Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hmmm that's weird...

September's PlayStation Plus free games don't suck!

  • Lords of the Fallen, PS4
  • Journey, PS4, PS3
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, PS3
  • Datura, PS3
  • Badland, PS Vita, PS4, PS3
  • Amnesia: Memories, PS Vita
I have... actually always wanted to try Lords of the Fallen and one of those Vita visual novels (Amnesia: Memories), and Journey is all kinds of awesome so yeah - this is good!  

PoP: The Forgotten Sands is pretty shitty, but eh.  What can you do?

Oh thank goodness.

-source-

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Chamberlain & Chance 38: We Should Know Better.


Me this blog, Chamberlain that blogAlex absent this week, podcast on iTunes!


Chamberlain and Chance - We should know better


THIS WEEK!

  • Chance continues to thrash around in the frothy joy that is Overwatch!
  • Chamberlain cannot abide the intimidating depth of Grand Kingdom!
  • Telltale's new Batman doesn't suck!
  • WB's new Batman cartoon might not suck!
  • All the news that's fit to chat about!
  • And what's Chance's latest lewd gaming diversion?
You'll have to tune in to find out!


Oh, also, here's the Play of the Game I'm gushing over at the end of this week's episode.


I had actually forgotten that I didn't just get the PotG in this sequence (not that I'm not bragging), but - over the course of thirty seconds - I hunted down an ulting Junkrat to kill him, took down a McCree (whose job is specifically to kill me), and then killed their Winston and Lucio, killed their Rein and killed their Soldier.  

I wiped that entire fucking team and I am awesome.  Or was, for the above brief moment. 

The Floor is Lava gameplay trailer!


(1) God I love Jeff Agala's art and animation.  Such clean, sharp lines.
(2) God this better come to PS4.  I'm so down for this.  (But then, I'm down for anything with the Klei logo on it.)

Hot Lava transports you back to your childhood imagination. Relive those moments of excitement, joy and chaos. Traverse distinct worlds, from school hallways to the memories of your darkest fears. This is a game of dexterity and ingenuity, you will have to use all your skills to complete the treacherous obstacles that await.  
But whatever you do…Don’t Touch The Floor.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Make sure to hook up your 2-step authentication on PS4.


On your PS4, go to...

  1. PlayStation Network/Account Management
  2. Account Information
  3. Security
  4. 2-Step Verification
It's easy-peasy.  It'll give you the option to log out of all your PlayStation devices (and you'll be prompted to log back in with the authentication next time you log in on your Vita or whatever).  

I highly, highly suggest doin' this.  For the past month or so, not a day has gone by without a new post on NeoGAF by someone who says their account has been hacked.  Protect yourself!  Protect yourself before it's too laaaate!

Whatthe... Valkyria: Azure Revolution is coming to Vita?


Yes, yes it is.



It'll drop in Japan on January 19th.  I can't remember the last time a PS4 game just - boop - got a Vita port announced a few months before release.

Like, ever.  I sure hope this doesn't end up suckin'.

15 minutes of Vampyr gameplay.

Ehhh I'll watch this later.

Oooh Overwatch cartoons!





Heheh.

Pixellated horror Claire comes to PS4 and Vita August 30th.

Hmmm The Princess Is Money-Hungry doesn't look bad.

Cute little action-RPG for Vita, comin' in November in Japan, no word on a localization.



So the Princess loses her family and kingdom due to moneylenders, and now she's all about the cash.  Hm!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. Yes please.



Quickly Robin, to the crosswalk!

Sold.

Hellyeah.


Dark Souls II: Ashes of Ariandel coming October 25th.



Mrowr.

I won't play it, though.  Probably.  I don't... think I have ever played a Souls/borne DLC.  Which is crazy, because I've got the definitive edition of Bloodborne on disc.  But I'm a crazy dude!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Overwatch Clip Show 15!


It's been a while, has it not?  It's been so long that I am rusty as balls.  I tried two weeks ago, or so, and just got my ass beat.  But the end of the Summer Games promotion kinda' lit a fire under me, and I swept back in for some breezy Mercy action.  I tried to focus more on not dying.

