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Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

You'll want to watch this Xenoblade Chronicles X map guide video

Haha, this game
Nov 28
// Chris Carter
If you're hyped up for Xenoblade Chronicles X, you'll probably want to take the time to watch this nine minute video regarding the game's map system. It's pretty complicated, and X doesn't actually explain everythin...

Review: Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires

Nov 26 // Laura Kate Dale
Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Vita [Reviewed])Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Tecmo KoeiReleased: November 24, 2015 (Vita)MSRP: $39.99  Much like past Empires releases, 8's release throws in a handful of new things for you to mess around with. You can get married and have kids, and make decisions about being a freelancer or a servant, but ultimately everything you do is in service of unifying China, usually by force. Right off the bat, you'll create your own hero to fight as, rather than the main entries' focus on fighting as a variety of different warriors. Pick their design, armor, and moveset from Dynasty Warriors 8 and set them off onto an adventure which will involve sticking with them long term, until they carve their own destiny out for themselves. [embed]322746:61270:0[/embed] A big part of the strategy involved in Empires comes down to deciding how to best spend your time. There is a menu-based system in place which gives you a series of options, with each available action taking one month to complete. After a certain number of months, you'll attend or host a war council meeting where your long-term objectives are set. The challenge here is working out how to balance your time. Initially, I sided with a much larger faction and piggybacked on their success. Every time a new objective was set, I had to decide how much of my time to dedicate to furthering the goals of my faction, and how much of the time to put toward working on my own personal goals. Every month I could avoid working on faction goals allowed me to grow slightly closer to independence. There was also the balancing act of working out how long to spend with that faction before going solo. The longer I stayed with them, the more resources I had at my disposal for personal growth, but the larger my faction grew as a potential threat. Knowing one day I would split off, I didn't want to put too much of my effort into beefing up a future enemy. Once you eventually break out solo, you have a lot more say over how to focus strategically. You can go fully diplomatic, violent, or a mixture of the two, but violence overall feels the most fulfilling route. You have to try and keep a mental handle on how thin it's safe to spread your forces, how fast it's safe to expand, how long you can stay put fortifying yourself, and how fast your enemies are expanding their influence. There were a number of things I constantly had to be aware of, but it never felt overwhelming or unfair. Combat is pretty much unchanged from Dynasty Warriors 8, which in my opinion is a good thing. The dual weapon switching, combos, and special attacks remain unchanged, with the main differences being tactical elements of how you engage in fights on the battlefield. Empires features a far more detailed map, with a higher focus on overall strategy when overtaking bases. You'll find a series of strategic bases, which need to be overtaken one after another to work toward the capture of the main base. The more detailed map allows for more strategy, but it also caused me some stress while trying to make progress across the map. Feeling like I had to always be aware of enemy movements and counters to my advance meant that where I would have powered forward in a main Dynasty Warriors game, here I often stopped and backtracked to keep the odd one or two people from slipping through my net. Ultimately, I came away from Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires extremely satisfied. The tactical elements outside of battle were well balanced as to be challenging while fair, and the combat carries over the best elements from the main game. It's a bit of a specific niche it's catering to -- fans of Dynasty Warriors combat and long-term strategy elements -- but if those two things are your jam, then Empires should have you hooked. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Dynasty Warriors photo
Plan to have an awesome time
Back in 2013 when Jim Sterling reviewed Dynasty Warriors 8 and called it a "return to form" for the series, I largely agreed with his review. From its large roster to complex combat system, it featured some of the best fighti...

Angry Video Game Nerd photo
Angry Video Game Nerd

Two years after its PC launch, Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures Wii U is coming to Europe

December 10
Nov 26
// Chris Carter
Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures was a pleasant surprise for me, but unfortunately, Europe still hasn't gotten the Wii U edition of the game. It looks like it will finally hit on December 10, according to a listing at Ni...
Jack the Ripper photo
Jack the Ripper

Assassin's Creed Syndicate's Jack the Ripper DLC is probably imminent, maybe

Achievement lists light the way
Nov 25
// Brett Makedonski
It has only been a month since Assassin's Creed Syndicate launched, but the first add-on might be lurking in the shadows, ready to strike any moment. The compelling Jack the Ripper DLC is the biggest expansion that...

Twilight Princess photo
Twilight Princess

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Wii U will likely support Wiimote and Nunchuk controls

And the GamePad
Nov 25
// Chris Carter
Well this is interesting. Fans have been speculating as to the control schemes that will be supported in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, and according to the official Nintendo Sweden landing site, we're in for some...

