CGMagazine http://www.cgmagonline.com Comics Gaming Magazine Tue, 28 Feb 2017 01:48:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 58109468 Minecraft Reaches 122 Million in Lifetime Sales http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/minecraft-reaches-122-million-lifetime-sales/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/minecraft-reaches-122-million-lifetime-sales/#respond Tue, 28 Feb 2017 01:48:03 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96675

By Michael Koczwara

One of the biggest success stories in the last decade of video games has reached yet another milestone with Minecraft reaching over 122 million in lifetime sales. That's not the only stat worth announcing as Mojang and Microsoft also announced that Minecraft currently sees 55 million unique players on a monthly basis. These types of numbers are ones […]

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By Michael Koczwara

One of the biggest success stories in the last decade of video games has reached yet another milestone with Minecraft reaching over 122 million in lifetime sales.

That's not the only stat worth announcing as Mojang and Microsoft also announced that Minecraft currently sees 55 million unique players on a monthly basis. These types of numbers are ones that other video game series can only dream of. The details of the achievement were announced on the official Minecraft Twitter account.

Previously, Minecraft reached 20 million in sales back in January of 2013. If the very impressive sales were not enough to convince you of the game's success, then perhaps the massive $2.5 billion USD that Microsoft used to buy Mojang may change your mind. The deal was made in 2014, but as time has shown, Microsoft has not kept the series exclusive to their own platforms.

Minecraft was originally released back in November of 2011, but it had already grown a large following in its early testing stages. Since then it has arrived to a wide variety of systems, but it was first released on the PC. It was then released on the Xbox 360 in May of 2012, while a PlayStation 3 version was released on Dec. 17, 2013.

In 2015, Nintendo announced a partnership with Mojang and Microsoft to bring the beloved series to the Nintendo Wii U. The game was eventually released on Dec. 17, 2015. Half a year later in May of 2016, a free update was announced for the Wii U version that would include 40 character skins, new music tracks, and themed textures, all from the world of Super Mario.

Minecraft continues to uphold its strong popularity and you can find yourself a copy on just about every platform. For computers, it's available on Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux, while mobile devices include Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. Console versions include Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita,Wii U, and the upcoming Nintendo Switch. It's also on Apple TV!

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LG Plans to Step into the World of Steam VR http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/lg-plans-step-world-vr-steam/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/lg-plans-step-world-vr-steam/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:37:57 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96668

By Cody Orme

LG Electronics is prepping for its step into the Virtual Reality Sphere with VR HMD. A prototype for the VR HMD (head mounted display) will be unveiled at GDC 2017 in San Francisco, CA, being housed at Valves booth. The device is designed for a “high fidelity, next generation VR experience” according to a press […]

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By Cody Orme

LG Electronics is prepping for its step into the Virtual Reality Sphere with VR HMD.

A prototype for the VR HMD (head mounted display) will be unveiled at GDC 2017 in San Francisco, CA, being housed at Valves booth. The device is designed for a “high fidelity, next generation VR experience” according to a press release. Despite the company’s plan to unveil the product, they do not have a price point or launch date for the device.

The LG VR HMD looks to compete with the HTC Vive, which launched in April 2016. Up until this point, that was the only Steam VR headset on the market. Receiving a 9 out of 10 from us here at CGM, our reviewer Jedd Whitaker praising it as the best VR headset on the market at that time. It will be interesting to see is LG decides to take on HTC head on, or offer something more affordable for consumers.

Currently, the HTC Vive is priced at $1,149 (CAD), the VR headset exceeded HTC’s expectations. The industry seems healthy enough as well. According to industry tracker SuperData, the VR industry generated $1.8 billion in revenue, shipping 6.3 million units. Still, SuperData’s research shows the total earnings for VR will rise 168 per cent from 2016 to 2017, as Oculus experienced supply constraints, which have since been remedied.

Though more competition might not be a bad thing when it comes to Steam-grade VR headsets. According to SuperData research, male millennials are most likely to use VR at 52 per cent, while 48 percent of females over 35 have tried headsets at home. If LG were to take on the Vive head on, it wouldn’t be out of the question for them to implement a full body tracker as 83 per cent of VR users on PC have the space for room-scale VR.

There really isn’t much to go on aside from Valve stating they will show it off. Hopefully at GDC, there will be a clearer picture for LG’s VR plans, but until then, it’s fun to speculate.

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First 15: Horizon Zero Dawn http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/first-15-horizon-zero-dawn/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/first-15-horizon-zero-dawn/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:51:19 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96657

By Cody Orme

CGM Looks at the first section of Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerrilla Games on the PlaySation 4.

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By Cody Orme

CGM Looks at the first section of Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerrilla Games on the PlaySation 4.

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First 15: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/first-15-legend-zelda-breath-wild/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/first-15-legend-zelda-breath-wild/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:47:21 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96649

By Cody Orme

Cody and Brendan take a look at the early hours of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch and see what fans should expect when it launches later this week.

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By Cody Orme

Cody and Brendan take a look at the early hours of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch and see what fans should expect when it launches later this week.

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Paradox Interactive to Use Twitch as Sales Platform http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/paradox-interactive-use-twitch-sales-platform/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/paradox-interactive-use-twitch-sales-platform/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:21:38 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96641

By Cody Orme

The times are changing in the video game industry, as Twitch is becoming more than just a streaming service. Today, Paradox (the developers behind Cities: Skylines) announced a partnership with Twitch. Beginning in spring this year, Paradox games and contend will be available directly through Twitch Games Commerce, while revenue will be split between the […]

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By Cody Orme

The times are changing in the video game industry, as Twitch is becoming more than just a streaming service. Today, Paradox (the developers behind Cities: Skylines) announced a partnership with Twitch.

Beginning in spring this year, Paradox games and contend will be available directly through Twitch Games Commerce, while revenue will be split between the publisher, Twitch, and streamers who will earn five per cent of sales that come from their channels.

“Ultimately Paradox games are not about telling a story - they are about giving players the means to tell their own stories. Twitch, as a platform, is the natural extension of that philosophy”, says Shams Jorjani, VP Business Development at Paradox Interactive in a press release. “Giving players another way to support their favourite streamer is not only great for everyone involved - it's a logical next step in the relationship between developers, fans and streamers.”

While any new way to bring content to players is always a welcome thing, Steaming platforms have had issues with streamers who have less than reputable business practices. In particular, Twitch was at the center of controversy when the popular online shooter CS: GO had a bit of a gambling scene. Gambling sites would actually tell certain streamers about the outcomes to certain matches so the streamers could create more exciting content, while profiting off people gambling on fixed games. This wasn’t exclusive to Twitch as two YouTubers Tmartn” and “ProSyndicate” used their platform to promote a CS: Go gambling site they owned without disclosing ownership. While this isn’t necessarily the same thing, and paid advertisements with content creators is relatively common, adding an incentive for streamers makes them more akin to sales people rather than streamers. Hopefully, this will be an honest means for players to get their hands on content they see their favourite streamers playing, while not having let’s plays turn into commercials for titles.

This news comes just less than a week after Paradox interactive announced Cities: Skylines – Xbox One Edition which finally brings the franchise to consoles. But Paradox Interactive is more than just a one trick pony. With a history dating back to 1999, the company has established multiple franchises like Europa Universalis, Crusader Kings, and Magicka and the Hearts of Iron series.

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SuperData Reveals Video Game Software Sales Growth http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/superdata-reveals-video-game-software-sales-growth/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/superdata-reveals-video-game-software-sales-growth/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:00:44 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96614

By Cody Orme

The video game industry seems to be healthier than ever according to industry tracker SuperData. SuperData published their research stating the global gaming industry’s digital revenue increased in the month of January 2017 by 9.8 per cent from 2016, bringing that number to $7.8 billion from $7.6 billion in December. This continues an upward trend […]

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By Cody Orme

The video game industry seems to be healthier than ever according to industry tracker SuperData.

SuperData published their research stating the global gaming industry’s digital revenue increased in the month of January 2017 by 9.8 per cent from 2016, bringing that number to $7.8 billion from $7.6 billion in December. This continues an upward trend near the tale end of last year that saw the industry grow 10 per cent in December.

This increase probably had something to do with a strong holiday line up of titles, but interestingly enough Rockstar’s 2013 smash hit Grand Theft Auto V is still on the board at the number two selling game for consoles. This shouldn’t be surprising, as the game has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide since its release.

What is surprising however is Zynga Poker’s resurgence, bringing in $13 million in revenue, marking the fourth straight month of growth for the title. While it didn’t crack the top 10 on SuperData’s list, they show this is a rather large growth, up 94 per cent from January 2016, and its conversion is the highest since Znga Poker’s launch in July 2007 at 4.9 per cent.

ARK: Survival Evolved stands out as the only non-AAA titles in the top 10 list, landing at number four. It actually lands ahead of titles like Battlefield 1, Destiny, NBA 2K17, and Destiny.

But enough about some highlights, here are the top selling digital titles for PC, consoles, and mobile according to SuperData.

PC

  1. League of Legends
  2. Crossfire
  3. Dungeon Fighter Online
  4. Overwatch
  5. World of Warcraft (West)
  6. World of Tanks
  7. World of Warcraft (East)
  8. Lineage I
  9. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  10. DOTA 2

Console

1) FIFA 17
2) Grand Theft Auto V
3) Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
4) ARK: Survival Evolved
5) Call of Duty: Black Ops III
6) Battlefield 1
7) Star Wars Battlefront
8) Destiny
9) NBA 2K17
10) Madden NFL 17

Mobile

1.) Clash Royal
2) Monster Strike
3) Clash of Clans
4) Pokémon GO
5) Fate/Grand Order
6) Mobile Strike
7) Fantasy Westward Journey
8) King of Glory
9) Onmyoji
10) Candy Crush Saga

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WB Offically Announces Middle-Earth: Shadow of War http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/wb-offically-announces-middle-earth-shadow-war/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/wb-offically-announces-middle-earth-shadow-war/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:01:05 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96623

By Brendan Frye

Amongst rumours and leaks, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has announced that Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is in development from Monolith Productions. The sequel to the best-selling game, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, that tasks the series heroes Talion and Celebrimbor, with forging a new army that will eventually turn all of Mordor against the dark lord himself, Sauron, continues the […]

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By Brendan Frye

Amongst rumours and leaks, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has announced that Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is in development from Monolith Productions.

The sequel to the best-selling game, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, that tasks the series heroes Talion and Celebrimbor, with forging a new army that will eventually turn all of Mordor against the dark lord himself, Sauron, continues the open world gameplay players enjoyed in the first game of the series.  This new instalment will offer a whole new series of enemies and challenges for players to overcome. Taking place between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, players will enjoy new powers, while more of the Dark Lord's armies are working against you, including the Nazgul.

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

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

The Nemesis System from Shadow of Mordor is back, giving players unique personal stories though the procedurally-generated enemies they will experience throughout the game. Shadow of War also improves on the system in many ways with Nemesis Fortresses, that allows players to enlist different strategies to overcome dynamic strongholds to build personalised stories with their unique Orc army.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War will be available for Xbox One, Project Scorpio, Windows 10 PC (Windows Store and Steam, and will be an Xbox Play Anywhere title), PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro beginning Aug. 22, 2017.

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New Switch Game Only Playable in Tablet Mode http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/new-switch-game-playable-tablet-mode/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/new-switch-game-playable-tablet-mode/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:54:15 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96628

By Cody Orme

With the Nintendo Switch launching on Mar. 3, 2017 boasting three different ways to play, one game slated for the console will only allow one.VOEZ, a rhythm title by Rayark International Limited currently available on iOS and Android, will only allow for tablet mode play on the Nintendo Switch, with publisher Fly High Works stating […]

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By Cody Orme

With the Nintendo Switch launching on Mar. 3, 2017 boasting three different ways to play, one game slated for the console will only allow one.VOEZ, a rhythm title by Rayark International Limited currently available on iOS and Android, will only allow for tablet mode play on the Nintendo Switch, with publisher Fly High Works stating in a press release that touch controls are the only way to play the game.

“This software can not play in TV mode. Touch the touch screen in mobile mode to play the game. Button operation is not available,” says Fly High Works in a google translated press release, adding  Voez will include an exclusive song for the Nintendo Switch version of the game.

Many fans have questioned if all Switch titles will be compatible for both docked and undocked modes, but this comment shows that is not the case. More interestingly though, it appears the Switch is primed to allow easy ports of mobile titles to the console. Before the Switch’s reveal, some With a Nvidia Tegra CPU and Nvidia GPU, the architecture of the Nintendo Switch is more in line with the hardware mobile titles are native to, so this could be a trend worth keeping an eye on.

Nintendo’s goal to make hardware more akin to smart devices can be traced back to 2014 where former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata spoke at an investor’s meeting. Discussing ways to prevent software droughts, the Iwata looked to Apple and Android for inspiration.

“Apple is able to release smart devices with various form factors one after another because there is one way of programming adopted by all platforms. Apple has a common platform called iOS. Another example is Android,” said Iwata in a 2014 investors meeting.  “Though there are various models, Android does not face software shortages because there is one common way of programming on the Android platform that works with various models. The point is, Nintendo platforms should be like those two examples.”

Now, that looks to be the case as Voez is a relatively popular mobile title. Voez originally launched in May 2016, and has enjoyed a 4.5/5 user score on Google Play, translated for Japanese, English, Traditional Chinese, and Korean.

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BATTLECREW: Space Pirates Preview - High Octain Inspiration http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/battlecrew-space-pirates-preview-high-octain-inspiration/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/27/battlecrew-space-pirates-preview-high-octain-inspiration/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:00:01 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96538

By Cody Orme

Pirates are cool, space is cool, and space pirates muster up pixelated memories of Metroid, which when done right can make for a great experience. Thankfully, DONTNOD ELEVEN's BATTLECREW: Space Pirates does just that. It’s a high-octane shooter on Early Access, filled to the brim with personality that borrows the very best ideas from the […]

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By Cody Orme

Pirates are cool, space is cool, and space pirates muster up pixelated memories of Metroid, which when done right can make for a great experience. Thankfully, DONTNOD ELEVEN's BATTLECREW: Space Pirates does just that. It’s a high-octane shooter on Early Access, filled to the brim with personality that borrows the very best ideas from the very best games across multiple genres.  It’s a sidescrolling, loot plunging, 2D take on the hero shooter genre that reeks of potential.

With games like Overwatch, Paladins, and to a lesser extent Battleborn taking the spotlight by cultivating an interesting take on First Person Shooters mixed with MOBA elements, it was only a matter of time before we got our Terraria to the genre’s Minecraft, and for all intents and purposes, BATTLECREW: Space Pirates can be that if the team at DONTNOD manage to build an enthusiastic community to participate. While that is a noble goal, it is also a challenging task, especially when a game like this lives and dies by its community. Allowing for eight people to play at once, BATTLECREW: Space Pirates’ maps have the potential to bustle with pure chaos. That’s just a theory however, because in my time previewing BATTLECREW: Space Pirates I didn’t manage to actually play against real people. Instead, I ended up playing many 2v2 matches squaring up against computers. Even without real people, it was really fun.

Players can participate in a standard, run of the mill team deathmatch, but the mode that will probably get the most enthusiasm is “Goldrush”. In this mode, players are pitted against each other in 4v4 action with a time limit where the goal is to find treasure chests. From there they must make a dash back to the base to unload the plunder. At the end of the time limit, the player that has the most treasure wins (crazy concept, I know). There is some strategy that goes into this, as the game almost feels like a pseudo-metroidvania title utilizing multiple branching pathways with some that only go in one direction. Finding the route that best suits your character is imperative.

With that said, at the moment, there isn’t a lot in the way of playable characters (more have already been announced, so don’t worry). Much like Battleborn, each character is packed to the brim with over-the-top personality, and their play styles and special moves compliment that. There’s John Trigger, a rifle-shooting marine-type, Janger, a close encounter blade specialist tiger-man, and Comet, a dual-wielding pistol woman. As much as I wanted to specialize with close combat, I found anyone with a ranged weapon was immediately better. There really is no reason to use Janger at the moment, and any melee character could be at a huge disadvantage as there is no compensation for their lack of projectile ability. Normally, a close encounter specialist would make up for that with speed, however that didn’t seem to be the case. My personal favourite is John Trigger. His automatic rifle and rocket special attack made him the most efficient of the bunch, despite his relatively basic nature. In terms of combat, BATTLECREW: Space Pirates is easy to jump into with the mouse controlling the characters aim, typical controls to move the character, and each character coming equipped with two special moves. It blends the 2D adventure aspect of Metroid with combat inspired by MOBAS mixed with a bit of Contra. All of this blends into a hectic title that is just fun to play.

While BATTLECREW: Space Pirates is still in Early Access, DONTNOD ELEVEN has all the right tools to make a memorable online experience. By blending the best of various standouts in their respected genres, there’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to this 2D hero-shooter.  I’m interested to see BATTLECREW: Space Pirates a little more fleshed out, but even in playable development, it’s a fun experience.

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Game Over Man: Remembering Bill Paxton http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/26/game-man-remembering-bill-paxton/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/26/game-man-remembering-bill-paxton/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 01:35:12 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96606

By Phil Brown

This morning I was flicking through my Twitter feed expecting to feel as sad an uncomfortable as ever with the latest spurt of news. As usual, one headline made me feel deeply sad. However, this one couldn’t have been more unexpected. At the far-too-young age of 61, the great Bill Paxton passed away due to […]

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By Phil Brown

This morning I was flicking through my Twitter feed expecting to feel as sad an uncomfortable as ever with the latest spurt of news. As usual, one headline made me feel deeply sad. However, this one couldn’t have been more unexpected. At the far-too-young age of 61, the great Bill Paxton passed away due to surgery complications. This one hurt. Sure, I have no personal connection to Mr. Paxton. It just felt like I did because of the irreplaceable work he delivered in film and television over the last 30 plus years. Any time the opening credits of a movie boasted his name, it was clear that there would be at least one scene worth watching. Bill Paxton was always an immensely entertaining presence across countless movies. Unpretentious and infectiously energetic, no film was ever hurt by casting Bill Paxton and the movies will certainly be a little less loveable without him.

Game Over Man: Remembering Bill Paxton 1

Paxton didn’t have an easy ride getting into the industry. He spent years toiling away on the sets of everything from porno to Roger Corman productions for almost a decade hoping to claw his way into film on either side of the camera. While working as a crew member for Corman, Paxton struck up a friendship with a young James Cameron (who was also paying his dues at the time), which would later help launch his career. While working together on the forgettable Alien knock off Galaxy Of Terror, Cameron mentioned that he was writing a script about a certain time traveling cyborg and when Jimbo finally made The Terminator he through Paxton a bone as one of the punks that naked robo Arnie stole clothing from.

That small role was one of many eccentric bit parts that helped get Paxton into the industry in the early 80s. But it was the second role that Cameron earmarked for Paxton that would be his breakout. Of course that movie is Aliens, the role was Hudson, and the iconically quotable Paxton lines from that movie are nearly endless. That same year (1986), Paxton also appeared as the absolutely nutty older brother Chet Donnelly in Weird Science and shot his incredible cowboy vampire psychopath performance in Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark (as well as this goddamn delightful music video for his band Martini Ranch that was directed by Cameron and co-starred Bigelow). After that, Paxton became a permanent fixture in genre movies.

It would be easy to list off every single one of Paxton 93 on screen appearances and pick out at least one memorable moment. He always made the most of every role. There were more scene-stealing parts for James Cameron in True Lies and Titanic. He was killed by a Predator, helped bring back Mighty Joe Young, and twice befriended the Spy Kids. He was in prestigious projects like Apollo 13, Hatfields & McCoys, Nightcrawler, and Big Love. He was in trash like Future Shock and Thunderbirds. He eventually graduated from supporting roles to headline the likes of Twister and Sam Raimi’s snow-covered crime masterpiece A Simple Plan. Paxton was a constant presence on screens of all sizes and never slowed down. In just the last few years he screamed at Tom Cruise through Edge Of Tomorrow, did a season on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and just finished shooting the first season of Training Day right before he passed. Paxton was a cult and character actor, but one who never seemed to go out of style.

Admirably Paxton never gave up his filmmaking dreams when he found a career mugging for the camera. He actually made a name for himself as a director first thanks to the legendarily bizarre music video “Fish Heads”  that he shot in 1980 and seemed to play on MTV in perpetuity thereafter. Then in 2001 he got a dream project Frailty off the ground as a director and star, which was an extraordinary Southern Gothic with a terrifying religious bent. The film seems to get better and more unsettling with each viewing and while Frailty never got the cult following it deserved, it did allow Paxton to direct a rather delightful sports drama (The Greatest Game Ever Played) a few years later and teased a worthy directorial career that would never be. As Paxton aged out of the character actor circuit, he likely would have matured into an intriguing filmmaker who surprised many with an unexpected second act to a long career. Sadly that never happened, but Paxton did leave behind a bizarre and strong (if all too brief) career as a director beyond his acting work that showed just how much talent there was beneath his lovable persona and seemingly effortless naturalism.

All of which barely scratches the surface of the long and lovable career of Bill Paxton. He was a man beloved by the industry and a performer adored by generations of film nerds who cherished every single scene that he stole. It’s hard to imagine a film industry without the dependable presence of Bill Paxton to shoot a little life into yet another adorable onscreen goofball. Sadly, that’s where we’re at though. One of the most consistently underrated performers of his generation has passed before he could ever get the career-retrospective respect that he so richly deserved. That makes this a dark day in Hollywood history, one that can only be improved by Bill Paxton tribute screenings that will hopefully be lighting up televisions worldwide before we all try to find our way through a dull Paxonless existence tomorrow. RIP Bill, you will be missed by everyone who ever saw you flash that wide lunatic grin on a screen because you always made us smile our own in return.

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Samsung Announces New Gear VR with Remote at MWC 2017 http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/26/samsung-announces-new-gear-vr-remote-mwc/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/26/samsung-announces-new-gear-vr-remote-mwc/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:27:04 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96600

By Brendan Frye

Samsung Electronics, at Mobile World Congress, unveiled the next iteration of their smartphone powered VR headset, the Gear VR. The 2017 model of the headset, not only will be a refreshed from past models, but this time comes packed with a special motion controller. With the new controller, consumers will have a new way to […]

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By Brendan Frye

Samsung Electronics, at Mobile World Congress, unveiled the next iteration of their smartphone powered VR headset, the Gear VR. The 2017 model of the headset, not only will be a refreshed from past models, but this time comes packed with a special motion controller. With the new controller, consumers will have a new way to interact with the virtual world, making Gear VR a more immersive overall experience. 

The controller, much like what is seen on the HTC Vive and the Oculus Touch, offer players a way to interact with the virtual worlds, that goes beyond the simple act of head movement or what some third party controller may offer.

The new touchpad will offer users a better way to interact with menus and game experiences. Offering various forms of motion such as pointing within the virtual space, drag and drop style actions, tilt. Combine that with triggers that bring players more engaging experiences, and the new Gear VR, is a great step forward for an already exciting VR offering.

“At Samsung, we are focused on setting and exceeding the standard for VR experiences, making them even more accessible and delivering the highest in quality,” said Younghee Lee, Executive Vice President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “The Gear VR with Controller expands our VR ecosystem to help consumers get more engaged and immersed in VR content – whether it’s games or videos.”

With most high-end VR still being an expensive investment and requiring a home set-up dedicated to the experience, it is great to see mobile VR steadily improving over time. With the barrier to entry on VR on mobile being much lower than on the desktop or console, it is easy to see that devices like the Gear VR with Controller will play a huge role in making VR ubiquitous technology.

The new Gear VR with Controller offers 41mm lenses, with a 101-degree Field of view and distortion correction technology, that aims to eliminate motions sickness as much as possible. The Gear VR with Controller will support micro-USB along with USB Type-C with a special converter that will be included in the box. The Gear VR with Controller will support Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, S6 edge+, S6 and S6 Edge.

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Batman Rebirth: I Am Suicide Comic Review http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/batman-rebirth-suicide-comic-review/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/batman-rebirth-suicide-comic-review/#respond Sun, 26 Feb 2017 15:00:55 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96570

By Boyd Reynolds

The Bat and the Cat. Batman and Catwoman have had a long-standing love affair throughout the history DC Comics. Her first appearance was way back in 1940 with Selina Kyle debuting in Batman #1. This burning affection has lasted decades and gone through many incarnations, from famous comic storylines like The Long Halloween, Hush and […]

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By Boyd Reynolds

The Bat and the Cat. Batman and Catwoman have had a long-standing love affair throughout the history DC Comics. Her first appearance was way back in 1940 with Selina Kyle debuting in Batman #1. This burning affection has lasted decades and gone through many incarnations, from famous comic storylines like The Long Halloween, Hush and The Brave and the Bold #197 to Detective Comics #557. Their flirtation went beyond comics as well, making its way into the 1960’s Batman TV series and feature films Batman Returns and The Dark Knight Rises. The most recent version comes from Tom King’s Batman Rebirth. Titled Batman: I Am Suicide, this mini-series runs through issues #9-13, where Batman and Catwoman’s romance is once again in full swing.

The courtship is intertwined with the Caped Crusader’s suicidal crusade to retrieve Psycho-Pirate from Bane in Santa Prisca prison. Batman needs Psycho-Pirate and elicits the help of some Arkham Asylum inmates: the Ventriloquist, Bronze Tiger, Jewlee, Punchee and of course, Catwoman. They are headed to Bane’s stronghold—Santa Prisca prison, where he sits deep within its walls, protected by a high powered army.

Batman Rebirth: I Am Suicide Comic Review 2

The strength of Batman: I Am Suicide comes from the love story between Batman and Catwoman. Its most potent moments are when King shows the love letters between the two. They are heartfelt, poetic and gripping. With Batman: I Am Suicide, we really get into the heart of both masked darlings. It’s here where King’s writing succeeds; it pulls the reader into an emotional longing between the two star-crossed lovers and makes it easy to empathize with the suicidal situation they are in—one being a crime fighter, the other being a criminal. If nothing else, it makes for great drama.

Juxtapose this with the incredible and violent fight scenes in Batman: I Am Suicide, and you have something special at work here. Artist Mikel Janin does a terrific job of bringing to life Batman bashing his way through wave after wave of Bane’s machine gun touting flunkies. The splash pages are to die for in Batman: I Am Suicide, whether it’s the Dark Knight scaling the skyscraper-like walls of Santa Prisca or entering Arkham Asylum under the raining, bleak skies of Gotham.

Another success of Batman: I Am Suicide is the panel choice. This isn’t your father’s comic book. The most striking pages, outside the splash pages, are those that use a creative flair with the panel selection. Whether its panels carving out page space with dark, jagged lines or non-traditional angles, these pages give Batman: I Am Suicide its edge.

What hinders Batman: I Am Suicide though is the dialogue. At times, the repetitive nature of Batman and Catwoman’s dialogue was tedious. It takes away from the strengths described above. As well, Bane is a letdown. Coming from his momentous back-breaking work in Knightfall to his portrayal in The Dark Knight Rises, a naked Bane, sitting mostly in his chair, plotting and scheming, leaves a lot to be desired. While he does get his just deserts in the end, it too wasn’t as powerful as one would have liked.

But, if you’re interested in a good Batman story, especially one that combines a heartfelt romance with knockout action splash pages, then Batman: I Am Suicide is for you.

Score:8

Final Thoughts:Batman Rebirth: I Am Suicide

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Film and TV News Roundup 2/24/17: Batman, Obama, and more http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/film-tv-news-roundup-feb-24-2017/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/film-tv-news-roundup-feb-24-2017/#respond Sat, 25 Feb 2017 02:52:51 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96594

By Mike Cosimano

Hi everyone! Welcome to another film and TV news roundup -- this particular installment will be covering US President Barack Obama's taste in film, the new director of the upcoming standalone Batman flick, and more! Matt Reeves -- best known for Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes […]

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By Mike Cosimano

Hi everyone! Welcome to another film and TV news roundup -- this particular installment will be covering US President Barack Obama's taste in film, the new director of the upcoming standalone Batman flick, and more!

