Mario’s Film Folly: The True Story Behind Hollywood’s Biggest Gaming Blunder

For all their absurdity, the Super Mario Bros. games follow a straightforward template. An Italian plumber adventures in a magical land, fights evil monsters and rescues a princess. It’s simple, but Nintendo’s vibrant fairy tale could have been fertile ground for a Hollywood fantasy epic. Instead, when Super Mario Bros. released in 1993, it portrayed a version of Mario that was worlds away from Nintendo’s vision. The Mushroom Kingdom had been turned into a neon-lit cyberpunk city where dinosaurs had evolved into humans. Bowser was a leather-suited politician fascinated by mud baths. The iconic goombas had become eight-foot tall lizard warriors with shrunken heads. Super Mario Bros. stands as one of Hollywood’s worst adaptations, but the story behind the film is infinitely more bizarre than the one the movie tells.

[Editor’s Note: We’re repromoting this classic story in light of the recent announcements around Illumination’s Mario movie.]

Fire Flower Sale

Fire Flower Sale
By 1990, Super Mario Bros. was one of the biggest intellectual properties on the planet. Super Mario World had just released in Japan, and the face of Nintendo’s chubby plumber had been slapped on everything from T-shirts and comic books to cereal boxes. Mario’s name alone was worth millions. It didn’t take long for the motion picture industry to come knocking on Nintendo’s door.

As always, Nintendo was cautious with its property. The publisher knew Super Mario Bros. didn’t have a deep narrative. How would a movie studio translate the simple formula into a 90-minute film? Producer Roland Joffé thought he could figure it out. Joffé’s Lightmotive production company was inexperienced, but Joffé had directed the Oscar-nominated films The Killing Fields and The Mission, which gave the studio some clout. Nintendo was intrigued by Joffé’s ideas, but it was more interested in the fact that Joffé had agreed to let Nintendo retain merchandising rights from the film. Joffé walked away with a $2 million contract. In a rare moment for the character, Mario’s future was now partially out of Nintendo’s control.

After securing the rights to the film, Lightmotive immediately set to work trying to sign high-level talent. The studio approached Danny DeVito to both direct the film and play Mario. Both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Keaton were approached for the role of King Koopa. All three passed on the project.

According to Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America by Jeff Ryan, Tom Hanks briefly signed on to play Mario, but some executives thought that Hanks was asking for too much money, so they fired Hanks in favor of English thespian Bob Hoskins. Hoskins was hot off the success of films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Hook, and the producers felt that he would be a more bankable star. Within a matter of years, Tom Hanks would win Oscars for both Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, becoming one of Hollywood’s most respected actors. Hoskins is now best known for his television work.

While Lightmotive continued its search for actors and directors, it commissioned the first of many scripts. Barry Morrow, one of the Academy Award-winning writers of Rain Man, took first crack at the plot, but his treatment was deemed too dramatic and the project was passed over to the writing team that had worked on The Flintstones and Richie Rich.

This version of the script was more in line with Mario’s roots. Mario and Luigi traveled to a magical land reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. In this world, the evil King Koopa – an actual green lizard king – had kidnapped a Princess named Hildy and made her his bride, so that he could access the magical Crown of Invincibility. The Mario brothers and their sidekick Toad set off on a quest to rescue the princess and prevent Koopa from getting his hands on the artifact.

This script was likely the closest the film would ever get to emulating the playful world imagined in Nintendo’s games. However, Lightmotive had already signed a directorial team to the project, and these visionaries would take the film down some wild rabbit holes.

Scripting Disaster

Scripting Disaster
Directors Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel didn’t have many movie credits to their names. In fact, the husband and wife team had only directed one other film, a critical and commercial bomb called D.O.A.. The duo cut their teeth directing commercials for Coca-Cola and Hardee’s restaurants, eventually finding small success after creating the television series Max Headroom. Lightmotive loved Max Headroom’s zany vibe and felt that Morton and Jankel had the right imagination for a film like Super Mario Bros.

Morton and Jankel’s vision for the film was much darker than the Nintendo game series. They wanted their film to take place in an alternate reality version of New York, a place called Dinohatten. After an asteroid struck Earth 65 million years ago, all of the planet’s dinosaurs had been banished to a dystopian version of our world, but the two realities were still connected by a portal under New York. As the eons passed, the dinosaurs slowly evolved into humanoids and grew to hate the mammals that blissfully walked around Earth prime.

Nintendo’s hands were off the project by this point. “I met with the game’s designer [Shigeru Miyamoto] very briefly, like for a half an hour meeting or something, but that was about it really,” director Rocky Morton told us. “Nintendo let us do whatever we wanted. They just put a crushing deadline on the project. The movie had to be made by a certain date, otherwise there were all these financial penalties, which added a lot of extra stress to the project.”

As the production rushed toward principal photography, the directors and producers struggled to agree on a script to match the movie’s new direction. More rewrites were issued. One action-packed treatment seemed inspired by Die Hard. The script itself contained a scene in which Bruce Willis could make a cameo, scurrying through the air ducts above King Koopa’s office. Another script featured Mad Max-style death races. It seemed that the Super Mario Bros. film was pulling inspiration from everything except the game series that shared its name.

Double Vision

Double Vision
By mid-1992, production was well under way. Holding to the director’s inspiration for a darker film, Lightmotive agreed to hire the art director who worked on Blade Runner to transform an abandoned cement plant in North Carolina into a cyberpunk wonderland. Campaign posters portrayed Dennis Hopper’s version of King Koopa kissing babies. Street vendors served kabobs of flame-broiled lizard. A club called the Boom Boom Bar advertised hot blood cocktails. Electric cars trailed sparks as they buzzed through the city’s main artery.

“I wanted the film to be more sophisticated,” Morton said. “I wanted parents to really get into it. At that time, there was a very hardcore movement against video games, and a lot of anti-video games sentiment. I wanted to make a film that would open it up and get parents interested in video games. It’s completely different now, but back then it was taboo to make a movie based on a video game.”

Not everyone shared Morton and Jankel’s vision for the film. The studio was expecting a lighthearted kids film, and most of the cast and crew had signed on with similar expectations. The tensions between these two visions began to tear apart the production. The studio felt that the movie was too dark, pressuring Morton and Jankel to lighten the tone. Lightmotive brought in the writer from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure to write yet another version of the script.

“We were forbidden to work with that writer,” Morton recalled. “And that was only a couple of weeks before we went into principle photography. I’d already had the set built and a lot of characters with prosthetics had already been made, so that script came in and a lot of it didn’t match what we’d already started working on.”

By this point, at least nine writers had worked on the film, and rewrites would continue long after the cameras started rolling. The script ballooned into a rainbow of confusion as the production crew was continually handed new color-coded daily edits.

“The script had probably been rewritten five or six times by the time I arrived here,” Dennis Hopper told the Chicago Tribune back in 1992. “I don’t really bother with it anymore. I just go in and do it scene by scene. I figure it’s not going to hurt my character.”

The Flying Squirrel Show

The Flying Squirrel Show
Despite Morton and Jankel’s vision for a movie that sounded nothing like Nintendo’s series, the duo attentively worked in several video game references. Yoshi appeared as King Koopa’s pet, and spray-painted SNES Super Scopes functioned as portable devolution guns during the film’s climax. One key reference almost didn’t make the cut; Morton and Jankel didn’t want the Mario brothers to appear in their classic red and green overalls. They fought with the producers about the costumes for weeks but finally consented, allowing Mario and Luigi to don their familiar outfits about three fourths of the way through the film.

From the crew’s point of view, Morton and Jankel were micromanaging every facet of the production. At one point, Morton allegedly poured coffee on an extra because he didn’t think the actor looked dirty enough for the scene. According to a 1992 Chicago Tribune article, the crew began calling the directors derogatory names behind their back. One of their favorites was “Rocky and Annabel, the Flying Squirrel Show.”

Filming was scheduled to last 10 weeks, but it slowly stretched into 15. Everyone had different ways of dealing with the frustrating production schedule. John Leguizamo, who had been cast as Luigi, started drinking. In his biography, Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends: My Life, Leguizamo describes how he started doing shots of scotch with Hoskins between scenes. During a scene in which Leguizamo was driving a van, the actor was reportedly drunk and braked too hard, causing the sliding door to smash shut on Hoskins’ hand. During certain sequences of the film, Hoskins can briefly be seen wearing a pink cast.

Other members of the crew saw the chaotic production as an opportunity. According to SMB Movie Archive, Fisher Stevens and Richard Edson, who played Koopa’s henchmen Spike and Iggy, started writing their own dialogue, and even convinced the studio to film a rap scene starring them that was ultimately cut from the theatrical release. At one point in the original script, Koopa had their characters devolved into goombas, but the actors sold the directors on the idea that their characters should be further evolved to become super smart instead. Plot changes like this weren’t just common – they were happening on a daily basis.

“They were like a double act,” Morton said of Stevens and Edson. “They were young and enthusiastic and inventive, and they definitely came up with stuff for their characters. You know, there were flaws in the script that had to be plugged and worked on while we were shooting, so there was a lot of rewriting and ad-libbing to try and make sense of everything.”

Over budget, behind schedule, and managing a cast and crew that was either drunk, working off-script, or completely belligerent, Super Mario Bros. had run completely off rails. But this train hadn’t wrecked yet.

Dropping the Bob-Omb

Dropping the Bob-Omb
The end of Super Mario Bros. was a hack job. Morton and Jankel had hoped to film an epic battle sequence on the Brooklyn Bridge. Storyboards were drawn up in which the two realities would start to merge as Mario faced off against Bowser on the iconic structure. Mario eventually won after dropping a Bob-Omb down Koopa’s throat then kicking him into the river before he exploded. The scene would never be filmed. The film’s producers were tired of spending money on the production. Instead, Koopa was blasted with the Super Scope guns and reduced to a primordial sludge.

“You have to remember that CGI technology was a lot cruder back then,” Morton explained. “It was very expensive and hard to do, and we were running out of money, so we couldn’t do a lot of the elaborate effects and stuff that I wanted to do.”

After principle photography ended, the film’s producers tried to cut Morton and Jankel out of the picture. Lightmotive had gotten two other production companies to buy into the film, and now there were three sets of producers that had money at stake if the movie bombed. Many producers felt that the film needed more action, so a second unit set out to film a couple extra action sequences. Morton and Jankel weren’t invited to those shoots, but that wasn’t the only thing the directing duo was shut out from.

“I was locked out of the editing room,” Morton said. “I had to get the DGA [Director’s Guild of America union] to come and help me get back into the editing room. I tried to get the editor to cut it digitally, but they refused. They wanted to edit on Moviola and Steenbeck machines, so the process was laboriously slow, which didn’t help us get the special effect cut in on time.”

Super Mario Bros. released to theaters on May 28, 1993. The film cost $48 million to make and grossed less than $21 million. Going up against hit summer films like Mrs. Doubtfire, The Fugitive, and Jurassic Park, the movie probably never had a chance to make back its money. Even Tom Hanks’ new film, Sleepless in Seattle, out-grossed Mario by $200 million. No one was happy.

The worst thing I ever did? Super Mario Bros.,” Hoskins told The Guardian in an interview back in 2007. “It was a f—in’ nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare. It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set! F—in’ nightmare. F—in’ idiots.”

“From everyone’s point of view, the film was a mess,” Morton admitted. “It just got rushed into production with a script that had been written two weeks before principle photography, and which had no input from either Annabel or myself. Most of the actors had signed up on the old script, not the new script, so it was very hard to coax them into this new one. I don’t think anyone was really happy with the end result.”

A lot of excuses can be made for Super Mario Bros. It was made during a different era. No one had tried to make a big-budget video game movie before. Video game companies didn’t know how much input they should have on the production. And special effects technology limited directors’ abilities to portray some of the more fantastical elements often found in a game. However, it’s hard to escape the fact that Super Mario Bros. was a bad film – a byproduct of a hundred bad choices and unfortunate mishaps. Super Mario Bros. should stand as a testament for the wrong way to make a video game movie. Maybe the industry will figure out how to do it right some day.