Batman: Arkham Knight's Catwoman and Robin DLCs aren't worth playing

Nov 25 // Chris Carter
[embed]322485:61248:0[/embed] At some point there was probably a kernel of a good idea with the Catwoman’s Revenge DLC, but ultimately, it feels rushed like the others. There's almost nothing interesting about the premise: Catwoman, one day after the events of Knight, wants to steal money from The Riddler, who is in jail. We get it, Catwoman likes to steal things, and there is no added depth for either character, nor is there any satisfying conclusion, mostly because the core villain isn't actually present outside of an interlude under the guise of a "prison phone call." It took me about 10 minutes, all told, across two challenge maps (one Predator, one combat), with one very short 30-second puzzle involved. Flip of a Coin is slightly better, but not by much. In this episode, Robin takes on Two-Face at some point following the retirement of Batman, with the help of Oracle by way of remote assistance. There's a slightly interesting dynamic afoot during the DLC, where Oracle assures Tim Drake (whom she is dating) that he can not only measure up to Batman's legacy, but end up coming out of it better than Bruce did. The [albeit mostly played out] duality of Two-Face is also shown quite well with a location that's half destroyed, and half pristine. But again, like every other episode before it, the sheer brevity of the adventure halts any meaningful discussion or character advancement. Players will basically auto-pilot their way through two small Predator maps and two combat rooms for about 20 minutes, all of which operate in the exact same manner as Knight. Unlike Catwoman, Tim feels exactly like Batman gameplay-wise, minus the bullet shield gadget from Arkham City, which is only used briefly during a very staged encounter. To add insult to injury, the final boss fight with Two-Face isn't a fight at all, but a quick one-button QTE. There also isn't even an ending tying together Tim and Bruce's relationship or narrative -- it boots out immediately after the QTE. If this is the last Arkham game from Rocksteady, the poor Season Pass definitely assists in tainting its legacy. There's almost nothing here of worth nearly five months later, and certainly nothing even close to justifying the $40 cost.
Batman photo
Holy Season Pass, Batman!
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 "...

Just Cause photo
Just Cause

The first hour of Just Cause 3 is predictably wild

See it now, or just wait a week
Nov 24
// Jordan Devore
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 concern...

Very Quick Tips: Bloodborne: The Old Hunters

Nov 24 // Chris Carter
[embed]322164:61224:0[/embed] General tips (contains light, general spoilers): For a quick rundown of how to access the DLC, check out the video above. To locate the object to fight the optional boss, get to the point where you raise the giant elevator after the first boss fight (the room with the two human hunters). Step on and then step off to raise another platform. Grab that item and return to the main room in the Cathedral near the start of the DLC. Note that this one seems to be paced to fight after the first. If you're struggling with the DLC, try to at least have a Soul Level of 100 before attempting it. As always, it's possible to beat it no matter what your current level is, just keep that in mind. To obtain the Holy Moonlight Sword, talk to the head that appears after the first boss battle. If that doesn't work, equip the rune you obtained after beating him (Rally Bonus) and try again. If that fails, kill the head and take the weapon. For the boss that has multiple enemies, try to focus in on one at a time and quickly take them out. If you wait too long and don't keep track of the ones you've damaged, they will overwhelm you. When they summon the meteor attack, try to sprint around the arena clockwise. If you roll, you might get stunlocked. Alternatively, the Old Hunter's Bone spell is a great thing to trigger and use when the meteor chant is initiated. This one took me a while. After defeating the third boss (the humanoid opponent inside the clock room, pictured above), to get to the final area, you'll need to use the item you get from that fight on the giant window. At first I wasn't positioned correctly and nothing came up, so try to move around a bit if it doesn't trigger.
Bloodborne DLC tips photo
Wake up from the nightmare
When Bloodborne launched, I provided a series of tips for newcomers. They're still very much relevant for the dawn of the Old Hunters DLC pack, which debuts today, but I figured I'd provide a few add-on specific pieces of info. Note that there are light non-specific spoilers involved.

Just Cause 3 photo
Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3's PC specs are a little high because Rico has a lot to blow up

Explosions in the sky
Nov 23
// Brett Makedonski
With just little more than a week remaining before Just Cause 3's release, the required and recommended PC specs come parachuting in. Right on time too, as some players may find themselves needing to take advantage of some Bl...
Slain photo
I've been keeping an eye on Slain!, a PC project (and PS4 + Xbox One, eventually, with a possible Vita edition) that's going to be released soon on Steam. Well, it was going to be released soon, as developer Wolf Brew Games h...

Bloodborne photo

Here's how to access the Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC

Step by step
Nov 23
// Chris Carter
Bloodborne, much like its predecessors, is a relatively esoteric game. Even simple things like locating a $20 DLC package can be hidden beneath the surface, so here's a quick rundown of how to enter the Old Hunters add-...

