Burnout Paradise Remastered coming to Switch this June, according to eShop leak

Burnout Paradise Remastered coming to Switch

Criterion Games’ Burnout Paradise is widely regarded as one of the greatest arcade racing games ever made. It first debuted in 2008 but got the green light for a remaster to mark its 10th anniversary in 2018. At the time it only released on PC, PS4, and Xbox, but a recent leak has confirmed a Switch port is on the way.

A listing for Burnout Paradise Remastered briefly appeared on the Nintendo eShop. On the details page, its estimated release date was listed as June 19th and the release price at $49.99. Nintendo has since left the listing up on its website, but the release date has been changed to just 2020.

Burnout Paradise Remastered

Switch owners have plenty to be excited for as Burnout Paradise is set to fill a void in the hybrid console’s library. Outside of Mario Kart, the Switch is starved for great racing games. Decent enough titles like GRID Autosport, Gear Club Unlimited 2, and VRally 4 are all available but there’s nothing truly iconic.

Unfortunately, it appears that those interested will once again be hit with the age-old Switch tax. Many games released on Nintendo’s primary platform are prone to costing far more than the alternatives.

Burnout Paradise Remastered
Burnout Paradise Remastered

If Burnout Paradise Remastered does launch at $49.99, it will cost seven times that of the Origin PC release. Even the Xbox One and PS4 versions have long had their price dropped to just $19.99. If the extra money is worth the advantage of playing on the go is up to you to decide.

Given the recent bizarre Cooking Mama incident, it’s not a great sign to see another oversight on Nintendo’s behalf. Their store is good and offers some of the best quality control on the market. But if they keep letting these mishaps happen, it will catch up with them.

Mass Effect Andromeda Is Almost Here And Players Can Try It For 10 Hours

Mass Effect Logo

Platform: PS4, Xbox 1, PC

Release Date: March 21st, 2017

In an effort to continue to grab money from gamers, Mass Effect: Andromeda is close to full retail release. In the meantime if you have the PC version pre-ordered and are subscribed to EA Access, you can play the game for 10 hours. Here are some things that we can see by playing the demo.

This is a BioWare Game So Character Customization Is a Thing

Mass Effect Characters
Image Caption: http://kotaku.com/people-are-ripping-apart-mass-effect-andromedas-animati-1793334047

Players will get to create a male or female version of their “Ryder” character. Unfortunately though, you can only choose the human race as an avatar. The same was true for the first Mass Effect games but I think players were hoping for something different. Speaking of characters, there has been some coverage about the unnatural movements and mo-cap of the human species in the game. The alien races are fine so that doesn’t surprise me. Don’t be taken back by some of the make up choices for the human women especially.

This is a Completely Different Mass Effect story

Mass Effect Crew
Image Caption: https://www.technobuffalo.com/2017/03/15/heres-mass-effect-andromeda-on-pc-vs-ps4-pro-vs-xbox-one-slim/

It should go without saying but this game is not a continuation of the previous Mass Effect trilogy. Starting with a note from Pathfinder Alec Ryder the game is ready for players to immerse themselves in it’s universe. As you progress through the story and get a feel for Ryder, you will notice that even the main character is different from Shepard. They appear more youthful, inexperienced and have more of a personality than the previous iteration. Shepard is still a great character but this one may be different.

To give a bit of back story, Ryder and the crew wake up after being asleep for centuries on the Ark Hyperion to try and find new planets to inhabit. Unfortunately when you wake up its not all sunshine and roses. Players land on a new planet with hostile everything waiting to kill you as a warm welcome.

There Are A Slew Of New Game Mechanics

Mass Effect Combat
Image Caption: https://www.origin.com/usa/en-us/store/mass-effect/mass-effect-andromeda/standard-edition

This game is still a 3rd person shooter and the controls seem to be smoother than before. There are a few notable changes to gleaned. One is that there is no longer a button mapped to put your character into cover. Ryder will hide and crouch almost automatically when you come near certain things in the environment. Players are no longer trapped into one build which promoted multiple play throughs to try different play styles in the previous games. Instead, players can customize their characters to take different skills from categories in their respective skill trees. One last thing I’ll note is the introduction of the dash mechanic which can change the tactical tide of battle. It does have a slight cool down but it can save you from life of death with the better AI of enemies.

The Online Multiplayer Is More of the Same

Mass Effect Online Play
Image Caption: https://www.masseffect.com/

There is no player versus player mode which is normal for the Mass Effect series. However, if you have played games like Rainbow 6 Siege, when you go into Multiplayer mode you can choose different archetypes for battle. Those characters can also be of a different races so that may be the players only opportunity to play something new. There are also loot boxes to buy with in game currency or money for new weapon mods and new characters. The rest is business as usual with new things to be added after the game is released.

