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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...
Undertale who? photo
Undertale who?

Hollow Knight could be the next surprise indie hit

Such style. Much metroidvania. Wow.
Nov 20
// Jed Whitaker
The metroidvania-esque Hollow Knight took the Internet by storm yesterday, making it to the front page of reddit at least twice, and it could potentially be the next surprise indie hit following Undertale's recent succe...
The Binding of Isaac photo
The Binding of Isaac

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth coming to PS4, but other platforms unlikely

'Outlook NOT good'
Nov 20
// Ben Davis
Afterbirth, the expansion to The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, was released last month for PC users. Owners of Rebirth on other platforms have since been left waiting, but according to a tweet yesterday from Edmund McMillen, the...
Big HotS sale photo
Big HotS sale

Heroes of the Storm is throwing a 50% off sale next week

That includes heroes, skins, and mounts
Nov 20
// Jordan Devore
Hey, big spender. You may want to hold off on making any purchases in Heroes of the Storm over the next few days. Blizzard is about to throw a fairly substantial Black Friday sale. From November 24 to December 8, the game's s...
Fallout 4 cut weapon photo
Fallout 4 cut weapon

Cut Fallout 4 weapon resurrected by modder

Harpoons thrust into the sky
Nov 20
// Nic Rowen
From the murky brine of cut content and dummied out items, modder xxdeathknight72xx has returned to the surface with a most intriguing treasure. A curious harpoon gun that never made it into the game proper. The harpoon gun ...
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...

Review: Renowned Explorers: International Society

Nov 20 // Darren Nakamura
Renowned Explorers: International Society (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: Abbey GamesPublisher: Abbey GamesReleased: September 2, 2015MSRP: $19.99Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit In Renowned Explorers, the goal is to become a particularly renowned explorer among the group known as the Renowned Explorers. This is achieved by going on expeditions, recovering valuable treasures, making scientific discoveries, and navigating combat situations. Basically, an expedition is separated into two parts: resolving text-based events while traveling between nodes on a map and tactical combat on a modified hex grid. Both sections have elements of procedural generation, so there's always a sense of exploring the semi-unknown, even on an expedition to the same location as a previous run. Area maps are covered in fog of war, with only the nearest nodes visible. Combat arenas will vary the layout of obstacles, choke points, and healing zones. [embed]321138:61123:0[/embed] Indeed, Renowned Explorers is a "roguelite," meant to be played multiple times in order to truly master it. Herein lies one of the biggest hurdles I had to get over in order to enjoy it. For a game meant to be played again and again, it just takes way too long. A single run consists of five expeditions, and each expedition can take 30 to 45 minutes depending on how many encounters there are. It took me days to get through my first run because of the time commitment. This does speed up with experience, because combat becomes much faster after learning the ins and outs of it. Even so, expeditions easily last 20 minutes or more, so it's not the kind of "just one more" experience a roguelite needs to really grab somebody. This is exacerbated by the planning phase that occurs in between expeditions. Here, players spend the resources gathered during the previous expedition to purchase improved gear, recruit followers, and perform research. This is easily the densest part of Renowned Explorers for a new player. Every resource is connected to another in some way, and the game takes a laissez-faire approach; it presents a bevy of options and lets the player sort out what to do with them. Navigating the nooks and crannies of the planning phase can be exhausting at first, which makes the thought of taking on a new expedition right away seem that much more unreasonable. By far, my biggest disappointment starting off was with the combat system. It advertises multiple ways to resolve encounters; an explorer can be aggressive with physical attacks, be devious with insults and threats, or be friendly with encouragement. The three styles have a rock-paper-scissors relationship, so an aggressive approach is advantageous against a friendly enemy for instance. The problem with it is that each form of "attack" draws from the same "hit point" meter, which represents a foe's willingness to keep fighting. You could punch an enemy until he has only a sliver of health remaining, then finish him off by encouraging him to believe in your cause. Fighting and talking don't feel like they function differently. The battle system is hardly different than a simple three-element magic system at first. Only after really digging in did I spot the nuance. Some encounters will provide different rewards depending on how they are resolved. More importantly, it's the asymmetry in the rock-paper-scissors system that makes it interesting. Aggressive attack damage is a function of physical power, where devious and friendly attack damage comes from speech power, so an orator might have a stronger pair of scissors than he has a rock, so to speak. Within the speech powers, there is asymmetry as well. In general, devious skills cause debuffs while friendly skills cause buffs -- on friends and enemies alike. So while the current mood might call for a friendly attack, it is still necessary to weigh the risk of increasing the enemy's attack power in return. The point is: the combat system is deeper than it initially lets on, but it takes some effort for a player to really understand that. That basically describes Renowned Explorers: International Society on the whole. It features a set of deep systems with complex mechanics and relationships, but it places most of the burden on the player to discover it. I'll admit, I disliked it until it all fell into place and revealed itself for what it is. I'm not chomping at the bit to keep playing, but I am curious to delve deeper. Different combinations of explorers can beget different tactics both in and out of battle. That thought alone is enough to keep me from uninstalling it.
Renowned Explorers review photo
A lot to dig into
I'm glad I stuck Renowned Explorers out. For the first couple hours it was kind of a slog. Not exactly bad, but dense, unwieldy, and unexciting. I would finish an expedition and quit, not wanting to get back to it until days ...

