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Found 114 results

  1. With a simple tweet, CD Projekt RED kicked off a storm of internet excitement yesterday. The Witcher developer has been quietly working on their upcoming cyberpunk RPG project for years without a peep. But that silence was broken by a single tweet from the long inactive Cyberpunk 2077 let out a single "*beep*" leading many to speculate that an announcement was imminent. Announced all the way back in 2012, Cyberpunk 2077 has long remained an enigmatic project. A teaser was released in 2013 claiming that the game would release "when it's ready." At one point an early build was stolen from CD Projekt RED and the thief attempted to extort the developer for money in exchange for not leaking it to the world. The developer refused to pay saying that, "the documents are old and largely unrepresentative of the current vision for the game." Here's what little we know of CD Projekt RED's foray into cyberpunk. Cyberpunk 2077 is based on the tabletop RPG Cyberpunk 2020 that was developed by legendary designer Mike Pondsmith, who will also be contributing to CD Projekt's game. It will be an open world action RPG with a heavy emphasis on a single player campaign as well as a multiplayer component. Those two systems are expected to interact in some way. It will be running on REDengine 4, a new in-house engine that improves on the game engine that powered The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The action will take place in a sprawling urban environment called Night City and follow a group of people called Psycho Squad who recruit dangerous people and entities for a mysterious purpose. In a funding document spied by Game Zone, the developer estimated that Cyberpunk 2077 might release in 2019, though given how ambitious CD Projekt RED's previous titles have been it might be more realistic (and perhaps thematically appropriate) to expect a 2020 release. Whatever the eventual release date, renewed Twitter activity certainly seems to indicate that we will be getting more information on the game sometime this year. View full article
  2. With a simple tweet, CD Projekt RED kicked off a storm of internet excitement yesterday. The Witcher developer has been quietly working on their upcoming cyberpunk RPG project for years without a peep. But that silence was broken by a single tweet from the long inactive Cyberpunk 2077 let out a single "*beep*" leading many to speculate that an announcement was imminent. Announced all the way back in 2012, Cyberpunk 2077 has long remained an enigmatic project. A teaser was released in 2013 claiming that the game would release "when it's ready." At one point an early build was stolen from CD Projekt RED and the thief attempted to extort the developer for money in exchange for not leaking it to the world. The developer refused to pay saying that, "the documents are old and largely unrepresentative of the current vision for the game." Here's what little we know of CD Projekt RED's foray into cyberpunk. Cyberpunk 2077 is based on the tabletop RPG Cyberpunk 2020 that was developed by legendary designer Mike Pondsmith, who will also be contributing to CD Projekt's game. It will be an open world action RPG with a heavy emphasis on a single player campaign as well as a multiplayer component. Those two systems are expected to interact in some way. It will be running on REDengine 4, a new in-house engine that improves on the game engine that powered The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The action will take place in a sprawling urban environment called Night City and follow a group of people called Psycho Squad who recruit dangerous people and entities for a mysterious purpose. In a funding document spied by Game Zone, the developer estimated that Cyberpunk 2077 might release in 2019, though given how ambitious CD Projekt RED's previous titles have been it might be more realistic (and perhaps thematically appropriate) to expect a 2020 release. Whatever the eventual release date, renewed Twitter activity certainly seems to indicate that we will be getting more information on the game sometime this year.
  3. Code Vein has been on our radar since its mysterious tease and subsequent reveal. If there were any doubts about the inspiration Bandai Namco took from From Software's Bloodborne, there can't be much more after seeing the latest trailer. "We fight, we drink blood, revive, and then fight some more. Our lives are pretty much one endless loop." This quote from the trailer refers to the vampyric apocalypse the main characters find themselves struggling against. However, it also sums up the mechanics of Code Vein, which thrusts players into the role of a newly turned vampire who must fight and drink blood in order to retain sanity in a world wrecked by a mysterious cataclysm. The quote could also be interpreted to mean a nod toward Bloodborne, a game that might also be summarized as, "fight, blood, revive, repeat." However, it seems apparent that Code Vein has taken pains to distance itself from those comparisons. While there's certainly some gothic inspiration in the art design, it's tuned down in favor of a more jagged, ruinous apocalypse. The characters also retain their anime-inspired designs, a feature that extends into the animated opening created by studio ufotable. Not only that, but the soundtrack as showcased in the trailers to date seems to be a mixture of operatic Final Fantasy and dark rock. The previous trailer offered up a sweepingly orchestrated score, which stands in stark contrast with the latest soundscape. The newest trailer features the opening theme of Code Vein, the track 'Underworld' by a band called Vamps. Code Vein is set to release sometime in 2018 on PC, PlayStation 4, and PC.