Review: Bloodborne: The Old Hunters

Nov 23 // Chris Carter
Bloodborne: The Old Hunters (PS4)Developer: From SoftwarePublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentReleased: November 24, 2015MSRP: $19.99 (requires core game) Throughout my complete five hour playthrough of The Old Hunters, I couldn't help but think that most of it could have just been in the full game. In fact, a lot of layouts are straight-up reused, not only from an aesthetic standpoint, but in a literal sense. The grand cathedral steps are recreated and only slightly altered, and roughly half of the DLC feels like it could have just been an extension of Yharnam. In some ways that's perfectly fine as it matches up with the rest of the experience, but in others, it's underwhelming. The enemies in particular are new, but a chunk of them aren't as memorable as the foes from other Souls DLCs, in the sense that I didn't really have to alter my tactics to confront them -- a large reason why I love add-ons for previous iterations. The biggest draw of course is the abundance of the titular Hunters, humanoid enemies that operate similarly to the player character. Sure there were a handful of them in the base game, but here, they're front and center, ready to flip some of your own tactics on you. Other enemies aren't as iconic, as there's a decent amount of repeats, from werewolves, to the Cthulu-esque giants, to standard infected townsfolk. The zones are a mixed bag as well. It wasn't until the last stretch of the DLC that I really saw something unique, even if everything up to that point was well designed. Most areas are open, and in the latter half, there's a decent amount of exploration and puzzle solving required. There's also a few mysterious NPCs to deal with, which is a Souls tradition, and I'm happy it was carried over here. [embed]320746:61140:0[/embed] So how are the boss fights? Par for the course, really. While I won't spoil anything, the first major encounter is heavily entwined in the game's lore, and this hulking monstrosity is a sufficient challenge if you're going at it solo. The rest of the boss fights are down down to earth, featuring smaller enemies that mirror the encounters with the aforementioned Hunters. I wasn't blown away by any of them, but I enjoyed the fights all the same, mostly because of the fact that I'm a sucker for smaller scale battles. In all, you're getting roughly five hours worth of content for the core story (about 10 if you do everything), 10 weapons (including a new, good shield), and five bosses. The new "League" update is available to everyone, and augments the overall package quite well. I might sound down on a lot of aspects of The Old Hunters, but ultimately, it will satiate most fans out there. The fact that it was supposed to be two DLCs that were merged into one makes sense, as part of it feels like cut content, and the other half seems like wholly original work. While I'm glad I had an excuse to drop into the world of Yharnam once again, there's a part of me that feels disappointed that this will be the last, and only add-on for Bloodborne. If you're curious as to how to access the DLC, check out the video above. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Bloodborne DLC review photo
All Nightmare Long
While many gamers out there are fighting the good fight against DLC, From Software is certainly making the case for it. Dark Souls had one of the most fantastic add-ons of all time in the form of Artorias of the Abyss, w...

Attack on Titan PS4 photo
Attack on Titan PS4

That new Attack on Titan game freaks me out

There can be no survivors
Nov 21
// Jordan Devore
It's not like I was going to sleep tonight, anyway, Attack on Titan. A handful of audio-less gameplay clips from Koei Tecmo's upcoming PS4, PS3, and PS Vita action game have surfaced on the official Japanese site. Lots of zooming around, slashing titan flesh. A couple of the videos are more mundane and feature the protagonists chatting with one another. Let's not focus on the mundane.
Anchors in the Drift photo
Anchors in the Drift

Second Fig crowdfunding campaign Anchors in the Drift failed to meet its goal

Only made about 21 percent
Nov 20
// Darren Nakamura
I was ready to eat crow at the very beginning of the Anchors in the Drift crowdfunding campaign. After wondering aloud if the general public would get behind paying sizable chunks of money for a free-to-play game, it opened s...
Bombshell photo

Bombshell, that female Duke Nukem riff, is coming in January on PC

And consoles later
Nov 20
// Chris Carter
We haven't heard a whole lot out of 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment in regards to Bombshell, but now we know when it's expected to drop -- January 29, 2016. That's what the date is for PC at least, as the console iter...
Yakuza photo

Yakuza: Kiwami looks dope as hell, super weird

Comes with a demo for Yakuza 6
Nov 20
// Chris Carter
Sega just dropped a new trailer for Yakuza: Kiwami, and it looks awesome. There's plenty of new features afoot, including new combat abilities and minigames. I love the balance this series always struck with insanity an...
Primal Carnage photo
Primal Carnage

