Ghost Of Tsushima Iki Island Expansion Review - Sins Of The Father

Gamespot News Feed - Thu, 08/19/2021 - 13:00

Rather than being shoehorned into an already complete experience, Ghost of Tsushima's Iki Island expansion feels remarkably integral to Sucker Punch's open-world action game; it might be something newly added to the game, but it feels like it could have been there all along. Its inclusion brings new depth to protagonist Jin Sakai, while providing even more of what made the vanilla game fun and compelling.

If Ghost of Tsushima was about Jin failing to live up to the expectations of his father figure, Lord Shimura, his adventure to Iki Island is about Jin's biological father, Kasumasa Sakai, failing to live up to his son's expectations. The vanilla game dedicated a lot of time in Jin's character arc to his feelings and regrets about his father's death, and with Iki Island, Sucker Punch finds ways to explore that event and their relationship in a lot more depth. Whether you're playing the expansion after having finished Ghost of Tsushima when it launched on PS4, or you're venturing to the island midway through a full playthrough of the game, it's notable how much the Iki Island diversion feels like an important part of Jin's journey.


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Categories: Games

New Exclusive Shin Megami Tensei V Screenshots Show Off Demon Negotiation And Fusion

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 08/19/2021 - 05:00

Publisher: Sega Developer: Atlus Release: November 12, 2021 Platform: Switch

The Shin Megami Tensei series has been an RPG standby since the early '90s, captivating gamers with its dark storylines, philosophical dilemmas, and recruitment mechanics. Now a new generation of gamers can see what the cult series is all about thanks to a new mainline entry hitting on November 12 for Nintendo Switch. To show you what's in store, we'd provided exclusive looks at Shin Megami Tensei V in the lead-up to its launch. Today, we have some more screenshots, which focus on negotiation, demon fusion, and the skill and stat-building features to show off. They also showcase some more intriguing characters you'll meet on your journey.

Let's dive right into the gameplay. Just like in previous games, you turn enemy demons into allies. Every demon has its own quirks and personality types, but Atlus says to also expect some new behavioral patterns and moon phases, particularly new and full moons, to affect their temperaments. The screenshots below also showcase the different types of demon fusion: special, reverse, elemental, and create your own demon. Visiting Sophia in the World of Shadows allows you to create more powerful demons, whether you're fusing 2-4 demons together for special fusions, or using elemental fusions to upgrade or downgrade to another demon within the same family. 

In addition, you have some extra ways to add skills and improve the stats of your party. Essences – spiritual cores imbued with the powers of demons – can be found as you explore the parallel world of Da'at and interact with the demons there. Fusing these with the protagonist lets you customize his skills and affinities to your liking, but you can also use them on your demon party members to adjust their powers. 

While exploring Da'at, you will also come across Glory, a manifestation of divine dignity. When you visit the World of Shadows, Glory can be spent to obtain Miracles, which are powerful abilities that alter the laws of nature. According to Atlus, they provide a variety of skills that can assist you in battle, negotiations, demon fusions, skill potentials, and even stat-building. You can get a look at all of these gameplay features in the gallery below. 

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Lastly, we have several characters to spotlight. Our gallery begins with the mysterious Shohei Yakumo. This man will be a thorn in the protagonist's side as he advances through Da’at. We don't know his true motives or allegiance, but he calls himself an exterminator of demons and parters with Nuwa, a demon herself. Speaking of Nuwa, she's up next in our gallery. This goddess that appears in Chinese mythology has worked with Yakumo since he was young, and she confronts the protagonist without warning or mercy. Archangel Abdiel gets our next spotlight, as she's in command of Bethel's main branch. Atlus calls her stern, uncompromising, and fervently devoted to God. She won't take kindly to anyone standing in the way of Bethel's plans and will defend God's order at all costs.

Before we go, how about seeing one of the 200 demons you'll meet during your adventure next? Take a look at beast Loup-garou. Atlus says to expect the classics, but several new demons will also appear, designed by Masayuki Doi, who has worked with Atlus since Persona 2: Innocent Sin. The last character in this gallery is Sophia, who you visit in the World of Shadows when you want to participate in demon fusion or spend Glory.