Your Demo Progress Transfers Over and All Upcoming DLC Will be Free

Mass Effect Ark
Image Credit: https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/mass-effect-andromeda-trailer-release-date-gameplay/

You read correctly. The demo will save your progress so no time is wasted thank goodness. Bio ware is also doing us a service and will not charge for DLC that most of us probably can’t afford at this point anyway. The DLC schedule hasn’t been released yet but hopefully they will support this game for the long haul.

Are You In?

We only have a week to wait until the games full release and so far the reception appears positive. Have you tried the 10 hour demo and what do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

Good For The Culture? NieR Automata Allows For Players To Buy PSN Trophies

PSN Trophies

NieR Automata is only a few more weeks away and it seems like there is always something not game play related about it in the news. It was recently reported that players could get a trophy for upskirting the main protagonist 2B among other things. Over the past few days there have been rumblings that something else was going to go on with the trophies for the game. That something was allowing for players to buy their way to a platinum trophy. The question is will that decision be good for the culture of gaming?

How Does “Buying” Trophies Work?

Since this game is not “pay to win”, players cannot buy gold packages outside of the game and must earn it in game by playing.

nier logo
image credit: http://www.gamespot.com/videos/nier-automata-debut-gameplay-trailer/2300-6427948/

According to reports, a reddit user has uncovered that in Japan players can buy trophies using in game currency. Since this game is not “pay to win”, players cannot buy gold packages outside of the game and must earn it in game by playing. The other caveat is that players must also be on their third play through of the game before being able to buy trophies at all. The game boast having multiple endings so for many players getting to a 3rd replay is a possible option.

What Could It Mean For Gaming Culture?

Gaming Culture trophies

We know that gamers are older so trophy hunting is more a battle of time and attrition. If you check PSN profiles and see some of the “seemingly” impossible trophies that players earn one can only stand in awe. Since the inception of trophies, or achievements on Xbox, it was evident that with every platinum that these players were going above and beyond the call of duty. See what I did there?

Will the game have a trophy that let’s other players know you “brought” your way to a platinum?

My concern is that the ability to buy your way to a platinum can start a disturbing trend. Could trophy buying be something adopted by a lot of games including main stream games? Will it call into question every platinum that is earned for this game? Should the game have a trophy that let’s other players know you “brought” your way to a platinum? I checked Playstation Profiles and according to their list there is no such trophy for the game.

Go Platinum or Go Home

Trophies
Image Credit: http://www.nextgenupdate.com/forums/ps3-trophies-game-saves/730149-900-ps3-platinum-trophy-folders-free-cfw-ps3-required.html

Full disclosure, I do not go for platinum trophies. I have one on my PSN profile that I was not actively trying to get. I stumbled across it by accident when I was playing a game that most might not consider worth a platinum. If the trophy doesn’t come during a regular play through then 9/10 I’m not going to have it. That doesn’t stop me from admiring those players that put their time and effort into beating content. Some may think it is more fair for the working/tired adult but it seems to undermine the challenge.

What do you think about “buying” trophies? Do you think it’s fair if players are on subsequent play through? Are you a trophy hunter and have thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below.

5 Things To Get Hype About NieR Automata

nier logo

Console: PS4

Release Date: March 7th, 2017

NieR Automata has been released in Japan while in America we have to wait with bated breath for another month. Automata is the sequel to Platinum Games original title NieR that was released in 2010. There has been a lot of excitement surrounding this game due to the well received demos released in December. For some, the name NieR may be new since it’s coming sandwiched between Horizon Zero Dawn and Zelda. To help those that may have missed the information about the game, here are 5 things to get hype about NieR Automata.

NieR’s Story Makes Science Fiction Dreams Come True

NieR city ruins
Image Credit: http://nier-automata.com/us/

This game takes place in the distant future where humanity is at risk yet again. The Council of Humanity decides to deploy android soldiers to combat the threat using their newest unit YoRHa. These androids will be fighting against more machines to wage a war that may uncover many of humanities forgotten truths.

The Characters Have Mysteries All Their Own

sub event
Image Credit: http://nier-automata.com/us/

Reading through the character bios on the official NieR site, it seems like the android soldiers are a mystery. The androids assigned to the YoRHa unit appear to have very strict rules set for them. The androids are only assigned code numbers with no real names. They are encouraged to stifle their emotions even though they all have unique personalities. In the demo, players are introduced to new YoRHa unit 2B, environmental research companion 9S and YoRHa obsolete prototype, A2. The characters also have unique battle styles and, at the moment, I am unsure how many players will get to try.