  4. Code Vein has been on our radar since its mysterious tease and subsequent reveal. If there were any doubts about the inspiration Bandai Namco took from From Software's Bloodborne, there can't be much more after seeing the latest trailer. "We fight, we drink blood, revive, and then fight some more. Our lives are pretty much one endless loop." This quote from the trailer refers to the vampyric apocalypse the main characters find themselves struggling against. However, it also sums up the mechanics of Code Vein, which thrusts players into the role of a newly turned vampire who must fight and drink blood in order to retain sanity in a world wrecked by a mysterious cataclysm. The quote could also be interpreted to mean a nod toward Bloodborne, a game that might also be summarized as, "fight, blood, revive, repeat." However, it seems apparent that Code Vein has taken pains to distance itself from those comparisons. While there's certainly some gothic inspiration in the art design, it's tuned down in favor of a more jagged, ruinous apocalypse. The characters also retain their anime-inspired designs, a feature that extends into the animated opening created by studio ufotable. Not only that, but the soundtrack as showcased in the trailers to date seems to be a mixture of operatic Final Fantasy and dark rock. The previous trailer offered up a sweepingly orchestrated score, which stands in stark contrast with the latest soundscape. The newest trailer features the opening theme of Code Vein, the track 'Underworld' by a band called Vamps. Code Vein is set to release sometime in 2018 on PC, PlayStation 4, and PC. View full article
  5. In 2014, Stoic Games released their Kickstarter indie darling The Banner Saga to massive success. Hailed as "The Oregon Trail, but with fighting and a Norse apocalypse," The Banner Saga went on to generate a sequel as well as a third installment that recently found success on Kickstarter. The high-stakes, turn-based RPG took players on a journey through a hand-painted world full of mystery and intrigue, where it felt like one wrong move could unravel tenuous alliances or get people killed. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: Paladin's Quest 'Sleep, Beloved Child' by Archangel (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03557) 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
  6. In 2014, Stoic Games released their Kickstarter indie darling The Banner Saga to massive success. Hailed as "The Oregon Trail, but with fighting and a Norse apocalypse," The Banner Saga went on to generate a sequel as well as a third installment that recently found success on Kickstarter. The high-stakes, turn-based RPG took players on a journey through a hand-painted world full of mystery and intrigue, where it felt like one wrong move could unravel tenuous alliances or get people killed. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: Paladin's Quest 'Sleep, Beloved Child' by Archangel (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03557) 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 View full article
  7. Bluehole Studios announced a new MMORPG today during the G-Star media showcase in Busan, South Korea. The upcoming MMO will be developed by Kakao Games, a subsidiary of Bluehole, as well as published by Bluehole, which made a name for itself with Tera and the stratospheric rise of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Their new title goes by the name Ascent: Infinite Realm (A:IR) and offers a world of fantasy mixed with steampunk with a heavy emphasis on vehicular combat. One of the selling points of A:IR definitely seems to be the ability players will have to board massive flying ships to traverse the world and wage war in the Realm vs. Realm combat, A:IR's take on PvP. Players can rely on their vessels or take to the ground in hulking fantasy mechs to continue an offensive or perhaps defend their territory using anti-aircraft weapons. In order to prevails, players will have to use cunning strategies and equipment like mines, hand-to-hand fighting (players can board enemy ships by using jet packs), or cannons. While the aerial combat and mechanical take on fantasy are clearly angled to be the main draw of A:IR, customization and building will also be a focus for the MMO. Each airship can be customized to change its type, color, appearance, and performance. Players will be able to construct bases to share with their friends, opening up different professions, like cooking or alchemy. Kakao Games hopes that allowing players to create quests, change game difficulty on the fly, and basically just giving players the flexibility to play how they want will allow players to have a good time regardless of where their interests lie within the scope of the MMO. Minsung Kim, CEO of Kakao Games gave a statement as part of the announcement saying, “All of us at Kakao Games are very proud to be able to work with the remarkable talent at Bluehole and bring their new AAA MMORPG to Western audiences. We are confident that we can localize their creative vision effectively and help make A:IR into a massive global success.” Ascent: Infinite Realm will see a worldwide release, and people interested in checking out the upcoming beta test scheduled for the first half of 2018 can enter to win a spot by signing up for the A:IR newsletter on the official website. No official release date has been announced.
  8. Bluehole Studios announced a new MMORPG today during the G-Star media showcase in Busan, South Korea. The upcoming MMO will be developed by Kakao Games, a subsidiary of Bluehole, as well as published by Bluehole, which made a name for itself with Tera and the stratospheric rise of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Their new title goes by the name Ascent: Infinite Realm (A:IR) and offers a world of fantasy mixed with steampunk with a heavy emphasis on vehicular combat. One of the selling points of A:IR definitely seems to be the ability players will have to board massive flying ships to traverse the world and wage war in the Realm vs. Realm combat, A:IR's take on PvP. Players can rely on their vessels or take to the ground in hulking fantasy mechs to continue an offensive or perhaps defend their territory using anti-aircraft weapons. In order to prevails, players will have to use cunning strategies and equipment like mines, hand-to-hand fighting (players can board enemy ships by using jet packs), or cannons. While the aerial combat and mechanical take on fantasy are clearly angled to be the main draw of A:IR, customization and building will also be a focus for the MMO. Each airship can be customized to change its type, color, appearance, and performance. Players will be able to construct bases to share with their friends, opening up different professions, like cooking or alchemy. Kakao Games hopes that allowing players to create quests, change game difficulty on the fly, and basically just giving players the flexibility to play how they want will allow players to have a good time regardless of where their interests lie within the scope of the MMO. Minsung Kim, CEO of Kakao Games gave a statement as part of the announcement saying, “All of us at Kakao Games are very proud to be able to work with the remarkable talent at Bluehole and bring their new AAA MMORPG to Western audiences. We are confident that we can localize their creative vision effectively and help make A:IR into a massive global success.” Ascent: Infinite Realm will see a worldwide release, and people interested in checking out the upcoming beta test scheduled for the first half of 2018 can enter to win a spot by signing up for the A:IR newsletter on the official website. No official release date has been announced. View full article
  9. The stealth, action RPG Seven: The Days Long Gone has come a long way since it was announced last year. Its developer, Fool's Theory, has revealed the upcoming release date along side the various versions of the game headed to digital storefronts and a new trailer. Seven: The Days Long Gone adapts the 3D isometric perspective popular in games like Divinity Original Sin to fit stealth-action RPG gameplay. Players take on the role of Teriel, a master thief bent on making his way in a "beyond post-apocalyptic" world ruled by the Vetrall Empire. His life becomes complicated when he finds himself possessed by an ancient daemon and sent off on a mission to the prison isle of Peh. Teriel is able to use his thieving skills to climb objects and buildings in an environment littered with mysterious technology, ancient legends, and more. Each mission offers multiple paths to completion in this adventure made by a team of ex-CD Projekt Red developers. Seven: The Days Long Gone launches for PC on December 1. Customers who pre-order the game can get the exclusive Shadowhand armor set. There's also a collector's edition that comes with the Shadowhand armor, a digital artbook that contains every sketch and piece of artwork from the development process, the soundtrack by The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt composer Marcin Przybyłowicz, a map of the island of Peh, and a guidebook for the world of Seven.
