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Titanfall 2 photo
Titanfall 2

Is Titanfall 2 coming sooner than we think?


Toy line will release in 2016...
Feb 11
// Vikki Blake
A toy manufacturer release schedule suggests Titanfall 2 may release in 2016. Although Electronic Arts had yet to confirm a release date for the sequel beyond a vague "before March 2017," toy company MacFarlane announced...
League of Legends photo
League of Legends

League of Legends' Dominion mode is being shut down


Only 0.5% of users played it
Feb 11
// Joe Parlock
After four long years, Riot is finally putting League of Legends’ Dominion mode out to pasture. In a post made on the League website, it was announced that due to a pathetically low percentage of active players (0.5%), ...
ARC SYSTEM WORKS photo
ARC SYSTEM WORKS

Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator coming to Europe this June


Just three days after North America
Feb 11
// Kyle MacGregor
Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is launching in Europe on June 10, PQube announced today. That's the same week as the North American release, which is a pleasant surprise, considering the original game didn't wind up in Europ...
Yooka-Laylee photo
Yooka-Laylee

Meet Yooka-Laylee's newest character, Kartos


'The god of ore'
Feb 10
// Jordan Devore
I'm not sure how many more ex-Rare staffers can pile onto the Yooka-Laylee team, but there's room for at least a couple more. Playtonic went on a little hiring spree for its first birthday, adding environmental artist Damien ...
Punk photo
Punk

PUP's new music video makes good use of classic games


Go home and be a family man
Feb 10
// Jordan Devore
Earlier today, Darren passed along this music video for Torontonian punk band PUP's song "DVP" as a thing we might be interested in covering, and he made the right call. Always bet on Darren. The video, directed by Jeremy Sch...
Demo photo
Demo

American Truck Simulator has a hefty demo


Join the convoy
Feb 10
// Jordan Devore
Are you suited for the trucker lifestyle in these fine United States of America? I won't let you spend another fidgety night in bed pondering that burning question. You deserve a refreshing slumber. You can find some much-nee...
Q&A photo
Q&A

Podtoid questions: It's what's for dinner (and what we need)


Ask us questions, tell us no lies
Feb 10
// Steven Hansen
Let me tell you about questions: I like 'em, I love 'em, and I want some more of 'em. Podtoid 322: Football or Gay Porn? was a great 'cast -- that's shorthand we in the biz use to refer to a podcast. And do you know why it wa...

Finding Weezer's 'Across the Sea' in Firewatch

Feb 10 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]340578:62211:0[/embed] Firewatch's protagonist, Henry, is in need of something, anything that's therapeutic. That's why he accepted this job in the mountains away from his ever-crumbling life. His wife was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's and her parents took her back to Australia to live with them. Henry didn't have much say in the matter. So, he fled to the isolation of a Wyoming outpost, more alone but not necessarily any more lonely. The only human communication Henry would have for three months was with his boss, Delilah, via walkie talkie. It's the most beautiful part of Firewatch. The two converse regularly -- sometimes in a boss-to-subordinate capacity, sometimes just shooting the shit. On day one, Delilah feels like a stranger on the other side of the radio; by day 70-something, she feels like a best friend. Or, something more. Throughout "Across the Sea," Rivers maybe laments more than anything else. "Why are you so far away from me? I need help and you're way across the sea," he sings. It's clear that he has fallen to the rock star loneliness complex, the thought that even though you're immensely popular, there's no one who's actually close to you. It may be aggrandizing to cling to one fan in Japan, but he did. And it helps. In Rivers' case, his anchor is a world away. For Henry, it's as far as a short-range walkie talkie can reach. It doesn't matter; the difference is all the same. Both have found resounding solace in another person they've never physically met.  As both examples reveal, these types of relationships amplify certain emotions. There's an exchange early in Firewatch where Delilah prods Henry to describe himself. She wants to know what his eyes look like, what he'd be wearing if she caught his glance from across the bar. Rivers and counterpart have the same natural curiosity described in lines like "You wanted to know all about me and my hobbies," and "I wonder what clothes you wear to school, I wonder how you decorate your room." There's a darker side, though. Feelings of insecurity and guilt manifest for both. More accurately, they've always been there, but they surface now. Rivers emphatically states "I could never touch you, I think it would be wrong." Henry's reactions in certain moments make it clear that he's not sure all of this is appropriate, especially while his wife is still alive. He and Delilah aren't romantic, but they're intimate. They're close. Is that any better than a physical tryst? The answer is, well, it's complicated. Firewatch affords a lot of time to walk around and think about these things, but nothing ever becomes any more cut and dried. There's ambiguity and uncertainty, just as there should be. But, like Rivers' Japanese girl, Delilah gives Henry something to lean on. She's a beam of hope in an otherwise dark cloud of loneliness and doubt. That seems like it's probably worth it all. "Why are you so far away from me," indeed.
Firewatch photo
Fall to little pieces
As I trekked through Firewatch's forested western Wyoming landscape, one song kept entering and leaving my head, and it wasn't one of the game's serene, folksy acoustic guitar tunes. It was a song I listened to a lo...

Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Someone made Dark Souls' Anor Londo in Minecraft


Prepare to mine
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
LNeoX spent ages creating one of his favorite fictional locations -- Anor Londo of Dark Souls fame -- in Minecraft. It's a 1200x1200 map, complete with a dungeon and a minecart system. The screens are definitely awe-insp...

Review: Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

Feb 10 // Chris Carter
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (PS4 [reviewed], PS Vita)Developer: Media VisionPublisher: Bandai Namco EntertainmentReleased: February 2, 2016MSRP: $59.99 Cyber Sleuth stands tall as a cute, vibrant adventure full of interesting setpieces. For those of you who scared of hearing "Arurururu-mon" over and over like previous iterations, the tone is amusing without being too cutesy and annoying, and the option to turn off monster voices in battle helps (I'm sure people would love that for Pokemon). In other words, Media Vision found a good balance between the series' mature and childish elements. The developer has also gone full Internet again. In this edition, your avatar is at the epicenter of a cyber world, complete with Digimon battles and a personified world wide web. The setting is EDEN, a virtual consumer-oriented network run by Kamishiro Enterprises, that prides itself on shopping first and foremost, which the game has mild commentary on to boot. Over the years, viruses and hacking have started to run rampant as a fringe movement, however, and that's where said monsters come in. EDEN is beautiful, to put it bluntly. The blank skies are actually an endearing quality that help differentiate it from many other renditions of the Internet, and the upbeat soundtrack is reminiscent of the Persona series in all the best ways. Avatars also chat about real locations like Roppongi and Shinjuku, and it's generally fun to hang around the world even without a purpose, just like in the .hack games. This is partially because the world is believable. The team put a lot of work into building up its lore and foundation. [embed]340181:62208:0[/embed] Cyber Sleuth doesn't exactly look like a current-generation RPG (mostly because it was originally released on the Vita in Japan), but the brief anime cutscenes help breathe some life into it. As a note, the entire cast is comprised of Japanese voices, and the avatar (male or female, your choice) is mostly a silent partner, only speaking to him or herself. The rest of the characters probably talk half of the time. This halfheartedness spills over to the story somewhat, because while the universe itself is compelling, the "hacker" angle doesn't really go anywhere, and suffers from an overly long intro/tutorial section. The Persona comparisons don't stop at the presentation. The world map is also a menu, with larger hub worlds to explore after making a selection. It's deceptively large, because while it's not truly open world (or even open map like Final Fantasy games), you'll unlock so many areas over the course of your adventure that it will take quite a while to explore them all fully. Since you can save nearly anywhere (Cross-Save is also in), the segmented zones don't become anything more than a minor nuisance. The battle system is basically everything you've seen before from the past few decades of JRPGs. There's an easy-to-read timeline on the side showing turn order, and your 'mon can attack, use a skill, guard, or change out. Yes, random battles are in, which is either deliciously or inexcusably old-school, depending on your tastes. At this point in my life, I'm kind of at a middle-ground mindset. I still love JRPGs dearly, especially those with great world-building and infectious casts, but I can do without the random battles. At the very least, it would be nice to see enemies on-screen -- or, as several games have done lately (such as Bravely Default or the modern Final Fantasy re-releases), allow the option to eliminate them at will, though you can reduce the frequency at some point. As expected, 'mon can level up to gain new skills, and since each one can house up to 20, it can get very deep very quickly, especially when you consider that there's over 240 in all. Party members also follow you, which is a nice touch as you're wading through all of the random battles. Feeding, a DigiFarm meta-game, a lab that levels up non-active 'mons, and evolution are also in, so there's plenty to mess around with if you aren't feeling up to a dungeon crawl at any moment. Said dungeons, however, are mostly linear. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth plays it safe in a lot of ways, but for many of you out there, that's going to be perfectly fine. Just don't expect it to convert you if you're sworn off the formula. [This review is based on a retail version of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
Digimon Story review photo
More Persona than Pokemon
For the past week or so, people have been asking me non-stop if we're going to review Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth. I wasn't actually sure if Bandai Namco was going to send a copy (it sent everything else), so for the gam...

