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Legolas_Katarn

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  • Birthday 09/09/1990

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    Learning about video game industry and design history, translation, and effects and influences on different countries and culture. Sleeping, Tabletop RPGs (Pathfinder, Numenera, Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars Fantasy Flight, Pendragon, D&D 5th, etc), spicy food/hot sauce, sleeping, intersectional feminism, history in general, sleeping, cats, and not going outside when the sun is out.

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  1. Completed: Sigma Theory Platform: PC Sigma Theory has you choose a team of four agents each with an intelligence and strength skill and passive traits that make them better or worse in different areas. Each playable country is trying to acquire scientist to research technology that will greatly push forward advancement in different areas. You can hack other countries to lower their alert levels, find what scientists they have through hacking or having your agents travel and investigate, convince scientists to become double agents, extract or capture them on short missions that give you a few decisions that will make things easier or harder on your agent, and if you want to use researched technology yourself or give it to powerful secret factions for less victory points and probably terrible results for humanity but bonuses in other areas. It's an interesting idea but it is all way to limited. You usually only have two choices, faction missions will always play out the same way, extractions are limited, your agents might have some detail in their backgrounds but will almost never say or do anything interesting in the game and have no relationships among each other, the research plotline makes the game short and the game would probably be more interesting without it and the focused moved to expanded character and mission interaction. It gives you no real information about the actual numbers behind outcomes making it difficult to judge how effective some things are, many of the agents you could use seem like they would basically be useless, and intelligence and hacking abilities is so much more useful than anything else that there is little reason to go with any other type of agent as your game has no real reason not to play out in almost the same way every time once you know what to do.
  2. Welcome to the AJSA
  3. This Week In Gaming 12-10-19

    Carolyn Petit on the perception of the role of a critic, the shifting of that role over time, working as a critic in a professional environment, and how reactions towards Death Stranding lead to thoughts of there being nothing more useful than individual perspectives outside the hive. In her final Kotaku article Cecilia D'Anastasio interviews former Razer employees who talk about the CEO threatening and berating staff, Reid McCarter covers how Death Stranding signals for hope in the most hopeless situation, Jeremy Peel looks at the work of four people that worked with Kojima and heavily influenced his work, many new game announcements including Resident Evil 3 remake, Summoning Salt explores the history of Castlevania speed runs, Aimee Hart on the bland protagonist of Fallen Order hiding the more interesting stories from the rest of the cast, Justin Reeve on Gotham's architecture in Arkham Knight, Yacht Club Games continues their Shovel Knight retrospective, 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) Resident Evil 3 Remake finally confirmed, and it includes Project Resistance Brenda Romero breaks down Empire of Sin's complex relationship system Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous announced Former Payday dev's co-op alien shooter GTFO enters Steam early access next week MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries prepares for launch with a flashy new trailer Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore Trailers Introduce its Characters, Story, and Battles Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle Comes to PS4 on February 18, 2020 Stronghold: Warlords isn’t just about RTS combat, it’s about managing a feudal castle Sisters Royale coming west for PS4, Switch on January 30, 2020 The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a Gone Home-meets-Firewatch mystery in an old hotel Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection Trailer Looks at the Red Hero’s Abilities Sony's MLB The Show Franchise Headed To Non-PlayStation Platforms Langrisser I & II ‘Langrisser I’ story trailer Superliminal coming to PS4 in April 2020 Paper Beast delayed to Q1 2020, gameplay trailer Marvel’s Avengers’ Creative Director on Making a Superhero Game for Everyone Golf Story sequel Sports Story coming to Switch Bullet Girls Phantasia coming to PC in early 2020 Solve Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard next week Check out Adam Hunter in this new Streets of Rage 4 trailer ‘Shack-and-slash’ dungeon crawler Boyfriend Dungeon adds Switch version Murder by Numbers - trailer Nintendo Switch SkateBIRD - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Switch For Axiom Verge's Creator, the Switch Was a "Natural Platform" For the Sequel Babylon's Fall absolutely looks like a Platinum game Watch new Ghost of Tsushima teaser, full trailer coming at The Game Awards Danganronpa Creator Announces New Full-Motion Video Game Final Fantasy 7 Remake cover art confirms one-year exclusivity on PS4 Predator: Hunting Grounds release date set for April 24 on PS4, PC Phoenix Point has been delayed on Xbox Game Pass and the Microsoft Store Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate Arrives West on PS4, Switch, and PC in 2020 Here’s why Age of Empires 4 doesn’t have environmental destruction – sort of The Survivalists is an island life follow-up to the Escapists, and it hits Steam next year Temtem, an online monster-catching RPG, releases January 21 Dead Cells' first paid DLC is The Bad Seed and it's due early next year Kingdom Hearts III DLC ‘ReMIND’ launches January 23, 2020 for PS4, February 25 for Xbox One Watch 13 minutes of Borderlands 3's first expansion Here are the next two DLC fighters coming to Tekken 7 Elder Scrolls Legends development "on hold for the foreseeable future" The Curse of Outdated DRM Claims Another Victim, 'Tron: Evolution' Rune 2 developer Human Head being sued by publisher for abandoning game In Japan, a Dispute Filled With Accusations of Sexual Harassment and Bad Business Practices Boils Over Dangen Entertainment Warning #2 Wargroove Developers Respond to Criticisms of Whitewashed Voice Cast Kalypso opens third internal studio to work on 'next-gen' Commandos title Vaping Congressman Who Spent Campaign Funds On Steam Games Resigns Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc) Razer CEO Berated And Threatened His Staff, Former Employees Say Goodbye The Shape of Videogames To Come Ruthless Individuality: Criticism’s Past, and Hopefully Its Future Four genius Kojima Productions staff who aren’t Hideo Kojima The cult of Hideo Kojima Big Weird: Control (The Game), Death Stranding (The Game), and Control (The Concept) The modders who spent 15 years fixing Knights of the Old Republic 2 The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 3: Our Favorite Secrets and More The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 4: The Subtle Art of Backgrounds The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 5: Fin How character creators help us explore gender identity and expression Always on Edge: my life with Jason Brookes Everybody's Gone: Dan Pinchbeck on Rebuilding The Chinese Room Keeping History Alive No Blood for Imulsion: Gears of War and the Military-Industrial Complex WE’RE GONNA CRASH! Gotham’s Multiple Masks Jedi Fallen Order’s interesting female relationships are hidden behind a bland protagonist Why Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete Remains One of the Best JRPGs Ever Tea and Warfare Life is Strange 2 is the most important game of 2019 My Favorite Witcher 3 Quest Has No Fighting, Just Drunken Shenanigans Not Quite Human: Frostpunk, Papers, Please, and the Dehumanization of Totalitarianism Death Stranding Finds Hope in Despair Death Stranding’s Hero Is Just A Side Character Blips: Minesweeper Roguelikes, Soccer Coaching, and Ecological Disaster! The Most Innovative Game of 2019 | Game Maker's Toolkit Other Places: One Day in Valentine (Red Dead Redemption 2) Glock. Establishing Vision | So You Wanna Be A Game Designer? (#4) The History of Castlevania World Records The Environmental Impact of Digital Games // HeavyEyed Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice cut content gives context to that moment with Anayama I Hate The Word 'Consumer' (The Jimquisition) How Mind Control Saved Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee | War Stories | Ars Technica The History of Quake with Tim Willits Into the Breach with Justin Ma - The AIAS Game Maker's Notebook Things I missed from previous weeks THE FIRST 25 YEARS Paradox Interactive is Not Immune to Propaganda: Leftist Politics in Grand Strategy
  4. Carolyn Petit on the perception of the role of a critic, the shifting of that role over time, working as a critic in a professional environment, and how reactions towards Death Stranding lead to thoughts of there being nothing more useful than individual perspectives outside the hive. In her final Kotaku article Cecilia D'Anastasio interviews former Razer employees who talk about the CEO threatening and berating staff, Reid McCarter covers how Death Stranding signals for hope in the most hopeless situation, Jeremy Peel looks at the work of four people that worked with Kojima and heavily influenced his work, Resident Evil 3 remake revealed and many new game announcements, Summoning Salt explores the history of Castlevania speed runs, Aimee Hart on the bland protagonist of Fallen Order hiding the more interesting stories from the rest of the cast, Justin Reeve on Gotham's architecture in Arkham Knight, Yacht Club Games continues their Shovel Knight retrospective, 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) Resident Evil 3 Remake finally confirmed, and it includes Project Resistance Brenda Romero breaks down Empire of Sin's complex relationship system Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous announced Former Payday dev's co-op alien shooter GTFO enters Steam early access next week MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries prepares for launch with a flashy new trailer Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore Trailers Introduce its Characters, Story, and Battles Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle Comes to PS4 on February 18, 2020 Stronghold: Warlords isn’t just about RTS combat, it’s about managing a feudal castle Sisters Royale coming west for PS4, Switch on January 30, 2020 The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a Gone Home-meets-Firewatch mystery in an old hotel Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection Trailer Looks at the Red Hero’s Abilities Sony's MLB The Show Franchise Headed To Non-PlayStation Platforms Langrisser I & II ‘Langrisser I’ story trailer Superliminal coming to PS4 in April 2020 Paper Beast delayed to Q1 2020, gameplay trailer Marvel’s Avengers’ Creative Director on Making a Superhero Game for Everyone Golf Story sequel Sports Story coming to Switch Bullet Girls Phantasia coming to PC in early 2020 Solve Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard next week Check out Adam Hunter in this new Streets of Rage 4 trailer ‘Shack-and-slash’ dungeon crawler Boyfriend Dungeon adds Switch version Murder by Numbers - trailer Nintendo Switch SkateBIRD - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Switch For Axiom Verge's Creator, the Switch Was a "Natural Platform" For the Sequel Babylon's Fall absolutely looks like a Platinum game Watch new Ghost of Tsushima teaser, full trailer coming at The Game Awards Danganronpa Creator Announces New Full-Motion Video Game Final Fantasy 7 Remake cover art confirms one-year exclusivity on PS4 Predator: Hunting Grounds release date set for April 24 on PS4, PC Phoenix Point has been delayed on Xbox Game Pass and the Microsoft Store Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate Arrives West on PS4, Switch, and PC in 2020 Here’s why Age of Empires 4 doesn’t have