  10. The stealth, action RPG Seven: The Days Long Gone has come a long way since it was announced last year. Its developer, Fool's Theory, has revealed the upcoming release date along side the various versions of the game headed to digital storefronts and a new trailer. Seven: The Days Long Gone adapts the 3D isometric perspective popular in games like Divinity Original Sin to fit stealth-action RPG gameplay. Players take on the role of Teriel, a master thief bent on making his way in a "beyond post-apocalyptic" world ruled by the Vetrall Empire. His life becomes complicated when he finds himself possessed by an ancient daemon and sent off on a mission to the prison isle of Peh. Teriel is able to use his thieving skills to climb objects and buildings in an environment littered with mysterious technology, ancient legends, and more. Each mission offers multiple paths to completion in this adventure made by a team of ex-CD Projekt Red developers. Seven: The Days Long Gone launches for PC on December 1. Customers who pre-order the game can get the exclusive Shadowhand armor set. There's also a collector's edition that comes with the Shadowhand armor, a digital artbook that contains every sketch and piece of artwork from the development process, the soundtrack by The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt composer Marcin Przybyłowicz, a map of the island of Peh, and a guidebook for the world of Seven. View full article
  11. Back in 1995 Nintendo decided that it wanted to expand Mario into the realm of RPGs. Who better to work with than the premier RPG developer of the time, Square? The two companies pooled their knowledge and the project was developed mostly by Square with oversight of Shigeru Miyamoto himself... however, 1996's Super Mario RPG isn't really a game that Nintendo would ever consider releasing today. The content ranges from laugh-out-loud slapstick and wordplay to some surprising moments of innuendo - all within the universe of Mario. Does this singular, niche RPG deserve to be called one of the best games period? Chevy Ray Johnston, the developer of the upcoming indie RPG Ikenfell, joins us to help answer that question! You can find Chevy on Twitter, @ChevyRay, and learn more about Ikenfell on its website: Ikenfell.com 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: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars 'Honkytonk Town' by Wiesty and XPERTNovice (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03535) 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
  12. Back in 1995 Nintendo decided that it wanted to expand Mario into the realm of RPGs. Who better to work with than the premier RPG developer of the time, Square? The two companies pooled their knowledge and the project was developed mostly by Square with oversight of Shigeru Miyamoto himself... however, 1996's Super Mario RPG isn't really a game that Nintendo would ever consider releasing today. The content ranges from laugh-out-loud slapstick and wordplay to some surprising moments of innuendo - all within the universe of Mario. Does this singular, niche RPG deserve to be called one of the best games period? Chevy Ray Johnston, the developer of the upcoming indie RPG Ikenfell, joins us to help answer that question! You can find Chevy on Twitter, @ChevyRay, and learn more about Ikenfell on its website: Ikenfell.com 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: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars 'Honkytonk Town' by Wiesty and XPERTNovice (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03535) 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 View full article
  13. Earlier this year, Wizards of the Coast launched the most ambitious addition to Dungeons and Dragons in years. The prolific game company introduced D&D Beyond back in March as a beta for hardcore players of the traditional tabletop role-playing game. The beta period came to an end at the beginning of September, launching to a positive reception. I've had a chance to play around with the materials and systems the past few weeks, and Beyond might just be the most useful, mainstream tool a modern D&D role-playing group could use. D& D Beyond takes on all of the tasks previously reserved for bulky books and easily misplaced character sheets. The streamlined approach means that any player can access a roster of their created characters online while also having access to the basic rules and systems needed to run a game of 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons for free. Players who want any of the content contained within adventure modules, expansions, and supplements can purchase those on the digital marketplace for use online in D&D Beyond. That might seem a bit standard, however D&D Beyond offers a really intriguing idea: A two tiered subscription model. Anyone can use Beyond for free, but they will be limited to six characters on their account, the occasional ad will appear, and homebrew content from others cannot be added to a given campaign. The Hero tier for $2.99 per month allows for unlimited characters, no ads, and allows for all homebrew content. Most interestingly, the Master tier for $5.99 per month brings in all of the access of lower tiers, but also allows Dungeon Masters to share all of the purchased content they have with everyone in up to three campaigns. You can feasibly join a D&D Beyond campaign, create a character, and immediately have access to everything your DM will be using in the upcoming adventure - for free. That means, in theory, that a group could pitch in to collectively buy a book apiece and have collective access to the entire 5th edition library. This feature has been one that fans of the staple pen and paper RPG have been awaiting for a long, long time. There are numerous online tools that players have used to help in character creation, organize player-created expansions, and keep track of