World of Warcraft photo
World of Warcraft

You might get World of Warcraft for free when you go to see the movie


May include everything but Legion
Feb 10
// Joe Parlock
Everybody knows cinema tickets are expensive as all hell. You spend upwards of £20 to sit in a room with a load of noisy, obnoxious arseholes and ultimately get a worse experience than if you just watched it in your und...
Sup Holmes photo
Sup Holmes

Mastering game making with two masters of Game Maker


Sup Holmes every Sunday at 2:30pm EST!
Feb 10
// Jonathan Holmes
[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great video games. It airs live every Sunday at 4:00pm EST on YouTube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] It used to be that mak...
Mega Man photo
Mega Man

Mega Man is coming to Nintendo Badge Arcade


Mega news, man
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
Mega Man, meet badges. Badges, Mega Man. According to Famitsu, Capcom will be partnering up with Nintendo to bring the Blue Bomber and company to Nintendo Badge Arcade, in the form of special in-game rewards and boards. Right...
Promoted Blog photo
Promoted Blog

The meaning of The Witness (Part 2 of 3)


Promoted from our Community Blogs
Feb 10
// seanHTCH
Assuming you're all caught up with Part 1, Part 2 of this analysis brings up how the way we discuss and perceive The Witness has been warped by its hype, and the media portrayal of both it and the primary game desig...

Don't even bother booting up Destiny for the Crimson Days event

Feb 10 // Chris Carter
Readers have asked when I plan on hanging up Destiny, and I think that time is this week. Nearly all of my raiding group wasn't feeling up to playing, and some, after dabbling in Crimson Days, quit in disgust. Yes, I'm being dramatic -- this is a video game about shooting various aliens with little to no in-game backstories (why didn't they take David Cross' material!)-- but that's just the reality. Destiny is a very good game that's just handled poorly. Let's take a look at what Crimson Days entails. The Tower is decorated with cute Valentine imagery, which is fun for a few minutes until you realize that it's not nearly as in-depth as the previous Festival of the Lost event, despite twice the hype and buildup. Then there's two free basic-level emotes, and a handful of limited edition™ premium ones you can net for roughly $5. The cherry on top is a PVP mode called "Crimson Doubles," which pits two Guardians against another team of two, and then powers-up one member if the other dies (which is not actually beneficial if you play Bladedancer because it ruins your invisible effect -- oops!). Okay, great! So how long does the fun last? Around 30 minutes. That's mostly because Crimson Doubles feels like a repackaged mode that's existed since the game's launch. After 15 or so games I have yet to see a Ghost (much less a 320 Ghost), which is the sole draw of the event for hardcore players. If Doubles were more fun, I'd be inclined to play it a bit to get my elusive Ghost, but since I'd likely have to grind it out for days on end to even see a viable drop,I'm just going to Jerry Seinfeld my way out of the situation now. Even casual fans have been noting how much of a letdown Crimson Doubles is, because regular old Crucible gear is interspersed with the rewards. It's kind of like spending your afternoon doing Nightfalls at a Light Level of 315 to get a set of 305 Ghosts. This albeit limited survey suggests that getting a 320 Ghost is subject to a less than 1/500 chance. The kicker? There's no matchmaking. Wait, what? Yep, due to some technical reason beyond Bungie's control, there is no matchmaking for this two-person, opposite of "massive" event (for those of you who insist the game is an MMO for some reason, despite the largest activity only supporting six players). Because the community is so great, and so passionate, they actually did a lot of Bungie's work for them and created their own fun Tinder-like matchmaking system. Like all of the good matchmaking platforms (DestinyLFG, /r/fireteams), they are unofficial. To add insult to injury, the slightly different Ghosts and the reskinned PVP event is only available for one week. After that, it's back to thinking about how you want to break up with the game. Did Bungie not make enough money to fund real DLC yet? AAA development really isn't sustainable if that's true, and the "10-year plan" for the series is looking rather bleak unless big changes happen on top. It's crazy when you remember how much momentum Taken King had just a few months back.
Destiny photo
Broken Valentines
When Bungie announced the Crimson Days event for Destiny, my heart sunk a bit. I mean the notion is nice, but really, we all know that the Tower makeover is basically just an excuse to sell more microtransactions. "But you can pay for the [insert popular meme here] Drake Dance." Should I just...uninstall it now, or?