environmental destruction – sort of The Survivalists is an island life follow-up to the Escapists, and it hits Steam next year Temtem, an online monster-catching RPG, releases January 21 Dead Cells' first paid DLC is The Bad Seed and it's due early next year Kingdom Hearts III DLC ‘ReMIND’ launches January 23, 2020 for PS4, February 25 for Xbox One Watch 13 minutes of Borderlands 3's first expansion Here are the next two DLC fighters coming to Tekken 7 Elder Scrolls Legends development "on hold for the foreseeable future" The Curse of Outdated DRM Claims Another Victim, 'Tron: Evolution' Rune 2 developer Human Head being sued by publisher for abandoning game In Japan, a Dispute Filled With Accusations of Sexual Harassment and Bad Business Practices Boils Over Dangen Entertainment Warning #2 Wargroove Developers Respond to Criticisms of Whitewashed Voice Cast Kalypso opens third internal studio to work on 'next-gen' Commandos title Vaping Congressman Who Spent Campaign Funds On Steam Games Resigns Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc) Razer CEO Berated And Threatened His Staff, Former Employees Say Goodbye The Shape of Videogames To Come Ruthless Individuality: Criticism’s Past, and Hopefully Its Future Four genius Kojima Productions staff who aren’t Hideo Kojima The cult of Hideo Kojima Big Weird: Control (The Game), Death Stranding (The Game), and Control (The Concept) The modders who spent 15 years fixing Knights of the Old Republic 2 The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 3: Our Favorite Secrets and More The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 4: The Subtle Art of Backgrounds The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 5: Fin How character creators help us explore gender identity and expression Always on Edge: my life with Jason Brookes Everybody's Gone: Dan Pinchbeck on Rebuilding The Chinese Room Keeping History Alive No Blood for Imulsion: Gears of War and the Military-Industrial Complex WE’RE GONNA CRASH! Gotham’s Multiple Masks Jedi Fallen Order’s interesting female relationships are hidden behind a bland protagonist Why Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete Remains One of the Best JRPGs Ever Tea and Warfare Life is Strange 2 is the most important game of 2019 My Favorite Witcher 3 Quest Has No Fighting, Just Drunken Shenanigans Not Quite Human: Frostpunk, Papers, Please, and the Dehumanization of Totalitarianism Death Stranding Finds Hope in Despair Death Stranding’s Hero Is Just A Side Character Blips: Minesweeper Roguelikes, Soccer Coaching, and Ecological Disaster! The Most Innovative Game of 2019 | Game Maker's Toolkit Other Places: One Day in Valentine (Red Dead Redemption 2) Glock. Establishing Vision | So You Wanna Be A Game Designer? (#4) The History of Castlevania World Records The Environmental Impact of Digital Games // HeavyEyed Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice cut content gives context to that moment with Anayama How Mind Control Saved Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee | War Stories | Ars Technica The History of Quake with Tim Willits Into the Breach with Justin Ma - The AIAS Game Maker's Notebook Things I missed from previous weeks THE FIRST 25 YEARS Paradox Interactive is Not Immune to Propaganda: Leftist Politics in Grand Strategy
  5. Completed: Eastshade Platform: PC A relaxing game without any combat, your main goal and quests revolve around painting different things in the environments you explore. Beautiful landscape and good music. It is focused more in areas I wish it wasn't, that being crafting and gaining access to things to explore more rather than the painting side of the game. Your paintings are done automatically just by copying the parts of the area you assign that are in front of you onto your canvas. There are no painting supplies to acquire except for crafting or buying more canvases, no way to change the style of how you paint, and even waiting for another time of day is going to have to be done indoors or after you have found out how to craft and found the parts to make a tent. Quests only require you to find the correct subject it doesn't matter how poorly you capture that subject and portraits of characters is just painting them in whatever awkward looking way many of them are currently standing. A lot of the game is going to spent completing quests (the best ones often being the ones that don't have anything to do with painting) so you can earn money or crafting recipes. Learn how to make a tent, buy a bike, buy a coat so you can stay outside at night, pay a bridge toll, learn how to make a raft and where to get parts to make that raft, or to open up the few other areas in the game. You are going to need to get to those areas to complete your main goal which is to paint four areas loved by your dead mother in memory of her. You gain inspiration by finding new areas, seeing certain events, or reading but these just fills a meter and increases a number to allow you to paint rather than do anything interesting. And the game gives you nothing for finding and painting anything interesting that you find or anything that you personally want to paint or feel like your character should want to paint. If you do paint anything you might just end up out of crafting resources and be out of the way of a place to buy a new canvas and will likely be encouraged to paint over that paining just to capture a subject needed for a quest or commission. You aren't even able to save your paintings in any meaningful way as exporting them will put them in an odd file-path at a very low resolution. It's a nice time spent in a pretty world, interacting some amusing characters. Just wish it not only did away with the gamey "everything wants you dead" but also not focus so heavily on crafting and completing quests for money or progression items and instead gave you ways and reasons to paint in new ways. Completed: MO:Astray Platform: PC Beautiful looking action/puzzle/platformer, even with all the decaying bodies, Controls well, good action, environments and how you interact with them is frequently changing, animations of enemy creatures and details in the backgrounds make the locations feel a bit more alive. Play as a blob that can stick to surfaces and heads to control enemies before learning new powers. Main story is a mostly uninteresting one of science gone wrong and betrayal, but reading the thoughts of infected creatures and seeing the images of past events play out is a good use of the mechanics and environment.
  6. Welcome to the AJSA.
  7. This Week In Gaming 12-3-2019

    RagnarRox on why Disco Elysium is a role-playing dream come true, Yacht Club Games recounts how the development of Shovel Knight turned into making five games over the course of six additional years, C o n q u e s t o f D r e a d discusses concepts of decolonization and how they affect video and tabletop games, Writing on Games critiques the campaign of Modern Warfare, Quantic Dream ordered to pay former employee over failed security obligations, multiple developers warn about working with Dangen Entertainment, Persona 5 Royal gets a release date, Peter Tieryas interviews the composer of Ghost Trick, Riot pays 10 million in gender discrimination suit, Archipel and Matt Leone interview key developers and businessmen about how the original PlayStation changed video games, Harold Goldberg interviews Hideo Kojima to discuss how his childhood influences his games and wanting to help his audience find connection and relief, 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) 10 lovely-looking indie games to look out for in 2020 To the Moon 3: Impostor Factory announced for PC Crusader Kings 3 will finally add knights, making warfare much more interesting Let's Play Phoenix Point - Part 1 - Tactical Tutorial Let's Play Phoenix Point - Part 2 - Geoscape Tutorial One of the most underrated Metroidvanias on Steam is getting a sequel Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York release gets delayed by one week Life Is Strange 2's final episode is out today Firewatch team’s next game ‘on hold’ as it works on other Valve projects Enhanced and Expanded ‘Persona 5 Royal’ Arrives on March 31, 2020 Starship Troopers gets a survival RTS in 2020 Mike Pondsmith: "If you want to get somebody to see your point of view, don't preach" Q&A: Blizzard Answers Our Biggest Overwatch 2 Questions Earthbreakers is a new FPS from Command and Conquer developers The memes of medieval monks inspired the artwork for this comedic turn-based strategy Snikch confirmed for Total War: Warhammer 2 Shadow and Blade DLC pack – here’s everything it adds The Shadow & The Blade - TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER 2 DLC Reveal NEW SKAVEN UNITS + REPANSE! Close-Up & Stats Guide | Shadow & The Blade DLC - Total War: Warhammer 2 Square Enix shares more info about Kingdom Hearts 3's Re:Mind DLC (but there's still no release date) Ghost Recon Breakpoint is getting a new loot system next year Euro Truck Simulator 2 DLC trailer is a hypnotic ride through Eastern Europe Rainbow Six Siege adds two new operators in today's Shifting Tides update YouTube lightens up about videogame violence Quantic Dream has been condemned by French Court over still ongoing cases of employees harassments & toxic working conditions Quantic Dream ordered to pay former employee over failed 'security obligations' Riot Games will pay $10 million to settle gender discrimination suit Dangen Entertainment Warning Esports ForZe defeat Tricked, win DreamHack Open Winter CS:GO CS:GO player caught openly cheating by a streamer at DreamHack A Tekken Legend's Visit To Pakistan Is Met With Both Cheers And Drama The Kid From Nowhere Who Won it All... and Gave the Money Away Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed) A Profound Waste of Time: Issue 2 Former Fire Emblem ROM Hack Becomes Brand New Video Game Path of the Midnight Sun | A dark fantasy jRPG-VN Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc) A Video Game Auteur’s Quest for Connection How Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove Went From Minor DLC to a Collection Built to Last The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 1: The Plan The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 2: Froggy Foreshadowing ACID GAMES Talks: Unlearning - Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hive Mind (Troy) Ghost Trick Has One Of The Catchiest OSTs On The DS Working for major studios ‘Death Stranding’ imagines the eco-horror of our future dystopia ONCE AGAIN (november review) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Turns Trauma and Fear into Cheap Tricks Disco Elysium offers a dark mirror to my mid-life crisis “Dick Mullen and the Miracle Plot,” by Chris Breault Disco Elysium is a Role-Playing Dream Come True The Trouble with the Video Game Industry | Philosophy Tube DECOLONISING GAMES - Conquest of Dread Critiquing the Campaign of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) Control taught me to love the ugliest architecture How Link's Awakening Rearranges a Soundtrack What happens when you try to recycle a video game? Super Paper Mario - A Flat Game with a Deep Story | The Completionist Elite Dangerous Review How Riven Makes The Player Feel Isolated - Riven Retrospective Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare... 12 Years Later How the PlayStation changed video games forever Staying up all night and riding in a car trunk: The early days of Tekken A Hidden Masterpiece! - The History of Beyond Good and Evil
