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  1. Yesterday
  2. Next Friday's got a number of Triple-A games releasing at the same time, including Super Mario Odyssey, Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, and Assassin's Creed Origins. Our July 2017 issue of Game Informer's cover story was Assassin's Creed Origins, and now is the perfect time to revisit our hub of exclusive content so you can prepare to explore Ancient Egypt. Click here, or the banner below, to be transported to our cover story hub from July. From there, you can find exclusive interviews, videos, and more about Assassin's Creed Origins. Some of these include five things you need to know about the game, an in-depth look at the new assassin hero Bayek, hands-on impressions, how Ubisoft rethinks open world design with this new entry, and our podcast that answers your lingering questions. (Please visit the site to view this media) Stay tuned for our review of Assassin's Creed Origins, which will be published this coming week. Assassin's Creed Origins releases on October 27 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. View the full article
  3. BlizzCon Virtual Ticket Giveaway Alienware Peripherals Giveaway Our friends at Alienware have provided us with 20x Alienware Advanced Gaming Mouse and 10 x Alienware Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard. The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. states & D.C. that are 18 or older. The contest will run from October 21st 2017 to October 26th 2017 at 11:59 pm CT. To enter, just reply to this post with which product you want more (Mouse, Keyboard, or Either) You can see the full set of Official Rules here. Patch 7.3 Hotfixes - October 20 Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker) Classes Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) Shadow Void Tendrils spawned by Call of the Void should no longer cause game performance issues when attacking an enemy affected by Grounding Totem. Battle Pets Lesser Pet Treats and Pet Treats should once again stack. Naxxy will now fly alongside you when you’re on a flying mount. Player versus Player Your item level is now set to 935 while participating in Tournament Rules wargames (was iLvl 900). This Week in WoW History We're taking a look back at old MMO-Champion posts and World of Warcraft news that occurred during this time in previous years. Tier 11 Models Released The first raid in the Cataclysm brought us some great looking sets which were featured in 2010 prior to the release of Blackwing Descent. This was the first raid where loot was normalized in 10 and 25 man modes, allowing guilds to choose which raid size they wanted to go with. Incoming Cataclysm In 2010 a short TV commercial aired, giving all World of Warcraft fans a Cataclysm teaser. The full trailer was also released on YouTube, which showed us Deathwing bringing the Cataclysm to Azeroth. Expansion trailer reveals typically happen at BlizzCon, however this was released over a week before it, which further built the anticipation for more details to be shared at the event. Mists of Pandaria Announcement Mists of Pandaria was officially announced, showing off the new race and class to come in the next expansion. With this post we also got some information, such as the level cap being raised, pet battle system being added, and our talent system being redesigned. Endgineer Omegaplugg - Let the Puzzles Begin One of many secrets discovered in Legion was the hidden boss in Gnomeregan. This was a 5 man boss, which was summoned by pushing a hidden button in the room of the last boss. This new boss was also much more difficult than the typical dungeon boss, which required players to be well geared, and execute a clever strategy to deal with all of his mechanics. After defeating him, the group was rewarded with the Vial of Green Goo toy. World of Warcraft and Cooking Have you ever wondered what Conjured Mana Strudels taste like? In 2016 the official World of Warcraft Cookbook released featuring many of the iconic in game meals and drinks. This book is still available for purchase on Amazon, so if you wanted to bring the tastes of Azeroth meals to your home, it’s time to pick one up. View the full article
  4. Next week, a large update is coming to Gears of War 4, which introduces two new maps, Xbox One X support, and ushers in a Halloween event. The Xbox One X arrives on store shelves this November, and The Coalition says its preparing to bring support to the game as we lead up to its launch, by allowing players to pre-download 4K files. While The Coalition didn't give specifics on what Xbox One X enhancements we can look forward to, the team says they will be providing more information "VERY soon." The Coalition, however, went into detail about what kind of maps and other content we'll see coming to the game as of next week. The two new maps are Lift Apex and Fuel Depot. Fuel Depot is a map that was featured in the first Gears of War and Gears of War 2. Now, this large warehouse setting makes its return. Lift Apex, also inspired by an earlier map, is set in an Imulsion Extraction Facility in the middle of the Serano ocean. These two maps can be played by season pass holders as of October 23, whereas all other players can join in on October 30. (Please visit the site to view this media) Gears of War 4 also has celebrations to look forward to, including a Halloween event which will feature new characters, weapon skins, and "spooky-themed events." Then, in November, The Coalition will be celebrating its 11th anniversary for the Gears of War franchise. For more on Gears of War 4, read our glowing review. View the full article
  5. Sneaking from the shadows, a cane-wielding raccoon gracefully leaps across Parisian rooftops backlit by the greens and pinks of neon signs, his footsteps locked to the rhythm of lounge jazz piano. This opening scene from Sucker Punch's Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus is an indelible image for gamers, one that, much like the game itself, has kept its style and wit over the years. The Thievius Racoonus celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, and revisiting the game after all that time, it’s still clear why Sly’s first adventure was so special and creatively risky. In September 2002, the 3D platformer genre was on a hot streak, especially on Sony consoles. Naughty Dog hit a goldmine with Crash Bandicoot back in 1996, and in late 2001 they released Jak and Daxter to widespread critical and commercial success. It would be another year before Sony’s other 3D platforming behemoths – Sly Cooper and Ratchet & Clank – released. All these games are still fan favorites, but revisiting Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus revealed a game that is still fun to play and holds up even after 15 years of progress in game design. A large part of that can be attributed to the bold stylistic direction Sucker Punch took with the Thievius Racoonus. With Jak and Daxter, Naughty Dog built a mysterious world in a cartoonish visual style. In Ratchet & Clank, Insomniac created a gun-filled science-fiction-meets- Pixar universe. Both games had something that young gamers, the target demographic, could latch onto. With its anthropomorphic animals and cartoon sensibilities, Thievius Racoonus was clearly made with younger players in mind. Sly and the rest of the gang – Bentley the turtle, a germophobic techno genius, and Murray the hippo, the gang’s clumsy but lovable getaway driver – fall into archetypes kids can enjoy. However, Sucker Punch used those characters to tell a revenge story that pulled from classic noir and heist films, genres that its young target demographic might not be familiar with. Players watch Sly retell the story of his father’s death at the hands of the villainous Fiendish Five in the first of the game’s many playful cartoon cutscenes. Although Sucker Punch plays it off with charm and witty writing, it’s a dark, tragic note to start an adventure on, and a sign that the game isn’t afraid to root itself in more mature thematic territory. Look carefully and you’ll find references to steroids and gambling throughout the Thievius Racoonus. Even Sly’s extremely flirtatious relationship with vulpine cop Carmelita Fox is more mature than most E-rated games. It’s not the most risqué material, but for an E-rated game in 2002, the Thievius Racoonus was pushing more mature interactions and themes for the sake of its noir-lite adventure. The Thievius Racoonus’ other strengths – the smooth animation and platforming, and moody soundtrack – all contribute to Sucker Punch’s unique vision, but its cel-shaded look is what made it stand out the most among its direct competitors. Its visuals, which hold up surprisingly well, play with shadow and light much like film noir of the 1940s. Laser grids and guards with flashlights are both platforming obstacles for the player and visual contrast for certain levels. Although 3D platformers aren’t as popular today as they used to be, the way Sly jumps and climbs are reminders of why this genre worked in the first place. Sucker Punch made a smooth, slick platformer that really makes you feel like a master thief. Like any great title, the gameplay works in concert with the narrative. Sly’s movements are a great window into his charming and, well, sly personality even as his actions prove there’s a thrill-seeking intensity beneath that calm and collected surface. The music provided a diverse sonic landscape that keyed into the rhythm of Sly’s thieving hijinks and fit the distinct feel of the game. Whether it was sensual lounge jazz, bombastic electric blues, or atmospheric voodoo swamp drone, the music helped immerse players in Sly’s cartoon noir world. It’s still impressive how all this locks in place right from the start, particularly in one memorable scene that tasks players with breaking into a vent and jumping through a laser security system. It’s a moment straight out of Mission Impossible. Sly’s graceful animations, the contrast between the dazzling laser display and dark Paris night, and subtle but tense music all work together to make a strong and lasting impression. That said, video games have come a long way in 15 years, which means not everything in the Thievius Racoonus has aged as gracefully as its visual style. The tutorials, a product of game design philosophies at the time, find Sly’s techno wiz friend Bentley spouting off control schemes rather than natural dialogue. Non-platforming sections peppered throughout Sly’s adventure certainly helped change up the action, but racing and on-rail shooting levels are more often frustrating than fun. However, the game’s biggest failure is its depiction of Carmelita Fox as an overly sexualized lust object. Carmelita Fox’s fiery relationship with Sly develops throughout the three main Sly Cooper games in interesting ways, but in the Thievius Racoonus, Sucker Punch remains mired in adolescent – and frequently offensive – depictions of its primary female character. It’s not enough to completely ruin Sly’s 15-year legacy, but it’s a reminder of where video games were – and sometimes still are – as a medium. Despite all that, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus is still a stylish, fun, and surprisingly mature experience even after 15 years. The cartoon, anthropomorphized noir that Sucker Punch delivered back in 2002 spawned three sequels that expanded the Sly Cooper universe, refined stealth, and moved the series towards open world-like levels with multi-stage heist missions. Although later games were bigger the Thievius Racoonus is the reason Sly Cooper remains Sony’s most stylish mascot. View the full article
