Marcus Stewart

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Marcus Stewart last won the day on June 18

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About Marcus Stewart

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/09/1987

Extra Life

  • Hospital
    Choose A Hospital

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    Male
  • Location
    Port Saint Lucie, FL
  • Interests
    Video Games, Writing, Pro Wrestling, Movies, Books, Comics.

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    @MarcusStewart7

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  • PSN ID
    Lygerdark
  • Steam
    sundancekid1987
  • Xbox Gamertag
    SundanceKid1967
  1. July's PlayStation Plus free game roster is up. The line-up features a healthy mix of slasher horror, political intrigue, and Pomeranians surviving post-apocalyptic Japan. Adventure horror title Until Dawn and the season pass for Telltale's Game of Thrones series make up the PlayStation 4 offerings. PlayStation 3 owners can download Tokyo Jungle and Darkstalkers Resurrection. For Vita, Element 4I and Don't Die Mr. Robot (with cross-buy on PS4) are up for grabs. From July 4 to October 24, PS Plus users also received the mobile-focused quiz game That's You! to mark the launch of PlayLink, an initiative that allows players to interact with games using use their smartphones. What do you think of July's Plus offerings? View full article
  2. July's PlayStation Plus free game roster is up. The line-up features a healthy mix of slasher horror, political intrigue, and Pomeranians surviving post-apocalyptic Japan. Adventure horror title Until Dawn and the season pass for Telltale's Game of Thrones series make up the PlayStation 4 offerings. PlayStation 3 owners can download Tokyo Jungle and Darkstalkers Resurrection. For Vita, Element 4I and Don't Die Mr. Robot (with cross-buy on PS4) are up for grabs. From July 4 to October 24, PS Plus users also received the mobile-focused quiz game That's You! to mark the launch of PlayLink, an initiative that allows players to interact with games using use their smartphones. What do you think of July's Plus offerings?
  3. Brawlers are one the main genres I cut my teeth into during my formative gaming years. Favorites such as Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, and the TMNT series let me gleefully take out my aggression by taking down scores of goons, one uppercut at a time. The genre had an amazing heyday in the 80’s and early 90’s before plummeting off a cliff in the following decade. Then Castle Crashers came along in 2009 and suddenly a wave of new brawlers punched their way into the scene, many of them featuring the RPG elements that Behemoth’s successful title popularized. But once that Renaissance came and went, brawlers began to slide out of favor again. I think that’s largely because there hasn’t been much meaningful innovation in the format since then. Enter Redeemer , a top-down beat 'em up created by Russian development team Soboka Studio and published by Gambitious Digital Entertainment. The team's goal is to breath new life into the genre or, in their words, “make a brawler for 2017”. The game puts players in control Vasily, a former top-notch mercenary once employed by an evil corporation who has since walked away from that blood-stained life to find peace within a monk monastery. However, after decades of solitude, the corporation has tracked and located Vasily at his new home, sending the reformed monk on a brutal quest for revenge and redemption. After getting some hands-on time with Redeemer at E3 2017, I almost had to be physically pried away from the controller. The game was a blast, hitting all the right notes for a brawler fan such as myself. Here are the biggest takeaways from my session: Combat Is Deeper Than Mere Button Mashing The brawler genre’s primary appeal, mindlessly punching the snot out of bad guys, has also been its greatest weakness. You can only mash that same hit button so many times before it grows old, especially when every enemy can be toppled in the same manner. Redeemer looks to solve that problem by offering a more refined combat system that emphasizes player skill as well as a variety of methods to put people down. Imagine the Rocksteady Batman combat system applied to a top-down brawler. That pretty much defines Redeemer’s fisticuffs. Chaining together punches and kicks to form bone-crunching combos while performing split-second counters gives combat a similar flow to that of the Caped Crusader’s. Fighting felt great thanks to the smooth animations and transitions, as well as the satisfying sense of weight behind every blow. Different enemy types require different tactics–players can’t mindlessly punch their way through everything. I learned that quickly after certain adversaries blocked my barrage and responded with vicious counter-attacks. One way around them is by using two special attacks that can