 

[Several references were useful during the research of this piece. Further reading: Wikipedia, IMDB, SuperMarioBook, Super Mario Movie Archive, Box Office Mojo, The Guardian, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Edge]

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Wolverine, Suicide Squad, And The League Of Upcoming Superhero Games

Look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, you fool, it’s a superhero game – several of them! Beginning this holiday season and beyond, fans of spandex-clad saviors have several titles to keep on the lookout, regardless if you stan for DC, Marvel, or (preferably) both. We’ve gathered all of the announced titles in one place and have arranged them in chronological release order, so you know when to expect these games to swoop in and rescue you from boredom.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Release Date: October 26

Deus Ex developer Eidos-Montréal is giving the Guardians of the Galaxy their first triple-A game, and it looks to capture the best elements of the comics and films. A single-player action RPG steeped heavily in the comic book incarnation of the team, players control Star-Lord to lead his motley crew of misfits on a planet-hopping adventure to stop a catastrophe they inadvertently caused. Battles are as chaotic as the Guardians themselves, with players commanding the group’s AI-controlled members to dish out attacks. Outside of battle, you’ll steer the story via choice-driven dialogue and nurture (or sabotage) relationships with each Guardian, which influences their effectiveness on the team. You can learn more about this exciting space romp by visiting our exclusive coverage hub

Marvel’s Midnight Suns

Release Date: 2022

Firaxis, the makers of XCOM, lend their strategic talents to a bold reimagining of Marvel’s Midnight Suns comic team. As a customizable hero known only as the Hunter, you’ll lead a team of heavy hitters consisting of popular mainstays like Captain America, Doctor Strange, and Wolverine to cult favorites like Magik, Nico Minoru, and Blade to take on Lilith, Mother of all Demons. Midnight Suns isn’t just XCOM wearing its underwear on the outside. It’s a wholly original strategy RPG that blends turn-based gameplay with abilities executed through a deck of randomized cards. Outside of battle, you’ll explore your HQ and build relationships with teammates to provide bonuses in combat as well as letting you get to know them better. Midnight Suns recently graced Game Informer‘s cover, and you can take a deep dive into all it entails by visiting our cover story hub.

Gotham Knights

Release Date: 2022

Batman is dead. With Gotham’s greatest protector gone, it’s up to the rest of the Bat Family to step up and pick up the slack. Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Red Hood take center stage in this two-player co-op adventure that pits the heroic foursome against fan-favorite secret society the Court of Owls and other classic villains. Gotham Knights comes from Warner Bros. Montreal, developer of Batman: Arkham Origins. Despite sharing presentational and gameplay similarities, Gotham Knights is an independent story disconnected from the Arkham universe. Arkham fans still shouldn’t let that bum them out, though, as the action looks fantastic whether you’re busting crime alone or with a sidekick.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

Release Date: 2022

The title pretty much says it all. As the Suicide Squad, a government task force of incarcerated supervillains, you’re trying to kill Superman and the rest of the Justice League. While we still haven’t seen gameplay and know little about the project overall, the game is being developed by Rocksteady, the mastermind behind the stellar Batman Arkham series. That alone is enough to give us faith that they can do right by the Suicide Squad. The reveal trailer confirmed that Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and King Shark are on the team but we don’t know which Justice League members they’ll face other than a seemingly mind-controlled Man of Steel. Thankfully, we’ll get our first look at the game in over a year during October’s DC FanDome.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Release Date: 2023

The third act to Insomniac’s Spider-Man and Miles Morales games pits both heroes against one of Spidey’s deadliest enemies: Venom. Although both heroes are present, Spider-Man 2 is a single-player experience, but we don’t know if you’ll be switching between both Spiders at will or during scripted moments. Insomniac has proven it can responsibly wield Spider-Man’s power, so we trust that whatever approach they decide to take. 2023 is a long time to wait, but our spider senses tell us it’ll be worth it. 

Marvel’s Wolverine

Release Date: TBA

Not content with only tackling Spider-Man, Insomniac shocked the gaming world by announcing that it’s also making a Wolverine game. Outside of a brief cinematic teaser trailer, we know little about this exciting project. Insomniac confirmed it will have a mature tone and alluded that it’s mythos is disconnected from its Spiderverse. Eagle-eyed fans also found subtle easter eggs in the trailer hinting at the Hulk. We have a good while before we get any answers as the game is very early in development and has no release window. 

Those are the most exciting super hero games on the horizon, but which one are you most excited for?

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Marvel’s Midnight Suns Game Informer Cover Time-Lapse

Click to watch embedded media

Look, we’re biased, but Game Informer covers are a wonderful thing. Whether they provide a fascinating look at the history of the video game industry or are plain mesmerizing to behold, anytime we get to unveil a new cover is a special one. But how does one of these beauties get made? As a part of our exclusive coverage on Marvel’s Midnight Suns, we’re pulling back the curtain and showing you the making of our latest cover.

Ryan Stegman, whose exceptional talent has stretched from Venom to X-Men, was gracious enough to not only agree to draw our most recent cover but film his process plastering Wolverine, Iron Man, and more of your favorite superheroes clad in their swanky new black and gold armor onto the latest issue of Game Informer!

Fans of Marvel’s Midnight Suns have just a bit longer to wait before the game launches in March 2022 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. But that’s why you came to Game Informer to tide you over until then, right?

Be sure to check out our colossal cover hub linked below for looks at the newest game from Firaxis, including our exclusive hands-on impressions of our time playing the game, a primer into who the Suns will be squaring off against, and another edition of our Rapid-Fire interview with Jake Solomon, the game’s creative director. You could also be asking yourself, “Who are the Midnight Suns?” We have you covered there, too, as our own online content director and Marvel fan Ben Reeves spent some time detailing the group’s history and who you’ll be fighting alongside when the game releases early next year. Thanks, as always, for watching, and be sure to let us know what you thought of the video in the comments below!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Don’t Be Afraid Of Voice Of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars If You Don’t Like Card Games

Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Release:

October 28, 2021

Rating: Teen
Platform: PlayStation 4, Switch, PC

Yes, the new Yoko Taro joint is, in fact, completely fueled by cards. The characters are represented by cards. The map and all locations are represented by cards. Dialogue happens via cards. In fact, damn near everything in the entire game is a card. However, even if you don’t like games like Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone, Legends of Runeterra, or Yu-Gi-Oh!, you may want to check out Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars anyway. Thanks to a demo that landed on the Switch yesterday, we know that the game is actually pretty much a standard turn-based JRPG that simply uses cards and tabletop as an aesthetic choice, not as a major gameplay mechanic. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Sure, there’s still a bit of dice-rolling, and there is an actual card-based mini-game to partake in, but the game itself is extremely rooted in the turn-based RPGs of old. So, if your thing is more Final Fantasy IV or Dragon Quest, this might be a slam dunk when it arrives on October 28.

The card aesthetic is pretty cool on top, providing a rather unique visual twist on gearing up, leaving town, and grinding experience points while you exploit enemy weaknesses. Undead skeleton? Probably weak to holy magic. New sword? Equip it to your big and beefy guy. Magic staff? You can see where this is going. But the gameplay itself? It could probably entirely be represented without a single card, from what we saw in the demo. 

Just think of it as an interesting way to experience a rather classic game genre. It’s nothing like any of the major trading card games, and even nothing like the new generation of deckbuilding fare like Slay the Spire or Monster Train. It’s just a way to make a traditional JRPG stand out and look cool!

Have you tried the demo? What did you think? The release date is only about a month away, so we won’t have to wait long to dive into the full game.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Death Stranding Is Best Played Offline

Every time I load up Death Stranding, I’m essentially spitting into the face of its creator, Hideo Kojima. Figuratively, of course. Before I walk across its vast stretches of desolate land, I go into my PlayStation 5’s network menu and disconnect my console from the internet. I’m flying directly in the face of the creator, defying one of the core design tenants. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

The most prominent theme in Death Stranding is reconnecting disconnected people across a fractured land. The only way out of the messes we’ve made – global warming, rising political tensions, and the like – is to join forces. This is done by connecting people to the chiral network, which is essentially the internet*. This allows people to pass information along the United States, as well as 3D print necessary goods. This job falls on one man: Sam Porter Bridges, who must literally walk from coast to coast connecting people to the chiral network. 

Death Stranding’s theme of connectivity is represented mechanically in its online mode. You never encounter another real-world player, but you frequently come across the structures they’ve built on their own journeys. For example, in a particularly tough part of terrain, you may find another player’s bridge, which helps you get to where you need to go. If you’re so inclined, you can leave likes for that player. This asynchronous multiplayer creates a sense of camaraderie and blind appreciation for the work of other people. As a marriage of narrative and mechanics, it’s a genius way to represent the game’s themes of “Make America Whole Again.” 

However, when I play Death Stranding, I don’t want any of that. To me, the game is best played offline. 

I love the walking part of Death Stranding. Loading up my cargo, planning my route down to every step, and embarking on a new adventure in a dangerous, unforgiving world is the most exciting part of the game. I especially like the way Death Stranding makes me think about my own balance and the terrain I step over, forcing me to (quite literally) think on my feet, accounting for gravity, the wetness of the ground, and a thousand other tiny details. When I get to an impasse and have to use one of my many tools – ladders for climbing up sheer cliff walls, ropes for climbing down, bridges for crossing chasms, the list goes on – I feel like a true explorer. I’m not bending the environment to my will, but accepting the environment at face value and figuring out how I can use that to my advantage. 

But I find it immensely deflating when I set out on a new area of Death Stranding’s map, only to find its online connectivity has populated my game with a lot of the structures I expected to build myself. Overcoming Death Stranding’s challenges is most rewarding when you discover the right routes and tools for any given situation. When the option to overcome the environment is taken away from me, it removes the thing I like best about playing Death Stranding. It eliminates a lot of the challenge. My job has been done for me. 

I firmly believe you should play games however you want; that authorial intent doesn’t matter if it gets in the way of your enjoyment of a piece of art. And in this case, I reject the creator’s core intention. I appreciate Death Stranding’s online mechanics, but as far as I am concerned, they’re at odds with the challenge and satisfaction ingrained in the moment-to-moment gameplay. While I wish there were ways to better tailor your online experience to how you want to play, completely cutting myself off from other players’ creations is my best and only solution. I’m happy to reject Kojima’s thesis in order to better enjoy his game. I’ve done this twice now, both in the game’s original release and the brand-new Director’s Cut on PlayStation 5.

All that said, if the online connectivity works for you, by all means, keep it on and play to your heart’s content. I’d also encourage you to play it offline for a while to experience the other side of the coin; it’s a more challenging experience, but one I find far more rewarding. Again, enjoy games how you want to enjoy them, not how you think they should be enjoyed. Death Stranding is a special and great game, and I hope no matter how you choose to play in its world, you do so in the way you enjoy most. 

*As an aside, I find Kojima’s faith in the internet a bit odd. If not shortsighted and naive. Personally, the internet has done little good in my life. Especially the invention of the comment section down there.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Should You Play Castlevania: Grimoire Of Souls?

I was surprised a few weeks back to hear about a new Castlevania game coming to Apple Arcade, but I suppose I shouldn’t have been. Apple Arcade has been wisely scooping up desired properties into its portfolio to boost the value of its subscription service, and Castlevania is a great choice. Grimoire of Souls was previously released as a mobile game in Canada, but this newer Apple Arcade incarnation offers the chance for U.S. gamers to try their hand at defeating Dracula and his minions once again. The reworked mobile game also maintains Apple Arcade’s promise of being completely free of microtransactions and other predatory practices.

That’s a strong pitch, and it captured my attention. As a Castlevania fan, I haven’t enjoyed a new entry in the franchise in years, and Apple Arcade has increasingly become my go-to for gaming on my phone; the assurance that I won’t have to deal with MTX nonsense is a strong draw.

Grimoire of Souls makes a strong first impression. Beautiful parchment/charcoal-style art helps to tell the story of the latest threat to humanity, and the ever-returning nature of Dracula and the threat he represents. Familiar music from prior entries swells throughout the opening sequence, and continues through the various gameplay stages; this is a great candidate for popping on your headphones to hear those memorable melodies. The side-scrolling visuals nail the look of a Castlevania game, as does the deliberate yet timing-based focus of combat, filled with quick weapon strikes and dodges.

The plot concept is a little hackneyed, but manages to do the job of bringing together a bunch of recognizable heroes from series’ history. Evil has begun to seep from great books about the history of Dracula and his castle, and you must enter the books to halt the spread of darkness. Thanks to the leading stars of these books, characters who previously fought Dracula join your fight, including many of the greatest hits of heroes, like Shanoa, Simon Belmont, and Alucard, among others. Each hero has their own weapons and powers to improve and upgrade, and brings unique styles of combat to the table. Players can freely hop back and forth between their preferred characters.

