xbox game pass
April 29th, 2019 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Keep em coming, Microsoft!

Xbox continues to power on with their greatest asset. The Xbox Game Pass already has a load of great games to play. With this update, there are even more great choices. What’s best about these is their value and length. A lot of the games on offer are solid, well rounded experiences. They aren’t just dropping a few niche and trashy disposable games. They are getting you THE best games from yesteryear. The titles in this pass of theirs are all of the games that if you missed, you need to play. What are they?

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

The original Deus Ex game was an absolute paradigm changer for the PC gaming industry. N’stuff. I’ve never played the original. I started with Invisible War, a game everyone hated but that’s only because nothing could be as good as that first game (and it’s janky AF). But after that failure, the Deus Ex series found life in the prequel series starring Adam Jensen. A man who is basically the Major from Ghost in the Shell but is a gruff dude working big tech security, and later, Interpol. Mankind Divided is a direct sequel to Human Revolution, which came out last console generation. It wouldn’t hurt to play that title, but it’s not absolutely essential to MD, since a lot of the characters from the first game are mere afterthoughts. That and a handy-dandy 11 minute video comes with the game to recap it for you.

What happens next, is you find yourself in a world the producers called the “Mechanical Apartheid“. This is due to a mass hack that resulted in one of the world’s most bloody acts of terrorism, an event where all cybernetically enhanced individuals received some sort of hacking signal that reduced them to turning into a vicious mob, killing everyone (until Adam Jensen stopped). Understandably shook, the world of the enhanced, now known as the slur “klanks”, live under constant supervision by a humanity who doesn’t trust them. But Adam Jensen is special, and because of his skills, he lands a job at Interpol working a counter-terror task force. Over the course of the game, you will explore the streets of Prague while trying to stop an ‘illuminati’-tier conspiracy that if fulfilled, may destroy the freedom of all individuals as we know it. Yikes.

This game is play it your way, and is mainly a tactical stealth action game. You can stealth your way past everything, hack your way past everything, shoot your way pas everything, blow up your way past everything, or mix it up a little bit. Sadly, the project was suddenly forced out the door before it was completely finished. It now serves as what was supposed to be a new trilogy… only the other two aren’t currently getting made. If you go into this game aware that a few threads will be left dangling, you’ll still have a blast.

Check out our review right here.

Prey (2017)

Prey is another game with a littered history. The original Prey came out in 2005 after being worked on for 15 YEARS. No joke, but it finally came out and it wasn’t half bad. Some people may accuse the game of being racist for having an Indigenous American protagonist who uses ancient Indian magic to protect himself, and to that i say get the fuck over yourself. It’s a game. And the sequel is even better.

See, Prey was originally supposed to come out as Prey 2, a pseudo-sequel at best where you play as a bounty hunter who rounded up criminals using gadgets and some parkour. The game disappeared. Then, at an E3, it re-emerged as Prey, which means I now have to distinguish them by release date. This time Arkane Studios made it, the brains behind Dishonored. Just like their other game, Prey became a game in same style as the “System Shock / Bioshock” games.

This one also features a wide variety of powers and play styles. You can shoot your way through, hack your.. YOU GET THE POINT. This one features a far more bizarre plot. You are on a space station (sorry for spoiling the first 20 minutes of the game), where some experiments on a shapeshifting aliens species has gone awry. They have done a LOT to ruin the station, and if you don’t solve all those problems and a single one of them makes it back to Earth, it will be DOOMED. Peep our review here.

Monster Hunter World

Monster Hunter is a much beloved franchise known for its challenge and scope. You don’t simply fight monsters. You track them down, you beat them to a pulp, and then you wear their bones on your favorite armor. So does your cat. The cats are pretty rad in these games. However, for a very long time, MH was a very niche title for a specific audience, yet Capcom broadened that scope with Monster Hunter World.

This version of the game provided updated controls, a new story, and a huge focus on online multiplayer to get a lot of players. And it worked. During a very quiet January, this title popped up and became the surprise first-hit of the year. Actually, not only that, it set a new all-time record in sales for Capcom. It keeps people coming back with a steady slew of both free and paid updates. You’ll never run out of stuff to do.