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And, that covers our latest look at Shin Megami Tensei V, which launches November 12 on Nintendo Switch. We'll keep you posted on new details for the game as we get them. What do you think so far?

Categories: Games

Crown Jewels – Breaking Down The New Pokémon Brilliant Diamond And Shining Pearl Trailer

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 08/18/2021 - 23:03

Click to watch embedded media

Publisher: The Pokémon Company Developer: Ilca, Game Freak Release: November 19, 2021 Platform: Switch

Hello there! It’s so very nice to meet you! 

Welcome to the world of Pokémon! 

Your very own tale of grand adventure is about to unfold. 

So begins the coming-of-age journey that every installment in the Pokémon gameverse is known for. 15 years have passed since Diamond and Pearl’s original release. The Brilliant and Shining versions are slated for a Fall release, and today’s Pokémon Presents stream revealed a bevy of new and classic mechanics. I’ve gone through every frame of the trailer – at 0.25 playback speed, no less! – to relay all of that juicy pocket monster info back to you. If you’re looking to catch them all for the umpteenth time, you won’t want to miss out on the biggest revelations from the event:

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Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl launch for Nintendo Switch on November 19. You can grab one of these themed Switch Lites on November 5 if you’re fast enough. Also, be sure to check out our Arceus Legends Trailer Breakdown.

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Hisuian Sightseeing – Breaking Down The New Pokémon Legends Arceus Trailer

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 08/18/2021 - 21:00

Publisher: The Pokémon Company Developer: Game Freak Release: January 28, 2022 Platform: Switch

After months of lacking new information on Game Freak's upcoming Pokemon title, we finally got a fresh look at Pokemon Legends Arceus! From new locations to new Pokemon, ways to get around, new battle strategies, and more, here's a breakdown of what we learned from today's trailer:

And those are the big beats from the new look at Pokémon Legends Arceus. You can watch the full trailer right here to see everything in motion. We're just a few short months away from when it releases for Nintendo Switch on January 28, 2022. What else are you waiting to see in this game? Are there features, Pokémon, or characters you'd like to see profiled on the lead up to release? Please let us know in the comments, on social media, or in our new Discord! 

If comments are still showing as disabled, a site update is happening on our side that has caused a temporary takedown. We hope to have them back up and running soon so our community can go back to sharing their thoughts with us about everything gaming-related! 

Categories: Games

12 Minutes Review -- Loop Anti-Heroes

Gamespot News Feed - Wed, 08/18/2021 - 17:00

12 Minutes is the time-loop story reduced to its very essence. It is spare in length and small in scope, taking place almost entirely within a one-bedroom apartment. But that smallness contains narrative and mechanical multitudes that pay off consistently over the course of 12 Minutes' six-hour runtime.

I say "almost entirely" because, as the game begins, its unnamed protagonist (voiced by James McAvoy) rides the elevator up to that apartment. The hallway between the elevator and the apartment door--eerily carpeted with the autumnal pattern from The Shining's Overlook Hotel--serves as a brief tutorial: learn to navigate from the game's top-down perspective, find a fake rock in the potted plant outside the apartment, use the fake rock to find the key within, take that key and use it on the door. It's a short but effective introduction to the point-and-click-style mechanics on display here. 12 Minutes is mechanically rich because it leans into this old school kind of adventuring that encourages creative thinking. There aren't many objects in the apartment, but those that are there can often be combined in fun and surprising ways.

Once inside the apartment, our protagonist is greeted by his wife (Daisy Ridley), who has set out some fake candles, prepared dessert, and wrapped a present. It's a romantic evening, but there's a storm brewing just outside. That weather event--which your character will take note of if you interact with any of the windows in the apartment--is a fitting metaphor for the turn your pleasant evening is about to take. Midway through dinner, a mysterious man (Willem Dafoe) shows up at the door, claiming to be police. You can let him in, or wait for him to kick down the door. No matter what you do, he will enter your apartment, bind you both with flex cuffs, and kill you. Then, the loop restarts and you're stumbling into your apartment, warmly lit for that romantic dinner you'll never get to finish.