Journeys into the books take the form of linear and relatively bite-sized stages, usually with a few bonus objectives to chase for extra rewards. Structurally, this reminded me more of early games in the series, rather than the grand exploration-focused dynamics of Symphony of the Night. You can also adapt the difficulty of a given stage with dynamic modifiers – think no MP regeneration, or the inability to continue if you die – and these add additional rewards into the mix. Fight through one stage after another, beat the boss at the end of each Grimoire (which is made up of many smaller stages) and steadily hold back the tide of evil.

The levels through which you battle do a great job of recalling earlier locales from the series, and feature a nice variety of enemies. I wasn’t blown away by the level designs, though, many of which feel pretty throwaway from a structural perspective. Even in a linear Castlevania game, I would have liked to see more secrets, interesting platforming, and discoveries along the way. As it is, most levels exist as a housing for a few fights. Those battles, on the other hand, begin to ramp up in interest as the game continues, challenging players to pay close attention to enemy attack patterns, and juggle which foe to confront first.

Grimoire of Souls’ biggest problems come from the legacy of the game it was before it came to Apple Arcade. While I never played that earlier version, it’s clear when playing the Apple Arcade release how little has been changed to capitalize on the new MTX-free formula. You still gathering a seemingly endless number of currencies, and sometimes having to deal with daily or weekly rewards that are meant to encourage repeated play. The upgrade systems are almost intentionally confusing, in that way that so many gacha-style free-to-play games can be.

Even though you don’t have to actually pay money, you’re still forced into time-wasting progression systems to improve gear, buy new weapons, or upgrade your character. After many hours of play, I still didn’t fully understand some of the systems pushed on me; in a free-to-play game trying to elicit additional microtransactions, that’s a common tactic to get you lost in the various upgrades and currencies, so you slip up and just eventually buy what you need. That is exactly the sort of nonsense I’m want to get away from when I play a game on Apple Arcade, so this frustrated me in quick order.

Even if I’m not a fan of the progression and grind for materials and currency, I was happily impressed by the solid controls. Mobile action games often struggle to offer decent on-screen controls, but Grimoire of Souls feels manageable. An optional auto-attack option swings your basic attack whenever enemies are in range, while jumps and special attacks have dedicated buttons on the bottom of the screen. Like many mobile games of this style, your better option is a dedicated gamepad, but if that’s not an option, you’ll be able to make your way through the levels just fine.

Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls looks, sounds, and feels like a true game in the franchise, and longtime enthusiasts will enjoy the presentation, not to mention the frequent callbacks to lore that the characters bring up throughout their conversations. I’m pleased to see a new entry for the franchise on Apple’s excellent subscription service.

With that said, it’s really too bad that Konami didn’t choose to do more to adapt the game to the microtransaction-free model, and strip out some of the systems that were clearly in place to elicit purchases in that earlier version. While the sidescrolling action formula is acceptable, the real success story would be a genuine new gear-gated exploration game on Apple Arcade, in the vein of Symphony of the Night, Aria of Sorrow, or Portrait of Ruin. Barring that revelation, Grimoire of Souls partially scratches the itch that players have for a new Castlevania game. You’ll love that it’s a mobile Castlevania game with no free-to-play shenanigans, but you’ll undoubtedly sense their lingering presence in it’s many interlocking upgrade systems.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Japanese Breakfast’s Sable Soundtrack Is Available Now

The exploration-focused indie title Sable launched yesterday, and if you have been cruising around its beautifully rendered world thinking to yourself, “this music is pretty rad! I’d listen to an entire album of this,” you’re in luck! The game’s soundtrack, composed by indie rock band Japanse Breakfast, is available to listen to now.

The 32-song tracklist features ambient music composed by Japanese Breakfast’s singer and songwriter Michelle Zauner. You can find the soundtrack on a variety of music streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Pandora. For you vinyl collectors, you can pre-order a physical vinyl of the album. It comes as a 2-disc LP and offers both a standard edition for $20 and Sable-colored disc versions for $35. You can snag them at the band’s official merch store

Sable’s soundtrack is only one of its best qualities. In her 8.75 out of 10 review, editor Jill Grodt endorses the game by saying, “For those who love to explore, I can’t recommend Sable enough. Every element – beautiful graphics, compelling traversal, and player-driven plot – works together to ensure I simply lose myself in the world.” You can play it now on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC, as well as on Game Pass. 

Have you played Sable? If so, what do you think of its soundtrack? Let us know in the comments! 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Nintendo Has An Exciting 2022 Planned

Despite solid releases like Bowser’s Fury, New Pokémon Snap, and Monster Hunter Rise, not to mention a new Switch model, I don’t think many would call 2021 a standout year for Nintendo. To be fair, the same can be said for most companies, thanks to pandemic-related speed bumps forcing delays and adversely affecting development. Thankfully, and somewhat amazingly, 2022 looks to be the hard opposite. Yesterday’s Nintendo Direct solidified that next year offers a bevy of reasons to be excited about owning a Switch with several high-profile first and third-party exclusives waiting in the wings. The company’s also managed to generate a ton of excitement around it as a whole. 

Case in point, here’s a list of confirmed Switch exclusives coming next year. 2022 kicks off with a bang with the January launch of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which offers the first truly open-world Pokémon title. The much-anticipated Bayonetta 3 finally releases next year and looks great. Kirby and the Forgotten Land drops the beloved pink ball in a fully 3D open world. Splatoon 3 offers new twists to Nintendo’s popular multiplayer series. 

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is the sequel to Ubisoft’s surprisingly good crossover strategy game. On a similar note, Triangle Strategy offers a more serious tactics game from the makers of Octopath Traveler. Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is an enormous expansion to one of the best-selling Switch games of 2021.  Of course, the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, one of the most celebrated games ever made, serves as the year’s headliner. That’s a murderers’ row of software any publisher would be proud to brag about. 

Those games should look mighty fine on a Switch OLED, which will have been out in the wild and gives Nintendo new hardware to print money with. It remains to be seen how well this minimally upgraded Switch performs (it launches October 8), but initial pre-orders sold out in a hurry  And let’s be honest: it’s a Switch, a platform that has consistently sold gangbusters regardless of the model. The OLED will likely spend 2022 continuing that trend as many existing Switch owners concoct excuses (or dip into those tax refunds) to upgrade to a brighter screen in preparation for the next big release. 

Bayonetta 3

It goes beyond just gaming and hardware. Illumination’s animated Mario film premieres next December, and I’d be surprised if it wasn’t a big hit. For one, it’s Mario; he’s the Mickey Mouse of video games and beloved by generations of fans, hardcore gamers or otherwise. An animated movie by the studio behind the wildly successful Despicable Me and Minions franchises? That film rake in the dough regardless of its quality, though we know Illumination isn’t skimping on talent. Nintendo just revealed its all-star cast featuring the likes of Chris Pratt (Mario), Charlie Day (Luigi) and Jack Black (Boswer) among others. Mario will likely resonate with kids, their parents who grew up with Mario in some form or fashion, and yes, even the hardcore skeptics shaking their heads at this part of the article. Much like Sonic the Hedgehog before it, I suspect jaded fans will initially refuse to see it before curiosity or nostalgia has them buying a ticket . 

What’s most exciting is that this is only the confirmed news. Nintendo has a penchant for pulling surprise announcements out of its butt – remember when they revealed Paper Mario: The Oragami King with no hints whatsoever of its existence and launched it a few months later? Metroid Prime 4 is still out there, as is the hope of that rumored Prime Collection. Maybe we get a new Mario platformer to coincide with the film. Nintendo can be the trickiest company to predict, making it one of the most exciting to follow. We don’t know what surprises it has in store, but I’m excited to find out. I haven’t fired up my Switch this year as often as I would have liked, but with that line-up and more, it’s hard not to be pumped about the House of Mario next year. 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

New Jurassic World Evolution 2 Video Shows Off Campaign And Chaos Theory Modes

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Dinosaurs are freely roaming within the wilds of the United States, and the government has contracted you in to help contain them. In a new five-minute video for Jurassic World Evolution 2, Frontier Developments shows us how this concept plays out in the campaign mode.

You are working alongside the government’s Fish and Wildlife Department, as well as familiar characters from the Jurassic World universe, like Ian Malcolm (played again by actor Jeff Goldblum, who I recently spoke to about reprising his role). Claire Dearing and Owen Grady are also back, but we still don’t know who will be voicing them in the game.

The campaign mode shies away from theme park building and instead focuses on the act of tracking down dinosaurs and figuring out how to deal with them. Each dinosaur presents a different challenge, as does the environment they occupy. That habitat could produce new injuries and illnesses not yet explored in this game series.

The places you visit are much larger than the standard Jurassic World Evolution maps and instead flow much more like the Claire’s Sanctuary DLC map from that game. This means you’ll be spending more time in vehicles tracking down dinosaurs and studying the area.

Frontier also gives us a look at the new Chaos Theory mode, which includes a tease of the San Diego Jurassic Park theme park that never came to be in the movies.

Jurassic World EvolDanution 2 releases on November 9 for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Life Is Strange: Remastered Collection Coming In February

Life is Strange: Remastered was originally expected to launch around the same time as True Colors, but Deck Nine delayed it to ensure the well-being of its team. Deck Nine said the project would come in early 2022, but we finally have an official release date. Today, it was announced that Life is Strange: Remastered Collection hits on February 1, so you can start the winter month off right by reliving some of your favorite Max and Chloe moments. 

The collection includes the original Life is Strange and Before the Storm but uses a new engine and boasts lighting upgrades alongside brand new fully motion-captured facial animations. Beyond the remastered character and environment visuals, you can also expect Before the Storm’s deluxe content, which contains the Farewell episode and outfits like the Zombie Crypt shirt.

So get ready to visit Arcadia Bay, rewind time, and watch Max and Chloe’s friendship grow, either as a newcomer and returning fan. Then, prepare your emotions for Chloe’s adventures with Rachel Amber before her disappearance in Before the Storm.  


Can’t get enough Life is Strange? Check out our recent feature on the making of True Colors

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Super Replay – Demon’s Souls Episode Seven

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Marcus has gear. Marcus has slain a bundle of bosses. But the journey is far from over. The spice (and salt!) must flow as the extra hot adventure continues today. Join us at 2 PM CST as the incredible journey through the From Software classic continues.

In 2009, From Software changed everything with Demon’s Souls on the PlayStation 3. The challenging action RPG would go on to lead the way for a critical subgenre with the Souls games and Bloodborne. With the PS5, Demon’s Souls found a new home with Bluepoint’s remake of the original title. Once upon a time, we began a Demon’s Souls journey that didn’t last long. This time, we’re going through it all. Today, Super Replay returns to its frenzied Friday slot with a new adventure featuring a full playthrough of Demon’s Souls. This Super Replay is sure to be extra hot!

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Join Andrew Reiner, Dan Tack, and Marcus Stewart for a blazing run through this classic game. Marcus’s first full playthrough is sure to be full of thrills, chills, and fire. Yes, fire. We’re gonna be munching on all kinds of ridiculously fiery treats during the playthrough to really up the stakes. Everyone dies numerous times in Souls games, but what if you put the added pressure of some scorching zingers on top?

When our fearless champion perishes, the action gets amped up to new levels as we consume some of the hottest fare commercially available. How far will the crew go into hot challenge land as they travel through Boletaria and beyond? It’s going to be spicy, and you don’t want to miss it! 

The action begins at 2 PM CST today, with a 2-hour block of delicious Demon’s Souls. Will Marcus fall prey to the twists and turns of the game’s opening? Demon’s Souls doesn’t mess around, and the levels can often be more maddening and dangerous than the bosses that would later come to be the highlights of From Software experiences.

Can you imagine the sheer terror as Marcus enters the Valley of Defilement for the first time? We might not make it out of this one, gang. This is sure to be one of the most epic Super Replays of all time, so come join us on Twitch for all the action. Can’t make an episode? No problem – the episodes will be up on our YouTube page and easy to browse a day or so after we’re live.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

The Intitiative Teams Up With Crystal Dynamics For Perfect Dark

The Initiative, Microsoft’s studio developing the new Perfect Dark, has announced a new partnership with another big studio outside its parent company’s umbrella. In a tweet this evening, it was revealed that The Initiative has enlisted the services of Crystal Dynamics to work on this new iteration of the classic Rare shooter.