Project Elea photo
Project Elea

Project Elea, a sci-fi walking simulator, is coming to a PC near you


Maybe it's near you? I'm not your dad
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
Independent Bulgarian developer Kyodia has unveiled Project Elea today, which is an "interactive storytelling adventure inspired by the work of classic 20th century sci-fi authors." It'll wield the Unreal Engine 4 to tel...
Super Smash mods photo
Super Smash mods

Super Smash Bros. sure got a lot sexier with Bayonetta around


Who needs arms with legs like these?
Feb 10
// Ben Davis
The Super Smash Bros. series has had its fair share of mods, but I think this just might be my favorite one yet. Modder Smb123w64gb has taken the liberty of swapping everyone on the Super Smash Bros. roster with Bayonetta's c...
Sonic the Hedgehog photo
Sonic the Hedgehog

Sega and Sony are producing a Sonic movie, coming in 2018


Woaaaaah my head's spinning!
Feb 10
// Joe Parlock
What do you imagine a decent Sonic the Hedgehog film would look like? Fully animated, being able to properly utilise the many colourful and fantastic locations the games are known for? Maybe even a feature-length version of t...
Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Star Wars Battlefront is handing out double XP this weekend


Anyone still play this?
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
I only jump onto Star Wars Battlefront every so often with friends as it got stale pretty fast, but for those of you who still play, there's a double XP event this weekend. This is because the community managed to complete ov...
OG Pokestuff photo
OG Pokestuff

Japan gets merch based on original Pokemon sprites


Celebrating 20 years in style
Feb 10
// Steven Hansen
Some new, 20th anniversary Pokemon junk is going on sale in Japan this month. February 27, if you want to plan a trip around it. Playing up the re-releases of Red, Blue, and Yellow (and their subsequent themed 2DS models in J...
Pokemon photo
Pokemon

The newest Pokemon on the block is 'Magiana'


Insert dirty joke here
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
CoroCoro Magazine has revealed a brand new Pokemon, Magiana. Evidently this 'mon is going to show up in the new movie, where Volcanion will be chasing after it for some unknown reason that will likely be a revelation. Said fi...
Tough, but fair photo
Tough, but fair

Hitman minimum PC requirements shouldn't kill you


Nor should the recommended
Feb 10
// Steven Hansen
The new Hitman boasts bigger crowds than most games, but it has some of the more reasonable minimum (and recommended, actually) required specs that I've seen in a while, according to the Steam page: Minimum: OS: OS 64-bit Wi...
Dead: Michonne photo
Dead: Michonne

Telltale's Walking Dead: Michonne launches this month


And monthly after that
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
After months of waiting, Telltale has finally decided to unveil the premier date for The Walking Dead: Michonne. It'll drop on February 23 on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One -- as usual, the iOS and Android versions are ...
The Flame in the Flood photo
The Flame in the Flood

Everything is out to kill you in The Flame in the Flood


The wilderness is not your friend
Feb 10
// Ben Davis
After a successful Kickstarter campaign a couple years back, The Molasses Flood is set to release its first game, The Flame in the Flood, later this month. The team, comprised of industry veterans who have worked on AAA games...
First gameplay video photo
First gameplay video

See just how much the gameplay has changed in Valkyria: Azure Revolution


Guess it really ISN'T a strategy game...
Feb 10
// Steven Hansen
It's been clear from the get-go that Valkyria: Azure Revolution is a spinoff from the Valkyria Chronicles series that graced the PS3 and PSP. It is much more anime-y, there are overwrought swords and melee combat, as well as...

