E3 is around the corner so you know how antsy I’m getting. I’m sure you’re feeling it just as much. I’m here today to hit you with all the bad news this week. It sucks but it is what it is. This one is going to be short so don’t miss it flying by. Behold the most negative LGR to date:
1. Shenmue 3 delayed to 2019!
I think it’s fair to say that I warned everyone reading that this was going to be more of an UnLucky recap. Rip the band-aid off quick and tell you out the gate, Shenmue 3 has been delayed. It was originally planned to come out fall of this year but given the lack of marketing and development progress you would be a fool to be surprised by this. Honestly, I have my doubts that it will even make it to release next year. Call me a pessimist (actually please don’t) but Shenmue 3 is quite a long way out. Good news; we are still getting the remastered versions of 1 and 2 this year.
2. Metro Exodus delayed to 2019.
This delay on the other hand is super unexpected. If you don’t recall, Metro Exodus was the first game to show us a zombie bear in action at E3. It was terrifying. The game looked incredible and I’m pretty sure it had a playable demo as well. THQ Nordic bought Deep Silver which means this delay is most likely to make sure the marketing is labeled and handled properly. In this case I feel like this is more of a winning situation for fans of the series. You know, cause Red Dead Redemption is going to outshine everything this fall.
By now some of you have realized that all these delays come from the same company. If you didn’t, it’s pretty clear now. THQ Nordic buying Deep Silver has put a big shift on the way the game release schedules are working. So the interesting new IP, Bio-Mutant, and the revival of an IP that should never have died, Darksiders 3, are both under revision for release. Fear not, this doesn’t mean these games are going bye bye, it just means they gotta cook in the oven a little longer. Still thinking this is good thing. Also thinking, news about THQ in 2018? Man if I could time travel, the old me would be all messed up.
4. Skull and Bones delayed to at least 2019-2020
Not all dogs go to heaven and not all delays come from THQ. Sometimes they come from ridiculously incredible publishers with a ton of great IP’s. In this case the culprit is Ubisoft. And as much as I love to entertain the idea that this delay is to make room for the more exciting return of Splinter Cell, that’s probably not true. Skull and Bones is essentially the boat parts of Assassin’s Creed. Ubisoft saw how terrible Sea of Thieves release was and they said “Uh oh, maybe we need more.” Boom and that’s how games are delayed, next question. Damn! 2020 though?
5. Okami HD Comes to Switch.
Because we are a small team and I’m terrible at finishing video games we had to pass on reviewing this when it released late last year. It’s okay though, now that it’s officially releasing on Nintendo Switch, Chet can experience with fresh eyes what I played on PS2. This is light news, but it does a little making up for all the delays right? Right? Please, just say yes. Oh and I just remembered a version of Okami came to Wii as well. Look at that. And Okami HD comes to Switch August 9th.
6. Stalking will be cool again starting 2021.
Well, stalking has never actually been cool. It had a brief moment when the classic survival series, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, last title was released in 2009. That didn’t stop the announcement of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 from happening. Well technically happening again because the game was previously announced and then canceled in 2011. When this game releases it’ll officially have been a full decade since the last title. The funny thing about it is, that seems to be working for games pretty well lately. Examples include: Final Fantasy 15 & Last Guardian but not Duke Nukem. Absolutely not Duke Nukem.
7. The Kingdom holding your heart will be yours, soon.
I couldn’t be a complete ass and give you only bad news. Here I saved the best for last. Only the greatest news makes it to the end this week. Are you still with me? Alright here we go. Kingdom Hearts 3 will be officially arriving next month to tell you when it will be releasing for your gaming pleasure. That was fun. Yea so Square decided to indulge in the hype of this game by teasing a day they would provide a release date. Pay attention though folks, this month is May which means next month is June. June is E3. Half-Life 3 confirmed.
It’s officially official ladies and gentleman. Call of Duty Black Ops 4 will be arriving this fall, sans single player campaign. One of the top selling franchises year over year is completely abandoning it in favor of the super popular Battle Royale. For those still attached to the idea of enjoying a game by themselves at home this could be very disappointing at first. However, after a ton of thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that this could be a very good thing. Now before you grab your tiki torches and plan your attack allow me to explain my thought process for just a moment.
First, unofficial data has shown that less than 50% of Xbox players have actually completed a Call of Duty campaign. Yes, I’m going to use the Xbox data as a Playstation fanboy, get over it. With that said, this is not an attempt to bash the Xbox player base, it’s actually almost the opposite. Historically, Call of Duty has been an Xbox favorite. Even with the recent attempt to transition the audience to Playstation, most people still rather play their first person shooters on the green machine. Ask Chet if you don’t believe me. It makes sense for Activision to spend less money on a part of the game that, hypothetically but realistically speaking, most players are completely ignoring. In no way am I defending the decision but I can totally understand the business move.
Which leads into my second point. Battle Royale is huge right now, but technically its still an indie game concept. I mean even the most popular Battle Royale game, Fortnite (sorry PUBG I know how much that hurt to read), was just a crazy idea thrown into a game that was very different to begin with. See, I bet you didn’t even know Fortnite is a totally different game than Fortnite: Battle Royale. That means that Activision has officially positioned Call of Duty as the first AAA Battle Royale game on the market. Seriously, think about it for just a couple seconds. Activision, although tightlipped about how much they spend on development, is known for throwing millions into every game every year. You think the random partnership with Marvel was amazing, let’s see what the people who have the budget to work with Hollywood actors regularly can do. The same people who can assemble some of the most iconic actors of all time to be apart of a secondary game mode (Zombies) can pull off a Battle Royale. Graphics, content, scale, network, literally every aspect of the game just received a small loan of a million dollars. Not collectively either, that’s each.