“Perfect Dark update! We are partnering with Crystal Dynamics, the world class team behind character-driven games such as Tomb Raider, to bring this first-person spy thriller to a new generation,” reads the announcement tweet from The Initiative’s account. Why The Initiative has brought Crystal Dynamics on board to help with developing Perfect Dark is unknown outside of this brief statement in a second tweet, saying, “The teams couldn’t pass up a chance to work together. We’re still early in development, but incredibly excited to use this unique opportunity to deliver on the vision for Perfect Dark!”

Crystal Dynamics is best known in recent years for its successful reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise, bringing a grittier, survivalist feel to Lara Croft and her adventures. Of course, Crystal Dynamics also released last year’s Marvel’s Avengers, which continues to receive free updates like the recent War for Wakanda expansion.

We’ll await more news on what role Crystal Dynamics will play in the development of Perfect Dark with bated breath. In the meantime, check out the game’s announce trailer, which was first shown at The Game Awards last year. Perfect Dark currently does not have a release window, but expect it to release on Xbox consoles and PC when it does launch.


What do you think Crystal Dynamics best brings to the table for Perfect Dark? Does this partnership intrigue you at all? Let’s chat about it in the comments.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Triangle Strategy Brings Tactics To Switch In March

Triangle Strategy

When Project Triangle Strategy was announced earlier this year, it shot to the top of many highly anticipated lists thanks to its tactical RPG gameplay and beautiful HD 2D visuals reminiscent of Octopath Traveler. During today’s Nintendo Direct presentation, we not only learned more about the game, but also the release date and final name. Much like Project Octopath Traveler simply became Octopath Traveler for the final release, Project Triangle Strategy is also dropping “Project” to become Triangle Strategy.

In Triangle Strategy, you guide your characters through a choice-filled story that sounds like it has multiple endings depending on the decisions you make over the course of the narrative. Triangle Strategy tasks you with commanding a group of warriors where your choices bolster one of three convictions: Unity, Morality, and Liberty. You play as Serenoa, the leader of the group. Your choices change Serenoa’s worldview and can alter the story. Characters weigh in on their thoughts during key decision points, casting their votes on the Scales of Conviction. During these moments, your choices can alter history for the continent of Norzelia.

Triangle Strategy

Combat consists of turn-based tactical battles where your location and strategic placement are important aspects to keep in mind. You can position units on higher ground to take control of the battlefield and gain the advantage with increased range, or flank enemies from both sides and strike from behind to initiate a powerful follow-up attack. You can also use elemental chain reactions, like casting fire to melt ice into water, then using lightning to electrocute it before pushing enemies into the water.

This past February, Square Enix released a demo of the game, then surveyed players on their thoughts. Square Enix used that feedback to implement myriad changes to the final game. These changes include difficulty adjustments for Easy, Default, and Hard settings; improvements for on-screen visuals; camera angle controls; the ability to review previous dialogue to better inform your choices; streamlined game flow; and better loading times. 

Triangle Strategy comes to Nintendo Switch on March 4.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Chris Pratt Voices Mario In Illumination’s Movie, Full Cast Revealed

Shigeru Miyamoto crashed today’s Nintendo Direct to make some big announcements regarding the Mario animated movie from Illumination Entertainment. Not only did Miyamoto drop the planned release timeframe of the film, but an exact date for North America. He also revealed the star-studded cast of the movie.

Holiday 2022 is when the feature-length Mario movie will hit theaters worldwide. It premieres in North America on December 21, 2022, with dates for other territories to be announced later.

Along with the premiere timing, Miyamoto revealed a large chunk of the cast, which was:

  • Chris Pratt as Mario
  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach
  • Charlie Day as Luigi
  • Jack Black as Bowser
  • Keegan-Michael Key as Toad
  • Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong
  • Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek
  • Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong
  • Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike

Those worrying whether the traditional voice of Mario has been left out, fear not! Charles Martinet, who has been the voice of Mario and other Mushroom Kingdom residents for years, will appear in “surprise cameos” throughout the movie.

 

What do you think of the cast for the Mario movie? Who do you think is going to steal the scenes they’re in? Let us know in the comments!

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Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Castlevania: Advance Collection Gets Surprise Launch Today

During today’s Nintendo Direct, we finally got a good look at the Castlevania: Advance Collection, a gathering of several games from the series into one larger release, complete with some fun bonuses. In addition to details about what’s included, we also got the exciting news that it’s available for purchase almost right away, with the Advance Collection going on sale later today.

Castlevania fans can expect to see several titles included. Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, Aria of Sorrow, and Dracula X are all well regarded. The first three of those entries represent some of the best exploration and upgrade systems that the series ever presented when they released on Game Boy Advance. Dracula X is a bit more of an anomaly, since it originally saw release on Super Nintendo way back in 1995 – but we certainly aren’t going to complain about an extra game in the mix.

The new collection features several cool additions that should make the games more enjoyable, especially if you’re tackling these often challenging games for the first time. A rewind system lets you pull back the action to just before that boss killed you (among other things), and the quick save system will undoubtedly help you feel better about tackling a hard fight when your health is already a bit low. The Advance Collection also features remappable controls, as well as a collection of art, some of which includes never-before-seen pieces. In an interesting and welcome addition, you may also select any of the regional versions that each game released, in case you’d prefer to see the North American, Japanese, or European versions.

The Castlevania: Advance Collection is out later today on Switch.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Actraiser Is Back Today With Actraiser Renaissance

Remember the semi-amazing SNES game Actraiser? It had incredible graphics for the era, and was also notable for being a fantasy hack-n-slash game mixed with simulation elements. Actraiser is back today on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC, iOS, and Android in a full remaster with Actraiser Renaissance. Check out the launch trailer below:

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Yep, in Actraiser you go through sidescrolling stages and take on giant bosses, but you also play god and try to keep your cities safe and prosperous in a sort of Sim City-style segment between excursions into levels. It’s kind of an odd mix, but back then, it absolutely worked. 

I have a soft spot for Actraiser, so this is definitely on my pickup list. Players can swap between the old soundtrack and the remastered/rearranged one as well, with some new music. The remaster also includes some new stages and new boss battles, so there’s something for old veterans that have played through the now-ancient cart many times.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Bayonetta 3 Reemerages With Dazzling First Gameplay Trailer And 2022 Launch Window

Today’s Nintendo Direct concluded with the long-awaited return of Bayonetta 3. First announced in 2017, the game has been largely radio silent with many fans fearful for its status. Today we got a first look at gameplay as well as confirmation that it’s launching exclusively on Switch in 2022. 

As has become her custom, Bayonetta returns sporting yet another new, though technically familiar, hairstyle. Fans will recognize her twin ponytails as the same look sported by Cereza, the young girl from the first game and Bayonetta’s younger incarnation. The trailer starts with a clever fake-out by having Lappy, the canine mascot from Platinum’s other action game Astral Chain, appear to seemingly stop a giant monster from destroying the city. While we thought this signaled a sequel to that game, Bayonetta swoops in to make the real save.

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Combat looks as flashy and frenetic as fans would expect, though Bayonetta now has the power to summon a Godzilla-esque Kaiju out of hair. This leads to a titanic showdown between her monster and the invading creature, presumably some sort of angel. The trailer concludes with a tantalizing tease of a mysterious male swordsman. 

 So there you have it. Bayonetta 3 is indeed a real video game. Tell us if you think it makes a good first impression in the comments!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Mammals Are Reemerging In New Splatoon 3 Trailer

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Today’s 40-minute-long Nintendo Direct held tons of announcements for fans of the company’s franchises like Kirby, despite some of the news slipping out a little before the presentation. The penultimate slot in today’s show was filled by Splatoon 3, which provided details on the upcoming title’s setting, main and special weapons, and a hair-raising new focus for the story. 

Nintendo revealed Splatoon 3 is coming to Switch in 2022 during its February Direct. There is no update to that information as today’s showcase repeated the 2022 release window with no hint about the date fans can expect to get their hands on the title. The presentation did promise that more information was on the way and that we could “look forward to future updates.” However, the Nintendo Direct did give us a little bit more information on what content to expect in the game. After an action-packed trailer, which you can see above, a “squid researcher” – complete with an official-looking white lab coat – took the stage to break down various elements seen in the footage. 

Splatoon 3 will take place in a metropolis called Splatsville, AKA the city of chaos, where the crowded population has built continuously upwards, giving the location a noticeable verticality. The city is surrounded by the Splatlands, a place known for its squid and octopus natives.

Splatoon 3 will not wildly alter some of the series’ most well-known features. Two 4-player teams will still be able to duke it out to ink the town in their own colors. However, there will be new ways to win this colorful battle, including an inky grappling hook-like device. Perhaps the most eye-catching change has to do with the game’s story mode, which is titled Return of the Mammalians. Little is known about what the resurgence of mammals will do to the game, but the end of the trailer does show an Inkling transforming into some type of hairy creature.  

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Get Ready To Race As Final Fantasy Characters In Chocobo GP For Switch

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Chocobo is taking a page from the Mario Kart playbook. While Chocobo is no stranger to racing, a new game called Chocobo GP, which was announced at today’s Nintendo Direct, is providing a new spotlight for the Final Fantasy mascot to strut its stuff on the track. 

The racing looks similar to Mario Kart, where you’ll throw things like fireballs to divert the progress of your competition and use drifting to your advantage. You can also select from iconic Final Fantasy characters, from Vivi to a Moogle, as your racer and all come with a unique set of wheels. Psst. Chocobo flies on rollerblades.

To get a better idea of the shenanigans in store, you can watch the trailer above.

You can make a mad dash for the finish line in 2022.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Voice Of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars Demo Arrives Today

If you’re looking for a card-based, turn-based RPG for the Switch, well, you don’t have to wait long. In fact, you can play the demo of Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars today! The official launch is October 28, which isn’t too far off, either. In this game, the player uses cards for a variety of effects including handling battles, items, and more, in a sort of anime-style world. There’s also dice rolling in some capacity to handle some mechanics, so there’s some spicy variance to get in the mix as you sling cards.

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There are a number of notable names attached to this project, including creative director Yoko Taro, executive producer Yosuke Saito, music director Keiichi Okabe, and character designer Kimihiko Fujisaka.

Do you have room for another card RPG in your life? We’re not yet quite sure how much deckbuilding is involved with this one, so we’ll have to take a look at the demo to find out. Is it more like a traditional card RPG like a Yu-Gi-Oh! progressive experience? Or is it more like a Slay the Spire/Monster train mix?  Are you interested in Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars? Let us know in the comments!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Nintendo Announces More Classic N64 Boards For Mario Party Superstars

Nintendo has announced more details surrounding Mario Party Superstars, the upcoming greatest-hits release of the long-running Mario Party series. This forthcoming release for the fan-favorite franchise collects 100 of the most popular minigames in the franchise’s history, as well as five classic game boards from the early Nintendo 64 days of the series. We already knew about Peach’s Birthday Cake from Mario Party and Space Land from Mario Party 2, but now we know all five classic boards on which players can expect to battle it out.

On top of those two, players can expect to smash dice blocks across Yoshi’s Tropical Island from the original Mario Party, Horror Land from Mario Party 2, and Woody Woods from Mario Party 3. On Yoshi’s Tropical Island, you travel between two islands to try and visit Toadette to buy a star, but players need to watch out, as she can trade places with Bowser at any time. In Horror Land, players can safely stroll by the King Boo statue during the day, but at night, it can steal stars from players and passersby. Woody Woods puts players on the defensive as they watch out for Monty Moles, who can change the board’s direction when you least expect it. 

If you’re more in it for the minigames, you can head to Mt. Minigames to get a focused blast of them. You can take part in minigame-only courses and compete against friends or strangers across the globe using Nintendo Switch Online. Players can also see who can get the longest win streak in Survival, or work together in the co-op multiplayer Tag Match. Mt. Minigames has seven courses for players to enjoy (though Nintendo notes that some courses can only be played online). 

Mario Party Superstars launches on Switch on October 29.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

A “Massive Expansion” Called Sunbreak Coming To Monster Hunter Rise

Kicking off today’s Nintendo Direct was the reveal of new content for the Switch-exclusive Monster Hunter Rise. Titled Sunbreak, this new content package is a “massive expansion” for Monster Hunter Rise and will arrive in 2022.

