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Posts posted by Legolas_Katarn

  1. Completed: Luigi's Mansion 3
    Platform: Switch

    Some of the best expressive animations I've seen and use of the limited voice lines that add to the characterization of Luigi (the movement and sound where you try to force your way through a barricaded door always being amusing). Control of Gooigi adds some good puzzles and entertaining moments. Well made and varied areas of the mansion and ghosts. Frequent amusing events. Bosses and puzzles make good use of all the functions of your Poltergust.

    Aiming and turning can be awkward at times while holding one of the buttons for the Poltergust.

    Wouldn't normally be the kind of game I would personally enjoy, and to an extent it still isn't, but you run into funny events, area changes, and new mechanics so often that it keeps things fun. If it looks like a style of game you would enjoy easily recommended.


    Completed: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
    Platform: Switch

    Has a large roster of characters from all over the Marvel universe, even more with DLC. Happy to have Spider-Gwen, Miles, Psylocke, Wasp, Hawkeye, and Nightcrawler. 

    Unfortunately, I just kind of hated the gameplay. Big fan of X-Men Legends 1 and 2 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Alliance simplified things a bit with level up stats being automatic (though I kind of liked have the characters focused in a way that made sense for them), Alliance 2 further simplified things and greatly limited the scope of the story but was still alright. This one just goes way to far in simplifying things. You no longer can grab and throw enemies, no real hero specific combo attacks like in Alliance 2, no more combos that can trip/stun/aerial enemies instead just light attack strings and one heavy. Abilities are more limited, you don't find gear but instead start to find crystals that can effect characters skills in different ways. Characters can spend points to powerup the few abilities they do have, and an oddly used upgrade tree will increase all characters stats. Characters still level up by themselves though which can make swapping out characters difficult as the game goes on and less used ones become too weak. 

    The actual fighting is too fond of hordes, the auto targeting just make it a mess, there is no real weight to combat, it can be difficult to even tell what certain abilities are even doing visually, the way characters can sort of combine abilities to attack at the same time is fairly nonsensical unless you have more human partners, even the way abilities charge is odd and poorly visualized. Large enemies and boss fights drag on as they force you to break through a defense bar with your attacks before being able to do any meaningful damage.

    The story is dull and most characters get no time to shine or to really do anything. Worse is that after all this time nothing is improved when it comes to how the story is told, hub areas, location design, getting you to swap out characters, and I found the visual style worse than the previous games (not helped by the frequently poor and in the way camera).


  2. Gaming News Continued


    Weird West has the “same spirit” as Arkane’s immersive sims


    During this year’s PC Gaming Show, we got a new trailer for Weird West, the first game from Wolfeye Studios, the team created and led by veterans of Arkane Studios. After the trailer, Raphael Colantonio, founder and former president of Arkane, now head of Wolfeye, did a brief interview in which he explained the essence of the immersive sim is still alive in the weird, wild west.


    Almighty: Kill Your Gods - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming


    An action RPG where players join up in online co-op to attack and dethrone false gods.


    Cartel Tycoon trailer | PC Gaming Show 2020


    Mafia: Definitive Edition - Official Story Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Check out the official story trailer for the upcoming remaster of Mafia: Definitive Edition.


    Minute of Islands is an oddly beautiful game about dead giants and their mysterious machines


    Mo is a tinkerer who lives on a chain of islands that was once inhabited by an ancient race of giants, whose strange, dilapidated machines must be kept running in order to keep a ancient, mysterious threat at bay. She sets off on a quest to restore them all, to ensure the protection of her people and her home—but there may be more to the task than she fully realizes.


    Yakuza: Like a Dragon: 14 Minutes of Gameplay & Dev Interview | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Yakuza: Like a Dragon turns the long-running beat-'em-up into a turn-based JRPG. Senior Localization Producer Scott Strichart shows us around the new setting of Yokohama, introduces us to the new protagonist Kasuga Ichiban, shows off the party-based battle system, some fun side activities, and the new wardrobe tied to the job system.


    Haven trailer|PC Gaming Show 2020


    New trailer for Haven, revealed at PC Gaming Show 2020


    Pull Stay - Reveal Trailer


    Pull Stay is a wacky Beat 'em up game with Tower Defense mechanics. Use your fists or set crazy traps to repel enemies from rushing into your house! Defend your buddy Susumu, who goes out of his house only once in every two months for his haircut!


    Wasteland 3: Factions of Colorado - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Get a bigger look at the crazy factions that make up the violent wastelands of Colorado in Wasteland 3 - including the Patriarch's Marshals, The Gippers, The Hundred Families, The Refugees, and many more.


    Oddworld: Soulstorm Coming To The PS5


    Oddworld is back! Oddworld: Soulstorm is coming to the PlayStation 5, starring everyone’s favorite Mudokan, Abe.


    Urban Trial Tricky - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Urban Trial Tricky is a trials-style bike game only you're tearing your way through the city.


    Kena: Bridge of Spirits is coming to PC later this year


    One of the games announced during yesterday's big PlayStation 5 presentation was a "story-driven action adventure" called Kena: Bridge of Spirits. My initial impression, maybe because of the Pixar-like visual style, was that it would likely be a PS5 exclusive, but that's actually not the case. Kena is also coming to PC, and in fact is listed on the Epic Games Store right now.


    Balacera Brothers is a run-and-gun shooter from the maker of TMNT Rescue-Palooza!


    Last year we told you about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rescue-Palooza!, a radical, tubular, and generally gnarly fan game featuring 60 characters from the Ninja Turtles catalogue (plus Usagi Yojimbo). Its creator, Merso-X, has now taken the step into commercial development and released an original game called Balacera Brothers.


    Shadows of Doubt is an ambitious murder mystery set in a fully simulated sci-fi city


    Every citizen has a routine, every building interior is completely modeled, and you even get a conspiracy cork board for tracking clues.


    Avengers Game Twitter Assembles, Then Deletes Extremely Bad Tweet About Defaced Statue


    Today, the official Avengers video game Twitter account posted a short video featuring a monument of Captain America and said that the area around it had been “defaced.” It’s the kind of atrociously poor timing that, itself, deserves some kind of historical monument.


    Stronghold: Warlords – Official Multiplayer and Release Date Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    The latest in Firefly Studios' castle sim series, Stronghold: Warlords has players besieging Great Khans, Imperial Warlords, and Shogun Commanders as they command AI warlords across the battlefield.


    Say No! More - Dev Gameplay Walkthrough | Summer of Gaming 2020


    From Guerilla Collective, join developer Fizbin as they walk you through a gameplay demo of the "One-Button-Game" that's all about gaining confidence and learning to say No! More!


    The Forgotten City - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    The Forgotten City is a brand new standalone narrative adventure game set in ancient Rome, based on the award-winning mod to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


    XIII Remake - Official Gameplay Trailer | Summer of Gaming


    The cult classic cel-shaded FPS game XIII returns, remade for Xbox One, PS4, Switch and PC - and features music and voice work from the original game.


    JETT: The Far Shore - Reveal Trailer | PS4


    JETT: The Far Shore invites you on an interstellar trip to carve out a future for a people haunted by oblivion in this cinematic action adventure coming Holiday 2020 on the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.


    Beyond a Steel Sky - Official Story Trailer


    Check out the story trailer for Beyond a Steel Sky, the long-awaited sequel to the 1994 adventure classic, Beneath a Steel Sky.


    Pragmata - Announcement Trailer | PS5


    Announcing #Pragmata, a brand new game from Capcom, now in development for PlayStation 5 launching in 2022.


    15 Minutes of Corepunk Alpha Gameplay | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Watch 15 minutes of exclusive alpha gameplay from Corepunk, the stylish top-down open-world MMORPG from Artificial Core.


    Solasta: Crown of the Magister - Gameplay Interview | Summer of Gaming 2020


    We chat with Mathieu Girard, CEO and Creative Director of Tactical Adventures about Solasta: Crown of the Magister, a D&D RPG licensed by Wizards of the Coast. This is a classic tabletop RPG in video game form, and trying to give players the same amount of freedom they would have in a tabletop version can be a nightmare.


    Crusader Kings 3 Gameplay Walkthrough | Summer of Gaming


    The developers of Crusader Kings 3 walks players through what to expect in the newest game of European kingdom conquest from the Guerilla Collective showcase.


    Empire of Sin Gameplay Demo | Summer of Gaming


    Romero Games shows off more gameplay details for its gangster RPG Empire of Sin, including combat details and specific characters.


    Guilty Gear Strive: Ramlethal - Official Reveal Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Ramlethal's back and ready to rock! Check out the character reveal trailer for the latest returning character in Guilty Gear Strive: Ramlethal


    Everspace 2 - Official Gameplay Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Take the fight planetside in this new trailer for Everspace 2 that covers planetary combat. Picking up where the first game left off, Everspace 2 is a fast-paced single-player space shooter featuring RPG elements, along with a focus on deep exploration, lots of loot, and a persistent open world.

    Everspace 2 - Gameplay Interview | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Everspace 2 is bigger, badder, and deeper than its predecessor and surviving the depths of space has never been so awesome.


    Mortal Shell - Official Gameplay Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Seek out absolution in Mortal Shell, as you take control of a vessel who can inhabit the bodies of forgotten warriors with incredible abilities in this tough-as-nails action RPG.


    Voidtrain - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Become a crew member of an interdimensional express as you build, explore, and defend in this new gameplay trailer for Voidtrain.


    Here's goat arms dealers and cute vegetable people from action village-builder Drake Hollow


    Campaign gameplay from the action village-builder by The Molasses Flood.


    Chivalry 2 - Official Console Announcement Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Wage total warfare on PC or console in Chivalry 2 - now coming to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X, and will have crossplay enabled across all platforms.


    Outlast goes co-op with The Outlast Trials, coming in 2021 to Steam and Epic


    With a new trailer revealed at the tail end of the PC Gaming Show Saturday, The Outlast Trials is the next game on the way from Red Barrels. It’s set sometime during the Cold War, and the idea is that the Murkoff Corporation is involved in human testing – trials, you might say – of various brainwashing and mind control methods. Project MKUltra stuff, in other words – long-time fodder for conspiracy theorists and the producers of spooky podcasts.


    In Sound Mind - Official Announcement Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    The creators of Nightmare House 2 present In Sound Mind, a new first-person psychological horror game for PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC due to be released in early 2021.


    Twin Mirror Trailer | Summer of Gaming


    Dontnod's latest mystery game is called Twin Mirror. The studio revealed the first story trailer during the PC Gaming Show.


    9 Minutes of Surgeon Simulator 2 Gameplay


    Check out nine minutes of co-op limb chopping action with this Surgeon Simulator 2 gameplay!


    CastleStorm 2 - Official Announcement Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Check out the launch announcement for CastleStorm 2, a genre mashup that combines tower defense, real time strategy, and resource management as you try to defend your castle against invaders.


    Gloomwood Trailer | PC Gaming Show 2020


    Gloomwood trailer, revealed at the PC Gaming Show 2020


    Phantasy Star Online 2 - Official Update Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Phantasy Star Online 2 is the free-to-play sequel Sega's acclaimed online RPG, available now on Xbox One and PC.


    Spellbreak - Official Gameplay Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    See how you can become a master of earth, fire, ice, and storms in Spellbreak, a magically infused battle royale game.


    Solar Ash - Introduction Trailer | PS5


    Journey through a surreal, vivid and highly stylized world filled with mystery, wild high-speed traversal, endearing characters, and massive enemy encounters. The Void beckons…


    L.A. Noire Meets Bojack Horseman in Chicken Police


    Chicken Police is a narrative-driven hard-boiled detective adventure game that happens to be about poultry. The game takes inspiration from classic film noir and detective pulp fiction, animal comedies like Bojack Horseman, and adventure games like Policenauts and Snatcher, but it's clearly doing its own thing. Plus, why bother with performance capture when you can just go to the zoo and take pictures of animals?


    Little Devil Inside devs apologise for "racist" character designs, promise to change them


    At Sony’s PS5 showcase last week, we got another look at Little Devil Inside, an upcoming action-adventure RPG about a little dude investigating monsters for his eccentric boss. Unfortunately, a couple of scenes in its reveal trailer showed some characters that the creators have acknowledged look like “racist stereotypes”. Some viewers were quick to call out the devs at Neostream on it though, and now they’ve made an apology, promising to fix it.


    Star Renegades - 8 Minutes of Gameplay


    Check out this exclusive gameplay of Star Renegades, a strategy RPG with an extremely cool art style from developer Massive Damage, debuted during IGN's Summer of Gaming.


    Star Renegades is a gorgeous, squad-based, hard-as-heck roguelite that seamlessly melds JRPG-inspired, turn-based combat with tactical strategy. Coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch in 2020.


    Returnal, A New PS5 Game That's A Horrific Groundhog Day In Space


    As part of today’s PlayStation 5 reveal event, Sony showed off a Groundhog Day-esque game about repeatedly dying and reawakening called Returnal.


    You probably shouldn't pet the dog in the cinematic trailer for Werewolf: The Apocalypse—Earthblood


    IGN's Summer of Gaming kicked off with more of an autumn feel, as we got a look at a new cinematic trailer for Werewolf: The Apocalypse—Earthblood from Cyanide Studio.


    Paper Mario: The Origami King - Official Gameplay Trailer | Summer of Gaming


    Watch the latest trailer for Paper Mario: The Origami King for a look at the characters and to learn more about what you can expect in the upcoming game.


    Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time - Exclusive Gameplay Interview | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is the first Samurai Jack game in 16 years. Creator Genndy Tartakovsky walks us through some gameplay showing off combat, weapon variety, and familiar areas while discussing how licensed games have changed since the days of Toonami and PlayStation 2.


    Destruction AllStars - Announcement Trailer | PS5


    Dominate the glittering global phenomenon of Destruction AllStars – the spectacular prime-time sport for dangerous drivers! Master the art of intense vehicle-based combat through timing, tactics and skills to cause colossal amounts of damage, destruction and devastation in vibrant arenas across the globe.


    GhostWire: Tokyo – Gameplay Reveal Trailer | PS5


    "Tokyo is overrun by deadly supernatural forces after 99% of the city's population vanished. Use a powerful arsenal of spectral abilities to fight the paranormal threat and unravel the mystery behind the mass disappearance. FACE THE UNKNOWN, discover the truth and save the city whenGhostWire: Tokyo arrives in 2021, exclusively on PlayStation 5.


    NBA 2K21 - Announcement Trailer | PS5


    NBA 2K21 is built from the ground up for PS5. Get ready for Next Gen graphics, load times, and power.


    Liberated - Guerilla Collective PC Release Reveal Trailer


    Liberated, a noir cyberpunk action game, is coming to PC in July. The PC version will launch with a variety of new features and improvements. A free upgrade for the Switch version will be available after the PC launch.


    Fights in Tight Spaces - Guerilla Collective Trailer


    Take a tactical approach to close quarters fighting in Fights in Tight Spaces.


    QUANTUM ERROR - Official PS5 4K Gameplay Teaser Trailer


    Take a look at Quantum Terror an upcoming first person cosmic horror game for PS5 from Teamkill Media!


    Paradise Lost sends you to explore a spooky old bunker


    Twenty years after the Nazis destroy Germany and eastern Europe with a nuclear bomb, a young Polish boy explores one of their abandoned bunkers outside Kraków. Paradise Lost sends you underground to uncover the mysteries of this spooky fortress in a narrative adventure game. This new trailer gives a closer look at some of the bunker bits you’ll go exploring beneath the wasteland and background on its history.


    Godfall - Gameplay Reveal Trailer | PS5


    "Take your first look at PlayStation 5 gameplay of Godfall and the world of Aperion—a world on the precipice of ruin. You are the last of the Valorian knights, god-like warriors able to equip Valorplates, legendary armor sets that transform wielders into unstoppable masters of melee combat. Tear through foes as you climb through each of the elemental realms and challenge the mad god, Macros who awaits you at the top. Ascend in Godfall, the first-of-its-kind, looter-slasher, melee action-RPG. Learn more at Godfall.com Godfall arrives on PlayStation 5 and the Epic Games Store in holiday 2020."


    DEATHLOOP - Official Gameplay Reveal Trailer | PS5


    DEATHLOOP is an innovative first person shooter launching for PlayStation 5 and PC from Arkane Lyon, the award-winning studio behind the critically acclaimed Dishonored franchise. Launching Holiday 2020!


    Bugsnax - Announcement Trailer | PS5


    "From the minds behind Octodad: Dadliest Catch comes Bugsnax, a whimsical adventure game coming to PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 holiday 2020. www.Bugsnax.com


    Total War: Troy Gameplay Interview | Summer of Gaming 2020


    The latest in the Total War series introduces new terrain types and has its own take on mythological creatures. Senior Game Designer Milcho Vasilev walks up through a gameplay demo.


    Astro's Playroom - Announcement Trailer | PS5


    Astro and his crew lead you on a magical introduction through PS5 in this fun platformer that comes pre-loaded on PS5. Explore four worlds, each based on PS5’s console components. Each area showcases innovative gameplay that taps into the new features of the PS5's DualSense wireless controller. Astro's Playroom is coming to PlayStation 5.


    Grand Theft Auto V Is Coming To PS5


    The trailer’s YouTube description includes some information about Grand Theft Auto V’s PS5 port, including a “second half of 2021" release date. This new version will include “visual upgrades and performance enhancements to take full advantage of the console’s powerful new hardware, making the game more beautiful and more responsive than ever.” Grand Theft Auto Online will also be part of the package, and it will include “content exclusive to the latest generation hardware.”

    GTA Online will go standalone and free-to-play on PS5


    Rockstar Games also confirms GTA 5 for Xbox Series X


    Dragon Age successor The Waylanders can be confusing


    The Waylanders, a spiritual successor to Dragon Age: Origins, is heading into Steam Early Access next week. I’ve played a preview version of the build that will become available on June 16, and which everyone will be able to buy and try out. While some games arrive in early access as essentially finished products, The Waylanders is still very much a work in progress – and that ‘early access’ tag should be taken seriously.


    Ratchet & Clank Return In New PS5 Game


    A new Ratchet & Clank game is coming to the PS5. Titled Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, the new game focuses on interdimensional travel.


    Metal: Hellsinger - Official Reveal Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    "Metal Hellsinger combines an FPS, a rhythm game, and some face-melting metal riffs into a truly unique gaming experience as you battle your way through hell to a beat.

    Metal Hellsinger segment | PC Gaming Show 2020


    Metal Hellsinger trailer, revealed at the PC Gaming Show 2020


    Among Trees trailer | PC Gaming Show 2020


    Among Trees trailer, revealed at the PC Gaming Show 2020


    Sega’s classic Alex Kidd returns with a remake of the original game


    Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is part-remake, part new game from Merge Games and developer Jankenteam. As the name suggests, the project is based on the very first Alex Kidd game, which released all the way back in 1986 for the Sega Master System.


    Pathfinder: Kingmaker comes to consoles! Turn based option for both consoles and PC.


    On August 18th 2020 Pathfinder: Kingmaker Definitive Edition will launch on PLaySation®4 and the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X as well as PC. The classic RPG will take adventurers to the Stolen lands featuring all previously released content packs as well as a brand new turn-based mode, bringing the game even closer to its tabletop roots. And, yes, turn-base is coming to PC as well!


    Divinity: Original Sin 2 just got new quests, new loot, and a new boss


    "The Four Relics of Rivellon" is the latest in a year-long series of "Gift Bag" updates.


    Frostpunk: On The Edge | Official Teaser


    On The Edge — the third and final expansion from Frostpunk’s Season Pass — is set after the vicious Great Storm as the expedition is sent from New London with a special assignment. On The Edge not only opens a brand new chapter set in the Frostpunk universe but also further enriches the core experience by pitting players against new challenges, and offering new unique mechanics both in the city and on the Frostland map.


    Gearbox sues 3D Realms over Duke Nukem, again



    This lawsuit is actually the result of the lawsuit filed by Duke Nukem composer Bobby Prince last year.


    AT&T puts Warner Bros. Interactive up for sale



    Take-Two, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard have all expressed an interest.


    PAX Australia 2020 is cancelled


    A 2021 event is still planned, and the convention is exporing 'new and exciting ways' to connect in the meantime.

    PAX West Is The Latest Gaming Event To Go Online Due To Covid-19


    This year’s PAX West and PAX Australia gaming conventions are cancelled and will be replaced by PAX Online, a series of live-streamed shows, panel discussions, and video game demos taking place from September 12-20, the show’s organizers announced today.


    Riot Games Investigating Exec Who Blamed George Floyd’s Murder on His ‘Lifestyle’



    Riot Games Global Head of Consumer Products Ron Johnson shared a Facebook post that downplays George Floyd's murder because of his criminal record.


    Don't Starve studio Klei donates $1 million to the ACLU and NAACP



    Indie studio Klei, the developer of games including Don't Starve and Oxygen Not Included, has joined the ranks of game companies supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, announcing today that it will donate $1 million to the ACLU and NAACP Legal Defense Fund.


    Devolver Direct conference being planned for mid-Jul


    In the neverending wave of virtual announce-o-ramas that have replaced E3 this year, one significant name has been missing. No, not Nintendo. Devolver Digital, the indie label whose annual show has been a parade of surrealness and gore, with a few trailers about videogames squeezed in.


    Fortnite Breaks Twitch's All-Time Concurrent Viewer Record After Locking Tons Of Players Out Of Event


    Today, Fortnite’s oft-delayed season-ending “Device” event finally took place, dotting the map with explosions before submerging it beneath the ocean. Over two million viewers tuned in on Twitch to watch the sea consume all, a grim preview of the future that also awaits the popular game map we call “Earth.” This means that Fortnite now once again holds the all-time record for most concurrent viewers on Twitch—but with an asterisk.




    How esports photographers are using in-game capture in place of live events



    This year was supposed to be the Overwatch League’s big leap into local homesteads, and while no one was quite clear how well it would work, they certainly weren’t expecting a global pandemic to move the whole thing back online again. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, but they’ve mostly managed to pull it off.


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


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


    Voice Actors From Ghost of Tsushima to Persona 5 On the Challenges Facing Asian-Americans in Games



    Stephanie Sheh has experience with casting for roles herself, and has also voiced characters in games such as Indivisible, Devil May Cry 5, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Sheh explains that authentic casting can provide many benefits. "You are creating opportunities for minority performers who suffer from the same problems of systematic racism that all minorities do," she says. "So by making an effort to cast authentically, you are helping to balance out the opportunities."


    In Celebration of Black Videogame Composers, Part 1



    They’re out here. They’ve been out here.

    The overwhelming volume of Black composer excellence that’s been sent my way this week is undeniable, from chiptune jams to electrifying RPG battle tracks and the chilliest of songs about magical girls and cats.


    As the Internet Changes, James Rolfe Remains a Classic Man



    James Rolfe is a darling, despite his resting grouch face. To his fans, he carries himself as a kind soul, calm while he’s interacting with others and eager to carry small talk through a multitude of “mhms” and “yeps” and a bright smile. To me, he spoke thoughtfully, carefully choosing his words when answering questions about his career and personal life, but also deeply reminiscing about his family in real-time. Somewhat cautious without being completely on edge, James Rolfe is a sweetheart.


    Can Exploring the World of Virtual Reality Treat Phobias?



    Dr. Spitalnick has been in the space of virtual reality, technology, and anxiety treatment for the last 15 years. He was the director of research and the clinical director of the virtual reality company Virtually Better. They are credited for inventing the first applications used for VRET.


    The Art of the Blindfolded Speedrun



    Blindfolded Punch-Out!! runs have been featured at practically every Awesome Games Done Quick event since 2012, and they always attract a lot of attention both at the event and on Twitch. However, the blindfolded speedrunning community extends beyond a few showstopping annual runs.


    Company PR


    Whiny self important studio leads



    Itch.io’s Anti-Racism Bundle Gave Me Space To Reflect, Rather Than Look Away



    Games need not always be escapes. Given how many larger titles rely on realism as a key selling point, many games don’t feel like much of an escape at all. It’s important, then, that games can also help us express how we’re feeling, or confront us with difficult dilemmas we must face and accept.


    Heart Container – Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Environmental Intimacy



    After this realization, I made a conscious effort to examine the environments of all my friends, family, and partners. I took note of their interests and values- used the knowledge gained to know just how to spark conversation, or be what they sought after when they needed comfort. A person’s room helps to give them context- it contains the parts of themselves they cannot put into words. It’s the items in the background of a photograph, the props hidden about a set. These things could go unnoticed, but to some of us, examination is enthralling. Through examination, we see both how a person wants to be seen, and how they see themselves, and I think that’s what’s so incredibly compelling to me about Animal Crossing: New Horizons.


    Abandonware: Preserving the Now for Tomorrow



    Over the last decade or so, sites with abandonware—video games that have become impossible to buy or download commercially—have become increasingly popular as more games become defunct. While initially driven by the simple desire to play games that are otherwise unavailable, abandonware sites have become one of the main ways to preserve video game history.


    Video Games Have To Reckon With How They Depict The Police



    No one ever asks for the responsibility of making a better world, but it is a tragedy to let that burden fall to our shoulders and ignore it. A Spider-Man sequel should reckon with the fact that police would treat Miles Morales differently from Peter Parker. Whether this ends up being a transformative step or not, it is still a step, and one that is worth taking. There’s something about great power and responsibility that applies here, that maybe the video game industry will pick up on.


    The Last of Us Part II Lets Love In


    For a game ostensibly about hate, The Last of Us Part II revolves around the complexities of love. It shows love at its most positive, between two people whose love is rarely normalized in media; as the driving force behind a powerful, overwhelming, all-consuming quest of anger, murder and retribution; as a means of defining identity and community, where we belong and where we are dehumanized. It conveys how love — in its equal potential to be merciful and violent — is intrinsically tied with survival.

    The Last of Us: Part 2 — Deaf/HoH Review


    The Last of Us 2 is the game of a generation. Not in its narrative and artistic beauty–though both leave quite an impression–but in its accessibility. In discussing the game’s level of accessibility, Steve Saylor said it best: “There will be before The Last of Us 2 and after The Last of Us 2.”

    The Last of Us Part 2 review: We’re better than this


    Ellie embraces the role of antihero, just as Joel did, and Naughty Dog makes its queer woman protagonist act just as violent and self-involved as the legions of grizzled straight-white-dude video game protagonists who have preceded her. There’s something that feels off about that straightforward swap here; it’s a missed opportunity to explore how the rage of a marginalized character might take on a different form, and what that form may look and sound like. I felt so much hope at the idea of embodying Ellie instead of Joel in this game, but the entire arc she follows was an arc that I easily could have imagined Joel taking instead of her.

    Last of Us Part II Is Great, but Can't Escape Its Father's Shadow


    The Last of Us was the quintessential dad game. Its sequel is destined to be the archetype of something else: the daughter game.

    Attaching Real World Guilt to The Last of Us: Part II’s Violence is Bullshit


    With the launch of The Last of Us: Part II a few days away, there’s been a discussion around the game and its violence and how it can cause certain emotional reactions. Generally, the game is very effective at making its carnage uncomfortable, and a lot of that comes from watching main character Ellie carry out gruesome acts at the press of a button. Playing through Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic tragedy made me feel a lot of things, but responsibility for what happened wasn’t one of them, but for some reason, Naughty Dog thinks I should have felt something along those lines.

    The Last of Us Part 2's Overly Limiting Embargo Only Hurts Critical Discourse


    For those who aren't aware, Sony Interactive Entertainment laid out notably strict guidelines when providing The Last of Us Part 2 early review code, including specifically forbidding journalists from talking about large areas of the game. Suffice it to say, these elements are hugely important for understanding The Last of Us Part 2 as a whole, and it's very difficult to have a meaningful discussion without them. That didn't stop many journalists from trying, and some excellent reviews were the result, most notably from Vice Games, Wired, Paste, and Polygon.


    A Travel Guide to the Town With No Name



    The setting of Pathologic 2 was falling apart long before the plague showed up. The Town-on-Gorkhon, a settlement of a few thousand people on the Russian steppe, is a carefully built explosive device well on its way to detonation. Cobbled together through the work of Simon Kain, an old-beyond-old utopian patriarch who drew in architects, mathematicians, and whatever brilliant people he could find, the Town is, by design, a battlefield for a series of competing ideologies and mystical understandings. On the one end, there is the rationalistic, humanistic approach to growth and progress evinced by Kain and the people he's recruited to live in this isolated place. On the other, there are the Steppe people who already lived here, who now represent an oppressed underclass ready to revolt. By the time Artemy Burakh shows up, summoned by a letter from his father, the settlement of his childhood is already in the process of changing forever.

    Difficult Stress


    During one of the interstitial scenes that take place whenever your character, Artemy Burakh, dies in Pathologic 2, the puckish theater director, Mark Immortell, raises the topic of exhaustion. “Tell yourself, 'I’m exhausted, I can’t take it anymore,'” he admonishes. "Take pity on yourself and stop in time.” He continues: “Such a paradox! To admit you’re tired—is that a step toward death? A surrender? An admission of your natural limits? Or is it a step back to whatever happens before death?”


    Let’s not throw the vampire baby out with the bath water, eh?



    Oh look it’s the (other) bad Castlevania, the one stuffed up to its gothic bat-filled rafters with instant death water, a terrible lock-on system, and that hellish section involving backtracking, very sensitive explosives, and a run through an almost comically lethal gauntlet of crushing spikes and narrow walkways. Yay. Yes, yes… everybody knows this game got all of those things wrong – but let’s not be so quick to forget everything it did right.


