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Axiom Verge photo
Axiom Verge

Axiom Verge is relatively the same on PC, with one helpful upgrade


On Steam this week
May 13
// Conrad Zimmerman
Axiom Verge releases tomorrow on Steam. If you've read my review of the game from its earlier PS4 launch, you already know that I think it's a solidly designed exploration-based platform title. I'm happy to report that it's j...
MK X PC improvements photo
MK X PC improvements

NetherRealm promises 'huge improvements' for the PC port of Mortal Kombat X


About bloody time
May 05
// Nic Rowen
Mortal Kombat X on PC has been like an extremely tasty looking bowl of soup that is way too hot to eat. Every time I try and take a sip, I get a mouthful of scalding molten pain (laggy, unplayable matches being the metaphoric...
Tropico 5 photo
Tropico 5

Tropico 5 is like crack for your PS4


Multiplayer impressions coming soon
Apr 27
// Robert Summa
I'm a sucker for city-building and Civ-like games. Since the very early days of SimCity and SimTower, I've poured countless hours into building my virtual communities and empires. With Tropico 5 now ported over to the PlaySta...

PC Port Report: Mortal Kombat X

Apr 20 // Nic Rowen
Mortal Kombat X (PC)Developer: NetherRealm Studios, High Voltage Software (PC)Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive EntertainmentMSRP: $59.99Release Date: April 14, 2015Rig: Intel i7-920 2.70 GHz, 12GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 770 GPU When I first installed Mortal Kombat X it was unplayable. I don't mean in some sort of prissy, PC elitist "anything less than 60 FPS burns my eyes" kind of way (although you could make a strong argument that if any genre of game has the right to demand a consistent and high frame rate, it's competitive fighting games). I mean in the "this game doesn't work" way. Things went south as soon as I hit the character select screen and the fighters started drawing themselves in one painful frame at a time. Actual fighting was impossible, with the action portrayed like a garish, bloody View-Master reel. I have a fairly decent gaming PC. My processor is admittedly old, but I have plenty of RAM and a muscular GTX 770 to help it power through. I run plenty of modern multi-platform games with nary a hitch. There is no reason for Mortal Kombat X to perform this badly. My situation is far from uncommon, with mobs of flustered would-be-warriors with top-end gaming rigs complaining they were in the same bind in the Steam discussion pages. After some rooting about in support forums, I altered my settings, manually installed some drivers, and fussed about until I got the game in working -- but far from ideal -- order.  I managed to get the game running smooth enough to fart around in the practice mode and work on some combos. Even still, certain stages caused noticeable stuttering and after a few minutes the game would start to hitch and falter no matter where I fought. Oddly, when the performance dipped like this I found that performing an X-Ray move (which automatically locks the action to 30 FPS) seemed to jar the game out of it, restoring a smooth 60 FPS after the move finished (for a short while anyway). I'm about as far from a programmer as you can get, but to me this suggests the problem is less to do with system specs and more with how the game is coded. Something just isn't working right. While being able to unclog the frame rate with an X-Ray was handy during my protracted training sessions, it's also vaguely frustrating to know that a functional game is trapped somewhere inside of this rickety port job, but only accessible by jumping through hoops. Of course, the reason I spent so much time in the training mode this weekend is related to the second major problem with the PC port. The entire online component of the game was up on cinder blocks for most of the time I've played.  Online Kombat was down for the majority of weekend. Either the game would entirely refuse to access the online component, saying it couldn't retrieve my stat card (and therefore refused me entry), or it would simply leave me perpetually waiting to "find a match." Even during the periods where I was able to find regular ranked and player matches (still with large five minute plus waiting times between opponents) other features wouldn't work. The room lobby system, useful for finding similarly skilled or geographically local opponents, was up and down all weekend. Mostly down. The Faction War nonsense has been offline since I installed. Not that I thought that aspect of the game was particularly meaningful, but it's still annoying to have to wait through one more loading screen as the game fails to find the faction server and informs you of such. More annoying still, trying to view the progress of the on-going war effort locked me in an inescapable loading screen. Fun times. Of the online matches I got to play, lag seemed to be a total crapshoot. Some fights were buttery smooth like me and my opponent were shoulder to shoulder in the arcade. Others started fine but eventually de-synced and broke down. Still others were like wading through molasses from start to finish, becoming a game of chicken to see who would blink first and have the dreaded black mark of a Quitality branded upon their house. When the room feature was active, I managed to find a neighboring Toronto player and stuck through a series of humiliating, but silky, matches against a terrifying Liu Kang who outclassed me in every possible way. I worried I wouldn't find another decent online match that night and would rather face his burning fists than chance it, a fear that came to pass when he left the room (no doubt in disgust of my pathetic Kotal Kahn). A succession of smaller quibbles nip at the heels of those catastrophes. Trying to re-configure a control pad or joystick crashes the game (to turn off negative edge I had to pull every USB device out of my computer and go into the menu with the keyboard). Timed features in the Krypt are reportedly not working right. I was mildly irked to notice that the post-character-select animations (Jax slamming his fists together, Cassie snapping her gum and flipping the bird, and so on) are absent in the PC version. I suppose you could say they thought the faster loading times on the PC version would make them obsolete, but the game still drops you to a loading screen before the fight. Why not chew up those few seconds with something to look at? (I realize this is the smallest complaint of all time but this port ripped my heart out of my chest so bear with me.) Maybe this shouldn't come as a surprise. Both Mortal Kombat 9 and Injustice had troubled ports with similar problems. Distressingly, many of those issues never got sorted out. With a simultaneous day and date PC release for Mortal Kombat X though, you would have hopped they would be ready to go this time. Motal Kombat X deserves better than this slipshod port. I want to believe that NetherRealm and High Voltage Software will do right by its fans and iron these problems out, that this rough first week is an unfortunate debacle. Given its track record though, part of me fears the worst. I'll be keeping an eye on this port and will post an update in a few weeks or so to see if the situation improves. As it stands now, I can't put it any plainer: do not buy this broken port of a great game. [This review is based on a retail code purchased by the reviewer, a PC review copy was not made available by the developer.]
PC Port Report: MK X photo
Never-ending Brutality
I have never played a game that I've wanted to love so badly that seems so set and determined to antagonize me than the PC port of Mortal Kombat X. In the abstract, Mortal Kombat X is a great game. The single player content i...

