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    This Week In Gaming 7-9-19


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    Innuendo Studios explores the meaning of genre using adventure games as a guide, Carolyn Petit on the ways people find meaning in the games they play and how the story of 198X captures trying to find that meaning, Grace examines Hellblade's failure to depict mental illness, Mat Westhorpe's account of what the friends made in Elite Dangerous meant to his nephew in his final days, Game Score Fanfare discusses why old game music is seen as being more memorable than modern soundtracks by looking at the history and evolution of hardware and design, Noclip covers how E3 itself and press coverage and showings have evolved, Blizzard looking to hire people for roles they laid off a few months ago, Renegade Cut examines why outrage over smaller breasts and functional wardrobes in games exists, Archipel talks to developers of iconic Dreamcast titles about its legacy and their work on it, Xalavier Nelson Jr. on the innovation of Peter Jackson’s King Kong, and more.

     

     

    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)

     

    Desperados III - Closed Beta Announcement Trailer

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    Desperados III, the upcoming real-time tactics game, that was recently nominated as Best Strategy Game of E3 for the official game critics awards. Although Desperados III is really breathtaking, it didn't have a fair chance to win, as one of the competitors was the one and only John Wick. And everyone knows you shouldn't mess with John Wick.

     

    Why John Wick Hex ended up a strategy game instead of a shooter

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    I'll be honest: when John Wick Hex was first unveiled back in May, I had my doubts. Although the trailer displayed a clear vision and original approach, I wondered how the John Wick films - notoriously fast and improvisational in style - could be translated into a slower-paced strategy game without losing... well, their John Wick-ness. How on earth would that fluid, choreographed, almost-balletic fighting style be represented in the game?

    All this scepticism meant that when I tried John Wick Hex at E3, I was in for a big surprise. I found myself really engaging with the decision-making process, and gradually speeding up to the point I could dominate a room (in style) without batting an eyelid.

     

    Completing One House In Fire Emblem: Three Houses Takes About 80 Hours

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    Fire Emblem: Three Houses' director, Toshiyuki Kasukihara, recently spoke with French gaming site jeuxvideo.com about the upcoming game's length. Kasukihara said that without skipping dialogue or cutscenes, just completing one of the game's houses took about 80 hours.

    “Without the help of Koei Tecmo it simply wouldn’t have been possible” – Fire Emblem: Three Houses developers on their biggest strategy RPG yet

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    After snatching victory from the jaws of defeat on the Nintendo 3DS, Fire Emblem is finally back on a main console – and its directors hope it’s the biggest and best entry yet.

     

    CD Projekt says it's not actually working on multiple Cyberpunk games

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    "We currently have a total of five teams working on a number of projects, with three focusing on the development of Cyberpunk 2077. These include CD Projekt Red Warsaw and Kraków, who are handling the main game, as well as the Wrocław studio, where around 40 industry specialists are engaged in technology R&D," a CD Projekt rep said in an email.

    CYBERPUNK’S MIKE PONDSMITH: ‘MY WIFE GUESSED THEY HAD KEANU REEVES’

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    Oh yeah. Somebody asked me a while back if Cyberpunk was political and I said inherently it’s always political. It’s not politics in terms of right or left, or even conservative versus liberal… everything is political. Human beings are political. First we got food, then we got prostitution, then we got politics. And we might have gotten politics before prostitution, but I’m not sure. Basically, it’s all political but a big part of what Cyberpunk talks about is the disparities of power and how technology readdresses that.

     

    WayForward drop an ass-kicking trailer for River City Girls

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    Out of nowhere, Shantae developer WayForward has released, nay, unleashed the first trailer for the next game in the head-cracking River City/Kunio-kun series: River City Girls, coming to PC and consoles in September. The development is also being overseen by fighting game gods Arc System Works.

     

    The Outer Worlds co-director says it will be political, but not 'politically charged'

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    Obsidian creative director Leonard Boyarsky said in a recent interview with VGC that the studio is not trying to make its upcoming RPG The Outer Worlds into "a really hard, politically-charged game," and that it is being very careful not to "lecture" players about its themes. But his description of those themes, which include "power and how power is used against people who don't have it," has an awfully political ring to it.

