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    Final Fantasy VIII Remastered Releasing In September

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    finalfantasyviiiremastered.jpg

    At E3 this year, Square Enix finally broke their silence on the lack of a Final Fantasy VIII remaster, long thought to be the result of a music licensing issue for the game's main theme or a complete loss of the game's source code, by announcing Final Fantasy VIII Remastered. While not an overhaul on the level of Final Fantasy VII Remake, it is a markedly improved facelift for one of the most divisive Final Fantasy mainline titles.

    We now know that we won't have to wait long for the game to release, as it will be hitting September 3. You can check out the release date trailer below.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    The remaster boasts overhauled character models and, at least going by the trailer, seems to have all its original music still intact. Final Fantasy VIII Remastered releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on September 3.

    View the full article


    Queen Azshara Hotfixes this Week, Season 3 Artifact Knowledge

    Curse
    By Curse,
    Queen Azshara Hotfixes this Week
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    We’re working on the following hotfixes today. We intend to apply to these changes to the Queen Azshara encounter with weekly maintenance in each region:

    • When either Aethenel or Cyranus is slain on Normal, Heroic, or Mythic difficulty, there is now a 3-second delay before the other one gains the Torment buff.
    • Azshara’s Indomitable is now summoned 10 seconds later than previously observed on Mythic difficulty.
    • Tidemistresses have 5% less health on Mythic difficulty.
    • Ancient Wards now energize slightly slower for smaller raid sizes on Normal and Heroic difficulties.
    • Fixed an issue that allowed Arcane Vulnerability to apply when the victim wasn’t in line of sight of Queen Azshara.

    We’ll update this post if there are any further changes, and when the hotfixes go live.

    Season 3 Artifact Knowledge
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    Is this being cut off soon?Or are you leaving it on indefinitely?
    No to both questions.

    As things currently stand, Artifact Knowledge will continue to increase each week until the week of October 1.

    View the full article


    Death Stranding's Baby "Explained"

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    babyincubator.jpg

    At Gamescom, we got a sneak peek into what is sure to be one of the PlayStation 4's big holiday titles. Kojima got a stranding ovation when he took the stage to show off several new characters, and these characters help explain the role of babies in the game.

    The first character we got a look at was Mama, who is played by Margaret Qualley. This characters seems to be some kind of mechanic who has an invisible baby. What else do you need to know? Her baby was born on the "other side," but they are still connected through an umbilical cord. In the world of Death Stranding, babies seem to be linked to the afterlife and are capable of creating a link between the two realities.

    The second character we saw was Bridge Baby (shortened as BB). This is the baby that Sam (Norman Reedus) carries around with him. Sadly, BB's mom died when he was born, which means that the baby is connected to the world of the dead. This is how Sam is able sense other creatures on the "other side." I'm sure we don't have to explain the finer points of how this works, considering its pretty obvious.

    Death Stranding hits the PS4 on November 8, but we should see a lot more next month at TGS.

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    An Expanded Look At Death Stranding's Gameplay

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    keighley.jpg

    We all know that Death Stranding is part of the strand genre, but there are still a few mysteries surrounding Hideo Kojima's next title.

    During the Gamescom 2019 opening presentation, we got another look at Death Stranding in action. The game is visual stunning, and the gameplay seems to involve a lot of walking through an open world where you will deliver goods and reconnect the people who live in a fractured America.

    Players can scan the environment and use a variety of tools to explore/traverse an unforgiving terrain. If you fall down you might agitate the baby you carry, which would be bad. When this happens, players must cuddle and bounce the baby to make him feel better. Players will rock the baby by physically moving the PS4 controllers, using its motion controls. However, if you shake too hard the baby will get angry. And angry babies are bad!

    We also got a look at another odd mechanic, which lets players pee. I'm sorry, did we say odd? We meant incredible. We don't know much about this mechanic, but it might be tied to the game's survival systems, and Kojima said that players would be able to use this pee as a weapon somehow. Additionally, if people continue to pee on the same spot in the world, "Something good will happen." We don't know what that means, but during the demo, Sam's pee made a mushroom grow.

    Also, game industry journalist Geoff Keighley is an NPC in the game.

    Death Stranding hits the PS4 on November 8, but we should see a lot more next month at TGS.

    View the full article


    Witcher 3 On Switch Makes Some Compromises But Is Surprisingly Competent

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    The Witcher 3

    Publisher: CD Projekt Red
    Developer: Saber Interactive, CD Projekt Red
    Release: October 15, 2019
    Rating: Mature
    Platform: Switch

    A little while ago, the developers at CD Projekt Red gave me the opportunity to try out The Witcher 3 on Switch, one of Nintendo's biggest announcements at E3 this year. While the game came out a few years ago, it was well known for struggling even on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, so the idea of a Switch version was a fundamentally confusing proposition. I wanted to check out the game for, if nothing else, to satiate my own curiosity. I was more than a little surprised by what I played.