  8. RagnarRox on why Disco Elysium is a role-playing dream come true, Yacht Club Games recounts how the development of Shovel Knight turned into making five games over the course of six additional years, C o n q u e s t o f D r e a d discusses concepts of decolonization and how they affect video and tabletop games, Writing on Games critiques the campaign of Modern Warfare, Quantic Dream ordered to pay former employee over failed security obligations, multiple developers warn about working with Dangen Entertainment, Persona 5 Royal gets a release date, Peter Tieryas interviews the composer of Ghost Trick, Riot pays 10 million in gender discrimination suit, Archipel and Matt Leone interview key developers and businessmen about how the original PlayStation changed video games, Harold Goldberg interviews Hideo Kojima discussing how his childhood influences his games and wanting to help his audience find connection and relief, 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) 10 lovely-looking indie games to look out for in 2020 To the Moon 3: Impostor Factory announced for PC Crusader Kings 3 will finally add knights, making warfare much more interesting Let's Play Phoenix Point - Part 1 - Tactical Tutorial Let's Play Phoenix Point - Part 2 - Geoscape Tutorial One of the most underrated Metroidvanias on Steam is getting a sequel Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York release gets delayed by one week Life Is Strange 2's final episode is out today Firewatch team’s next game ‘on hold’ as it works on other Valve projects Enhanced and Expanded ‘Persona 5 Royal’ Arrives on March 31, 2020 Starship Troopers gets a survival RTS in 2020 Mike Pondsmith: "If you want to get somebody to see your point of view, don't preach" Q&A: Blizzard Answers Our Biggest Overwatch 2 Questions Earthbreakers is a new FPS from Command and Conquer developers The memes of medieval monks inspired the artwork for this comedic turn-based strategy Snikch confirmed for Total War: Warhammer 2 Shadow and Blade DLC pack – here’s everything it adds The Shadow & The Blade - TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER 2 DLC Reveal NEW SKAVEN UNITS + REPANSE! Close-Up & Stats Guide | Shadow & The Blade DLC - Total War: Warhammer 2 Square Enix shares more info about Kingdom Hearts 3's Re:Mind DLC (but there's still no release date) Ghost Recon Breakpoint is getting a new loot system next year Euro Truck Simulator 2 DLC trailer is a hypnotic ride through Eastern Europe Rainbow Six Siege adds two new operators in today's Shifting Tides update YouTube lightens up about videogame violence Quantic Dream has been condemned by French Court over still ongoing cases of employees harassments & toxic working conditions Quantic Dream ordered to pay former employee over failed 'security obligations' Riot Games will pay $10 million to settle gender discrimination suit Dangen Entertainment Warning Esports ForZe defeat Tricked, win DreamHack Open Winter CS:GO CS:GO player caught openly cheating by a streamer at DreamHack A Tekken Legend's Visit To Pakistan Is Met With Both Cheers And Drama The Kid From Nowhere Who Won it All... and Gave the Money Away Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed) A Profound Waste of Time: Issue 2 Former Fire Emblem ROM Hack Becomes Brand New Video Game Path of the Midnight Sun | A dark fantasy jRPG-VN Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc) A Video Game Auteur’s Quest for Connection How Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove Went From Minor DLC to a Collection Built to Last The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 1: The Plan The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 2: Froggy Foreshadowing ACID GAMES Talks: Unlearning - Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hive Mind (Troy) Ghost Trick Has One Of The Catchiest OSTs On The DS Working for major studios ‘Death Stranding’ imagines the eco-horror of our future dystopia ONCE AGAIN (november review) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Turns Trauma and Fear into Cheap Tricks Disco Elysium offers a dark mirror to my mid-life crisis “Dick Mullen and the Miracle Plot,” by Chris Breault Disco Elysium is a Role-Playing Dream Come True The Trouble with the Video Game Industry | Philosophy Tube DECOLONISING GAMES - Conquest of Dread Critiquing the Campaign of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) Control taught me to love the ugliest architecture How Link's Awakening Rearranges a Soundtrack What happens when you try to recycle a video game? Super Paper Mario - A Flat Game with a Deep Story | The Completionist Elite Dangerous Review How Riven Makes The Player Feel Isolated - Riven Retrospective Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare... 12 Years Later How the PlayStation changed video games forever Staying up all night and riding in a car trunk: The early days of Tekken A Hidden Masterpiece! - The History of Beyond Good and Evil
  9. Completed: SoulCalibur VI Platform: PC Fighting styles and lethal hits give you a lot to learn and make use of for each characters. Some good character customization options but many of them conflict with each other. Poor story, almost all story cutscenes are only done with character images and text boxes with some background images, even for the main story which only gets a few scripted fighting scenes.
  10. Completed: Indivisible Platform: PC Indivisible borrows some of its gameplay and exploration elements from Valkyrie Profile. You have four party members at a time that perform different actions when you push the button assigned to their location, they might do low attacks, juggle enemies, normal attacks, place traps, heal, buff, etc depending on who the character is and many of the characters have a special attack where you use a meter that charges as you do damage and block. Some combat elements are similar to the Mario RPG games, you push the button assigned to a character about to get hit to block and blocking right before being hit will block more damage, some characters have actions that are improved if you continue to push their button at the right times. When you explore you can wall jump, use your axe to pull yourself up walls or smash weakened floors, a bow can hit targets as well as creating paths by stunning enemies or turning spiked walls into vines, your spear can launch yourself up into the air or be used to bounce on and near the end of the game you can dash forward in the air. The game starts out quite well, maybe going a bit too far into the jokey territory a lot of indie games do, but the combat is enjoyable, animations look great, and you quickly gain new characters with their own way of fighting while being introduced to very different areas and enemies. It is unable to keep up this momentum though as combat becomes extremely tedious, always being easy while often having enemies with large health bars that need to have their guard broken, making the fights take even longer. Your characters will never learn any new combat moves and variety will come from swapping party members with the game's fairly large cast, though many of them are going to obviously be weaker than others. Characters focused on healing will basically never be as useful as other characters because there is just no reason to have a healer in the party, even in the off chance you need one the main character is capable of healing and reviving everyone. There is no equipment, accessories, or items to find giving even less options for combat and making map exploration often quite dull. The only things worse looking for on the map are red jewels that can be traded in to increase your defense or to give everyone an extra attack option (starting with 2 and getting up to 4). These don't give any new attack options, typically just making the already easy game easier. The exploration elements worked in a game like Valkyrie Profile because you were often seeing new areas, finding useful items, and training a mostly constantly changing cast of characters. Here most of your time will be traverse levels, often going back and forth to the same areas, and it all just feels like busywork. You won't be finding anything useful, it takes no real though to get to hidden areas, and it provides no platforming challenge. Near the end of the game you are climbing to face the final boss of the game and it just keeps going and going, and throwing more repeated simplistic rooms at you to the point I thought I would have had to have been almost done on three separate occasions. It long passed the point where I could have seen it as anything other than padding out the length of a pretty short game. Many of the characters join you automatically and everyone is fairly likable as far as being at least mildly entertaining goes, but they never evolve beyond being anything but one note with the exception of the first character you get. The main story is focused on the personality of the main character rushing into battles focused on her ideas to try to help people that usually just make everything worse until she starts listening more to her companions and the people she is trying to help or fight against. It gets a lot of focus all throughout the game, it just isn't very interesting. The factions and story of each area are even less interesting as they just don't have much time devoted to them. Side characters you recruit will rarely ever say anything once they join you which is unfortunate. At one point of the game it needlessly splits into three separate locations you can sail through which waste time by locking upgrades needed to pass certain islands onto other ones. Some of these upgrades are things you should have been able to do the entire time but you just don't think to do them or aren't told about them by characters until you get to a certain point, and there's no real reason to backtrack for hidden areas since all you might find are more of the red jewels. Being split into three areas also obviously comes with unbalanced enemies and bosses, in this case with them all being far too weak to pose any challenge. This portion makes up about half of the game's length. I ended up having to turn the music down, the music is decent but some of the tracks are so short and repetitive that I started to get a headache from hearing it over and over while traveling through each area. Some of the reviews seem to be saying that characters haven't been released yet, limited and uninteresting side quests aren't complete, and that the game is so easy because they didn't have time to playtest a lot of the later content, all combined with the game just doing a very poor job of explaining some mechanics to you and not telling you how to do some platforming moves at all, this would make sense. Completed: Horace Platform: PC Horace is an interesting action platformer. A robot begins to settle into his life with a family and their employees but shuts down after the death of the old man that he was closest to. He awakens years after everyone has left and a large scale war has come and gone causing you to attempt to find them again, as well as his place in the world. You proceed to become involved in robberies, jail breaks, time travel, celebrity kidnapping, an Alice in Wonderland area, dish washing and brick making jobs, drumming hero minigames, basketball, space travel, hanging out with a guy that tells you of deserting the military when ordered to kill civilians but seems to love snapping the necks of random security guards, etc all with frequent dialogue, stage, or music remixes that reference classic games, movies, and TV which are three of the things the robot loves the most. The game is mostly a platformer that has you making use of magnetic boots to climb up walls or stick to the ceiling but it includes a lot of varied stages and gameplay elements. One section might have you hiding in bushes and lockers to avoid searchlights, one part might have you growing to different sizes, elevator rides with a lot of rotating traps might be in one area, another area might be full of timed lasers to avoid. Many areas have bosses which are often large opponents you have to defeat by hitting or breaking off certain parts of them and the majority of areas have trash to pick up with a side goal being to clean 1,000,000 things as your creator had told you to do before his death. There is about four hours of cutscenes and both that and the animations have a lot of nice little details with frequent funny moments thrown in giving a bit more life to the characters, though it comes with a lot of darker moments as alluded to above. The large number of minigames mostly range from passable to actually being pretty good with you never really being forced to play any you wouldn't like for long, and some you don't need to try at all. There is typically nothing too interesting about the actual platforming mechanics and your character doesn't always control perfectly but the way the stages and locations change things up helps to keep things interesting. Though if you are looking for a platformer that mostly focuses on the action this will be a game where you find yourself constantly losing your rhythm as both short and long story segments will frequently be playing out. There is also nothing particularly fun about trying to reach your goal of trash cleaning and collecting.
