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Naomi N. Lugo

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  1. Dragon Ball Z stands as an indisputable legend in anime. The show first aired in Japan from 1989 to 1996. The same year it ended in Japan, Dragon Ball Z began its nearly 300 episode-long run in North America. To this day, it remains the most beloved period of Dragon Ball's long and storied history. Through the show, we meet Goku. Goku is a Saiyan, an alien race bent on destruction and domination. However, Goku approaches the world a bit differently. Due to a head injury as an infant, Goku forgot his destructive mission to conquer Earth along with his Saiyan name, Kakarot. The event helped him become a gentle-hearted, if forgetful, child. Despite his sweet nature, Goku's Saiyan heritage and love of battle makes him a formidable opponent in a fight, a trait he honed as he got older. He’s a dope and sometimes veers into bad dad territory at times, but when it comes to fighting, Goku has a one-track mind. The fight comes before anything else, a fixation that sometimes becomes a glaring flaw. He always seeks to become stronger, not out of a desire to conquer or destroy, but to surpass his own limitations. Goku definitely qualifies as a complicated character with shortcomings and weaknesses, but there’s no denying he is a hero. For all of its superpowered insanity, Dragonball Z feels like home. During the Z era of the Dragon Ball story, we saw Gohan, Goku’s son, grow up, epic sagas against iconic villains and plenty of solid character development. While problematic at times (Master Roshi ahem), the story of self-sacrifice, bonds, and pain just resonates. When we watched Dragon Ball Z, we wanted Goku to succeed and save everyone - and something about that big-hearted dofus made us believe in him. We’ve known for a while that Bandai Namco had an RPG adaptation of Dragon Ball Z in production under the working title of Dragon Ball Game Project Z Action RPG. Now we know its full name, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (so much easier to say compared to the game’s production title). The game will follow in the footsteps of the manga and anime, a tall order for such an iconic franchise. After spending time with it, we can confidently say this recreation of the Z series aims to do its source material justice while adding a flair all its own. In addition to the finalized name of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, the E3 trailer runs through some of the pulse-quickening events that occur throughout the story arc dealing with Goku’s most recognizable foe, Frieza. The first few seconds of the trailer show a quote from Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama to reassure fans about the faithfulness of the game. “This game brings the Dragon Ball universe to life, and I’m sure fans will truly be able to take a deep dive into the world,” said Toriyama, “I hope you enjoy the game!” As of Aug. 20, we also got the Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot - Gamescom Trailer. The trailer shows a focus on the relationship between Gohan and his father Goku and fittingly shows the fight with another super villain of the series Cell. This isn’t the first time Bandai Namco has dipped into games based on iconic anime franchises. The company previously took on Naruto with their popular Ninja Storm series. Those games also retold the story of Naruto while incorporating fighting gameplay designed to match the kinetic energy of the anime. From what we’ve seen, that same formula appears to be at the heart of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot with gameplay and visuals designed to emphasize the insane power of combatants in the Dragon Ball universe. While the critical and fan reception of the Ninja Storm series might help defrost even the most cynical anime-fans’ hearts, the fact that Kakarot incorporates light open-world elements broadens the horizon of the in-game universe. This design decision allows fans to experience the small, personal moments from Dragon Ball Z. Things like gathering food for Goku’s ravenous appetite and flying around on the Nimbus Cloud alongside Piccolo find themselves fully realized in this game. The attention to detail on display in the world impressed me. During the demo, I found myself genuinely captivated by the flying mechanic. I dove and soared across a land that felt like home. Bandai Namco explained that there were things to do aside from fighting. New, never-before seen quests and characters inhabit the Earth alongside familiar characters (or familiar faces that never appeared in the original run of Dragon Ball Z). While the main story will remain faithful to Dragon Ball Z’s canon, the side missions will open the door to unexpected reunions and moments that Bandai Namco hopes will delight fans and newcomers alike. The preview build allowed me a limited amount of time to play around in a small portion of the world. The timed demo concluded with a showdown with Raditz, the first major villain of the Frieza Saga. As a Dragon Ball fan, I’ve seen Goku progress from an over-powered, reckless toddler to a god-like, but still reckless, adult. In my battle against Raditz, the fledgling power that Goku had at his disposal felt just right. Being able to strike that delicate balance makes me excited to build up the Goku I know via the intriguing RPG style presented to us in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. As a Dragon Ball Z fan, I tear up thinking about all of the intense and genuinely heart-aching moments of the anime. We grew up with Goku and constantly see his universe teetering on the brink of destruction, everything hanging on the outcome of one more fight. We, the audience, feel the pain as his son’s heroes are ripped away and the understanding dawn on him that the true price of being a hero is sacrifice. The epic Dragon Ball Z builds around Goku/Kakarot and generations of his family fighting to become the heroes the world needs stands as a work of pure magic. Fans have witnessed the absolutely epic fights in Dragon Ball Z, but Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot wants the player to viscerally feel that magic as well. The name Kakarot signals a set up for a series of games. Hear me out. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot has squarely positioned itself early on in Goku’s story and clearly focuses on Goku. Now for a little speculation on my part. We’ll see Dragon Ball Z: Gohan, Dragon Ball Z: Vegeta, etc until they finish up the entirety of Dragon Ball Z’s iconic run. If this turns out to be true, I will be one happy Dragon Ball fan. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot doesn’t have a set date but it is expected to release in early 2020 to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  2. Dragon Ball Z stands as an indisputable legend in anime. The show first aired in Japan from 1989 to 1996. The same year it ended in Japan, Dragon Ball Z began its nearly 300 episode-long run in North America. To this day, it remains the most beloved period of Dragon Ball's long and storied history. Through the show, we meet Goku. Goku is a Saiyan, an alien race bent on destruction and domination. However, Goku approaches the world a bit differently. Due to a head injury as an infant, Goku forgot his destructive mission to conquer Earth along with his Saiyan name, Kakarot. The event helped him become a gentle-hearted, if forgetful, child. Despite his sweet nature, Goku's Saiyan heritage and love of battle makes him a formidable opponent in a fight, a trait he honed as he got older. He’s a dope and sometimes veers into bad dad territory at times, but when it comes to fighting, Goku has a one-track mind. The fight comes before anything else, a fixation that sometimes becomes a glaring flaw. He always seeks to become stronger, not out of a desire to conquer or destroy, but to surpass his own limitations. Goku definitely qualifies as a complicated character with shortcomings and weaknesses, but there’s no denying he is a hero. For all of its superpowered insanity, Dragonball Z feels like home. During the Z era of the Dragon Ball story, we saw Gohan, Goku’s son, grow up, epic sagas against iconic villains and plenty of solid character development. While problematic at times (Master Roshi ahem), the story of self-sacrifice, bonds, and pain just resonates. When we watched Dragon Ball Z, we wanted Goku to succeed and save everyone - and something about that big-hearted dofus made us believe in him. We’ve known for a while that Bandai Namco had an RPG adaptation of Dragon Ball Z in production under the working title of Dragon Ball Game Project Z Action RPG. Now we know its full name, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (so much easier to say compared to the game’s production title). The game will follow in the footsteps of the manga and anime, a tall order for such an iconic franchise. After spending time with it, we can confidently say this recreation of the Z series aims to do its source material justice while adding a flair all its own. In addition to the finalized name of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, the E3 trailer runs through some of the pulse-quickening events that occur throughout the story arc dealing with Goku’s most recognizable foe, Frieza. The first few seconds of the trailer show a quote from Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama to reassure fans about the faithfulness of the game. “This game brings the Dragon Ball universe to life, and I’m sure fans will truly be able to take a deep dive into the world,” said Toriyama, “I hope you enjoy the game!” As of Aug. 20, we also got the Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot - Gamescom Trailer. The trailer shows a focus on the relationship between Gohan and his father Goku and fittingly shows the fight with another super villain of the series Cell. This isn’t the first time Bandai Namco has dipped into games based on iconic anime franchises. The company previously took on Naruto with their popular Ninja Storm series. Those games also retold the story of Naruto while incorporating fighting gameplay designed to match the kinetic energy of the anime. From what we’ve seen, that same formula appears to be at the heart of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot with gameplay and visuals designed to emphasize the insane power of combatants in the Dragon Ball universe. While the critical and fan reception of the Ninja Storm series might help defrost even the most cynical anime-fans’ hearts, the fact that Kakarot incorporates light open-world elements broadens the horizon of the in-game universe. This design decision allows fans to experience the small, personal moments from Dragon Ball Z. Things like gathering food for Goku’s ravenous appetite and flying around on the Nimbus Cloud alongside Piccolo find themselves fully realized in this game. The attention to detail on display in the world impressed me. During the demo, I found myself genuinely captivated by the flying mechanic. I dove and soared across a land that felt like home. Bandai Namco explained that there were things to do aside from fighting. New, never-before seen quests and characters inhabit the Earth alongside familiar characters (or familiar faces that never appeared in the original run of Dragon Ball Z). While the main story will remain faithful to Dragon Ball Z’s canon, the side missions will open the door to unexpected reunions and moments that Bandai Namco hopes will delight fans and newcomers alike. The preview build allowed me a limited amount of time to play around in a small portion of the world. The timed demo concluded with a showdown with Raditz, the first major villain of the Frieza Saga. As a Dragon Ball fan, I’ve seen Goku progress from an over-powered, reckless toddler to a god-like, but still reckless, adult. In my battle against Raditz, the fledgling power that Goku had at his disposal felt just right. Being able to strike that delicate balance makes me excited to build up the Goku I know via the intriguing RPG style presented to us in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. As a Dragon Ball Z fan, I tear up thinking about all of the intense and genuinely heart-aching moments of the anime. We grew up with Goku and constantly see his universe teetering on the brink of destruction, everything hanging on the outcome of one more fight. We, the audience, feel the pain as his son’s heroes are ripped away and the understanding dawn on him that the true price of being a hero is sacrifice. The epic Dragon Ball Z builds around Goku/Kakarot and generations of his family fighting to become the heroes the world needs stands as a work of pure magic. Fans have witnessed the absolutely epic fights in Dragon Ball Z, but Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot wants the player to viscerally feel that magic as well. The name Kakarot signals a set up for a series of games. Hear me out. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot has squarely positioned itself early on in Goku’s story and clearly focuses on Goku. Now for a little speculation on my part. We’ll see Dragon Ball Z: Gohan, Dragon Ball Z: Vegeta, etc until they finish up the entirety of Dragon Ball Z’s iconic run. If this turns out to be true, I will be one happy Dragon Ball fan. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot doesn’t have a set date but it is expected to release in early 2020 to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  3. Animal Crossing on the Switch remained a relative mystery until a new trailer revealed itself during the Nintendo E3 2019 release conference. Previously, all we had to cling on to was a Tom Nook monologue and a release window of 2019. While that window has been pushed back, we did gain quite a bit of new knowledge on the upcoming game. Dissatisfied with living the life of a small-time salesman, the wiley businessman Tom Nook has positioned himself as head of operations in the Animal Crossing world. He seems to have kept himself busy indeed with the establishment if Nook Inc. and the building of “The Deserted Island Getaway Package.” As the trailer moves along, we see a villager establishing themselves in this new world starting with the basics. They place a tent and get to work gathering resources to build up some sort of townscape. Time progresses and we see the layout getting more and more complicated as new items are crafted, areas are explored, and the world shapes up. More buildings pop up, causing residents to appear. Not only do the adorable furry and fuzzy creatures town denizens pop into existence, but fellow villagers also join the town. The presence of other human villagers firmly suggests multiplayer content exists or is at least planned. As this is Tom Nook, a further cut scene appears where he presents the villager with an itemized bill including everything from airfare to your “NookPhone.” I mean fair is fair. While this little scene acts as a joke making fun of Nooks ever-benevolent character, it does seem to bring up a subtle note of the mobile series Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. There may be a tie-in for the new game to the successful mobile title in some capacity. Maybe that connection will involve linking the social aspect of Pocket Camp into the multiplayer or perhaps a whole new gameplay element. While previously we had a release window, now we have a date. However, that date comes somewhat later than the 2019 timeframe we had up until this point. This upcoming game, fully titled Animal Crossing: New Horizons, will release on March 20, 2020. Further gameplay can be seen via the Nintendo Treehouse live event that aired after the press conference. The demo showcases the early game. Are you excited for Animal Crossing to come to Switch? What do you think of the new island setting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on the Extra Life social channels! Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. Animal Crossing on the Switch remained a relative mystery until a new trailer revealed itself during the Nintendo E3 2019 release conference. Previously, all we had to cling on to was a Tom Nook monologue and a release window of 2019. While that window has been pushed back, we did gain quite a bit of new knowledge on the upcoming game. Dissatisfied with living the life of a small-time salesman, the wiley businessman Tom Nook has positioned himself as head of operations in the Animal Crossing world. He seems to have kept himself busy indeed with the establishment if Nook Inc. and the building of “The Deserted Island Getaway Package.” As the trailer moves along, we see a villager establishing themselves in this new world starting with the basics. They place a tent and get to work gathering resources to build up some sort of townscape. Time progresses and we see the layout getting more and more complicated as new items are crafted, areas are explored, and the world shapes up. More buildings pop up, causing residents to appear. Not only do the adorable furry and fuzzy creatures town denizens pop into existence, but fellow villagers also join the town. The presence of other human villagers firmly suggests multiplayer content exists or is at least planned. As this is Tom Nook, a further cut scene appears where he presents the villager with an itemized bill including everything from airfare to your “NookPhone.” I mean fair is fair. While this little scene acts as a joke making fun of Nooks ever-benevolent character, it does seem to bring up a subtle note of the mobile series Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. There may be a tie-in for the new game to the successful mobile title in some capacity. Maybe that connection will involve linking the social aspect of Pocket Camp into the multiplayer or perhaps a whole new gameplay element. While previously we had a release window, now we have a date. However, that date comes somewhat later than the 2019 timeframe we had up until this point. This upcoming game, fully titled Animal Crossing: New Horizons, will release on March 20, 2020. Further gameplay can be seen via the Nintendo Treehouse live event that aired after the press conference. The demo showcases the early game. Are you excited for Animal Crossing to come to Switch? What do you think of the new island setting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on the Extra Life social channels! Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  5. A small sneak peek stole the entire show. At the end of the Nintendo Direct for E3 2019, a short trailer revealed the existence of the next installment in The Legend of Zelda franchise. There aren’t many details currently available, but here’s what we know so far. “We have more games in development beyond what you’ve seen today,” said senior managing executive officer at Nintendo Shinya Takahashi after a certain new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC character was revealed. After saying no more, the stream cut to a trailer with very ominous tones. The trailer starts out ambiguous with glowing tendrils and two figures exploring what appears to be a dungeon. The music accompanying the imagery builds a sense of doom and sounds oddly familiar, yet distorted. In a strange way, it feels similar to another sequel that set a darker tone than its predecessor: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. A few moments in, we see our heroes, Link and a now short-haired Zelda, exploring the darkness. They seem to be searching for something specific rather than going on a general expedition. It’s then we see some semblance of a terrifying enemy either forming or, perhaps more worryingly, decaying. The figure reaches out into the world with a deadly touch. In flashes, we see bits of moments of the story, and then, we finally get to look into the genuinely disturbing eye of a beast. After these subterranean scenes, the camera cuts to the outer world. Where we once saw the gently rolling lands of Hyrule, we now see the ground greatly disturbed by whatever has awakened from its slumber. Text reading, “The sequel to the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is now in development,” pops onto the final screen. Since this is very early on in the development, no news of a release date appears. We can gather that the sequel likely takes place in the same universe as Breath of the Wild and continues on with the story. The graphics are very similar to BotW, so we can reasonably conclude that gameplay will be similar and the game may be made using the same engine. Link and Zelda are together in this trailer, so it could be possible that Nintendo heard our cries for a playable Zelda. Being able to switch between the two and explore Zelda’s fighting style and powers would be a catchy hook for newbie players as well as Legend of Zelda franchise veterans. It’s a hook that hasn’t been fully utilized in The Legend of Zelda series since Zelda’s Adventure, one of the terrible Philips CD-i games and could stand out as a redemptive moment for an often underutilized character. The big baddie looks like a dark change of pace for the series, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a grim and harrowing story this time around to match. This new game could focus more on building up characters with a more streamlined story, an aspect many found wanting in Breath of the Wild. “I’m looking forward to the day we can introduce them to you,” said Takahashi. Hey, us too. What do you expect from the next installment in this storied franchise? When do you think we’ll see its release? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on the Extra Life social channels. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  6. A small sneak peek stole the entire show. At the end of the Nintendo Direct for E3 2019, a short trailer revealed the existence of the next installment in The Legend of Zelda franchise. There aren’t many details currently available, but here’s what we know so far. “We have more games in development beyond what you’ve seen today,” said senior managing executive officer at Nintendo Shinya Takahashi after a certain new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC character was revealed. After saying no more, the stream cut to a trailer with very ominous tones. The trailer starts out ambiguous with glowing tendrils and two figures exploring what appears to be a dungeon. The music accompanying the imagery builds a sense of doom and sounds oddly familiar, yet distorted. In a strange way, it feels similar to another sequel that set a darker tone than its predecessor: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. A few moments in, we see our heroes, Link and a now short-haired Zelda, exploring the darkness. They seem to be searching for something specific rather than going on a general expedition. It’s then we see some semblance of a terrifying enemy either forming or, perhaps more worryingly, decaying. The figure reaches out into the world with a deadly touch. In flashes, we see bits of moments of the story, and then, we finally get to look into the genuinely disturbing eye of a beast. After these subterranean scenes, the camera cuts to the outer world. Where we once saw the gently rolling lands of Hyrule, we now see the ground greatly disturbed by whatever has awakened from its slumber. Text reading, “The sequel to the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is now in development,” pops onto the final screen. Since this is very early on in the development, no news of a release date appears. We can gather that the sequel likely takes place in the same universe as Breath of the Wild and continues on with the story. The graphics are very similar to BotW, so we can reasonably conclude that gameplay will be similar and the game may be made using the same engine. Link and Zelda are together in this trailer, so it could be possible that Nintendo heard our cries for a playable Zelda. Being able to switch between the two and explore Zelda’s fighting style and powers would be a catchy hook for newbie players as well as Legend of Zelda franchise veterans. It’s a hook that hasn’t been fully utilized in The Legend of Zelda series since Zelda’s Adventure, one of the terrible Philips CD-i games and could stand out as a redemptive moment for an often underutilized character. The big baddie looks like a dark change of pace for the series, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a grim and harrowing story this time around to match. This new game could focus more on building up characters with a more streamlined story, an aspect many found wanting in Breath of the Wild. “I’m looking forward to the day we can introduce them to you,” said Takahashi. Hey, us too. What do you expect from the next installment in this storied franchise? When do you think we’ll see its release? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on the Extra Life social channels. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  7. Rumors of a game collaboration between Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin and developers FromSoftware and Bandai Namco circulated before it officially revealed during the E3 Microsoft press conference on June 9. The only information available at that time though was the name Elden Ring and some imagery. Leaks revealed themselves via a security issue with the Bandai Namco site where information on Elden Ring, a Ni no Kuni remaster, and new Tales game existed. A leak almost seemed predestined due to the game’s progress, “Development for Elden Ring started just after development for the Dark Souls 3 DLC had ended,” said Hidetaka Miyazaki. During the press conference, the official reveal trailer made its debut. From the trailer, we gather that Elden Ring is a new intellectual property and takes place in a universe created by both Martin and president of FromSoftware Hidetaka Miyazaki. Miyazaki, before becoming the head of the Japanese game dev company joined FromSoftware as a game designer and headed the creation of the Dark Souls series. The trailer itself starts with dramatic footage (complete with eerie sound design) of a figure seemingly presenting a dismembered arm to a whole host of grasping arms with unknown origins. As the camera pans out, it looks like these arms could even belong to the figure, but just as soon as we may be able to piece anything together, we move on to the next scene. “I doubt you could even imagine it,” the looming narrative voice says over this imagery in a moment of metacommentary. The rest of the trailer showcases imagery of what we can presume is a blacksmith forming armor as depictions of battle flash in and out. The blacksmith appears to break in both a literal and physical means as their body begins to crack. Then the trailer cuts out. Further details were released via Microsoft however. Via the game’s page description on the Xbox website we learned that Elden Ring is a fantasy action-RPG adventure. “Danger and discovery lurk around every corner in FromSoftware’s largest game to-date,” says the game page. No release window surfaced with the reveal trailer but we did learn that the game releases to Xbox One and PC. Elden Ring is set to publish via Bandai Namco with FromSoftware heading the development. What do you think Elden Ring will look like? When will we get to play it? Let us know your predictions in the comments and on social! Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  8. Rumors of a game collaboration between Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin and developers FromSoftware and Bandai Namco circulated before it officially revealed during the E3 Microsoft press conference on June 9. The only information available at that time though was the name Elden Ring and some imagery. Leaks revealed themselves via a security issue with the Bandai Namco site where information on Elden Ring, a Ni no Kuni remaster, and new Tales game existed. A leak almost seemed predestined due to the game’s progress, “Development for Elden Ring started just after development for the Dark Souls 3 DLC had ended,” said Hidetaka Miyazaki. During the press conference, the official reveal trailer made its debut. From the trailer, we gather that Elden Ring is a new intellectual property and takes place in a universe created by both Martin and president of FromSoftware Hidetaka Miyazaki. Miyazaki, before becoming the head of the Japanese game dev company joined FromSoftware as a game designer and headed the creation of the Dark Souls series. The trailer itself starts with dramatic footage (complete with eerie sound design) of a figure seemingly presenting a dismembered arm to a whole host of grasping arms with unknown origins. As the camera pans out, it looks like these arms could even belong to the figure, but just as soon as we may be able to piece anything together, we move on to the next scene. “I doubt you could even imagine it,” the looming narrative voice says over this imagery in a moment of metacommentary. The rest of the trailer showcases imagery of what we can presume is a blacksmith forming armor as depictions of battle flash in and out. The blacksmith appears to break in both a literal and physical means as their body begins to crack. Then the trailer cuts out. Further details were released via Microsoft however. Via the game’s page description on the Xbox website we learned that Elden Ring is a fantasy action-RPG adventure. “Danger and discovery lurk around every corner in FromSoftware’s largest game to-date,” says the game page. No release window surfaced with the reveal trailer but we did learn that the game releases to Xbox One and PC. Elden Ring is set to publish via Bandai Namco with FromSoftware heading the development. What do you think Elden Ring will look like? When will we get to play it? Let us know your predictions in the comments and on social! Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  9. We knew that news of Cyberpunk 2077 would reveal itself over the course of E3, but what we didn’t know was that it would come from everyone’s favorite internet crush, Keanu Reeves. The actor's appearance surprised many fans and industry professionals, who had mainly been expecting more information about the dystopian sci-fi action game. News of the upcoming future-based game came out of the mouth of Reeves himself. Reeves took to the stage on June 9 during the Microsoft E3 press conference during their segment dedicated to Cyberpunk 2077. “I gotta’ talk to you about something,” said Reeves in all his aloof charm before revealing that developer CD Projekt Red reached out to him a while back to be a part of their project. “I’m always drawn to fascinating stories,” the actor behind Neo said, confirming that Cyberpunk 2077 met those qualifications for him. “We have a city to burn,” Reeve’s character says, his face concealed under a pair of aviators. He flickers in and out before bending down to look with those soulful brown eyes at the player. That’s all we get in terms of any story connection, but the presence of such a big name in Cyberpunk 2077 indicates that we’ll be seeing much more of him in-game. Keanu aside, the new footage revealed during the Microsoft press conference highlighted a continuation of the story that we saw from the previously released demo footage. The camera follows a version of V and their exploits. The trailer starts with some sort of conversation with “fixer” Dexter DeShawn. Since this game stays at a high-octane pace, we don’t stay stationary long and move on to drama with our old partner Jackie who seems to meet with an unfortunate end. The mantis blades make their return and we see some new powers or augments from a mysterious stranger named Bug. It’s quite a ride to say the least. If Keanu and story details weren’t enough to build the cyber-hype, CD Projekt Red revealed a release date, as well. Cyberpunk 2077 releases on April 16, 2020 with pre-orders available now. The game plays on multiple platforms and will be available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Are you excited to explore the streets of Night City? What augments would you get in this futuristic and tech-based world? Let us know in the comments! Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  10. We knew that news of Cyberpunk 2077 would reveal itself over the course of E3, but what we didn’t know was that it would come from everyone’s favorite internet crush, Keanu Reeves. The actor's appearance surprised many fans and industry professionals, who had mainly been expecting more information about the dystopian sci-fi action game. News of the upcoming future-based game came out of the mouth of Reeves himself. Reeves took to the stage on June 9 during the Microsoft E3 press conference during their segment dedicated to Cyberpunk 2077. “I gotta’ talk to you about something,” said Reeves in all his aloof charm before revealing that developer CD Projekt Red reached out to him a while back to be a part of their project. “I’m always drawn to fascinating stories,” the actor behind Neo said, confirming that Cyberpunk 2077 met those qualifications for him. “We have a city to burn,” Reeve’s character says, his face concealed under a pair of aviators. He flickers in and out before bending down to look with those soulful brown eyes at the player. That’s all we get in terms of any story connection, but the presence of such a big name in Cyberpunk 2077 indicates that we’ll be seeing much more of him in-game. Keanu aside, the new footage revealed during the Microsoft press conference highlighted a continuation of the story that we saw from the previously released demo footage. The camera follows a version of V and their exploits. The trailer starts with some sort of conversation with “fixer” Dexter DeShawn. Since this game stays at a high-octane pace, we don’t stay stationary long and move on to drama with our old partner Jackie who seems to meet with an unfortunate end. The mantis blades make their return and we see some new powers or augments from a mysterious stranger named Bug. It’s quite a ride to say the least. If Keanu and story details weren’t enough to build the cyber-hype, CD Projekt Red revealed a release date, as well. Cyberpunk 2077 releases on April 16, 2020 with pre-orders available now. The game plays on multiple platforms and will be available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Are you excited to explore the streets of Night City? What augments would you get in this futuristic and tech-based world? Let us know in the comments! Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  11. E3 is right around the corner, accelerating towards us at an alarming pace that seems to increase every year. But no problem! Extra Life has your back. We collected the games and dlc that we expect to see at this year’s show and the rumors that we’ve heard. E3 runs from Tuesday, June 11 to Thursday, June 13. Before things even start though, plenty of gaming news drops via press conferences and events. It all can add up to a lot to keep track of surrounding gaming's biggest event. During the show, keep your social channels tuned to Extra Life’s social channels for updates from the show floor. Going to E3? Visit the Extra Life booth! The Press Conferences Before and during E3, many companies hold press conferences. These media events are the place for companies to showcase the upcoming year’s releases and build the hype. Many take the whole year right after the previous E3 to plan and offer extravagant and flashy presentations. Some devs/publishers hold them live and some like Nintendo or Devolver opt-in for pre-recordings. If we, the audience, get very lucky, we also experience lovely gems of human awkwardness. The conferences can be viewed on various streaming mediums. All of the times below are U.S. Pacific Time. Sunday, June 9 Microsoft 1:00 PM Bethesda 5:30 PM Devolver Digital 7:00 PM Monday, June 10 PC Gaming Show 10:00 AM Limited Run Games 12:00 PM Ubisoft 1:00 PM Kinda Funny Games Showcase 4:30 PM Square Enix 6:00 PM Tuesday, June 11 Nintendo 9:00 AM No Sony, What about Death Stranding? You might have noticed that PlayStation wasn’t listed above. That’s because Sony made an industry-shaking decision to not attend E3 this year. This marks the first year that Sony won’t attend the conference in the 25 years of the conference. News of the decision broke last year via a Kotaku report. Sony released a statement, “PlayStation fans mean the world to us and we always want to innovate, think differently and experiment with new ways to delight gamers.” Sony continued, “as a result, we have decided not to participate in E3 in 2019. We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans with you.” So about those said plans, it’s speculated that Sony is gearing up for the release of the PlayStation 5 and possibly some next-gen VR hardware. The PS5 has a release window of Spring 2020 or later. An update on The Last of Us 2 and Death Stranding might not come directly from E3, but it’s likely Sony will ride the E3 hype wave with announcements adjacent to the event. On May 29, Kojima Productions released the Official Release Date Trailer for Death Stranding. Through the video, we received a slew of new details on the story, saw more gameplay, and got that coveted release date. The game will release later this year on November 8 exclusively to the PS4. FF7 Remake and The Avengers Project With Square Enix confirmed for E3, the Final Fantasy remake will most likely shine as a highlighted part of the company’s booth. We haven’t gotten a release date for the game. It was previously announced that the game would be released in an episodic format, so we may at least see the release date for that first installment. The latest we’ve seen from the FFVII front came in the form of a new trailer released on May 9. In that trailer, we got a look at more story and gameplay with a focus on Aerith, one of the iconic protagonists of FFVII. In the video description, there was a vague but promising note, “more details coming June 2019.” We got a teaser on a project partnering Marvel with Square Enix back in 2017. Then after some wait, the two companies revealed The Avengers Project announcement trailer. With a name like that, with an unfinalized game title, it was pretty obvious we would be waiting for a while until we’d actually see this game. On May 29, it was confirmed that The Avengers Project would be at E3 via a tweet from account @PlayAvengers. “Tune into Square Enix Live E3 2019 for the worldwide reveal of Marvel’s Avengers,” said the tweet. So hey, we’ve got a name now and confirmation that the game does indeed still exist. Cyberpunk 2077 At E3 2018, Cyberpunk 2077, the newest IP from The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt Red, kept mystique by remaining behind closed doors. Later on, we were able to see the 48-minute demo trailer that was reserved for select eyes. This year though, CD Projekt Red is ready to bare all on the public floor. https://mobile.twitter.com/AdamBadowski/status/1131468224665706496 Although the game will be presented to the public, the demo won’t be playable. Instead, the audience will see guided live gameplay. We haven’t had solid word on what will be shown in those demos, but CD had this to say in a recent blog post, “We will be taking part in the upcoming edition of E3, which is shaping up to be the most important fair in CD PROJEKT’s history.” Those are some pretty big words so it’s likely we’ll get some significant info on the game. Halo Infinite, Gears 5 and 12 Other Xbox Exclusives You may get deja vu from this quote from Microsoft. “This will be our biggest E3 presence ever and we can’t wait to share more about what we’ve got up our sleeves for the future,” said Will Tuttle, the Xbox Wire Editor in Chief earlier this year. Microsoft reportedly has 14 first-party games for E3. Included in that bunch are Halo Infinite and Gears of War 5. Microsoft announced the next installment of their flagship series last year and said it would be “greatest adventure yet." Halo Infinite deviates a bit from the rest of the games in the franchise, or at least that’s the sense we get from the announcement trailer since it showed off a game engine demonstration instead of straight story. Our prediction from 2018 was that “the new title might be willing to explore beyond the series' traditional linear FPS action, or at least offer a significant new spin.” Gears of War stands out as another storied series that has its roots firmly staked in Xbox. In 2018, we saw the announcement trailer for Gears of War 5 which unlike Halo Infinite seemed to stick to the formula. Except for the deviation of the main character Kait Diaz, who is the first female protagonist of the franchise. We will most likely receive more details on gameplay and a release date at E3. As far as the other 12 games, we don’t have solid details. However, Microsoft acquired some new studios since 2018 and titles are likely to come from there. Pokémon Sword and Shield, Animal Crossing and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC Pokémon Sword and Shield is the eighth generation Pokémon game fans have been drooling over. It will be a full main series game on the Switch that explores the new region of Galar. We’ve seen the three starters, Grookey the grass type, Scorbunny the fire bunny, and Sobble the water lizard. We’ve also seen gameplay which doesn’t seem radically different than Sun and Moon from the 3DS era. Luckily we won’t have to wait until E3 because a Nintendo Pokémon Direct happened on June 5. There we got a further look at new Pokémon, Wooloo the precious, Gossifleur and evolution Eldegoss aka walking embodiments of springtime, Corviknight the badass steel taxi and Drednaw our water/rock fanged turtle. Of course, we got to the Sword and Shield based legendaries as well, Zacian the sword puppy and Zamazenta the shield. It was confirmed that the camera would be controllable, a first for the mainline games. We were introduced to some new battle mechanics as well. The biggest (pun intended) being Dynamax which turn the mons into huge versions of themselves. That played into the raid boss feature where teams of local or online players can take on Dynamax Pokémon. Sword and shield comes out this year on November 15. The only news of Animal Crossing has been brief. But hey, at least we know it