The Perils of Man photo
The Perils of Man

New adventure title from former LucasArts dev comes to Steam later this month


The Perils of Man releasing April 28 on PC and Mac
Apr 03
// Alessandro Fillari
Last year, I got the chance to chat with the developers behind The Perils of Man, an episodic time-traveling adventure title from the minds of Bill Tiller and Gene Mocsy. With a pedigree of work ranging from classic adv...
Forgotten Memories photo
Forgotten Memories

Forgotten Memories iOS debut on April 23, watch the launch trailer now!


Wii U, Vita, Android, and PC will have to wait an ickle bit longer
Mar 30
// Stephen Turner
As you may recall, Forgotten Memories: Alternate Realities came out of near-nowhere with its Silent Hill 2 cast additions, after several years off the development grid. If you're still wondering what Guy Cihi's delightf...
PC Port: MGSV photo
PC Port: MGSV

PC Port Report: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes


Smooth like Big Boss' skin-tight suit
Jan 01
// Patrick Hancock
It's hard to know what a PC port of a Metal Gear Solid game will look like in 2014. Revengeance had a decent port, but that was done by Platinum. The last Metal Gear game to hit our Home Computers was over a de...
FF XIII Port photo
FF XIII Port

Final Fantasy XIII resolution patch finally dated


Better late than never, right?
Dec 06
// Rob Morrow
The PC port of Square Enix's perennially controversial Final Fantasy XIII didn't get off to the best start. As far as console-to-PC ports go, it wasn’t the worst that I’ve come across, but it had a lot of roo...
PC Port Inquisition photo
PC Port Inquisition

PC Port Report: Dragon Age: Inquisition


How does Varric's chest hair look on PC?
Nov 11
// Patrick Hancock
The third installment in the Dragon Age franchise is finally here. If you're like me, you are cautiously optimistic with this one after playing Dragon Age II. I'm more of a tactical player, and felt that I was left in th...
FF XIII PC port photo
FF XIII PC port

Final Fantasy XIII on PC already modded to support higher resolutions


After downsampling, Square Enix's JRPG has never looked better
Oct 10
// Rob Morrow
Modder extraordinaire and part-time digital saint Durante has come to our rescue once again. This time he's set his sights on Square Enix's lackluster PC port of Final Fantasy XIII by releasing an updated version of his GeDoS...
FF XIII PC port photo
FF XIII PC port

PC port of Final Fantasy XIII will run at 60 FPS, weighs in at just under 60GB


Not to be outdone by current gen, FFXIII wants all your hard drive space
Oct 09
// Rob Morrow
The recently announced PC port of Square Enix's divisive JRPG Final Fantasy XIII launches on Steam today, and for those thinking about picking it up, or for those who have already pre-ordered, here are the latest system requi...
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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance now available on Mac