  6. Weapon Hardpoints A Guide to the New Ship Matrix Greetings Citizens! Weapons and their hardpoints. The next several topics of discussion focused on the new Ship Matrix are possibly some of the most important areas we’ll cover, and relevant to everyone who’s concerned with how their ships perform in combat. Since the start of the project we’ve gone through many iterations of design on our ship hardpoints and with SC Alpha 3.0 we’ll complete another small iteration to them in our continuing effort to address much of the confusion regarding their sizing, what can be done with them, and more. To begin, every item on a ship is attached to a hardpoint, or “itemport” as we sometimes refer to them by their in-engine designation, and each one has restrictions on what type of items can be attached to it. This system prevents people from putting power plants where turrets should go, fuel tanks where the radar is supposed to be, and other similar examples of undesirable customization. In this article’s topic, for the specific itemports we classify as “weapon” hardpoints, they have some restrictions of their own: They are restricted to a single size item, no more ranges of item size such as Size 1-3. They can only take a weapon directly attached of that size or a gimbal mount of that size attached to it. Some specific instances may have additional restrictions to limit them to individual items or types, such as the Vanguard nose weapon array. Fixed Weapon Mounts Attaching a weapon of matching size (or smaller) to the itemport directly is what we call a Fixed weapon mount, and has the inherent benefit of being capable of using the largest weapon made possible by that hardpoint while contending with limited aiming and a requirement to land their shots more accurately. Gimbal Weapon Mounts As an alternative to attaching the maximum sized weapon to your itemport, you may choose to use a Gimbal Mount. Gimbals allow players to attach a smaller sized weapon that will enable the user to line their shots up with more ease than a fixed on it’s own. The Gimbal Mount must be the same size as the hardpoint, but can only support a weapon at least one size smaller due to the space it occupies. These are the only two types of items that can be attached to weapon hardpoints and gimbal mounts can only contain a single weapon hardpoint. Other Weapon Types or: What Happened to Twin-Link, Tri-Link, Quad-Link, Barrage and More? Aside from twin-link weapons, many of the items described by various designers over time have not made the transition from drawing board to implementation. These include things like “tri-link,” “quad-link,” “barrage” and others. Most of these had problems at various stages, including the sizing penalty applied to them which soon became very unwieldy to manage. For twin-link weapons specifically, these are now as turrets, specifically remote ones, and will be discussed in that article. There are a fair amount of ships with these sort of items attached so we encourage you not worry if you see their “weapon” count drop down, as they more than likely now have an extra turret to account for this. The primary driving factor in this was physical size. Simply put, by the time we had two weapons on a mount this was often significantly larger than the base weapon that could go on that mount and caused visual or physical clipping and often resulted in the firing arc having to be limited to such an extent that it became virtually useless. This change from twin-link to remote turret is designed to give the player as much functionality from the item as possible. Ships that now have these Remote Turrets will find that in the majority of cases these bespoke items will only be swappable with other custom tailored turrets made for that ship. An example of this can be found in the Mustangs current Chin Turret (with 2x S1 hardpoints) that will be swapable with a new Mustang Chin Turret containing a 1xS2 hardpoint. This system will be covered further in the dedicated articles on turrets. How Ship Items are Displayed or: You Changed Things and Now I Can’t Read Any of This The Ship Stats Update has been a long time coming. In addition to refining our own internal policies and metrics, work was needed in order to display that information to you in as comprehensive, yet understandable a manner as possible. To that end, in addition to the changes to the Technical Information panel discussed in Part 3, we have made significant alterations to how default loadouts are presented to the backer. To the right you will see the legend that guides all items found in the Technical Overview. For the purposes of this section, we will be focused on weapons, but the information here will apply to reading all items found in the Technical Overview. Things That Go Boom To the right of the Technical Overview, you will find the weapons pane, where the various armaments for a ship are found. This section is itself broken down into four sub-sections. Weapons. The hardpoints we’ve been discussing in this article, where you can attach a variety of ballistic and energy-based armament. Turrets. Covered in more detail in our next part. You will find both manned and remote turrets here. Missiles. The things that go in the Missile Racks used to blow stuff up. Torpedoes or missiles can be shown here. Utility Items. This is where you will find things like the Stor-All box on the Hornet F7C. While this article is specifically about weapons, we’re not ignoring Turrets, Ordnance and Other Hardpoints. We’ll be covering each one individually in the next few articles, so stay tuned. Frequently Asked Questions or: Questions We Figured You Might Have Q: Can I put missiles on weapon hardpoints? A: No, these are counted as Ordnance hardpoints and will have their own post in the next few days dedicated to all things Ordnance. Q: Why can I only put a S2 weapon on a S3 Gimbal? A: This is primarily due to game balance. Gimbal weapons provide a natural advantage due to their independence from the ships movement when aiming. By reducing the maximum size they can take by 1 from the itemport, their damage output is naturally reduced and should keep fixed weapons competitive in terms of DPS. Q: Why have you removed the range of sizes on a hardpoint? A: When we looked at it, there were very few ships that actually had this set up. It was primarily the Aurora line and upon examination, we found it not particularly useful long term and an easy cause of various inconsistencies. For example, having a range of S1-S2 gave you the option of having Fixed S2, Gimbal S1 or Fixed S1 and nobody ever would pick Fixed S1 as an option when you can Gimbal Lock to achieve the same result. Removing this option cleans up the design rules and overall setup significantly across the board and does so with virtually no impact on players. Further Reading Ship Mass Careers and Roles coming soon: Thrusters coming soon: Ship Technical Information coming soon: Ordnance Hardpoints coming soon: Weapon Hardpoints coming soon: Other Hardpoints coming soon: Turrets coming soon: Variants & Modules coming soon: scu and Cargo View the full article
  7. Fire Emblem Warriors released yesterday, and details have emerged that specify what to expect from the game's upcoming three DLC packs. Each pack will be themed around a previous Fire Emblem game, including Fates, Shadow Dragon, and Awakening. These bundles come with their own unique playable characters, history scenarios, weapons, and support conversations. You can purchase a $19.99 season pass to receive all three packs, or each can be bought individually for $8.99. If you buy the season pass, you also receive Lucina's bridal costume. The Fates pack arrives this December, whereas the other two will release next year. The Shadow Dragon pack comes in February and the Awakening pack hits in March. You can view the details of each DLC bundle below: Fire Emblem Fates Pack Playable characters: Azura, Niles, Oboro Three new history maps Five new costumes 13 broken-armor models Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon Pack Playable characters: Navarre, Minerva, Linde Three new history maps Four new costumes Six new weapons Nine broken-armor models Fire Emblem Awakening Pack Playable characters: Owain, Tharja, Olivia Three new history maps Three new costumes Seven new weapons Ten broken-armor models Fire Emblem Warriors released on Nintendo Switch and New Nintendo 3DS as of October 20. Our review is still in progress, but keep an eye for it in the next few days. [Source: Nintendo and Nintendo Everything] View the full article
