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Found 508 results

  1. It was unclear whether Yakuza 6: The Song of Life would have a demo after Sega removed it from the PlayStation Network last month. The demo was notable for its size due to the demo including all of the data for the full game. The idea was to allow those who played the demo to carry over their progress and trophies to the full game on release day. However, the demo was intended to cap progress at the end of the first chapter of Yakuza 6, but some players either didn't run into that cap or found a way around it. Once that became public knowledge, Sega pulled the demo. It seems that some tweaks have been made to the demo to ensure no one can get access to the full game now. Players will be able to progress up to the end of the first chapter and then grind experience that will carry over into the full release. However, if you've already played through the demo, any trophies you've earned will be reset. If you were one of the players who made it past the chapter one cut off point, you will not be able to load that data for the demo. However, the full version of Yakuza 6 should still load that data so you can pick up where you left off.
  2. It was unclear whether Yakuza 6: The Song of Life would have a demo after Sega removed it from the PlayStation Network last month. The demo was notable for its size due to the demo including all of the data for the full game. The idea was to allow those who played the demo to carry over their progress and trophies to the full game on release day. However, the demo was intended to cap progress at the end of the first chapter of Yakuza 6, but some players either didn't run into that cap or found a way around it. Once that became public knowledge, Sega pulled the demo. It seems that some tweaks have been made to the demo to ensure no one can get access to the full game now. Players will be able to progress up to the end of the first chapter and then grind experience that will carry over into the full release. However, if you've already played through the demo, any trophies you've earned will be reset. If you were one of the players who made it past the chapter one cut off point, you will not be able to load that data for the demo. However, the full version of Yakuza 6 should still load that data so you can pick up where you left off. View full article
  3. Titan Quest may have been out for over a decade, but it has just released on consoles for the first time. Players can now experience the Diablo-like ARPG based on mythologies from around the world. Crafted by Brian Sullivan, one of the co-creators of Age of Empires, players travel across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia in an attempt to stop the long imprisoned Titans from destroying the planet. With the help of the gods themselves, it might just be possible. Titan Quest is notable for its story having been written by Randall Wallace, the mind behind the film Braveheart. The console version features completely overhauled graphics that bring the 2006 game up to modern graphical standards. It also supports online co-op play for up to six players. That's right, up to five of your friends can run around the ancient world doing battle with mythical creatures. With controls remapped to console gamepads, it's never been easier to play. Titan Quest is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A Nintendo Switch version is currently in development, but the official word is that it will be released when it is done. A couch co-op mode is also on the way. What do you think? Will you be picking up Titan Quest?
  4. Titan Quest may have been out for over a decade, but it has just released on consoles for the first time. Players can now experience the Diablo-like ARPG based on mythologies from around the world. Crafted by Brian Sullivan, one of the co-creators of Age of Empires, players travel across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia in an attempt to stop the long imprisoned Titans from destroying the planet. With the help of the gods themselves, it might just be possible. Titan Quest is notable for its story having been written by Randall Wallace, the mind behind the film Braveheart. The console version features completely overhauled graphics that bring the 2006 game up to modern graphical standards. It also supports online co-op play for up to six players. That's right, up to five of your friends can run around the ancient world doing battle with mythical creatures. With controls remapped to console gamepads, it's never been easier to play. Titan Quest is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A Nintendo Switch version is currently in development, but the official word is that it will be released when it is done. A couch co-op mode is also on the way. What do you think? Will you be picking up Titan Quest? View full article
  5. A Kickstarter that succeeded in 2015 will be paying off later this year when Shape of the World releases on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One - and now the Nintendo Switch, too. "I’m thrilled to officially announced that Shape of the World is coming to Nintendo Switch this year," said Hollow Tree Games' founder Stu Maxwell, "nobody on the team expected the game to look so nice on the Switch, we’re really happy with it… We can’t wait to see what everyone else thinks." Maxwell also works as a senior VFX artist at The Coalition, the studio behind Gears of War 4. Part first-person exploration and part surreal art piece, Shape of the World places players in a technicolor world filled with psychedelic flora and fauna. That world expands and grows as players progress through it. Waterfalls, mountains, mysterious monoliths, and more procedurally sprout from the surrounding terrain, making each foray into the world. Shape of the World is intended as a relaxing, stress-free experience. There won't be any enemies or challenges beyond the thrill of evergreen exploration. Players can interact with animals, plants, and the various ruins that dot the world to uncover its secrets. Hollow Tree Games has also included a soundtrack that follows progress through the procedurally generated world. Shape of the World will launch on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One in the next few months.
