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NCSOFT photo
NCSOFT

NCSOFT ready to get some of that mobile money


Where there's a will, there's a whale
May 28
// Robert Summa
Whether we like it or not, mobile gaming has become huge. And for a publisher like NCSOFT that has long been an exclusive MMO provider, the company is making the smart move of shifting some of those dying genre resources over...
Japanese indie games! photo
Japanese indie games!

Supercharged Robot Vulkaiser invades Steam next week


Let's go, giant robot of steel!
May 28
// Kyle MacGregor
A blast of '70s-inspired action is bombarding Steam next week in Supercharged Robot Vulkaiser. Announced for a western release nearly two years ago, the mecha shooter from doujin studio Astro Port (Gigantic Army) is fina...

Halt and Catch Fire explores the early days of online gaming

May 28 // Alessandro Fillari
[embed]292774:58672:0[/embed] Twenty months after the end of season one in 1985, the lead characters have essentially moved on from work on PCs and plan on striking out into something new. After the launch of the Giant, the PC they spent all of the first season building, Joe McMillan (Lee Pace) seeks to rebuild his life after ultimately compromising on his vision for what the future of computers could be, and realizing that his methods of success have harmed others. His number two, Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy), struggles to find direction after departing Cardiff Electric, and Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis) and Donna Clarke (Kerry Bishé) have been hard at work on their new start-up company Mutiny, an online gaming network running on the Commodore 64 platform. With users paying a monthly fee to play multiple titles online with a community of gamers, they seek to expand the company and plan to change the way people seek entertainment and communicate with others. Much like the last season, Halt and Catch Fire's attention to detail and faithfulness to the era is as strong as ever. Focusing on the early stages of the consumer version of what we now know as the Internet, there's a lot of ground to cover for a start-up that deals with the state of online gaming. Though there were other (real) online PC services that offered gaming and many other functions around 1985 -- such as Prodigy, CompuServe, and Quantum Link (now known as AOL) -- the fictional Mutiny of HACF is a service that exclusively streams games to users. With such titles as Tank Battle, Checkers, Chess, and Backgammon serving as the basics, much of their attention towards game creation is focused on a title known as Parallax, a MUD (Multi User Dungeon) RPG series that spans multiple chapters. Looking back, the 1980s was a strange time for games. With the console video game market in a crisis, arcades serving as a hub for social interaction and competitive gaming, and the home PC audience gradually expanding, it's certainly a far cry from what we experience now in the present. What I really like from these episodes so far is that we're seeing a sense of  uncertainty during the time. Given that this is set post-video game console crash, games on cartridges are often regarded by characters as inferior to the offerings and potential of PC gaming. During one of my favorite scenes, the coders at Mutiny are discussing what game to work on next, with one of the new hires suggesting that they focus on technical innovation rather than game creation, as the former usually gives rise to the later. [embed]292774:58671:0[/embed] It's interesting to see a television series focus not only on game development, but the building of an online community during 1980s. Let alone doing it in a way that actually depicts realism, and quite frankly, honesty for what the gaming audience is all about. I watch a lot of television. I'm quite used to seeing different programs spout out random catchphrases and obligatory references to popular games in order to connect with gamers. But the brilliant thing about Halt and Catch Fire is that it not only features characters who are hardcore gamers, but they use their passion as the fuel for their creative endeavors. And that is refreshing to see on a television series. I was a big admirer of the first season, and though it felt a bit uneven and had some pacing issues, it definitely showed potential to become something great. And I can safely say that its potential is finally being realized in its second outing. I was impressed with the beginning of this season, and though I may be biased because it's got a deep focus on gaming, I feel that the new change of scenery, and a new focus, has given the series a much needed rejuvenation. It sure feels much more energetic and hipper because of it. If you haven't seen the show yet, the first season is available now on Netflix, and its second season is set to debut May 31 on AMC. If you're interested in the creation of technology, and hearing a bumping soundtrack to go along with it, then I highly recommend giving it a watch. Also, this series has by far the coolest TV intro ever. That alone is enough to deserve it your attention.
Halt and Catch Fire photo
The thing that gets us to the thing
In case you couldn't tell, the 1980s is having a bit of comeback. With so many games and films (Kung Fury is out today!) seeking to emulate the vibrant and lively era, there's plenty of people out there feeling nostalgic for ...