  8. Over the last couple weeks, Crystal Dynamics has been tweeting content related to its action adventure series Legacy of Kain. While purely speculation at this point, these tweets hint that either a new entry is in the works or that a remaster is on the horizon. Though one tweet is related specifically to the #Inktober art challenge, the others heavily hint that Raziel will make his return in one form or another. You can view the tweets below: "I am Raziel, first-born of His lieutenants. I stood with Kain and my brethren at the dawn of the empire." pic.twitter.com/bRTHhxIaAo — CrystalD (@CrystalDynamics) October 20, 2017 "Raziel. You are worthy." Joanna Wolska's #Inktober entry features our favorite wraith Raziel. Check out more here: https://t.co/lH7fqgXQS4 pic.twitter.com/A0EoG2tlHy — CrystalD (@CrystalDynamics) October 13, 2017 Published in 1996 by @CrystalDynamics, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain was the first of a legendary series introducing fans to Nosgoth. 🧛‍♂️🦇 pic.twitter.com/zForq2LB7q — CrystalD (@CrystalDynamics) October 12, 2017 Legacy of Kain: Defiance is the latest game of the series, which released in 2003. A sixth game, Legacy of Kain: The Dark Prophecy, was in development at Ritual Entertainment in 2004 but was later canceled. Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun, another attempt to continue the series, was planned for PlayStation 4 until it too was canceled in 2012. In an interview with Australian website Finder in 2015, lead designer at Crystal Dynamics Michael Brinker said that there was a "50/50 chance" that a new Legacy of Kain game would come to current generation consoles. “It’s a 50/50 chance. We have in-house developers who really want to make that game," Brinker told Finder. "It’s interesting because people look back at our history and our franchises and see that we have some really great iconic IPs. So gamers wonder; ‘where are they and what are they doing?’ Well we’re always tossing around and talking about ideas [of bringing them back]. It really is 50/50.” Last year, alleged images and details from the canceled Dead Sun game emerged, which you can take a look at here. You can also check out this informative video to learn more about the vampiric world of Nosgoth and its lore. Our Take I wouldn't be surprised if these tweets point to a remaster rather than a full-fledged new game. Crystal Dynamics has a lot on its plate right now, such as a partnership with Marvel Entertainment to create an Avengers game alongside Eidos Montreal and also (probably) developing the rumored Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Hopefully an announcement is on the way to let us know what's to come for Legacy of Kain. View the full article
  9. As tournament giants like League and Dota hold steady, we get some new seasonal blood this weekend as Madden, Halo, and Rainbow Six get major tournaments. You can check out the last day of the Madden 18 Classic today, as the players of the game most deserving of the title of "esport" compete for a $100,000 prize pool. (Stream / Schedule) Red Bull is having its Street Fighter V Proving Grounds tournament, in which amateur teams of regional players are pitted against each other and compete for first place in Chicago. (Stream / Schedule) You can catch Super Smash Bros., Tekken 7, Hearthstone, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Quake, and Halo 5: Guardians. more at this weekend's Dreamhack Denver event. (Streams and Schedule / Halo Stream) Dota 2 is in Bucharest, Romania this week as the game's best teams attempt to squeeze the last bits of competitive hype out of a months-old patch while waiting for an exciting new one to drop on November 1. (Stream / Schedule) We finally get some weekend Rainbow Six: Siege action, as the third season of the APAC seriese wraps up tomorrow. Two teams from across four regions play in Australia for a big cash prize but more importantly, a spot in the Finals in Brazil. (Stream) The League of Legends World championship moves into its Knockout stage this week, as Royal Never Give Up takes on Fanatic for a spot in the championship. (Stream / Schedule) That's it for this weekend! Let us know if we missed an event, or if there's a scene you'd like us to cover, in the comments below. View the full article
  10. Bandai Namco offered up a huge collection of Dragon Ball FighterZ screens this morning showing off new characters, online modes, story details, and more. We've divided up the collection images into different sections of the story so follow the links for Captain Ginyu screens, Nappa screens, and story screens. First up, is Cpatain Ginyu. Here is Captain Ginyu on his own. And here he is with the Ginyu Force, who can assist him in battle. That must be the Recoome boom. Ginyu is also apparently able to body-swap with his opponents. Captain Ginyu | Nappa | Story | Additional Screens For more from our month of Dragon Ball coverage, including new details for FighterZ, click the banner below. View the full article
  11. Jump Point Now Available! Attention development subscribers: the October 2017 issue of Jump Point is now available in your subscription area. This month’s Jump Point features the development of the Origin 600i! That, plus a look at the history behind Yorm, a visit to Branaugh, and a behind the scenes with the ship team working on the updated matrix. Finally, don’t miss the final chapter in A Gift for Baba, a famous children’s story that inspired the names of Crusader’s moons. Grab your copy today. Interested in becoming a development subscriber? You can learn more here. View the full article
  12. Replay – Civil War: Week Two

    Another week, another set of bodies at the feet of the Replay Machine. Did we ever mention the Replay Machine kills the losers? Maybe it does. Who cares. Enjoy the competition! Tense battles and shocking moments abound. If you missed it, check out last week's series of brutal eliminations. To see every contestant announce the game they're playing for, check out the back end of our Atari Replay. And for the full cut of all the lore leading up to this once in a lifetime cinematic event, watch the compilation here. (Please visit the site to view this media) We'll see you next week for the thrilling conclusion to the lore of Replay, at least for a good long while! View the full article
  13. It was a busy week here at Game Informer, but the weekend is finally close at hand. As we enter the eleventh hour before the release of some of this season's biggest titles, the G.I. crew is hard at work getting everything ready for readers. As such, a lot of the editors were busy making last-minute touches to stories and reviews, but a few still shared their plans for the weekend. Javy Gwaltney (@Hurdyiv): Barreling through Fire Emblem Warriors and trying to build the grandest farm of them all in Stardew Valley. Leo Vader (@leovader): Me and some friends made the pivotal discovery last night that Discord’s group video calls include lag-free screen sharing! Meaning of course that we can get a Jackbox game going across the world with pretty much zero effort. Plus Jackbox Party Pack 4 might be the best one yet, zero clunkers in the whole bunch. So I’m gonna be playing a lot of that! HAGS everyone! Matthew Kato (@MattKato): I’ve been very busy with “work” games the past few months (I have been so lucky), so my personal gaming time has been limited to an NHL or PES game here and there. This weekend, however, I want to crack open Shadow of War and hopefully take a look at NBA 2K18’s MyGM mode. I’m not a natural basketball fan per se, but the story-based approach to GM sounds interesting. As much racing as I’ve been doing with GT Sport and Forza 7, I actually want to go back and play some Dirt 4. Nothing like rally racing. In non-gaming game news, I’m going to the Vikings/Ravens game this weekend, and I sense a Case Keenum regression to the norm. That’s fine though, because it’s another step towards Teddy getting back on the field… Have a good weekend! C’mon City! Jeff Marchiafava (@GIJeffM): While my obsession has waned a bit, I'm still digging Destiny 2, and haven't done my weekly Milestones yet this week, so I'll for sure be playing some of that. My gaming time has also been split between South Park and Shadow of War, which has entailed me sparing more orc captains than actually defeating them. What can I say? I'm a big ol' softie! Brian Shea (@BrianPShea): I’m just about finished with Middle-earth: Shadow of War, so I’m going to continue playing South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Golf Story. Dan Tack (@dantack): Artisanal charcuterie platter served with a cheese tray. Grain mustard, 5 types of meats and cheeses served with fresh baked breads, jam, and nuts _______________________________ Cody Mello-Klein (@Proelectioneer) – I just discovered that my housemates have a guitar they don’t play very often, so I’ll probably be playing that all weekend. For games, I plan on spending some more time in Shadow of War now that I’m past the absurdly long and slow tutorial section. I also want to try out the Flame in the Flood on Switch. Also, as usual, more Witcher 3. George Ash (@GeorgeEAsh) – This weekend I’m heading south to the University of Missouri to attend my first homecoming as an alumnus. I won’t be playing many video games, but while tailgating I’ll be playing plenty of beer pong and beer darts. Keenan McCall (@KEeNanMcCall525): I’ll be diving head first into South Park: The Fractured But Whole over the weekend. I also want to go back to Cuphead for a little while and really get the hang of some of my favorite bosses. View the full article
  14. Last week
  15. Life is Strange: Before the Storm brings players back to the town of Arcadia Bay, though it isn’t exactly as they remember it. Set three years before the original Life is Strange, the first episode of this prequel series successfully leveraged players’ familiarity with the characters and their future circumstances, but also established interesting new conflicts. The second episode, Brave New World, follows up on those narrative threads, but its biggest strength is how it continues to help us understand and empathize with Chloe as her world gets even more complicated. Facing academic consequences for their actions in the last episode, Chloe and her newfound friend Rachel start the episode in hot water, which spirals out to create new opportunities for them to deepen their bond. Though the general setup is the same regardless of what you do, I appreciate how developer Deck Nine creates moments of decision that balance short- and long-term repercussions. For instance, I took the blame for the day of school that Chloe and Rachel missed, which had an immediate impact on Chloe – but a big benefit for Rachel later. Of course, you also get the satisfaction of seeing characters reference things you did in the first episode. Whether you sabotaged a student’s homework or stole some money, expect those actions to have consequences. This kind of payoff structure sounds standard for the genre, but like the first episode, your choices forge a powerful connection with Chloe, helping to build a bridge to the person you know she becomes. The story makes you feel like you are influencing the characters and their trajectories in meaningful ways between the major narrative convergences – something it implements better than most other episodic titles on the market. How does Chloe get along at home? Where does she draw the line between right and wrong? Almost like a page in a coloring book, the big picture is the same for everyone, but the individual shades and tones can create unique experiences. For example, is Chloe pursuing a romantic relationship with Rachel? The