With a five-day sale
Sep 25
// Dale North
Platinum Games and Kojima Productions' Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is now available on the Mac platform, thanks to TransGaming. This marks the franchise's debut on Mac. This is a fine game that deserves to be on lots of sy...
SteamWorld Dig photo
SteamWorld Dig

SteamWorld Dig will have a cross-buy discount in Europe, but not in North America


Nintendo of America is apparently to blame
Aug 27
// Chris Carter
SteamWorld Dig is hitting the Wii U on August 28th, and if you happen to live in the EU, AUS, or NZ regions, you'll get a 25% off discount for owning the 3DS version. But wait -- why isn't this cross-buy discount availab...
Wii U photo
Wii U

Steamworld Dig is better on the Wii U


Best of both worlds
Aug 25
// Caitlin Cooke
This isn’t the first rodeo for SteamWorld Dig -- the cute mining adventure game first arrived last year on the 3DS eshop, followed by a Steam release. Now it’s making a comeback to the Wii U this week on August 28...
Pinball FX2 photo
Pinball FX2

Pinball FX2 is available on Xbox One


Time to play with some balls
Aug 18
// Brittany Vincent
Pinball FX2 is finally available for Xbox One, so go out there and grab it. The game's been lovingly ported and runs in 1080p at 60 frames per second. The front-end is available to download for free as it is on the Xbox 360 a...
Diablo photo
Diablo

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition will allow cross-platform save imports


For the ultimate good
Jul 29
// Abel Girmay
Not unlike what Rockstar is offering with the current-gen ports of Grand Theft Auto V, Blizzard has confirmed that players will be able to bring over their characters and saves from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version...
OlliOlli PC Port Report photo
OlliOlli PC Port Report

PC Port Report: OlliOlli


360 flips with a flippin' 360 controller
Jul 29
// Darren Nakamura
OlliOlli first showed up earlier this year on the PlayStation Vita, and it flip tricked and grinded its way into the heart of Ian Bonds, who gave it a 9.5/10 and called it a masterpiece "in the sweet spot of 'simple to contro...
Leisure Suit Larry photo
Leisure Suit Larry

This Leisure Suit Larry NES port is nearly complete


You didn't even know you wanted it, but now you're getting it
Jul 04
// Brittany Vincent
Ever wanted to play the original Leisure Suit Larry on an NES? Khan Games has been hard at work for quite some time so that you could do just that. At long last, Larry and the Long Look For A Luscious Lover is nearly ready f...
Ratchet and Clank photo
Ratchet and Clank

Ratchet and Clank HD Trilogy coming to Vita in July


Port, port, baby
May 29
// Steven Hansen
<!-- td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;} --> The first three Ratchet and Clank games are still great and now there's one more way to play (or replay) them. The European PlayStation Blog annou...
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Get special unlocks if you own both BattleBlock Theater and Castle Crashers


NEW CHARACTERS
May 17
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
BattleBlock Theater came out this past week on Steam, and there's a ton of discounts to take advantage of if you haven't picked it up just yet. For instance if you already own Castle Crashers you'll get BattleBlock for 35% o...
BattleBlock Theater PC photo
BattleBlock Theater PC

PC Port Report: BattleBlock Theater


Encore! Encore!
May 14
// Darren Nakamura
When BattleBlock Theater originally released last year for Xbox 360, we loved it. The cooperative platforming, secret-hunting, and unmistakable Behemoth style came together into one solid, surprisingly large package. Soon, it...