campaigns. D&D Beyond puts all of those tools into one place and offers that aforementioned game sharing ability. Nathan Stewart, the senior director of Dungeons & Dragons, stated in the announcement for D&D Beyond's beta phase that, "D&D Beyond speaks to the way gamers are able to blend digital tools with the fun of storytelling around the table with your friends. These tools represent a way forward for D&D, and we’re excited to get them into the hands of players." The ideal experience of D&D Beyond resides on PC. Going to the website with a full keyboard makes finding what you need and adjusting numbers on a character sheet a cinch. Currently Wizards of the Coast plans to bring the service to a dedicated app for tablets and smart phones. In the meantime, players can use the mobile version of the D&D Beyond website, which offers most of the same functionality as the desktop website. Accessibility stands as the main downside of the mobile version. Often it can take a few clunky finger taps to navigate to the page you need. Weighed against the previous state of the game, where it could take someone several minutes of page turning through rule books and modules, the mobile site offers a vast improvement. The mobile app represents an opportunity for Wizards of the Coast and their development partners at Curse to refine the Beyond experience into a finely tuned collection of role-playing tools. As it stands, one of the main strengths of the Beyond platform is how easy and readily understandable it makes creating a character for even the most uninitiated. It automatically handles the heavy lifting of putting values and adding bonuses derived from the player's choice of creature and class for their character. The only hitch in the character creation process might be when it comes to figuring out starting equipment. That process seems to be complicated for beginners and possibly frustrating the first few times through for those more accustomed to pen and paper. However, there are options to create randomized characters or characters at level 1 that's properly geared for their class. Players who want to create new content in D&D Beyond are free to do so. Want to create a new spell, item, or monster? There are ways to do that and share them with your fellow adventurers. Those creations do have to adhere to some guidelines that prohibit the use of licensed content in homebrew additions. You can't make an item that gives out someone's personal information, contains hate speech in the description, or is very obviously from another IP like directly inserting The One Ring from Lord of the Rings. Wizards of the Coast also prohibits players from adding content that builds off of other races or creatures mentioned in the already established lore of their worlds. Overall, D&D Beyond might have a couple flaws or kinks in the system, but it's an incredibly solid foundation that Wizards of the Coast will most definitely be refining over the coming years. It's a great way to ensure players keep coming back to get hooked on new modules and expansions. Sure, you might have played through a whole campaign as a skilled human swordsman, but what would your adventures be like if you had created a Tortle barbarian? Beyond makes it easy to experiment with new characters and discover new adventures. Oh, and that Tortle race that can be used in Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition? It was created as a supplement to the Tomb of Annihilation adventure to raise money for Extra Life! All proceeds from the sale of The Tortle Package go to Extra Life - so, if you're looking for a D&D one-shot to run on Game Day, think about grabbing a few friends, hopping on D&D Beyond, and crafting your own adventure in the isolated Snout of Omgar. View full article
  14. Earlier this year, Wizards of the Coast launched the most ambitious addition to Dungeons and Dragons in years. The prolific game company introduced D&D Beyond back in March as a beta for hardcore players of the traditional tabletop role-playing game. The beta period came to an end at the beginning of September, launching to a positive reception. I've had a chance to play around with the materials and systems the past few weeks, and Beyond might just be the most useful, mainstream tool a modern D&D role-playing group could use. D& D Beyond takes on all of the tasks previously reserved for bulky books and easily misplaced character sheets. The streamlined approach means that any player can access a roster of their created characters online while also having access to the basic rules and systems needed to run a game of 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons for free. Players who want any of the content contained within adventure modules, expansions, and supplements can purchase those on the digital marketplace for use online in D&D Beyond. That might seem a bit standard, however D&D Beyond offers a really intriguing idea: A two tiered subscription model. Anyone can use Beyond for free, but they will be limited to six characters on their account, the occasional ad will appear, and homebrew content from others cannot be added to a given campaign. The Hero tier for $2.99 per month allows for unlimited characters, no ads, and allows for all homebrew content. Most interestingly, the Master tier for $5.99 per month brings in all of the access of lower tiers, but also allows Dungeon Masters to share all of the purchased content they have with everyone in up to three campaigns. You can feasibly join a D&D Beyond campaign, create a character, and immediately have access to everything your DM will be using in the upcoming adventure - for free. That means, in theory, that a group could pitch in to collectively buy a book apiece and have collective access to the entire 5th edition library. This feature has been one that fans of the staple pen and paper RPG have been awaiting for a long, long time. There are numerous