This series is a tough and very involved game. Hunting monsters takes preparation. And preparation requires a full understanding of the ins and outs of the game. Preparation is key. Everything from crafting gadgets, potions, poisons, and other key items can make all the difference during your hunt. Of course, this game has a very, VERY extensive tutorial that makes sure you’re always on top of what you need to know. Sometimes it feels like the tutorial never ended. But 25 hours was enough for me. Also I cheated profusely and usually just “fired a flare” during the fights. That means 3 people will show up and kill the monster for you. You could possibly play the whole entire game this way if you wanted. And should. JK, but check out our review.

Vampyr

Developer DONTNOD is a game producer that makes the best 7/10 games you will ever play. They are notorious for their storylines, which aren’t simply engaging. No, these devs would prefer to bludgeon you over the head with hard-to-discuss topics like memory erasure, suicide, assisted suicide, drug abuse, unfiltered teenage angst, and high school drama classes. Then, in comes Vampyr, a narrative heavy action melee game with a slower and focused pace. If you wanted to play the “easy version” of Dark Souls this is the one. Not only that but they recently patched in a story mode and a hard mode so you can either play it as super easy Dark Souls or actual Dark Souls.

Maximizing the potential for irony, the story stars a recently vampire’d Doctor, Jonathan Reed. He’s world renowned for his research in… wait for it… blood. Yep, the blood doctor turns into a blood sucker. Vampyr gets about as bleak as it can possibly get. You are in an old london riddled with Spanish Flu. The citizens of London aren’t a particularly happy or nice bunch either. Between researching links between the flu and a vampire epidemic, you also deal with the citizens.

Many of them need your help in more ways than one. Not only do you do random quests for them, as per most games, there’s an additional angle. You also have to diagnose them and craft the cures for their ailments. Also, you get teased by the level up system. Level up from fighting enemies, but you get a huge XP bonus if you kill an innocent. Yeah, that’s this game. Those aren’t even the truly tough decisions either. You’ll encounter those at the end of each act and marvel at how all options seem wrong. We reviewed it here.

The Golf Club 2

This game exists.

The Walkind Dead: A New Frontier

It’s the Walking Dead my guy.

What are you still doing here? Go play one of these.



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September 16th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Doctor Acula

Vampyr is a game that flew under the radar, coming right before E3. And it was June, which is the front side of the gaming deadzone where not to many major releases pop up. But still, despite the review I gave it, here’s some videos on the game. Decide for yourself.




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July 23rd, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Two game developers are influencing the action game market.

In the world of brawler style melee action games, there are many sorts of styles that can be adapted to make the players feel comfortable with the action. With the popularity of two major game developers, it’s pretty cut and dry that there are two methods of designing the playstyle. From Software and Platinum Games are those two developers, and both of their games have a signature style that their studios are notorious for employing. They both also make for great combat. Yet, by and large, they are polar opposites from one another. These prevailing gameplay styles can thus be broken down on a simplified scale from 0-10 with one developer on each side. Let’s talk about those styles for a bit.

Let’s start with From Software. They are notorious for the Dark Souls series and Bloodborne, and in case you’ve been living under a rock, they are quite popular. Indeed, Souls games are known for their difficulty, range of playstyle choices, and thoughtful combat practices. In older times, you could mash a button to attack enemies a la Warriors games until you win, but that discipline is a good way to get yourself killed over and over if you’re playing Souls. Nay, when playing a Souls game, one must exercise caution and patience when playing. If you try to run up to enemies and smack them about as much as you can, you will quickly run out of stamina and get the stuffing beat out of you.

Souls games have the ongoing memes attached to them. There’s “Git Gud,” which implies that if you find the difficulty too hard, tough shit, you just have to get better. This game will not accommodate an easier setting. And of course, the well known “Prepare to Die” also sticks with the games, as the challenge of the combat will find you dying many times as you figure out the best ways to fight. That’s how the games are. Every new enemy encounter is a new experience. You have to take things slow and learn your combatants’ patterns and flows in order to best them. You watch them and you adapt. Soon, you learn that different animations mean different attacks, and you learn how to anticipate them and act accordingly. You can only get by with perseverance, getting to know your enemy’s line of attacks. Once you have them figured out, as long as you stay diligent, you can hold your own. Or at least until a boss shows up.

