Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Horizon? Horizon.

Switch indies?


No.  Horizon.

New Overwatch patch going live?


Nope.  Horizon.

My brother sees that I'm online and wants to play Overwatch?

Dude.  Sorry.

Sorry, dude.


(Horizon.)

G'night!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Oh man I never posted Horizon's launch trailer.

If you hit PlayStation's YouTube channel, you will find a ridiculous number of Horizon trailers right now.  There's a trailer about its narrative systems, there's a trailer about its RPG aspects, the open-ness of its world, it's crafting... it's kinda' silly, at this point - but I really like the launch trailer.

As a rule, I tend to dislike Sony's over-produced launch trailers, but this one I'm quite fond of.  I hate the extra-tribal-ly dancing thing, but I love how it casts Aloy as this legendary figure, idolized by the people of her time, embarking on an epic journey.



I find it a bit strange that she can't seem to shoot a robodino without being under it, first, but I guess it focus-tested well?

Either way, I dig it.

Senran Kagura Estival Versus's Ikki Tousen DLC (and PC port) launches March 17th.


Annnd that's kind of the whole story.  The long-awaited Ikki Tousen DLC will launch day and date with the Steam release, annnd "Each character will be priced at $3.99, €3.99, and £2.99, while a bundle containing all three will be offered for $8.99, €8.99, and £6.99."

I'm going to have to buy it, of course.  If nothing less, to let the devs know that I love the SK brawlers and have zero interest in that watergun game they're comin' out with next.

Hm. Sexy Brutale is coming to consoles.



Hm!  It's headed to PS4, Xbox One and PC digitally on April 12, but only the PS4 will get a physical release of the game in the form of the Full House Edition one day earlier, on April 11th.


Hm!

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War officially official.


So you're still the same Ranger, you're still bound to the spirit of a long-dead Elf but this time you've forged a new Ring of Power (which can't possibly go wrong!) and maybe you'll fight a Balrog?  Groovy.

Also, Chamberlain wants you to know this is coming to the Scorpio.  Horaay!  Coming August 22nd.
Hm.  Endless should have a press release kickin' arouuund... ding.

Warner Bros. Interactive Announces Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Sequel to Critically Acclaimed Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the sequel to the critically-acclaimed Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, winner of more than 50 industry awards, including 2015 Game Developers Choice Awards’ Game of the Year, Outstanding Innovation in Gaming at the 2015 D.I.C.E. Awards and the BAFTA for Game Design. Developed by Monolith Productions, Middle-earth: Shadow of War features an original story with the return of Talion and Celebrimbor, who must go behind enemy lines to forge an army and turn all of Mordor against the Dark Lord, Sauron.

In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, players wield a new Ring of Power and confront the deadliest of enemies, including Sauron and his Nazgul, in a monumental battle for Middle-earth. The open-world action-adventure game is brought to life through the expansion of the award-winning Nemesis System. The robust personalization from the first game is now applied to the entire world where the environments and characters are all shaped by player actions and decisions, creating a personal world unique to every gameplay experience.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War will be available for Xbox One, Project Scorpio, Windows 10 PC (Windows Store and Steam), PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro beginning 25 August, 2017. Middle-earth: Shadow of War will be available as an Xbox Play Anywhere title.

“Monolith Productions continues to innovate by introducing deeper, more personalised gameplay experiences, coupled with authentic storytelling,” said David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “Middle-earth: Shadow of War truly drives the genre forward by taking the Nemesis System to new heights and allowing players to create their own personal journey within Middle-earth.”

“Following the amazing reception to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, we massively expanded every dimension of the game, including the world, the story, the RPG systems, the core gameplay and of course the personal player stories of the Nemesis System,” said Michael de Plater, Vice President, Creative, Monolith Productions. “As lifelong fans of Middle-earth, we are so grateful to have the privilege to bring to life the most incredible fantasy world ever created in a new way, for a new generation. With Middle-earth: Shadow of War, we can’t wait to see the amazing stories players are going to create and share.”

The innovative Nemesis System created unique personal stories through procedurally-generated enemies who remember every encounter and are differentiated by their personality, strengths and weaknesses. Middle-earth: Shadow of War expands this innovation with the introduction of Followers who bring about entirely new stories of loyalty, betrayal and revenge. The Nemesis System is also expanded to create a unique personal world through Nemesis Fortresses, which allows players to utilize different strategies to conquer dynamic strongholds and create personalized worlds with their unique Orc army.

Set between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth: Shadow of War continues the original narrative of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Players will be engrossed in a richer, more personal and expansive world full of epic heroes and villains, iconic locations, original enemy types, even more personalities and a new cast of characters with untold stories.