either drop enemies directly in front of players or a ground-pound that wipes out everyone around you. Since roughly 30 enemies could be on-screen at any time, those room-clearing attacks will be valuable. When opponents are vulnerable, executions moves let players finish off the opponent in savage fashion. Vasily can also perform stealth kills. I entered a room occupied by a couple of soldiers and snapped their necks from behind, preventing them alerting their comrades. Though not a stealth game by any stretch, I appreciate the option to quietly pick off certain foes before going in guns blazing. Speaking of which... Guns Are Helpful (And Deadly) Extensions Of Yourself Vasily’s fists are lethal weapons in their own right. However, that doesn’t stop him from picking up a hot piece and laying down fire. During my demo, I grabbed machine guns and mowed down targets with the tight twin-stick controls, which felt as gratifying as knocking someone’s teeth out. Players can wield arms ranging from handguns to high-tech laser rifles. Even though melee combat is Redeemer's bread and butter, gunplay didn’t feel like an out-of-place or neglected feature. One of the slickest maneuvers in the game is a “John Wick” style move where Vasily can swiftly disarm armed foes and turn their weapons against them. Not only is the action simple to perform, but I felt like the coolest guy ever by rushing a room filled with thugs packing heat, John Wick-ing the nearest goon, then smoothly popping off rounds to the remaining guys without breaking a sweat. Your Surroundings Are Your Best Friend Anyone who’s watched enough Jackie Chan films knows the martial artist is nigh invincible when surrounded by objects he can use to his advantage. Vasily is no different. Deadly environmental kills that evoke Mortal Kombat in their brutality can be performed near highlighted objects. When I wasn't impaling soldiers on tree branches I used them to feed the flames of stone furnaces. Upon entering an area, I gleefully twiddled my fingers Mr. Burns-style plotting how and where I was going to make the most of my surroundings. Additionally, crates and other objects Additionally, crates and other objects and weapons (including sledgehammers and stun batons) can be picked up and hurled, which can be a life-saver when you need to attack from afar but don’t have a firearm. As the developer kept reminding me “crates are always your friend.” The Premise And Tone Is Delightfully Dumb In case you forgot, the game’s premise is a soldier-turned peace-loving monk who embarks on a murder rampage. The campaign's three chapters begin with Vasily taking on human soldiers and escalate to punching mutated monsters in the face. I played a section of the third chapter, which was set in a science fiction-style facility and was gunning down failed, hostile experiments with a laser cannon–while still wearing dusty monk robes. Redeemer has an absurd atmosphere and I love it. The game also sports a fair amount of style thanks to to the comic-illustrated cutscenes and exaggerated character models courtesy of Unreal Engine 4. Redeemer’s single-player campaign consists of three chapters. A two-player horde-style Arena mode will also be present, and Sobaka Studio isn’t ruling out adding co-op play to the campaign after the game launches. I found the game to be a riot and look forward to spending 4-5 hours laying the smack down on fools. Redeemer is slated to hit PC between late summer and early fall of this year for $14.99. Console versions are being considered post-launch. View full article
  4. Brawlers are one the main genres I cut my teeth into during my formative gaming years. Favorites such as Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, and the TMNT series let me gleefully take out my aggression by taking down scores of goons, one uppercut at a time. The genre had an amazing heyday in the 80’s and early 90’s before plummeting off a cliff in the following decade. Then Castle Crashers came along in 2009 and suddenly a wave of new brawlers punched their way into the scene, many of them featuring the RPG elements that Behemoth’s successful title popularized. But once that Renaissance came and went, brawlers began to slide out of favor again. I think that’s largely because there hasn’t been much meaningful innovation in the format since then. Enter Redeemer , a top-down beat 'em up created by Russian development team Soboka Studio and published by Gambitious Digital Entertainment. The team's goal is to breath new life into the genre or, in their words, “make a brawler for 2017”. The game puts players in control Vasily, a former top-notch mercenary once employed by an evil corporation who has since walked away from that blood-stained life to find peace within a monk monastery. However, after decades of solitude, the corporation has tracked and located Vasily at his new home, sending the reformed monk on a brutal quest for revenge and redemption. After