Before we dive into bosses, let’s talk about the other end of the spectrum. We have Platinum Games, makes of some of the most purely awesome combat encounters. Platinum throws common sense and logic right out the fucking window in favor of a coolness factor. It doesn’t matter how impractical or absurd everything gets, you are there to wreak absolute havoc upon anyone who stands in your way. In stark contrast to the methodical nature of Souls, these games want you to absolutely wreck your opponents. Now, mashing buttons may be the key to these games, but it sure as hell isn’t brainless, instead it is a solid flow. You learn how to take visual cues from the fighting to know when to press dodge, when to fast attack, when to strong attack, and then you sting up that series of button stomping action right on into the latter half of the double digits. Keeping your combos going is key, and any moment you are spending on not attacking your opponents is basically wasted time.

Platinum’s repertoire is vast but often features key similarities. They have a lot of successful releases, like Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance- Lightning Bolt Action, Transformers Devastation, and new critically acclaimed Nier Automata. All of these feature combat based on stringing together tight-knit button combinations while being mindful of visual cues. As long as you’re smashing the dodge button, you’ll get out the way of being hit hard. Enemy attacks are far less telegraphed in these games, as a very short gleam appears on an enemy, giving you a fraction of a second to dodge, and then continue your full frontal assault. You don’t exercise any caution in these games. Instead, as soon as you see a single enemy, your first move will likely be to charge right on into them at full speed to destroy them before they can even sneeze.

Let’s talk about boss fights. When you encounter a boss in a Souls game, there’s a strong chance you were never prepared for it. They will also terrify the everliving hell out of you as they morph and grow before your very eyes and menace you to an extent where you’ve already accepted your fate and thus “prepared to die.” You learn how to fight bosses by dying. These giant, imposing bastards will pound you into the ground over and over until you finally get just the right amount of focus. Once you’re in the zone, you can carefully pay attention to all of their attacks and strike when it’s your turn. You know you’re in for a long fight in these, and learn that getting hasty is a mistake you can’t afford. When you see a boss in a souls game, you’d be lying if your first reaction isn’t “oh shit”.

Contrast this with the aggression that Platinum encourages, and you’re in for a completely different ride. When you encounter a boss in a Platinum game, the mentality isn’t fear. You internally say yourself, “Wow, I cannot wait to fuck that guy up!” and proceed to have at them, even if they are frequently 3-6 times your puny size. Here, you run in and you start beating on them no matter what and you keep the pressure going, never allowing your target to catch their breath. Instead of learning from dying, you simply learn what does and does not work as you fight. Are certain attacks not working? Try others. Are all of your attacks simply chiseling down the boss’s HP? Just keep at it and they’ll go down. You have to be fierce and vicious to win. Don’t think about your attacks, just act and react. Fight, fight and fight, and if the boss hits you hard you just gotta hit them back harder.

And so, the influence of these developers brightly shines through, even as I  play more and more games that aren’t made by them. It’s popular for ‘games journalists’ to compare difficult melee games to Souls, but it’s not their fault. Games are starting to borrow elements from the style of this unfathomably popular new game series. Not all games though; while some tend to take a leaf from the Souls book, others lean in on the sharp and fast action of Platinum. I’d like to introduce a scale to rank games based on how similar their fighting styles are to the repertoire of these two developers’ groundbreaking series. It’s called the From Platinum scale, and it goes like this:

It’s 0-10. On the left-hand side, you have From Software occupying the space of 0. Not because it’s bad, think of it as more of a scale of speed and forgiveness. Souls are not forgiving, nor are they expedient, thus the zero. Only a game made by that developer can receive a 0, everything else can get a “1” at best. On the other side, it’s Platinum Games holding up the 10. I chose them for 10 because “platinum” is a precious metal, which implies high monetary value. Only games by that company can get a 10, the rest can only get a “9” at best. How does that factor into games that are recent or popular? Let’s have a look at a few games.

Dark Souls: 0

In case you skipped every paragraph and jumped right here, then listen. Once again, Dark Souls doesn’t get a zero because it’s bad. It gets a zero because the combat gives you ZERO hope. You will die, it is inevitable. No other game can get a zero.