Extreme Exorcism photo
Extreme Exorcism

Your ghosts come back to haunt you (literally!) in Extreme Exorcism


Four player fun
May 28
// Steven Hansen
You know that great feeling in life when you've fucked up? Maybe it's immediate, like when you drop your iPhone or accidentally dismember and decapitate your neighbor and dump his body piecemeal into the ocean. Maybe it's th...

22 (probably) games that are way harder than Dark Souls

May 28 // Steven Hansen
Conversation around From Software's turgid-uttered sacred cow, the Souls series (Bloodborne, too) has such a strange fixation on difficulty, of shuddering players shivering under its hurts so good sadism. Namco Bandai fed into it with Dark Souls and Dark Souls II's marketing. I've died hundreds of times in hundreds of games. And it's very strange how people nod in agreement to the novelty of death and difficulty as if instant fail states were not one of gaming's founding blocks (to the point where some people have stupid arguments about whether things are or are not games). It reminds me of how Telltale's recent adventure games trump up "player choice" as if players haven't been choosing since positioning their Pong paddle. Ok, "narrative" choice? Umm, how about text adventures from 1981. Come on. Souls games aren't hard. I don't say that as a nose-upturned, "gotten gud" vet. They are about endurance and resilience more than sadistic, chronic difficulty. They are a challenge, but not monstrous or mean as people often make them out. Heck, I've seen someone who plays maybe one or two games a year get a platinum trophy in Demon's Souls. There's no club. Anyone can do this. They're designed to let anyone play and finish. Over on the webpage (and mobile application) Twitter, one-time Destructoid contributor Stephen Beirne (no relation!) loosed a series of posts about Souls and I am in accord. "I can't get behind the argument that Dark Souls is abusive due to its (presented sense of) difficulty. And I think this is because I find Dark Souls to be far, far less difficult than a game like, for example, Super Mario Brothers. Platforming is difficult! It's very difficult! It's not fun and it's agonizing and it's pointless and hateful." I love platformers, but this raises some great points, aside from the subjectivity of difficulty. No one's good at everything. I am bad at not having loads of sex, for example. Irish Stephen (not to be confused with Welsh Stephen) is bad at platformers. Young Steven (me) was bad at telling Kurt Russell and Patrick Swayze apart. There is a relative novelty to Souls games, though, and I think that's where some of the obsession over exaggerating the difficulty comes from (aside from general chest pounding reinforced by marketing to try and create a positive-feeling in-group). But it isn't in death. It's as a 3D action game. Late '80s, early '90s gaming was filthy with platformers. Mario, a pop culture icon up there with Michael Jordan and the wild shirtless Mark Farner, comes from New Jump City. The genre has only gotten easier, shedding quarter-gobbling design (the removal of "lives"), allowing you to skip levels after repeated death. While some folks are plum bad at 'em, we've had a lot of tries at being good at them. Compare to the 3D action game, which might not have even hit its stride until the PS2-era in the 2000s (PS1-era ones tended to be wonky and platforming-heavy), but at least didn't even exist until 3D graphics. In our young medium, the 3D action genre is younger still, (blood)born(e) of platformers and agèd over the last decade. Souls games occupy a genre that has a decent chance at being a new challenge to folks. It also operates different than genre-defining stuff like Devil May Cry or God of War, thanks in part to the RPG bits. The latter, reflex-based ilk are linear and need momentum. And so you can limp along, button mash, and be not all that good, for which they'll stratify you (chumps skirt by with C-ranks and stamina, experts carve up the world with SSS-rank endless combos). But you're still getting through, moving along. Even I meandered my way through the "hard" Devil May Cry games. And on the RPG side of the Souls mix, there's a history of having the numbers and grind fallback, limited reflex-oriented fighting. And suddenly, Souls, where the difference isn't "coast by or be good," but, more closely, "coast by or die." It rewrites the expectations of 3D, third-person action relative to genre standard bearers. All it asks you to do is get by, and so it skews the relationship to death and performance. The general experience of Devil May Cry is that sometimes you'll die. Mostly, you'll empty out rooms with the killing precision of a child flailing at a piñata. Eventually, you'll be an expert slayer. Souls changes that bell curve. Mostly you'll die. Eventually you'll get by. Rarely, you'll be a wrecking machine, an offensive weapon. It's about winning, eventually, instead of winning more and more impressively.  Souls offers other outs, too. You can go grind and level up, get more gear, buy more arrows. You can often fuck off elsewhere, to another stage, or on another path, rather than bang your head against one boss. Masochistic? When's the last time a text adventure let you type, "this is stupid, next question?" How about trying to suss a point-and-click puzzle that expects you to pry open a manhole, stretch a patch of human skin over it into a trampoline, and jump up through an open window? Souls games are designed to encourage you towards eventual success, even if it means breaks, detours, or extra hours. You don't get a gold star for killing the Flame Lurker without the ribcage exploit. You don't get a demerit for safely perching yourself with a bow and taking 100 potshots to down a far off creature. In Souls' judgment, it's all the same. What matters is you did it. I don't find that sadistic at all.
Not actually a listicle photo
Why the Souls series' hardened rep?
"Prepare to die," Dark Souls warns, flashlight under face, as if 30 years of video games hasn't already prepared me. "I'm not a masochist," people say, letting six years of Souls pass from afar, like they're looking out a tra...