As an Xbox Play Anywhere title, players can purchase a digital version of Middle-earth: Shadow of War once and play it on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. Gamers can pick up where they left off on another Xbox One or Windows 10 PC, bringing all the saves, game add-ons and achievements with them at no additional cost.

Yup.



Yuuuppp.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Music!

When I made the Believer clip show, I had actually intended on using a different song.  I'd had it in my head all week, and I do this thing where when I find a new song or band I like, I'll listen to it on repeat for days on end.

I was doing a job at work that required a great deal of time, the constant work of my hands, very little from my eyes and none of my ears, so I turned on the Netflix app on my phone and started watching Mr. Right, and the song that Sam Rockwell dances over in the opening credits just kind of exploded as a brilliant one for a clip show.

So I got into Saint Motel.  Here's the good shit:



That was definitely gonna' be a Tracer clip show. Meanwhile, Benny Goodman is just a good song.



Move is the one I keep tinkering with for a Gravity Rush 2 vid.  The first time I heard it, I saw it in my head.

Kat sits on one of the busy city streets, movement and color bustling behind her as she fidgets and looks curiously around.  The claps begin, and she stands.  Silvery Moon Style trinkets appear on her arms and legs, she winds herself up like a spring annnnd - "MOVE!" - she launches into the air like a rocket, to begin.



They've got some other good stuff too.  For Elise ain't bad and I like Getaway, but if the above are Saint Motel's top 3, the #4 spot goes to Destroyer.



And that's our show.

I kinda' want to print this Oglaf and put it on the wall.



Now all the deers are getting married!!!

Oh, and NSFW warning for anyone not familiar with Oglaf who thinks about firing that word into Google.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War leaked.

So file this under rumor, but... Today's post shamelessly stolen from Endless. 


Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Go behind enemy lines to forge your army, conquer Fortresses and dominate Mordor from within. Experience how the award winning Nemesis System creates unique personal stories with every enemy and follower, and confront the full power of the Dark Lord Sauron and his Ringwraiths in this epic new story of Middle-earth.

In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, nothing will be forgotten.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War Gold Edition
Gold Edition includes:
• Slaughter Tribe Nemesis Expansion
• Outlaw Tribe Nemesis Expansion
• The Blade of Galadriel Story Expansion
• The Desolation of Mordor Story Expansion
• Gold War Chest
• Over $125 in total value

Nemesis Expansions include a new Orc Tribe featuring new enemies, followers, missions, abilities, weapons, Fortress and wilderness updates, and a Mythic Gear Set.

Story Expansions introduce a new campaign, playable character & abilities, side missions, enemies, allies & more.

Experience an epic open-world brought to life by the award-winning Nemesis System. Forge a new Ring of Power, conquer Fortresses in massive battles and dominate Mordor with your personal Orc army in Middle-earth: Shadow of War.
The leak comes from Target out of the States, and given that Shadow of Mordor was a surprise hit for WB..?  Well, I believe it.  Also they're teasing something for a March 8th reveal, so...

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Game Diary - not Horizon.


Last night, when I was finally able to retire and play some video games, I was crushingly, achingly aware of the fact that I am not playing Horizon: Zero Dawn.  I'm consuming everything I can for the game, lately, trying my best to watch mostly combat videos of Aloy hunting mechadinos.  I'm aware that [spoilers!!!] the game begins with Aloy as a wee little babe, getting her Bluetooth and there's some sort of montage of her growing into the badass hunter we've seen in all the trailers,[/spoilers] but I've done my best to avoid those "first hour of Horizon" videos.

I'll probably watch one later tonight.  I don't think I'll be able to resist.

Of everything I've watched, though - and for the least spoilers - one of the best is Digital Foundry's long look at just how goddamned sexy this game looks.



One thing I'm really pleased about, though, is the fact that every review, preview vid, impressions thing calls out the fact that the combat is the high point of the game.  That's huge, to me - that the core, moment-to-moment combat is the big draw.  After enjoying the open-world sweet, sweet motion mechanics of Gravity Rush 2 lately, I went back and checked out inFamous: Second Son.  I distinctly remember calling out Second Son as the best-looking open-world game you've ever seen when it launched, but going back to it, it does not look particularly hot.

I believe Horizon will be viewed the same way, one day.  It's not gorgeous in the Gravity Rush or Night in the Woods or Vanillaware way - it's gorgeous in the same way Uncharted: Drake's Fortune was the best-looking video game in the world once, and now is not.  It will surely be surpassed, and will look poorer by comparison in the future - but what can stand the test of time are gameplay mechanics - and perhaps the groovy designs of its dinobots.