More importantly for me though is my third and final point. Free up some writers. Call of Duty campaigns have had some pretty crap writing but, there have also been some gems. Black Ops 1 is still my favorite FPS campaign to date, and I finished Crysis 2. And played Bioshock. Oh and Borderlands (a little bit). I mean I can list my credentials if need be but we can all pretty much agree that the campaign from Black Ops 1 is the reason most of us are fired up about the team that gave us that are not giving us more. I choose to look at this as an opportunity. Now without the pressure of having to write a story around the multiplayer component, which is always what it feels like, maybe some writers will have free reign. Maybe focusing Call of Duty on Multiplayer puts us in an alternate universe where Activision produces a FPS series with the powerful storytelling found in Spec Ops: The Line. Got your attention now huh?
Don’t get me wrong, I know this perspective is wildly optimistic but thats kinda my thing. At the end of the day, I believe the campaign was cut to focus on building what may end up being the best Battle Royale on the market. Maybe the business monsters at Activision are secretly working on a campaign mode DLC that they will try to sell us a few months after release. Not sure why I said try though. Or maybe, honestly.
A Way Out is a two-player action adventure game developed by Hazelight and published by EA Games. Hazelight is mainly comprised of developers who worked on Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons so it shows that the developers had a knack for working on two-player games. In a world of season passes, games as service, and 80-hour sandboxes, it takes a lot of chutzpah to come out and say you’re going to have a linear, story-focused campaign that has to be played with another person, preferably one sitting right next to you. Indeed it has become a novel experience to play with your friends in person rather than online. With the graphical demand of consoles, some developers have had struggles trying to keep same screen multi-player available, but Hazelight pulled it off. But how is it?
If anything, the game is considerably unpolished. While main characters Vincent and Leo have a lot of detail put into their appearances, that same can’t really be said for the rest of the cast. Plenty of variety is used for the various extraneous characters is in the game, but they just have an amateurish look as if they were generated by one of the customizable protagonist games that have a ‘random’ button. But it’s a small team, and they have limited resources, but it’s clear they did everything they could to keep the game looking good. Despite what you may expect from the footage you’ve seen of this game, there actually is a considerably large amount of different locations the game takes place in. These scenarios are very diverse, from the dreary grey of prison to the bright blues and greens of a tropical locale. There’s that and the visual effects are pretty good, especially the way rain looks when you get inclement weather. It’s very detailed and in-depth, they made sure this game would run well and look decent while not sacrificing too much of either.
There’s a thin line between homage and theft. The plot of the game goes off into this crazy dash through all the beats of more than 10 different movies and sometimes even lifts a scene or two. There really wasn’t much going on that you haven’t seen in another movie, which means that yes, the game features a lot of overused tropes. Usage of familiar tropes isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s very hard to get invested in some of the characters. It’s a tight string of a story, running along from beginning to end without a whole lot of buildup on any characters other than the main characters. You end up with a story that begins and just jumps here and there leading you to a series of several non-climactic moments book-ending every chapter. Does it play the part well? Of course, it does. But the lack of originality and motivation aren’t present.
The game featured a lot of surprisingly bass-heavy orchestral tracks during a lot of the exposition. But if it comes down to memorability, I can’t remember anything about it. The OST seems to have simply gone with a sort of generic template for action/adventure movies and doesn’t seem to keep in line with the mood of the story. But the soundtrack is still very well-mixed and Vincent & Leo’s voice actors gave some pretty good performances, giving the characters life even if they sometimes have bad lines.
Over the course of the game, you will do so many average versions of what would probably be better in a sandbox game. Driving, fighting, QTE’s, shooters, stealth action, and big decisions, you play just a little bit of all those games type as you make your way through the game. When it came to walking through a few mountains, trying to stealthily take out cops was adequate. The shooty bits at the end of the game are adequate. The driving is very arcadish and adequate. There were no big ideas, just focusing mainly on the story, the game tries to make playing with your partner as easy as possible. Nothing ever gets too difficult because the game made sure to have you deal with whatever game mechanic is thrown at you during the chapter you’re in, then poof, it’s gone from the game. It’s on a cruise control that lulls you into quickly knowing what you’re dealing with and doing it. There’s not much more to say, everything works, but nothing is spectacular.
Co-op on the couch is a very rare thing indeed. If it weren’t for the showing at E3 that heavily pushed for playing with a real-life partner, the experience wouldn’t have been whole online. Full disclosure, I played the game with my uh, err, current and formidable life partner, we almost had a fight but never did. Even when she got stuck on a wall FOR THE FOURTEENTH TIME JUST PULL AWAY AAAAAAAAAAAAAA. But the moments of frustration were few and the moments of being heavily engaged in playing were plentiful. Sure, as I’ve said before, not a single thing in the game is unique, but the fact that you’re going through so much game with someone in real life is a special experience that not a lot of games can tout. This game most reminds me of Quantum Break of all games, it’s a completely new experience that while not the best, is a very creative way of getting the player’s attention. And in this case, the company breaks ground by going back to the good ol’ days and having you play together. In real life, preferably.