answer to that question doesn’t necessarily change what happens, but it dramatically impacts the context surrounding the events of this episode in ways I won’t spoil. (Please visit the site to view this media) As this tale unfolds, Deck Nine’s decision to remain grounded in reality rather than integrating supernatural elements proves to be a smart one. The everyday activities feel authentic, and even the climactic moments are relatively mundane; many of your choices culminate in how well the school’s production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest goes. The trade-off for this approach is a lack of high-stakes conflict, since you aren’t rooting out a serial killer or avoiding a reality-destroying storm. By its nature, Brave New World doesn’t end on a dramatic cliffhanger that leaves the fate of the town in question – but since I’m more invested in the characters than an external mystery, that worked for me. My biggest complaint is a carryover from the previous episode; the speed with which Chloe and Rachel’s friendship solidifies is so fast that it sometimes feels forced, undercutting the believability of their developing bond. Brave New World also reuses some of the series’ old environments, like the dorms and junkyard. The recycled backdrops themselves don’t bother me as much as the gameplay parallels within them, like having your access to the dorm’s front door denied. Also, considering the universal criticism leveled at the junkyard bottle-hunt in the original Life is Strange, I was surprised and disappointed to find another fetch quest in the exact same location, sending Chloe off scrounging for items to repair and improve a broken-down truck. After finishing the first episode of Before the Storm, I was impressed at how well it retains the essence of the original Life is Strange, despite being handled by a different developer. That feeling doesn’t change with this episode; it draws you in with interesting characters, then builds them through quiet moments and big decisions. Even knowing the eventual fate of Chloe and Rachel, I am eager to see how the next (final) episode of this arc explores their legacy in Arcadia Bay. View the full article
  16. BlizzCon Virtual Ticket Giveaway Blizzard sent us 15 Virtual Tickets to give away! This year the in-game goodies include some faction themed mounts. To enter the giveaway, reply to this post with panel on the BlizzCon schedule you are looking forward to the most. This contest ends Wednesday, October 25th 2017 at 11:59 PM CST. Winners will be selected on Thursday, October 26th. Winners will be contacted by PM on the site. There is no email alert by default, you will need to log in and check your PMs. A note will be added to the front page of the site when winners have been contacted. View the full article
  17. As Civilization VI developer Firaxis explained last week, the game's fall update is bringing big changes to how religion functions. Rather than just speculate on how that will affect play, you can see for yourself since the content is now live. The update includes (but is not limited to) new Pantheons, revamped combat, new beliefs, as well as two new religious buildings and a combat unit. The goal is make a religion-focused playthrough a more viable and enjoyable approach for players. The team has also implemented broader tweaks to the game, like general interface improvements and bug fixes. To read more about Civ VI (in its pre-update form), check out our review. [Source: Eurogamer] View the full article
  18. The online multiplayer mode for Final Fantasy XV, which was originally supposed to launch this month, has been delayed. In a post made to Twitter by Square Enix's official Final Fantasy XV account, the company states the expansion will now release in early November to make final adjustments and create the best possible experience. No specific date has been given at this time. Due to final adjustments & to create the best possible experience, the online expansion #FFXVComrades will now be released in early November pic.twitter.com/0DV08nRpv8 — Final Fantasy XV (@FFXVEN) October 20, 2017 Announced this past summer, Comrades is set between chapters 13 and 14 of the main game. With their own custom made characters, players can collect meteor shards to power generators, which expand the available roster of activities, complete side quests for NPCs, and populate towns with different NPC civilians and leaders. Players can also earn experience to level up their characters, collect loot, and communicate through preset phrases and voice chat. Our Take This was definitely a good move for Square Enix. The game's beta testing back in August was plagued with server and matchmaking errors to the point that some players couldn't even log on. The mode has potential though, so taking the time to make it work is more than welcome. View the full article
  19. Gran Turismo developer Polyphony Digital has slowly developed the series' online component through the years, but now it's focusing on online play. GT Sport goes beyond the predominantly single-player past of its numbered installments, but doesn't go so far as to carve out an entirely new identity. The game uneasily tries to straddle these two poles, but thankfully the excellence of the driving is a comforting totem amidst some of the confusing structural choices. The titular online mode isn't just about racing against other real-life opponents (the online lobbies are suited for that kind of free-for-all), it funnels players into specific competitions. Daily races are preset by Polyphony and they open up at specific times through the hour. This focuses the community, but the fact that these "daily" races are only being changed weekly means I soon tired of putting down qualifying times and challenging for a podium finish on the same three tracks. The marquee FIA GT Nations Cup, Manufacturers Series, and Polyphony Digital Championship competitions are all similarly time-gated, creating further choke points, and the online-only save structure – no matter what mode you're in – is also a hurdle. It auto-saves at intervals, but progress can be lost if there's a blip in the interim. I like GT Sport's solemn attempt at a sense of occasion and propriety – even the earnestness of the etiquette rating that rewards you for not running into people. I feel the satisfaction of racing the right way. This isn't conveyed through the reckless driving penalties, which can be levied unfathomably, but by the cars themselves. The racing demands an understanding of the limitations and strengths of the cars, from the lateral stiffness of a low-end car to trying to harness the horsepower and braking prowess of a better one. I smugly enjoyed taking a corner crisply and thereby passing a faster car in lesser hands. Overall, the fact that car collision is disabled when someone re-enters from off the track or spins out of control thankfully prevents all hell from breaking loose during online races. In another concession, even shots from behind don't automatically send you careening. Cars, credits, and various rewards like decals and arcade mode track unlocks flow easily, and cars can be tuned and upgraded (through a simplified system, since you don't buy parts), allowing them to compete across different performance categories. Your garage is useful as you get a feel for which ones you like on which track, but this endearment is stunted by the limited single-player campaign mode. (Please visit the site to view this media) Putting aside the usual driving school lessons and the track tutorials in the Circuit Experience section, GT Sports' campaign mode largely consists of 64 mission challenges ranging from overtake tests to full-on races. The mode is admirable and nets you credits and various rewards, but it doesn't offer the cohesive journey of a normal career mode containing series of multi-race championships (which I acknowledge could also be done better in the other Gran Turismos). Instead, it's a series of disparate, smaller tasks often involving loaner cars. GT Sport is an online-focused title for sure, but a side effect of the campaign mode as it stands is that it lessens the emotional investment in your garage cars. Finally, the entire game suffers from too few tracks and no dynamic weather to go along with them (currently rain is only in a later mission challenge). No matter the mode, you churn through the likes of Brands Hatch and Suzuka more times than desirable, and I don't know why Polyphony elected to use multiple ovals/near-ovals when they bring little to the table and there are other, more attractive real-world tracks out there. Regardless of its foibles, let this installment be the start of a real commitment by Polyphony Digital to online racing – one that is folded into the main series' career mode and which is not just a temporary dabble like the track creator of GT 5 or the dynamic time/weather and race clubs of GT 6. GT Sport has enough qualities that it should be the start of something better and not just a detour for the franchise. View the full article
  20. The long-anticipated board game adaptation of Capcom's classic survival horror sequel continues to reach new heights. In the project's latest update, the creators congratulate backers on successfully reaching £650,000 (or $857,285). The game will now include Raccoon City Police Chief Brian Irons, who players can choose for an alternative play style as a survivor hunter. Steamforged Games Ltd., the team behind the project, provides a brief description of the new character and how his play style came about: When we sat down to design the Chief, we brought a wide variety of concepts to the table. Amongst others, we discussed his appearance as an NPC, as a mini-boss, and even as a type of card in the Tension Deck. But then we found an idea which really fit the character better than any of the above… Players using the Police Chief as a playable character during their games of Resident Evil™ 2 – The Board Game will have a very different win condition to the other players – they’ll be trying to hunt the other survivors down and eliminate them! The first of our ‘Bad Guy’ player characters, Brian Irons can attack the other survivors, steal items, and bait enemies. Launched September 25, the Kickstarter project had an initial goal of $196,648. This goal was met within the first day and has continued to rise since, with Steamforged rolling out several stretch goals for backers to meet. Steamforged is the same team that created the Dark Souls Board Game, which raised a grand total of $5,417,610. [Source: Kickstarter] Our Take If nothing else, Steamforged Games has the firm support of Resident Evil's fan base for this project. Hopefully it turns out well when it launches in September of next year. View the full article
