Hey, quick question. Do you pronounce the word 'route' as "R-out" or "root"? I'm in the latter camp, myself.
Anyway, independent developers Cardboard Computer released another 140-character progress update on the much-anticipated fourth act of their superb bourbon-tinged 'Phantom Tollbooth by way of Johnny Cash' adventure game Kentucky Route Zero. They also posted a teaser image from the episode, which we've embedded above. The fishing trip, an iconic part of Americana, has been stripped of its humanity, leaving its core bare for all to see. A perfect encapsulation of the melancholic nostalgia that oozes from the Zero's every pore.
If you have yet to experience Kentucky Route Zero, you should treat yourself. It's the perfect game to play during these long, dark months, especially as you return to your hometown for Thanksgiving, spending precious free time in a place that you reject for its unflinching tradition but also resent for moving on without you, all the while torn asunder by the space between these two irreconcilable truths. It's an, uh, extremely moody game, if you haven't surmised. But don't let me lead you astray -- Kentucky Route Zero isn't depressing; it's just bittersweet.
Each version of the game comes with the soundtrack, which I'd argue is easily worth the price on its own. There's not much I wouldn't give to hear 'Long Journey Home' on a good vinyl player, and that's to say nothing of the mesmerizing 'Too Late to Love You'.... read + comment
As I've said before, Batman: Arkham Knight's Season Pass is probably the one of the worst pass prospects in gaming right now. Besides an alright Batgirl DLC, there's a heap of mediocre challenge missions, sub-30 minute "DLCs," and skins. For $40, people probably expected more -- perhaps a quality Cold, Cold Heart add-on -- or something, anything to justify the price.read + comment
She might not be well known at all in most Final Fantasy circles, but XIV fans will recognize Y’shtola the Conjurer. She was featured in the original build of XIV, before moving into the reworked A Realm Reborn, and the recent expansion, Heavensward.
Dissidia Final Fantasy arcade will launch in Japan this week, and the only announced character that hasn't been shown off so far is Ramza from Final Fantasy Tactics.... read + comment
You know, those weird ass god damn Clannad eyes got me thinking; I'm not sure about what, but I'll get back to you if I figure it out.
Anyways, a couple more visual novels are on Steam and these ones at a more reasonable price to boot, too, currently on sale for 34% and 40% off. Tokyo School Life is down to $9.89 and The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya has been discounted to $17.99. I don't know how steamy either are, but I pressed through an age-gate like a sieve on the way to those pages to deliver you this news, so you'll have to report back to me.... read + comment
According to a press release from Sony, the PlayStation 4 has sold through (read: units actually sold to people, not units shipped to stores) 30.2 million units as of November 22. That's a considerable amount of consoles; for comparison, that's approximately a tenth of the United States' population. For my money, we'll likely see a similar announcement made in the new year once the gift wrap has been torn off those shiny new PS4s and the Christmas Creep is nothing but a memory.
This release is also a very shrewd move on Sony's part. Games reporters have to report on this stuff as part of our job (it's a legitimate piece of news, and it's something readers have historically been interested in), so the news cycle is dominated with stories about the PlayStation 4, right as shoppers are making their Black Friday plans.
Even so, this news has value. 30 million consoles in homes is an important number to consider in the larger debate of "are consoles still viable?" I'd argue this upcoming holiday season is the deciding point. Both systems have strong lineups, competitive prices, and install bases cultivating word of mouth. In essence, they're both out of excuses. God, how I love sales numbers.... read + comment
Host Geoff Keighley confirmed yesterday the rebranded VGA/VGX award show, Game Awards 2015, will feature ten world premieres and ten "on-stage" awards.
The Game Awards 2015 takes place in Los Angeles, California, on December 3, 2015. Tune in from 9pm ET/6pm PT.read + comment
After over two years of ongoing support, fighting game parody and community in-joke Divekick has received its final update.
Dubbed Divekick Addition Edition Plus Final, the free update introduces The Fencer from the popular indie game Nidhogg. You can see the trailer in all of its sword-lobbing glory up top.
If you own Divekick, the upgrade to the Addition Edition Plus Final version should have already been applied to your Xbox One, PC, PS3, PS4 and PS Vita copies. If you don’t already have it, the game is getting a permanent price slash of 50%, dropping it down to £3.99/$4.99.