     

    Spaceland is a bite-sized sci-fi strategy game that plays like XCOM

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    Tortuga Team wants to slake your alien-murdering bloodlust with its recently announced strategy sci-fi RPG, Spaceland. The studio, whose first strategy game tackled the fantasy genre, is returning with some sleeker 3D models over the 2D from Braveland.

     

    Spiritfarer is about death, but it's how it treats life that makes it unusual

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    Nicolas Guérin is reassuring me. He’s the creative director at Thunder Lotus Games and they’re working on Spiritfarer, announced at E3 2019 as a “cosy management game about dying.” I need reassuring because I’ve played a 15-minute demo of Spiritfarer and I’m worried that a game that treats death lightly will make light of the suffering that is death’s bedfellow.

     

    Death Mark Successor NG Will Arrive In The West In October 2019

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    During its Anime Expo 2019 panel, Aksys confirmed it would be releasing NG, a spiritual sequel to Death Mark and the second Spirit Hunter game, outside of Japan. It will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PC in October 2019.

     

    Mighty Gunvolt Burst Jumps And Shoots Onto Steam On July 31

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    At Anime Expo 2019, Inti Creates announced at their panel that Mighty Gunvolt Burst, the 2D spinoff featuring Beck from Mighty No. 9 and Gunvolt from the Gunvolt series is coming to PC via Steam.

     

    Shantae 5 - Studio TRIGGER Opening Animation

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    Presenting the Opening Animation for Shantae 5, created by none other than the revered Studio TRIGGER! TRIGGER producer Naoko Tsutsumi (Little Witch Academia) collaborated with Shantae creator Erin Bozon (Futurama) and Matt Bozon (series director) to bring the Shantae characters to life. Vocals for the opening were performed by Cristina Vee (Miraculous Ladybug), featuring an original composition by Mark Sparling and musical arrangement by Maddie Lim.

     

    Acclaimed board game dungeon crawler Gloomhaven's digital adaptation enters Steam Early Access next week

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    Asmodee Digital's video game adaptation of critically acclaimed dungeon crawler board game Gloomhaven will be entering Steam Early Access next week, on Wednesday 17th July.

     

    One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 Announced

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    Bandai Namco has officially announced One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4, the next iteration of the Dynasty Warriors and One Piece mashup series.

     

    Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition Coming To Switch, Steam Next Year

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    Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth has earned a reputation as one of the better Digimon games in recent years, but so far it's been confined to Sony consoles. Next year, that's changing.

     

    InXile boss Brian Fargo says the Wasteland series 'is our Fallout'

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    The recently un-retired Fargo wants to keep working on Wasteland for the next decade.

     

    Borderlands 3 wants to make multiplayer more accessible

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    If you absolutely must, Borderlands can be played all on your lonesome, but the series has always encouraged vault hunters to team up with buds to shoot skags and make some cash. At a panel at Guardian Con last week, Gearbox revealed how it's expanding co-op with new features and greater accessibility in Borderlands 3.

     

    Yo-Kai Watch 4 Is Being Localized For The West On Nintendo Switch

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    While Yo-Kai Watch 4 has already released on Nintendo Switch in Japan, nothing has been said regarding the West – until today, where at the Level-5 Anime Expo panel, a Western localization was announced.

     

    Two new Starbase videos showcase deep-space battles and robotic gunfights

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    The outer-space MMO Starbase struck us as a cross between EVE Online and Minecraft when it was announced in May. Players can design and build spaceships, then take them into the void to mine, trade, form alliances and factions, and—naturally—shoot at each other, both in large-scale ship-to-ship battles, and in more personal shooter-style combat between robotic avatars.

     

    A romantic glimpse at Haven in motion, from the makers of Furi

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    Haven looks like a lovely, chill game, which is exactly The Game Bakers’s stated intent. Veering hard in the opposite direction to their intense boss-rush shoot ‘o brawler Furi, Haven is a scenic and soft-looking RPG about a young couple that fled to an alien world to be together. While previously little more than a name and a short teaser trailer, the developers are now eager to talk about it, and let us see a little bit of it in motion. They’re open about their inspirations, talking about them in this blog post. Below, a trailer showing off what they describe as “Journey meets Persona“.

