Aug 31, 16:00

Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 3:15 PM

Reviews have started pouring in for Starfield, the highly anticipated and allegedly gargantuan space RPG from Bethesda, which comes out worldwide on September 6. And though the reviews are mostly positive, and reports suggest that this may be the least buggy Bethesda launch yet, one content creator has pointed out a…


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 2:50 PM

Starfield has been shouldering enormous expectations from both longtime fans of Bethesda's open world RPGs and devoted Xbox players desperate for a hit exclusive. Now, initial reactions to the sprawling sci-fi shooter are finally here, and the early reviews are mixed. Some critics are championing Starfield as the…


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 2:42 PM

Starfield has at least partially fulfilled its galaxy-sized ambition, some initial reviews suggest, but its shipbuilding is holding it back.


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 2:32 PM

Nier: Automata, a fatalistic video game about attractive androids fighting to save a doomed humanity, is a franchise that'll never say no to making a guest appearance in another video game regardless of how nonsensical the crossover might be. In the six years since its release, the sci-fi roleplaying game has…


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 2:10 PM

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon launched on August 25, and folks have been loving it. If you haven't yet taken it for a spin, know that satisfying, explosive combat, gorgeous visuals, and the thrill of building your very own mech to go out and earn some money for corporations is yours to have. But can you take it on…


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 2:06 PM

Larian Studios recently announced it would be altering some aspects of Baldur's Gate 3's ending in order to flesh out parts that some fans (rightfully) argued felt a bit undercooked compared to everything that preceded them. The first of these updates came out today, August 31, as part of the game's second big patch,…


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:37 PM

Starfield is nearly out on PC and Xbox consoles for those who have early access to the space-faring RPG, and reviews are officially popping up online. The game's currently garnering favorable marks among critics, with most shook by how (mostly) bug-free Bethesda's game surprisingly is.


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:28 PM

Volition, the studio behind Red Faction, Saints Row, and countless other games, is closing its doors after 30 years. The decision was made by parent company Embracer after the sprawling conglomerate announced cuts earlier this year following the loss of $2 billion in funding that was reportedly supposed to come from…


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:22 PM

After years of hype and teasing, Starfield…isn't out yet. But the embargo on reviews is up and with it, the first technical review of the game is here. The big takeaway is that Starfield seems to be running solidly on both the Xbox Series X and the smaller, less powerful Series S. This is a bit shocking considering…


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 11:45 AM

The ESRB seems to have revealed that Ubisoft is planning a Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition. News on the BG&E front has been a little quiet as of late, so fans of the classic adventure title might be in for a nice revisit. That notoriously truant sequ—err, prequel, however? Well, who knows?


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 11:40 AM

After briefly teasing the character during EVO 2023, Capcom has finally unveiled the poisonous fangs of Street Fighter 6's newest combatant, A.K.I., who will slither her way into the popular fighting game on September 27.


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 10:45 AM

An August 31 Nintendo Direct gave us a lengthy look at the upcoming Super Mario Bros. Wonder game, with an added surprise at the end of the presentation: A brand-new, limited edition Nintendo Switch OLED. The console will release on October 6, two full weeks before Super Mario Bros. Wonder's October 20 release date.…


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 10:40 AM

Shortly before the public opening of this 2023's annual board game convention, Gen Con, around $300,000 worth of Magic: The Gathering cards were reported stolen. Caught on security camera at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, two suspects were seen carting out a large pallet of cardboard boxes…


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 10:21 AM

During today's Super Mario Bros. Wonder-centric Nintendo Direct, we got to see a new and far more detailed look at the upcoming side-scrolling platformer, including its amazing approach to online play, and how you can now play as a Yoshi carrying an elephant.


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 9:40 AM

Gearbox Entertainment loves bundles, so naturally it just announced Borderlands Collection: Pandora's Box, which combines every game in the loot shooter series except for last year's Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. It'll be available on every console except Switch, which is getting a separate port of just Borderlands 3 by…


Kotaku Thursday, August 31, 2023 9:15 AM

Musou games—the large-scale hack-and-slash games typified by series like Dynasty Warriors—often get a bad wrap, with detractors arguing that they're just monotonous power fantasies lacking in depth. While there's some truth to that, such a reductive reading misses the point behind games in this genre, which still has…


PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:58 PM
     Best Starfield background explained

What is the best Starfield background? As you create your character in this massive space game, your origin story is one of the many options you have to pick. Each background has a short bio detailing what kind of person you are and three starting Starfield skills to set you on your way.

As the Starfield release date approaches, so does the chance to play Starfield on Xbox Game Pass. To ensure you're fully prepared for Starfield character creation, let's dive into all of the currently revealed Starfield backgrounds and bio entries, as well as which starting Starfield skills each of them has.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:49 PM
     Starfield digipicks and digipicking explained

What is Starfield digipicking? There's going to be stuff in space that people don't want you to get your grubby little mitts on. They lock their cases, their cabinets, hell, even their doors. The fools. They don't know that you're already a master of digipicking - the futuristic version of Starfield lockpicking, obviously - and it'll take much more than a silly lock to stand in your way.

The Starfield release date is edging ever closer, and the smell of adventure is in the air - well, in your spacesuit, anyway - if you're anything like us, you can't wait to gather your companions, build your own Starfield spaceship, and set off into the final frontier. What happens, though, if you find something that's locked? Well, you pick that lock, silly. Here's how.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:44 PM
     Starfield credits and how to earn fast

How do you earn Starfield credits quickly? In a universe where corporations hold much of the wealth among the populace, many have turned to mercenary work or piracy to get by. That said, there are a lucky few who somehow can make a living, and you can be one of them with some smart thinking and very big pockets.

So naturally, given that Starfield has an entire galaxy full of humans that rely on money to get by, you'll want lots of it to spare. Heck, some of the Starfield traits require you to spend credits periodically or can get you a discount on items with specific traders. You may even find that some of your Starfield companions will help or hinder your efforts to earn a fortune. So, before the Starfield release date, let's discuss all the ways that you can get rich quickly.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:59 PM
     All Starfield traits and their effects

What are the best Starfield traits? Touted by Todd Howard as "the most flexible yet", Bethesda's latest suite of creation tools allows you to select unique character traits that apply positive and negative modifiers to your spacefarer. There's a wide variety of options on offer, so we've collected them all into one handy list to help you decide your favorites ahead of time.

Traits can offer additional choices when completing Starfield missions, such as granting access to additional dialogue options and determining faction allegiances. They also supplement your Starfield background and Starfield skills when shaping the character you've created in Starfield. Are you an introverted homebody that prefers to stay planetside, or a wanted street rat with alien DNA? Either is possible with Starfield traits - just take a look.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:40 PM
     Starfield Cydonia city guide

What can be found in Starfield's Cydonia? Cydonia is a large mining settlement found on Mars. The entire city is located underground due to the inhospitable environment, here's what we know about its locations, possible missions, and factions you'll face here.