  11. I am in a near dreamlike state where a mocking voice warns me of the condition I have left my body in. Ignoring the warnings and sudden intense pain, I awake to a terrible hangover with no memory of the past night or of any aspect of my life. After I slowly drag myself to the bathroom mirror and attempt to wipe the grime away I am again warned, this time hearing that I won't like the sight that will look back at me. "It can't be that bad," I think as I wipe the mirror, only become horrified at the sight of the swollen and ballooned face of a late stage alcoholic that I have no memory of, just staring back at me with a ridiculous grin. I fail to try to remember what events in my life would cause me to want to have my face frozen in such a ridiculous way, again I fail when I try try to stop it from happening, failure starting to seem a common theme in my life. After collecting my scattered clothes and leaving my room, with the sound of my jingling keys helping me to find them in my jacket pocket, a woman tells me that I'm a police officer that was supposed to be investigating a recent murder and describes the events she heard from my room last night that lead to my sorry state. Downstairs I meet my new partner, telling him that it isn't time for names yet when I realize I can't even remember mine. Trying to remember causes me to consider the colors gold and orange for some reason. We go on to question the manager, the conversation leads me to declare my feminist agenda, the one that I suddenly remembered after becoming upset at his attempt to ask out one of employees and seeing it as a misuse of his power. This gives me a new idea that I choose to consider for the next few hours, my desire to undermine the tyrannical gender roles of society gives me a better understanding of the existing power structures of the society, of which I am still trying to fully remember. The manager is unimpressed and demands payment for my room stay, as well as payment for the window I smashed when I threw one of my shoes through it. A voice speaks up, a voice coming from the ugly tie around my neck, a voice that is both making a lot of sense at the moment and one I am willing to listen to, it tells me to sneak away to avoid paying my bill. Unfortunately, my gaudy shoes and pants have caused me to stand out a bit to much and I fail to make a clean escape. Realizing I have no chance of sneaking away I begin a mad dash, followed by a dive through the air while flipping the manager off with both hands. The voices in my head tell me to just savor the moment before the crash and enjoy that I showed the manger who was boss. Just look at the shock on his face, no idea how to react to my rejection of his authority. These thoughts come to me right before I crash into a woman in wheelchair. The resulting injury leads to a sudden pain in my left arm, followed by my chest, followed by all enveloping blackness as death takes me. Maybe I shouldn't have listened to my tie, maybe I should have taken better care of my body in my past life. The paper reports on a cop that suffered a fatal heart attack, I'm described as having been a heavy drinker that suffered from a broken heart long before a heart attack. Existential, depressing, hilarious, political, cynical, hopeful, bleak, ugly, beautiful, and a commentary on detective stories. Disco Elysium does things that have been missing from the majority of RPGs. Set in a realistic setting that combines elements of different time periods and places to create a fairly grounded cast of characters and a story focused on the human condition and politics of the setting that mirrors real world elements, without a focus on being a chosen hero, forces of darkness, evil monster races, and what little combat there is governed through your skill checks. A focus on understanding, accepting, and letting go of the past to hopefully better yourself while finding hope in a depressing and cynical world. You are staying in a now destroyed room in the city of Revachol, a broken down city that experienced both a plague and a communist revolution before it was brutally put down by capitalists and then colonized by a neoliberal council in charge of much of the world. You have drank so much and taken so many drugs that you have effectively destroyed your personality and have no recollection of your past, you are told you are a cop and that there has been a body hanging outside for the last week likely connected to the current labor strike. When starting the game you are given four stats to raise intellect, psyche, physique, and motorics with each governing six sub skills ranging from your ability to identify with the people you meet and their feelings, your reaction speed for physical reactions as well as witty comebacks, your attunement with the city around you, your ability to picture a crime scene, your ability to have informed hunches and gut feelings, etc. Every skill you have talks to you when you are dealing with people or noticing things in the environment, they can help you make informed decisions, clue you into hidden details, or cause you to make poor and ridiculous decisions. Your Physical Instrument skill might give you impressive muscles and the ability to use them but it also demands that you showcase your masculinity and to let nothing threaten it, Inland Empire might help you correctly see what isn't visible to the naked eye but as shown above it can be less than helpful when your clothing starts offering strange advice to you. Saying certain things or finding out information about people can lead you to having new thoughts, choosing to focus on a thought will give you temporary bonuses and/or penalties and when you have mulled it over long enough the thought will be locked into place with a new description and bonuses and/or penalties fitting your new understanding of the idea and what concepts you want to be important to your character as you rebuild his forgotten personality. In most games you are rewarded for playing a certain way or for playing in completely different ways as the situation calls for it, giving your character no personality as you game the system. Disco Elyrium's frequently lore expanding or amusing skill anecdotes, the different options for playing your character different ways, and probably most importantly, your skills giving you an actual reason to want or understand the desire to do something you normally wouldn't do makes you want to play the game again as a character with an entirely different stat and skill focus. It is one of the rare games that can make your failure as interesting as your success. Some of the most amusing moments come from failure, some failure just leads to new logical paths to your goal, some failures might change a goal, seemingly minor choices or clothing items might lead to unexpected tasks or responses. Failing to find the cause of death during an autopsy can lead to a side activity to find a freezer big enough to store the body, succeeding in a Suggestion role might give you a task but play into the hands of the person that was hoping you would come up with such a suggestion, failing a Conceptualization role might lead someone to lend you her art supplies out of pity while succeeding causes her to think that you don't have the talent to create your masterpiece and that if you did you would be competition for her, failing to make a cool catch with your Hand Eye Coordination skill might lead to a loss of health buy an apology in the form of pity money. Unlike almost any other RPG, be it just because of how much combat there is or because some skills just have little or no real use, in Disco Elysium there is no right or wrong way to build your character because there is no push to succeed at everything, to do everything, to fix everything, or to help and save everyone, yourself included. Disco Elyrium is a game that made finding my lost shoe a meaningful character moment. Multiple events make up some of the most memorable moments I've seen in a game. Your success or failure at singing karaoke leading to two entirely different styles of performance, a success gives you some applause and the satisfaction of the telling the manager that you knew you had it in you, a failure leads to a depressed wailing cover of the song drawing nothing but laughter and boos from the crowd, except for your partner who could genuinely understand the pain in your voice. One of the only instances of combat in the game having no positive outcome with a large amount of the text focusing on the fear you and your partner have towards being in a gunfight and the possibility of losing your new and possibly only friend. Helping to start a dance club and becoming completely lost in the moment while dancing brought on a vision where I spoke with the city itself. A dream of a lost love discusses the challenge of living with a man who sees the world in the way you know that your character does, arguing with himself and seeing a list of A, B, C, D questions that he wants to ask people at all times, a dream where a success at a skill check won't give you what you want but only inform you more clearly about what you no longer have. It can often end up being one the darker games I've played, as well as one of the funniest, partly because it seems to understand that finding humor in the terrible situations that we find ourselves in or about the state of the world in general is how many people are able to survive. You are forced into choosing political stances as they are a major part of what people talk about, how you naturally react to them or things you see, and the game can't very well mock you for your mewling centrism if you weren't constantly choosing to refuse to endorse solutions or to take a stand on anything. No matter what you choose your positions will be questioned or outright mocked as absurdity or cowardice. How do you defend liberal capitalism and your foreign occupiers who put the city in the poor position it is in while getting rich off of its people hoping magical tech investors and the rich will generously create jobs for the people, how many lives would have been worth the victory of the communities and if they had won would you have just ended up with more corrupt unions like the one that seems to be protecting your main suspect, will you promote nationalistic ideas and fascism/patriotism/nationalism where your brethren are old miserable men rarely trusted by their peers or each other all longing for the good old days before radio signals corrupted the youths mind and destabilized traditional gender roles, or do you take the path of the centrist/moralist never standing up for anything and hoping things will slowly work themselves out? Well, it doesn't really make a huge difference anyway. Neoliberalism/moralism already won, they shelled the city, killed all the communists, and left the people you meet with little more than the crumbling ruins around them. The time for revolution has long past, and there's no money to be had in fascism and bringing back the king. Even the groups that would seem to be against or that actively dislike the powers that be know that they will be overthrowing nothing. The only people sharing your ideas are pathetic losers yelling at you from street corners, a couple college kids, and long since broken and dying old men and most of these people would never believe a cop working under the moralists who own the world would truly be on their side anyway. The ruined city of Revachol is stitched together with tech, cultures, ideologies, and aesthetic choices taken from a variety of different times but often feels more real than areas in games directly created from real world places. A setting that can feel and become more magical than a typical fantasy setting as you attempt to explain how a glitch of an old recording