online tools that players have used to help in character creation, organize player-created expansions, and keep track of campaigns. D&D Beyond puts all of those tools into one place and offers that aforementioned game sharing ability. Nathan Stewart, the senior director of Dungeons & Dragons, stated in the announcement for D&D Beyond's beta phase that, "D&D Beyond speaks to the way gamers are able to blend digital tools with the fun of storytelling around the table with your friends. These tools represent a way forward for D&D, and we’re excited to get them into the hands of players." The ideal experience of D&D Beyond resides on PC. Going to the website with a full keyboard makes finding what you need and adjusting numbers on a character sheet a cinch. Currently Wizards of the Coast plans to bring the service to a dedicated app for tablets and smart phones. In the meantime, players can use the mobile version of the D&D Beyond website, which offers most of the same functionality as the desktop website. Accessibility stands as the main downside of the mobile version. Often it can take a few clunky finger taps to navigate to the page you need. Weighed against the previous state of the game, where it could take someone several minutes of page turning through rule books and modules, the mobile site offers a vast improvement. The mobile app represents an opportunity for Wizards of the Coast and their development partners at Curse to refine the Beyond experience into a finely tuned collection of role-playing tools. As it stands, one of the main strengths of the Beyond platform is how easy and readily understandable it makes creating a character for even the most uninitiated. It automatically handles the heavy lifting of putting values and adding bonuses derived from the player's choice of creature and class for their character. The only hitch in the character creation process might be when it comes to figuring out starting equipment. That process seems to be complicated for beginners and possibly frustrating the first few times through for those more accustomed to pen and paper. However, there are options to create randomized characters or characters at level 1 that's properly geared for their class. Players who want to create new content in D&D Beyond are free to do so. Want to create a new spell, item, or monster? There are ways to do that and share them with your fellow adventurers. Those creations do have to adhere to some guidelines that prohibit the use of licensed content in homebrew additions. You can't make an item that gives out someone's personal information, contains hate speech in the description, or is very obviously from another IP like directly inserting The One Ring from Lord of the Rings. Wizards of the Coast also prohibits players from adding content that builds off of other races or creatures mentioned in the already established lore of their worlds. Overall, D&D Beyond might have a couple flaws or kinks in the system, but it's an incredibly solid foundation that Wizards of the Coast will most definitely be refining over the coming years. It's a great way to ensure players keep coming back to get hooked on new modules and expansions. Sure, you might have played through a whole campaign as a skilled human swordsman, but what would your adventures be like if you had created a Tortle barbarian? Beyond makes it easy to experiment with new characters and discover new adventures. Oh, and that Tortle race that can be used in Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition? It was created as a supplement to the Tomb of Annihilation adventure to raise money for Extra Life! All proceeds from the sale of The Tortle Package go to Extra Life - so, if you're looking for a D&D one-shot to run on Game Day, think about grabbing a few friends, hopping on D&D Beyond, and crafting your own adventure in the isolated Snout of Omgar.
  15. We finally have more details on the upcoming Square Enix title Project Octopath Traveler that was teased during the Nintendo Direct back in February. With Project Octopath Traveler, Square Enix seems to be angling to recapture the retro RPG fans with stylish presentation, a branching narrative, and a unique combat system. Watching Octopath Traveler in action and it immediately becomes clear that you've never seen anything quite like it. Square Enix announced that the title will make use of a new aesthetic technique that they have dubbed HD-2D. This new style looks like an old-school RPG format that has been tilted into a 3D world while retaining 2D characters. It's certainly unique and eye-catching while retaining that ye olden days RPG feel. We now know that the octopath in Octopath Traveler references the eight potential protagonists that players can select when beginning their adventure. Each character has their own story, motivations in the world, and a unique ability that will allow them to pursue their goals. The two characters shown, Olberic and Primrose, can manipulate NPCs. Olberic can challenge almost anyone to a duel to prove his strength or move characters out of his way. Primrose, on the other hand, can seduce NPCs to help her on quests or lure enemies into traps. While Octopath Traveler certainly seems like a retro RPG, Square Enix has been experimenting with combat mechanics. Turn-based battles that will be immediately familiar to RPG fans are present in full force, but the major difference in Octopath Traveler is the ability to gain Boost Points with every turn that passes. These points can then be used to boost attacks, doing two, three, or four times more damage. They can also be used to heal, cast spells, or even chain combos together. A demo for Octopath Traveler is currently available on the Nintendo Switch eShop. The full game is expected to release sometime during 2018 and, while it has certainly been covered in Nintendo events, it seems like it might be coming to other systems as well.