Oh, also, I had an actually-amazing round as Ana, and now I don't hate Ana any more!  ...but there's no footage of that because my PS4 has been really mucking up saving gameplay lately...  Let's get down to business!



0:00 - 0:20 : We begin with a breezy chunk of Mercy action in Anubis, starting off with a nice double-kill while assisting Rein,

0:20 - 0:45 : a daring dive behind enemy lines with Rein (but I had to get outta' there before they turned their attention to me), before my cowardice shamed me

0:45 - 1:05 : and I pulled off another brave-ass Tank dance off a nearly-dead Genji, who was cool enough to climb the arch so I could fling myself out of harm's way.  (McCree's real name is Harm.)  Thanks, Genji!



And then we're just toppin' up my buds!

1:05 - 1:21 : Nothing feels worse, as an Offense hero, than getting killed by a Mercy.

You shoulda' got me, Tracer!  You should've killed meeeeee..!

1:21 - 1:50 : We start off with a two-rez that is the beginning of the end for the defending team.  Elsewhere, nothin' feels worse, for a Reinhardt, than getting killed by a Mercy.

You never shoulda' dropped your shield, old man!

1:50 - 2:09 : Really, this is a fairly even matchup.  Without her sleeping dart + burst damage combo, an Ana under perfect conditions can't out-DPS a Mercy under perfect conditions (Ana does 80 DPS, Mercy does 100 if all shots hit, and both have 200 health).

But still - you didn't sleep or grenade or out-snipe me, ya old coot!


I've spent my share of time on Reaper and Pharah, and even indulged in a bit of Genji from time to time, but Tracer is by far my most-played hero, outside of Mercy.  This weekend, it was time to get back to some blink-and-you'll-miss-it Tracer action.

2:09 - 2:27 : In the early moments of defending the Dorado payload, Tracer helps take out half of the enemy team rrrrarrr!

2:27 - 3:13 : This is part of an amazing round I had on Ilios, and the PS4 crapped out on recording almost all of the good footage.  There was a Bastion camping in the lighthouse, with his back to the corner, and I repeatedly kicked its ass.  Oh well.

Instead, enjoy this footage of me keeping the enemy team off of my boys on the point!  That's Tracer's job, outside of a full-scale team fight - get behind 'em, make them turn around, and make them ignore your team.

I did not want to fight this Junkrat in that little enclosed room.  In fairness, it took me way too long to take this guy out - but in my defense, Junkrat is actually a pretty hard counter to tracer.

I should have just stayed away from him.


3:13 - 3:45 : This is the only footage I was able to get of this incredible run on the Ilios lighthouse (the one with The Bastion).  Still - a few pretty nice takedowns in the opening seconds!

Also, killing a Hanzo as Tracer always feels awesome.  Anytime you take out someone who can one shot you (coughcoughReapercough) feels awesome.

3:45 - 4:31 : This is the skirmish before an actual match, but it's also footage of a Tracer possessed (and eventually Nana boosted into a killing frenzy), just mopping the floors with a flock of Meis.

Meis are also pretty dangerous to Tracer - those icicles of hers will pretty much one-shot me, if it's anywhere near my face.

(The Bastion short movie came out on the 18th.  It lent him a lot of empathy.)

4:31 - 5:05 : Our defense of King's row is all but shattered!  Reaper, Torb and Reinhardt have all gone down, and only Bastion, Sym and I remain.  Bastion has already killed enough to pop his ult, and - already down to half health - he busts it out to do what he can, and I'm there to back him up.

Together we wipe out almost all of the attackers, and by the time his ult runs out, Reinhardt has slipped through Sym's teleporter to throw up his shield as he makes good his retreat.

That Bastion did such a damned good job, I had to run up and properly express my gratitude.  Good job, Bastion!

5:05 - 5:58 : This frickin' Widow is owning our Bastions at the final point of King's Row, and even me, Mercy!  I pop my ult to bring them back into the fight, but not before she brings me down, and I realize there's only one option.

I have to flank this Widow, and take her down.

Then their Mercy rezzes her, of course.  Ah well!


5:58 - 6:20 : Nothin' feels worse, as an Offense hero, than gettin' killed by a Mercy.

