Games

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Nintendo Switch Review: Time For Adventure

Gamespot News Feed - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 23:55

Nintendo has all but cornered the market on streamlined, cute adventures for all ages. While Captain Toad made his first appearance in Super Mario Galaxy, he's since been spun off into his own puzzle-platforming series based on a very different type of design philosophy than you may be used to. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker debuted on the Wii U back in 2014, but as Nintendo moves much of its legacy system's library onto the Switch, Toad has another shot at stardom. And it's certainly a worthy outing--even four years on--for anyone who appreciates clever puzzles.

The core gameplay conceit is one of level design. You'll need to rotate a cuboid world around Captain Toad as you look for clues and solutions from multiple angles. Each move helps change the level, affecting how different parts react to one another and to you. As you turn the stage, you can see different pieces and elements. It's not uncommon to shift things around and notice a "POW" block in a convenient location. Toss a turnip from the other side, and you can dissolve a wall with its power and move through.

Perspective matters, and the obstacles that can affect how you use your perspective are fertile ground for spectacular puzzles. And it allows a breadth of pacing options as well. Some stages feel tense and rushed, but some are set against calming pink clouds. A calm stage can be followed immediately by one filled with foes and traps, though, shifting where and how you focus your attention. The progression is steady enough--both within stages and across them--that you'll be left, more often than not, feeling clever and encouraged.

This is all true for both the Wii U and Switch versions, but the Switch version adds in a few things, most notably local co-operative multiplayer. Ostensibly a distinctive addition (as there's also a 3DS port that lacks it), it is poorly executed the majority of the time. Each player gets one of the Switch's Joy-Cons, splitting the typical play into two roles. One handles Toad's movement, while the other dispatches enemies and shifts the camera. It's a bizarre twist that could feel a lot more developed than it is. As it works, neither role gives much for its player to do and having enemies largely handled by one person cuts down on the scope of the platforming and the puzzles, making each stage feel like a cut-down version instead of a solid addition in its own right.

That said, the sharper screen on the Switch and addition of about a dozen new areas and modes make this version a strictly better choice, and the short, relatively simple stages of Captain Toad lend themselves to a portable environment. Of course, it also carries with it the weaknesses of its forebear. Even with the bonus content, Treasure Tracker is a bit short. You're left with the sense that there could be plenty more and that the idea of rotating through levels doesn't get its full due.

Despite a smattering of minor complaints, Captain Toad stands as a pint-sized version of Nintendo's stellar first party pedigree. It's among the best Mario spin-offs around and a delightful iteration on old ideas.

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Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 20:10

Gunfire Games and Perfect World just announced Remnant: From The Ashes, a co-op shooter that looks to be in the vein of Left 4 Dead or Vermintide. Where Remnant mixes things up is the third-person perspective, "dynamically-generated worlds", post-apocalyptic aesthetic, crafting, and The Root. The Root are an enemy from another dimension that have invaded earth and players can fight them on their home soil or on earth. 

The game looks to retain the creative art of the Darksiders games with a focus on a more realistic and dark aesthetic. The enemies are definitely interesting and the third-person perspective and gameplay look to be very different from other similar co-op games. In fact, the trailer makes the game look more inspired by something like Warframe than Left 4 Dead.

Gunfire is currently developing Darksiders 3 which will release this November. Remnant: From The Ashes is currently scheduled to hit PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2019. 

[Source: IGN]

Categories: Games

Latest Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu And Eevee Trailer Emphasizes Bonding And Battles

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 16:50

The new trailer for Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Pokémon Let's Go Eevee has a little bit of everything, showcasing just some of what you'll find in the Kanto region.

The trailer contains footage of everything from customization and riding large Pokémon to battling gym leaders and co-op play. Bonding with your Pokémon is a key component of the title, and this will be easy not only because they're so cute, but because it'll happen as you pet, feed, and even tickle it. You can also coordinate your wardrobes together!

For some hands-on impressions of the game – including using the Poké Ball Plus – check out Kyle's preview.

 

Categories: Games

Octopath Traveler Review: Divide And Conquer

Gamespot News Feed - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 14:00

Retro throwbacks rarely go for the mid-'90s mix of 2D sprites and low-res 3D models, but along comes Octopath Traveler, a game that manages to both faithfully recreate the aesthetic and add to it in subtle yet meaningful ways. It's a great look, one that draws you into the world and delights you with small artistic touches that bring something magical to otherwise simple environments. Enemies and bosses alike are lavishly drawn despite the confines of the game's intentional low-res aesthetic. It's a similar treatment that you can find in a game like Final Fantasy VI, where rough sprites in the overworld transform into big, detailed illustrations in battle.