    Simple pleasures



    Sometimes I love sitting down with a good old shmup like Batsugun; scouring the internet for the best scoring techniques and all the secret tricks they don’t mention on the little arcade cabinet control panel strip, practising day and night until I know where enemies are coming from before they’re even on the screen while squeezing through the tiniest gap in a haze of bullets and eventually basking in the glory of a hard-earned high score with “-ALL CLEAR!-” proudly displayed next to my gleaming initials at the top of the leaderboard.


    "Everything is Political" | Institutional Racism in Life is Strange 2


    Life is Strange 2 stands out for being an overtly political game, explicitly tackling racism in a post Trump America. But racism isn’t just an isolated act of violence, it’s woven into our institutions and our everyday lives. Especially in light of current events, it’s time to take a deeper look at how racism is represented in Life is Strange 2.

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


    Who's Commanding Shepard in Mass Effect?


    When Mass Effect launched in 2007, the heroes of western RPGs were typically blank-slate nobodies. But Commander Shepard is different. What does it mean to have a character whose personality and identity is shared between the player and the character?

    Support Game Maker's Toolkit on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/GameMakersToolkit


    Children of DOOM Episode 3: DOOM


    Support! www.patreon.com/errantsignal

    Children of DOOM finally reaches... well, DOOM.  From here on out, we'll *actually* be talking about the games impacted by this one!  Cool, huh?

    Anyways, this one's a little different.  It's hard to cover a game that's been covered to death.  So I kind of go all subjective on this one, much to the chagrin of... pretty much everyone, including me.


    30 Indie Game Hidden Gems in Itch.io's Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality


    Having this type of new access to over 1,500 video games is overwhelming and in this video, we suggest 30 rare hard to find indie game hidden gems you might like to play.


    The Secret to Streets of Rage 4's Awesomeness


    Lizardcube, Guard Crush and Dotemu have done a splendid job with Streets of Rage 4.


    SMASH TV: The Complete History - SGR (Arcade's greatest twin-stick)


    This is the COMPLETE HISTORY of Smash TV

  3. S9BDiel.png


    Sony's PS5 event, IGN's Summer of Gaming Expo, The Guerrilla Collective, and PCGamer's PC Gaming Show all reveal new trailers, previews, interviews, and announcements. Game Assist's essay on the representation of racism in Life Is Strange 2 and how the game highlights how it is woven into our lives, reviews that show very different takes on The Last of Us 2, Dia Lacina highlights overlooked black composers, itch.io's Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality ends having raises over eight million, Kevin Cortez interviews James Rolfe (Angry Video Game Nerd) discussing remaining a classic over time and maintaining a private life, Elizabeth Henges on the art of the blindfolded speedrun, PAX Australia cancelled, George Yang speaks to voice actors about the challenges facing Asian-Americans in casting, Jess Cogswell's history of immersing herself in the worlds of loved ones and how Animal Crossing allows her to do that, Gearbox suing over Duke Nukem again, and more.


    Too many new videos and previews to have one post this week, find part two here.


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


    Itch.io’s massive games bundle raised over $8 million in support of Black Lives Matter


    Indie games marketplace Itch.io has launched a games bundle that features over 1,000 games, and counting, in support of Black Lives Matter. The package, dubbed ‘Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality’, includes all manner of beloved titles and cult hits, all for the low, low price of five dollars.


    ICYMI: Every New Game Announced During Today’s PlayStation 5 Reveal


    Well folks, we made it. The PlayStation 5 was officially unveiled today during a two-hour livestream event, wherein we all learned that its design is a lot more, uh, interesting than many of us (read: me) anticipated, and that Sony is still leaning heavily on the whole “console exclusive” thing to make its case for PlayStation ownership.

    Here's What The PS5 Looks Like


    Today, Sony showed off the PlayStation 5, which spits in the face of the idea of non-rounded corners.


    The PC Gaming Show 2020


    PC Gamer presents the 2020 PC Gaming Show, the sixth annual event for PC gaming.

    Everything that happened at the PC Gaming Show 2020


    The PC Gaming Show at notE3 is done and dusted for another year, and boy howdy were there a lot of new PC games to inhale. From Persona 4 Golden to new trailers (and early access release dates) for Ooblets, Torchlight 3 and loads more, there’s a lot of ground to cover. If you missed the show or need a refresher of what’s coming out and when, then help is at hand, as here’s a big list of everything announced at The PC Gaming Show 2020.


    Guerrilla Collective Day 1: Everything Announced and Revealed


    The Guerrilla Collective is a new online digital festival that is hosted by Kinda Funny Games' Greg Miller and is produced by Media Indie Exchange (The MIX) with Kinda Funny Games Showcase.

    Everything you missed from Guerrilla Collective Day Two


    Just in case you’re in need of more new PC games for your calendar, indie stream extravaganza The Guerrilla Collective is back for a second day of announcements. If you missed what happened yesterday, you can catch up on everything that happened on Day One of the Guerrilla Collective by clicking that link there, but here’s everything that went down on Day Two.

    Watch all the new gameplay demos from Day Three of the Guerrilla Collective right here


    The new PC games train just keeps on chugging, as indie extravaganza The Guerrilla Collective is back for a third and final day of announcements. Today was all about taking a closer look at some of the more interesting games of the festival, with lengthy gameplay demos and interesting developer chats. If you missed what happened earlier in the Guerrilla Collective, you can catch up on everything that happened on Day One and Day Two right here, but today we’re all about the new PC announcements from Day Three.


    Spider-Man's New PS5 Game Stars Miles Morales


    Miles Morales is finally getting his own Spider-Man game, Sony revealed during its PS5 event today. It’s called Spider-Man Miles Morales and is headed to PS5 sometime this holiday season.

    Spider-Man: Miles Morales Isn't a Sequel, It's an Expansion


    It remains a little unclear exactly what form this expansion will take. Rutter's language makes it sound as though Marvel's Spider-Man could receive a full remaster on PS5 (as hinted at in early showings of the console to press), with a major new component starring Miles Morales. However, it may be that this is a standalone expansion that builds on the mechanics and engine of the original, in the vein of Uncharted: Lost Legacy or Infamous: First Light.


    Hitman's Next Job Is On PS5


    Hitman 3 is coming out in January on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC.


    Resident Evil 8: Village Announced By Capcom


    Taking place a few years after the events of Resident Evil 7 biohazard, in which protagonist Ethan Winters traveled to Louisiana to search for his missing wife, Mia, Resident Evil Village sees the reunited Mia and Ethan living happily together and putting their shared nightmares of the Baker’s plantation house behind them.

    Resident Evil Village - Special Developer Message


    Resident Evil's producers discuss some more interesting details about the upcoming Resident Evil Village.


    Horizon Zero Dawn Sequel Forbidden West Is On PS5


    Aloy embarks in a new westward adventure in Horizon Forbidden West.


    A first look at Project Athia, designed for PS5


    We are so excited to be able to share a sneak peek at what we have been working on at Luminous Productions with you today. During the PlayStation 5 showcase, we showed a teaser trailer for the upcoming debut game from our studio, Project Athia (working title).


    LittleBigPlanet's Sackboy Now Has A PS5 Platformer


    The game is being developed by Sumo Digital and looks like it will feature the Sony mascot hopping around colorful 3D environments in either single-player or with a coop partner. There are changing perspectives and lots of arcadey setpieces.


    Source Of Madness uses machine learning to generate eldritch horrors


    One problem with unfathomable and unspeakable horrors in video games, right, is that they’re designed by people. Oh the human brain can do weird and awful, no doubt, but it’s bad at things it can’t itself grasp. So I’m quite into how newly-announced roguelikelike action-platformer Source Of Madness uses machine learning and procedural generation to spit out its “Lovecraftian” levels and monsters, which do have a pleasing weirdness to them. A bit like if you let Google DeepDream munch up a load of dogs and landscapes then spit them back out into a game.


    Skeleton Crew — Guerrilla Collective Trailer


    Modern Wolf presents Skeleton Crew,  a gothic platformer with a pinball-like twist coming soon to PC.


    30XX - Ace Developer Spotlight


    Jump, shoot, and slash your way through 30XX, the roguelike action platformer you can play with a friend! Explore lush, ever-changing worlds that mix precise platforming with fevered combat. Destroy fearsome Guardians. Master unique Powers. Rediscover the thousand years we've lost.


    Demon's Souls Is Being Remade On PS5


    The game was introduced by Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida as something “something very near and dear to me.” It’s apparently being rebuilt “from the ground up” and getting a new “Fractured Mode.” Sony also confirmed players will have the option of choosing to play in two different graphics mode with one focused on visual quality while the other optimizes for frame rate.


    Gran Turismo 7 - Announcement Trailer | PS5


    Gran Turismo™ 7 builds on 22 years of experience to bring you the best features from the history of the franchise Whether you’re a competitive racer, collector, fine-tuning builder, livery designer, photographer or arcade fan – ignite your personal passion for cars with features inspired by the past, present and future of Gran Turismo™.


    Evil Genius 2: World Domination - Development Update


    Join Lead Designer Rich Edwards as he shares never before revealed secrets and insights about the recent Gameplay trailer from, returning and new Evil Geniuses, creating rooms, new traps, powerful henchmen, DOOMSDAY DEVICES!, and so much more!


    EA announces Star Wars: Squadrons, a new first-person starfighter dogfighting game


    EA has announced a new Star Wars game, Star Wars: Squadrons, a first-person space combat game that will have players flying the series’s famous starfighters in head-to-head single-player and multiplayer battles.


    Fight Crab will come to fight crabs on July 30th


    From the studio which brought you Neo Aquarium: The King Of Crustaceans and Ace Of Seafood comes a game whose name tells you everything: Fight Crab. We’ve marvelled before at the series about heavily-armed crustaceans having a square go, and now we have a release date for the latest, July 30th. This series has been running for eight years and I still laugh at the idea. Fight Crab!


    Iron Harvest - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Control giant dieselpunk mechs in this upcoming real-time strategy game (RTS) set in the alternate reality of 1920+, just after the end of the Great War. Iron Harvest launches on September 1, 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.


    Speed Limit demo out now on Steam!


    Speed Limit is an old-school, ode-to-90s-when-demos-were-a-thing retro shooter boiled down to its core elements: Hard. Fast. Addictive. Play the demo and wishlist the game!


    Ex-Witcher devs announce Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart Of The Forest


    It’s all getting a bit cramped in the World Of Darkness, but it seems there’s space to squeeze in at least one more wolf. Putting the other White Wolf behind them, two former Witcher devs today announced Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart Of The Forest – an upcoming tale of anger, activism and global warming as told through the lens of the big bad wolf. Not that any of that’s in the teaser, mind. We’ll just have to make do with this rather lovely owl.


    Night In The Woods creators are teasing their next spooky-looking project


    The Glory Society, the new worker cooperative founded by some of the creators of Night In The Woods, have started summoning their next project. Glory Society have awoken on Twitter to post this spooky gif of a crow on a gravestone. No, it’s not Night In The Woods 2, they say. Just getting that out of the way.


    New Blood Presents... "ULTRAKILL"


    Insane gameplay by CabalCrow


    GoNNER 2 - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Switch


    The IGF winning game GoNNER is getting a sequel! GoNNER 2 is coming late 2020. Journey your way through deep dark chaotic places with unimaginable sparks of colour as you go on a mission to help Death rid a mysterious presence from her lair. Battle crazy bosses, lose your head (a lot), in this messy, cute, fast-paced procedurally-generated platformer.


    Swimsanity - Official Reveal Trailer


    Swimsanity takes multiplayer underwater. Coming this summer to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.


    Gori: Cuddly Carnage - Alpha Teaser


    Angry Demon Studio presents our next upcoming game


    Calico - Guerrilla Collective Trailer


    Calico is a day-in-the-life community sim game where you are given an important and adorable task: rebuild the town’s cat café and fill it with cute and cuddly creatures! You will journey to a small village filled with magical girls and other fantastical friends, where you are placed in charge of a run down cat café. Build up your café by filling it with cute furniture, fun decorations, yummy pastries, and get it bustling with animals again!


    Nuts demo lets you spy on squirrels and their secrets


    Squirrels: they’re hiding something. No matter how cute they look, they’re keeping something from us and maybe it’s more than just food. Perhaps you’ll see some of their secrets in the new demo for Nuts, a game about surveilling the goings-on of squirrels. By day, carefully place your cameras. By night, sit back to watch where the blighters go. It’s a first-person puzzle game of sorts, about the daily cycle of tweaking camera locations to follow the furry fiends, but also has a story about squirrely secrets. I’m interested.


    Lost At Sea - Announcement Trailer


    Lost At Sea is a game about life. A game about every one of us and the incredible adventure we all take part in.

    Love, friendship, family, career, freedom. No matter who we are or where we come from, these are the things that make life worth living for all of us. And we are all afraid that something will take these things away or take us away, before we have experienced every single bit of it. But death is inevitable, to be afraid of it doesn't make sense. And the more we experience, the more we know and remember - the more the fear of death loses its power.


    Vigil: The Longest Night Teaser Trailer


    Vigil: The Longest Night will be available on PC, Xbox, PS4 and Nintendo Switch soon.


    Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch - Gameplay Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    This upcoming 2D brawler from the mind of Kevin Smith channels classic in the genre with a View Askew twist.


    Gestalt Steam and Cinder - Official Announcement Trailer


    Check out the latest trailer of Gestalt Steam and Cinder from Guerilla Collective's Live Showcase Event The MIX!


    Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocalypse Gameplay Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Set in the huge webcomic's universe Freakpocalypse has you playing a weird, unpopular, ginger-headed orphan... who has to save the world.


    Cardaclysm - Announcement Trailer


    Face the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in epic card battles! Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four is a procedurally generated collectible card game mixed with action RPG elements. Collect creature and spell cards throughout your journey and unleash their power if anyone opposes you!


    West of Dead - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    West of Dead is a dark western set in Purgatory, Wyoming. Mystic enemies, dark powers, and the desert sun all come into play in this gritty western shooter. West of Dead is part of Day 1 of Guerrilla Collective.


    Ghostrunner is a first-person platformer that makes you feel like a ninja


    Ghostrunner is a first-person action game that puts you in control of a titular Ghostrunner, a samurai-like peacekeeper, in a bleak, dystopian mega-city called Dharma Tower. The tower is a massive structure that houses everything a city would need to survive, with the poorest people and manufacturing units on the bottom and the richest residents living high above everything else. When the Ghostrunner wakes up at the bottom with no memory, a mysterious AI tells him he must climb the tower to take out the evil Keymaster who runs the city. It’s not exactly the most original story, but it gets the job done and sets the mood.


    Genesis Noir - Behind the Scenes with Feral Cat Den


    A noir adventure spanning time and space. When a love triangle between cosmic beings becomes a bitter confrontation, you'll witness a gunshot fired by a jealous god—otherwise known as The Big Bang. Jump into the expanding universe and search for a way to destroy creation and save your love.


    Röki - Pre-Launch Trailer


    Röki is a game of adventure, courage and folklore. It’s a game about monsters that shouldn’t exist, but do. Join Tove on a fantastical journey to save her family by confronting her own past. Explore a dark forgotten fairy tail world, filled with riddles, strange locations and even stranger characters.


    Solve murders as a supernatural detective in Lucifer Within Us


    Examine. Deduce. Interrogate. Accuse.


    The Last Campfire segment | PC Gaming Show 2020


    The Last Campfire segment from the PC Gaming Show 2020


    Cris Tales Uses Classic RPGs as Inspirational Markers on Its Wildly Ambitious Course


    It's common for RPGs to use time travel as a gameplay mechanic, a background narrative, or both. 1995's Chrono Trigger for the SNES is probably the best-known example. Chrono Trigger's exciting travels across the past, present, and future made it an easy choice for USG's Best RPG of All Time. It's not surprising, then, to learn Dreams Uncorporated's own RPG about time travel, a lovely-looking adventure called Cris Tales, names Chrono Trigger as one of its main inspirations.


    FULL Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 Presentation | Paradox Interactive Showcase


    Check out the full Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 presentation from the Paradox Interactive Showcase including the reveal of Damsel reveal trailer.


    Goodbye Volcano High - Reveal Trailer | PS5


    Goodbye Volcano High is a cinematic narrative adventure about the end of an era… and the beginning of a love story. Coming 2021 to PS5 & PS4.


    Persona 4 Golden - Official Steam Trailer | Summer of Gaming


    Persona 4 Golden, Atlus' updated version of its popular PS2 JRPG is available on Steam.


    Dwarf Fortress Steam Version - First Look Gameplay & Dev Commentary


    The deepest, most intricate simulation of a world that's ever been created. The legendary Dwarf Fortress is now on Steam. Build a fortress and try to help your dwarves survive, OR adventure as a single hero against a deeply generated world. As seen on the 2020 Guerrilla Collective Showcase.


    Valheim Guerilla Collective Trailer


    Welcome to the Tenth World!


    Boyfriend Dungeon - Gameplay & Dev Commentary


    Gameplay footage from the Guerrilla Collective Showcase! Romance your swords in this dating simulator, dungeon crawler adventure mash up.


    Colt Canyon Release Teaser Trailer


    Take your revolver and rescue your partner in this atmospheric and punchy roguelike game.


    Punishing boss-rush game Eldest Souls drops a new trailer at Guerrilla Collective


    Eldest Souls is a "challenging pixel art boss-rush game," according to its Steam listing—so challenging that it took our man 15 minutes and 12 deaths to beat the first enemy he ran into. If that sounds like your cup of punishment, then you're going to want to check out the new trailer that debuted today at the Guerrilla Collective livestream, showcasing a warrior with a sword that's way too big, facing off against enemies that are much, much bigger.


    ACE Team's The Eternal Cylinder still looks wild


    It feels very 2020 to wish for a vast annihilating cylinder to flatten the world, but goodness me I am so up for The Eternal Cylinder. The latest game from ACE Team, the makers of Zeno Clash and Rock Of Ages, is about cute critters trying to escape a monolothic planet-pulverising tube rolling over the landscape. They’ll eat other life to gain new abilities aiding their escape, which sounds fun but… I’m still in the stage of being wowed by how wild it looks. ACE Team’s surreal style is such a treat, and a new trailer shows off more of the weird life we’ll meet.


    Icarus - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming


    Explore a hostile planet and survive in a new survival game from the DayZ developer.


    Midnight Ghost Hunt - Gameplay Teaser


    MIDNIGHT GHOST HUNT is a ghostly hide-and-seek multiplayer game!


    Wolfstride Reveal Trailer


    Compete in the Ultimate Mech Tournament in Wolfstride.  Fight epic battles, perform repairs and upgrades, make friends, earn money, and look good doing it.


    Floppy Knights | Official Announcement Trailer (Coming Soon!)


    What do you get when you bring a microprocessor to a knight-fight? A deck-building, sword-swinging, tactical adventure! Meet the Floppy Knights: tangible projections summoned from floppy disks. They’ll help Phoebe and Carlton earn cash and perhaps even save the world in the process.


    Per Aspera - Trespassing Trailer


    Per Aspera is a narrative-driven strategy game with the goal of overcoming the challenge of terraforming Mars. Explore the planet, gather resources, and make strategic decisions as you live the fantasy of scientifically-based interplanetary expansion. Hardship awaits in 2020.


    Serial Cleaners will continue sneakily cleaning for the mob next year


    Quietly grab your mop bucket, select your least squeaky soap, and bring a whole load of bin bags, for soon we’ll again be called on by the mob to clean up crime scenes before cops get the evidence. Serial Cleaners, announced today and coming next year, is a follow-up to 2017’s Serial Cleaner. I still like the sound of the concept. I hope that its realisation is less frustrating this time.


    No Straight Roads - Guerrilla Collective - Sneak Peak of Vinyl City


    Long version of the Guerrilla Collective Day 2 Presentation narrated by Wan Hazmer, CEO and Game Director of No Straight Roads.


    Skate Story's underworld kickflips get technical in a new trailer


    It is time, once again, to scream about Skate Story. Sam Eng’s crystalline kickflipper made a fleeting appearance during this weekend’s second Guerrilla Collective stream-a-thon. The new trailer flaunted more of the game’s stunning concrete underworlds while laying out the technical footwork that’ll get you there. To paraphrase a truly well-worn phrase, one doesn’t simply ollie their way into hell – and lord, do I long for the day when I can carve my way into Skate Story’s abyss.


    Deliver 80s post in 80s postal delivery story Lake, due out this year


    Our VidBud Colm used to be a postman back in the old country, and from what he’s said it was a job he very much enjoyed. Small wonder, then, that big city slicker Meredith would want a go of it for a couple of weeks in Lake, an open world explore-a-town game due out by the end of the year (and a poor SEO optimisation if you ask me, since if I ever forget the name of it I’m going to have to Google things like “post delivery woman video game small town” to find it again).


    Doors of Insanity - Reveal Trailer


    Reveal Trailer of Doors of Insanity.


    A Juggler's Tale - Announcement Trailer


    A poetic 3D side-scrolling adventure about hope and empowerment - on PC & Consoles 2021!


    Amazon's MMO New World is getting a closed beta next month


    Amazon are going all-in on the gaming scene this year. First they jumped onto the hero-shooter trend with Crucible, and now their MMORPG, New World, is next. At the PC Gaming Show today they revealed a gameplay trailer showing off some of PvP combat, and treated us to some info on its closed beta coming this July.


    Baldur's Gate 3 - Official Early Access Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    A brand new trailer for Baldur's Gate 3, Larian Studio's fantasy RPG set in the popular Baldur's Gate universe has been revealed as part of Guerrilla Collective.


    Fantastical action-RPG No Place For Bravery is out early next year, gets blood all over its trailer


    No Place For Bravery was revealed an entire four years ago, which is a long time, as it goes. NPFB (if you’ll allow me an inelegant abbreviation) has shyly peeked around the PC Gaming Show curtain with a new trailer. Alice0 remarked on the sense of terrible scale on display when it was first announced, and though that hasn’t changed, a few other things have. In any case, this top-down, fast paced and extremely gory action-RPG is about ready to take itself out of the oven: it’s coming Q1 2021.


    Torchlight 3 - Official Early Access Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Torchlight 3 is the latest dungeon crawler in the Torchlight series and it's available now on Steam for Early Access.

    Torchlight 3 dev talks unsustainable crunch on Diablo 2


    Although the team behind Torchlight 3 is somewhat different from the crew that made the previous two Torchlight games, Max Schaefer remains a constant. As Torchlight 3 finally hits Early Access after eight years, the former Blizzard dev says his time crunching on Diablo 2 was a great teacher in what not to do to sustainably make great RPG games.


    Dungeon of Naheulbeuk gameplay trailer | PC Gaming Show 2020


    Dungeon of Naheulbeuk gameplay trailer, revealed at the PC Gaming Show 2020


    Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town segment | PC Gaming Show 2020


    Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town trailer, revealed at the PC Gaming Show 2020


    Trash Sailors trailer|PC Gaming Show 2020


    New trailer for Trash Sailors, revealed at PC Gaming Show 2020


    Alaloth: Champion of the Four Kingdoms trailer|PC Gaming Show


    New trailer for Alaloth: Champion of the Four Kingdoms, revealed at PC Gaming Show 2020


    System Shock - Official Alpha Demo Teaser Trailer


    Check out the Alpha Demo for System Shock a limited time!


    Uragun - Weapons Gameplay Trailer


    Uragun is a top-down shooter, which puts you in an all-powerful mech unit challenged with annihilating swarms of smart AI bots flooding the streets of familiar cities. Coming Q2/Q3 to Steam Early Access with console versions to follow sometime in 2020!


    Exo One Gameplay Trailer


    Go on an interplanetary, gravity-defying journey through space and time. For Windows PC on Steam.


    The Iron Oath promises turn-based fights in a dynamic world


    Manage your own mercenary company in this bloody tactical RPG featuring gruesome spells and attacks, a dynamic and shifting overworld, and many mysteries to be uncovered.


    Just Die Already (Death Stranding Parody) - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020


    Just Die Already spoofs the debut trailer for Death Stranding in its own announcement trailer. What does it mean? Who knows!


    Bomber Crew gets sequel Space Crew later this year


    Curve Digital and Runner Duck's flight strategy game Bomber Crew is getting a sequel later this year.


    Dustborn is about smashing cops with words, bats


    Red Thread Games, the studio behind Dreamfall Chapters and Draugen, have announced a new action adventure game, Dustborn, with a shiny trailer.

  4. Completed: Final Fantasy 7 Remake
    Platform: PS4

    Well made world. Midgar is an excellent city both as visual metaphor (if on the nose, though also with real world connections to places built in the same way) for the power of the rich and abuses suffered by the lower class to details that give life to the people living there through a mixture of what you see in the environment to the lines spoken by characters as you pass. The game spends a lot of time fleshing out the side cast. It's really more of a sequel than a remake, when the original game started to lose the focus on oppression and corporate politics and focused more on Cloud's past that was great but with the surprise gone for the people that know the old story, with the changes this game has made it sets itself up for something more interesting.

    Cloud has some amusing back and force with Barret and a good line when Tifa comments on his outfit but there just isn't much to him yet. Aerith is more of a mixture of the odd idea some of the later media and some fans had of her as kind of being a pristine image of good but then also has the more energetic and mischievous side that was part of her character in the original, she just doesn't have much to play off of with Cloud most of the time, can be better around Tifa but they just aren't together for very long. We get some idea that Aerith knows more about what is going on then she lets on but nothing comes of it in this part of the story. Tifa is, really hot and hits things, and I'm thinking that's the only major appeal of her character so far, there really isn't that much interesting to her yet other than giving Aerith a better companion to talk to and her self doubting leading to some of Barret's better lines and Barret's politics. While in many ways a racist caricature (big, loud, violent, scares the white people with his presence, speech style), Barret is often given the last word on systemic oppression faced by the lower class from the rich and corporations, environmentalism, and the need for violent activism, his relationship with you changes the most, his love for his daughter is frequently shown, and when he takes off his shades his kind eyes are even more beautiful than Tifa's. He is probably the only really good and more fleshed out character at this point in the story.

    Part of the issue is that this is the beginning of the story, and we spend so much time with the party apart by having Cloud spending multiple chapters with just one person or with side characters that we don't get time for major character developments yet. Cloud wasn't very interesting for some time in the original and that is the case here. But there are certainly signs of characters only getting better with time and many RPGs have an issue with 1 or 2 main characters just being unlikable or pointless and that is not the case here (though it would be difficult to do that with four people). A lot of the best lines and moments tend to come from the game's side characters, as most of the time everyone else is too bland to be that interesting at this point.

    Combat revolves around your allies standing around doing almost nothing half the time and all enemies wanting to target whatever character you are controlling. Terrible AI with your ranged characters loving to just charge into melee or AoE range for no reason. Which is great when you switch to the low health and defense Aerith and because that instantly changes enemy aggro gets her hit before you can even react properly because she is standing right next to them when she could be attacking from the clear other side of the area. Combat is almost passable when controlling Tifa due to her more fast and impressive moves and quick dodges you can more readily do out of your attacks but it is much more dull as Barret and Aerith only made better at the end if you manage to buy and steal a weapon for each of them around 13 of the 18 chapters in that gets them a more visually fun ability. Enemies can often either be one shot or near enough or they will have around 10x too much health.

    When I got near chapter 11 of the 18 I just changed the difficulty from normal to easy because there was no skill, thought, or enjoyment to be had from it just overly long boss battles. Equipped materia can give you magic abilities as well as some more interesting changes to how you defend, dodge attacks, link attacks, etc and you will find different weapons with each having their own skills and stat bonus that points can be spent on to learn when they are equipped. Each weapon also has one attack skill attached to it that you can learn permanently when the move is done a small number of times (so small it really might as well have just given you the move when you gained the weapon or at certain levels). Different weapons will make a character better in certain ways (more magic focus, attack focus, crit bonuses, defense bonuses, health and guarding, etc) but you don't really get the extent of customization as you would have in the original game. They have a strange obsession with flying enemies that make combat even more awkward as characters will jump in the air to hit them, follow them in the air or not, or just stand around attacking nothing depending on how they are feeling at the moment.

    Combat is another area that I could see improving as the story continues in future games. Better tech and environments, improving the AI, the different weapons and materia already gives us some options, with some of Barrets weapons even changing him to a melee character, and the more options and characters we get in the future and the sooner we can start with more of them to play with the better.

    Side quests aren't enjoyable and don't add enough to setting. There aren't many side quests in the game and most play out in the same handful of ways. Go to specific area you walked through as part of the story, fight easy enemy, fast travel back to quest giver. Some number of people ran off around town, find and talk to them all, fast travel to quest giver. Walk to less specific search area on map, find and fight easy enemy, fast travel to quest giver. Go to area to fight monster, monster not there, walk back to quest giver to be told to check again, go back and fight easy monster, fast travel to quest giver. Very few might have some amusing moments but the majority of them barely even have any interaction with other people.

    I've heard a lot of people who love the soundtrack, hate the soundtrack, cover the callbacks and changes to the original, etc. It's not really something I found memorable, the average reaction I had to almost any track in the game was rapidly going back and forth from thinking it was ok to not really liking it at all and having finished the game I can't remember a single piece.

    Frequent poorly done area traversal moments in both cutscenes and normal gameplay where Cloud and Tifa struggle to get over or cross things that cutscenes and other moments of normal gameplay show them just being able to jump over in normal situations, or moments suddenly give character terrible reaction times. Always either done to create dull minigames and switch pulling, an event to pad out the time, or to create non issue danger for them to talk about (oh no, Cloud might fall into some water). The Honey Bee Inn for a place seemingly representing freedom and a progressive view on sexuality and gender is certainly, straight. From the way they dress, to the stereotype voices, to the actions of the characters inside the inn. We don't care about gender as long as long as the women and men dress in outfits society deems conventional, only have men and women dance with each other, and the owner is extremely stereotypically gay and that's why he is surrounded by his female employees 24/7. Though it does further highlight and have more side characters commenting on how Cloud harms himself with the need to perform a tough masculine act when dealing with others, which is basically almost all there is to his character at this point of the story.