  16. We finally have more details on the upcoming Square Enix title Project Octopath Traveler that was teased during the Nintendo Direct back in February. With Project Octopath Traveler, Square Enix seems to be angling to recapture the retro RPG fans with stylish presentation, a branching narrative, and a unique combat system. Watching Octopath Traveler in action and it immediately becomes clear that you've never seen anything quite like it. Square Enix announced that the title will make use of a new aesthetic technique that they have dubbed HD-2D. This new style looks like an old-school RPG format that has been tilted into a 3D world while retaining 2D characters. It's certainly unique and eye-catching while retaining that ye olden days RPG feel. We now know that the octopath in Octopath Traveler references the eight potential protagonists that players can select when beginning their adventure. Each character has their own story, motivations in the world, and a unique ability that will allow them to pursue their goals. The two characters shown, Olberic and Primrose, can manipulate NPCs. Olberic can challenge almost anyone to a duel to prove his strength or move characters out of his way. Primrose, on the other hand, can seduce NPCs to help her on quests or lure enemies into traps. While Octopath Traveler certainly seems like a retro RPG, Square Enix has been experimenting with combat mechanics. Turn-based battles that will be immediately familiar to RPG fans are present in full force, but the major difference in Octopath Traveler is the ability to gain Boost Points with every turn that passes. These points can then be used to boost attacks, doing two, three, or four times more damage. They can also be used to heal, cast spells, or even chain combos together. A demo for Octopath Traveler is currently available on the Nintendo Switch eShop. The full game is expected to release sometime during 2018 and, while it has certainly been covered in Nintendo events, it seems like it might be coming to other systems as well. View full article
  17. Square Enix has a complete remake of one of the greatest RPGS of all-time in the works, and it's coming sooner than anyone would have expected! The reveal of Secret of Mana comes with a slew of information about what the remake changes and leaves the same, along with a hard release date. The team working on Secret of Mana has gone to great lengths to keep the classic, top-down gameplay the same while modernizing a number of other aspects. The most obvious change comes with the 3D graphics - a dramatic departure from the Super Nintendo original. The vibrant 3D might not be on par with the likes of the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake, but it holds a charm all its own. The developers also modernized the controls for the PlayStation 4 controller and the PS Vita. As the trailer demonstrates, actors will finally give a voice to the text players could only imagine when they played Secret of Mana back in 1993. Randi, Primm, Popoi, and many of the whimsical cast of Secret of Mana will talk and feel more alive than they ever have before. To go along with the new voices, a new soundtrack has been created to fully realize the dreams of the original's composer, Hiroki Kikuta. The soundtrack pays tribute to the original while introducing complementary elements and flourishes that weren't present previously. Of course, players will still be able to play solo or with up to two friends in local co-op. For players unfamiliar with Secret of Mana, the story centers on a young man named Randi, a headband-wearing rascal who stumbles upon the Mana Sword, a powerful weapon meant to bring peace to a world in turmoil. With the blade in hand, Randi can harness the power of Mana, a force of unimaginable power and a target for nefarious evildoers throughout the world. He sets out to defeat the forces of evil and is joined along the way by Primm, a fiery noblewoman, and a sprite named Popoi. Pre-orders are now open for Secret of Mana. Those who take advantage of the offer from PSN receive PSN avatars for the three main characters as well as a moogle suit and tiger suit option for all characters at launch. Secret of Mana releases February 15, 2018 for the PlayStation 4, PS Vita, and PC. Players too excited to wait can get their hands on the title a bit earlier at PAX West September 1-4. View full article
  18. Square Enix has a complete remake of one of the greatest RPGS of all-time in the works, and it's coming sooner than anyone would have expected! The reveal of Secret of Mana comes with a slew of information about what the remake changes and leaves the same, along with a hard release date. The team working on Secret of Mana has gone to great lengths to keep the classic, top-down gameplay the same while modernizing a number of other aspects. The most obvious change comes with the 3D graphics - a dramatic departure from the Super Nintendo original. The vibrant 3D might not be on par with the likes of the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake, but it holds a charm all its own. The developers also modernized the controls for the PlayStation 4 controller and the PS Vita. As the trailer demonstrates, actors will finally give a voice to the text players could only imagine when they played Secret of Mana back in 1993. Randi, Primm, Popoi, and many of the whimsical cast of Secret of Mana will talk and feel more alive than they ever have before. To go along with the new voices, a new soundtrack has been created to fully realize the dreams of the original's composer, Hiroki Kikuta. The soundtrack pays tribute to the original while introducing complementary elements and flourishes that weren't present previously. Of course, players will still be able to play solo or with up to two friends in local co-op. For players unfamiliar with Secret of Mana, the story centers on a young man named Randi, a headband-wearing rascal who stumbles upon the Mana Sword, a powerful weapon meant to bring peace to a world in turmoil. With the blade in hand, Randi can harness the power of Mana, a force of unimaginable power and a target for nefarious evildoers throughout the world. He sets out to defeat the forces of evil and is joined along the way by Primm, a fiery noblewoman, and a sprite named Popoi. Pre-orders are now open for Secret of Mana. Those who take advantage of the offer from PSN receive PSN avatars for the three main characters as well as a moogle suit and tiger suit option for all characters at launch. Secret of Mana releases February 15, 2018 for the PlayStation 4, PS Vita, and PC. Players too excited to wait can get their hands on the title a bit earlier at PAX West September 1-4.