getting some hands-on time with Redeemer at E3 2017, I almost had to be physically pried away from the controller. The game was a blast, hitting all the right notes for a brawler fan such as myself. Here are the biggest takeaways from my session: Combat Is Deeper Than Mere Button Mashing The brawler genre’s primary appeal, mindlessly punching the snot out of bad guys, has also been its greatest weakness. You can only mash that same hit button so many times before it grows old, especially when every enemy can be toppled in the same manner. Redeemer looks to solve that problem by offering a more refined combat system that emphasizes player skill as well as a variety of methods to put people down. Imagine the Rocksteady Batman combat system applied to a top-down brawler. That pretty much defines Redeemer’s fisticuffs. Chaining together punches and kicks to form bone-crunching combos while performing split-second counters gives combat a similar flow to that of the Caped Crusader’s. Fighting felt great thanks to the smooth animations and transitions, as well as the satisfying sense of weight behind every blow. Different enemy types require different tactics–players can’t mindlessly punch their way through everything. I learned that quickly after certain adversaries blocked my barrage and responded with vicious counter-attacks. One way around them is by using two special attacks that can either drop enemies directly in front of players or a ground-pound that wipes out everyone around you. Since roughly 30 enemies could be on-screen at any time, those room-clearing attacks will be valuable. When opponents are vulnerable, executions moves let players finish off the opponent in savage fashion. Vasily can also perform stealth kills. I entered a room occupied by a couple of soldiers and snapped their necks from behind, preventing them alerting their comrades. Though not a stealth game by any stretch, I appreciate the option to quietly pick off certain foes before going in guns blazing. Speaking of which... Guns Are Helpful (And Deadly) Extensions Of Yourself Vasily’s fists are lethal weapons in their own right. However, that doesn’t stop him from picking up a hot piece and laying down fire. During my demo, I grabbed machine guns and mowed down targets with the tight twin-stick controls, which felt as gratifying as knocking someone’s teeth out. Players can wield arms ranging from handguns to high-tech laser rifles. Even though melee combat is Redeemer's bread and butter, gunplay didn’t feel like an out-of-place or neglected feature. One of the slickest maneuvers in the game is a “John Wick” style move where Vasily can swiftly disarm armed foes and turn their weapons against them. Not only is the action simple to perform, but I felt like the coolest guy ever by rushing a room filled with thugs packing heat, John Wick-ing the nearest goon, then smoothly popping off rounds to the remaining guys without breaking a sweat. Your Surroundings Are Your Best Friend Anyone who’s watched enough Jackie Chan films knows the martial artist is nigh invincible when surrounded by objects he can use to his advantage. Vasily is no different. Deadly environmental kills that evoke Mortal Kombat in their brutality can be performed near highlighted objects. When I wasn't impaling soldiers on tree branches I used them to feed the flames of stone furnaces. Upon entering an area, I gleefully twiddled my fingers Mr. Burns-style plotting how and where I was going to make the most of my surroundings. Additionally, crates and other objects Additionally, crates and other objects and weapons (including sledgehammers and stun batons) can be picked up and hurled, which can be a life-saver when you need to attack from afar but don’t have a firearm. As the developer kept reminding me “crates are always your friend.” The Premise And Tone Is Delightfully Dumb In case you forgot, the game’s premise is a soldier-turned peace-loving monk who embarks on a murder rampage. The campaign's three chapters begin with Vasily taking on human soldiers and escalate to punching mutated monsters in the face. I played a section of the third chapter, which was set in a science fiction-style facility and was gunning down failed, hostile experiments with a laser cannon–while still wearing dusty monk robes. Redeemer has an absurd atmosphere and I love it. The game also sports a fair amount of style thanks to to the comic-illustrated cutscenes and exaggerated character models courtesy of Unreal Engine 4. Redeemer’s single-player campaign consists of three chapters. A two-player horde-style Arena mode will also be present, and Sobaka Studio isn’t ruling out adding co-op play to the campaign after the game launches. I found the game to be a riot and look forward to spending 4-5 hours laying the smack down on fools. Redeemer is slated to hit PC between late summer and early fall of this year for $14.99. Console versions are being considered post-launch.
