Jack Gardner
The dark, difficult samurai action-RPG, Nioh, has released a playable demo onto the PlayStation 4. Similar to the Dark Souls 3 alpha stress test, the Nioh demo has a relatively short lifespan and will be available for a little over a week. Publisher Koei Tecmo has also said that all players who complete the demo will receive The Mark of the Conqueror DLC when the full game launches. According to Koei Tecmo, The Mark of the Conqueror will not be available to those who don't complete the demo, though that could change.
 
The demo occurs through two areas, Usuki and Dazaifu. Usuki is a destroyed, shambling fishing village and Dazaifu is a place completely overrun with demons. Three basic weapon types are available; katana, spear, and axe. 
 
 
Nioh is being developed by Team Ninja and will be released on PlayStation 4. No release date has been given as of yet.
Jack Gardner
Alongside the bombshell news of a new console release date, Nintendo quietly touted its Miitomo numbers and revealed plans for future mobile games. 
 
Nintendo reports that Miitomo has reached over 10 million people around the world since its launch in Japan on March 17 and elsewhere on March 31. Those 10 million users have had over 300 million conversations within the app, which might seem like a slightly creepy statistic to have, but it does show the level of interaction users are having via Miitomo. On top of that, users have made use of Miifoto, the in-app meme creation tool that can create images and share them over social media, over 20 million times. To celebrate the app's success, Nintendo is running a 10-day special within Miitomo from April 29-May 8.
 
In the wake of those numbers, Nintendo has announced two new mobile apps. One will be based on Fire Emblem and the other will relate to Animal Crossing. Both apps will release this fall as what Nintendo calls "pure game applications." The Fire Emblem app will be presenting itself as a role-playing strategy game with the goal of being more accessible than the main Fire Emblem entries on dedicated Nintendo platforms. Meanwhile, the Animal Crossing app will have some sort of integration into other Animal Crossing titles, perhaps offering a similar experience to what players could have if they connected their Game Boy Advances to their GameCubes with the original Animal Crossing. Nintendo promises that those who play both the Animal Crossing app and the core game "will find increased enjoyment."
 
More information will be released about the apps closer to their release this fall, but Nintendo really emphasized that these new apps will be games closer to what they have on 3DS than what Miitomo offered.   
Jack Gardner
Big news coming out of Nintendo today. The next console from the company, code-named NX, will be releasing March 2017. No additional information was revealed about the upcoming console, though Nintendo did confirm the console would not be making an appearance at E3 2016. 
 
This news might be a little bittersweet for Nintendo fans. The Legend of Zelda Wii U is actually being pushed back to next year to release on both Wii U and NX. Nintendo insists that both the Wii U and NX versions of the title have been in development at the same time. It is worth noting, however, that they go on to say that the reason for the delay is to provide additional time to polish the game - though this release postponement seems to be more related to the desire to launch both versions at the same time.
 
While the delay of the next installment of The Legend of Zelda might be a disappointment, the good news is that we will be seeing a lot of the Wii U version of the title at this year's E3. The bad news is that The Legend of Zelda is pretty much all that we will be able to play from Nintendo at E3. Nintendo has said they will approach E3 differently this year, making The Legend of Zelda Wii U the only playable game that they will be bringing to the show. They claim this is to "provide attendees [with] complete immersion." 
 
Today's news comes as a bit of a mixed bag. Yay, console release date! But Zelda is delayed again.... Yay, Zelda will be playable at E3! But that's all that will be playable at E3.... Nintendo, stop playing with our hearts this way.
Jack Gardner
Sega is releasing a free update via Steam to all of its Mega Drive and Genesis titles that creates a new virtual hub that collects over 50 classic titles in one digital room. The hub recreates an early 90s bedroom complete with dynamic time-of-day conditions, Sega-themed decorations, a CRT TV, and a shelf that holds all your Sega Mega Drive and Genesis titles.
 
Not only that, but the hub update brings some long desired features to these classic titles. Sega's retro titles will feature spot-on emulation, local co-op for games that originally supported it, options for graphical enhancements, the ability to save any time, and full controller and keyboard support. 
 
 
The full list of supported games can be found on Sega's announcement, but some of the highlights are Golden Axe, Altered Beast, Ecco the Dolphin, Virtua Fighter 2, Shining Force, Gunstar Heroes, Phantasy Star II-IV, Sonic the Hedgehog 1-3, and many more.
 