It’s incredibly impressive that what is essentially a joke game is for a niche community has done well enough to warrant free updates for two years. It’s kind of sad that this is the end of the line for the game.... read + comment
Responding to questions about backwards compatibility for original Xbox games, Xbox engineering lead Mike Ybarra says that while it may be "challenging," "nothing's impossible."read + comment
Why does this keep happening? Why do developers who have normally pretty positive communities go and add microtransactions to their games, making everybody angry? First it was Overkill with Payday 2, and now it’s Tripwire Interactive with its early access game Killing Floor 2.
In case you missed the news yesterday, Tripwire has introduced microtransactions to Killing Floor 2. Initially it's intending them to be only purely cosmetic. This might sound okay, but when it gives it a way to introduce game-changing content like weapons that’s a bit of a problem. Not only that, but the game is in early access – adding microtransactions before your game is even done is a bit of a risky move to say the least.
In response to the community backlash to this update, John Gibson, president of Tripwire, spoke to Kotaku about what the company's reasons behind microtransactions are. It’s a long interview, and surprisingly honest. His comments have also made me totally reconsider my stance on the issue.
When talking about the backlash to the update, Gibson makes a not-so-subtle reference to Overkill and Payday 2:
I think the gaming community is still stinging from the recent situation with another game and how they handled microtransactions that left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths toward in-game economies and micro-transactions. So for some time I think every developer that introduces an in-game economy will face some backlash.
Gibson also points out that Killing Floor also had tons of cosmetic DLC that funded the development of free updates for years post-launch:
Back when we started releasing DLC characters for Killing Floor 1 there was a backlash, and people were saying the same type of things we're hearing about the Trading Floor - "Tripwire are being greedy," "It's a big cash grab," etc. But over time as players saw they kept getting years of free content and updates, they realized that the sales from DLC were keeping the updates coming, and they became ok with it.
A criticism I and many others had when microtransactions were announced was that it took away resources raised by early access purchases that could’ve been put to better use on playable content and getting the game finished and released. Gibson also had an answer for that:
First let me say that about 90-95% of the items we're shipping with the Trading Floor [the in-game name of the microtransaction system] were made by the community. Second, the developers working on the Trading Floor backend are not the same developers that make maps, weapons, monsters, gameplay, etc. So to put it another way, the Trading Floor in no way delayed or impacted when new gameplay content would ship.
I've been very critical of Overkill for the way it's handled the Payday 2 controversy. I think it has repeatedly lied, and I think it's being willfully ignorant of the problems people are raising. When the news that Killing Floor 2 was going down the same route broke, I was convinced I would also be criticising Tripwire for much of the same things.
But you know what? I’m actually pretty happy with Gibson’s statements.
Adding microtransactions to any paid game bothers me, especially one in early access. But Tripwire has now explained where those funds will be going – free, playable content and a lengthy post-launch support, which it has proven it can handle with the almost six years of support Killing Floor enjoyed. The studio also explained how the update came around and reassured us that it didn’t take time away from the development of playable content.
There is still plenty of room for Tripwire to screw this up and introduce pay-to-win aspects, so it's not entirely off the hook. But as far as I’m concerned personally (and you may feel differently), as long as they keep the system purely cosmetic, Tripwire has convinced me that maybe this update will be beneficial in the long term.
Good job, Tripwire.read + comment
After launching with no single-player content and only 12 multiplayer maps, EA has announced what sort of things to expect from Star Wars Battlefront’s coming DLC. The first bit of new content will be the free Battle of Jakku pack coming early in December.
Some cynics may think releasing a bit of free DLC is the carrot to the ludicrously expensive season pass’s stick. It makes sense: get everybody on board and into the new content first, and then start coughing up for the future DLC or be left behind in the game you’re now invested in.
Except that’s not entirely what EA is doing. Yes there will be paid DLC, and yes the season pass is ridiculously expensive and it deserves to be criticised for it, but there is going to be more free DLC coming in the future as well alongside the season pass content. According to EA’s vice president Patrick Söderlund:
Of course, we are also planning to support Star Wars Battlefront with new content well into the future. We will be adding more of what you love about the game, like new maps and Star Cards, for free in the coming months, in addition to all of the content we have coming with Season Pass. We’ll have more to share soon.