The brief look was only about a minute long but felt so much shorter. The world of Sunbreak featured a moonlit castle, a shot of Rathalos soaring through the dark purple skies, and the reveal of what looks to be a new flying wyvern with crimson wings and a dark air about it. 

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Nintendo’s Yoshiaki Koizumi gave some small broad details about the expansion after the trailer played. He said Capcom is working on many new elements for Monster Hunter Rise to be added to the expansion. Sunbreak will include new stories, locals, monsters, new hunting actions, and questing ranks for players to explore. Because it’s an expansion, Sunbreak will be a paid DLC, unlike others that have come to Rise this year.

Are there any monsters you’re looking forward to returning in the Sunbreak expansion? What do you think about the design of the new monster in the trailer? Let us know in the comments.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Nintendo 64 And Sega Genesis Games Coming To Nintendo Switch Online

You’ll soon be able to play a slew of classic Nintendo 64 games on your Nintendo Switch via the platform’s online subscription service, the company announced today during its most recent Nintendo Direct livestream. 

Nintendo revealed it will soon offer a new membership plan through Nintendo Online, through which you’ll be able to play games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, and Starfox 64. The service will allow up to four Switch owners to play games locally or online, the company said. 

Through the same membership plan, Nintendo also announced it will be adding Sega Genesis games to Nintendo Switch Online.  Shown off during the trailer were games like Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Streets of Rage 2, and Ecco the Dolphin. 

Nintendo 64 Games: 

  • Super Mario 64
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Star Fox 64
  • Yoshi’s Story
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • WinBack: Covert Operations
  • Mario Tennis
  • Dr. Mario 64
  • Sin and Punishment 

Sega Genesis Games: 

  • Castlevania Bloodlines
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Dr. Robotnick’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Ecco The Dolphin
  • Golden Axe
  • Gunstar Heroes 
  • Musha
  • Phantasy Star IV
  • Ristar
  • Shining Force
  • Shinobi III
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Strider

No specific release date was given, but Nintendo said it’s coming in late October and will offer all base elements of the Nintendo Switch Online service. The company is referring to this plan as “Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.” Users on the existing plans will be able to still do so, though they can also change their membership plans if they so choose. No pricing was given, but Nintendo said that information, as well as an exact release date, will come soon. 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Kirby And The Forgotten Land Might Be The Cutest Post-Apocalypse Ever

Nintendo may have accidentally leaked its existence beforehand, but it’s still exciting to find out that Kirby’s next adventure is called The Forgotten Land and takes Nintendo’s cutest mascot to a surprising location. Instead of the whimsical Dreamland, Kirby explores a ruined island metropolis that looks surprisingly grounded in reality. As much as a Kirby game can be, at least. 

The Forgotten Land is a fully 3D platformer with an open world to explore. You’ll traverse a city reclaimed by nature, an abandoned theme park, and other decaying locations. Don’t worry, The Forgotten City still retains the series’ fantastical vibe and sports plenty of bright colors. Only Kirby can make a seemingly post-apocalyptic game look adorable.

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Kirby and the Forgotten Land launches on Switch in spring 2022.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Halo Infinite’s Next Multiplayer Preview Adds New Features, Might Not Start Tomorrow [UPDATE]

Update Thursday, September 23: Halo Infinite’s next testing period will be available for preload this afternoon and accessible to play tomorrow morning, according to a tweet by Halo Community Manager John Junyszek. 

Also not noted in the original story were the matchmaking times for the upcoming preview. Unlike the first public flight, all matchmaking is funneled into two four-hour sessions each day of the test. Those sessions run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific time.

Original Story: Halo Infinite’s second round of technical previews starts this weekend on Xbox consoles and PC. Those who sign up for the Halo Insider program will have to check their email or account to see if they are participating. If you are, get ready for not one but two full weekends of an expanded multiplayer suite compared to the previous test.

Community Director Brian Jarrard hosted the stream showing off gameplay from the multiplayer preview.  Jarrard started with some “breaking news” that there may be a time shift involving the testing schedule due to some issue found in the flight build. Tomorrow is supposed to be the start of the test, but there’s a good chance it could see a short delay. Jarrard also revealed that the Big Team Battle portion of the test would be part of the second testing weekend. Those who haven’t been accepted into the test should look out for additional ways to access the test over the next week. 343 is currently looking into ways of “widening the funnel” to allow select Xbox insiders and friends of Steam users in on the fun. 

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Everything from the previous test will be accessible in the new flight, including bot matches, the battle pass, and Weapon Drills. The maps Recharge, Free Fire, and Bazaar will also be returning. Bots will no longer have daily increases in difficulty but rather a mix of AI levels within a team of bots.

Those looking for something more significant than a four-on-four skirmish will be glad to see the arrival of Big Team Battle, allowing for massive 12 versus 12 matches, with Capture the Flag available in this mode. BTB also comes with the latest map, Fragmentation. This Big Team Battle map is set in a coniferous-looking canyon that gives Valhalla vibes from Halo 3. Plenty of hexagonal spires and Forerunner structures jut from the ground around the environment. Loot caves are a new sub-objective in the larger maps, allowing your AI companion to hack into a locked vault and reap the benefits of whatever weaponry and other goodies you find inside. Another new map featuring dual Forerunner bases in a desert location called Behemoth brings vehicular gameplay to the 4v4 Halo battles.

Academy is expanding with this new test. There are going to be a few new ways to onboard players into Halo Multiplayer. A tutorial mission and Training Mode, an unlimited bot match with additional tutorial options layered on top, give newcomers a safe place to learn the ropes of Halo. Weapon Drills are also part of the Academy. They will feature all of the projectile weapons to try out this time around, along with updated bot movements and AI for a more challenging shooting range experience.

Testing for the second Halo Infinite Technical Preview is supposed to start tomorrow, Thursday, September 23, through Monday morning, September 26, though, as mention above, this timing could change. The second weekend with the arrival of Big Team Battle is scheduled to go live Thursday, September 30 until Monday, October 4. Halo Infinite’s full launch is December 8 on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC. Good luck out there, Spartans.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

In Unsighted, You Must Save A City Of Robots From Transforming Into Monsters In Real-Time

Unsighted is a sci-fi top-down action-adventure game that transports players to the robot-ruled world of Arcadia. In this land, humanoid automatons have been blessed with sentience thanks to an energy source called Anima. Unfortunately, this fuel is running out, and when it does, the machines will devolve into mindless killers called Unsighted. As the automaton Alma, you’re on a quest to find your missing partner and to restore Anima before it’s too late for herself and her people.

Alma boasts a vast arsenal of melee and ranged weapons, from various swords to blasters, shotguns, and even a flamethrower. Mastery of the fast-paced combat requires timing parries to deflect physical attacks, while triggering an active reload keeps your guns spraying bullets as continuously as possible. Building an Alma that suits your playstyle involves unlocking a skill tree of ability granting chips. These chips can also be crafted or discovered while exploring. Unsighted can be tackled alone or with a friend in two-player co-op. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Arcadia is an expansive, labyrinthine world filled with secrets and important NPC’s. Unsighted’s centerpiece feature is an in-game timer that counts down in real-time. Take too long to reach someone, and they could run out of Anima and transform into an Unsighted, forcing you to fight them. This can even happen to quest-giving characters as well as yourself. Thus, Unsighted features multiple endings that vary depending on if and when you can interact with or save a character before their time is up, providing plenty of replay value. 

Unsighted looks promising, and we don’t have to wait long to see how its unique premise shakes out. It launches September 30 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. You can also try a demo on Switch and Steam right now.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Top 10 Platformers To Play Right Now

Platformers used to be a dominant gaming genre, but today they often feel like a relic of a bygone era. Even so, 2021 has seen the release of several stellar platformers. If you’re looking for a game that will challenge your hand-eye coordination and jumping skills, then look no further than this list. The following games all share common elements but carve a unique path in the genre. Listed in no particular order, here are 10 incredible platformers that you shouldn’t miss.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

PlayStation 5

The Ratchet & Clank franchise was born on the PS2. While many of their contemporaries, such as Jak and Daxter or Sly Cooper, seem to have fallen by the wayside, this cosmic duo continues to churn out a good time. Rift Apart takes our best buds into a new reality and makes the most of Sony’s new hardware with a new rift mechanic. Ratchet and fellow protagonist Rivet can use rifts to teleport across environments or into entirely different realities in the blink of an eye. Ratchet & Clank’s traditional platforming-mixed-with-gunplay returns. We couldn’t get enough of Rift Apart’s zany weapons, such as the Cold Snap that encases enemies in giant, cocktail-ready ice cubes or the Topiary Sprinkler that turns enemies into stunning garden shrubs. | Our Review

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

This Switch rerelease of the 2013 Wii U platformer gave fans a chance to revisit Nintendo’s 4-player adventure – especially if they skipped the Wii U. As Mario and friends rescue the fairy-like creatures called Sprixies from Bowser’s grasp, they turn into cats and claw their way to the top of each flagpole. However, leave it to Nintendo to tag on a brand new side-game that shines just a bright as the original package. Bowser’s Fury might be short, but it has more great ideas than many full releases. This inventive new game tosses Mario into an open-world environment and tasks players with collecting Cat Shines before going toe-to-toe with a kaiju-sized Bowser. These bite-sized platforming challenges are so rewarding that it is easy to lose track of an entire night in one sitting. Bowser might be furious; we’re anything but. | Our Review

Astro’s Playroom

PlayStation 5

2018’s PSVR release Astro Bot Rescue Mission plastered a smile on our face, but we’re glad that even those who don’t have a VR headset can enjoy Astro’s follow-up adventure. Better still, Sony gave away the game; Astro’s Playroom comes free to anyone who owns a PlayStation 5. This lighthearted experience is also a love letter to the PlayStation brand, bursting with nods to many of our favorite consoles and gaming franchises. We loved hang-gliding through electrical canyons, collecting coins on frozen cliffs, and bouncing across lilypads in a mechanical frog suit. The title is also an impressive tech demo for Sony’s newest controller, and the DualSense’s haptic feedback offers realistic tactile vibrations, adding depth to the feel of walking on sand, standing in rainfall, or pushing against the wind. | Our Review

Psychonauts 2

Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac

Nineteen years is a long time to wait for just about anything, and many fans thoughts they’d never see a sequel to Double Fine’s beloved Xbox-era platformer. Young acrobat and gifted psychic Raz returns for some fresh antics; this time, he’s left the summer camp for gifted individuals to join the world-famous organization that gives the series its name. Unfortunately, a mole inside the organization threatens to awaken a long-buried secret that could destabilize world governments, so Raz must travel into a series of damaged minds and help people heal deal with their past trauma. We never knew what to expect next, from a casino-themed hospital to a cooking game show to a psychedelic ‘60s band tour. | Our Review

Super Mario Odyssey

Switch

Mario is the king of platformers, so you shouldn’t be surprised to see him on this list more than once. Naturally, we had to pick Mario’s big Switch outing because it remains a non-stop rollercoaster ride of brilliant ideas. Every level is jam-packed with engaging, interactive moments, from tearing through a forest as a T. rex to bouncing off springy flowers in a frozen desert to jumping into a wall for a 2D platforming sequence that recalls Mario’s early days. In Odyssey, Mario’s iconic headgear has also come to life, allowing Mario to possess any entity that wears the hat. Sure, possession sounds scary, but who wouldn’t want Nintendo’s chubby plumber running around in their head. | Our Review

It Takes Two

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Hazelight Studios pioneered its co-op-only approach to action games with 2018’s A Way Out, but the team really hit its stride with 2021’s It Takes Two. Cody and May are a married couple staring down the barrel of a life-altering divorce when their daughter makes a wish, and the couple’s souls end up inside a pair of handmade dolls. Sure, the narrative sounds like a bad made-for-TV Disney film, but the ensuing antics are refreshingly original. Cody and May must work together to swing through treetops, help squirrels battle a hive of angry wasps, and use magnets to platforms across a series of gears. No two moments in It Takes Two are precisely the same, ensuring its co-op action is unforgettable. | Our Review