     

    Ciel Fledge sends the Princess Maker formula to space this autumn

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    Despite being a niche within a niche, Ciel Fledge is unmistakably walking in the footsteps of Gainax’s influential Princess Maker series. They’re parenting simulators, tasking you with scheduling and steering a child’s life until they’re ready to fly the coop. Studio Namaapa are transplanting the concept into the far future, where the last remnants of the human race live on floating sky-cities, while aliens have taken over Earth. As such, the player is tasked with teaching their kid the lessons they need in life, love and laser combat. It’s due in autumn – see a trailer below.

     

    The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III’s New Gameplay Trailer Takes Us Into Battle

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    In a couple months fans will finally get their hands on the English version of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III when it releases this September. While waiting, check out its latest gameplay trailer from NIS America.

     

    Classic Strategy RPGs Langrisser 1 and 2 Are Getting Remakes Early Next Year

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    The classic tactics series Langrisser is getting an overhaul for modern consoles. Langrisser 1 and 2 will come as a packaged deal, remade for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC via Steam.

     

    There's A New Turok Game Coming Out This Month, And It's Super Cute

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    While it seems to have come out of nowhere, Turok: Escape From Lost Valley was one of six finalists in last year’s Universal GameDev Challenge. The contest, launched during the 2018 Game Developers Conference, challenged small teams of Unity developers to create games based on iconic Universal-owned properties. The contest’s $150,000 grand prize went to developer Gbanga for one-on-one strategy game Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion, also coming to Steam on July 25. Despite not winning the big prize, Pillow Pig Games’ chibi take on Turok is getting a Universal Studios Interactive Entertainment release as well.

     

    Gundam Gacha Game Battle Operation 2 Headed West This Year

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    Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2 isn't a new title in the series, but American audiences will finally have a chance to get in its gacha Gundam action later this year.

     

    The First 15 Minutes of Stranger Things 3: The Game Gameplay

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    Spoiler Warning! Stranger Things 3: The Game follows the plot of Season 3 of Stranger Things. So while this is just an early look at the start of the game on PC, keep that in mind if you want to watch the show fresh.

    Stranger Things 3 Game Is A Boring Rehash Of The Show

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    In season three of Netflix’s Stranger Things, the idyllic small-town peace of Hawkins, Indiana is once again shattered by from another dimension. Only this time, there’s a licensed tie-in video game to document all of the show’s pop culture references and 80s nostalgia in pixelated detail. And document it the game does, performing the role of stenographer admirably, if somewhat lifelessly.

     

    Kingdom Under Fire 2 marches into Europe and America this year

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    I refuse to believe it until I’m actually playing, but Blueside’s possibly cursed action-MMO/RTS hybrid Kingdom Under Fire 2 is coming to Europe and America later this year via Gameforge. This is especially stunning for me, as I’ve been following the Total War/Dynasty Warriors mix since it was originally intended to be an Xbox 360 game, and I had just about given up hope. You know who covered this game last for RPS? Some guy named Jim, nine years ago. Below, a new teaser trailer, plus some notable events on the long, pothole-laden road KUF2 has travelled.

     

    Capcom’s Teppen Is Bizarre And Better Than We Expected

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    Tack explains to Hanson and Leo why the new real-time card battler from GungHo and Capcom is worth checking out. Teppen is available now on Android and iOS.

     

    The First 13 Minutes of Control - IGN First

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    We'll be revealing exclusive new information and gameplay from Remedy's Control all month. To kick it off, let's begin at the beginning.

     

    PES 2020: PS4 Pro Gameplay - Man United Vs. PES Legends

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    PES 2020's release date is fast approaching, so take a look at some fresh PS4 Pro gameplay that showcases the newly-licensed Man Utd. PES 2020 releases on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on September 10.

     

    Shenmue 3 backers won't get Steam keys at launch, but refunds will be available

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    Shenmue 3 developer Ys Net has posted an update on its Kickstarter addressing backers of the PC version, which recently become an Epic Games Store exclusive despite plans to launch on Steam. Ys Net, along with publisher Deep Silver and Epic Games said they'd "assess the situation" after the news was less than well received. The result is unlikely to unruffle those feathers.

    Killing Time In Shenmue III

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    At long last, Shenmue III is finally in the home stretch of development. The revenge saga of Ryo Hazuki, who witnessed his father's murder at the hands of Lan Di in 2000's Shenmue on Dreamcast, is finally ready to continue. Announced at E3 2015 as a Kickstarter campaign, Shenmue III picks up after the events of 2002's Shenmue II, meaning that by the time the game launches, it will have been 17 years between releases. I had a chance to play a brief demo of Shenmue III and speak to series creator Yu Suzuki about how development is going.