So, really, I'm dying to play Horizon.  I feel it is causing me physical, emotional and spiritual damage, every moment that I'm not playing Horizon, and in a desperate quest to get even a taste of its flavor in interactive form, I reinstalled Far Cry Primal.

Ubisoft: The King of the Bullshot.
I mean, it's still pretty though!

I spent an hour or so just re-learning the controls, did a few side quests in the lower parts of the map, sicced my leopard or sabertooth at a few unwitting tribespeople and shot some arrows at dudes.  It was pretty cool.  It was okay.  It was pretty clearly not scratching the Horizon itch, though.

I uninstalled it and just goofed around in Gravity Rush 2.


Some of its most beautiful and spectacular environments are found only in the mining side-missions, which see Kat lowered far below the gravity storms that plague her world, into these lost places that seem to be both connected to and centuries lost from the cities she calls home.

So I fought a boss, did a quest, tried to capture some decent footage for a Gravity Rush clip show that I'll probably never make, and my brother texts, suggesting Overwatch. 

I don't really want to play Overwatch, but I didn't want to tell him that.  I don't get to spend enough time with my brother, so we played a bit of Mystery Heroes and I did some decent Mercy work (take that, enemy Mercy who teabagged me after they won the first round of Ilios) and we went 4 and 3 - not bad! - and I pulled out my Tracer to lovely effect.  Very nice.

Then I snuggled back in to Night in the Woods.


For me, so far, Night of the Woods is kind of a ten out of ten, mostly because of how low it shoots.  Or... no, that's wrong.  That implies that it's kinda' shitty.  What I mean is it's very, very focused, and very precise about what it's trying to do.  If I was going to compare it (in terms of genre) to anything else, it feels mostly like a Sierra game circa 1989.

Like the old Space Quest games or Kings Quest, but instead of just trying to be funny or just produce a magical world mostly told via exploration and a ton of puzzles that will kill you, it's kind of about an entire community that's suffering brutal depression after the economy fell out from under their once-idyllic little town, and the tragically self-involved player-character Mae.  She is a trainwreck of aimless self-entitlement, and is slowly coming to terms with the concept that her friends are growing up and she may have to, one day, as well.

More than anything, it's a storybook.  A comic book you occasionally platform-puzzle your way through, but mostly you just walk through its (unbelievably beautiful) scenes on your way to the next person you want to talk to, because while Gregg is undoubtedly your best friend, you really want to work on patching things up with Bea today.  I mean, it was pretty shitty how you forgot about her Mom dying, and everything, and you should probably try to make that up to her, right?

What Night in the Woods is shooting for (I think) is emotional engagement through its narrative and presentation, and that is what is 10/10 about it.  Its writing, ninety per cent of the time, fucking sparkles.  It's often brief and honest and very plain - it's beautiful, but it's not flowery over-writing - but neither is it too brief, or terse.  Instead, it's the simple, rarely-perfect English we speak to each other every day, often pregnant with the magic we hope to find in our lives and the tragedy of how things have actually worked out.

This, combined with its remarkable presentation, makes it successful.  It's ambitious in this - but humbly so.



What I really want to call out in it, though, is the animation.  The art direction?  Simple, clean, effective, gorgeous.  The writing?  Sparkles.  But it's the animation that links these things up, and elevates Mae and her pals from drawings to real, beautiful characters that you can really feel.  The accusatory squint she levels at Fiasco Fox, along with the observation that he is too dreamy by far.  The wild look in her eyes when she goes on a drunken rant at a party in the woods.  The flailing arms of Gregg, who's pretty darned excited about almost everything.  The way Mae holds her arms out to balance as she tiptoes along a telephone wire (that sounds like a guitar string being plucked as she jumps on it).

It's very effective - and nearly always bespoke.  Whoever animated Mei after she dropped over the fence in the game's opening, exhausted and dirty, laying on the ground in front of the cop (her aunt) who just happened to be in the area, deserves a fucking Oscar.

But it's also not Horizon.


I'm probably building it up too much, in my head.

One of the benefits of having absorbed all this media for the game is that I'm aware that its side quests are mostly fetch this, collect that or hunt the other thing - I did a sidequest in Primal last night that saw me escorting a bunch of my tribesfolk as they chanted to like the Earth Goddess or something - it was pretty cool!  And I know how the NPCs faces animate during these hundred(s) of little "go here do that" conversations, and I know Horizon's melee combat is pretty limited (but, I hear, satisfying).

I like to think - and hope - that I'm aware of its shortcomings and limitations, but it's got me, man.  It has seized upon my imagination, and there is no escape.