Cydonia is found on the Starfield planet Mars along with the Mars Mech Factory, and is one of the four big Starfield cities featured in the space game. It was one of the first established settlements after humanity left Earth and is made up of a maze of underground tunnels, completely sealed from the outside environment. It's obviously found in the same system as Earth, so check out our guide to whether Earth is in Starfield and what you'll find if you visit.

Continue reading Starfield Cydonia city guide
MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:44 PM
     The best new PC games 2023

What are the best new PC games 2023? Perhaps you have just been paid, bank account fat with virtual dosh, or you simply want to get caught up with the latest PC games because they are, well, new and shiny.

It is all well and good starting another daring round of PUBG, taking on a new 100-hour Football Manager save, or yet another The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim adventure but, as much as we love setting mammoths ablaze, there are plenty of new PC games that will more than supply your gaming fix. You don't want to be the person who isn't In The Know now, do you?

Continue reading The best new PC games 2023
MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Baldur's Gate 3 quests, Baldur's Gate 3 review, Baldur's Gate 3 class

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:32 PM
     All Starfield companions and their skills

Who are the Starfield companions? It's easy to get lonely in the vast reaches of space, but it wouldn't be a Bethesda RPG without a companion to tag along with you on your adventure. Beyond running through a full list of confirmed companions and crew members, we'll also explain some of the ways you can recruit them and include info on their abilities.

You don't have to find a Starfield companion, but there are Starfield traits that offer additional bonuses for having a companion and staying in their good books, as well as being a vital part of your Starfield crew. Companions often provide an alternate point of view during Starfield missions, and they aren't shy about commenting on the decisions you've chosen – so prepare to be judged for any morally questionable actions. It also goes without saying that they're also a prerequisite for a Starfield romance. Here's the scoop on companions in Starfield, along with their character Starfield backgrounds and skills.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:39 PM
     Best RPG games on PC 2023

What are the best RPG games on PC? As one of the oldest game genres, the diversity of these beloved games is hard to express. You can have everything from interplanetary exploration, lightsaber duels, and bloodthirsty vampires to irradiated mutants who need to be beaten with golf clubs, lizards who can talk to cats, and a whole lot of dice rolling if that's your jam.

The scale and scope of RPG games are like never before, with tech finally catching up to developers' ambitions, enabling vast, open worlds previously unseen. As a result, some of these adventures are among the best PC games ever made. So, dear traveler, gather your party and head out. We're about to bear witness to the best RPGs available on PC.

Continue reading Best RPG games on PC 2023
MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Baldur's Gate 3 quests, Baldur's Gate 3 review, Baldur's Gate 3 class

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:46 PM
     Best Starfield powers – all known superpowers

What are the best Starfield powers? It wouldn't be sci-fi without some special powers to wield as you explore the galaxy, and Starfield powers let you do some pretty impressive things. Use the elements around you to hurl an enemy through the air or breathe when their is no air - but only if you have unlocked the power first.

Starfield powers contribute to the best Starfield builds, taking into account Starfield skills. Rather than being magical, you Starfield character instead is able to take control of the forces and elements around them. You must progress through the many Starfield missions to unlock these powers though, as they aren't just handed out.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:36 PM
     The best PC games 2023

What are the best PC games available today? From triple-A world-beaters like GTA V to enchanting indie releases such as Rocket League, these classics are the biggest games across Steam, Epic Games Store and more.

Finding the top PC games is no easy task. There are, you may have noticed, quite a lot of them. From the 50,000 plus Steam games to… all those other platforms you love so much, there has never been more choice available to the discerning PC gamer.

Continue reading The best PC games 2023
MORE FROM PCGAMESN: The best Elden Ring builds, Elden Ring bosses, The best Elden Ring classes

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:18 PM
     The best fight sticks in 2023

While traditional controllers are fine for many types of games, when you need better control, more directional accuracy, and greater tactile feedback, only the best fight stick will do.

It's always important to make sure you've got the best PC controller for the job, and just as PC steering wheel can make a huge difference for racing games, fight sticks, or arcade sticks, can enhance your experience in racing or retro games.

They're much more comfortable, natural and satisfying to operate, sharing out the button and stick inputs across your arms and hands rather than relying primarily on your thumbs. Trust us, when you're spamming hadoukens on Street Fighter, your thumbs will be thankful for a fight stick.

For our money, we'd plump for the Nacon Daija, a pricey stick that exudes quality and craftsmanship. Its Sanwa quality parts also offer that unmistakable arcade feel. However, you can get your hands on decent sticks for a fair bit less, such as the 8Bitdo Arcade Stick or Hori Fight Stick Alpha. Additionally, the Qanba Drone is our pick of the budget options, and handily you can swap out the parts for better components - you can find overviews of them all below.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Best graphics card, Best gaming PC, Best SSD for gaming

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:20 PM
     Starfield food explained

What does Starfield food do? You've got to keep your energy up while you're being a big damn hero, but how do you do that in Starfield? Food, of course. One of our favorite pastimes is chomping down on anything in our eyeline – the fact that Starfield takes so much pride in its recreation of food is music to our ears.

The excitement for the Starfield release date has almost reached fever-pitch, and rightly so. The space game is absolutely gargantuan, letting players and their Starfield companions explore entire solar systems at the click of a button. But that's not why we're really here, we're here to see what kind of chow the Settled Systems has to offer.

Continue reading Starfield food explained
MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:13 PM
     Starfield magazine upgrades explained

Want to know what Starfield magazines do? Hidden across the universe are unique Starfield magazines that contain instant stat upgrades as soon as you read them. Fallout fans may recognize this mechanic in the form of magazines that offer benefits in the form of perks and skills. The upgrade you receive from reading a Starfield magazine is permanent, so you can proudly display the magazine in your ship after you read it, or sell it to a vendor to earn extra credits.

We're unsure exactly how many Starfield magazines are scattered throughout the universe, but if Fallout 4 is anything to go by, there could be over 100 magazines to find. Given the number of Starfield skills on offer, you're going to want to collect these items to create the best Starfield builds. With the Starfield release date rapidly approaching, it's worth knowing the whereabouts of these magazines so you don't have to backtrack on your intergalactic journey.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:11 PM
     Starfield walkthrough, tips, and how-to guides

Where can I find a Starfield walkthrough? If you're looking for information on everything Starfield-related, you've come to the right place. It's no secret that the Settled Systems are a vast expanse, and there's an exhaustive amount of stuff to do. We don't blame you if you're feeling a tad overwhelmed – but relax and take a breath, because we're here to help you hunt down the right gun, NPC, or companion for you.

Our Starfield walkthrough contains a varied collection of how-to guides across a range of different topics. From dialogue mechanics to character creation, you can consider PCGamesN your one-stop shop for all things Starfield. So, whether you're a keen-eyed Starfield sandwich bandit or bumbling space pirate, take your hand off the rage quit button and take a look at our guides instead.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:03 PM
     How to disable Starfield turrets

How do you disable Starfield turrets? People, generally, are easy to dispatch. That isn't the inner serial killer in us talking, it's just the way things are. Fleshy opponents have quite a weakness - bullets. Well, bullets, knives, lasers, anything really, they all work the same. Turrets, however, don't feel pain, will not retreat, and have a nasty habit of riddling you with holes.