  21. Game of Thrones is getting in on the mobile craze with Conquest, the newest in the ever-growing lineup of Game of War-style games. If you haven’t played Game of War, the concept is simple: Start a castle (a ‘house,’ in Conquest), build and upgrade military and resource plots (ad infinitum), build military units, create or join an allegiance, and pillage those weaker than your allegiance until they flee or join your side. While this sounds exciting on paper, in both Game of War and Conquest this is all done through an often boring system of clicking and waiting. Upgrading buildings takes a few minutes in the beginning of the game, but upgrades soon take hours to complete. If you want to attack your neighbor, you click attack on their keep, select which units you want to attack with, then wait. Then, if you damaged their wall and kept most of your soldiers, you can attack again. Repeat until their wall is destroyed and pillage their resources. Allegiances help make pillaging quicker, thankfully. Working as a team, an allegiance of players can destroy a wall quicker than a lone player. To start an allegiance, you must find someone willing to be your Bannerman. Each allegiance owner can have up to five Bannermen, with each of them having five as well, all the way down to fourth-tier Bannermen, who cannot have any of their own. This allegiance system is a good way of keeping straight who is in charge and passing orders down a chain of command. Unfortunately, it also requires asking strangers to bend the knee if they want to team up with you. This can be fun if you’re powerful enough to be a threat, or it can be frustrating if you’re being harassed by an allegiance wanting you to kneel. Allegiances fight over Seats of Power such as Winterfell and Casterly Rock. These seats of varying power (King’s Landing is the hardest to take but gives the most benefits) are mostly inactive in the preview build of the game, but allegiances can take active ones, for glory and the tangible benefits they bequeath members of the allegiance, such as increased march speed or resource collection. The setting and characters you’re surrounded by in a game can make or break the experience. Unfortunately, Conquest’s setting fails to put my mind in the Game of Thrones universe. It feels more classically medieval than Game of Thrones-inspired. My castle only features one building distinctly from Game of Thrones, the Maester's tower, which can be used to research upgrades. The upgrades in the Maester’s Tower, which fall under one of four categories (military, city defense, logistics, and economy), go back to having no relation to the universe, however helpful they are gameplay-wise. Conquest does feature some of the series’ most popular characters, but they don’t feel like those characters. They mostly pop up in a microtransaction advertisement or to teach a new mechanic, but with no voice acting and written dialogue that breaks the fourth wall more than it tries to stay in-universe, there’s very little connection between the characters in Conquest and the characters on HBO or in the books. From renting extra workers or Maesters to work on more buildings and research, to buying packs of boosts and currency, microtransactions are hard to avoid in Conquest. What’s most tempting to buy are speedups, which allow you to finish construction, research, or train troops faster. Instead of waiting an hour for a farm to upgrade, a speedup can upgrade it immediately so you can get started working on something else. These speedups are given away for free occasionally, but those who spend money will be able to progress through the ranks much faster than those who try the free-to-play route. Game of Thrones fans should temper their expectations before diving in, as the game released yesterday, October 19. The setting and characters offer nods to the broader fiction, but what I experienced in the preview version of the game is mostly rooted in a familiar and established mobile game structure. Fighting over Westeros’ Seats of Power with an organized allegiance might fulfil some people’s fantasies, but the fear of microtransactions deciding the fate of those Seats is real. If the game ever manages to capture that Game of Thrones feel however, it has a chance to suck a lot of people in. View the full article
  22. Most creative works emerge along clear lines of inspiration from what came before. In the case of Paizo’s sprawling new sci-fi/fantasy tabletop role-playing game, Starfinder, the lines of source and influence are clear. Starfinder is a futuristic spin on Paizo’s own Pathfinder fantasy game, which is an outgrowth from the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition ruleset, itself a seemingly endless and winding iterative process that traces back to the earliest days of RPGs. It’s because of that clear lineage, and not despite it, that Starfinder emerges as such a deep and rewarding game; strong, familiar core rules and mechanics ground the game. Simultaneously, creative universe-building, stellar art, and innovative design help Starfinder feel fresh. While additional adventures, figure pawns, and map boards have already begun to emerge for Starfinder, the game itself is encapsulated in one massive 500+ page tome called The Starfinder Core Rulebook. The book includes everything players and game masters need to run a campaign, minus dice and paper. Detailed chapters on classes, races, and character themes lay the groundwork for character creation and development, and info on spells, starships, and equipment help flesh out the details. The same book goes on to chart a course for GMs, with rules on running a game, and around 75 pages devoted to the planets, factions, religions, and other setting specifics that RPG fans so love to explore. We also get a helpful chapter on conversion from Pathfinder rules, talking both about how the original fantasy races – like elves and dwarves – fit into this new setting, and specifics on how to transfer over classes from the fantasy game, if desired. Put simply, the book itself is gorgeous. Full-color illustrations fill many of the pages, bringing the setting to life. Smart tab organization viewable on each page makes it easy to find the chapter you want – a handy tool mid-game, if you’re looking for a quick reminder about something. The writing is clear and consistent throughout, with sharp distinctions that help clarify even the tough lines between magic and technology use. The book exhibits an economy of presentation, maintaining depth in important areas like race descriptions and core planet details, but leaving room open for interpretation and GM creativity in lots of the nooks and crannies. About the only thing that isn’t extensively covered in-book is an archive of enemy creatures to set up as adversaries – the separate Alien Archive book is your best bet for that. If there’s a flaw to the core book, it’s that Starfinder is so incredibly large in scope as to feel imposing. While an experienced GM (particularly one who has played recent D&D editions or Pathfinder) will be able to parse the complexities and keep things presentable, the game simply doesn’t lend itself to first-time groups. The breadth of weapons, tech effects, class abilities, and tons more will easily overwhelm RPG beginners. Tag on distinct combat systems for both character battles and starship battles, and it can be a lot to wrap your head around. The answer, of course, is to pare down to just the elements needed for your small adventure. Focus on one planet, a few races, and hold off on starship adventures until you get the gist of the character action. Starfinder cries out for an easier entry point to let newcomers get comfortable, or at least a veteran running the game who can craft that entryway. Barring that, expect the core rulebook to be a rich well of art, ideas, and adventures, but one that will take a long time to fully comprehend. For faithful role-playing fans, Starfinder’s greatest strength is its pitch-perfect integration of classic fantasy tropes within a pulp science-fiction setting. Sure, your weapon may be blessed with holy power, but it might also be a plasma cannon. Perhaps you are a mystic druid charged with the protection of nature, but the nature you protect is viewed from the deck of a starship orbiting an alien gas giant planet populated by sentient floating jellyfish. Starfinder embraces its mixed aesthetics, happily placing swashbuckling swords beside powered armor, and spells beside tech-powered drone robots. While Starfinder opens the door to adventures across a vast interstellar play space, the main setting is the solar system that housed the Pathfinder fantasy world – thousands of years after Pathfinder’s established timeline. The central planet of that fantasy setting has mysteriously disappeared from outer space, leaving a void filled with newly dominant species and cultures. These “Pact Worlds” each house the seeds for fun adventures, from a planet of sentient undead to a giant derelict colony ship from a distant system. The cultures and organizations peppered throughout the book allow ample room for both villains and allies, and paint the picture of a deeply interwoven collection of political entities and alliances ripe for exploitation in your campaign’s storytelling. While Starfinder supports the possibility of familiar fantasy races like gnomes and half-orcs, I strongly recommend exploring the new core races, each of which is quirky, otherworldly, and rooted in at least one clear inspiration from the broader science fiction palette. The mechanically astute but diminutive Ysoki “ratfolk” are a clear homage to characters like Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy, while Androids offer the fantasy of a character that’s just not quite human – and may or may not want to be. The seven core races are beautifully illustrated, and that art helps evoke the unusual cultural descriptions that accompany each. Character themes help provide a focus and drive for your character, from the persistent and unstoppable will of the bounty hunter to the well-trained interstellar scholar. But the largest weight of the design effort clearly went into the seven new classes. Each is surprising and strange, often borrowing from both fantasy and sci-fi features to craft something new. The Technomancer weaves spells and magic into their devices and hacks. The Solarian is a Jedi-like enlightened warrior fueled by the power of the stars. The Operative calls on classic rogue-like stealth to complete futuristic espionage and infiltration tasks. With each of the classes, I’m impressed by the number of options and choices on offer. A Mystic class might shake out as an empathic peacekeeper, a spacefaring shaman, or any number of other player-concocted ideas. The mechanics support creative character generation. Next Page: Starship combat, tactical rules, and the final takeaway View the full article
