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Bloodborne photo

PlayStation boss: Bloodborne was too big of a risk for From Software to take alone

It was too early into the PS4 life-cycle
Oct 01
// Brett Makedonski
In recent years, From Software's come into an increasingly fortuitous situation with its games. The cult classic Demon's Souls has grown into a mainstream series after the critical and commercial acclaim of Dark Souls&nb...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

It's too early to pay for the Fallout 4 Season Pass

We don't know what's in it
Oct 01
// Jordan Devore
Bethesda opened pre-orders for the Fallout 4 Season Pass today, but hold up for a minute. We know it's $29.99, and that the game's first DLC is expected to roll out in 2016. We also know that there won't be platform-exclusive...
NHL 16 photo
NHL 16

NHL 16 pegs Anaheim Ducks as Stanley Cup champs

Not worth winning if you can't win big
Oct 01
// Brett Makedonski
It's not exactly a leap of faith, but NHL 16 has used its magical season simulating video game powers to predict that the Anaheim Ducks will win the 2016 Stanley Cup. By most accounts, Anaheim enters the season as the W...
FFXV photo

Final Fantasy XV's battle system has been altered

Automatic weapon changing out
Oct 01
// Chris Carter
Square Enix seems to be listening to fans quite a bit these days. The team for Final Fantasy XIV is constantly reaching out to players for advice on how to improve its MMO, and the FFXV team seems to be doing the sa...
Minecraft: Story Mode photo
Minecraft: Story Mode

Meet the cast of Minecraft: Story Mode with this trailer

'I'm a PC'
Oct 01
// Darren Nakamura
Minecraft: Story Mode officially kicks off on October 13 with its first episode The Order of the Stone. Though we previewed it recently at PAX Prime, there haven't been any trailers for it since the teaser back in July. With ...
Deus Ex photo
Deus Ex

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's awful pre-order program canceled due to fan demand

Oct 01
// Chris Carter
Recently, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was dated, and Square Enix proceeded to launch a pretty bad pre-order campaign for it. It was called "Augment Your Pre-order," and basically, it unlocked tons of gated content if enough peop...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Welp, Assassin's Creed Syndicate will have microtransactions

Oct 01
// Chris Carter
Oy bruv, you fancy microtransactions? Ubisoft has announced, that like Unity, the upcoming Assassin's Creed Syndicate will sport microtransactions, which can be used to "save time and accelerate progress." Director Franc...
Rainbow Six Siege photo
Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege beta extended until October 4

Double down this weekend
Oct 01
// Vikki Blake
If you've been having difficulty joining the Rainbow Six Siege beta (*cough* which is everyone *cough*), I bring good news -- the beta is being extended until October 4, 2015. The extension also heralds a Double Renown e...
DriveClub photo

DriveClub disappearing from free games list on PS+ in October

Have you downloaded it yet?
Oct 01
// Vikki Blake
The PS Plus Edition of DriveClub will be removed from the PS+ monthly games list in October. Sony confirmed the news on the PS Blog at the end of the October PlayStation Plus announcement. Though not quite the same ...
Dreams photo

Media Molecule is going to Twitch stream Dreams every week

Starting tomorrow
Oct 01
// Laura Kate Dale
When Media Molecule revealed its "next-gen creation suite" Dreams at E3, I really didn't get it. Okay, I make stuff. How do I make things? What's the creation suite like? How much flexibility do I have? What do I actually do ...
Back to the Future photo
Back to the Future

Telltale is re-releasing Back to the Future

The animation hasn't aged well
Sep 30
// Jordan Devore
It's the 30th anniversary of national treasure Back to the Future and Telltale is using that as an excuse to bring back its adventure game series on Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Notably, Back to the Future: The Game...
Black Ops III story photo
Black Ops III story

Hope you enjoy this Black Ops III story trailer, last-gen players

Because it's all you're getting
Sep 30
// Jordan Devore
Call of Duty: Black Ops III will have multiplayer and the usual star-studded Zombies mode on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but no campaign -- it's too "ambitious" for last-generation hardware. If you want Christopher Meloni (and who doesn't?), you'll need to play on PC, Xbox One, or PS4.
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