  5. If you're looking to pick up Project CARS 2 when it launches this September, you can get ahead of the curve by picking up the season pass beginning today. At $29.99, owners will gain a discounted access to four future (and unannounced) DLC car packs, which will individually sell for $9.99. Season pass owners also get the bonus exclusive Motorsport Cars Pack that comes with four cars "curated from 40 years of motorsports history": 1974 Jaguar E-Type V12, Group 44 1991 Audi V8 DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) 1998 Panoz Esperante GTR-1 2016 Opel Astra TCR Additionally, the digital Standard and Deluxe Edition are also available today pre-order. The Standard Edition comes with the pre-order bonus Japanese Cars Pack, bundling the following four vehicles: 1981 Nissan 280ZX IMSA GTX 1990 Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 Group A 2015 Honda 2&4 Concept 2016 Honda Civic Type R - Euro Spec Deluxe Edition pre-orders come with the Japanese Cars Pack, Motorsport Cars Pack, and all Season Pass content. Project CARS 2 arrives at the finish line on September 22 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. View full article
  6. If you're looking to pick up Project CARS 2 when it launches this September, you can get ahead of the curve by picking up the season pass beginning today. At $29.99, owners will gain a discounted access to four future (and unannounced) DLC car packs, which will individually sell for $9.99. Season pass owners also get the bonus exclusive Motorsport Cars Pack that comes with four cars "curated from 40 years of motorsports history": 1974 Jaguar E-Type V12, Group 44 1991 Audi V8 DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) 1998 Panoz Esperante GTR-1 2016 Opel Astra TCR Additionally, the digital Standard and Deluxe Edition are also available today pre-order. The Standard Edition comes with the pre-order bonus Japanese Cars Pack, bundling the following four vehicles: 1981 Nissan 280ZX IMSA GTX 1990 Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 Group A 2015 Honda 2&4 Concept 2016 Honda Civic Type R - Euro Spec Deluxe Edition pre-orders come with the Japanese Cars Pack, Motorsport Cars Pack, and all Season Pass content. Project CARS 2 arrives at the finish line on September 22 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
  7. Since launching last fall, Titanfall 2 has been bolstered by a steady stream of content at no cost to its players. The latest freebie DLC pack, The War Games, brings even more goodies, the centerpiece of which is a remastered version of the War Games map from the first Titanfall. War Games takes place in a combat simulation scenario that combines virtual metropolitan elements with those of the real-life Pilot/Titan training center. Players battle across city streets and within towering buildings, using suspended virtual surfaces for wall-running. Other additions include the introduction of a third weapon slot, a slick "shadow boxing" Holo Pilot execution, Titan Brawl as a permanent game mode, and a new Live Fire map dubbed "Traffic." Check out the action-packed trailer below. Titanfall 2 released October 28 of last year. For Titanfall fans, are you looking forward to jetpacking around War Games once again? View full article
  8. Since launching last fall, Titanfall 2 has been bolstered by a steady stream of content at no cost to its players. The latest freebie DLC pack, The War Games, brings even more goodies, the centerpiece of which is a remastered version of the War Games map from the first Titanfall. War Games takes place in a combat simulation scenario that combines virtual metropolitan elements with those of the real-life Pilot/Titan training center. Players battle across city streets and within towering buildings, using suspended virtual surfaces for wall-running. Other additions include the introduction of a third weapon slot, a slick "shadow boxing" Holo Pilot execution, Titan Brawl as a permanent game mode, and a new Live Fire map dubbed "Traffic." Check out the action-packed trailer below. Titanfall 2 released October 28 of last year. For Titanfall fans, are you looking forward to jetpacking around War Games once again?