The Setting is Dystopian and Open World

desert scene
Image Credit: http://nier-automata.com/us/

Incoming open world fatigue. The game is beautiful of course and there is a lot of it. The game camera switches perspectives to top down in some encounters or seemingly 2-D as 2B wall runs. The setting gives me a steam punk vibe but there are only a few screenshots of the world at large available. From the demo we know that a bulk of humanity is on the moon so running into other people may not happen often.

Prepare for an Action Based Battle Experience

2B Combat
Image Credit: http://nier-automata.com/us/

The combat is action based using a mix of light and heavy attacks. Players will be able to block as well to create strategies when taking down foes in the open landscape. The rest of the action combat staples follow like free range of motion, jumping, rolling etc. 2B is the master at slinging around a very huge sword with the fluidity to make a Samurai jealous. 2B also has a robot drone at her disposal to dish out some additional damage.

The Game Is Available For Preorder

nier CE
Image Credit: http://nier-automata.com/us/

The game is available for preorder and has a collector’s edition set for those interested. The Collector’s Edition includes a 2B figuring, steel book case, art book, original sound track, the game and bonus DLC of different skins and accessories. The cost for all of this may be a little steep so waiting for reviews is also an option.

Are you excited for NieR? Did you play the demo? Do you think it will live up to the hype? Let us know in the comments below as we wait out this month together.

 

Final Fantasy 14: Stormblood Is Coming! Details Players Should Know About The Upcoming Expansion

Stormblood Logo

The last fan festival for Final Fantasy 14 wrapped up in Frankfurt, Germany over the weekend. It was here that fans like myself were treated to the final bit of information concerning Final Fantasy 14’s Upcoming expansion. You can find more depth coverage in this article from Nova Crystallis. There is a lot of information to cover from all three fan fests so buckle up. Stormblood is coming and here are some of the details for FF14’s upcoming expansion.

Two New Jobs Coming In Stormblood

The first job announcement came from the Tokyo Fan Fest where they announced Red Mage.

Stormblood Redmage
Image Credit:http://www.siliconera.com/2016/12/23/final-fantasy-xiv-shows-off-new-stormblood-details-red-mage-job-confirmed/

Clad in it’s customary garb that would look familiar to any Final Fantasy fan dressed in a red coat, feathered hat and rapier, the crowd went wild when it appeared on screen.

RDM Battle Design
Image Credit:http://www.siliconera.com/2016/12/23/final-fantasy-xiv-shows-off-new-stormblood-details-red-mage-job-confirmed/

The battle design has Red Mage as a ranged magic dps. Yoshi admitted that they had to change how the job worked so it could fit into FF14 but we do know that it will be able to attack from melee and further away in battle. Red Mages can usually cast Black, White and Red magic so we will need to see how it plays out in FF14.

Despite a quickly deleted after the Japan Fan Fest that hinted at only two jobs being announced for the expansion. We got our confirmation Saturday as Yoshi P delivered the opening key note. Samurai, a melee dps, was going to be the second job for the expansion and it was to be the last. Red Mage and Samurai will be available in the starting ARR areas for players at level 50. While it is not stated implicitly, players will probably need to own the new expansion in order to access these jobs.

SAM battle design
Image Credit: http://imgur.com/a/X5xZD via r/ffxiv

There are concerns over the incoming que times in the aftermath of adding the Ninja job mid expansion in 2.xx but we will have to wait and see. See the Samurai job in action here and the Red Mage job trailer here.

New Locales and Story Hints

expanded eorzea map ff14 in Stormblood
Image Credit: http://imgur.com/a/X5xZD via r/ffxiv

With Isgard and Heavensward behind us, players knew that we would be traveling to Ala Migho to liberate the peoples there. At the Germany Fan Fest, Yoshi and the team had a surprise for us. We would also be traveling to Orthard to help liberate Doma which expands the map exponentially. Here area few of the areas we will see.

We will also travel to the new player city named Kugane. In the lore, it is primarily in isolation and does not deal with many outsiders so how all the warriors of light manage to get a ticket in will be worth discovering. This city is a port town so that further highlights the swimming and diving aspects revealed in the previous fan fests. I wouldn’t be surprised if ships and pirates play an active role as well.

You can find the video showcasing more shots here.

Last expansion we were introduced to the new playable race the Au’Ra. Despite their introduction we still did not see too many NPCs of them and now we now why. The Au’Ri tribes originated from Orthard and the Azim Steppe area so we will get to know the nomadic tribes of this race come the expansion.