AC Syndicate photo
AC Syndicate

Ubisoft: No second screen experience for Assassin's Creed Syndicate


Getting further and further from Unity
May 28
// Brett Makedonski
Plenty of publishers are high on the second screen experience, but Ubisoft's coming down from that -- well, at least a little. The next installment in the Assassin's Creed franchise won't come paired with a companion app...

Review: Hatred

May 28 // Chris Carter
Hatred (PC)Developer: Destructive CreationsPublisher: Destructive CreationsReleased: June 1, 2015MSRP: $19.99 To be clear, I don't have an inherent problem with Hatred. We've seen far, far worse in terms of the video game medium -- in this very generation with Grand Theft Auto V's playable in-game torture scene. Or even Ninja Gaiden III's new "cutting" system, where enemies scream in agony as they're sliced into multiple pieces of flesh. The obvious difference here is that a lot of the targets in Hatred are civilians, which put people on edge. But really, plenty of mainstream action titles have more nuanced takes, killing servicemen and women, officers of the law, and yes, plenty of civilians. Where Hatred partly fails is that it doesn't really make any meaningful statements in regards to its violence. That that it needs to, mind, it kind of just "is." The main character (who is not named) hates the world, so he's going to take down as many people as he can before he dies. That's basically it. He starts in his neighborhood, then branches out across the surrounding area, using various forms of transportation to do it. I suspect there are going to be thinkpieces spouting up across the 'net after release, but don't expect anything as interesting as the ones that were spurred by Hotline Miami playthroughs -- another ultraviolent romp. All the while, he's ranting pseudo-philosophical nonsense. The developers have noted that he isn't trying to quote or channel anyone in particular, and boy can you tell when he says repeats tired phrases like "dust to dust" and "the death is waiting." Half the time you can't even hear what he's saying over the sound of gunfire and explosions. Nothing about the presentation is memorable outside of the distinct visual style. [embed]292912:58710:0[/embed] As a shooter, Hatred is fairly impressive (outside of the sparing terrible vehicular controls). Destructive Creations clearly has a knack for the genre, which makes the fact that it decided to create this lifeless world more disappointing. Shooting feels responsive, and the control scheme is easy to pick up and play, especially on a controller. I don't like that there isn't a toggle option for sprinting (you have to hold it down, which hurts your thumb after a while), but aiming, including the precision-aim system that provides an imaginary laser sight while holding the trigger, is spot-on. Visually, Hatred is somewhere in-between unique and messy. The grey sheen generally looks great, but it does get old after a few levels. Plus, you'll want to jack up the gamma considerably, as the playable character tends to get lost in the fray. Individual objects are all rendered with care though, and the destruction system allows you to do things like craft new exits by blowing through walls. There isn't a whole lot to do in those worlds though. It's level-based, and most missions boil down to "kill [x] number of civilians, then kill [x] number of police, then escape." There's a few unique levels like a sewer chase with the SWAT team or a linear stage taking place on a moving train, but most of them follow this same principle. The train scenario in particular presents some interesting possibilities, in that random civilians on-board are armed. It's often hard to pick them out of a crowd, and if a gun drops, they'll run to pick it up. That mission only lasts a few minutes though, then it's onto the next generic hub. Seriously, that's about all the game has to offer.  