Fallout 4's latest trait video is for the silver-tongued devils

Have it your way
Sep 30
// Brett Makedonski
Continuing along out Sesame Street-themed letter bent, "C" is for "Charisma" in the latest Fallout 4 S.P.E.C.I.A.L. video. That might mean persuading others to do your bidding, or simply persuading them to not stick a f...
PS Plus free games photo
PS Plus free games

Super Meat Boy and Broken Age will be October's free PlayStation Plus games

'Meat Boy and meet boy' -Steven Hansen
Sep 30
// Darren Nakamura
I'm torn on Super Meat Boy at this point in my life. On the one hand, it probably controls better with a PlayStation 4 d-pad than it ever did on the Xbox 360. On the other hand, I already went all the way through it when I wa...
Witcher 3 photo
Witcher 3

The Witcher 3's 1.09 patch will include PS4 performance fixes

Minor stuff
Sep 30
// Chris Carter
If you're sick of hearing of The Witcher 3, you're going to have to deal with it for quite a while longer, as CD Projekt Red is in overdrive mode with this game, even months after launch. In addition to a ton of swift patches...
Armikrog photo

After multiple last-minute delays, Armikrog is finally out today

Unlocking on Steam shortly
Sep 30
// Chris Carter
Armikrog has had a rather rough past month, dealing with a few small delays before its original launch date. But now the last-minute bugs have been fixed, and it's set to unlock on Steam shortly. Caitlin is working on our review as we speak. It's only out for PC right now, but PS4 and Wii U versions are also planned for a later date. Armikrog [Steam]
MGSV save bug photo
MGSV save bug

New Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain save-killing bug affecting PS4 users

If you use multiple SEN accounts
Sep 30
// Steven Hansen
Given that no one reads the overbearing startup messages for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, let me point out a worthwhile one. Konami has identified "cases" of a new progress-killing bug affecting PlayStation 4 users. ...

Review: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5

Sep 29 // Chris Carter
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: RobomodoPublisher: ActivisionReleased: September 29, 2015 (PS4, Xbox One) / November 10, 2015 (PS3, Xbox 360)MSRP: $59.99 (!) So let's get right into it. Just as before, you'll have the option to ollie, grind, manual, and revert your way into lengthy combos, with the added power of the "slam" mechanic. This new move will allow you to drop quickly to the ground straight into a grind. It's really gamey, but kind of cool once you actually get used to it. Personally, I tend to hold the button quite a bit to pre-load my grinds, so it was jarring at first. Everything else is still here, like spine transfers, plants, and special tricks. In the end though, it seems as if Robomodo can't be trusted to make a glitch-free game. I really liked Tony Hawk HD, but man was it a glitch-fest, filled with wonky physics and collision issues. It's the same thing in Tony Hawk 5, but worse to an extent. Revert timing and the like feels on-point, but it's mostly the objects and solid areas, some of which aren't filled in properly, that cause issues. Additionally, missions lag when they start up for a few seconds, sometimes rendering the level in real-time. There are some online issues at launch, namely causing players to stand still for periods of time or disappear entirely. That's not to say the game is fundamentally broken however, as these problems usually come up every 10 minutes or so on certain surfaces. The frame rate dips a bit on some levels, but for the most part, it is playable. It just needs a lot more polish. [embed]312863:60562:0[/embed] Career mode is par for the course, bringing you through a handful of levels with mission-based objectives, on top of the typical "find the DVD/VHS tape" and "S-K-A-T-E letters" challenges. The series has been mission-centric for a long while now (ever since THPS 4), but I've never really been a fan. I like how the first three games were literally free skate levels that just happened to have objectives in them. The unlock method is also rigid in Tony Hawk 5 -- earning stars for new levels isn't cumulative, as you'll need to earn 15 in each preceding level to unlock the new one. I do like the levels as a general rule, but they feel so middle-of-the-road, and I probably won't remember them as fondly as I remember a lot of the classic stages. With all that said, the core gameplay is there. I like how you need to beat every mission in a stage on the highest "Sick" rating to unlock new Pro challenges, and despite it working against you at times, it will test your skills as a digital skater, regardless of whether or not you're a seasoned veteran. Good lines for fun combo strings are still present, and every level will have you thinking of new ways to combo, like a puzzle. Additionally, the online portion of the game (which basically transforms levels into inoffensive social hubs) doesn't hurt anything, and you can still play the entire game solo if you want. Speaking of online play, it's also available in the form of side modes, but they're a pain to set up, and don't involve split-screen couch co-op. You can queue a round for quick match, trick attack, deathmatch, combo mambo (single combos win out over total score), big head (you have to do tricks to refresh your life bar), and king of the hill. It's a diversion for sure, and one you can skip out on entirely. In the meantime, I'm having trouble connecting to games and getting people in, possibly because versus modes are hidden in the in-game menu. The create-a-park mode is also back, and even though there are only five themes, the entire affair isn't as limited as it was in past titles. This is mostly because the Complexity Meter is a bit more lenient, allowing for players to place hundreds of different objects in a single arena before it caps out. There's sadly no "create-a-skater" option, but you can customize the pros available, and change their costumes to some sufficiently wacky outfits (like cops and robots). On a higher note, the soundtrack is actually pretty good, and although it doesn't have an iconic song like "Superman," it gets the job done and feels authentic. I didn't outright hate Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5, as it distills a lot of the franchise's good points into an arcadey modern format. There are flashes of brilliance, but much of that is piggybacking off of the foundation its predecessors have already created. Considering that Activision signed a deal with Tony Hawk for more games a while back that's set to expire soon, I sincerely hope change is on the horizon if more titles are in the cards. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Tony Hawk 5 review photo
This franchise needs a new developer
I grew up with the Tony Hawk franchise -- at least, Neversoft's vision of it. Game after game, even some of the more questionable ones, held my interest until Proving Ground led the series astray. But in 2007, ...