I remind myself that this Mercy was part of an elite fucking team.  Like the bastards musta' been high sixties in comp, and they moved like a single unit with mics on - so I don't feel too bad about gettin' pwned by her - but she pwned the crap outta' me, and I gotta' give her props.

Elite-Hunter indeed.

6:21 - 7:01 : Surprise!  It's one of the hardest early fights in Hyper Light Drifter, gettin' rolled by a Drifter with zero upgrades!

Didn't see that shit comin'.


Chamberlain & Chance 37: Everyone Hates Konami.


Wiiiith Alex!

Alex writes this, Chamberlain writes that, and I occasionally write this thing right here.  Also, the podcast's on iTunes!


Chamberlain and Chance - Everyone hates Konami

THIS WEEK!

  • Chance backpedals a bit on that whole "No Man's Sky is cool" thing. 
  • Chamberlain frees himself from the icy embrace of mediocre JRPGs, again. 
  • Alex can't stop, won't stop playing The Witcher III. 
  • Which game developer would the boys kill, buff and marry?  
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Oh and here's that Persona 5 mini-trailer I talk about in this week's ep!

News!

Okay there's actually a ton of little things.


PlayStation quietly announced an increase in the price of PlayStation Plus, which honestly hasn't really been worth it (in terms of the "free games") lately, via an update on a weeks-old post on the PlayStation Blog.  It's going up to $60 US and $70 Canadian, effective September 22nd.  So basically, if you wanna' keep your Plus membership and don't wanna' get bent over for it, buy a few years' worth nowish.


A PS4 slim has leaked, been confirmed by the venerable Eurogamer, and is probably gonna' get announced at that PlayStation event in early September.


Sony announced today that you'll be able to play PlayStation games on your PC and Alex was momentarily thrilled until he realized that they're only talking about PS Now games.  Which is literally like playing video games via Netflix, and stupid.

In the good news category, y'see that little USB dongle in the image above?  That's a PC wireless adapter for the DualShock 4.  Play Steam games without having to cord your controller to the computer!  Only $25, launching this September!


Awesome peeps Limited Run Games announced they'll be running 5,000 copies of Spike's Mystery Chronicles: One Way Heroics on PS4 and 5,000 copies on Vita!  Comin' this September.

Rise of the Tomb Raider's PS4-port/re-launch 20 Year Celebration's Blood Ties content got its own trailer and it looks not bad!



In Chamberlain-will-be-thrilled news, well-endowed action-RPG Nights of Azure is getting a sequel.


It's being worked on by a different team than the first game, which is probably good because it... did not receive positive reviews, and Chamberlain was pretty meh on it.  Apparently the action aspect of the action-RPG will be improved.  Oh, and it's announced for PS4 and Vita.  The Vita version will probably not come west.  Again.

Ummmm what else, what else... oh, apparently Hideo Kojima is hookin' up with Mads Mikkelsen for Death Stranding, which is cool.  I like Mads.  I think his Hannibal is definitive.

Announced today, the next thing from the crew that made the pretty-dammned-awesome Sleeping Dogs is... not what you hope it'll be.



Oh and highly-anticipated (though not by me) and quickly-forgotten (by me, and everyone else) PS4-exclusive puzzler The Witness is coming to Xbox One next month, and iOS after that.  Enjoy your pretentious bullshit, Xbox Nation!

In other news, #ItsAGreatDayFor is trending today, and I got all up in that biz for a good cause.





The Xbox Onesie is a real thing that Microsoft wants you to buy.


Not kidding.

  • Enlarged pockets to fit your Xbox Controller and Media Remotes
  • Arm pouch to offer quick and easy access to your mobile phone
  • Roll-able legs and arms to cater for all temperatures and seasons
  • Forearm grips to prevent slipping on those ‘edge of your seat’ moments
  • Extra-large hood to accommodate headsets for the ultimate gaming sessions
  •  Customised Gamertag embroidery

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Prey's Gamescom trailer hypes me to the moon.

And it shows so little.  But so much.



Here's what I need to know, and what it told me:

This is a spiritual sequel to BioShock.  In space.  Fuck yes.

[update] Oh also Bethesda put out some fresh gameplay from Dishonored 2 - but I'm already hyped to the moon for that, given that we already know it's a spiritual successor to the original Thief series.