By now, you'll already have felt the sting of cold lead on your skin, been hunted by bounty hunters, and most likely engaged in a Starfield romance or two. If you haven't, read our Starfield review - it'll get you hyped for the adventures to come, the Starfield companions you'll meet, and the copious amount of sandwiches you can hoard on your Starfield ship.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:02 PM
     How to remove Starfield Bounty

How do you get rid of Starfield bounty? If you're hoping to clear your name in the grand cosmos, you're going to need to know where to direct your hard-earned credits. Rolling around the stars with a price on your head attracts attention, and the cost of being hunted or captured can quickly outweigh the economic hit of turning yourself in.

Before we jump into all that, though, why not check out a few other important Starfield guides to avoid landing yourself in hot water again? The best Starfield companions can help you out of a sticky situation, and there's a chance the Starfield romance and relationship system could turn your hero into your star-faring partner. Picking the best Starfield background and Starfield skills will also aid you in your quests across the skies, so best to brush up.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:17 PM
     Starfield boost pack – How to use the jetpack

How do you use the Starfield jetpack? Known by a couple of different terms in-game, we all know about these rucksack-style personal propulsion devices from decades of sci-fi pop culture entertainment. Despite what you think you know, how you go about actually obtaining and using the Starfield boostpack isn't as straightforward as you'd expect.

Before we give you the means to jump gaps, climb cliffs, and break falls, consider where you'll use these handy feats of engineering. Our Starfield planets guide can help you plot a course for your best Starfield ships. Be careful, though: without the best Starfield guns and Starfield weapon mods, your boostpack will only get you so far. Check out the best Starfield backgrounds to potentially get immediate access to these handy contraptions.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:33 PM
     All Starfield missions and quests explained

What are Starfield missions? Blasting off across the solar system is an exciting prospect, but you might be wondering what quests await you in the big black yonder. Well, rather a lot as it happens, and the Settled Systems are chock-full with all manner of missions and side-quests to complete. Aside from the main story, you can become embroiled in large-scale political conflict, battle space pirates, or even make a friend. We've compiled a list of Starfield missions just to make sense of it all.

Starfield missions take eager spacefarers on a grand exploration of over 1,000 Starfield planets. According to lead quest designer Will Shen, the Starfield's galactic scale and procedural generation necessitated a new approach to designing Starfield quests, which often begin in "a dynamically placed settlement that takes you to a dynamically placed dungeon as you're walking through the planet." Here are the missions you can expect to sink your teeth into once the Starfield release date rolls around.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:00 PM
     Best Starfield settings

What are the best Starfield settings? Just like actual astronauts blasting off into space, performing a launch status check of your Starfield settings will save you from a choppy flight and even adventure-ending crashes. Thankfully, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to get this Bethesda RPG running with out of this world performance with visuals to match, and we're here to help your frame rates blast off.

Continue reading Best Starfield settings
MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:00 PM
     Is Starfield Steam Deck compatible?

Is Starfield Steam Deck compatible? Having a Bethesda RPG installed on your Steam Deck feels like you don't need any other game on the handheld, and Starfield is no exception. Unfortunately, it appears we'll need to wait a while longer to take our space flights on the go.

As stated in the Starfield system requirements, you'll need 125GB of storage space if you want to head out exploring new planets. There's over a hundred different solar systems on offer, so it's not exactly a surprise the game takes up so much space. If you're hoping to play Bethesda's latest title on the go, you might want to check out our guide to the best microSD card for Steam Deck, especially if you've got the 64GB model.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:00 PM
     Starfield planets – all known systems, moons, and worlds

What are all of the Starfield planets? Starfield features over 1,000 planets spread across more than 100 star systems. On average, each system will have around ten celestial bodies for you to explore. We know you can build outposts in Starfield, hire characters to staff them, and harvest resources. It's likely that every planet has at least one point of interest worth delving into or valuable materials potentially difficult to find elsewhere.

Not every Starfield planet is loaded with content, and some don't have life on them at all due to their procedurally generated nature. Some are home worlds of the many Starfield factions, and you can visit their main headquarters in Starfield cities like New Atlantis on the planet Jemison. Many other worlds are desolate places ripe for exploration, though you'll have to set out on foot, which is just as well as the sole concern of Constellation, one of the primary groups, is to push the frontiers of human understanding. We've split the many known destinations into planets and moons and given information on which system you can find them in below.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:41 PM
     Starfield review – a giant leap for Bethesda, a small step for RPGs

If you're looking for the essence of Bethesda Game Studios' Starfield, look no further than its musical score. A Spielbergian orchestra occasionally gives way to a Roddenberry twinkle, punctuated by Starfield's own recurring motif: sweeping violins that capture the spirit of utopic hope and grand discovery. This is not too dissimilar from Todd Howard's pitch on E3's main stage back in 2021: "an epic, about hope, shared humanity, and answering our greatest mystery." But does Starfield achieve what it sets out to do? Our comprehensive Starfield review takes you across the Settled Systems to bring you an answer to that question, and includes everything but the interstellar kitchen sink. Well, maybe that, too.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 11:53 AM
     Every Starfield creature revealed

What are the Starfield creatures? One of the more terrifying prospects of landing on a Starfield planet is the fear of running into the unknown. We can handle space pirates and mercenaries just fine, but the idea of being tracked down by a bloodthirsty beast roaming on a desolate planet sounds like a nightmare.

From the gameplay we've seen so far, many of the creatures in Starfield appear peaceful. If you aren't actively provoking them, they should leave you alone. With the right set of Starfield skills, you can use any lurking creatures to attack hostile enemies, allowing you to avoid any combat and get on with pickpocketing everyone in the area. Here's everything we know about the Starfield creatures right now, including where you can find them and what you can do with them.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Starfield review, Starfield companions, Starfield traits

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 11:50 AM
     Baldur's Gate 3 patch 2 is here, giving Karlach love and fixing bugs

Baldur's Gate 3 patch 2 is live now, with lots of bug fixes, UI improvements, and general performance boosts. It also gives you a way to resolve other player characters being stuck in your party forever if you'd rather return to a solo adventure in the landmark RPG game. The full Baldur's Gate 3 patch notes also include some additional scenes to help deliver the world's best companion, Karlach, some more contemplation and resolution to her narrative.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Baldur's Gate 3 quests, Baldur's Gate 3 review, Baldur's Gate 3 class

PCGamesN Thursday, August 31, 2023 10:59 AM
     Cities Skylines 2 devs found a bug, so turned it into a feature

Cities Skylines 2 is the ultimate exercise in detail. From roads to traffic, city services, and the economy, every aspect of the city-building game sequel has been painstakingly redesigned and balanced. With the Cities Skylines 2 release date almost upon us, there's a part of me that's almost afraid - CS2 is so in-depth and detailed, it feels like I'll actually be running a city. But videogames will be videogames, and even in the case of Cities Skylines 2, happy, glitch-related accidents will still happen. One feature in CS2, related to how you gauge citizen happiness and manage housing, is the result of a bug.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Cities Skylines 2 release date, Cities Skylines 2 system requirements, Cities Skylines 2 maps

Rock Paper Shotgun Latest Articles Feed Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:50 PM

Embracer Group have announced that they're closing down Volition, the Illinois, US-based developer best known today for Saints Row and Red Faction. The announcement - which coincided with the predictably uproarious lifting of Starfield's review embargo, though I'm sure the timing is purely accidental - comes as part of broader restructuring at Embracer Group following a multiple-year acquisition spree, which Alice0 reported on in June.