Perhaps most importantly, Sega will be integrating full Steam Workshop support to allow for open modding of its retro titles. Honestly, we can't wait to see what the modding community will do with support from Sega like this!
 

 
The update hits this Thursday, April 28.
Jack Gardner
Nintendo announced today that they have successfully appealed a 2013 ruling that found the 3DS had infringed on a 3D display technology patent held by Tomita Technologies USA, Inc. and Tomita Technologies International, Inc. This lawsuit has been going on since 2011 when Tomita began the lawsuit. 
 
“We are very pleased with the court’s finding that Nintendo does not infringe,” said Ajay Singh, Nintendo of America’s Director of Litigation and Compliance. “Nintendo has a long history of developing innovative products, and we aggressively defend patent lawsuits when our products do not infringe, even when we must do it over many years and through multiple trials.”
 
Federal Judge Jed Rakoff brought an end to five years of litigation. His decision reverses the results of the 2013 verdict against Nintendo with Judge Rakoff finding that the Nintendo 3DS "performs in a significantly different way and does more than was contemplated by the Tomita patent."
Jack Gardner
It has been 22 weeks so far and we are only now getting to our first episode dedicated to a Legend of Zelda title! The Nintendo title, released in 1991 for the SNES, is widely regarded as one of the best games of all time and remains at the top of many best lists to this day. Why? What makes the top-down action-adventure of a boy in green saving the world such a pinnacle of video game achievement even a quarter of a century later? How will it stack up for future generations of gamers when the gaming landscape continues to evolve? Jack and Daniel, sans Jeremy this week, discuss this and a whole lot more.
 
Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative.
 

 
Outro music: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 'Unsealed' by CarboHydroM (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02900)
 
Also, last week we ended up recording almost an hour over our usual running time with Elizabeth DeLoria for our Fallout 3 and had to cut them to fit the show into our normal running time. The thing is, those segments were so much fun that we edited those cut segments together into a mini-episode of sorts. That covers a wide variety of topics from Australian ladder licensing to gushing over glitches and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
 
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod
 
Outro music: Chrono Trigger 'Punk Hairdo Kid' by HyperDuck SoundWorks (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03338)
 
New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
Jack Gardner
Polish developer Fool's Theory, a team made up of people who worked on The Witcher series, announced their debut game titled Seven: The Days Long Gone. Set in a far-flung post-apocalyptic future, Seven hands players the role of Teriel, a master thief and wanderer who has found himself in the Empire of Vetrall. Imprisoned on the island of Peh, the reveal trailer shows that Teriel and another entity are about to embark on an adventure. 
 
Despite the end of the world, new life has sprung from the ashes. Technology still exists, though it has been combined with Dark Age ingenuity in unexpected and deadly ways. Players will need to make use of Teriel's thieving abilities, his stealth, dexterous environment navigation, and deadly knives in order to progress. The parkour climbing system has been built from scratch to allow players  what Fool's Theory claims is an unprecedented freedom of movement within their environments. 
 
Seven bills itself as an RPG and seems to be banking at least in part on its narrative. Players can expect to see tough choices that will delve into issues of morality and possibly lead to unintended consequences throughout the adventure.
 
 
While no release date has been given, Seven: The Days Long Gone will be at PAX East with a playable alpha build for those who visit the IMGN.PRO booth.
Jack Gardner
In partnership with Arc System Works, the owners of the River City franchise, Natsume has announced that the latest in the long running side-scrolling beat-'em-up series will be coming to 3DS systems across North America in the near future.
 
Most players will be familiar with the franchise from the classic beat-'em-up River City Ransom for the NES and its update that released on Game Boy Advance. The series has spun off numerous times in Japan to include additional entries, fighting games, and even volleyball titles. This latest entry comes as part of the 30th anniversary of River City Ransom in Japan. 
 
"We know there's a loyal fanbase of the River City series in North America who have been asking for more of these addictive games to play!" said Hiro Maekawa, President & CEO of Natsume. "Whether you're a longtime River City fan or new to the series, there's plenty of side-scrolling action to love."
 