    Entire game took me about 32 hours to complete, with all the side quests done (except two research challenges, why did revive need 5,000 AP to upgrade).It's nice to have a chapter select option for replaying content if you want to.


    Completed: The Sinking City
    Platform: PS4

    A decent setting and while it often involves combat it at least doesn't have you fighting the style of threats you should have absolutely no chance against like some other Cthulhu games. The combat is never enjoyable though. The investigation mechanic is too basic with pixel hunting on the harder difficulties and easily being able to piece things together with the main gimmick being the need to frequently look up records in the library, city hall, police HQ, and newspaper to find the address of people and places. Fast traveling to those locations and walking to the place you discover is where much of the time is spent.

    Cases often give you two or three ways to handle the finale and what side characters live or die but it never actually effects anything except maybe a brief vision later or a few lines. Even choices warning you that it will increase the spread of madness in the city never actually do anything. The game is too focused on finding crafting components to make more ammo, main and side quest rewards are ammo and components (sometimes a new gun), skills are mostly based on combat and crafting and there are infected areas of the city with good loot that require you to fight or avoid a lot of enemies (probably spending a lot of the loot you are acquiring anyway) that I just ignored. You have a sanity meter that never really matters, if it gets low enough hallucinations might attack you. The most interesting thing it did was create a hallucination of a fake box that gave me items when I searched it and then vanished.

    The low budget does show through in animations, walk cycles, bugs.


    Completed: Democratic Socialism Simulator
    Platform: PC

    You become president of the US and make decisions or answer questions by moving each choice to either the left or right. Plays a bit like the Reigns but requires enough senators on your side to make certain decisions, you have digital voter representation by what they value, and are trying to raise the budget surplus and collective power of the people while lowering pollution. A bit too quick and simple but some funny choices and changes things up a bit with different playthroughs. Nice to look at. I basically won my first time through. Your way of paying for everything comes from doing exactly what you would think, defending the military and legalizing marijuana.

    It is odd that you are likely to lose most of your approval rating after your plans succeed.


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    itch.io's Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality includes over 1,000 items (video game, tabletop, etc) for $5 and has raised over $3,400,000 for bail and legal defense funds, Jason Schreier reports on how Take-Two canceled agreements with an indie developer then poached their staff after the cancellation destroyed the company, Liz Ryerson on the tendency to maintain the status quo by using the existence of reactionaries to distract from making meaningful change in the games industry and beyond, continued responses to protests and Jim Sterling looks at some of the hypocritical companies supporting black lives matter and pride month and a few of the ones that seem to actually do more, Liam Robertson interviews former staff members to find out how and why the Dead Rising studio fell apart, Paradox signs labor agreement with trade unions, Sony fined by Australian court, Alexandra Orlando on the narrative and legacy of Killer7, 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)


    Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality


    We live in a time of racial injustice, inequality, and police brutality against black people. We hope that everyone takes a stand in any way that they can. We’ve partnered with creators from all across our platform to support organizations that are working directly with those affected.

    We reached out to our community and an unprecedented number of creators donated over 740 projects to be part of what we believe is the largest bundle ever. Over $3,400 of paid works are available Pay-what-you-want with a minimum donation amount of $5.


    The bundle keeps getting bigger as more developers and creators donate what they can in support, and it's not just games being donated either. The bundle currently has over 1,000 items including art assets, game development cheat sheets, pen and paper RPGs, and, of course, a whole lot of indie games. The outpouring of support from the Itch.io community has been incredible and the goal of the bundle has been raised to $5 million.


    Epic Games had to rewrite parts of Unreal Engine to keep up with the PS5’s SSD



    The SSD inside every PS5 is going to be transformative for game development, and the maker of Unreal Engine has seen it firsthand.


    Top 10 BEST NEW Upcoming Indie Games of June 2020


    June 2020 is packed with some awesome looking new and upcoming indie games on the PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch. Here are the top 10 best new upcoming indie games of June 2020 Get Indie Gaming think are well worth you all checking out.


    She Dreams Elsewhere is a trippy RPG with echoes of Persona and Undertale


    Fight 'monsters' inside a comatose, anxiety-ridden character's mind.

    Pleasant Nights, Troubled Dreams: She Dreams Elsewhere


    The sounds of rain pattering against nearby windows, the discordant echo of running water, the sensation of a disquiet sleep, not soothed by the melodious backdrop of the world around you, merely brought into an uncomfortably discordant focus.


    Project Nimbus Sequel Nimbus INFINITY Gets First Gameplay Footage


    Announced back in 2018, the sequel to Project Nimbus: Code MIRAI, Nimbus INFINITY, got its first gameplay look at Indie Live Expo today.


    Desperados III - Dev Blog #6: Music


    Watch the sixth Desperados Dev Blog where some members of the development team Mimimi Games talk about sound design, taking risks and the music of Desperados III.


    The Last of Us Part II: how Naughty Dog made a classic amidst catastrophe



    The Last Of Us Part II, inspired by cinematic greats such as The Godfather, is the most-anticipated PlayStation 4 title ever. We spent two years behind the scenes while Naughty Dog and its creative director, Neil Druckmann, overcame pressure, delays, a pandemic and then the unthinkable to make a game-changer


    Why I don’t trust Cyberpunk with my junk



    I have no doubts that actually playing the game will prove very enjoyable, especially if you’re not one of the minorities Cyberpunk 2077’s aesthetic has repurposed into its own edgy image. The game’s marketing has already crafted a persona with a futuristic Fred Durst attitude, famously quipping ‘we don’t f*ck around’ – asterisk and all – when the full ESRB rating was revealed, which makes it difficult to take anything around the game seriously.


    Dead On Arrival? | Hands ON with a TOTAL WAR SAGA: Troy


    First Impressions after 24 Hours with a Battle Preview Build of A TOTAL WAR SAGA: Troy. Does it soar to be an epic worthy of the Illiad? Or is there a reason it was sold to Epic Games? Decide for yourself with a first look at the gameplay.


    Re:Turn - One Way Trip trailer showcases a bizarre 2D horror adventure


    A group of five college students embark on a camping trip that goes very, very wrong. Also, there's a train.


    DLC announced for turn-based tactics RPG Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark


    The first expansion for the RPG with the hand-drawn art style.


    Europa Universalis 4: Emperor arrives today – here’s what it adds


    Earlier this year, Paradox revealed Emperor, the next major expansion for Europa Universalis IV. Now, the Universalis IV: Emperor release date is here, bringing a batch of new features that expand gameplay options for the Papacy, the Holy Roman Empire, and revolutions, new missions, and more to the grand strategy game.


    In A Unionization Breakthrough, Paradox Interactive Signs Labor Agreement With Trade Unions



    The effort to unionize game development took another step forward today, as the workers at strategy game publisher Paradox Interactive publicly announced that they’re securing a collective bargaining agreement with their company. The deal is expected to safeguard their existing benefits and make it easier to advocate for improved working conditions.


    After Massive DMCA Takedown, Twitch Streamers Are Deleting Thousands Of Clips



    Over the weekend, many streamers discovered an unpleasant surprise in their inboxes: an email from Twitch saying they’d received one or more copyright strikes on clips from their streams. If streamers receive three strikes, they risk an indefinite ban. The problem? The offending clips were not recent, but streamers hadn’t received any previous indication that there were ticking time bombs in their archives.


    Sony Fined $2.4 Million By Australian Court For Misleading PlayStation Players About Game Refunds



    Australia’s Federal Court announced today that it’s ordering Sony to pay $3.5 million in fines (approximately $2,445,00 in U.S. dollars) for breaking the country’s consumer law by misleading people about video game refunds.


    Investors argue against excessive pay package for Activision CEO



    Activision defends Kotick's pay by citing the company's healthy stock performance.


    Continued responses to protests and related articles

    Black Streamers Are Grateful For New Twitch Viewers, But Heartbroken It Took Police Violence to Make It Happen


    With protests raging over the murder of George Floyd and the racist institution of policing in general, Twitch streamers find themselves faced with the same choice as the rest of us: Speak up or stay silent. Difference is, many streamers have audiences numbering in the thousands or even millions. They can make a difference, but not all of them have chosen to.


    The full list of incidents is much longer, but what even this small sample has in common is the understanding that in the United States you can easily order a heavily-armed force of police to violently break down the door of someone’s house.

    “Cyberpunk was a warning, not an aspiration,” says Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith



    The statement notes that Pondsmith has spent the last few days reflecting on current events and his life as black man in the US, and is currently taking time to prepare a meaningful statement of his own about “race, abuse of authority, and power.”

    He is also pondering “what it means to look out your window and see too much of the dystopian future you’ve made a career of writing become the dystopian present.”

    PC Gaming Show postponed to June 13


    Like you, we have found it hard over the last week to focus on anything other than the demands for justice and the justifiable anger that millions of Americans are expressing. Right now, we want to make space for those speaking out and demonstrating about how to end the systemic oppression and police brutality experienced by black people.

    Future Games Show has been postponed to June 13


    The Future Games Show will now take place at the later date of Saturday, June 13 at 2PM PT / 5PM ET / 10PM BST in support of the protests demanding justice and change over the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police.

    Solemn JPEGs Of The Backhanded Brands (The Jimquisition)



    It's Pride month and people are in the streets, not so much to celebrate identity as to protest police brutality and systemic oppression. Things are not okay in America, and people have had enough. They're making their voices heard.

    Thankfully, THE BRANDS are looking out for everyone by pretending to care about anyone but themselves.

    With Pride and Black Lives Matter protests coinciding, corporations are working overtime to bring insincere platitudes to the people. Their words are empty in a world where the very thing allowing injustice is the same thing these companies champion and exploit for profit on a daily basis.

    No More Heroes Composer Collaborates On Stellar Black Lives Matter Track


    The dreamy “Dear Friends” features production by Abo and verses from Japanese rapper Devin and MASTER and Mystic Elder Maikis of hip-hop duo Okumura. It speaks on issues of discrimination and police brutality that are a daily reality for Black people and other people of color in the United States and Japan but also offers a message of unity and hope in collective action.


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


    Game Publisher Cancels Contract With Developer, Then Tries to Poach Its Entire Team



    Even by the cutthroat standards of the video game business, Take-Two’s tactics were extreme. The company behind the Grand Theft Auto franchise is one of America’s largest publishers, with a market value of $15 billion. The stock is up 10% this year and trading near an all-time high, thanks to increased demand from people stuck at home. Take-Two cultivated a leading position in publishing through a mix of big-budget games developed in-house and by a tightknit group of studio partners. Publishers like Take-Two control a project’s financing, marketing and distribution, giving them a great deal of leverage over most developers they sign.


    Beyond Gamergate



    In the case of the world of videogames, where the menace of gamergate made an actual impact, time showed the actions of alt right-adjacent figures, doxxers, serial harassers, sockpuppet accounts etc to be a extremely annoying and PTSD-inducing to those who have ever had to face the other end of them. Yet they clearly turned out to be a far less potent and crushing boogeyman than the game industry itself, which largely turned a blind eye to confronting the problems that led to a right-wing nationalist surge in its own space and continued to treat people who existed inside its landscape as an extremely disposable resource. Even now when there are more structures in place inside various vectors of the videogame world to deal with harassment and lack of access that didn't exist before: good luck being remembered or cared about long enough for anyone to stand up for you! Because someone new who complains less than you do is going to be there to replace you at any moment anyway. The truth is: this was always far more about nature of the status quo these self-elected right wing nationalistic enforcers of "videogame ethics" were trying to protect and maintain, than who any of them actually were or what they were doing as individual people.


    Reconstructing a lost NES game from 30-year-old source code disks



    Hey all, VGHF founder Frank Cifaldi here. Today I’m tag-teaming with Rich Whitehouse to bring you the story of how we recovered and re-assembled Days of Thunder, an unreleased, never-before-seen title co-authored by Chris Oberth at Mindscape.


    From Zelda to Civ to Frostpunk—can climate change be fun?



    "The climate change and disaster mechanics are the most compelling additions to Civ VI."


    What it's like running one of the world's biggest multiplayer games during quarantine



    The developers of Warframe talk about the challenges of keeping a massive game moving forward during the coronavirus pandemic.


    Remade, Not Rewritten



    We live in a games landscape that doesn’t tend to respect its own past. Large swaths of the game playing audience believe that old games are inherently worse than new ones, and companies like to forget all but the most popular of their back catalog. What’s more interesting – but still discouraging — is what happens when developers take on the task of remaking something from the ground up with modern design principles in mind. The results are often good, and sometimes fantastic, but you can’t help but see these projects as efforts to subsume what came before. If you’re remaking a game today, it’s probably improved to the point where it renders the source material obsolete, right? But as much as game companies want to sand over the rough edges of its past, the old game’s shadow still looms over the remake. Just because a remake exists doesn’t mean the original game ceases to be, after all. This is a dynamic that most games just choose to ignore, with games like Mega Man and Resident Evil 2 falling victim to remakes that attempt to paper over their inspirations, but Final Fantasy VII Remake explicitly integrates it into its very narrative, shining a light on the nature of remakes and what happens when you try to overwrite something that’s still there.


    A Summer’s End: What It Means To Release A Queer Hong Kong Game In 2020



    For the generation raised by computers, it’s easy to see why the protests, demonstrating the power of the people and fuelled by memes, stuck a chord. As A Summer’s End developers Charissa So & Tida Kietsungden stressed however, 2019 was not Hong Kong’s first foray into geopolitics. “The existential identity of Hong Kong is something that has been long politicized,” they told me, noting how other art from the region, cinema in particular, has long been influenced by politics. “A topic of much exploration in ‘80s & ‘90s Hong Kong cinema is the question of identity pre and post 1997: the year Hong Kong transferred its sovereignty from colonial British rule to mainland China. When we started working on A Summer’s End in 2018, we had these themes in mind and wanted to reflect on them in our own project.”


    Die Report Disaster Hard: The Game



    “Like casting pearls before swine” is often an appropriate phrase to use when talking about the general games-buying public, with Beautiful but Unusual One-Off frequently outsold a thousand to one by Drivey Dude Shoots Again IX: Drive Dude-ier. These people are entirely to blame when magical voyages of pure wonder go unbought – if only they were a little more willing to try something new and buy games outside of their comfort zone then less mainstream releases would surely succeed and we’d all be much better off.


    How To Pace a Game // HeavyEyed


    patreon// https://www.patreon.com/heavyeyed

    So Resident Evil 3 Remake and God of War, two very different games except for one little thing, their length cause me to think very hard about how different games approach their replayability options.

    Special thanks to Writing on Games and eurothug4000 for looking at the script and to Joseph Anderson for the God of War footage. All other footage from World of Longplays.


    The Art of Game Design | Jesse Schell, Christopher Alexander and the Architecture of Video Games


    The Art of Game Design is a book by Jesse Schell, which aims to establish a language for the design of games. Inspired by Christopher Alexanders a pattern language, it presents a series of lenses that allows designers to shift their perspective on creation when they might be going astray. This video summarizes many of the findings of Jesse schell, as well as the vernacular many other designers have established in design. However, what Schell alludes to , and what Alexander more explicitly explores, is the understanding that there is an even higher purpose to design than just the creation of games or architecture. It is about the creation, perpetuation and persistence of life.

    Support the channel on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/gameoveranalyser


    Shadow of the Colossus - The Frozen Frame | PostMesmeric


    Shadow of the Colossus is a moment suspended in time, an adventure across a dead land, a journey of solitude and emptiness. Let's see how this Fumito Ueda classic gives beauty to its vacant, but peaceful world.

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


    Dissecting Killer7


    Support the creation of videos like this at: https://www.patreon.com/AOrlando

    In this video, I revisit one of my favourite games 15 years later to discuss it's complex narrative, legacy and themes.


    Dwarf Fortress Creator Explains its Complexity & Origins | Noclip Interview


    Become a PATRON to unlock more videoshttps://www.patreon.com/noclip

    We chat to Bay 12 Games co-founder Tarn Adams about their remarkable ASCII simulation Dwarf Fortress - the game's origins, how it works, and their plans for steam. Thank you to Kruggsmash for allowing us to use his footage.


    The often forgotten video gaming icon Jerry Lawson | #BlackLivesMatter


    I Daniel Ibbertson stand united with the Black Community and fully support #BlackLivesMatter This video is to help spread the word and to tell the story of the often forgotten video game icon Jerry Lawson


    If you would like to find out more about the Black Lives Matter movement then please follow this link...
    The Official George Floyd Memorial Fund


    The Sound Design Secrets Of Rocket League || Waveform


    BLACK LIVES MATTER CHARITY RESOURCE LIST: https://drive.google.com/file/d/164xdXmXnU_uameKNMcc5PJo-DeIaZ3Kt/view

    All the clips in this video are protected from copyright law under fair use for educational purposes.


    How Capcom's Dead Rising Studio Fell Apart - Game History Secrets


    Today on Game History Secrets we talk about the secret history behind how Capcom's Dead Rising studio fell apart. Dead Rising 3, Dead Rising 4 and Dead Rising 5 all had troubled developments that ultimately led to the closure of Capcom Vancouver. Troubles at the studio also contributed to the cancellation of at least 7 other games including new Dino Crisis and Onimusha games, as well as a side-scrolling title using the Mega Man IP.

    Liam Robertson is a video game researcher and archiver. In his spare time, Liam creates videos and articles for various outlets, and will also be contributing to the Did You Know Gaming channel.

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    Razbuten on how casual games can be like for people that don't have a history with video games, Nathan Grayson reports on what Twitch does to prevent streamers from spreading dangerous conspiracy theories, Natalie Flores shares some of the streamers and gaming organizations speaking about US or worldwide systemic racism while others share past and current stories showing some of those company's actions doing the opposite, Total War Troy to be free Epic exclusive, MidnightCowboi's first video discusses the people and world of Kentucky Route Zero, developers interviewed about what they think Unreal Engine 5 will mean, Gita Jackson looks at a virtual life in The Sims and how digital spaces and photos can act as a portal to a life you might not see again, Skeleton considers the privilege and function of escapism, RagnarRox covers some indie alt-horror games from itch.io, Mx Medea remembers how an impressive Windows 95 demo disk helped to make them who they are, 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)


    Developers say Unreal Engine 5 will 'empower them to be creative and take risks'



    We asked some of today's top developers what Unreal Engine 5 means to them and the future of videogame development.


    Xbox Series X: The Most Powerful and Compatible Next-Gen Console with Thousands of Games at Launch



    As gamers, we also know how important it is to preserve and respect our gaming legacies. Your favorite games and franchises, your progression and achievements, and the friendships and communities you create through gaming should all move with you across generations. Not only that, your favorite gaming accessories and peripherals should also move forward with you as well.


    Eternal Hope is a Limbo-like journey to save the soul of your beloved


    The shadowy puzzle-platformer is coming to Steam in August.


    Check out the excellent trailer for Industria, a surreal Cold War shooter


    Industria is a forthcoming shooter set in East Berlin as the wall falls, though it quickly heads into a parallel dimension in what is giving me some extremely good flashbacks to trailers for games like Half-Life and BioShock. As the Cold War ends, Industria starts, and what a start that is. A synth-heavy soundscape, deeply atmospheric visuals, and what sounds like a tight story at about four hours.


    Desperados 3: Demo Gameplay


    Welcome to the ruthless Wild West with this Desperados 3 demo gameplay.


    Crusader Kings 3 - April & May Update


    Here is the awaited (and massive) monthly update discussing the developer diaries published throughout the months of April & May! Unfurl the description to get the links of the written developer diaries!


    23 Minutes of The Last of Us Part 2 Gameplay (Full 4K Presentation)


    Watch the entire in-depth look at Naughty Dog's The Last of Us Part 2, including an extended dive into gameplay of the sequel, in Sony's latest State of Play.



    The Last of Us Part II is arguably the most ambitious title to come out of Naughty Dog. It takes place in a massive post-apocalyptic world, including a staggeringly detailed rendition of Seattle, with much more involved stealth-based combat and elaborate cutscenes. It’s the kind of huge and detailed game you’d expect from the studio’s swan song on the PlayStation 4. But one of the most impressive things about the game is how large and varied its accessibility options are. You can now navigate the world largely by sound, or zoom in on the screen as if you were using a smartphone. There’s an astonishing array of things to choose from.


    System Shock Alpha Demo First 15 Minutes of Gameplay


    Nightdive Studios dropped a new System Shock Demo today and it delivers. Experience a re-imagining of the original System Shock.


    Wasteland 3 - Choice and Consequence (Behind the Scenes)


    inXile Studio Head Brian Fargo and the Wasteland 3 development team explain how the post-apocalyptic game world of Colorado reacts to the player's choices and actions with bona fide consequences. Wasteland 3 will be released on August 28 for Xbox One, PC, and PS4.


    The Next Total War Game Is Having A Very Weird, Epic-Exclusive Launch


    Having previously been a series that we first associated with DVD drives and then Steam, the next release in the Total War series—the spinoff A Total War Saga: TROY—is going to be a 12-month Epic Games Store exclusive. And it’ll be...free?


    Disjunction is a cyberpunk RPG, with artwork from Deus Ex: Mankind Divided art director



    Disjunction is an upcoming cyberpunk role-player that plunges you into a retro-futurist New York City’s underworld to solve a far-reaching mystery. With “hardcore stealth-action mechanics,” a “reactive story where your choices have real consequences”, and “challenging stealth-action gameplay that lets you play the way that suits your style”, it’s kind of like Cyberpunk 2077 mixed with a dash of Hotline Miami and Deus Ex. Speaking of which, dev Ape Tribe Games has got some exciting news to share – new artwork created by Mankind Divided’s executive art director.


    Ubisoft says Trackmania is not subscription-based, you just pay for it multiple times



    Some Trackmania fans are unhappy with the pricing scheme on the upcoming reboot.


    Space Haven is a promising management sim about interstellar vagrants


    Something like FTL crossed with RimWorld.


    Accessibility On Marvel’s Avengers – The Journey So Far



    Meagan Marie and Mariah Robinson from Crystal Dynamics talk about accessibility and inclusion in the upcoming game.


    Outriders gets extended gameplay video, and won't have microtransactions


    Bulletstorm studio People Can Fly hosted an extended gameplay stream for Outriders earlier today, providing our first extended look at the third-person loot shooter in action. That's the video embedded above, and as you'll surely notice, it's unmistakably a third-person loot shooter.


    One Shell Straight to Hell: First-Look Preview


    One Shell Straight to Hell looks to be a slick top-down twin-stick shooter that oozes style. Previewed by IGN Japan's Shin Imai and narrated by IGN Japan's Daniel Robson.


    Goosebumps: Dead of Night - Official Reveal Trailer


    Popular children's book series Goosebumps is getting a new first-person survival-horror video game. Goosebumps: Dead of Night will be released this Summer for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.


    Discover tentacled horror at the bottom of the sea in the strategy-RPG Stirring Abyss


    The upcoming indie game tells a pulpy tale of a lost submarine inspired by an HP Lovecraft short story.


    Metro Exodus Drops Denuvo From All PC Versions With Its GOG Release



    Also, a belated happy 10th anniversary to the series.


    Street Fighter 5 Is Getting One More Season of New Content



    Five fighters, three new arenas, one last hurrah.

    Street Fighter V Costume Design Contest Is Asking For Free Labor


    Capcom recently opened a special contest for Street Fighter V, asking fans to submit costume designs for possible inclusion in the fighting game’s final season. On the surface this may seem like a cool way to interact with fans, but the lack of any monetary compensation makes it all too easy to view this contest as another instance of a developer disregarding the very real work that goes into crafting these designs.


    Epic Store's Free Games End Up Selling Better After The Giveaways, Says Tim Sweeney



    "You're not going to go out and buy if you're not into games like Satisfactory, you're not going to go out and spend money to buy Satisfactory but if you get it for free you realize it's an awesome game," Sweeney explains in the interview, which you can watch above.


    Paradox opens a new grand strategy studio



    Paradox Tinto will be led by Europa Universalis designer Johan Andersson.


    Arnold Hendrick, creator of influential '90s RPG Darklands, has died


    In 2009, Todd Howard credited Darklands as an inspiration for The Elder Scrolls games, and more recently Obsidian's Josh Sawyer wrapped up a long-running Darklands livestream on Twitch. You can read a retrospective interview he did with Hendrick on RPG Codex in 2012


    After George Floyd, Many in the Gaming Community Say #BlackLivesMatter



    Various figures in the gaming community — from individual people to esports organizations — have stepped up to support #BlackLivesMatter, recognize the riots as the language of the unheard, and stand against systemic racism.


    The Video Game Industry Has No Clue How to Respond to Protests


    As protests against police brutality and anti-Black racism have arced across the United States, the video game industry has been slow to show its solidarity with Black people in the community. When they do, some of these statements are shy of showing an actual commitment to the cause.


    Smash Melee charity tournaments raise $28k in honor of George Floyd



    Super Smash Bros. Melee fans raised about $28,000 in honor of George Floyd during two charity tournaments on June 1. Nico “Ryobeat” Rodriguez organized the events and streamed them along with Scott “SaveAsUntitled” Schroeder.

    Street Fighter Event Benefiting Black Lives Matter Demolishes Fundraising Expectations


    Last night, the Street Fighter subreddit organized an online Street Fighter V tournament to raise money for Black Lives Matter charities in response to the recent police murder of George Floyd, a black Minnesotan, and ongoing attempts by activists across the country to hold law enforcement accountable. They ended up collecting just under $15,000 from hundreds of fighting game players.


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


    Knights of the Chalice 2: Revolutionise Old-School CRPGs!


    Party-based CRPG using the OGL 3.5 ruleset. Features turn-based combat, emergent AI, 2D graphics and a powerful innovative toolset.


    Today, we present the main strengths, weaknesses and synergies of each of the 22 character classes in KotC 2. There will be separate Kickstarter updates for the three additional classes of Spell Weaver, Summoner and Necromancer.


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


    Arkane Studios at 20: searching for the balance between accessibility and complexity


    For Arkane Studios, creator of Dishonored and Prey, there’s a simple rule: consistency. Wooden doors should be breakable. All doors should be openable unless locked. Doors with nothing on the other side shouldn’t exist, and so players are free to peek through keyholes, through the smokescreen, to plan how to confront what lies beyond.


    Spelunker (NES)


    In the annals of kusogē history, perhaps no other console has played host to quite so many notorious games as Nintendo’s Family Computer. And within that catalogue of infamous cartridges, there is a trio which stands out — three titles tied together by shared theming and similarly punishing gameplay. These releases would include Sunsoft’s Atlantis no Nazo, Pony Canyon’s Super Pitfall, and the subject of today’s article; IREM’s Spelunker. Now, seeing as each game puts players in the boots of fortune-seeking adventurer types – exploring the likes of ancient ruins and lost caverns – I reckon there should really be some sort of nickname assigned to this wholy unofficial trilogy, right? A friend and peer in our field – Natalie of ‘Kusoge Theater’ – has referred to the set as the “Cave Dwellers” collection. A plenty memorable moniker, to be sure. But today, I’d like to pitch my own suggestion here for your approval: “The Treasure Hunters Trinity.” A little alliteration goes a long way, I say.


    As Streamers Spread Dangerous Conspiracy Theories, Twitch Does Little To Stop Them


    At this point, Twitch isn’t even doing that—not consistently, anyway. Back in March, it suspended satirical streamer Kaceytron for making what was clearly a joke (albeit an insensitive one) about spreading the virus to “old and poor people,” but again, it did not suspend Dr Disrespect after he spread actually harmful conspiracy theories with a straight face. And it goes deeper. Until sometime in the past couple weeks, it was possible to find VODs of “Plandemic,” a viral video banned on Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo that claimed wearing masks causes coronavirus (among many other easily debunked claims), simply by typing “Plandemic” into Twitch’s search bar.


    How The Makers Of Samurai Shodown Neo Geo Collection Dug Up A Long-Lost, Unreleased Game



    Samurai Shodown Neo Geo Collection, which will release on Epic Games Store (for free, at first) on June 11, Steam on June 18, and PS4 and Switch on July 28 bundles together seven classic fighting games, including one that only briefly saw the light of day before being hidden away by SNK: Samurai Shodown V Perfect.


    Gaming's lost boys embrace their inner censor | Opinion



    What might have come as a little more of a surprise -- wearily obvious though it is in hindsight -- is the extent to which the game has also suddenly become a major focus for reactionary conservatives more broadly. It should go without saying that if losing sales in a couple of large Middle Eastern markets was considered an acceptable sacrifice for creative freedom, the disapproval of a small but noisy minority of extremely online culture warriors isn't likely to summon even the tiniest of shrugs from Sony. Yet it's still worth stopping for a moment to admire the sheer brass-necked hypocrisy of a group who normally scream about censorship at the first sign of a developer changing a female character's costume suddenly applauding the actual, outright banning of an entire game by a government censor.


    Studio Ghibli’s influence on game designers is extensive and expanding



    For the past 10 years, artists have taken inspiration from Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and many more


    Visually Impaired? Use This Sign and Note in Animal Crossing: New Horizons


    Right now, it’s easier for people who are visually impaired to follow, but they don’t want to stop there. They want to make it accessible for people who are colorblind or have motor impairments, too. Until Animal Crossing: New Horizons gets proper accessibility options — which Ross Minor notes are still “zero” — members of the blind community, and the disabled community overall, are finding creative ways to help themselves and each other enjoy what is still the biggest game of the year.