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Rock Paper Shotgun Latest Articles Feed Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:00 PM

I don't remember this at the time, but there were complaints about Skyrim's map when it came out, because it was just an extreme zoom out on the world. It wasn't dense with information; the map markers were often kind of an "it's in this area" guideline that were even less helpful if what you needed was in a barrow or otherwise underground. Starfield raises the bar by taking the bold step of having a map that is almost not a map.

I'm referring here to the planet surface map. The starmap is, like a couple of things I've experienced since being hustled through quite an accelerated inciting incident (Starfield's equivalent of Patrick Stewart dying in a sewer after he's charged you with saving the world), reminiscent of Mass Effect. You can select different galaxies, which have one or two solar systems in them, and then can zoom down and select specific planets or moons or whatever to warp to. Once you're wombling about on the surface being a naughty little space captain - or whatever, I don't judge what you're up to - well baby, I hope you like blue voids with a bit of topography.

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Rock Paper Shotgun Latest Articles Feed Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:00 PM

Brought to you by the teeming brains behind Snake Cave and Eat Shit With Divine, Starfield is an experience of almost bewildering scale that defies easy summary, but I will do my best. In this much-anticipated sci-fi action epic, you step into the spaceboots of Prince Starfield, a fully customisable, unvoiced protagonist who must battle a cosmic menace in the course of a familiar, but thrillingly woven narrative with unabashed political dimensions.

Not to be confused with NickTitle's rather more contemplative game of the same name, to say nothing of Kenneth Nietfeld's swashbuckling romance Rick Starfield: Hero of Space and Time, or indeed Starfield from Graek Tarmikos, an avant garde reinterpretation of Breakout, joeAmerica Gayms' Starfield is a straightforward but engrossing blend of action and customisation elements. It's the same heady brew of role-playing possibilities we've come to expect from the resourceful creator of Abandoned Bog.

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Rock Paper Shotgun Latest Articles Feed Thursday, August 31, 2023 11:17 AM

Woah! Last week Gamescom 2023 happened, the biggest consumer event for video games in the woooooooorld! The Electronic Wireless Show podcast gives you our definitive take on what was hot and what was not from Geoffcom's Opening Night Live, and points you towards some of the previews and interviews our crack team has from the show floor. This week there's plenty to talk about re. What We've Been Playing as well, because James has been cramming in a bunch of small games. Fun!

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Rock Paper Shotgun Latest Articles Feed Thursday, August 31, 2023 10:01 AM

It's high time for another RPS Game Club chat! This month we've been pondering Aperture Desk Job: a "playable short" Valve created as a Steam Deck accompaniment, yet still manages to squeeze in some deliciously ironic character beats and at least one mantis-based tragedy. We'll be discussing it in the liveblog below from 4pm BST, and we want to know your thoughts too. Liked it? Loathed it? Have design feedback for the toilet turrets? We wanna hear 'em, so join us by posting in the liveblog widget's comments bit. See you in an hour, ish.

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Rock Paper Shotgun Latest Articles Feed Thursday, August 31, 2023 9:28 AM

Lord Of The Rings: Return To Moria is a survival game that certainly shares something in common with both Valheim and Deep Rock Galactic: you and a few buds sink pits and set out on expeditions to mine ore, batter monsters, and push further into the darkness. Having watched its game director Jon-Paul Dumont steer me through a 30-minute demo, I've come away with the impression it's far more than just a cheap LOTR pretender. The game strikes me as a real competitor, with well thought out story beats and crafting treats to make Moria's restoration a hearty adventure… or, if you'd prefer, the equivalent of a Powerwash Simulator.

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Twinfinite Thursday, August 31, 2023 3:06 PM
It's no longer our time now.

Twinfinite Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:05 PM
Constellation 101.

Twinfinite Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:00 PM
Spacer's Choice.

Twinfinite Thursday, August 31, 2023 11:47 AM
An appreciation that's out of this world.

Twinfinite Thursday, August 31, 2023 11:45 AM
Full Steam ahead.

Twinfinite Thursday, August 31, 2023 10:00 AM
He's so much more than just a Cook.

Twinfinite Thursday, August 31, 2023 9:59 AM
The bestest of boys.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 4:00 PM

Dragon Ball Z x 100 Thieves x Higround Collection

and 100 Thieves announced the two companies will release a Dragon Ball Z collection featuring apparel, keyboards, and mousepads with artwork of characters like Goku, Vegeta, Buu, Trunks, and Cell. Currently, a number of keyboards and mousepads have already sold out from this lineup, including the Performance Base 65 keyboards, Super Saiyan mousepad, and the Saiyan Saga mousepad.

The Dragon Ball Z x Higround Summit 65 keyboards come in two styles, with Goku doing a Kamehameha Wave or Vegeta in his Saiyan armor. They feature dye-sub PBT keycaps, a full CNC aluminum case, gasket-mounted designs, and graphic switches. The Dragon Ball Z x Higround Performance Base 65 ones come in four styles, including the Goku and Vegeta designs and ones with Trunks and Vegeta in their Super Saiyan forms and the dragon Shenron. It has magnetic switches, an aluminum plate, and silicone dampening foam. The Higround Base 65 keyboards in this collection come in four styles as well and have hot-swappable switches.

Images of the Dragon Ball Z x Higround keyboards and mousepads can be viewed below:

[gallery columns="4" ids="981480,981477,981478,981479,981484,981483,981482,981481" link="file"]

Below is a list of the available items in the DBZ x 100 Thieves x Higround Collection and their prices:

  • DBZ x HG Summit 65 Keyboards: $300.00 USD
  • DBZ x HG Performance Base 65 Keyboards: $175.00 USD
  • DBZ x HG Base 65 Keyboards: $145.00 USD
  • DBZ x HG Mousepad XL: $50.00 USD
  • DBZ x HG Jellybag - Shenron: $40.00 USD
  • Hoodies: $90.00 USD
  • Shirts: $38.00 USD
  • Nalgene Water Bottles: $28.00 USD

[gallery columns="4" link="file" ids="981476,981466,981463,981464,981462,981461,981471,981472,981467,981468,981473,981470,981469,981475,981474"]

The Dragon Ball anime series and its films are available to stream on Crunchyroll.