A Way Out does what it sets out to do: be a solid co-op experience. It unfortunate that the sum of all its parts is still rather low but it still manages to have that special X-factor. If you have someone you know that you want to play an experience game with, you could do worse than this. Looking at you, F.3.A.R.
Actually, now that you mention it, Fear 3 was a pretty mediocre game too. It wasn’t scary, that’s for sure. Also, said partner copy-edited this article and heartily agrees that arguments almost happened.
Far Cry 5 is the newest installment in Ubisoft’s long-running Far Cry series. Typically traveling to tropical or exotic locations, this new entry drops you right in the heart of…. MONTANA, USA? Yes, that’s right, the creative minds at Ubisoft are no strangers to making drastic decisions every now and again and this time they’ve decided to bring the fight to the States. As a first-person shooter with an open world, you play as a custom protagonist (don’t steal) and fight against a doomsday cult that has forcibly taken over the entire county. That’s county, without the R. Like many of the games prior, it has an open approach to handle each situation, allowing you to either shoot everyone like a maniac or go stealthy like you’re Solid Snake. As an ongoing series, does it bring new life to the franchise or is this just more of the same?
Dogs go woof. Cats go meow. Far Cry games have amazing graphics. There’s nothing to discuss here.
There was a major disparity that occurred during the game’s marketing campaign where it was heavily inferred that this antagonistic cult is supposed to be reflective of some real-world events this past year. On the contrary, the antagonists seem to be the opposite of what people were expecting in that regard. That said, they are still menacing villains, and the cake doesn’t even go to the primary baddie, John Seed, leader of Project Eden’s Gate. You spend the bulk of the time fighting his 3 lieutenants, the other members of his family. Each leader has a lot of presence and menace to them, as they all believe they are righteous and go to great lengths to prove it. In a move that has to be taken with a grain of salt, you get frequently captured by these “peggies,” as the locals call them, every time you reach a milestone in every region. But progression through the game is kept smooth, where instead of being put on a straight and narrow path that will lead you to the end, you carve your own path through the game. A lot of Ubisoft’s games take this approach lately, but here it actually works because there’s so much to do that if you hit a particular story mission you don’t want to carry out, you’re free to take off and go do something else instead. Furthermore, the devs took great care to make a smaller, more tangible map that has a lot of character, both in its NPCs and scenery, instead of the average go-to “look how big our map is!” approach to level design.
Now, credit where credit is due, the work was definitely put in for this game’s OST. The game features a licensed soundtrack full of rock n roll tunes you can hear on the radio. But it also features a radio channel being broadcast by the veggies that includes a slew of gospel choir tunes all based on their beliefs, which adds a lot of character. That’s all fine and good, and the original score for action scenes was unique with a lot of Americana and banjo, but more times than not, I just couldn’t stand listening to the soundtrack. The map music was especially egregious and got on my nerves every time I had to open the map, which I had to open it a lot. That said, the performances of each villain were all pretty decent and well rendered, but it’s going to take quite a lot for the game to ever have a villain as good as Vaas from Far Cry 3.
The DIY aspect of the game serves it very well. For the first time in the main series, Ubisoft has ditched a lot of the busywork you used to find in the other titles. You don’t have to go looking for herbs as often, for starters. Upgrades are based entirely on cash, so hunting animals only nets you more cash instead of having to find specific skins to craft specific upgrades. Crafting itself is kept to a minimum. And for the love of god and all that is holy, you don’t have to go climbing towers, Ubisoft is officially done with tower climbing. Other than that, your standard Far Cry fare is available here. Weapon selection is vast and varied, with bows, rifles, pistols, SMGs, LMGs, rocket launchers, and a couple easter egg weapons. There are also some decent vehicles to choose from, but once you’ve got a car that will take you from A to B, it hardly matters. My personal preference was using an LMG, burst first SMG, full auto SMG, and .50 cal sniper rifle. If that sounds like overkill, that’s because it is. It’s also because I always start off stealthy then whenever I fail I immediately whip out an assault weapon and gun some outposts down. I think I only managed to completely stealth a stronghold once in my entire run. This is some functional, good gameplay that lets you take whatever approach you want to take with anything.
At some point, did Ubisoft declare they were going to be the new Bethesda? Because the Xbox copy of this game was chock full of bugs. Lots of bugs. Not many of them were all that hindering, but the frequency with which they occurred frequently pulls you out of the game. Textures don’t load, animations fail, an NPC keeps saying the same exact thing 3 times in a row with no pauses. It can get pretty obnoxious. Driving still has the autopilot function which is great since even though it’s intended to be used to shoot while driving, it’s actually a nice option to just push while you sit back and pack another bowl before playing some more. Also, there’s an arcade mode you can play at any time during the game and earn money and experience from playing, but most of the levels are unfinished trash made by people who don’t know what they are doing, and although there is a map filter you can use, it’s not all that helpful in weeding out the trash.
Far Cry lost a bit of steam with the last couple games, with 4 being on the bland side and Primal being just a bad idea in general. It has gained a lot by becoming a part of what seems to be the new and improved Ubisoft. This is definitely the best one in a while. If you wanna play the most MURICA game available on the market, look no further than Far Cry 5.
Sometimes you find love in weird places like the middle of a totalitarian cultist takeover.