  6. A Kickstarter that succeeded in 2015 will be paying off later this year when Shape of the World releases on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One - and now the Nintendo Switch, too. "I’m thrilled to officially announced that Shape of the World is coming to Nintendo Switch this year," said Hollow Tree Games' founder Stu Maxwell, "nobody on the team expected the game to look so nice on the Switch, we’re really happy with it… We can’t wait to see what everyone else thinks." Maxwell also works as a senior VFX artist at The Coalition, the studio behind Gears of War 4. Part first-person exploration and part surreal art piece, Shape of the World places players in a technicolor world filled with psychedelic flora and fauna. That world expands and grows as players progress through it. Waterfalls, mountains, mysterious monoliths, and more procedurally sprout from the surrounding terrain, making each foray into the world. Shape of the World is intended as a relaxing, stress-free experience. There won't be any enemies or challenges beyond the thrill of evergreen exploration. Players can interact with animals, plants, and the various ruins that dot the world to uncover its secrets. Hollow Tree Games has also included a soundtrack that follows progress through the procedurally generated world. Shape of the World will launch on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One in the next few months. View full article
  7. As we reported last August, Frontier Developments has been working on a RollerCoaster Tycoon-like park building sim based on Jurassic World. Now they have upped the number of Jeff Goldblums working on their game alongside them from 0 to 1. Jeff Goldblum will be taking up the mantle of Dr. Ian Malcolm in the upcoming theme park building sim Jurassic World Evolution. Frontier Developments, the studio behind Elite: Dangerous, Planet Coaster, and RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, managed to snag the actor to provide the guiding voice for their game tie-in with the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. for PC, PlayStation®4 and Xbox One Jurassic World Evolution will give players the opportunity to build Jurassic World for themselves and see if they can make sure that life doesn't find a way - all accompanied by the soothing voice of Jeff Goldblum. As Dr. Ian Malcolm, Goldblum will introduce tactical and moral choices that players will encounter as they build an ever larger park of ever more dangerous dinos. While the game itself focuses on park building, it does contain a story. The narrative will be separate from that of the Jurassic World films, though familiar faces will certainly make appearances. Jurassic World Evolution will release this summer for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, likely around the theatrical release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in June.
  8. As we reported last August, Frontier Developments has been working on a RollerCoaster Tycoon-like park building sim based on Jurassic World. Now they have upped the number of Jeff Goldblums working on their game alongside them from 0 to 1. Jeff Goldblum will be taking up the mantle of Dr. Ian Malcolm in the upcoming theme park building sim Jurassic World Evolution. Frontier Developments, the studio behind Elite: Dangerous, Planet Coaster, and RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, managed to snag the actor to provide the guiding voice for their game tie-in with the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. for PC, PlayStation®4 and Xbox One Jurassic World Evolution will give players the opportunity to build Jurassic World for themselves and see if they can make sure that life doesn't find a way - all accompanied by the soothing voice of Jeff Goldblum. As Dr. Ian Malcolm, Goldblum will introduce tactical and moral choices that players will encounter as they build an ever larger park of ever more dangerous dinos. While the game itself focuses on park building, it does contain a story. The narrative will be separate from that of the Jurassic World films, though familiar faces will certainly make appearances. Jurassic World Evolution will release this summer for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, likely around the theatrical release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in June. View full article
  9. Ever wanted to jump into a post-apocalyptic adventure that stars mutated humans that have taken on the characteristics of animals? Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden seems like the kind of fever dream that's too creative for its own good, but Funcom and The Bearded Ladies are gearing up to make it a reality. Mutant Year Zero tells the story of a group of mutants trying to eek out a living after the fall of humanity. The motley crew of misfits must find Eden, a legendary paradise hidden among the ruins left by the human race. To do this, players will have to explore a rich and dangerous world filled with killer robots and rival mutant gangs. This can be done by using the real-time stealth systems to bypass potentially deadly encounters or by going in guns blazing with the hope that your team has enough firepower and tactical tricks to get the job done. Between missions, players will be able to upgrade their team, expand their forces with new recruits, and obtain new weapons. All of these downtime activities will take place in a refuge called Ark. What do you think of this? The stealthy option definitely feels like something the developers of Hitman would include in a game and the anthropomorphic animals kinda strike me as taking inspiration from Beyond Good and Evil. I'm really excited to see how all of these different ideas come together in a tangible package. There's no solid release date yet, but Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is slated for release later this year on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
  10. Ever wanted to jump into a post-apocalyptic adventure that stars mutated humans that have taken on the characteristics of animals? Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden seems like the kind of fever dream that's too creative for its own good, but Funcom and The Bearded Ladies are gearing up to make it a reality. Mutant Year Zero tells the story of a group of mutants trying to eek out a living after the fall of humanity. The motley crew of misfits must find Eden, a legendary paradise hidden among the ruins left by the human race. To do this, players will have to explore a rich and dangerous world filled with killer robots and rival mutant gangs. This can be done by using the real-time stealth systems to bypass potentially deadly encounters or by going in guns blazing with the hope that your team has enough firepower and tactical tricks to get the job done. Between missions, players will be able to upgrade their team, expand their forces with new recruits, and obtain new weapons. All of these downtime activities will take place in a refuge called Ark. What do you think of this? The stealthy option definitely feels like something the developers of Hitman would include in a game and the anthropomorphic animals kinda strike me as taking inspiration from Beyond Good and Evil. I'm really excited to see how all of these different ideas come together in a tangible package. There's no solid release date yet, but Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is slated for release later this year on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. View full article
  11. Free games are going way for PlayStation 3 and Vita owners. Games for both systems will appear on a monthly basis as part of PlayStation Plus until March 8, 2019. After that time, the games already gained through PS+ will continue to be available so long as the user subscribes to PlayStation's online service, bot no new games will appear each month. After the cut off date, all PS+ titles will consist of PlayStation 4 games. No other aspects of the service are slated for obsolescence. The free games available for March include the following: PS4 Bloodborne Ratchet & Clank PS3 Legend of Kay Mighty No. 9 Vita Claire: Extended Cut Bombing Busters It will be interesting to see if PlayStation will up the number of PS+ titles offered for PlayStation 4 owners to compensate for the drastic reduction in monthly games for their subscribers.