  • Matt Reeves -- best known for CloverfieldDawn of the Planet of the Apes, and the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes -- has been confirmed as the director of the upcoming Batman solo picture, still under working title "The Batman." Reeves is "honored and excited" to be working on the film, because of course that's what you say when you join up with a major film studio to work on an iconic property. This announcement follows news that the titular Batman, Ben Affleck, would be leaving the director's chair, as well as unsubstantiated rumors that Affleck wants to leave behind the role altogether.
  • In an interview with ScreenRant, Hugh Jackman said that a potential X-Men/Marvel Cinematic Universe team-up would have given him some pause regarding his decision to leave his iconic role as Wolverine. Those were his exact words -- he did not say that he would definitely play Wolverine if he could pal around with Iron Man. He just found the idea compelling and probably would've given his decision some additional thought. Just...let's all temper our expectations here.
  • According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Obama family were big film buffs during their time in the White House. The President reportedly asked for multiple award screeners, including one for Best Picture frontrunner La La Land, as well as screeners for newer releases. Curiously, among those "new releases" was allegedly the kids film Monster Trucks. Now, that could've been a family decision, but it's hard to not love the idea of Barack Obama getting excited about a literal monster hiding inside a truck. The family's love of film has continued well into Obama's post-Presidential life, with former First Daughter Malia interning at the Weinstein Company.
  • Kotaku is reporting that Hayao Miyazaki will be coming out of retirement once again to make a full-length feature film. The news came from producer Toshio Suzuki, who confirmed Miyazaki's return during a press tour for the Oscar-nominated short The Red Turtle. Miyazaki's upcoming film will reportedly be based on a CG short called Kemushi no Boro that Miyazaki animated himself during his "retirement." Currently, the film is set for release "before the 2020 Olympics."

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Pixels & Ink- 237 - Switch on the Horizon http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/pixels-ink-237-switch-horizon/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/pixels-ink-237-switch-horizon/#respond Fri, 24 Feb 2017 23:46:15 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96584

By Cody Orme

On this week's episode of the Pixels and Ink Podcast, Phil saw Get Out, Cody got to play with the Switch. The gang talks Zelda, the Joy-Con and the newest darkest X-Men movie.

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By Cody Orme

On this week's episode of the Pixels and Ink Podcast, Phil saw Get Out, Cody got to play with the Switch. The gang talks Zelda, the Joy-Con and the newest darkest X-Men movie.

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Nintendo Switch Retail Unboxing http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/nintendo-switch-retail-unboxing/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/nintendo-switch-retail-unboxing/#respond Fri, 24 Feb 2017 22:18:37 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96576

By Brendan Frye

Associate Editor Cody Orme unboxes the Nintendo Switch. Check it out and find out what you will find inside the retail box.

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By Brendan Frye

Associate Editor Cody Orme unboxes the Nintendo Switch. Check it out and find out what you will find inside the retail box.

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Razer Brand and eSports Get Hijacked by Cyber Criminals http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/razer-brand-hijacked/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/razer-brand-hijacked/#respond Fri, 24 Feb 2017 22:07:54 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96563

By Jordan Biordi

As the digital age continues to evolve and grow, so too do hackers and scammers, finding new ways to rip people off. Being one of the largest and most well-known names in gaming tech and eSports, Razer has become the most recent target of email scams.  Razer has released a global Press Alert warning about potential […]

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By Jordan Biordi

As the digital age continues to evolve and grow, so too do hackers and scammers, finding new ways to rip people off. Being one of the largest and most well-known names in gaming tech and eSports, Razer has become the most recent target of email scams. 

Razer has released a global Press Alert warning about potential scam targeting Razer's global brand and gamers' love of eSports is being targeted by scammers. Razer is warning of a fake email offering a free streamer sponsorship from Razer that supposedly hit the Internet last week. This email is a scam and recipients should not click on any of the links within the email as it will launch a malware application.

Scam Indicators include the following: the email comes from a Gmail account and not from a Razerzone.com account; Razer is misspelled in the email address as “Razorzonesponsorship”; The email body contains spelling and grammatical mistakes that are common in scam emails.

According to the Alert, "Razer’s brand and fan base are being used to spread malicious software and we want to ensure that anyone who receives this email is aware of the danger. Razer does not send out sponsorship deals via email. Interested streamers are encouraged to sign up at Razer’s bona fide site, https://www.razerzone.com/supported-streamer."

We live in a time where people are more connected to technology than ever before and scam artists are aware of this. The Scotiabank website warns bankers of potential "Smishing" scams, where scam artists craft elaborate texts, and even a recent phone scam would ask, "can you hear me" to record the caller saying, "yes" and use that recording to fraudulently suggest they signed up for certain services.With eSports being a budding, but viable industry, a young gamer would obviously jump at the opportunity for a sponsorship and unwittingly open an email loaded with malware.

As always, it takes vigilance to avoid getting scammed. Be mindful of emails when you register for different services, and Google anything that looks suspicious to see if other people are reporting it as well.

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Lost $10K SNES Game Package Found! http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/lost-10k-snes-game-package-found/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/lost-10k-snes-game-package-found/#respond Fri, 24 Feb 2017 21:34:15 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96511

By Jordan Biordi

You may have heard recently how $10,000 worth of Super Nintendo games was reported missing by the USPS. Just as the games' buyer, a revered emulator developer and game archivist by Byuu, was about to give up hope, the games were miraculously recovered! The package was part of an ongoing project by Byuu to archive […]

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By Jordan Biordi

You may have heard recently how $10,000 worth of Super Nintendo games was reported missing by the USPS. Just as the games' buyer, a revered emulator developer and game archivist by Byuu, was about to give up hope, the games were miraculously recovered!

The package was part of an ongoing project by Byuu to archive every SNES game in existence. According to Byuu's website,  had initially spent $10K to purchase all 725 SNES games that were sold in the U.S.A. After archiving the set, he sold it off and used the proceeds, as well as an additional 10K to purchase all 1450 games sold in Japan.

When he moved on to archive all the games released in the PAL region he ran into the problem. Being low on funds, rather than purchasing the games, he arranged to borrow them from a European collector using the handle "Smarthuman." He would send Byuu the games 100 at a time, and Byuu would send them back after they had been archived.

The first 100 went off without a hitch, the second batch, not so much. The package was initially sent to him on Jan. 5th, 2017. On Feb. 14th, Byuu had received a letter with the shipping label of the package stating the package had been damaged by machines and was missing. Byuu supposedly did everything he could to find it, saying, "I had actually started trying to get help for this long before February 14th. I had stopped by my local post office twice, called 1-800-ASK-USPS, filed an online missing mail claim, spoke to @USPSHelp on Twitter, etc. Nobody would do anything but try to get rid of me as soon as possible."

It wasn't until the media picked up the story that someone at USPS finally took notice. According to Byuu, "On February 16th, finally a manager at the USPS Consumer Affairs department took note of the case. And I mean that literally: he told me straight up the reason he was contacting me was because of the news articles he had encountered on this case. So thanks to the coverage, I finally had a strong contact within the USPS who passed me to his employee who then proceeded to open an investigation and help search for the package."

On Feb. 21, 2017, Byuu received a confirmation that his package had been found, only to be informed by his CA representative that the search was a failure and the email was errant. However, she assured him she request all possible locations the package could have ended up at to do one final search.

The Lost $10K SNES Game Package Has Been Found!

And on Feb. 23, 2017 the package was found safe and intact, an overwhelming relief for Byuu who said, "Truth be told, I truly believed on February 14th that the package was lost forever. As such, I started to collect donations to help split the costs of buying and replacing all of these games for the donor. Yes, I know it wasn't legally my responsibility, but I couldn't live with myself if I didn't."

The Lost $10K SNES Game Package Has Been Found! 1

In total, Byuu collected $1,020 via Paypal, plus pledges for $146 via Patreon to which he is completely refunding to all donors.

Going forward, Byuu plans to receive games in much smaller quantities, and while he extends an apology to USPS for initial claims of theft or negligence, he does believe they should review their equipment to avoid problems like this in the future.

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Logan Movie Review - Rated R Swan Song http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/logan-movie-review-rated-r-swan-song/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/logan-movie-review-rated-r-swan-song/#respond Fri, 24 Feb 2017 20:15:18 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96543

By Phil Brown

After 17 years and 7 films, Hugh Jackman’s tenure as Wolverine finally comes to an end and thankfully, it’s one hell of a finale. However, this isn’t some bright and colourful celebratory swansong. Far from it. After last year’s two colourfully goofy entries in the X-Men franchise, Logan is a cold, embittered, and battered wake. […]

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By Phil Brown

After 17 years and 7 films, Hugh Jackman’s tenure as Wolverine finally comes to an end and thankfully, it’s one hell of a finale. However, this isn’t some bright and colourful celebratory swansong. Far from it. After last year’s two colourfully goofy entries in the X-Men franchise, Logan is a cold, embittered, and battered wake. It’s a fitting farewell to the tortured character who has been through so much heartbreak, whether it be his painful backstory in narrative continuity, or the fact that the character headlined the two low points (X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine) in this long-running superhero franchise. Yet, even viewers hoping for a dark and gritty take on the clawed hero will be surprised by just how sombre and solemn this film can be. It’s clear that James Mangold and co. had complete creative control over this R-rated mutant Western, and they delivered a blockbuster of substance that feels surprisingly uncommercial for a franchise feature.

We catch up with Logan (Jackman) waking up from another drunken night in the back of the limo he drives for hire. The year is 2029. Mutants have essentially been abolished and gone extinct, putting Logan into hiding. He’s awoken by a group of thugs trying to highjack his limo and he responds by slicing n’ dicing them up in brutal fashion. So, not your typical hero. We then learn that Logan has been hiding in a rusted out and abandoned smelter in the middle of a desert. There he and an albino mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant) care for Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) whose mind is ailing and frequently experiences seizures (which is a problem for the world’s most powerful psychic as one of his first big seizures accidentally killed thousands, and his brain is now considered a weapon of mass destruction).  So, it’s not a great existence for the old X-Men buddies. But a little sliver of hope arrives in the form of a young girl (Dafne Keen). She’s the first new mutant to appear in decades and has Logan’s claws, rage, n’ healing powers so he feels a connection. Together, Logan and Xavier will try to take her to a fabled Eden for lost mutants that may or may not exist, endlessly pursued by a gang of government agents who don’t take kindly to mutant types. Not exactly a happy tale, but definitely a worthy one.

All of the colour and comic book excitement of the last few X-flicks is washed away in James Mangold’s comic book neo-Western. Our heroes are shadows of their formers selves who have been responsible for such horrible deeds that they barely even remember when they once were superheroes. Thanks to Deadpool’s success, Mangold (The Wolverine, Copland, Walk The Line) gets an R-rating this time and he uses it to shoot the action scenes through bloody brutality. This isn’t necessarily the slapstick gore of Deadpool mind you, but a more vicious and nasty disembowelling and limb-flinging violence that’s as uncomfortable as it is thrilling. His movie constantly questions the heroism of Wolverine and the violence of the heroes is often worse than the violence of the villains. Shot in faded colours and on sand-blasted sets, the world feels like a wasteland and the lawless world of oh so many Westerns. Mangold frequently quotes and references the classic morality questioning Western Shane, and while that often can be a bit overstated on screen, it’s a nice meta acknowledgement of the genre movie influences on Logan that stretch far beyond comic books.

Jackman delivers easily his best portrayal of the iconic X-Man, thanks mostly to the film’s layered exploration of the character. He’s more battered and bruised than usual, with his healing powers slowly fading. His weary eyes have clearly seen tragedies the film doesn’t feel the need to make literal. His ailing body can’t quite launch into berserker attacks like it used to, even one of those pesky claws won’t slide out so easily anymore. Jackman clearly relishes the opportunity to explore some existential angst between action scenes and delivers a heartbreaking portrayal of the character. Even better is Patrick Stewart as a tortured Professor X who has fallen even farther than Logan from his once noble perch. He clearly can’t cope with what he’s done or how his powerful mind has left him, but the flickers of hope that appear with the arrival of a new mutant briefly bring him back to life. Dafne Keen is also wonderful as the wounded young Wolverine-in-training, primarily silent and animalistic, yet warm and caring when necessary. It’s a beautiful performance from the young actress, even if many won’t notice because she’s overshadowed by her two co-stars and the genre.

There are many other characters of course, but none who are nearly as well developed as the central trio. Mangold has created a character study within a blockbuster, so the fact that the rest of the characters are more stock comic book types feels even more two dimensional than normal. The sprawling, intimate, yet ambitious movie falters a few times. Mangold’s commitment to telling the tale sparsely and without over explaining details of the mutant apocalypse that came decades ago can occasionally be as frustrating as it is refreshing.  There are themes touched about evil corporations poisoning and controlling the masses as well as the usual X-Men bigotry allegories, yet they tend to pass by without much explanation. As the probably too long movie narrows in focus towards an action climax, it almost feels disappointingly conventional, and the way Mangold heaves emotion and themes onto the finale can be a bit overwrought.

Still, the fact that we have a Wolverine movie that’s biggest problems are to do with over-ambition and artistic pretention is a bit of a miracle. After delivering a pleasant make-up spin-off picture with The Wolverine, Fox clearly gave James Mangold and Jackman carte blanche to bid farewell to the character and while it would have been nice if a more singular filmmaker gotten that opportunity instead, at least Mangold took full advantage of his freedoms. This is easily the most adult film to bear the Marvel logo and even gives Christopher Nolan’s Batman flicks a run for their money in terms of dramatic weight and artistic ambition. Despite the flaws, it’s kind of remarkable that Logan exists and the film is an elegantly moving farewell to the most troubled member of the X-Men. Hopefully, Logan does well because it’s a surprisingly non-commercial enterprise, but one that suits the level of ambition that’s always been part of the best X-Men flicks, just taken to surprising extremes. It would be nice if other filmmakers got the same opportunities with these sorts of movies, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I’ve got a feeling that in a few years we’ll all look back on Logan and marvel at the fact that Mangold and Jackman were able to make this movie at all.

Score:8.5

Final Thoughts:Hugh Jackman’s swansong as Wolverine is easily the best and most layered representation of the character on screen to date, making for a fittingly melancholic farewell to the clawed icon.

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Why We Love The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's Hyrule http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/why-we-love-the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wilds-hyrule/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/why-we-love-the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wilds-hyrule/#comments Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:28:02 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96529

By Cody Orme

The Legend of Zelda is one of the most decorated and celebrated franchises in the gaming industry. With that comes genuine excitement and lofty expectations to improve on a tried and true formula. It’s easy to fall into the spiral of excitement with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild quickly approaching, […]

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By Cody Orme

The Legend of Zelda is one of the most decorated and celebrated franchises in the gaming industry. With that comes genuine excitement and lofty expectations to improve on a tried and true formula. It’s easy to fall into the spiral of excitement with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild quickly approaching, but it's important to note how Nintendo has slowly brought The Legend of Zelda back to the franchise's roots. With a big world filled with secrets waiting to be explored, this is the Hyrule we've dreamed about. With this larger hub world, comes so many opportunities for great storytelling, and Nintendo has done just that.

Comparing the map to other games, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild is akin to titles like The Witcher 3, or even Skyrim. The world is massive, teeming with life. Whether that’s displayed with small creatures scurrying through the grass, snow and water, the tribes of Moblins stationed throughout the plains of the once bustling world, or even the remnants of ancient civilizations that are scattered throughout Hyrule. There is life, and it’s refreshing to see. In the past, The Legend of Zelda tried to be grand, but in the process, Hyrule felt empty. The worst offender for this is Twilight Princess  with its large open world that was physically taxing on the hardware. There was a lot of space, but nothing to fill it with.  To remedy that, and to hide the Wii's limitations,  Nintendo segregated each area in Skyward Sword. This helped make each area feel full of life, but the separation of each part of Hyrule made the game feel disjointed. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, however, is more like A Link Between Worlds but bigger and more interactive than ever. The land is full of enemies and friends while also working as a free flowing, breathing part of the world with mountains to climb, camps to ambush and secrets to discover. Hyrule is full again, and it’s more than just a time waster between towns. It makes me want to learn everything I possibly can about this point of time, and Nintendo feeds that desire.

Why We Love The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's Hyrule

Obviously, I can’t go into detail about plot points, but Breath of the Wild does an amazing job at telling a story outside of cut scenes. Those are still there, rest assured this isn’t Dark Souls, but there does seem to be a little bit of inspiration taken from From Software’s now iconic series. It's reminiscent of a lesson I learned in creative writing “show don’t tell”,  and it feels like the team at Nintendo have taken that same approach. There is a lot to learn about the state of Hyrule and those living in it by just simply exploring, which at the end of the day, is the main reason we love The Legend of Zelda series so much. It’s about discovery, learning about where you live, and who you are by unlocking that child-like curiosity that we thought we buried away from years of heartbreak, loss, and the typical process of growing up. That thirst for curiosity is quenched by the secrets scattered throughout the world, along with visual cues to remind the player of the despair felt in Hyrule.

The best 3D Zelda games utilize Hyrule to visualize the severity of the county's latest threat. Going back through the history of the great 3D Zelda adventures, there have always been images that stand out evoking strong emotions of fear, despair, and even motivation. Ocarina of Time had Ganon’s castle hovering over Hyrule Castletown, serving as a reminder of the immense loss the people of that town faced.  Majora’s Mask probably had the most iconic reminder with the infamous Moon hanging over Termina, constantly taunting the player with who is racing against the clock. Wind Waker’s reminder was built right into the game’s core mechanic of sailing. Hyrule is flooded, the world we knew is gone, and with that, it needs to be restored.  Twilight Princess did a great job with this as well with the magical barrier surrounding Hyrule Castle. The size of the structure ensured that players could see it from almost everywhere in Hyrule field, not unlike the Majora’s Mask moon. This time around, those reminders are scattered throughout the desolate fields of Hyrule that are now inhabited by Moblins. But more importantly, Hyrule Castle serves as the most blatant visualization of Hyrul's fall. Now overrun by a dark magic, the beacon on civilization is engrossed in a black, oozing design that stands in stark contrast to the more pastel, calming nature of this Hyrule. It’s a subtle reminder of what happened, what will happen, and why the player is there.

There is a lot to learn about the world of Hyrule just by exploring the lands in this new title. Though there is very little in the way of ambiguity in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in terms of situation, and the state of Hyrule itself, this massive map offers a little something for everyone’s taste. There is still a ton of content to explore in this version of Hyrule, and I’m sure that will lead to even more discoveries (both within the player and the world). Hyrule isn’t just a hub world anymore, it’s a means of storytelling, it’s the part of the game the player spends the most time in, and Nintendo is taking that seriously. Longtime fans have something to look forward to. Something that isn’t just a desolate means to get from point A to point B. This is Hyrule.

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AMC's HUMANS 203 - Karen File Exclusive Clip http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/amcs-humans-203-karen-file-exclusive-clip/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/amcs-humans-203-karen-file-exclusive-clip/#respond Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:25:15 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96546

By Brendan Frye

Athena travels to the UK and her tragic secret is revealed. Niska’s consciousness assessments begin. With more time at home Joe notices Sophie’s increasingly eccentric behaviour. As Karen returns to work with Pete, cracks start appearing in their relationship. The synths are forced to leave their hideout but Mia shocks them with a huge decision.

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By Brendan Frye

Athena travels to the UK and her tragic secret is revealed. Niska’s consciousness assessments begin. With more time at home Joe notices Sophie’s increasingly eccentric behaviour. As Karen returns to work with Pete, cracks start appearing in their relationship. The synths are forced to leave their hideout but Mia shocks them with a huge decision.

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The Pokémon Company Co-Founder Talks About Switch http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/pokemon-company-co-founder-talks-switch/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/pokemon-company-co-founder-talks-switch/#respond Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:33:09 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96526

By Cody Orme

Those ready to jump on board the Nintendo Switch hype train, as The Pokémon Company President and CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara spoke about the possibility of a Pokémon game on the Switch. “So far, Pokemon has been developed for complete handheld game machines,” says Ishihara in a google-translated interview with Toyokeizai Online. “Therefore, if you are […]

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By Cody Orme

Those ready to jump on board the Nintendo Switch hype train, as The Pokémon Company President and CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara spoke about the possibility of a Pokémon game on the Switch.

“So far, Pokemon has been developed for complete handheld game machines,” says Ishihara in a google-translated interview with Toyokeizai Online. “Therefore, if you are going to give out Pokémon to the Switch, do not do it the way you have just done.”

That comment suggest that if Pokémon were to make its way to Nintendo’s new home/mobile console, The Pokémon company may have to rethink their approach. That’s not new for the house of Pikachu, as for the most part, Pokémon titles outside of the main handheld entries offer completely different experiences. Most recently, Pokémon Go offered a more streamlined, yet immersive take on the formula by integrating Ingress technology allowing trainers to literally go out and catch Pokémon and take over gyms.

Dating back to the Nintendo 64 days, the first side entries in the series offered up unique experiences not found in the main games. Pokémon Stadium allowed players to partake in battles without the exploration, or grind of the traditional titles, while also allowing player to square off in tons of mini games. Pokémon Snap, on the other hand, offered up an on-rails experience where players take unique photos of their favourite pocket monsters, without actually catching them. And then there’s Hey You Pikachu which was more of a tech demo for the microphone attachment than anything else.  The GameCube hosted the side entry that was closest in kin to the main titles with Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, a larger RPG experience that fans know the series for.

Still, there hasn’t been a meaty experience for Pokémon fans on a home Nintendo console since Pokken Tournament, and that certainly changed the formula up quite a bit. But if Ishihara’s comments are anything to go on, there is a chance something could happen on the Switch,

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Thoughts After a Night With the Nintendo Switch http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/thoughts-night-nintendo-switch/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/24/thoughts-night-nintendo-switch/#comments Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:22:35 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96513

By Cody Orme

My relationship with Nintendo is a strange one. On one hand, no other company (even Sega) has managed to bring me so many countless hours of joy. And now, as we sit the week before their next home console lands in our living rooms, bedrooms, bus stops – anywhere, really – many are left wondering […]

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By Cody Orme

My relationship with Nintendo is a strange one. On one hand, no other company (even Sega) has managed to bring me so many countless hours of joy. And now, as we sit the week before their next home console lands in our living rooms, bedrooms, bus stops – anywhere, really – many are left wondering if this is Nintendo’s shot to reposition themselves as the hardware giant it once was before the Wii.  While I can’t answer that question just yet,  I can tell you what my first night home with the Nintendo Switch was like.

I’ve actually had a little bit of intimate time with the Switch from press events, but those are very controlled environments – focus-tested to ensure there are only positive vibes when playing the console.  In a home environment, there’s no one to suggest how to play, where to go, or how to experience hardware. So in a way, this is the freshest take I’ve had with the console.

Thoughts After a Night With the Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is either a powerful portable console or a weak home console, depending on how you look at it. The main unit is really just a touch screen that looks like any run of the mill tablet, but it’s much beefier. It’s packing a customized Nvidia Tegra chip, but what’s interesting is that along the top lies ventilation for the unit. You’ll also find the power button, volume control and headphone jack along the top along with the cartridge slot. At first, the slot protector has a bit of resistance, which made me a little worried that I was going to break it, but after enough time, it wore down a bit. The sides house the rails that help slide the Joy-Con in to take it on the go.  In this mode, there is a certain flatness to the device, but that doesn’t hinder the experience. It’s larger than the average tablet with the Joy-Con connected, so I’d recommend bringing some kind of case with you if you want to venture out into the wild with the Nintendo Switch.

That’s just one way to play, though. The Nintendo Switch is meant to be played in one of three ways. The first is with to the docking station that connects to the TV is very minimalistic as well. With a matt black plastic finish, it only houses the HDMI, Power and USB ports along with the connection to the Switch tablet. The entire presentation is very light and unintrusive. The second is on the go with the Joy-Con on either side, and the final is with the kickstand located on the back out, using the Switch console as a monitor while the Joy-Con are held separately from the unit.

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The Joy-Con themselves are interesting beasts as well. They feel like the natural progression of the Wii in the sense that they’re shaped almost like condensed Wii-motes. “Condensed” is a bit of an understatement, as they are really small, to the point it may be better to opt for the GamePad Pro in some cases. It’s a larger interface with bigger buttons and more intelligent joystick placement. Still, for what they are, they’re impressive pieces of tech. They feature HD Rumble, which is a more weighted vibration. This could be the future of immersion, and I hope it’s something both Nintendo and third parties support. While the right controller boasts the home button, which can turn on the console, the left Joy-Con is home to a screenshot button, making quick snaps easy. When you play at home, users can place the Joy-Con in the Joy Grip controller, which is pretty much just a way to allow those little guys to sit in a more traditional manner.

Physical features aside, the Nintendo Switch’s interface is very clean. Imagine the 3DS or PlayStation 4’s home screens and you have an idea. There are visible slots for each game file, and beneath that are options for the eShop, Nintendo news and updates, along with configuration and power options. The top corner of the screen is where the battery life indicator sits, and with a tap of the screen, the Nintendo Switch will actually tell the user the exact percentage of battery left. The games themselves take no time to start up, which is refreshing, to say the least. Though I did encounter some longish load screens, the chance to literally pop in and play without an install period is such a strange console experience at this point. There was a time when that was the norm, and I’m glad Nintendo is letting me harken back to my inner impulsive child who actually wants to play a game when I buy it.

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Overall, the Nintendo Switch comes packed with a lot of different playing options. While we will have a full review in the coming weeks, it’s important to take a sober look at the console outside of its demonstration booth in the living room to see how it actually performs. The Big N is banking hard on this home-mobile hybrid, and, for now, the pieces are there to run with it.

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New Video Game Engine, Xenko, coming in April http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/23/new-video-game-engine-xenko-coming-april/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/23/new-video-game-engine-xenko-coming-april/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:52:04 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96499

By Helena Shlapak

Move over Unity and Unreal, a new video game engine is coming to town and its name is Xenko. After undergoing nearly two years of beta testing, a new video game engine developed by Silicon Studio Corporation in Tokyo, Japan will be making its debut in April. Xenko is an open source engine designed for […]

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By Helena Shlapak

Move over Unity and Unreal, a new video game engine is coming to town and its name is Xenko.

After undergoing nearly two years of beta testing, a new video game engine developed by Silicon Studio Corporation in Tokyo, Japan will be making its debut in April. Xenko is an open source engine designed for developing teams of all sizes and styles from AAA to indie and mobile.

What makes Xenko different from other video game engines is that it is currently the only commercial engine that supports the latest C# (a multi-paradigm programming language). The engine also has a built-in prefab system and scene streaming system that allows developers to store, reuse and review deigns (development streamlining scene editor). The engine will even launch with a complete set of tools, including a particle editor, script editor, PBR material editor, a full asset pipeline and more.

“I ported the game from Unity engine over a year ago because I find Xenko's API and software architecture to be far superior,” said Mark Aherne, creator of the upcoming game Universe of Nothing in a press release. “The added benefits of the engine being written entirely in C#, and having access to the source code, just make it a complete winner for me.”

Silicon Studio is even future proofing their Xenko engine for VR so that developers will use Xenko as a future reference and go-to for VR development in their games. Xenko has a built-in 3D audio support system, global illumination, Forward+ rendering support, full support for Vulkan and an advanced rendering set with an intuitive user interface.

Silicon Studio is a Japanese middleware and game engine company that works with rendering, optical effects and post-effects solutions for game developers. Silicon Studio also publishes games across all platforms and publishes non-gaming applications for third parties.

“The decision to move from middleware to a full game engine was actually a fairly easy one for us,” said Terada Takehiko, CEO of Silicon Studio in a press release. “We were in a position to address some of the complaints developers have about the other commercial game engines on the market, and from there we began to see what developers of the future will need to be successful, including VR and mobile support.”

The Xenko engine will be on display at GDC at Silicon Studio’s booth and will be available for purchase on Silicon Studio’s website.