Taking pleasure in the dreamy, diorama-esque look of Octopath will satisfy you for a while, as will the immediately likable combat system, which implements a few small innovations to revitalize the otherwise traditional turn-based mechanics. What may ultimately trip you up, however, is the narrative--a collection of eight short stories each divided up into four chapters of increasingly higher difficulty. After picking a protagonist at the start of the game, you gather allies by travelling to their icons on a map.

This approach is viable in theory, but Octopath woefully struggles to weave interesting tales despite the wide range of personalities behind them. You get an intro, a spirited launch into a quest, a revelatory examination of people and places, and then a conclusion, each chapter lasting roughly one or two hours with a lot of drawn-out dialogue. Coupled with wildly varying English voice acting, it's all too easy to want to reach for the skip button when a story sequence slowly winds up. In these moments, everyone but the relevant character is relegated to being backseat companions, hidden away from view entirely. The only time your team acts as such outside of battle is during rare opportunities that you get a banter notification, which allows for a brief discussion between a couple of characters, dependent on who's in your party. These can be entertaining from time to time, but they are too infrequent and inconsequential to truly matter.

It's no doubt disappointing to report that Octopath's stories are more or less a wash, but that doesn't mean the world is any less intriguing on its own. On the contrary, it's constantly refreshing to see how much care has gone into fleshing out run-of-the-mill NPCs, many of whom have peculiar backgrounds that outshine some of the more mundane major characters. Side quests allow you to explore these personalities a bit further than usual, but there's enough variety and colorful writing to make fly-by introductions worthwhile whenever you come to a new territory. Octopath's towns are brimming with excuses to look twice at the unsung heroes and villains that call your rest stops home.

NPCs feature other smart interactive touches that call upon your characters' individual strengths. Just like you'd inquire into backstories, you can steal belongings (or talk strangers into selling what you can't steal), allure them into following your crew and helping out in battle, or pick a fight with them in the middle of town--just a few of your options. Some of these actions carry a chance of success, and repeat failure in a particular town can temporarily kill your reputation, preventing further attempts until you pay the local barkeep to spread positive gossip about you to their customers. It's a punishment that's easy to overcome, and it's a little strange that you can so freely try to rob the same person ad nauseum until you succeed, but it's nonetheless great to have that added layer to exploration.

Without a broad objective steering your party across the world map, you're instead guided by icons that tell you where to pick up the next chapter for a specific character and what level your party should be to survive random encounters with beasts and brigands. The initial stops circle a sizable body of water in the middle, with each round of chapters shifting ever slightly outward towards the edge of the map. The procession of events and markers is measured in such a way to provide natural progress through each character's personal adventure. Keep up with the logical order and you may never have to grind for experience if you avoid fast traveling to previously visited locations.

In order to activate a chapter, you need the relevant character in your party, but even if you neglect to cycle party members regularly enough to keep them on even footing by the time they're called upon, you can still carry a grossly under-leveled character into battle without too much concern. It's one of many reasons why Octopath's battle system feels so fresh: it's about what you hit the enemy with rather than how hard the hit lands.

Every enemy in Octopath is vulnerable to at least one particular element or weapon type, and most are vulnerable to three or more. A grid beneath their sprite in battle will automatically tell you how many vulnerabilities they have, but it's up to you to uncover the specifics by hitting them with everything you've got. When you successfully strike with a relevant spell or weapon, an icon fills in a space on the grid so you have a clear record of what to do throughout the battle and in future encounters. With these tactics in mind, your goal is to break your enemy's defenses by hitting them enough times with effective attacks to whittle away their shield. Once broken, an enemy will lose their next turn and remain in a highly vulnerable state where attacks hurt them a little more than usual.

Despite the lackluster stories that pull you through the world, Octopath thrives on its character progression and the temptations of high-level challenges and rewards.

The other important piece of combat is the battle point system. Battle points act as extra swings of a weapon in a turn, or as a means to power up magic attacks. Every character gets one BP added to their slate per turn so long as they don't spend BP, which will delay the accrual process by an additional turn. In most cases, saving up BP is a beneficial way to wear down an enemy's shield in one turn with a single character. But once an enemy is broken, BP is best used to fortify single attacks during that window of opportunity.

The concept of breaking enemies is paramount during boss battles (which often include a pair of sidekicks), long affairs that test your ability to remain focused on your resources, characters' turn order, and unusual dangers, like coordinated attacks against your party that can insta-kill characters when you least expect it. If you're fighting around the experience level that Octopath suggests for these fights, you may find yourself engaged in a 30-minute test of your ability to remain organized and focused. Common enemies will pose formidable challenges as well, but those fights go a lot quicker, and you're afforded more opportunities to flex your various skills for the fun of it, rather than to satisfy the punishing demands of excruciating bosses.