  12. Free games are going way for PlayStation 3 and Vita owners. Games for both systems will appear on a monthly basis as part of PlayStation Plus until March 8, 2019. After that time, the games already gained through PS+ will continue to be available so long as the user subscribes to PlayStation's online service, bot no new games will appear each month. After the cut off date, all PS+ titles will consist of PlayStation 4 games. No other aspects of the service are slated for obsolescence. The free games available for March include the following: PS4 Bloodborne Ratchet & Clank PS3 Legend of Kay Mighty No. 9 Vita Claire: Extended Cut Bombing Busters It will be interesting to see if PlayStation will up the number of PS+ titles offered for PlayStation 4 owners to compensate for the drastic reduction in monthly games for their subscribers. View full article
  13. Overwatch has been teasing a new hero for a few days now. Following the recent cosmetics update Blizzard put out a short story update to the Overwatch lore vault. The new addition detailed a mission gone awry that had resulted in a severely injured Torbjörn rescued by Reinhardt. The aftermath of Reinhardt's heroism resulted in a letter penned by Torbjörn to his wife Ingrid. The letter reassures Ingrid that he made it out of harm's way and will be coming home soon... and that Reinhardt will be the one to name their daughter. That daughter is the new hero joining Overwatch: Brigitte Lindholm. Brigitte's abilities haven't been detailed, but from her new origin video we can guess that she will fit into a hardy support character meant to heal or reinforce allies on the battlefield while also able to take some damage by herself. No release date has been given for Brigitte's update, but players can expect to see her fighting for Overwatch in the near future.
  14. Overwatch has been teasing a new hero for a few days now. Following the recent cosmetics update Blizzard put out a short story update to the Overwatch lore vault. The new addition detailed a mission gone awry that had resulted in a severely injured Torbjörn rescued by Reinhardt. The aftermath of Reinhardt's heroism resulted in a letter penned by Torbjörn to his wife Ingrid. The letter reassures Ingrid that he made it out of harm's way and will be coming home soon... and that Reinhardt will be the one to name their daughter. That daughter is the new hero joining Overwatch: Brigitte Lindholm. Brigitte's abilities haven't been detailed, but from her new origin video we can guess that she will fit into a hardy support character meant to heal or reinforce allies on the battlefield while also able to take some damage by herself. No release date has been given for Brigitte's update, but players can expect to see her fighting for Overwatch in the near future. View full article
  15. Returning guest Kazuma Hashimoto joins the show for a discussion regarding Catherine, the 2011 PS3 cult classic that's soon to receive a remaster with additional content titled Catherine: Full Body. Made by the team behind the Persona series, does Catherine hold up and are there interesting lessons to glean from a deep dive? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Persona 4 Arena 'Little Arena' by DarkeSword (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02580) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod You can follow Kazuma on Twitter @JusticeKazzy_ - He's super nice! You can also find his work on Nova Crystallis and RPG Site. New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  16. Returning guest Kazuma Hashimoto joins the show for a discussion regarding Catherine, the 2011 PS3 cult classic that's soon to receive a remaster with additional content titled Catherine: Full Body. Made by the team behind the Persona series, does Catherine hold up and are there interesting lessons to glean from a deep dive? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Persona 4 Arena 'Little Arena' by DarkeSword (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02580) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod You can follow Kazuma on Twitter @JusticeKazzy_ - He's super nice! You can also find his work on Nova Crystallis and RPG Site. New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  17. Time moves slowly and inexorably forward. The world changes, and we grow old telling stories together. Those stories, the ones that stick with us, communicated something important to us. As a medium, game creators have spent decades learning how to put together ever more effective stories that can offer that thing of precious importance, that moment of beauty, clarity, success, failure. In a sea of stories, Shadow of the Colossus stands out as a fairy tale in the classic sense, and the remake by Bluepoint Games serves to enhance what was already a foundational piece of video game history. Shadow of the Colossus tells the tale of a young man named Wander who travels to the Forbidden Land, a landmass sealed off from the rest of the world. Using an enchanted sword, he strikes a deal with an enigmatic entity named Dormin who agrees to bring the woman he has brought with him back from the dead if he can complete an impossible task: Defeat 16 colossal incarnations of the towering stone statues that line the temple. Armed only with his magic sword, a bow with unlimited arrows, and his trusty horse Agro, Wander sets forth into a long-abandoned world of ruins and natural wonders to battle towering behemoths the size of skyscrapers. The simple, powerful set up allows the visuals, music, and gameplay tell the vast majority