The next area was Yanxia but Yoshi didn’t state too many lore details about this region except for this is where Doma is located. As far as we know, Doma was obliterated when the Garleans conquered the region so I am curious to see what we will be fighting over.

New Beast Tribes and Primals

Ananta Beast Tribe Stormblood
Image Credit:http://www.siliconera.com/2016/12/23/final-fantasy-xiv-shows-off-new-stormblood-details-red-mage-job-confirmed/

Two seems to be the magic number as it seems we are only getting two beast tribes so far this expansion. The new tribes are the Kojin, who reside in The Red Sea, and the Ananta located near Ala Migho. The trailer shows us an under sea village so maybe that was theirs? Time will tell.

Susano Beast Tribe FF14 in Stormblood
Image Credit: http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/1223718-final-fantasy-xiv
Lakshmi Beast Tribe FF14
Image Credit:http://www.siliconera.com/2016/12/23/final-fantasy-xiv-shows-off-new-stormblood-details-red-mage-job-confirmed/

Each beast tribe has a primal they worship so this one is no different. Meet Susano, The Lord of Revel and Lakshmi, Lady of Bliss. While Lakshmi is native to the FF series, Susano is an original Primal like Ravana was in Heavensward. I can’t wait to see their encounters.

Dungeon Preview and Raid Preview

8 man raid Omega
Image Credit: http://www.siliconera.com/2016/12/23/final-fantasy-xiv-shows-off-new-stormblood-details-red-mage-job-confirmed/

Yoshi also informed us about the new 8 main raid called The Bend of Time, Omega. This story would involve an older character named Nero from the Crystal Tower raids in the 2.xx series. SE has responded to the criticism of the Alexander raids not being tied to the MSQ with this raid so hopefully it will recreate the magic of the Coils of Bahamut.

Return to Ivalice
Image Credit: http://kotaku.com/final-fantasy-xiv-gets-a-raid-in-ivalice-1790466397

The final type of content we were introduced to was the 24 man raid currently titled Return to Ivalice. The FF14 team has consulted the expertise of Final Fantasy 12 director, Yasumi Matsuno to direct and write the story. This is the first time someone outside the FF14 team has directed content so this should infuse a new style to the game when released.

New Residential Area

You can find the video for the district here.

Other Quality Of Life Changes

FF14 Swimming
Image Credit: http://www.siliconera.com/postgallery/?p_gal=607956|8

The new expansion also brings about a few other quality of life changes. The first change will be the introduction of swimming. All mounts that fly will be able to swim and dive in the expansion. The team informs us that while they do not plan to create swimming in all the areas they do plan to implement in some of the 2.0 areas.

Players were also informed that as of Stormblood they will be dropping all PS3 support. That means that once the game updates players who use the older platform will not be able to access the game at all. There is an upgrade campaign free to current PS3 players to move to PS4 that will continue through 2017. The team is also encouraging PC players to upgrade their hardware to 64 bit in order to accommodate the upcoming expansion.

The last change announced was the increase in inventory space. The team informed players that this increase will probably occur in 2 parts throughout the expansions. Since it was a massive overhaul to the system they do not want to risk crashing the server by implementing it all at once.

That About Wraps it Up

There will be more information to satiate players in the coming months until the expansion. We still have 2 small patches before we explore the rest of Eorzea but the hype in the air is real. The game is set to release on June 20th, 2017 with early access starting on June 13th, 2017. If you’re curious about the world or waiting to rejoin now is a great time to get lost in Eorzea.

Have you played FF14? Does this news peak your interest? Have you played an MMORPG before and how was it different? Let us know in the comments below.

Working As Intended? Tabata’s Final Fantasy 15 Decision May Disappoint Fans Of The Game

Final Fantasy 15

Final Fantasy 15

I’ve covered a lot of Final Fantasy in the last few weeks much to my joy and dismay. At the risk of inundating the audience with more news, something came out today that could not be ignored. The news was regarding Final Fantasy 15 and the story decisions. If you have not read a review of the game it can be summed up rather quickly. Most reviewers praise the game for the open world and battle system but take away points due to the obvious missing story elements. The most glaring issues coming via Chapter 13 for reasons I won’t spoil here. The team behind the game have already planned to release DLC to address this. However, the way the story is presented may be working as intended and this decision may disappoint fans of the Final Fantasy 15.

Does Story Telling Really Matter?

Most reviewers praise the game for the open world and battle system but take away points due to the obvious missing story elements.