    Maybe this is the only time Deep Hell Dot Com will ask anything of anyone. Now more than ever, if your sole response to the situation is to run into the soft arms of escapism. The yearning for digital violence as a type of release. Confront why that is. We started here to ask ourselves why there were no true utopias being imagined in this digital landscape. It’s not just for reading anymore.


    Final Fantasy 7 Remake interview: developers talk fan reaction, hard mode and balance



    What’s the feeling like at Square Enix after shipping the publisher’s most highly anticipated game of all time? We decided to check in.


    How Erica Lindbeck Gave Jessie Rasberry a New Voice in Final Fantasy 7 Remake



    We catch up with the voice actress who not only gave Jessie a voice, but helped make her a new fan favorite in the Final Fantasy 7 community.


    Meet the 19-year-old CEO who started a professional Minecraft building company



    The creativity that Minecraft inspires has led to an industry of professional builders.


    A Guided Tour Of The Manhattan Space Station



    If, like me, you grew up in the 90s with nary a console to your name, you were intimately familiar with shareware, endlessly copied to floppies (against contemporary advice regarding copying that floppy) and passed around the playground (or, in my case, church pew). But what always caught my attention was not the veritable jenga tower of small black squares that cluttered my desk and infested my youth, but the new shiniest circle on the market: The CD-ROM. This was the age of the demo disk, and Windows was in ascension, it makes sense then that Microsoft too cornered the market on sneak peeks into the murky future of PC gaming.


    Streets of Rage 4 and What it Means to Fight



    There is a moment in Gareth Evan’s hyper violent martial arts odyssey, The Raid 2, where Iko Uwais’s Rama is flanked on all sides. The only means to get to safety involves his fists, so he bloodies his knuckles through wave after wave of bad guys. It is a tight moment of cinematic combat that is as well choreographed as it is constraphobic.

    Streets of Rage 4 is the closest I’ve ever felt to the feeling invoked through that scene, and it is the video game that I did not know I needed right now. It is also my first foray into the beat-’em-up genre and, well, I should not have been sleeping on these “move left-to-right” fighters for most of my life.


    The Sims Is My 'Last Normal Photo'



    Peeking into a save file of my real life coworkers in the Sims is a magic portal to a kind of life I may not see again.


    Reliving my days of alcoholism through Disco Elysium



    Waking up in Disco Elysium is a painful experience. In the opening moments of the game, looking over the detective’s prone, near-naked form is like walking down a familiar road to a familiar end. The tag-team dialogue of his Ancient Reptilian Brain and Limbic System paints a verbal picture of stale whiskey-mouth, bloated confusion, and pain – so much pain. Positioned in a pantsless, vulnerable pile, he’s a dead ringer for my previous life as a shambling alcoholic.


    A Chocobo Built For One: Why and How I Got a Divorce in FFXIV



    Eternal Bonding isn't always that eternal, but sometimes that's a good thing in FFXIV.


    What a video game about a futuristic Tauranga can tell us about our present



    A new first-person photography game set in a dystopian Tauranga under lockdown is the best work of Māori science-fiction this decade, writes Dan Taipua.


    Degendering the Dress



    Queerness isn’t a feature of Wall Market, but it is presented as entertainment for the presumed player. Others have written of the commodification of queerness that Remake borrows, and on some of the gender at play in this Midgar. But what I can’t get over is that in what is supposed to be such a progressive place, none of the women wear pants. No two men dance together in the gay club. Andrea, the effeminate gay caricature, is often surrounded by honey girls. And I’m not convinced he would be satisfied with the boring suits that cover up the honey boys either.


    Dancing May Cry



    Hey, tank controls! I know those! And having to choose between moving and shooting? That’s just like most of my favourite Resident Evils (and the other one)! Just one question: How the heck do you make a good action game starring a slinky mercenary when you’re using a control scheme that, fundamentally, isn’t all that different from the one found in the dark and distant past of slow-paced horror-adventure gaming? The one intended to bring tension and awkward uncertainty to small rooms with weird camera angles and elaborate carpeted stairs that could only be navigated with a button press and a first-person cutscene?


    Palaeozoic Park



    There’s a tier of games below even the guilty pleasure of mine that is FMV adventure games, and that is the dread beast “edutainment” – wastes of time and plastic that ruin everything they touch by trying to make sensible subjects “Hip with the kidz” yet also fail to offer the thrills and spills of a game as intense as… ooh, Sim Brick? Yeah. The good news is this 1996 Saturn/Playstation release Lifescape is different, using footage from the NHK ’94-’95 documentary series “生命 40億年はるかな旅” to create an informative and lightly interactive journey across nothing less than the very beginnings of life on Earth all the way through to early human-likes. Thanks to this extensive TV influence the information given’s pitched around that general “family viewing” level with a perfectly normal narrator rather than those rash-inducing “for kids” releases that try to dress up basic maths exercises as “Exciting fun for preschoolers!”. As such while it’s fair to say the material here isn’t going to help anyone pass an exam (unlike a certain cartoon song) there’s still a real opportunity to learn a thing or two about prehistoric earth and the creatures that inhabited it.


    The Essential Workers of Kentucky Route Zero


    What Casual Games Are Like For Someone Who Doesn't Play Games


    In this episode of Gaming For A Non-Gamer, I finally had my wife try out some of the games that I probably should have had her play in the first place, like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Stardew Valley, The Sims 4 and Slime Rancher. So, this is what casual games are like for someone who doesn't play games.

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


    Blood, Guts, And Videogames (The Jimquisition)


    What happens when a medium that communicates largely through violent content becomes obsessed with realism? Traumatic experiences for developers is what happens.


    Chibi-Robo's Wild and Wacky Soundtrack


    Chibi-Robo is a gem of a game. I played it a lot growing up and always had fond memories of it, but it wasn't until fairly recently that I remembered just how weird and great the soundtrack is. There's a bunch of tunes that are worth talking about, more than I could get into in this one video, but I wanted to highlight some of the tracks that I thought exemplified the 'style' of the game's soundtrack. The long-winded, rambly, goofy, and at times intensely dissonant score is really hard to pin down to one style, and yet it all feels cohesive as the vision of sole composer Hirofumi Taniguchi. I don't know if I managed to shed any light on why the game's score sounds the way it does, but I had a ton of fun making this one and I hope you have fun watching it!

    PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/8bitmusictheory


    Why Do We Love Skateboarding Games So Much?


    The internet recently lost their collective mind upon the announcement of the new Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 Remaster. People continue to lay siege to EA's Instagram demanding Skate 4. Indie devs are stepping up with games like Session and Skater XL to fill the gap. Pro Skater, Underground, even Proving Ground and Project 8 all hold up way better than you'd expect. Skating feels like it's experiencing a renaissance in gaming at the moment and it rules—but why skateboarding? Why are we so drawn to this particular extreme sport over any other within the medium? Let's discuss why, on a mechanical and more philosophical level, we cannot get enough of skateboarding in games.

    Support the show on Patreon - http://patreon.com/writingongames


    Games from Underground #3 | Alternative Horror



    Things I missed from previous weeks


    The Epic Games Primer: Parts I-VI Directory



    This six-part series is designed to be an “Explain Like I’m (Twenty) Five” edition of Epic Games. Or if you want a throwback to the 1990s, when then-Potomac Computer Systems was founded, “Epic Games For Dummies”. Technical terms and other details have been eschewed and simplified accordingly.

  7. Completed: Warhammer Vermintide 2
    Platform: PC

    First person more melee focused game that plays a lot like the Left 4 Dead games. Played through the game when it first released and now did again with the first two DLC add ons, extra levels, and a few other quality of life changes.

    Good visceral combat with teamwork needed. Imrpoved on the first game with character classes and traits give more options for how you want to play and new enemy types. Changes made over time making leveling characters and acquiring items easier. The DLC levels were well done, especially Shadows Over Bögenhafen.

    The only real negative I have for the game is that throughout its life they haven't added much new gameplay content and have made some strange decisions, even one of the paid DLCs is just a few levels from the first game. The more recent higher prices DLC adds a new difficulty levels and a new enemy faction but most of the content adding to the price is a new leveling system based around it and reworks of previous stages with different effects going on to make things more difficult. Like the first game, only the host needs to own DLC for their friends to join them in playing the levels but this time they prevent you from gaining the new weapon for each character unless you own it, making everyone need to pay a high cost for such a minor addition that they might not end up even liking. There are a lot of events based on cosmetics or getting paintings to put up in your lobby that no one is ever going to see.


    Completed: Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
    Platform: Switch

    Feels like a worse Rayman Oirigns/Legends with a lot of the breaking and falling platforms, chase moments, and launches into the background but never as good as those (or Ori and the Blind Forest/Will of the Wisps) mechanically or musically. Then has the addition of awkward controls that can't decide if they want to be weighty or floaty and an attack and grab button that just decides not to work sometimes. Not a fan of the way you get a secondary character that only changes your jump style and gives HP. Rather than the more varied character action or being able to throw each other that was used in the previous games. At least Kiddy Kong wasn't in it.


  8. S9BDiel.png


    Jacob Geller discuses the world, architecture, psychologic effect, and visual metaphor of Midgar and the real world locations that have similarities to it. Wesley Yin-Poole provides the oral history on the troubled development of Perfect Dark, Trevor Hultner on Umurangi Generation and why a game focused on photography where you never hurt anyone is the angriest game they have played, Doom to remove Denuvo anti-cheat, G2A admits to selling stolen keys, Noclip documents Arkane's twenty year history including past cancelled projects, Wholesome Direct shows off 50 indie games, Quintin Smith learns about Second Life's most expensive virtual brothel, Nathan Grayson looks into and interviews some involved with Twitch's Safety Advisory Council rollout, Eric Van Allen interviews the team about how Them's Fightin' Herds went from a cease and desist to Evo Online, Natalie Flores' experiences with erasure and finding the erasure in If Found therapeutic and liberating, 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)


    The Wholesome Direct stream will show off 50+ indie games


    If you enjoy a warm and fuzzy gaming experience then folks, do I have a thing for you. Wholesome Direct will be a presentation from the collective that is Wholesome Games. It's coming this Tuesday, May 26th at 1PM ET. (That's perfect dinner viewing hours for you Brits, or a morning delight for the US West Coast.)


    The TOP 10 BEST Indie Games Out This Week


    It's another brilliant week for new indie games coming out and this video, Stuart James from Get Indie Gaming covers the top 10 best upcoming new indie games out this week, Week 20, May 25th through to May 31st 2020 across PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox One


    Wasteland 3 video showcases psychos, Gippers, and consequences of bad decisions


    I thought Wasteland 3 looked very promising when I checked out a preview build back in March, but it was a very small slice of the overall game. It revealed how and why I ended up in Colorado, and introduced the Patriarch and the basics of city politics, but the focus was primarily mechanical: combat, character creation, NPC interactions, and that sort of thing.

    Wasteland 3 – New Gameplay Today


    Leo plays while Ben Reeves and Dan Tack talk everything new coming to Wasteland 3 and what makes the series special.


    System Shock 3 Development Now Being Supported By Tencent



    Otherside Entertainment announced this morning that its development on the long-awaited System Shock 3 will now be supported by Chinese conglomerate Tencent.


    Crusader Kings 3 Gameplay And Impressions | Royal RPG Meets Grand Strategy


    Crusader Kings 3 is where RPG meets grand strategy as you take the role of a king and spread your influence across the world. Using new Crusader Kings 3 gameplay, Nate talks us through the basics and how dread and dynasty are reshaping the game.

    What to Do When Your Video Game Gets Co-opted by Neo-Nazis


    A few weeks ago, Paradox made Crusader Kings 3 available to me for preview. I am a medieval historian, an avid gamer, and a fan of Crusader Kings 2, and I’ve been covering white supremacist fantasies about the Middle Ages since neo-Nazis bearing medieval insignia marched in Charlottesville, Virginia. Not only should the new game be a little less compelling for medieval neo-Nazis, but it also seems to model something closer to the real, interconnected, global Middle Ages — all without surrendering the features that have made Crusader Kings simulations such a hit.


    New Serious Sam 4 gameplay shows "thousands" of enemies on the battlefield


    Croteam's gun-wielding, quip-slinging multi-time saviour of the Earth, Sam "Serious" Stone, will return for another round of alien-slaying FPS mayhem this August, according to publisher Devolver Digital, in the form of Serious Sam 4. And while there's no exact release date to pop in your diary just yet, there's a bunch of new gameplay videos to tide you over.


    Naughty Dog Is Using Twitter's Newest Feature to Fight Last of Us 2 Spoilers



    Earlier this month substantial leaks for The Last of Us Part 2 made their way online. Since then, it’s become sadly easy to come across spoilers for the upcoming game on social media. Some have even taken to responding to every Naughty Dog Tweet and Facebook post with leaks.


    Ubisoft are revamping four vintage Anno games


    Ubisoft today announced revamped rereleases of four vintage games from the colony-building strat-o-sim series Anno, due in June. The Anno History Collection will bring new versions of Anno 1602, Anno 1503, Anno 1701, and Anno 1404 will newfangled fanciness including 4K resolutions and multiplayer matchmaking, all while preserving save compatibility.


    Valorant - Official Release Date Announcement Trailer


    Executive Producer Anna Donlon and Game Director Joe Ziegler have an update on the official launch date of VALORANT.


    3v3v3 tactical shooter Nine to Five is looking for alpha testers


    A new gameplay trailer opens the door to closed alpha applications.


    Street Power Soccer announced for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC


    Arcade soccer game due out this summer.


    Ghost Of Tsushima's Unlikely Inspiration, Long Journey To Release, And Intricate Combat



    Creative director Nate Fox talks about Ghost of Tsushima arriving as the sun sets on PlayStation 4 and how the studio faced new challenges to make an authentic samurai experience.


    Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions - Official Release Date Trailer


    Watch the latest trailer to see some flashy skill moves and more in this upcoming soccer game based on the Captain Tsubasa series. The best of the best have gathered but only one team will come out as Champions.


    Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One is an open-world prequel coming to Steam in 2021


    Developer Frogwares left behind its Sherlock Holmes adventure games in favour of the Lovecraftian horror of The Sinking City, but now the studio is bringing its new take on open-world games back to the world’s most famous detective. Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One is a prequel story, and it’s due out sometime next year.


    Embr is a co-op game about firefighting in the gig economy


    As we increasingly rely on delivery and ride-sharing apps to connect us with basic goods and services, it’s worth wondering how that system might play out applied to other public utilities – venture capitalists in the tech sector, after all, are measuring the drapes on services like public transportation and education. Embr is a game that provides a satirical peek at what “Uber, but for fighting fires” might look like.


    XSEED Games Is Getting Kandagawa Jet Girls Ready for Summer


    The folks behind the Senran Kagura series have their sights set on a new genre. Take Wave Race, remove Nintendo, add anime and machine guns and you end up with Kandagawa Jet Girls.


    Drox Operative 2 trailer shows off the sci-fi action RPG


    I told you earlier this month that Drox Operative 2 was a thing, and now it's a thing with a pretty exciting trailer, full of lasers and exploding ships and rock music and galactic conquest, as you explore a region of space that's being 4X'd by competing alien empires.


    Flame in the Flood dev's fantasy village building adventure Drake Hollow out in July


    Drake Hollow, the exploratory village building adventure from the studio behind The Flame in the Flood, is coming to Xbox One and PC on 17th July.


    Mortal Kombat 11: Atermath. RoboCop vs the Terminator


    New Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Trailer Debuts Iconic Konfrontation Between RoboCop and the Terminator


    id Software will remove Denuvo anti-cheat from PC version of Doom Eternal



    Doom Eternal developer id Software will remove the game’s PC anti-cheat program, Denuvo, in its next patch.


    Rainbow Six Siege mobile clone shut down following Ubisoft lawsuit


    Area F2 could potentially come back with changes to make it less Siege-like.


    Twitch's Safety Advisory Council Rollout Has Been A Disaster



    Last week, Twitch announced a new Safety Advisory Council intended to provide input on some of Twitch’s most pernicious issues, including work-life balance, safety and moderation, and protection of marginalized groups. The council is made up of social media experts as well as a small handful of streamers. One of those streamers, Steph “FerociouslySteph” Loehr, almost immediately became the focal point of Twitch’s latest controversy—and a whole mess of harassment.


    Blind Accessibility initiatives at Ubisoft with Brandon Cole | Ubisoft [NA]


    Learn the opportunities of making a blind accessible game with accessibility advocate and consultant Brandon Cole.


    Sega, SNK, Koei Tecmo, and more are holding a new online event in June



    New Game+ Expo promises announcements, gameplay demos, Q&A sessions, and more.


    Shady Key Reseller G2A Fucks Up Spectacularly



    Last year, G2A—a supremely suspect grey market seller of PC games—offered to pay studios 10x the cost of their games if it was found to be selling stolen keys. Only one company took them up on the offer, and whaddya know, it turns out G2A was selling a bunch of stolen keys.


    EA Is Releasing Command & Conquer And Red Alert's Source Code



    We’re all very used to seeing modern games ignore or even remove mod support, so it’s nice to see that EA of all publishers is going the extra mile for the modding community with the upcoming re-releases of the original Command & Conquer and Red Alert.


    Neversong dev accidentally gave away 3500 Steam keys to each of his Kickstarter backers



    It was what you might call an interesting launch day.


    Formula E driver fired for hiring a pro gamer to race for him in online competition



    Formula E’s Daniel Abt hired a pro player to pose as him in online official competition, and got caught.


    Blizzard cancels this year's BlizzCon, online event likely early next year



    Blizzard has officially cancelled this year's BlizzCon live event, citing "health and safety considerations" relating to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


    Switch Joy-Con Drift Claim Must Be Arbitrated, Says Illinois Federal Court



    A win for Nintendo, but it's not out of the woods yet


    Skyrim Grandma takes time off for her health after negative YouTube comments



    Shirley ‘Skyrim Grandma’ Curry has been regularly posting Skyrim Let’s Play videos since 2015, and is a figure so beloved that her likeness has been scanned for inclusion in The Elder Scrolls 6. But she’s now taking an extended break for the sake of her health, which Curry says “isn’t very good” – in large part due to the stress of managing a YouTube channel and dealing with negative comments.


    Xbox and Windows NT 3.5 source code leaks online



    Microsoft’s original Xbox console source code has leaked online, alongside code for a version of Windows NT 3.5. The Xbox source code includes the kernel for the operating system on the original console, a custom version of Windows 2000. We can confirm the leaked Xbox OS is genuine, and appeared online earlier this month. “We’re aware of these reports and are investigating,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge.


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


    Top Best NEW Upcoming Indie Games on KickStarter - May 2020


    KickStarter is once again starting to see more and more quality games coming back to the platform.  In the continuation of this monthly series, Stuart J of Get Indie Gaming takes a look at the best new upcoming indie video games on KickStarter this May 2020.


    Vernal Edge


    A "Character Action" Platformer featuring free-form exploration and lush, vibrant pixel art environments.


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


    Perfect Dark: the oral history of an N64 classic



    It was never meant to take as long as it did. As far as the GoldenEye team were concerned, Perfect Dark should have come out a year or two after their seminal console first-person shooter, a quick-fire follow-up to one of the greatest games ever made. But it wasn't long before trouble knocked on the door of Rare's countryside farmhouse in Twycross. First, Martin Hollis, the genius programmer who led the GoldenEye team to stardom on the Nintendo 64, left the company at which he had become a legend. His acrimonious exit set off a chain reaction that led to the Free Radicals - Dr. David Doak, Karl Hilton, Steve Ellis and Graeme Norgate - walking out soon after to form their own studio. Those who remained were left to pick up the pieces. Struggling to cram a game bursting at the seams with ambition into the Nintendo 64's tiny memory limit, the developers of Perfect Dark achieved what once looked impossible: the highest-rated Rare game of all time.


    A Former My Little Pony Fighting Game's Journey From Cease and Desist to Evo Online



    How a dedicated team and a series of miracles led to Them's Fightin' Herds.


    Gatcha Game Superstitions



    This process is supposed to be inherently random. But I’m far from the only person who believes there must be a way to influence that same process. In all sorts of gacha games, people are convinced they can fix their luck.


    Of Rats and Men: How a Lurid 1974 Best-Seller Revolutionized Strategy Games



    There’s a good chance that if it weren’t for James Herbert I would never have written about games, at least not in English. Well, a “good” chance may be overselling it. Stephen King was, naturally, my first choice during those mid-’80s summer holidays when I started noting down every unfamiliar word encountered in my afternoon reading, while family and friends were splayed on beds and couches throughout the sun-drenched house, snoring happily, shaking off the blissful exhaustion of a full morning at Tolo beach followed by a hearty meal at the local tavern, the two so conveniently adjacent you didn’t even bother wearing your flip-flops for lunch.


    If Found Finds Liberation in the Painful Act of Erasure



    I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable with erasure, but I know it intimately. I’ve always joked about my invisibility. I’m a woman, my voice often snuffed out by men in positions of power before it’s allowed to light up a room, much less burn down a house. I’m Latinx, an extremely large and diverse group of people the rest of society struggles to frame and discuss, and often doesn’t, in discussions about race unless they relate to immigration. I’m a first-generation Latina-American—never American enough for a significant portion of my country, unable to relate to the history I read in school textbooks, but also entirely unable to find much belonging in the culture I am descended from. I’m bisexual, which has made me have to reconcile with my attraction to men and women as much as the fact my sexuality will always be erased; that, to many, I will never be queer enough. Erasure has always been an uncomfortable, disappointing and painful inevitability.

    If Found and Relatable Queer Alienation


    We aren’t the same person to everyone. Not really. Each person in our lives perceives us differently, which can be frustrating given all of us are just trying to live our own truths. Being understood as exactly who you are is a constant struggle that we all can relate to. But it takes on an especially frustrating meaning when you’re a queer person. Because most people have a heteronormative, cisnormative idea of what a person is, you tend to not be understood by most. It ends up messing with your head because you’re trying to break free of that kind of thinking. You don’t fit that template. But everyone keeps trying to put you in a more “normal” kind of box to fit their own ideas of you. If Found is all about how other people perceive a trans woman who’s just trying to figure life out, and it attempts to make the queer experience of not being understood broadly relatable. It largely succeeds.


    A Requiem for the Final Generation



    The angriest game I’ve ever played is one in which you never pick up a weapon. You never kill anyone. You don’t even hurt anyone. Mechanically a first-person shooter, this game takes the gun you’d normally find in a title about the end of the world and replaces it with a battered old SLR (Single-Lens Reflex) camera that you cobbled together from spare parts and trash.



    UMURANGI GENERATION is really the first game of its kind. A photography game that isn’t on rails or about wildlife. Here our arena is a kind of twisted urban life. High rise military camps at the end of the world. Smoke covered streets underneath a maze of pipes and concrete. The back alleys and debilitated corners of a world that’s run its course.

    Umurangi Generation and Bearing Witness


    Environmental storytelling sucks. Not the concept per se, but the way developers will often use it like a cudgel to show what’s happening in their worlds. The intent is to communicate something about the narrative or world without spelling it out for people, but what often ends up happening instead is that you’ll find graffiti or a static scene that feels so contrived that it actually breaks your immersion. One of the worst offenders is the Left 4 Dead games, where instead of feeling like organic worlds in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, you have graffiti in the safe rooms scrawled everywhere, revealing little pieces of the world at large in circumstances that feel entirely staged and artificial.


    Reading the Lines: Essays on Pathologic 2



    Artemy Burahk returns home to find strangers, old friends turned enemies, and absent fathers. The “sand pest,” a plague with no survivors, has returned. And he might be the only one with a cure. He has 12 days until it ends, managing hunger, exhaustion, thirst, the disease itself, and the limitations of time and place. He is uneasy in this town, just as the player uneasily plays his role. We take his mantle and wear his body like a cloak.


    Heart Container-An Ocean Apart in Mid-Winter: How A Fold Apart and A Summer’s End Guided Me Through the End of My Relationship



    You know that meme that goes around games twitter every so often asking about games that have made you cry? I’ve always had a hard time answering it because I honestly don’t really remember many—or any—games that have made me cry. Feel some kind of shock or hurt? Yeah, definitely. But not full blown tears. 2020 has changed that.


    Little Nuance



    There’s a balancing act taking place between the different sides of Final Fantasy VII Remake's narrative —the eco-terrorist group Avalanche’s scrappy defiance on one hand and the Shinra Electric Power Company’s bureaucratic pseudo-governance on the other. Final Fantasy VII seems at first a bit obsessed with a form of bothsidesism; attempting to show you that there is good and bad to be seen in the game's two rival factions. Avalanche is a group of eco-terrorists after all, and one of the first encounters you have with a person who is part of the Sector 7 slum is them looking upwards to the plate where the rich and powerful live above the poor and remarking on how Shinra represents progress. After all, Shinra in this case is quite literally the sun.


    Rygar Is A Non-Linear 8-Bit Masterpiece



    I had no idea what I was getting into when I first put Rygar into my NES. I had borrowed the game, released in 1987 by Tecmo, from a friend who couldn’t make heads nor tails of it. He wished me better luck. I didn’t realize I was going to experience one of my very first Metroidvania games on the NES. Rygar, which is now available for Nintendo Switch Online, did a lot of things right, particularly when it came to creating an immersive world that felt interconnected.


    The Relatability of Star Wars: How Fallen Order Understands Finding Power in Powerlessness



    Star Wars is in an identity crisis. Should it let go of the past or dogmatically embrace it? The Last Jedi bravely chose the former while The Rise of Skywalker retreated to the latter. Both films are disappointing. The Last Jedi won over critics and general audiences but angered devout fans. The Rise of Skywalker pleased no one with abysmal reviews, audience reactions, and embarrassing box office records. The turmoil has caused multiple Star Wars projects to either be canceled or altered mid-production.  Fortunately, there is a pragmatic path forward. The franchise can honor the soul of the past while intrepidly braving new ground. The best Star Wars stories all have a relatable humanity at their core, and embracing this core while exploring new complex themes offers a chance to appeal to all Star Wars fans. Better still, the franchise already has a modern standard bearer for this approach: Jedi: Fallen Order.


    Breaking the Cycle: How Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Imagines a New Masculinity for Force Users



    The Light side of the Force and the Dark side each clearly represent the two kinds of masculinity that are generally accepted as the norm in Western culture. The Dark side is violent, fueled by anger, and only sees emotions that can be used to cause harm as valuable. The Light side, meanwhile is the masculinity that many have come to see as ideal- the one that values logic above all else, that will turn a blind eye to suffering to not stir the boat and will deny any and all emotion until it kills them.


    Man is the warmest place to hide



    Whatever you think of Warp’s eclectic output…

    …doesn’t actually matter, because there’s little doubt the main force behind the company – Kenji Eno – was a man driven by the desire to make whatever the heck he wanted and simply did not care what anyone thought of him for pursuing his goals, even if this maverick outlook was ultimately to the commercial detriment of his creative works. We must take care not confuse this bridge-burning attitude with thinking Eno or any of the other talented people working at Warp (including Fumito Ueda, of ICO/Shadow of the Colossus/CatDogBird fame) never cared if their games were any good in the traditional sense – it’s clear they cared very, very, much about making something they thought was truly special – but they were always going to make the game they wanted to see exist, on the format they wanted to see it exist on, sales figures and future investor relations be damned. This belief that “The only way is the Warp way” extended to users as well, with players expected to quickly adjust to their game’s quirks or get left behind: Nothing says “Our games are different” quite as strongly as popping in the first disc, clicking on “Opening Movie” in the main menu, and being asked to swap to… disc four to continue. Or like red indicating “Healthy” and green “You’re about to die” because the game’s going off it’s own internal logic – humans have red blood, monsters have green – than the standard colour-coding system you find everywhere else.


    Life in the Shadow of Midgar


    in an unlit room,
    the attempt to focus upon
    the machined eyes of my lover

    Support me: https://www.patreon.com/JacobGeller


    Animal Crossing Gatherings


    Inside Second Life's Most Expensive Brothel


    We sent Quinns to explore the world of sex work in Second Life.

    Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/PeopleMakeGames


    The Untold History of Arkane: Dishonored / Prey / Ravenholm / LMNO / The Crossing


    Noclip travels to France and Texas to tell the story of Arkane's twenty year history. Featuring exclusive first looks at the gameplay of three cancelled projects; The Crossing, LMNO & the Half-Life spin-off "Ravenholm".

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


    Splinter Cell: Conviction | A Stealth Game Without the Stealth (inc. footage of cancelled game)


    Splinter Cell: Conviction answers the question: What happens when you make a stealth game without stealth? This video also contains a bunch of footage of the cancelled 2007 Splinter Cell Conviction project that never saw the light of day.

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


    Why Mario's Triple Jump Animation Is So Good


    A professional animator explains why Super Mario 64's triple jump was such a triumph of early gameplay animation.

    To request an episode topic, support New Frame Plus on Patreon! http://www.patreon.com/newframeplus


    Why Half-Life 1 Is So Unforgiving


    Half-Life 1, while amazing, doesn't do a great job at teaching it's players what the optimal playstyle is. It's in an awkward position where it's age obscures it's intricacies and realism.