PC Port Report: Dark Souls II

Apr 24 // Alasdair Duncan
Dark Souls II (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: From SoftwarePublisher: Bandai NamcoRelease: April 24, 2014MRSP: $49.99/£39.99 The PC version of Dark Souls II addresses the two big problems from original version. To start, there's no GFWL support for the online features -- but considering Microsoft is discontinuing its PC service, that's not really a surprise. There are no cloud saves however, which is a shame if you're planning on playing on more than one PC. Additionally, there are plenty of graphics options this time, which makes a welcome change, however this is still clearly a port of a existing console game, make no mistake. Although the opening menus can be navigated using your mouse, it becomes completely clear that you should be using a controller all the time with this version.  Namco released the recommended system specs for Dark Souls II but considering its appearance on the previous generation of consoles, it shouldn't be too much of a burden for an average PC. Whilst the range of graphics options might not be up to the level of a PC-exclusive title, there's room to adjust textures, lighting, anti-aliasing, and both motion and camera blur. My monitor's native resolution of 1920x1080 was supported and the in-game text looked sharp and crisp. As such, don't be afraid to crank up the graphics settings, despite what the auto-detect option may assign you. Despite having a powerful desktop, I was assigned "medium" for almost all of the graphical settings available. Cranking them up certainly makes a difference as the approach to the coastal hub area of Majula looks stunning.  However, some things can only be improved so much; some character models still look pretty basic despite turning up the graphics settings. It can become really obvious standing next to certain NPCs but on the whole, From Software has done a much better job with Dark Souls II when it comes to graphics. On the controls side, using a gamepad is definitely the way to go; whilst a keyboard and mouse combination is feasible (the keyboard bindings are completely customizable), the gameplay has clearly been designed around a controller. The only major problem I had was that Dark Souls II did not want to play nice with Big Picture Mode on Steam. Each time I tried to launch the game on my TV, it crashed and booted straight back to the desktop. Aside from the Big Pictures issues, I felt Dark Souls II performed well and I had no crashes or any game-breaking bugs hinder my experience. If you were hesitant about buying Dark Souls II after the less-than-stellar port of the first game, then you won't have anything to worry about this time.
Dark Souls II PC Report photo
It's better than the original on PC but still isn't perfect
The appearance of the original Dark Souls on PC was welcome but it was... let's say troubled. Its innovative online mode was married to the much maligned Games for Windows Live service and the game was locked at a piddly 1024...

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Final Fantasy III could be coming to PC


German ratings board new listing appears
Apr 18
// Dale North
The sharp eyes at Siliconera found a new listing for Square Enix RPG Final Fantasy III on the Germany USK rating board. What's interesting is that the platform is listed as PC. It's already already on everything else: DS, PSP...

An early look at the PC version of Dark Souls II

Apr 08 // Alasdair Duncan
Dark Souls II (PC [previewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: From Software IncPublisher: Bandai NamcoRelease Date: April 24, 2014MRSP: $49.99/£39.99 Any worries about Dark Souls II becoming more accessible to new players at the cost of its punishing difficulty level were most definitely off the mark. Dark Souls II is exactly what you think it's going to be, with some enhancements or tweaks but nothing that truly changes the way you would expect to play. The player is still required to have patience, to think about each step, and to watch and listen before jumping into battle. I played a preview build of the PC version that had the first hub area and surrounding locations. There's plenty of enemies that will beat you into the ground but I felt I got a good handle of what to expect in the rest of the game. At the start of Dark Souls II, your cursed, undead character takes a leap into a vast whirlpool and into the unknown; waking up in a starting area dubbed Things Betwixt. Here you'll meet a group of elderly sisters, former Fire Keepers, living in a hollowed-out tree. Whilst they don't sound too hopeful, they'll set you on your way with a few items.  It's here you'll choose your class: Warrior, Knight, Swordsman, Bandit, Cleric, Sorcerer, Explorer, or Deprived. The latter is the true hardcore choice as you have no items and only some base level stats, so only approach if you're already a Souls veteran. You can also customize your appearance and sex at this point using a decent range of options. In true series fashion, it's initially overwhelming and you'll maybe make some mistakes but eventually, you'll be able to build your character the way you want.  Majula is the first hub area you'll come across, a bleak but beautiful ruined coastal town home to a few residents. After being underground in the mist and shadows, it's a refreshing change of scenery and it's the first area where you can explore multiple locations. Your destination is Drangleic, a huge city built by King Vendrick but it's a long, long way away. Your path will take you to the Forest of Fallen Giants, a woodland valley that leads to a ruined tower populated by zombie soldiers, armed with daggers and bows. Fighting them is your usual Dark Souls gameplay: get close so they'll initiate their attack and then dodge out of the way before moving in to get in your own strikes. These are just mere footsoldiers but if you're unprepared or rush in, then you're running into disaster. The climb to the tower will see newer enemy types, some sneakily hidden away, but with perseverance you'll get there. Dark Souls II looks great on a PC but there's signs of the game's origins on the outgoing consoles that do weigh it down. Textures can look simplistic and your character will look a little blocky and rough round the edges, though some of the landscapes are beautiful. That's down to the art style, which some players will understandably find offputting in its bleakness but there is a beauty there too. If you've played the first Dark Souls on PC then you'll know a controller is the best way to play the game; whilst a keyboard/mouse setup is feasible, the automatic lock-on function that's set to the right stick on a controller means you're not going to lose any accuracy with ranged weapons.  Dark Souls II, even at the earliest part of the game, feels epic in scope and like a real journey. The game has been in no way watered down to broaden its appeal -- what's happened is that there's been some some tweaking to the classes to make them easier to understand. The opening tutorial level is welcome (what's more pleasing is that you can just run past all of that stuff if you're starting over) even though it can be pretty hard on a new player. Still, the changes are minor and if you're looking for the classic Dark Souls experience, you'll find it here in the sequel.
Dark Souls II PC preview photo
I died...a lot
How many times have I died in Dark Souls II now? 12, 14... 16? Truth is I've already lost count of how many times I've taken a blade to the chest or an arrow to the face. Whenever I think I'm making progress, something takes ...