Far Cry 5 is yet another example of how all the mainline Ubisoft games are getting rather homogenous. With the ability to hire a somewhat competent squad AI to help you fight the enemies, you’d be forgiven if you just briefly glanced at the game and thought you were playing Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Despite all of this, Ubisoft is making headway in all their sandbox games by giving the NPCs some actual characteristics and traits. Indeed, on top of the 9 companions you can receive in the game, you can also talk to the many many NPCs you find during missions, strongholds, and sometimes random encounters. They have interesting things to tell you, and a lot of them can be hired to fight by your side. These “guns for hire” do more than just that, they have unique skills that come with them, that they unlock when they score a certain number of kills.
While progressing through the game, I cycled around a lot of the specialty companions that had some things to say, especially to each other, but I found that their range of dialog grew short pretty fast. That was not the case for Diana Frye, an NPC I met in Fall’s End (I think) much earlier in the game. Despite going through the motions and finding new people with better special abilities, I was compelled to call on her to come fight with me instead. She had a large array of things to say and even addressed several other companions by name, which was the first thing that surprised me. There I was traveling with a random stranger in the game and just had another character join the squad, and she spoke to that character as if they were best friends. It was outrageous, never before have I seen so much work put into a character whom in any other game would just have been a nameless, faceless, disposable grunt.
She allowed me to keep extra ammo and was capable of reviving fangs for hire, sure, those were her “special abilities” but I was far more interested in taking her around and hearing her take on the local sights. Despite having some randomized catchphrases that plague all NPCs in every video game ever, I was continually taken aback when she mentioned some of the places I‘d walk through. I passed through a summer camp and she mentioned going there when she was a kid. When we ended up on the set for Blood Dragon, she enthusiastically stated how excited she was for the movie. And of course, the one-off “I think I peed myself” never got old. It really didn’t, it was funny EVERY SINGLE TIME. The only time I ever got sick of her was that she has only 1 or 2 lines to say about Peaches the cougar and she was repeating them ad nauseum to the point where I did have to send her away. But I legitimately felt bad about doing it. After I found Cheeseburger the bear, I brought her back into the fold.
I met many more named, fully developed NPCs as I tore my way through Hope County, but Diana was my favorite. She was the most adorable hillbilly in Montana and she was MINE. I don’t know what it was that made her so special. Maybe it was the accent, I do tend to fall for cute accents even when they’re possibly meant to sound “stupid.” You can meet characters who don’t have an accent, and you can meet characters who sound far more serious and grim. But Diana was not a grim character by any stretch. As I blew up the cult’s vehicles and heard her unironically shout “USA! USA! USA!” I grew rather fond of the character. I went through far more ordeals with this character than any other companions in the game and loved every second of it.
I did have another female NPC follow me around for a bit just to make sure the dialog wasn’t the same for everyone. Indeed it wasn’t, although I’m sure if I talked to enough NPCs I would eventually find the same voice actor saying the same lines on a differently skinned character. But that didn’t matter because I met Diana first and she and I racked up the kills together. I really appreciate the trouble Ubisoft went through to make Hope County a sandbox that has felt more full of life than I had in other games in their whole library of open worlds. This actually makes me want to go back and play other newer Ubisoft games like Assassin’s Creed Origins and Ghost Recon Wildlands just so I can see if they’ve done the same to those games.
And that was it, whenever she rode shotgun with me in a vehicle as rolled up to the next target event, I was actually happy to have her around, and she’s really not even my type as far as looks go. She said funny things and was effective in combat, respective of when I’d go in stealth and then switch to going loud. There are NPCs who don’t know how to stealth, but she did. I’m still just so surprised to have an enriched experience with one of the extras. I mean, later on, I did meet a cute and quiet sharpshooter, but I stayed loyal to Diana, just as my Commander Shepard stayed loyal to… oh wait, I left Liara for Jack, nevermind. But, Diana Frye is my bae for Far Cry 5 tho. I strongly suggest experimenting in the game, and if you look hard enough, your new red-blooded rootin’ tootin’ point-and-shootin’ American waifu will find her way to you. Alright, I’m off to purchase more 2B boob mousepads and hug pillows.
Fallout DLC Except It’s Real Life and it’s Pterrifying
Oh snap. It was quite a dull week in the gaming world. For the most part we were all kind of paying more attention to Call of Duty: Trump In Office DLC that opens with bombs over Syria. Not a political site, just letting ya know that’s also a thing that happened. So with the rumored announcement of Fallout: Real Word Crazy around the corner, let us come together as much as we can in honor of our favorite things. This week’s reason to feel like a lucky gamer (you know outside of being alive):
1. A new battle royale enters the battle royale.
And immediately receives backlash over pay to win DLC. The game, from Lawbreakers developer Boss Key Productions (yea, I know), is Radical Heights. And Radical Heights is set in a colorful 80’s inspired world and something about a game show element set in the year 2023. And Radical Heights sounds radical! I don’t know what else to say. Everything about this game sounds exciting as lion brawls. Oh, and did I mention that they immediately responded to the back lashes and made changes to satisfy the gamers? Word. Radical. The downside, of course there’s one, it’s only available on Steam.
2. Expand the universe, more Walking Dead.
Another Walking Dead game coming our way in Fall 2018! That’s right more amazing story telling with zombie blood shed everywhere. Even more incredible, the game looks amazing so far. The new “Maya” Trailer, which is obviously all CGI, makes me feel like they are putting some real intensity into the story being told. There hasn’t been much information about the game so far but it was confirmed to be a first person shooter. By the looks of it so far, this tiny glimpse of greatness, gives me hope that we won’t get another awful game like that first attempt starring the Dixon brothers.