     

    Metal Wolf Chaos XD is Coming To Save The Nation This August

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    The nation's in trouble, and only the 47th President of the United States can stop it, using a mechanized war machine. The all-American mech action game Metal Wolf Chaos' HD update, dubbed XD, is coming August 6.

     

    The 5 most exciting Warframe announcements from Tennocon

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    With ship-to-ship space combat, another open world zone, and more story quests on the horizon, Warframe keeps getting bigger.

     

    Elite Dangerous’ giant Fleet Carrier bases arrive in December

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    At the Lavecon Elite Dangerous event today, attendees got their first look at where the game is headed for the rest of 2019 – with details on what’s being added to the game in the big September and December updates, and a new trailer for the latest big addition to the Elite universe: Fleet Carriers.

     

    Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Makes You Fear Both Monsters and the Cold

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    Freezing Weather is another beast entirely in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne.

    Exclusive, New Impressions On Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

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    In this excerpt from The Game Informer Show podcast, Ben Hanson, Jeff Cork, and Dan Tack talk about traveling to Capcom's headquarters in Osaka to play and learn all about Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. We discuss the new hub Seliana and hunting Velkhana and Barioth.

    Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Bestiary Day 1 – The Saber-Toothed Barioth

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    Monster Hunter World: Iceborne’s menagerie comprises a wide assortment of monsters, both new and returning. Today, we’re looking at Barioth, one of the returning beasts. It’s no surprise that this guy’s a fan-favorite – what’s not to love about a dragon/cat hybrid? We spoke with the team at Capcom about what it took to bring the monster into Monster Hunter World, how it fits into Hoarfrost Reach’s larger ecosystem, and much more.

     

    This Year's Steam Summer Sale Was A Mess, Game Developers Say

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    This year’s Grand Prix-themed Steam summer sale was a bumpy ride, to say the least. Two weeks ago, Valve apologized and altered the sale’s meta game—in which players join teams and “race” against each other for prizes—after players found it unbalanced and confusing, and developers suffered a bloodbath of sudden wishlist deletions. Now, with the sale winding down, it seems that Valve’s efforts weren’t enough to undo the damage the confusing sale structure did to indie developers.

     

    Blizzard is hiring Hearthstone community managers – having laid the whole team off five months ago

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    In February this year, Activision-Blizzard announced that more than 800 employees would be losing their jobs as part of company-wide lay-offs. Now, it looks like Blizzard is beginning to re-hire for some of those roles, despite axing them just a few months ago.

     

    Paradox's Fredrik Wester defends company's DLC policy

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    Former CEO says business model isn't flawless but funds ongoing development and allows for experimentation

     

    Yogscast cuts ties with Matthew 'Caff' Meredith after sexual harassment allegations

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    Meredith's entire mod team abandons him as eight victims come forward in three days

     

    TinyBuild CEO denies withholding GOG patches for piracy concerns

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    TinyBuild is the publisher behind Hello Neighbor, Party Hard, Graveyard Keeper and other titles – and like many PC publishers, a number of its games can be found on GOG.com, DRM-free of course. However, for a while now players have noticed that a number of the publisher’s GOG releases have problems in some way – deluxe editions aren’t available, soundtracks are missing, and some even have DLCs not included.

     

    G2A blame rogue staff for undisclosed promotion schem

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    Key-reseller marketplace G2A should probably consider digging up, after a recent series of PR gaffes culminated in an apparent attempt to have media outlets publish undisclosed promotion. Thomas Faust of Indie Games Plus blew the lid off this one, sharing via Twitter an email he had received earlier today. In it, G2A push to have an “unbiased” piece that they had written be published, explicitly without mentioning that it was by them. G2A have since responded, confirming the email is authentic, but claiming that it was “sent by our employee without authorization”.

     

    ATTITUDE PRIDE AWARDS: THE GAMER WHO RAISED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS FOR AN UNDER-FIRE TRANS YOUTH CHARITY

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    The comedy gamer runs the HBomberGuy channel on YouTube where he often talks about politics and social issues and back in February this year, Harry became a hero for young trans people when he went out of his way to show his support.