 

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Get Out Movie Review - Smart Horror Satire http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/get-movie-review-smart-horror-satire/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/get-movie-review-smart-horror-satire/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:10:53 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96496

By Phil Brown

Sometimes the smartest Hollywood satire tends to sneak its way onto screens through genre means. Think of John Carpenter’s They Live a brilliant attack on capitalist culture that also happens to be a hilariously stupid action, horror, sci-fi lark starring a professional wrestler. Comedian Jordan Peele (the one from Key &) has unexpectedly delivered the […]

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By Phil Brown

Sometimes the smartest Hollywood satire tends to sneak its way onto screens through genre means. Think of John Carpenter’s They Live a brilliant attack on capitalist culture that also happens to be a hilariously stupid action, horror, sci-fi lark starring a professional wrestler. Comedian Jordan Peele (the one from Key &) has unexpectedly delivered the latest example of this form with his deftly intelligent, bitingly funny, and damn entertaining horror/thriller/satire Get Out. Essentially a racialized twist on The Stepford Wives with bigger laughs and better scares, Get Out is the type of directorial debut that would be heralded as the arrival of an important new cinematic voice were it not for the fact Peele has been around for years, just working in a very different capacity. God bless Blumhouse for giving him just enough resources to pull it off, and Universal for giving the movie a wide release on a fairly quiet movie weekend. Hopefully, it’ll be a big old hit. Everyone deserves it, especially audiences.

Unfortunately, the trailers have revealed far more than they should about Get Out (though mercifully not too much), but I’ll try to play fair. Daniel Kaluuya stars as a young man nervous about visiting the family of his white girlfriend. They live in the country. It seems like a fair concern. Then when he meets them (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) the fears seem founded with plenty of awkward conversations about topics like how they would have voted for Obama for a third term if they could. The cringes pile up and get worse when the younger brother (Caleb Landry Jones) appears and compliments the guy on his “beast” of a physique. Yikes. Even weirder, the family has a pair of creepily sedate African American housekeepers (Betty Gabriel and Marcus Henderson). Something is clearly off, and things get worse fast.

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Peele directs the film with style and confidence, his roaming cameras capturing it all with kinetic energy and at a brisk pace. The atmosphere is uncomfortable immediately, with queasy comedy playing up the casual racism of the family and also keeping viewers trapped in the paranoid mind of the protagonist. Peele’s satirical commentary isn’t subtle, because that’s just not the language of thrillers and horror movies. The film suggests that few things are more frightening than being a black man in particularly white corners of America. At first, it plays it out through the language of comedic microaggressions, but that soon grows into something far more elaborate and nightmarish. The obvious influence is The Stepford Wives, which used camp humour and genre games to explore misogyny in the age of 70s feminism. The more outlandish the film gets, the more cutting the commentary and it’s not the obvious point of attack that seems to emerge at first.

Performances are fantastic, mining the script for all of Peele’s intended creeps and uncomfortable laughs without ever stretching too far outside the realm of credibility. When the movie slips fully into horror, and thriller games in the third act, Peele really cuts loose with his visual imagination and delivers some strong shocks (even though it feels like the MPAA may have removed some of the gore in a choppy climax). It’s clear Peele has a strong grasp of how to craft suspense and scares in his first feature. Though never overly showy, the flick delivers its share of potent images and nasty set pieces. Peele is just clever enough as a filmmaker to never let the style overwhelm the characters, story, or content. It’s all part of a singular piece that should hit viewers hard on a number of levels.

Get Out Movie Review - Smart Horror Satire 2It would be a lie to claim that Get Out is a perfect movie. There are some awkward plot contrivances near the end for the sake of pacing, and one comedy relief character who gets a little too silly at times. However, the problems are quibbles at best. The fact of the matter is that Jordan Peele has unexpectedly delivered one of the most impressive, layered, and impactful genre movies to emerge out of the Hollywood system in years. It’s further proof that Blumhouse is willing to trust talented artists with unconventional projects provided that they meet the budgetary restrictions, and it’s nice to see that the studio built on the classic monster movies has released this smartly satirical genre romp about contemporary race relations on such a massive scale. Hopefully, it’ll succeed. It sure would be nice if Hollywood horror films could be sold on clever concepts laced with social commentary again. That’s probably little more than a pipe dream, but given that Get Out somehow snuck onto screens, maybe it’ll somehow happen again soon and often. Fingers crossed.

Score:9

Final Thoughts: A potent mix of clever satire and effective thrills that hopefully won’t be Jordan Peele’s last stab at genre faire.

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Ashes of Singularity: Escalation Gets an Update http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/23/ashes-singularity-escalation-gets-update/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/23/ashes-singularity-escalation-gets-update/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:00:25 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96448

By Helena Shlapak

The massive-scale real-time strategy game, Ashes of Singularity: Escalation, is getting an update and a discount on Feb. 23, 2017. Stardock Entertainment (the software company behind Ashes of Singularity, Galactic Civilizations and Sins of a Solar Empire) announced today that the expansion to their popular game, Ashes of Singularity, is getting a major update on […]

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By Helena Shlapak

The massive-scale real-time strategy game, Ashes of Singularity: Escalation, is getting an update and a discount on Feb. 23, 2017.

Stardock Entertainment (the software company behind Ashes of Singularity, Galactic Civilizations and Sins of a Solar Empire) announced today that the expansion to their popular game, Ashes of Singularity, is getting a major update on Steam. Stardock also said that in celebration of this update, players wishing to buy Ashes of Singularity: Escalation will receive a 50 per cent discount on the game from Feb. 23 to March. 3, 2017. This is fantastic for anyone wanting to get into the franchise without back-tracking on the price.

Version 2.1 of Ashes of Singularity: Escalation features new maps, rebalances several maps, adds single-player observer mode, unranked matches and an option for disabling supply lines.

"In addition to making some adjustments with AI visibility and balance, we've added features that players have been asking for, like the single-player observer mode," said Derek Paxton, Stardock's Vice President of Entertainment in a press release. "You can learn how the AI makes decisions by watching it battle during customized games using any settings or parameters you want.”

Ashes of Singularity: Escalation’s 2.1 update comes just after Stardock merged their base game, Ashes of Singularity with the expansion pack, Escalation, into a single title. Stardock even gave all owners of the base game a complimentary copy of Escalation.

Ashes of Singularity: Escalation normally runs for $39.99 on Steam, so anyone wishing to buy the game should get it before the 50 per cent discount ends."The growing single-player modding community and the extensive multiplayer options convinced us that we needed to combine the Ashes of the Singularity and Escalation communities together," said Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock in a press release. "After all, there can only be one singularity."

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Gumi Inc. and SNK Collaboration Round Two http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/23/gumi-inc-snk-collaboration-round-two/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/23/gumi-inc-snk-collaboration-round-two/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:17:20 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96491

By Helena Shlapak

Brave Frontier and The King of Fighters are collaborating once again for an epic battle with new characters and new events. This second collaboration between the new mobile game Brave Frontier and retro arcade game The King of Fighters has now added new heroes to the roster. The new heroes are;  Leona – the Silent Soldier of […]

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By Helena Shlapak

Brave Frontier and The King of Fighters are collaborating once again for an epic battle with new characters and new events.

This second collaboration between the new mobile game Brave Frontier and retro arcade game The King of Fighters has now added new heroes to the roster. The new heroes are;  Leona  the Silent Soldier of the Ikari mercenary group, Terry Bogard, Iori Yagami, Benimaru Nikaido, Athena Asamiya, Mai Shiranui, and Kula Diamond. The Omni Evolutions of Kula, Mai, Athena, Benimaru will be unlocked and all seven of the fan favourite characters will be available for your team.

The Brave Frontier and The King of Fighters collaboration will also feature three new events.

The Rerun of the Challenging Dungeon “Scarlet Abyss Tournament” where players will have to battle their way to the top of the “Scarlet Abyss Tournament” by facing off against the strongest fighters.

The “Fighter’s Challenge” Dungeon where players will have elemental-focused missions and duels with characters like Mai, Benimaru, Kula, Terry, Athena, Iori, or Kyo. Players who survive the assault will be able to face Leona and acquire Orochi’s Seals and Elemental Essences to craft powerful Spheres.

And the Login and Milestone Campaigns where players can log in daily and get 15 days of rewards including a Summoning Ticket and eight Gems. Players can also contribute to the campaign by getting as many clears as possible from the “Fighter’s Challenge” dungeon and snag Kyo Kusanagi as a reward. Players will also get a Summon Ticket, Legend Stones, Imps and Frogs as bonuses.

The limited time Brave Frontier and The King of Fighters collaboration will be from Feb. 23, 2017 to March. 15, 2017. So if any fans want to get in on the action and fun, they had better hurry and snag their rewards. Brave Frontier and The King of Fighters first collaborated in the Summer of 2016.

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LEGO City Undercover Get a Trailer and Release Date http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/23/lego-city-undercover-get-trailer-release-date/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/23/lego-city-undercover-get-trailer-release-date/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 18:10:47 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96484

By Helena Shlapak

Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and TT Games has revealed their newest trailer for LEGO City Undercover today, along with the official release date. The open-world, comedic, sandbox style LEGO adventure, LEGO City Undercover re-release (which has been retitled LEGO City Undercover: Disguises) is set to come out on April. 4, 2017. The re-release will take […]

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By Helena Shlapak

Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and TT Games has revealed their newest trailer for LEGO City Undercover today, along with the official release date.

The open-world, comedic, sandbox style LEGO adventure, LEGO City Undercover re-release (which has been retitled LEGO City Undercover: Disguises) is set to come out on April. 4, 2017. The re-release will take players back to LEGO City as super-cop Chase McCain as he uses a series of clever and unique disguises (that give him special abilities) to take down the baddies and escaped criminal, Rex Fury.

Along with the disguises, fans will finally be able to play with their friends and family as LEGO City Undercover: Disguises now has a two-person co-op mode. It appears from the trailer that the co-op will have the same scaling split-screen used in all the modern LEGO games. Best of all, fans won’t have to shell out more cash as LEGO City Undercover: Disguises won’t just be available on the Nintendo Switch. The game will be coming to PC, PlayStaion 4 and Xbox One.

New fans of LEGO City Undercover: Disguises will be jumped into LEGO’s hilarious storytelling and witty humour, be able to explore and investigate over 20 unique districts and play a reverse style Grand Theft Auto with the player as the cop. Fans will also be able to uncover hundreds of collectables and pilot various vehicles and aircraft.

The original LEGO City Undercover was initially released on March. 18, 2013 and was only available for the Nintendo Wii U. Unlike other LEGO games published by Travellers’ Tales (which were based on other licenses) LEGO City Undercover is under the LEGO City brand and was the very first LEGO game to be published by Nintendo. It was also the first LEGO game to first released on the Nintendo Wii U.

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Razer Reveals New Six Hour Charge Power Bank http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/23/razer-reveals-new-six-hour-charge-power-bank/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/23/razer-reveals-new-six-hour-charge-power-bank/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 15:15:01 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96466

By Cody Orme

Those looking to get the most out of their tech, look no further, Razer has announced Razer Power Bank, which holds up to an additional six hours of charge.For those who are looking for an extra power bank, you won’t have to wait long, as Razer announced the Razer Power Bank will be available in […]

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By Cody Orme

Those looking to get the most out of their tech, look no further, Razer has announced Razer Power Bank, which holds up to an additional six hours of charge.For those who are looking for an extra power bank, you won’t have to wait long, as Razer announced the Razer Power Bank will be available in March, exclusively at the Razer Store in U.S.A., Canada, The United Kingdom, Germany,  and France priced at $149.99 USD.

“High-performance mobile laptops like the Razer Blade Stealth are more a part of daily life than ever before, and keeping them charged and ready is a high priority,” says, Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan in a press release. “The Razer Power Bank enables true mobility for users who can now quickly and smartly charge their laptop, phone and tablet at the same time when an outlet isn’t an option.”

Razer Announces New Six Hour Charge Power Bank 1 Razer Announces New Six Hour Charge Power Bank 2 Razer Announces New Six Hour Charge Power Bank 3 Razer Announces New Six Hour Charge Power Bank 4

The Razer Power bank comes with a 12,800mAh battery, USB-C laptop charging, dual USB-A ports, intelligent device detection (which allows the device to immediately identify the type of device that connects to it), Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, and fast charge all wrapped in a light aluminium casing. Weighing at 335g, the Razer Power Bank is pretty lightweight, and small enough to fit in the user’s back pocket.  Those who own the Razer Blade Stealth that can change your battery life to 15 hours. Fortunately, this isn’t restricted just to Razer Products as they company lists the Razer Power Bank works with laptops like the Dell XPS 13 or the Asus Zenbook, as well as other USB-C powered devices.

By Catering to gamers, Razer as a company has a user base of over 35 million users worldwide. Their products span from the popular gaming laptop line, Razer Blade, to the eSports platform Razer Arena, to console and PC peripherals.

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Dexed Review - A Ninja Theory Tech Demo http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/dexed-ninja-theory-tech-demo/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/dexed-ninja-theory-tech-demo/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:00:43 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96382

By Jed Whitaker

Another virtual reality title, another game that feels like a tech demo—only this time it is from Ninja Theory and costs $10. Yay? Dexed is a PlayStation VR on-rails shooter in the vein of Star Fox or Panzer Dragoon, where players will find themselves locking onto multiple enemies at a time before firing for maximum damage […]

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By Jed Whitaker

Another virtual reality title, another game that feels like a tech demo—only this time it is from Ninja Theory and costs $10. Yay? Dexed is a PlayStation VR on-rails shooter in the vein of Star Fox or Panzer Dragoon, where players will find themselves locking onto multiple enemies at a time before firing for maximum damage and score. Aiming can be done via physically looking around, or via tracking of the DualShock 4, which is what I preferred. Both are serviceable, but personally, I find aiming with my head to be a literal pain in the neck.

There are only two enemies in the entire game: demonic flying skulls and the final boss. The flying skulls can be fire or ice varieties and must be shot with the opposing type of bullets, as shooting them at with the same kind will impact your score and possibly your health.

Dexed Review - A Team Ninja Tech Demo 1 Dexed Review - A Team Ninja Tech Demo 2

Players are tasked with locking onto enemies with the correct bullets before shooting while coasting slowly through uninteresting levels that lack any real detail thanks to the limitations that VR puts on current hardware. There is no story to speak of across the handful of stages here (the game doesn't even tell the player who or what they are), and there is a score based arcade mode that doesn't do much to offer value other than having a catchy soundtrack. At least the final boss fight is fun, if not extremely easy (like the rest of the game).

Overall Dexed is just another pay-to-play VR tech demo with barely any meat on its bones. While the combat is reminiscent of some decent games, Dexed pales in comparison to them. If you're looking for something so easy it is almost zenlike, then maybe Dexed might be worth it for you, there is even a zen mode though I don't see the reason for it as it felt impossible to fail playing on normal mode. For me, though, Dexed is one of the most boring virtual reality experiences I've had which is ironic since everyone seems to bill the tech as the most exciting thing to happen to gaming in a long time.

Score:6

Final Thoughts:Dexed is one of the most boring virtual reality experiences I've had.

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Logan, Han Solo and the Anatomy of an Anti-Hero http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/23/logan-han-solo-anatomy-anti-hero/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/23/logan-han-solo-anatomy-anti-hero/#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:00:15 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96437

By Boyd Reynolds

Hugh Jackman and James Mangold’s Logan is about to make its debut in theaters, and with early reviews in, this sounds like the Wolverine stand-alone movie fans have been clamouring for. Wolverine is a beloved comic book character and has been taken to new heights with Jackman’s performances spanning multiple X-Men and stand-alone movies. But […]

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By Boyd Reynolds

Hugh Jackman and James Mangold’s Logan is about to make its debut in theaters, and with early reviews in, this sounds like the Wolverine stand-alone movie fans have been clamouring for. Wolverine is a beloved comic book character and has been taken to new heights with Jackman’s performances spanning multiple X-Men and stand-alone movies.

But he’s also an anti-hero, which makes his rise to fame that much more interesting. What is it about Wolverine, and anti-heroes in general, that make them so endearing? Investigating this question, there are specific qualities anti-heroes have that not only make them anti-heroes but also warms them up to the hearts of fans the world over.

Here’s a look at the anatomy of an anti-hero as found in comic books, movies and television shows.

Outcast

Most anti-heroes begin their hero’s journey on the peripheries of society. Starting with Wolverine, he begins Bryan Singer’s X-Men movie making a living fighting inside a steel cage in a seedy Alberta bar. It’s only until he meets Rouge that he leaves that life as an outcast and moves toward a life a part of the collective, or in Logan’s case, as a card carrying member of the X-Men.

Logan and the Anatomy of an Anti-Hero

Keeping with films featuring Marvel Comics characters, virtually the entire main cast of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy are outcasts. Peter Quill, Starlord to his close friends, begins the film as a thief, stealing an ancient orb, one that lands a bounty on Quill’s head. Ensuing, Rocket Raccoon and Groot, two bounty hunters try capturing Quill, only to be thwarted by Gamora. The entire band of misfits are eventually arrested and sent to prison, where they run into their final member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Drax. All five members of the Guardians of the Galaxy are outsiders, all living above or beneath the law, and all eventually being put behind bars until they band together to break out.

Stepping away from comics, Mad Max in George Miller’s The Road Warrior begins the movie as a lonely drifter, completely cut off from society. His life consists of scavenging old vehicles for a few litres of gas, and eating dog food from rusty cans. The successive movies, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and the recent masterpiece Max Mad: Fury Road, find Max still roaming out in the wastelands, an outsider looking into a post-apocalyptic society.

Women are not immune to the outsider status either. In Netflix’s Jessica Jones, our favourite leather jacket wearing anti-hero works as a private investigator, working outside the law. Her fledgling P.I. company, questionable business practices and foul mouth keep her on the periphery of New York society, never fully able to be a part of what society would deem successful.

Reluctance

The reluctant nature of many anti-heroes is another common quality. In The Road Warrior, Max wants nothing to do with the resistance fighting against the goalie mask wearing Humungous. He only wants gasoline for his car, and the bare essentials of survival. As events unfold, Max is reluctantly pulled into the fray, but it’s not out of the kindness of his heart.

Logan, Han Solo and the Anatomy of an Anti-Hero 1

Everyone’s favourite space smuggler in a galaxy far, far away falls into this category as well. When we first meet Han Solo in A New Hope, he is hired by Obi-Wan Kenobi for passage to Alderaan. After coming out of light speed, there is no Alderaan and the Millennium Falcon is tractor-beamed into the Death Star. When Solo finds out Princess Leia is also aboard, he wants nothing to do with her rescue. It’s only through dollar signs that he decides to help. Nearing the film’s climax, Han leaves with his loot, not wanting anything to do with the Rebel’s attack on the Death Star. But fear not, reluctance only lasts so long with anti-heroes – Han plays a major last second hand in giving Luke enough space to destroy the Death Star.

Vengeful

For many anti-heroes, there is a side to him or her that no one wants to be on. That side is vengeance. In George Miller’s first introduction to Max in Mad Max, he wasn’t the drifter we know of him today. He is a loving family man. A police officer whose wife and child are run down by an Australian motorcycle gang. This pushes Max over the edge, and leads not only to Max turning to vengeance in that film, but in the film following. In The Road Warrior, Max’s dog is killed by Humongous’ gang – this loss of family is once again the thing that pushes Max to murder and mayhem.

Running with the dog theme, Keanu Reeves in John Wick, turns into a vengeful killer, one that would make Charles Bronson jealous. Wick’s car gets stolen and his dog is killed. The result is a vengeful body count done so well, a second instalment was made and is presently in theatres.

Logan and the Anatomy of an Anti-Hero 1

The Punisher’s entire existence is built on vengeance. First appearing in The Amazing Spiderman #129, the Punisher was a vigilante who readers fell head over heels for. Through the comic years, it was revealed that Frank Castle’s family were all murdered by the mob. As a result, this war veteran enacts his own brand brutal and systemic justice on New York’s worst.

In last year’s smash hit film Deadpool, Wade Wilson’s entire film existence is built upon vengeance when he is mutated and modified to have superhuman regenerative capabilities. Deadpool goes after the mastermind of his altered state and becomes one of the most beloved anti-heroes ever on screen through vulgarity, violence and of course, vengeance.

And we couldn’t have a vengeance category without writing about V from V for Vendetta. Much like Deadpool, V was created by a bad experiment gone horribly wrong. The Guy Fawkes mask wearing V makes it his life’s mission to avenge what happened to him and put the power back in the hands of the British people by eliminating evil doers in government.

Irritability

This is where audiences get to fully enjoy the dark nature of the anti-hero. One of Han Solo’s most loveable qualities is his irritability. Whether it’s a way of masking sexual tension between himself and Princess Leia, or his general disdain for droids (one distinct golden rod comes to mind), Han is at his best with his sarcastic and irritable sensibility.

Guardians of the Galaxy member Rocket Raccoon is beloved for more than being a furry, talking animal. His prickly personality makes him that more loveable. He’s irritable and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He’s constantly at-wits-end with Groot, and takes great joy in the misfortune of others. There is something endearing about an irritable anti-hero.

Heart of Gold

For the anti-hero to be redeemable in an audience’s eyes, he or she must have something deeper – they must have a heart of gold. When the chips are down, they need to put others before their own selfish needs. A great example of this is Han Solo. Throughout the original Star Wars Trilogy, Han lets us into the size of his heart. He comes back to help Luke destroy the Death Star in Episode IV. He opens his heart up enough to fall for a certain princess. He sacrifices his own self-preservation by joining the Rebellion.

Throughout his time on screen, Wolverine has had perhaps the biggest heart of all. He’s been protective of Rouge, and eventually for all of Professor Xavier’s students. He fell for Jean. To save his mutant brethren, he went back in time to right wrongs in Days of Future Past. Logan protects his heart with his anger and resentment, but that just makes him that more irresistible.

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DF-07871 Hugh Jackman as Logan in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Much of the anti-hero’s motivations are done out of love. Sure there is vengeance and anger, but the anti-hero also wants to right wrong – wrongs that have hurt his or her heart. Deadpool fights to save the woman he loves, V terrorizes the British government to show the people they don’t have to live in fear, and all the Guardians of the Galaxy decide to band together and do something good, keeping the orb away from Ronan and saving the people of Xandar.

In all, the anti-hero is a complex individual. And these complexities have allowed many of them to have a place in popular culture and in fans’ hearts the world over.

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Shudder Exclusive: We Go On Review - Arty Horror http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/shudder-exclusive-go-review-creepy-arty-horror/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/shudder-exclusive-go-review-creepy-arty-horror/#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 22:12:16 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96452

By Phil Brown

Shudder was a more than welcome entry to the ever-growing world of movie streaming services, serving up nothing but horror titles with the click of a button. Since the service is starting to claim the exclusive rights to titles to send them straight to horror fans, we here at CGM have decided to keep are […]

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By Phil Brown

Shudder was a more than welcome entry to the ever-growing world of movie streaming services, serving up nothing but horror titles with the click of a button. Since the service is starting to claim the exclusive rights to titles to send them straight to horror fans, we here at CGM have decided to keep are eyeballs glued to what indie and foreign horror flicks Shudder is serving. Previously, we took a peek at their glorious Sadako V Kayako (aka The Ring Vs. The Grudge). Today, it’s all about the new American indie horror offering We Go On.

The film comes from the two heading filmmaking team Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton who wrote, directed, and edited the impressive debut YellowBrickRoad. Now they are back with the creepy afterlife thriller We Go On, adding digital effects and composer credits to their names this time, just to be that much more efficient. Their sophomore filmmaking effort is both an impressively low-fi production and an increase in artistic ambition. This isn’t just a dumb-dumb scare picture, it’s a film with something on its mind, though unfortunately, it’s not always clear exactly what that “something” is supposed to be.

Shudder Exclusive: We Go On Review - Creepy, Arty Horror 1

The movie stars Clark Freeman as a man who is beset by nearly every fear imaginable. He’s unwilling to drive a car, and barely even willing to leave his house, mostly communicating entirely with his mother (Anne O’Toole), while working as an infomercial editor from home. In an attempt to break his fears, Freeman places an ad offering $30,000 to anyone who can prove that there is life after death. At first, that leads him to a researcher (John Glover) hoping to awaken something by reviving a childhood trauma. Then he finds himself visiting a psychic (Giovanna Zararius) who seems more than a little unhinged. Neither pan out. Eventually, it’s an airport maintenance worker (Jay Dunn) of all people who offers Freeman that much-needed glimpse at the other side. Unfortunately, once the door is opened, Freeman can’t close it. Suddenly he’s surrounded by ghosts everywhere he goes, and the guy finally has a reason to be scared whether he likes it or not.

The film is beautifully shot and constructed by the filmmaking duo. The aesthetic falls somewhere between a grungy mumblecore drama, and a stylized haunted horror flick. Performances are all muted and quiet. Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton clearly want to ground their outlandish premise as much as possible, and succeed rather well (for a while anyways). They use sarcastic and skeptical humour to dismiss the ghosties until they appear and ensure that everyone on screen appears pained in a way that makes the movie emotionally difficult. By the time the ghosts arrive, it’s easy to buy into the supernatural premise. Handheld docu-realism combines with stylized suspense and scare sequences to keep viewers off balance (along with some impressively designed dead people). The generously paced 90-minute movie might take a while to get going, but once the scares hit the fan, there are plenty of effective sequences to keep eyes glued on the screen.

Where things fall apart are when the filmmakers get more ambitious than merely freaking out their horror-hungry viewers. The arty visuals and set up isn’t merely just style. The film is also supposed to be about the nature of fear and the lasting effects of trauma. It’s a clever idea, yet never really connects or lands as well as it should. The script is a little too vague and by the end, the plot is a little too melodramatic. It’s certainly more than welcome for Holland and Mitton to aim for more than mere stylish spook-outs, but their higher aspirations never quite gel as intended. At times the We Go On can even feel a little pretentious, which isn’t a great quality in a horror flick.

Shudder Exclusive: We Go On Review - Creepy, Arty Horror 2

Still, there is something undeniably unnerving about the film that sticks. Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton are talented cinematic storytellers, and their mixture of psychological drama and haunted horror makes an impact that’s hard to deny if you give yourself over to the small and unconventional proceedings. It’s always nice when a horror flick struggles while being too ambitious given that outings in this genre frequently aren’t ambitious enough. We Go On might not be a breakout movie for the directing duo, but it further proves their talent and hopefully they’ll be able to show off their stuff on an even bigger canvas next time.

Score:7

Final Thoughts:We Go On is a creepy and surprisingly thoughtful low-budget chiller sure to please fans of unconventional and arty horror yarns.

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Mass Effect Joins Cards Against Humanity http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/mass-effect-joins-cards-humanity/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/mass-effect-joins-cards-humanity/#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:53:50 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96426

By Helena Shlapak

The popular drunk card game, Cards Against Humanity, is adding Mass Effect references to their list of expansion packs. Cards Against Humanity’s Twitter and website was updated today, saying that they would be collaborating with BioWare’s Mass Effect series for an expansion pack to add to their insanely popular card game. The limited edition, one […]

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By Helena Shlapak

The popular drunk card game, Cards Against Humanity, is adding Mass Effect references to their list of expansion packs.

Cards Against Humanity’s Twitter and website was updated today, saying that they would be collaborating with BioWare’s Mass Effect series for an expansion pack to add to their insanely popular card game. The limited edition, one dollar expansion pack will contain 14 new cards referencing the Mass Effect franchise. Three of the cards were already previewed on Cards Against Humanity’s Twitter. One question card asks, “Coming this spring from BioWare, Mass Effect:,” while two separate answer cards say, “Totally f-able aliens,” and “Space Racism.” If three of the cards shown on their Twitter are any indication, the expansion pack will be a riot, and well worth the dollar.

Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. Actually, the card game is fill-in-the-blank style game based on Apples to Apples but instead, uses words and phrases that are considered rude, taboo, offensive or simply hilarious. The game also references various celebrities, films and TV shows from pop culture.

The card game was invented by alumni from Highland Park High School as a game for New Year’s Eve and was started on Kickstarter.  Cards Against Humanity debuted in May of 2011 after raising its $4,000 goal in just two weeks and gaining $15,000 by the campaign’s end. Cards Against Humanity beat its fundraising goal by over 400 per cent. The game eventually became one of the top-selling games on Amazon and earns about $12 million a year in revenue.

Since nothing is sacred (according to BioWare’s Twitter) the Mass Effect Cards Against Humanity expansion pack is currently available now for purchase on Cards Against Humanity’s website. Mass Effect: Andromeda will not be referenced in this pack as BioWare newest game wasn't given to Cards Against Humanity's team.

If you want to add Mass Effect to your Cards Against Humanity pack, you can do so here.

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Xbox Games With Gold March 2017 Lineup Announced http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/xbox-games-with-gold-march-2017-lineup-announced/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/xbox-games-with-gold-march-2017-lineup-announced/#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:37:41 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96420

By Michael Koczwara

Xbox owners can look forward to picking up four free games this upcoming March as the latest offering for the Games with Gold program has been unveiled. This time around Microsoft is handing out the following freebies: Layers of Fear - Xbox One, March 1, 2017 - March 31, 2017 Evolve - Xbox One, March […]

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By Michael Koczwara

Xbox owners can look forward to picking up four free games this upcoming March as the latest offering for the Games with Gold program has been unveiled.

This time around Microsoft is handing out the following freebies:

  • Layers of Fear - Xbox One, March 1, 2017 - March 31, 2017
  • Evolve - Xbox One, March 16, 2017 - April 15, 2017
  • Borderlands 2 - Xbox 360, March 1, 2017 - March 15, 2017
  • Heavy Weapon - Xbox 360, March 16, 2017 - March 31, 2017

Layers of Fear is a first-person horror title that pits you as a painter stuck in a haunted mansion with the simple goal of finishing your masterpiece. We reviewed Layers of Fear and gave it a 9.5, saying that it "is a horror experience the likes of which I’ve never before experienced, and to not experience it is doing a disservice to yourself, the game, and the people over at Bloober Team SA who created it."

The four-player multiplayer shooter Evolve is also included in the pack, even though the game went free-to-play on PC last year. We gave it a 6 in our review, stating that it "stumbles onto the scene and right into the unmemorable category of unremarkable mediocrity." The lesser known Heavy Weapon is a PopCap title that sees you moving a tank in a side-scrolling shoot 'em up.

Borderlands 2 is another gem in the collection, but do take note that this one is for the Xbox 360. The first-person co-op shooter was given a 9 back when we reviewed it in 2012, saying that it "is an easy game of the year contender with its accomplished mechanics and surprisingly complex RPG and loot systems."

Just like every month, Microsoft splits the list of four free games by including two for the Xbox One and two for the Xbox 360. Those who own an Xbox One will be able to download all four games onto their system, including the backwards-compatible Xbox 360 games. Those who own an Xbox 360 can snag these titles and save them in their game library even if they don't own the required system.

These games will be available for certain times during the month of March, so pay attention to the dates and don't miss a single game!

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New Media Crate and Famitsu Sales Figures Reveal Two Sides of Japanese Market http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/new-media-crate-famitsu-sales-figures-reveal-two-sides-japanese-market/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/new-media-crate-famitsu-sales-figures-reveal-two-sides-japanese-market/#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:51:44 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96373

By Cody Orme

Japanese sales trackers Media Crate and Famitsu have released the region’s sales figures for the period of Feb. 13, 2017 to Feb. 19, 2017, with For Honor and Nioh dominating the charts. Ubisoft’s recent hit For Honor takes the distinction of number one with over 40 000 units (sell through), while Tecmo Koei's Souls-like Nioh took […]

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By Cody Orme

Japanese sales trackers Media Crate and Famitsu have released the region’s sales figures for the period of Feb. 13, 2017 to Feb. 19, 2017, with For Honor and Nioh dominating the charts.

Ubisoft’s recent hit For Honor takes the distinction of number one with over 40 000 units (sell through), while Tecmo Koei's Souls-like Nioh took number two with 25, 776 units moved according to Media Crate or 28,224 Famitsu. While it’s worth noting that a Western title is at the number one spot in the Japanese charts, it’s not unheard of.  Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon continue it's stay on top keeping the number three spot with 14,610 according to Media Crate, and 15, 615 according to Famitsu.  There is a bit of a discrepancy however as Media Crate lists Resident Evil 7: Biohazard in the number five spot with 11,772 units moved, while Famitsu shows Romance of the Three Kingdoms 13 with Power-Up Kit in that spot with 9,752 units.

In terms of hardware, not much has changed in terms of sales, according to Media Crate, the PlayStation 4 moved 27,203 units, which is a slight decrease compared to last week’s 28,975 with over 4 million units sold to date. Famitsu was slightly more generous with their numbers with 28,820 units moved. The 3DS is still solid in second place, with Media Crate showing 22, 924 units sold, and Famitsu recording 27,377.  Most notably, however, is the Xbox One’s continued struggles in the east.  Media Crate records 76 Xbox Ones moved, down from 112 from the week prior with only 76,404 units sold to date in that region. Things don’t look much better according to Famitsu who recorded 110 units moved, down from 178.

Historically, western content doesn’t translate well over in Japan, but last week showed a two completely different sides of the coin in regards to software and hardware.

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AMD Announces Ryzen 7 to Launch Worldwide on March 2nd http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/amd-announces-ryzen-7-launch-worldwide-march-2nd/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/amd-announces-ryzen-7-launch-worldwide-march-2nd/#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:45:42 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96364

By Brendan Frye

It has been a long time since AMD () unleashed a new CPU into the PC landscape, but that is about to change. Today AMD has confirmed that the Ryzen 7 lineup of processors will hit retail starting March 2, 2017, with pre-orders open Today at 1:00 p.m. EST. The Ryzen 7 lineup of CPU's boast […]

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By Brendan Frye

It has been a long time since AMD (AMD 15,20 +1,08 +7,65%) unleashed a new CPU into the PC landscape, but that is about to change. Today AMD has confirmed that the Ryzen 7 lineup of processors will hit retail starting March 2, 2017, with pre-orders open Today at 1:00 p.m. EST.

The Ryzen 7 lineup of CPU's boast an impressive lineup of specs, with the 1800X reportedly out-performing the similarly configured 8-core, 16-thread Core i&-6900K in Cinebench and handbrake video transcoding tests. It is also boasting similar performance when 4K gaming, all at a much lower power consumption and price point.

With the Ryzen, AMD has priced the full lineup at a very affordable point. The highest end in the range, the 1800X with a base clock of 3.6, a boost clock of 4.0 will cost consumers $499USD, while the 1700X running at 3.4 base, and 3.8 boost will cost $399. Finally, the 1700, the lowest in the Ryzen 7 range will run at 3.0, with a boost of 3.7, and an included Wraith Spire cooler will only set you back $329 USD.

“We deeply appreciate the ways in which our partners and customers came together to build a high-performance ecosystem for Ryzen,” said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Group, AMD. “With an anticipated 82 new motherboards from ODMs worldwide, Ryzen-based designs from top global PC OEMs expected soon, and boutique SIs and OEMs showing extreme-performance PC designs, this will be a launch like no other. Unprecedented pre-order support from etailers globally shows that our ecosystem and partners are fully behind AMD and our commitment to return innovation and competition to high-performance PCs.”

With VR, and the rise of 4K gaming, AMD could not have picked the better time to jump back into the PC CPU race at full force. The Ryzen 7 lineup is looking to be an exciting offering, and if AMD is able to pull off the boosted performance in real world testing it could easily change the enthusiast building market landscape. For more details on the future of Ryzen, along with details on AM4 motherboards and compatible thermal options, AMD CEO Lisa Su will be doing a AMA on March 2, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. CST on the AMD Reddit.  CGMagazine will have a full review of the Ryzen Lineup closer to launch.

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New Futurama Game Featuring New Work from Matt Groening http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/new-futurama-worlds-of-tomorrow-game-includes-new-work-matt-groening/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/new-futurama-worlds-of-tomorrow-game-includes-new-work-matt-groening/#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:00:14 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96346

By Cody Orme

Fans of the hit TV show Futurama surly perk their ears when they hear the phrase made famous by Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, “Good news everyone”. Today, however, those fans might utter that same phrase themselves as JamCity affiliate TinyCo along with Twentieth Century Fox division, Fox Interactive have announced a new game set in […]

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By Cody Orme

Fans of the hit TV show Futurama surly perk their ears when they hear the phrase made famous by Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, “Good news everyone”. Today, however, those fans might utter that same phrase themselves as JamCity affiliate TinyCo along with Twentieth Century Fox division, Fox Interactive have announced a new game set in that universe titled Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow.

Developed for mobile devices, and available for pre-register on App Store, Google Play, and Amazon App Store, Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow features original content written by the much of same team attached to the series. This includes, but is not limited to: Simpsons creator, and Futurama co-creator and producer Matt Groening, executive producer David X. Cohen, and even the show’s original animation studio, Rough Draft Studios.

“I love this game because it feels just like Futurama," says Groening in a press release. “Except now you get to jab the characters in the face.”

Much of the story is unknown, though it will follow the cast of Futurama, quite possibly in the same vane as Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, which happens to be developed by the same studio working on Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow. Though Groening’s comments could suggest that this won’t follow the city sim aspects like Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, it is important to note that nothing has really been stated regarding genre specifics. Still with a 4/5 rating on Google Play Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff seems to be enjoyed by Family Guy fans, and it seems the team is just as hopeful for another success.

"Futurama is back, bigger and better than ever! Or possibly smaller and equally good. But either way, it’s back!” says Cohen in a press release. "We’ve got completely new stories from the original writers, cast, and animators. This is the real Futurama deal."

Futurama first aired from March 29, 1999, and ran until Aug. 10, 2013. During that period the witty sci-fi cartoon reached critical acclaim winning seven Annie Awards (17 nominations) and six Emmy awards (12 nominations).

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Digimon World Next Order Review - A Stressful Chore http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/digimon-world-next-order-review-stressful-chore/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/digimon-world-next-order-review-stressful-chore/#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2017 13:00:16 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96296

By Kenneth Shepard

Digimon World Next Order offers no qualms about throwing the player into the deep end from the very beginning. Harkening back to 1999’s original Digimon World, Digimon World Next Order’s obtuse mechanics made its early hours a stressful blur of time, resource, and party management. The game feels more like a pet simulator than it […]

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By Kenneth Shepard

Digimon World Next Order offers no qualms about throwing the player into the deep end from the very beginning. Harkening back to 1999’s original Digimon World, Digimon World Next Order’s obtuse mechanics made its early hours a stressful blur of time, resource, and party management. The game feels more like a pet simulator than it does a traditional RPG experience like last year’s excellent Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth, which may, justifiably so, be a barrier to entry for all but the most dedicated of players. It’s a punishing experience; one that I found myself equal parts frustrated and enamoured with as it constantly halted my progress.

Digimon World Next Order takes place several years after the events of the original Digimon World. Powerful Digimon called Machinedramon are terrorizing the Digital World, wreaking havoc upon its citizens and downsizing its biggest settlements into shells of their former selves. As the destruction reaches its peak, a group of teenagers from the real world find themselves trapped within the Digital World. These kids all meet citizens of the Digital World, are partnered with their own Digimon, and look to find a way home and restore the Digital World to its former glory in the process.

Digimon World Next Order Review - A Stressful Chore 1

For much of my early time playing Digimon World Next Order I was incredibly overwhelmed by all of its moving parts. Progressing through the game’s story requires you to find the scattered citizens of a hub city called Flotia. As you find and recruit more civilians to join the city, it prospers with new stores and services, eventually becoming a thriving civilization. Ultimately Flotia will basically keep your supplies stocked, with daily supply drops coming from various members of the city—all to help you go out and find more missing Digimon to help bring the city to its former glory.

Watching Flotia flourish is one of the most satisfying parts of Digimon World Next Order. While recruiting Digimon to the city mostly boils down to fetch quests or mini-boss battles, seeing this small group of Digimon grow into a booming city with new features becoming available as they return often left me feeling like I was accomplishing something important even in the most mundane moments.

However, making those steps requires your two Digimon partners to be powerful enough to overcome the dangers of the Digital World, and while I found the act of raising Digimon to be fun on its own, the complex mechanics behind training them and keeping them alive often held me up for hours at a time before I could even consider moving toward a story mission or recruiting more people to Flotia.

In the beginning of Digimon World Next Order, players are given the choice of two of any eleven baby Digimon. These Digimon can evolve into one of many more powerful characters depending on a multitude of factors, including stats, diet, and their relationship with me or whether I was properly caring for them. Maintaining a healthy Digimon is the difference between getting a character I wanted and getting a weaker, less desirable one. This means I had to stay stocked up on food to feed them, stay near a bathroom so they could relieve themselves, and hope I could train them in specific stats before they evolved. This made it difficult for me to get Digimon I wanted, like my longtime favourite Guilmon, but the act of training them and trying to best raise them to get specific Digimon never felt tiresome—unlike when I had to divert my attention to the rest of the game.

Digimon World Next Order Review - A Stressful Chore 2

These systems are all based around the pet simulator-like mechanics of the original Digimon World. However, in that game players only had to take care of one Digimon instead of two, which was not only easier to manage but I never had to worry about one Digimon falling behind holding me back from progressing like it does now. Both Digimon partners in your party have a set lifespan after which they will die and be reset to a baby form. Digimon’s death and rebirth offers higher base stats, eventually to the point where new evolution paths become available. But it does still mean that if one Digimon dies and is reset you have to spend time training them until they’re fit for battle again. This time, training a younger Digimon adds days to the life of the other, effectively shortening the time you have to accomplish anything before starting the process over again. Late game items will let you essentially “kill” a Digimon and get both of your partners on a similar cycle of life and death, but I felt a lot of frustration in early chapters as I constantly staggered the lives of my Digimon in order to get anywhere in Digimon World Next Order.

After I got my two Digimon to a point in their evolutionary line that I could start to progress another incremental step further, I ended up fighting with Next Order’s clunky and convoluted battle system. Unlike last year’s Cyber Sleuth, Digimon World Next Order’s battles play out in real-time. As the tamer of my Digimon I didn’t partake in these battles in a particularly strategic manner, as my role was closer to a coach of a sports team rather than a commander of a party. While both of my Digimon fight a group of enemies, all I could do is cheer them on, adding points to a growing “Order Power” gauge that unlocked more powerful attacks. While I had the power to override my Digimon’s actions, this micromanaging was far less efficient than just letting my partners operate according to set tactics, occasionally interrupting to order one to take a defensive stance or providing support through healing items.

Digimon World Next Order Review - A Stressful Chore 3

In more difficult battles this system worked and felt strategic, like I was cooperating with two other friends as a team to find weak points in powerful enemies’ defenses. But otherwise, I actively avoided battling wild Digimon. Battles on the field felt like wastes of time and resources to me, as there was seldom anything to be gained by partaking in them. Stat increases after battles against wild Digimon were so minuscule it never felt worth the risk of losing to actively seek out battles that weren’t story related. Certain Digimon can only be obtained by winning a certain number of battles, but defeating more powerful enemies didn’t add anything more to that number than beating up weak ones did.

Digimon World Next Order’s complexity is more than a little intimidating, especially for those who may want a more simple and straightforward trip to the Digital World that can be found elsewhere in games like Cyber Sleuth. These isolated systems are interesting in their own right, but Digimon World Next Order as a whole constantly feels like it’s stepping on its own toes, interfering with progression instead of creating a cohesive whole. Next Order is at its best when you’re not trying to move forward, but instead trying to live and prosper in its world.

Score:6.5

Final Thoughts:While deep and captivating on their own, Digimon World Next Order’s bloated mechanics step all over each other and make progressing through the game as a whole a stressful chore.

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Prepare To Get Trolled On Switch This March http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/troll-and-i-march/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/troll-and-i-march/#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2017 13:00:05 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96330

By Jordan Biordi

Sometimes it's hard to know what to think about Trolls. When I was growing up they mostly took the form of dolls with outrageous hair and nowadays, they're just angry people on the internet. Last year Maximum Games looked to challenge that conceit with Troll and I and now they're giving gamers a better look at […]

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By Jordan Biordi

Sometimes it's hard to know what to think about Trolls. When I was growing up they mostly took the form of dolls with outrageous hair and nowadays, they're just angry people on the internet. Last year Maximum Games looked to challenge that conceit with Troll and I and now they're giving gamers a better look at what their game has to offer.

Announced via press release, Maximum Games in partnership with Spiral House, has released a brand-new features trailer for its upcoming action adventure game. The trailer shows off some of the in-game mechanics such as foraging, crafting and split-screen co-op.

Troll and I looks to be taking the form of an action-puzzler as players are tasked with strategically utilizing Troll and Otto’s unique strengths to overcome the many challenges they will face in the Scandinavian back-country. Players can use Troll’s massive size and strength to throw boulders at enemies, or Otto’s speed and resourcefulness to stealthily take out enemies.

However, the abilities aren't simply for combat. Players will encounter various natural resources when playing as Otto, which can be foraged for fashioning weapons or used to heal the duo on their adventure. Trolls strength can be used for lifting platforms and helping Otto reach difficult areas.

While co-op allows each player to take control of either Troll or Otto, solo players can seamlessly switch between Otto and Troll in-game, utilizing their unique abilities to solve puzzles and defeat the human enemies hunting Troll or the mythical orcs known as "Ahky" unleashed from the depths of the earth.

Furthermore, according to the release "Maximum Games is proud to confirm that Troll and I will be releasing on Nintendo’s revolutionary new system, the Nintendo Switch, this Spring! The game will be fully playable at home or on the go using the Joy-Con controllers for both solo and split-screen co-op gameplay, allowing players to continue Troll and Otto’s adventure wherever they are."

While Troll and I is scheduled for a March 21st release, additional details for its Switch will be available at a later date.

Prepare To Get Trolled On Switch This March 1 Prepare To Get Trolled On Switch This March 2 Prepare To Get Trolled On Switch This March 3

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Most Anticipated Xbox One Games of 2017 http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/anticipated-xbox-exclusive-games-2017/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/22/anticipated-xbox-exclusive-games-2017/#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:00:48 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95984

By Helena Shlapak

Despite a couple of cancellations, Microsoft is releasing a handful of games in 2017 that should garner wide-spread acclaim and keep Xbox One owners and fans happy. It appears as though this list is going through the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality as most of the games on this list are sequels. […]

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By Helena Shlapak

Despite a couple of cancellations, Microsoft is releasing a handful of games in 2017 that should garner wide-spread acclaim and keep Xbox One owners and fans happy. It appears as though this list is going through the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality as most of the games on this list are sequels.

Note: Some of these titles were included in our most Anticipated PlayStation 4 Games of 2017 feature.

 

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Developer: BioWare
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: March 21, 2017

Most Anticipated Xbox Exclusive Games of 2017Five years after the release of Mass Effect III, BioWare Studios returns to their beloved franchise with Mass Effect: Andromeda. While this latest instalment is actually a midquel (taking place between Mass Effect II and Mass Effect III) and fans don't play as Commander Sheppard, the game allows players to see what was going on in the Andromeda galaxy. The player takes the role of Sara or Scott Ryder, and instead of only choosing between six character classes, they will now be able develop their own skills. Mass Effect: Andromeda also removes the morality scaling which allows the player more free reign in their conversations. Despite the mixed opinions of Mass Effect III, Mass Effect: Andromeda looks like it will inject new life into the franchise. Mass Effect: Andromeda launches on March 21, 2017.

Crackdown 3

Developer: Reagebt Ganesm Syni Dugutal, Cloudgine
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: 2017

Most Anticipated Xbox Exclusive Games of 2017 1Launched in 2007, the original Crackdown was an open world, action-adventure, sandbox that allowed players to take down the criminal originations any way they saw fit. Crackdown was set in the futuristic metropolis of Pacific City where the player takes control of an agent from “The Agency” which sets to help the city’s Peacekeepers after they were overwhelmed by the rising violence. Crackdown 3 will now take place in a new city and aside from being able to do everything you could in Crackdown and Crackdown 2 the game will now have a multiplayer mode and everything in the environment will be destructible. Crackdown 3 is set to come out sometime in 2017.

South Park: The Fractured but Whole

Developer: Ubisoft, Ubisoft San Francisco, South Park Digital Studios
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: 2017

Most Anticipated Xbox Exclusive Games of 2017 2After the astonishing success of South Park: The Stick of Truth in 2014, Ubisoft created a sequel which parodies superheroes. South Park: The Fractured but Whole, takes place after the first game and pits two groups of children superheroes against each other Captain America: Civil War style. The player will once again be tossed into a South Park episode and play a new kid who helps out the group. This time, the player can choose the new kid’s gender. South Park: The Fractured but Whole has been delayed twice now, but the general consensus is that the new game will still debut in 2017 (albeit, later than fans hoped).

State of Decay 2

Developer: Undead Labs
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: 2017

Most Anticipated Xbox Exclusive Games of 2017 3It’s back to the world of zombies in the action-adventure, survivor stealth horror game, State of Decay 2. The sequel to State of Decay will once again follow the three survivors of the first game and as they struggle to survive and rebuild a community. Exactly like State of Decay, State of Decay 2 will once again allow for three-player co-op and focus on the players leadership skills like group distrust and moral and lack of resources. The player will also be able to recruit more people into the community, be able to trade with others and customize the community however they please. The open-world game is set to come out in 2017.

Outlast 2

Developer: Red Barrels Studio
Publisher: Red Barrels Studio
Release Date: 2017

Most Anticipated Xbox Exclusive Games of 2017 4

The sequel to the terrifying, first-person, survival horror game, Outlast is definitely one fans have been dying for (get it? Because it's a horror game!). Outlast 2 follows a journalist named Blake as he follows the mystery of a murdered pregnant woman. Blake and his wife Lynn, crash in the Sonoran Desert, and now have to go through a remote village that hosts a cult that believes the end of days is upon them. Like this first game, the player won’t be able to fight, but unlike the first game, the player will have a better camera. The player can zoom, have clearer vision and audio detection. The player will even wear glasses that will inhibit Blake’s vision if they fall off. Outlast 2 was initially supposed to release in fall of 2016, and even though it doesn’t have an official date, developer Red Barrels said the game will release in Q1 2017. If you can’t wait, the demo is currently available.

Cuphead

Developer: Studio MDHR
Publisher: 
Studio MDHR
Release Date:
2017

Most Anticipated Xbox Exclusive Games of 2017 5Not only is Cuphead the only non-sequel on this list, this classic run and gun indie platformer might possibly be the most visually interesting. Based on 1930’s style cartoons, Cuphead follows the adventures of Cuphead who loses a bet with the Devil. Now the player must defeat bosses and complete various levels in an attempt to repay the bet. The game can be played with two people in a co-op mode and features branching level sequences. The levels are even accessible through an action RPG-style overworld and will feature secret areas. This Canadian indie game will turn back the clock and overwhelm players with nostalgia. Cuphead is set to release in 2017.

Prey

Developer: Arkane Studios, Human Head Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: May 5, 2017

Most Anticipated Games of 2017 Coming to PS4 3

Originally developed as a sequel to the 2006 hit, Prey, this version of Prey is now a complete reboot. Set in the year 2032, players takes the role of Morgan Yu, a human aboard a space station called Talos I which orbits the moon. Yu is a key test subject in an experiment that will change humanity forever, but things go terribly haywire. As the space station becomes overrun with hostile aliens, Yu has no choice but to fight for their life and find a way to stop the alien threat. Yu must uncover the dark secrets of the Talos I and their own past, all while trying to survive by using the station's tools, weapons, their own wits and new-found abilities. Prey has an official launch date of May 1, 2017, and here’s hoping the success of this game prompts the sequel fans have waited for.

Sea of Thieves

Developer: Rare
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: 2017

Most Anticipated Xbox Exclusive Games of 2017 6
Although there isn’t much to go on with this title, Sea of Thieves seems to be an ambitious one. Sea of Thieves is a pirate, open-world, action-adventure game. Players will be able to make custom stories, co-op with friends and also be able to craft items and maneuver their ships by coordinating the crew to sails, steering and more. Sea of Thieves even includes a day and night cycle and real-life simulated water graphics and rendering. Players will also be able to hunt for gold of course. Sea of Thieves will come out sometime in 2017 but in the meantime, there is a Sea of Thieves Insiders Program and community members can apply to play an early access version of the game.

There may not be many Xbox One exclusive games coming in 2017 but that doesn’t mean that there still won’t be a whole slew of games to play that will be coming across all platforms.

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New Humbe Civilization Bundle on Offer http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/21/new-humbe-civilization-bundle-offer/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/21/new-humbe-civilization-bundle-offer/#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 19:46:10 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96304

By Cody Orme

Sid Meier's Civilization is easily one of the most recognizable PC titles on the market, and now, it’s getting the Humble Civilization Bundle. With already over 2000 bundles sold, the Humble Civilization Bundle is packed with classic city sim goodness with around $257 worth of content. The three tiers with the lowest starting at $1. They […]

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By Cody Orme

Sid Meier's Civilization is easily one of the most recognizable PC titles on the market, and now, it’s getting the Humble Civilization Bundle.

With already over 2000 bundles sold, the Humble Civilization Bundle is packed with classic city sim goodness with around $257 worth of content. The three tiers with the lowest starting at $1. They are as follows:

$1 or more

Sid Meier's Civilization III
Sid Meier's Civilization IV

$4.25 or more

Sid Meier's Civilization V
Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World
Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods & Kings
Sid Meier's Civilization V DLC
20 pre cent off Sid Meier's Civilization VI

$15 or more

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth - Exoplanets Map Pack
Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide

As far as bundles go, this is pretty exciting. Sid Meier's Civilization V received a perfect 10 when it launched in 2010, and Sid Meier's Civilization VI received a 9.5 at its 2016 release, with reviewer Mike Cosimano praising it as “a visually resplendent strategy game that makes every turn feel important and every approach viable.”

As always, users can donate some or all of their funds to DonorsChoose.org, a charity founded in 2000 that has raised over $510 million across 870 000 projects for classrooms in the U.S.A.

As of now, there are still 13 days remaining to pick up this bundle, and with the amount of content you can get from it, it would be well worth the relatively minor investment.  Along with that, Humble Bundle is still running their monthly bundle program. February’s game is Total Warhammer the Total War and Warhammer cross over developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega. Released in 2016, Total War: Warhammer received a 9 out of 10 with reviewer Jesse Lyle stating “the developers took down a can of paint labelled “WARHAMMER” and poured it on to the Total War franchise. That is exactly what this game is and that is why I love it.”

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Crystal Dynamics Moves to New Facility, Starts Hiring Spree http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/21/crystal-dynamics-moves-new-facility-starts-hiring-spree/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/21/crystal-dynamics-moves-new-facility-starts-hiring-spree/#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 18:56:32 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96298

By Cody Orme

Crystal Dynamics, the developer behind the revived Tomb Raider franchise, have announced they’re expanding into a new studio and going on a hiring spree. The move actually occurred last week, which the studio blogged about, adding this press release on Feb. 21, 2017.  Square Enix states the Redwood, CA facility is state of the art, and […]

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By Cody Orme

Crystal Dynamics, the developer behind the revived Tomb Raider franchise, have announced they’re expanding into a new studio and going on a hiring spree.

The move actually occurred last week, which the studio blogged about, adding this press release on Feb. 21, 2017.  Square Enix states the Redwood, CA facility is state of the art, and features “dailies” review room filled with the newest tech.