Dragon Quest Heroes photo
Dragon Quest Heroes

King Doric is psyched to tell us about Dragon Quest Heroes

Take a breath!
Sep 29
// Jordan Devore
Chris enjoyed that last Dragon Quest Heroes trailer. I like this one even better. It's more comprehensive and the narration by King Doric is just so damn enthusiastic. The video covers the cast, monster summoning, shopping, t...

Review: Laserlife

Sep 29 // Ben Davis
Laserlife (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One)Developer: Choice ProvisionsPublisher: Choice ProvisionsReleased: September 22, 2015 (PC, PS4), TBA (Xbox One)MSRP: $14.99 Laserlife tells the story of an astronaut who died out in space, whose body drifts aimlessly along with the wreckage of a space ship. The body is discovered by "future intelligences who have no concept of humankind" as they delve into the astronaut's subconscious to extract memories in an attempt to learn of the skeleton's history and how this human ended up dead in outer space. Players control the future extraterrestrial entity in the form of two lasers. Each laser is controlled separately with the analog sticks, and they can both reach any part of the screen. Movement is very fluid and the lasers feel great to control as they spin and dance effortlessly around the screen. Each level consists of four stages. During the first stage, Memory Molecule Collection, players must move into position and press the trigger buttons at the right moment to collect memory molecules. Later levels introduce molecules which must be held in position as well as ones which must be moved to a new position. An insufficient amount of molecules collected during the first stage will reset the level, but this was never a problem for me while playing on normal difficulty. [embed]313018:60553:0[/embed] The second stage, Memory Harmonization, involves moving into position in order to hit targets. The hit boxes for the targets seem to be smaller than they are for memory molecules, so movements need to be slightly more precise, although the targets turn green once the lasers are in the correct position. These were the most difficult stages for me personally, even though they just involve moving around without having to time button presses. The final two stages are the easiest. During the Warp Phase, players must avoid colliding with red barriers, or mental blocks, by moving towards the openings. Finally, the Memory Materialization stage finishes out the level with the player moving the analog sticks as quickly as possible until the bar at the top of the screen has depleted. Once all of this has been completed, the memory will be fully extracted and appear as a physical manifestation of a significant object from the astronaut's life. If players find that the game is too challenging, or too easy, there are a few difficulty settings to choose from which will increase or decrease the amount of obstacles to deal with. There are also leaderboards to browse, with separate leaderboards for each difficulty, if that's something that interests you. Music is obviously a huge part of any rhythm game, and the soundtrack could easily make or break the game. Laserlife's soundtrack is very chill and atmospheric, which fits perfectly with the outer space setting. It's best to play this game with headphones in order to really focus on the music. I felt the soundtrack could have been a bit more varied at times, however, since all of the songs are very spacey and sometimes started to sound a bit similar after a while. Maybe they could have had some tracks that fit more with the theme of some of the memories, like a lullaby for the childhood memories, or even mixed in more spoken parts. One of my favorite tracks was used towards the end of the game, which had mission control voices being played over the music. I felt that was an idea they could have experimented with a bit more, because it worked really well for that one level. Unlike the Bit.Trip games, the sound effects from collecting memories and hitting targets don't really add much to the music itself, which was slightly disappointing. Obstacles are arranged so that they match up to the music of course, but interacting with them merely makes a dull sound which is often barely audible against the soundtrack. Having more robust sound effects might have helped make the soundtrack pop a bit more, and it would also be easier for the player to tell when they missed something. Laserlife has a lot of big ideas and an interesting premise. I love the concept of extraterrestrial life coming into contact with a human skeleton adrift in space, and trying to learn something about the strange creature's origins. The grand themes of human existence and the persistence of memory are ideas that I would like to see more games try to tackle. In this case, however, I found the overall experience to be a little underwhelming. It's fun for a short rhythm game, but with only 12 levels, it felt like Laserlife never really got a chance to fully explore the broad topics it brought to the table. [This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
Laserlife review photo
Drifting through space
Choice Provisions is best known for the excellent rhythm-based series, Bit.Trip, a saga spanning six games (and one spin-off) which abstractly dealt with themes about a man's journey through life. The studio has been toying w...