exists. In the announcement trailer for the game, we see a bleary-eyed Tom Nook gazing at a blinding computer screen in a dark office (a meta note on game dev crunch perhaps?). Nook babbles for a bit about Isabelle’s cameo in Super Smash, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, all his business and such. He says, “I’ve got to make sure everyone has a nice, new place to come home to when they’re ready.” Vague, but then we get an even more vague release schedule of 2019. Hopefully, Nintendo will spare us too much speculation in the meantime and will give us more during their press conference. With the Super Smash Fighter’s Pass we are due new characters to join the Super Smash roster, and what better place to announce the next installments than at E3? We recently got Joker from Persona 5, and Piranha plant back in Feb. Fans are already, understandably, hungry for more. It might be easy to make guesses from some clues about which fighter we’ll see next. And of course, the internet is a flurry of speculation throwing in guesses and fave characters up for nomination. However, some users took that hypothesizing a bit further with what is being dubbed Google Theory. After sifting through Google data people were able to come up with some data. The theory predicts that we’ll get to play as the likes of Banjo & Kazooie, Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden and Artorias from Dark Souls. Doom Eternal On the streets of LA you can spot giant murals of doom, Doom Eternal to be specific. Every year, E3 attendees get a preview of the impending festivities with gigantic painted billboards on the near the Figueroa Hotel. This year, the next in the Doom reboot series is the highlight. “Do you want to see hell on earth? We just teased it,” said creative director of id Software Hugo Martin when Doom Eternal was teased at E3 last year. The developer also said the game would be "the next leap in push-forward, first-person combat." Solid details, but we’re still without a release date. Watch Dogs 3 aka Watch Dogs Legion As of June 3, solid details on Watch Dogs 3 were revealed. Thanks to an Amazon leak, we were able to get a name and game description. The game will be Watch Dogs Legion and the game details read, “Watch Dogs Legion is set in a near-future, dystopian version of London.” it continued, “London makes total sense for WD, as the city has one of the highest surveillance levels in the world making this the perfect playground.” Another line said, “play as anyone, Every individual you meet in the open world, has a full set of animations, voice over, character traits and visuals that are generated & guided by gameplay systems.” The listing is gone of course, but the news was confirmed by Kotaku shortly after. Bonus: Rumors The Witcher 3 might be coming to the Switch. Capcom could be working on a Resident Evil 3 Remake. Netflix is going to be at the E3 Coliseum, do they have games in the works? There are very vague rumors of a new Batman game from Rocksteady. The Extra Life E3 2019 content team will be live at the show June 9-13 and covering all that the show has to offer. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games. View full article
  12. E3 is right around the corner, accelerating towards us at an alarming pace that seems to increase every year. But no problem! Extra Life has your back. We collected the games and dlc that we expect to see at this year’s show and the rumors that we’ve heard. E3 runs from Tuesday, June 11 to Thursday, June 13. Before things even start though, plenty of gaming news drops via press conferences and events. It all can add up to a lot to keep track of surrounding gaming's biggest event. During the show, keep your social channels tuned to Extra Life’s social channels for updates from the show floor. Going to E3? Visit the Extra Life booth! The Press Conferences Before and during E3, many companies hold press conferences. These media events are the place for companies to showcase the upcoming year’s releases and build the hype. Many take the whole year right after the previous E3 to plan and offer extravagant and flashy presentations. Some devs/publishers hold them live and some like Nintendo or Devolver opt-in for pre-recordings. If we, the audience, get very lucky, we also experience lovely gems of human awkwardness. The conferences can be viewed on various streaming mediums. All of the times below are U.S. Pacific Time. Sunday, June 9 Microsoft 1:00 PM Bethesda 5:30 PM Devolver Digital 7:00 PM Monday, June 10 PC Gaming Show 10:00 AM Limited Run Games 12:00 PM Ubisoft 1:00 PM Kinda Funny Games Showcase 4:30 PM Square Enix 6:00 PM Tuesday, June 11 Nintendo 9:00 AM No Sony, What about Death Stranding? You might have noticed that PlayStation wasn’t listed above. That’s because Sony made an industry-shaking decision to not attend E3 this year. This marks the first year that Sony won’t attend the conference in the 25 years of the conference. News of the decision broke last year via a Kotaku report. Sony released a statement, “PlayStation fans mean the world to us and we always want to innovate, think differently and experiment with new ways to delight gamers.” Sony continued, “as a result, we have decided not to participate in E3 in 2019. We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans with you.” So about those said plans, it’s speculated that Sony is gearing up for the release of the PlayStation 5 and possibly some next-gen VR hardware. The PS5 has a release window of Spring 2020 or later. An update on The Last of Us 2 and Death Stranding might not come directly from E3, but it’s likely Sony will ride the E3 hype wave with announcements adjacent to the event. On May 29, Kojima Productions released the Official Release Date Trailer for Death Stranding. Through the video, we received a slew of new details on the story, saw more gameplay, and got that coveted release date. The game will release later this year on November 8 exclusively to the PS4. FF7 Remake and The Avengers Project With Square Enix confirmed for E3, the Final Fantasy remake will most likely shine as a highlighted part of the company’s booth. We haven’t gotten a release date for the game. It was previously announced that the game would be released in an episodic format, so we may at least see the release date for that first installment. The latest we’ve seen from the FFVII front came in the form of a new trailer released on May 9. In that trailer, we got a look at more story and gameplay with a focus on Aerith, one of the iconic protagonists of FFVII. In the video description, there was a vague but promising note, “more details coming June 2019.” We got a teaser on a project partnering Marvel with Square Enix back in 2017. Then after some wait, the two companies revealed The Avengers Project announcement trailer. With a name like that, with an unfinalized game title, it was pretty obvious we would be waiting for a while until we’d actually see this game. On May 29, it was confirmed that The Avengers Project would be at E3 via a tweet from account @PlayAvengers. “Tune into Square Enix Live E3 2019 for the worldwide reveal of Marvel’s Avengers,” said the tweet. So hey, we’ve got a name now and confirmation that the game does indeed still exist. Cyberpunk 2077 At E3 2018, Cyberpunk 2077, the newest IP from The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt Red, kept mystique by remaining behind closed doors. Later on, we were able to see the 48-minute demo trailer that was reserved for select eyes. This year though, CD Projekt Red is ready to bare all on the public floor. https://mobile.twitter.com/AdamBadowski/status/1131468224665706496 Although the game will be presented to the public, the demo won’t be playable. Instead, the audience will see guided live gameplay. We haven’t had solid word on what will be shown in those demos, but CD had this to say in a recent blog post, “We will be taking part in the upcoming edition of E3, which is shaping up to be the most important fair in CD PROJEKT’s history.” Those are some pretty big words so it’s likely we’ll get some significant info on the game. Halo Infinite, Gears 5 and 12 Other Xbox Exclusives You may get deja vu from this quote from Microsoft. “This will be our biggest E3 presence ever and we can’t wait to share more about what we’ve got up our sleeves for the future,” said Will Tuttle, the Xbox Wire Editor in Chief earlier this year. Microsoft reportedly has 14 first-party games for E3. Included in that bunch are Halo Infinite and Gears of War 5. Microsoft announced the next installment of their flagship series last year and said it would be “greatest adventure yet." Halo Infinite deviates a bit from the rest of the games in the franchise, or at least that’s the sense we get from the announcement trailer since it showed off a game engine demonstration instead of straight story. Our prediction from 2018 was that “the new title might be willing to explore beyond the series' traditional linear FPS action, or at least offer a significant new spin.” Gears of War stands out as another storied series that has its roots firmly staked in Xbox. In 2018, we saw the announcement trailer for Gears of War 5 which unlike Halo Infinite seemed to stick to the formula. Except for the deviation of the main character Kait Diaz, who is the first female protagonist of the franchise. We will most likely receive more details on gameplay and a release date at E3. As far as the other 12 games, we don’t have solid details. However, Microsoft acquired some new studios since 2018 and titles are likely to come from there. Pokémon Sword and Shield, Animal Crossing and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC Pokémon Sword and Shield is the eighth generation Pokémon game fans have been drooling over. It will be a full main series game on the Switch that explores the new region of Galar. We’ve seen the three starters, Grookey the grass type, Scorbunny the fire bunny, and Sobble the water lizard. We’ve also seen gameplay which doesn’t seem radically different than Sun and Moon from the 3DS era. Luckily we won’t have to wait until E3 because a Nintendo Pokémon Direct happened on June 5. There we got a further look at new Pokémon, Wooloo the precious, Gossifleur and evolution Eldegoss aka walking embodiments of springtime, Corviknight the badass steel taxi and Drednaw our water/rock fanged turtle. Of course, we got to the Sword and Shield based legendaries as well, Zacian the sword puppy and Zamazenta the shield. It was confirmed that the camera would be controllable, a first for the mainline games. We were introduced to some new battle mechanics as well. The biggest (pun intended) being Dynamax which turn the mons into huge versions of themselves. That played into the raid boss feature where teams of local or online players can take on Dynamax Pokémon. Sword and shield comes out this year on November 15. The only news of Animal Crossing has been brief. But hey, at least we know it exists. In the announcement trailer for the game, we see a bleary-eyed Tom Nook gazing at a blinding computer screen in a dark office (a meta note on game dev crunch perhaps?). Nook babbles for a bit about Isabelle’s cameo in Super Smash, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, all his business and such. He says, “I’ve got to make sure everyone has a nice, new place to come home to when they’re ready.” Vague, but then we get an even more vague release schedule of 2019. Hopefully, Nintendo will spare us too much speculation in the meantime and will give us more during their press conference. With the Super Smash Fighter’s Pass we are due new characters to join the Super Smash roster, and what better place to announce the next installments than at E3? We recently got Joker from Persona 5, and Piranha plant back in Feb. Fans are already, understandably, hungry for more. It might be easy to make guesses from some clues about which fighter we’ll see next. And of course, the internet is a flurry of speculation throwing in guesses and fave characters up for nomination. However, some users took that hypothesizing a bit further with what is being dubbed Google Theory. After sifting through Google data people were able to come up with some data. The theory predicts that we’ll get to play as the likes of Banjo & Kazooie, Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden and Artorias from Dark Souls. Doom Eternal On the streets of LA you can spot giant murals of doom, Doom Eternal to be specific. Every year, E3 attendees get a preview of the impending festivities with gigantic painted billboards on the near the Figueroa Hotel. This year, the next in the Doom reboot series is the highlight. “Do you want to see hell on earth? We just teased it,” said creative director of id Software Hugo Martin when Doom Eternal was teased at E3 last year. The developer also said the game would be "the next leap in push-forward, first-person combat." Solid details, but we’re still without a release date. Watch Dogs 3 aka Watch Dogs Legion As of June 3, solid details on Watch Dogs 3 were revealed. Thanks to an Amazon leak, we were able to get a name and game description. The game will be Watch Dogs Legion and the game details read, “Watch Dogs Legion is set in a near-future, dystopian version of London.” it continued, “London makes total sense for WD, as the city has one of the highest surveillance levels in the world making this the perfect playground.” Another line said, “play as anyone, Every individual you meet in the open world, has a full set of animations, voice over, character traits and visuals that are generated & guided by gameplay systems.” The listing is gone of course, but the news was confirmed by Kotaku shortly after. Bonus: Rumors The Witcher 3 might be coming to the Switch. Capcom could be working on a Resident Evil 3 Remake. Netflix is going to be at the E3 Coliseum, do they have games in the works? There are very vague rumors of a new Batman game from Rocksteady. The Extra Life E3 2019 content team will be live at the show June 9-13 and covering all that the show has to offer. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games.