of the narrative. That open approach to storytelling led a lot of people, even the marketing team for Shadow of the Colossus, to interpret the adventure as one about true, undying love. Wander, after all, goes to incredible lengths for a woman with whom he has a close connection. However, playing through the remake, a version remade after over a decade, I realized that my perception of the game has shifted to seeing it more as a tale about loss and the inability to let go being an ultimately destructive force. That flexibility and changing interpretation feels interesting. It's a reminder of how much time has passed since I played Shadow of the Colossus in 2005. Back then, the question of whether video games were capable of being art was a hotly debated topic. The internet was on fire with hot takes about what it meant to be art and whether interactivity itself negated art. Now that the question has largely been settled, it feels liberating to be able to think, "okay, it's art, so what does that mean? What does all of this, as a piece of art, mean?" Everyone will have to struggle with loss at some point in their lives. It's not pleasant. It hurts. There's the impulse to yell and scream and gnash your teeth because you would do anything to have that person back in your life. And Shadow of the Colossus asks the seductive question: What if you could throw everything to the wind and bring that person back? What price would you pay? And at first, the answer seems obvious, heroic even. But as the game progresses and one by one the beautiful, deadly colossi, who were all minding their own business before Wander showed up, begin to take their toll. The feeling of triumph and accomplishment gives way to self-doubt. Is this the right thing? That question of meaning scratches at the fundamentals of what I believe make myths and fairy tales resonate across time. Because Shadow of the Colossus is art. To some it could be a tale of love, to others it could represent a cautionary tale about obsession, and playing the remake it brought to mind loss. Shadow of the Colossus manages to have the narrative flexibility to accommodate multiple interpretations, and that's a quality that can bestow a great deal of longevity to a piece of art. I'd argue that's at least partly why we are getting a remake of a game that's two-and-a-half generations of technology behind the current PlayStation console. It's a testament to the artistry of the original PlayStation 2 release of Shadow of the Colossus that the visuals largely hold up due to its adherence to a strong minimalist aesthetic that focuses on natural beauty. The entire production possesses a washed out quality that cleverly hides some of the deficient parts of the world as Wander and Agro make their way across the quiet plains and subdued forests. With the remake, none of the world needs to be hidden by visual tricks; flowing water glitters in the sunlight, grass sways with the wind, dust motes flit through the air. The effect of the increased focus on detail afforded by the technological leap and the original style is jaw-dropping. To put it bluntly, this remake of Shadow of the Colossus stands as one of the most beautiful games I have ever played. I found myself slowing to a walk to soak in the moments of natural beauty that made yet another outing in the Forbidden Land unforgettable. With the share function on the PlayStation 4, I constantly paused the action to fiddle with the newly added photo mode in pursuit of that perfect angle to show off Bluepoint's gorgeously rendered take on Team Ico's classic. It was a compulsion to ogle the work put into everything on screen and then share that with the world. If I had to nitpick the presentation, there were a few elements that felt a bit off. The biggest would be Wander's strange lack of facial animations. The update gave him somewhat of a baby face; not a huge problem, but slightly different from the original character model. His face seems to lack some degree of animation for reacting to events, something more noticeable with a built-in photo mode. Outside of cutscenes, Wander is content to stare passively into the distance, regardless of the circumstances. Wobbling on the ledge of a colossus-sized fall? Not even the faintest recognition of his own mortality. Lastly, and this might be one of the most nitpicky things of all, one of the subtle elements of the original release of Shadow of the Colossus was the slow shift that visualized Wander's fall from grace. As each colossi met its death, he became less human. Players saw that change happen bit by bit, witnessing horns sprout from his head and his skin turn pale and black veins appear on his body. The remake seems to only gradually make his skin paler until the very end when he suddenly has horns and horrific cracked skin. It would have been nice to have a subtler touch applied to his transformation to give it more of a build-up. All of that being said, the small issues present in the Shadow of the Colossus remake are an exceedingly small price to pay for an update that's otherwise a fan or newcomer's dream come true. An updated control scheme provides people frustrated with the PS2 controls a new way to play, while also retaining the retro layout available for those who have grown used to how the original played. Small additions to the game like a series of hidden coins that can be collected for a secret reward that have been scattered across the world to reward players who poke into every nook and cranny. Additional clarification has been added to some of the colossi themselves to show