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


    The BEST Indie Games of 2020 So Far


    The best indie games of 2020 so far on PC, PS4, Switch PS4, Xbox One - Welcome to the Get Indie Gaming overview of the top 10 indie games out so far in 2020.


    in Defense of RE5's Automated Partner | LambHoot


    Turns out RE5’s automated partner isn’t so bad… but only if you play with it as Safari Chris. Why? Well to understand that we’re gonna have to dive into topics of automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, human interaction, user interface design, and of course my robot vacuum.



    Talking Anthropology, Creation Myths, & Religion with Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey


    Support the channel at https://www.patreon.com/superbunnyhop


    History Respawned: WARSAW


    Bob talks with Alina Nowobilska (@WW2girl1944) about Warsaw. Topics include the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, civilian resistance to occupation, children at war, and the fallout from the Uprising.

    Please consider supporting us on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/historyrespawned


    Arkane & STUN - Noclip Podcast #32


    We enjoy the quiet before the Arkane storm by talking about Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force, Stone Cold with hair and the dirty pleasure of an atrociously large if else statement.

    Become a Patron and get early access to new episodes: https://www.patreon.com/noclip


    Things I missed from previous weeks


    How Documentaries Are Helping Preserve Gaming Culture We're at Risk of Losing



    USgamer spoke with six filmmakers about their work and how it makes gaming history accessible to viewers.


  9. Completed: Growlanser 5 Heritage of War
    Platform: PS2

    Growlanser 5 was the last game I owned for the PS2 that I hadn't finished. I remember stopping the game almost immediately after buying it at release almost 13 years ago. I couldn't remember why since I had liked 2 and 3 and then bought 4 as soon as that was released on the PSP a few years after 5 was localized and I enjoyed that one. Well, now I remember.

    Poor graphics look like a PS1 game this late into the PS2's life, even the painted style backgrounds are dull. Poor music. Skill system is like an idiot tried to combine FF9 and FFXs weapon and sphere grid but you were setting skills into a grid yourself. Fetch quests/hidden events constantly have you running back to previous areas multiple times, not that there is even reason to be aware of many side quests and events without a guide. Childish story and writing style. Dull setting. Easy slow fighting would be unbearable without an emulator's turbo button, and even at about three times the speed felt too slow with the game constantly stopping anytime a skill or spell was used along with the poor accompanying animation (which is pretty much just some lights). One of the most dull settings I've ever seen, also one of the smallest that keeps having you running back and forth between areas. Made even more ridiculous by story events like taking a boat to get someone and then being told it would be faster to walk back through about four section screens rather than go back to a town to take another ship, a hidden well exit to a base essentially takes you through half ther continent based on where it comes out. Barely used characters, with two being able to join your party of five at the very end of the game and characters that kept showing up to do nothing and barely had a role in the entire game. Even the title of Growlanser is never mentioned unless you choose two of six different short epilogue scenes where they out of nowhere jokingly call you by it.


    Completed: Huntdown
    Platform: PC

    Released earlier this month on the Epic store and half off for their sale. Side scrolling shooter with a cyberpunk theme. A corporation hires a bounty hunter (or two if you play co-op) to go after four gangs that have been increasing their territory lately. Each gang has five stages where you fight one of the gang's captains at the end of the level. Each character has a different main weapon and throwing weapon and can pick up a variety of secondary main or throwing weapons and dash which gives you a brief dodge window, take cover behind crates/cars or background objects, and kick nearby enemies. It controls well, fun gameplay, some great animation and backgrounds. Some good moment when bosses interact with you before their fight either in amusing ways or by attacking you with helicopters or robots through windows and walls that have you seeking cover in the stage while fighting through regular enemies. Each gang introduces some different enemies and weapons.

    Never really that funny with its mostly reference filled humor and with no real unlockables or extra characters or weapons to start with, doesn't give you as much replayability as some similar games that have released recently and this gives you no reason to try to complete the stage challenges which are always to kill a certain number of enemies, not die, and to find three hidden briefcases (which don't seem to do anything). Each character will have different dialogue before you start each gangs missions, and their own dialogue in stages and quips.


    Completed: Life Is Strange 2
    Platform: PC


  10. S9BDiel.png


    Epic shows off Unreal Engine 5 and developers using Unreal for commercial purposes no longer owe Epic money until a product breaks $1,000,000 in gross revenue, Doc Burford on modern media consumption and how the more toxic conversations around games get in the way of differentiating politics from viewpoint in art, Ghost of Tsushima gameplay, Super Bunnyhop explores the shifts in the handling of climate change by looking at 30 years of strategy games, strafefox on the making of Castelvania IV and Bloodlines, eurothug4000's essay on the landscapes of post-apocalyptic settings, Wrestling With Gaming tells the story of the Neo Geo, Ana Diaz covers how public arts funding helps lead to more unique games, Stacey Henley examines facial hair as a framing device, Doom Eternal update adds Denuvo Anti-Cheat, Summoning Salt shares the history of Ninja Gaiden speedruns, 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)


    Epic Unveils A Graphics Demo 'Running On PS5'


    Epic Games gave us our first look at what games running on PS5 could look like during today’s Summer Game Fest livestream with an Unreal Engine demo running on Sony’s next-gen console.

    FULL Unreal Engine 5 - Official PS5 Tech Demo Reveal Presentation


    Watch the entire Unreal Engine 5 PlayStation 5 tech demo presented by Geoff Keighly during Summer Game Fest 2020.

    Unreal Engine is now royalty-free until a game makes a whopping $1 million


    Since the rise of Fortnite as a popular game and Unreal Engine 4 as a popular game-making toolkit, Epic Games, the studio behind both, has been keen to capitalize on this momentum. That has included an aggressive push to lock down game makers in its ecosystem, and Tuesday saw Epic announce its most generous developer-specific offer yet: a massive increase to its "royalty-free" grace period.


    Watch 18 minutes of new Ghost of Tsushima gameplay footage


    Sucker Punch Productions has released a new 18-minute gameplay trailer for its upcoming open-world samurai game Ghost of Tsushima, showcasing exploration, combat, and customization elements of the game.


    Top 10 BEST Indie Games Out This Week


    It's another brilliant week for new indie games coming out and this video, Stuart James from Get Indie Gaming covers the top 10 best upcoming new indie games out this week, Week 20,  May11th through to May 17th 2020 across PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox One


    Crusader Kings 3 gets September release date on PC


    Also on Xbox Game Pass for PC at launch.

    Hands-on preview: Crusader Kings 3 is the RPG that will suck you into grand strategy


    Crusader Kings 3 is coming on September 1st, and after having access to an early build for a few days, I’m seriously impatient to get back to scheming, disinheriting, and declaring myself the new pope. It’s got that terrible magic that leads to all-day-and-half-the-night sessions, and that’s largely because, secretly, it’s two games at once. It’s a strategy game, obviously. But it’s also a roleplaying game, and a really good one at that. So was 2012’s Crusader Kings 2, of course. But developers Paradox have been shrewd in identifying what made that weird hybrid work as it evolved through fifteen expansions, and have put it front and centre in CK3 from day one.

    How Crusader Kings 3 Plans to Attract Fans of RPGs, Sandbox Games, and The Sims


    Paradox's grand strategy series wants to reach beyond its hardcore community.

    Five BIG improvements in Crusader Kings 3


    Crusader Kings 3 is coming on September 1st, we've been able to take the reins of several medieval dynasties, leading them to both riches and ruin. Like its predecessor, it's a dense game, so we've picked out five best changes Paradox has made to the formula.


    Paper Mario: The Origami King is coming to the Switch in July


    The Switch’s 2020 lineup has looked a little thin, but it just got a nice boost with the announcement of Paper Mario: The Origami King. It marks the series’s debut on the Switch, and it’ll launch on July 17th.


    The Last of Us Part 2: Inside the Story - Official Behind the Scenes


    Join members of the development team at Naughty Dog as they discuss how they approached developing the narrative and share new insights about the events and themes of Ellie's story.


    Destroy All Humans! - Official Gameplay Trailer


    Turnipseed Farm! This is where it all begins, where you will take your first of many steps on mankind!


    Umurangi Generation Is a Photography Game About Snapping Pics in a Stylish, Chaotic Future


    The pitch for Umurangi Generation is that it's a photography game. Much like Pokemon Snap, you're venturing around, trying to capture the best snapshot possible of your surroundings for cash.


    Tony Hawk remakes use new face scans, so all the skaters will be old now



    Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater launched on the original PlayStation in 1999. That was 21 years ago. Tony Hawk himself was 31 at the time – he is now 52. While the upcoming Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 remake package will let you relive the glory days of the old games, they will not fully turn back the clock. The remakes use new face scans of the original skaters, so they will all be showing two decades of age.

    Tony Hawk Interviews The Original THPS Cast


    Our recent 'Tony Hawk's Pro Skater' reunion is a rare, once-in-20-years occasion so we tasked Buttery Ass Donovan Strain to come up with some interview questions for posterity. Hawk shares the burning queries with Riley Hawk, Lizzie Armanto, Rodney Mullen, Eric Koston, Chad Muska, Elissa Steamer, Steve Caballero, Kareem Campbell, and Jack Black, to find out what the people REALLY want to know.

    Five Classic Tracks Won't Be In The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater Remasters


    The first two Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games were defined as much by their soundtracks as their skating mechanics. So when Activision announced the remasters earlier this week, fans were immediately curious about the status of the iconic tracklist. In speaking with Activision, Kotaku has nailed down the songs you’ll hear in the halfpipe and which will be missing when Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 launches on September 4.

    No microtransactions at launch for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2, cross-play teased


    The Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater remasters will be complete packages at launch, but future content could introduce microtransactions.


    Historians React to Assassin's Creed Valhalla


    Bob and John discuss the reveal of Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Topics include the Viking raids, historical revisionism, refugees, Brexit, RPG mechanics, and the long history of the Assassin's Creed series.

    Please consider supporting us on Patreon! www.patreon.com/historyrespawned

    Assassin's Creed Valhalla map size is "a bit larger" than Odyssey's, confirms Ubisoft


    "We have not only created the whole country [...] but a good part of Norway too"

    The Many Things We’ve Learned About Assassin’s Creed Valhalla


    From the moment it was announced, I had a lot of questions about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. So when I recently spoke to the game’s creative director, Ashraf Ismail, I packed a lot in. I wanted to know about quests, controls, and colonization. I wanted to know about learning lessons from Assassin’s Creed Origins’ artificial intelligence experiments and from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s $10 XP booster fiasco. I asked a lot, learned a lot, and a public relations rep only cut in once.


    Hands-on Amazon's Crucible, a pick and mix of team-based shooter genres


    Crucible feels familiar. It's a team-based shooter that attempts to improve on the formulas of a few different genres. It adopts MOBA elements in the sense that each character has unique abilities that upgrade over the course of the match. You hold points and eliminate opponents and AI creatures to acquire Essence, which fuels level ups that you choose before each game. It's a team-based third person shooter when it pits you against an enemy squad as you battle to capture and hold points across a map. Then it shapeshifts into a battle royale for one of its modes. Crucible crams so many features into one package to offer three competent—albeit very different—experiences.


    The Mafia Series Is Getting Re-Released As Mafia: Trilogy


    Family. Power. Respect. Today we learned why the official Mafia Twitter account tweeted out those three words over the past couple of days, as 2K released a teaser trailer for Mafia: Trilogy. Update: A listing on the Xbox Marketplace for Mafia: Definitive Edition has appeared, complete with screenshots and an August 28 release date.

    Mafia Remake Is A 'Complete Overhaul' Of The Original Game


    Following a long series of teases and leaks, 2K Games finally explained what’s going on with its recently announced Mafia: Trilogy. Mafia II is getting remastered, while the first game in the series is getting fully remade.

    Mafia 2 and 3 Definitive Editions are out now, free for owners of the originals


    Mafia: Definitive Edition, meanwhile, is a full remake coming in August.


    Solasta: Crown Of The Magister shows off beards, battles, and more in a new trailer


    Yer local RPG-watcher’s here to report some more RPG goings-on. This time it’s a new look at the character creator and combat in upcoming Solasta: Crown Of The Magister. I don’t know how the rest of the hairstyles hold up, but those beards are seriously luscious. Outside the character sheet, Solasta also shows off another look at its very vertical combat encounters in this new trailer.


    Nioh 2 spills the beans on upcoming paid DLC, while adding free missions and a photo mode right now



    While the base was pretty fully-featured already, the studio has continued to alter the game over time, and today we're getting our most substantial update yet. Not only are they starting to dole out info on the upcoming meaty paid DLC, Nioh 2 is also being updated today to add in a photo mode (which has "in-depth" settings like image exposure, gradation, lightning adjustments and filters), as well as nine free sub-missions/twilight missions.


    BioWare says Anthem’s overhaul will be a long process



    Developer says it’s in the ‘incubation’ period for Anthem 2.0


    Rainbow Six: Siege: Operation Steel Wave Reveal


    Music provided by Epidemic Sound


    Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath - Official Friendships Trailer


    Grab your best friend and favorite teddy bear and watch the latest trailer featuring the new Friendships coming to the entire roster of Mortal Kombat 11.


    The Sims 4 trailer shows off Eco Lifestyle expansion pack features


    A new overview trailer for The Sims 4 shows off features coming with the Eco Lifestyle expansion pack.


    Prison Architect's Island Bound expansion sets sail next month


    What better barrier than the sea? Arriving next month, Prison Architect‘s next expansion is Island Bound, letting you trade out those impractical land-loving fortresses for the sheer simplicity of a big scary rock in the sea. Forget barbed wires and concrete walls, the roaring abyss will prevent even the most rebellious inmate from attempting escape – at least, not until they discover boats.


    Doom Eternal's first update includes Denuvo Anti-Cheat


    When you start Doom Eternal for the first time, Denuvo Anti-Cheat will install a kernel-mode driver that starts when the game launches and stops whenever the game does. Apparently it avoids collecting "any personally identifiable information", and doesn't scan your files, take screenshots or stream shellcode. It does collect information on how your OS interacts with Doom, however, which it sends to Amazon servers.


    Ubisoft sues Apple and Google over Rainbow Six “rip-off”



    Ubisoft has filed a lawsuit against Apple and Google based on their support of a supposed Rainbow Six “rip-off.”


    Epic rolls easier refunds, keyless third-party sales into its Epic Games Store



    Epic Games has made a few additions to its Epic Games Store platform that developers should be aware of, particularly involving how games can be sold through third-party retailers, and rules around how players can refund some game purchases.


    You Must Play the Trippy 1998 PlayStation Game 'LSD: Dream Emulator'


    The cult game, which has the player wander through an increasingly bizarre dreamscape, has finally been translated into English after more than 20 years.




    World-Class DOTA2 Team Newbee Banned Over Alleged Match Fixing



    Newbee, a Chinese DOTA2 organization who won the 2014 DOTA2 International and is a founding member of the Chinese Dota Association (CDA), has been banned indefinitely from participating in any CDA events due to alleged match fixing.


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


    should art say things?



    Sometimes, something like this occurs: The Division 2 gets announced, it’s set in Washington, D.C., and a games critic hears that the developers have said “our game isn’t political,” and goes for a dunk about it.

    But I want to try to dig into that a bit further, as someone who is an artist, was a critic, and graduated with three degrees that were all about art, cinema, communication, and creative expression. I feel like I’m pretty gosh darn qualified on the subject, and I’ll do my best to say stuff that, hopefully, you’ve never heard before.

    I’m here to tell you that everything you know about how art works is wrong.

    Big claim, but I’ll do my best. That said, I want to acknowledge that a lot of people are very defensive about this because they’re trying to talk about the political significance of a work in the face of big fucking idiots online, and when you have to deal with the chuds saying “robocop and metal gear solid aren’t political,” and stalking and harassing you (I mean actual stalking and harassing here, like going to people’s houses or trying to break into their private communications, not “I can’t handle someone disagreeing with me online” complaints), I can completely understand why that would cause someone to entrench in their position. I’m definitely not here to say get ur politics out of my games because I’m not that kind of fucking dumbass.

    Like I said, I got a few degrees in this shit. I got some knowledge for ya, and I hope it’s useful.





    After launching Untitled Goose Game on my Nintendo Switch, the game loads into its opening credits, transitioning from logo to logo. First, it credits the studio that made it, House House, then the publisher, Panic. After that, the screen reads “with support from Film Victoria.” Although the moment is brief, the credit on-screen gestures toward a larger trend in video game development: the growing importance of public arts funding.





    My television, those white letters on a black screen, that was a palimpsest, too. Eric Joost, a dead child, in my house every time I turned on Zelda. I could erase his name, but that wouldn’t erase the fact that this was a game a child who had been murdered had once played. What came before leached into the present. Two parts to the palimpsest: erasure of the old thing, addition of the new thing.


    Video Game Beards as Visual Storytelling: A Transgender Perspective



    Mustaches as metaphors, soul patches as symbolism and facial hair as a framing device


    How Cyberpunk Games Are Thriving Beyond 2077



    With its rainswept cities and bleeding neon signs, the cyberpunk genre is often a feast for the eyes. And Cyberpunk 2077 is no exception. However, beyond CD Projekt Red’s ambitious adaptation of the popular tabletop role-playing game, there are a ton of smaller teams plugging away on their own cyberpunk adventures. These games bring to life dystopian worlds crafted from exaggerated versions of our own reality, tackling topics such as inequality, climate change, and workers’ rights, to name just a few. From Anshar Studios’ isometric RPG Gamedec to Origame Digital’s post-disaster photography game Umurangi Generation, cyberpunk fans are spoilt for choice right now.


    29 years on, has Final Fantasy broken the spell of Active Time Battle?



    A deep dive into how Square Enix's flagship series models time.


    Gaps and Pauses: The Role of Negative Space in Games



    We don’t often associate video games with the concept of negative space, at least not in an intentional way. Our experience of the world within the game takes place in a void, a digital vacuum. We know that beyond what we can see there is nothing, a space of potentiality. But typically, it’s something we only experience when the game breaks.


    Call of Duty: Warzone Directors On Its Runaway Success, And What's Next: "I Won't Pretend It's Easy"


    The directors of Call of Duty: Warzone on the arguments over the Gulag, dealing with cheaters, and what comes next.


    The Witcher 3 development secrets – an anniversary interview with CD Projekt Red



    It’s The Witcher 3’s fifth anniversary today, so we reached out to CD Projekt Red to talk about development, its legacy, and secrets.


    Game Localization Is A Love Letter



    The greatest irony of falling in love with video games as a form of expression and art, is that sometimes the actual act of playing games gets in the way of anyone who wishes to pursue more in the video game industry.


    Japan Style Architecture



    Take some time to explore the game world in Sekiro and you’ll get blown away by its buildings. When it comes to traditional architecture in Japan, the game has basically everything that you could possibly want. Palaces in the shinden style. Castles in the sukiya style. Buddhist temples. Shinto shrines. You’ll come across all of this and quite a bit more in the game.


    When SimCity got serious: the story of Maxis Business Simulations and SimRefinery



    Maxis didn’t want to make professional simulation games. But for two brief, strange years, they did.


    A walk in the sky



    As historically significant as the PlayStation officially cracking mainstream culture was, finally making games cool in that weirdly aggressive nineties marketing way, the console was also a fertile breeding ground for weird and wonderful games – games that would escape their expected Japan-only shackles and sit on store shelves worldwide, acting like they actually belonged there. Remember No One Can Stop Mr Domino, Fluid, Bishi Bashi Special, and Kula World? They’re all about as far from any easily-advertised demographic as a game can be, and yet they’re all as unquestionably “PlayStation” as Tekken, Tomb Raider, or Metal Gear Solid.

    Give peace a chance (even in action games)


    Squaresoft’s 1996 Super Famicom game Front Mission: Gun Hazard is no different, moving far away from the SRPG stylings of series-starter Front Mission and stomping over to the mech-action territory so expertly wielded by Masaya’s team almost four years earlier in Assault Suits Valken. A quick comparison of the staff credits reveals why the two games look and feel so eerily similar: The majority of Valken’s staff took up equally key positions in Gun Hazard’s development team, so if a large turret in the later game looks suspiciously close to a large turret in the earlier one then there’s a very strong chance there’s nothing more underhanded going on than them being pixelled by the exact same person. In spite of this clear line through from one to the other it’s important not to try and look at Gun Hazard as being a direct sequel to either Front Mission or Valken, but to view it more as a complimentary alternative take on what 16-bit mech (or “wanzers”, as this series likes to call them) themed gaming can be from a fresh point of view.


    A Marxist plays Animal Crossing: Why we must eat the turnips



    A fun, relaxing game about labor exploitation and the stock market


    A Story in Clay



    Prince of Persia is a videogame that is deeply concerned (whether it knows it or not) with the power of oral traditions, and the malleability of oral storytelling. The nameless adventurer whom the player inhabits could be anyone, is anyone. And princess Elika, who accompanies him throughout the story, is the orator—she is of this world and this land, and welcomes the unnamed adventurer into it. He holds no ownership or past with the corrupted lands, but she sees in him the ability to listen, to change the land itself. Beyond his selfish and horribly forced quippiness, there is a desire in him to listen to the princess about her story, her connection to the land, and how, with his help, they can rid the land of the rot that has consumed it.


    Nostalgia Animated



    One of the brief flashes of brilliance to show up on my timeline in the last month is a fan animated homage to Secret of Mana, the beloved Japanese RPG released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993. The short’s creator, Benoit Tranchet, proclaims himself a “huge fan of everything about it” and employs a painstaking hand-drawn animated style to flesh out and expand a world that—while special to him and many others—has largely remained hidden behind the technological limitations of its time. The short’s gorgeous reenactment is how Tranchet today envisions the game he enjoyed three decades ago; a sharply unique vision, a novel creation in and of itself.


    How Final Fantasy 7 Remake Changed The Game


    Well, Nomura, Nojima, and the rest of the crew at Square Enix have finally graced us with the long awaited Remake of Final Fantasy 7, but they went out of their way to include a little something extra. Has Square Enix finally ruined FF7 once and for all? Or have they managed to breathe new life into an aged classic? And will I be able to avoid stealing jokes from FF7 Machinabridged in order to make my point? Only one way to find out! 

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


    Something Rotten: A Max Payne 3 Miniseries | Episode 5


    Episode 5 of a Max Payne 3 Retrospective in 5 parts. This episode covers chapters 13 and 14 of the game.

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


    How do Stealth Games Deal with Detection? | School of Stealth Part 3


    Welcome back to the School of Stealth, a GMTK miniseries on how stealth games work. In episode three, it's time to tackle the biggest challenge of stealth game design: detection. In a genre that's all about staying hidden, what should designers do when the player is found?

    Support Game Maker's Toolkit on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/GameMakersToolkit


    Understanding the Music of Sonic the Hedgehog


    A retrospective on the music of Sonic, discussing the main series' evolution in sound, its impact, and its legacy.

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


    Key Changes in Touhou Music


    Key changes are often used in popular music and video game music when moving into new sections to contrast the material that came before, and to give a sense that the listener is being taken somewhere 'new'. Touhou music takes this to the extreme, with plenty of tunes in the Touhou library changing to a brand new key for every section of a piece, sometimes 4 or 5 times in one single piece of music. In this video, I take a look at a couple of Touhou tunes where a series of key changes are used to strengthen the musical flow and structure of the piece. Enjoy!

    PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/8bitmusictheory


    The Making of Super Castlevania IV & Bloodlines


    After the success of the original Castlevania it would not take long before Konami started plans for the first 16-bit entry in this series. In this episode we dive into the development of Super Castlevania IV for the Super NES and Castlevania Bloodlines for the Mega-Drive/Genesis.

    All your views, likes comments and shares are really appreciated! My making of videos are part of bigger project. I set up a patreon for those who would like to financially support it: https://www.patreon.com/strafefox


    The Post-Apocalyptic Aesthetic


    So why are we so obsessed with post-apocalyptia and how do the aesthetics play a part in it? Join me in this video essay as I journey through the worlds of post-apocalyptic video games…


    FF7 Remake & The Complicated Nature of Remakes


    Remaking games is complicated.

    Fox's Patreon: Patreon.com/Foxcade


    The Story Of NEO GEO | Featuring Modern Vintage Gamer, RetroRGB, Jenovi, & Neo-Alec


    To many gamers in the 90s, The Neo Geo AES was the ultimate home console. While many other consoles claimed to bring an arcade experience home, they did so by downgrading graphics, sound, and other compromises. The Neo Geo on the other hand, brought truly perfect Neo Geo MVS arcade games to the home with ZERO compromises. If you owned a Neo Geo AES console you got to play actual 1:1 arcade games at home. But this level of quality came at a steep cost with the console's Gold Bundle coming in at over $600 for just the console, controllers, and one game. Individual games were also extremely expensive, averaging $200 or more each. This is the story of how SNK brought its highly successful arcade games to the home with one of the most expensive consoles of all time and after becoming one of the biggest names in gaming in the 90s, lost everything and yet somehow rose from its ashes.


    The History of Ninja Gaiden World Records



    Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Devs React to 16 Minute Speedrun


    Join Playtonic Games as they watch and react to TheShadedMaster's incredible 16 minute playthrough of their latest game.


    How Alan Wake Was Rebuilt 3 Years Into Development | War Stories | Ars Technica


    In conjunction with the 10th anniversary of its release, today Ars Technica is joined by Sam Lake, Creative Director of Remedy Games, to share insights on the development of 2010's influential action thriller Alan Wake. When it came time to follow up on the success of Max Payne and its sequel, Remedy had an abundance of ideas and a stable of creators eager to implement them. Years into its development cycle however, Sam and his colleagues felt the project had yet to successfully blend its influences and game mechanics into a cohesive experience. Knowing the bones of a remarkable game was present within the work of the previous three years, Remedy set out to rebuild Alan Wake. Here's how they pulled it off, how Alan's story continues in Remedy's critically-acclaimed Control, and where it's set to go with its upcoming DLC.

  11. Completed: A Plague Tale: Innocence
    Platform: PC

    An interesting idea but then they made it a video game and ruined it. What could be a more horror style take and narrative of a common person (a noble but common as in not an unstoppable hero) trying to keep her brother safe during the plague/war while on the run, while dealing with other regular people, becomes an idiotic story about mystical bloodline hero child, occasional whining about killing terrible people in between all your killing, busy work stealth and "puzzle" sections, and magical plague rat tornadoes with occasional hit them three times boss fight and a sling that can defeat entire armies.

    At its best when you can more slowly appreciate some of the locations and when you have some time to build the relationship between the main characters you meet (your brother that you spend the most time with being the least interesting, of course). Could have been great with a more narrative, avoidance focused stealth gameplay, horror. Instead you just start killing everyone halfway through the game with brief moments typically spent with one main character at a time while saying that there relationships grow over time that you don't experience with them, ridiculous main villains, and out of place gamey moments like old woman saying, "Oh you have a sling little girl, yes you will need that, make use of my upgrade station."


    Completed: Isolated Warrior
    Platform: NES

    Isometric shoot em up that both does some interesting things with its perspective but also makes it much more difficult to actually hit enemies. They make use of shadows under enemies to give you a better idea of their position but even then some hit detection can seem questionable, even more for higher flying enemies that I have no idea why I am hitting or not hitting. Some nice boss designs. Gives you the ability to jump to both avoid shots and for some platforming, jumping twice throws bombs, and you can hit select to cycle between two modes of fire that are upgraded through powerups. One giving you a strong forward shot and a shot behind you and one shooting to both of your sides with a weak forward shot. A motorcycle and hover level can make it a bit difficult to collect powerups or manage what is happening due to the increased speed and the motorcycle levels has the more difficult platforming section that also contains the boss and it didn't seem to always want to jump when I hit the button.


  12. S9BDiel.png


    Xbox Series X event and game reveals, Nadia Oxford speaks with former translator Ted Woolsey about the original release of Final Fantasy 6 and the early days of localization, Heather Alexandra discusses good faith criticism as being an act of empathy and kindness for her final article at Kotaku, Skeleton on Mass Effect ignoring the communal ideas of a setting like Star Trek to focus on the superiority of humans with similar ideas to American exceptionalism, Jon Bailes looks at the FF7 remake as a narrative that manages to stand between nostalgia and revolution in its themes and framing of the original, Chris Bratt works with Noclip to tell the story of Creative Assembly and its founder, Natalie Flores covers a recent translation controversy manufactured by people that never played the game and speaks with localizers about their wider work and reactions to it, Colin Spacetwinks breaks down the strategy and feel of the combat of Treachery in Beatdown City, Red Candle Games share future plans after the removal of their previous game from sale, 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)


    Everything Microsoft Showed During Today's Xbox Series X Event


    Over a dozen games were shown during the roughly hour-long event and while many of them were from smaller publishers, it still provided our first look, even if only a glimpse, of what gaming on the next cycle of hardware will be like. Let’s break down everything we saw.

    Xbox say they "set some wrong expectations" for yesterday's gameplay reveals


    After lots and lots of #hype in the form of a livestream digital painting reveal that was the precursor to a proper trailer which was also just a precursor to what we were assured would be a first look at actual gameplay, folks were a bit let down by the not very gameplay-looking new video for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla during Microsoft’s Xbox 20/20 event yesterday. Microsoft’s big marketing man says that’s on them and perhaps they “set some wrong expectations” prior to the event.


    Chorus, a New Space Combat Shooter, is Coming to Xbox Series X in 2021


    Today, on Inside Xbox, Deep Silver Fishlabs exclusively revealed our brand-new title, Chorus, releasing in 2021 on Xbox Series X and Xbox One with Smart Delivery for all players. This means that you will only need to buy the game once to play on both Xbox Series X and Xbox One. Chorus will look great on Xbox One, but we’re pushing it to the limit on Xbox Series X. For those who missed our awesome announce trailer, you can watch it above.