Ummmnnnn yeah. [/update]

Friday, August 19, 2016

Overwatch's The Last Bastion short.



Ain't no CGI trailer like a Blizzard CGI trailer.

Jotun hits consoles Sept 8th and 9th.



8th on the Wii U, 9th on PS4 and One.  Love dat animation.

Moon Hunters is cancelled for Vita.

Because fuck you, that's why. 


Last we heard from Moon Hunters, they were "going to make a final decision very soon" on the Vita version, which I found deeply offensive.  Yesterday, they turned around and announced that, despite the Vita version stretch goal on their Kickstarter that assisted in raking in cash from Vita fans and pushing their total take up to almost two hundred grand, the game ain't happening on Vita.  Here's their spiel from the update:

PlayStation Vita Cancelled
We have examined every possible variant of the next few months/years of our lives, and we have sadly decided that releasing the game on PSVita is not going to be a good effort after all. :( 
Why? Well, one factor is the engine we're using, but with all of the advantages Unity offers, I'm loathe to seem like I'm complaining about lack of low-level resource control.  And one factor is the platform itself, which is more demanding technically than PS4 or desktop, but I'm loathe to seem like I'm complaining about such a beautiful, well-made piece of hardware.

So, the honest and blunt truth is that the only way we could realistically make it work on Vita is to make the game worse. What this means is that when we looked at how to get it running properly, we had to permanently remove the character portraits, real-time shadows, and loading times were absolutely intolerable. And that was just the beginning -- we still had a long, long way to go. So we felt that, with those sacrifices already made, it was unacceptable to reduce the game's quality further.
The upshot is that two years ago, we were arrogant and naive. 

I personally apologize, as both the promise and the cancellation are my decision (me, Tanya Short), and ask for your forgiveness. I am sorry.

Please do not harass the Moon Hunters programmers, as they have done their best to work with a difficult situation I put them in.

I hope I have learned from this mistake. I really hope so.

What does this mean for Vita backers? If you would like any other key, we will immediately give you one of that platform. If the only key you ever wanted was a PSVita key, we may even be able to find 2 keys for you, to make sure you can play with a friend, which helps take out more of the sting.

Can I get a refund? We deeply appreciate your patience and we know we have broken your trust. If you wish, we will be able to refund the $15 CAD of the game key value itself -- as we delivered on all of the other rewards, we will not refund anything remaining from your pledge. However, the CAD has fallen in worth compared to the USD, so those of you internationally may find that taking the platform key and reselling it (alas) could be more profitable.

Again, I'm sorry. I know it is disappointing, which is the last thing I wanted to do to our backers.
-source-
Translation: "Ummm I guess we didn't really put any thought into whether or not we could put the game on Vita, before we told you that we'd take your money in exchange for the promise to put it on Vita?  LOL our bad!  We're so bad!  And we don't want to just have like, a porting studio handle it because third-party ports are always so shitty and you deserve better!"




The Vita Lounge actually really took Kitfox to task on Twitter over this.  Which I feel is pretty much deserved.

Dinks.  Unlike Red Hook Studios, who are frickin' awesome.

Sho shekshy.


Glitched hits its Vita stretch goal!



Think Earthbound mixed with Undertale.  The main character is aware of you, the player, and like Undertale, you can spare your enemies or avoid fights altogether by just being a chill dude.

Developer En House were only looking for $7,500 to get the game off the ground, but the net gave them 50K.  The Vita version was actually the first console-port stretch goal the game has at $35K (PS4 and PS3 was 40K, Xbox was $50K) - so I'm hoping it... y'know... actually happens.

Can't be too sure, these days...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Resident Evil 7 "Lantern" gameplay trailer.



Hmmmm!

Oh Konami you are the WORST!



METAL GEAR SURVIVE picks up from the ending of METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES, to an alternate timeline caused by unexplained wormholes forming in the sky. Players find themselves on distorted desert landscapes full of massive half-formed structures, living biological threats, and the remains of a once strong military force now litter the landscape.