what can and cannot be climbed and grabbed. The same with some parts of the environment that now have grabbable surfaces to avoid frustrating falls. The gameplay remains as harrowing, exciting, and frustrating as ever. Players who found the camera a problem in the original will find similar issues here. Agro's AI enhanced controls will prove just as frustrating (or appropriate) as it was in 2005. Running up gigantic swords, struggling to maintain a grip on a gliding stone eagle high in the sky, or outsmarting walking artillery batteries all remain exhilarating, rendered more breath-taking by Bluepoint. Kow Otani's soaring track still sends chills up the spine, playing with the player's emotions, masterfully directing the the reaction players have at any given moment. As far as I could tell, the soundtrack remained unchanged, but I might have missed a few subtle alterations. The soundscape of Shadow of the Colossus remains one of the most cohesive pieces of the whole package, bringing all of the elements together with a neat bow. Conclusion: Shadow of the Colossus was already a phenomenal game that shaped an entire generation of people and helped solidify the acceptance of video games as an art form. The remake provides a face lift from the ground up that brings forth a whole new world of beauty that enhances a timeless story. If you missed out on the original on PS2 or the HD remaster on PS3, this is the definitive edition that you owe it to yourself to play. Shadow of the Colossus is available now for PlayStation 4.
  18. Time moves slowly and inexorably forward. The world changes, and we grow old telling stories together. Those stories, the ones that stick with us, communicated something important to us. As a medium, game creators have spent decades learning how to put together ever more effective stories that can offer that thing of precious importance, that moment of beauty, clarity, success, failure. In a sea of stories, Shadow of the Colossus stands out as a fairy tale in the classic sense, and the remake by Bluepoint Games serves to enhance what was already a foundational piece of video game history. Shadow of the Colossus tells the tale of a young man named Wander who travels to the Forbidden Land, a landmass sealed off from the rest of the world. Using an enchanted sword, he strikes a deal with an enigmatic entity named Dormin who agrees to bring the woman he has brought with him back from the dead if he can complete an impossible task: Defeat 16 colossal incarnations of the towering stone statues that line the temple. Armed only with his magic sword, a bow with unlimited arrows, and his trusty horse Agro, Wander sets forth into a long-abandoned world of ruins and natural wonders to battle towering behemoths the size of skyscrapers. The simple, powerful set up allows the visuals, music, and gameplay tell the vast majority of the narrative. That open approach to storytelling led a lot of people, even the marketing team for Shadow of the Colossus, to interpret the adventure as one about true, undying love. Wander, after all, goes to incredible lengths for a woman with whom he has a close connection. However, playing through the remake, a version remade after over a decade, I realized that my perception of the game has shifted to seeing it more as a tale about loss and the inability to let go being an ultimately destructive force. That flexibility and changing interpretation feels interesting. It's a reminder of how much time has passed since I played Shadow of the Colossus in 2005. Back then, the question of whether video games were capable of being art was a hotly debated topic. The internet was on fire with hot takes about what it meant to be art and whether interactivity itself negated art. Now that the question has largely been settled, it feels liberating to be able to think, "okay, it's art, so what does that mean? What does all of this, as a piece of art, mean?" Everyone will have to struggle with loss at some point in their lives. It's not pleasant. It hurts. There's the impulse to yell and scream and gnash your teeth because you would do anything to have that person back in your life. And Shadow of the Colossus asks the seductive question: What if you could throw everything to the wind and bring that person back? What price would you pay? And at first, the answer seems obvious, heroic even. But as the game progresses and one by one the beautiful, deadly colossi, who were all minding their own business before Wander showed up, begin to take their toll. The feeling of triumph and accomplishment gives way to self-doubt. Is this the right thing? That question of meaning scratches at the fundamentals of what I believe make myths and fairy tales resonate across time. Because Shadow of the Colossus is art. To some it could be a tale of love, to others it could represent a cautionary tale about obsession, and playing the remake it brought to mind loss. Shadow of the Colossus manages to have the narrative flexibility to accommodate multiple interpretations, and that's a quality that can bestow a great deal of longevity to a piece of art. I'd argue that's at least partly why we are getting a remake of a game that's two-and-a-half generations of technology behind the current PlayStation console. It's a testament to the artistry of the original PlayStation 2 release of Shadow of the Colossus that the visuals largely hold up due to its adherence to a strong minimalist aesthetic that focuses on natural beauty. The entire production possesses a washed out quality that cleverly hides some of the deficient parts of the