The post DBZ x 100 Thieves x Higround Keyboard & Mousepad Collection Is Already Selling Out appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 3:30 PM

Crisis Core FFVII SOLDIER Perks

Square Enix shared new Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII SOLDIER trivia. It explains the various perks 1st Class SOLDIER characters receive. As a reminder, these are the folks like Sephiroth, Angeal, and eventually Zack.

1st Class SOLDIERs an elite group in SOLDIER who are typically sent out onto missions that are extremely difficult or require a specialized skillset. They are the highest level of SOLDIERs at the Shinra Electric Power Company which is why they are afforded so many privileges and perks.

1st Class SOLDIERs are granted the right to refuse a mission. Typically, 3rd Class and 2nd Class SOLDIERs must work any mission assigned to them, but 1st Class SOLDIERs are afforded the perk to refuse a mission due to their unique talents and strength. 1st Class SOLDIERs are also allowed the right to carry special equipment, use items that are not supplied by Shinra, and wear their own clothes.

There are some 1st Class SOLDIERs like Angeal Hewley who prefer to stick to tradition and wear the standard black 1st Class SOLDIER outfit in Final Fantasy VII. This is due to Angeal's commitment to duty and his serious attitude. Others like Sephiroth and Genesis Rhapsodos have modified or completely swapped out standard uniform for more elaborate, distinctive outfits.

Square Enix frequently releases trivia about Final Fantasy VII through the official FFVII Remake Twitter, having recently revealed new Crisis Core FFVII trivia about the Virtual Reality System and Tifa's role. Square Enix also recently shared information about the design work for Rufus Shinra's outfit and Cloud's dress in FFVII Remake.

Crisis Core: FFVII Reunion is available on the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Windows PC.

The post New Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Trivia Explains SOLDIER 1st Class Perks appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 3:00 PM

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim Surpasses One Million Units Sold

Atlus announced a 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim sales milestone. Over one million copies sold worldwide since its initial launch. It revealed the achievement on its official website, thanking players for supporting the game for these past four years.

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim initially released on the PlayStation 4. It was later ported to the Nintendo Switch. The title was nominated for various awards, such as Best Narrative at The Game Awards 2020.

A new original illustration by Yukiko Hirai has been created in celebration of reaching this milestone. Harai was the illustrator and character designer for the game. Playable protagonists Juro Kurabe and Shu Amiguchi are pictured in it as well as Fluffy, a sneaky talking cat players will encounter over the course of the game.
[gallery columns="1" size="full" ids="981520" link="file"]
To commemorate 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim sales one million units sold worldwide, the Nintendo Switch version of the game will be 50% off on the Nintendo eShop until September 26, 2023 in Japan.

In 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, players swap control between 13 different characters who all play a major role in the overarching story. Some of the events players will get up to during their playthrough include time travel with a compact robot from the future named BJ, strategic mech battles to save the world, and eating yakisoba pan.

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is available on the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

The post 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim Sales Pass One Million Units Worldwide appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 2:30 PM

Bishoujo Transformers Starscream

The latest figure in Kotobukiya's Bishoujo Transformers line is Starscream, and she is now available to pre-order. The figure will cost ¥18,700 or $180, depending on which store you order from. Shipping is set for April 2024 for orders from Japan. It will ship between May and July 2024 worldwide if ordered from Sideshow.

Originally announced in July 2023, with a painted prototype shown off earlier in August 2023, the Bishoujo Transformers Starscream figure was sculpted by Tsubame with design work by Shunya Yamashita. She stands at 8.46" tall upon a stand shaped like the Decepticon logo. Her wings are reimagined as an over-the-shoulder gym bag with a Decepticon keychain. While the figure is not poseable, deluxe orders from the Kotobukiya store come with an additional faceplate with a pleading expression.

There's a video showing it from different angles.

You can see some more of the figure in the gallery below:
[gallery ids="981531,981532,981533,981534,981535" link="file"]

Kotobukiya announced that two variant color schemes of this figure are in production, representing Skywarp and Thundercracker. Other figures include Nemesis Prime and Ciri from The Witcher series.

The Bishoujo Transformers Starscream figure will ship in April 2024 in Japan, while global orders are expected to ship between May and July, 2024.

The post Bishoujo Transformers Starscream Figures Ship in 2024 appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 2:00 PM

tales of symphonia anniversary wine header

A wine bottle and wine glass that feature Tales of Symphonia characters is available to pre-order from eeo Store. This is in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Tales of Symphonia. Pre-orders are open until September 19, 2023, and they will ship out in late November 2023. Ordering either the bottle or the wine will net you a special postcard. [Thanks, Dengeki Online!]

[gallery ids="981445,981444,981443" link="file"]

The bottle of wine costs 12,650 JPY ($86.65) and the glass costs 12,100 JPY ($82.90). Both the bottle and the glass have the designs engraved into them via sandblasting. It uses the key visual that is on the cover of the game, with the words "20th Anniversary" underneath the title. Since it only uses the box art, both of them only depict Lloyd, Colette, Raine, and Genis. While the bottle does come with wine, the website does not go into any details about it. The point is likely the bottle itself and not what's inside.

Tales of Symphonia originally came out in 2003 on the Nintendo GameCube. It was one of the most popular and successful Tales games, with its characters appearing in several other spin-offs and on merchandise over the years. Furyu Hobby also recently opened up pre-orders of plushes based on Symphonia characters as part of the 20th anniversary.

Tales of Symphonia is readily available on the PS4, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. The wine bottle and glass are open for pre-order via eeo Store until September 19, 2023.

The post Open the Wine For Tales of Symphonia 20th Anniversary appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:30 PM

Honkai: Star Rail Prime Gaming Dan Heng Stellar Jades Doled Out

Once again, Amazon revealed the Honkai: Star Rail Prime Gaming rewards to accompany a major character launch. Subscribers can now get a bundle of items that includes Stellar Jades in honor of Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae's debut. It will be available to claim until September 19, 2023, which is the day before the Fu Xuan banner begins.

Here are the Honkai: Star Rail rewards for subscribers this time:

  • 5 Disposable Kinetic Cannons
  • 8 Traveler's Guides
  • 60 Stellar Jades

This is the exact same bundle that was offered when Blade was added to Honkai: Star Rail. They tend to consist of the same sorts of beneficial items each time. The only constant is that the pack will always include 60 Stellar Jades.

This is essentially a reliable and continual promotion at this point. Amazon offers a new Prime Gaming reward alongside each new character banner. This affair kicked off when Jing Yuan debuted. Since then, every major banner was accompanied by a similar offer. The last one appeared earlier in August 10, 2023 when Kafka became a playable cast member.

Honkai: Star Rail is available for the PC and mobile devices. It will head to the PS5 in 2023. Amazon will offer the Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae Prime Gaming offer until September 19, 2023.