I also encountered a few bugs while playing, including disappearing bodies, wonky physics that caused some deaths, and a few fatal game crashes. Several levels were also mislabeled in the level select screen and sometimes, mission objectives wouldn't calculate correctly. The crashes in particular really hindered my playthrough, as they were all at the very end of a level, which forced me to replay them from the start. If it weren't for these issues, it would be a decent twin-stick shooter. Developer tools are evidently going to happen which may allow more interesting levels, but haven't been provided at launch. If you're curious, here's a full video rundown of the options menu. There's nothing really special about Hatred. It's a twin-stick shooter. It has guns in it. It has objectives. Most of the time those objectives involve acting like a menace to society or blowing stuff up. It doesn't have anything new to bring to the table, or anything interesting to say about the genre. You can go back to yelling at it now if you want.
Hatred review photo
Do you hate it?
When Hatred debuted, I pretty much kept quiet. No one can really win in that situation, when the explosion of opposing viewpoints was at its loudest. I decided to wait until the finished product was out and play it for m...

Arkham Knight photo
Arkham Knight

Latest Arkham Knight video proves Batman always gets his way


Nature too
May 28
// Brett Makedonski
As a direct follow-up to the "Officer Down" video, WB's posted another seven-minute long Arkham Knight gameplay video detailing what Batman does best. There's some information gained via duress, a smooth 55x combat comb...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Mega Man May concludes with Battle Network 4 and Zero 3


Also, Splatoon and Don't Starve
May 28
// Chris Carter
It's a great week for Wii U owners, with Splatoon arriving tomorrow on the eShop and at retail. You'll also find both the Blue Moon and Red Sun versions of Mega Man Battle Network 4 on the Virtual Console, in additi...
Synth photo
Synth

We could use more racing games like Power Drive 2000


Synth
May 28
// Steven Hansen
Racing games have flattened. There are still kart racers and there are still realistic racers (with mild middle ground for realistic-looking arcade racers, like Forza Horizon) and that's it. Why? Where are the horse racers a...
Terraria 1.3 photo
Terraria 1.3

Terraria 1.3 has mine carts and a release date: June 30


Terraria jumps the shark
May 28
// Darren Nakamura
Every time a new Terraria update trailer comes out, I find myself watching and rewatching it to try to pick out things that are new. The most obvious one in this 1.3 trailer is the mine cart. Now that it's here, it surprises...
Games photo
Games

Massive Chalice and Just Cause 2 highlight June's Games with Gold


Maybe more's in store at E3
May 28
// Brett Makedonski
June is almost upon us, and as is tradition, it'll be quite a busy month in the video game world. E3's set to take place in just a few weeks, at which point we'll get a ton of news about upcoming titles. It's like your birthd...
he Phantom Pootie Tang photo
he Phantom Pootie Tang