In a struggle to stay alive on this harsh terrain filled with deadly creatures, soldiers who were previously on Mother Base now must work cooperatively in order to survive. METAL GEAR SURVIVE continues the pedigree of METAL GEAR SOLID V’s highly praised gameplay design, with a unique blend of stealth and co-op play mechanics. Players can strategically manage massive threats with the help of 4-player online cooperative play. New weaponry will also be introduced to combat charging creatures and lethal environments as well.

I have so many >fuck you" GIFs for occasions just like this!





Fuck you, Konami!!!

Okay THIS is what Little Nightmares is.



Creepy/cute!  Me likie.

BioShock Remastered actually makes some (welcome) visual changes...

Mostly to the original game, from what I hear.



Notice the extra jellyfish.  Now that's all well and good, but this post over at... (sigh)... GameSpot actually sells me pretty nicely on the polish added to this collection, which I was already pretty much sold on anyway.

Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom's launch trailer.



Huh.  It actually didn't occur to me until now that I'd have to fight the female titan.

She's terrifying.

Yusss Mercy's gettin' buffed!


A ton of Overwatch news appeared today, along with a patch on the (PC) public test realm.  Almost exciting as the balance changes (Genji nerf!!!) are all these sweet new emotes that all the characters are getting.  Basically, every hero gets a laugh emote and a sitting emote.  Tracer, who already had an awesome laugh emote, gets screwed, and only a sitting emote.  D.Va gets a legendary-priced emote, and it... takes stuff from the fan community and makes it canon.  It's amazing.



And here's all of them.



Annnd here's the PTR patch notes!



HERO BALANCE UPDATES

General

Ultimates that consume the ultimate meter when activated will now drain the meter more quickly (.25 second instead of 1 second)
Reverted a recent change to reduce size of heroes' projectiles

Developer Comments: Altering the size of projectiles in flight had too many unintended side effects to keep in the game, at least in its current form. We will continue watching this and make additional changes if necessary.

D.Va

Defense Matrix
After being activated, Defense Matrix will begin regenerating following a 1-second delay (formerly .5 seconds)

Developer Comments: Defense Matrix was too efficient when tapped repeatedly, instead of being held. Now, the recovery delay matches the ability cooldown.

Hanzo

Hanzo will now experience a 30% decrease in speed while aiming (formerly 40%)
Maximum projectile speed has been increased by 30%

Developer Comments: Hanzo has the potential to deal a lot of damage, but he can feel really inconsistent, even at a medium distance. By increasing the projectile speed, we’re extending his reliable range, making it easier to land shots without having to perfectly predict enemy movement.

Mei

Blizzard
The Blizzard projectile now pierces barriers
Radius has been increased from 8 meters to 10 meters

Developer Comments: Mei has an interesting toolkit, but her ultimate often felt like it was too difficult to use effectively. Consequently, it felt weak compared to many other ultimate abilities. The freeze effect has been piercing barriers for some time now, but the projectile would still be blocked. Now, you can throw it down exactly where you want it, so it’s much easier to utilize the full radius effectively.

McCree

Deadeye
Now drains over a .25-second period (instead of displaying a 50% reduction on the ultimate meter when activated and 0% when confirmed)

Developer Comments: If players managed to counter or avoid McCree's ultimate, it would often regenerate very quickly since only half of the ultimate charge was spent. Now, this ultimate works like every other ultimate that has a duration.

Mercy

Caduceus Staff
Healing Beam
Healing-per-second has been increased by 20%
Resurrect
Resurrected allies will be able to maneuver after 2.25 seconds (reduced from 3 seconds)

Developer Comments: Resurrection now allows teammates to jump back into the fight more quickly, which should help Mercy survive after activating her ultimate. Mercy's healing is also getting a boost to solidify her role as a strong, single-target healer.

Genji

Double jump no longer resets when wall climbing
Dash
No longer deals damage to traps like Widowmaker's Venom Mine or Junkrat's Steel Trap
No longer bypasses Junkrat's Steel Trap
Swift Strike
No longer interrupts quick melee attacks
Dragonblade
Duration of Genji's ultimate has been reduced from 8 seconds to 6 seconds

Developer Comments: Genji was a little too difficult to pin down, and these changes will balance his speed. Swift Strike no longer cancels the recovery time from a quick melee attack, so players will no longer be able to get a free melee attack before using Swift Strike. Lastly, Dragonblade's duration was long enough that it often felt too difficult to reasonably counter.