So maybe your initial purchase won’t be the small splattering of maps and hint of disappointment it’s been so far then? At the very least it’ll give those who move on to other games a reason to come back.... read + comment
Fallout's Mysterious Stranger is a fan favorite character in recent years, and for good reason -- he's a badass that lives on the edge.
Now you can download a ringtone to relive that "hnngh"-inducing noise, by way of Android MP3 or iPhone M4R. I really like the three tones provided, as they have a hint of noir to them, to the point where non-fans wouldn't recognize it, but any hardcore Fallout enthusiast would probably give you a thumbs up in public.
Follow the links below to download the tone for your respective device.read + comment
Heroes of the Storm's Black Friday sale is upon us today, which provides a 50% discount on everything in the game. But I couldn't find info on the supposed "deeply discounted" 360 day Stimpak (read: XP boost) so I decided to log in for myself and check -- it's $60.
So what is the boost good for? Well, it ups your general rate of leveling for your account, and your leveling process for each character. I wouldn't worry about the former, as you only need a few weeks of casual play to max it out, but for the latter, it can be supremely useful.
Leveling up each character will net you gold at certain milestones, and up to two new color skins (as well as two other mount skins) can be unlocked. Additionally, at level 10 you can purchase a Master Skin for gold. If you play constantly, it's probably going to be worth picking up.
For everyone else, I don't think $60 is quite "deep" enough of a discount to warrant pulling the trigger.... read + comment
Did you play the dystopian Soviet nightmare Papers, Please and think “this is good, but I bet it would be better if I was accepting or rejecting cute pets instead of these dreary Eastern Bloc sad sacks.” If so, you're a lunatic. But, the good news is some other lunatic went ahead and made that game.... read + comment
Prior to playing the new Heroes of the Storm map, Towers of Doom, my only real exposure to it was reading the all-too-brief objective summary during the loading screen. Thank goodness I was only training with the AI. This map is bonkers, even when you know what's going on.
For one, each team's core only has 40 HP, and heroes can't do direct damage. Instead, they'll need to capture control points ("altars") that periodically pop up. Also, whenever a team takes out an enemy keep, it regenerates with full ammo and falls under their control. The more keeps your team possesses, the more damage you'll do to the core upon capturing an alter.
If that doesn't make much sense, you ought to watch Blizzard's video. There are a lot of nuances.... read + comment
Black Friday for PC Gamers has begun with Origin launching the first salvo of discounts. Now through November 30 (Cyber Monday), get up to 75% off hundreds of titles and DLC packs.
For the most part, Origin has discounts on EA games, but surprisingly there are a few Steam titles in the mix like Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution.
The best deals in the sale are a few new historic lows on select Origin titles. Dragon Age Inquisition is only $14.99, which is cheapest ever by $5. Also at historic lows are The Sims 4, FIFA 16, and Battlefield Hardline. Click here for a full list or see our top picks below.... read + comment
I'm far enough into Star Wars Battlefront's progression system that I have most of the unlocks I genuinely want (aside from the best Rebel and Empire characters, which is the final carrot on the stick). I've played every mode and map enough to have favorites. It's getting to the point where I need to stop playing or risk burning out. When's that DLC out, again?
"The Battle of Jakku" releases on December 1 for folks who pre-ordered Battlefront, and one week later for everyone else. We knew this. But DICE has shared more details on what's ahead, including Turning Point, a new 40-player mode (which hopefully won't be so one-sided).
"Rebels need to locate and capture one of three control points in Imperial control. The clock is ticking, but if the Rebel team succeeds with a capture additional time will be added and new control points will be available for capture. Moving through these increasingly challenging checkpoints, the ultimate goal is the Empire's base where the final stand will take place."
The Jakku maps are Graveyard of Giants (playable with the modes Turning Point, Supremacy, Walker Assault, and Fighter Squadron) and Goazan Badalands (Blast, Drop Zone, Droid Run, Cargo, Hero Hunt, and Heroes vs. Villains). I do hope this is only the beginning of DICE's free DLC offerings for Battlefront. I just can't see me ponying up $50 for that blasted season pass.read + comment
The wonderfully named Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - First Assault Online -- GITS:SAC-FAO for short -- is coming to Steam some time in December. It will also be available through publisher Nexon's launcher.