River City: Tokyo Rumble takes place in the middle of a city-wide gang invasion. Players follow the story of Kunio, a high school student with a short fuse as he works various jobs, levels his abilities, and use punches, kicks, soccer balls, iron knuckles, and chains to free the city from the powerful gang that runs it all. There other playable characters for players to experiment with from the long history of the series, too. Tokyo Rumble also has the option to face-off against opponents in Rumble mode or even dodgeball. 
 
Though they haven't given a release date, River City: Tokyo Rumble will be making a playable appearance at E3 2016, June 14-16. 
Jack Gardner
Adventure game fans, there is a new puzzle/thriller set in space for your consideration out on PC. The 5-8 hour experience places players on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, in the middle of a seemingly abandoned space station trying to find its missing crew members. The mystery of the station and its former inhabitants only deepens as players explore the objects and messages left behind. The game takes place in an alternate timeline in which the Soviet-U.S. space race never ended, each country continued to try to out perform the other in the field of space exploration. 
 
One of the hooks of P.O.L.L.E.N. is that almost every object that can be seen in the environment can be interacted with or picked up. Any one of these things could be useful to solving puzzles or uncovering more secrets. The devs at Minefield Games state that they drew a lot of inspiration from films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Solaris to create the technology seen in P.O.L.L.E.N. and it really comes through visually and helps objects to pop in the environment.
 
 
Though a nearly finished VR beta is ongoing, complete VR support for the title is coming in the near future. Players can expect to see P.O.L.L.E.N. on the PlayStation 4 with HTC Vive support later this year, though no definitive date has been given yet. 
Jack Gardner
The upcoming RPG from Spiders and Focus Home Interactive that features terrifying space monsters and humans who can manipulate electricity at will seems to be shaping up to be a really interesting project. The latest trailer gives a rundown of the setting, basic story concepts, and gameplay features. 
 
After some tantalizing glimpses of the world and some intriguing words about the lore, the devs begin to detail the combat mechanics, enemies, factions, and choices available to characters in most situations. Each combat stance has its own in-depth skill tree to level, along with the skill tree for the player's electrical technomancer powers. Several new enemy creatures make their debut in this trailer, too, and they have intriguing designs. As players progress, they will have to make choices that affect hoe different factions respond to them. In turn, this also affects how companions react to the player and aligning with certain factions can result in companions leaving entirely. We catch glimpses of the cast of potential companion character near the end for the first time.
 
At one point, the developers mention that they estimate that The Technomancer will take most players up to 40 hours to complete all the various quests and storylines. 
 
 
The Technomancer releases June 21 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Jack Gardner
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada blasts its way into full PC release tomorrow, but the launch trailer shows off two minutes of spectacular in-game maneuvering that gets up-close and personal with the various tactics used when the Chaos Legion moves in to annihilate the Imperial Navy. As the end is in sight, the Imperials stand resolute, but perhaps some hope remains....
 
The Space Marines faction make their first appearance in the launch trailer and are one of two additional factions that will be available for free to those who buy before launch or within the first two months of launch. The second faction has yet to be revealed.
 
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada features an expansive single-player campaign that allows players to fill their bag of tricks with unique skills and persistently upgrade their vessels. PvP multiplayer adds to the longevity of the experience, allowing players to battle it out in the cold vacuum of space for tactical supremacy. Most interestingly, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada uses unique AI personalities for each ship commander, meaning that individual ships make choices to fight or flee when things get rough. The game even makes sure to use accurate representations of ships from the Warhammer universe, true to their scale, from fast frigates to colossal warships that are miles long. 
 
 
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada launches tomorrow for PC.
Jack Gardner
Melbourne-based Big Ant Studios has released its self-proclaimed "psychedelic-comedy action-adventure" game. The title is a third-person brawler that puts players into the role of a blue-skinned jester named Jaxx as he pursues vengeance against an army of evil clowns. The developers bill it a s a return to the lighthearted and comic nature of classic brawlers and platformers of the N64 and PS1 era. The vibrant visuals capture the comic nature of the game. 
 
 
Being a brawler, players should expect some to be chaining together hammer attacks, counters, takedowns, and special attacks for some stylish combos. Masquerade also features some inventive enemies and boss battles. Lest people wonder at the comparison to the platformers of yesteryear, players will be pulling off some high-wire platforming tricks while they traverse the clown-crazy world Big Ant has concocted.
 
Big Ant Studios also notes that the majority of development work on the title took place in Malaysia with their oversight, making this the first next-gen console release to come out of that country. 
 
 
Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.