LĂșcio

Amp It Up
The boosting of movement speed has been decreased by 30% (from a 100% increase to a 70% increase)

Developer Comments: Thanks to LĂșcio's speed increase, he was almost a must pick in every lineup.

Roadhog

Chain Hook
If the hooked target isn't in Roadhog's line of sight when retracting the hook, they will be moved back to the position where they were originally hooked

Developer Comments: This change means that hooked targets will be less likely to slide along walls, potentially ending up in an odd place after they've been reeled in.

Zenyatta

Orb of Discord
The amount of damage amplified by a target with Orb of Discord has been decreased from 50% to 30%
Orb of Destruction
Damage has been increased from 40 to 46

Developer Comments: Zenyatta is in a far better place since the last update, but the strength of Orb of Discord has turned him into an almost mandatory pick. These changes reduce Orb of Discord's effectiveness, but his damage-dealing potential has been increased. The amount of damage that he delivers should feel largely unaffected by the change.


My whole wheat side assures me I won't have time to check back in to Overwatch once these changes hit the PS4 - but my frosted side is dying to heal people better on Mercy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Trails of Cold Steel II launches in THREE WEEKS?!


Why didn't I finish part 1 last winter?!  Now it's too late!  I'm neck-deep in Odin Sphere and Grand Kingdom on Vita right now and God Eater 2 and Attack on Titan drop at the end of the August and FFS Trails of Cold Steel 2 launches on September 5th.

Gosh darn it.


XSEED Games, the independent-minded console publishing brand of Marvelous USA, Inc., today announced that the next installment in the critically-acclaimed Trails franchise, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, has gone gold and will launch for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and PlayStation Vita handheld entertainment system in North America on September 6, 2016, both physically at retail and digitally on the PlayStation Store for a suggested retail price of $39.99. Owners of the limited “Lionheart Edition” of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel will be able to complete their collection, storing both titles in the custom collectible box along with the art book and pin of the country of Erebonia that came with the first installment.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II picks up one month after the decisive collision which changed the fate of the entire nation at the conclusion of Trails of Cold Steel. Speedy, tactical turn-based combat with the newly-developed “ARCUS” system returns with all the bells and whistles players fondly remember alongside a new Overdrive mode, new means of transportation across both the land and sky, new allies, new dangers, and a renewed sense of hope as Rean tirelessly works to right the wrongs that have led the country to disarray.

Cross-Save functionality between the game’s “PS Vita” and PS3 editions remains supported, and save data from the first game grants bonus stats and extra items. In addition, relationships cultivated during the earlier time players spent at Thors Military Academy affect future story elements and allow for more personalized conversations throughout the game.

For more information on the game and where it can be pre-ordered, visit the official site for The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II at: trailsofcoldsteel.com/cs2. Additional insight into the game and the “Trails” series in general can be found at XSEED’s official Facebook page at: facebook.com/XSEEDTrails

Developed by Nihon Falcom and published by XSEED Games in North America, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II will be available both physically and digitally on September 6, 2016 for PS3 and “PS Vita” systems for a suggested retail price of $39.99.

Auuuugh too many awesome games no time no time no time...

Mafia III's Gamescom trailer is... ummmmn...

When will they release a Mafia III trailer that doesn't contain a song that I love?!



That's it.  That's fucking it.  I give up.  Fine.  Fine, Mafia III.  I'm preordering you.  You look fuckin' awesome.  I'm

Cool/pretty castle map Eichenwalde is comin' to Overwatch.



We're expecting it sometime in September.  It's an attack/payload map, and it looks smexy.

Tragically, when it actually comes out, I'll spend all night playing Volskaya and Anubis, desperately waiting for it to come up in the rotation.

Well... yeah, fair enough.



This ties in really nicely to me defending No Man's Sky on this week's podcast.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Chamberlain & Chance 36 : Building the tension.


Me this blog, Chamberlain that blogAlex absent this week, podcast on iTunes!

Chamberlain and Chance - Building the tension

THIS WEEK!

  • Odin Sphere is chicken soup for the gamer's soul. 
  • Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness is not a good JRPG. 
  • No Man's Sky is everything, and nothing.  
  • And what're the next big games on the horizon for our boys?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Sega renews the Virtua Fighter trademark.