    To get it out of the way in one sentence: The Witcher 3 on Switch is perfectly alright. It is everything that The Witcher 3 was, in terms of content, on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The game plays exactly the same, whether you're fighting a Leshen, riding Roach over the hills of the countryside, or bumming around Novigrad looking for Dandelion. The Witcher 3 on Switch is a perfectly playable version of the game, which is decidedly shocking when you consider just how crammed the game felt on more powerful hardware.

    the_witcher_3_switch-good_girl_roach-rgb.jpg

    I played the game from the tutorial, which means from Geralt's time in the bathtub, through a bit into the first town, and then further saves darting around the world and the story, all in handheld mode. In the cutscenes, it is absolutely inarguable that The Witcher 3 is the best looking game on the Switch. Overall resolution aside, the character models are fairly difficult to discern from the more graphically powerful consoles. With the Switch, Nintendo made a lot of conscious decisions to use modern technology to create a portable console rather than a graphical powerhouse, but the first few seconds looking at a cutscene of character models talking in The Witcher 3 and you begin to wonder if there were really that many compromises overall.

    This isn't to say it's all perfect. The models are great, but it doesn't take long to see where the comparatively lower-powered Switch shows its seams. The textures around the character models look noticeably worse, and then the ancillary environmental textures like ceilings or walls in the background, bear much lower-resolution textures. Obviously some things had to be crammed into a smaller box, and this is not the worst idea to make it fit, but it is noticeable.

    the_witcher_3_switch-come_at_me-rgb.jpg

    The framerate is consistent, but certainly doesn't feel like 30 frames a second. It's lower, though it does not appear to fluctuate through battles or conversations. I am not sure if the framerate is any better while docked, but I would guess it's somewhere around 25 frames per second in handheld mode, just from eyeballing it.

    In a later save, I wanted to poke around Novigrad a bit to see if the framerate holds up, which it does, and if the draw distance could keep up. There were no draw distance issues to speak of that I noticed, nor issues with texture pop-in, which in itself is surprising. That said, there are issues where shadows will pop in occasionally. As much as I ran around The Witcher 3's biggest city, it was roughly similar to how I remembered it when I played the game on PC.

    the_witcher_3_switch-the_plot_thickens-rgb.jpg

    I also just rode Roach, the generic name for any horse Geralt claims ownership of, around the open world. There were no issues of loading or worse performance in the open world. The texture resolution on some environments was worse, but the game's strong lighting tech did a lot of heavy lifting in making it really hard to notice. I'll say again: The Witcher 3, for all its faults, absolutely looks like it could lay claim to being the best-looking game on Switch.

    CDPR told me that the game runs in 540p in handheld mode and 720p when docked. In handheld mode, they estimated the battery will last around 2-3 hours, but this was on the old Switch model, so it is hard to say how that number will change on the Switch Lite or updated Switch model. Loading is still noticeable, but felt a little shorter than I remembered from the PC version, usually being about one minute after a death on Switch. Also, the entire game, including all the DLC and expansions, will be on the 32GB cart and part of the eShop download. There will be no additional download for content on the game, like Doom or Wolfenstein have done in the past.

    the_witcher_3_switch-coming_in_hot-rgb.jpg

    I don't know that, based on what I played, that I would necessarily recommend this version of The Witcher 3 to players with plenty of options and no strong preferences, but it is a lot more of an option than I expected. It is a portable version of one of the best games of 2015 in a way that shouldn't be technically possible, so it is a feat worth noting even if it isn't a feast for the eyes.

    The Witcher 3, developed by Saber Interactive and overseen by CDPR, releases on Switch on October 15.

    Click here to watch embedded media

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    New Realms for WoW Classic, Worgen/Goblin Heritage Armor Update, DLC #691

    Curse
    By Curse,
    New Realm Coming for WoW Classic - EU
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    The existing PvP realms all now have either a Full or High population tag. With the potential for extended queues on the Full realms, and 10,000+ queues on Shazzrah, we are opening another English PvP realm on Tuesday, August 20 at 8:00 p.m. CEST:

    • Firemaw – PvP – English

    We urge players on PvP realms to consider moving to this realm. Doing so will help spread the player population as evenly as possible before launch and provide the best play experience for everyone.

    New Realms Coming for WoW Classic - US
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    The existing PvP realms all now have either a Full or High population tag. With the potential for extended queues on the Full realms, and 10,000+ queues on Herod, we are opening two new PvP realms on Monday, August 19 at 6:00 p.m. PDT:

    • Blaumeux – PvP – Pacific Time Zone
    • Skeram – PvP – Eastern Time Zone

    We urge players on PvP realms to consider moving to one of these realms. Doing so will help spread the player population as evenly as possible before launch and provide the best play experience for everyone.

    Worgen and Goblin Heritage Armor Update
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    Worgen & Goblin Heritage Armor?
    I certainly hope we’re getting Worgen and Goblin Heritage sets in a future patch
    We are getting Worgen and Goblin Heritage armor questlines in a future content update.

    We think it’s really cool to have these memorable questing experiences that go along with and encapsulate the moment when you inherit your Heritage armor. We’re working on bringing them to the game as soon as we can.

    Dark Legacy Comics #691
    DLC #691 has been released!

    dlc691.jpg

    View the full article


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