Your battle party is only as good as you make them, which means not only earning enough experience points to level up and learn new skills, but coordinating individual skillsets to diversify your options while also doubling down on your most effective attacks. Each of the eight characters starts with a distinct job, and as you explore the world, you uncover shrines that let you assign a secondary job as well--each secondary job is limited to one character at a time. Managing two jobs and equipping passive support abilities recalls RPG like Final Fantasy Tactics, but unlike such games that typically give you free reign to stuff your party with overpowered job configurations, Octopath smartly limits your options to prevent you from breaking the system.

You will no doubt come to prefer certain jobs over others, but some of the most valuable skills are tied to characters rather than their assignments. H'annit, the hunter, has the unique ability to capture enemies that can be summoned during future battles a limited number of times, whereas Alfyn the apothecary can make medicine mid-battle by synthesizing salves with expendable ingredients, for example. Between these unique character skills and the variety of jobs on hand, your party will transform on a regular basis to keep up with the demands of bosses and particularly finicky enemy types. This constant search for new strategies leads to a wonderful variety of experiences and accomplishments by the time you reach Octopath's end.

Despite the lackluster stories that pull you through the world, Octopath thrives on its character progression and the temptations of high-level challenges and rewards. The promise of new jobs, exciting boss fights, and powerful gear will inspire you to poke around every corner, and there are no shortage of discoveries to strive for. And all the while, you're treated to one of the most interesting and effective re-imaginings of a retro aesthetic around. Octopath will likely be a divisive game due to its fractured storytelling, but it's one worth playing despite its lesser qualities. Its high points are simply too good to ignore.

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Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 00:50

In an interview with Buzzfeed, The Last of Us Part II director Neil Druckmann hinted a tiny bit at whether Ellie will be going it alone in the man-turned-monster horrorland.

When questioned about the heart of NPCs and making one of the best NPC partners of all time in Ellie, Druckmann decided to spill a bean or two about the gameplay and story.

"Well, so, Ellie used to be an NPC, but she’s the protagonist in this story, so the player is controlling Ellie," Druckmann said. "Umm, it’s safe to say with the game that we made in the past that there will be some NPC with you in this story, even though we’re not showing [the NPC] in this demo. And our general approach is to say, again, How do we treat them like people? How do we get them to behave honestly as those people? How do we give them interesting characteristics so that they can navigate the world, make meaningful actions, and surprise you in the way people do?"

The E3 demo, which was shown during Sony's E3 showcase, had an older Ellie stealthing through and inevitably killing everyone in a small area. In that demo, as Druckmann said, Ellie went it alone through the entire thing, though she definitely could have used a little help from some friends. Druckmann is pretty careful about what he says, so he probably wouldn't talk about the other character unless they plan to reveal them before too long.

Do you think Ellie's NPC partner has already been shown in some story cutscenes? What role do you think they'll play?

[Source: BuzzFeed]

 

I doubt they have another young teenager again, but who knows. Sony seems to do pretty well with having young companions in their games.
Categories: Games

New Spyro Reignited Footage Shows The Second Game Off

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 23:45

With Spryo Reginited Trilogy on its way fairly soon, we've mostly only gotten footage of the first Spyro game. Thanks to the official PlayStation account and PlayStation Underground, however, Spyro 2 has finally gotten some love as we get our first footage of the second game in the series.

The developers at Toys for Bob walks you through the Idol Springs level and its way-more-detailed NPCs.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy is releasing on September 21 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 02:40

With every new Super Smash Bros. games, fans are always curious and excited to see what new musical tracks from the games represented will make their way into the new Smash Bros. title. With Smash Bros. Brawl, director Masuhiro Sakurai called in multiple composers from the industry to arrange songs from different series, which had things like Kirby music being arranged by Final Fantasy XIII's composer or Donkey Kong Country music arranged by Wild Arms' composer.

Since the game's announcement, Nintendo has been slowly posting music samples of new tracks for the new game. Since the Inkling is a new character for the game, the track Bomb Rush Blush is playing on the Moray Towers stage and is composed by Tomoya Ohtani, who is behind a lot of Sega classics like Space Channel 5 and Chu Chu Rocket.

Another track is an arrangement of Vega's theme from Street Fighter, done by legendary video game music scribe and original Street Fighter II composer Yoko Shimomura.

Today's update is a medley of Mega Man 4 music done by Jun Senoue, a longtime Sonic veteran who is primarily known for his more modern rock stylings in the series.

You can find more samples, and a place to find the rest of the music as they get posted, on the official site right here. 

What dream composer and series combinations do you hope make it to the game?