playing long after its time seemed to be talking directly to you or as you consider the history of the city's landmarks and of the pronounced bullet holes and shelling damage still covering many of the buildings and walls, dried blood and bullet holes remain but no trace of who lined who up against the wall, residents that watch you out of closed windows in buildings covered by weather worn peeling signs with slogans promising a better tomorrow. Characters often feel real with nuance given to every character you meet, most of all to your assigned partner, Kim Kitsuragi, who has almost as much to add to the situations you find yourselves in as you will. Your moral compass, possibly your only friend. In place of the party of NPCs following you around you have your own skills talking to you and giving you visions into the lives of others, instead of learning about the past of your party members you learn about your own through your conversations with yourself. The voice acting is typically well done and the music and unique oil painting style of art helps bring the city to life, successfully capturing the world and characters in either vibrant detail or by having a more grimy look fitting of your mental state, the city's history, present, and seeming lack of a future. A police game where finding a body won't lead to any autopsy or fight with the responsible criminals but instead just ends with you and your partner trying to find the right words to inform the deceased's wife and the question of what happens to her and her kids now. Ample attention is paid to the small details of the world and characters, even making one of best moments of the game near the end being when I check tells me that Kim trusts me, followed by a second telling me that after all of our often dark, often ridiculous, misadventures, a gunfight, and putting up with my amnesia that he does truly trust me even beyond surface level appearances. One of the few complaints I can make that has a larger effect on the game is that your skills talking to you is based on events or the successful hidden roles relevant ones make causing them to chime in, but there is no difference in which is more meaningful to you based on how high or low each skill is. None are louder or pushing away the other thoughts, though they might naturally argue or point things out about one another, but having a high ranking in something doesn't mean that it will take control of you. It is also extremely difficult to actually run out of health or morale and almost any health loss tends to come from kicking random objects or failing to kick them well enough. I don't know if its because I didn't raise some of them high enough to get additional options or many passives but Endurance, Pain Threshold, Electrochemistry, Hand Eye Coordination, and Savoir Faire seemed to have much less use than the other skills. Even with those not doing much (or at least not seeming to in my playthrough) you still end up with a game that makes better use of a large number of skills than almost any other. This is not only my game of the decade but is easily one of my favorite ever. Screenshots and other thoughts
  12. Played on PC The Outer World's plot, setting, and themes are all focused around corporate power, rampant capitalism, and labor issues but it avoids any subjects related to race, gender, or media control, and most of the game's people are so far gone into the mentality it's just not that interesting. Straight up dropping a multitude of subjects the game could focus on and further real world comparisons is certainly a way to kneecap yourself, both intellectually and content and world building wise. Many of the people you run into are essentially at the levels of Elon Musk fanboy, praising an idiot man-child who made his fortune off of apartheid because he's rich and runs a corporation so he's awesome and them wishing they were that awesome. "I'm so sorry you have been forced into this terrible position," you might say to someone when seeing how they live and in some cases how they are dying. "Why? It was presumptions of me to think I deserved medicine, if I just worked harder I never would have gotten sick and then I could one day be just like my boss." When they've reached that point there's really little to do other than humanely putting them down. You won't be leading any workers revolts as most people wouldn't even understand the concept, so satisfied at being bootlickers or cartoonish weirdos. The people that go about life differently tend to be murderers or people following some ridiculous life philosophy/cult/religion. The game will frequently attempt to push you towards centrism and compromise, even while portraying corporations at their most cartoonishly evil. Basically, it's no Arcanum Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura or Disco Elysium when it comes to covering labor issues and their effects on both the game's world and the real world, and it's kind of hard to be invested in the locations you visit or the multitude of fetch quests you will do when you mostly just want to kill almost everyone you meet. The game's primary focus is on sudden humorous dialogue and ridiculous characters you run into. There are certainly moments that can bring about a faint smile or chuckle but most tends to follow obvious controlling corporate attitudes, self deprecating humor, or lines similar to things you have heard in past games including the companion interjection of, "That's what she said," rarely being completely unentertaining but never quite capable of taking any situation to a laugh out loud funny or memorable moment. You are special because the game says you are special, you will change the life of every important person you meet with a few lines of dialogue, change the direction of every place you interact with, and radically change the fate of the entire sector all in the most narratively and thematically uninteresting ways imaginable. Part of my interest in getting the game came from seeing the reactions of one of the earliest choices where, in attempting to power your new ship, you have to decide to take power from a brainwashed corporate town in the middle of dying from a plague, from the towns deserters trying to build something new away from the influence of The Board, or from the deserters town after convincing them to rejoin the settlement. I was expecting it to have something interesting to say or to run into some interesting characters in the town, a situation I didn't expect, or the game to have some competent argument against making the obvious choice, but it doesn't. The choice is about as simple as it can be and now that the game is over, the only thing I found interesting was learning how quickly one can lose their sense of class consciousness when a virtual companion is mildly sad about something. After that situation we run into little else in the way of meaningful choices outside of picking between groups of weirdos or siding with or against our destructive overlords. It can be more morally compelling at times than Fallout 3's famous moral question of, "Hey, do you want to nuke a city for fun, or would you like to not nuke things?" Of course, that's really not saying much is it, and it remains quite the embarrassment that people thought it was at the time. As the game goes on the actions of the corporations in charge of the colonies, "the board," seem less and less important until you realize that they are barely even around anymore and the already fairly simplistic choice you make early on ends up being the most interesting thing you ever do. Locations you will travel to our often pretty to look at, with some nice environment effects and often a large moon or planet as a beautiful backdrop in a colorful sky. For a game of this style it is more linear than what we usually get, this can be good because you are always actively doing something, it isn't that long of a playthrough, and your time isn't wasted by trudging through often dull repetitive locations. However, you also end up with a much more linear world in the sense that everything feels like it was created just for you to complete your string of quests, giving a world with no real surprises to discover from exploration and locations without much in the way of size or a feeling of history behind them other than what is currently effecting them and what you are here to do about it. The locations certainly do a better job than Bethesda's Fallout titles that still like to prop up skeletons and dead bodies in places that live people have been staying in for decades, even though all the containers everywhere full of things that make no sense never do the world design any favors. It also doesn't help that in total you only visit a small number of places, two being the same style of relay stations, and a few areas seem to use almost the exact same design and parts to make up their areas. There are moments where you can tell work went into minor areas. At one point, I was fired from an employer for not doing a job and the guy manning the reception desk who had been friendly now only told me that he wasn't supposed to talk to me. I decided to try out the silencer on my hunting rifle and went back into the room, closed the door behind me, and shot the four inside before anyone could shoot back so the receptionist wouldn't become alerted, after leaving he now would only comment on how quiet things have been inside the office. Many sidequests amount to little more than fetch quests or set ups that have become ridiculously cliche. You will run into the generic family of cannibals, they will ask you to stay for dinner and say they don't know anything about the man you are looking for, then, because it is still basically a Bethesda esque Fallout game (even if one by a much more competent team), you will just walk upstairs and open a door to find that dinner is made out of people before likely shooting the family for some XP and moving on. You can convince the family not to attack you but why waste the XP, better to convince them for the skill XP bonus and then shoot them all when they are unarmed for the kill XP. A companion wonders how people could do such a thing, while I wonder why developers are still doing the same thing, in the exact same ways. Plotlines aren't made to be interesting, they are made to funnel you along to the end of the game. You won't spend time learning about a place and it's people or anything substantial about the factions, one or two quests for the more important objectives and it's time for the world altering decision then move on. Here's a side quest where you audition for a film role, lot of fun ideas could be had here and it can come back in some amusing ways from seeing posters of yourself, being recognized by people and enemies, having to play out multiple scenes, seeing a final product, nope, just say a few lines or kill everyone in a tiny room for a quick $2000 and 20,000 XP then move on never to speak of it again. Combat is, quite dull for the most part. It is too much of an FPS to give you much in the way of interesting skills or equipment for yourself or your party and it is too much of an RPG to offer more exciting gun/melee battles. You can do little else when it comes to tactics other than slowing time and hitting certain body parts to blind, knockdown, do bonus damage, etc and the excitement of a good FPS tends to die down when you need to shoot something in the head 10 times to kill it while is awkwardly staggers and continues to shoot you at the same time. Your ability to slow down time is ok but even that is on the weaker sides of games that have a bullet time ability, and they have made so many abilities tied to getting hits while in that mode that it basically means you are going to be putting a lot of your level up perks