Sonic Mania

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

These days, it’s easy to make fun of Sonic, but 2017’s Sonic Mania wasn’t just a return to Sonic’s 2D glory days, it was easily one of the best Sonic games to date. After the events of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Sonic and his friends discover that something is amiss on Angel Island. Dr. Eggman is one step ahead of the speedsters, and his team of EggRobos plan to exploit a magical gemstone for evil. Designed by members of the ROM hacking community who made their mark working on Sonic fangame, then later, official mobile ports, Mania understands what makes Sonic special. Many of Sonic Mania’s levels start as riffs on familiar stages from yesteryear, but they quickly evolve into exciting platforming experiences all their own. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles run loops across sand-swept deserts, dodge trash compactor deathtraps, and use the brand-new drop dash to race ahead of Dr. Eggman once again. | Our Review

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, Android, PC

Fall Guys isn’t the first game you’d think of when coming up with a list of the best platformers, but this nail-biting competitive experience is so compelling that there is no question it should be here. A mix between battle royales and game shows like Takeshi’s Castle and Wipeout, Fall Guys pits 60 players against each other in a series of competitive platforming challenges that are as fun to watch as they are to compete in. Whether we were ping-ponging from one bouncing platform to the next, racing across the disappearing floors, or navigating a field of spinning windmills, we couldn’t resist the pull to start “just one more match” whenever we landed on our face. | Our Review

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Switch, Wii U

The Switch has no shortage of great original platformers, but it also helps us relive a few titles that might were overlooked during the Wii U years. Retro Studio’s sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns is a beloved throwback to the SNES’s platforming days. The Kongs have just sat down to celebrate DK’s birthday when a group of arctic invaders attacks their island, turning their tropical home into a popsicle paradise. The ensuing adventure offers a sizable challenge, but the Switch version introduces Funky Kong as a playable character, and this surfing simian can double jump, hover, and walk on spikes. Better luck next time arctic invaders. | Our Review

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Since the release of Crash Bandicoot: Warped in 1998, we’ve seen dozens of games starring this goofball marsupial. However, as the name implies, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is a return in form to the glories days of the platformer that put Naughty Dog on the map. Developer Toys for Bob did a fantastic job recapturing the magic of ‘90s-era 2.5D platforming while keeping the action fresh thanks to the inclusions of Quantum Masks that slow time, turn the world upside-down, and cause all manner of havoc. Additional playable characters help shake up the action. For example, Tawna comes equipped with a grappling hook for some high-flying action, and Dingodile’s powerful vacuum allows him to suck up boxes from across the screen. | Our Review

What games on this list do you enjoy? What games would you add that aren’t listed? Let us know in the comments! If you enjoyed this list, be sure to check out our other recent genre lists by clicking on our list hub below.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Dark Souls Just Celebrated Its Tenth Anniversary

Yesterday, Dark Souls celebrated its tenth anniversary as part of gaming history. Have you played Dark Souls yet? While Demon’s Souls paved the way for the From Software action suite, Dark Souls was the title where the subgenre would become a critical part of the gaming world.

There have been plenty of arguments over which Souls game is the best over the years, with Dark Souls II perhaps leading the divisive discourse, but at the end of the day, don’t all the games really push us forward with challenges and victories? While not technically a Souls game, Bloodborne is still my favorite of the bunch. Favorite boss? Sister Friede.

What’s your favorite Souls game and why? Yes, you can choose Sekiro if you want, even though it doesn’t really line up nicely like the rest of the FromSoftware action RPGs. I mean, if you really want, you can even talk about where Souls came from, the King’s Field series of role-playing games. Or go all the way back to Shadow Tower. Okay, not Shadow Tower; that game was fairly unplayable even when it came out, so we won’t talk about that one.  And since it’s not out, you can’t pick Elden Ring. Yet.

Of course, now that Soulslikes are a thing, other companies have begun to dip their toes into these waters over the last decade. Notables include Nioh and Nioh 2, but there are plenty of Soulslikes out there, with plenty more on the way. 

Check out our somewhat recent rundown and ranking of the Souls games right here.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

The Expanded Disney Classic Games Collection Includes The Jungle Book And SNES Aladdin

When Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King launched in 2019, it allowed ‘90s Disney fans and younger enthusiasts a chance to experience two of eras’ best licensed platformers on modern consoles. However, some complained about the collection missing the beloved Super Nintendo version of Aladdin. That changes today, as a revamped bundle, dubbed the Disney Classic Games Collection, expands the number of ports while also tossing in The Jungle Book to boot. 

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Do you enjoy Aladdin? Well, this package packs more Aladdin into your Aladdin by tossing in Nintendo’s iterations of the beloved title. Fans now have every version of Aladdin in one place. The same catch-all approach applies to newcomer The Jungle Book, which you can enjoy in every available version (labeled as “Console N” and “Console S”). Here’s the full list of titles below:

Disney’s Aladdin

  • SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Sega MegaDrive
  • Final Cut: Sega Mega Drive
  • Demo Version: Sega Mega Drive
  • Japanese Version: Sega Mega Drive

Disney’s The Lion King

  • SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Sega MegaDrive
  • Japanese Version: Sega Mega Drive

Disney’s The Jungle Book

  • SNES, Game Boy, Sega Mega Drive

Like the previous collection, a rewind feature allows you to re-do any ill-timed jumps in these famously challenging titles. A Watch Mode does the opposite, letting you skip ahead to any section of a game. Each title also features a visual makeover thanks to a sharper resolution. 

For us old folks, another cool touch is the inclusion of retro-style instruction manuals. However, each physical case only includes one of the available four. You can also peep behind-the-scenes content such as concept art as well as enjoy those 16-bit tunes via a music player. 

The Disney Classic Games Collection launches on November 9 for $29.99. Owners of the previous Aladdin/Lion King collection can buy the “MORE Aladdin and The Jungle Book” DLC upgrade for $9.99. 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Marvel’s “What If…?” Is Getting 11 Funko Pops, Including Several Zombies

Funko has always been quick to market with action figures based on popular properties and has been keeping pace with the latest “What If…?” episodes on Disney+. Funko today released images of five Pop figures based on last week’s popular “What If… Zombies?” episode. This wave of figures launches this winter and consists of Zombie Wanda, Zombie Captain America, Zombie Iron Man, Zombie Falcon, and Zombie Hunter Spidey.

This awesome line of Pops comes on the heels of figures based on this animated show’s first four episodes. From the “What If… Captain Carter Were the First Avenger” episode, Funko is releasing plastic versions of The Hydro Stomper, Captain Carter, and the combo pack of Captain Carter Riding the Hydro Stomper. From the “What If… T’Challa Became a Star-Lord” episode, you can add T’Challa Star-Lord and Gamora to your collectible shelf.

The third episode, “What If… The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes,” didn’t get any figures, but the follow-up episode “What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands” has been tapped to give us a new toy of the sorcerer.

Odds are Funko will be making more “What If…” toys as new episodes of the series release. You can take a look at the entire collection so far in the image gallery below:

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Kena: Bridge of Spirits Review & Guardians of the Galaxy Impressions | GI Show

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We’re back with another exciting episode of The Game Informer Show! This week, we’re discussing our hands-on time with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the official review for Kena: Bridge of Spirits! Today’s episode is also a special one as we bring on the one and only Liana Ruppert for her last episode before she sails off to work at a little studio called Bungie. Thought we were done? We also bring on the illustrious Ben Hanson to talk MinnMax, Age of Empires IV, and so much more!

Follow the crew on Twitter: Alex Stadnik (@Studnik76), Alex Van Aken (@itsVanAken), Brian Shea (@BrianPShea), Liana Ruppert (@DirtyEffinHippy), and Ben Hanson (@yozetty).

The Game Informer Show is a weekly gaming podcast covering the latest video game news, industry topics, exclusive reveals, and reviews. Join hosts Alex Stadnik and Alex Van Aken every Thursday to chat about your favorite games – past and present – with Game Informer staff, developers, and special guests from all around the industry. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.


Check out the timestamps below to jump to a particular point in the discussion:

00:00:00 – Introduction
00:02:00 – Liana Is Going to Bungie
00:07:55 – Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
00:36:21 – Kena: Bridge of Spirits
00:52:22 – Life is Strange: True Colors
01:01:20 – Age of Empires IV
00:08:58 – Deathloop
01:18:13 – Housekeeping
01:23:09 – Heat Map
01:48:40 – Community Emails

Topic Of The Show:

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Hands-On Preview

We don’t mean to brag, but Brian Shea got to play Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy ahead of its October 26 release! In today’s show, we discuss how the character interactions felt and whether the game’s writing fits the series’ iconic characters. Shea also breaks down how the game involves Rocket, Gamora, Drax, and Groot while players only have complete control over Star-Lord. 

Check out our Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy preview here.

The Playlist:

Game Informer Staff discuss the games they’re playing.

It’s another massive week in the world of video games. We kick The Playlist off with Alex Van Aken and Ben Hanson breaking down their time playing Kena: Bridge of Spirits, developer Ember Lab’s introductory title that has us impressed with its gorgeous visuals and adorable characters. Next up Liana regales us with her time playing Life is Strange: True Colors and tells us why it’s her current game of the year. Finally, Stadnik wraps up the segment with him gushing about Deathloop and how the game empowers players and makes them feel smart through its open structure.

Read our Kena: Bridge of Spirits review here.

Listener Questions:

The Game Informer crew answers your burning questions.

Get ready for some flaming hot takes in the return of Heat Map, our community section where you can send in your own audio and we’ll play your spicy opinion on air (if it’s appropriate that is). This week, we’re hearing from Jonah, Tommy, and Joel about EA and the Star Wars license, Marvel’s Avengers Vs. Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Breath of the Wild! We also round out the show with a few good ole fashion write-in questions featuring talks about getting into the video game industry and what happened to the PlayStation Vita!

Read their questions below, or submit your own via the Official Game Informer Community Discord or by emailing us at Podcast@GameInformer.com

I have been listening to the GI crew since the Hanson era, and I finally worked up the courage to write in, I’m twenty-eight years old, and I’m from Cincinnati. My question to everyone is, how do you get into the gaming industry? Gaming is my one true passion, and I want to be in the marketing side of the industry. I have hopes of one day working for Sony, Sucker Punch, or Game Informer. My favorite games are Ghost Of Tsushima,  Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Soul Calibur 6. Thanks again, and talk about more fighting games, please! – Brandon (email)

So, with the switch now getting Bluetooth audio support, and an upcoming OLED screen. Nintendo is finally catching up to the Vita. That said, why do you think the Vita failed so spectacularly when compared to the switch given how advanced it was at the time? Was it because it can’t play Nintendo games? The rejection of standardized data storage? Some combination? Why is the switch so much more successful when it’s technologically only catching up with 2012? – Crayter (Discord) 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

September 2021 Nintendo Direct Watch Along With Game Informer

Just as the year is winding down and we think all the publishers are done with announcements for 2021, Nintendo proclaims they have another surprise in store for us. The house of Samus, Link, and Mario are back with another patented Nintendo Direct today, and the company is promising a full 40-minute presentation.

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As with any opportunity to see what the Switch’s future has to offer, we’re going to be streaming the digital presentation and chatting it up with the fantastic GI community live on Twitch! The Direct starts at 5 p.m. CT, but we’ll be going live 15 minutes early for a preshow filled with predictions, hopes, and dreams!

In typical Nintendo fashion, the company has only confirmed that we’ll be getting updates on the titles coming out throughout the upcoming winter. With Metroid Dread coming in October and Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl having a spotlight on their own Direct, that leaves Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp left on the 2021 slate. While also wholly unconfirmed, it would stand to reason we’d see the final character addition to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and thus finally giving Sakurai the much-needed break that beautiful man deserves.

But what if we dared to look further? To 2022, perhaps? It falls in the same camp as the aforementioned return to Sinnoh, but Pokemon Legends: Arceus is releasing on January 28, making it fair game for today’s show. The other possibility is we finally get an official confirmation of the reports that Game Boy games are finally coming to the Switch (which would fill my heart with so much joy). 

The truth of the matter is that almost everything I’ve written about here could be there later this afternoon, or it won’t be. That’s Nintendo. That’s also why we watch along. Thanks for joining us today, and be sure to sound off in the chat about what you think will be appearing at today’s Nintendo Direct!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

The Plane Effect Is A Surreal Adventure About Surviving Your Final Trip Home From Work

The Plane Effect is a striking dystopian adventure where you assume the role of an office worker who, after clocking out of his final day at work, just wants to get home to his family. An oppressive cosmic entity oversees the world, and, for some reason, the road home is stranger and more dangerous than you remember. But you have to get home. Your family is waiting, right? Thankfully, you don’t have to keep them waiting; you can embark on this eyebrow-raising journey right now. 