    Assassin’s Creed Valhalla “won’t be the longest or biggest game in the series”


    If you’re wincing at the idea of stepping back into never-ending story in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, rest easy – it looks like it won’t be as much of a beast as Odyssey.

    Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Season Pass unlocks exclusive Beowulf mission


    The usual run of editions are all here, of course, including the Gold and Ultimate Editions – which come with the Season Pass. Those who pre-order the Season Pass, or any version that includes it, will unlock a bonus mission – presumably at launch.

    Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Is Bringing Back The Instakill Hidden Blade, In A Signal To Hardcore Fans


    Upcoming Assassin’s Creed games always sound terrific in the spring, when the marketing machinery jolts into motion to describe the series’ next potentially great adventure. The new one will mix the best of what’s come before, plus new things, all set, this time, in the exotic era of (the Renaissance)(the American Revolution)(ancient Egypt) the Vikings. I won’t pretend to be unmoved.


    Tonight We Riot Devs Wanted To Make An 'Unapologetically Leftist' Game


    Tonight We Riot, now available on Nintendo Switch and heading to Steam tomorrow, is the first game developed by Pixel Pushers Union 512. It tasks you with directing a mass gathering of protesters as they seize the means of production from an oppressive overlord. You throw Molotov cocktails, break formations of riot cops, and organize your fellow workers. Tonight We Riot’s gameplay mixes the street brawling of River City Ransom with the simplistic squad tactics of Pikmin. It’s a cathartic exercise in returning power to the people in a world that’s similar to our own, if maybe fast-forwarded a few years.



    Gorgeous 1930s tropical adventure Call of the Sea announced for Xbox Series X


    One of the more unusual games during Microsoft's Xbox Series X stream was Call of the Sea, a non-violent mystery adventure set on a tropical island in the South Pacific in the 1930s.


    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 Remaster Coming September 4


    Tony Hawk fans who’ve signed up for the legendary skater’s text service have received a message today indicating that Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2 are making some sort of comeback. Update: It’s official, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is coming out on September 4 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.


    H.R. Giger inspired horror game Scorn is back with an extremely moist trailer


    It's all anatomy jazz in the latest look at the upcoming horror game.


    Cygni: All Guns Blazing Announced


    Three-person developer KeelWorks has announced Cygni: All Guns Blazing, an old-school-arcade-style shoot-'em-up (aka shmup) that won an Epic MegaGrant. It is coming to PC with console versions likely to follow. A spokesperson for the game says PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions are also likely, but not officially confirmed as of now.


    The Last of Us Part II story trailer teases a brutal and emotional journey


    Naughty Dog’s new trailer for The Last of Us Part II, the sequel to its much-loved 2013 game, does not bode well for Ellie. Released today, the trailer teases a bloody journey filled with loss and regret, seemingly for everyone involved.


    The Ascent - 12 Minutes of Next-Gen Gameplay - IGN First


    Take a look at 12 minutes of gameplay footage (yes, it's actual gameplay!) from the Xbox Series X exclusive action-RPG, The Ascent.


    Second Extinction is a 3-player co-op shooter for the Xbox Series X


    Second Extinction is coming from Systemic Reaction for Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X video game console.


    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 'Come Dance' Trailer


    Enter the World of Darkness and rise through vampire society. Experience Seattle - a city full of alluring, dangerous, characters and factions. You are dead now but stronger, quicker, more alluring and with potential for so much more. Choose to be brutal and unflinching or cultured and seductive. Use charm, cunning, terror and sheer will to rise through vampire society. What monster will you be?


    Diablo co-creator announces new studio that will bring “hidden gems” to light


    A new publishing and development house with a major pedigree is on the way. Skystone Games will focus on shining a light on teams working on “absolutely special” games worldwide, and is headed up by CEO Bill Wang – a former Perfect World exec with over a decade of industry experience – and president David Brevik – who, as one of the co-founders of Blizzard North, was a chief mind behind the original two Diablo games.


    The Medium is basically a new Silent Hill, and Akira Yamaoka is just bloody icing on the cake


    It not just Akira Yamaoka's music that seems familiar, everything about The Medium screams Silent Hill


    New Trails of Cold Steel 4 Trailer Brings Together Some Familiar Faces


    Class 7 alumni reunite for an important cause.


    Halo co-creator’s sci-fi FPS Disintegration gets a June release date and new trailer


    Disintegration, the upcoming sci-fi FPS from Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto’s studio VH1 Interactive, arrives next month. Along with a brand-new story trailer for the FPS game’s single-player campaign to check out, Disintegration’s now got a release date of June 16, 2020 – and pre-orders are live.


    Yakuza: Like a Dragon | Cinematic Trailer


    Become Ichiban Kasuga, a low-ranking yakuza grunt left on the brink of death by the man he trusted most. Take up your legendary bat and get ready to crack some underworld skulls in dynamic RPG combat set against the backdrop of modern-day Japan.


    Empire of Sin Features John Romero's Great-Grandmother, Who Was A Crime Boss In The 1920s


    Moms can do anything. That is also true for grandmothers and great-grandmothers. For example, John Romero’s great-gran was an underworld crime lord in Mexico during the 20s.


    'Dirt 5' will arrive in October


    It's the first game in the main Dirt series since 2017.


    Bright Memory: Infinite’s Gameplay Continues to Impress as We Await a PS5 Confirmation


    Chinese developer FYQD-Studio has released another gameplay teaser for its first-person shooter, Bright Memory: Infinite. The new look premiered during Microsoft’s recent Inside Xbox stream, offering up the first confirmation that the game is indeed launching on next-gen. However, as of now, the title is only slated for the Xbox Series X as far as new hardware is concerned. PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One iterations presumably remain on the cards, too, as well as an expected but unconfirmed PS5 version.


    Bandai Namco reveals action RPG Scarlet Nexus for Xbox Series X


    Scarlet Nexus is being developed by the Tales of team


    Those Who Remain Dated for 28th May After Coronavirus Push Back


    Those Who Remain is a psychological horror experience all about the town of Dormont. "Players must confront the unknown horrors reflected by the darkness and survive the night as Edward is faced with a test of his sanity, morality and the shadows of evil that lurks below."


    Mirror's Edge meets Dishonored in this time-limited demo for Ghostrunner


    The first-person cyberninja demo is available for a week on Steam, and it looks very promising.


    A new Total War game’s been announced – a CCG called Elysium


    Creative Assembly and Sega have just announced there’s a new addition to the long-running Total War series headed to PC later this year – but it’s probably not what you’d expect. The new title is called Total War: Elysium – and it’s a free-to-play collectible card game.


    PGA Tour 2K21 - Official Teaser Trailer


    Watch the teaser trailer for the upcoming PGA Tour 2K21. The full release will happen on May 14, 2020.


    A brutal war between the High Elves and Greenskins is the next DLC for Total War: Warhammer 2


    The Warden and The Paunch DLC is releasing May 21.


    Doom Eternal Update 1 adds Empowered Demons, some Battlemode enhancements


    Doom Eternal Update 1 is in the works for all platforms, and id Software says it is adding a “host of optimizations,” some new event content, bug fixes, and Empowered Demons.


    Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is a story DLC with a new campaign, fighters, and RoboCop


    Yesterday, a Mortal Kombat 11 story DLC teaser popped up in the form of a brief new trailer that ended: “the epic saga continues”. Now, we know what’s in store. Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath has been announced, with a continuation of the fighting game’s story, new stages, Friendship finishers, and three new fighters – one of whom is RoboCop. Yep, actual RoboCop. Look out for potential story spoilers ahead, folks.


    Civ 6 is getting eight new civs, and the first two are out next week


    Civilization VI is getting a new season pass. Named the New Frontier Pass, it will add eight new civilisations, nine new leaders, and six new game modes, spread across six bimonthly DLC packs.


    Indivisible DLC Forces You to Face Razmi’s Challenges


    Things have been busy for Indivisible, Lab Zero’s Valkyrie Profile-like RPG. The game recently received a new game plus update and co-op multiplayer. There was also that accidental Nintendo Switch shadowdrop. But this next update is on purpose.


    Children of Morta - Setting Sun Inn - NEW GAME+ | Free Update Official Trailer


    The brave Bergson family continues their journey along the Children of Morta development roadmap with the addition of the Setting Sun Inn update. This free update includes New Game+ content with tons of additional lore in stunning new cutscenes and quests. Join the family for another round - it’s on the house.


    The Sims 4’s next expansion makes your neighbourhood prettier if you’re eco-friendly


    The Sims 4 gets a brand-new expansion pack in June that’s all about being green. It’s called Eco Lifestyle, and alongside a bunch of new features, activities, careers, and goodies for your Sims’ homes, it brings a neighbourhood that changes and responds your actions, according to just how eco-friendly you are.


    The Culling is making an unexpected return with a baffling business model


    Third time's probably not a charm.


    Riot bans nearly 9,000 Valorant cheaters, warns that this is 'only the beginning'


    Riot will also no longer refer to cheaters as 'hackers.'


    Platinum dispatches Wonderful 101 backer codes and acknowledges Switch error




    You Can Now Play A Bunch Of Old Phone Games Legally, Easily And For Free


    Last month, Gameloft released a collection of 30 old phone games, some from as far back as 2007. These games are now fully playable on modern Android devices. Best of all, they are totally free to play.


    Looks like Valve’s planning Steam loyalty discounts and rewards


    Steam’s got a host of loyal players, and it seems that Valve has a program in mind to reward long-time users. Evidence of a loyalty reward system has cropped up among Steam dataminers, which would offer up reward items, badge levels, and – possibly – discounts on certain games. It also seems that we’re getting more ways to respond to Steam user reviews.


    Red Candle Games Looks Back on Devotion, And The Controversy That Shook a Region



    How the studio is committing to making even more games that push creative boundaries even after Devotion's yank from Steam.


    Larian Studios, ZA/UM, and lots of other indie developers are having their own showcase in June


    I was just a tad sad when E3 organisers announced that they wouldn’t be doing their own big digital event after cancelling the physical conference amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Not to worry though, we lose one E3 and get like, five to replace it apparently. A bunch of indie developers and publishers have all squaded up to do their own thing which they’re calling Guerrilla Collective, from June 6-8.


    EA Free Upgrades Planned for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X Versions



    Another company has helped paint a picture of a future where next gen consoles will end up getting special releases that will make games from the previous generation more suitable for them.


    PlayStation Store has been suspended indefinitely in mainland China


    Sony’s PlayStation Store has been temporarily suspended in mainland China following alleged security issues.




    Top Overwatch Team Loses Entire Player Roster Amidst Allegations Of Mismanagement



    Between covid-19 and countless other difficulties, Overwatch League’s make-or-break third season has gone as far off the rails as anyone could have imagined. Now, after losing a star player to Valorant last week, the league has lost one of its top teams. At least, temporarily.


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


    Black Book - An RPG Rooted in Slavic Mythology


    Dive into this narrative-driven RPG Adventure with card-based combat and explore a world where reality neighbors myth.


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


    Games Criticism Is A Kindness



    "Criticism is an act of empathy and kindness. It is a rejection of fanaticism."

    To The Horizon


    You know what this is. A farewell post isn’t a shock anymore. Especially since I gave you 24 hours notice on Twitter. I suppose a few folks are probably like “Fuck, no! Wait! Don’t leave!” That’s sweet but it’s counterbalanced slightly by the chittering of Twitter gremlins and YouTube shouters. You know who you are and I gotta say, the way you live seems exhausting. Which is why I’m glad I got to work here and write for folks who really engaged. It was incredibly badass. Let’s get that out of the way first. Thank you, Kotaku commenters. It was a blast to have an audience like you.

    Before we go any further I also want to say that it was not my plan to have this come alongside Maddy and Jason’s departures. There’s just a really cool opportunity that came up? Sorry! Where was I...


    Ted Woolsey Remembers Final Fantasy 6, Evading Nintendo's Censorship Rules, and the Early Days of Localization



    Major parts of Final Fantasy 6's storyline involve suicide, teen pregnancy, and mass slaughter. Its length, depth, and gravity make it a difficult translation under the best conditions. But when Final Fantasy 6 was being localized, Nintendo disallowed words like "die" and "death." Ted Woolsey was expected to tell North Americans a story about the Apocalypse, and he had to do it without inferring that anyone actually dies.


    Indycar's Virtual Race Crashes Sparked Real-World Controversy Among Drivers



    Professional drivers are competing in video games because of Coronavirus, but without the physical danger of crashes, what are the rules?


    The video game apocalypses are already here - and they're all around us



    How quickly reality can be made to look like fiction. We're used to seeing images of ruination and abandonment. There's a long artistic tradition fascinated with crumbling visions. From European obsessions with classical antiquity to Romanticism's love for gothic castles and abbeys. In games this enthusiasm plays out within the realms of the medieval fantasy epic - The Elder Scrolls, Dark Souls or The Witcher series' many deteriorating structures often echo the work of 18th and 19th century painters like JMW Turner, Caspar David Friedrich or John Constable.


    The House in Fata Morgana’s Controversy Shows the Difficulties of Localization



    I specify fans of the genre, and not of The House in the Fata Morgana, because, as I watched this unravel on my timeline, it became immediately clear the grand majority of angry individuals aren’t people who have played this game.


    Beyond emulation: The massive effort to reverse-engineer N64 source code



    It's about much more than just enabling PC ports.


    Why Do We Keep Going Back to Old Games?



    Games that are considered classics are nothing new to the media world. Throughout the months of March and April 2020, I’ve noticed a little twitter account called Half Life VR But the AI is Self-Aware OOC. This Twitter account posts out of context clips from a Twitch livestream series called Half Life VR: But the AI is Self-Aware. The series, which can be watched in an edited format on YouTube, is a really entertaining take on the story of the first Half Life game. This take involves a cast of characters that the player sees throughout their journey to stop an alien invasion that they may have directly caused. This isn’t a novel idea as this take has been done before with Freeman’s Mind and other Half Life related videos. To those who have no idea what I’m talking about, great. Keep your life that way and seriously, I envy you. Half Life is a first-person shooter that was originally released on the PC in 1998. The series has continued with sporadic releases with the March 2020 release of Half Life: Alyx. While the focus of today’s topic is mainly on Half Life, this idea of revisiting classic games is not just contained to only this series. Other games that are constantly revisited are Super Mario 64 and basically every Mario game, the Pokémon series, the DOOM series, Minecraft, and currently the big grab is the general aesthetics of the PlayStation 1/Nintendo 64 era. I will also like to say that I’m limited by my United States viewpoint as I’m not sure if this love to old games are the same in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. This could apply to them, it could not. I want to start with the Half Life series by taking a look at the second game, Half Life 2.


    Even The Guy Who Wrote That Sea Bass Joke In Animal Crossing Is Tired Of It


    At this point, the sea bass joke in Animal Crossing: New Horizons has become a meme. Folks hate it. But the man who wrote that joke shared some interesting insight behind it and how much they and the other devs working on the game care about even the smallest details.


    1983 and the Future of Videogame Writing



    The loudest barks on the internet want you to believe that games are just graphics, sound, play and systems. Yet even if these clay-cast consumerists don’t take the time for a little introspection, videogame experiences never take place in a vacuum. Given that you’re joining us here on the good ship Unwinnable, there’s obviously an audience for writing and creative engagement with videogames that goes beyond an arbitrary five-point scale.


    The Best Videogame Soundtracks of All Time



    As great as they might sound in concert or on our turntables, it’s impossible to separate the best videogame soundtracks from the games they were made for. You can’t hear the strains of a Zelda or Final Fantasy without immediately thinking of fantasy lands like Hyrule and Spira, and the adventures and relationships you forged there. Music is such an important part of creating a game’s mood and personality, and it’s so powerful that I’ve enjoyed otherwise bad games based solely on a great soundtrack. None of the games below fit that category—they’d all be worth playing even if the only music they had was “Yakety Sax”—but every single one of them has been elevated and improved by its music.


    Dissecting the Anatomy of the Fight in Treachery in Beatdown City



    Treachery in Beatdown City feels like breathing. Not a standard inhale and exhale, a relaxed, unconscious rhythm that might be synching up to the same passive beating of your heart. The breathing that TiBC epitomizes is the kind of breathing you have while in a fight – all the kinds of breathing you’ll have while in a fight, the whole spectrum of breaths, and they are many.  The slow, deep and loud breaths you have as you brace yourself before launching at your opponent, meticulous and full of violent intent. Or the short, machine gun spray breaths as you scramble backwards, creating distance and trying to get back as much oxygen as possible after feeling someone else’s knuckles dig into all the soft parts of your body. The sharp, harsh breaths you take that have a knife’s edge to them when you’re the one doing the attacking, a furiously exhaled “HRRHHH!” when you’re slamming a knee into someone’s gut or using all of your weight to tackle them to the ground. They’re all there in Treachery in Beatdown City, and just like in a real life fight, all those kinds of breaths connect to each other, there is no one singular rhythm that your body and mind will strictly follow from start to finish.


    Shadows of Chernobyl: tracing the inspiration of Escape from Tarkov



    Escape from Tarkov has seen a recent surge in popularity, thanks largely to big-name streamers with huge audiences who tuned in over the first week of the year, incentivised by the promise of valuable in-game loot drops. But I’ve been watching Tarkov streams and playing Tarkov for well over a year, and while developer Battlestate Games has taken a rather lousy view on the notion of adding playable female characters to Tarkov, the game it’s built is perhaps a peek at an emergent genre – one that I propose we call ‘zone games’.





    What Mass Effect wants you to know about the universe before you even see most of it is known almost immediately. Before the game even had me knowing the names of my crew, it was telling me Humanity First. We’re new to the realm of galaxy politics, and the universe hates us. If someone doesn’t hate us they’re at least suspicious of is. So our Shepard will be the one to show the rest of the galaxy that humanity is tougher, more terrifying and more important than everybody else.


    Fighting for Lost Causes



    Final Fantasy VII Remake is a reminder that the big issues haven’t changed much over the last quarter century. We’re still stuck with unchecked capitalist hubris, stark inequality, environmental degradation. It’s just that most of us had a more detached view of it back in the nineties, and now it’s right in our faces, in high definition.

    These themes have stood the test of time because time itself has looped in an endless, decaying present. It’s been over 30 years since cultural theorist Fredric Jameson wrote that “It seems to be easier for us today to imagine the thoroughgoing deterioration of the earth and of nature than the breakdown of late capitalism.” And in the decades since, these words have only been proven more true. Capitalism moves us ever closer to catastrophe. We still struggle to grasp what might replace it.


    A dream paradox



    NiGHTS into Dreams is a great game – my favourite, ever, in fact – but it’s also fair to say that it’s not like anything else, and I mean that partly in the bad sort of way: You fly… but on a set path…? But not always…? What the heck are Mares? Ideyas? Chips? Maren? Whether you’re looking at the game’s collectable items, trying to make sense of the basic gameplay, or even the controls themselves, it’s just weird – and to make matters worse, the game does a very poor job of explaining itself. Because of this Sonic Team’s magnum opus (I know what I said) has spent most of its life under-appreciated and under-played even in its more readily accessible forms (it’s available on PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One (via backwards compatibility), and PC), left languishing in gaming history as the weird Sega game that tried to take on Super Mario 64 and “failed” (even though comparing the two is a lot like comparing apples to penguins. Or staplers.).


    I think, therefore I think. I think.



    It turns out that if I want to do this bizarre unpaid not-job of talking an awful lot about old games on the interwebs properly then actually I do: (Re)Examining the game itself as well as my own dust-covered knowledge – often established years or even decades earlier – for honesty and accuracy if I want to be sure I’m really looking at what’s in front of me and not allowing a flimsy set of unquestioned “facts” to be wheeled out for another airing without any thought. Retro gaming is brilliant. Retro thinking… not so much.


    Grinding The Gears – Half Life’s Adrian Shephard



    If Gordon Freeman was the emblematic poster child for the Silent Protagonist, then for a time his foil, Adrian Shephard, became the iconic parallel for the faceless ones. Gordon’s robust Gen-X “nerd turned combatant” archetype was intended as an answer to the typical grunting brawn-over-brain space marine motif we have come to endlessly celebrate in every perennial iteration of DOOM, subverting the expectant trope audiences had grown accustomed to over the years.



    The History of Creative Assembly (Total War / Alien Isolation) - Documentary


    Over the course of three decades Creative Assembly has grown from a one-man-band to one of the largest studios in the UK. In this documentary Chris Bratt tells the story of the games they've made, and the people behind them. Noclip's work is 100% crowdfunded.

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


    Asura's Wrath Is Deeper Than You Might Think


    Support the show on Patreon - http://patreon.com/writingongames

    Asura's Wrath released at a point where quick time events were seen to be the scourge of the games industry, and yet decided to fully commit to this control method regardless. It left many critics lauding its wild, universe-spanning bombast but deeming it a game more fun to watch than to actually play. That said, revisiting it 8 years later in 2020, I can't help but feel like the game got a bad rap. Let's talk about this absolutely insane game, its use of Buddhist mythology and its innovative approach to a widely derrided input method to show just how Asura's Wrath is deeper than you might think.


    Something Rotten: A Max Payne 3 Miniseries | Episode 4


    Episode 3 of a Max Payne 3 Retrospective in 5 parts. This episode covers chapters 10-12 of the game.

    This is a video version of the podcast "Something Rotten," available on the Game Query podcast feed. Featuring Blake Hester, Jacob Geller, and Zac Frazier


    Should Game Designers Listen to Negative Player Feedback? | Game Maker's Toolkit


    Players certainly aren't shy about sharing their thoughts on video games. So what should developers do when players tell them they hate a certain game mechanic, character, or level? This video will explore some tips for responding to feedback and criticism.

    Support Game Maker's Toolkit on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/GameMakersToolkit


    The Making of Gears 5, Revealed by The Coalition's Lead Designers


    For the first time, experience the detailed story of how the lead designers at The Coalition revitalised the Gears of War franchise with 2019's Gears 5.

    For this mini-documentary, I spoke with Gears 5's campaign designer director Matt Searcy and lead overworlds designer Nick Letizia about how the campaign came together behind the scenes.


    Crusader of Centy: Sega's Zelda Clone on the Genesis | Gaming Historian


    In 1994, Sega launched the Mega Role-Playing Project to compete with Nintendo's RPG lineup. The first game from the project was Crusader of Centy, a Zelda clone! Learn more about it's creation and legacy.

    Support the show on Patreonhttps://goo.gl/pQaU9N


    A Hat in Time Developers React to 36 Minute Speedrun


    Ride along with three key members of the Gears for Breakfast development team -- Jonas Kaerlev (Game Director),  Jenna Brown (Art Director), and Cameron Turner (Lead Animator) -- as they watch and react to DokaSR's incredible playthrough of their game: A Hat in Time.

  13. Completed: Gears Tactics
    Platform: PC

    Good base gameplay, really nice use of cover movement and overwatch that feels at home for the series. Good level design, with occasional areas that have very similar looks to them. Unit classes with mostly good ability choices, some only good for certain mission types and some poor descriptions that make you think they will do things or different things than what they actually do. Poor recruitment system where you get a pool of new characters every mission likely stronger than your current ones that come with new gear, rescued characters already spend skill points when others allow you to choose making them worse choices. I had one character that I used every chance I could and she was the only one who, barely, levels above new characters, making the limited cosmetics and color options even more pointless as it is better to constantly replace everyone. Heroes have no unique features and even they might fall behind in level even when taking them as often as you can. What there is is good but lack of objective variety. Easy to sit around to wait for ability cooldowns.

    For a strategy game there is almost no replayablity as you will have the characters to try all skills and you will see what all the maps and objectives have to offer. There is no larger strategic game outside battles, no good in world explanation for the strange level modifiers. Feels a lot like the original XCOM remake to me. Some poor choices with a lot that could be improved on with pretty solid base gameplay. Would like a sequel with new enemies and equipment and either more focused on randomization of levels and new objectives or just all varied prebuilt set-pieces let going through a Gears campaign. The grenades are massively overpowered, making the scout class that has an upgrade path where they can throw them every turn along with proximity grenades massively overpowered. Not enough emergence holes or fortified positions, way too many enemy dropships.

    Cole was a preorder (or early game pass) hero character and his taunts and yelling as you use him made him the only character I really personality wise enjoyed having. There are some terrible looking beards on the recuitable characters.


    Completed: Tiny Toon Adventures - Buster's Hidden Treasure
    Platform: Genesis

    Side scrolling platformer, varied levels with new enemies and traps in each area. Controls well enough. Not as detailed as the SNES game that released the year before but looks good for a Genesis game. You can build up speed and do slide attacks but the amount of time and obstacles make it unlikely to make use of this without advance level knowledge. Can jump off walls though most levels don't make use of it. Collecting 50 carrots let you summon friends to kill all enemies on the screen but there is almost no real reason to use this and when it might have helped I wouldn't have been able to get 50 carrots. Hit detection can be a bit off. Poor story doesn't make good use of license. Can move your head up but can't look up.


  14. S9BDiel.png


    Graeme Mason tells the story of a gaming magazine that outlived its platform, Violet Adele Bloch on Pathologic and how disease can reveal the sickness in society, Felipe Pepe looks at what makes good RPG dungeons, Jacob Geller finds the beauty in the sounds of horror games, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla announced while another viking game halts production, FCC loses legal battle to hide IP addresses of net neutrality comments, Razbuten covers how games make use of colors to signify things about the world and why purple is the color of corruption, new composer to score Doom Eternal's DLC, Yakuza Like A Dragon coming to Steam, Archipel speaks with Final Fantasy character designer and illustrator Yoshitaka Amano, 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)


    Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is Assassin’s Creed with vikings


    Still, if the art is anything to go by, it seems that series elements of combat, stealthy assassination, and naval exploration will be returning for the next outing. A full trailer reveal of the game is set for April 30th at 11AM ET.

    Assassin's Creed Valhalla Devs Preemptively Shut Down Bullshit Concerns About Female Vikings


    “The archaeological sources are highly debated on that specific issue,” said Thierry Noël, historian and advisor in Ubisoft’s editorial research unit, via an official Q&A. “But the fact is, and I think what’s really important, is that it was part of their conception of the world. Sagas and myths from Norse society are full of tough female characters and warriors. It was part of their idea of the world, that women and men are equally formidable in battle, and that’s something that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will reflect.”

    Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will use smart delivery on Xbox


    It was recently confirmed that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will use smart delivery on Xbox, meaning that players who purchase a copy on Xbox One will automatically receive the game on Xbox Series X.


    Viking-murdering monster game Darkborn, previously called Project Wight, is on ice


    Battlefield Bad Company 2 lead David Goldfarb has announced that Darkborn, the debut game from Swedish studio The Outsiders, is on ice.


    Nier Replicant is more than a remaster, features new characters, improved story and more



    Nier director Yoko Taro has finally revealed more information about Nier Replicant, the upcoming remaster for the original Nier game.


    Hardspace: Shipbreaker dev diary showcases zero-g spacecraft surgery


    Blackbird Interactive explains how it's up to players how they want to cut up derelict spaceships with powerful tools.


    Vampire RPG Nighthawks bares its fangs in a new teaser


    Modern vampire RPG Nighthawks, which had a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2018, will be slinking its way out of the shadows next year. In the meantime you can get the skinny on this Wadjet Eye-published joint in a new teaser, above.


    Dual Universe looks part Eve, part No Man’s Sky in this new trailer


    We’ve known for a while that Dual Universe is a hugely ambitious MMO, and each update we’ve seen over the course of its development adds another element to its scope. Developer Novaquark has produced a new trailer that pulls all this together and gives you a snapshot of the scale of Dual Universe, as well as some of the backstory and the economics underpinning the game.


    Dauntless - Official Rogue Elements Trailer


    The Rogue Elements Hunt Pass is available now. In Rogue Elements, players can complete Seismic contracts to earn Hunt Pass XP and Seismic Intel, use Seismic Intel to investigate an aetheric eruption near the Maelstrom and complete all quests to learn more about what awaits Slayers in the next Escalation.


    Skater XL - Official Customization Trailer


    Check out the latest trailer for the upcoming skateboarding game which will feature apparel, footwear, decks, wheels, and more from skate brands including Vans, Spitfire, Etnies, Santa Cruz Skateboards, and more.


    VECTORLORD - Release Date Trailer


    In VECTORLORD you play as the titular hero as you dodge & weave through the kaleidoscopic immune system of the evil INFECTOPHAGE --- an intergalactic virus siphoning precious DELTAs from the homeworld of your benefactors.


    Looks like Yakuza: Like A Dragon is coming to Steam


    The next game in the Yakuza series appears to be coming to Steam. Yakuza: Like A Dragon – the official Western title of the seventh game in the series – has appeared in the Steam database. That hints that we’re getting a release date announcement outside of Japan soon, and that PC players might not have to wait quite so long for the port this time around.


    Tale of Ronin Will Be a Humanist, Psychological Samurai RPG from Dead Mage



    With the RPG Tale of Ronin, Dead Mage, the team behind Children of Morta, is tapping into universal human uncertainties. As the title implies, the game is about a ronin — a masterless samurai — and a quest that will explore the internal conflicts of a warrior whose sense of purpose has been upended.


    A Day In The Life Of Grounded


    Video Producer Leo Vader walks through one in-game day playing Grounded, Obsidian's miniature survival sim, launching to Xbox Game Preview on July 28.


    Port Royale 4 launches September 25, PC closed beta available now


    Closed beta includes all tutorials, the complete Spanish Campaign, and the complete Free Mode.