     

    Obituary: Eternal Darkness composer Steve Henifin

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    Henifin was a longtime composer and musician, lending his talents to the soundtracks of games like Eternal Darkness, Too Human, and several Metal Gear Solid titles throughout his career. His work dates back to the early ‘90s, and also includes projects as recent as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

     

    Hacker in DDoS attacks on Daybreak Games gets two years in prison

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    Another hacker behind attacks on Daybreak Game Company, then known as Sony Online Entertainment, is going to prison. Austin Thompson of Utah will be behind bars for the next 27 months, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California announced Tuesday.

     

    After Brexit, France promises subsidies and tax breaks to relocating game devs

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    France hosts a healthy game development scene including studios like Arkane, Dontnod, and Quantic Dream, as well as one of the industry’s biggest publishers in Ubisoft. Now, the country is promoting its support of the game industry to developers who might be looking to relocate in a new programme called Join the Game – conspicuously against continued uncertainties around Brexit.

     

    Tencent, Chinese gaming companies push new age rating system

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    Proposed system would have four categories, spearheaded by publishers and developers

     

    Esports News

     

    Smash Ultimate community bullies 15-year-old player into nearly retiring

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    The Smash Ultimate community has been accused of bullying a 15-year-old player into nearly retiring from the game, after she made headlines for defeating top Smash Bros player Ally. Bocchi later stated that would be looking to withdraw from the Smash Bros community, adding that she would also no longer stream in order to avoid the negative backlash against her from some corners of the game’s audience.

     

    Smash Pro Retires After Admitting To Relationship With Teenage Competitor

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    Elliot “Ally” Carroza-Oyarce is one of the best Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players in the world, but his career came to an apparent end recently when the 28 year old confirmed allegations that he had been involved in a romantic relationship with a much younger fellow pro who may have been 16 at the time.

     

    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)

     

    GIGABUSTER - Blazing action platformer (Demo Available)

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    Action platformer inspired by Mega Man Zero and Mega Man X, focusing on fluid movement and combat.

     

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)

     

    Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Trauma, and the Power of Editing

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    “Is this the price you pay for the gift you have?”

    Dillion, protagonist Senua’s dearly departed, says this as a token of comfort. Senua suffers from psychosis (the game starts with a warning for those who actually have the mental illness). However, her mental state is also associated with magical gifts: a sixth sense in combat, an ability to recognize patterns where no one else would, and visions of the future. Here, Dillion proposes that Senua’s suffering is Good Actually™. Without it, she could not find beauty like she can now. Her suffering allows her to become who she is. It allows her to become strong. She should accept it. And be grateful. This attitude towards suffering got a lot of mainstream attention with Game of Thrones’s final season, but it’s a fairly common trope in video games in general. Hellblade, though, operates as its nadir. It’s a game that wears the clothes of progressive politics, centering a strong female character, touting its research and care, but that uses the same worn story of trauma being equal to strength. To borrow a framework from Eden Zinck, Hellblade is exploitation without honesty.

     

    How Artifact became Valve's biggest failure

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    "It was a couple of weeks before the Artifact launch, and I was like, they can't really launch it like this can they?" Sean "Swim" Huguenard tells Eurogamer.

     

    How a video game community filled my nephew's final days with joy

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    In Michael’s last week of life, thanks to the Elite Dangerous player community, a whole network of new friends sprang up in our darkest hour and made things more bearable with a magnificent display of empathy, kindness and creativity. I know it was Michael’s wish to celebrate the generosity he was shown, so I’ve written this account of how Frontier and friends made the intolerable last days of a 15-year-old boy infinitely better.

     

    Game Industry Salary

     

    How the cat jokes and beast names of Monster Hunter: World are translated into English

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    “I do remember there being some pretty bad cat puns that we all wish we could unhear,” Marco Bombasi tells me. He’s the localisation director for Monster Hunter: World, the man in charge of translating the dinosaur-harvesting game from its original Japanese into other languages, including English. Every player in Monster Hunter gets a cat sidekick who says things like “Hello Meow-ster”, so I’ve asked Bombasi if writing the game’s ubiquitous cat punnage ever produced wordplay so heinous it managed to give the team paws for thought. He says yes, it got bad.