According to the game’s director, Hajime Tabata, the unexplained nature of the story was intentional. In an interview with Game Informer cited via Novacrystallis, Tabata states that “We didn’t want to create a comprehensive and perfectly balanced story in this game. Instead, we placed importance on the main characters and for the player and Noctis to share the same experience when we tell the story.” If that doesn’t sound like a retcon then I don’t know what does.

Elsewhere in the article he mentions the time and money constraints by the latter half of the game but that doesn’t matter. I’m a long time Final Fantasy fan and this statement alone is egregious. What he just said was that even though the Final Fantasy franchise is known for their deep an intricate story telling that isn’t how I wanted to tell the story. That could have been excusable if the story was or felt complete.

Player’s Don’t Get Exposition For… Reasons?

What he just said was that even though the Final Fantasy franchise is known for their deep an intricate story telling that isn’t how I wanted to tell the story.

The main issue with things happening off screen is that it doesn’t give the players context for the events happening in the actual game. There are moments where if one of the bros are saying something important it got stopped when a battle is engaged. Did that conversation start back up once the battle concluded? No. That meant the player may have missed an important part of exposition that they didn’t realize. That’s not experiencing the game through Noctis’s eyes, that is poor story telling period.

In Final Fantasy games its not unusual to find books or documents that expand on the lore and motivations of characters. It’s not okay that the ONLY way players discover why “X” thing happened is to look in the supplementary documents scattered across the world. The game doesn’t even have a story recap that would keep track of things that may have missed by players. Some of the lore can only be found in the ancillary projects like Brotherhood, Kingsglaive and items in the collector’s edition.

Will This Be The New Direction For Final Fantasy?

I further thought that Final Fantasy would be safe because, regardless of how convoluted the stories can get at times, the stories for all the games were complete.

I have long grown weary of game developers not giving players a complete game and regulating it to DLC. JRPGs should have been safe from this phenomenon because the basis of the genre is story telling. I further thought that Final Fantasy would be safe because, regardless of how convoluted the stories can get at times, the stories for all the games were complete. If this is the trend that SquareEnix wants to start then I want no parts of the “new” Final Fantasy.

What do you think about this news about Final Fantasy 15? Does this news impact your enjoyment of the game? Do you think this direction of story telling is effective? Could this writer be overreacting? All points are valid in this conversation so let us know in the comments below.

The Final Fantasy 12 HD Remake Is Coming This Summer

Final Fantasy 12 HD Remake

Final Fantasy 12 HD Remake

Platform: PS4

Release Date: July 11th, 2017

FF12 Ashe
Image Credit:https://store.na.square-enix.com/product/404023/final-fantasy-xii-the-zodiac-age-ps4

Full disclosure, I did not finish Final Fantasy 12 (FF12). I can admit as a fan of the series, after Final Fantasy 10 (FF10) I was looking for a certain experience and this game did not do it. It was evident that the battle system and the over world were practice for their Final Fantasy 11 (FF11) MMORPG and I wasn’t trying to be a part of it. I got a healthy way into the story and while it was full of political intrigue something about it didn’t grab me.

This isn’t going to be a bash piece on FF12 but rather an invitation to players who may have missed this game during the PS2 era. Or if you were like me and didn’t give the game the chance it may have deserved and want to give it another try. Square Enix had their Fiinal Fantasy 30th Anniversary event that outlined the different games coming out this year including the release date of FF12. With that out of the way here is some information about the Final Fantasy 12 HD remake that is coming this summer.

Final Fantasy 12 Is An HD Remaster

Vaan and Penelo
Image Credit:https://store.na.square-enix.com/product/404023/final-fantasy-xii-the-zodiac-age-ps4

This is a remaster not a remake and that means that the game itself is relatively intact. There are no huge overhauls to the major systems in the game but they did decide to give it a lovely gloss of paint. If this doesn’t impress you check out the trailer they released that can show how the already beautiful game was made even more lovely. This update is also extended to the audio sounds to add more depth to the character’s performances. Some of the lines have been re-recorded to complete the package.

The Bad Ass Judges Are Still Here

FF12 Judges
Image Credit:https://store.na.square-enix.com/product/404023/final-fantasy-xii-the-zodiac-age-ps4

There has not been any major changes to the story but here is a brief synopsis. FF12 takes place in the world of Ivalice, (yes that one). The city of Dalmasca was recently occupied by the Archadian Empire leaving it in ruin. Princess Ashe, the heir to the throne who had her wedding crashed, has devoted her life since this take over to liberate her country. On the flip side of that players meet Vaan and Penelo, two street urchins with dreams of becoming sky pirates. Political intrigue complete with Judges ensue as players join these rag tag companions to free their homeland.