world as Wander and Agro make their way across the quiet plains and subdued forests. With the remake, none of the world needs to be hidden by visual tricks; flowing water glitters in the sunlight, grass sways with the wind, dust motes flit through the air. The effect of the increased focus on detail afforded by the technological leap and the original style is jaw-dropping. To put it bluntly, this remake of Shadow of the Colossus stands as one of the most beautiful games I have ever played. I found myself slowing to a walk to soak in the moments of natural beauty that made yet another outing in the Forbidden Land unforgettable. With the share function on the PlayStation 4, I constantly paused the action to fiddle with the newly added photo mode in pursuit of that perfect angle to show off Bluepoint's gorgeously rendered take on Team Ico's classic. It was a compulsion to ogle the work put into everything on screen and then share that with the world. If I had to nitpick the presentation, there were a few elements that felt a bit off. The biggest would be Wander's strange lack of facial animations. The update gave him somewhat of a baby face; not a huge problem, but slightly different from the original character model. His face seems to lack some degree of animation for reacting to events, something more noticeable with a built-in photo mode. Outside of cutscenes, Wander is content to stare passively into the distance, regardless of the circumstances. Wobbling on the ledge of a colossus-sized fall? Not even the faintest recognition of his own mortality. Lastly, and this might be one of the most nitpicky things of all, one of the subtle elements of the original release of Shadow of the Colossus was the slow shift that visualized Wander's fall from grace. As each colossi met its death, he became less human. Players saw that change happen bit by bit, witnessing horns sprout from his head and his skin turn pale and black veins appear on his body. The remake seems to only gradually make his skin paler until the very end when he suddenly has horns and horrific cracked skin. It would have been nice to have a subtler touch applied to his transformation to give it more of a build-up. All of that being said, the small issues present in the Shadow of the Colossus remake are an exceedingly small price to pay for an update that's otherwise a fan or newcomer's dream come true. An updated control scheme provides people frustrated with the PS2 controls a new way to play, while also retaining the retro layout available for those who have grown used to how the original played. Small additions to the game like a series of hidden coins that can be collected for a secret reward that have been scattered across the world to reward players who poke into every nook and cranny. Additional clarification has been added to some of the colossi themselves to show what can and cannot be climbed and grabbed. The same with some parts of the environment that now have grabbable surfaces to avoid frustrating falls. The gameplay remains as harrowing, exciting, and frustrating as ever. Players who found the camera a problem in the original will find similar issues here. Agro's AI enhanced controls will prove just as frustrating (or appropriate) as it was in 2005. Running up gigantic swords, struggling to maintain a grip on a gliding stone eagle high in the sky, or outsmarting walking artillery batteries all remain exhilarating, rendered more breath-taking by Bluepoint. Kow Otani's soaring track still sends chills up the spine, playing with the player's emotions, masterfully directing the the reaction players have at any given moment. As far as I could tell, the soundtrack remained unchanged, but I might have missed a few subtle alterations. The soundscape of Shadow of the Colossus remains one of the most cohesive pieces of the whole package, bringing all of the elements together with a neat bow. Conclusion: Shadow of the Colossus was already a phenomenal game that shaped an entire generation of people and helped solidify the acceptance of video games as an art form. The remake provides a face lift from the ground up that brings forth a whole new world of beauty that enhances a timeless story. If you missed out on the original on PS2 or the HD remaster on PS3, this is the definitive edition that you owe it to yourself to play. Shadow of the Colossus is available now for PlayStation 4. View full article
  19. As many suspected after the massive success of the Crash Bandicoot remaster, Spyro the Dragon, everyone's favorite purple winged wonder, will be coming to stores near you in the form of remastered collection for the PlayStation 4 that includes all three main Spyro games. According to Kotaku, the collection has been worked on in secret by Activision and will be officially announced sometime in March and released during the third quarter of 2018. The Spyro the Dragon Trilogy will include Spyro the Dragon, Ripto's Rage!, and Year of the Dragon. Like the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, the Spyro the Dragon Trilogy will have completely rebuilt character models, animations, environments, enemies, lighting, and a re-recorded soundtrack. To be more specific about a possible release window, Kotaku's source indicated September, which would be around the time of Spyro's 20th anniversary. If you're sad that the trilogy will be coming to PlayStation 4 - don't worry too much. Both Crash and Spyro are supposedly only timed exclusives for PS4 owners - a year after their respective releases we could be seeing the two trilogies on Xbox One, PC, and Switch.