Bloodborne: 1

Bloodborne isn’t quite as damning as the Souls games. It also has a faster and more active approach, so it gets a different rating.

Nier: Automata: 10

Nier Automata takes the cake for the most Platinum of Platinum games, being a title that not only has fast-paced combat but also makes you fight while making playing a bullet hell shooter.

Transformers Devastation: 9

The action is fast and furious, but not quite as insane as Platinum’s other titles. Still, it maintains the fury and finesse that makes them so special.

Batman Arkham Series: 5

It strikes the perfect balance between being aggressive to exercising caution. You face enemies head-on or through the shadows, but you must still keep moving, otherwise, you’re a sitting duck.

Vampyr: 3

This game had a very slow and methodical combat system that some Souls veterans found to be not so challenging. The game lacks the depth that Souls has to offer, but if you encounter a boss you’re unprepared for, you’re gonna get wrecked until you either leave completely to level up or just face them and chip away at their health for 20 minutes.

Hyrule Warriors: 7

In Warriors games, you lay the smackdown on waves of enemies, often killing grunts in the higher double digits in single blows. Although you can mash buttons at the base enemies, you’ll encounter miniboss characters who require a nuanced but aggressive approach.

The Surge: 2

What if Dark Souls but sci-fi and shitty?

That is but a few examples. I fully expect to use the From Platinum™ scale of melee gaming for future releases. What do you think? Am I onto something, or full of shit? Tell me in the comments.

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July 19th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Vampyr is an action-adventure game featuring melee combat and advanced character interaction. It was published by Focus Home Interactive and developed by DONTNOD Entertainment, makers of Life is Strange and Remember Me. You play as Jonathan Reid, a very successful doctor who specializes in blood transfusions. In an ironic twist of fate, he becomes a vampire (called Ekons in the game, and no, the spelling “vampyr” was never used in the entire game) and becomes entangled in a mystery. The city of London has been struck with overwhelming cases of Spanish Flu. Your overall quest is to simply cure this disease plaguing London, but that’s not all. While beating crazed vampires with a large stick can be fun sometimes, you also have to help the citizens of the city. You do so by traveling to safe spots, talking to people, learning about them, and treating them for a variety of medical issues. The other twist? You get EXP from doing quests, but if you find yourself having a hard time, you can choose to feast on anyone from the populous. It’s not that simple though, killing the wrong person could result in destabilizing an entire town if you’re not careful.

GRAPHICS: 0/2

DONTNOD have never really done great in the graphics dept. Their best work comes from Life is Strange, but that’s only because the art style masks the lower texture details. This game has functional graphics at best. The city streets are full of nothing but brown, grey, and dark red as if the game took a page out of the last console generation’s “realistic” trend. Reid himself is very well detailed in the amount of care that has been put into his appearance, but he is the only exception. Everyone else either looks passable at best, but more often than not they look bad. Imagine facial textures that are worse than Mass Effect Andromeda. Actually, that goes double for character animations too, as characters will sort of sway back and forth unnaturally while you speak to them, and lip sync could do with some improvements. The lighting effects seemed to just consist of very flat looks, and the shadows are very poor if they even bother to show up. I tolerated these dull graphics for the entire game but there wasn’t a single moment where I was impressed with anything.

STORY: 2/2*

I’m having a hard time with how I should score this section. The main plot is interesting enough, and if you’re a big fan of vampire stuff and in-game lore, there’s plenty to dig into. The real talent on display is the NPC interactions. In your travels you will meet people who are out at night going about their business. You can approach any of them and talk to them about how they feel, what they do, and if there’s anything you can do for them. And yet it gets deeper still, as there are special dialog options for every character that you can only learn either from gaining their trust, talking to others, or eavesdropping. Once you’ve unlocked these secrets, you can compel a character to answer questions about the information you learned. You’ll find yourself going back and forth between NPCs talking to them as you learn more and more and complete tasks for them.