The Licensing System Is Getting An Upgrade

final fantasy 12 remake, Zodiac Job system

It’s not a serious upgrade as the gambits and license board are still present. However, they have added the Zodiac Job system which has made the game more like FF10 and possibly harder to break. In the original game all of the license boards were identical while in the remaster each character’s board is different. They have even made it so that every character cannot obtain each Esper which is more traditional for the series.

However, they have added the Zodiac Job system which has made the game more like FF10 and possibly harder to break.

The other big change has to do with the characters limit breaks or Quickening in this game. The characters can only learn 3 of their Quickening licenses with the fourth one disappearing from other boards when achieved. This is something that I will need to explore but this is a different step for the game that could impact the game play in a major way.

There Are Quality Of Life Additions

final fantasy 12 remake, trial mode

The point about the licensing board is major but they have also added some quality of life changes that players will appreciate. They have added a “speed mode” which will quicken movement on the map. The new Trial Mode allows players to take saved characters into 100 battles that test their strategic prowess. This adds an extra element of challenge for players that take a break from the main story or when the adventure is complete. Finally they have added PlayStation trophies, auto saving and shortened load times for more fluidity. It’s apparent that PS2 limitations stopped these changes from happening so it’s good to see it added here.

Are you excited for Final Fantasy 12 HD Remake? Do you plan on picking up the remaster? Will the time that has passed make the game be received better? Let us know in the comments below.

Until Next Time Guys!

5 Things Players Should Know About Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn Logo

Release Date: 2/28/17

System: Playstation 4

New IPs are on the horizon, (see what I did there), so it is an exciting time to be a gamer. One of the most anticipated games, Horizon Zero Dawn (HZD), will soon be here and media outlets are starting to get hands on. The team over at Kinda Funny had 30 minutes with the game and from the game looks beautiful. Sometimes new games have a harder time grabbing new buyers since we never know what to expect. Here are 5 things players should know before buying Horizon Zero Dawn.

Its A PlayStation Exclusive

Closer look at the battle system
image credit: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/horizon-zero-dawn-ps4/

That’s right. If you aren’t a PS4 owner then this game will be out of reach to you for the time being. The game can be purchased digitally and physically. I’m sure there is a PS4 Pro patch on the way as well as dlc so be ready to empty your pockets.

It’s A Beautiful And Open World

Overhead View of the Horizon Open World
image credit: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/horizon-zero-dawn-ps4/

I have open world fatigue mainly because most of the games feel lifeless and empty. This game gives the promise that there may be reasons to explore the environment which will cause me to give it another shot. The game is set in a dystopian world where the fall of man is evident. What is left in its wake is a land full of free roaming machines and buildings hinting to relics past. As Aloy it is the player’s job to discover what is going on in this new world.

Horizon Zero Dawn is An Action/ RPG

Aloy Taking on a mob
image credit: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/horizon-zero-dawn-ps4/

The battle system is over the shoulder 3rd person combat. Aloy is able to use things in the environment in her battles with the monsters which can cause them to be very unique experiences. Players will be able to analyze the machines in order to determine weaknesses and attacks of the mechs which add a layer of complexity to the combat. Aloy’s main weapon is a bow but the enemies will hit hard enough that sometimes fighting isn’t always the best option. Players will also be able to use the hacking tool in order to tame mechanical beasts to traverse the lands or assist with fights.

The Story Is Going To Be Insane

Close up of Aloy
image credit: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/horizon-zero-dawn-ps4/

According to developers the main theme around the game is a mystery. The main ones revolving around the mysteries surrounding Aloy, why she was exiled and why would anyone become an outcast. The developers want the game to feel personal while not limited the players to a linear experience. There was also mention that all of the tribes of the world have their own side story arcs in addition to the MSQ. It looks like players will have a time sink on their hands. Players will also be able to make dialogue decisions but it was noted that it may not have an impact on the overall story ending.

There Are Going To Be Some Subsystems To Master

Skill tree in horizon zero dawn
Image Credit: https://thegamefanatics.com/horizon-zero-dawns-pre-launch-gameplay-going-into-details/

What I mean is the crafting system. Aloy is able to make weapons and things on the fly so acquiring loot in order to craft may be an important element of game play. This is another way to encourage exploration in the open world but it may become a bother to people who just want to get through the MSQ. Not having the proper materials could mean players success and failure in encounters.

Buckle Up It’s Going To Be Awesome

All in all it sounds like Horizon Zero Dawn is shaping up to be another impressive addition to the PlayStation family but what do you think? Do you plan on picking up the game? Are there some things you like or don’t like about the game? Let us know in the comments.