Republique photo

Republique is coming to the PS4 in physical form

Episodes 4 and 5 still aren't out
Nov 20
// Chris Carter
Republique is such a weird project. It was released on iOS in December of 2013, as an episodic series spanning five chapters. Episode 4 and 5 still have not been released to this day, but the franchise made the jump to PC, an...
Guilty Gear Xrd photo
Guilty Gear Xrd

It looks like Guilty Gear Xrd Sign will be coming to PC

From H2 Interactive
Nov 20
// Chris Carter
A lot of fighting games have been coming to Steam this past year, including Guilty Gear XX. It seems as if publisher H2 Interactive isn't done with the series yet, as Guilty Gear Xrd has been listed on the Korean Game Ra...
Game of Thrones Season 2 photo
Game of Thrones Season 2

Telltale's Game of Thrones is getting a second season

Surprise, surprise
Nov 20
// Darren Nakamura
After finishing the season finale for Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series, I had my suspicions that it was all setting up for an inevitable second season. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Telltale CEO Kevin Bruner co...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

There's a Fallout 4 patch hitting PC next week

Console patch on the way later
Nov 20
// Laura Kate Dale
It's no secret that Fallout 4 is pretty damn buggy. Bethesda open world RPGs are not known for technical polish, and the development team knows that well. Thankfully, the first patch for the game will be rolling out next week...
Giveaway!  photo

Game with the devs of WH40K: Regicide again!

And maybe score some keys or hoodies!
Nov 20
// Mike Martin
Hammerfall Publishing, the awesome folks behind Warhammer 40K: Regicide, want to play with you again! We somehow didn't deter them last time! What is Regicide you ask (again, I might add)? It's about the bloodiest, most ama...
Lightning Returns photo
Lightning Returns

Lightning Returns is coming to Steam on December 10

Now PC players can finish the trilogy
Nov 20
// Joe Parlock
The Final Fantasy XIII series has long been over for console players. Lightning Returns originally released back in 2013, and since then the fanbase’s attention has been split between Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fanta...
Emily is Away photo
Emily is Away

Emily is Away's AOL-style chat hits eerily close to home

It's like a game about my life
Nov 19
// Darren Nakamura
The tagline for Emily is Away is what got me to try it out. "Relive your awkward teenage years." Sure, that sounds like a blast. It's a short text adventure set in the early 2000s and made to look like AOL Instant Messen...
The Witness photo
The Witness

A tranquil moment with The Witness

The so-called 'long screenshot' returns
Nov 19
// Jordan Devore
We're not far from the January 26, 2016 release of The Witness (PC, PS4), but going off this latest blog post from designer Jonathan Blow, there's plenty of work left to be done on the puzzling adventure. The first test readi...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

How to make sure you're extra super dead in Fallout 4

That's gotta hurt (locker)
Nov 19
// Brett Makedonski
What do you call a man with no arms and no legs floating in a lake? Bob! What do you call a man with no arms and no legs outside a door? Matt! What do you call a man with no arms and no legs flying across a post-apocalyptic wasteland? I...I don't have a dad joke for that one.
RIP Afro Samurai 2 photo
RIP Afro Samurai 2

Afro Samurai 2 pulled from PSN, publisher apologizes for game

Further episodes cancelled
Nov 19
// Jed Whitaker
Update: The game is no longer available to purchase on Steam. Remember Afro Samurai 2? I'm sure our very own Chris Carter wishes he could forget after reviewing the game. He gave it the lowest score possible, citing bugs and ...
Hotline photo

This Hotline Miami sale supports the musicians

Both games and OSTs discounted on Steam
Nov 19
// Jordan Devore
The music for Hotline Miami has stuck with me like few other video game soundtracks. Carpenter Brut, M|O|O|N, Perturbator, and Magic Sword all in one brutal, high-octane place. It's exceptional. While the games have been disc...
Batman PC woes photo
Batman PC woes

Arkham Knight won't support multiple GPUs

Sorry, SLI and Crossfire users!
Nov 19
// Jordan Devore
The PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight went back up on Steam a few weeks ago. There are still issues even after the re-listing, and the developers are still trying to address them, but there are some they "cannot fix." One s...
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]
8-bit Odin Sphere photo
8-bit Odin Sphere

That 8-bit Odin Sphere game is definitely happening

Atlus got the support it needed
Nov 19
// Chris Carter
Recently, Atlus asked fans to tweet out in support of an 8-bit version of Odin Sphere, and it immediately had over 20,000 people respond to the call. It's no surprise then that it took less than a week to hit its 28,888 tweet...
Blops Easter egg photo
Blops Easter egg

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Easter egg channels...Silent Hill?