This is one of the few games where helping out characters who can’t help themselves has a legitimate reason. The city streets are very treacherous and filled with all sorts of fiends, so most of the people are justified in asking you if you can help out. But all that said, there’s a bigger problem at large, as the quality of writing varies greatly from person to person. You’ll find characters with astoundingly hidden depths, and then you’ll talk to people how are cardboard cutouts. The other problem is the flow of logic when you talk to people. Also, the majority of the plot in this game is delivered by having stiff one-on-one conversations. You run into the same problem you had with games like Mass Effect 1 where the dialog options you have usually fall to “TELL ME MORE ABOUT X.” You can also have a character say something very very distressing in one interaction, and then immediately go back to their default mood if you ask them basic questions. Overall, the case here seems to be a solid example of quantity over quality, and your mileage may vary on this fact.

AUDIO: 1/2

But, here lies the other problem with the plot. The quality of voice acting also leaves room for a lot of improvement. While core characters are relatively good with their delivery, the same cannot be said of all the NPCs. A lot of the characters have very wooden dialog and can sometimes sound like they were simply rehearsing the lines and but accidentally made that the final cut. A lot of the accents don’t sound genuine, and there were even a couple of times where their accents slipped into something else. But that’s enough about the characters. The game is redeemed with a really rich, soulful soundtrack that matches the aesthetic of 1918 London, while also not being afraid to add in some more modern touches. The combat also has some satisfying sounds, with blood splat, thwacks, flamethrowers, and gas guns all sound exactly as they should.

GAMEPLAY: 1/2

As said before, the game revolves around talking to people, healing, and completing investigations. At first, the doctor treatments were interesting but it soon became tiresome due to an interesting but very stressful game mechanic. Before that, let’s talk about the combat. It’s a bland, slow and deliberate system with some sluggish reaction times to button presses and seemingly unfair fights that are based solely on numbers. If you’re level 15 and you face someone at level 18 or so, you’ll find that no matter how hard you hit them, nothing tends to hurt them until your level matches theirs. This is especially true of bosses, who have a mountain of health and are relentless. I haven’t had boss fights this bad since Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The melee itself is a generic take on the Souls style, but it simply lacks the depth and response that makes those games so great. What’s worse is if you are under-leveled, you have to do a load of backtracking to find a place to level up and then make your way back. You also do not get your health syringes or bullets back when you die from a boss battle. If you used all of your health packs you are shit out of luck.

And here comes the interesting part. Leveling up. In order to use your XP to upgrade abilities, you need to sleep. Find a bed at a hideout or return to your room at the hospital and go to bed. But when you sleep, the next day arrives. Anyone who was sick and untreated will get sicker, people you healed will get better, people who were previously unhealed become sick, and any action you took in the district that deeply affects that location will take place. That’s right, you basically have to bank all your experience points and make sure everyone in the four boroughs of London are nice and healthy before you take that nap.

FUN: 1/2

Sitting back and diving deep into the character interaction is fun and all, but this game is not without a plethora of killjoys. Loading times are really long, where launching the game will send you to a black screen for 20 seconds. You have to wait for certain interiors to load and that takes a long time, sometimes nearly a minute of waiting. Dying also drops a really long wait time on you. Oh, and if you run too fast across town, you’ll get a freezeframe loading screen for about 5-10 seconds. That, combined with the crapton of backtracking you will be doing doesn’t help. Especially because there’s NO fast travel. Granted, the map isn’t too large and once you’ve run around the whole world enough (and you will), you get to learn the routes without having to consult the map. You’ll need to know the map and the community screen as you’ll also be running all over the place to make sure everyone has been healed before you rest. Again, the tedium of facing down boss fights will bear down on you, often leading to frustration as you must make your way out and then come back just to fight an enemy that has a higher number than you. But, the interactions are still fascinating in their own right.

Vampyr is a deeply flawed game, yet somehow I could not take my hands off it. Up until the day I decided I wanted to beat the game as fast as possible, I was pretty engrossed in the world this game offered. Something, I’m not sure what, just kept me coming back again and again, playing it for long stretches as I did everything in my power to help everyone. Or at least I did until I needed to beat the game quickly and just decided to kill everyone. But fancy that, interact with an NPC you don’t like? Get the instant gratification of killing them. There are a lot of personalities here, and you will definitely find some people kill-worthy. This is a low scoring game but it’s one of the best low scoring games I’ve played in quite a while.