The Last of Us photo
The Last of Us

The Last of Us reportedly shambling onto PS4


This is it, the apocalypse
Mar 27
// Brittany Vincent
While the idea of a possible sequel has done an admirable job of quelling the flames of desire for more, Sony has yet to announce an actual, honest-to-goodness follow up to Naughty Dog's 2013 blockbuster The Last of...
Borderlands 2 Vita photo
Borderlands 2 Vita

First footage of Borderlands 2 for PS Vita shows up


Looks like Borderlands 2... with some concessions
Mar 20
// Darren Nakamura
We have known about the PlayStation Vita port of Borderlands 2 for a while, but had not yet seen or heard much more about it. The port is due out some time this year, and now we have the first look at how the shooter plays o...
Gone to consoles photo
Gone to consoles

Gone Home going to consoles this fall


Go home again
Mar 10
// Steven Hansen
Majesco's indie publishing label Midnight City is bringing last year's surprise hit Gone Home to consoles later this fall, it has announced. Details on which consoles it will release for and when exactly are not yet availabl...

PC Port Report: Thief

Mar 04 // Alasdair Duncan
The first thing that will become apparent is that Thief has been designed to be played with a controller, which makes sense for a couple of reasons. It doesn't really require the precision aiming that you'd need in some other first-person games; Garret isn't a character that needs to be pulling off quick headshots. The other big reason is movement; the analog sticks give a much smoother rate of movement than on a keyboard. Garret has three distinct speeds, either walking, sprinting, or a slow creep and transitioning between them feels a lot smoother using the control sticks as opposed to the keyboard. Traversing the occasional third-person climbing sequences feels a lot more fluid using the controller too.  Thankfully, Thief will automatically detect your controller once you plug it in. There were times where I was considering having the controller on my lap even though I was playing through the game with my mouse and keyboard. For instance, the lockpicking system benefits from having the rumble functionality of the Xbox 360 controller, as this will alert you to when you can pick the pin. If you're using a mouse, then you'll have to make a circular motion with your mouse to pick the lock. It's feels really ungainly and it's something you'll be doing whenever you turn a wheel as well. Performance wise, it's a bit of a mixed bag. I have a pretty powerful PC with an SSD but some of the load times still felt a little long, especially when loading a previous save file. Aside from that, I didn't see any drop in performance, not even in some of the rare action sequences. The lighting effects are consistently top drawer and the detail on the characters and buildings is really sharp. There's a handy benchmarking tool built into the PC version but it doesn't actually make adjustments for you -- it's a matter of running the benchmark tool and adjusting your settings to get the best mix of performance and good looks. Whilst it doesn't hit the high points of the previous Thief titles, this 2014 release is still worth playing on PC. Give the controller option a try if you're not feeling that the keyboard and mouse controls are your thing; both have their places as far as I'm concerned. Oh, and take on some of the side missions as soon as you can; to me, that's where the heart of the game really lies. 
Thief PC Port photo
PC version didn't steal my heart like a thief in the night
The Thief series began on the PC, and it's one of those games that old people like me say has its spiritual home there. So it's no surprise that the new Thief reboot/remake would come under scrutiny as to how well it performs...

Resident Evil 4 HD photo
Resident Evil 4 HD

PC Port Report: Resident Evil 4 HD


Long live the king
Feb 26
// Steven Hansen
Did you somehow miss Resident Evil 4? I mean, okay, the Gamecube wasn't the most popular console in the world, but it was ported to the PS2, which everyone had five of. And later to the Wii, which everyone had five more of. A...
Final Fantasy VI photo
Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VI now available on iOS


Art style still questionable
Feb 06
// Harry Monogenis
Just a heads up, everyone; Final Fantasy VI, which was recently ported to Android, is now available on iOS devices from the App Store for $15.99. The android version of Square Enix's RPG launched nearly a month ago,...






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