  13. Detective Pikachu had its opening weekend and was able to pull its weight against heavy hitter Avengers: Endgame. In retrospect, that shouldn't be totally surprising. The Pokémon brand certainly stands out as one of the biggest contributors to the box office achievement of Detective Pikachu. That logo alone almost guarantees that a product will grab some attention. Add the sly but charming leading man Ryan Reynolds, fresh off of his turn as the wise-cracking Deadpool, into the mix and an older audience will come to see it out of curiosity. The family-friendly rating ensures that people of all ages will frequent their local theater to take in the unique attraction of a live-action Pokémon film. However, the true secret to Detective Pikachu's success isn't the fact that it branched off of a ridiculously popular franchise. No, the secret is the respect paid to the multi-generations of fans who grew up with Pokémon by their side. This elevates the film to that rare next level; Detective Pikachu stands as a truly decent video game movie. Don’t worry, this review is spoiler-free. One of the best moments in Detective Pikachu occurs within the first few minutes. The camera soars above the landscape of an alternate universe, unassuming, like any other movie. However, a key detail stands out. The birds flying alongside the camera are Pidgeots. The camera doesn’t highlight the unassuming winged Pokémon, but instead, the fictitious creatures blend in with the scenery. They look like they belong there, as real as any sparrow or falcon. That sense of grounded belonging hit me hard. I'm definitely a Pokémon nerd, and I'm totally not ashamed to say that seeing this made me tear up, just a little. Detective Pikachu originated as a 3DS title of the same name that released in Japan in 2016. The handheld game released worldwide in 2018, but did little to impress me. The first trailer for Detective Pikachu failed to grip me in a similar manner. The premise of a crime-solving, talking Pikachu seemed like an odd choice for such a big budget film. Then there were the character designs. Oh wow, the character designs. Being a live-action affair, Detective Pikachu’s aesthetic choice for the Pokémon that live alongside the human population was to ground them in reality as much as possible. The first trailer showing off these designs didn’t hit me right. Jigglypuff's characteristic innocent blue eyes melted away into horrifically realistic, veiny orbs. Mr. Mime... Mr. Mimed. It all seemed seconds away from a fatal misstep, one that would lead these companion creatures I've known and loved for so long down a dark and creepy path. However, I am happy to report that director Rob Letterman was able keep the production on the tightrope. Detective Pikachu never slips from the delicate balance that seemed impossible when I first saw the trailer. Much of that is due to the vital piece of the puzzle prevailing in every scene, the Pokémon themselves. Charmander has scales? Wild! While some Pokémon were certainly disturbing, the steady drip of new designs and iconic Pokémon moments kept me curious and engaged. As a lifelong Pokemon fan, I wanted, nay needed more. Almost the entirety of Detective Pikachu takes place in and around Ryme City. The urban locale brings all kinds of people and Pokémon into close proximity, allowing it to become a character in its own right. The first taste of the city gives the audience an onslaught of Easter Eggs, with Pokémon from across all generations of the games filling in almost every nook and cranny. As a dedicated Pokémon fan, it occurred to me that this might be what heaven looks like. Even if someone hadn’t ever played a Pokémon game before, the incredible sights of Ryme City should prove to be delightful. The special effects provide a seamless visual experience with a steady drip-feed of wonder. It took a lot of love and a substantial understanding of Pokémon’s appeal to create a world this full of marvels. The plot of Detective Pikachu revolves around Tim Goodman, a young man who encounters a talking Pikachu shortly after the disappearance of his father, Harry. Justice Smith does an admirable job as Goodman, managing to hold his own playing alongside Ryan Reynolds as the titular detective. The two go through a bonding arc over the course of their adventures together that's surprisingly heartwarming. However, the plot becomes secondary to the magical world of the film. Detective Pikachu stands as a great achievement. It manages to be both a vehicle for nostalgia, effectively conveying the magic that made Pokémon great in the first place while introducing a whole new generation to the franchise. The filmmakers crafted a world where the fluffiness of childhood continues, but holds just enough darkness around the edges to feel real. This is a place where whimsical creatures can be both adorable distractions and participants in a gritty criminal underworld. It’s a world with more similarities to our own that operates with a freedom that many will find a refreshing change of pace from the typical sanded polish of Nintendo’s titles. As strange as it might sound for a film about a talking yellow mouse voiced by Ryan Reynolds, Pokémon has become a bit more real thanks to Detective Pikachu. Conclusion: Ryme City and its environs become an opportunity to see the Pokémon you’ve always imagined coming to life. It’s a magical opportunity that taps into what made the games so alluring as a kid. Pokémon gripped me in part because it seemed like an ideal world. It was a place where the worst thing that could happen would be a trip to the local Pokémon Center or a missed opportunity to catch that one rare Pokémon. Plus, who doesn’t dream of going on an adventure with a magical best friend? Rob Letterman as well as seemingly everyone working on Detective Pikachu understood this, using the live-action of the film to bridge the gap between that dream and reality. It’s no exaggeration to say that Detective Pikachu helped to heal my cynical Millennial soul, if only just a little. If that isn't an endorsement, then I don't know what else could be. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games
  14. Detective Pikachu had its opening weekend and was able to pull its weight against heavy hitter Avengers Endgame. Not totally surprising. This movie has quite a few things going for it that contributed to that success. Pokémon, duh, anything with that logo is gonna grab some attention. Sly but charming lead man Ryan Reynolds, that family-friendly rating etc. etc. But what makes this movie successful isn't just the fact that it's branched off of a ridiculously popular franchise, but the respect paid to the multi-generations of fans. This brings it to that rare next level and makes it a truly decent video game movie. One of the best moments in the movie for me (don't worry, this review will be spoiler-free) lies within the first few minutes. The camera soared above this alternate universe, unassuming, like any other movie. However, a key detail stood out. The birds that flew alongside the camera were Pidgeots, unassuming Pokemon themselves, but they blended in so well they become a natural part of the scenery. I'm definitely a Pokémon nerd, and I'm totally not ashamed to say that seeing this made me tear up, just a little. As a lifelong Pokemon fan, I wanted, nay needed more. Charmander with scales? Whaaaa? But let's back up a little first. When the first trailer came out for this movie it didn't exactly grip me. Detective Pikachu, the game, wasn't one that I had been particularly invested in. It seemed like an odd choice for such a big budget film. And then there were the character designs. Oh wow, the character designs. Jigglypuff's characteristic innocent blue eyes melted away into horrifically realistic veiny orbs. Mr. Mime... Mr. Mimed. It all seemed seconds away from a fatal misstep, one that would lead these companion creatures I've known and loved for so long down a dark and creepy path. But that vital piece of the puzzle prevailed, the Pokémon piece. It kept me curious and ensured that I would indeed see this movie. It's Pikachu, with Ryan Reynolds voice! When we enter the main location for the movie, Ryme City, we the audience receive an onslaught of Easter Eggs. There are Pokémon from all generations EVERYWHERE. I think this is what heaven looks like. In all seriousness though, it is an amazing sight to see. The wonder is relentless, it's seamless. Pokémon are as much a part of the city as the people who inhabit it. It took a lot of love to create a world this full and well, possible. The plot becomes secondary to the magical world they were able to create. That same magic is what made me fall in love with Pokemon in the first place. Pokémon gripped in part me because it seemed like an ideal world. Going on an adventure with a magical best friend? Heck yea! So bridging that gap to reality helps heal my cynical Millenial soul just a little. Detective Pikachu has shown the audience that the franchise has grown up with them. Instead of being perpetually stuck at 10, fans were finally allowed to see Pokémon in their world. A gritty world with crime, underground fighting, street drugs. They are allowed to exist in a world that has more similarities to our own than the usual polish that we get from Nintendo. Because of that, Pokémon become just a little more real. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games View full article
  15. Night City is the setting for the upcoming game from CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077. The game is based on the tabletop role-playing games Cyberpunk and Cyberpunk 2020 by Mike Pondsmith Once shrouded in mystery but still able to garner a ton of hype, we finally have a concrete vision of CD Projekt Red's latest IP, Cyberpunk 2077. This past August, CD Projekt Red released a much-anticipated gameplay reveal trailer. The trailer generously showed a 48-minute walkthrough of early-story content. This same content (likely with some differences) made its debut earlier for a select crowd at E3 2018. I got a first-hand look at this hype when I was able to snag one of the coveted spots to see this much talked about footage. Cyberpunk 2077 easily had the biggest hype behind it during E3. Press, industry, and gamers crowded the long halls leading to the private showing area just for the mere chance to be squeezed in for one of the nearly 50-minute gameplay demos. The CD Projekt Red team, hoping to spare disappointment and save time, came out periodically to tell those hopefuls that they were overbooked. I stood in that line for about two and a half hours, fighting off waves of hopelessness and persevering through pure stubbornness. About three people were let in every hour, and sometimes less. One developer came out and firmly said that absolutely no extra spots were available while another said he'd see what he can do. With a bit of luck, I managed to get in, and oh man, was all that angst worth it. Level Designer Miles Tost served as our guide through the demo. We entered the character creator first. Tost formally introduced us to a mercenary named V, our fully customizable protagonist who made a brief appearance in the official E3 trailer. V can be either female or male and has various cosmetic settings to go through; the usual sliders and color options one might expect. The class system, however, had me interested since it offered a fluid experience that changes as you play the game. The different classes aren't meant to be set in stone, allowing the player to switch between them. V can then adapt to each player's individualized playstyle while progressing through the game. For the live demo, the team chose a female V. After setting up, it was time to get immersed in Night City. Jackie Wells is a fellow assassin that accompanies V during the course of the 50-minute demo shown at E3 Located in coastal California, Night City contains six seamless districts. The city reminded me of a hybrid between Blade Runner (but with sunshine) and Fifth Element. My not-so-bold prediction pins Night City as the main setting for the majority of the game. Towering mega-buildings scatter the landscape. In one of these giant structures, we met the aforementioned V and her mercenary partner Jackie Welles. The duo work as freelance guns-for-hire, taking jobs and recognizing opportunity when it presents itself. The demo began with the duo on a mission to retrieve a high priority target, the victim of kidnapping and implant harvesting. Obtaining implants, no matter how grisly the method of acquisition, proves a lucrative business in the dark future of Cyberpunk. With this introduction to Night City, V got a bit of action hunting down organ scavengers in a cramped and dingy apartment complex. They made their way through rooms, taking out enemies until stumbling upon the female target unconscious alongside another body in an iced tub. As you've most likely read/heard by now, Cyberpunk 2077's gameplay takes place from a first-person viewpoint. This fact seemed to generate some degree of frustration from fans of CD Projekt RED who have been accustomed to The Witcher series' third-person perspective. Personally, that didn't impair the experience as a viewer. Actually, the way combat functions, first-person seems to be the optimal way to play. Combat lets the player use a combo of high-tech weapons, cybernetic abilities, stealth, good ol' fashioned head bashing, and I'm sure loads more that we haven't seen yet. It definitely ventures away from what we've seen in the Witcher series. Upon securing the iced and unconscious woman, V and Jackie pointedly ignored the other person. They'd only been hired to save one life that day. V inserted an implant behind the woman’s ear to get a reading on her vitals. Twitching and iced over, the woman clung to life. The two mercenaries quickly moved outside of the apartment to a balcony. The exterior of the tiny complex exposed a massive but crowded world. Across from the giant building that V and Jackie find themselves in stands another equally massive construction. Apparently, a lot of buildings in Night City share this form and, since they're so massive, function almost like their own cities. No good deed goes unpunished, and our two heroes quickly found themselves surrounded by aggressive armed people in matching blue uniforms with a red symbol. The interlopers demanded that the two mercenaries hand over the woman. V explained that they are hired help, but these soldiers weren’t the listening types. As quickly as they had arrived, they disappeared with the woman in a helicopter. From what Tost told us, these soldiers represent a high-end medical company. Think of them as insurance for rich people. The icy, dying woman V and Jackie retrieved happens to be a client of theirs. In the world of Cyberpunk 2077, corporations run everything and this merc'ed up medical company is just another one of them. These soldiers represent a medical corporation The stress of the job proved to be worth the trouble for V, her paycheck earning her enough to go off on a three-day bender off-screen. The action resumed with an NSFW scene featuring a half-naked V in bed next to an equally half-naked stranger. Tost jumped in to say that this game contains mature content, definitely not a first for CD Projekt Red. He also revealed that Night City contains many inhabitants, a large amount of which V can interact with. These types of interactions could vary between random encounters with enemies to new partners with which V can bring on missions and likely a lot of things in-between. After her wild series of days, V