  9. Destiny 2 is just over two months away, arriving Sept. 6. Bungie is in the process of preparing existing Destiny players for the big move over by gradually winding things down in the original, starting by ending services for crucible events. A recent post on Bungie’s blog revealed that Destiny’s Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris are coming to a close in the coming months. The modes are entering “hibernation before reemerging to spread their beautiful wings in unexpected ways in Destiny 2,” the post reads. Fans should mark Aug. 1 as the date for the final Iron Banner. The last Trials of Osiris event will take place Aug. 11. Bungie also explained how Destiny accomplishments will be reflected in the upcoming sequel. Namely, dedicated Guardians will be awarded memorialization emblems for completing specific events during Destiny's lifetime. Some of these can only be earned by those who were present from the game’s launch or at the start of Year 2, but others are currently still achievable. If you’re looking to earn those emblems, Bungie states players have until Aug. 1 to do so before the data is frozen in preparation for Destiny 2. Bungie's full post goes into greater detail about the types of memorialization emblems players can earn as well as details on how to earn an Age of Triumph t-shirt. You can check it out here. For more on Destiny 2, check out the title's E3 2017 trailer, a comprehensive rundown of its features and Jack Gardner's take on the game's shift in tone. View full article
  10. Destiny 2 is just over two months away, arriving Sept. 6. Bungie is in the process of preparing existing Destiny players for the big move over by gradually winding things down in the original, starting by ending services for crucible events. A recent post on Bungie’s blog revealed that Destiny’s Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris are coming to a close in the coming months. The modes are entering “hibernation before reemerging to spread their beautiful wings in unexpected ways in Destiny 2,” the post reads. Fans should mark Aug. 1 as the date for the final Iron Banner. The last Trials of Osiris event will take place Aug. 11. Bungie also explained how Destiny accomplishments will be reflected in the upcoming sequel. Namely, dedicated Guardians will be awarded memorialization emblems for completing specific events during Destiny's lifetime. Some of these can only be earned by those who were present from the game’s launch or at the start of Year 2, but others are currently still achievable. If you’re looking to earn those emblems, Bungie states players have until Aug. 1 to do so before the data is frozen in preparation for Destiny 2. Bungie's full post goes into greater detail about the types of memorialization emblems players can earn as well as details on how to earn an Age of Triumph t-shirt. You can check it out here. For more on Destiny 2, check out the title's E3 2017 trailer, a comprehensive rundown of its features and Jack Gardner's take on the game's shift in tone.
  11. The NES Classic was a massive hit when it released last November. Bundling over 20 beloved titles, the miniature console routinely sold out, which lead to widespread retailer hunts and sky-high price gouging from re-sellers. Nintendo abruptly called off production of the still-in-demand mini-console earlier this year to the dismay and bewilderment of those who hadn't secured a box. This lead to assumptions/rumors that the move was done so that the company could prep for a Super Nintendo version. Whether or not that exact reasoning is true remains to be seen, but Nintendo confirmed today that the Super NES classic is happening, and it's arriving September 29. At $79.99, the box bundles a who's-who of 16-bit treasures. The biggest surprise is that Star Fox 2, the legendary unreleased sequel to Fox McCloud's debut adventure, is included. The highly-anticipated follow-up was fully completed but cancelled prior to launch due to the impending arrival of the Nintendo 64. It's appearance on the Super SNES Classic Edition marks the game's first official release, meaning the vintage collection technically features one "brand-new" title. Here's the full list of the Super NES Classic Edition's 21 titles: Contra III: The Alien Wars Donkey Kong Country EarthBound Final Fantasy III F-Zero Kirby Super Star Kirby's Dream Course The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Mega Man X Secret of Mana Star Fox Star Fox 2 Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting Super Castlevania IV Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts Super Mario Kart Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars Super Mario World Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island Super Metroid Super Punch-Out!! Like the NES Classic, the mini-SNES can be plugged into a TV via an HDMI (cable included), and the box comes with one USB charge cable with an AC adapter, and two controllers (hopefully with longer wires than the NES Classic). Retailer and pre-order information are not available at this time. It remains to be seen if Nintendo will produce enough of Super NES Classics to meet what will surely be a rabid demand or if it will be billed as a limited collector's item. Are you excited about the Super NES? Are you prepared for the fight that may very well come with trying to obtain one? Update: Nintendo reached out to Kotaku to clarify their intentions regarding the number of SNES Classic units produced. Comment is as follows: We aren’t providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition. Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition is currently planned to ship from Sept. 29 until the end of calendar year 2017. At this time, we have nothing to announce regarding any possible shipments beyond this year. Our long-term efforts are focused on delivering great games for the Nintendo Switch system and continuing to build momentum for that platform, as well as serving the more than 63 million owners of Nintendo 3DS family systems. We are offering Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition in special recognition of the fans who show tremendous interest our classic content. View full article