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Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 21:55

While Far Cry 5 took place entirely in the rural but dangerous Hope County, the DLC has been eager to stretch its legs by taking place in far off places. The newest DLC, Lost on Mars, takes players into space onto the red planet.

Lost on Mars is the second piece of DLC for Far Cry 5, following the Hours of Darkness Vietnam DLC, and takes Far Cry 5's Nick Rye and series veteran Hurk to Mars via a blue levitating light to stop an alien invasion at its origin. You can check out the teaser trailer below.

The DLC is part of the season pass and will be available on July 17. If you want to hear what we thought about the last DLC for Far Cry 5, Hours of Darkness, you can check out our conversation about it here.

Categories: Games

Hearthstone's Newest Expansion Takes Players To Dr. Boom's Lab

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 21:20

Hearthstone's next expansion, The Boomsday Project, brings players to the secret lab of mad scientist Dr. Boom, one of the game's most infamous cards. Blizzard announced the expansion with a new trailer.

Blizzard also released a nine-minute video in which the team gets even cornier than usual and explains the expansion's new mechanics.

The expansion introduces a new keyword, "magnetic." Cards with the magnetic tag can merge with a mech minion on the board if played to the left of the mech, combining the cards' health, attack, and abilities.

The Boomsday Project brings legendary spells to the game for the first time, new "omega" cards that gain extra power when played at 10 mana, and "project" spells that affect both the player and the player's opponent.

Of the expansion's 135 new cards, five have been revealed so far:

  • Myra's Unstable Element, a five-cost legendary spell that causes you to draw the rest of your deck
  • Biology Project, a one-cost spell that grants both players two mana crystals
  • Spider Bomb, a three-cost magnetic minion with "Deathrattle: Destroy a random enemy minion."
  • Electra Stormsurge, a three-cost legendary minion with "Battlecry: Your next spell this turn casts twice."
  • Omega Defender, a four-cost taunt minion with "Battlecry: If you have 10 Mana Crystals, gain +10 attack."
 

The announcement video also teased a new Dr. Boom card, partially obscured at the 7:07 mark.

A new single-player mode called The Puzzle Lab will be available for players on August 21, two weeks after the expansion launches. It will feature puzzles that require players to achieve specific win conditions, like eliminating the opponent in one turn or mirroring the opponent's board.

 

The Boomsday Project launches on August 7. Players can pre-order a $49.99, 50-pack bundle that includes a free golden legendary card and a card back, or the $79.99, 80-pack "Mega Bundle," which includes the new Mecha-Jaraxxus warlock hero in addition to the golden legendary card and the card back. All players, even without pre-ordering, can receive a free random legendary minion and three card packs by logging in when the expansion launches.

 

I haven't touched Hearthstone since the summer started, but this makes me excited to dive back in. I'm looking forward to seeing all the new cards, and the single-player mode sounds interesting.
Categories: Games

Sonic Mania Plus Review - Encore! Encore!

Gamespot News Feed - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 17:35

From the opening title's splash screen, Sonic Mania's presentation is intoxicating. Its colorful, retro 2D graphics and vibrant '90s-inspired pop soundtrack is enough to make any Sega Genesis fan squeal in excitement. In this jointly developed game, Sega and members of the Sonic fan-hack community have created a loving homage to the blue hedgehog's glory days. But Sonic's latest outing isn't only concerned with reminding you of his past; though it is decadent in this regard. Sonic Mania exceeds expectations of what a new game in the franchise can look and play like, managing to simultaneously be a charming celebration of the past and a natural progression of the series' classic 2D formula.

Taking place shortly after the events of Sonic & Knuckles, the game's story sees Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles getting involved once again in a battle against Dr. Eggman--this time over a mysterious emerald artifact. However, the conniving scientist isn't alone; enlisting the help of the Hard-Boiled Heavies--a group of customized Eggrobos. But the story takes a backseat as the time honored premise endures: defeat Eggman and his baddies, and collect all the Chaos Emeralds.

Sonic Mania makes a strong first impression thanks to amazing visuals and music. Its presentation replicates the charming aesthetic of Sonic's earliest games with thorough detail. While the pixelated sprites of Sonic and friends are reminiscent of their Sega Genesis' counterparts, they take on a new life with a higher degree of detail and animation quality. The new effects add an extra layer of personality to the iconic characters that's a joy to see in motion.

On the other end of the spectrum, the game sports an assortment of new music tracks and remixes of greatest hits. They channel the New Jack Swing dance music stylings that heavily influenced Sonic's soundtracks in the '90s, remaining just as catchy and well-orchestrated here. Both visuals and music work together in Sonic Mania to build up an aesthetic that's evocative of earlier games, but in a pleasing style that feels contemporary all on its own.