needed to get back to work. Luckily, Jackie called with an exciting lead: A new client that could launch their careers into the stratosphere. The client, Dexter DeShaw, had a request for the two mercenaries, the details relayed via a shard that V plugged into her head. After downloading the mission info, V and Jackie left to prepare for the job. V followed Jackie through the streets of Night City. At street level, the space seemed overwhelming. The cityscape loomed overhead with skyscrapers taking up every scrap of sky. Life kept moving around V as she walked with Jackie. NPC's interacted with each other apparently leading their own lives, according to the devs, within Cyberpunk 2077. This makes the fact that V can interact with all of the NPCs that she dodged around certainly impressive. The NPCs themselves all had labels above their heads, giving a bit more characterization to the world. Pressing on through the mass of humanity, V and Jackie entered into the lair of the ripperdoc, a purveyor of especially interesting technological artifacts. This is a Ripperdoc - specializing in cyberwear, some docs deal in legal upgrades, but some supply less than legal tech The ripperdoc sells mechanical upgrades. In a corner of his shop, for example, the mantis blades from Cyberpunk's original teaser trailer can be seen. Shortly after her arrival, V settled into the doc's chair. He then proceeded to surgically remove her eyes, rendering our protagonist sightless. Darkness for a few seconds and then light. Those same eyes began transmitting images again, and V can see herself across the room for a short, surreal moment. The upgrade V had installed allows her to zoom in her vision to scan objects, useful for analyzing threats and concocting strategies. Some docs provide legal upgrades, others, not so much. The upgrades that V equips throughout the game depend on your playstyle. This leaves a ton of room to customize the game even further. After V finished getting fancy with new tech, Jackie returned with a vehicle in tow. Shady characters hung out by Jackie’s new baby, definitely looking ready to start some trouble. This understandably sounded some alarms for our mercenary friends. At this point, Tost jumped in to say that in this living world, random encounters can happen at any time. V and Jackie read the danger of their situation and took off in their ride, triggering a car chase. Speaking of vehicles, I only saw a few during the demo, but Tost said that a variety more exist in the game. 2077 is dominated by corporations and Meredith Stout is a top executive of one of them. In the demo, she uses V and Jackie to get what she wants. After some tense shooting and gadgetry take care of their pursuers, V and Jackie arrived at the rendezvous point to find a corporate woman waiting for them surrounded by armed guards and vehicles. It turns out she's Meredith Stout, a higher-up with the megacorporation Militech. Stout explained that she feels as if there are hidden schemes going on at Militech and wants in on the mysterious plans. She believes that V and Jackie are in on some key details that she needs. As a sassy, tough as nails mercenary, V won't willingly hand over all of the answers that Stout wants. Fully prepared for this scenario, the ruthless businesswoman hacked into V’s mind, forcing lie detector tech into her subconscious. In this future, not even your thoughts are safe. Through this interaction, branching narrative paths form that affect not only the upcoming gameplay, but the story overall. V could decide to try to fight her way out or comply with various dialogue options. After shaping the situation to her liking, Stout released V to complete the job by stealing a specialized piece of military hardware currently in the possession of a ruthless gang. This last act really got into the meat of Cyberpunk’s combat. The mission focused on retrieving a spider-like mech guarded by a well-armed gang holed up within an abandoned meat fortress. The newly acquired eye enhancements came in handy, as V used her techno peepers to spot nearby targets and plan her assault. Players can decide to go in guns and cyberwear blazing or sneak around the compound performing stealth takedowns. Or perhaps a more diplomatic solution could be reached? In the demo I saw, V negotiated for the prize. One of the fine people that V and Jackie are sent to negotiate within a fortified gang fortress. Their target this time is the piece of tech beside him. In Cyberpunk 2077, it’s not uncommon to see mechanical pieces on people. Some of these enhancements featured pretty prominently n the E3 trailer. The members of this gang don't mind the metal and wires; some have completely swapped their fleshy faces for a full-tech look. V met up with one such person to see the highly sought-after piece of military-grade equipment. The drone resembled a spider with all its limbs. Many in dangerous lines of work value its adaptive and versatile nature in all sorts of combat situations. Payment for this metallic creature resided on one of the chips seen throughout the demo. One of the gang members inserted this into their bases’ system and things go immediately awry. The woman from Millitech sabotaged the system with a virus. Bullets began to fly. V then hacked into one of the fallen enemies to gain access to the layout of the building, gaining an immediate advantage and a plan to get out. Pictured is the female V, very closely resembling how she looked in the demo. Her jacket not only looks rad, but it's also a key piece of gear called the samurai jacket that is connected to a street cred system. Combat in Cyberpunk contains both smooth movements and chaotic destruction. V slid around corners to catch targets unaware, bounced bullets off of walls to catch those hidden around corners, and utilized slow-mo to jump and shoot. It all looked fun as hell, and from what I saw and heard, the CD Projekt Red team hopes that their combat system will form around each individual players style. Escaping the fortress signaled the end of the demo. Coming out of seeing Cyberpunk 2077 firsthand, I felt a surge of enthusiasm. Night City included so many elements that I wanted to explore and questions I wanted to answer. What do interactions with NPCs really look like? What will the different game styles play like? Will the story form around this world, or around V? Will I like V? Am I supposed to? How sick will those cybernetic upgrades feel? Why do I feel so much hype from this game? Then the gameplay trailer launched to the public, and the hype grew even more. The reaction seemed fitting since we have had to wait six years since the game's announcement in 2012. Even now, we only saw the tip of the iceberg in the hour demo. It included enough to fuel my fascination with the game. However, the skeptic in me knows that some caution is healthy. Hype this big can be dangerous. Cyberpunk 2077 will either hugely benefit from following the Witcher 3 or it could lead to undeserved expectations. We saw this with Mass Effect: Andromeda which followed the hugely acclaimed Mass Effect Trilogy. The game needed to pretty much reach a level of perfection for its fans that it inevitably fell under the pressure and rushed development cycles. However, CD Projekt Red has a different way of doing things. The studio has built a rapport with its fans that we don't see very often. Fans trust the company completely as it has delivered time and time again on ever increasing expectations. CD Projekt Red has not given us a timeline for the game. Cyberpunk is available on Amazon for pre-order with a placeholder release date of December 28, 2018. Even so, it's likely we won't see the game's release this or even next year. Whenever it does reach the public, it will be playable on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  16. Night City is the setting for the upcoming game from CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077. The game is based on the tabletop role-playing games Cyberpunk and Cyberpunk 2020 by Mike Pondsmith Once shrouded in mystery but still able to garner a ton of hype, we finally have a concrete vision of CD Projekt Red's latest IP, Cyberpunk 2077. This past August, CD Projekt Red released a much-anticipated gameplay reveal trailer. The trailer generously showed a 48-minute walkthrough of early-story content. This same content (likely with some differences) made its debut earlier for a select crowd at E3 2018. I got a first-hand look at this hype when I was able to snag one of the coveted spots to see this much talked about footage. Cyberpunk 2077 easily had the biggest hype behind it during E3. Press, industry, and gamers crowded the long halls leading to the private showing area just for the mere chance to be squeezed in for one of the nearly 50-minute gameplay demos. The CD Projekt Red team, hoping to spare disappointment and save time, came out periodically to tell those hopefuls that they were overbooked. I stood in that line for about two and a half hours, fighting off waves of hopelessness and persevering through pure stubbornness. About three people were let in every hour, and sometimes less. One developer came out and firmly said that absolutely no extra spots were available while another said he'd see what he can do. With a bit of luck, I managed to get in, and oh man, was all that angst worth it. Level Designer Miles Tost served as our guide through the demo. We entered the character creator first. Tost formally introduced us to a mercenary named V, our fully customizable protagonist who made a brief appearance in the official E3 trailer. V can be either female or male and has various cosmetic settings to go through; the usual sliders and color options one might expect. The class system, however, had me interested since it offered a fluid experience that changes as you play the game. The different classes aren't meant to be set in stone, allowing the player to switch between them. V can then adapt to each player's individualized playstyle while progressing through the game. For the live demo, the team chose a female V. After setting up, it was time to get immersed in Night City. Jackie Wells is a fellow assassin that accompanies V during the course of the 50-minute demo shown at E3 Located in coastal California, Night City contains six seamless districts. The city reminded me of a hybrid between Blade Runner (but with sunshine) and Fifth Element. My not-so-bold prediction pins Night City as the main setting for the majority of the game. Towering mega-buildings scatter the landscape. In one of these giant structures, we met the aforementioned V and her mercenary partner Jackie Welles. The duo work as freelance guns-for-hire, taking jobs and recognizing opportunity when it presents itself. The demo began with the duo on a mission to retrieve a high priority target, the victim of kidnapping and implant harvesting. Obtaining implants, no matter how grisly the method of acquisition, proves a lucrative business in the dark future of Cyberpunk. With this introduction to Night City, V got a bit of action hunting down organ scavengers in a cramped and dingy apartment complex. They made their way through rooms, taking out enemies until stumbling upon the female target unconscious alongside another body in an iced tub. As you've most likely read/heard by now, Cyberpunk 2077's gameplay takes place from a first-person viewpoint. This fact seemed to generate some degree of frustration from fans of CD Projekt RED who have been accustomed to The Witcher series' third-person perspective. Personally, that didn't impair the experience as a viewer. Actually, the way combat functions, first-person seems to be the optimal way to play. Combat lets the player use a combo of high-tech weapons, cybernetic abilities, stealth, good ol' fashioned head bashing, and I'm sure loads more that we haven't seen yet. It definitely ventures away from what we've seen in the Witcher series. Upon securing the iced and unconscious woman, V and Jackie pointedly ignored the other person. They'd only been hired to save one life that day. V inserted an implant behind the woman’s ear to get a reading on her vitals. Twitching and iced over, the woman clung to life. The two mercenaries quickly moved outside of the apartment to a balcony. The exterior of the tiny complex exposed a massive but crowded world. Across from the giant building that V and Jackie find themselves in stands another equally massive construction. Apparently, a lot of buildings in Night City share this form and, since they're so massive, function almost like their own cities. No good deed goes unpunished, and our two heroes quickly found themselves surrounded by aggressive armed people in matching blue uniforms with a red symbol. The interlopers demanded that the two mercenaries hand over the woman. V explained that they are hired help, but these soldiers weren’t the listening types. As quickly as they had arrived, they disappeared with the woman in a helicopter. From what Tost told us, these soldiers represent a high-end medical company. Think of them as insurance for rich people. The icy, dying woman V and Jackie retrieved happens to be a client of theirs. In the world of Cyberpunk 2077, corporations run everything and this merc'ed up medical company is just another one of them. These soldiers represent a medical corporation The stress of the job proved to be worth the trouble for V, her paycheck earning her enough to go off on a three-day bender off-screen. The action resumed with an NSFW scene featuring a half-naked V in bed next to an equally half-naked stranger. Tost jumped in to say that this game contains mature content, definitely not a first for CD Projekt Red. He also revealed that Night City contains many inhabitants, a large amount of which V can interact with. These types of interactions could vary between random encounters with enemies to new partners with which V can bring on missions and likely a lot of things in-between. After her wild series of days, V needed to get back to work. Luckily, Jackie called with an exciting lead: A new client that could launch their careers into the stratosphere. The client, Dexter DeShaw, had a request for the two mercenaries, the details relayed via a shard that V plugged into her head. After downloading the mission info, V and Jackie left to prepare for the job. V followed Jackie through the streets of Night City. At street level, the space seemed overwhelming. The cityscape loomed overhead with skyscrapers taking up every scrap of sky. Life kept moving around V as she walked with Jackie. NPC's interacted with each other apparently leading their own lives, according to the devs, within Cyberpunk 2077. This makes the fact that V can interact with all of the NPCs that she dodged around certainly impressive. The NPCs themselves all had labels above their heads, giving a bit more characterization to the world. Pressing on through the mass of humanity, V and Jackie entered into the lair of the ripperdoc, a purveyor of especially interesting technological artifacts. This is a Ripperdoc - specializing in cyberwear, some docs deal in legal upgrades, but some supply less than legal tech The ripperdoc sells mechanical upgrades. In a corner of his shop, for example, the mantis blades from Cyberpunk's original teaser trailer can be seen. Shortly after her arrival, V settled into the doc's chair. He then proceeded to surgically remove her eyes, rendering our protagonist sightless. Darkness for a few seconds and then light. Those same eyes began transmitting images again, and V can see herself across the room for a short, surreal