Hands-on: I like the new Hitman, and its episodic model

Feb 10 // Steven Hansen
[embed]339955:62169:0[/embed] Okay, so, that out of the way, yep, the Prologue does take you back 20 years to 47's entrance into the ICA (like a pimp, but for murderers) and first meeting with his British-accented handler out in some Siberian-looking snowy wilds. The amount of story there, besides peoples' surprise at 47's murder prowess, is minimal, and it's mostly about setting up training missions to help get people acquainted with the Hitman style. And they're actually really cool because instead of virtual reality or whatever, the missions are actual, constructed sets. For instance, there is a yacht infiltration, but the boat is landlocked and there are blue tarps around it on the floor representing water (all the people, too, are, I suppose, ICA staff acting a part -- not sure where the secret organization finds dozens of extras, but, whatever). Beyond that cool touch, they are legitimate Hitman-style missions, closer in size to older entries. The boat adventure tasks you with killing "The Sparrow," a legendary thief half-heartedly trying to go clean, while introducing distraction techniques, disguises, acquired weaponry/items. Various costumes will grant you access to various parts of the ship -- security will keep you from walking straight on, but you can go around, choke out a maintenance worker, and work your way into the ship's underbelly and up towards the waitstaff, then clobber one of those fools. And maybe then just take up position at the bar and pour The Sparrow's lady a drink laced with poison. Me, I snuck into the room where he was doing business and shot both him and his associate in the head. Second bit in the prologue involves a Soviet defector whom I was able to kill by disguising myself as a mechanic and fiddling with the ejector seat he was meant to test per safety rules in the jet he was making his escape on. Shot his ass right through the roof and walked slowly away while everyone freaked out. I keyed onto the option because Hitman will offer some guidance in the form of Opportunities. Generally, you'll overhear some dialogue (if you stop and listen at the right place, right time) that hints at a murder solution (or towards a murder solution, i.e. letting you know where a target will be and when). If you decide to track that opportunity, it leaves breadcrumbs to the next bit in the form of UI markers on the map. Hitman purists, however, can turn them off completely, and there's no shortage of ways to do a murder, especially when it really opens up with the first mission, Showstopper, which takes place in an enormous mansion in Paris during a fashion show. One fun solution in Paris (also offered as an opportunity): the German model headlining the show looks quite a bit like 'ol McFurrowed-Brow, hint hint, wink wink. There are two targets here, a power couple in the fashion world secretly dealing undercover operator names to highest builder on the sly. The fashion show is huge, brimming with several hundred NPCs, from reporters to wait staff to models to socialites, while the dual targets encourage you to do something cool and stealthy (so as to not raise alarms and get into a firefight before you can take out the second). In addition to Prologue and Paris, the initial $15 (or $60 if you're a gambling man) also opens up Contracts, player-made hits using the same sandbox, as introduced in Absolution. The feature was something of an afterthought in the latter but ended up hugely successful, played by over 40% of players. One cool addition is the Elusive Targets, which appear for a limited time (in real-world hours) and only afford you one shot at making the assassination, like real life. Your success or lack thereof is tracked in your profile. They'll be much harder to suss out, too, requiring some detective work (eavesdropping, etc). These high stakes missions could end up a surprise high point. There are also developer-designed Escalation missions. The first -- again, set in the same Paris sandbox with the story-mode targets still present -- required me to kill a certain, new NPC with a saber (which you can only acquire in a certain area). From there, difficulty ramps up as parameters are added. The next rendition requires killing the same man with a saber, but also hiding the body within 90 seconds after the kill. And as you can see we're getting into the realm of replay and re-use. Player-made Contracts and Escalation missions are effectively the same as the lone story mission, but with different goals. If all you want is to keep fulfilling tasks until the game is over, Hitman's set up might not be for you. But I think the series works best as a creative sandbox you have fun and experiment with, which is why the $10 release structure for new areas makes sense for me, so long as the new areas are varied enough in their killing options and layouts. I enjoyed skulking about the Paris level for a few hours and there are still experiments I'd like to try -- not to mention that I never did finish the mission with finesse (I always cocked up by the second hit for a noisy kill, subsequent firefight, and inelegant escape). That you can test the waters with the first $15 episode -- if you don't like it, you're unlikely to like any more areas -- is an alright option as far as I'm concerned.
Hitman hands-on photo
Hands-on Ste-view
Have you ever wondered just how Cueball McFurrowed-Brow became the famously good killing man of the Hitman series' glory years? Of fucking course not, which is why the need to string Hitman: Absolution together into some S&am...

Mad Catz photo
Mad Catz

Mad Catz to lay off over a third of staff


Our thoughts are with everyone affected
Feb 10
// Vikki Blake
Over a third of Mad Catz staff will be let go by the end of April 2017. Following missed financial targets, the hardware company is expected to save $5 million by cutting 37% of staff. Despite having its second-highest quarte...
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger photo
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger

2002's Ty the Tasmanian Tiger is coming to Steam Early Access


Not a full remake, more an HD re-release
Feb 10
// Joe Parlock
When Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 4 released on Steam last year, developer Krome Studios teased that the previous games would also eventually make their way to the platform. It has now finally, officially announced that the origin...
Sonic photo
Sonic

The Sonic Twitter is hinting at something pretty huge


Might actually be Sonic Adventure 3
Feb 10
// Joe Parlock
The Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account is teasing something. If it isn’t just memes (which we’ve all come to expect from the Sonic Twitter), then it’s something potentially huge.
NY Game Awards photo
NY Game Awards

And the winner of the Games Journalism Award...not a games journalist!


Ellison nabs NY Game Awards prize
Feb 09
// Steven Hansen
The 5th Annual New York Game Awards took place tonight in Arizona. Nah, nah. It was in New York. I fooled you for a second, though, I bet. The event is put on by the New York Videogame Critics Circle, which counts Samit as o...

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