GITS:SAC-FAO is a team-based first-person shooter more reminiscent of Team Fortress 2 than than the philosophical underpinnings of the original Ghost in the Shell. It was previously announced for a 2015 western release, then pushed to 2016 under the new and current western title, and now it's seemingly back to 2015 as it is coming "soon," with a December release month on the Steam page.
Thankfully this news didn't again give me the urge to rewatch the 1995 film, as I coincidentally did so two weeks back. Still great! And apparently that live-action movie is still slated for early 2017 and a Game of Thrones actor is playing the villain. Still unnecessary! GITS:SAC-FAO is free-to-play, so I might give it a shot at some point, but the whole Ghost in the Shell bit kind of feels like set dressing.
Sony is holding a co-op game sale on PlayStation Network until next week, and if you're a new PS4 owner or will be one soon thanks to Black Friday sales, it's absolutely worth a look.
Some of my favorite titles for the console, co-op or otherwise, are featured here, including Rocket League, Rayman Legends, and TowerFall Ascension. On PS3, Kane & Lynch is $3. Hell, Double Dragon Neon is $2 for anyone who missed that ridiculous $0.99 flash sale last year.
Bonus: There's a one-time-use 10 percent off code for PSN that lasts until December 1. It will work with this sale and upcoming sales, "including any Black Friday deals that may or may not be coming your way," according to Sony. The code is FH24P5BDR6.... read + comment
It's common for media to share the "first __ minutes!" of a new game release, but I don't recall too many big-name developers partaking in that practice. Avalanche has put up the first hour of Just Cause 3.
If you are concerned that this game starts slow, you needn't be. The first interactive sequence is Rico literally standing on top of a plane while firing rockets (beautiful, infinite rockets!) down on the streets below, infrastructure be damned. No innocents were harmed, I'm sure.... read + comment
If you fancy yourself a living room faux-musician, this is probably the closest you'll ever get to looking like a Fall Out Boy. Harmonix has collaborated with Bethesda to add free Fallout 4 Vault-111 jumpsuits to the Rock Band 4 wardrobe.
The sporty threads come as part of the giant December 8 Rock Band 4 update, and they're free for everyone; there's no need to buy Fallout 4 or anything like that. This video shows how to access the jumpsuits once they're available. Decked out in these, you're just a little practice away from being the best cover band in your vault.... read + comment
It's almost December, and you know what that means: Frenzied shopping for your loved ones (and maybe a few things for yourself). Is there someone on your list who you know is a big PlayStation fan, but you're at a loss for what to get them? Don't worry; we got your back. Here are some of the hottest gifts that PlayStation owners will be sure to love.... read + comment
Ganondorf wasn't given a trident in Hyrule Warriors for Wii U. That seems like a missed opportunity of sorts. It was his weapon of choice in some of the best Zelda games ever made.
That misstep is being rectified with the 3DS' Hyrule Warriors Legends. In this new trailer, Ganondorf clears huge swathes of enemies with single swipes. That's all just a warm up for when he throws the trident which causes everyone to go flying.
There's still a bit of a wait for Hyrule Warriors Legends. It releases on March 25. Just four more months until Ganondorf gets to fight the way he was meant to.... read + comment
Are you a western gamer interested in Dead or Alive Xtreme 3? Well then you best get your ass to an import website because it doesn't look like the game will be making it our way.
Even after the publisher said fan demand could prompt a localization of the game (that will already have English subtitles), the official Dead or Alive Facebook account poo-pooed the idea that it has plans to publish it outside of Japan and Asia.
I could understand there are a lot of reasons why that would be so. First, it can generally be said the games in this spin-off series are pretty goddamn terrible. Second, has any DoA Xtreme game sold that well? There are many reasons why the developer wouldn't want to spend the cash to publish this in the West, which is why the excuse given on the official Facebook page just warms my heart.
Thank you, Koei Tecmo, for having the balls to say enough is enough when it comes to sexualization of women in the media, but also not having the balls to just not make the game in the first place. It's nice to know you don't want to subject people in the West to the horrors of pretty girls in bikinis playing terrible mini-games, but couldn't give any less of a shit about subjecting people in the East to that kind of, oh let's say, filth.... read + comment
Xbox closes out the calendar year not with a bang, but with a whimper. December's free games for Xbox Live Gold subscribers have been revealed a bit early this month. Despite the inclusion of an extra title, the whole lot is nothing to get too excited about.