     

    De-Organization and Salvation — Politics of The Self in LUCAH: Born of a Dream

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    LUCAH: Born of a Dream, from gamedev collective melessthanthree, thrusts you head-first into a world beyond any sense of logic or understanding. Everything around you coalesces into an undulating mass of incomprehensible action; the only thing that makes sense anymore is fighting. Some of the first words that greet you in this world: ”You can’t help but feel you’ve been here before. You can’t help but feel they only want to hurt you. But you know you must move forward. You must fight.” And fight you do, pushing back against the ever encroaching Darkness that blankets the land.

     

    Labor and Capital

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    Animation shouldn’t be an underappreciated aspect of game development. Why? The answer is that how you hold your body betrays things like your socioeconomic status. Laborers typically stumble. Capitalists tend to strut. While it may not seem like a big deal, this actually has important implications when it comes to building worlds like the one in Dishonored 2. Social tensions don’t stand out when everybody in the game seems strangely similar. Characters simply aren’t convincing when they don’t walk the right walk.

     

    Artistic Censorship

     

    Worldwide Infamy: The Birth Of Carmen Sandiego

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    Like most kids, Doug and Gary Carlston had to find creative ways to amuse themselves. However, as children of U.S. expatriates living in Germany, the Carlston boys didn’t have access to many fancy toys or modern technology. They had books. Self-proclaimed geography nerds, the boys would stay up late into the night quizzing each other out of an atlas – trying to list off all the national capitals or naming the locations of famous landmarks. Years later, Doug and Gary would form their own software company and they’d turn their childhood “game” into an actual product that would become a lasting cultural icon and go on to define educational software for an entire generation.

     

    Alfred Chicken: Cheesy Mascot, Excellent Politician

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    In 1993, Mindscape had hired designer Karl Fitzhugh as a product manager for their UK branch. It is unclear as too how much experience Karl has previously had in product management, but if his MobyGames profile is correct, Karl had only marketed one other game before being hired at Mindscape.

    His first duty? To market the up and coming release of Alfred Chicken for the Amiga.

     

    Opinion: Epic Games is so aggressive because it wants the PC games market to itself

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    People have been clamouring for Steam to have a real competitor for some time now. The platonic ideal was that someone could build a better service, but the way capitalism works, making real money is often more about preventing someone else from making profit rather than providing a better service.

     

    Exploring the afterlife of historical sites in video games

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    I've spent hours walking the halls of Volterra Asylum, and yet I've never actually visited it. The Town of Light contains a meticulous reconstruction of the Ospedale Psichiatrico di Volterra in Italy, inviting you to explore the asylum as well as interacting with documents and objects based on actual archive materials from the institution in order to relive the memories of fictional patient Renée. The Town of Light allows you to experience a heritage site with a difficult social history, an ostensibly pastoral centre which mistreated and even abused its patients. It's a kind of dark digital tourism experience.

     

    Looking Back On Final Fantasy X With Producer Yoshinori Kitase

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    That’s only scratching the surface. A clever queue-based battle system allowed players to swap allies in or out, and a variety of minigames (including Blitzball, which is basically underwater soccer) added variety to the journey. This combination of fun mechanics and storytelling was such a hit that Final Fantasy X spawned the first direct sequel in the franchise – and some fans are still hoping for another one. Regardless of what the future holds, the past is clear: Final Fantasy X is a landmark RPG, and we had the opportunity to talk to its producer, Yoshinori Kitase, to get some behind-the-scenes insight about this classic.

     

    198X and Being Players in a Dangerous Time

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    198X is a game about how games can mean more to us. If it didn’t let the games that Kid plays within it make their own kind of meaning, unfettered by story specifics, it would undercut its own effectiveness. Unlike so many pixel art games that play as homages to the past and simply want to replicate and capitalize on our memories, 198X is interested in commenting on them, in exploring just what our experiences with the games of the past may have meant to us. Stories in games back then were routinely disposable but that doesn’t mean that the games didn’t mean anything. They did. Through their imagery and music and the way they made us feel, they took on all kinds of meaning, offering places where those of us who felt like losers could be heroes, where those of us who never felt like we fit in here in the real world could belong, could be wanted, could be needed.

     

    Thousands perish in Elite Dangerous expedition, but survivors reach the edge of the galaxy

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    Woah. I was too distracted during the disgusting month of E3 to pay attention to what really matters: the space news. The Elite Dangerous expedition which saw 13,000 players set out to cross the galaxy in a long trip has finally ended after six months. Just over one quarter of those explorers touched down at Beagle Point last month, which is practically the furthest you can get from our own blazing sunball without leaving the known galaxy. A total of 3747 pilots made it, according to the organisers of the giganto-journey. However, this is a bittersweet moment, because thousands of other players bit the spacedust along the way.

