Telltale seems to be getting into the swing of things with Game of Thrones, in more ways than one. For starters, it only took seven weeks since the last episode for this one to come out. If Telltale can keep up that pace, the season should conclude this August.
More importantly, this is the first episode to really capture the essence of A Song of Ice and Fire. Where Iron From Ice was mostly setup and The Lost Lords felt a little like filler, The Sword in the Darkness finally starts to get the members of House Forrester moving toward something that feels like progress. The situation is still dismal, but faint flickers of light at the end are just now coming into focus.
I just finished episode two of Life is Strange, and I've spiraled down a playlist of Ben Folds songs. Out of Time is Kate Marsh's story, but "Kate" is too cheerful; this tale isn't about daisies, dandelions, and butterflies. The weighty subject material is more in line with the hopelessness that defines "Carrying Cathy," but alas, that's a different name, although not far off.
That being said, Out of Time does what episode one couldn't: it makes the audience care about character arcs other than main protagonist Max's. After a Max-centric first chapter, it's the other citizens of Arcadia Bay who get a share of the spotlight. We're given some quiet moments with Chloe to begin to understand her struggle. We're introduced to Chloe's mother, who may be the most reasonable and believable character in Life is Strange. Andof course, we grieve with Kate as her entire world turns against her.
[Update: I've located the hidden boss, with instructions below.]
Bloodborne is officially out, and I've already seen a lot of discussions brewing about the game. Some sentiments are positive, some are negative, but a great deal of people are just confused.
Although I have a quick tips guide to help you start out, a lot of readers and peers have been asking me about some of the game's harder-to-find optional bosses. I spent the day recording the processes involved in finding them, and you can see the results for most of them below.
Xenoblade Chronicles pretty much blew me away back in 2012. Fans had been clamoring for a localization for over two years, and due to an add partnership between Nintendo and GameStop, we got one. It was a rather limited release however and GameStop constantly jacked up the price over time, leading to a large number of fans who never got to experience it.
Hell, even today the Wii version goes from anywhere to $60 used to $100 new. That all changes in April with Xenoblade Chronicles 3DS, a $40 portable edition that will completely do away with the rarity of the experience.
Hidden away in the intro to my Final Fantasy Type-0 HD review, I recently talked about how Final Fantasy was never dead despite some rough patches, and based on recent efforts, it actually has a bright future ahead of it. Ok so maybe that bit wasn't really hidden, and maybe it was more of a rant and less of a talk, but my point still stands: I'm happy with the direction the franchise has been going lately.
After spending a week with the Final Fantasy XV demo, I'm even happier.
Bloodborne can get pretty rough at times. All Souls games can. To help you ease from the frustration to the fun zone, here are a few tips to help you on your way.
General non-spoiler tips will be frontloaded at the top, but the progression-spoiler ones will be in the second section. Note that no bosses or story elements are spoiled, just navigational tidbits in case you get lost.
Hidetaka Miyazaki created a legacy with Demon's Souls. With three Armored Core games under his belt at From Software, Miyazaki dared to capture the spirit of the King's Field series for a new era, and thus the Souls series was born. His philosophy of "less is more" served as a driving force for the franchise's allure, and his influences permeate throughout.
In just six years we've seen four total games using the formula, and despite taking a step back for Dark Souls II, Miyazaki returns to the driver's seat with Bloodborne.
While Splatoon's multiplayer was on display for all to see at E3 2014, the single-player campaign was fairly under wraps. We now know that it will be a completely separate affair from online play, complete with a full narrative and a colorful cast of characters to help you along your journey.
I had a chance to play through a handful of story levels at a recent event, and I'm happy to report that although it's a bit simplistic, I'm seeing flashes of tried and true Mario design peppered in.
Nintendo isn't exactly known for its online experiences. With the exception of a few recent titles like Mario Kart 8, the public is typically clamoring for some form of online support. Games like Mario Party 10 would probably be more enjoyable with the feature, and games like Splatoon, coming in May, are predicated on a strong online infrastructure.
While the core of Splatoon's multiplayer is very fun, I do have a few concerns specifically stemming from Nintendo's inexperience in the market.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker launched its amiibo compatibility this week, and I've found a new reason to revisit the game. It's as simple as adding in a "Hide-and-Seek" mode, enabled by tapping the newly minted Toad amiibo to the GamePad as you're selecting each stage.
After a quick tap the minigame will start, tasking you to find a "Pixel Toad" while playing the level as normal. All you have to do is locate it and tap it on the GamePad to complete the extra mission. Hide-and-Seek will work with all three core episodes, but it is not compatible with the bonus stages. After finding the Pixel Toad, you'll earn a new stamp in your notebook for that page.