into passive abilities that make that mode last longer or recharge faster as everything else is useless by comparison. There is a very small number of enemies types and the most interesting thing the game does with locations where you are likely to find combat is to set some random explosive barrels in often nonsensical seeming positions. You are not rewarded for avoiding combat like Obsidian's past Pillars of Eternity title where all experience was quest based and killing would just get you loot or information on enemies. This puts you in positions where just killing as much as you can instead of making use of alternate paths or conversation options or faction loyalty changes makes more sense than anything else, you can even try to kill as much as you want in some locations and then go talk to someone else to side with them. A location might make stealth an option but other than crouch walking there is nothing interesting about the stealth system to make you want to use it, you would have to make a large skill investment to make it useful, and if you do that you are either going to be making use of the level design and losing experience and loot for it or you are just going to be attaching a silent barrel to your gun and shooting everyone in a way where the level design doesn't really matter anyway. There are some interesting weapons in the form of the science guns, one can shrink enemies, one can mind control them, and the last can shock and levitate them. They can be fun to use just to do something different but having only three with interesting effects like that in a science fiction setting is a little disappointing, outside of that it's the generic bullet, laser, plasma, and shock, fire, and acid effects we've always seen in Fallout and Borderlands. You can customize weapons but none of the modifications are interesting other than changing the damage type to those go to choices, instead you will just spend your money to increase the damage of your weapons of choice so they level with you, until you suddenly find a better version of the gun and realize you just wasted a lot of money and possibly your mod attachments (continuing to follow generic bad RPG logic, once on those scopes never come off). Outer Worlds has a great healing system. You will automatically regenerate health based on one of your temperament attribute (or not if you decreased it all the way), saving you the time of not having to bother with healing items or sleeping all the time. What makes the healing interesting is that you will find items that will regenerate about 25% of your lost health over a few seconds, but as your medicine skill increases you can equip additional consumable items to be used with that healing items. You can be taking a mixture of food, alcohol, drugs, etc that will give new healing effects, buff your stats, or buff your attributes. It's a good way to actually make use of items that don't see much use in most games like this. In most games you will never actually take the time to equip or eat that item that gives you an armor or damage boos for a couple seconds, but here you can take both those items together while also healing yourself. It's a really nice system, the only bad thing about this is that the game is so easy on the normal difficulty setting that I never once had to heal myself in or outside of combat, and you will probably want to play on a harder difficulty to have a real use for a better thought out than normal system. The issue with playing on a harder difficulty being that you are making combat, one of the weakest parts of the game more prevalent and longer to complete as you are giving the game's frequent high health enemies even more health. Though, the alternative problem if this was a system you actually needed would be that there is no way to choose how much additional items you use to heal without equipping them, meaning what you might want as a quick out of combat heal a waste your resources unless you always want to be fiddling with your inventory. The way that increasing your skills is done is also a nice change of pace for most RPGs. Skills are separated into similar trees with 2-3 skills in each, you level the entire tree until you get to 50 and then branch off to level abilities by themselves. This is a nice system as it builds up your base skills early for low level characters, allows you time to consider what skills you really want to focus in, and makes sense since the trees contain similar skills that likely would at least somewhat work together. Your ability to converse with people will raise your persuade, intimidate, and lie skill. Unfortunately, much like the games healing system, skills just aren't very interesting or useful. At times I saved up over seven levels worth of skill points because they just didn't matter. I'd keep them saved in order to later level a skill when I needed it to pass a conversation check or to hack or lockpick something, their effects are so minimal that I just had no reason to actively spend them and the game was so easily that small combat bonuses from weapon, science, medicine, and stealth skills just didn't matter for anything directly combat related. Every two levels will allow you to acquire a perk, a series of mostly uninteresting passive bonuses of no to high use depending on your class build. Flaws can also be accepted under certain circumstances, giving you a small or very significant penalty in order to get a free perk in return, many of these are so terrible they aren't worth it and some do next to nothing and are obviously worth accepting. You won't see anything interesting or amusing in the flaws or perks like with Fallout's bad luck or mysterious stranger perks, just a series of mostly number and percentage buffs with five of them existing just to allow you to carry around more garbage to sell. Speaking of garbage to sell, that can be a large part of the game if you fall into its trap. Loot everything, steal everything, sell everything, break things down to fix your pathetic constantly falling apart weapons, pickpocket if you have the skill and sell all that shit, horde money for no actual reason. What can you do in heavily capitalist and corporate setting where you have a ship that most people can only dream of having, if they are even capable of having dreams anymore as corporate doesn't like to encourage the imagination, and more money than most will ever see in their life? The answer in Outer Worlds is, not much, you can buy a $3000 casserole so your companion can serve it for her date and that's about it. Almost every guide for this game says to take a perk that allows you to fast travel when you are over encumbered, not only is this useless as I have had no reason to do that even with an average strength attribute, but there are so many station (even in hostile areas) and vendors everywhere to sell stuff that you will never need this, and if you are that worried about it then you are unlikely to be having a good time with the game anyway. I suppose hoarding wealth for no other reason to hoard wealth can fit with the themes of the game, but then again, it's such a generic RPG fault, exacerbated by bad systems, never really commented on or done anything with, then further mixed with you not knowing how much money might become necessary for quests after having to spend thousands at different times that I can't really give the game that one. Now it just feels like another missed opportunity adding an inability to make use of it's mechanics to represent it's story and themes, in addition to just not discussing them that well through narrative and setting. Your companions are enjoyable to have around, they speak up often in conversations, might run into people that they used to know starting new conversations, and you can occasionally make use of their job fields in quest events. I love that the entirety of Parvati's multiple world spanning quest is basically built around the joke of lesbians wondering if that girl that sends them romantic poetry might be into them. It was also nice to see an asexual character as well, I've never had any particular personal interest in having my sexuality represented (from a story perspective I'd still like to see a polyamorous relationship portrayed well but Skies of Arcadia still seems to still be the closest we've gotten to that) but I've seen a lot of people happy to be seen. On the other hand, most of your companions have extremely poor quests, one has you going to see someone, going somewhere else to see someone, picking up a piece of paper next to the first guy, then likely shooting a few people. It is completely uninteresting in every way, the environment created for the fight and as growth for your companion character. One companion has you talk to a few people before finding an old hermit and taking some drugs where you share a vision together with the goal of trying to get him to better understand himself, it's more unique than other quests but like the other activities in this game it stops short of being interesting or memorable and is over after only a few dialogue options, quite likely working more as a situation to get a minor chuckle out of you rather than any kind of deep writing or character development. This likely coming back to the problem popularized with AAA RPGs like Mass Effect and Dragon Age but also in a lot of smaller ones, even going all the way back to the Baldur's Gate games, companions get one quest. Just one, and they damn well better resolve their lifetime of problems in that one, often extremely short, quest. Companions just aren't very interesting when they aren't talking. Each one can boost three of your stats but you can very rarely order them to do something for you, they each have one special attack that you will likely get sick of seeing, and each only has three unique perks to select mostly giving the same dull (and often almost useless) kind of bonus as all the other perks. You can set if you want them to use a melee or ranged weapon, the distance you want them to keep in combat, and how aggressive to be but fights are often taking place in such cramped areas, with so few combatants, or with so many combatants that these setting don't always end up meaning much. When it comes to equipment you are just going to be giving them the armor with the best armor stats and the best weapon that fits with the range you want them to attempt to maintain. It would be nice to see a bit more control or interesting parks but most enemy types and the AI just doesn't allow for it. A game with decent companions, some mildly funny moments, pretty planets, but mediocre to average in everything else. The strongest quests in Outer Worlds come nowhere close to the best of Obsidian's New Vegas, any quests that could have been interesting or unique tend to be over before they even really start or waste their potential on basic fetch quest style design that gives you no room to do anything interesting or to figure anything out by yourself. If you are looking at this after playing or with most of your RPG experience in recent Bethesda titles or AAA RPGs then you will probably enjoy this a lot more than someone fresh off of Disco Elysium and who still has thoughts of Arcanum every now and then. The forces representing the factions and ideologies of Disco Elysium might have you complete a series of quests, finding information, tracking people down, and using your skills to say what you feel are the correct conversation options to do what you you need to do in games, complete the quests with the result you want. Only to then be told, "Thank's idiot, I knew what you were doing the whole time and it was exactly what I wanted," you've inadvertently made them more powerful. And maybe that's what you wanted because you think you still made the best of a bad situation, maybe you're just impressed by them or would side with them anyway, maybe you no longer really care because you're just a nobody trying to get by a cynical world. In Outer Worlds you might alter a person you have never met before's entire worldview and focus with one dull high persuade dialogue option because you're special, and then you get told what a good ally you have found in the ending slideshow and how they helped you be an even better savior than you were already. Outer Wilds might be a slap or punch in the face to Bethesda, but that doesn't mean much if they're already dead when it happens. Screenshots and additional thoughts