“We have some great new amenities, from hydraulic desks for everyone to adjust as they like, to black-out shades and light absorption paint for those darkness-loving developers,” says Scot Amos, co-studio head of Crystal Dynamics in a press release adding the studio includes six sound proofed rooms for audio. “With the growth of our team, we’ve also increased our studio meeting area and naturally outfitted it with tons of next-gen 4K screens, as well as dedicated console and PC gaming stations next to the huge new kitchen. Lastly, we’ve added two specialty rooms for optimal development efficiency: a photogrammetry capture space and our very own, on-site, fully equipped Motion Capture stage!"

Crystal Dynamics Moves to New Facility, Starts Hiring Spree 1Along with this new facility, Crystal Dynamics announced they are hiring for multiple positions.

Crystal Dynamics is coming off a year which saw the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration. More recently, they announced The Avengers Project, a collaboration with Marvel and Square Enix.

This move happened just one week before the announcement of Studio Istolia, an all-new studio from Square Enix headed by long time Tales producer Hideo Baba. Along with this new studio, Square Enix announced they will develop a brand new RPG adventure, though details, outside of concept art, is scarce.

With NieR on the way, and Hitman season two in the pipeline, Square Enix looks to continue its role of making high quality, top-tier AAA content.

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Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes Comic Review http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/tarzan-planet-apes-comic-review/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/tarzan-planet-apes-comic-review/#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 17:36:26 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96289

By Boyd Reynolds

Tarzan. Planet of the Apes. Not the two most likely ingredients for a success. But with BOOM! Studios and Dark Horse Comics collaboration Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes, a victory is had. The two entities hold a special place in science fiction and fantasy. Tarzan came about in 1914 at the hand of […]

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By Boyd Reynolds

Tarzan. Planet of the Apes. Not the two most likely ingredients for a success. But with BOOM! Studios and Dark Horse Comics collaboration Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes, a victory is had.

The two entities hold a special place in science fiction and fantasy. Tarzan came about in 1914 at the hand of writer Edgar Rice Burroughs in his novel, Tarzan of the Apes. The book was so successful it spawned 25 sequels as well as retellings on radio, TV and film. As for Planet of the Apes, the original 1968 film was adapted from writer Pierre Boulle’s novel and became an instant sci-fi classic. That movie brought about four sequels, as well as two separate reboots, leading into this year’s War for the Planet of the Apes. The series was so popular it spawned a TV show, cartoon and comics. But putting both sci-fi and fantasy icons together in one story—how could it work? For Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes, it surprisingly does.

Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes Comic Review 2 Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes Comic Review 3

Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes begins with a little time travel. First up is North America 2016, where Tarzan attacks a world ruled by apes. Quickly, we travel to West Africa 1901, where a young Tarzan is playing in the jungle with his ape brother, Milo. While horsing around, the two stumble upon a triceratops. Sound absurd? It is, but as one keeps reading and suspending disbelief, the story works well. The two boys take this finding to their parents, Cornelius and Zira—the same Cornelius and Zira who befriended Charlton Heston in the original Planet of the Apes film. The boys share a tale of the dinosaur and the hole in the sky, one that brought Cornelius and Zira to this time. Not only that, but a human threat has come to West Africa in the form of Greystoke, a relative of Tarzan.

Written by Tim Seeley and David Walker, Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes is a five issue mini-series. Seeley and Walker create a creative and complex storyline. Leaning heavily on the original Planet of the Apes lore, the story is fun for both nostalgia and entertainment purposes. The only detraction is that the storyline gets complex at times with different characters from different times crossing paths, but it’s a small distraction. On the whole, Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes is more than just a quirky crossover; it is a quality story with tight dialogue and fast-paced, high-octane action.

Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes Comic Review 1

Artist Fernando Dagnino does a terrific job bringing Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes to life. His illustrations harken back to the Planet of the Apes film as well as having a timeless feel. The emotion he applies to the characters and his action is his greatest strength in Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes is—mostly in tight, hand-to-hand combat.

All in all, Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes was a delightful surprise. It not only offers a great sense of nostalgia for fans of both franchises but it goes far beyond expectations, taking readers on a lively adventure through both space and time.

Score:8.5

Final Thoughts:Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes is a delightful surprise. For those who love both sci-fi/fantasy classics, this comic mini-series is for you.

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WWE Superstar John Cena Tags With Nintendo to Show off Switch http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/21/wwe-superstar-john-cena-tags-nintendo-show-off-switch/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/21/wwe-superstar-john-cena-tags-nintendo-show-off-switch/#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:56:13 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96281

By CGM Staff

WWE Superstar John Cena Greets Visitors at the First Stop in the
California Desert

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Imagine driving in the middle of the desert and seeing a couch, TV and
video game system in the middle of nowhere, or skiing down the side of a
mountain and seeing another one of these surprising setups sitting there
in the snow, ready for a round of gaming. It’s a striking visual, sure,
but it drives home the message of Nintendo
Switch, Nintendo’s revolutionary new video game system that launches
on March 3. Nintendo Switch is a home gaming system with the portability
of a handheld. The system lets you take home video game experiences
anywhere you go, offering you the freedom to play where, when and how
you like.

To showcase this unprecedented new style of console gaming on the go,
Nintendo is showcasing the versatility of Nintendo Switch across the
country with highly visual, interactive living room-inspired spaces in
places you would never expect, bringing surprises to every stop. The
first Nintendo Switch experience will pop up in the desert at Blue Cloud
Movie Ranch on Feb. 23. Invited guests will get the chance to enter the
interactive space and experience different Nintendo Switch games, as
well as delight in the novelty of playing these games in a completely
unexpected locale.

To make the first stop even more exciting, John Cena will be the special
guest at this location. As a WWE Superstar and actor who is as versatile
as the Nintendo Switch console itself, the performer (and Nintendo fan)
Cena is the perfect person to kick off this unique tour. Known for his
charisma and family-friendly appeal, John Cena will showcase the
face-to-face off-TV functionality of 1-2-Switch,
a Nintendo Switch launch game that features hilarious activities like
milking a cow and participating in a Wild West duel. Cena will play the
game with invited fans and YouTube influencers, highlighting how fun it
is to play 1-2-Switch using the innovative new Joy-Con
controllers.

The second Nintendo Switch experience will pop up in Aspen, Colorado, on
Feb. 27 at the popular Snowmass ski resort. Again, the unexpected
location highlights that Nintendo Switch games can be played anywhere –
even somewhere as remote as the side of a snowy mountain!

The final stop on the Nintendo Switch journey will be in Madison Square
Park in New York on launch day, March 3. Surrounded by excited fans and
curious onlookers, the event will kick off a new era in Nintendo gaming.
Two famous (and super) brothers named Mario and Luigi will also attend
the final event to celebrate launch day.

“The upcoming launch of the unique Nintendo Switch console calls for a
unique series of celebrations,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s
Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “These unexpected
locations perfectly highlight the features of the new system, as well as
provide one-of-a-kind surprise-and-delight moments that Nintendo does
best.”

Each of these Nintendo Switch experiences will be an absolute spectacle,
featuring visuals that remind people of home gaming, but set in wildly
unexpected places. Seeing these familiar settings set against dazzling
backdrops like the open desert, snowy mountains and bustling city will
drive home how Nintendo Switch transforms any space into a place to play.

The specific times and locations for each event are as follows:

The Desert – Invite onlyFeb.
23, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. PTBlue Cloud Movie Ranch20019 Blue
Cloud Rd.Santa Clarita, CA 91390

Aspen – Open to the publicFeb.
27, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. MTSnowmass Village45 Village SquareSnowmass
Village, CO 81615

New York – Open to the publicMarch
3, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ETFlatiron PlazaBroadway between 23rd
and 24th St.New York, NY 10010

Nintendo Switch launches worldwide on March 3 at a suggested retail
price of $299.99. Two stylish versions of the system will be released: a
version with a set of gray Joy-Con, and a version with one neon blue and
one neon red Joy-Con. Both versions will have the same suggested retail
price.

At home, Nintendo Switch rests in the Nintendo Switch dock that connects
the system to the TV and lets you play with family and friends in the
comfort of your living room. By simply lifting Nintendo Switch from the
dock, the system will instantly transition to handheld mode, and the
same great gaming experience that was being enjoyed at home now travels
with you. The portability of Nintendo Switch is enhanced by its bright
high-definition display. It brings the full home gaming system
experience with you to the desert, on a snowy mountain or even during a
busy city commute.

Remember that Nintendo Switch features parental controls that let adults
manage the content their children can access. For more information about
this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/switch.
For more information about these events, visit http://www.nintendo.com/switch/events/.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of
interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan,
manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii U™
and Wii™ home consoles, and Nintendo 3DS™ and
Nintendo DS™ families of portable systems. Since 1983, when
it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has
sold more than 4.4 billion video games and more than 696 million
hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii U,
Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, as well as the Game Boy™,
Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi
XL™, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Nintendo
GameCube™ and Wii systems. It has also created industry icons
that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™,
Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and
Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America
Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s
operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about
Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at http://www.nintendo.com.

Note to editors: Nintendo press materials are available at http://press.nintendo.com,
a password-protected site. To obtain a login, please register on the
site.
Contacts
GOLINEddie Garcia, 213-335-5536egarcia@golin.comorRich
George, 415-318-4342rgeorge@golin.com

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By CGM Staff

Imagine driving in the middle of the desert and seeing a couch, TV and video game system in the middle of nowhere, or skiing down the side of a mountain and seeing another one of these surprising setups sitting there in the snow, ready for a round of gaming. It’s a striking visual, sure, but it drives home the message of Nintendo Switch, Nintendo’s revolutionary new video game system that launches on March 3. Nintendo Switch is a home gaming system with the portability of a handheld. The system lets you take home video game experiences anywhere you go, offering you the freedom to play where, when and how you like.

To showcase this unprecedented new style of console gaming on the go, Nintendo is showcasing the versatility of Nintendo Switch across the country with highly visual, interactive living room-inspired spaces in places you would never expect, bringing surprises to every stop. The first Nintendo Switch experience will pop up in the desert at Blue Cloud Movie Ranch on Feb. 23. Invited guests will get the chance to enter the
interactive space and experience different Nintendo Switch games, as well as delight in the novelty of playing these games in a completely unexpected locale.

To make the first stop even more exciting, John Cena will be the special guest at this location. As a WWE Superstar and actor who is as versatile as the Nintendo Switch console itself, the performer (and Nintendo fan) Cena is the perfect person to kick off this unique tour. Known for his charisma and family-friendly appeal, John Cena will showcase the face-to-face off-TV functionality of 1-2-Switch, a Nintendo Switch launch game that features hilarious activities like milking a cow and participating in a Wild West duel. Cena will play the game with invited fans and YouTube influencers, highlighting how fun it is to play 1-2-Switch using the innovative new Joy-Con controllers.

The second Nintendo Switch experience will pop up in Aspen, Colorado, on Feb. 27 at the popular Snowmass ski resort. Again, the unexpected location highlights that Nintendo Switch games can be played anywhere – even somewhere as remote as the side of a snowy mountain!

The final stop on the Nintendo Switch journey will be in Madison Square Park in New York on launch day, March 3. Surrounded by excited fans and curious onlookers, the event will kick off a new era in Nintendo gaming. Two famous (and super) brothers named Mario and Luigi will also attend the final event to celebrate launch day.

“The upcoming launch of the unique Nintendo Switch console calls for a unique series of celebrations,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “These unexpected locations perfectly highlight the features of the new system, as well as provide one-of-a-kind surprise-and-delight moments that Nintendo does best.”

Each of these Nintendo Switch experiences will be an absolute spectacle, featuring visuals that remind people of home gaming, but set in wildly unexpected places. Seeing these familiar settings set against dazzling backdrops like the open desert, snowy mountains and bustling city will drive home how Nintendo Switch transforms any space into a place to play.

The specific times and locations for each event are as follows:

  • The Desert – Invite only
    Feb. 23, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. PT
    Blue Cloud Movie Ranch
    20019 Blue Cloud Rd. Santa Clarita, CA 91390
  • Aspen – Open to the public
    Feb. 27, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. MT
    Snowmass Village 45 Village Square
    Snowmass Village, CO 81615
  • New York – Open to the public
    March 3, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET
    Flatiron Plaza Broadway between 23rd
    and 24th St. New York, NY 10010

Nintendo Switch launches worldwide on March 3 at a suggested retail price of $299.99. Two stylish versions of the system will be released: a version with a set of gray Joy-Con, and a version with one neon blue and one neon red Joy-Con. Both versions will have the same suggested retail price.

At home, Nintendo Switch rests in the Nintendo Switch dock that connects  the system to the TV and lets you play with family and friends in the comfort of your living room. By simply lifting Nintendo Switch from the dock, the system will instantly transition to handheld mode, and the same great gaming experience that was being enjoyed at home now travels with you. The portability of Nintendo Switch is enhanced by its bright
high-definition display. It brings the full home gaming system experience with you to the desert, on a snowy mountain or even during a busy city commute.

Remember that Nintendo Switch features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/switch. For more information about these events, visit http://www.nintendo.com/switch/events/.

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Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin Review - A Disappointing Return http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/psychonauts-rhombus-ruin-review-disappointing-return/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/psychonauts-rhombus-ruin-review-disappointing-return/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:48:19 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96253

By Elias Blondeau

Psychonauts is a beloved game most of us never thought would get a sequel, let alone two of them. Yet that’s where things stand, with Double Fine’s PSVR exclusive Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin existing purely to bridge the gap between the first title and the forthcoming sequel. In the opening moments, all the […]

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By Elias Blondeau

Psychonauts is a beloved game most of us never thought would get a sequel, let alone two of them. Yet that’s where things stand, with Double Fine’s PSVR exclusive Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin existing purely to bridge the gap between the first title and the forthcoming sequel. In the opening moments, all the love I felt for the 2005 cult classic came rushing back to me. Coming face-to-face with Lili and Milla in first-person was like seeing old friends for the first time in twelve years, looking better than ever.

Unfortunately, that moment of elation was fleeting. While more Psychonauts is something I’m still on board for, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin feels like a half-effort on part of Double Fine. To say nothing of the middling gameplay (more on that later,) the writing here is lacking by usual Tim Schafer standards. This is the mind behind some of my personal favourites, and while his love for oddball whimsy and humorous non-sequiturs is still on full display, it feels neither whimsical nor humorous here. In the entire two-ish hours of playtime, I might have chuckled once, but I forget. For me to remember hilarious moments from a game that came out over a decade, and to recall barely anything from something I just played is sad – especially considering how great these characters can be.

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin Review - A Disappointing Return 3

The narrative itself could be summed up in a sentence or two, so it suffices to say that it primarily concerns Raz, Lili, Sasha, Milla and Oleander going to rescue Lili’s dad. Fans may recall that being the cliffhanger to the first game, and while getting that closure is certainly nice, the whole thing really does feel like a middling epilogue. Frankly, I would’ve rather played through this bit of plot in the proper sequel, not in a one-off VR title with entirely different mechanics.

But perhaps I could’ve forgiven some middling writing if those mechanics were at least interesting. However, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin suffers from the same thing many VR titles do, in that its mechanics basically amount to a glorified tech demo. Players sit in stasis, looking around linear environments before they click somewhere to move, then do it all over again a few dozen times. There are a few interesting puzzles thrown in, sure, like guiding Lili through an engaging box puzzle, or a climactic final boss that takes place in a shower. Plus there’s some basic satisfaction to using telekinesis in VR, which is something I really hope more games capitalize on. Let’s get on that Second Sight sequel, eh?

But some satisfying bits can’t make up for the rest of the game, which is an exercise in overwhelming tedium. There were several instances where I had to wait to move around because the movement points hadn’t spawned yet. Sitting around and waiting in VR is marginally more interesting than doing it in a traditional game, but at the end of the day it’s still just sitting around and waiting, which isn’t much fun at all.

It doesn’t help that the mechanics don’t always work as intended, either. To interact with objects, players have to guide their head towards said object. Problem is, there’s no reticle of any sort, leaving players to guesstimate where they need to look. This would be fine if it behaved in a consistent way, but it simply doesn’t. Objects often didn’t become highlighted when I was staring straight at them, and I had to exploit weird angles to progress to the next point. In other words, when this game isn’t dull, it isn’t working as intended. This issue reared its head most in two levels, the most egregious one involving a crowded concert hall, where it was next to impossible to fenagle the controls enough to get pick up a mermaid fin I needed to progress.

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin Review - A Disappointing Return 2

None of this is to say Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin is a particularly awful game, because it isn’t. There are some decent ideas here, the visuals are attractive, and seeing one of gaming’s most memorable casts again is a real treat, as is the brief introduction of the fantastic Darin De Paul as Lili’s father. Yet the whole package is overwhelmed by a stifling atmosphere of tedium and slipshod execution, a middling take on an exceptional property. Both the writing and mechanics aren’t up to snuff to usual Double Fine standards, and after Resident Evil VII’s fantastic use of the medium, it’s kind of difficult going back to this same-y sort of VR experience.

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin is something that diehard fans might want to check out after a price drop, if only to get the original’s cliffhanger wrapped up at long last. But twenty bucks is a lot to ask for what’s included, especially when there’s a decent selection on the PSVR at this point. My advice is to pick it up on the cheap right before Psychonauts 2 releases – or just read a synopsis.

Score:6

Final Thoughts:It feels dirty to say “no” to new Psychonauts, but Rhombus of Ruin is a half-baked attempt at wrapping up the first game’s cliffhanger bundled with some monotonous gameplay and too little content for the asking price.

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Square Enix Announces New Studio and RPG http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/21/square-enix-announces-new-studio-rpg/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/21/square-enix-announces-new-studio-rpg/#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:53:30 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96255

By Cody Orme

Square Enix is keeping busy as they have announced Project Prelude Rune, an all-new RPG. With this comes news of a newly implemented studio to take on the project, Studio Istolia. Former Tales Producer Hideo Baba is tasked with running the ship serving as both studio head and producer for Project Prelude Rune. With over […]

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By Cody Orme

Square Enix is keeping busy as they have announced Project Prelude Rune, an all-new RPG.

With this comes news of a newly implemented studio to take on the project, Studio Istolia. Former Tales Producer Hideo Baba is tasked with running the ship serving as both studio head and producer for Project Prelude Rune. With over 18 years of experience Baba has worked on various Tales titles from Tales of Destiny in 2006 to Tales of Zestiria in 2015.

Square Enix Announces New Studio and RPG 4

Not much is said about the title, however the press release doesn’t seem to stray from typical JRPG tropes reading, “The project aims to build a new RPG with a new fantasy: unfolding across a vast land teeming with life. Nurtured by the earth, the many peoples of this land dare to dream, fighting for what is just—and this is their tale.”

Square Enix seems to believe in the smaller JRPG structure following the success of Tokyo RPG Factory’s  I am Setsuna, and it appears to be taking the same approach with Project Prelude Rune. With I am Setsuna, Square Enix announced Tokyo RPG Factory as a studio whose sole purpose was to bring back the classic JRPG. While it received mixed reviews, we gave it a 9/10 praising the studio for its somber tone, beautiful piano score and minimalist art direction.

While it isn’t clear what Studio Istolia’s mission statement is, Project Prelude Rune’s concept art does seem unique, almost drawing from RPGs like Xenoblade, and even the 2015 Wii U action-adventure title Rodea The Sky Soldier with a touch of that Square Enix beauty that makes their concept art so distinct.

Square Enix Announces New Studio and RPG Square Enix Announces New Studio and RPG 1 Square Enix Announces New Studio and RPG 3

Outside of Project Prelude Rune, Square Enix will be busy with the upcoming releases of Nier, Kingdom Hearts III, and Final Fantasy VII Remake (with the latter two getting delayed). Not much else is known about Project Prelude Rune however, there is no release date or platform announced at this time.

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Berserk and The Band of the Hawk Review - Faithfully Dark http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/berserk-band-hawk-review-faithfully-dark/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/berserk-band-hawk-review-faithfully-dark/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:00:01 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96244

By Jordan Biordi

Growing up, I was fortunate to have the “cool older cousin;” that relative who is just a little older than you, so they had access to all the cool “older kid” stuff  you knew you weren’t supposed to see, and unlike a sibling, they were outside the realm of responsibility, meaning they could get away […]

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By Jordan Biordi

Growing up, I was fortunate to have the “cool older cousin;” that relative who is just a little older than you, so they had access to all the cool “older kid” stuff  you knew you weren’t supposed to see, and unlike a sibling, they were outside the realm of responsibility, meaning they could get away with showing it to you. They are the reason I knew about stuff like Spawn, Heavy Metal and most notably Berserk.

Berserk was the first manga I ever got into, and thanks to my cool older cousin I was able to read far past where the series was in the West. At the time, my love for anime was blossoming, but I had only known of the few the mainstream animes that ran on cable TV. I was captivated by its perversely dark atmosphere, incredibly tragic storylines, and beautifully detailed artwork.

And while my love of the franchise ran deep, I unfortunately missed out on the series foray into the video game world. Sword of the Berserk: Gut’s Rage released on the Dreamcast in 1999, ensuring very few actually played it, and Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō or Berserk Millennium Empire Arc: Chapter of the Holy Demon War released on PS2 in 2004 but only in Japan. It seemed as though I’d never be able to experience my favourite manga in my favourite medium, until Koei Tecmo announced Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, a perfect pairing of the brutal and bloody manga to their signature Warriors gameplay.

Berserk and The Band of the Hawk Review- Faithfully Dark 1I am an unapologetic lover of the Warriors franchise. I love the simple yet nuanced combat, I love the ridiculous fun of hacking hundreds upon hundreds of enemies to bits, and I love how each game manages to feel different while essentially being the same. I think something like Berserk lends itself perfectly to this style of gameplay, being mostly centered around large scale wars and cutting through legions of demons. While players will spend the majority of the game as series protagonist Guts, characters such as Griffith, Judeau, Casca and even Zodd the Immortal can be unlocked and each feel distinctly different from each other with distinct attack styles and combos.

Berserk and the Band of the Hawk does an admirable job retelling the manga almost in it’s entirety, starting at the Golden Age Arc, and ending at the Hawk of the Millennium Empire Arc through a combination of in-game events and cutscenes that blend clips from the 1997 anime, the 2016 OVA, and new cutscenes made specifically for the game. It’s a parsed version, and while newcomers may feel like certain pieces of the plot are missing, long-time fans are sure to appreciate the amount of effort put into telling the complete Berserk story.

While fans may worry that the series’ tone has been sacrificed for over-the-top nature of the Warriors franchise, rest assured it has been not. Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is the bloodiest Warriors game to ever exist, with splashes of blood from enemies drenching the battlefield as well as characters; and while enemies don’t split in half with every sword swing, they do explode into bits from character’s frenzy attacks maintaining the perfect level of gore and silliness for a Berserk flavored Warriors game.

Berserk and The Band of the Hawk Review- Faithfully Dark 2Berserk and the Band of the Hawk looks amazing too. Characters are lovingly rendered in 3D, perfectly resembling their manga style in an excellent cel-shaded design. Special moves are framed in an almost perfect page-to-screen adaptation, and the blood is thick and red adding to the game’s anime style. The music is beautifully orchestrated with booming horns and intense strings to back the scope of the medieval warfare. And little touches add to the game’s overall quality too. As the game progresses, the background of the main menu will change to scenes from the manga like The Band of the Hawk talking together in the barracks to Gut’s sheltering Casca from the storm.

However, I find it odd how the series’ mature themes are oddly handled at times. Some of the more serious moments of the game like Gut’s accidental murder of a child, or the implied incest of Charlotte’s father are left intact, however any trace of nudity or intense gore— like Guts cutting his arm off— are tastefully edited out. While it’s not deal breaking in any way, it seems odd that the game doesn’t commit fully to the series’ darker tone and themes.

While Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is a fantastic experience, it’s not a game without problems. Localization seems a bit lax with some of the translated text either missing words or incorrectly translated, and subtitle text can remain onscreen for a split second during cutscenes. And small technical glitches like characters on horseback running in circles, pushing enemies around making them impossible to hit do make it slightly annoying. However, for each little problem, the game makes up for it in spades with its dedication to the source material, and overall fun.

Berserk and The Band of the Hawk Review- Faithfully Dark 3Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is amazing. It’s perfect for fans of series, it’s perfect for fans of the Warriors franchise, it’s perfect for gamers looking for a fun “mature” game that isn’t Call of Duty. It’s hard to imagine a manga that filled me with horror so many times, filling me with such joy as a game, but it does. Get this game, if only to open the door to a darker generation of Warriors games.

Score:9

Final Thoughts:Berserk is a bloody good time that is sure to please fans of the anime and Warriors games alike.

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New Patch for Final Fantasy XV Fails to Deliver on Promised 60FPS http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/20/new-patch-for-final-fantasy-xv-fails-to-deliver-on-promised-60fps/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/20/new-patch-for-final-fantasy-xv-fails-to-deliver-on-promised-60fps/#respond Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:52:57 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96216

By Brendan Frye

Final Fantasy XV has a new update that has hit two days before expected. Update 1.05 brings the promised PlayStation Pro support to the epic JRPG from Square Enix, that was originally scheduled for release in December. The new update offers players two visual modes to take advantage of.  The 1.05 update offers players two […]

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By Brendan Frye

Final Fantasy XV has a new update that has hit two days before expected. Update 1.05 brings the promised PlayStation Pro support to the epic JRPG from Square Enix, that was originally scheduled for release in December. The new update offers players two visual modes to take advantage of. 

The 1.05 update offers players two game modes to take advantage of. The new lite mode that unlocks the framerate allowing the game to theoretically run at 60 fps, and a high-resolution mode, that runs the game up to 30 fps, with a checkerboard 1800p resolution.

The good people over at Digital Foundry have sat down with the new update, and the results are not great. The PlayStation Pro version of Final Fantasy XV already had options for light and high-resolution modes before the update, what patch 1.05 did was removed the framerate lock in the light mode, making for an overall inconsistent experience. The high-resolution mode, on the other hand, offers a better resolution with significant framerate issues.

The full list of changes include:

  • PlayStation 4 Pro console Lite Mode compatibility with a maximum of 60 fps
  • New Timed Quests (limited-time hunts and contests)
  • Higher level cap (up to 120)
  • Increased camera roll capacity (store up to 200 photos)
  • Portable music player for chocobo rides
  • Conclusion of the Moogle Chocobo Carnival
  • Various bug fixes

The press release for the update also lists the addition of two new songs from NieR: Automata to the in-game radio: “Inishie no Uta / Unmei” and “Weight of the World. There will also be a free update called "Booster Pack+" that will be launching at a later in February that is promising a “Boost Sword” weapon, “Dragon Mod” fishing rod among other additions.

Final Fantasy XV initally launched on November 29, 2016 to critical and commercial success. CGMagazine awarded Final Fantasy XV game of the year for 2016 along with giving it a score of 10/10.

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Download Size of Nintendo Switch Launch Lineup Revealved http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/20/download-size-of-nintendo-switch-launch-lineup-revealved/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/20/download-size-of-nintendo-switch-launch-lineup-revealved/#respond Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:06:07 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96212

By Brendan Frye

The Nintendo Switch is just weeks away from launching, and as the date comes closer, details are slowly being revealed about the system and the games launching alongside it. The release of some illicit Switch systems into the wild has lead to revelations about the system, the way the interface will work, along with what storage […]

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By Brendan Frye

The Nintendo Switch is just weeks away from launching, and as the date comes closer, details are slowly being revealed about the system and the games launching alongside it.

The release of some illicit Switch systems into the wild has lead to revelations about the system, the way the interface will work, along with what storage players should expect. Every Switch will come with 32GB stock, but with the OS, and the stock apps, users will be limited to 25.9GB of usable storage for games.

With a recent update to the Japanese Switch info page, Nintendo revealed the size of games for many of the launch lineup. While most of the library range from 1GB-7GB in size, there are a few releases that are quote a bit larger.

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - 7 GB
  • Snipperclips - 1.6 GB
  • Dragon Quest Heroes I+II - 32 GB
  • PuyoPuyo Tetris - 1.09 GB
  • Super Bomberman R - 4 GB
  • I Am Setsuna - 1.4 GB
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild -13.4 GB
  • Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence - 5 GB

The biggest games being The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Dragon Quest Heroes I+II, the latter requiring expanded storage to be able to install the full download. While this may sound unfair to the consumer when you look at the Switch as a console, it makes much more sense if viewed as a tablet.