The post Honkai: Star Rail Prime Gaming Dan Heng Stellar Jades Doled Out appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:00 PM

Here's How 2B, A2, and Pascal Look in the Nikke NieR Automata Event

When September 2023 starts, so will the NIKKE NieR: Automata event that brings 2B, A2, and Pascal to the game as playable characters. We already knew Pascal is the unit we can earn and the other two heroines are ones in the gacha. Now Level Infinite shared videos and additional details showing all of the characters. There's even a peek at the 2B YoRHa Uniform 1 kimono costume.

First, here's the NIKKE NieR: Automata 2B video. It shows her using the AR: Virtuous Rifle in this game. She is a Fire Code Defender with a Burst Skill III. She has Survival and Cluster Bomb passive skills. Her Series of Attacks Burst Skill deals AOE damage.

And here's the 2B costume you can get in the gacha.

Next, here's the A2 NieR Automata NIKKE teaser. She uses the RL: Type-40 Blade to strike enemies. She is a Fire Code Attacker. Her Burst Skill is also III. Her two passives are Output Increased and Slow Charge Attack. Her Mode B Burst Skill is essentially a blood knight mode that decreases her health over time to increase her attack and charge speed.

Finally, here's Pascal. This machine lifeform uses an RL: Modified Gun and fills a healer role. This is a Iron Code Supporter unit with a Burst Skill I. The Watch Out and I'll Do My Best passives both restore the health of allies. The Stay Safe, Everyone Burst Skill heals three allies' HP.

NIKKE: Goddess of Victory is available on PCs and mobile devices. NieR: Automata is on the PS4, Switch, Xbox One, and PC, and its anime adaptation is streaming on Crunchyroll. The NIKKE NieR: Automata event runs September 1-27, 2023.

The post Here's How 2B, A2, and Pascal Look in the NIKKE NieR: Automata Event appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:33 PM

Armored Core 6 Save File Issues

In a statement made by FromSoftware on August 30, 2023, there are reports that some Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon players may be experiencing save data issues when playing on PC. When saving under certain conditions, the save data for the game will not be saved properly. FromSoftware is currently investigating the cause for this issue.

While FromSoftware did not elaborate on what conditions trigger the save data issues for players, the developer recommends that PC owners of Armored Core 6 close out the game before putting their PC to sleep to avoid any further issues with the game. It only has one save file on PC, so save data issues may cause players to permanently lose progress in the game.

The game underwent emergency maintenance when it began rolling out across different regions on August 24, 2023. This prevented players from accessing a number of online features within the game, but did not affect any single player functions. The game has also received two patches so far to fix a variety of glitches, improve performance and stability, and fix an assortment of graphical and text errors.

Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon is available on the PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC.

The post Armored Core 6 PC Version Experiencing Save Data Issues appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:30 PM

jojo's bizarre adventure stardust crusaders jewelry

Eleven pieces of jewelry based on JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders are now open for pre-order. These items are part of a collaboration with Jam Home Made, which is an accessory shop in Japan. You can purchase the accessories via Premium Bandai. However, Premium Bandai does not ship outside of Japan. [Thanks, Famitsu!]

The jewelry pieces that are part of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders and Jam Home Made collaboration, as well as their prices, are as follows:

  • DIO The World ring (16500 JPY)
  • Hermit Purple necklace (15400 JPY)
  • Hierophant Green earrings (9900 JPY)
  • Iggy ring (16500 JPY)
  • Last Fight necklace (16500 JPY)
  • Last Fight ring (14300 JPY)
  • Magician's Red necklace (13200 JPY)
  • Silver Chariot bead bracelet (13200 JPY)
  • Star Platinum ring (16500 JPY)
  • The Fool feather single earring (7700 JPY)
  • To Be Continued ear cuff (7700 JPY)

All of the items will be available for pre-order until September 17, 2023. They'll ship out in November 2023. Once again, they are only available in Japan unless you employ the use of a proxy service. As a note, the Last Fight ring and necklace Jotaro's ORA ORA and DIO's MUDA MUDA to form the design.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders is available to streaming via services such as Netflix and Crunchyroll. Viz Media is licensing the manga for English readers. The JoJo's Bizarre Adventure jewelry is available for pre-order until September 17, 2023. The current JoJo part is JOJOLands, which is Part 9.

The post JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Jewelry Reference Stands appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 12:01 PM

Review: Starfield Is Bethesda's Best Game Since Fallout 3.

Starfield is not only Bethesda's best work in years, but after spending over 120 hours traveling across the game's vast galaxies, I feel confident that it's also one of the best sci-fi RPGs I've ever played. From its very opening moments, Starfield captures an atmosphere of awe and wonder as it swirls with orchestral music that could be right out of Christopher Nolan's 2014 film Interstellar. At its core, the space adventure is about exploration and diving headfirst into the unknown in the pursuit of knowledge. That sense of excitement and adventure never left me during my entire campaign.

In the first few hours, you are given your very own ship and crew to explore space. While the RPG sets you up with a main plot that is anchored by an interesting mystery, you are actually free to take off and discover other planets and side quests instead. If, like me, you spent more time doing side quests rather than doing main plot missions in Bethesda's 2006 fantasy RPG The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, then Starfield will feel right at home for you. It is filled to the brim with content to discover. Even after spending a hundred hours in the game, I still haven't even touched half of the side quests.

Where the game really shines, though, are its main faction quests. In the opening act, you discover and can join a handful of these groups that are important to the world's lore. Each of these factions has its own epic stories and missions that easily rival Starfield's main plot line. In fact, my favorite story involved the Vanguard faction, which sent me on a journey involving space pirates, undercover spies, and political intrigue. Seriously, the side quest could have been its own standalone game and featured an intense storyline that had me struggling with my own morality.

[caption id="attachment_981353" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Screenshot of a spaceport ship in Starfield. Screenshot by Siliconera[/caption]

Bethesda's decision to give factions as much prominence as the main plot allows players to create their own story. As a result, two players could both be 40 hours into their campaign and have a completely different experience depending on which quests they decided to pursue. It should be pointed out, though, that Starfield doesn't actually allow you to explore the entire galaxy freely. Like any good RPG, you will need to level up your ship's grav engine first so that you can jump further into space. But this actually creates a great gameplay loop, as you really do feel a sense of progression when you are finally able to access galaxies that were once too far to reach.

An aspect that may be contentious for some players is that the game has many planets that don't have people or quests on them. They are purely there for extracting materials and setting up outposts. However, Starfield has so many star systems with activities in them that I rarely found myself stumbling upon these empty areas. Planets that have quests are also usually marked or you will get a character interaction when arriving in a star system for the first time as well.

At the center of Starfield's space travel is a grid map, where you need to jump to a specific star system first before you can continue to explore the further regions. I know this might let some fans down. But after putting countless hours into my adventure, I was actually grateful that Bethesda went with the streamlined fast-travel system. While hopping into your ship and physically flying into space is cool and all, it would quickly become extremely tedious if I had to do that for every single star system or planet I wanted to visit.