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Categories: Games

The Forgotten City Review - Seven Deadly Sins

Gamespot News Feed - Tue, 08/17/2021 - 19:14

In the years prior to Julius Caesar's rule of ancient Rome, the legions of the empire were led by a wealthy general known as Marcus Crassus. He was infamous for many things, one of which was his revival of decimation--a harrowing means to control the army by punishing the collective for the actions of singular dissidents. Soldiers were divided into groups of ten, where each would draw stones. The one unfortunate enough to draw a white one would be beaten to death by the remaining nine, regardless of their involvement in any crimes against the empire. It instilled not only fear, but a strong sense of responsibility among the legions of soldiers, who quickly learned to self-discipline in the face of such punishment.

The Forgotten City, a narrative puzzle game that started out as a Skyrim mod, uses the principle of decimation as its basis. It's an anecdote used to describe the game's most prominent mechanic, The Golden Rule, which is an ever-present threat to the small community trapped in a desolate and secluded city deep in the Roman mountains. A god watching over the community threatens to turn everyone into gold should anyone commit a sin. In theory this should lead to a utopia, a land where its people are forced into peaceful co-existence through the persistent threat of imminent and absolute destruction. But it's not long before you realize that the ideals of right and wrong, and, more importantly, who defines them, allow the definitions of sin to be bent and stretched in creative and cruel ways.

Not long after the game's opening, you're teleported back in time to this ancient city and caught within the web of its passive aggressive personalities and bubbling politics. The magistrate of the society is the only one aware of who you are, tasking you with using an infinite time loop to figure out who will eventually break The Golden Rule and stop them before it happens. This also turns out to be the only way that you can get back to your time, motivating you to get very familiar with each of the city's varied inhabitants and decipher who might be on the verge of teasing out the apocalypse. Each loop is an opportunity to learn more about each citizen through dialogue, deciphering what their daily routines are, which other citizens they're bound to interact with, and which of their problems you can potentially solve. Eventually each day comes to an end, bringing about the fruition of The Golden Rule and forcing you to sprint towards the shrine you entered through to start the day over again.

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Categories: Games

Axiom Verge 2 Review -- More Vania Than Metroid

Gamespot News Feed - Mon, 08/16/2021 - 19:36

Axiom Verge 2 is almost a sequel in name only. It's still a metroidvania, and there are a couple of minor similarities between developer Thomas Happ's latest game and its 2015 predecessor, but these are minor aspects when compared to everything that's new and divergent about this unexpected sequel. Considering how revered the first Axiom Verge was as an affectionate homage to Metroid, presenting something that's vastly different is a surprising approach when building on those original foundations would have been more than enough for most. Instead, Axiom Verge 2 is a bold, daring, and ambitious sequel that falters in a few select areas.

One such area is the game's story, which starts much like the first game, as our human protagonist is transported to a bizarre alien world. This time around, you play as billionaire CEO Indra Chaudhari, who ventures into an Antarctic research base--and eventually another reality--in search of her missing daughter. This clear-cut story thread does just enough to keep the 10-hour adventure ticking along, but everything around it is coated in the kind of jargon-heavy lore that can only be fleshed out by finding all of the notes hidden throughout the game world. Reading each of these abandoned jottings does fill in some of the blanks left by the frugal narrative, but they're mostly so dense with impenetrable technobabble that it isn't worth seeking them out.

Fortunately, the narrative mostly takes a backseat to your exploration of its labyrinthian map. While your journey begins in the snowy tundra of the Antarctic, the adventure eventually takes you through several distinct biomes, such as an arid desert and flooded temple, that marks a clear departure from the subterranean expanse of the first game. These are detailed environments, too, with a sense of scale that extends far beyond the 2D foreground, with snow-capped mountain ranges and verdant forests stretching out into the horizon. If the first game was inspired by the "Metroid" part of the genre's namesake, then Axiom Verge 2 leans more heavily into the "Vania" side of the equation, swapping out the dark confines of its underground maze for a more spacious and detailed environment.

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Categories: Games