moment. The upgrade V had installed allows her to zoom in her vision to scan objects, useful for analyzing threats and concocting strategies. Some docs provide legal upgrades, others, not so much. The upgrades that V equips throughout the game depend on your playstyle. This leaves a ton of room to customize the game even further. After V finished getting fancy with new tech, Jackie returned with a vehicle in tow. Shady characters hung out by Jackie’s new baby, definitely looking ready to start some trouble. This understandably sounded some alarms for our mercenary friends. At this point, Tost jumped in to say that in this living world, random encounters can happen at any time. V and Jackie read the danger of their situation and took off in their ride, triggering a car chase. Speaking of vehicles, I only saw a few during the demo, but Tost said that a variety more exist in the game. 2077 is dominated by corporations and Meredith Stout is a top executive of one of them. In the demo, she uses V and Jackie to get what she wants. After some tense shooting and gadgetry take care of their pursuers, V and Jackie arrived at the rendezvous point to find a corporate woman waiting for them surrounded by armed guards and vehicles. It turns out she's Meredith Stout, a higher-up with the megacorporation Militech. Stout explained that she feels as if there are hidden schemes going on at Militech and wants in on the mysterious plans. She believes that V and Jackie are in on some key details that she needs. As a sassy, tough as nails mercenary, V won't willingly hand over all of the answers that Stout wants. Fully prepared for this scenario, the ruthless businesswoman hacked into V’s mind, forcing lie detector tech into her subconscious. In this future, not even your thoughts are safe. Through this interaction, branching narrative paths form that affect not only the upcoming gameplay, but the story overall. V could decide to try to fight her way out or comply with various dialogue options. After shaping the situation to her liking, Stout released V to complete the job by stealing a specialized piece of military hardware currently in the possession of a ruthless gang. This last act really got into the meat of Cyberpunk’s combat. The mission focused on retrieving a spider-like mech guarded by a well-armed gang holed up within an abandoned meat fortress. The newly acquired eye enhancements came in handy, as V used her techno peepers to spot nearby targets and plan her assault. Players can decide to go in guns and cyberwear blazing or sneak around the compound performing stealth takedowns. Or perhaps a more diplomatic solution could be reached? In the demo I saw, V negotiated for the prize. One of the fine people that V and Jackie are sent to negotiate within a fortified gang fortress. Their target this time is the piece of tech beside him. In Cyberpunk 2077, it’s not uncommon to see mechanical pieces on people. Some of these enhancements featured pretty prominently n the E3 trailer. The members of this gang don't mind the metal and wires; some have completely swapped their fleshy faces for a full-tech look. V met up with one such person to see the highly sought-after piece of military-grade equipment. The drone resembled a spider with all its limbs. Many in dangerous lines of work value its adaptive and versatile nature in all sorts of combat situations. Payment for this metallic creature resided on one of the chips seen throughout the demo. One of the gang members inserted this into their bases’ system and things go immediately awry. The woman from Millitech sabotaged the system with a virus. Bullets began to fly. V then hacked into one of the fallen enemies to gain access to the layout of the building, gaining an immediate advantage and a plan to get out. Pictured is the female V, very closely resembling how she looked in the demo. Her jacket not only looks rad, but it's also a key piece of gear called the samurai jacket that is connected to a street cred system. Combat in Cyberpunk contains both smooth movements and chaotic destruction. V slid around corners to catch targets unaware, bounced bullets off of walls to catch those hidden around corners, and utilized slow-mo to jump and shoot. It all looked fun as hell, and from what I saw and heard, the CD Projekt Red team hopes that their combat system will form around each individual players style. Escaping the fortress signaled the end of the demo. Coming out of seeing Cyberpunk 2077 firsthand, I felt a surge of enthusiasm. Night City included so many elements that I wanted to explore and questions I wanted to answer. What do interactions with NPCs really look like? What will the different game styles play like? Will the story form around this world, or around V? Will I like V? Am I supposed to? How sick will those cybernetic upgrades feel? Why do I feel so much hype from this game? Then the gameplay trailer launched to the public, and the hype grew even more. The reaction seemed fitting since we have had to wait six years since the game's announcement in 2012. Even now, we only saw the tip of the iceberg in the hour demo. It included enough to fuel my fascination with the game. However, the skeptic in me knows that some caution is healthy. Hype this big can be dangerous. Cyberpunk 2077 will either hugely benefit from following the Witcher 3 or it could lead to undeserved expectations. We saw this with Mass Effect: Andromeda which followed the hugely acclaimed Mass Effect Trilogy. The game needed to pretty much reach a level of perfection for its fans that it inevitably fell under the pressure and rushed development cycles. However, CD Projekt Red has a different way of doing things. The studio has built a rapport with its fans that we don't see very often. Fans trust the company completely as it has delivered time and time again on ever increasing expectations. CD Projekt Red has not given us a timeline for the game. Cyberpunk is available on Amazon for pre-order with a placeholder release date of December 28, 2018. Even so, it's likely we won't see the game's release this or even next year. Whenever it does reach the public, it will be playable on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  17. When we think gaming, thoughts often go to RPGs, complex sims, real-time strategy, etc. However, those all exist in a virtual world on a screen. These complicated genres grew out of more classic forms as tabletop games, bringing people together and causing table-flipping arguments and memories since the dawn of time. In recognition of the vast world of tabletop gaming, Extra Life hosts Tabletop Appreciation Weekend annually. 2018 marks the fourth year celebrating, but board gaming has been a part of Extra Life since the beginning. On Game Day and during other fundraisers throughout the year, many Extra Lifers raise money by playing games not just on their screens but on the tabletop as well. As a newbie to the world of board gaming, or a long time fan looking to branch out, it might be hard to determine where to start. The list below looks at helping you solve that problem with some of the best games with which you can start. This list just scratches the surface of the vast world of tabletop gaming, so if you have any suggestions, we would love to hear about them in the comments below or on social media. If you post about the festivities, use the hashtag #EXTRALIFETabletop to connect and maybe even find a new passion. Dungeons & Dragons It would be downright irresponsible to create this list and not include Dungeons & Dragons. This game set the foundation for tons of games to follow, tabletop and otherwise. For those unfamiliar with the format, or maybe to clear up some misconceptions, Dungeons & Dragons features role-playing gameplay with many different play styles. Generally, though, players will run through a campaign as laid out by their Dungeon Master (DM). Each player creates their own Player Character (PC) based on either the lore officially created by Wizards of the Coast or the homebrewed variant supplied by the DM. Character creation includes the fantastical race of said character, their skills and combat style, as well as their origin story. Basically, you get to let your imagination go wild making a rad persona and then use the rules to make them a reality within the game. Dungeons & Dragons tends to intimidate first-timers, but if you have any interest in storytelling, and can find a good DM (or become a good DM yourself), Dungeons and Dragons reached classic status for a reason. Magic: The Gathering Another titan in the tabletop world is Magic: the Gathering. Rather than relying solely on your imagination, Magic uses cards that represent many elements within the mystical Planes of that setting (which has recently been announced to be coming to Dungeons & Dragons). The cards include the planeswalkers, beasts, troops, spells, totems and more that fight epic battles against other players. Playstyles can vary greatly due to the different colors of magic represented on each card. These five colors offer players the ability to specialize their tactics or even combine colors to test out their favorite way to play. Magic requires time and dedication, much like any game, but MTG has a great community and you can typically find a player willing to explain more complicated cards. Classic Board Games Yes, this portion of the list includes those classics like Monopoly, Risk and even Candyland if that strikes your fancy. Even the mainstream classics are a great way to game with friends or introduce new people to this style of gaming. These games made it to the wider culture due to one simple fact: People enjoy them. Many Extra Lifers choose to play these games for Game Day to raise funds and have an absolute blast. We salute those of you who stick with the classics. Like the wider format that these board games fall under, this genre spans many playstyles. Some great games to play include card games like Cards Against Humanity or Exploding Kittens. The 2011 release King of Tokyo has seemingly simple gameplay but adds in cards that offer each player different dynamics that keep the game interesting. Settlers of Catan allows for multiple players and has them all struggle to build up their empires from nothing. The classics and more recent popular tabletop games became widely played because people have fun with them, consider adding one to your Game Day line-up to spice things up if you're mostly a digital gamer. The Pokémon Trading Card Game Some people might be taken aback by the Pokémon Trading Card Game appearing in a list of games to get into in 2018, but this serves as a stand-in for all fandoms that have developed collectible card games. In this realm lie games like Yu-Gi-Oh! and the aptly named Final Fantasy Trading Card Game. Basically, if there’s a franchise, it probably has a collectible card game (to name a few that float around out there: American Idol, Dr. Who Buffy the Vampire Slayer and so many more). This makes this genre super inviting for members of many fandoms. The rules all vary, but basically, the goal includes collecting the best cards you can get your hands on so you can battle opponents. The communities for these versus Magic: The Gathering tend to be smaller and harder to find. The fun from collectible card games depends on the player. Some enjoy the hunt for rare cards and collecting rather than playing, while others gather at local games shops to battle. Hey, even Geralt of Rivia plays. Warhammer Warhammer is an incredibly malleable franchise for those who love tabletop gaming. On the one hand, the core Warhammer series function very much like an almost comically dark version of Dungeons & Dragons. On the other, Warhammer 40K takes place roughly 40,000 years after the core fiction in a far-flung future full of lasers, magic, and war. Players of 40K often go all in with miniatures and tactics, as the game combines war strategy with armies of real-life miniatures making it the perfect game for model hobbyists. Different genres exist in the Warhammer universe from the classic fantasy to sci-fi as introduced in Warhammer 40k. Be forewarned, Warhammer and its iterations require a lot of time not only to play, (some games can last longer than a day), but time to create your armies. Miniatures come unpainted, so you’ll literally create your armies, and it’ll take time to strategically compose as well. After creating armies, players set up their miniatures in formations for visual battles on large tabletops. Of all the games on this list, Warhammer 40K might take the longest to get into, but those who find themselves availed of an army of miniature space marines often find the effort to be worth it. How to get started If you’ve got a game picked out, great! You may be wondering “what now?” In addition to stocking the games themselves, local game stores, and occasionally comic shops, have tons of great resources to get started. Maybe you still want to try out a game before fully committing, these shops often times will host community nights where dedicated players come together with complete newbies to run games. Staff at these shops also often have a wealth of information for new players, too. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  18. When we think gaming, thoughts often go to RPGs, complex sims, real-time strategy, etc. However, those all exist in a virtual world on a screen. These complicated genres grew out of more classic forms as tabletop games, bringing people together and causing table-flipping arguments and memories since the dawn of time. In recognition of the vast world of tabletop gaming, Extra Life hosts Tabletop Appreciation Weekend annually. 