On top of Sonic Mania's fantastic presentation, the game also controls like a classic-style Sonic game. You have the option to play as Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles; you can even work cooperatively with another player as Sonic and Tails a la Sonic 2. From the get go, the movement physics and overall feel of each character are distinct yet familiar, staying faithful to the originals. The gang's unique abilities remain intact, albeit with one exception: Sonic has a new Drop Dash, which allows him to quickly roll forward after a jump. It's a small addition, but it provides a handy new way to pick up speed or avoid incoming danger.

It can feel exhilarating to pass through a multitude of pathways, especially at top speed.

Level design is at the series' best here, sporting 12 zones that are each meticulously designed with cleverly placed obstacles and varied pathways that keep you guessing. It can feel exhilarating to pass through a multitude of pathways, especially at top speed. No route ahead ever feels incorrect as you sprint through loops or hit springs launching you into different directions, and there are rarely any instances where the action halts without reason. And thanks to the visibility granted by the widescreen aspect ratio and the smooth framerate, your awareness and sense of control running through a zone feels better than Sonic's classic outings ever did.

It also helps that levels are designed around the abilities of each character. While Sonic can blaze a trail through a zone, Knuckles and Tails can find other paths beyond his reach thanks to their respective climbing and flying abilities, which often lead to new ways of experiencing the same stage. It's enjoyable to engage with the subtle ways each character interacts with the world and the conveniences they offer. And you're rewarded for taking the time to do so, as on some occasions, characters even get completely new levels to explore that are designed specifically around their abilities.

We all know where this goes...

Sonic Mania closely follows its forebears, utilizing the exhilarating sense of speed that the 2D games charted their success upon. However, it never incorporates elements from the past purely for the sake of nostalgia; rather, it expands upon the familiar with new ideas of its own. This is most apparent when you play remixed versions of older zones from the first five games. Sonic Mania's version of Sonic 2's Chemical Plant zone introduces a mechanic where you constantly jump on jelly to bounce upwards to new parts of the level. Changes like this liven up the design of well-known levels, offering fresh and gratifying new experiences.

New zones, on top of offering a suite of charming visuals and catchy melodies, deliver plenty of inventive concepts that diversify and build upon the series' fast-paced level design. Whether it's by encouraging you to freeze yourself into an ice block to smash through walls, or challenging you to figure out a maze-like sequence of gates to reach the end of a zone, the ideas the game explores give it a strong sense of identity compared to the originals.

In the same style as Sonic 3, every level culminates in a boss fight--ranging from relatively simple, to demanding set-piece battles where you go head-to-head with Eggman and his minions. However, there are some fights that pay homage not only to past games, but early spin-offs from the Sonic's history, such as Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine and Sonic Fighters. There's also a fair number of more challenging battles that require more advanced tactics to beat. One has you dodging projectiles as you use a series of poles to propel yourself towards a spider robot. Boss fights offer a great balance of difficulty, steadily challenging and entertaining you in numerous ways as you progress.

The past and present seamlessly intermingle in Sonic Mania, answering your nostalgic yearning, while satisfying your thirst for fresh concepts.

The more you play Sonic Mania, the more it rewards you with reasons to keep playing. Additional modes like Competition and Time Attack offer other ways to experience its levels. Aside from acquiring all the Chaos Emeralds to obtain the true ending, one of the most compelling reasons to replay zones come from Secrets--Sonic Mania's term for unlocks that give you access to new characters and abilities. For example, you can play through the entire campaign using Sonic's Insta-Shield ability from Sonic 3. You can even unlock "& Knuckles" mode, where a second player can play cooperatively with you as Knuckles instead of Tails.

For years the Sonic series has chased the legacy of its early games, constantly delivering experiences that either came close or failed to recapture the spirit that made them classics. Whether it was by getting wrapped up in story or putting too much emphasis on speed instead of level design, the newer games lost track of what made the originals great. Sonic Mania methodically uses its sentimental appeal to great effect, but in the process, it heals the wounds inflicted by its most disappointing predecessors and surpasses the series' best with its smart and interpretive design. An excellent 2D platformer, Sonic Mania goes beyond expectations, managing to be not only a proper evolution of the series' iconic formula, but the best Sonic game ever made.

Editor's note: Alongside Sonic Mania's physical release is a $5 update (included with the physical) that introduces new features that add even more diversity to the game's high-speed thrills. The most noteworthy addition are classic--albeit lesser-known--characters Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel, who each sport their own unique abilities. Mighty's ground pound makes for a satisfying way to pick up speed and dispatch enemies, and his resistance to spike traps is a nice bonus if you're more a player with an unhealthy desire to accelerate. On the other hand, Ray's momentum-based glide ability takes some getting used to, requiring you to alternate directions on the D-pad after jumping to maintain flight. The thrill of stringing together his high-flying antics with a well-timed jump onto an enemy or platform is well worth the effort to learn. Both Mighty and Ray offer subtle, yet substantial additions to the well-established formula.