Primal Carnage: Extinction EU/AUS release date confirmed

Nov 20
// Vikki Blake
Primal Carnage: Extinction is coming to PS4s in Europe and Australasia next Tuesday, November 24, 2015. Though the price has yet to be confirmed, the game - which hits PSN two weeks after the North American release - sells f...
Dragon Quest Heroes PC photo
Dragon Quest Heroes PC

Dragon Quest Heroes coming to PC December 3

Includes DLC from PS4 edition
Nov 19
// Kyle MacGregor
Dragon Quest Heroes will be coming to Steam on December 3, Square Enix revealed today. For $60, the PC version will come packaged with 11 bonus items and a pair of additional maps that were originally included with the "Slime Collector's Edition" on PlayStation 4. You can find more information about the action RPG in our full review here. Dragon Quest Heroes: Slime Edition [Steam]
Japan Warriors poll photo
Japan Warriors poll

Persona or SMT Warriors? Atlus says 'get in touch with us anytime'

Or Final Fantasy Warriors?
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
A recent Famitsu poll asked fans what Koei Tecmo Warriors (or Musou) crossover they'd most want to see and Gematsu has the Sokuho@Hokanko translation of the results, as well as responses by those series' respective creators o...
Deadpool photo

Deadpool is out on PS4 and Xbox One this week

You know, that one
Nov 19
// Chris Carter
That Deadpool game from 2013 was pretty decent. Sure it had its issues, but as High Moon's swan song before they went off to Activision's porting pits, it wasn't bad. Now, the game is being re-released this week on ...
Just Cause 3 photo
Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3's newest trailer nails it all on the head

Explosions? Check. Uh, more explosions?
Nov 19
// Brett Makedonski
Just Cause is such a marketable game. Any footage, trailers, or screenshots inevitably capture what makes its mayhem so marvelous. Everything is just non-stop action and the viewer always comes away thinking "Yep, that'...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed Syndicate releases on PC tomorrow, but will it work?

That remains to be seen
Nov 18
// Brett Makedonski
Assassin's Creed Syndicate is one of the best Assassin's Creed games in recent memory. But, only two-thirds of the prospective audience has gotten a chance to see it. While PS4 and Xbox One owners have had the chan...
Electronic Arts photo
Electronic Arts

EA is working on its own 'Assassin's Creed-style' game

Jade Raymond is leading the way
Nov 17
// Vikki Blake
EA has confirmed that it is working on a new Assassin's Creed-type action game. At the UBS Global Technology Conference yesterday, CFO Blake Jorgensen said that Jade Raymond - an Ubisoft veteran who joined EA in July to found new Montreal studio, Motive - would be leading on the "gigantic action" game. 
Star Fox photo
Star Fox

That's more like it, Star Fox Zero

A pair of gameplay clips
Nov 16
// Jordan Devore
Comparing recent Star Fox Zero footage to what was shown in June, it's clear Nintendo made the right call when it delayed the Wii U game to April 22, 2016. Besides visual upgrades, the extra time is going toward improving the...
Uncharted 3 photo
Uncharted 3

No wonder Uncharted 3 was so average: Nolan North had broken ribs during filming

Another 'Did You Know'
Nov 16
// Chris Carter
Did You Know Gaming has another video in store for us, and this time it deals with the Uncharted series. One of the most interesting bits is definitely the fact that Nolan North broke two of his ribs before the filming ...
Van Helsing Final Cut photo
Van Helsing Final Cut

Van Helsing's Final Cut is the most 'Incredible' yet

Unless you've already played
Nov 15
// Patrick Hancock
Recently, NeocoreGames released The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut on Steam, a compilation of the three games in the series. Past titles have varied in quality; the first game was good but buggy, the sec...