  20. As many suspected after the massive success of the Crash Bandicoot remaster, Spyro the Dragon, everyone's favorite purple winged wonder, will be coming to stores near you in the form of remastered collection for the PlayStation 4 that includes all three main Spyro games. According to Kotaku, the collection has been worked on in secret by Activision and will be officially announced sometime in March and released during the third quarter of 2018. The Spyro the Dragon Trilogy will include Spyro the Dragon, Ripto's Rage!, and Year of the Dragon. Like the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, the Spyro the Dragon Trilogy will have completely rebuilt character models, animations, environments, enemies, lighting, and a re-recorded soundtrack. To be more specific about a possible release window, Kotaku's source indicated September, which would be around the time of Spyro's 20th anniversary. If you're sad that the trilogy will be coming to PlayStation 4 - don't worry too much. Both Crash and Spyro are supposedly only timed exclusives for PS4 owners - a year after their respective releases we could be seeing the two trilogies on Xbox One, PC, and Switch. View full article
  21. The 2012 release of Dragon's Dogma seemed to hit at a time during which people were hungry for rich open-worlds with unique combat systems, difficult encounters, and that touch of artistic strangeness. It scratched an itch that the gaming community was having at the time and earned itself a cult following that persists to this day, spurring the game, along with its expansions, seeing a PC release and even a port last year to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The grapple/grab mechanic brought on a lot of comparisons to Shadow of the Colossus, and seeing as the Shadow of the Colossus remake recently released, what better time to talk a little bit about Dragon's Dogma? With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: Sonic the Hedgehog 'The Ultimate Ab Solution' by Ivan Hakštok and finbeard (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03685) If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  22. The 2012 release of Dragon's Dogma seemed to hit at a time during which people were hungry for rich open-worlds with unique combat systems, difficult encounters, and that touch of artistic strangeness. It scratched an itch that the gaming community was having at the time and earned itself a cult following that persists to this day, spurring the game, along with its expansions, seeing a PC release and even a port last year to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The grapple/grab mechanic brought on a lot of comparisons to Shadow of the Colossus, and seeing as the Shadow of the Colossus remake recently released, what better time to talk a little bit about Dragon's Dogma? With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: Sonic the Hedgehog 'The Ultimate Ab Solution' by Ivan Hakštok and finbeard (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03685) If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  23. The studio behind the Blood Bowl franchise, Cyanide Studio, has announced that they will be making a turn-based tactical game out of the classic Warhammer 40K board game. So, what's a space hulk? These behemoths are essentially giant lumps of stuff that have mashed together after travelling through Warhammer 40K's version of faster-than-light travel. They can be a single, massive ship or dozens of ships and asteroids all stuck together for untold millennia. They're typically twisted by the experience, leading many who enter space hulks to either never return or emerge changed for the worse. In particular, there are a race of being found in space hulks known as Genestealers who can pose an existential threat to any being they encounter. Space Hulk was first adapted to video games back in 1993, received another game in 1995, and then sat dormant for over a decade until the release of the tactical indie game Space Hulk in 2013. Since that initial heart beat, we received Space Hulk: Deathwing in 2016 which abandoned tactics to focus on frantic FPS gameplay. Now it seems that Cyanide Studio wants to bring the series back to its tactical roots. Space Hulk: Tactics will house two campaigns from opposing sides. Players can choose between playing as the Terminator Space Marines tasked with exploring and cleansing an enigmatic space hulk or as the Genestealers attempting to wipe out the intruders into their domain. Cyanide Studio has said that both campaigns will have a heavy focus on narrative; I'm not sure how that will work on the Genestealer side, but I'm interested in finding out. The big addition to Space Hulk: Tactics is adapting the board game with the addition of cards that help to customize and upgrade your soldiers prior to each mission or match. They'll help players survive and possibly turn the tide of battle in a moment of desperation. There will also be an online competitive multiplayer mode, a map creation tool, and the ability to share maps online. Space Hulk: Tactics will release sometime in 2018 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. For those of you itching for more info, publisher Focus Home Interactive will be holding a press conference later this month to discuss the title at length.