 

6 Weirdest Gaming News Stories of 2016

Weirdest Gaming News Stories

2016 was an… Interesting year, to say the least.  Both inside the gaming industry and out, one unthinkable news story after another kept breaking.  Naturally, we’ll just stick to gaming here and take this time to look back on some of the most surreal news stories that came out in the last twelve months.  Granted, there are some major events that didn’t make this list, such as the CS:GO Lotto scandal and the controversial release of No Man’s Sky.  While those are undoubtedly important events, they aren’t exactly strange in the same way as these other tales.  That being said, these are the…

Weirdest gaming News Stories of 2016

Street Fighter V Gets Flava Flav DLC

Street Fighter V did not go over well.  Desperate to get on the stage for EVO 2016, the game was shoved out the door way too early with way too little content.  I know the lack of an arcade mode gets brought up a lot, but that’s because an arcade mode is the single most basic form of single player a fighting game can have.  If Capcom couldn’t even muster up the bare basics, that should terrify you.  Hell, we’re still waiting on it to this day.

Something the game has gotten: Costumes inspired by former Public Enemy hype-man Flava Flav.  Believe it or not, this is a picture of Ryu and Chun Li.  Drink it in.  These were released as a part of a sponsorship deal with Red Bull and my brain still hasn’t fully processed the fact that they exist.  Aside from the outfits looking hilariously out-of-character for both fighters… Really?  Flava Flav?  Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was able to get Snoop Dogg for their surreal rapper cross-promotion.  You couldn’t get someone with some relevancy post 2007?

An Anime Fan on Prom Night

Mighty No. 9 hurts my soul on every level.  I’ve been a Mega Man fan since childhood and seeing the Kickstarter for Mighty No. 9 seemed like a dream come true at the time.  Then, mid-2015 rolled around and things got very depressing very quickly.  The point where I knew things had gone off the rails was when Keiji Inafune announced not one, but two new Kickstarters for Mighty No. 9 spinoffs.  Now, let me just say that the Mega Man Legends games are two of my personal favorite video games of all time and my heart shattered when the long-awaited third entry was killed off just before it hit the finish line.  When a Kickstarter for a spiritual successor was announced, I should have been all over it.  Instead, I never put a dime towards it because I just couldn’t trust Red Ash without knowing how Mighty No. 9 turned out first.

Looks like I made the right move, because calling the new blue bomber a disappointment is an understatement.  The visuals were bad, the voice-acting was bad, the attempts at reinventing the Mega Man formula were bad, and the PC version launched with a memory-leak that caused the game to lag the longer you played it until your computer eventually crashed.  The cherry on the sundae of misery was a trailer that seemed specifically designed to mock its supporters.  Now I’m actually excited to see what happens to Mega Man next.  As bad as he’s had it in the last few years, it can’t get much worse than the not-so-Mighty No. 9.

 

Konami Vs Kojima Aftermath

The fallout between gaming auteur Hideo Kojima and his publisher Konami was perhaps the defining story of the gaming industry in 2015 and the aftermath of them parting ways still made for some of the biggest headlines of 2016.  Kojima announced the first game his new studio will be developing, Death Stranding, and has so far released two teaser trailers for it.  Both trailers were Salvador Dali-levels of crazy and apparently weren’t supposed to represent the actual games.

Meanwhile, Kojima’s former taskmaster proved to have a hard time letting things go by announcing Metal Gear Survive, a game based heavily on Metal Gear Solid V‘s engine and is an open-world zombie survival game, the single most diluted genre in the industry today.  With the year ending with gambling being legalized in Japan and Konami’s Japanese stocks being amongst the best in the industry, it looks like the company will survive without Kojima, but it’s doubtful that they’ll thrive.

Greenlight Goes Mad

Steam’s Greenlight program officially reached critical mass in 2016.  What started as a gateway for small developers to get their passion-projects into the public eye didn’t take long to be exploited by amateurs.  Last year seemed to have an unofficial contest to create the absolute worst Greenlight entry possible.

For example, there was Hyrule: Total War, a mod of Medieval II: Total War based on The Legend of Zelda series that was submitted without the approval of the people who made Total War, Legend of Zelda, or even the mod itself.  I’m kind of cheating by including this as this issue dates back to 2015, but UnitZ, a Unity asset pack designed to be a starter kit for developing zombie survival games, has been submitted to Greenlight at least 9 different times by 9 different “developers” who have made little to no changes to the original asset pack.  World of Warcraft was submitted to Greenlight by someone completely unassociated with Blizzard.  A clip of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver was submitted to Greenlight.  No, seriously, someone tried to market a clip of a late-night talkshow as a video game.