Can't fucking wait 'till Tuesday.  Don't have a long weekend 'till like mid-March, though.  Still.

S'gonna' be awesome.

Friday, February 24, 2017

I love today's Penny Arcade.

Penny Arcade, once upon a time, was reliably about video games and pretty damned funny.  In the past few years it's become mainly about the life experiences of its creators, as they become more comfortable with being gamers who are also adults, with adult problems.  So you'll get like comics about guys talking to them into the washroom at the convention they run, or just comics about being parents.  It's less funny, more reflective - and today's is no exception - but it's a really... nice reflection.

Source.

This is a real thing, that happened, the Penny Arcade auteurs insist, and that's... wonderful.

At this point, I think it's worthy to give props to Sony in particular.  We can point to a lot of games, nowadays - though not most or even half, I would say - with female leads.  Thing is, almost all of those are indies (see: Night in the Woods which came out on Tuesday and is fucking awesome) because indies like to stick to their principles and companies like Electronic Arts, Activision, Nintendo and Microsoft aren't prepared to invest millions upon millions of dollars into a triple-A game with a woman in the starring role.  And it is a huge investment -
"Patrick Walker, VP of insight and analytics at the video game industry research firm EEDAR, estimates that a big-budget game in 2016 costs anywhere between $50 and $200 million."
-source-
Sony, though, is putting its money where our minds are.  It has invested the aforementioned large sums of money in games like this


and this


and this


and this.


So good on ya, Sony.  Nice to love you, Baby.

Too dreamy by far


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 60: We Always Hurt The Ones We Love


Wiiith Alex!  Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunes

Chamberlain and Chance - We always hurt the ones we love


THIS WEEK!
  • We talk way more about movies and TV than you'd expect!
  • Chamberlain has escaped the tedium of Dead Rising 4 and now suffers the disappointment of Final Fantasy XV.  The poor sap!
  • Alex indulges in the finest of DLCs for the finest of action games!
  • And what're the biggest news stories in gaming this week?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Devolver's Ruiner is coming to consoles this summer.



As pissy as I am with Devolver lately (they gave up on a lot of promised Vita titles), if this drops during a lull in the summer I might check it out.  Looks kinda' dope.

Oh thank goodness. Iconoclasts is still coming to Vita

Remember Iconoclasts?



We got two little gameplay snippets this week -



- pretty sexy, right?  Well thank goodness, the devs reconfirmed it is in fact coming to the best handheld there's ever been.




Ahhh.  Everything doesn't suck.


Oh cheer the fuck up, Mae.

Eurogamer: The Dead Space 3 the Developers wanted to make.



I'll... maybe watch this later tonight, but I kind of feel like I don't need to?  Like here's what this video says in my head:

  • Dead Space 3 was going to be a more atmospheric, horrific experience. 
  • It was going to be more focused. 
  • It wasn't going to have fucking microtransactions. 
  • Some suits at EA decided they knew better than professional fucking game developers and screwed it right up, and now we'll never get another Dead Space game. 
How'd I do?

Gravity Rush 2 is getting Nier Automata DLC.

In the form of a new costume for Kat - 2B's dress.   There've been no screenshots of it (or even official art), but weirdly enough a fan-artist put this together weeks ago:


So that actually works pretty well!  No word on release date.  I like this idea a lot better than... what was it, like a Phantasy Star outfit?  Came out a week ago or so?

That thing looks dumb.


Right?  Right.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Nier Automata - Arsenal of Elegant Destruction trailer.



To quote Jimmy Fallon on SNL like twenty years ago,

"No, Antonio, NO!  IS TOO SEXY!!!"


Oh, I forgot to add - Automata's Steam release date was also revealed today, via the above trailer.  Well, not exactly the above trailer.  The trailer was first thrown up with both the PS4 and Steam release dates showing at the end (March 10th for Steam).  Then it was pulled.  Stayed gone for a bit.  Then it came back without the Steam bit - Endless says it's due to a marketing deal with Sony that I imagine doesn't let ads talk about other platforms before the game's release.  

Anyway - March 10th on PC, 7th on PS4!

Persona 5 - Velvet Room trailer.



One : holy shit that is dark as fuck.

Two : wow, this is seriously just the Catherine engine again, ain't it?

Darkest Dungeon is 50% off on PSN!


There's a "critics choice" sale on PSN right now - it goes 'till the 28th - and 2016 Game of the Year Darkest Dungeon is fifty percent off!!!  If for some unfathomable reason you have not yet gazed into that antediluvian abyss, you are now out of excuses.