    The Last of Us Part 2 leaked online



    Update: Sony identifies responsible party; confirms it was not a member of Sony or Naughty Dog

    The Last of Us Part 2 Development Wraps With a Message From Neil Druckmann


    "No matter what you've seen, or heard, or read, nothing compares to playing this thing from beginning to end."


    Here's your first look at Lord Of The Rings: Gollum



    Some of the very first screenshots from Daedalic Entertainment’s The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum have appeared on the internet, and it looks fairly decent. The image above is one of the better ones to get a look at how the titular cave gremlin will look, and he sure does look like Gollum. The developers said previously that this iteration of him wouldn’t look like he does in the movies, but I dunno, I think he definitely has a resemblance to the movies’ take on the character. Just a bit more frog-like.

    Where are all the idyllic Lord of the Rings games?


    How game designers are missing the point with all these grimdark Lord of the Rings adaptations

    Does Anyone Actually Want to Play a Lord of the Rings Game About Gollum?


    The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is being billed as a next-gen showcase for PS5 and Xbox Series X, but there's just one problem.


    Population Zero - Official Launch Trailer


    Check out the launch trailer for Population Zero, the "exploration survival multiplayer game" that launches on Steam for PC on May 5.


    C&C Remastered is looking good, and comes with a treasure trove of rediscovered FMV


    Command & Conquer and Red Alert are back in June, with redone 4K graphics and lots of fun extras.


    Röki is a lonely adventure steeped in snow and Scandinavian folklore



    As the LudoNarraCon festival draws to a close later on this week, I was keen to try a few of the demos and see which upcoming narrative-focused games I'll be sinking into over the next year. Röki instantly caught my eye, with its snow-capped mountains, eerie structures, and a tiny character exploring an unknown, wintery world. It's a harsh environment, littered with secrets.


    Jessika is a Her Story-style FMV mystery about a young woman's suicide—or murder


    Dive into Jessika's online life to discover the real circumstances behind her untimely death.


    Dying Light - Hellraid DLC Teaser


    Check out the ominous trailer for upcoming Dying Light DLC, Hellraid.


    Mortal Kombat 11 is getting new story DLC


    According to a tweet from Playstation Brazil, some singleplayer story DLC is coming for Mortal Kombat 11. MK11 has received a lot of typical beat 'em up updates—new characters and such—but it's particularly exciting to know there's more gory melodrama coming to those of us to would rather test our mettle offline.


    Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Zangetsu and Randomizer update launches May 7 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, late May to early June for Switch



    Play through the game once again, this time as Zangetsu.


    After deadline issues for Doom Eternal's OST, a new composer will score its DLC



    Mick Gordon, the composer behind both id Software's Doom (2016) and this year’s followup Doom Eternal, officially isn’t working on Eternal’s DLC and the reason for the split is a bit of a complicated affair at the center of a recent Reddit post from id's Marty Stratton.


    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order's new update adds NG+ and challenge mode for veterans



    May the 4th is not yet over so there’s still some Star Wars Day 4th to be with you. EA have announced and released a free update to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order that focuses on the veteran force users among us. The new update brings a new game plus mode for those that have finished the campaign and special NG+ challenge mode for fighting against waves of enemies.


    Nintendo to close 3DS and Wii U eShop in 42 countries



    A recent announcement from Nintendo Support has confirmed the imminent closure of the limited Nintendo eShop for the 3DS and Wii U systems across a whopping 42 countries.


    Epic Games Store adds local pricing for Canada, Australia, and more


    The evolution of the Epic Games Store continued today with the addition of regional currency support for Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.


    Over 85,000 games made available for free to NHS workers



    Dozens of game companies partner with UKIE and Keymailer to support front line staff


    Dr Disrespect's Shtick Takes A Dangerous Turn Into Spreading Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories



    Dr Disrespect, who I’m beginning to suspect might not be a licensed medical professional after all, decided to voice his thoughts and feelings about the virus that has so far taken over 65,000 lives in the U.S. alone. He did this as an expression of solidarity with Elon Musk, who has spent the past week e-cosplaying as the wrong character from Deus Ex while arguing for an end to self-isolation and propping up the views of known conspiracy hucksters. But Doc ended up going much further than the billionaire.


    PewDiePie Signs Exclusive YouTube Live-Streaming Deal



    PewDiePie will be live-streaming exclusively on YouTube under a new pact.


    FCC loses legal battle to hide IP addresses of net neutrality comments



    The records could reveal if the FCC leaned on fraudulent comments to push through its repeal of net neutrality rules.







    EVO Cancelled


    Top Smash Player Uses Fake Name In Online Tournament



    Justin “Plup” McGrath has long been considered one of the best Super Smash Bros. Melee players in the world, and currently holds the #8 spot in the most recent rankings. He and a few of his friends thought it would be entertaining to enter last weekend’s Rona Rumble as FortniteFred42 via another friend’s account.


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


    What makes a good RPG dungeon?



    A look at 11 great video game dungeons


    The story of Your Sinclair



    By the early 90s, the ZX Spectrum appeared hopelessly outdated. The Commodore Amiga and Atari ST were appreciably better computer alternatives, while those with a pure penchant for video games would shortly be able to get their hands on a Super Nintendo Entertainment System, if they hadn't already invested in a Sega Mega Drive. In terms of graphics and sound, all of them were ridiculously better than the Sinclair machine. I wasn't really playing on my 128k +2 Speccy much as I looked on enviously at Mega Drive screenshots of Strider and Golden Axe; but what I was still doing was consistently reading Your Sinclair each month, often to the scorn of friends and family. "Why are you still reading that?!" they would clamour. "Because," I'd reply with a tone of calculated indifference, "It's funny."


    The Shareware Scene, Part 2: The Question of Games



    In one of the last interviews he gave before his death, shareware pioneer Jim Button said that he “had written off the idea of shareware games” prior to the beginning of the 1990s. At the time, it seemed a reasonable position to take, one based on quite a bit of evidence. While any number of people had tried to sell their games this way, there had been no shareware success stories in games to rival those of Andrew Fluegelman, Jim Button, or Bob Wallace.


    Creative Assembly boss: “This is not how I imagined my first month as studio director”



    Gareth Edmondson on how COVID-19 has changed the studio, and what comes next for the Total War developer


    Inside Minecraft Dungeon's Journey From a Zelda-Inspired 3DS Game to an Approachable Dungeon Crawler



    Mojang prepares to deliver its first spinoff for the multi-million best-seller Minecraft.


    Adventure, Humor, and Humanity's Utter End: The Enduring Appeal of Mega Man Legends 2



    It's not hard to understand why Mega Man Legends 2 still has a small but enthusiastic fanbase.


    Blizzard co-founder believes accessibility has made World of Warcraft less social



    Mike Morhaime chatted about the industry, MMOs and what he's been up to since Blizzard.


    The Forever War



    Id Software’s DOOM series has a long history, evidenced not only by its in-game lore but in the impressive breadth of its release catalogue. We’ve been blasting apart imps, chainsawing pinkies, and skewering cacodemons since the early nineties. Back in those years when its creators still had their baby fat, wore their hair glamorously long, and kept themselves permanently fitted in acid washed jeans and flannel, the game was a fresh contender on the scene. Now, thirty years later, despite successive attempts to reinvent the series, DOOM feels old and grizzled, a veteran of many wars, countless sorties against the bright reds and browns of the demonic horde.


    The neverending quest for Absolver's ultimate martial art



    How players have made the most of Sloclap's unique build-your-own combat system


    Pathologic and the Morality of Illness



    Early on in Ice-Pick Lodge’s 2019 release Pathologic 2, your character, Artemy Burakh, dreams of his childhood home by a pair of railroad tracks. In each room of the house, there’s a crowd of familiar-looking people, but they each blink out of existence, replaced by black-suited, white-masked Tragedians, frozen in space and time as if they were never able to move.


    Subverting Expectations and Misogyny in Yes, Your Grace



    Yes, Your Grace begins with a wedding, put into play to avoid another wedding. A Radovian bandit king is bringing an army to claim your — King Eryk’s — oldest daughter’s hand. War is coming, you’re promised that, but marrying her off to a young prince takes care of two birds with one stone. The King promises you armies against Radovia, and your daughter Lorsulia is no longer free to marry. Unfortunately at the wedding, tragedy strikes: The King is murdered, and until a culprit is named, there will be no armies. Your daughter and her new husband Ivo immediately leave, and you must prepare for war.


    Let’s Chill – Jedi Academy and the Lost Art of Casual Play



    It’s late at night and you’ve been chomping on some generic corn chips and store-brand soda, you got off work 5 hours ago and it’s the weekend. A lot of your friends are into games that you find a little too stressful like Operation Flashpoint or Starcraft 1v1s, you think those games are fun but only when you don’t take them seriously. You love star wars though, and when you found a cheap copy of Jedi Academy at the local game store it seemed like a fun buy. Once you made your way through the singleplayer campaign and got a feel for the combat, you dived into some multiplayer.


    A Late Game Boss Fight Shows Final Fantasy VII Remake At Its Best



    Final Fantasy VII Remake’s combat kit-bashes the series’ role-playing battles with the hefty action of a game like Monster Hunter World. Part action, part tactics, it usually works even if some camera woes mess things up from time to time. One fight later in the game—a fight that wasn’t in the original 1997 classic—highlights everything good about the Remake’s combat.

    Cloud Threatens Gender Norms Through Way More Than Cross Dressing


    I didn’t play the original Final Fantasy VII, but it was such an important game that I couldn’t help be aware of its mythos. I knew the characters, the key plot points, the themes… it was something of a ‘Bruce Willis is a ghost’ sort of game.  The most significant thing that I knew was that Cloud crossdressed for a mission. I was unaware of the context of the mission, but in the aftermath of playing the Final Fantasy VII Remake, I discovered the original mission was deeply problematic. Loaded with homophobic imagery, the mission poked fun not only at Cloud’s crossdressing, but at the queer folk in the Wall Market in general. While the 2020 version keeps the humour, it comes from Cloud’s own discomfort and Aerith’s gentle teasing, rather than at the very idea that a person should challenge gender norms through their clothes, behaviour or interests.


    Yoshitaka Amano - his universe, on paper


    A portrait of Yoshitaka Amano, the character designer & illustrator legend behind the Final Fantasy series. We take a look at Amano's universe and career, his beginning as an animator for Tatsunoko Production, his shift as an illustrator and his involvement with Final Fantasy and his more recent towards the fine art scene.


    Blips 6: Conspiracies! Street Brawls! Spaceships! Old Books?



    A Tale of Lost Potential - Tales of Zestiria Analysis - Part 1: An Environmental Problem


    This is part 1 of an in-depth analysis on Tales of Zestiria. This first part breaks down the nature of the world and level design.


    How They Remade the Mako Reactor Theme from Final Fantasy 7


    Completely remaking a game from the ground up over 20 years after the original release leads to some really fun comparisons between the two, especially when comparing the music. Final Fantasy 7 Remake's Mako Reactor theme garnered a little bit of criticism online for being so different in tone from the original piece - in this video I aim to outline why that is and why it's a good thing.

    PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/8bitmusictheory


    Why Do Horror Games Sound So Beautiful?


    but i have seen
    death’s clever enormous voice
    which hides in a fragility

    Support me: https://www.patreon.com/JacobGeller


    The Color of Corruption


    I have been thinking a lot about the use of colors in games, so I wanted to make a brief little piece on one of my favorite colors, purple, and how in games, it often is used as the color of corruption.

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


    The Worst Game I Enjoy?


    Support the Channel at: https://www.patreon.com/raycevick


    Something Rotten: A Max Payne 3 Miniseries | Episode 3


    Episode 3 of a Max Payne 3 Retrospective in 5 parts. This episode covers chapters 7-9 of the game. This is a video version of the podcast "Something Rotten," available on the Game Query podcast feed. Featuring Blake Hester, Jacob Geller, and AJ Moser

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


    How Nintendo changed SMB2 Mario for Mario Maker


    Take a drink every time I say "Mario" and finish your drink every time the 'Mario' counter is wrong.

    I've taken a break from taking a break from video making to make this quick video while it was on my mind.

    PATREON: www.patreon.com/DanRoot


    Total War Warhammer 2 Review


    Total War Warhammer 2 is a game I've played far too much of in my free time. Now with nothing but free time, it's time to be productive about it.

    Support the channel at: https://www.patreon.com/mandaloregaming


    Good Design, Bad Design Vol. 9 - The Graphic Design of Animal Crossing, Resident Evil 2, and More


    It’s Good Design, Bad Design Vol. 9! Let’s talk about some great and some terrible graphic design in video games. Today we’re talking about bad lobby UX, UI improvements in a remake, alert fatigue and interruptions, an overhaul of a map in a different remake, and we'll check in with Tom Nook about everyone’s favorite bad menu system in a good game.

    Support Design Doc on Patreon to get early access to new episodes, and hear a behind the scenes podcast! Go Here: https://www.patreon.com/designdoc


    The (Controversial) History of L.A. Noire


    Please consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/GVMERS

    Hundreds of video games launch annually, each unique in their own right. Yet, so few stand out; fewer still prove groundbreaking enough to leave an indelible mark on the industry. In 2004, the Sydney, Australia-based Team Bondi embarked on a lengthy development journey to craft such an experience. Studio founder Brendan McNamara longed to create a game to rival the likes of Rockstar Games’s Grand Theft Auto franchise. From McNamara’s perspective, producing something so ambitious unfortunately necessitated unmitigated sacrifice.


    Dead Cells Developers React to Multiple Speedruns


    Dead Cells is known for its frantic, exhilarating gameplay. Mix that with the insane abilities of the speedrunning community, and it's quite a sight to behold. Watch as three key members of the development team for Dead Cells watch and react to not just one, but two incredible playthroughs of their game from speedrunner: Evian. First, Evian blasts through the game with a completely fresh save file, then he kicks it up a notch by then completing a run on the hardest difficulty Dead Cells has to offer. Ride along with Motion Twin as Evian shows us all how it's done!




  15. Completed: The Walking Dead: Michonne
    Platform: PC

    As poorly and at times hilariously written as Season 2 was, even having the same violent captured weirdo telling the woman he's spent five minutes with that she should be a killer and is just like him. Other than that the game likes other tired genre tropes of Michonne guilt over her past of not knowing where her kids are and seeing visions of them all the time in generic at times jump scare esque ways. Main characters and antagonists are idiots, and some things that happen are just ridiculous, and with the limitation of three quick episodes instead of five you spend very little time with the characters.


    Completed: Pandemic: The Board Game
    Platform: PC

    Too much randomness and too abstract for me to really enjoy.


    Completed: Steel Strider
    Platform: PC

    Side scrolling mech combat game with some similarities to their Gigantic Army or the Assault Suit games but with a sword instead of a shield, less interesting missions and area design, and more modern controls. Enemy attacks can be hidden in all the explosions. Decent for a low price.


  16. S9BDiel.png


    Siddhartha Bajracharya's reflections on being a doctor and gamer during COVID19 and the way that video games portray pandemics, Noclip releases the final part of their documentary on The Outer Worlds, Stacey Henley reports on the game industry's poor handling of maternity, People Make Games tells the story of John Kirby the lawyer that defended Nintendo's use of Donkey Kong against Universal Studios, Natalie Flores on the way her favorite Final Fantasy XIII character Vanille impacted her life, Deadly Premonition 2 gets a release date, Cloth Map covers Croatia's game development pioneers, Andrew Cogswell on becoming your parents and God of War (2018), Gameumentary presents their documentary on Darkest Dungeons, 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)


    Deadly Premonition 2 has a July release date


    This sequel sees the return of FBI agent York as he works through a new murder case with links to the original game. Oh, and you can indulge in mini-games like bowling and skateboarding.


    Be an 'investigation freak' and solve the murder of reality in this first-person exploration game


    Paradise Killer is an '80s-inspired murder-mystery with some unique twists.


    Minimal Affect is a Mass Effect parody that doesn't look promising


    Honestly, you could just watch any of the Zapp Brannigan episodes of Futurama instead.


    Offworld Trading Company devs launching Old World into early access in May


    Mohawk Games, the studio led by Civilization IV designer Soren Johnson, today announced an early access release date for Old World. Next Tuesday, May 5th is when we’ll get to try the historical 4X strategy game they’ve been working on since Offworld Trading Company. If you too first thought “Wait, is this not Amazon’s MMORPG?” then you too have confused Old World with New World. No, this is the game formerly known as 10 Crowns. And as our Nate found when he recently had a play, Old World is “not a Civilization game at all, despite its looks.”


    Destroy All Humans! Remake - Official Release Date Trailer


    Prepare your defenses as the Invasion begins on July 28, 2020 when Destroy All Humans! launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Check out the latest trailer for the remake here!


    Cyberpunk 2077 Dev Reacts to Leaked 18+ Rating: "You Surprised?"



    It seems to take more to earn an 18+ rating in Brazil, but 2077 looks to have landed it.


    Maid of Sker launches in June for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, October for Switch


    First-person survival horror game Maid of Sker will launch for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam in June, followed by Switch in October, publisher and developer Wales Interactive announced.


    Rock of Ages III: Make & Break ‘The Untold Tale of Humpty Dumpty’ trailer


    Publisher Modus Games and developers ACE Team and Giant Monkey Robot have released a new trailer for Rock of Ages III: Make & Break introducing Humpty Dumpty.


    The Last of Us Part 2 Delayed Until June and The Ghost of Tsushima Delayed Until July



    The COVID-19 coronavirus has resulted in various game delays, and now Sony has some updates on when people can expect to see certain major PlayStation 4 games. First, there’s a new The Last of Us Part II release date. It will appear on June 19, 2020 worldwide. Then, The Ghost of Tsushima release date will follow almost exactly one month later. It will show up everywhere on July 17, 2020.


    The Last of Us Part 2 leaked online


    Neither publisher Sony or developer Naughty Dog have commented on the leaks so far, but it is rumoured to be the result of a disgruntled Naughty Dog employee.

    Naughty Dog found itself in the crosshairs recently after an investigation by Kotaku revealed that crunch remained a substantial problem at the studio.

    It's not the first time Naughty Dog has faced controversy over its working conditions, and former Uncharted director Amy Hennig has talked about the issue previously.


    A year after being delisted, Lego: Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are back on Steam



    It's been just over a year since Lego: Lord of the Rings and Lego: The Hobbit disappeared from Steam. While no reasons were given at the time, it was likely a licensing issue, with the official Warner Bros response being fairly unspecific. But as spotted by Kotaku, it's time to put your hanky away: they're back.


    MechWarrior 5’s DLC is delayed, but will be expanded



    The Heroes of the Inner Sphere DLC will include a reworked campaign map and career mode.


    Battlefield 5 is wrapping up, but there's one more update to come



    These plans may have changed, of course. Back in 2019, Wilson implied that Battlefield 5 still had plenty to offer, teasing its Pacific theatre and adding that the team was thinking about how it could go forward. And now six months later it's winding down. This was also before developers ended up having to work from home, so who knows where that's left the next Battlefield?

    Star Wars Battlefront 2’s April content update will be its last


    The upcoming update for Star Wars Battlefront 2, Battle on Scarif, will be the last one released, according to DICE.


    Remnant: From the Ashes - Official Swamps of Corsus Launch Trailer


    Face the hive mind Cult of Iskal and confront their Queen in The Swamps of Corsus DLC.


    Riot Says It Will Curb Valorant Toxicity After Own Employee Posts Video Of Sexist Harassment


    It is a regrettable sign of our times that women sharing videos of vocal, sustained harassment they’ve received in specific competitive multiplayer games has become a genre unto itself. The latest game: Riot’s still-in-testing tactical shooter Valorant. The latest person to share a video: A Riot employee.


    Nintendo confirms up to 160,000 accounts accessed in huge privacy breach


    Nintendo has now published an English language statement on today's announcement its account system has suffered a privacy breach affecting up to 160,000 people.


    More than 12 million people attended Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert


    Travis Scott’s first virtual performance wasn’t just spectacular — it also broke a record. This evening developer Epic Games revealed that the concert, which took place inside of Fortnite, saw 12.3 million concurrent players participate. The developer says this is “an all-time record” for the battle royale game. The previous record holder was last year’s Marshmello concert, which topped 10.7 million virtual attendees.


    2K Games Wants To Spend More Time Developing Next Game After The Disaster That Was WWE 2K20



    2K Games announced today that it’s going to take more time and make use of a new executive producer to try and avoid another botched release like WWE 2K20.


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


    Game Query Zine


    The third issue of the Game Query Zine is officially here! We've assembled another dream team of writers, artists, and creators from around the world to tackle the ever changing, always weird game industry. Topics include: the New England terror of Luigi's Mansion, Drowning Pool, the meaning of life and death, fist fights and Tony Hawk's Underground 2, social isolation, and Resident Evil 3.


    How Blizzard, Ubisoft, and other studios went remote in the time of COVID-19



    It's April 2020 and COVID-19 has begun to reshape the video game industry. While game studios are not suffering the damage afflicting the travel, live sports, or concert businesses, convention cancellations and retail limitations have begun to rewrite how the industry does business.


    Burnt out by abuse over a game he didn't make, the creator of Jalopy is trying to move on



    When Road to Guangdong released into Steam Early Access, the reaction online was negative to mixed. In user reviews and on Twitter, one of the major complaints was the game had failed to live up to the standard Jalopy previously set for the genre. For Pryjmachuk, however, more concerning was that some players had mistakenly associated him with the new project, despite his total lack of involvement. Minskworks was not involved with Road to Guangdong at all. Instead, a small development team called Just Add Oil Games had handled the development of Road to Guangdong in partnership with Excalibur.


    The Doctor, The Disease, And The Division



    Outside the hospital, cut off from friends and family like everyone else in New York, I’ve spent much of my social isolation on my PC. I can’t seem to escape disease, even in leisure. I binge-watched the Korean medieval zombie outbreak drama Kingdom and the whimsical hematology-themed anime Cells at Work!. I finally read Albert Camus’ classic novel The Plague. But mostly I keep logging into Ubisoft’s accidentally, unfortunately prescient 2019 online action game The Division 2, set in a United States thrown into violent chaos after a devastating influenza pandemic. As of today, I’ve put 79 hours into the game.


    ‘Being pregnant changes everything’: The game industry awkwardly grapples with maternity



    “In the U.S., the policies are terrible,” said Allison Salmon, a former Activision and Raven Software developer who now makes educational indie games. “I’ve known women whose [employer-provided health care] plans denied coverage of their 20 week ultrasound as unnecessary, and even tried to not cover an emergency C-section because [the patient] should have gotten preapproval.”


    The Galaxy Is At Peace



    Today is my last day at Kotaku.

    It feels weird to write that, maybe because I didn’t think I’d ever work at Kotaku in the first place, let alone get promoted from staff writer to editor, and then managing editor, and then deputy editor. I definitely didn’t think I’d do all of that in three years, and then leave.

    But I didn’t just work at Kotaku. For the first year and a half of my time here, I also worked at Deadspin. At the beginning of 2017, Kotaku and Deadspin launched an esports site called Compete. Like all good things, Compete had to come to an end, not because people didn’t read it, but because its advertising budget dried up. Maybe the Deadspin voice on esports was just too hard to sell, in the end.


    Major Video Game Companies Could Be Doing More For Covid-19 Relief



    I understand why people get excited when video game companies and their executives donate millions to charity, as has been happening recently. Big numbers make for catchy headlines. “They’re doing their part!” we tell ourselves, happy to see private citizens chip in where governments have so often failed. After all, none of us will ever accrue that kind of money in our lifetimes. But is that truly the best they can do?


    How Bohemia's "almost accidental" mod support became a staple of the studio



    Karel Mořický talks about the benefits and challenges of the Arma and DayZ studio's community development efforts


    There’s Still No Right Way to Advertise Your Queer Game



    Trying to cover games that include queer characters, themes or even something that acknowledges not everyone in the world is heterosexual, especially for a specialized outlet like Gayming Magazine can be tough. Not because there aren’t games to see and people to talk to that are relevant to your coverage, but if you’re covering an event, you’ll spend most of your time wading through emails looking for games that include queer characters and themes. It can be difficult because that’s not something a lot of games go out of their way to advertise. And if they do, it can come off like tokenism or a bullet point that might even be barely represented in the finished product.


    Neo-Midgar and Neoliberalism: The Myth of an Apolitical Game in Final Fantasy VII Remake



    Early on in Final Fantasy VII Remake, a man who lives in the shantytown slums under the hyper-developed city of Midgar rips an Avalanche poster off a communal bulletin board. “Goddamn eco-warriors with their dumbass posters,” he says. He looks up to the sky (or lack thereof, as the massive plate that houses the upper class looms overhead, blocking the sun) and muses, “Look at all that steelwork. You’re trying to tell me that’s not progress?”

    This man lives in one of the poorest communities on the planet. Why does he feel the need to defend the honor of Shinra, a company that’s consigned him and hundreds of others to hovels and lives of petty crime? It probably has to do with the empty promise Shinra makes to all of Midgar’s citizens.

    Final Fantasy 7 Remake Has Big Yakuza Energy And It's Wonderful


    Kazuma Kiryu ran so Cloud Strife could run alongside him.

    Final Fantasy VII Remake Is Haunted By What Came Before


    Final Fantasy VII Remake bears a heavy weight on its shoulders, needing to recreate a beloved classic in a way that can ignite the imaginations of old-school fans and newcomers alike. There is an expectation surrounding the game: Be like the thing that existed in 1997. Be the game we loved. Be the game we want now. These expectations can’t be ignored, the hazy cries of countless fans haunting each passing moment like the howling of ghosts.



    There’s a lot of writing about the dress scene – which I refuse to refer to as crossdressing because Andrea tells Cloud that True Beauty is An Expression of the Soul. Nothing in Remake tells me Cloud would see himself any differently in a dress – that it’s the outside world which needs to ascribe femininity to him temporarily becoming a type of beautiful that’s Allowed. For that reason – Cloud’s expression of inner self in a dress is no different than mine. Wearing a piece of clothing does not make me a woman, because that is not who I am.


    We Shall Know No Fear



    Game lore, which encompasses story, world building, and contextual details, can be a tricky thing to handle. Make it too much of the focus and you threaten to subsume the rest of the work. But that’s not to say lore is a useless endeavor. Indeed, a rich backstory can complement a game’s story when used judiciously, creating a vivid world that serves to enrich the main plot. It’s at this troublesome nexus that we find DOOM Eternal, so in love with its own lore that it weighs down an experience meant to be fast and brutal. Not only does Eternal’s overwhelming approach to lore go against its predecessor’s breathlessly cavalier attitude towards the concept, but it also draws some obvious inspiration from the ever-popular tabletop miniatures game from Games Workshop, Warhammer 40K (40K), one of the most lore-heavy properties in gaming, and learns the wrong lessons in the process.


    An Ex-Ranza extravaganza



    I’ve always thought of the Mega Drive’s lifespan as something that could be split into two neat halves: The first period from 1988 to 1991 felt like a system trying to find its feet, hardware that in an odd sort of way seemed to be a little too powerful for the era – a console housing blistering nineties tech being forced to run games that were still being designed with a very eighties mindset. It wasn’t always like that in those early years, but beyond Sonic and a few other bright spots it felt like a system struggling to show the world how good it could be – too far ahead of the competition for anyone to know how to use it well, but not quite powerful enough to brush aside concerns about Nintendo’s upcoming Super Famicom (the Dreamcast vs PlayStation 2 issue a decade early, I suppose). This all changed at some point around 1992, and from then until its demise the Mega Drive had a wonderful second wind that really harnessed the potential it had all along: Gunstar Heroes‘ “The Mega Drive can’t do sprite rotation” sprite rotation, Virtua Racing convincingly bringing the arcade classic home (albeit at a greatly inflated price), Castlevania: Bloodlines‘ swaying towers and reflective water (also used – and admittedly to better effect – in Rocket Knight Adventures), Sonic 3 (& Knuckles) giving the world a bespoke physical standalone-DLC-hybrid-patch cart, Phantasy Star IV showing up with a PC Engine (Super) CD game’s worth of cutscene art and detailed battle animations that changed depending on the weapon held and the action being performed (at the time this felt absolutely mind-boggling), and Gau Entertainment’s wonderful mech ’em up, Ex-Ranza (AKA: Ranger-X).


    One of the best 3D shooting games available, presented for your pleasure



    I owe my adoration for Panzer Dragoon Zwei to the demo disc that came bundled with what was then our brand-new Saturn: Amongst other delights was a single playable level of Zwei – episode 3 (the forest stage) – a level that just so happens to be one of the greatest rail shooter experiences of all time. To say I was hooked was an understatement – I was enthralled. And thanks to the Saturn being viewed at the time as a “dead” system with “no good games” on it getting my paws on a copy of Team Andromeda’s wonderful work was no trouble at all, literally pocket change quantities of money.


    God of War (2018): Sins of the Father



    Booting up God of War for the first time in 2018, I was immediately drawn to Atretus because of the way Kratos treated him. It quickly became clear that Kratos wanted little to do with his son before his wife Faye’s death, at which point Atretus became a burden to Kratos. It was impossible not to draw parallels to my own life upon seeing this. My dad would often tell my sister and I “I had kids so that I wouldn’t have to do chores.” This isn’t to say my dad was lazy, because he wasn’t. He worked construction and was incredible at it. He was precise, incredibly detailed oriented, and often worked long hours. But he could also always find a way to make my sister and I feel unloved or unwanted.