Spooky scary mannequins
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
People are saying Doctor Whom and that's fine, that's fine -- "Angels," innit, governor? -- but it still reads Silent Hill to me because they're like mannequins (by way of I, Robot), even if Super Mario Boos might be closer....
MMO PvP photo

Blade & Soul opens $35,000 world championship to the West

Open to an Evo appearance, too
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
As announced earlier, Blade & Soul has a firm January 19, 2016 release date for North America and Europe, several years after being promised for release in those territories. Well, NC Soft wants to make it up to you. To s...
Imperial SaGa photo
Imperial SaGa

Sad new PC SaGa videos let you relive the old art

Imperial SaGa nods to series' past
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
For the 25th anniversary of SaGa, Square announced a new entry for Vita, SaGa 2015. With it, there's Imperial SaGa, a free-to-play PC RPG executive produced by SaGa creator Akitoshi Kawazu and featuring a few other key SaGa ...
Minecraft: Story Mode photo
Minecraft: Story Mode

Minecraft: Story Mode keeps up its brisk schedule with Episode 3 out next week

The Last Place You Look
Nov 19
// Darren Nakamura
This minecart just keeps on a-rollin' (whether we care about it or not). After having met up with and then subsequently lost track of Ellegaard and Magnus in Assembly Required, the team is now searching out the fourth member ...
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'...
Paragon photo

Epic reveals another character for Paragon, still won't tell us what the game is

This birdie's not saying a word
Nov 19
// Brett Makedonski
We're getting a firm grasp on Paragon's who, but we're still left in the dark as to its what. Epic has had no problem rolling out teaser trailers for the game's roster, but has neglected to tell us anything of substance abou...

Korean action MMO Blade & Soul a right step for the genre, coming West on January 19

Nov 19 // Steven Hansen
The newest class, Qi Master, was recently announced. It's a Kung Fu Master and Force Master hybrid. [embed]321525:61178:0[/embed] I got time to mess with Blade & Soul recently at NC Soft's autumnal headquarters (possibly my first actual fall, being from San Francisco) and spent a not insignificant amount of time in the not-quite-Black-Desert character creator to create a buxom Kung Fu Master with beautiful hair. The boobs even jiggle in the character creator screen. I named her bushdidnineeleven because the numbers prohibited 420noscope69 and I am nothing if not an embarrassment. I went with Kung Fu Master, though, because of the challenge that was announcing it as the toughest class to use, most reliant on timing and player input. And indeed, once I got to that point, figuring out enemy attack wind-ups and using the counter skill felt pretty damn good rather than letting early chump MMO fodder even get off their potshots. Plus, the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon influence is obvious in the running and fly/gliding animations (development head Moonyoung Choi cited it specifically when asked about influences, along with a long list of games including Street Fighter and Soul Calibur). And while Blade & Soul does encourage more activity than your typical click click click, it falls into feeling like just another MMO, at least in the early game. While I moving fleet of foot with WASD and beginning encounters with a floating jump kick, it was mostly for my own amusement, as I spent hours (somewhat quickly, but always very casually) leveling up near 20. I can see the twitch reflexes being more useful in hard raids or, obviously, PvP, but this isn't a huge genre shakeup when all's said and done. Just a pretty, high-budget version of the last decade with one twist in the right direction, which will undoubtedly be enough for some, especially with it being free to play anyways.
Blade & Soul launch photo
After three years
It's been a long time coming. Hugely popular Korean MMO Blade & Soul was confirmed for Western release over three years ago and it's finally happening. It went into beta last month and some beta weekends remain: November...

Rainbow Six Siege photo
Rainbow Six Siege

Progress on new Rainbow Six Siege beta will not carry over

Nov 19
// Vikki Blake
Although the upcoming Rainbow Six Siege beta ends just two days before its street date release, your beta progress will not carry over if you decide to pick up the full game.  "Your progression, inventory and Ranked...
Payday 2 photo
Payday 2

Overkill: Payday 2 microtransactions are 'not a success if people are angry'

In a long discussion with Steam mods
Nov 19
// Joe Parlock
Sit down and get comfortable, ladies and gentlemen, for the next gripping chapter of the ‘When Will Overkill Stop Being Shitty’ Chronicles begins now! You may remember a while ago that the Payday 2 Steam communit...

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