SCORE: 5/10




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February 19th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

PSVR gets a discount, Persona 5 gets an App, & THQ gets, well, everything else.

We are 8 weeks into 2018 and the slow news weeks are starting to happen. That can only mean one thing; E3 approaches! Tickets went live last week and I don’t really know how many have been sold but it’s that time. I couldn’t let you guys down though so I had to dig real deep. And dig deep I did, here are the reasons you should feel like a Lucky Gamer this week:

1. No Hearthstone on Switch.

Straight to the point. Despite numerous ambiguous teases and tweets from Blizzard that may have felt promising, the game’s designer Dean Ayala has provided a firm “no”. It’s weird because Hearthstone is such a perfect fit for Nintendo Switch as a platform. The only speculation I could make at this time is that they don’t feel confident with the online infrastructure of the Nintendo Switch. Even that doesn’t entirely make sense for me because Splatoon 2 plays great. Maybe there are things about video game you can never understand from just playing. What are the odds?

2. No Hearthstone but at least you get De Blob.

One of the most amazing 3D platfomers of the last consoles generation is getting remastered for Nintendo Switch. De Blob, originally released back in 2008, will be coming to the Switch at some point in 2018 as tweeted by THQ Nordic. Last year we saw the release of the remaster on PS4 & Xbox one with the sequel coming sometimes this year. De Blob is one of those fun games that can serve as a cool party experiences to introduce new people to gaming. Given Nintendo’s recent track of cool additions to games, it will be really exciting to see what kind of bonus features De Blob will get. Maybe we’ll be able to dress up De Blob as Pikachu or link.

3. It’s the return of the purple dragon!

If someone would have told me that Skylander’s was not going to be the end of Spyro the Dragon, I would have laughed in their face. In fact I think I actually might have. So to anyone who’s face I laughed in, well I apologize. Much like I did when Crash Bandicoot made his remastered trilogy return. It turns out that was enough to push Activision and/or Sony to stop playing with our emotions and give us back our playstation mascots! That realization led us here: Spyro the Dragon Trilogy remaster is in the works and potentially coming to PS4 in Q3 of 2018. To put that in basic terms: Spyro is coming for Christmas, people! The trilogy is rumored to have the first three Spyro games remastered with brand new everything. Textures, assets, and all the other boring stuff. The real exciting news, which may come as a surprise to most, Crash and Spyro are potentially timed exclusive deals which means they may come to other platforms afterwards! This is going to be huge for two of the most iconic characters in video game history. Looks like the Gamers win again.

4. US government is against loot boxes, maybe.

It turns out it’s time for the government to get involved in video games again. It’s been a long while since the US government felt the need to step in and take stand in the video games industry. Fear not however fellow gamers, this time it appears they are on our side. At least thats what it looks like. US Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire has issued a letter to our friends over at the ESRB establishing a strong outline of concerns regarding micro transactions. More specifically regarding Loot Boxes and Loot Box Systems. Her concern is primarily surrounding “in game purchases for surprise winnings” because they may be highly addicting. This comes hot on the heals of the World Health Organization update which adds “gaming disorder” as a diagnosable mental disorder. All of this follows Hawaii’s recent proposal of bills which specifically target Loot Boxes as a form of “illegal gambling”. Now that we have reached the end of this topic, I am no longer sure who’s side these people are actually on.

5. The Devil May Cry for free occasionally.

February 27th marks the day of the beast. Actually, I’m not sure if that is true at all. Something that is completely true is that starting on February 27th Devil May Cry HD will be available for free to all PC players with a Twitch Prime Membership. With Capcom running this promotion for an undisclosed length of time, rumors floating around of a Devil May Cry 5 on the horizon are staring to feel real true. Couple the free give away with the upcoming release of Devil May Cry HD releasing on March 13th for PS4, Xbox One, and PC makes for a powerful argument. I personally had nothing against the rebooted Dante for the most recent game, but I can’t wait to go back to hanging out with cool Dante. I also really hope the rumor of a new Devil May Cry is true regardless which Dante we get. Speaking of devils and demons, did I mention that Persona 5 is getting an official Mementos App? Well, in Japan at least.