  13. Played on the PC Fallen Order has locations that can be enjoyable to travel through but combat that can't come close to the better games in the genre and rushed plot and character development. You are not going to be using the force in either powerful or interesting ways, the most interesting thing you will find in the entire second half of the game is some gloves that make you climb faster. Your passive force power of sensing memories is a nice way to get history and cultural information, combined with your droid scans to tell you about tech or creatures. Fascism of Empire somewhat explored with disinterest in casualties, evictions/deportations, slaves, worker exploitation, stealing artifacts. It's pretty, all the AAA games are pretty, they are always pretty now, we've even made Gears of War pretty. It's typically well acted, even if you do have three pretty boring cliches as main characters. Your hair blows a lot in the wind and when fighting, he knows this, and sometimes fixes it after a fight or action. Planets and locations are varied enough or see enough change as you go through and climbing is never an overly lengthy undertaking making traversing the planets as you go through them the first time enjoyable. The main character, Cal, is a somewhat broody boring 20 something human white guy with a blue lightsaber that is more personable after he finds his droid buddy, then he is more broody after he is lied to, then gets over that and is friendlier again. He goes beyond being the most generic video game protagonist you can make, to also being the most generic Star Wars protagonist you can make. His growth as a character is rushed through. He told the droid to prevent the sexy enemy Jedi with a voice I find soothing from hacking into his comm line to make threatening comments, cementing my dislike of him. The droid beeps, he is small, he sometimes does amusing things, saves you with his droid tech abilities, you get the feeling he can be a bit of a smart ass, so he's a generic small Star Wars droid that teams up with a Jedi basically which by default makes him more easy to like than the others. Former Jedi character who is taking you on your journey was a Jedi but then cut herself off from the force to not be bad Jedi, cause the evil darkness and this ain't KOTOR 2, and she now waits in the ship for you to do everything. Short four armed alien character that is there to be a cowardly Han Solo tells me that he used to only care about himself before running into the rest of us changed him, I think we had only spoken about four times before that event where we exchanged no dialogue of any importance. I suppose we've become like a family through our long trips back and forth from planets over and over again, shame I can't see any of that actual development or moments of down time, going back to character development seeming rushed. Character development aside the actual plot is that you are all idiots on a quest to do something that is obviously monumentally stupid and driven by their self loathing. In a galaxy with an order dedicated to hunting Jedi and able to almost immediately be where they are if they feel any use of the force, you all think it's great idea to gather a hidden nonsensical list of force sensitive children to force them all together under your training to overthrow the empire, self loathing of the main characters aside this seems like the worst possible thing you could do. An interview said they didn't want to make the main character an alien or woman because they wanted him to be relatable and some of the current movies already have women making up about 1/3 or a 1/4 of the main characters, so naturally the nightsister who joins you at the end is the only likable one that tells you that your objective seems like a terrible idea and the only one I would ever want to see again in another Star Wars property. I wouldn't think her personality or some of the things she says make sense for her backstory and being a nightsister but she is adorable and not an idiot so I don't care. She asks you basic questions, that I've been thinking about the whole time, that no one else really has an answer to. Things like, "How will you protect the children?" "Do you know how to train people?" "Would the Empire know about this hidden list of force sensitive children if you didn't start looking for it in the first place?" "So you're going to force children to fight a war for you with the alternative being to be killed when discovered?" Questions that really highlight the problems the prequels caused where the Jedi are incompetent, weak willed, manipulative, basically evil child abducting weirdos and that any story about rebuilding the order is going to be as asinine and unrelatable as games like Homefront or movies like The Postman wanting to bring back America just as corrupt, unequal, and nuclear weapon happy as it was before. Let's tell all the children about being peaceful and how using your powers to kill things will turn you into the dark evilness and then let's get to killing. It's really odd that she took your word for it that the Jedi were peacekeepers and that you weren't the reason all her people were killed, because, you're clearly a bad person hiding behind your creepy religious order's bullshit hypocritical teachings to justify forced conscription and a lot of killing of an organization that she knows nothing about. The game is set up somewhat like a metroidvania, except it clearly has no real desire to be one. The only thing you will tend to find in out of the way areas is lore and mostly ugly cosmetic items you will have no use for. This is not anywhere near reason enough to have you traveling back and forth between planets and running back and forth to your ship because they didn't allow for fast travel. This seems like something you would do to say that your, already perfectly acceptably lengthy game, is even longer to appeal to people not wanting to buy single player only games at full price. In general you will see and find nothing of value from backtracking, exploration tends to only be new and interesting as you are progressing through new areas. In wanting to be like Dark Souls they borrowed momentary loss of XP earned after your last checkpoint on death until you do damage to the enemy that killed you, I haven't seen this system so pointlessly and ineffectually implemented since Hollow Knight. Just like that game, this never caused me to lose me XP, and if it did it would have been nothing more than a strangely implemented annoyance you could easily grind to get back. Obvious shortcuts can see you falling through platforms to be told you fell off a cliff, even though the map is loaded and those are platforms you can and will stand on after taking the longer way to them. I saw a lot of people saying to play this on the harder difficulties and people saying to put it on story mode. I should have put it on story mode. It's still very easy on hard, it's just boring as you awkwardly kill your enemies after a ridiculous number of hits. Fighting human opponents is passable, probably at its best when you are blocking a lot of enemy blaster fire. Combat in general is at its best when you find openings during or after enemy attacks to get a blow in when they can't block, even on hard some human enemies do die in one or two hits. When you have to wale on enemies to break their guard to get one blow in before their meter fully recharges it's monotonous. The most effective move is to do running (an action Cal doesn't always respond to well) attacks at enemies, it does high damage, has good range, might not be blocked, does decent guard damage if it is blocked, and requires no force to use. You want to take down the fascist empire, deflect blaster shots while running along walls and sliding down steep slopes, toss storm troopers off cliffs, and get into duels with enemies trained to kill you? Well, too bad, the game is unfortunately obsessed with you fighting bugs and small and large animals and doesn't have much in the way of different enemies. Just what you've always wanted to do with a lightsaber, just like how you want to fight robots as Wolverine. Your lightsaber handles more like a club as you keep smacking these often large creatures 10-15 times to kill them, sometimes before it plays an animation out where you cut off a body part of your enemy. You learn very few combat related skills over the course of the game so the three hit combo, dodge, and roll you start with is pretty much how you will handle all of your battles. You get a double sided lightsaber that is faster and does less damage, I don't really know why you would use it. One of the very few combat moves you can unlock is the ability to do a kick after dodging. A fairly slow kick that makes no sense to do ever but it ends up being really funny because there are so few enemy types and a lot of them are large creations or large droids. The game has abysmal lock on and target prioritization combined with an awkward camera when anything is above you. It will refuse to lock onto enemies that are high, low, or more than 10 feet away from you, change lock-ons in odd ways, and if you aren't locked on you will often see your force powers automatically targeted at the worst possible enemy choice the game could have made. Eventually they thought it was a good idea to throw three or four of these larger creatures together to fight you, where they will of course conceal each others moves and clip through each other to hit you, you used to run into creatures fighting and damaging each other but now that they all want you dead the laws of physics just don't apply anymore. Luckily in what would be the most boring of these encounters they are only there to guard ugly cosmetics you have no reason to want, so you can usually just jump on a little ledge and ignore them. You get a small assortment of force powers slow, push, pull, saber throw, and double jump. In combat they are of varied use depending on what you are fighting, some enemies are weak to certain powers while performing certain actions. You would think slowing time would be extremely useful except it is costly to use, stops as soon as you hit an enemy, and for some reason doesn't slow down their ability to turn and reorient themselves while under its effect. Sometimes it just doesn't seem to work, ignore incoming blaster shots (not that using your force to slow those is a practical use of your meter, problem with it being charged by kills is don't waste it on doing cool things) and sometimes it would slow a group of enemies and sometimes it would slow some targets but not all of the ones in the area it should effect. If it created something like an bubble in an arch that effected things that moved into that would have made it much more useful and a good choice of stopping gunshots (could even more easily throw in types of shots you can't block like the charged shots or the disruptor sniper rifles in the Jedi Knight games). The most use you are going to have for that power is to slow down fans you need to climb through or rotating machinery that you need to stand on as a bridge. Your force bar also doesn't