The only barrier to entry for Greenlight is a $100 fee and Valve just trusts their user-base to police the service for them.  Fortunately, much of the community has been fairly eagle-eyed and most of these attempts were shut down, but there are still plenty of cracks to slip through.  The floodgates have been opened wide enough that 40% of all games on Steam were released last year.

Everything About Pokemon Go

Oh, Pokemon Go, you could have easily filled a top 20 list of weirdness all on your own, couldn’t you?  Just the game itself was enough of a bizarre phenomenon, drawing millions of otherwise secluded people to wander the wilderness on the hunt for imaginary monsters.  That alone sounds like Nostradamus predicting the end of days and it only got weirder from there.  People found dead bodies while playing the game, thugs used the game to bait people into muggings, people abandoned their cars en masse to catch a Vaporeon, et cetera.

The folks making the game had their own share of bedlam, as well.  A big part of that was that the game didn’t have a dedicated community manager when it launched.  When major problems like the three-step glitch happened, there was nothing but radio silence in response.  As a result, the surprise hit of the year also saw a massive drop-off in players.  I doubt Nintendo was too torn up about it, though, considering they only signed on for a microscopic cut of the profits of one of the most anticipated titles of last year.  Everything that Pokemon Go touches becomes wailing insanity one way or another.  Are we sure that Niantic isn’t secretly some eldritch incantation?

Digital Homicide Sues Everyone

Digital Homicide will probably go down in history as the single worst video game developer to have ever existed.  If anyone is actually able to top them, I will partly be impressed, but mostly terrified.  Digital Homicide first garnered infamy as a shovelware developer for Steam.  Now, shovelware has been around since the Atari 2600 and Steam in particular gets A LOT of it these days, so that’s not such a big deal on its own.  What makes Digital Homicide special is that they were outright psychotic about it.

It all started when Youtuber James Stanton, better known as Jim Sterling, uploaded a first impressions video of one of DH’s earliest games, The Slaughtering Grounds, back in 2014.  The developers than released their own video titled Review the Reviewer that openly mocked Stanton for his criticism.  Animosity between the two parties continued to grow until it all came to a head in 2016 and Digital Homicide filed a lawsuit against Stanton claiming that his videos were damaging their business.  Then it got even crazier and Digital Homicide decided that they would just sue everyone.  I think they even tried to sue me around this time and that is not even a joke.  My name could very well have been on their litigious hit-list.  I honestly don’t know.

What we do know is that a lawsuit was filed against 100 Steam users for the crime of speaking ill of Digital Homicide’s precious garbage heap.  We’ll probably never know the full list of names that DH tried to take to court, but it did include such stellar monikers as Demonsword, Toon Vlux, and JDude330#HaeisBACK.  That case was ultimately dismissed after Valve pulled DH’s entire catalog from their service and left them without a source of income to fund their court case.  At the time of writing, the case against Stanton is still ongoing, but seems to be on the verge of being thrown out as well.

Those were the weirdest gaming news stories of 2016. Got any other bizarre news stories from 2016 that we missed?  Can 2017 end up topping last year in terms of insanity?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

 

Street Fighter V Introduces New Character And Reveal New DLC Policy

The best fighting games players from around the world gathered this weekend at Las Vegas to duke it out at EVO 2015, the largest tournament of the genre. At the event, Capcom brought us new announcements for its upcoming game Street Fighter V. First of all we got an entirely new character called Necalli. (picture above)

The fighter that will compete against Dee Jay for the coolest character that wear dreads in games ever seems to use a really offensive grappler style. His move set appears to mix Wolverine from Marvel vs. Capcom series but also appears like SNK’s Iori Yagami Orochi from King of Fighters’ 97. Please check his reveal trailer below:

Even more important than a new character, Capcom revealed its new policy regarding additional content after game’s release. Instead of launching new expanded versions like Super and Ultra Street Fighter IV, new content will be directly available for purchase in the main edition. However, if you don’t feel like emptying your piggy bank in order to buy the new characters, you will be able to add them to your collection just by playing and dedicating yourself.

The number of characters in the final version was also revealed: 16 world warriors will join the fray and four of them will be newcomers to the franchise. For now, Capcom revealed Ryu, Chun Li, Charlie (Nash), M. Bison, Birdie, Cammy, Ken and Necalli. As reported, Blanka was teased and will surely be included in the roster, but an official announcement will be made by Yoshinori Ono himself on October, when he will be visiting Brazilian fans at Brazil Game Show 2015.

Street Fighter V will be released on PS4 and PC on October 2016.