The 32GB storage allows Nintendo to keep costs down, at the same time enabling users to pick the Micro SD card size that works for their needs and budget. Unlike the Apple lineup of tablets, it is a trivial matter to upgrade their storage and limits the need to have multiple SKU's on store shelves further confusing the marketplace. With SD card prices coming down, and the sizes on the rise, users should have no problem ensuring the Nintendo Switch will hold all the games they want to play.

The Nintendo Switch is slated to launch March 3rd worldwide at a price point of £280 in the UK, $300 in the US and 29,980 Yen ($260) and  $399.99 Canadian.

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Horizon Zero Dawn Review - Great, Yet Familiar http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/horizon-zero-dawn-review-great-yet-familiar/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/horizon-zero-dawn-review-great-yet-familiar/#respond Mon, 20 Feb 2017 08:01:50 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96202

By Brendan Quinn

There was an interview I once watched with Johann Hegg, the lead singer from Swedish Death Metal outfit Amon Amarth. He was discussing the writing process for their concept album, Jomsviking. At one point in the interview, he mentioned how the band was initially worried the album was beginning to sound a bit too much […]

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By Brendan Quinn

There was an interview I once watched with Johann Hegg, the lead singer from Swedish Death Metal outfit Amon Amarth. He was discussing the writing process for their concept album, Jomsviking. At one point in the interview, he mentioned how the band was initially worried the album was beginning to sound a bit too much like Iron Maiden. At some point, however, Hegg said that he stopped caring about that because Iron Maiden makes awesome music, and if their album sounds too much like them, well, it couldn’t really be a bad thing. Horizon Zero Dawn is the gaming equivalent of realizing that sounding too much like the legends—when done well—is just fine.

You don’t have to be entirely original to be “good”, and implementing elements, mechanics, and ideas from well-reviewed and popular franchises can make for a pretty fantastic total package. A little bit Red Dead Redemption, a touch of The Witcher, with a splash of Uncharted and Far Cry Primal, Guerrilla Games’ sprawling new post-apocalyptic RPG feels instantly familiar to a fan of any of the above games. Yet it carves out its own identity with a few cool concepts on top of the added bonus of simply being fun.

Oh, and it’s ridiculously gorgeous as well.

The player takes on the role of Aloy, a brave warrior from the Nora clan, as she navigates a futuristic world populated by warring factions of tribal humans and robot dinosaurs. The storyline is serviceable, and at times quite interesting, but unfortunately falls victim to the “been there, done that” feeling that pervades every aspect of Horizon Zero Dawn. Characters are fairly standard, and often times cliché stereotypes we’ve seen a million times before. However, the plot is engaging enough and the voice actors do a solid job with what they’ve been given. So while it’s nothing remarkable or unique, I still found myself curious to see what would happen next and even felt a smidge of concern for Aloy during her trials and tribulations.

Gameplay in Horizon is a mix of stealth, ranged and melee combat, and crafting. Each robot dinosaur players kill will yield crafting materials that can be used to make ammunition, potions, traps, and weapon upgrades. There are also plenty of plants and flowers to gather (if that’s your thing) and the more rare and difficult enemies will offer more uncommon materials. It’s not the deepest crafting system in the world, but is fluid and simple enough to maintain accessibility for newcomers to crafting systems, while still allowing for plenty of experimentation and collecting for veterans of the genre.

Players are able to upgrade Aloy’s skills in three distinct categories, each focusing on a different play-style approach. Prowler, Brave, and Forager have trees that cater to players who enjoy stealth, straight-up melee combat, and what is basically alchemy. There are no locks preventing players from mixing it up either, and being able to sneak better while also wielding extra strong spear attacks can be a lot of fun. Combat itself is a mix of ranged and melee, with multiple different bows/slings/traps to choose from on top of differing ammunition types.

Picking Apart the World of Horizon Zero Dawn 5

However, the most fun aspect of the combat comes from taking advantage of the dynamic AI found in the wildlife. Early on in Horizon Zero Dawn, players gain the ability to “override” the programming of the mechanical beasts and turn an enemy into an ally. Using this approach to cause chaos in the herd, which then stampedes into some carefully placed traps is incredibly satisfying and tons of fun. This ability is also used to tame certain species and use them as mounts, which makes travel a bit more bearable.

On that note, Horizon Zero Dawn avoids the fan divide of fast travel in a rather clever way. Realizing that some players prefer a more realistic approach to traversing an open world, and others loathe having to spend half the game running from point A to Point B, players are able to craft fast travel packs, which allow them to instantly travel to any destination but keeps the more hardcore players happy by making them a finite resource. Picking and choosing when to use the fast travel pack involves a bit more thought and strategy than in other games, and that’s awesome.

Quests are stock RPG fare – expect to see a lot of the usual “kill/fetch” themes, including such classics as “clear the bandit camp” and “go to the woods and find out what happened to X”. One of my major gripes in this respect comes from a rather blatant rip-off of the “Witcher Senses” mechanic from The Witcher 3. Aloy has a piece of ancient technology that allows her to see an ARG version of the real world, which highlights things like important items, audio logs, and enemy weak points. It’s also used to track footprints and investigate important quest areas, but like Witcher Senses, basically boils down to “hold button and follow the purple”, which is lazy and boring gameplay and something this reviewer is not a fan of.

Visually, the game is stunning. While not quite on the level of Naughty Dog when it comes to player animations (will believable lip-syncing ever become reality?), the environments and lighting are gorgeous, draw distances are super impressive, and dips in frame-rate were pretty rare. It isn’t the fastest or smoothest game on the market, but I found myself pausing on more than one occasion to soak up the atmosphere as the sun peaked through some clouds and lit up a river valley full of cybernetic dinos. The lighting is fantastic, as are the wind and weather affects. For a game that aims to put players in the shoes of a semi-primitive warrior battling nature, Guerilla did a great job in making that world feel both beautiful and hostile.

Mind you, this review was done using a PlayStation 4 classic, and apparently it looks even better on a Pro playing through a 4K TV. If visual fidelity is your thing, this is not a game to miss purely for how pretty it is.

Horizon Zero Dawn is not a game-changer in any sense of the word. There is nothing entirely original in either its setting or gameplay mechanics. The crafting, combat, skill trees, quest formats etc. are all inspired by or influenced by other games. Climbing buildings and cliffs feels very Nathan Drake. Tracking, investigating and traveling the world is instantly familiar to anyone who has played the Witcher 3 or Red Dead Redemption. Even wandering amongst ruined bunkers listening to the last words of former residents is an experience very reminiscent of Fallout.

Yet none of this is ultimately a detriment to the game. Whatever your favourite game is, you will find elements of it in Horizon Zero Dawn. Controlling Aloy feels fluid and flowy, the environments are beautiful, the AI from the animals is fun to exploit and experiment with, crafting potions and traps is exactly what one would expect etc, but it all works, and it’s fun. Horizon Zero Dawn isn’t out to break the mould, but at the end of the day that doesn’t matter. Guerilla has made a sprawling, gorgeous, tight gameplay experience that anyone with a PlayStation should pick up.

Score:8.5

Final Thoughts:Horizon Zero Dawn is the gaming equivalent of realizing that sounding too much like the legends—when done well—is just fine.

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Picking Apart the World of Horizon Zero Dawn http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/18/picking-apart-world-horizon-zero-dawn/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/18/picking-apart-world-horizon-zero-dawn/#respond Sat, 18 Feb 2017 15:30:49 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95908

By Andrew Ko

Understanding the world and backstory of Guerilla’s AAA beast Horizon Zero Dawn begins with a look at Aloy, PlayStation’s newest heroine portrayed by Ashly Burch. A glance at her hazel eyes and her stoic face can both dazzle with its impressively realistic animations and, simply, surrender the essence of a misunderstood female outcast. A glimmer […]

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By Andrew Ko

Understanding the world and backstory of Guerilla’s AAA beast Horizon Zero Dawn begins with a look at Aloy, PlayStation’s newest heroine portrayed by Ashly Burch. A glance at her hazel eyes and her stoic face can both dazzle with its impressively realistic animations and, simply, surrender the essence of a misunderstood female outcast. A glimmer of Aloy’s hair impresses with its amount of polygons—but the Metis-evoking dreads are also capable of telling a tale of long sunburned hours traversing a green expanse. With Horizon Zero Dawn releasing on Feb. 28, fans are examining the game just this way—at all angles—desperately trying to unearth the answers to the game’s world. And the key seems to lie in the relationship between technology and humanity.The game may seem purely sci-fi on the surface, but a closer look reveals a world where technology masks the very humanness behind it—and it’s made of stardust like the rest of us. So let the following guide be a tour of Horizon Zero Dawn’s universe, one you’ll be exploring soon in all its seamless load-times wonder:

The Game Will Be About Clearing Corrupted Zones

The story of Horizon Zero Dawn takes place 1,000 years into the future and revolves around a catastrophic “corruption event” that sends humanity back to the Stone Age. John Gonzalez, the lead writer of the game, says in an interview with VentureBeat: “The main quest itself is connected to the corruption. The corruption is a major event. But it goes a lot deeper than that and a lot farther than that.” He is referring to the secrets behind what’s going on in the world, secrets that will answer questions like why the enemy robots are self-sustaining animals, or why there were no human survivors who retained modern day technology—or if, perhaps, there were, for that matter.

Picking Apart the World of Horizon Zero Dawn 4

That’s where Aloy comes in. She is a tribal outcast searching for these answers and for her origins. “She’s not just hunting the machines. She’s trying to understand the world around her as well,” Gonzalez continues. So don’t be fooled into thinking Horizon is simply Monster Hunter with machines: there are so many more elements at play in the story, like the mystery of the enemy tribe that can corrupt animals through a type of black magic. As Aloy, players will have to take on the role of the curious cat to sniff out these mysteries. And with fan theories already buzzing about how the machines might be products of a hidden, advanced civilization of survivors, or about how the title could refer to a god-figure named Horizon, there will be no shortage of mysteries to uncover. As Gonzalez puts it, “The narrative ambition has been immense.”

Princess Mononoke Is a Major Influence

Red and black gunk, corrupted animals, a tribe member cast away from safe and sacred lands to go save the world—Horizon Zero Dawn really couldn’t sound more like Princess Mononoke. And Guerilla makes no attempt to mask it: when talking about how the story team came up with the character Aloy, Gonzalez said, “She sort of arose out of the world we were developing. There was no one-for-one reference point. But certainly some things were influences: Nausicaa, Princess Mononoke, the Studio Ghibli heroines, and other strong women action heroes like Ellen Ripley or Sarah Connor.”

Picking Apart the World of Horizon Zero Dawn

If you haven’t seen the movie, Princess Mononoke follows the story of a prince named Ashitaka, who becomes cursed when his village is attacked by a corrupted boar god. When he heads west to find a cure, he gets involved in a war between nature and an industrious iron-armed town lead by a woman named Eboshi, and ends up playing the part of diplomat to try and bring peace to the lands. The game’s resemblance to the movie is especially staggering considering Guerilla suggested that Aloy has the uncommon power to control the forbidden mechs—much in the same way that Ashitaka is endowed with power from his curse. Visually speaking, the corruption in both the game and the movie manifests itself almost identically: as strands of red and black fluid that twist and twine around the affected animal. Assuming that Guerilla will continue to draw from the Princess Mononoke well, it is fair to expect that the game will speak to spirituality and man’s influence on nature. And that no matter how hard people try to overpower and misuse nature, in the end, nature wins out. Nature always wins out.

No One Knows Where Aloy Came From—Except the Machines

The Horizon Zero Dawn E3 2016 trailer shows a tribal elder saying of Aloy, “the girl is a curse. She came from nowhere. She is no one.” It seems like no one around her knows who she is or where she came from, not even Rost, the fellow Nora tribe outcast who took her under his wing and raised her. In the trailer, a child Aloy asks him, “why am I an outcast? Who was my mother?” The Nora tribe is a matriarchy, and so Aloy’s motherlessness must be a cause of particular pain to her. It is also a tribe with strong taboos against the technology of the ancient world, a past that could be entwined with Aloy’s. At the end of the trailer, Aloy is seen interfacing with a mysterious alien-like entrance that scans her and audibly reports, “identity confirmed,” suggesting that Aloy is from this elusive world of advanced machinery. If so, the Nora tribe’s rejection of her makes sense, for it could be that the Nora tribe know of her true origins and are hiding it. After all, a point of contention even between Aloy and Rost is Aloy’s fascination with the technology of the ancient world.

It’s wholly ironic that even in real life, Sony was going to shun Aloy as well. In a Polygon interview with Shuhei Yoshida, president of PlayStation Worldwide Studios, Yoshida said he had worries about whether or not it was too “risky to do a female character.” They even hired a marketing team to conduct focus testing for Aloy to see how well the female character would be accepted.

The Mechs May Not Be What They Seem

Guerilla’s use of David Attenborough documentaries as a reference point in creating the animal-mechs for Horizon Zero Dawn brings to mind the time when Disney went on an African safari to bring Zootopia’s furry friends to life. Although Guerilla might not have had the opportunity to travel to the Jurassic era to take reference photographs of T-rexes, they’ve still managed to capture something impossibly organic about the creatures. From the swift movements of the sabertooth like Sawtooth, to the elegant Tallneck; the prance of the Bambi-like Grazer, to the iconicized Thunderjaw imposing itself on the game’s cover-art, the animals feel very real. “You can look at a creature, and by how it’s animating, how it’s behaving, you can tell what sort of attack it might do” says Jan-Bart Van Beek, the game’s art director, in proud praise of his creations.

But the mechs may not be what they seem. Different sizes and variations suggest a natural evolution to the creatures. The large expanding sacs of the Bellowbacks can be found storing a range of dangerous fluids depending on where you find them. Similarly, the raptor-like Watcher will surprise players, as it comes in different strengths and with different powers, suggesting a natural, geographically-based evolution system. Animals will also tend to group into herds, and the gameplay will be emergent, adding to the illusion of life—maybe what you wanted out of No Man’s Sky, you’ll find in Horizon. Moreover, early on in the game, Aloy acquires the ability to use runes that can temporarily take control of the mech-animals. The enigmatic rune gives an eerie hint that humans are controlling the mechs from a far off place. Similarly, an antagonizing masked tribe (the so-called bad guys) are seen performing rituals that corrupt and control the animals with a voodoo-like magic. Perhaps, in Horizon, the interface between man and animal may be bigger than technology, may involve a live connection between body, soul, and a holy spirit.

Picking Apart the World of Horizon Zero Dawn 1Horizon Zero Dawn’s “Happy New Year” advert has the world meet its end when the calendar strikes 2017. Then, it counts up to the new beginning: the day when players will enter into Guerilla’s world. And what a world it is. A far cry from ours, but utterly familiar. Aspects of Celtic and Nordic culture, as well as the cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, abound. With a touch of the magic of Game of Thrones (developers have said Aloy’s style was inspired by Ygritte), Horizon has learned to blend reality into a believable fantasy: the red braided hair, the ochre facepaint, the tanned leather; the tribe that has learned to respect all living things.

Picking Apart the World of Horizon Zero Dawn 2 Picking Apart the World of Horizon Zero Dawn 3

In the world of Horizon Zero Dawn, humanity descends from their technological pedestal back to the same footings as nature. “Sorry little one, I couldn’t let you call for help,” Aloy can be heard apologizing when she slays an animal-mech. People follow the road of the “waste not, want not”—Aloy carries around a medicine pouch used to collect herbs (which the player can use to restore health), armour is harvested from the mechs you kill, and the architecture of settlements around the game is shaped by the resources directly nearby. Players will traverse a land not bound by borders, but by rock, grass, sand, and soot, and the streaking clouds above. “This was something different, where you have this whole new world that’s grown over the grave of the one that came before. I felt like there was a different sort of resonance to that, a kind of sadness, and a curiosity about our future,” Gonzalez finally says about the world he helped shape. It's a world that may meet another catastrophe, suggested at the end of the Horizon Zero Dawn story trailer: an ominous voice says “There’s so much more to discover before the world ends.” That being said, it’s worth noting that for a game that has the world end once—and plans to end it again—it never fails to express the ceaseless bustle of life.

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New Lands and Samurai Await in Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/18/new-lands-and-samurai-await-in-final-fantasy-xiv-stormblood/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/18/new-lands-and-samurai-await-in-final-fantasy-xiv-stormblood/#respond Sat, 18 Feb 2017 13:17:44 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96188

By Derek Heemsbergen

The third and final leg of the worldwide Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival tour kicked off in Frankfurt, Germany early this morning. After the debut of a stunning cinematic trailer for the MMORPG's next expansion, Stormblood, director Naoki Yoshida took to the stage to make several announcements about what to expect when it releases on June 20. Fans have […]

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By Derek Heemsbergen

The third and final leg of the worldwide Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival tour kicked off in Frankfurt, Germany early this morning. After the debut of a stunning cinematic trailer for the MMORPG's next expansion, Stormblood, director Naoki Yoshida took to the stage to make several announcements about what to expect when it releases on June 20.

Fans have long wondered what role the mysterious Eastern nation of Doma might play in the future of Final Fantasy XIV. We now know that Stormblood will take players beyond the previously-announced land of Ala Mhigo all the way across the ocean to Doma. The story will center around players' involvement in liberating these two nations from the oppressive hand of the Garlean Empire. It was also revealed that players will be able to don the mantle of the Samurai, a brand-new job class that uses Iai sword techniques in conjunction with the art of "Sen" to deal massive damage to enemies.

New Lands and Samurai Await in Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood 3

Yoshida also revealed a number of new field areas and dungeons set to make their debut in Stormblood, including the Asian-inspired hub city of Kugane, the sweeping Azim Steppe, the pirate-infested Ruby Sea, and more. A new beast tribe called the Kojin was also revealed, as was its patron deity, Susano, a so-called "Primal" who stands alongside series mainstays like Ifrit, Shiva, and Ramuh.

Players will also be pleased to know that a fourth housing area, Shirogane, is planned for release shortly after the launch of Stormblood. Yoshida explains that the delay is intended to give players an opportunity to enjoy the new jobs and Stormblood's main scenario before settling down into a new house. However, with the release of the expansion, furnishing capacity will be doubled for all house types, making it easier than ever to create the perfect space for relaxing after a hard day's adventuring.

Veteran Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu made an appearance at the keynote's conclusion to reveal that his theme song for Stormblood will be titled "Revolutions." It will be sung by Susan Calloway, who previously performed both "Answers" and "Dragonsong," the themes of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, respectively.

Stormblood looks to continue in the grand Final Fantasy tradition of rich storytelling, spectacular visuals, and meticulous attention to detail that makes the series stand head and shoulders above its competition. The expansion is slated to release on June 20 for PlayStation 4 and PC. Pre-orders start at $40 and grant early access to the game beginning June 16.

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NIS America's Annual Press Event Brings News of 2017 Lineup http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/17/nis-americas-annual-press-event-brings-news-2017-lineup/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/17/nis-americas-annual-press-event-brings-news-2017-lineup/#respond Sat, 18 Feb 2017 04:03:46 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96178

By Kenneth Shepard

NIS America held its annual press event today in San Francisco, California, and with it came several announcements regarding the company’s catalog of games coming in 2017. Along with the presentation, SUDA51 and Spike Chunsoft's Kazutaka Kodaka made appearances to promote the localization of The Silver Case and Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony respectively, as well […]

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By Kenneth Shepard

NIS America held its annual press event today in San Francisco, California, and with it came several announcements regarding the company’s catalog of games coming in 2017.

Along with the presentation, SUDA51 and Spike Chunsoft's Kazutaka Kodaka made appearances to promote the localization of The Silver Case and Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony respectively, as well as the PlayStation 4 ports of Danganronpa 1+2 Reload and Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls.

Here's a breakdown of all the announcements and appearances made:

  • NIS America will be releasing 19 games in 2017.
  • Birthday the Beginnings will launch on PS4 and Steam on May 9th.
  • Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness will come to Steam on April 24th.
  • A Rose in the Twilight will come to PlayStation Vita and Steam on April 11th.
  • Caldun Returns This is Sengoku will launch on June 6th for PlayStation 4, PS Vita, and Steam.
  • Operation Abyss New Tokyo Legacy will launch on March 27th on Steam.
  • Operation Babel will come to PS Vita and Steam on May 16th
  • Tokyo Tattoo Girls will launch at some point in 2017 for PS Vita and Steam.
  • Disgaea 5: Complete will launch on Nintendo Switch on May 23rd.
  • Culdcept Revolt will come to Nintendo 3DS in Summer of 2017.
  • RPG Maker Fes will come to 3DS in the Summer of 2017.
  • God Wars Future Past will come to PS4 and Vita on March 28th.
  • Touhou Genso Wanderer is coming to PS4 and Vita on March 21st.
  • Touhou Double Focus will launch on PS4 and Vita on March 21st.
  • Touhou Kabuto V will launch on PlayStation 4 and Vita in the summer of 2017.
  • Danganronpa 1+2 Reload comes to PlayStation 4 on March 14th.
  • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls comes to PlayStation 4 on June 27th.
  • Danganronpa creator Kazutaka Kodaka takes the stage, along with series mascot Monokuma to talk about the series, along with upcoming Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
  • Danganronpa V3 will take place in a new setting separate from the Hope's Peak Academy story from the original games called Academy for Gifted Juveniles.
  • Post-game content for V3 will include mini-games featuring old characters from previous Danganronpa games.
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony will get a demo on PlayStation Network before its official launch.
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is coming to PlayStation 4 and Vita September 26th.
  • SUDA51 takes the stage to talk the Silver Case remaster.
  • The PlayStation 4 version will feature new illustrations, music,  and scenarios not found in the original game.
  • The Silver Case will come to PS4 on April 18th.
  • Ys VIII will be coming to PlayStation 4, Vita, and Steam this fall. Will feature English, French, and Japanese options.

Those that missed the event but are interested in watching it can check out the archived broadcast on NIS America's Twitch channel.

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Titan to Produce a New Tekken Comic http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/17/titan-produce-new-tekken-comic/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/17/titan-produce-new-tekken-comic/#respond Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:14:15 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96170

By Lane Martin

Titan comics publishes an extremely diverse catalogue of comic books ranging from original books like Chimera Brigade and Peepland to its vast collection of licensed properties like Dark Souls and Dishonored. Now, Titan is adding the notable fighting game franchise Tekken to their list of properties. The book has already signed on some interesting talent. The comics are […]

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By Lane Martin

Titan comics publishes an extremely diverse catalogue of comic books ranging from original books like Chimera Brigade and Peepland to its vast collection of licensed properties like Dark Souls and Dishonored. Now, Titan is adding the notable fighting game franchise Tekken to their list of properties.

The book has already signed on some interesting talent. The comics are being written by Cavan Scott, who has previously worked on with both the Star Wars and Doctor Who comic book adaptations, and being illustrated by Audie Tong, who has worked on Spectacular Spider-Man and The Batman Strikes!.

Scott considers himself a fan of the series since he was first introduced to it back in 1995, and looks forward to writing for it in this capacity.

"We're having great fun delving into the series' history to bring back some familiar faces, along with all the fan favourite fighters you'd expect," Scott told CraveOnline. "There's going to be intrigue, danger and, of course, knock-out battles galore!"

Tekken features some iconic characters, that are very near and dear to fans. Though we don't know what part of the lore this comic will deal with, several characters have been confirmed, namely Jin Kazama, Yoshimitsu, Heihachi Mishima, Nina Williams, and Paul Phoenix.

Fighting games have never been seen as the most story-focused video games out there. Tekken has always gone to great lengths to balance heavy-handed melodrama, such as Heihachi being the worst grandfather ever, with the ridiculous, exemplified by haunted trees, fighting bears, and alien samurai. Though I would love to see this series explore the latter, I fear that we'll be regaled with more tales of devil genes and corporate espionage, as we got with previous translations of this franchise.

Titan is looking to release this comic in May of 2017, paving the way for Tekken 7's release on June 2nd.

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Pixels & Ink #236 - Switch and Honor http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/17/pixels-ink-236-swich-honor/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/17/pixels-ink-236-swich-honor/#respond Fri, 17 Feb 2017 19:35:53 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96163

By Cody Orme

On this episode of the Pixels and Ink Podcast, Cody is tired Jordan gets political and Brendan is sour on Mel Gibson. They discuss Pewdiepie, For Honor and The Switch.

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By Cody Orme

On this episode of the Pixels and Ink Podcast, Cody is tired Jordan gets political and Brendan is sour on Mel Gibson. They discuss Pewdiepie, For Honor and The Switch.

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Fire Emblem Heroes Review - They're Still Learning http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/fire-emblem-heroes-review-theyre-still-learning/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/fire-emblem-heroes-review-theyre-still-learning/#respond Fri, 17 Feb 2017 17:20:38 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96151

By Lane Martin

Mobile games are a particularly different beast in comparison to their more traditional big budget counterparts. The screen is significantly smaller than even the tiniest of televisions, the controls are all over the place, and even the prices are vastly different than games made for other platforms. Other developers have been in the mobile space […]

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By Lane Martin

Mobile games are a particularly different beast in comparison to their more traditional big budget counterparts. The screen is significantly smaller than even the tiniest of televisions, the controls are all over the place, and even the prices are vastly different than games made for other platforms. Other developers have been in the mobile space for quite a while, so we’ll have to give Nintendo a bit of leeway when in comes to their recently released Fire Emblem Heroes.

This is technically Nintendo’s second foray into the murky waters of mobile games, the first being Super Mario Run, which elicited a mixed reaction from critics and enthusiasts alike. It’s odd to see Nintendo going through these kinds of growing pains, as it probably would never have happened if they didn’t release the Game Boy so long ago.

Well, in the time between Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, it looks like Nintendo has gotten their bearings a bit. Fire Emblem Heroes is an adorable gachapon style strategy role-playing game that delivers some pretty light fun. Players complete a succession of boards employing a simplified version of the series traditional combat system. After completing a quest for the first time players are awarded with orbs, the currency with which they will unlock new heroes.

I really need to emphasize the simplicity here. Fire Emblem has always employed a rock-paper-scissors-like system when determining the effectiveness of units against each other, but that was only one piece of a much more complex tapestry that was its game mechanics. Notable here is the absence the permadeath option, a necessity for some hardcore fans. It makes sense though; as the permanent loss of a character the player invested money into would probably be a bit too much. That’s right, of course there are micro-transactions.

Fire Emblem Heroes Review - They're Still Learning 2 Fire Emblem Heroes Review - They're Still Learning 3

To summon a new hero you need five orbs. You can then continue to summon heroes at a discounted rate, up to five total. Now, while many gachapon games are purely random, Fire Emblem Heroes gives you a chance to narrow down your possible summons by choosing appropriately coloured gems. You’ll need a total of 20 orbs to summon a full batch of heroes, which is a little much. You can use real money to buy more orbs, in case you ever want to go down that route, but I have a really big issue with the exchange rate here. For $1.99, the lowest amount you can pay, you get 3 orbs. You may notice that that won’t even net you a single summon. You can spend actual money on a free mobile game and get no real reward.

Everything else is your typical gachapon fare. The story is simple, though often obnoxious, and spends a great deal of time lauding your amazing summoning powers. Familiar characters are exciting to see, though it always feels like your favourites are one summon away. The stamina is fairly generous, and happily reminds you throughout the day that you should totally play more. Most of the characters I’ve acquired have been useful, and repeat summons can always be fed to other characters for skill points.

Fire Emblem Heroes is by no means a perfect game. It’s a simplified version of its source material, with familiar characters and fun game play. It certainly won’t satisfy your desire for a new game in the serious, but it’s definitely a fun mobile game in its own right.

Score:7

Final Thoughts:Nintendo has learned a lot from their first attempt at a mobile game, but there’s still a ways to go.