Witcher 3 sex glitches out with stiff bodies, floating heads and phantom head


The Phantom Pootie Tang
May 28
// Steven Hansen
Geralt, why are you bald? Also, where is your body? Geralt, why are sniffing your own bum? I don't endorse ass play in fantasy settings without modern hygiene standards. The naked bodies have fused in unholy matrimony erupti...
Splatoon eSports photo
Splatoon eSports

Splatoon players hope to make it Nintendo's next big eSport


Competitive squidding
May 28
// Jed Whitaker
The minds behind the popular competitive Super Smash Bros. forums SmashBoards are at it again, and this time they have their eyes set on Splatoon. SquidBoards hopes to be the hub for all things competitive Splatoon, from...
Don't Starve photo
Don't Starve

Don't Starve on Wii U isn't quite a perfect fit


Out this week
May 28
// Zack Furniss
Don't Starve's whimsical world full of hungry horrors has been available to PC gamers since 2013 and later came to the PlayStation 4 and Vita, but it always seemed to me that it would find a perfect home in the Wii U. What be...
Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct closes out Season 2 with Aria


A successful season, I'd say
May 28
// Chris Carter
I'm glad that Killer Instinct was able to rise above the monumental bad press it obtained pre-launch. It really stands on its own as a fighting game, and I'm excited to see it played at tournies across the country, incl...
Bloodstained photo
Bloodstained

Deep Silver is most likely publishing Bloodstained


It'd fall in line with Mighty No. 9
May 28
// Brett Makedonski
[Update: Doug Wolf, the attorney of record, called us back and confirmed that he filed the trademark on behalf of Koch Media. It looks like this rumor pans out, although Deep Silver has yet to respond.] When Koji Igarash...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Xbox One looks like it's getting a better, newer controller after E3


Flood the streets with useless adapters
May 28
// Brett Makedonski
It seems as if there's a subtle but big change on the horizon for the Xbox One controller. The current model features a proprietary audio jack that requires an adapter (sold separately for $25) to use with normal headphones. ...

Very Quick Tips: Splatoon

May 28 // Chris Carter
General tips: Try out every weapon in the game. Too intimidated to play online with it? Go to the shop to give it a trial run in the training course. Play whatever you want, but know that early on, there will be a lot of rollers out there to deal with. Talk to the cat in town every day for the occasional bit of free gold. Try to recharge your ammo by going into ink constantly. If you can get somewhere by way of your squid form, do it. There are lots of advanced tactics in this game, but one is done by inking the ground quickly below you, squid morphing, and jumping away from your opponent. Repeat as many times as necessary. In the campaign, you can press any level to instantly super jump to it -- it's really useful for getting around quickly, and I didn't even realize it until the very end.   Turf War: This sounds self-explanatory, but when you're playing Turf War, look for a special (grenade or super attack) that can earn you more turf. For instance, the Splash Wall is a great defensive tool, but other powers will help you actually cover more ground. You always want to be taking turf, even while taking out enemies. Later on in a match, look around for areas that haven't been covered yet. It's safe bet that the enemy team hasn't even realized that this place exists, and likely won't return to it as the match ends. Always watch the GamePad map after a death. Is your ally deep into a base with lots of uncovered ground? Tap them to super jump to them. Mash the screen (gently) in case they die -- you'll jump over there anyway if you tap in time. You'll learn to see certain weapons on the map by the pattern they lay down. For instance, it's easy to spot a roller going in a straight line, switching the territory color. Learn to spot them and stay away if necessary, and get to higher ground. Ambushing people on walls is a great tactic to stay alive if you're outgunned. While running around a corner, quickly ink the wall and stick to it. Most players won't suspect an aerial attack from behind. Don't have enough time at the end of a round after a respawn? Paint objects quickly in your base. You won't have time to super jump or get to any useful location. Splat Zones: Always get to the zone immediately, but create at least one path back. If you have nothing to do and your zone is more than covered, consider ruining the other team's path towards their spawn. It'll significantly slow them down when returning. There are a lot of items here that particularly shine in Splat Zones, like Splash Walls. Use these to block off choke points and prevent enemies from rushing into your zone.
Splatoon tips photo
Jelonzo is the coolest
Just because Splatoon is a light-hearted online experience, that doesn't mean that it lacks depth. Here are some tips to help you along the path to ranked dominance.