  12. The NES Classic was a massive hit when it released last November. Bundling over 20 beloved titles, the miniature console routinely sold out, which lead to widespread retailer hunts and sky-high price gouging from re-sellers. Nintendo abruptly called off production of the still-in-demand mini-console earlier this year to the dismay and bewilderment of those who hadn't secured a box. This lead to assumptions/rumors that the move was done so that the company could prep for a Super Nintendo version. Whether or not that exact reasoning is true remains to be seen, but Nintendo confirmed today that the Super NES classic is happening, and it's arriving September 29. At $79.99, the box bundles a who's-who of 16-bit treasures. The biggest surprise is that Star Fox 2, the legendary unreleased sequel to Fox McCloud's debut adventure, is included. The highly-anticipated follow-up was fully completed but cancelled prior to launch due to the impending arrival of the Nintendo 64. It's appearance on the Super SNES Classic Edition marks the game's first official release, meaning the vintage collection technically features one "brand-new" title. Here's the full list of the Super NES Classic Edition's 21 titles: Contra III: The Alien Wars Donkey Kong Country EarthBound Final Fantasy III F-Zero Kirby Super Star Kirby's Dream Course The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Mega Man X Secret of Mana Star Fox Star Fox 2 Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting Super Castlevania IV Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts Super Mario Kart Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars Super Mario World Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island Super Metroid Super Punch-Out!! Like the NES Classic, the mini-SNES can be plugged into a TV via an HDMI (cable included), and the box comes with one USB charge cable with an AC adapter, and two controllers (hopefully with longer wires than the NES Classic). Retailer and pre-order information are not available at this time. It remains to be seen if Nintendo will produce enough of Super NES Classics to meet what will surely be a rabid demand or if it will be billed as a limited collector's item. Are you excited about the Super NES? Are you prepared for the fight that may very well come with trying to obtain one? Update: Nintendo reached out to Kotaku to clarify their intentions regarding the number of SNES Classic units produced. Comment is as follows: We aren’t providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition. Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition is currently planned to ship from Sept. 29 until the end of calendar year 2017. At this time, we have nothing to announce regarding any possible shipments beyond this year. Our long-term efforts are focused on delivering great games for the Nintendo Switch system and continuing to build momentum for that platform, as well as serving the more than 63 million owners of Nintendo 3DS family systems. We are offering Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition in special recognition of the fans who show tremendous interest our classic content.
  13. My hands ache, palms are sweaty. I let out a huge sigh of relief as the final boss explodes into a confetti of voxels and vibrant particle effects. How many lives did I throw at that thing before I finally managed to take it down? A few dozen? Sounds about right. Although the journey was exhilarating romp, it was also draining test of hand-eye coordination and reflexes. That about sums up Nex Machina: an addictive arcade shooter with a blistering challenge that occasionally gets too tough for its own good. Housemarque knows how to craft arcade shooters that keep players coming back for more. The studio’s past works, Super Stardust HD and Resogun, are among the best modern takes on the genre. With Nex Machina, the studio has assembled perhaps its most arduous game yet by teaming up with Robotron/Smash TV mastermind Eugene Jarvis. The influence of those arcade classics are immediately evident. Players mow down waves upon waves of enemies from a top-down, third person perspective. Clearing one arena teleports players to the next, and so on until you reach the world’s boss. Nex Machina is a fast-paced, no-nonsense affair right out of the gate. I died within the first few seconds thanks to how swiftly enemies swarm players from all sides, sometimes in Galaga-esque serpentine patterns, other times in messy groups. If fending off a dozen hostile creatures wasn’t enough, you’re often doing so while simultaneously avoiding spinning laser beams, screen-filling projectile waves, and long-range mortar fire. Nex Machina revels in throwing everything but the kitchen sink at players and letting your guard down for even