  23. [Video Game History Foundation founder Frank Cifaldi has been digging through Game Informer’s closets to help organize and document over 26 years of priceless video game history! Occasionally he’ll spotlight some of his findings here. Learn more about the project on this episode of The Game Informer Show.] Game Informer has made no secret of The Vault, its collection of over twelve thousand video games from around the world, going all the way back to the industry’s roots. It’s a massive, labyrinthine room filled with floor-to-high-ceiling shelves, each of them crammed with what seems to be at least one copy of every game, for every system imaginable, that has ever made its way into the office. And that’s great...if you’re into that sort of thing. As for me, I’m more interested in the weird stuff. I run a nonprofit called The Video Game History Foundation, and what we’re focused on is making sure video game’s more ephemeral material – advertising, promotional goodies, vintage slides and photographs, behind-the-scenes stuff, etc. – is documented and preserved alongside the games themselves. Which is why I was thrilled to be able to dig into what Andrew Reiner once described as the Vault’s “less sexy counterpart”: GI’s dusty old filing cabinets. These filing cabinets are filled with press releases, promotional flyers, film, and other material that was sent to the magazine going all the way back to its 1991 inception and ending somewhere in the early 2000s, when companies started e-mailing this stuff instead. It is an almost perfectly-preserved tomb of video game public relations throughout the 1990s – in fact, one of the four cabinets had to be drilled open for me, its caregivers having lost the key ages ago. For a video game “archaeologist” like myself, it is a goldmine. It’s going to take a long, long time to document everything that’s in there (we’re going in order by publisher name, and we’re still in the A’s... ), but last time I was in there, I spent some me-time going through and cherry-picking material related to unreleased games for the good ol’ 8-bit NES, a subject matter I’m particularly fascinated by. I thought it might be fun to share some highlights from my findings here. Here is a set of two matching Hudson flyers from early 1993. While the Super Nintendo version of Beauty & the Beast came out (and was... decent), its NES counterpart did not – at least not here. It saw a limited release in some parts of Europe, where the NES market was still healthy, but here in the U.S., it was practically on life support. The box are you’re seeing here, while similar to what you’ll find in Europe, is unique in that it uses the movie’s original English title. As for Buster Bros. (a conversion of the bubble-popping arcade game that is sometimes called Pang), the NES version was not released anywhere – in fact, it wasn’t ever shown off in playable form, to my knowledge, as no screenshots have ever turned up. Here’s a real stumper from Ubisoft. Can you guess who it is? Anyone? I’ll give you a minute. Read the hints, they’re helpful. Okay, I’ll just tell you: it’s John Madden, of Madden Football fame! In 1993, Ubisoft (or as it called itself at the time, “UBI Soft”) licensed the 16-bit game John Madden Football ‘93 from Elelctronic Arts, as it was porting it to both the NES and the Game Boy. Here’s the original announcement press release, also from the cabinets, which I’m reproducing here more or less just so you can see Ubi’s adorable old logo: We don’t know why, but neither the NES nor Game Boy conversions of the title (both, incidentally, by NMS Software) ever made it to market, and no playable prototypes of the game have ever been found. Interestingly enough, the September/October 1993 issue of Game Informer previewed it! It looks like GI was sent a preview version of this game at some point, though it’s no longer in the office (it was probably sent back – ROMs were expensive and were used as spare parts back in the day,.UBI might have needed them back to erase and burn a copy of Jimmy Connors Tennis or something). However, it’s not a major loss. I actually recognize these screenshots: they’re from a completely non-interactive demo that does nothing but cycle through three different screens. There’s no gameplay, or even animation - it’s a simple demo of what the graphics were going to look like. It’s actually unknown whether this game was ever playable at all! Here is the cover and a single page from an American Technos booklet from 1992, talking about its upcoming 8- and 16-bit titles. Specifically we’re focusing on Crash ‘N the Boys Ice Challenge, a fun little arcade-style hockey game that came out in Japan but never shipped here. It looked like this: If you know your NES library, you might recognize those characters from one of several NES games that came out here (maybe River City Ransom, or Super Dodge Ball, or Nintendo World Cup). Here in the U.S., those games were three completely separate franchises sold by completely different publishers. But in Japan, where they originated, they were all part of the same franchise, revolving around kids attending Nekketsu High School. The star off those games was Kunio-kun (middle-left in the above screenshot). By 1992, Technos had opened its own U.S. office and was set to start self-publishing its Kunio games here under a unifying banner. Kunio-kun of Nekketsu High wasn’t exactly English-friendly, so what we were given instead was “Crash ‘n the Boys” of Southside High. Even the art direction got a Western facelift for an American audience that had not yet embraced Japanese aesthetics. In 1992 they announced Crash ‘n the Boys: Street Challenge (a sort of street olympics game) and Crash ‘n the Boys: Ice Challenge, and even started teasing a third game, Soccer Challenge. Unfortunately for would-be Nekketsu fans in the West, Street Challenge would be Crash’s only outing. In fact, we wouldn’t see another Kunio game here until 2008’s Super Dodgeball Brawlers on the DS – that’s 16 years! Here’s Blazebusters from Nexoft (aka ASCII), a delightful and goofy Arkanoid-style bouncing ball game, where your ball is actually replaced by a firefighter bouncing around, putting out fires by bouncing off of them (just like real life), and rescuing victims from windows. If that sounds like your thing, I highly recommend tracking down the Famicom version under its original title, Flying Hero. Blazebusters is particularly interesting to me because it’s one of two completely separate failed attempts to bring this game to the U.S. – way back in 1989, an electronics company called Sony started a video game division and announced three titles: all of them localized versions of Japanese games, and all of them with “Super” in the title. There was Flying Hero (as Super Rescue), Super Pinball (as, uh, Super Sushi Pinball), and Super Dodgeball. Only the latter saw release, with Sony going on to focus more on developing games in the UK and, later, making its own game console. The flyer in Game Informer’s drawers is by far the best version of Blazebuster’s packaging art I’ve seen, so I was delighted to find it. Here’s Parker Brothers’ Trivial Pursuit, which is of course based on its board game of the same name. These are among the only screenshots we’ve ever seen of a supposed NES version, but they’re a bit of a mystery for me: they don’t look like they’re coming from an NES at all, and yet, they don’t match any version of Trivial Pursuit I’ve ever seen. Also from Parker Brothers, here’s Drac’s Night Out. This is a game about Dracula putting on Reebok Pump sneakers to run around and murder innocent people. No, I’m not making this up. Reebok was endorsing a kid’s game where the main mechanic was to murder humans using horrible death traps and then devour their blood. Lucky for us, the game is preserved and is generally available if you know where to look. I happen to like it. And finally, here’s Capcom’s California Raisins. If Reebok endorsing a murder spree wasn’t weird enough for you, how about raisin farmers from California trying to make raisins cool by giving them sunglasses and licensing them to the people who make Mega Man? If you weren’t around in the 80s, it’s kind of hard to explain why California Raisins was ever a thing. And if you were... well, it’s still pretty hard. I had toys of these things and I have no idea why. This ad was a great find, as it uses the traditional Capcom house style of the time, something that for a lot of us was really iconic and exciting, and emblematic of what was arguably that company’s golden years. Finding a “lost” entry in that series was really exciting for me. View the full article
  24. With Dragon Ball FighterZ making waves among the gaming community, one can’t help but wonder what other anime properties would make for phenomenal video games. Many series already have mobile games and visual novels, or have had games release in the past, but others still haven’t made the jump to the interactive virtual medium or seen a full-scale console title released this generation. Whether it’s an engrossing story, the scope of the battles, or the evocative art style, each of these series has something that, with the right studio behind them, could make for top of the line gaming experiences. Hellsing Created by Kouta Hirano, this series reimagines Bram Stoker’s iconic count as Alucard, a red-coated agent under the command of a private peace-keeping organization in Britain. Wielding two pistols, supernatural abilities, and a disturbing toothy grin, he teams up with a number of other strange individuals to take on a group of vampire Nazis set on starting World War III. Perfect studio for the project: Platinum Games Considering its past experience with Bayonetta, Platinum would be a perfect fit for the project, lending its talents to create a hack-and-slash action game with crazy combat to match this series’ equally insane premise. Plus, between Alucard’s dual-pistol fighting style and supernatural abilities, it would serve as a nice spiritual successor to the original Devil May Cry series, which some members of the team worked on. Tokyo Ghoul What if the world were inhabited by ghouls who could only survive by eating humans? That’s the question posed by this series from the mind of Sui Ishida. Following