3. Elder Abuse?
Probably the most shocking and outlandish news from the week comes from our sister industry, comic book land. Apparently someone felt that one of the most heralded creators of all time, Mr. Stan Lee, has been being abused by his daughter. He has since confirmed this is not happening and even threatened to go as far as suing the people who reported this nonsense. All reports show that Stan Lee is very upset by the allegations and I’m glad. It would suck to know that something like this is happening to a man I hold so much respect and admiration for. Continue being incredible and ignore the nonsense.
4. Check those warranties.
Like I said, it was a slow week in the games industry so I’m doing a little cross-over work. The FTC recently indicated that void warranty language on video game consoles is illegal. What does that mean? Well in my opinion it applies more to third party repairmen but check it. Threatening to void the console warranty for opening it or tampering with it for repair purposes is a no no. That is, unless they provide all the parts for you to do your own repairs for free. At least in its current phrasing. The companies who received the letters remain anonymous but they only have 30 days to make adjustments before legal action gets involved. Shouts to the FTC for having our backs with this one.
5. More games for Switch.
It feels like very week I’m compiling a list of games coming to the Nintendo Switch. Ports, remasters, new IP all being announced on the regular. This week is no different. First up we have Football Manager Touch. The football is for soccer. The game originally made for tablets and getting a complete remade system of their own. Next up we have more Sonic classics join gn the Switch gaming roster. Well it’s actually a whole slew of SEGA Genesis and Master System games which are primarily known for Sonic. Alongside that we also have the official release window for Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 and 2. It’s coming to all consoles but I figured i’d throw it in this piece here. The games will be available sometime in July.
That header should be enough to garner a few clicks. Shenmue 1 and 2 are being re-released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. And they are coming at some point in 2018. The interesting part is the choice of words. This is a Re-release. So although they are talking about upscaling graphics and adjusting controls, the game is not being remastered. I personally can’t wait to play these games on newer consoles. I loved the Shenmue story and truly believe it paved the way for what is now the incredible Yakuza series. Final words: yes please.
7. Rumors and Relocations?
The first thing on the menu is a rumor that a new Bioshock game is in development at 2K. Yea that one had to come out swinging. Now as I said just a rumor swirling but this is the time of year where rumors really matter. And most of the time turn out true. But also don’t. Who knows. On the other hand we have a medieval style RPG being set in the Middle East. Knights of Light is a brand new RPG still in development that is promising to bring us to 7th century Iraq. The development team, Rumbling Games, is aiming for a 60 hour adventure for your PS4, Xbox One, or PC. Nothing more on that year, but stay tuned we may have some exclusives up our sleeves.
Final note: Our hearts go out to all the people of Syria who are feeling the direct impacts of the crazy world we live.
Post PAX East festivities! This past weekend the video game industry came to visit the northeast New England region. A place also recognized as Boston. And although it didn’t bring a ton of news, the news it did bring was insane. Collaborations, new projects, and single player second year DLC. Yea feel lucky, cause I damn sure do. Here’s why:
1. Fantasy Raider 1.
That seems like it will be the exact title of the upcoming project from Square Enix. To open the PAX East gates Square Enix announced a cross over project of two of its biggest franchises, Final Fantasy & Tomb Raider. There wasn’t any other information reveled so time to go into hyper speculation mode. I think it would be amazing to introduce some sort of lore that ties the two worlds together with one being present/past and the other being present/future. Either way I’m excited to see what comes of it, so long as its not a damn Pachinko machine. Looking at you Konami.
2. Final Fantasy XV lives on.
A few years back. Ok, maybe a little bit more than a few years but who’s counting. I remember conversing with my co-workers about DLC. I would always say to them, all I would want from DLC would be story expansion. You know like, when theres still more to the story but not necessarily enough for a full fledged sequel. Fast forward to 2018, and for the most part that’s what we get. Anyway, on to the news. Final Fantasy XV will be receiving new story based episodic DLC all the way through 2019. That is amazing because of how long the string of content for this game has been. Imagine a world where you fall in love with a game and instead of being given a full blown sequel that wasn’t necessary, you get episodic additions to the game you love. That’s he direction we could be heading in the games industry. That, and of course Battle Royales.
3. Return of the Dragon.
Everyone’s favorite purple dragon is back. Don’t believe me? Find another purple dragon nearly as popular as Spyro. I’m not even gonna wait because I know you won’t. Spyro the dragon is returning for the second time. This time however, he’s coming back in true form. Activision announced the Spyro remastered trilogy, featuring the first three games to make the dragon a star. Much like the recent Crash Bandicoot Trilogy, the remaster will feature upgraded graphics, modernized controls, and a reimagined take on the original music. The game will be available on September 21 for PS4 and Xbox One and no mention of a Switch version in the works.
4. Spider-Man, Spider-Man, spins a web when he can.
This week Spidey showed up to drop gems about his upcoming game. First the release date. Spider-Man will be arriving exclusively on a PS4 near you on September 7th, 2018. Plans for DLC were also briefly highlighted stating in will come in the form of a three part campaign with new villains, suits, missions, and more. And speaking on suits, this new Spider-Man game will allow us to dress Spidey up in over a dozen different suits from various comic story lines. A collector’s edition was also announced with more info coming in the summer, but it will come with all DLC included just like the Deluxe edition. Insomniac, the developers, also made a big deal to note there will be absolutely no micro transactions in the game.