     

    Peter Jackson’s King Kong was the most innovative game of its console generation

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    The seventh generation console games from this time tended to swerve between trends. There were the open-world maps crowded with icons, and a small army of gritty third-person shooters that followed in the wake of Gears of War. If you wondered why a disc-only King Kong tie-in was included in the last wave of backwards compatible games made backwards compatible for Xbox One, it’s because, like the beast that shares its name, Peter Jackson’s King Kong stands alone.

     

    Judgment is a new Yakuza spin-off where women still play old-fashioned roles

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    Kamurocho itself has also changed in subtle ways. Based on Tokyo’s Kabukicho, the district is known for its seedy establishments, but Judgment has toned this down by ditching the sleazy mini-games of the past from hostess dates to an underground women’s wrestling cage, while cabaret clubs and soapland parlours are only referenced within a narrative context. Just one observation is how the internet cafe where you could chat up camgirls in Yakuza 6 functions as just the hangout spot of a hacker friend.

    But if Judgment feels like Yakuza undergoing a modern makeover in some respects, it’s unfortunately still archaic when it comes to the roles given to its female cast.

     

    'Project Winter' Is the Best Game About Betrayal This Year

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    All of the broken friendships of Mafia or Werewolf, with a dash of snowbound horror.

     

    CASTLEVANIA: STOP WORRYING ABOUT YOUR TOYS

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    Something about fans I’ve always suspected is that none of us particularly know what we want. They call it running the asylum on a certain website. Maybe it’s true, because I can’t remember the last time someone was a super fan of a franchise and did anything interesting with it.

    The most immediate, damning thing about Castlevania: Lords of Shadows is that it was probably made by people who were huge fans of Castlevania as a franchise. That’s important, and I’ll keep coming back to it over and over again.

     

    Harvest Moon Was My Introduction to the Concept of Death

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    As a child, I had heard of death. I wore a bracelet with my name on it that a family friend had gotten made before he died in a car crash prior to my birth. My mom would tell me stories of her sister who was killed during the Nicaraguan Revolution. But someone I personally knew hadn’t died. So after six in-game years in Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life, the understanding that came with the death of my virtual extension devastated me.

     

    Why Now Is The Perfect Time For The Final Fantasy VII Remake

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    Instead, I found myself thinking about how… well-timed all of this is. In 1997, the world of Gaia, the game’s setting, seemed like—well, pardon the term—a fantasy. The structure of Midgar, a two-tiered city that was about as subtle a commentary on class divide as a brick to the head, a community that required eight Mako (read: nuclear) Reactors to keep running, nevertheless seemed like something far beyond what we would see here in the real world to my then-fourteen-year-old eyes. Mako is, in the game’s terms, the “life-essence” of the planet, harvested in a non-sustainable fashion to power Shinra Corp’s technological wonders.

     

    The Creators Of Disney Infinity Wanted To Make A Game About Toy Story Characters Exploring Space

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    Imagine Captain Woody and his fearless crew of toys journeying from planet to planet, looking for signs of life and new lands to explore. Tasked by Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, the rinky dink cast of Toy Story were going to explore the edges of space helping colonies of toys from all over the galaxy.

     

    Remembering Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World: The Game | PostMesmeric

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    What was originally an exciting throwback to old-school beat-em-ups has become a ghost of the digital age. It's time to explore this now-delisted title and see how it succeeds where other licensed adaptations have failed. Today, we're looking at Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World: The Game.

    Support PostMesmeric on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/PostMesmeric

     

    What Happened to Memorable Game Music? | Game Score Fanfare

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    For years we've been bemoaning the death of classic video game melodies. So what happened? The answer, as it turns out, is not that simple.

    Support Game Score Fanfare on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/gamescorefanfare

     

    A Dream Cast - Part 1

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    Last year in Ebb and Flow, we discussed with some of the game creators who are behind Japan's recently acclaimed games on their views on the state of the industry.

    This year, for the 20th anniversary of the Dreamcast, we decided to engage in another set of conversations; this time with the game creators behind some of the console's most iconic titles.