Returning players are likely to spend the most time in Encore mode, a new campaign that takes you through remixed versions of the game's stages. But there's a twist: swappable characters replace extra lives. You start as Sonic and slowly accumulate the game's playable cast via item boxes and bonus challenges scattered across the stage. You can control and switch between two characters at a time, but when one dies, that character is lost and switched out with whoever you have left on reserve. Encore Mode is a welcome change-of-pace that makes Sonic Mania's already fantastic levels more tense and exciting. And the ability to play all five characters in a single mode makes the experience all the more varied and joyous.

Beyond these additions and small tweaks, including balancing fixes and the ability to use secret options in any of your save files, Sonic Mania is the same exuberant celebration of Sonic's past. While it was already a fantastic package on the outset, this new update makes it even better than before. If you missed Sonic Mania the first time around, now is the perfect time to catch up.

The original review text and list of good and bad points have been updated to reflect the current version of Sonic Mania. - Matt Espineli, July 10, 6:00 AM PT

Categories: Games

Dead Cells Exits Early Access, Drops On All Major Platforms August 7

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 17:34

Dead Cells has been in good shape for a long time. Despite the early access moniker, the rogue-like metroidvania already contains dozens of hours of content, secrets, and unlockables for PC players. Finally though, it's ready for a full release: It'll be dropping on August 7 for all major platforms.

Since early last year, Dead Cells has been available on Steam and GOG , giving PC players a chance to check out its unique mix of procedurally generated and ability-gated content. It also has a strong progression system; each run, players can gather cells (the game's currency) and buy permanent upgrades or new equipment. The game also has several branching paths, allowing for radically different styles of runs. 

I've sunk more than 40 hours into the game; it's tough as nails, but incredibly fun.

Dead Cells will be out of early access and available for purchase on the Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and PC for $25.

Categories: Games

New NHL 19 Trailer Showcases New Skating Engine

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 17:26

As we said in our first look at NHL 19, the latest hockey title from EA Sports boasts the biggest leap in player control we've seen this console generation. Powered by the same Real Player Motion technology used in EA's FIFA, Madden, and UFC titles, the skating fidelity is finally making strides in a positive direction. 

Players have much more burst skating out of a stop, and you can move more accurately in small spaces. EA even designed three different skating styles for players of various sizes. Though EA strangely decided against showing regular gameplay so you can see how it works in the wild, the latest gameplay trailer (showcased above) gives you a much better glimpse of the new edgework that's possible in NHL 19. 

To learn more, read our in-depth preview of NHL 19 coming out of E3. The game releases for PlayStation 4 and Xbox On on September 14.

Categories: Games

Wasteland 2: Director's Cut Officially Announced For Switch

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 17:17

Nintendo has formally announced the Switch version of post-apocalyptic RPG Wasteland 2: Director's Cut via a new trailer, and also revealed that it's coming next month.

Wasteland 2: Director's Cut is developed by the makers of the original Fallout RPG. The Director's Cut version of the 2014 RPG featured improved graphics, additional voice acting, and other improvements, and launched in 2015 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The Switch version was previously teased by inXile studio head Brian Fargo last December, but this is its first official announcement.

InXile Entertainment released screenshots of the Switch version along with the announcement trailer. 

 

The Switch version is set to launch August 2018. To read our review of the game's 2014 PC release, head here.

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Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 07/09/2018 - 19:15

THQ Nordic confirmed today that Darksiders III, the newest game in the Darksiders series from last generation, will launch this year on November 27.

Darksiders III was announced last year after an Amazon listing leaked its existence. THQ Nordic announced that the game was being developed by Gunfire Games, a studio made up primarily of developers from former Darksider development studio Vigil Games. THQ Nordic acquired the Darksiders license a bit after THQ closed down and started talking about a possible new Darksiders in 2013.

In addition to the standard edition, Darksiders III is also being sold as a $150 Collector's Edition, which you can see below, and contains a soundtrack and an artbook.

There is also a $400 Apocalypse Edition which, among other things, contains statues for Darksiders' War, Darksiders II's Death, and Darksiders III's Fury.

Darksiders III is releasing on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on November 27.

Categories: Games

Indivisible's Intro Teaser Showcases Animation By Kill La Kill Animation Studio

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 07/09/2018 - 18:39

Indivisible, the indie RPG from Skullgirls developer Lab Zero, has teased 30 seconds of the intro for the new game. The new video is a collaboration between animation studios Titmouse Inc. and Studio TRIGGER.