    An Ode to Final Fantasy XIII’s Oerba Dia Vanille



    Final Fantasy is likely the most important series in my life; it’s impossible for me to identify, let alone convey, how much it means to me. How it has shaped the person I am — my politics; my values, my belief systems. It doesn’t mean I don’t like to try my best, though. If I could summarize myself as simply yet accurately as possible, it would be that I’m an ambitious person who always tries. Ambition and drive are two of the biggest things I’ve learned from my personal role models, from my mother — a U.S. immigrant who has never had the choice of being ambitious because she’s had to survive — to my favorite fictional characters, like Final Fantasy XIII‘s Oerba Dia Vanille.


    How video games consistently fail Gandhi



    This is probably the crux of the issue. If a game is to represent Gandhi, it cannot be as a potential player character. It has to be as a force to resist the players instead. He was never a ruler, he never ran the country. If, like Louis XIV, the player is to be the state, then Gandhi can only ever be positioned against them. If a game is to include him, it would have to be leading populist movements against the player. You would see him protest your war-mongering or call for the boycott of your industrial goods. You would see him fast for the independence of the nation you conquered 30 turns ago.


    The real-life Kirby who defended Donkey Kong in court


    In the 1980s, an attorney named John Kirby was hired by Nintendo. This is his story.

    Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/PeopleMakeGames


    Croteam: Croatia's Game Dev Pioneers


    In the aftermath of war, one video game studio beat the odds to become a successful fan favorite.

    Support Cloth Map on Patreon! https://patreon.com/clothmap


    History Respawned: Attentat 1942


    Bob talks with Dr. Zach Doleshal about Attentat 1942. Topics include the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, and collaboration during the Second World War.


    Phantasy Star III 30th Anniversary Retrospective


    GTV 94 "Phantasy Star 3 Thirtieth Anniversary" In 1990 Sega's "Black Sheep" was called the greatest RPG of all time! Let's celebrate 30 years onboard the Alisa III!


    LNP: Octopath Traveler and the Parallel Narrative


    Red Angel discusses the Parallel Narrative in Octopath Traveler and how it stands apart from most games.

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


    The making of Total War: Warhammer’s Necrofex Colossus


    Perhaps it’s the slime glinting off its hull in the sunlight, but one star shines particularly brightly in Total War: Warhammer 2’s brilliant Curse of the Vampire Coast DLC – the Necrofex Colossus. A towering construct built from pirate shipwrecks and corpses, it may be made of wood, but it’s the most metal unit in the game so far. That’s why, when we got the chance to discuss the Vampire Coast with Total War developer Creative Assembly, the origins of the Necrofex Colossus were upmost in our minds.


    How Obsidian Designed Player Choice in The Outer Worlds


    In our final video exploring the design of The Outer Worlds, we look at the design of player choice, and the complexity of allowing players to feel like they are playing the game their way.

    Noclip's work is 100% crowdfunded. Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/noclip

  17. Completed: Beautiful Desolation
    Platform: PC

    Isometric adventure game with a science fiction setting. Two estranged brothers and a robotic military dog are thrown into a mostly desolate future from the late 80s by an alien device that had been rapidly advance human technology over the last 10 years. Characters and factions also often being estranged family or parts of a whole with you having to help them come together, accept that they are better apart, or to destroy the other while figuring out how to feel about your own brother. Great visuals, well written, and good voice acting and pathfinding. Talking to characters goes into a Fallout 1 and 2 style close up screen that is always a strong fit for the setting and shows off the varied character types well.

    What few actual puzzles there are are poor, most of the game is going to the right place and remembering the people or spot that makes sense to get an item or to continue the narrative. Near pixel hunting required to find some objects, most not needed luckily.


    Completed: Astrologaster
    Platform: PC

    Play as a doctor who uses period medical knowledge and astronomy to diagnose, treat, and give life advice to his patients in a choose your own black comedy (and partial chorus musical) based on the life of Simon Forman. Gameplay involves choosing between 2-3 options with each visit and trying to gain the favor of patients for letters of recommendations to be given a real medical license. Well written, well acted, successful at being funny and a period piece with bits of contemporary satire.


    Completed: Blair Witch
    Platform: PC

    A dull first person horror game with a bland story of a main character sad about the horrible things he's done in the past (in the military, mean to wife, shot someone as a cop) and trying to find redemption in the present without continuing a cycle of violence. There aren't really any moments that can be considered scary, just confusing and claustrophobic in the dark or dense woods combined with the difficulty of navigating a game character in first person with no peripheral vision. You will always get the bad ending the first time unless you plan to act in odd and seemingly counter intuitive ways. Knowing where monsters are and letting the symbols in the woods continue to scare your dog. The dog is a good boy but following or having him find pointless and, at times, ridiculously hard to find collectibles doesn't give him much of a purpose. Long, dull, drawn out ending sequence and wanting to find redemption/pacifist ending doesn't work when the main character is someone I'd happily kill myself.

    Some locations look alright. Constantly calling the pizza place saved in your phone and then saying you might order later was the best part of the game, and pretty much the only good thing.

    Some stylistic choices and some of the factors towards what ending you get are heavily taken from games like Silent Hill 2. Because those that can't do, copy Silent Hill poorly.


    Completed: XCOM: Chimera Squad
    Platform: PC

    It was about halfway through the game that I thought it should end and the last quarter of it was just going through missions with characters far to powerful to ever come close to losing (it was an easy enough game even before that).

    The characters have some good ability synergy, they have improved the rag doll style deaths from the previous games, and the breaching mechanics are in theory a good idea, hurt by the nonsensical auto cover taking done by your characters which wouldn't be a problem if not for the new turn style of the game where each character and each enemy take turns instead of switching side to side, so it's great when they run in completely surrounded and leave themselves flanked by multiple enemies who will move before them.

    The overworld gameplay of paying intel to create field teams that do nothing narratively but get you resources and managing city panic is basically pointless and offers nothing interesting (at least it isn't actively bad like the original XCOM's randomness). The close quarter style of maps means that you will fight in very similar locations (sometimes literally the exact same map, once even twice in a row). Some elements of the game feel unfinished, you can capture enemies with nonlethal melee or tranq rounds but they do nothing but give you extra intel, even capturing faction leaders does nothing. Equipment seems extremely limited, androids that can fill spots in your team if someone is downed are basically useless and unless you are playing on a difficulty higher than what you should be should never be used.

    Mostly dull equipment and poor and extremely limited mission objectives, most that don't even work due to the small size of the maps. Disarm the bomb isn't very difficult when anyone can spend one turn walking to it to instantly disarm it. No idea why so many missions have enemy reinforcements, ever seen a robbery where after the SWAT team goes in reinforcement robbers start breaching through the walls and crashing through windows?

    They likely launched the game early to beat Gears Tactics because in addition to usual XCOM visual issues and feeling unfinished in some areas there are a very large number of bugs, AI, and UI issues. I've had loaded games cancel enemy reinforcements or saves change into other past saves until the game was reset. It removed people from training when I put other people in the second. APC slots vanish. Overwatch has shot downed enemies that would have moved if they were alive. Enemies that run into corners and do nothing. Enemies that flank with one action then do nothing with the other. Enemies that use attacks that can't effect (or even heal certain characters) only to spend the next two turns doing the same thing again. Terrible ability descriptions on top of abilities and achievements sometimes just not working correctly. The lack of variety is not helped by each playthrough only allowing you to recruit four additional characters on top of the four that you start with preventing you from having the full roster of 11 character. Losing the ability variety and one of the only amusing things about the game which is the personalities of the characters. It even does that member selection incompetently by giving you three to pick from each time, so if you might not be able to choose who you want when you want them and because there will be four left on the last pick it might not even give you the option of the one that you wanted.

    Happy for this to be over, and now I can get back to Gears Tactics. The opening 30% of this game can be enjoyable (which for the $8.50 I spent on it isn't bad, though it is now back to selling for more) but even that is nowhere near as good as XCOM 2 even before you consider all the great mods that have come out for it.



    Completed: Streets of Rage 4
    Platform: PC

    One of the best beat em ups I've played. Some great changes with desperation moves now draining health that can be gotten back by damaging enemies if you aren't hit and being able to catch thrown weapons allowing you to rapidly throw them at approaching enemies 12 stages that all look great and have their own quirks to help or hinder you. 17 total characters with five being main characters that make full use of the game's full movesets and the other 12 being the playable main characters from Streets of Rage 1-3 and Shiva from 3, all looking like they did in those games.

    The responsive nature of the game and the move-sets and sound effects of those old character make them still fun to play as. Five difficulties with the most difficult at least doubling the amount of enemies to fight and making them come at you with greater speed but still allowing you to deal with large groups well from the speed of the series attacks and ability to quickly change your direction (and the back attacks and desperation moves). Some hidden arcade machines that, when hit with a taser, let you fight a boss from the older games in their old area. A few good enemy types change up the best way to fight them by countering your attacks or needing you to connect a hit just as they lunge at you with one of their moves.

    Has the occasional odd hit box, would like a mode that allowed you to use weapons more often. The boomerang at the start of one level is fun with the new mid air weapon grabbing ability.


  18. Completed: Mega Man ZX (Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection)
    Platform: PC

    Two characters to choose from with some dialogue changes and some differences in special attacks with different armors. Can equip different biomods/armors with different attacks, passives, and special moves with armors taken from main characters from the Z series. Similar gameplay to the Z series but without the elves and element attacks and the ability to play varied armor types.

    Built more like a Metroidvania with missions and healing transporters, too spread out and extremely poor map mostly makes this just a waste of time, only selecting one mission at a time also makes things worse as it takes needlessly long when you can discover other mission areas before what you need. Terrible side quests designed to waste time due to forced backtracking or need to repeat the same activity, sometimes up to six times. Even exploring the town forces you to switch to your human form to talk to people. Equipment and side missions can almost be hidden and require you to talk to someone 2-3+ times after a certain event or in the right armor to get something.


    Completed: Mega Man ZX Advent (Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection)
    Platform: PC

    Two playable characters again but this time with more plot, side character, and ability differences. Biometal allows you to transform into the same four old characters from the Zero series but the new way it works where you only have one model that copies abilities also allows you to change into completely different sized enemy bosses you have defeated (more for traversal as about half are completely useless for actual combat and three barely capable of movement). More interesting stage design that the previous game, loses a lot of the aimless wandering and terrible map of the previous game while also giving more teleport locations, can start multiple side missions at once.

    They added voice acting, basically all of it terrible and bad actors aside frequently terrible choices in what kind of voice to give characters. Ignores or changes plot elements from ZX, not that it was good and the entire series is a convoluted mess but still odd and the worst story of the bunch. Even removing character with no explanation from the last game and having a main character who doesn't even have the ability to transform into the ZX model for most of the game (or use the sword) and only able to later from copying the former protagonists abilities. Also ends with sequel bait and not saying what happened to certain characters for a game that never came.

    All six games are finished. Zero, ZX, and ZX Advent are all ok, with the first Zero game only being worse than the others due to how limited in scope it was. Zero 2 and 4 are very good. Zero 3 is both easily the best of the collection and where the story should have ended.


  19. S9BDiel.png


    Blake Hester spends two days in Columbia with the founder of Rockstar San Diego to talk about how he used to run the company, lying to Nintendo and living life by the seat of your pants. Renegade Cut's essay on the policing of Disco Elysium, Mathew Olson interviews arcade owners trying to survive the pandemic, Megan Farokhmanesh interviews developers to see how they are adapting to working from home, Jason Schreier reports on changes Rockstar has made for a less abusive work environment and is leaving Kotaku which he talks about with Kinda Funny along with current and former media owners, Games Done Quick's coronovirus relief stream, Doom Eternal's composer won't work with id Software again, Joseph Cox looks into how resellers are driving the Switch shortages, music producer Alex Moukala on the soundtrack of FF7's remake, 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)


    Crysis Remaster Appears To Be Coming To Major Platforms, Including Switch


    It was there and then it was not there, as multiple people spotted a teaser image on the website for the first-person-shooter Crysis this morning. That teaser promises that a Crysis Remastered will be released for PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch. Update: It’s official and coming out this summer.


    Bloober's next-gen sci-fi horror remaster Observer: System Redux gets first trailer


    New visuals! More story! Gameplay enhancements!


    Streets of Rage 4 - Official Release Date Trailer


    Check out the latest trailer for Streets of Rage 4 that reveals the game's Battle Mode and the official release date. Coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One (and game pass) and Nintendo Switch on April 30th.


    Industries of Titan has the potential to be one of the great management games


    I'm not sure what's worse, that I can't figure out why my Citizens keep dying, or that I don't especially care. My smokestacks are at least partially responsible, belching out toxic fumes as they burn the waste littering the surface of Titan like crisp packets across the Pacific. Building my habitation pods next to factory equipment probably isn't helping either. Sleep and industrial machinery are not natural bedfellows.


    Jalopy dev's new game lets you drunkenly build stuff in '80s working-class Britain


    MinskWorks, the developer behind the car driving sim Jalopy, has announced that its new game Landlord's Super is heading to Steam Early Access on April 30. It's a first-person boozy building sim set in the British midlands during the 1980s.


    Peaky Blinders: Mastermind announced for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC


    Publisher Curve Digital and developer FuturLab have announced Peaky Blinders: Mastermind, a puzzle adventure game based on the multi-award winning TV show.


    Gorgeous and surreal bullet-hell adventure ITTA releases this week


    Defeat 18 bosses in a beautiful, mysterious world.


    80 Days studio Inkle is looking for a little help making its next gam


    Inkle is taking submissions for short 'Campfire Stories' to use in the upcoming narrative strategy game Pendragon.


    Cities: Skylines goes cyberpunk in Industries of Titan


    If the idea of building effective governance and a functional economy sounds a little too far-fetched for you to start up another town in Cities: Skylines right now, Industries of Titan is offering a far more realistic scenario on the moon of Saturn, where sprawling megacorporations take the place of governments and gobble up natural resources in an effort to build the most profitable city of all.


    Desperados 3 and its “gorgeous gunslinger” arrive this June


    Desperados 3, Mimimi Games’ upcoming tactical stealth game, has now got a release date. Along with a new trailer presented by the strategy game’s “gorgeous gunslinger” John Cooper, the studio has unveiled the launch date as June 16, 2020 – and pre-orders are now live.


    Predator: Hunting Grounds - Official Gameplay Trailer


    Go up against the Predator or become the Predator and hunt your prey when the game launches on April 24, 2020 on PlayStation 4 and PC.


    The Inner Friend - Official Trailer


    In The Inner Friend, players will journey through a fragmented dreamscape, led by a mysterious Shadow. Horrifying monsters stalk The Shadow's memories and the player must evade and fight them while dealing with obstacles and puzzles in the darkness of The Shadow's mind.


    This Trailer for SnowRunner, an Off-Road Trucking Sim, Parodies Death Stranding's Launch Trailer


    Frankly, this really does look like another entry in the "strand game" genre.


    Baldur’s Gate 3 development has “slowed”, but Early Access still starts in 2020


    Baldur’s Gate 3 will be somewhat delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it seems the developers still plan for the Early Access launch date to hit this year. At PAX East in February, developer Larian said that the game would hit early release “in a couple of months”, but it looks like we’ll be waiting a bit longer than that.


    Metamorphosis official trailer


    First-person puzzle platformer due out this summer.


    Age of Wonders Planetfall: Invasions - Official Announcement Trailer


    In the stardust and disunity of the collapsed Star Union, an insidious new race of conquerors has come to lay claim to the galaxy.


    Super Mario Maker 2 – Official World Maker Update Trailer


    The Super Mario Maker 2 game allows you to unleash your creativity with more new options and the ability to create your own world map. A free update to Super Mario Maker 2 for the Nintendo Switch system adds a new World Maker mode, as well as a host of new content and features on April 22.


    18 Months After Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar Has Made Big Cultural Changes


    Here’s something remarkable: Over eight-plus years at Kotaku, I’ve never once been told not to write something because an advertiser might pull out, or because it’d piss off a video game company, or because it might upset the wrong people. The story always came first. Serving readers always came first.


    Jason Schreier is leaving Kotaku, citing G/O Media as reason


    Jason Schreier, a journalist known in the video game industry for covering working conditions inside tight-lipped game development studios, announced his resignation from the video game news site Kotaku on Thursday, citing dissatisfaction with the ownership and direction of parent company G/O Media. Schreier, who will soon take a position with another company he declined to detail, is the latest of several Kotaku employees to depart the company while invoking G/O as the predominant reason.

    Press Sneak Out


    Truth is, I’ve decided to leave the media and pursue my life’s calling: becoming a full-time saxophone player. Kidding. I’m staying in journalism, where I will continue to report on the weird, wild industry and culture of video games. I plan to take a few weeks off to put the final touches on my second book and hang out with my seven-month-old, and then I’ll be doing brand new things at a brand new outlet. If you’d like to reach out or share a story, you can find me on Twitter or email me any time.

    Leaving Kotaku for Bloomberg: Jason Schreier Interview - We Have Cool Friends


    After eight years, Jason Schreier has left Kotaku and announced that he's headed to Bloomberg. Let's hear all about it!

    Support us and get the shows early here! http://www.patreon.com/kindafunny

    The uncertain, unflinching future of games media


    Upon his departure from Kotaku to Bloomberg News, Jason Schreier talks about his experiences as a reporter, and games journalism's present and upcoming challenges


    Doom Eternal’s composer won’t work with id Software again after soundtrack was mixed without him


    Composer Mick Gordon, best known for his work on 2016’s Doom and the recently released Doom Eternal, has thrown doubt on his future with the series following controversial changes made in the mixing of Eternal’s soundtrack.


    Cooking Mama Cookstar’s Publisher Insists It Is Within Its Rights to Publish the Game


    Cooking Mama Cookstar keeps on serving up drama. This time, its publisher is firing back at Office Create. Planet Entertainment has released its own statement in response to Office Create, the IP holder, claiming this is an unauthorized release and that it is looking at beginning legal action. Essentially, Planet Entertainment says that it can and will publish the Cooking Mama Switch game, as evidenced by the company continuing to directly sell it.


    Games Done Quick speedrunners raised $400,000 for coronavirus relief



    Organizers said Corona Relief Done Quick was its most successful side event ever.


    Resellers Using Checkout Bots Are Driving the Nintendo Switch Shortage



    Motherboard traced some of the recent automated Switch buying to a particular, new bot that anyone can use.


    Riot Offering Up To $100,000 For Finding Vulnerabilities In Valorant’s Anti-Cheat System



    Riot has posted one of the biggest—if not the biggest—bounties in gaming, offering people up to $100,000 if they can find a security flaw in the company’s controversial Vanguard anti-cheat system.


    Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy Voice Actor Keiji Fujiwara Has Died



    Keiji Fujiwara was a veteran voice actor with an impressive resume in anime and Japanese games. Today, it was announced that he has passed away at the age of 55. His talent agency announced that Fujiwara died from cancer.


    Paul Haddad, Voice Of Leon Kennedy In Resident Evil 2, Dies At 56



    Paul Haddad, who voiced Leon Kennedy in the character’s Resident Evil 2 debut, has died at the age of 56, according to an announcement from Invader Studios.


    Germany bans major events through August, effectively killing Gamescom



    The status of Gamescom 2020, scheduled to start on August 25, has been in question for weeks, as other game industry events like E3 and GDC have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While event organisers have already announced plans for expanded digital events, it seems any hope for the physical Gamescom event in Cologne is now gone – Germany is set to ban major public gatherings through the end of August.


    Selena Gomez suing Chinese mobile publisher over using her likeness



    Singer says she did not agree to appear in Clothes Forever - Styling Game, decries "unsavoury" microtransactions


    Bush's Press Secretary Bought His Kid a Fake PS4 Controller, Blames China



    As Republicans attempt to deflect blame from the Trump administration’s demonstrable incompetence in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the malicious negligence and privateering of its crisis response, they have returned like homing pigeons to their favorite roost: aggrieved xenophobia. After some early attempts to blame the uniquely American Covid-19 crisis on China,Trump and his allies have resumed this line of attack, this time via Chinese influence over the World Health Organization.




    Valorant Tournaments Will Have To Turn Off Blood



    In a recent blog post detailing their plans for Valorant esports, Riot esports director Whalen “Magus” Rozelle provided a long list of guidelines community organizers will need to follow in their competitions. These include restrictions on event sponsors and a requirement to disable in-game blood.


    Dear Overwatch community: Fran is not your scapegoat



    Luckily, Fran’s teammates and other professionals in the community have stood up for her and vouched for her dedication and talent. While the community’s treatment of a literal tournament winner is horrific, the situation is being broadcast to a larger audience who may not have known how widespread this problem is.


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


    Equity crowdfunding platform Fig acquired by Republic



    The hybrid investment slash crowdfunding platform Fig has been scooped up by Republic, a similarly geared investment platform aimed at helping the masses invest in startups.


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


    ‪Two days in Colombia with the founder of Rockstar San Diego



    We’re sitting here in Medellín on his patio trying to figure it out. I flew in yesterday and have spent the day today talking to Angel about his life, passions, and career. Discussing how he went from a game developer to running numerous restaurants in Medellín. Talking about Rockstar, lying to Nintendo, and everything in between. Everything except why he left Rockstar. We won’t come to a conclusion tonight.





    How game makers are adapting in a pandemic, from mental health struggles to child care


    The Pandemic Could Be the End of Your Favorite Arcade



    We talk to the arcade owners battling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.


    With coronavirus closing schools, here’s how video games are helping teachers



    Kevin Péloquin, a history teacher from Montreal, hoped to take his high school students of Collège Saint-Hilaire on a trip to Greece. His mixed class from grades 10 and 11 would visit historical sites like the Parthenon and record their observations for a project they would later share with their classmates. Then the covid-19 pandemic scrapped their educational itinerary.


    Gaming Sales Are Up, but Production Is Down


    The coronavirus pandemic is offering mixed news and new challenges for gaming companies, both independent and corporate.


    Final Fantasy 11 Devs on the "Huge Hurdles" of Working on an 18-Year-Old MMO



    As Final Fantasy 11 moves towards its 20th anniversary, the team behind the classic MMO considers its future.


    'Call of Duty' Will Sell Me Weed Guns But Won't Let Me Say 'Weed'



    It's 4/20/20 and 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare' still considers 'weed' to be profanity.


    Final Fantasy VII Remake’s New Midgar Eerily Reflects Our Crumbling Society



    Over 20 hours into Remake, I’m appreciating Midgar, a portion of the original game I used to speedrun in one sitting to escape. The story of the street is people trying to make it through the day. I catch myself looking over expanses of junk and ramshackle structures, lingering around non-playable characters to hear what they make of the day’s news. I used to relate to Cloud, the disaffected asshole unafraid to tell you where he’d rather be than standing next to you. Now, I think he plays that role to keep people from getting too close, to keep himself from getting hurt

    Honey Bee Inn is the Queer Space Final Fantasy VII Remake Desperately Needed


    It’s not so much that it feels like the game’s assuming anything of the player, as games like Persona 5 or the early Mass Effects do, but it at least makes assumptions about people with little to no hesitation. The sexual tension between Cloud Strife and Jessie Rasberry has reached meme levels so high people talk more about her advances on the hero than they do her actual inner conflicts. Cloud says the name of a woman and someone has to ask if she’s his girlfriend. Little by little, these lines and situations add up to paint a picture of a heterocentric view of the world, and while we are slowly chipping away at these notions in the real world, Final Fantasy VII Remake is based on a game from 20 years ago. Detractors might argue that it makes sense that these dated notions of the kinds of relationships men and women can have are part of being a faithful recreation of what Final Fantasy VII was in the 90s.

    So, good lord, was it a relief to walk into the Honey Bee Inn.

    Final Fantasy VII Remake Gives Cloud's Honeybee Inn Makeover The Update It Needed


    Compared to the original’s homophobic sexual assault joke, the new Honeybee Inn segment is exactly what Nomura said: a modern take that recognizes that in the culture of 2020, the old version wouldn’t fly. Instead of a series of jokes at both Cloud and queer people’s expense, the new segment seems to almost self-consciously court queer players. The Honeybee Inn now has a perfectly groomed male receptionist who has what I can only call “a really gay voice” (and I’m speaking from experience on that one). Rather than just girls in honeybee outfits, Rhodea’s Honeybee Inn also has “honeyboys:” top hat-wearing twinks in tuxedos. There’s every indication that this new version of the club is built to appeal to various gender and sexuality permutations.

    Why the original Final Fantasy 7 remains essential, even after the remake


    It’s the fear that some may see it not as a companion piece to the original game, but as a replacement for it. Remake may cause some players to conclude that the original PlayStation game, with its dated graphics and old-fashioned, turn-based battles, is now obsolete.

    An Ode to Final Fantasy VII’s Aerith Gainsborough


    For the florist in the slums who prefers the steel sky.


    The Games That Let Me Have an Imaginary Social Life



    Isolated due to coronavirus or overwork, some games let you feel like you're still part of a community.


    'Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Is Not the Game We All Need Right Now



    Animal Crossing is not designed to replace the outside world, but the pandemic isn't giving people much of a choice.


    In Doom We Have Faith



    The decaying remains of planet Earth serve as a mere playground for demonic annihilation in DOOM Eternal. Buildings that once hosted people are nothing but bridges and obstacles in the Doom Slayer’s path, each floor now holding undead beings that lack all semblance of humanity. Red eyes, fangs, wings. Civilization is turned upside down, its survivors seemingly cryogenized or otherwise trapped within outer space facilities. The only humans left are just looking for a way to stop their imminent extinction. By the time the player has arrived on Earth, it’s too late to prevent doom.





    Porter Simmons revisits past lives.


    Disco Elysium - All Hobocops Are ... | Renegade Cut


    Abolition of modern law enforcement. How and why? Support Renegade Cut through

    Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/renegadecut


    How Obsidian Designed The Outer Worlds' Quests


    Become a PATRON to unlock more videos https://www.patreon.com/noclip

    In the third video exploring the design of The Outer Worlds, we talk to the level design and writing team about how they crafted some of the game's most complex quests & areas.

    Designing the Music & Sound of The Outer Worlds


    In the forth video exploring the design of The Outer Worlds, we talk to studio audio director Justin Bell about the process of writing the score, voicing the characters and making every sound trigger at the correct time.


    The Five Types of Stealth Game Gadget | School of Stealth Part 2


    Welcome back to the School of Stealth, a GMTK miniseries on how stealth games work. In episode two, let’s look at stealth game gadgets. From optic fibre cameras to camouflage outfits to the trusty silenced pistol. Subscribe to ensure you catch future episodes.

    Support Game Maker's Toolkit on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/GameMakersToolkit


    Figuring Out Donkey Kong 64 - A Retrospective | PostMesmeric


    More than 20 years later, Donkey Kong 64 has turned from a critical darling to a running joke, arguably what killed the collect-a-thon game genre. To celebrate the fourth year of Donkey Kong Month, it's time to revisit this strange title and see what happened in DK's transition to the third dimension. Today, we're looking at DK64 and trying to figure it out.


    Why You Get Spooked From 4th Wall Breaks | Psych of Play


    How many times have you felt just a little spooked when the 4th wall was broken in a game or a movie? Today on Psych of Play, we’re going to be dissecting WHY that feeling is so bizarre and how deindividualization, the dual function of gaze, and the power of anonymity all play a part in making 4th wall breaks such a visceral sensation.


    Music Producer Reacts: The Airbuster (FF7 Remake OST)


    Final Fantasy 7 Remake absolutely broke me, both from a game standpoint but mostly in terms of music.


    FF7R & RE3: Remaking games that have "aged poorly"



    The Art of Failure in Video Games | Designing Difficulty, Tragedy and Death


    The Art of Failure is what Jesper Juul calls Video games, an artform that creates an aesthetic out of failure. In this video, we examine his work, as well as how play has always been associated with hardship and learning, despite being governed by the magic circle of play. The video also surveys many others theorists of failure, from philosophy, psychology and game design, and how video games have incorporated failure into their design.

    Support the Channel https://www.patreon.com/gameoveranalyser


    The History of Mirror's Edge


    Please consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/GVMERS

    In the late 2000s, parkour emerged from obscurity, and took over mainstream entertainment. Movies, YouTube videos, and video games alike took to the urban jungle so that they could showcase the activity in all of its glory, and entertain audiences with fast-paced thrills. And no other video game managed to thrill quite like Mirror’s Edge. The brainchild of Swedish video game developer DICE, Mirror’s Edge cast players in the shoes of Faith, a raven-haired courier tasked with delivering messages across the rooftops of a gleaming dystopia. While many found the sum of its offerings to be far from perfect, most agreed that running through the metropolis was a delight, and that it’s clean, minimalist art was a welcome breath of fresh air from the browns and grays of its competitors.


    Doom Eternal Developers React to 27 Minute Speedrun


    Doom Eternal is barely a month old and speedrunners have already figured out how to finish the game in under a half hour. So ride along with Marty Stratton (Executive Producer), Hugo Martin (Game Director), Jerry Keehan (Level Design Director) and Evan Eubanks (Lead Game Programmer) as they watch their latest game get absolutely destroyed by world record speedunner: Xamide.


    Gusty Garden Galaxy's Perfect Melody


    For this video I chose to analyze just one piece of music to keep it short and simple. Well, the piece of music I chose was Gusty Garden Galaxy's theme from Super Mario Galaxy, and so after analyzing just the first half of the tune the video is pushing 20 minutes. Short and simple it is not, but the subject of the video is so graceful in the way that it approaches its melody that I just couldn't help myself. Enjoy!

    PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/8bitmusictheory


    Getting Chased by an Unstoppable Monster: A Review


    Monster-liker Patrick Gill breaks down the ingredients of a good relentless pursuer, like Nemesis in Resident Evil 3 and Mr. X in Resident Evil 2. But they're not the only ones chasing him...