Experience Points is a series in which I highlight some of the most memorable things about a particular game. These can include anything from a specific scene or moment, a character, a weapon or item, a level or location, a part of the soundtrack, a gameplay mechanic, a line of dialogue, or anything else about the game that is particularly noteworthy and/or awesome.
This series will no doubt contain spoilers for the games being discussed, so keep that in mind if you plan on playing the game for the first time.
This entry is all about Persona 4. Feel free to share some of your own favorite things about the game in the comments!
Earlier this week Square Enix began taking pre-orders for Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward - the upcoming first expansion to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Releasing later this summer on June 23rd, the game retails for $39.99 on all its available platforms.
For this weekend there is still a limited time discount thrown into the mix dropping the price of the PC version of the game to $29.99 for the base game and $46.80 on the Collector's Edition. Pre-ordering Heavensward will grant you early access and includes in-game goodies such as chocobo pet.
In the now arriving to PC department, Dead or Alive 5 Last Round arrives March 30th. As usual prior to launch all digital retailers are offering a 10% instant discount to $35.99, however you can stack the previously mentioned discount, making the final price only $28.09.
Finally for those unaware, there's a giant 2K catalog sale going on at Steam Store. Most titles are tying historic lows, though a few games are cheaper at Mac Game Store vs Steam Store. You can reference our post from yesterday to dig into the deals deeper.
Recently, amidst the hubbub of PAX East news and previews, we had the audacity to ask you to vote for your favorite game on the show floor. The nerve of us! Forcing you to choose from such a vast array of amazing videogames!
Well, vote you did, and the results point to yet another amazing year for gaming. Read on to see which awards took home the prize!
It was almost a year ago (ten months, more accurately) when I sat down with EVE: Valkyrie's developers, and they told me "We're ready to ship when Oculus is ready to ship." At the time, Valkyrie was considered a flagship title for virtual reality, but it's unclear if that's still the case. There are a lot more entrants in the arena now, after all. However, EVE: Valkyrie's developers have their sights set on a more aggressive goal.
"We just extend our ambitions," Valkyrie executive producer Owen O'Brien told me when asked what it's like to stretch out the production schedule an extra year on a title that has been technically ready for quite some time. O'Brien elaborated "A year ago, I don't think I would've stood up and said 'I want to be the best multiplayer game in VR,' but now I feel completely comfortable saying that. So, I think an extra year in the production cycle, it's fine because we're not a huge team. We're working on bleeding edge technology that is still developing. CCP as a company kind of knew what they were getting into. That's something that was to be expected with VR, and we're still very happy to be at the forefront of it."
But, not only does O'Brien want Valkyrie to be a heralded multiplayer title, he wants it to be the pinnacle of VR competition. Thinking about his ultimate goal for Valkyrie several years down the road, he offered "I would love this to be the eSports of VR."
It’s no secret that virtual reality is quickly making its mark on the videogame industry. If that weren't evident before, GDC 2015 kicked the door wide open. That's why, with numerous developers turning their attention to the new technology, it's remarkable that the developers for EVE Online have been at the forefront of VR for years now.
EVE: Valkyrie, the spaceship dog-fighting game, has been pinned by Oculus as a flagship title for whenever the Rift ends up launching. That's coming along nicely, but its origin story is particularly noteworthy. It was created by CCP as a tech demo for convention-goers at Fanfest in 2013. It basically boiled down to a treat for coming out to the show. However, the reaction was so strong and positive that CCP turned it into a fully-realized game – one that obviously caught the attention of Oculus.
CCP is casually trying to recapture that lightning in a bottle. It directed its Atlanta and Shanghai studios to work on VR experiences. The instruction ended there -- no mandate that they do something that fits into the EVE universe. The four demos that the studios collectively came up with are wonderfully experimental and, most importantly, fun. They're all united under the banner of "VR Labs" for now, and CCP stresses that none of them are official games. But, as we've seen in the past, maybe that'll change after this weekend.
Indie developers make some cool as heck games, but they're not always so great at selling them. We want to them work on their pitch game until they're at Bumgarner levels and we want to take advantage of the the horrible, horrible GDC elevators that get gummed up with folks who don't know you're supposed to walk on the left, stand on the right.
Welcome to another Escalator Pitch. We've gone from pitching classics to meta escalator pitches to, hey, an actual game in development. One from storied id co-founder John Romero (Doom, Quake, Daikatana), who is working on Gunman Taco Truck with Brenda Romero and their sons Michael Romero and Donovan Romero-Brathwaite. The latter thought up the idea.
Headline courtesy of Jonathan Holmes, that lovely man.