TRIGGER is likely best known for anime like Kill La Kill and Little Witch Academia and is lauded for their well-choreographed and smooth animation. Titmouse Inc. is a North American animation house behind shows like Metalocalypse, Venture Bros., and more.

You can check out the teaser for the intro below.

Indivisible releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch in 2019.

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Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 07/09/2018 - 17:28

Monster Hunter: World has been a huge hit for Capcom; the lauded entry in the long-running series has shipped over 8 million copies since its January release, making it the best-selling game in the company’s history. While much of that success has been attributed to the series finally returning to consoles, Capcom also pledged to bring Monster Hunter: World to PC – and it turns out it’s coming sooner than expected.

Today Capcom announced that Monster Hunter: World releases on PC on August 9 via Steam. Unlike many PC ports, Monster Hunter: World will still cost the full $60; a $70 deluxe version is also available, and contains some extra armor sets, gestures, and other cosmetics. The PC version features 4K support along with a host of new graphics settings, as well as controller support. You can check out the full minimum and recommended specs at Capcom Unity, or check out the spiffy new trailer below.

[Source: Capcom Unity]

Categories: Games

Rainbow Skies Review: Rainbow in the Dark

Gamespot News Feed - Sun, 07/08/2018 - 15:00

Rainbow Moon wasn't a hugely impactful game when it released in 2012, but it was nevertheless a charming and scrappy RPG that found an audience who remember it fondly. The belated follow-up, Rainbow Skies, is decidedly less memorable, serving up an RPG experience that's better at filling time than providing entertainment. It has an enormous amount of content and a story that will take dozens of hours to play through, but unfortunately that doesn't count for much once boredom sets in.

Rainbow Skies begins in Arca, a skybound city that floats above the continent of Lunah. Damion, a monster tamer in training and your typical RPG foolhardy hero, is preparing for his final test (which serves as a battle tutorial, naturally). Things go wrong and Damion, along with his frenemy Layne, end up falling from Arca. Down on Lunah, a young magician named Ashly is trying to master a bonding spell that will make monsters follow her commands, and after a series of predictable mishaps she ends up bonded to Damion and Layne, the three unable to leave one another's company.

Searching the world to find the counter spell that will undo this bond is the primary motivation for the first fifteen-or-so hours. It's not a particularly strong motivating force, and while there are attempts made to have fun with it, the game suffers from a waffly script that grows less charming the further you get in. By the time a more substantial 'save the world' plotline kicks in halfway through the game, it's not enough to drive a deeper sense of investment into the game's bland world.

Lunah is not an exciting world to explore. There's little sense of variety or personality between its numerous townships and dungeons, nor are the NPCs you meet along the way lack any distinct charisma. It also suffers from an unsightly art style, with repetitive settings and monsters that often look plasticky. The few scant cut-scenes and voice samples are similarly unappealing. The old-school eight-directional movement feels rigid, and the movement speed through the world is irritatingly slow.

The combat system is more exciting than anything the overworld can offer up, as the mechanics that dictate your skills and the game's difficulty have some flair to them. Some enemies are visible in the game world and can be run into, initiating combat, or you can choose to activate random encounters by pressing 'X' when you're informed that an enemy is nearby, which is a welcome touch.

In battle, you and your opponents are transferred to a grid-based map. Your team consists of the three protagonists and an increasing number of monsters you can recruit to your side (this is a game with many different mechanics--you're still getting tutorials past the twenty-hour mark). Combatants each take turns in an order determined by their speed stats, and are able to perform a limited number of 'actions'. Moving just one square costs a single action, and you can't make many actions on a turn, meaning that you may of often resort to planting characters in a stationary position and hurling whichever attacks are able to reach nearby enemies. Each battlefield is virtually identical (a small obstacle or two being the only differentiator), meaning that there's little room for tactical nuance beyond deciding which enemies to hit first.

Practically every aspect of your character can level up, from individual attacks to weapons and armor--the more you use something, the stronger it gets. Seeing your characters evolve and improve is rewarding, and if you play at the default difficulty setting you rarely need to grind--if an enemy proves too difficult, you probably need to upgrade your skills and equipment with the money and skill points you've unlocked up to that point.

However, the most effective ways to strengthen your characters in battle can also encourage repetition. Because most of your strongest attacks are reliant on specific placement of your characters and the enemies on the battlefield, and your bigger attacks tend to use up more action points and a lot of mana, it's often not worth getting too fancy in a skirmish unless you get lucky and happen to have, say, four enemies standing in the exact squares your strongest attack will hit.