The weakest part of the game is combat. While a Starfield Skill, such as the Boost Pack, adds variety to your gameplay, I couldn't help but feel that most of my combat exchanges eventually devolved into blindly spraying bullets at an enemy and spamming med packs to stay alive. Fallout's infamous V.A.T.S. system allowed players to aim for specific objects or limbs strategically. And The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim had magic and bows, which really opened up combat in some interesting ways. Starfield does have stealth attacks, melee weapons, and even hand-to-hand combat, but in the end combat feels like it's taken a backseat to the game's focus on exploration instead. This becomes really apparent in boss fights, where the enemy pretty much just feels like a regular NPC, just with more health.

[caption id="attachment_981355" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Screenshot of Star System menu in Starfield. Screenshot by Siliconera[/caption]

However, combat isn't just about gunfights in Starfield, as a major part of the game involves epic spaceship fights. I was actually surprised at how robust the feature is. Most ships come with several gauges such as Missiles, Ballistic, Engines, and Shields. While locked in a tense showdown with another ship, you are responsible for balancing the energy of each of these gauges. Some fights literally come down to your last health point as you are having to make split-second decisions while trying to outmaneuver your foes. Starfield also lets you raid other pilots. If you take out enough of their health or shields, you can actually dock them and steal their spaceship.

Space fights go a long way to save Starfield's combat and could, again, easily be its own game. If players wanted to, they could literally just fly around for hours, shooting down other ships to become the galaxy's most nefarious pirate. Bethesda also went the extra step of creating a contraband system. In my playthrough, I was not only going around raiding other ships in space, but I was also sneaking in illegal items to planets to sell them at an underground market. To achieve this, though, I had to build my character with the right skills so that it was possible to sneak my contraband past security checkpoints. Starfield's skill tree actually feels like it matters, as it really does open up many possibilities like special interactions in the overworld and access to new quests.

The spaceship system is also pretty extensive, as you are given the tools to customize your ship to your heart's content. However, it really opens up later in the game when you are able to afford a bigger ship. While you can technically unlock companions with your base ship, they won't actually fly around with you as it has a crew limit. As a result, they will just wait around on a planet. Once you upgrade to a higher-class ship, though, you can start to build up a bigger crew. Every planet and city has recruitable crewmembers at their local bar or spaceport, and each character has their own unique skills. So when I wanted to get an edge in a spaceship battle I couldn't win, I would just fast travel back to Mars to recruit a Targeting System specialist. You can also hire crew members proficient in weapons to tag along with you if you find a certain planet is too difficult.

[caption id="attachment_981356" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Screenshot of Space Combat in Starfield. Screenshot by Siliconera[/caption]

The companion system in Starfield is one of the biggest changes Bethesda has overhauled in their space RPG. Compared to previous games they've made, the romance feels more earned here. I genuinely started to tear up at my wedding ceremony (hey, don't judge me) because of how emotional the dialogue was. But I also seriously cared about my partner, as Starfield does a great job getting you invested in your crew through special companion quests that reveal a lot about their background. The only downside is that I wish there weren't such a strict crew limit on the early-game ships, as I really would have liked to have been able to travel more with everyone I met during my many adventures.

My favorite aspect of Starfield is how Bethesda has implemented side quests. Unlike other RPGs, you truly feel like you are organically finding these side stories by just exploring the world. The new "Activities" system allows you to stumble upon a random quest simply by walking by a group of NPCs and overhearing the conversation they are having. I even picked up one mission by listening to the radio and hearing an advertisement while walking around New Atlantis. Side quests unfold when you least expect it. For example, one of the most memorable storylines I experienced in Starfield was a completely unexpected moment I had at my wedding, which was at a tropical resort planet. What was supposed to be a beautiful honeymoon quickly veered off into a complicated showdown between a corporation and a mysterious spaceship that had been floating above the planet for months without communication. Without getting into spoilers, the optional mission had a surprisingly dark conclusion.

Starfield has some of Bethesda's best writing in decades. From hilarious dialogue options to serious story moments, it very much feels like a classic Bethesda game in every sense. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer was right when he said in a 2023 Gamescom interview that Starfield is closer to Oblivion than Skyrim. Like Oblivion, the game heavily leans into its side quests and has many complicated scenarios that have a dark sense of humor running through them. There were a handful of missions that genuinely had my jaw on the floor because of how absurd they were. While most quests have multiple-choice solutions that don't impact your game too much, Starfield does have a decent amount of big story moments that have major ramifications on your save file and will change how you play the game. This is especially true if you unlock the game's New Game Plus mode.

[caption id="attachment_981354" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Screenshot of a planet in Starfield. Screenshot by Siliconera[/caption]

Starfield is the most polished game Bethesda has ever released. After a hundred hours of playing it on Xbox Series X, I only ran into a few minor visual bugs that were quickly fixed with a reload. And even after making over 300 save files, the game hasn't slowed down a bit. I know the RPG's fixed 30 FPS at launch caused a discourse among the gaming community, but Starfield looks gorgeous and runs smoothly without any major hiccups that interrupt gameplay. This also doesn't just look like an improved Fallout or Elder Scrolls game, as it truly feels like the generational leap that Bethesda fans have wanted for years. Each planet is bursting with life with diverse biomes and beautiful colors. And the various star systems look breathtaking every time I explore them on my ship. Starfield's development delays were absolutely worth it, as Bethesda absolutely knocked this game out of the park in terms of its performance.

In a lot of ways, Starfield is the game that I always wanted Mass Effect to be. It truly captures the awe-inspiring scope of space exploration while being packed with a galaxy full of unique characters and stories for players to uncover. Bethesda has not only created a sci-fi masterpiece but a genre-defining RPG that you will want to spend days getting lost in. The space adventure's continuously unfolding story system also creates an exciting roleplaying environment where you will continue to discover new things even a hundred hours into your adventure when you least expect it. Starfield is Bethesda's best game since Fallout 3 and is destined to be another classic like Skyrim.

Starfield will be available for the PC and Xbox Series X on August 31, 2023, as Early Access. Its full release is on September 6, 2023.

The post Review: Starfield is Bethesda's Best Game Since Fallout 3 appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 11:30 AM

pokemon potehug cushions clodsire header

Sanei will release new Pokemon plush cushions sometime in mid-November 2023. These are part of the fifth batch of the company's Potehug Cushion series. You will be able to purchase plush toys of Cleffa, Clodsire, and Natu. They'll be available via the official Pokemon store in Japan. However, it's unlikely that they will appear in the North American one.

The Potehug Cushion series from Sanei are soft and squishy plushes that have beads or pellets in the butts. According to the tweet from Sanei, these cushions are good for hugging because of that. Other Pokemon that have appeared as part of the Potehug Cushion series include Rowlet and Dedenne.