On Xbox One, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing makes its Xbox debut as a gratis offering from December 1 through December 31. Later in the month, 2014's Thief (which was free on Xbox 360 back in May) joins in from December 16 through January 15.
Over on the Xbox 360 side of things, CastleStorm is free from December 1 until December 15. If the name sounds familiar, the Definitive Edition of the game was part of May's Xbox One Games with Gold. The ill-received Sacred 3 closes the month from December 16 through December 31. There's a bonus game, though as Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is also free for the latter half of December.
Maybe this is Xbox's way of telling you that you should spend the holidays with loved ones, not plopped down in front of a TV playing Sacred 3.read + comment
Who wants to read a Destructoid review from 2011? Strania - The Stella Machina has come to Steam today apropos of nothing (the product page notes it's developer G.rev's "long-awaited debut on Steam," by whom I do not know).
G.rev is made up of former Taito (Space Invaders) employees that worked on shooters like G-Darius and RayStorm. The company got by first with contract work, assisting Treasure on the development of Gradius V and Ikaruga. Square Enix bought Taito in 2005. G.rev's last western release was 2013's Kokuga on 3DS.
Strania on Steam comes with the "Side Vower" DLC that let's you, "play as a pilot in the Vower camp that seeks to reclaim the land they hold sacred."... read + comment
Haha, this is such an amazing story.
As a Regular Show fan, I couldn't forget their depiction of Billy Mitchell in the form of Garrett Bobby Ferguson -- a floating head that cheats at video games and holds the universe record for many titles. Apparently the actual Billy Mitchell sued the show despite the fact that it would clearly be protected under parody laws -- as of this week, the case was tossed.
According to the judge, the depiction is a "non-human creature, a giant floating head from outer space," while the real Mitchell is "a human being." Also, the judge noted that the Regular Show character "explodes," while the plaintiff "does not."
Funnily enough, the character does sprout arms and legs, but that's besides the point -- the fact that an actual judge had to rule on this is hilarious.read + comment
Earlier this year, Paradox offered an alternative for the many disappointed by EA's botched SimCity two years earlier by publishing Colossal Order's excellent city-building-simulator Cities: Skylines.
Now Paradox's internal studio is effectively getting the run back on Civilization: Beyond Earth and addressing complaints of unapproachability levied at its own successful strategy games, like Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis. Mind you, the latter is more important. But while Destructoid's Darren Nakamura gave Beyond Earth a "stellar" 9.5 (misquoted on the Steam page as just a 9), user response on Steam and Metacritic is pretty torn. Clearly people have some mixed feelings there.... read + comment
The third episode for Minecraft: Story Mode is out today, and it's actually not half bad. I think I took more screenshots this time around than in the first two episodes as a result.
Going through these after the fact, it's obvious my favorite character is Reuben. I think I probably snapped a shot of the blocky pig every time he showed up on screen. Perhaps it says something about the writing that I prefer the character whose only means of communication is through the tone of his squeals and his facial expressions.
Minor spoilers are present, though I have taken the time to cull out a few screenshots with the biggest revelations. Still, go through at your own risk if you're worried about the ruining the story for yourself.... read + comment
Have you had enough Lightning yet? No one can, according to Square Enix, and she'll be representing Final Fantasy XIII in the arcade version of Dissidia, set to debut this week in Japan. As a note, she was already in Dissidia 012, the prequel/remake of the original (which was probably just an excuse to make a new game with Lightning in it).
All joking aside, I really dislike Lightning's role in XIII, but she gets more tolerable in Lightning Returns. I actually don't even mind her that much, but the constant need for Square Enix to remind us that she's the greatest hero ever is what really annoys me.... read + comment
Minecraft: Story Mode didn't impress me with its first two episodes. Aimed at young players and Minecraft super fans, its writing didn't have a whole lot going for it past its Saturday morning cartoon plot and series in-jokes. It has been totally passable in that regard, but never exceptional.
At the end of Assembly Required, it felt as though the story could navigate to more interesting territory. The Last Place You Look delivers on that hope, but still doesn't compare to Telltale's best works.... read + comment