recharge, it raises when you kill things, probably the strangest feature in a game where you are a Jedi (but you can just use your powers constantly to interact with navigation or puzzle elements). Your force powers are slow and weak to fit the slow and awkward combat and some of the very few combat abilities you get like swing overhead and running and slashing at an enemy require force to use. I didn't know slowly raising my arms above my head and bringing them down made me a Jedi. I imagine the problem these games have with limited powers after games like Jedi Knight come back to the limited number of buttons on a console controller where every power needs its own button dedicated to it or button combination. The puzzle are not good, you are of course prevented from using your lightsaber and force powers in logical ways that would get you through them. I might have glitched my way through two of them, one from them I think they put button to close to me on the other side of a wall and let me push it through a crack in the wall (obvious you should just be able to do this with the force but the lack of an animation and a 10 second freeze made me think it didn't want me to do what I did) and one from outsmarting the game by doing an obvious thing it tried to stop me from doing. Puzzles might have you throwing fire into vines to burn them away so you can get to the climbable vines that look less climbable than what you just burned, or rolling large balls with force push and air currents onto platforms that they will give power to (how else would you design your mystical temples). The game also feels fairly rushed with a lot of animation issues, characters seem to miss their cues in scripted events, and you can fall through or get stuck in a lot of objects. Screenshots and additional thoughts
  14. This Week In Gaming 11-26-19

    Folding Ideas covers the FTC's COPPA agreement with YouTube and how YouTube won't make the most of the tools at their disposal to comply with their agreement to instead take advantage of misinformation in order to use confused Youtubers and fans to plead against the case against them, hbomberguy on the genius of Pathologic and the value of negative experiences, Clayton Ashley speaks to Austin Wintory about the difficulty in composing the last song in Journey, Razbuten on how the varied solutions of Breath of the Wild helped a player new to gaming build confidence, Game Maker's Toolkit plays 50 of this years games to see if accessibility has improved, Nick Capozzoli on the artificial feeling of Call of Duty's "realism," Writing on Games' analysis of Death Stranding, Khee Hoon Chan on controlling what is canon for the lore of The Elder Scrolls, Shesez interviews five of the original creators of Donkey Kong Country for its 25th anniversary, 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) Half-Life: Alyx is a full-length VR prequel out in March 2020 The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx -- Behind Closed Doors at Valve MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries trailer finally gives us some smashing spreadsheets Phoenix Point lays out final bits of pre-launch polishing Worldwide Langrisser I & II Release Will Appear In March 2020 Star Citizen devs add another feature: 40-player ‘Theaters of War’ battles John Woo's Stranglehold dives onto GOG, in slow motion, surrounded by doves Darksiders Genesis gameplay footage and system requirements 11 Minutes Of Guilty Gear Strive High Level Gameplay Granblue Fantasy: Versus - Official Gran Character Trailer Inside The Open World Of Diablo IV Phoenix Point - Phoenix Project Trailer Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer monetisation is still being explored Cyberpunk 2077 will have mocapped sex scenes Cyberpunk 2077 will give you plenty of reasons for a second playthrough Reworking the combat system in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 Ikaruga PS4 and Switch physical edition announced Dead Or Alive 6 Brings Back Rachel, And A New Collab With A Certain Dumbbell Anime SOULCALIBUR VI - Season 2 Introduction Trailer - PS4/XB1/PC Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order - Official Curse of the Vampire DLC Trailer Jurassic World Evolution: Return To Jurassic Park Code Vein Season Pass DLCs launch in early 2020 What's Gone Wrong With the FTC's COPPA Agreement With YouTube What It's Like Building a Company for Marginalized Voices Arkane veterans launch WolfEye: a small studio making big games Facebook acquires Beat Saber developer Beat Games Visual Novel Sets Out To Buck Trends By Being Less Sexual, Gets Blocked By Steam Anyway Steam just deleted hundreds of games from the store Valve Is Not Making Any More Steam Controllers Twitch Loophole Is Still Inflating Views Google Points Finger at Developers For Stadia Games Not Streaming at 4K Teenager identifies over 14,000 CS:GO cheaters with homebrewed AI Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed) Divinity Original Sin the Board Game Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc) The story of Eight Days, one of Sony’s canceled big bets Microsoft went all in on accessible design. This is what happened afterwards The battle to control what's fact and fiction in The Elder Scrolls' lore How Assassin's Creed Brings History to Life—and to the Classroom Fear of an Irradiated Planet A Russian Crucible: Pathologic 2 and the Problem of Video Game Difficulty How developers left violent combat behind to create kinder games How did Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order get so unusual? Fallout 3, The Outer Worlds, and the Megaton Problem How Modern Warfare smooths over the horrors of war “A Hallucinatory Plea,” by Maddi Chilton Indivisible Sorta-Review Pokemon Rivals Are Always Better When They’re Assholes 'Jedi: Fallen Order' Is an Exploration Game That Discourages Exploration Shenmue III Is a Masterpiece of the Mundane Space and Place(lessness) in NieR: Automata Pathologic is Genius, And Here's Why Why Journey's last song was the hardest to compose The Donkey Kong Country 25th Anniversary Interview Documentary What Breath Of The Wild Is Like For Someone Who Doesn't Play Games Designing Sounds For Sci-Fi Vehicles In Games How Accessible Were This Year's Games? | Game Maker's Toolkit Keep Running Up That Hill: An Analysis of DEATH STRANDING (Spoilers) The Outer Worlds Critique | More like Fallout 1 than New Vegas How Games Are Actually Designed | So You Wanna Be A Game Designer? (#3) Noclip Podcast #16 - Sea of Solitude (Cornelia Geppert) Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry How to tell apart all 596 Fire Emblem characters | Unraveled Things I missed from previous weeks World on Fire: The Oral History of Fallout and Fallout 2 A Spectre is Haunting Martinaise — Detective Fiction and Disco Elysium’s Disappointing Ending
  15. Folding Ideas covers the FTC's COPPA agreement with YouTube and how YouTube won't make the most of the tools at their disposal to comply with their agreement to instead take advantage of misinformation in order to use confused Youtubers and fans to plead against the case against them, hbomberguy on the genius of Pathologic and the value of negative experiences, Clayton Ashley speaks to Austin Wintory about the difficulty in composing the last song in Journey, Razbuten on how the varied solutions of Breath of the Wild helped a player new to gaming build confidence, Game Maker's Toolkit plays 50 of this years games to see if accessibility has improved, Nick Capozzoli on the artificial feeling of Call of Duty's "realism," Writing on Games' analysis of Death Stranding, Khee Hoon Chan on controlling what is canon for the lore of The Elder Scrolls, Shesez interviews five of the original creators of Donkey Kong Country for its 25th anniversary, 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) Half-Life: Alyx is a full-length VR prequel out in March 2020 The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx -- Behind Closed Doors at Valve MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries trailer finally gives us some smashing spreadsheets Phoenix Point lays out final bits of pre-launch polishing Worldwide Langrisser I & II Release Will Appear In March 2020 Star Citizen devs add another feature: 40-player ‘Theaters of War’ battles John Woo's Stranglehold dives onto GOG, in slow motion, surrounded by doves Darksiders Genesis gameplay footage and system requirements 11 Minutes Of Guilty Gear Strive High Level Gameplay Granblue Fantasy: Versus - Official Gran Character Trailer Inside The Open World Of Diablo IV Phoenix Point - Phoenix Project Trailer Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer monetisation is still being explored Cyberpunk 2077 will have mocapped sex scenes Cyberpunk 2077 will give you plenty of reasons for a second playthrough Reworking the combat system in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 Ikaruga PS4 and Switch physical edition announced Dead Or Alive 6 Brings Back Rachel, And A New Collab With A Certain Dumbbell Anime SOULCALIBUR VI - Season 2 Introduction Trailer - PS4/XB1/PC Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order - Official Curse of the Vampire DLC Trailer Jurassic World Evolution: Return To Jurassic Park Code Vein Season Pass DLCs launch in early 2020 What's Gone Wrong With the FTC's COPPA Agreement With YouTube What It's Like Building a Company for Marginalized Voices Arkane veterans launch WolfEye: a small studio making big games Facebook acquires Beat Saber developer Beat Games Visual Novel Sets Out To Buck Trends By Being Less Sexual, Gets Blocked By Steam Anyway Steam just deleted hundreds of games from the store Valve Is Not Making Any More Steam Controllers Twitch Loophole Is Still Inflating Views Google Points Finger at Developers For Stadia Games Not Streaming at 4K Teenager identifies over 14,000 CS:GO cheaters with homebrewed AI Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed) Divinity Original Sin the Board Game Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc) The story of Eight Days, one of Sony’s canceled big bets Microsoft went all in on accessible design. This is what happened afterwards The battle to control what's fact and fiction in The Elder Scrolls' lore How Assassin's Creed Brings History to Life—and to the Classroom Fear of an Irradiated Planet A Russian Crucible: Pathologic 2 and the Problem of Video Game Difficulty How developers left violent combat behind to create kinder games How did Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order get so unusual? Fallout 3, The Outer Worlds, and the Megaton Problem How Modern Warfare smooths over the horrors of war “A Hallucinatory Plea,” by Maddi Chilton Indivisible Sorta-Review Pokemon Rivals Are Always Better When They’re Assholes 'Jedi: Fallen Order' Is an Exploration Game That Discourages Exploration Shenmue III Is a Masterpiece of the Mundane Space and Place(lessness) in NieR: Automata Pathologic is Genius, And Here's Why Why Journey's last song was the hardest to compose The Donkey Kong Country 25th Anniversary Interview Documentary What Breath Of The Wild Is Like For Someone Who Doesn't Play Games Designing Sounds For Sci-Fi Vehicles In Games How Accessible Were This Year's Games? | Game Maker's Toolkit Keep Running Up That Hill: An Analysis of DEATH STRANDING (Spoilers) The Outer Worlds Critique | More like Fallout 1 than New Vegas How Games Are Actually Designed | So You Wanna Be A Game Designer? (#3) Noclip Podcast #16 - Sea of Solitude (Cornelia Geppert) Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry How to tell apart all 596 Fire Emblem characters | Unraveled Things I missed from previous weeks World on Fire: The Oral History of Fallout and Fallout 2 A Spectre is Haunting Martinaise — Detective Fiction and Disco Elysium’s Disappointing Ending