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AMC - Humans - 202 Represent Niska Exclusive Clip http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/17/amc-humans-202-represent-niska-exclusive-clip/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/17/amc-humans-202-represent-niska-exclusive-clip/#respond Fri, 17 Feb 2017 17:20:04 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96152

By Brendan Frye

Laura must decide whether to accept Niska’s request, while Karen and Pete learn about a special synth being sold for unprecedented amounts on the black market. Hester uses questionable means to gain information from their prisoner, and Leo faces a new mission. Mia takes a risk to help Ed but is her secret now in […]

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By Brendan Frye

Laura must decide whether to accept Niska’s request, while Karen and Pete learn about a special synth being sold for unprecedented amounts on the black market. Hester uses questionable means to gain information from their prisoner, and Leo faces a new mission. Mia takes a risk to help Ed but is her secret now in jeopardy?

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Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanda Coming to the West http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/17/samurai-warriors-spirit-sanda-coming-west/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/17/samurai-warriors-spirit-sanda-coming-west/#respond Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:50:18 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96141

By Cody Orme

Samurai Warriors fans in North America and Europe can let their excitement be known as publisher Koei Tecmo announces the Western release of Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanda bringing an all new character with it. Coming to PlayStation 4 and (PC on Steam), Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanda will hit Western Shores on May 23, 2017. […]

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By Cody Orme

Samurai Warriors fans in North America and Europe can let their excitement be known as publisher Koei Tecmo announces the Western release of Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanda bringing an all new character with it.

Coming to PlayStation 4 and (PC on Steam), Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanda will hit Western Shores on May 23, 2017.  Along with this announcement, Koei Tecmo announced costumed pre-order bonuses for Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanda for those who pre-order from Amazon, Best Buy, or GameStop.

Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanda is a tale spun around the historical Sanda Clan, whose banner dates back to the 16th century. The story begins Masyauki Sanda, a highly requested character who makes his debut in this title, from his first battle, chronicling the clan’s rise to power up to Yukimura Sanda’s defeat during the Siege of Osaka.

Since its launch in 2004 on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, Koei Tecmo and developer Omega Force’s Samurai Warriors as a franchise is known for its historical accuracy, so fans interested in the Sanda Clan, their legacy or the mark they made on history should be interested in this title.

The Warriors brand has its toes dipped in a lot of different properties. Most recently, Koei Tecmo released Dynasy Warriors: Godseekers which launched on PlayStation 4 and Vita which worked as a Strategy RPG rather than a hack n’ slash. Aside from that, Koei Tecmo is working with Nintendo to launch Fire Emblem Warriors following the success of Hyrule Warriors which released on both the Wii U and 3DS. And that’s only speaking about some of the titles that are hitting the west, as the publisher/developer duo set to launch Masuo Stars (set in the Warriors Orochi universe) in Japan on the PlayStation 4 and Vita on Mar. 30, 2017.

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For Honor Review - A Great Western Fighter http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/honor-review-great-western-fighter/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/honor-review-great-western-fighter/#respond Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:31:43 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96130

By Cole Watson

Fighting games are one of the hardest genres in the video game industry for developers to tackle. They require countless hours of testing, balance adjustments, and thought out execution to create anything close to a satisfying experience for their players. Ubisoft certainly doesn’t have the best pedigree in the field, but their latest historical fighter, […]

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By Cole Watson

Fighting games are one of the hardest genres in the video game industry for developers to tackle. They require countless hours of testing, balance adjustments, and thought out execution to create anything close to a satisfying experience for their players. Ubisoft certainly doesn’t have the best pedigree in the field, but their latest historical fighter, For Honor, is a golden check mark that shows that they have the talent to craft them now.

If a Viking, a Samurai, and a Knight met on the battlefield, who would be left standing? For Honor is built around this core question that historical buffs and groups of friends alike will continue to discuss for years. Now that answer is left for players to discover as they pit the three warring factions against one another for territorial dominance. The concept may be completely unrealistic, but the immense fun and satisfaction that comes from learning this unique, yet deep, a combat system will leave players focused on the fight at hand instead of why it started in the first place.

For Honor Review - A Great Western Fighter

Starting with the fundamentals, players focus on attacking and defending against their opponents through one of the three directions inputted by the right control stick. If the player attacks where the opponent isn’t guarding the hit connects and if the opponent attacks in the same direction the player’s stick is aiming the attack is blocked. It sounds like a simple system, until you throw two attack buttons, combo strings, unlockables, guard breaks, parries and even a stamina bar into the collective mix.

My first hour of gameplay of For Honor was rough as I struggled with bots and tutorials, trying to absorb every bit of information I could as fast a possible and skip some of the learning curve. Once I took things slow and focused on perfecting the fundamentals first, the rest of the mechanics my character could perform came more naturally with practice. Learning all of the match ups however, is an entirely different beast and it will be interesting to see if a tier list develops in the future.

The 15-character cast is a diverse mix of powerful warriors and weaponry with no faction standing out as the clear powerhouse to play. I recommend starting out with each factions starting warrior because they introduce some of the specializations that each army can perform. Samurai are swift and precise, quickly taking advantage of any mistakes their opponent makes to come out ahead. Vikings are unpredictable and can quickly get players caught in a flurry of wild, yet powerful swings that are hard to block. Lastly, the knights are an equal mix of strength and defense, able to adapt to any opponent with simple attacks, but effective damage.

For Honor plays at its best when it’s just one player against another in a balanced 3 out of 5 death match. The mental chess match that takes place feels just as intense as any current EVO fighter on the market, and because of the changing environments each round, there’s always a new strategy to test out. There are multiple gameplay modes to experience though. Dominion is the first 4v4 mode, revealed originally at E3, which has players capturing points and fighting minions until one team reaches 1000 points. When this occurs the opposing team enters into a break state, where they can no longer respawn and must capture points to keep their team in the game. I like this approach to the end game because the key focus is still on skilful play. The rest of the 4v4 modes are broken down versions of Dominion, removing the capture points and then, later, the minions until the game is just an elimination mode. I would have liked to see one more type of objective game mode to add one last touch of variety to the base game, but surely Ubisoft has something planned for the inevitable DLC.

For Honor Review - A Great Western Fighter 2While the PC version has had some pretty atrocious connection issues, whether from Uplay issues or player-player connections, the console version’s launch has been relatively smooth. The issues will surely be worked out in the coming days, but I hope the next issue addressed is the rage quitters. It’s common in fighters to have rage quitters, but not enough devs penalize them to stop the behavior from running rampant in the community. Games in progress have been stopped half way because of the lack of players, and the winning team doesn’t get any reward or experience except wasting their time.

For Honor’s multiplayer also has some interesting social features. Upon starting up the game, players choose one of the factions as their preferred faction to represent in the Risk-like territorial battle for the season. This doesn’t restrict players from using any of the other 12 characters available so there’s no reason to jump over to the Vikings if you want to try them out (so please don’t leave the knights). By representing a faction till the end of the season, players will get in-game rewards, including customization items like gear and color patterns for that faction.

Single-player gamers will be left disappointed however. While For Honor does feature an 18-mission campaign, its primary function is to get players primed for multiplayer by introducing a handful of warriors to play as from each faction. The overall narrative is very sparse and it tries to add some logic and deeper meaning into a game that excels at dumb fun.

For Honor is a great example that Western developers can make some great innovative twists on a primarily Japanese-built genre. It’s so safe for AAA titles to resort to going action, open-world, or FPS, but this is a real risk that Ubisoft is taking on a brand new IP and I hope it pays off for them. This is the best combat system I’ve had the pleasure to experience since the death of character action games. I hope to see you on the battlefield, even if you fight for Valhalla or the Emperor.

Score:8.5

Final Thoughts:For Honor is a great example that Western developers can make some great innovative twists on a primarily Japanese-built genre.

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XX Movie Review - Highlighting the Women Directors of Indie Horror http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/xx-movie-review-highlighting-women-directors-indie-horror/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/xx-movie-review-highlighting-women-directors-indie-horror/#respond Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:00:45 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96099

By Phil Brown

It’s a common complaint that there aren’t nearly enough women directors in horror. The opportunities are sadly rare, and it’s a difficult industry to slip into. So the folks behind XX came up with a nice concept to help balance out the ledger sheet. They’ve created an anthology horror film with shorts directed exclusively by […]

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By Phil Brown

It’s a common complaint that there aren’t nearly enough women directors in horror. The opportunities are sadly rare, and it’s a difficult industry to slip into. So the folks behind XX came up with a nice concept to help balance out the ledger sheet. They’ve created an anthology horror film with shorts directed exclusively by women, and thank god it’s a good one. Anthology films are tricky beasts. Inevitably they are inconsistent, but generally the format works well for horror. After all, a 20 minute short is just enough time to establish a creepy premise and go for the gizzard before starting again with new rules to break and new scares to explore. There have been many that worked (Tales From The Crypt, Creepshow, V/H/S) and many more that failed (no need to dwell on those titles). Thankfully, XX falls into the former category. It’s not perfect, but the scares are there and it works more often than not.

The film kicks off with former Rue Morgue magazine editor Jovanka Vuckovic’s The Box, an adaptation of a short by cult horror author Jack Ketchum (The Woman, The Lost). It’s a tale of a family who are slowly torn apart when the youngest boy suddenly refuses to eat. Shot in a deliberately cold and controlled visual style a la David Fincher, the movie is an eerie slow burn that is ideally placed at the beginning of the anthology. Thematically, the movie is about the horrors of parents losing connection with their children. Viscerally, it’s a work of unsettling body horror with some deeply disturbing climatic imagery (as is the Ketchum way). The film works like a good horror short should, establishing a premise, teasing it out with a mixture of thematic weight and queasy scares, then disappearing before overstaying it’s welcome. Some bleak humour sneaks in around the edges to give the short even more bite, and by the end, Vukovic certainly establishes herself as an interesting voice in the genre.

XX Movie Review - Highlighting the Women Directors of Indie HorrorThe second short, The Brithday Party, comes from Annie Clark (known as St. Vincent in her music career), and it leans a little too hard on dark comedy. It does boast the typically excellent Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures, Togetherness) in the lead role, which goes a long way. She’s awkwardly hilarious as a mother who discovers her husband’s corpse on the day of her daughter’s birthday party, and awkwardly attempts to conceal the body until things inevitably go wrong. Lynskey is as charming and hilarious as always, and Clark does show off an idiosyncratic visual aesthetic that’s equally amusing. However, the short is very one-note and feels over long before it actually finishes. Still, it’s about as cute as a tale of a concealed birthday party corpse can be, which is a bizarre achievement of sorts.

XX producer and Southbound director Roxanne Benjamin delivers the simplest story next in Don’t Fall, a tale about a group of twentysomething campers who frequently prank one of their friends until she gets possessed by an ancient demon for a little revenge. There’s not much to the short narratively, but it’s a hell of a talent showcase for Benjamin as a director. It kicks off with a delightfully dramatic show off title shot and then when the monster madness hits, gore splatters across the screen with stunning style. Benjamin delivers a high impact monster romp that shows she knows exactly how to manipulate viewers like putty, and it makes a hell of an impact. Sure, the story is featherweight, but the visceral force of the short should prove to be a heck of a showreel to land the promising filmmaker future projects.

XX Movie Review - Highlighting the Women Directors of Indie Horror 1The final film, Her Only Living Son, comes from the most accomplished director of the bunch Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body). Her movie is essentially a riff on Rosemary’s Baby/The Omen, about a troubled single mother (Christina Kirk) who learned that she had the antichrist in her belly and ran away to try and save the boy. Now a troubled teen, the boy is starting to discover his power, while mommy struggles to keep the kid under control. It’s certainly an effective piece with some strong performances, nice shocks, clever twists, and gentle touches social commentary. But ultimately, there’s a bit of a “been there, done that” quality to the story. It’s not particularly difficult to guess where it’s all heading, even if the destination is worth the repetition. It’s a nice and nasty little satanic short, but probably shouldn’t have been the closer.

The four shorts are wrapped together with some nice n’ twisted stop-motion shorts by Sofia Carrillo that deliver pointedly gendered surreal images that recall the gothic Brothers Quay animated nightmares in the best possible way. It’s a nice bit of twisted icing on the cake of anthology horror flick that’s far more successful than most entries in the subgenre. Sure, there isn’t a particularly masterful stand out short, but at least there’s no glaring failure either. All deliver the goods to varying degrees of success, and the feature is very much worth watching provided that it’s graded on the curve that anthology horror flicks require. The flick should retain a minor cult following, and hopefully, will help launch at least one or two of the directors to bigger and better things. That’s really the best you can hope for with an indie anthology horror film, so XX can’t be labelled as anything other than a success. Seek it out for a little estrogen-charged horror to spice up your genre movie kicks.

Score:8

Final Thoughts: XX highlights the work of for female indie horror directors and proves to be one of the more effective cinematic horror anthologies in recent years.

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The Lego Batman Movie Proves the Need for A Lighthearted Caped Crusader http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/17/lego-batman-movie-proves-need-lighthearted-batman/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/17/lego-batman-movie-proves-need-lighthearted-batman/#respond Fri, 17 Feb 2017 12:00:23 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95956

By Phil Brown

There are all other superheroes, and then there is Batman. Oh sure, Superman was the first iconic caped hero, and remains the most common name thrown around when discussing the pop gods of the 20th century. However, only Batman has taken over pop culture so dramatically so many times. Batmania first kicked off in the […]

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By Phil Brown

There are all other superheroes, and then there is Batman. Oh sure, Superman was the first iconic caped hero, and remains the most common name thrown around when discussing the pop gods of the 20th century. However, only Batman has taken over pop culture so dramatically so many times. Batmania first kicked off in the 60s when the Adam West TV series was the most popular thing around. Then there was another round of mass Batty obsession in the late 80s and early 90s after Tim Burton’s film and the animated series that followed. Then in the 2000s, Christopher Nolan’s grounded version of the character caused another mass infatuation with the character. That’s ignoring the almost 80 years of monthly comic book stories as well. There’s just something about the wounded orphan boy hiding in a masked vigilante that seems to capture the popular imagination like no other. Every era has their Batman.

The Lego Batman Movie Proves the Need for A Lighthearted Batman 1When it comes to contemporary big screen Batman-ery, we now have two massive Batman hits in the last year. There’s the Ben Affleck/Zack Snyder’s tortured bore and the far sillier Lego Batman that just made $53 million at the box office over the weekend in a solo picture after stealing The Lego Movie away from a near countless array of pop culture icons. Here’s the thing though, while Warner Brothers is desperately trying to sell us Batfleck as the Batman we want, Lego Batman might be the version that we all need right now. In times so dark that the current US president flies around in helicopters with his name on the side and spits out dismissive one-liners to any authority figure who dares challenge the bizarre brain that lives below a mound of even more bizarre hair, the villains from the 60s Adam West Batman era don’t seem so strange anymore. With the news cycle spitting out one contemporary horror story after another every day, maybe we don’t need our most beloved superhero to be so tortured and brooding. Maybe it’s time that we all embraced a goofy Batman once more.

Now to be clear, this isn’t a decision that I came to lightly. There was a time when I liked my Batman to be as dark as possible. It was in the cynical Bush era when superheroes were just starting to regain popularity, but the world was all twisted n’ topsy-turvy. That’s when I couldn’t have been happier with Chris Nolan’s realist(ish) take on the caped crusader and was digging through as many old graphic novels either written or inspired by Frank Miller as possible. In that time, it was nice to have a Batman who was all brutal and brooding and angry at the world. For a while, it even felt like that was the only acceptable Batman. After all, I was one of those kids trying to figure out how to grow up in a world with unjust wars, a collapsing economy, and no one would date me and wah-wah-wah, I liked my superheroes dark because that meant I was an adult, dammit (well, technically at least).

The Lego Batman Movie Proves the Need for A Lighthearted Batman 3Then, of course, those Nolan movies peaked right as the Marvel movie revolution kicked off, and political stability stepped in for a wee while. Suddenly, there were grandiose superhero movies everywhere that took their universes seriously while also having fun. Nolan’s Bat-franchise remained the most consistently intellectually satisfying (as well as the series most littered with nerd-friendly references to Bat-lore), but suddenly there were other options that treated superheroes with respect while also offering, you know, fun. Batman had to be deathly serious in an era when the general public needed help taking stories about costumed crime-fighters more seriously. That’s not the case anymore, even though that’s the brand of grim entertainment that Zack Snyder and co. continue to favour.

The thing is that even with the dark core, the Batman world is still damn fun. After all, those Tim Burton adaptations may have been filled with dark shadows and angry loners frustrated with the world, but they were still goofy. Stories about grown men who wear Halloween costumes reflecting their inner selves are inherently a bit silly, and there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that. While there was certainly an element of parody to the classic 60s Batman TV series, it was also an accurate reflection of the goofball Batman comics of their era that showcased Bat-mite, and even Batman’s similarly costumed doggie. Contrary to popular belief, that is an accurate reflection of a certain side of Batman’s history. The Adam West series has also become its own popular chapter in the never ending Bat-mythos, earning some big shout-outs in The Lego Batman Movie as well as a delightful animated spin-off featuring the original cast that also hit shelves in the last year (The Return Of The Caped Crusaders).

In an era where superheroes dominate the blockbuster movie landscape so intensely, those characters have become pop art once more. They couldn’t be more mainstream and widely accepted. Can, and should they be used to reflect society? Of course, but that doesn’t mean that writers and filmmakers are required to take them deathly seriously to do so. In fact, by delivering such a pitch-perfect parody of superhero movie pretentions The Lego Batman Movie is weirdly an ideal comic book blockbuster for our era of superhero exhaustion. So once again, there’s Batman at the head of the superhero culture. It’s just in a different form this time. The one we need. Right now we need the silly. We need the escapism. And we need to be reminded that this stuff is all good fun.

The Lego Batman Movie Proves the Need for A Lighthearted BatmanSo, it’s nice to see Batman being a little more fun again. In fact, The Lego Batman Movie and The Return of The Caped Crusaders came as something as a relief. Batman V. Superman should have been a momentous nerd event, not the divisive blockbuster that it was, and there are many ways to lay blame on that movie’s controversies and failures. The big one just might be that this isn’t the time for Batman to be grim n’ brooding right now. That time will come again. It always does. But at this time, the flagship superhero needs to lighten up and entertain audiences who need the escape before the character can become a symbol of pain and political anguish again. We need a lighter Batman, and so we all got a lighter Batman. That’s how the character works. Ever present and constantly evolving to suit the times that turned on the Bat-Signal.

If Warner Brothers is committed to continuing their live action Bat-franchise, they should take stock in the popularity of their two goofball Bat-hits this year and lighten up the Batfleck flicks. They don’t need to be camp, but they certainly could learn a lesson or two from the 90s Batman Animated Series the nimbly mix n’ matched the psychological torment of the character with the broader cartoony fun of his villains and adventures. No one has ever found that balance on the big screen before (well, aside from the brilliant animated feature Batman: Mask of The Phantasm, which bombed in 1993) and the time feels right. We’ve seen the darkest Batman can get and the lightest he can be over the last twelve months. Now it’s time to find that sweet spot in the middle.

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Film and TV News Roundup 2/16/17: Star Wars, Soderbergh, and more http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/film-tv-news-roundup-21617-star-wars-soderbergh-and-more/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/film-tv-news-roundup-21617-star-wars-soderbergh-and-more/#respond Fri, 17 Feb 2017 01:09:48 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96122

By Mike Cosimano

Hi everyone! We're trying a different kind of news feature here at CGM, where we round up film and TV news stories that we couldn't expand into a full article but still bears mentioning. The first episode of the My Brother, My Brother, and Me TV show is currently available for free on SeeSo's YouTube channel. […]

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By Mike Cosimano

Hi everyone! We're trying a different kind of news feature here at CGM, where we round up film and TV news stories that we couldn't expand into a full article but still bears mentioning.

  • The first episode of the My Brother, My Brother, and Me TV show is currently available for free on SeeSo's YouTube channel. Based on the popular advice podcast, My Brother, My Brother, and Me follows the three McElroy brothers as they field questions from listeners to -- get this! -- humorous results. The show allows the brothers to take some of their digressions to their logical extremes, with first episode following the McElroys as they attempt to rehabilitate the public's perception tarantulas with a spider-themed parade and a "comedy poison" Facebook page.
  • There are two TV shows currently in production about the 2016 American presidential election. One will be the upcoming seventh season of Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story, for some reason. The other will be a miniseries produced by Zero Dark Thirty producers Mark Boal and Megan Ellison in the form of a "political drama" that will last "between 8 and 10 hours."
  • In an example of life imitating art, Steven Soderbergh has come out of retirement for one last job. Soderbergh's new film, his first since  Logan Lucky, will be released this August 18th. Logan Lucky stars Adam Driver and frequent Soderbergh collaborator Channing Tatum as two brothers who plan to pull off some kind of NASCAR-adjacent heist. The film marks Soderbergh's return to the big screen, as his last credited feature-length project was 2013's sexy pharmaceutical thriller Side Effects. The film has a traditionally stacked cast, including Daniel Craig, Hillary Swank, Sebastian Stan, and many others.
  • Much the merchandise-driven Force Friday held in honor of The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi will receive a similar marketing blitz in the form of Force Friday II, held on September 1st. StarWars.com also revealed the packaging for The Last Jedi toys, where Rey can be seen with a slightly different haircut. I'm going to be honest, I didn't want to wring a full story out of this news, and I'm so happy that I don't have to.

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Vice Chairman of Samsung Lee Jae-yong Arrested http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/vice-chairman-samsung-lee-jae-yong-arrested/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/vice-chairman-samsung-lee-jae-yong-arrested/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:43:10 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96113

By Helena Shlapak

Vice Chairman, heir, and de facto CEO of the Samsung Group conglomerate, Lee Jae-yong has been arrested for Bribery among other charges. In the wake of a scandal involving the impeachment of South Korean President in December, Park Geun-hye over her friendship with Choi Soon-sil (the daughter of a shaman-esc cult leader), Lee Jae-yong was accused […]

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By Helena Shlapak

Vice Chairman, heir, and de facto CEO of the Samsung Group conglomerate, Lee Jae-yong has been arrested for Bribery among other charges.

In the wake of a scandal involving the impeachment of South Korean President in December, Park Geun-hye over her friendship with Choi Soon-sil (the daughter of a shaman-esc cult leader), Lee Jae-yong was accused of giving millions of dollars in donations to the foundations run by Choi Soon-sil in exchange for government favours. One of these favours revolves around the merger between Samsung C&T (their construction company) and Cheil Industries (an affiliate of the Samsung group). Lee admitted at the parliamentary hearing that Samsung had donated $17.46 million to two foundations owned by President Park and Choi, but denied that they gave him favours.

Lee was questioned along with several other company executives on the charges back in January but the South Korean court ruled that there wasn’t sufficient evidence at the time. However, early Friday morning, the Seoul Central District Court said that “It is acknowledged that there is a need and reason for the arrest, given a newly added criminal charges and additional evidence.” Lee was arrested soon after.

Lee is the first major business man to be arrested over the scandal and is currently being charged with illicit transfer of assets abroad, bribery, perjury, concealment of criminal proceeds and embezzlement.

Samsung has yet to make a statement on Lee’s arrest and it is unclear if the scandal and arrest will be a major blow to the electronics superpower. The company has already had setbacks in terms of leadership after Lee’s father, Lee Kun-hee suffered a heart attack in 2014.

President Park was impeached because of allegations of cult activities, influence-peddling and leaking classified information. Choi was charged with attempted coercion, attempted fraud and abuse of authority among other charges.

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Capcom Renews Trademark for Deep Down IP http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/capcom-renews-trademark-deep-ip/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/capcom-renews-trademark-deep-ip/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:45:38 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96100

By Helena Shlapak

Good news for Deep Down fans, Capcom, the Japanese video game developer behind the upcoming game has renewed its trademark for the IP. Deep Down is an upcoming single/multiple dungeon crawler for the PlayStation 4 console but little to no information on the game had been released since its 2013 reveal. However, it looks like […]

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By Helena Shlapak

Good news for Deep Down fans, Capcom, the Japanese video game developer behind the upcoming game has renewed its trademark for the IP.

Deep Down is an upcoming single/multiple dungeon crawler for the PlayStation 4 console but little to no information on the game had been released since its 2013 reveal. However, it looks like Deep Down wasn’t abandoned and left for dead as Capcom has renewed its trademark for the title according to a United States Patent and Trademark Office document filed on Feb. 9, 2017.

What this means for fans is this; in order for a trademark on a game to continue, the game has to be released at some point. Since Deep Down hasn’t been released yet, this means that the trademark would have expired as a company only has a limited time to release a game from initial filing. If Capcom had cancelled Deep Down, the video game developer would not have refiled the trademark.

This doesn’t mean of course that Deep Down will never be cancelled or that the game is coming out soon, it just means that it’s not dead and Capcom is ever-so-slowly working on it. Considering that producer Yoshinori Ono told Japanese website 4Gamer (translated by Siliconera) in an interview that the game had been massively expanded, it’s no surprise that Deep Down is taking as long as it is.

“We’re thinking about showing something that looks completely different from what previously shown, although it might be a while from now,” said Ono in the interview.

“The ideas we have for the game is much larger now compared to when we first announced it, rather, the ideas we had before might not have been good enough.”

Deep Down is said to be similar to other games like Dark Souls and Dragon’s Dogma but not as difficult with some parts taking place in a medieval/fantasy setting.

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New Action RPG Songbringer Coming Soon http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/new-action-rpg-songbringer-coming-soon/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/new-action-rpg-songbringer-coming-soon/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:33:46 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96075

By Helena Shlapak

A new procedurally generated action RPG titled, Songbringer is making its debut at the Game Developer Conference and PAX East. Developed by one-man studio Wizard Fu and published by Double Eleven, Songbringer is a sci-fi insane ride featuring spaceships, drugs, parties, swords and adventure. Set in 13,000 B.C. in the milky way galaxy, Songbringer is […]

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By Helena Shlapak

A new procedurally generated action RPG titled, Songbringer is making its debut at the Game Developer Conference and PAX East.

Developed by one-man studio Wizard Fu and published by Double Eleven, Songbringer is a sci-fi insane ride featuring spaceships, drugs, parties, swords and adventure. Set in 13,000 B.C. in the milky way galaxy, Songbringer is the story of a shirtless hero named Roq. Roq is a carefree man searching for the ultimate party aboard the spaceship Songbringer. However, Roq’s carefree life is turned upside down when he accidentally awakens an ancient evil army and throws the galaxy into chaos and war. Now it’s up to Roq and his number one, robot companion, Jib to save the galaxy and party once more.

Songbringer features a complex and rich, immersive storyline filled with secrets and hidden realms. By eating the rare hallucinogenic cacti found throughout the game, the player will be able to unlock these realms and find loads of other things like hidden doors and items that can’t be seen to help them on their journey. The player will be able to explore 10 dungeons in 3/4 perspective and enter in different codes to explore over 300 million unique level combinations and environments, making no adventure the same unless players share codes with one-another.

But Songbringer’s action-adventure plot wouldn’t be complete without several unique weapons including bombs, the ghost sword projectile, a boomerang top-hat and a humming nano-sword. Songbringer even lets players play in two-person co-op mode to help each other battle crowded mobs, gigantic bosses, virus androids and a series of puzzles.

This game of millions of world combinations, nanoswords, galactic war and hallucinogenic cacti will launch for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam for PC, Mac and Linux this coming summer but for those who can’t wait, Songbringer will have a playable demo at the Game Developer Conference and PAX East in March.

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Dark Horse Comics and Mystery Science Theatre Team Up http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/dark-horse-comics-mystery-science-theatre-team/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/dark-horse-comics-mystery-science-theatre-team/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:20:09 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96090

By Helena Shlapak

It looks like dreams really do come true. Dark Horse Comics is partnering up with Mystery Science Theatre 3000 to produce a series of comics and merchandise. Milwaukie based comic and manga publisher, Dark Horse Comics (Harrow County, Aliens and Hellboy) announced on Twitter today that they would be teaming up with the cult sci-fi […]

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By Helena Shlapak

It looks like dreams really do come true. Dark Horse Comics is partnering up with Mystery Science Theatre 3000 to produce a series of comics and merchandise.