Review: Clandestine

Nov 14 // Patrick Hancock
Clandestine (PC)Developer: Logic ArtistsPublisher: Logic ArtistsMSRP: $24.99Released: November 5, 2015 Clandestine takes place in 1996, with the Soviet Union still fresh on everyone's mind. Players play as either Katya or Martin, field operatives who investigate bad guys who have done bad stuff. Honestly, a lot of the plot went over my head, generally because my friend and I were laughing so hard over voice chat that we missed just about everything. Clandestine falls perfectly into the "so bad, it's great" category with its cutscenes. Movements are rigid and imprecise, voice acting is god awful, and things clip through each other. In fact, the characters' boss has a goatee that clips through his face when he talks. Sure, this could be seen as a terrible oversight from the developers, but it's so in-line with the quality of the rest of the aesthetic that somehow it works. The game's structure has players walking around a headquarters between missions in order to get new information on what just happened, as well as what is coming next. It's nice to have legitimate downtime before each mission, and roaming around the building with a friend can yield wonderful things. HQ is essentially a playground that becomes a game of "what goofy position can I get myself into next?" In a way, it reminded me of walking around the base in Perfect Dark. [embed]320445:61104:0[/embed] Mission objectives often have Katya sneaking into specific areas to either interrogate someone for information, or set up a rootkit on a computer for Martin to hack into and download specific data. While boiling the objectives down to their core makes Clandestine sound same-y, the variation of maps and context keep things fresh from mission to mission. There are even some choices the players can make that affect specific plot elements and mission objectives. Gameplay entirely depends on which character players control. Katya's gameplay is third-person stealth, while Martin's is computer-terminal hacking. Katya's controls will be familiar to anyone who has played a third-person game before. She can stick to walls, which is a bit janky at times (but never janky enough to ruin a mission). Her job is to avoid detection from guards and cameras by not being seen or making too much noise. Katya players can approach a mission as they please; it's possible to go in and out without trying to make a peep, or bring a slew of firepower and kill anyone they deem necessary. The game rewards players for a variety of playstyles, and doesn't really encourage one over another.  Players controlling Martin have a completely different game in front of them. Martin's screen is split into four sections: hacking network, camera feed, tactical map, and console. The console is there simply to display mission objectives. The hacking network is a grid of terminals that Martin can hack into. Some are PCs in the map, others are locked doors, and some are miscellaneous objects around the level. Martin controls a little avatar in the network and moves along the grid with the WASD movement keys. Hacking a computer will reveal its login credentials, hacking a door will tell Martin the code, etc. The network admin also has an avatar that chases the player down, disabling them for about five seconds if caught. The tactical map is a blueprint of the level that Katya is currently in. If Katya comes up to a locked door, she can ask Martin to get the code. Martin can click on the door on the tactical map, it will highlight its node in the network, then Martin can make his way over to it and get the code, tell it to Katya, and Katya inputs it on her end. This is a simple, yet elegant asymmetric design that truly requires teamwork to pull off. Katya has a camera on her at all times, which Martin can use to see what she sees. He can also hack into cameras around the map, taking over their vision on his camera feed. If Martin controls a camera, it will not "spot" Katya, so she's safe to roam the area. This also allows Martin to scan a room before Katya enters, which is incredibly useful given the fact that Martin can also tag guards on the map, making them visible to Katya through walls. Players flying solo as Katya can switch between characters at will. While it works, it's missing the best element of Clandestine: working together with a buddy. When alone, the hilariously bad cutscenes are suddenly just...disappointing. The coordinated tactics aren't there. It feels like a much more shallow game in its single-player mode. Players can join random games online, but doing so will always make the joining player control Martin. This is especially frustrating if two friends want to switch roles. The best way we could figure was to send each other our save files when we wanted to switch roles, and then change who hosts the game. Despite the serious tone set by the plot, it's best to go into Clandestine with a light-hearted approach. The movement is a bit clunky, the animations and voice acting are stiff as a board, and there's plenty of visual issues. However, the core gameplay and asymmetric ideas work well together. Grab a friend (this step is very important), jump on to a third-party voice chat program, and go play Clandestine. I have no doubt you'll come away with a memorable gaming experience. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Clandestine review photo
An asymmetrically wonky good time
Asymmetric multiplayer is not an easy feat to pull off efficiently. Sure, it's relatively simple to create two gameplay styles within the same game, but to make them blend together to create a unique ebb and flow is something...

Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Xbox mullers Tomb Raider fans in London for publicity

It's okay, they were willing volunteers
Nov 13
// Vikki Blake
Microsoft celebrated the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider by challenging eight Lara Croft fans to survive 24 hours on a billboard while being mullered by brutal weather conditions.  Of the thousands of applicants, just...
Dark Souls III photo
Dark Souls III

Here's a better look at the statue in Dark Souls III's $500 edition

Well, maybe $500
Nov 12
// Brett Makedonski
If you're dropping $500 bones on a collector's edition of a game, you likely want to know what you're getting. Like, you really want to know. You're gonna want multiple angles and up-close shots to know that everything in it ...
Dragon Quest Heroes photo
Dragon Quest Heroes

Well well, it looks like Dragon Quest Heroes was just stealth confirmed for PC

Square Enix you bunch of rascals
Nov 12
// Chris Carter
Just moments ago I got a number of texts from friends telling me to boot up Steam to confirm a message they had obtained. Apparently, Dragon Quest Heroes is coming to PC, and Steam users are being asked to pre-purchase t...

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