an emergency surgery where ghoul organs were transplanted into his body, main character Kaneki Ken finds himself imbued with powerful abilities, but at the cost of only being able to survive by eating human flesh. Constantly hunted by a government organization out to exterminate all ghouls, Kaneki must rise up and fight to save ghouls from being eradicated while also trying to prove ghouls and humans can coexist. Perfect studio for the project: Telltale While an action-centric game could work for Tokyo Ghoul, a story-driven experience exploring the world’s themes and their implications would arguably be the best way to bring out its strengths. In that regard, Telltale is the best choice, with hits like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us showing it can bring other properties to the virtual realm like no other. Either focusing on Kaneki or a new character all together, Telltale could dive into how the world works, lending a human quality to the super-powered monsters and cold human hunters. My Hero Academia “This is the story of how I became the world’s greatest hero.” These are the words of Midoriya Izuku, the protagonist of Kohei Horikoshi’s smash hit Shonen manga about a world filled with super heroes. The story follows Izuku (A.K.A. Deku) as he rises through the ranks to become the next great hero after receiving the power “One for All” from the world’s current greatest hero, All Might. This is easier said than done, though, as a new organization of villains is rising up to smash the world’s peace and crush their trust in super heroes forever. Perfect studio for the project: Bandai Namco Entertainment While there is a fighting game available on the 3DS in Japan, an RPG allowing players to dive into the super-powered world of Academia would be even better. With past work on the Tales series as well as a number of other anime games, Bandai Namco Entertainment would be the best choice for making an RPG centered on making your own hero and fighting villains throughout the game’s world. Properly showing the impact and damage of each hero’s powers would be a must, but judging by the darker tone of Bandai Namco’s upcoming Code: Vein, the developer is more than up to the task. While visiting Bandai Namco for the Dragon Ball FighterZ cover story, Kyle Hilliard asked Bandai Namco if they have a My Hero Academia game in development, and while they said no at the time, that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not a possibility in the future. Hunter X Hunter Everyone has something they’re searching for, or at least that’s how it is in this deconstruction of the Shonen genre. Made by Yoshihiro Togashi, the series follows the adventures of Gon Freecs and his friends as they travel in search of fortune, revenge, and long-lost family members. The cheery art style hides the surprisingly dark tones of the series, which include everything from negotiating hostage exchanges with super-powered thieves to battles between different intelligent races over who has more of a right to exist. Perfect studio for the project: Sega As it has shown with the Yakuza series, Sega can handle making a game that juggles fun and quirky themes with dark and compelling stories. Given the same open-world action game approach as the recent Yakuza 0 and Kiwami, Hunter X Hunter could come to life like never before, with players exploring the world as Gon or any number of his friends, getting caught up in crazy side quests and taking part in fast, high-stakes battles. Blade of the Immortal Covered in scars and unable to die thanks to a symbiotic relationship with worm-like parasites in his blood stream, cursed samurai Manji wanders feudal Japan in this gore-heavy samurai Seinin series. Seeking atonement for the death of 100 of his fellow samurai, Manji is tasked with hunting 1,000 evil men in order to regain his mortality, kept alive by Sacred Blood Worms which prevent him from aging and regenerate lost tissue no matter the injury. To this end, he hacks and slashes his way across this bloody tale, struggling through his fair share of hardships to find forgiveness and peace. Perfect studio for the project: Kojima Productions When it comes to a heady, action-packed romp across violent settings, few can do it better than Hideo Kojima. Diving into the drama and weight of Manji’s immortality and quest for peace, Kojima Productions could accurately convey the story of this treasured series over to the virtual realm perfectly, matching it with engrossing and polished gameplay. Plus, with the recent hype made by the release of the live action adaptation's trailer, the game could find a foothold on new fans' radars. Know of any other anime that deserve a high quality video game adaptation? Mention them in the comments section below. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Dragon Ball FighterZ hub for all the latest on Game Informer’s coverage of the game. View the full article
  25. The Dragon Ball franchise has been around for more than 30 years and has served as a huge influence to game developers and those connected to the industry in myriads ways. As part of our month of Dragon Ball coverage coverage in anticipation of Dragon Ball FighterZ, we reached out to folks in order to have them share their appreciation for Dragon Ball, and where applicable, pitch their own dream Dragon Ball video game. Hidetaka “Swey65” Suehiro is best known for his work on Deadly Premonition. We asked him if Dragon Ball has inspired or influenced him in any meaningful ways. The one takeaway I had from Dragon Ball growing up was there’s a part in the series where a character called Udon who received panties from God. Somewhere in there, that whole episode allowed me to understand that panties are not necessarily erotic. It means that everything is fine! We offered the same question to Goichi "Suda 51" Suda, who is best known for Killer 7 and the No More Heroes series. I may have subconsciously picked up inspiration from the Dragon Ball series. In the [Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes], there’s the console, the Death Drive MK-II, and the games for that console aren’t cartridges or CDs, they’re balls called “Death Balls.” Since the console and the games are sort of like a phantom console and phantom games, there’s really not that many in existence. There were only six games that were made for the console, and there’s only one copy for each of those games that exists, so if a player goes and collects all six of those game balls, they can have a wish granted, which is pretty much the same as Dragon Ball Z. I may have been subconsciously inspired by the whole Dragon Ball concept when I thought of that. Maybe if you collect all six balls, a huge tiger will appear or something. [laughs] Shane McCloskey is a developer with Insomniac games who is currently working on Spider-Man and shared with us the kind of Dragon Ball game he would make. Dragon Ball Z was the first anime I watched as a kid, I was absolutely captivated by the art style, the characters, and of course, the fights. If I were to get my hands on the Dragon Ball license today I would produce a linear story that would cover one saga, so it could have the production values of something like The Last of Us or Uncharted 4. In terms of the gameplay it would be similar to the Infamous titles, where the protagonist would be in the center of the screen when brawling or traversing. To use energy attacks, the player would hold the left trigger to shift the perspective to more of a third person shooter, from this mode the player would be able to unleash things like a simple ki blast up to a devastating Kamehameha, as long as their ki meter were filled the proper amount. Fighting games are definitely the best fit for the Dragon Ball license but I believe that the third person perspective could really help capture the feeling of what it is like to release a fully charged Kamehameha or slice Frieza in half. Nina Freeman is known for her work with Fullbright on Tacoma, but she has made a number of games on her own like Kimmy and Cibele. For her input, she pitched an idea of what she would do with the Dragon Ball license if she ever got the chance to make a game using it. If I were to make a game set in the Dragon Ball universe, it would definitely focus on young Bulma from the first season. I'm pretty fascinated by her and her family's backstory around capsules. I also just think she's hilarious and deserves a whole game just about her. The game would be about Bulma going on vacation with her family to a capsule resort and trying to score hot dates. Obviously the resort would be full of cute boys and capsule shops and traders. This idea is basically based on Bulma's goal early on in the show to find a boyfriend, and also her family's capsule business backstory. You would play as Bulma, exploring the resort and meeting various boys. In order to romance a boy, you'd need to talk to him and get to know what kind of activities he likes. Then, you have to craft the perfect date using capsules. Maybe you have to get one outfit capsule, one transportation capsule, and one location capsule (e.g. a swimsuit, convertible and pool set would probably be pretty desirable!). The date is scored based on what kind of date set you manage to come up with! I think you'd probably make the money needed to buy your set by designing and selling your own original capsules (since it's the family business)! This is probably how you interface with her family during the vacation. Based on the capsules from your personal collection that you decide to sell, and maybe capsule designs your family members share with you, you'll have more or less money to go on dates. I feel like this game would kinda resemble the Kim Kardashian mobile game... except instead of modelling, you're a rising star in the capsule industry that also wants to kiss all the boys. Speaking with Alx Preston ahead of the release of his game, Hyper Light Drifter, he mentioned influences like Studio Ghibli. Unsurprisingly, he also has a fondness for Dragon Ball. Dragon Ball Z was massively popular when I was in high school, since Toonami was a thing. Kids were wearing those (never really) stylish bowling shirts emblazoned with Goku and Piccolo and energy blasts. It was fun times and it was hard not to have this show – a cultural touchstone – influence how I thought about story telling, action, characters and even the state of 2D animation. It was so important to me that I had to call my friend for episode summaries when I missed new ones. As far as my ideal, Dragon Ball Z game, the new Dragon Ball FighterZ is lookin' like that'll scratch that itch for me. wouldn't