There's some other cool stuff in there too - The Witcher III: Complete Edition is down to thirty bucks (if that's your bag), same with Titanfall 2 and Diablo III, Enter the Gungeon is nine bucks, last year's spectacular DOOM and (equally-but-differently spectacular) Odin Sphere Leifthrasir (PS4) is $35, and Drinkbox's ultra-special Severed is just six!

Very nice, very nice.

DARKEST DUNGEON, MANNNNNN!

Monday, February 20, 2017

I am like, stupid-hyped for Horizon.


And it wasn't this morning when all the reviews started popping, either.  It was last night.  I don't know why, but I went to YouTube on my TV and literally watched like an hour and a half of the preview gameplay I'd ignored from a few weeks ago.  It was kinda' like when I binged Darkest Dungeon streams prior to its Early Access launch years ago.

It became clear that Horizon is kind of the game I've been wishing for Sony to make for a while, now.  For years I've been hoping that Naughty Dog would take their ridiculous technical prowess and story presentation and apply that to an RPG.  Obviously, Guerrilla don't have the storytelling chops of ND, but Horizon is a first-party triple-A-plus third-person action RPG.  All the reviews I checked today told me it's the best-looking game on the current gen - and that's lovely! - but it's the roaming, collecting, crafting, questing and most of all robodino hunting that I'm dying for.

I told Chamberlain today via email that it basically seems to be a third-person Far Cry game (with robodinos).  Fuck yes.

Sony's had a pretty hot year for exclusives so far, and it's not even March.  Yakuza 0 got a great response, I fucking love Gravity Rush 2, Nioh is popular for some reason and now Horizon.

Bringin' the noise and the funk.


Oh, also.  Y'know what's weird?  I've been wanting to replay The Order: 1886 lately.  Hmmm strangeness...

The next thing from Cellar Door Games is Full Metal Furies.



Hm.  Steam and Xbox seem to be the only platforms.  One less game to worry about yayyy.  (Cellar Door Games are the folks who made the excellent Rogue Legacy.)

Hm. A Blue Reflection boss fight.



1 - What the hell is going on?!
2 - Who is this girl who keeps appearing and firing tennis balls and basketballs at the giant crystal monster?  I feel like she's not helping all that much.
3 - I love that UI.

My Earnest Prayers Have Been Answered.

Nendoroids for Mei and Mercy were confirmed at Wonfes in Japan!  Woooo I'll be tempted by Mei, but I'm getting two Mercies.


Also, Genji and Tracer will be appearing in Figma form.  What's a Figma?  It's a very high-quality heavily-articulated figure, also from (Nendoroid producer) Good Smile!  For example, here's the first Link Figma they did (another one is coming for Breath of the Wild).


Not bad, eh?  I expect Genji will work very well in Figma form.  I'll have to see Tracer first, but their Zero Suit Samus Figma turned out half decent.


But a Mercy Nendo oh my God, right?!  Woo! Like people have been making their own Mercy Nendos they want 'em so bad.


Can't wait to see the official version.

[update]  Oh!  Also, Alter's Okoi from the Muramasa: Genroku Legends DLC got a prototype!


Awesome! [/update]

Friday, February 17, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 59 : Respites


Wiiithout Alex :(  But we sally forth!  Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunes


Chamberlain and Chance - Respites

THIS WEEK!

  • Chance has played a bunch of stuff that's not Overwatch!
  • Chamberlain is quite pleased with Resident Evil 7, thank you. 
  • Just because we're not playing Overwatch doesn't mean we've stopped reporting on Overwatch news. 
  • And did Dead Rising 4 earn its Metascore?  
You'll have to tune in to find out!

A quartet of lovely Horizon: Zero Dawn trailers.

MAX HYPE!!!









Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy drops June 30th.



I really wonder if there's enough market for this.  Y'know what?  No - there must be - the community has been asking for them since the first remasters appeared on PS3.  I just know I'm not the market.  Never played a Naughty Dog game till I tried Jak 2 for like five minutes on my PS2 and never touched it again.

Five minutes of Mass Effect Andromeda combat.



Hmmm.  Not crappy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Personal note

Valentine's Day is a fine day to reflect on the state of love in one's life,  A good time to consider what you've done to increase your capacity to love - the meaning and measure of our lives - and I'm just fuckin' with ya, let's do some video game Valentines.


















And the Overwatch Twitter did a thing today where if you replied to one of their tweets with #BeMineOW, the account would reply with a random Overwatch hero Valentine!  Which is pretty cool, so here's a ton of those.




















G'night!

[update]

HOLY FUCK!!!!















YUPPPP.  [/update]