  24. The studio behind the Blood Bowl franchise, Cyanide Studio, has announced that they will be making a turn-based tactical game out of the classic Warhammer 40K board game. So, what's a space hulk? These behemoths are essentially giant lumps of stuff that have mashed together after travelling through Warhammer 40K's version of faster-than-light travel. They can be a single, massive ship or dozens of ships and asteroids all stuck together for untold millennia. They're typically twisted by the experience, leading many who enter space hulks to either never return or emerge changed for the worse. In particular, there are a race of being found in space hulks known as Genestealers who can pose an existential threat to any being they encounter. Space Hulk was first adapted to video games back in 1993, received another game in 1995, and then sat dormant for over a decade until the release of the tactical indie game Space Hulk in 2013. Since that initial heart beat, we received Space Hulk: Deathwing in 2016 which abandoned tactics to focus on frantic FPS gameplay. Now it seems that Cyanide Studio wants to bring the series back to its tactical roots. Space Hulk: Tactics will house two campaigns from opposing sides. Players can choose between playing as the Terminator Space Marines tasked with exploring and cleansing an enigmatic space hulk or as the Genestealers attempting to wipe out the intruders into their domain. Cyanide Studio has said that both campaigns will have a heavy focus on narrative; I'm not sure how that will work on the Genestealer side, but I'm interested in finding out. The big addition to Space Hulk: Tactics is adapting the board game with the addition of cards that help to customize and upgrade your soldiers prior to each mission or match. They'll help players survive and possibly turn the tide of battle in a moment of desperation. There will also be an online competitive multiplayer mode, a map creation tool, and the ability to share maps online. Space Hulk: Tactics will release sometime in 2018 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. For those of you itching for more info, publisher Focus Home Interactive will be holding a press conference later this month to discuss the title at length. View full article
  25. You might not remember much about Kursk, an adventure game announced two years ago. Jujubee, the studio developing it, has been largely silent about the project after the reveal generated a considerable amount of criticism for its focus on the tragic sinking of the titular submarine in 2000, which resulted in the loss of all 118 sailors. The studio responded to those criticizing Kursk with the following statement: We would like to clarify a few things about our upcoming game "KURSK", because we see that there are some concerns. We are fully aware that this tragedy was a very painful topic for the Russian society and we can assure you that the game will be made with all the respect. There are many movies and books about current, very often painful events and we feel that games are now also a form of art and that the time has come for our industry to talk about serious and real topics. "KURSK" will be a game for the mature audience that can appreciate a deep storyline and our main goal is to do it right, without offending anyone. We hope that the final game will put all concerns to rest and that players will realize how much bravery it takes to live and work on a submarine. Many critics remained unconvinced, however, which may explain why the studio has been silent for two years. But now they're back with more information on their secretive project. Their announcement dubs Kursk the first "adventure-documentary game" in the history of video games. The claim that Kursk will be the first game ever to focus on a historical event is inaccurate, but Jujubee does seem to be aiming for historical accuracy with some embellishments. The additional details about Kursk's storyline reveal that it focuses on a character who didn't exist. Kursk will put players into the shoes of a fictional spy tasked with obtaining information on the Shkval supercavitating torpedoes, real torpedoes that the governments of the world had taken a keen interest in around the time of the incident. Players will be able to explore the submarine, Moscow, and the town of Vidyayevo, all locations which played pivotal roles in the lead up to the tragedy. Jujubee has implemented a variety of mechanics throughout the game to help bolster its narrative and help it stand out from what it sees as more conventional, repetitive games. Kursk's expected length sits at about ten hours. Michał Stępień, CEO at Jujubee, expressed his belief that Kursk would be a complex, nuanced story that would leave people better educated about the event and honor those who lost their lives saying: We think that the time has come to tell true stories. It’s fascinating how much our industry has evolved over the last dozen or so years. Games are becoming more and more complex, they offer an incredible audiovisual experience and let us immerse ourselves in virtual reality, but we should expect something more from them. As developers, we realize how much time users spend with our products, but we often fail to remember the responsibility connected to it. We can make games something more than just exciting entertainment. Games can become a tool not unlike books or films. They can help us develop, educate us, broaden our horizons, and provoke discussions that go far beyond the world of video games. We believe that KURSK will be precisely that kind of creation. It’s a game that brings the Russian submarine crew’s tragic story to the fore while maintaining all the advantages of sandbox gameplay. We’d like players not only to feel an integral part of the world we’re creating, but also to be inspired by the facts of this fascinating, if not dramatic story. The game will look at the story of the Kursk in a very comprehensive way. We aim for realism and as much immersion as possible. The player will not only have the opportunity to feel like a member of a submarine crew, but they will also be able to influence the story through their choices, including moral ones. The decisions they make will have a significant impact on the ending of the game, and there’ll be several of them Following the release of Kursk later this year, Jujubee has announced two expansions for the game. The first will be titled Kengir and will detail the events of the Kengir labor camp uprising in 1954 and the escape of one of the prisoners held there. The choice of subject matter for the DLC shows that Jujubee will not be shying away from potentially touchy topics going forward. The second DLC brings VR support in 4K and beyond. Kursk has no set release date, but it will be releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sometime in 2018.
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