It was actually the Virtua Fighter forums that caught this one (warning, sorta' NSFW!).  At a shareholders meeting earlier this year (or was it last year?), their executives said that Virtua Fighter remains one of the company's most important franchises - so fingers crossed!

It has long been the only fighting game whose language I can speak - and I'll love to get back into some hot, hot Shaolin-style action with Lei Fei.  But yeah, companies renew trademarks for long-dormant franchises all the time, just to protect the property.

We'll see.  Keep hope alive.

Fallout 4: Nuka World trailer.



Drops August 30th.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sleepy.


I tried playing No Man's Sky, but it kept crashing on me.  So I'm gonna' blog a bit and maybe Vita a bit and try to go to bed early.  That last part is always a challenge.

So let's keep it short.  Remember Hue, that was supposed to drop on PS4 and Vita and the launch date mighta' been August 23rd?  Yeah, no.




Go ahead, Hue, drop on the 27th.  I dare ya.



Lichtspeer was announced today for PS4 and Vita, coming in September.  It looks... meh.

Also, I was trying to remember the name of a song earlier today, and I figured it out!  It was She Ain't Pretty by The Northern Pikes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Game Diary - No Man's Sky.

All the screenshots you'll see, here, were captured from my PS4.

I play games.  I get new games on the reg, and my fellows are aware of this - but No Man's Sky has elicited an unusual response from my work and gamer associates.  Everyone in my office who even kinda' plays video games wanted to know, when I came in this morning, how No Man's Sky is.  Chamberlain and Alex both fired emails at me demanding I stop leaving them in suspense, and advise on the game's quality.

Chamberlain presented Jim Sterling's glowing endorsement of the title to me (which garnered such a positive response from the gamer community that they subjected his site to a DDOS attack, and it's still down), along with this quote from the Google cache:
"No Man’s Sky effectively portrays the loneliness of space by providing so little for the player to do that it’s tempting to flush one’s self out of an airlock just to break the tedium.

Not that you can do that. That would be too interesting."
-Jim Sterling
To which I could only reply,
“Look at this useless cat. It never barks, or fetches my slippers. This cat is a terrible dog.”
So I went ahead and read Sterling's review via the cache.


And told Chamberlain that
"He’s correct about almost everything, but his ire is built on a promise he seems to have imagined the developers made which (to my knowledge) they never did – that there would be like crazy procedurally-generated quests and procedurally-generated meaningful interactions with alien truckers and alien militias.  He seems pissed off because Hello Games aren’t adhering to the thesis statement he’s invented for their game, and now he’s pissed off that the cat doesn’t bark.

It’s a laid-back game about exploring a gorgeous retro sci-fi galaxy, and it accomplishes that.  It’s so gorgeous.

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe – and things no one will ever see.  I’ve hunted the Xorliphent on the second moon of Ploxyfeem, and watched a green sun rise across the badlands of Truxzursen.  It’s successful in its actual objective – not the imagined ones of Angry British Guy."


No Man's Sky does not give you the... the Call of Duty experience of being led by the nose through a series of curated action and story beats.  I'm sure they'd love to, but the tiny team of Hello Games just don't have the personpower to even begin to approach the random-event content of your Grand Theft Autos or your Elder Fallouts.  As such, No Man's Sky is as mind-bogglingly broad in content as it is focused in ambition - it offers you one thing, one huge and tiny thing.  In No Man's Sky, you can choose a star from eighteen quintillion others (of the ones your current warp drive can reach), and go.
When you get there, you can fly down to the surface of any planet orbiting that sun.

Once you get out of your ship, you will see things you have never seen.

Things no one has ever seen.


And it will be breathtaking.  Or desolate.  Or vibrant.  Or terrifying.  It will never be the same, ever.

In terms of your own actions, Sterling is generally correct.  Hello Games couldn't let you maroon yourself by not sort of including everything you need to survive and escape a solar system to your next waypoint - so each and every one has the silica you'll need to run your exosuit's life support systems, each one has the plutonium you need to power your blaster/mining laser and your ship's VTOL thrusters, and in the emptiness above you'll find drifting rocks thick with the fuel you'll need to jet across the system to the next planet or the next space station.