Tony Hawk 5 photo
Tony Hawk 5

You should probably hold off on buying Tony Hawk 5 for now
Sep 29
// Chris Carter
As you may have heard, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 is a bit glitchy. Now, this shouldn't come as a complete shock. Developer Robomodo, who has handled the series since 2009, hasn't had the best track record with Ride, ...
PS4 photo

PS4 system update 3.0 is out tomorrow, check out the preview now

Tons of new features
Sep 29
// Chris Carter
Sony is gearing up for their system software 3.0 update, and you can check out some of the new features now. To sum things up, you can share clips to Twitter now, PlayStation Plus is getting a dedicated section, YouTube Live...
Fun with glitches photo
Fun with glitches

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 is buggy junk, even with the huge patch

Don't buy it, maybe
Sep 29
// Steven Hansen
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 is out today. The game is 4.6GB and there's a 7.7GB day one patch. It didn't help, if this video, captured by Eurogamer in just an hour's worth of play (with the patch), is any indication. The game launched today and Chris is working on the review. It does not look good.
Hitman delay photo
Hitman delay

Delayed Hitman out March 11, rest of the game in April, May and June

Staggered release
Sep 29
// Steven Hansen
Hitman is releasing on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, unfinished, on March 11 after being delayed from its December launch. It was always going to release unfinished, though, by design. The Hitman website explains. March 11's launch ...
Shovel Knight photo
Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight sales were dominated by PC, Nintendo platforms

32% on PC, 30% on 3DS
Sep 29
// Chris Carter
Recently at an event called Gaming Insiders, Nathan Vella of Capybara Games shared some indie sales figures with us, in an effort to shine a light on the indie industry. Apparently, Shovel Knight sold best on PC, with 32...