The Plane Effect’s world blends the ordinary and the surreal as players go from driving down sterile city streets to swimming beneath the ocean to slithering through narrow underground tunnels. You’ll also encounter laser-shooting robots – no one said getting back to your family would be easy. Gameplay largely consists of puzzle-solving, but those who would rather enjoy the story and atmosphere can turn to an assist option to breeze through riddles faster. Curious to see more? Check out the launch trailer down below for a taste of The Plane Effect’s strangeness.  

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The Plane Effect looks fascinating, to say the least. You can unravel its mysteries on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, and PC.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Find The Forgotten City On Switch Today Thanks To The Cloud

Starting the day with what we assume will be a busy one for Switch news, a port of the narrative-focused adventure game The Forgotten City is coming to Nintendo’s hybrid console. The Forgotten City – Cloud Version will be a streaming title co-published by Dear Villagers and Ubitus K.K., the group from which the streaming technology derives.

Like any other game which streams to your Switch, you’ll need an internet connection to enjoy The Forgotten City. It’s a technology Ubitus K.K. has honed with other titles such as A Plague Tale: Innocence and Phantasy Star Online 2 in territories across the globe. Cloud streaming is typically used to circumvent some of the graphical shortcomings of the Switch, providing a closer visual equivalent to versions of games on other platforms. However, cloud gaming can also suffer from resolution drops and increased input delay depending on your internet connection.

Developed by Modern Storyteller, The Forgotten City began life as a popular, award-winning Skyrim mod before creator Nick Pearce spun it off into a standalone product. Game Informer Editor-in-Chief Andrew Reiner had glowing words for the game in his review:

“The Forgotten City stands tall as a unique game that pulls you in with its world and words. I got a huge kick using time travel as a detective tool and found many of the characters to be delightful to chat with (even if they hold many dark secrets). If you are in the market for a different type of game that pushes you to stitch together a story in different ways than you would expect, don’t sleep on this inventive experience.”

Read Reiner’s full review here, and if you’d like, check out The Forgotten City – Cloud Version on Nintendo Switch starting today or any of its other editions on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Diablo II: Resurrected Assassin Class | New Gameplay Today

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Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Release:

September 23, 2021

Rating: Mature
Platform: PC

Diablo II is coming back to the current and last generation of consoles and PC today. With its release comes a return to one of the seminal dungeon-crawling experiences. While players will finally be getting the chance to play the Activision Blizzard project, we got to play Diablo II: Resurrected early.

Join John Carson and Alex Stadnik on this episode of New Gameplay Today, where the two editors break down their time playing the return to the classic ARPG and talk about how the game has aged since its original release 21 years ago. On top of our hands-on impression, we’re also showing off new footage featuring the Assassin class in all its quick-hitting glory.

Fans looking forward to Diablo II: Resurrected are in luck as the game releases today for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC and can check out the game’s cinematic trailer here. Thanks for watching, and if you’re enjoying our preview videos, be sure to check out our recent looks at Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Eastward, and Far Cry 6.

For those looking to stay up to date with the latest developments surrounding the Activision Blizzard lawsuit, we have an article outlining the SEC’s recent announcement of its investigation into the publishing giant.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Diablo II: Resurrected Review – Memories Made Real

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Release:

September 23, 2021

Rating: Mature
Reviewed on: PC

With Diablo II: Resurrected, Blizzard and the Vicarious Visions team did something I thought impossible – they successfully recreated Diablo II the way my mind remembers it. Looking back on the original today, it’s genuinely fascinating how this remaster paints over the old graphics with a masterful brush, showcasing the grim fantasy environments and deadly bosses precisely as I remember them. Of course, the original graphics looked nothing like this back in 2000, and viewing them today is something of a historical horror. Diablo II: Resurrected is an incredible revamp of one of the most important and influential games in history that begs to be experienced by newcomers and veterans alike.

Click here to watch embedded media

The significant change here is, of course, the graphics, which go up to 4k. At first glance, the new look might not seem like much. I said “Well, that’s pretty much how it was…” However, that’s incredibly far from the truth. In a bit of a curious and way-too-enjoyable addition to the game, players can swap between the old graphics and the new graphics with the touch of a button in real-time, even as spells, effects, and abilities fire off. I spent a ton of time with this feature, experiencing jaw-dropping moments as I compared the old with the new in each Act. While the old graphics look atrocious today and are even challenging to gaze on for long, they are a testament to Vicarious Visions’ graphical upgrade. The new visuals are incredibly faithful to the old vision, with almost none of the notable missteps we saw with Warcraft 3: Reforged where critical units ended up looking strange. By using some form of technical alchemy, the new game is layered directly over the old, and it’s stunning.

This is the first time Diablo II can be played on a controller, and it’s smooth, intuitive, and responsive. Players can assign skills to buttons easily and should make for a slick console experience. While you will find it hard to pry me away from my mouse and keyboard in a Diablo game, this was the first time I’ve been tempted due to the ease of use.

Miniscule changes give players a few quality-of-life improvements. Players pick up gold by walking over it, which is a godsend given the many stacks of littered coins in dungeons. Players have shared stash space to send items to other characters in their roster, which saves a ton of time and energy, as previously it would take a lot of character/game swapping in order to move items around. And finally, a few other options make life less of a chore, like having dropped items show up on the ground without having to hold a button down. None of these changes alter the fundamental Diablo II core, but they make the experience easier to enjoy.

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The core of the game is untouched, for better or worse. I’ll still complain about the cramped passageways in the Maggot Lair. Thanks to the isometric environments, one unfortunate click took me directly to my death, derailing a corpse run. A surge of excitement coursed through my body when Baal died and several set items dropped. A wave of despair followed as I had them identified and realized they’re trash. The whole of the gameplay experience can feel quite dated today as you simply walk from area to area, wailing on a single button or two. Nothing has been rebalanced, so some class builds remain much stronger than others.

However, the simple essence of Diablo II – gaining new skills, the never-ending loot discovery and collecting, and blasting through boss after boss and dungeon after dungeon – hold up even after all these years. As in the past, players are encouraged to explore various classes and builds as they collect piles of loot, enabling all kinds of possibilities from paladins that spin magical hammers to bear baron druids. If you have friends to play with, the experience is even more fun, taking on the nightmares together and sharing the rewards.

Diablo II: Resurrected shows why the original title remains the standard against which all other ARPGs are judged. While it doesn’t come with many hooks and ever-evolving content that has become a baseline for the genre as it transformed into a game-as-service model, not all games need to be played with forever in mind. Diablo II: Resurrected proves that Blizzard’s classic is still a blast, even today. Whether it’s your first foray into hell and beyond or your thousandth hour, Diablo II: Resurrected is worth the time.

Score: 8.75

Summary: Two decades later, Diablo II gets a posh layer of flavor.

Concept: Play the formative ARPG Diablo II with a handful of quality of life improvements and drastic visual upgrades

Graphics: The new graphics capture the spirit of the original designs and are lovely to behold

Sound: Surprisingly, the iconic grunts, growls, and hammy quips stand the test of time

Playability: Anyone can pick up Diablo II and begin collecting loot, though some build planning is recommended to tackle higher difficulties

Entertainment: Diablo II: Resurrected is a mastercraft remaster that reminds us how the original game changed the gaming landscape forever

Replay: High

Click to Purchase

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Chrous Looks To Reinvent The Space Shooter

Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Deep Silver Fishlabs
Release:

December 3, 2021

Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

Nara spent a good part of her life inside a cult called the Circle that twisted her mind and trained her to tap into a mysterious alien force called “aether.” This dark, corrupting energy allows a special few to unleash godlike powers that break all the rules of physics. Unfortunately for the Circle, the cult didn’t keep a tight enough grip on Nara’s chains; now, this skilled warrior is free of the Circle’s influence and dead set on taking them down. Armed with the most advanced starfighter in the universe, Nara’s journey takes her to some of the darkest parts of the cosmos and challenges her sanity.

Developer Fishlabs is best known for its work on the Galaxy on Fire mobile series, but publisher Deep Silver has given the studio free rein to reinvent the space shooter genre with Chorus. The open-world space combat game is full of upgrades and a few unique spins on traditional zero-g combat. Several months ago, we got a very early look at the game in action. To get a better feel for it in a more polished state, we went hands-on for the first few hours with the latest version.

Click image thumbnails to view larger version

 

                                                                                                            

Chorus begins with Nara on the run from the Circle. To gain the upper hand, Nara steals one of the deadliest weapons in the galaxy: a sentient starcraft called Forsaken. Nara is mentally linked to Forsaken, allowing her to perform incredible flight maneuvers, such as the ability to make tight turns by drifting like a racecar. Chorus offers a solid sense of speed, which is often hard to do in games set in open space.

Chorus is one giant open world full of a range of side quests and other random encounters. Throughout her journey, Nara can upgrade Forsaken’s equipment. Each weapon is especially suited for different tasks. For example, Gatling guns have a high rate of fire but low damage output, which makes them ideal against fast-moving targets. Lasers hit hard, and their focused attacks are particularly good at disabling shields. Finally, missiles are incredibly destructive against armored opponents but are comparably slow, making them best for sluggish or stationary targets. Forsaken also has three different mod slots, useful for altering weapons stats or further customizing the ship’s performance.

Chorus’ flight controls feel good, and its variety of enemies keep the action flowing. For example, Crows are lightly-armed crafts that fall apart quickly under your crosshairs, but their speed makes them hard to hunt down, and their overwhelming numbers can leave you in a bind if you don’t thin the herd. On the other hand, Vultures are heavily armored gunships that pack a punch and deploy frontal shields that make them difficult to attack head-on. Thankfully these lumbering behemoths are easy to outmaneuver. Finally, Shade-class ships are giant dreadnoughts that continuously spit out smaller hostile ships, so you will want to destroy them quickly before they overrun you.

Click here to watch embedded media

Even with Forsaken at her side, Nara isn’t ready to take on the Circle. She believes she needs to reawaken her aether abilities, so she sets off in search of a series of ancient temples connected to an ominous alien race called the Faceless. After completing these temple challenges, Nara gains new aether powers that help her both in and out of combat. One ability called the Rite of the Hunt allows Nara (and Forsaken) to briefly travel through the aether, meaning she temporarily blinks out of reality and reappears somewhere else. I used this to slip past barriers or reposition myself behind enemy ships. Another aether power transforms Forsaken into a beam of light that tears through enemy ships. Yet another allows Nara to seize control of enemy ships, turning them into deadly projectiles. Fishlabs says that Forsaken can eventually grow so powerful that Nara won’t even need weapons to take down fleets of enemies.

Space shooters have a long history in the industry, stretching back to 1971’s Computer Space. However, we haven’t seen many recent releases from the genre achieve widespread appeal. We don’t know if Chorus will change that, but it brings a few fresh ideas to the table. Chorus’ open space design, tight flight mechanics, and inventive upgrades leave us hopeful for the title’s launch in December. 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Chorus Looks To Reinvent The Space Shooter

Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Deep Silver Fishlabs
Release:

December 3, 2021

Rating: Everyone 10+
Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

Nara spent a good part of her life inside a cult called the Circle that twisted her mind and trained her to tap into a mysterious alien force called “aether.” This dark, corrupting energy allows a special few to unleash godlike powers that break all the rules of physics. Unfortunately for the Circle, the cult didn’t keep a tight enough grip on Nara’s chains; now, this skilled warrior is free of the Circle’s influence and dead set on taking them down. Armed with the most advanced starfighter in the universe, Nara’s journey takes her to some of the darkest parts of the cosmos and challenges her sanity.

Developer Fishlabs is best known for its work on the Galaxy on Fire mobile series, but publisher Deep Silver has given the studio free rein to reinvent the space shooter genre with Chorus. The open-world space combat game is full of upgrades and a few unique spins on traditional zero-g combat. Several months ago, we got a very early look at the game in action. To get a better feel for it in a more polished state, we went hands-on for the first few hours with the latest version.

Click image thumbnails to view larger version

 

                                                                                                            

Chorus begins with Nara on the run from the Circle. To gain the upper hand, Nara steals one of the deadliest weapons in the galaxy: a sentient starcraft called Forsaken. Nara is mentally linked to Forsaken, allowing her to perform incredible flight maneuvers, such as the ability to make tight turns by drifting like a racecar. Chorus offers a solid sense of speed, which is often hard to do in games set in open space.