Witcher 3 bug photo
Witcher 3 bug

Watch out for a potential game-wrecking bug in the Witcher 3


If you aren't getting XP, wait
May 28
// Steven Hansen
Here's another hazardous Witcher 3 bug to look out for, at least until it's fixed. This week's Witcher 3 patch brought with it an unexpected bug that makes it so players are not getting experience for quests. Keep doing enoug...
FIFA 16 photo
FIFA 16

FIFA 16 includes women's national teams (finally)


Four top players did motion capture
May 28
// Brett Makedonski
The FIFA video game series has been around for two decades, and in that time, it's been a boys only club. There's been outside pressure to reform, notably in 2013 when Spanish player Vero Boquete started a petition to u...
WildStar F2P photo
Here's all the details
For years, WildStar was touted as the next great subscription-based MMO. It was unveiled all the way back in 2011at Gamescom, and the hype kind of built from there. I had a chance to play multiple builds, and I liked wha...

Twitch photo
Twitch

Twitch bans streaming AO games


No watching Twitch streams of Hatred
May 28
// Laura Kate Dale
Are you a video game streamer who was looking forward to streaming Hatred for your audience when it releases? Are you perhaps a player unsure if the game was right for you, hoping to watch people play on Twitch before making ...
Need for Speed photo
Need for Speed

Did Xbox accidentally leak Need For Speed release date?


Whoopsie
May 28
// Vikki Blake
The Xbox Games Store may have accidentally leaked the release date for EA's latest Need for Speed instalment. According to Reddit, the mistake was rectified and the page pulled pretty sharpish, but not before a clever soul us...
Sony photo
Sony

Tickets for Sony's E3 Experience events available now


What are you waiting for? GO GO GO!
May 28
// Vikki Blake
Tickets for Sony's free E3 Experience events have gone live. Theaters across North America will be live-streaming Sony's E3 press conference, as well as showing an exclusive thirty minute post-show interview. There'll be Sony...
Dirty Bomb photo
Dirty Bomb

Dirty Bomb is hitting open beta on June 2


It's not quite Brink, but it could be
May 28
// Joe Parlock
I’ve mentioned this on Destructoid before, but I’ll be damned if I’m missing the chance to mention it again: Brink was a great game, people were wrong about it being bad. I bring that up, because Brink devel...
Pokemon photo
Pokemon

'To Be the Very Best' follows real Pokemon trainers


Team Rocket steals all their 3DSes
May 28
// Joe Parlock
I’ve never paid much attention to the confusing world of competitive Pokémon. EV training, natures, actually caring about a Pokémon's stats... it all confuses me. However, a documentary currently on Kickst...
Shooters photo
Shooters

Assault Android Cactus looks like the next solid twin-stick shooter


And there's co-op!
May 27
// Jordan Devore
Assault Android Cactus? Didn't that come out ages ago? No, that was merely the initial Steam Early Access build. Some of us -- myself included, now that I've seen this latest trailer -- are waiting for the finished release t...
Virtual reality photo
Virtual reality

You'll need about $1,500 to go all in with Oculus Rift


Still no price for the actual unit
May 27
// Robert Summa
While we're still waiting for a final price on the retail version of the Oculus Rift, the company's CEO Brendan Iribe said that users will need to pony up about $1,500 for both a computer that will run the device and the actu...






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