change much about it, honestly. We spoke with Katsuhiro Harada of Tekken fame earlier this month about his role on Dragon Ball FighterZ, but he also shared with us his thoughts about the larger Dragon Ball franchise. I haven’t worked in development of any of the titles in the Dragon Ball game series. This is just his opinion as a company employee of Bandai Namco, but more so, of me personally, that it is quite a unique case with the Dragon Ball series that originally started as a manga and IP itself, it actually was kind of complete at one point. Now we have the anime and it branched, and then there are games in between that. But to see that case where you have an IP that kind of concludes and then to have a game that comes out after that is kind of a rare case. You don’t see that, that often. And, in the meantime before the anime started, we had a series of games as well, so you can kind of say the popularity was broadened, at least for foreign audiences, and even kind of marinated a certain level of relevance even after the original IP finished, and then of course branching into the new anime. This time it is very exciting for me to be a part of the announcement of the title first for Dragon Ball FighterZ, and I was also able to give input on the game in particular. So being able to be involved with such an amazing and well known IP is very exciting. We also spoke with Harada about Dragon Ball's impact specifically on Tekken. You can say that there was a major difference with western media in that Dragon Ball was the first to show in a visual aspect, you know, the Kamehameha, which was basically, to Eastern philosophy is something that is relatively known that you have this ki and the way you manifest it. Normally you wouldn’t be able to see it visually, but to take that and make it something you could visually recognize in manga and later in the anime – and not just that, but to see the Earth splitting or the smoke and effects that are created when you concentrate a power? These are all things that Dragon Ball was one of the first to show off and, not just Tekken, but a lot of Japanese games were probably influenced by the way you show this kind of power of a fighter. Even though in the West, they had Superman that could shoot lasers and stuff like that, this kind of visual way that the eastern arts showed off the Ki and how everything is displayed is kind of unique to Dragon Ball. Maybe Street Fighter wouldn’t even have a fireball if it wasn’t for Dragon Ball, or at least the way it was visually shown. Adam Heart is a designer at Iron Galaxy (Killer Instinct, Divekick), and while he does not consider himself a big fan of Dragon Ball, he absolutely recognizes its importance. Unpopular opinion but I’m actually not a big Dragon Ball fan. I just rewatched all through the cell games with my wife because she had never seen it, and it solidified my opinion that I really don’t like it. But I recognize its value as kind of a gateway anime to me. And it lead me to one of the things I love most in this world, which is One Piece. One Piece is my favorite thing on the planet, period. It’s just the best. It’s taught me a lot about mood, and storytelling, and comedy, and action, and diversity that I just wouldn’t be who I am as a person or a developer without. So I like Dragon Ball because it gatewayed me to stuff that I actually really do love. And I have soft spots for something things in Dragon Ball. I like Krillin a lot. I got a Krillin figure at my house. I’m going to be playing him in Dragon Ball FighterZ. I have it pre-ordered. Definitely playing him and Piccolo, I don’t know who my third is going to be, but I gotta play Gohan’s green dad. I’m definitely going to play him, because he’s the only character in the series who isn’t an idiot. Everyone in the series is just an idiot, and they make the worst possible decision at every turn, and I’m just like please kill me. It’s funny because One Piece is obviously influenced by Dragon Ball Z, and it has characters who make bad decisions all the time, but they’re anchored by characters who are the voice of reason, and Dragon Ball Z doesn’t have that at all. Nobody’s the voice of reason in Dragon Ball, everyone’s just making terrible decision after terrible decision. It’s frustrating for me to watch. (Please visit the site to view this media) Mega64 does not make video games, but they are directly tied to the industry, and more importantly, Rocco Botte is a big fan of Dragon Ball Dragon Ball has had a huge influence on me- I watched it in its early dub episodes on TV as a kid, and thought it was exciting and pretty cool. But it wasn't until I saw the Japanese version that my mind really opened up to it and was blown away- what the original Japanese version had in terms of its character, frenetic editing, use of both eclectic sound effects AND silence, were what were most striking about it. There wasn't any other show like it. The types of moves, powers, and characteristics of the personalities in the show are so definitively Dragon Ball that they seem absolutely hysterical/stupid if you see anybody else attempt them. I think that kind of ironic juxtaposition is a big part of our humor in Mega64- seeing one of us grown-ass men attempt to teleport somewhere or go "Super Saiyan" in complete seriousness will never not be funny to me. It's just the template for insane action, to me. A couple years ago, we were asked to make an official video promoting the new DBZ movie. Though filming it was hard to figure out, I think editing the footage was one of the best days of my life. I excitedly woke up at 6AM like it was Christmas morning, and I raced to the computer, finishing the entire video by that afternoon. That almost never happens- I usually have to mull over a lot of editing choices, but I just didn't have to with a DBZ video. It has such a specific vibe and style that was so ingrained in my brain- it just flowed from there, through my fingertips and the video was done fast. It's one of our most viewed videos ever- the power of Dragon Ball truly never dies. Since I was a kid, I've always thought the best Dragon Ball game concept would always be a truly well done, high quality fighting game- something worthy of the Street Fighter or Marvel Vs. Capcom series. Most of my life, I thought that would honestly never happen, which is why I'm so happy with Dragonball Fighter Z coming into existence. It really is the coolest game I could hope for. Every single move is an iconic moment from the show. Whenever I see Frieza do his grab move, it reminds me of Krillin's death on Namek and gets me emotional. What other fighting game can do that? For more from our month of Dragon Ball coverage, including new details for FighterZ, click the banner below. And if you're a developer who loves Dragon Ball and want to see your voice represented here, send me an e-mail and I will add your thoughts! View the full article
  26. World of Warcraft 7.3.2 Patch Notes Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker) Updates Patch 7.3.2 includes: General bug fixes and minor class balance changes. Additional currency support in Battle.net. Additional tuning in preparation for Antorus, the Burning Throne raid dungeon’s release. While this minor patch adds in additional tuning for Antorus, this raid won’t be available with the release of patch 7.3.2, and will open at a later date. Classes Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) Balance Touch of the Moon trait redesigned. Now heals for an increasing amount per rank, with a fixed proc chance of 20% (was a fixed healing amount with a proc chance of 5% per rank). Additionally, will not proc if the caster is above 95% health. Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) Elemental Shamanistic Healing trait redesigned. Now heals for an increasing amount per rank, with a fixed cooldown of 30 seconds (was a fixed healing amount with a cooldown of [30 seconds minus 2 seconds] per rank). Class Halls Added three new missions: “Scour the Surface”, “Abandoned Armory”, and “Feed the Furnaces”. All reward follower armor upgrades. A Primal Sargerite vendor has been added to the Vindicaar. Items Convergence of Fates now reduces the remaining cooldown on one of your powerful abilities by 4 seconds (was 5 seconds), and has 10% more primary stat. A number of class set items from legacy content can now be sold to vendors. Legion Companion App Restored the mission-complete button on the map. Updated to support 7.3.2 patch. Player versus Player The weekly quest “Something Different” should now reward the correct Brawler’s Footlocker based on the active season. The Primal Victory and Glorious Tyranny Illusions are now purchasable for 10 Marks of Honor for players who earned at least one of the following Achievements: Glorious Tyranny: Duelist or Hero of the Horde/Alliance in Season 14. Duelist or Hero of the Horde/Alliance in Season 15. Primal Victory: Duelist or Hero of the Horde/Alliance in Warlords Season 1. Duelist or Hero of the Horde/Alliance in Warlords Season 2. Duelist or Hero of the Horde/Alliance in Warlords Season 3. View the full article
  27. Destiny 2 players will have to go the next two weeks without the Trials of the Nine multiplayer mode, according to a blog post from Bungie's community manager Chris Shannon. Bungie is working to fix a glitch that lets players use an emote to hide outside the map. The emote in question is the Monty Python-inspired Bureaucratic Walk, and, according to reports by Eurogamer, the emote was pulled from sale earlier this week. However, that doesn't solve the issue of all the players who already bought the emote. As a result, Trials of the Nine will be offline for two weeks while Bungie works to resolve the issue. The event will resume on November 3. Trials of the Nine has had similar issues in the past. Last month Bungie had to change the game mode and map for the Trials playlist in order to prevent players from scoring kills while out of bounds on the Altar of Flame map. [Source: Eurogamer] Our Take: The idea of Guardians using silly walks to break the game is pretty funny up until you get killed by one of them. Trials is a highly competitive and challenging mode that offers a change of pace from the PvE action, and there's nothing more frustrating than players cheesing the map in order to secure victory. Bungie has a great history with competitive multiplayer, but Destiny 2 in general has had some pretty serious issues with glitch exploits. Hopefully Bungie uses these two weeks not to just fix this one glitch, but to address the larger issue in a meaningful way. View the full article
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