    In this first part, these creators will tell us more about how they encountered the Dreamcast, the context at the time, in addition to the story behind their titles.

    Full Cast: Hiroshi Iuchi (Ikaruga), Kenji Kanno (Crazy Taxi), Masayoshi Kikuchi (Jet Set Radio), Rieko Kodama (Eternal Arcadia), Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Space Channel 5 / Rez), Tetsu Okano (Segagaga), Yoot Saito (Seaman) & Hiroaki Yotoriyama (SoulCalibur)

    A Dream Cast - Part 2

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    SEGA announced the discontinuation of the Dreamcast in January 2001, less than three years after its release. In the second part of this documentary, we asked the game creators about the reasons the console met this fate, in addition to the legacy that it leaves behind.

     

    Who Shot Guybrush Threepwood? | Genre and the Adventure Game

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    The Outrage Is About Control, Not Breasts | Renegade Cut

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    Censorship is the suppression of an idea or image by an entity more powerful than its target. No entity more powerful than Square-Enix is forcing the design of Final Fantasy VII character Tifa. The outrage about her current design is a reactionary movement against an unequal status quo. Support Renegade Cut Media through Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/renegadecut

     

    The Witcher Retrospective

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    I count The Witcher 3 as one of my favorite games of all time, but I missed a lot of context having not played the previous two games or read the books. I've now read all the books, and this video is the first of three looking at the entire trilogy. Enjoy.

    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/CDavis_Games

     

    Understanding the Music of Minecraft

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    In this video, I analyze Minecraft's soundtrack in an effort to understand why we connect with it so well.

    Like my videos a ton? Consider becoming a Patron!: https://www.patreon.com/liamtriforce

     

    Recreating Celeste's Core C-SIDE in Mario Maker 2

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    Course ID: 1WQ-CGF-NRG

    To me, Celeste's Core C-Side is the most iconic level in the game. It recaps some of the biggest mechanics from your journey through Celeste in one long menacing sequence and the finale of the stage is both a nail biter and a controller smasher. So for my first Mario Maker level ever, I thought it would be the perfect way to hop in and immediately learn a lot about making courses by challenging myself big time. Here's what I learned, I hope you enjoy! And be Sure to play the stage if you have Mario Maker 2!

     

    Behind the Scenes with the Games Media at E3 2019

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    Noclip investigates the evolution of E3. With behind the scenes interviews from CD Project, Twitch, IGN, Vice Games, Rebb Ford, Tim Schafer, Ben Pack, SkillUp and many others, we look at how the conference has changed over the past 25 years in response to the changing face of games coverage. Noclip's work is 100% crowdfunded.

    Consider becoming a member on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/noclip

     

    Useful ROM Hacks for Retro Games - Restorations, Fan Translations, Colorizations / MY LIFE IN GAMING

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    We're impressed with all the crazy ROM hacks out there today, but we lose interest in playing them fairly quickly. But what kinds of ROM hacks might interest someone who normally doesn't play ROM hacks? In this episode, Coury takes a look ROM hacks of a more utilitarian nature.

    Support our endeavors on Patreonhttp://www.patreon.com/mylifeingaming

     

    Composer David Wise Dissects Donkey Kong Country's Best Music

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    In this excerpt from The Game Informer Show podcast, Rare's original composer David Wise walks us through the creation of some of the best music from Donkey Kong Country like Gangplank Galleon, Stickerbush Symphony, and the title theme for Diddy's Kong Quest. He also talks about his work on the upcoming game Tamarin.

     

    The Design of Subnautica

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    In this 2019 GDC session, Unknown Worlds' Charlie Cleveland discusses the design of Subnautica and how it created feelings of exploration, discovery and the unknown.

     

    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks

     

    Zelda Wouldn't Be Great Without Its Wild 2D Experiments

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    Given the shorter development times and lower budgets of the 2D games it makes sense that Nintendo is more prone to experimenting with different ideas while creating them. Whether that experimentation comes in the form of touch controls, or multiplayer, or non-linear structures, very few 2D Zeldas are alike. This works out in everybody’s favor because it helps keep things interesting, and also because the constant cycle of experimentation with the 2D games has saved the series’ bacon on several occasions.

    Let’s take a look back at the history of the 2D, top-down Zelda game, and see how each one represented a unique sort of experiment.

     



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