  19. In 2008, the now defunct Lionhead Studios released what many saw as the culmination of founder Peter Molyneux's vision. Molyneux had hyped the original Fable as a game that would change the very fabric of the industry, which left fans very underwhelmed when it released as a solid, but rather run-of-the-mill RPG. With Fable 2, things were destined to be different. Molyneux apologized for his salesmanship of Fable and swore that things would be different. Fable 2 managed to deliver on what Lionhead had seemed to promise with the original - it was actually a different kind of RPG. Also, there was a dog and it was very endearing. It's time to ask: Is Fable 2 one of the best games period? 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 Sims 3 'Musicolours' by Guifrog (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02420) 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 View full article
  20. The Best Games Period - Episode 72 - Fable 2

    In 2008, the now defunct Lionhead Studios released what many saw as the culmination of founder Peter Molyneux's vision. Molyneux had hyped the original Fable as a game that would change the very fabric of the industry, which left fans very underwhelmed when it released as a solid, but rather run-of-the-mill RPG. With Fable 2, things were destined to be different. Molyneux apologized for his salesmanship of Fable and swore that things would be different. Fable 2 managed to deliver on what Lionhead had seemed to promise with the original - it was actually a different kind of RPG. Also, there was a dog and it was very endearing. It's time to ask: Is Fable 2 one of the best games period? 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 Sims 3 'Musicolours' by Guifrog (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02420) 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
  21. Last year, Asymmetric Publications released a teaser for a new RPG set in their Kingdom of Loathing universe. The developers have described West of Loathing as, "basically a stick-figure Skyrim with beans and big hats." Well, now those beans and big hats have a release date, so it is time to dust off those boots and brush out the tumbleweeds. While Kingdom of Loathing remains an active MMORPG after over a decade, West of Loathing aims to capture the single-player crowd. As one of three starting classes, Cow Puncher, Beanslinger, or Snake Oiler, players explore the rough and tumble wilds of the West that has been heavily sprinkled with humor. This "single-player slapstick comedy stick-figure wild west adventure role-playing game" releases for PC on August 10th. Get ready for some silliness! View full article
  22. Last year, Asymmetric Publications released a teaser for a new RPG set in their Kingdom of Loathing universe. The developers have described West of Loathing as, "basically a stick-figure Skyrim with beans and big hats." Well, now those beans and big hats have a release date, so it is time to dust off those boots and brush out the tumbleweeds. While Kingdom of Loathing remains an active MMORPG after over a decade, West of Loathing aims to capture the single-player crowd. As one of three starting classes, Cow Puncher, Beanslinger, or Snake Oiler, players explore the rough and tumble wilds of the West that has been heavily sprinkled with humor. This "single-player slapstick comedy stick-figure wild west adventure role-playing game" releases for PC on August 10th. Get ready for some silliness!
  23. There’s something to be said for a well-built role-playing game -- even better if it’s one with a visually pleasing aesthetic that communicates everything it needs to. Too many RPGs these days find themselves buried under menus and woefully implemented combat mechanics, or repetitive dungeon-diving. Battle Chasers: Nightwar feels like the rare RPG to sidestep all the bluster and bulk for something entertaining and at least mildly fresh. Based on the original Battle Chasers comic by Joe Madureira (also known for his work on Uncanny X-Men) and developed by Airship Syndicate (comprised of former Darksiders developers), RPG fans of any stripe should get a kick out of this action-packed world. I got a hands-off demo of Battle Chasers at E3 2017, where the developer took time to show off the world and combat systems. Taking place an undetermined amount of time after the original Battle Chasers comic left off on a cliffhanger, players can create a team of three (from a total of six optional characters) to do battle with vicious creatures and loot randomly generated dungeons. There’s Garrison, a swordsman with a tragic past, Gully, a nine-year-old girl who inherited a pair of massive, magical boxing gloves after her father disappeared, Calibretto, the iron giant war golem with a heart of gold, and more. The first thing players might notice is that despite Battle Chasers decidedly JRPG-esque nature, it’s characters play off of old tropes for inventive combat and character building. Instead of the lumbering, mechanical Calibretto acting as the team’s tank, it’s Gully’s magic gloves that provide the massive damage, and Calibretto’s intrinsic ties to nature that provide healing spells. Though each dungeon will be randomly generated, players will have to strategize before ever stepping foot into one. Each dungeon has different difficulties to choose from, modifying the number of enemies, traps, and the layout you’ll find, but also affecting the size of its reward. Once inside, players navigate an isometric layout filled with beastmen, animated skeleton warriors, and worse. Players can give themselves an advantage by luring enemies into the dungeon’s ancient traps before battle, shaving off a few key health points. Once in battle, characters take turns dealing damage or casting spells, with a queue on the left hand side telling you who will go during the next several turns, all based on stats like speed and initiative. Characters share a single “overcharge” gauge that essentially acts as magic fuel for special attacks. This gauge can be accrued over time, and each character has three separate levels of overcharge attacks so you might want to save it for a boss or particularly rough group of enemies. Garrison can unleash a devastating series of sword strikes on a single enemy, for example, while Calibretto is focused on damaging multiple enemies with his massive chaingun arm. Each character will have unique abilities they can use only a set number of times to solve puzzles or advance deeper into a dungeon, such as Garrison’s dash move or Gully’s punch, which allows her to knock down walls hiding secret areas. Every step taken begins to feel like a measured one, weighed against risk versus reward dilemmas. Players can locate treasure chests with rare loot inside, or opt to teleport it deeper into the dungeon. You’ll have to find it again, and the loot will be twice as beneficial, but you’ll lose it if you die before reaching it. Rare gear can also only be crafted within certain dungeons, giving players another incentive to take a deep dive. Amidst all of this, Battle Chasers possesses a striking art style, and not just thanks to Madureira’s illustrations. Even as they’re awaiting