5. Vive Pro Starter Edition.
With VR finally reaching a point of mass general interest, the manufacturers have also started finding better ways to cut cost on production. This perfect middle ground genesis is the type of thing that results in price drops and special bundles. In this case we are getting a special bundle from HTC. Taking feedback and backlash into consideration, HTC has announced a new starter kit for the Vive Pro VR system. This special bundle includes the Vive Pro Headset, two Vive 1.0 controllers, and two 1.0 base stations for $1100. Considering all of that is necessary to use the system it makes a ton of sense to see such an aggressive pricing. When considering the cost of all things separate that’s about a $300 savings. Pretty good if you ask me.
6. PC to Console, Console to Switch.
So before any Nintendo fan boys come at me for not calling the Switch a console, understand I do it with the highest respect. The Switch is not a console. It is so much more. That however is save for another day. Today let’s talk about Firewatch, the incredibly unique adventure game, coming to Nintendo Switch. The Switch version will include system specific upgrades, although most of those will be under the hood. And no date was provided. On the flip side, I am very excited for a new RPG being ported from PC to Console. As rarely as that happens, it is my pleasure to share with you Divinity: Original Sin 2 is coming to PS4 and Xbox One in August. Featuring 4 player online and local split screen Co-Op, Divinity is a story based action RPG that looks phenomenal.
7. Is that a new… Challenger?
Warner Bros has obtained the rights to distribute and publish IO Interactive’s Hitman. Wasting no time with this new muscle, Hitman: The Definitive Edition will be releasing on May 18th. And with rumors floating around the world of a new Hitman coming, it’s very possible we may see some version of the nemesis system in everyone’s favorite modern day assassins world. This is the real outrageous news though. Here comes a new challenger! In the most abstract way. Right now you can hop on Kickstarter and support the Street Fighter Board Game. I don’t even know how to explain the incredible thing that is this project. I mean for real the only bad part about it is the price tag but as a collector’s item its well worth it. Dive in and see for yourself.
Welcome back Jesus! Now tell me where the easter eggs are coming from and why these rabbits are so fascinated by them! It doesn’t make any sense at all. And another thing, why has it been such a slow past few weeks for gaming news? Does that mean that its going to be a huge E3 or are we about to be really disappointed? I need answers. In the meantime I’m going to be providing my friends who check out this post an update on why they should feel like lucky gamers.
1. Level-5 Levels up for Switch.
Right out the gate, Level-5 announced it intends to be a big supporter of the Nintendo Switch from this point forward. Level-5 is the well known studio behind popular games on Nintendo 3DS, so this isn’t to surprising. Popular series from the studio include Professor Layton as well as Yo-Kai Watch. They are also the studio behind Ni No Kuni, so who knows what can happen? The first game coming to Switch in Japan however, comes from neither of those properties. The Snack World: Trejarers Gold, which comes our April 12th in Japan, might not be the first experience we were hoping for but it is the experience we are getting. Enjoy!
2. Woah Woah Woah, PSVR got an official price cut!
Now, if i can’t get Chet to get us an official Hard Mode Gamers PSVR at this point, I don’t know what I’ll do. As of March 29th, the official starting price for PSVR is $299. Thats $100 cheaper the launch price of the best selling VR gaming headset. Boom! I said it. Come at me bro. And with Sony estimating over 130 games will be coming to the platform by the end of 2018, this is the best time to get one. You hear that Chet? BEST TIME TO GET ONE. Even if half the games will be shovelware, that’s 64 more games than I’ll finish.
3. A new iPad approaches.
I know, we are still kind of unsure of where we stand with mobile games. I think its important to note that, there are experiences for everyone. This isn’t even about that though. Apple recently announced a new slightly cheaper iPad for education purposes. With that said, it’s still just an iPad. Its the cheapest iPad to have Apple Pencil support and is designed to work flawlessly with the latest versions of pages and spreadsheet. Apple’s own Tim Cook seemed very adamant about bringing iOS into the education field, but has never digressed from being excited to support gaming. So, what this really means for teachers is: A whole lot of detention for playing Fortnite in class.
4. Fortnite continues to outshine PUBG.
Ok, so that title is absolutely intentionally controversial. But hey, remember we are still growing and we need some attention every now and then. The big news here is that Fortnite smashed a big YouTube record. Fortnite is now the current holder of the YouTube record for most uploaded videos of a video game in a single platform. It all set a record for the biggest single live gaming stream with 1.1 million concurrent viewers. I could go on and on about these wild achievements this game has but instead I’ll leave you with one fun fact. Fortnite Twitch streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, (the guy who played live with Drake) is reportedly making a handsome career out of streaming. Congratulations to a fellow gamer on his success.
5. Incredible Nostalgia incoming.
As I get older, I look back on things I enjoyed as a child. Things like animated movies, action figures, and dinosaurs. In the past few years we’ve seen an incredible resurgence of some of the IP in many industries that were from my child. I am ecstatic to share with all my friends that not only, as I’m sure you heard, is the Incredible 2 movie officially a real thing but, we are also getting an official game! And not the cheesy kind but instead Lego: The Incredibles will be coming to all major platforms on June 15th. I couldn’t be more excited about this if I tried. Also, Jurassic World Evolution, the theme park simulator, will be bringing some dino-park nostalgia on June 12th. Ah, to feel like a kid again.