6. Missing? Who’s missing?

There is only one name in the video game industry that evokes more confusion than the question “is a hot dog a sandwich?”. That name is Hidetaka Suehiro. Actually, no it’s not.  That’s the man that evokes confusion, however the name is Swery. And there you go, your hold world just flipped thinking bout what this guy has done now. Now let’s be very clear: Swery has provided absolutely no information about this game beside the fact he’s working with Arc System Works, and it’s called “The Missing”. Also, the game will “blow your mind” when it releases late this year. On the topic of Arc System Works and missing things, the first two DLC characters for Dragon Ball FighterZ have leaked and I can’t wait to (spoiler alert) play as Broly & Bardock.

7. THQ fills their shopping cart and PSVR hopes to fill yours.

THQ Nordic heard about the Lucky Gamer Recap and said “We are going to do something to get us on that damn list twice in one day!”. You read about De Blob remastered but that’s not all. It looks like THQ Nordic might have gotten their tax returns back early because they just made a very big purchase. In a roughly 150 million dollar deal, THQ Nordic just purchased Koch Media. What does that mean? Well let me give you an idea. Koch Media is the holding company of Deep Silver (Dead Island, Metro), Volition (Saints Row), and Dambuster Studios (Homefront). Ultimately this deal really just means that the THQ we remember watching fold in 2012 is getting right back up. With no plans for restructuring any of the current business plans, it seems some great things may already be in the works. On the flip side because its tax season, and in honor of big purchases, I have to share that PSVR will be $100 off from today (technically yesterday) until March 3rd. Looks like its time to jump on one of those bad boys, hey Chet!

Let me get this straight, THQ goes Bankrupt > Gets bought by THQ > Become THQ Nordic > Deep Silver buys Saints Row > THQ Nordic buys Koch Media > Koch Media is parent company of Deep Silver > THQ now owns Saints Row again. What kind of timeline is this?




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February 12th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Exclusions, Announcements, & Hollywood

Wowzers, what a crazy week in the world of Gaming. Big announcements, unexpected exclusions, and to much hollywood involvement for my taste. It’s a beautiful time to be a gamer. How much luckier could you want to be? Wait, I have an answer. I want to be lucky enough to have been able to purchase a pair of Playstation Sneakers. I digress, here is the fun news for the lucky gamers:

1. Playstation (but say it in the commercial voice).

This week held a lot of surprise announcements from the house that rebuilt Sony. To start, rumors of a new Crash Bandicoot surfaced with the leak claiming a new game may be out as early as 2019. How realistic this rumor is, I don’t know. I do know that I am ridiculously excited regardless. On the less rumor more fact side of Playstation’s week, Sony announced the New Gold Wireless Headset. This new headset is the first major update to the headset since 2014 and boast a sleeker design, more comfortable headphone cushions, and dual noise canceling microphones. On top of that it still has 7.1 surround sound (and the companion app) and works with the PSVR or any other device with a standard headphone jack. And then we have the truly technological piece of news. The beta for PS4 firmware update 5.50 went live and includes a ton of amazing features. Things like Play Time Management for parental settings, two new tabs for the library, “This PS4”, showing everything currently installed on your PS4, and “PS plus”, and custom wall papers can now be installed via USB. It’s like the old PSP days, I can’t wait. Also, Babe Ruth will be a playable roster addition for MLB 18: The Show. You’re welcome.

2. Release dates, release dates, and release dates!

So many release dates! So many things to update on the calendar! Are you ready? Set? Go! A PUBG Xbox One S bundle was announced and will be released on February 20th, 2018. Pick this up and you’ll find yourself owning a 1TB White Xbox One S, PUBG, one month of Xbox Live, and one month of Xbox Game Pass Trial for $300. I thought PUBG was free, not sure anymore. Deadbolt, a new game from developer Hopoo Games, will be coming to PS4 and PS Vita on February 20th as well. Deadbolt is a stealth action hybrid game with every mission having ways to complete it that cater to any play style. The game I’m most excited about learning the release date for though is from developer Dontnod. Vampyr, the first game since Soul Reaver to be exclusively about vampires, is coming out on June 5th 2018. A little later than the planned release window but I’m just grateful the project wasn’t scrapped. And finally the PC master race will see the release of Breach, from Subset Games, the developers of FTL, on February 27th 2018. Woo that was a lot, time to start FFXV.