their turn in battle, characters bob and weave with an animated feel that helps bring them to life in a way few RPGs of either hemisphere achieve. This is especially apparent during attacks, when the weight of each character can be felt in their motion. Calibretto, the hulking mass that he is, barrels down on enemies with a decimating right hook, smoke billowing behind his trail, and enemies bouncing back with appropriate force. Even enemies get in on the action, with monsters similar to Dark Souls’ mimics (beasts that impersonate treasure chests for a sneaky bite attack) lashing out their engorged tongues with wicked style. It’s unclear how closely Battle Chasers will stick to the original comic series’ lore. Developers at Airship Syndicate say the plot will follow the party’s adventures in a world being sucked dry of its mana. After being shot down from the sky by pirates, the group will have to adventure across a massive island, finding themselves roped into a war against an evil vampire lord bent on conquering the world. Battle Chasers certainly isn’t shying away from the cheese of its inspirations. Battle Chasers: Nightwar is due out October 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and the Nintendo Switch for $29.99. A Steam sale currently has the game listed at $26.99, though it’s unclear how long that will last. View full article
  24. There’s something to be said for a well-built role-playing game -- even better if it’s one with a visually pleasing aesthetic that communicates everything it needs to. Too many RPGs these days find themselves buried under menus and woefully implemented combat mechanics, or repetitive dungeon-diving. Battle Chasers: Nightwar feels like the rare RPG to sidestep all the bluster and bulk for something entertaining and at least mildly fresh. Based on the original Battle Chasers comic by Joe Madureira (also known for his work on Uncanny X-Men) and developed by Airship Syndicate (comprised of former Darksiders developers), RPG fans of any stripe should get a kick out of this action-packed world. I got a hands-off demo of Battle Chasers at E3 2017, where the developer took time to show off the world and combat systems. Taking place an undetermined amount of time after the original Battle Chasers comic left off on a cliffhanger, players can create a team of three (from a total of six optional characters) to do battle with vicious creatures and loot randomly generated dungeons. There’s Garrison, a swordsman with a tragic past, Gully, a nine-year-old girl who inherited a pair of massive, magical boxing gloves after her father disappeared, Calibretto, the iron giant war golem with a heart of gold, and more. The first thing players might notice is that despite Battle Chasers decidedly JRPG-esque nature, it’s characters play off of old tropes for inventive combat and character building. Instead of the lumbering, mechanical Calibretto acting as the team’s tank, it’s Gully’s magic gloves that provide the massive damage, and Calibretto’s intrinsic ties to nature that provide healing spells. Though each dungeon will be randomly generated, players will have to strategize before ever stepping foot into one. Each dungeon has different difficulties to choose from, modifying the number of enemies, traps, and the layout you’ll find, but also affecting the size of its reward. Once inside, players navigate an isometric layout filled with beastmen, animated skeleton warriors, and worse. Players can give themselves an advantage by luring enemies into the dungeon’s ancient traps before battle, shaving off a few key health points. Once in battle, characters take turns dealing damage or casting spells, with a queue on the left hand side telling you who will go during the next several turns, all based on stats like speed and initiative. Characters share a single “overcharge” gauge that essentially acts as magic fuel for special attacks. This gauge can be accrued over time, and each character has three separate levels of overcharge attacks so you might want to save it for a boss or particularly rough group of enemies. Garrison can unleash a devastating series of sword strikes on a single enemy, for example, while Calibretto is focused on damaging multiple enemies with his massive chaingun arm. Each character will have unique abilities they can use only a set number of times to solve puzzles or advance deeper into a dungeon, such as Garrison’s dash move or Gully’s punch, which allows her to knock down walls hiding secret areas. Every step taken begins to feel like a measured one, weighed against risk versus reward dilemmas. Players can locate treasure chests with rare loot inside, or opt to teleport it deeper into the dungeon. You’ll have to find it again, and the loot will be twice as beneficial, but you’ll lose it if you die before reaching it. Rare gear can also only be crafted within certain dungeons, giving players another incentive to take a deep dive. Amidst all of this, Battle Chasers possesses a striking art style, and not just thanks to Madureira’s illustrations. Even as they’re awaiting their turn in battle, characters bob and weave with an animated feel that helps bring them to life in a way few RPGs of either hemisphere achieve. This is especially apparent during attacks, when the weight of each character can be felt in their motion. Calibretto, the hulking mass that he is, barrels down on enemies with a decimating right hook, smoke billowing behind his trail, and enemies bouncing back with appropriate force. Even enemies get in on the action, with monsters similar to Dark Souls’ mimics (beasts that impersonate treasure chests for a sneaky bite attack) lashing out their engorged tongues with wicked style. It’s unclear how closely Battle Chasers will stick to the original comic series’ lore. Developers at Airship Syndicate say the plot will follow the party’s adventures in a world being sucked dry of its mana. After being shot down from the sky by pirates, the group will have to adventure across a massive island, finding themselves roped into a war against an evil vampire lord bent on conquering the world. Battle Chasers certainly isn’t shying away from the cheese of its inspirations. Battle Chasers: Nightwar is due out October 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and the Nintendo Switch for $29.99. A Steam sale currently has the game listed at $26.99, though it’s unclear how long that will last.
  25. This week our topic was a bit tricky - Mass Effect 3 released to critical praise in 2012 but also made a name for itself by being at the epicenter of one of the biggest fan backlashes in gaming history. In order to properly talk about the conclusion of the Mass Effect trilogy, we made the decision to split the podcast into two parts. In part one, we discuss everything but the DLCs and the ending. Next week we will return with another full episode dedicated to discussing the ending of Mass Effect 3 and the apocalyptic public response that it received. 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: Mass Effect 'Nova Siberia' by Big Giant Circles (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02036) 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