I found myself using the first attacks I unlocked in the game, which leveled up and could do a lot of damage to a single enemy, over and over until the end of the game. The versatility of Ashly's fireball, a single-unit attack with low mana cost and enormous range, meant that it far outstripped every other ability I gained in terms of usefulness. This meant that most of the battles in the game played out the same way, with only very occasional boss fights demanding any more acumen or strategic thought.

If you're interested in greater challenges however, Rainbow Skies does take an interesting approach to difficulty. In most towns, you can increase the game's difficulty if you have met certain conditions. To jump from the second difficulty to the third, for instance, you need to win ten fights at that level. If you turn the difficulty back down to the default (which can be done at any time from the menu) you'll need to win ten fights again to move back to the second difficulty. It's a smart system, although for many players the default difficulty will be enough. It's not hugely challenging, but each increase means significantly more grinding is necessary. If the game wasn't already extremely repetitive this might be a more enticing prospect.

Perhaps Rainbow Skies' best feature, if you own a Vita, is its implementation of Cross-Save. If you buy the game on PS3, PS4, or Vita you immediately own it on all three of them, and can swap saves between them. The Vita experience is the same as the PS4 version, and if you have Internet access you can download your save file from the server and keep going. The art looks better on the smaller screen, and it's a game that benefits from not having your full concentration on it--one better suited to quick pre-sleep sessions, or as a distraction while half-watching TV.

Rainbow Skies is the RPG equivalent of a store brand Cola--cheaper, but with far less flavor than the bigger brand names, and liable to go flat on you much faster. It gets the job done if you're looking for a real time sink, and there's potential depth there if you're willing to wade through repetitive combat to get there, but it's simply isn't enjoyable enough to justify the commitment it demands.

Categories: Games

<p>Even if you watched or listened to

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 07/05/2018 - 17:05

Even if you watched or listened to our podcast interview where BioWare's Jon Warner answers dozens of questions from the community, you might still be looking for details on Anthem. Today Electronic Arts released a gameplay video complete with walkthrough commentary from Anthem's lead producer Ben Irving. The section of gameplay is an extended look at what people played at E3 2018, and even shows a glimpse at what interacting with NPC characters in your mobile station will look like.

Click on the banner below to learn more about Anthem in our hub of exclusive content. 

Categories: Games

<p>Destiny 2: Forsaken's campaign isn't

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 07/04/2018 - 17:00

Destiny 2: Forsaken's campaign isn't about saving humanity from an all-consuming entity. Instead, you're undertaking a more personal tale of revenge for the death of Cayde-6 against Uldren and the Barons who helped him. Avenging one life may not matter much to humanity's greater conflicts, but it matters to you.

In this exclusive trailer, watch Bungie detail how it's changed its approach to storytelling with Forsaken, creating more personal stakes and memorable bosses to hunt down by mirroring the archetypes of old Westerns.

For more on Destiny 2: Forsaken, such as our rapid-fire interview with leads Steve Cotton and Scott Taylor, a video look at both of the new locations, and a deep dive on Uldren’s Baron allies, click on the banner below, and make sure to come back throughout the month for more coverage.

Categories: Games

Blast Man Explodes Into Mega Man 11 As The Latest Robot Master

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 07/03/2018 - 22:31

The Mega Man franchise is all about conquering difficult stages and besting the Robot Master at the end to acquire their abilities. While we already knew about Block Man and Fuse Man, we now know the third Robot Master: Blast Man. 

As the name implies, Blast Man is a volatile adversary with an undying love of explosions. This is reflected in both his abilities as well as his stage design. Taking place in an abandoned amusement park/movie studio hybrid, the stage features plenty of explosive elements and a mid-boss themed around an out-of-control roller coaster. 

Once you reach Blast Man, he hops around the room, tossing explosives Mega Man's way. If you defeat Blast Man, you unlock an ability that floats bombs across the screen that stick to enemies. You can also chain together bombs for multiple explosions, or use the Power Gear to detonate one massive explosion.

Capcom also detailed Mega Man 11's parts upgrade system. Using bolts you collect from defeating enemies, you can upgrade Mega Man's abilities and craft new items. One of the upgrades you can purchase from Dr. Light using bolts is the Auto-Charge ability, which causes Mega Man's mega buster to charge on its own. Several other upgrades will be available to purchase using these bolts.

Mega Man 11 also features different challenges outside of the main game. Time Attack puts players up against the clock as they race to complete the stages as quickly as possible. Balloon Attack presents a similar premise, but all the enemies are removed from the stages. Instead of simply making it through the stages, you must burst balloons by shooting or touching them. However, you're still up against the clock, and each blue balloon you miss or red balloon you pop adds to your time, creating a unique challenge within the traditional Mega Man formula.

Mega Man 11 is set to launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on October 2. For more on the development of Mega Man 11, check out our exclusive coverage hub

[Source: Capcom Unity]

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