Here are some more pictures of the three new upcoming Potehug Cushions from Sanei:
[gallery columns="2" ids="981428,981429" link="file"]

Of the three new Pokemon cushions from Sanei, only one of them—Clodsire—is from a new region. Both Cleffa and Natu originate from Generation II. While it evolves from Paldea Wooper, it is not Paldean Quagsire. Much like how Perrserker and Persian are two entirely different Pokemon despite evolving from Meowth, Quagsire and Clodsire are separate species.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are readily available on the Nintendo Switch. The DLC, The Indigo Disk, will come out some time in Winter 2023.

The post Pokemon Cleffa, Natu, and Clodsire Plush Cushions Appear appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 11:00 AM

koei tecmo ai

In an interview between 4Gamer and Koei Tecmo, representatives from the company stated that it is considering the usage of generative AI. However, it will work within company-established guidelines. These will continue to change as they explore its possibilities, as well as the discussion around generative AI continues. [Thanks, 4Gamer!]

There are plenty of issues surrounding generative AI due to the way it works. Japan has already set up legal guidelines around it. Someone using or selling AI-generated art can be sued for copyright infringement if the copyright holder claims that the AI learned from their work. Koei Tecmo will consider these legal risks to come up with internal guidelines on how to use AI. While Koei Tecmo seems open to the idea of eventually using generative AI in its games, it stated that it will use it mostly for internal documents and events. This is to avoid the legal issues that might come into play.

Chitoshi Nishimura, Managing Executive Officer & Manager of Legal Affairs at Koei Tecmo, stated:

"When VR, AR, and NFTs came out, companies tried to utilize these technologies to create some form of entertainment. The difference is that, VR and AR, for example, are technologies that can directly impact the user's idea of what makes a game interesting. However, just because there's generative AI in a game or just because the companies used generative AI doesn't necessarily mean that the game will be fun. In that sense, we're treating it as a tool among many... So we won't consider it special simply because it's generative AI. The company's current position is that we will use it if it proves useful."

However, he believes that what end users care about is whether a game is fun or not. He does not think that players care if a company used generative AI in its development. Nishimura's suggestion for using it in an actual game project is that the AI would come up with ideas that humans might not have thought of. In that sense, the team would use AI like a sounding board.

So far, Koei Tecmo has no plans on using generative AI in its current or upcoming games. However, its representatives speak optimistically of its use in the creative process.

The post Koei Tecmo Discusses Generative AI Use in Future Games appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 10:30 AM

gameplay Street Fighter 6 Aki Release Date

Back at Evo 2023, Capcom teased the Street Fighter 6 AKI release date by reminding people she'd show up in Autumn 2023. Now we know exactly when she'll appear. Her launch date is September 27, 2023. There's also more insight into how she'll work and look. There's also a new AKI Street Fighter 6 gameplay trailer. A Fighting Pass will appear ahead of her debut in-game on September 1, 2023.

First, here's the AKI footage. We get to see more personality-driven moments with her. Following that, she fights JP.

Here's the AKI Street Fighter 6 gameplay trailer.

This is the second AKI Street Fighter 6 trailer, though the first didn't show gameplay. The initial one was more of an introduction to her personality. It took place during the story mode and showed her meeting the player's avatar.

As for the AKI Fighting Pass, Capcom showed some of the Premium Rewards in it. As usual, there will be Avatar Gear, device wallpaper, an emote, three songs, three titles, a photo frame, five stickers, and the classic game Son Son. You can earn all of these as you play.
[caption id="attachment_981525" align="alignnone" width="1200"]AKI Joins Street Fighter 6 in September, New Trailer Shows Gameplay Image via Capcom[/caption]

Street Fighter 6 is immediately available on the PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC, and the AKI release date is September 27, 2023.

The post AKI Joins Street Fighter 6 in September, New Trailer Shows Gameplay appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 10:29 AM

Mario Red Nintendo OLED Switch Model Announced Release Date

During the Super Mario Wonder Direct, Nintendo revealed a Mario Red Nintendo Switch OLED model and shared a release date. It will show up on October 6, 2023. That's two weeks before the new 2D entry in the series appears. It will cost $349.99, the same price as a standard OLED model. The Nintendo Store is also already taking pre-orders.

This Nintendo Switch OLED model will be completely red. The system, its Joy-Cons, and its dock are all the signature color. There's also a running Mario on the back of the dock. When you pull the dock's door down, you'll also see 19 coins inside as a decoration.

Here's a closer look at the hidden coins.
[gallery columns="1" size="full" ids="981543" link="file"]

The rest of the Super Mario Wonder Direct focused on the game. It showcased how people can play alone or with others. It noted the different playable characters, including how the Yoshis and Nabbit are "easy mode" ones. There were also looks at power ups, stages, and the Wonder Flower gimmicks that can change course elements.

The Mario Red Nintendo Switch OLED model will launch on October 6, 2023. Super Mario Bros Wonder will come to the Nintendo Switch on October 20, 2023.

The post Mario Red Nintendo Switch OLED Model Announced appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Thursday, August 31, 2023 10:08 AM

Super Mario Wonder Direct Reveals New Gameplay

The Super Mario Wonder Direct aired on August 31, 2023, and Nintendo used it to show off new gameplay. The 15 minute segment highlighted what people can expect from the new 2D platformer. The video highlighted multiple characters and power-ups. It also introduced the story for this new entry. It also confirmed four player local co-op, as well as online rooms.

Here's the full Super Mario Wonder Direct. It jumped right into what's going on. Prince Florian invited Mario and Luigi to the Flower Kingdom. Bowser showed up too and touchedthe Wonder Flower, merging with Prince Florian's castle. After introducing the plot, it showed the seven-region large Flower Kingdom. Fluff-Puff Peaks, Shining Falls, and Petal Isles will all be among them. You can play courses in any order, using free movement, the path, or eventually a menu. Talking Flowers will also appear to offer insight, hints, or coins.

It also confirmed the roster, which noted that there will be Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yellow Toad, Blue Toad, Toadette, Yoshi, Red Yoshi, Yellow Yoshi, Light-Blue Yoshi, and Nabbit will be there. They all play the same. However, Nabbits and Yoshis take no damage. Also, Yoshis have a flutter jump and can be ridden by other characters, including other Yoshis.

As for abilities, Bubble, Drill, Elephant, and Fire Flower power ups will be there. You also have an Item Bubble to store an extra power up. The Wonder Flowers will also appear in courses to cause Wonder Effects that can change how things in the world work.

You can also earn badges as you play. Equipping them augments abilities to grant certain abilities or give new ones to use in-game. Grappling Vine, Safety Bounce, secret Sensor, and Coin Magnet badges are some of them.

Here's the full presentation looking at Super Mario Wonder gameplay.

Super Mario Bros Wonder will come to the Nintendo Switch on October 20, 2023.

The post Super Mario Wonder Direct Reveals New Gameplay appeared first on Siliconera.

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