He's right - your actions can be samey - but I'm cool with it.  I'm fine with it, because while No Man's Sky is a languid, mellow yellow, backstrokey kind of game - one that won't surprise you with what it asks, or what you find yourself doing from one moment to the next - it's also precisely what it sets out to be.


And that's important.  Really, that's the most important thing.  It's okay that Shadow of the Colossus's platforming was weird and floaty and controlling Agro felt like crap because it accomplished its unique, singular goal to a profound degree.  It became legendary.

Often, it's reasonable and prudent to compare a game against others of its ilk.  It's worthy to compare Sleeping Dogs to Grand Theft Auto IV on PS3 in in the same way to was reasonable to compare True Crime: Streets of L.A. to Grand Theft Auto III back on the PS2.

But what did anyone compare Grand Theft Auto III to, when it arrived?

It was incomparable.

That's why it was okay that the driving physics were pretty fucked and the graphics were kinda' meh and the shooting was atrocious, because oh my God you get to drive around a whole goddamned city!

Grand Theft Auto III earned the series' place in history despite of all its lacks because it offered something no other game did.  Because it had its own, totally unique objective that no other game could offer - and it accomplished it.


No Man's Sky didn't sell itself as your next Bethesda game fix, or as Far Cry in space.  It never promised Jim Sterling a smorgasbord of procedurally-generated quests and alien interactions - I have no idea why he expected it.  It promised... exactly what it is.  It's a sublime game of retro sci fi exploration, and aesthetic appreciation.

Like legendary, seminal gaming titles that come along once a generation - your Grand Theft Auto IIIs, your DOOMs - No Man's Sky isn't beholden to the expected trappings of a genre.  It doesn't need to measure up to any other game out there.  It doesn't bear comparison.

It’s a laid-back game about exploring a gorgeous retro sci-fi galaxy, and it accomplishes that.  It’s so gorgeous.

It's incomparable.

Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni rated RC in Australia.



RC, in this case, does not stand for Radio Controlled, Really Cool or Righteous Chesticles - it stands for "refused classification."



Basically, the Australian ratings board refused to slap any kind of rating on Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni, essentially ensuring the game will not be available for sale in the venerable bastion of glorious beaches and deceptively deadly fauna.  It's equivalent to banning it.

It is perhaps worth noting that Australia has uniquely close ties with (unabashedly lewd video game purveyor) Japan given their geographic proximity.  Did you know Australia has a phenomenal pearl industry, owned mostly by the Japanese, because the waters around Japan are so heavily polluted they won't support the necessary bivalves?  But enough economic history, you're no doubt familiar with the video game history of Australia - specifically, the country's capacity for banning games.  Dark Sector, Hotline Miami 2, Manhunt, MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death, Paranautical Activity, Postal, Phantasmagoria, Risen, Saints Row IV, State of Decay, Silent Hill: Homecoming, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Syndicate (2011), The Witcher 2, Duke Nukem 3D, Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead 2 - all were refused classification in The Land Down Undah.


They refused to even give it their adults-only rating - the rating exists (R18+), but it was only recently established and tends to get slapped on violent games (DOOM, The Witcher III, Dying Light). So why did Valkyrie Drive get the boot?  The only explanation the board provided is this:
"The computer game is classified RC in accordance with the National Classification Code, Computer Games Table, 1. (a) as computer games that “depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.”
Ahhh the West.  Land of the free.  Home of the brave.  And the sort of abhorrent filth that any decent, moral, proper and reasonable adult would find utterly revolting.


Disgusting!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Chamberlain & Chance 35: a much better week.


Wiiiith Alex!


Chamberlain and Chance - A much better week

Alex writes Daily Crackpot, Chamberlain writes Infinite Backlog, and I write this thing right here.  Also, the podcast is on iTunes!

THIS WEEK!

  • Hyper Light Drifter is mother's milk. 
  • Quantum Break is okay!
  • Chance tries the Slain! Back From Hell 2.0 launch so you don't have to!
  • Alex cannot escape Dragon Age Inquisition's siren song. 
  • The news!
  • And just how bad is Suicide Squad?
You'll have to tune in to find out!