a nanosecond results in an explosive demise The game is demanding, sometimes to a fault, but it’s supremely satisfying to outmaneuver and outgun seemingly insurmountable opposition. Watching targets burst into tiny cubes adds to that thrill thanks to the crisp voxel graphics and destructible environments. Multiple secrets lay within each arena, most within objects like breakable cubes and boulders. The game lacks a tutorial, betting on players to blast away everything in sight and discover things on their own–an assumption quickly proven accurate. A fun and devilish layer of challenge comes in seeking out these collectibles. Since eradicating foes automatically warps you to the next room, completionists must intentionally stay their trigger finger in order to stick around and thoroughly inspect an area. However, doing this increases your likelihood of getting killed. So do you quickly mow down foes in the name of swift progression or put everything on the line for maximum points? The best example of this decision-making comes from rescuing humans from the clutches of aliens ala Resogun. Gathering them all feels awesome, but going out of my way to do so cost me countless lives. Sometimes I was forced to abandon humans in the interest of completing a merciless zone–a decision I always hated. No matter how frustrating this task got, I felt compelled to perform better just to spite Nex Machina and prove that I could not only win but do so in style, even if that didn’t always work out. While I found Nex Machina to be generally fair despite its difficulty, cheap deaths weren’t a complete non-factor. Some questionable respawns occasionally drop players directly in harm's way, such as in front of turrets, killing them before they have a chance to react. This problem rears its head most in busy situations where’s there’s no real safe spot to drop into. The small character can easily be lost among packed crowds, creating an infuriating game of Where’s Waldo that made me feel cheated when I failed due a loss of visuals rather than a lack of skill. Another issue is the lack of saving in the arcade campaign. Once started, it must be completed in one sitting, otherwise players start over from the beginning. I learned this the hard way after I completed the third world and closed the game, assuming I’d be checkpointed at the beginning of world four upon my return. To my horror, I was greeted by the first world’s opening motorcycle sequence. I get the old-school arcade mentality behind this design, and, thankfully, worlds can be completed in roughly 10 minutes (depending on how much you die). However, it's annoying to be forced to commit like that. I hit several rough spots that caused me to tap out for a breather, forcing me to leave my PS4 in rest mode for long stretches since I couldn’t shut off the game entirely. Nex Machina does a nice job of accommodating each skill-level of player without dumbing down the core experience. Rookie allots unlimited continues for those who want to see the entire game with the freedom of failing as much as required. Experienced grants 99 continues (which burn away far quicker than believed), Veteran grants a mere 10 continues and tougher foes, and the unlockable Master difficulty sports 5 continues, quicker enemies and movement. Other modes include local co-op through the arcade campaign, a Arena mode where players compete for leaderboard rankings under increasingly tougher stipulations, and a Single World mode that allows players to cherry pick individual levels. Conclusion Those itching for new twin-stick arcade shooter to sink into, or Smash TV/Robotron fans curious about a modernized take on that style, should definitely give Nex Machina a look. Offering an enjoyable, pulse-pounding experience layered with a satisfying, if not sometimes overwhelming, challenge, it's a quality shooter that successfully invokes the glory days of arcades. No matter how infuriating Nex Machina becomes, you’ll find yourself continually picking up the controller you just threw for one more run. Just be sure to bring a Gandhi-level of patience on top of Spider-Man-like reflexes and everything should be gravy. Nex Machina was reviewed on PlayStation 4 and is also available now for PC.
  14. My hands ache, palms are sweaty. I let out a huge sigh of relief as the final boss explodes into a confetti of voxels and vibrant particle effects. How many lives did I throw at that thing before I finally managed to take it down? A few dozen? Sounds about right. Although the journey was exhilarating romp, it was also draining test of hand-eye coordination and reflexes. That about sums up Nex Machina: an addictive arcade shooter with a blistering challenge that occasionally gets too tough for its own good. Housemarque knows how to craft arcade shooters that keep players coming back for more. The studio’s past works, Super Stardust HD and Resogun, are among the best modern takes on the genre. With Nex Machina, the studio has assembled perhaps its most arduous game yet by teaming up with Robotron/Smash TV mastermind Eugene Jarvis. The influence of those arcade classics are immediately evident. Players mow down waves upon waves of enemies from a top-down, third person perspective. Clearing one arena teleports players to the next, and so on until you reach the world’s boss. Nex Machina is a fast-paced, no-nonsense affair right out of the gate. I died within the first few seconds thanks to how swiftly enemies swarm players from all sides, sometimes in