Jack Gardner

 
Dubbed a "completely new game" by the RPG developer/publisher, Antique Carnevale was unveiled to the public in a new trailer aimed at the Japanese market. What kind of a name is Antique Carnevale? What does it mean? No one knows! 
 
Very few details have been revealed about the real game that is really titled Antique Carnevale, quite possibly the most JRPG-ish title of all time. A Japanese language site has been set up that provides a few tantalizing details and promises more information in the coming weeks. The site currently contains information describing the game's prologue and a description of a character named Bernhard.
 
Below you can find both of those sections as translated by Gematsu:
 
 
The Antique Carnevale site teases more information releases for characters on July 7, 10, 12, and 14. Square Enix plans to unveil additional information, likely platforms and release date/window, on July 18.  
 
What do you think about this new IP? From the brief trailer and the strangely subdued fanfare of the announcement it seems like this might be an IP headed to smartphones, 3DS, or Vita rather than a AAA release for consoles. Any theories as to what this game might be about from the cryptic information provided by the prologue description? 

Marcus Stewart

 
Ever been curious about how the shops in RPG’s obtain their wares? Moonlighter aims to answer that burning question. The game stars Will, a shopkeeper with big dreams of becoming a hero. When he’s not running his business during the day, he “moonlights” as an adventurer, exploring caves, fighting monsters, and collecting treasure. Moonlighter’s design reflects Will’s double-life, dividing its gameplay into two disparate halves: top-down, action-adventure and market simulator. So far, it seems that developer Digital Sun has managed to weave both ideas together in a harmonious and fun way.
 
The dungeon crawling sections sport elements of roguelites, with procedurally generated room arrangements and the loss of your loot upon death. Will wields two weapon types, which can include swords, spears, and bows, to hack and slash his way through monsters in search of treasure. Traps litter certain rooms, and others house special portals that teleport players to different, more challenging levels. While moment-to-moment gameplay features little out of the ordinary for genre enthusiasts, the various systems around it help Moonlighter stand out. 
 
Inventory management features a lot more than just shoving stuff into a bag. Multiple rows can hold items, but only stuff stored in the top row (representing Will’s pockets) will stick with him should he fall in battle. Thus, keeping your most valuable stock up top is highly recommended. Warping out of dungeons requires players to sell a certain amount treasures on the spot. You’re giving up some loot, but the hefty cost of death might make a speedy escape worth the cost, especially if you’re sitting on a good haul. Like a good businessperson, you’ve got to spend money to make money.
 
My favorite menu element are special “cursed” items that come with various effects and create a near meta-game out of inventory. Some stipulations are relatively minor, like object that can only be kept in the bag’s bottom row. Others can be very useful, such as a curse that transforms itself into 10 duplicates of a nearby material. Curses can even work in conjunction with each other. One curse masks an item’s identity until you exit the dungeon. Another curse can dispel the ability of another, adjacent cursed object. When I moved a hidden item near a curse-remover, its identity was revealed, saving me from having to make the trip outside. Not since playing inventory Tetris in the Resident Evil series has dinking around my baggage felt this engaging. 
 

 
After getting my feet wet with combat in the brief prologue, Moonlighter began teaching me the ins and outs of running a storefront. Collected loot can be put up for sale at whatever price you deem appropriate. However, a product’s worth won’t be determined until customers scrutinize your inventory, so determining prices creates an initial guessing game. Cute emoticons express whether customers feel something is too cheap, too expensive, or priced reasonably. My personal favorite emote is a sort of pouty face indicating that an item’s expensive but they’ll begrudgingly buy it anyway. 
 
If a patron turns their nose up at something, you’ll need to lower the price. If someone bites the bullet on a big ticket item, you can continue charging that fee since you know people will drop the dough on it. I got a real kick out of seeing patrons open their wallets to my sometimes hilariously lofty prices. Once a sale has been made, a helpful ledger records the values for sold merchandise for future reference, eliminating that early guess work. Additionally, the book orders inventory by price, giving you a clear idea of the values of stock compared with each other. 
 
My immediate concern with shop gameplay was that it would eventually grow repetitive once the values of most goods were established, but the developers assured me that Will’s business, as well as consumer demands, evolve over time. As profits increase, the store can expand, allowing for a larger stock of merchandise as well as letting more customers visit. You can even decorate to create an atmosphere of fanciness, which might allow you to charge higher prices (the team cited the presentation of Apple stores as a humorous comparison). As customer tastes change, a once-hot commodity may not fetch a passing glance. Conversely, a cheap material could suddenly skyrocket in demand, justifying a price hike. Furthermore, some customers may even ask Will to carry certain goods, creating sidequests. It remains to be seen if these scenarios occur often enough to shopkeeping interesting in the long run, but it’s reassuring to know the same motions won’t be repeated ad nauseam. 
 
Will’s business isn’t the only game in town. The town of Rynoka is home to a blacksmith that sells and improves armor/weapons, as well an “overpriced” item store. A witch’s shop is the only business that remains open at night, selling potions, weapon enchantments, and holds nightly sales. Certain materials are better left off the show floor and used to trade at these stores. The devs stated some players even use the inventory of merchants as a point of comparison when determining how to price your own stock. I was definitely amused by the idea of intentionally undercutting the expensive item shop, for example. 
 