2018 marks the fourth year celebrating, but board gaming has been a part of Extra Life since the beginning. On Game Day and during other fundraisers throughout the year, many Extra Lifers raise money by playing games not just on their screens but on the tabletop as well. As a newbie to the world of board gaming, or a long time fan looking to branch out, it might be hard to determine where to start. The list below looks at helping you solve that problem with some of the best games with which you can start. This list just scratches the surface of the vast world of tabletop gaming, so if you have any suggestions, we would love to hear about them in the comments below or on social media. If you post about the festivities, use the hashtag #EXTRALIFETabletop to connect and maybe even find a new passion. Dungeons & Dragons It would be downright irresponsible to create this list and not include Dungeons & Dragons. This game set the foundation for tons of games to follow, tabletop and otherwise. For those unfamiliar with the format, or maybe to clear up some misconceptions, Dungeons & Dragons features role-playing gameplay with many different play styles. Generally, though, players will run through a campaign as laid out by their Dungeon Master (DM). Each player creates their own Player Character (PC) based on either the lore officially created by Wizards of the Coast or the homebrewed variant supplied by the DM. Character creation includes the fantastical race of said character, their skills and combat style, as well as their origin story. Basically, you get to let your imagination go wild making a rad persona and then use the rules to make them a reality within the game. Dungeons & Dragons tends to intimidate first-timers, but if you have any interest in storytelling, and can find a good DM (or become a good DM yourself), Dungeons and Dragons reached classic status for a reason. Magic: The Gathering Another titan in the tabletop world is Magic: the Gathering. Rather than relying solely on your imagination, Magic uses cards that represent many elements within the mystical Planes of that setting (which has recently been announced to be coming to Dungeons & Dragons). The cards include the planeswalkers, beasts, troops, spells, totems and more that fight epic battles against other players. Playstyles can vary greatly due to the different colors of magic represented on each card. These five colors offer players the ability to specialize their tactics or even combine colors to test out their favorite way to play. Magic requires time and dedication, much like any game, but MTG has a great community and you can typically find a player willing to explain more complicated cards. Classic Board Games Yes, this portion of the list includes those classics like Monopoly, Risk and even Candyland if that strikes your fancy. Even the mainstream classics are a great way to game with friends or introduce new people to this style of gaming. These games made it to the wider culture due to one simple fact: People enjoy them. Many Extra Lifers choose to play these games for Game Day to raise funds and have an absolute blast. We salute those of you who stick with the classics. Like the wider format that these board games fall under, this genre spans many playstyles. Some great games to play include card games like Cards Against Humanity or Exploding Kittens. The 2011 release King of Tokyo has seemingly simple gameplay but adds in cards that offer each player different dynamics that keep the game interesting. Settlers of Catan allows for multiple players and has them all struggle to build up their empires from nothing. The classics and more recent popular tabletop games became widely played because people have fun with them, consider adding one to your Game Day line-up to spice things up if you're mostly a digital gamer. The Pokémon Trading Card Game Some people might be taken aback by the Pokémon Trading Card Game appearing in a list of games to get into in 2018, but this serves as a stand-in for all fandoms that have developed collectible card games. In this realm lie games like Yu-Gi-Oh! and the aptly named Final Fantasy Trading Card Game. Basically, if there’s a franchise, it probably has a collectible card game (to name a few that float around out there: American Idol, Dr. Who Buffy the Vampire Slayer and so many more). This makes this genre super inviting for members of many fandoms. The rules all vary, but basically, the goal includes collecting the best cards you can get your hands on so you can battle opponents. The communities for these versus Magic: The Gathering tend to be smaller and harder to find. The fun from collectible card games depends on the player. Some enjoy the hunt for rare cards and collecting rather than playing, while others gather at local games shops to battle. Hey, even Geralt of Rivia plays. Warhammer Warhammer is an incredibly malleable franchise for those who love tabletop gaming. On the one hand, the core Warhammer series function very much like an almost comically dark version of Dungeons & Dragons. On the other, Warhammer 40K takes place roughly 40,000 years after the core fiction in a far-flung future full of lasers, magic, and war. Players of 40K often go all in with miniatures and tactics, as the game combines war strategy with armies of real-life miniatures making it the perfect game for model hobbyists. Different genres exist in the Warhammer universe from the classic fantasy to sci-fi as introduced in Warhammer 40k. Be forewarned, Warhammer and its iterations require a lot of time not only to play, (some games can last longer than a day), but time to create your armies. Miniatures come unpainted, so you’ll literally create your armies, and it’ll take time to strategically compose as well. After creating armies, players set up their miniatures in formations for visual battles on large tabletops. Of all the games on this list, Warhammer 40K might take the longest to get into, but those who find themselves availed of an army of miniature space marines often find the effort to be worth it. How to get started If you’ve got a game picked out, great! You may be wondering “what now?” In addition to stocking the games themselves, local game stores, and occasionally comic shops, have tons of great resources to get started. Maybe you still want to try out a game before fully committing, these shops often times will host community nights where dedicated players come together with complete newbies to run games. Staff at these shops also often have a wealth of information for new players, too. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  19. In an anarchic fashion that we've come to know and love, Devolver Digital executed their 2018 press conference on June 10. At first we were greeted by a new host, Cinco Miller, the supposed CEO of Devolver Digital. Soon, the standard chaos unraveled, and we were met with a familiar, enraged face. Nina Struthers, as known from the previous year's conference, took over the stage and then proceeded to tear apart the common tropes of the video games industry. Struthers returned, and she definitely read/heard everyone's "unsolicited" feedback on the last press conference. Devolver then kept up the pace with their 2017 show, keeping components from the old while delivering a biting criticism with the new. All the while, they delivered the games that Devolver worked on for the new season. The first game on the roster evolves the survival genre by adding mechanics to hopefully mirror real-world ailments like metabolism and gear wetness. It totes itself as a "supermax open world survival," with the goal of "long-term survival. The game is currently in pre-alpha and releases to Steam Early Access August 2018. There also was a brief teaser of zombie content at the end of the trailer. Afterwards, Struthers unveiled the Lootbox Coin, a semi-fake currency with an oh-so-real price tag that fluctuated every hour. "You can't buy anything with it. In fact, it's insane for you to really buy it unless you want to prove your loyalty to Fork Parker, Nina Struthers, and the Devolver Digital executive board," says the Devolver website description. Sadly the coin isn't available at the publishing of this article. Next up, a ballet bullet-hell game called My Friend Pedro. The description of the game only gives a partial view of what to expect from this game. "My Friend Pedro is a violent ballet about friendship, imagination, and one man’s struggle to obliterate anyone in his path at the behest of a sentient banana," says the Steam page for the game. Watching the trailer though will give a sense of how this game will flow. During the conference, the trailer played with classical music accenting the dance-like movements of the playable character. Gameplay involved strategy as well as interesting uses of the environment like ricocheting bullets off of a frying pan and aiming while riding a skateboard. The game is set to release to the Switch and PC sometime in 2019. Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to make a dig at the influx of mini-consoles, Struthers announced the launch of the Devolver Digital Entertainment System Classic, however it turned out to be a repainted Sega Dreamcast dashing our hopes and dreams. The third and final game of the conference took the audience back to 2004 with the remake of the From Software title Metal Wolf Chaos XD. Metal Wolf Chaos XD matches the chaotic nature that inhabits Devolver Digital perfectly. There are giant mech robots, big guns and explosions with the teaser trailer setting it in the White House. The remake entails upgraded visuals, widescreen format and the classic voiceover. The game is coming to Xbox One, PC and PlayStation 4 later this year. Keeping up with the cinematics of it all, the Devolver 2018 Press Conference ended with a bang and an homage to '80s action movies. We won't spoil the ending here. To check out the full conference, check a look over at this link. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  20. In an anarchic fashion that we've come to know and love, Devolver Digital executed their 2018 press conference on June 10. At first we were greeted by a new host, Cinco Miller, the supposed CEO of Devolver Digital. Soon, the standard chaos unraveled, and we were met with a familiar, enraged face. Nina Struthers, as known from the previous year's conference, took over the stage and then proceeded to tear apart the common tropes of the video games industry. Struthers returned, and she definitely read/heard everyone's "unsolicited" feedback on the last press conference. Devolver then kept up the pace with their 2017 show, keeping components from the old while delivering a biting criticism with the new. All the while, they delivered the games that Devolver worked on for the new season. The first game on the roster evolves the survival genre by adding mechanics to hopefully mirror real-world ailments like metabolism and gear wetness. It totes itself as a "supermax open world survival," with the goal of "long-term survival. The game is currently in pre-alpha and releases to Steam Early Access August 2018. There also was a brief teaser of zombie content at the end of the trailer. Afterwards, Struthers unveiled the Lootbox Coin, a semi-fake currency with an oh-so-real price tag that fluctuated every hour. "You can't buy anything with it. In fact, it's insane for you to really buy it unless you want to prove your loyalty to Fork Parker, Nina Struthers, and the Devolver Digital executive board," says the Devolver website description. Sadly the coin isn't available at the publishing of this article. Next up, a ballet bullet-hell game called My Friend Pedro. The description of the game only gives a partial view of what to expect from this game. "My Friend Pedro is a violent ballet about friendship, imagination, and one man’s struggle to obliterate anyone in his path at the behest of a sentient banana," says the Steam page for the game. Watching the trailer though will give a sense of how this game will flow. During the conference, the trailer played with classical music accenting the dance-like movements of the playable character. Gameplay involved strategy as well as interesting uses of the environment like ricocheting bullets off of a frying pan and aiming while riding a skateboard. The game is set to release to the Switch and PC sometime in 2019. Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to make a dig at the influx of mini-consoles, Struthers announced the launch of the Devolver Digital Entertainment System Classic, however it turned out to be a repainted Sega Dreamcast dashing our hopes and dreams. The third and final game of the conference took the audience back to 2004 with the remake of the From Software title Metal Wolf Chaos XD. Metal Wolf Chaos XD matches the chaotic nature that inhabits Devolver Digital perfectly. There are giant mech robots, big guns and explosions with the teaser trailer setting it in the White House. The remake entails upgraded visuals, widescreen format and the classic voiceover. The game is coming to Xbox One, PC and PlayStation 4 later this year. Keeping up with the cinematics of it all, the Devolver 2018 Press Conference ended with a bang and an homage to '80s action movies. We won't spoil the ending here. To check out the full conference, check a look over at this link. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  21. During the Square Enix 2018 E3 conference, it was announced that Monster Hunter would crossover into the Final Fantasy XIV universe. In the trailer, we see a super stoked Palico approach a character who appears to be Auron from Final Fantasy. We then see that it is indeed another character dressed up as such and eventually zoom to an entire lineup of characters dressed in get-ups from various points in the franchise gearing up to take on a Rathalos. The rest of the trailer showed off content and revealed the patch Under the Moonlight. The collaboration and content will come to the game later this summer.
  22. During the Square Enix 2018 E3 conference, it was announced that Monster Hunter would crossover into the Final Fantasy XIV universe. In the trailer, we see a super stoked Palico approach a character who appears to be Auron from Final Fantasy. We then see that it is indeed another character dressed up as such and eventually zoom to an entire lineup of characters dressed in get-ups from various points in the franchise gearing up to take on a Rathalos. The rest of the trailer showed off content and revealed the patch Under the Moonlight. The collaboration and content will come to the game later this summer. View full article
  23. Much like The Elder Scrolls VI, we didn't get much from the reveal of Starfield aside from a quick teaser trailer confirming its existence. We had some clue that this title would eventually surface due to a leak on 4chan. The post stated that Starfield would be a sci-fi open world RPG along with other details. In the trailer, we catch a view of a planet from what may be from the inside of a space vessel. A window-like reflection of the letters "CONSTE..." faintly appears in the bottom-left corner(:17 into the video). A star-shaped station floating outside is then engulfed in light in what possibly look like some sort of hyper-jump. Time will tell when we'll get any more information about Starfield. There is a website, Starfield.Bethesda.Net where people can watch the teaser and sign up for updates.
  24. Much like The Elder Scrolls VI, we didn't get much from the reveal of Starfield aside from a quick teaser trailer confirming its existence. We had some clue that this title would eventually surface due to a leak on 4chan. The post stated that Starfield would be a sci-fi open world RPG along with other details. In the trailer, we catch a view of a planet from what may be from the inside of a space vessel. A window-like reflection of the letters "CONSTE..." faintly appears in the bottom-left corner(:17 into the video). A star-shaped station floating outside is then engulfed in light in what possibly look like some sort of hyper-jump. Time will tell when we'll get any more information about Starfield. There is a website, Starfield.Bethesda.Net where people can watch the teaser and sign up for updates. View full article
  25. So we're getting a new addition to the Elder Scrolls series with the long-awaited announcement that The Elder Scrolls VI will indeed exist. All we got on that front was a logo and some very pretty mountains, so who knows when we'll actually be able to play the next 300 hour+ adventure. In the meantime, Bethesda has a mobile remedy for our role-playing needs with the announcement of The Elder Scrolls: Blades. The game features three play modes with The Abyss an endless dungeon, Arena with one-on-one combat and Main mode where story and quests will live. As far as story goes, you'll play as an exiled Blade trying to restore your hometown. Dungeons will be both hand-crafted and procedurally generated. Both two-handed landscape and single-handed portrait screen orientations are supported. Preorders went live after the conference concluded on June 10, with the full release slated for fall this year. Registrations for early access start this week. The Elder Scrolls: Blades is coming to mobile platforms as well as console and PC. In more mobile Bethesda news, E3 2018 marks Fallout Shelter's three year anniversary. To celebrate, players can build their very own shelters on PlayStation 4 and Switch as of June 10.
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