Galaga-esque serpentine patterns, other times in messy groups. If fending off a dozen hostile creatures wasn’t enough, you’re often doing so while simultaneously avoiding spinning laser beams, screen-filling projectile waves, and long-range mortar fire. Nex Machina revels in throwing everything but the kitchen sink at players and letting your guard down for even a nanosecond results in an explosive demise The game is demanding, sometimes to a fault, but it’s supremely satisfying to outmaneuver and outgun seemingly insurmountable opposition. Watching targets burst into tiny cubes adds to that thrill thanks to the crisp voxel graphics and destructible environments. Multiple secrets lay within each arena, most within objects like breakable cubes and boulders. The game lacks a tutorial, betting on players to blast away everything in sight and discover things on their own–an assumption quickly proven accurate. A fun and devilish layer of challenge comes in seeking out these collectibles. Since eradicating foes automatically warps you to the next room, completionists must intentionally stay their trigger finger in order to stick around and thoroughly inspect an area. However, doing this increases your likelihood of getting killed. So do you quickly mow down foes in the name of swift progression or put everything on the line for maximum points? The best example of this decision-making comes from rescuing humans from the clutches of aliens ala Resogun. Gathering them all feels awesome, but going out of my way to do so cost me countless lives. Sometimes I was forced to abandon humans in the interest of completing a merciless zone–a decision I always hated. No matter how frustrating this task got, I felt compelled to perform better just to spite Nex Machina and prove that I could not only win but do so in style, even if that didn’t always work out. While I found Nex Machina to be generally fair despite its difficulty, cheap deaths weren’t a complete non-factor. Some questionable respawns occasionally drop players directly in harm's way, such as in front of turrets, killing them before they have a chance to react. This problem rears its head most in busy situations where’s there’s no real safe spot to drop into. The small character can easily be lost among packed crowds, creating an infuriating game of Where’s Waldo that made me feel cheated when I failed due a loss of visuals rather than a lack of skill. Another issue is the lack of saving in the arcade campaign. Once started, it must be completed in one sitting, otherwise players start over from the beginning. I learned this the hard way after I completed the third world and closed the game, assuming I’d be checkpointed at the beginning of world four upon my return. To my horror, I was greeted by the first world’s opening motorcycle sequence. I get the old-school arcade mentality behind this design, and, thankfully, worlds can be completed in roughly 10 minutes (depending on how much you die). However, it's annoying to be forced to commit like that. I hit several rough spots that caused me to tap out for a breather, forcing me to leave my PS4 in rest mode for long stretches since I couldn’t shut off the game entirely. Nex Machina does a nice job of accommodating each skill-level of player without dumbing down the core experience. Rookie allots unlimited continues for those who want to see the entire game with the freedom of failing as much as required. Experienced grants 99 continues (which burn away far quicker than believed), Veteran grants a mere 10 continues and tougher foes, and the unlockable Master difficulty sports 5 continues, quicker enemies and movement. Other modes include local co-op through the arcade campaign, a Arena mode where players compete for leaderboard rankings under increasingly tougher stipulations, and a Single World mode that allows players to cherry pick individual levels. Conclusion Those itching for new twin-stick arcade shooter to sink into, or Smash TV/Robotron fans curious about a modernized take on that style, should definitely give Nex Machina a look. Offering an enjoyable, pulse-pounding experience layered with a satisfying, if not sometimes overwhelming, challenge, it's a quality shooter that successfully invokes the glory days of arcades. No matter how infuriating Nex Machina becomes, you’ll find yourself continually picking up the controller you just threw for one more run. Just be sure to bring a Gandhi-level of patience on top of Spider-Man-like reflexes and everything should be gravy. Nex Machina was reviewed on PlayStation 4 and is also available now for PC. View full article
  15. Noclip, a YouTube channel focusing on crowd-funded video game documentaries, has produced an in-depth series looking at the development history Final Fantasy XIV. This first of three installments gives a great look at the MMORPG's early history, particularly development on the 1.0 version of the game. Interviews with key designers speak about how Final Fantasy XI's design served as a blueprint, and how the development team responded to Final Fantasy XIV's initial backlash, leading to a new team coming in to completely overhaul the game into A Realm Reborn. In the past, Noclip has produced fascinating videos detailing the development of titles such as the new Doom, Rocket League, and The Witness. If you're interested in learning not just how games are made, but the personal stories behind the designers who craft them, the channel is well worth checking out. View full article