an easy ask.

X-Men: Mutant Insurrection is set to launch at friendly local game stores during the fourth quarter of 2020. That could have it out just in time for a great holiday gift for your super hero-loving family member.

Gen Con Online is running all weekend. Make sure to tune in on Twitch if you want to see some of the best upcoming games demoed live. And check back here for any big announcements.

The post X-Men: Mutant Insurrection is the Latest Dice-Based Co-op From Fantasy Flight Games by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.

Twilight Imperium: Prophecy of Kings Expansion Announced

Twilight Imperium: Prophecy of Kings, Fantasy Flight Games, board game

Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition from Fantasy Flight Games is one of the biggest board games on the market. Both from a sales and size standpoint. The box is gigantic and boasts an exceptionally long playtime even for some of the most battle-hardened players. Today, the team at FFG announced a brand new expansion for the game. Prophecy of Kings adds a ton of new content to the base game. Check out the announcement from today's Gen Con Online stream below.

Twilight Imperium fans will know that the Fourth Edition collects some of the game's many expansions and puts them in the base game. However, FFG is far from finished expanding the universe. Prophecy of Kings adds so much to an already bloated game. Notably, there are seven brand new factions for players to dive into. As with all of the factions, these have their own strategy and playstyle you'll need to master to conquer the galaxy. And look, I have no idea what a "Gene-Sorcerer" is, but I sure do want to be one.

You're also getting an expanded galaxy in the form of new system tiles. A big reason for these new tiles is that the expansion pumps up the player count to eight. One player for each hour that it will take you to finish a game of Twilight Imperium. Jokes aside, this is neat. The game already felt epic in scale, but this will take it to a completely new level. You don't play TI expecting to get in and out quickly. Twilight Imperium is an event.

There some other bits and bobs FFG talked about, but the big thing is that you're getting a lot more TI goodness. And you don't have to wait long. Twilight Imperium: Prophecy of Kings is scheduled to launch this November.

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Latest Spiritfarer Trailer Shows Off Charming Art Style and Gameplay

Spiritfarer, Thunder Lotus Games, Nintendo Switch

Spiritfarer is an upcoming management game with light platforming elements from the team at Thunder Lotus Games. It boasts a stunning, hand-drawn art style that oozes charm. Thunder Lotus has continuously given us great looks at the game in action. Today is no different as the latest trailer shows off some great-looking gameplay. Give it a watch below.

The new Spiritfarer trailer provides a better look at some of the non-management gameplay we can expect when the game releases. Early on, you see Stella, the character you play as, searching a map for areas to explore and loot. Presumably, some of these locations will also have new spirits for you to meet and get to know once they arrive on your ferry.

We also get a good look at Stella's platforming skills. The trailer shows them using a leaf to soar on the wind, a nifty double jump, and some type of magical harness that lets you zip line across the world. It's impossible to say how the controls feel without getting hands-on, but early reports from the beta seem positive.

Personally, I'm excited about Spiritfarer because I love management games, and getting build my own city-ferry sounds great. Plus, the team is putting in a co-op mode and I know my wife will love controlling Stella's cat. She'd prefer a dog, but whatever. All of the footage Thunder Lotus has shown thus far makes it look like a game that you shouldn't miss.

Spiritfarer releases later this year on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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