6. No Man excused on Xbox.
I’ll admit that was a tough title. Let’s break down what it means quickly before you think I’m crazier than I am. Microsoft announced it can now ban Xbox accounts for “Offensive Language”. This isn’t a policy change, it is just an updated measure of enforcement that will be applied to all of you excessively potty mouthed gamers. Realistically, I think this applies not to the everyday use of F bombs and stuff but more to the players on line who are out of control. And this update comes just as Hello Games announces that No Man’s Sky will be available on Xbox One this summer. The Xbox One version will be released with updates to visuals and include all the major updates from the game.
7. And recently announced we have…
A long awaited announcement but one that we are excited about regardless. Dragon Quest 11 will be released on PS4 and PC on September 4th. There are currently no plans to release it for Nintendo 3DS and the Switch version still has a long way to go according to Square Enix. THQ Nordic also announced Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered will be coming to PS4 and Xbox One in Q2 2018. I applaud the naming convention and never got into this series so I might be down to give it a go. Last but not least we have Deathgarden, a 5-v-1 Shooter from the development team behind Dead By Daylight. Not much was said but they did say to expect to see it at PAX East for sure.
Back in my day I blew off class by playing Tetris on a graphing calculator. -Chet
Guess who’s back with goodies? Ok, maybe no actual goodies.
I’m back! Hope you guys didn’t miss me too much. I was down in Austin, TX performing at SXSW cause you know I’m still a rapper. But I have returned to you all to continue to provide the great news that should make us all feel like Lucky Lucky Gamers. Are you ready? Alright, let’s get into it. To make up for my absence I’m going to include some stuff that we missed from the past weeks. So Here’s why you should feel like a Lucky Gamer this week:
1. Fortnite and PUBG Go!
Well, they go mobile anyway. Both Fortnite and PUBG have made their mobile debut on bothered the Android and iOS app stores. Scaled down to fit and run on mobile devices without losing any of the features that players love is an incredible achievement. More so for games of these massive scales. Even more amazing and most users are reporting that the mobile version of PUBG runs smoother than the Xbox One version. I feel like that’s good and bad news. Either way a congratulations is in order for both development teams. This moment will be a big one in the history books years from now.
2. The Dino’s Are Coming to Switch.
Nintendo’s best console continues to secure incredible content to bolster its already impressive portfolio. At the 2018 Game Developers Conference Studio Wildcard announced that Ark: Survival Evolved will be coming to the Nintendo Switch. The Switch version of the game is being co-developed by Abstraction Games but fear not, it will feature all the content from the original release. Alongside the announcement, Studio Wildcard also announced that beta invites for the iOS version of the game have been sent out. With the Nintendo Switch also recently getting an announcement of other top games coming to the console like Diablo 3 and the new No More Heroes entry, things are really looking good for the unique machine.
3. Here comes a new cameo!
One of the many things this console generation will be remembered for is definitely going to be cross branding. It feels like everyday there is an announcement of some sort of cross branding going on with our favorite games. Don’t believe me? Watch this. First we have the announcement that Geralt from the Witcher series will be joining the cast of the upcoming Soul Calibur 6. It’s undeniable that he’s a perfect fit but remember that’s just example 1. Here’s example 2. Noctis, the protagonist from Final Fantasy 15, will be joining Tekken 7 as a playable character in an upcoming DLC pack. Noctis is an interesting addition to a game that already has a visit from a resident character in Street Fighter. But wait I’ve got one more for you. Monster Hunter World will be getting some Devil May Cry themed DLC. With rumors striking of a new entry in the series and the remastered version of 1-3 releasing soon this screams cross branding even if it is the same parent company. There you have it folks, the generation of the cameo.
4. Unleash the Leaks.
Every week the Lucky Gamer Recap has some leak based information. Little slip ups by retailers or job resume updates, you know the usual. This week however I wanted to give special attention to Leaks because some of them have my pants tightening. First up we have the one most exciting for me, an Amazon listing for a 2018 Splinter Cell game. Please be real. The Sega Genesis Collection is coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC if a deleted tweet is to be believed. I’ll throw this rumor in with the leaks because why not. Supposedly Cyberpunk 2077 will be at E3 in some capacity. That’s the other rumor that has be losing my pants. And if a recent job listing is real then boy do the Star Wars fans have something good coming. Apparently EA Vancouver is hiring for an open-world Star Wars game. Hows that for exciting potentially fake information?
5. Official Releases in exchange.
First let’s start with an annual franchise. Call of Duty: Black Op 4 is coming to a console near you on Friday October 12th. That’s all I’m saying on that one. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the third entry since the reboot, will be arriving to PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on September 14th. Looks like the timed exclusive stuff is coming to an end, thankfully. The Crew 2, the follow up to Ubisoft’s open world racing project, will be releasing on June 29th on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. For those of you still willing to purchase Konami games, Bomberman R will be released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC with platform exclusive characters on June 12th. Anyone who read my review of Yakuza Kiwami and found themselves interested in the series, rejoice! Yakuza Kiwami 2 will be released on August 28th exclusively on PS4. And previously PS4 exclusive Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will be coming to Xbox One on April 11th. Now hopefully that makes up for any of the rumors or leaks that end up being complete lies.