Review: Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume 1

Sep 29 // Chris Carter
Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume 1 (PC, PS4 [reviewed])Developers: Redacted StudiosPublisher: Versus EvilReleased: September 22, 2015 MSRP: $14.99 (standard), $34.99 (trilogy bundle), $54.99 (ultimate pack) To give you a bit of background, this series does not feature the titular Afro Samurai (though he is around somewhat) -- instead, it focuses on Kuma, who as no surprise wears a giant bear head. Billed as a "brave warrior who once protected the great temple," he was betrayed by Afro, and now walks the Earth in search of revenge. You'll learn a bit more about how Kuma died during the course of this first volume, which is a continuation of the original game. The entire time during my play session, I was basically asking myself why this had to exist. There are elements of the Afro Samurai franchise I like, but forcing people to play through this new, quite frankly terrible series to delve into it is almost insulting. Why not just produce an OVA or even a web short? Much of the game consists of beyond campy voice acting, like anyone was invited into the studio for recording sessions, and simple art stills that fail to effectively tell any sort of cohesive narrative. There's also a really weird (but mostly good) RZA score that is peppered throughout Afro Samurai 2 that doesn't quite fit with the rest of the game. It just feels like this shouldn't have even gone to the developmental stages as a video game. The lack of quality control is most apparent with the sound editing, which is so bad you'll hear loud beats during key story sequences that drown out entire bits of dialogue. Major issues even pile up beyond that, as I noticed multiple sequences where the narrative audio was cut out prematurely, and the game has constant framerate issues both in and out of combat, leading to an overall shaky experience. One time I even entered a tutorial, came back out, and subsequently fell off a cliff, forcing me to restart the chapter. [embed]312865:60543:0[/embed] I thought the non-playable bits were bad, but I wasn't quite ready for everything else. There are some really weird "interactive" cutscenes that mostly consist of your character crawling on the ground during some dramatic event and picking up items or looking for some obscure object. If these were meant to instill some sort of emotional effect, they utterly failed, partially due to the wonky physics and broken game engine. The action sequences are also horrid, partially due to the aforementioned framerate issues, but also because of the fact that it doesn't even feel like a budget game that would be welcome on the original PlayStation. Kuma has access to counters, attacks, jumps, and a typical rage (Devil Trigger) ability, as well as the power to switch styles. It's all painfully slow, and to add insult to injury, many of the animations don't even connect. You're basically just going to mash attack and counter occasionally with very little nuance involved. The camera is also a huge problem, as it's fixed and it constantly flips out in a seizure-worthy fashion. What's particularly troubling about the way the camera works is when you're traversing stages, you often can't see what's ahead of you, leading to some lame pitfall deaths or ambushes. It's not like the game is hard by any means as it's essentially a button-masher, but it's constantly working against you at all turns through technical faults. This lurid affair will last roughly two hours, which is the standard for episodic games. Yet, the fact that you have to suffer through this begs the question entirely -- "why was this episodic at all?" Were they going to lose the license or something? I usually hold off on telling people not to get an episodic game until more of it is available, but even after playing the first volume of Afro Samurai 2, I can say with authority, "do not get this."
Afro Samurai 2 review photo
Digital seppuku
In the words of Samuel L. Jackson, "what kind of fucked up repugnant shit is this?" It's Afro Samurai 2.

Yakuza 6 photo
Yakuza 6

Here's the first glimpse of Yakuza 6

Starring 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano
Sep 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Here's the first look at Yakuza 6, and -- wait -- is that Beat Takeshi? Why yes, yes it is. The famed Japanese entertainer, who you might know the host of cult game show Takeshi's Castle, has a role in Sega's latest gangster ...
Destiny photo

There's a secret chest in Destiny's newest Vault of Glass mission, but don't open it yet

Or do. I'm not your mom
Sep 28
// Alissa McAloon
If you care about spoilers in Destiny's newfound story, specifically the bits about Praedyth, you might want to skip this one. A group of Destiny players have found a way to glitch themselves into a previously unknown instanc...
Bloodplat photo

Sony rewards Bloodborne platinum trophies with custom theme

In Europe
Sep 28
// Steven Hansen
Are you a bad enough snood that you spent hundreds of hours getting the platinum trophy in Bloodborne? Well, if you're in Europe, Sony is rewarding your efforts by sending out emails containing codes for an exclusive PlayStat...
Metal Gear Solid V photo
Metal Gear Solid V

Phantom Pain Hardcore mod ups Metal Gear Solid's difficulty

Big Boss Extreme
Sep 28
// Steven Hansen
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is real accommodating. That's not to say there aren't bouts of frustrating mission failures and humiliating chicken hat offers, but all things considered (even without the time-slowing Reflex mode), it is way more forgiving than past Metal Gear and other stealth games. Almost too easy. This TTP Hardcore Mod does the following:

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