3. Tomb Raider & Sleeping Dogs playing in Hollywood?

Lara Croft has shown on multiple occasions, some successful and others not so much, that she is not afraid of the big screen. What’s really interesting this time around is that she’s stepping into the small public screen world. The new Tomb Raider movie will be getting an arcade game tie-in. Now ain’t that some sh*t (excuse my Swedish). A movie based on a video game is getting a video game tie-in. Someone help me understand. In the meantime, somewhere in the world Wei Shen is sitting in a room coaching Donnie Yen on how to be a Sleeping Dog. You know because Sleeping Dogs is getting its own movie adaptation that is currently in production according to Donnie himself. No director or anything in place yet, but I guess I’m down to take anything from Donnie Yen serious. I mean he’ll probably kick my ass if I don’t sooooooooooooooo.

4. Marvel gets snubbed at EVO.

I feel like the beginning of every console generation sees a ridiculous influx of racing games and fighting games. This topic is entirely enveloped in the latter. With all the fighting games that came out this year, both good and bad, and only 8 seats at the EVO table it was obvious something was going to get excluded. What wasn’t obvious, and honestly came as a bit of a surprise, was Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite being left at the door. It’s not the only interesting exclusion as King of Fighters 14 is also notably absent. The full list of tournament games is

  • Tekken 7
  • Super Smash Bros 4
  • Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition
  • BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle
  • Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2
  • Injustice 2
  • Super Smash Bros Melee
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ

The lineup is actually pretty consistent with what most of my friends in the gaming community are playing but still a tiny bit of a shocker. Not sure what the voting process is but that’s the lineup. The most entertaining part of the whole lineup for me though: BlazBlue technically isn’t even out yet! It literally comes out 2 months before EVO. Side note: Tomoko Hiroki, one of the producers of Dragon Ball FighterZ, said she’ll be competing at EVO so step your game up. {Editor’s Note: Two Smash Bros games? Really?}

5. Samus, don’t forget Riiiiiiiiddddggggeeeee Raaaccceeeerrrrr!

Rumors swirling around the mill say Namco Bandai is hard at work developing two games. One is significantly less surprising than the other. First we have the rumor that Ridge Racer 8 is in development. Like I said before, new console generation gets a slew of racing and fighting games. No surprise here, keep it moving. Now for the gasp inducing rumor. Namco Bandai may be developing Matroid Prime 4! The game was confirmed to be in development at E3 last year making this a very plausible and interesting rumor. With these rumors being pulled from the resume of an eager designer, it’s hard to determine how much salt to take with these. Especially because the final piece of the rumor is rather unique. We expect Metroid Prime 4 to be a Switch exclusive, but Ridge Racer 8 may exclusive as well.

6. Google it.

Google is reportedly stepping fully into the video game industry. According to sources cite by The Information, Google is hard at work developing a cloud based streaming platform. Very similar to Playstation Now, it is unclear if the new program will work through the existing Chromecast or a new Google gaming console. With the recent addition of former Xbox & Playstation executive Benedict Arnold, I mean Phil Harrison as Vice President this move seems very possible. What would Google offer remains to be the question and possibly the largest factor for the success of another service in a market not quite figure out. I’m rooting for you Google! You go out there and make Sony do better.

7. Fine, let’s address Kingdom Hearts 3.

With the release of Kingdom Hearts 3 potentially happening before the end of 2018, Disney and Square Enix have been showing very little to make it believable. This week they went big and announced the second Pixar based world in the upcoming game. The Monster’s Inc. universe is now officially part of the Kingdom Hearts universe. They showed off incredible character designed work recreation, as expected, and gave us some heartwarming time with series star Mike, Sully, and Boo. I wonder if including Monster’s Inc. will be the way that Disney addresses fan theories about around the connectivity of the entire Disney animated movie universe. Interesting, very interesting.

{I haven’t been to Dave & Buster’s in a long while but the Tomb Raider tie in may be worth a visit.}




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