After business concluded for the day and I dove back into a dungeon. Moonlighter’s primary loop became clear: explore labyrinths, gather treasure, sell said treasure, purchase better equipment/upgrades, visit tougher levels, repeat. More difficult floors open up after several runs with richer rewards. But you’ll need superior gear to survive, but new equipment generally sports high price tags, providing incentive to maximize profits at the store. I realized Moonlighter’s hooks were digging in when I entered a typical combat room in which clearing its enemies would normally cause treasure to appear. However, nothing did, but instead of feeling slighted, the materials left behind by the slain foes was reward enough. I excitedly thought “Oh cool, I can sell these in my shop!” 
 
As a Zelda fan, it doesn’t take much to get me on board with similarly designed experiences. Engaging in the doldrums of managing a business, however, was a different story. When I learned Moonlighter was as about selling goods as it was exploring dungeons, my initial enthusiasm dropped a bit. Setting prices, waiting around for customers–it all sounded rather dull. By the end of my hour-long session, my tune changed. 
 
Moonlighter has the potential an engrossing and enjoyable spin on the action/RPG. The shop mechanic is a neat angle that’s backed by solid roguelite gameplay, all wrapped in a charming pixel art presentation. I look forward to opening up shop when Moonlighter arrives later this year for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Mac.

Jack Gardner

 
Oblivion released in 2006 bringing a massive open-world geared toward a mainstream audience to PC and console gamers alike. Players were able to explore Cyrodiil, a fantasy land full of kings and gods while experiencing a myriad of stories ranging from becoming the greatest thief in the land to stopping a full-blown demonic invasion.
 
Does Oblivion stand on its own as one of the best games period or is it overshadowed by the likes of Morrowind and Skyrim?
 
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 Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion 'Beyond the Imperial Prison' by HyperDuck SoundWorks (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03522)
 
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!
 
If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod 
 
New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday

Naomi N. Lugo

 
Back in March this year it was announced that StarCraft would be getting a remaster. Today, we got an official release date and a price. The remaster will release August 14 and costs $14.99. It will also include the Brood War expansion.
 
With the remaster, players will get to see the game in 4K Ultra High Definition. See the trailer below for side by side comparisons of the original and the remaster.
 
 
The original StarCraft released in 1998 with its sequel, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, releasing in 2010. 
 
Are you excited for a StarCraft remaster? Will this be the return to the series for you?

Naomi N. Lugo

 
The Xbox Digital Sale gives its players the chance at their own summer sale. From June 30 to July 10, AAA and indie titles will be up to 70% off (or 80% for Xbox Live Gold members). In general, Gold members will save 10% more.
 
There are over 300 games in the sale and span both the Xbox One and 360. Included are DLC as well as deluxe editions for games. Some of the deals for the Xbox One include:
 
Mass Effect: Andromeda - 40/50% off
For Honor - 30/40% off
Rocket League - 30/40% off
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - 30/40% off
Far Cry 4 - 50/60% off
The Division - 50/60% off
Fallout 4 - 35/45% off
Final Fantasy XV - 30/40% off
 
See all of the deals here. Anything on sale that catches your eye? 

Marcus Stewart

 
Today, Paradox Interactive announced its acquisition of Overlord and Age of Wonders developer, Triumph Studios. 
 
“We have been approached by others before with an interest to acquire us, but this is not merely a business transaction for us," Lennart Sas, Triumph co-founder and CEO, said in a press release. "This is a liaison with a partner that can help us grow sustainably by ensuring the stability and continuity needed for us to do more of what we do best - develop some of the best turn-based strategy games on the market today. Paradox is a good match for us both culturally and games-wise. They get it. It’s as simple as that, and we are extremely excited about the acquisition,”
 
"...We have great faith in Lennart, Arno and the Triumph team, and our main focus now is to ensure that they can continue to create their magic under new ownership," Fredrik Wester, Paradox Interactive CEO, said. 
 
The Netherlands based Triumph Studios formed in 1997, releasing the first Age of Empires in 1999. During its existence, the studio shipped three sequels in the series as well as two Overlord games and one expansion. Triumph's most recent release was Age of Wonders III, released in 2014.
 
Paradox states Triumph's current team and management will be retained at the studio, and that current projects will be published under the Paradox banner. The company has lengthy portfolio of published titles, including Cities: Skylines, the Magicka series, and Pillars of Eternity. 
 
What do you think of the acquisition? Do you think Paradox and Triumph will be a good fit? 

Marcus Stewart

 
Multiplayer shooter fans curious about Lawbreakers have a chance to give the physics-defying shooter a whirl before it releases later this summer. An open beta went live today on Steam and will run until July 5. 
 
The beta features a new map, the mountainous Vertigo, as well as a new mode called Uplink. Teams are tasked with capturing an uplink from the center of the map and delivering it to their base where it must be protected it to earn points. Players can also test out customizable weapon stickers, including a special sticker earned by finishing five matches. This sticker will transfer into the full release. 
 