6. Oh my and the announcements!
With E3 around the corner this is the time that smaller studies used to announce their upcoming games and big studios announce the projects fans are expecting so they can save the surprises for late. It’s better this way. Nothing cool gets over shadowed by the big name stuff flying around all over the place. Ubisoft has a big surprise up it’s sleeve if it’s choosing to announce the slightly unexpected Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. Maybe because it’s the Omega Force 20th Anniversary or maybe its because Dynasty Warriors 9 was so bad, who knows? Regardless Koei Tecmo announced that Warriors Orochi 4 will be coming to America sometime in 2018. Narcos, the Netflix phenomena that took the world by storm sort of, is getting a video game adaptation in development by Kuju. Who is Kuju you may ask? Well I don’t know, I’m no journalist. Kidding, kidding.
7. Street Fighter TV
What roman numeral is TV? Oh right, it’s Television. Yes you read that right, Street Fighter is returning to television but this time in live action fashion. The series will be developed by Capcom’s new media partner Entertainment One. They will also be bringing the team that developed the Street Fighter Web Series that later came to Blu-Ray. It seems like video games are going to be attack mainstream media in full force. It is definitely an exciting time to be a gamer. (But for me it was a Tuesday…)
[From the editor: Good LORD Kuju entertainment puts out a lot of shovelware, they’re going to make a high profile release? I’m skeptical.]
I don’t know how much longer I can do this. It’s so excruciating trying to find interesting things that have happened this week. Why is E3 so close yet so far? This drought is awful but th show must go on. Here are the reasons to feel like a Lucky Gamer this week:
1. Looks like a lot more games are making the Switch!
As the Nintendo Switch continues to find its footing on its climb to the top, it seems to continue securing its footing along the way. Every step of the way is secured by the most dense supply of vibranium possible. That’s how safe Nintendo is being, they are using imaginary metals to secure their footing. Enough silly analogies, the entire Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy is coming to Nintendo Switch April 26th! Oh, wait theres more. Outlast, one of the scariest games I’ve ever played in my life, is available for Switch right now. The Outlast: Bundle of Terror also includes the Whistleblower DLC and is available through the eShop for only $20. So yea, the Switch is gunning for the throne at a rapid pace. You go Switch, stay strong.
2. Those guys at Sony are up to something.
First they make the announcement that starting next March, exactly one year from now, PS3 and PSVita will no longer be included in the free game monthly benefit of PS Plus. It seems like a really strange move especially considering all the effort Microsoft has put into backwards compatibility but, what do I know? Oh I know what I know actually! As of April 1st, Sony is restructuring again to focus more heavily on first party properties. This move makes sense as Microsoft announced a few months back that they were going to shift focus to first party properties as well. And last but not least, Detroit: Become Human gets a beautiful release date of May 25th, just a few days after this cool kids birthday. I really hope this game lives up to the hype, I cant afford anymore heartbreak this year.
3. Fortnite gets Jetpacks and Overwatch gets more character.
The header pretty much covers the Fortnite news. Fortnite is getting jetpacks in the near future so expect to see players soaring across the sky. Or as Epic put it, “take the fight to all new heights.” Oh boy. On the other hand Overwatch is getting an all new character named Brigitte. Brigitte is more of a support character with her strength being in armor and defense. One of her abilities is throwing a repair pack that can heal an ally. I think Brigitte’s costume design is also incredible and the color scheme is great. I’m looking forward to watching her gameplay in real competition. Who knows maybe she’ll be in an upcoming thing we might be doing.
4. And the vowels are E… A… Rumors.
As I keep saying E3 is around the way and so the interesting juicy stuff is coming in slow drips. Every now and then though we get a nice little splash of refreshing news, EA takes the cake this week with first a rumored leak that this years Battlefield game will be set in WW2. The supposed title of the new game is “Battlefield V” and if the rumor holds true, this game won’t be set in the Bad Company universe. On the other side of EA Rumor city we have a quirky game that I’m surprised is still a real thing. Plants VS Zombies: Garden Warfare will be returning for the third time. That’s right Plants VS Zombies: Garden Warfare 3 was recently leaked by a comic posting on Amazon that was described as “bridging the story gap between PVZ:GW2 and GW3. Imagine that.
5. Take a trip to the jurrasic past or the land of the witchers.
As Microsofts continues to double down on their mission to prove they car about gamers a whole new set of classics are coming to Xbox One. First we have the remasters of both Turok 1 and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. Each title will be available for $19.99 and it was made very explicit that these are remasters not remakes. Its interesting to see this classic title being remastered, could there be plans for a new entry in the series? On the other hand we have The Witcher 2, Crackdown, Fable Anniversary, and Forza Horizon all recently released with Xbox One X enhancements. See all these cool things from the past coming back, you paying attention Sony?
6. More apes in VR!
A new Planet of the Apes game is coming to all the VR platforms on April 3rd. Thats right HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PSVR will all be the next place to enjoy a VR experience based in the Planet of the Apes. The experience is played through the perspective of an ape trying to escape a heavily guarded scientific facility. If you are a fan of the movie series at all, this game takes place five years after the event of the Simian Flu outbreak. There you have it a VR escape game where you get to feel like an ape trying to escape. Wait a sec isn’t this the opposite of Ape Escape?
7. Whats next from the makers of Bioshock?
Blackout. That’s what’s next from the former developers of Bioshock. An all new horror game from the people who made the term “Big Daddy” terrifying. I can’t be more excited for this mostly because I have such a crazy dedication to horror games. As far as bioshock as a series, I played through the first one and had a great time. Never got a round to the rest of them cause I suck at playing video games. Either way, back to Blackout which is said to have some resemblance to Stranger Things. You know the show everyone is hooked on that I don’t like. Yea this game is supposedly gonna be similar to that story. Are you excited yet?