Chorus is one giant open world full of a range of side quests and other random encounters. Throughout her journey, Nara can upgrade Forsaken’s equipment. Each weapon is especially suited for different tasks. For example, Gatling guns have a high rate of fire but low damage output, which makes them ideal against fast-moving targets. Lasers hit hard, and their focused attacks are particularly good at disabling shields. Finally, missiles are incredibly destructive against armored opponents but are comparably slow, making them best for sluggish or stationary targets. Forsaken also has three different mod slots, useful for altering weapons stats or further customizing the ship’s performance.

Chorus’ flight controls feel good, and its variety of enemies keep the action flowing. For example, Crows are lightly-armed crafts that fall apart quickly under your crosshairs, but their speed makes them hard to hunt down, and their overwhelming numbers can leave you in a bind if you don’t thin the herd. On the other hand, Vultures are heavily armored gunships that pack a punch and deploy frontal shields that make them difficult to attack head-on. Thankfully these lumbering behemoths are easy to outmaneuver. Finally, Shade-class ships are giant dreadnoughts that continuously spit out smaller hostile ships, so you will want to destroy them quickly before they overrun you.

Click here to watch embedded media

Even with Forsaken at her side, Nara isn’t ready to take on the Circle. She believes she needs to reawaken her aether abilities, so she sets off in search of a series of ancient temples connected to an ominous alien race called the Faceless. After completing these temple challenges, Nara gains new aether powers that help her both in and out of combat. One ability called the Rite of the Hunt allows Nara (and Forsaken) to briefly travel through the aether, meaning she temporarily blinks out of reality and reappears somewhere else. I used this to slip past barriers or reposition myself behind enemy ships. Another aether power transforms Forsaken into a beam of light that tears through enemy ships. Yet another allows Nara to seize control of enemy ships, turning them into deadly projectiles. Fishlabs says that Forsaken can eventually grow so powerful that Nara won’t even need weapons to take down fleets of enemies.

Space shooters have a long history in the industry, stretching back to 1971’s Computer Space. However, we haven’t seen many recent releases from the genre achieve widespread appeal. We don’t know if Chorus will change that, but it brings a few fresh ideas to the table. Chorus’ open space design, tight flight mechanics, and inventive upgrades leave us hopeful for the title’s launch in December. 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Death Stranding Director’s Cut Is Worth Another Trek Across America

Admittedly, it’d take very little for me to be on board with a Death Stranding Director’s Cut. It only needed to be more Death Stranding for me to be sold on revisiting Hideo Kojima’s latest vanity project. Luckily for me, that’s exactly what the Director’s Cut is. I love the original release, and this is a perfect excuse to dive back in. I think you should play it, too. But maybe not for the reasons you think. 

Death Stranding Director’s Cut is pitched as an expanded version of the base game that came out in 2019, the definitive version of Kojima’s vision. After 26 hours – and much, much more still to go – my knee-jerk impression is that the Director’s Cut moniker is marketing spiel more than anything. Still, there are some fun and creative new additions that enhance the overall experience.

For new players, all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from PlayStation re-releases are present in Director’s Cut – performance/resolution modes, unbelievably fast load times, 60 frames per second, and all that good stuff. More interestingly, new missions and deliveries have been added into the game somewhat seamlessly; they appear within the primary campaign itself rather than offset as the “New Content.” 

Returning or revisiting players are likely to get more out of these additions solely based on prior experience with the game. And to be fair, some of the additions are really good. I especially liked the cross-over with Valve’s Half-Life Alyx, which puts the Gravity Glove into Director’s Cut (this was in the PC version of Death Stranding, but this is the first time it’s been on console), allowing you to grab items in the world without actually walking over to them. The Maser Gun, which quickly incapacitates human enemies with a bolt of electricity, is also a great touch – though the game’s wonky aiming makes the weapon better for stealth than combat. The new racetrack makes for a fun diversion to the main path, but the game’s poor car controls mean it can be frustrating when you’re constantly crashing against walls. A Jump Ramp for motorcycles is fantastic because you can do sick stunts. Lastly, new songs included within new porter missions are all consistently solid. And as an aside, the way the game – both Director’s Cut and the original release – implements licensed music into its mission structure is so good; I wish all games were as clever in their use of music as Death Stranding. 

Importing a PlayStation 4 save means you can instantly access a lot of the new content in Director’s Cut. However, if you’re like me and want to start a new playthrough of Death Stranding, know the new stuff is scattered throughout the game’s entire campaign. At 26 hours into my playthrough, there’s still a lot, if not a majority I haven’t found – I cannot wait for the Cargo Catapult in Chapter 5. I think this is a smart way to implement new elements into the game and the best way to experience it; I feel like I’m stumbling upon it organically rather than just running down a checklist of everything I haven’t seen before. When I come across something that wasn’t in the base game – sometimes after hours and hours of old content – it makes the game feel fresh and new, even if it’s not. 

The Director’s Cut is the best way for newcomers to experience Death Stranding in some respects, but I wouldn’t discount buying the base game if you want the original experience instead. Both ways have their merits. I haven’t personally found anything in Director’s Cut that radically changes the core Death Stranding experience in such a way that it’d be impossible to play anything but – especially if you want to save a little money by buying the original release. 

But none of this really gets at the core of why I think you should play Death Stranding.

A Messy, Holistic Experience

The more time I spend with Director’s Cut, the less interested I am in running down a list of new or old mechanics – which sits at odds with my assignment: write a simple impressions piece on the game’s new content. The Gravity Glove is nifty, for sure, and the race track is fun enough, but I wouldn’t say any of the new content alone is reason to run out and buy Death Stranding Director’s Cut. At the same time, I think you should play Death Stranding if you haven’t, and the Director’s Cut only reinforces that opinion. My impression is this game needs to be experienced, no matter what form you decide to play. 

What makes Death Stranding great, and why I think it’s one of the best games of the last generation, has less to do with any individual aspect and more to do with the entire package. As a triple-A, Sony-published video game, Death Stranding is a baffling product. Not in the sense that its lore is confusing – it’s not; it’s remarkably straightforward within its fiction. Instead, Death Stranding is simultaneously a masterclass in holistic game design – make no mistake, the game is literally about walking from here to there – combined with one of the thematically messiest stories I’ve ever experienced. Kojima is wildly all over the place with what he seems to think about any given topic, leading to a lot of contradictory ideologies. But in all respects, Death Stranding’s earnestness seeps out of every pixel. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Playing Death Stranding, you get the sense that Kojima put it all on the table – his ideas about the video game industry, climate change, and for whatever reason, westward expansion and the dream of an America that maybe never existed. That the majority of the game is, in the purest sense, a walking simulator, where you manage balance, stamina, and the weight on your back, is a daring gameplay choice ostensibly meant to alienate some players. And in 2021, a game about a world-shattering event that forces everyone inside and away from human contact hits harder than when the game was first released in 2019. I think Kojima stumbled into that coincidence, but it gives the events of Death Stranding more gravity regardless. 

I love Death Stranding for everything it is. More so than almost any game last generation (save for maybe Nier Automata), it’s a game I find myself thinking about and reminiscing on; I often pull up YouTube videos just to see it in action or hear someone talking about it. Part of this comes down to the core gameplay. Walking from point A to B, delivering packages, is a meditative and calming experience for me. I enjoy planning my routes, assembling my cargo, and setting out across the vast reaches of nothingness. I love that nothingness more than anything else in the game. When Death Stranding does eventually dip its toes into action, I don’t like it as much. 

I admire the way the game goes against trends. While many games try and cater to the player’s every want and need, Death Stranding requires you to meet it on its terms. Playing the game is challenging and obtuse. Mastering the game requires patience and commitment. You’re not running around, clicking on the bad guys’ foreheads, watching blood and sparks go everywhere. You’re largely alone in this world, putting one foot in front of the other in a way that’s often tedious and monotonous in the moment but immensely satisfying at the end of any given journey. 

As an entire piece of work, Death Stranding largely stands on its own. There are, truly, not many other games like this from a narrative and mechanical standpoint – and that includes Kojima’s other work. The story’s attention to detail to a meticulous degree, the way it builds its lore and universe is fascinating. Even if it doesn’t always stick the landing – Kojima has a habit of thinking his concepts are harder to grasp than they actually are, leading to a lot of over-explanation – the commitment to world-building in a way that’s believable if you’re willing to buy into its fiction creates something unlike much else in video games. There’s an almost literary quality to the way Death Stranding takes its time to establish every minute detail in its lengthy story. You can argue Kojima’s previous Metal Gear series did the same thing narratively, but those games don’t reach quite as far as Death Stranding when it comes to obtuse game design. If anything, the closest thing to Death Stranding might be P.T., the “playable teaser” for Kojima’s infamously cancelled Silent Hill reboot, which was similarly inscrutable at times. 

The fact that Death Stranding exists isn’t surprising. The fact that Death Stranding exists as a Sony first-party release costing untold millions of dollars, with a full-blast marketing campaign reserved for only the biggest games, and celebrities a lot of games couldn’t afford, is one of the most surprising things that’s ever happened in the game industry, as far as I’m concerned. I’m so glad it does exist, though. 

If you’ve never played Death Stranding, I think you should. Whether it’s the original release or the new Director’s Cut, the game is worth experiencing. Not to say it’s perfect by any means (read Game Informer’s review for a second opinion). But there’s nothing like Death Stranding. And there may never be again; I struggle to think Sony or any other publisher will ever let Kojima be this free a second time – at least not with this kind of budget. That’s what makes Death Stranding worth experiencing. Gravity Gloves, race tracks, and cargo catapults are just icing on the cake.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Halo Infinite’s Next Multiplayer Preview Adds New Features, Might Not Start Tomorrow

Halo Infinite’s second round of technical previews starts this weekend on Xbox consoles and PC. Those who sign up for the Halo Insider program will have to check their email or account to see if they are participating. If you are, get ready for not one but two full weekends of an expanded multiplayer suite compared to the previous test.

Community Director Brian Jarrard hosted the stream showing off gameplay from the multiplayer preview.  Jarrard started with some “breaking news” that there may be a time shift involving the testing schedule due to some issue found in the flight build. Tomorrow is supposed to be the start of the test, but there’s a good chance it could see a short delay. Jarrard also revealed that the Big Team Battle portion of the test would be part of the second testing weekend. Those who haven’t been accepted into the test should look out for additional ways to access the test over the next week. 343 is currently looking into ways of “widening the funnel” to allow select Xbox insiders and friends of Steam users in on the fun. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Everything from the previous test will be accessible in the new flight, including bot matches, the battle pass, and Weapon Drills. The maps Recharge, Free Fire, and Bazaar will also be returning. Bots will no longer have daily increases in difficulty but rather a mix of AI levels within a team of bots.

Those looking for something more significant than a four-on-four skirmish will be glad to see the arrival of Big Team Battle, allowing for massive 12 versus 12 matches, with Capture the Flag available in this mode. BTB also comes with the latest map, Fragmentation. This Big Team Battle map is set in a coniferous-looking canyon that gives Valhalla vibes from Halo 3. Plenty of hexagonal spires and Forerunner structures jut from the ground around the environment. Loot caves are a new sub-objective in the larger maps, allowing your AI companion to hack into a locked vault and reap the benefits of whatever weaponry and other goodies you find inside. Another new map featuring dual Forerunner bases in a desert location called Behemoth brings vehicular gameplay to the 4v4 Halo battles.

Academy is expanding with this new test. There are going to be a few new ways to onboard players into Halo Multiplayer. A tutorial mission and Training Mode, an unlimited bot match with additional tutorial options layered on top, give newcomers a safe place to learn the ropes of Halo. Weapon Drills are also part of the Academy. They will feature all of the projectile weapons to try out this time around, along with updated bot movements and AI for a more challenging shooting range experience.

Testing for the second Halo Infinite Technical Preview is supposed to start tomorrow, Thursday, September 23, through Monday morning, September 26, though, as mention above, this timing could change. The second weekend with the arrival of Big Team Battle is scheduled to go live Thursday, September 30 until Monday, October 4. Halo Infinite’s full launch is December 8 on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC. Good luck out there, Spartans.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]