You can hop in on the open beta by visiting the Lawbreakers site. Lawbreakers releases August 8 for $29.99 on PC and PS4. For more on the title, check out its trailer from the PC Gaming Show

herobyclicking
In the infamous words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I don’t know about you, but it seems like this year is flying by with no sight of slowing down. 
 
In an effort to stop and look around, here’s our monthly update to let you all know the important news from around the community. Buckle in, because you’re the best gaming has to offer!
Extra Life at E3 2017
With help from the Orange County and Los Angeles Guilds, Extra Life headed to E3 for the 6th year in a row to raise awareness for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the children we serve. We recruited over 300 new Extra Lifers and launched a new initiative called Bits for Kids, where Twitch partners and affiliates can donate their bits to Extra Life. Learn more about Bits for Kids here, and also check out some pictures from our time at E3 here.
 

 
Trion Worlds In Game Bundle
Trion Worlds is teaming up with Extra Life for the 3rd year in a row to release an in-game bundle for their crafting game, Trove. The bundle includes 2 dragon eggs, 4 costumes, 6 mounts, 14 allies and 18 styles for helmets, hats, faces and weapons!. All purchases of the bundle directly support Extra Life. Learn more about the bundle here.
 

 
Extra Life United 2017 Recap Video Released

 
Extra Life United is an annual gaming tournament held in Orlando, FL that brings together some of the most passionate Extra Life Community members while giving them a chance to unlock funds for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. We took a look back at ELU 2017 by releasing this recap video to remind us of the amazing memories and that this is not game over for the sick and injured kids treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. To sign up for updates for Extra Life United 2018, visit http://extra-life.org/united
 
 
Community Update
We are 4 months out from Game Day and over 13,000 people have signed up to play games and heal kids! We have also raised close to $1.2 million – INCREDIBLE! Thank you for your dedication to the children we serve.
 

 
We Remember An Angel
June 15th would have been Victoria Enmon’s 25th birthday. Happy Birthday to the little girl from Texas who inspired the Extra Life movement for millions of kids treated at children’s hospitals. We love and miss you, Tori!
 

 
We have accomplished so much together, so let’s all keep pushing forward for fun, fellowship, and – as always….
 
For The Kids,    
Mike, Liz, Lou and Jeromy
Team Extra Life
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals 

Naomi N. Lugo

 
The game that hailed itself as the "easiest PS4 Platinum Trophy" has been pulled from the PlayStation Network after only two days of being in the digital store.
 
 
A platinum trophy, the epitome of a trophy addict's time and dedication, could be achieved in an hour, or a mere twenty minutes. The gameplay consisted solely of sliding puzzles of different 4K wallpapers. In the trailer above, the devs even note that they even had their brief doubts about a number of trophies in the game. "Oh no, no," a note in the trailer says, "did we over-do it on trophies?"
 
PlayStation's removal of the game seems to be a response to concern over the quality of some games being released. 

Marcus Stewart

 
If you've got the Xbox 360 version of Call of Duty: Ghosts laying around and haven't felt like upgrading to the Xbox One version of the game, Microsoft has you covered. Infinity Ward's middling 2013 shooter is playable now on Xbox One via backward compatibility. 
 
Ghosts marks the sixth Call of Duty title to become backward compatible. It joins Call of Duty 2 and 3, World at War, and Black Ops I and II. 
 
The latest entry in the series, Call of Duty: WWII, launches November 3. Check out the game's E3 multiplayer trailer here. You can also read about how Microsoft is making original Xbox games playable on Xbox One.  

Naomi N. Lugo

 
Ok, so we don't have any major information or any sort of timeframe, but we do have quotes. "It's no secret that we're doing something with Dragon Age," said Mike Laidlaw aka the Senior Creative Director for Dragon Age during a podcast called The 1099. He continued on to say, "I can't talk about what, but we're certainly involved in something."
 
Laidlaw was a guest on the podcast and the topics were creating "massive open worlds," his career and, of course, Dragon Age. "As I've jokingly said, I am the creative director for the Dragon Age franchise and they haven't fired me yet," said Laidlaw hinting at the viability of the next Dragon Age game.
 
The last game in the Dragon Age franchise was Inquisition which released in November 2014. Its release received positive critical reception and apparently sold very well. 
 
When do you think we'll get a new Dragon Age game? Do you think Bioware is focusing on the series?

Marcus Stewart

 
Konami dropped a slew of new goodies to Super Bomberman R. Update 1.4 brings new mode, costumes, and more to the Switch's explosive multiplayer party game. 
 
The patch introduces three new characters themed after Konami game icons: Castlevania's Simon Belmont, Silent Hill's Pyramid Head, and Gradius' Vic Viper. A new Team Battle mode allows to form their own squads and challenge players online. Four new maps arrive in Battle Mode: Plain Floor, Desert Crate, Classic Conveyor Belt, and Panic Factory. Also, two new series of accessories, Snowflake and Item, are now available. 
 
The update is live now. You can read the full patch notes here.