Milwaukie based comic and manga publisher, Dark Horse Comics (Harrow County, Aliens and Hellboy) announced on Twitter today that they would be teaming up with the cult sci-fi comedy TV series, Mystery Science Theatre 3000 for a comic series and product line. While Dark Horse has yet to announce any further details, the comic and manga publisher said that the partnership would be in the not-too-distant future. Mystery Science Theatre’s Twitter re-tweeted Dark Horse’s post in confirmation.

This is fantastic news and perfect timing as the beloved cult classic started filming its newest season in September. This partnership with a world renowned publisher will only mean more advertising and funds to continue the series and boost popularity with a new generation.

Mystery Science Theatre 3000 originally aired in 1988 and was a comedy series centered on riffing and making fun of B-Movies. A janitor by the name of Joel is captured by two mad scientists and sent to space aboard the dog bone-shaped Satellite of Love. There, the scientists force Joel is sit through a series of B-Movies in order to pick the perfect film to be used as a weapon for world domination. To keep himself from going mad, Joel builds several robots over the course of the series that help him mock the films.

Mystery Science Theatre 3000 ran for 10 seasons and had a feature film but was cancelled twice during its run. The show was cancelled for the first time after six seasons in 1997 and again in 1999 after another three seasons. Mystery Science Theatre 3000 was revived once again in 2015 thanks to crowd funding and will be on Netflix in 2017.

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The Great Wall Movie Review - The Best Matt Damon Monster Movie Set in China http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/great-wall-movie-review-best-mat-damon-monster-movie-set-china/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/great-wall-movie-review-best-mat-damon-monster-movie-set-china/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 19:43:25 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96083

By Phil Brown

The Great Wall is a massive international production combining the power and cash of the Chinese and Hollywood film industries to create a huge and stupid monster movie. That’s a good thing. In a time when most A productions are actually B movies, and most schlock comes with layers of irony, there’s something undeniably charming […]

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By Phil Brown

The Great Wall is a massive international production combining the power and cash of the Chinese and Hollywood film industries to create a huge and stupid monster movie. That’s a good thing. In a time when most A productions are actually B movies, and most schlock comes with layers of irony, there’s something undeniably charming about the unapologetic sincerity and stupidity of The Great Wall. Viewers will be thrilled by the spectacle, stunned by the gorgeous imagery, and laugh like a lunatic whenever the movie slows down long enough for characters to speak to each other. In many ways, it feels like an old-timey monster movie, equal parts imaginative, corny, and insane.

Matt Damon stars as a warrior of mysterious origin who has travelled from Europe to China and picked up a buddy (Pedro Pascal) along the way. We know they’ve been travelling for a long time because they have massive fake beards and learn that they are searching for black powder that goes boom. One night they are attacked by an unseen beast, with only a scaly claw lopped off by Damon’s sword left behind as proof. When they are discovered by a massive Chinese army led by Zhang Hanyu, Jing Tian, and Andy Lau, they survive only because they have that claw in their possession. You see, that claw belongs to a collection of monsters who blatantly symbolize human greed, and attack China every 60 years (that’s why they built the wall, apparently). The claw means the latest attack is coming a bit early and now Damon finds himself in the middle of a good old-fashioned monster mash.

The Great Wall Movie Review - The Best Mat Damon Monster Movie Set in China 1Good news first: The Great Wall is an absolutely gorgeous movie to behold. Director Zhang Yimou began his career crafting ornate art movies before transitioning into action epics with stunning titles like Hero and The House Of Flying Daggers. His love of rigid compositions, painterly colour palettes, kinetic action, and poetic montage translate beautifully into the blockbuster arena and this, his largest production, is no exception. Scale is massive, extras plentiful, and CGI impressive. The set pieces are downright hypnotic with highlights including a balletic bungee jumping troupe of women warriors, a tense monster fight with whistling arrows, an astounding hot air balloon ride, and a final fight that’s downright hallucinogenic in its use of colour. This is A+ eye candy and the fact that it’s all used for a monster battle on the Great Wall Of China, well, that’s just awesome.

Now that bad news, every time the characters open their mouths the movie becomes less interesting. The dialogue is so stilted that it’s shocking it was written by Hollywood veterans, and not poorly translated. The fairy tale themes about embracing international bonds to fight larger evils and the perils of greed are nauseatingly overstated. The actors rarely get a chance to do more than pose, with Willem Dafoe embarrassingly lost (and awkwardly edited into many scenes that were clearly shot without him) and Damon fumbling through an ill-advised accent that’s occasionally Irish(ish). Basically, the movie is either exposition or spectacle. Stunning epic monster mash action or hilariously earnest nonsense. It’s a real rollercoaster of a viewing experience in both good ways and bad.

Fortunately, the eye-candy accounts for almost half the running time and the flick flies by fast. So there’s rarely enough time to dwell on any of the dull scenes, and Zhang Yimou’s stunning set pieces are always only a few minutes away. If anything, the fact that it leaps from beautiful fantasy silliness to cornball tin-eared earnestness only adds to the old-timey monster movie appeal of The Great Wall.

The Great Wall Movie Review - The Best Mat Damon Monster Movie Set in China 2The film has massive camp appeal when it’s not delivering genuinely jaw-dropping spectacle (including a perfect mix of artistic and eye-poke gimmicky 3D) and is endlessly entertaining, even when it’s maddeningly stupid. It’s a film that will separate the real monster movie fans from the posers. This international blockbuster is trash, but glorious and impeccably constructed trash for folks who love such things. It’s unlikely to be remembered a classic, but is likely to be enjoyed by a few like-minded friends with a sense of irony and a case of booze in joyous WTF screening sessions filled with cheers and guffaws. Simply put, The Great Wall is the best possible movie about medieval monster battles on The Great Wall Of China starring Matt Damon. This thing was never going to be art, but at least it’s beautifully made and gloriously entertaining garbage. That’s rare a beast worth celebrating for genre nuts

Score:7

Final Thoughts:The Great Wall is as stupid as it is pretty. Since it’s a giant monster movie, that’s good thing.

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Pirates of the Caribbean Director Gore Verbinski Talks Bioshock, Calls Jason Isaacs Mr. Delicious http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/pirates-caribbean-director-gore-verbinski-talks-bioshock-calls-jason-isaacs-mr-delicious/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/pirates-caribbean-director-gore-verbinski-talks-bioshock-calls-jason-isaacs-mr-delicious/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 18:41:01 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96077

By Cody Orme

Recently, acclaimed director of the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, Rango, and The Ring, Gore Verbinski hosted a Reddit AMA. While nothing groundbreaking was revealed in the community-based question answer period, Verbinski answered pretty honestly, touching on his scrapped Bioshock film on top of calling actor Jason Isaacs “Mr. Delicious”. While he explained Isaacs' nickname comes […]

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By Cody Orme

Recently, acclaimed director of the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, Rango, and The Ring, Gore Verbinski hosted a Reddit AMA. While nothing groundbreaking was revealed in the community-based question answer period, Verbinski answered pretty honestly, touching on his scrapped Bioshock film on top of calling actor Jason Isaacs “Mr. Delicious”.

While he explained Isaacs' nickname comes from his captivating nature, the biggest take away from the AMA to us gamers are his comments about his Bioshock film. Stating he wanted to make an R-rated movie.

"[In] Bioshock…we'd be building an entire underworld universe.” says Verbinski, “I think the combination of the price tag and the rating, Universal just didn't feel comfortable ultimately. At that time also there were some R-rated, expensive R-rated movies that were not working.”

He did give fans a glimmer of hope by saying the landscape for R-rated movies has changed, making it easier to make a successful movie with that rating, so there is a chance it could happen again.

Verbinski spoke about the odds of seeing another Rango movie, to which he seemed doubtful. With that said, Verbinski did mention he is kicking around another animated film idea. Rango wasn’t the hottest topic of discussion for Verbinski however, in fact, It’s not hard to guess that some did ask about Pirates of the Carribean as well. Directing the first three movies, Verbinski brought much of the character the multi-film franchise is known for.  While discussing that he feels it’s time for him to move on from the franchise, he did speak about some of his fears during the then-trilogy’s production.

“I certainly think one of the scariest moments in my career was filming the second and third Pirates movie back to back and at some point realizing that we were no longer making the studio nervous," says Verbinski. "...I think when that happens you start to get nervous yourself because you're quite used to telling stories that maybe are operating on that boundary of the unknown”

While it’s disappointing to hear he doesn’t intend to return to the world of Rango or Pirates of the Caribbean, Verbinski isn’t sitting still. Currently, his upcoming film, A cure for Wellness, its theatres Feb. 17, 2017.

Editor's Note: Some quotes were fixed for grammar.

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Crash Bandicoot Has a Release Date http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/crash-bandicoot-release-date/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/crash-bandicoot-release-date/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:06:01 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96064

By Helena Shlapak

Fans will return to the Wumpa Islands faster than they thought, the upcoming Crash Bandicoot remake, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy finally has a release date, according to Activision’s Twitter. Video game publisher Activision -the company behind the insanely popular Crash Bandicoot Franchise, Spyro Franchise and Destiny- announced on Twitter today that the remake of Crash […]

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By Helena Shlapak

Fans will return to the Wumpa Islands faster than they thought, the upcoming Crash Bandicoot remake, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy finally has a release date, according to Activision’s Twitter.

Video game publisher Activision -the company behind the insanely popular Crash Bandicoot Franchise, Spyro Franchise and Destiny- announced on Twitter today that the remake of Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, will be released on June. 30, 2017 for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro console, just shy of Crash Bandicoot’s 20th anniversary. The game will retail for $39.99.

The game publisher teased their announcement on Twitter just yesterday, showing a picture of Crash with six mystery boxes hovering overhead. Activision said that they were pretty excited too and concluded the post with the hashtag, crashisback.

Originally developed by Naughty Dog, the first Crash Bandicoot game came out for the PlayStation in 1996, and was about a mutated Bandicoot named Crash as he explores Australia’s Wumpa Islands to stop the evil Doctor Neo Cortex from taking over the world. Since then, the franchise exploded, spawning seven main games, three racing, two party, four spin-offs and a slew of mobile games.

Although the popularity of Crash Bandicoot cooled over the years, the games were definitely something that the creators wanted to revisit. After a series of teases over the years (Crash being in Skylanders and Crash appearing in Uncharted 4) It was revealed at E3 2016 that Crash would come back as a remake. The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, will be a remake of the first three Crash Bandicoot games; Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back and Warped.

With the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy coming out so soon, here’s hoping that the game’s facelift will entice new fans and bring old fans back into the insane world of Crash and his friends.

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Ark: Survival Evolved gets Laser-Cannon-Dinos in New Update http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/ark-survival-evolved-gets-lazer-cannon-dinos-new-update/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/ark-survival-evolved-gets-lazer-cannon-dinos-new-update/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 16:40:15 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96067

By Cody Orme

Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard has announced a free update for their sci-fi dinosaur survival title. The “Mega TEK Tier” update is available for download now and brings an array of new content including, but not limited to, the Tek Helmet with three types of vision and oxygen tank, Tek Boots, Tek Pants, Tek Rifle […]

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By Cody Orme

Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard has announced a free update for their sci-fi dinosaur survival title.

The “Mega TEK Tier” update is available for download now and brings an array of new content including, but not limited to, the Tek Helmet with three types of vision and oxygen tank, Tek Boots, Tek Pants, Tek Rifle and dino-mounted-laser-cannons (sometimes I love video games).  Along with this, Studio Wildcard are adding four new creatures: the overgrown weasel like Purlovia Maxima, the Skark-like Basilosaurus Solatiumfecit, a T-Rex but with longer arms Baryonyx Aquafulgur, and a mountain goat called Ovis Aries.

Players are also welcome to take part in the recent Valentine's Day event for Ark: Survival Evolved, which allows for increased mating speed and the chance to find a box of chocolates that unlocks new hairstyles. Along with this news Studio Wildcard released a trailer to hype their update.

Ark: Survival Evolved is still in playable development, but since it’s Dec. 6, 2016 launch, it has sold over a million copies on the PlayStation 4 alone, making it the number one selling game on the PlayStation Network for December 2016 and Janurary 2017.

“We want to say a big THANK YOU to all the fans who have supported us as we march toward completion of this epic game,” said Jeremy Stieglitz, co-founder, lead designer, lead programmer, development director, co-creative director at Studio Wildcard in a press release. “The community is the key part of what makes Ark an exciting, dynamic experience and keeps survivors coming back for more!”

Much criticism has targeted towards Studio Wildcard for their handling of Ark: Survival Evolved, as the game has yet to be complete, but somehow constant updates have dropped. The studio recently settled a lawsuit that threatened the production of the work-in-progress title. Still, the title remains insanely popular, and that’s probably because laser-dinosaurs are the coolest idea in video games.

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VR Theseus Game Coming Soon http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/vr-theseus-game-coming-soon/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/vr-theseus-game-coming-soon/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 16:00:22 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96008

By Helena Shlapak

Video game developer, Forge Reply is proud to announce that Greek Myths and video games will once again combine for a virtual reality experience and that game is called Theseus. For those who don’t know the original myth, the Greek hero Theseus is sent to the Labyrinth to kill the Minotaur (a half-man-half-bull creature). Theseus […]

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By Helena Shlapak

Video game developer, Forge Reply is proud to announce that Greek Myths and video games will once again combine for a virtual reality experience and that game is called Theseus.

For those who don’t know the original myth, the Greek hero Theseus is sent to the Labyrinth to kill the Minotaur (a half-man-half-bull creature). Theseus kills the Minotaur and uses string to escape the Labyrinth. Forge Reply’s version however, takes the myth to a dark and disturbing new place with virtual reality for a more immersive experience.

The player wakes up alone in the dark, trapped in a mysterious and frightening place. A mysterious voice by the name of Adriane is your only guide through the darkness and the player wanders through chambers and alleys, venturing deep into the heart of the Labyrinth. Eventually, the player comes across a pillar of light and it beckons you to come closer. The player may just have discovered the truth of the Labyrinth, but they soon realise that they are not alone. With them is the horrifying Minotaur who is the lord of this domain, and that it despises visitors.

VR Theseus Game Coming Soon 3 VR Theseus Game Coming Soon 5

“Forge Reply is investing significant resources in the Virtual and Augmented Reality solutions for the business market. Theseus represents the logical next step and the first VR piece of content that the studio has developed for gamers and enthusiasts. Virtual Reality is the perfect platform for Theseus and the team is working hard to deliver an immersive and compelling experience,” said Flippo Rizzante, Forge Reply CTO in a press release.

Forge Reply is the game studio of the Reply group and develops games for mobile devices, PC and consoles. Aside from the upcoming Theseus, Forge Reply has developed other games like Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf RPG and the multiplayer space shooter In Space We Brawl. While there isn’t a release date set for Theseus, this game could be the next Amnesia in both atmosphere and success.

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First 15: Halo Wars 2 http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/first-15-halo-wars-2-2/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/first-15-halo-wars-2-2/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 15:27:53 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96060

By Brendan Frye

CGMagazine looks at the opening minutes of gameplay from Halo Wars 2 on the Xbox One from 343 Industries and Creative Assembly.

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By Brendan Frye

CGMagazine looks at the opening minutes of gameplay from Halo Wars 2 on the Xbox One from 343 Industries and Creative Assembly.

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Paradox Interactive Announces Cities: Skylines – Xbox One Edition http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/paradox-interactive-announces-cities-skylines-xbox-one-edition/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/paradox-interactive-announces-cities-skylines-xbox-one-edition/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 15:10:28 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96051

By Cody Orme

City sim fans on the Xbox One don’t need to feel so starved anymore as the Stockholm based game publisher, Paradox Interactive, announces Cities: Skylines – Xbox One Edition. Originally released for PC and Mac in 2015, Cities: Skylines will launch on Xbox One and Windows 10 in spring 2017. Cities: Skylines – Xbox One Edition […]

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By Cody Orme

City sim fans on the Xbox One don’t need to feel so starved anymore as the Stockholm based game publisher, Paradox Interactive, announces Cities: Skylines – Xbox One Edition.

Originally released for PC and Mac in 2015, Cities: Skylines will launch on Xbox One and Windows 10 in spring 2017. Cities: Skylines – Xbox One Edition is designed with controller gameplay in mind, so purists may not have to worry about clunky controls that normally come with these kind of ports. Bundled in with Cities: Skylines – Xbox One Edition is the game’s first expansion Cities: Skylines – After Dark adding nightlife and tourism to the Cities experience.

“Paradox is a company that’s proud to publish and support ‘niche’ games, and we’re happy to be able to bring those specialized experiences to console as well.” said Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive in a press release. “Cities: Skylines has built one of the biggest and most active communities we’ve seen among Paradox’s fans, and that’s saying a lot. We can’t wait to welcome Xbox One players into that group, and I’m eager to see the towns and cities they can build.”

Cities: Skylines – Xbox One Edition will come with an array of features including the ability to plan the cities carbon footprint with the use of renewable resources, or go the route of smoggy progress, the ability to plan roads and transportation lines, along with education, healthcare and safety for the citizens all while managing the cities economy and creating new policies and districts.

Along with this announcement, Paradox Interactive dropped a new trailer for Cities: Skylines – Xbox One Edition to show fans exactly what they can expect from the game. For those who haven’t played the 2015 city sim developed by Colossal Order, Cities: Skylines received praise from both fans and critics alike with an overall critic score of 85 and a user score of 8.9.  While sometimes the simulation genre tends to translate poorly onto consoles, the attempt by Colossal Order to design the game with controller in mind could leave fans feeling satisfied. Recently 343 Industries and Creative Assembly managed to bring the RTS genre to console with Halo Wars 2, which ended up working out pretty well.

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ESA Foundation Now Accepting Applicants for Computer and Video Game Scholarship http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/esa-foundation-now-accepting-applicants-computer-video-game-scholarship/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/16/esa-foundation-now-accepting-applicants-computer-video-game-scholarship/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 15:09:09 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=96049

By Brendan Frye

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), announced it is now accepting applicants for their Foundation’s Computer and Video Game Scholarship Program via a press release. This program will allow up to 30 scholarships to be awarded to woman and minorities entering university-level coursework in the Video Games and Computer based programs. Eligible applicants include woman and minority students currently in […]

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By Brendan Frye

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), announced it is now accepting applicants for their Foundation’s Computer and Video Game Scholarship Program via a press release. This program will allow up to 30 scholarships to be awarded to woman and minorities entering university-level coursework in the Video Games and Computer based programs.

Eligible applicants include woman and minority students currently in high school as a senior, college freshmen, sophomores and juniors who are enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at an accredited four-year college or university.

A committee will assess all applicants and select up to 30 students to receive the scholarship. Selection will be based on numerous factors including academic performance, career goals, extracurricular activities, leadership, work experience and special circumstances.

“The ESA Foundation is committed to fostering inclusivity in the video game industry so that everyone who plays games can make games,” said Anastasia Staten, executive director of the ESA Foundation. “Video games positively impact communities, and we are proud to provide the Computer and Video Game Scholarship Program to support the next generation of video game creators.”

The ESA Foundation Scholarship program was created in 2007, and since that time the foundation has awarded 250 scholarships that have helped students achieve their dream of working in the video game field.

The deadline for students to submit applications to the Computer and Video Game Scholarship Program is April 27, 2017. To apply students can go to https://aim.applyISTS.net/esaf, and for more details about the program, the ESA have an FAQ up that can help answer many key questions. To see a complete list of last year's winners, you can go to http://esafoundation.org/scholarships.asp.

Formed by the American entertainment software industry, the ESA Foundation works to make positive changes to youth looking to enter the world of video games and computer and help form the next wave of industry innovators.

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Leaving Lyndow Review - A Beautiful, Facinating Commercial http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/leaving-lyndow-review-beautiful-facinating-commercial/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/leaving-lyndow-review-beautiful-facinating-commercial/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 13:00:37 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=95982

By Lane Martin

So recently I’ve been thinking about what makes a video game a game. Some people would claim that the interaction between a player and the virtual world within a game is enough to solidify a piece of digital entertainment as a video game, while others maintain that the ability for a player to fail is […]

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By Lane Martin

So recently I’ve been thinking about what makes a video game a game. Some people would claim that the interaction between a player and the virtual world within a game is enough to solidify a piece of digital entertainment as a video game, while others maintain that the ability for a player to fail is necessary for a piece of media to really be a video game. Whether or not either of these ideologies is really the best here is beyond me. The reason for all this esoteric navel-gazing is that I’ve been playing Leaving Lyndow, and I’m not sure it’s really a game.

If anything, Leaving Lyndow is a proof of concept, albeit a beautiful one. Basically, the developer, Eastshade Studios, has been working on another ambitious project and are getting nervous about the upcoming release so they wanted to put a small prequel out to whet the appetites of possible fans and become better acquainted with the mechanics of releasing a game. To be fair, Eastshade, the longer game the appropriately named studio is working on, sounds interesting and I would hate for a shoddy release to set the pace on what could be an intriguing game.

Leaving Lyndow Review - A Beautiful, Facinating Commercial 3

I can’t judge Leaving Lyndow for the potential of what’s to come, but for what it is now; an extremely short though high quality first person adventure game. Players take on the role of Clara as she prepares to leave her lifelong home for a life of exploration and adventure. Clara wanders through a few locations fondly recalling her memories and saying goodbye to her friends and family. The occasional puzzle or minigame comes about, but none of them are particularly difficult, and the whole experience is reflective and relaxed. Going through notes and conversing with the strange locals allows the player to discover Clara’s history and the nature of her journey.

One thing that I appreciate about Leaving Lyndow is its reluctance to explain itself. In an age of expansive codex entries and novelizations, it takes some degree of courage to release a game set in an alien fantasy world and let the players discover it for themselves. This is a strong theme here, and something meant to bleed over to Eastshade, which is being billed as a something like Firewatch in a fantasy setting. While there is little challenge to Leaving Lyndow, I found knitting the story together from scraps and conversations to be fairly satisfying and the setting itself is evocative and alluring. It’s really a shame that I managed to blow through the whole thing in under an hour.

Score:7

Final Thoughts:Leaving Lyndow is a beautiful experience in a fascinating world, but may be more of a 45-minute-long commercial for the upcoming Eastshade than an actual game.

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Halo Wars 2 Review - The Best RTS Ever Released on Consoles http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/halo-wars-2-the-best-rts-ever-released-on-consoles/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/halo-wars-2-the-best-rts-ever-released-on-consoles/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 08:01:32 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=96035

By Jed Whitaker

I didn't love the original Halo Wars. It was simple and showed why very few real-time strategy games release on console— the controls just don't translate. Nine years later I reluctantly signed up to review the sequel, thinking it would be more of the same. Surprisingly enough, Halo Wars 2 is easily the best RTS ever […]

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By Jed Whitaker

I didn't love the original Halo Wars. It was simple and showed why very few real-time strategy games release on console the controls just don't translate. Nine years later I reluctantly signed up to review the sequel, thinking it would be more of the same. Surprisingly enough, Halo Wars 2 is easily the best RTS ever released on consoles. The controls are tight, intuitive, and surprisingly easy to pick up. No need for hours of learning, or tons of boring tutorialthough there are three short optional ones if you'd like to do them, they aren't required as the campaign teaches you all you need to know.

The campaign isn't all that strong in the story department, and is a bit convoluted as it’s designed for players who are well versed in Halo lore. As someone that has played every Halo game to completion, I can say it was hard to place where and when on the timeline Halo Wars 2 is set. Regardless,I was still having fun so that was all that mattered.

Blur is back with more breathtaking cutscenes that have nearly uncanny valley levels of detail, facial acting, and thus emotion. As a matter a fact, Halo Wars 2 has my new favourite cut scene in the Halo series that features my new favourite Halo character, the Cortana-like AI named Isabel. The voice-work and acting in the cinematics are top notch, despite the story keeping it simple, without striving to be original, deep, or intelligible even with a Halo encyclopedia or the logs found scattered throughout the campaign.

Halo Wars 2 - The Best RTS Ever Released on Consoles 1Yet, there is a drop in presentation outside of the cinematics. It is a bit jarring going from the beautifully acted and graphically impressive cutscenes to bland in game performances (despite the same characters appearing in both cutscenes and gameplay) in a visually dull in-game world. I'd imagine this discrepancy in the voice department is thanks to different recording directors, while the art direction in RTS games don’t ever stand out. Halo Wars 2 certainly doesn't break that mold. The environments are nothing to write home about, and the character models are bland and lack details. Even the accompanying soundtrack, while decent, just can't match the classic pieces from the core Halo games, but it is still serviceable.

As this is an Xbox Play Anywhere title, I was able to play on both Xbox One and my Windows 10 PC. As one would imagine, the PC version looks far better compared to the Xbox One experience, though Halo Wars 2 is more stable on the console. Halo Wars 2 is installed on my SSD, I have a Nvidia GTX 980, and 32GB of RAM, yet when a lot of units were on screen at the same time near a base I'd have frequent hitching. Performance issues seem to plague Windows Store releases, as this has been a pattern. At one point the game dropped to single digit frames per second, forcing me to restart the game— but that was only one time. Most of the time the frame rate was solid.

Obviously there is a completely different control scheme jumping from PC to Console. I will say I attempted to play with keyboard and mouse on PC after having played around half the game on Xbox One and found it was surprisingly much easier to play with a controller for me. Perhaps it is a preference thing, but to me it just felt more natural.

I didn't get a chance to test out the multiplayer outside of the new Blitz mode that can be played against AI in a Firefight mode. Instead of building bases, gathering resources, and spawning units, Blitz has players select cards from a deck and drop units into the playing field. The whole experience feels a lot more arcade-like and random thanks to the RNG of the draw. The goal in Blitz mode is to capture three bases and keep your opponents from taking them back till a meter fills up and you win.

Halo Wars 2 - The Best RTS Ever Released on Consoles 2While Blitz mode is a lot of fun against AI, it feels like pay to win when it’s time to square up against other players. Card packs are earned by completing stages in the campaign and levelling up your account, but they can also be purchased via microtransactions. This creates a problem as cards can be levelled up, and that's done by collecting multiples of any given card, which encourages players to buy packs to have stronger cards. Compare this to Hearthstone where cards are stagnant and can be crafted from extras you collect, allowing players to build their decks more naturally. It’s a shame, honestly, since I can see this mode being a lot of fun against other players, especially since matches seem a bit shorter in comparison to most RTS games.

Even without playing the new 3 on 3 multiplayer, I feel I can easily recommend Halo Wars 2 to both Halo fans and those hankering for an RTS on console. The controls are tight, the cutscenes are to die for, and there is a new cute AI that I want to be best friends with. If you aren't sold on the whole RTS thing, or it just isn't a genre you're interested in, then at the very least watch these cutscenes somewhere online, because they are damn impressive.

Score:8

Final Thoughts:Halo Wars 2 is hands-down the best RTS on console and a joy to play with a controller.

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Amazon Opening Game Studio in San Diego http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/15/amazon-opening-game-studio-in-san-diego/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/15/amazon-opening-game-studio-in-san-diego/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 19:49:18 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95999

By Helena Shlapak

The popular electronic commerce and cloud computing company, Amazon, is opening up a another faction of Amazon Games Studio in San Diego and has hired industry veteran, John Smedley as their CEO. Amazon has branched out into other projects over the years that have been met with resounding success. After building a streaming service to […]

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By Helena Shlapak

The popular electronic commerce and cloud computing company, Amazon, is opening up a another faction of Amazon Games Studio in San Diego and has hired industry veteran, John Smedley as their CEO.

Amazon has branched out into other projects over the years that have been met with resounding success. After building a streaming service to go along with their Amazon Prime shipping (and considering all the video games Amazon sells on a daily basis), it seemed fitting that the company would branch out into gaming with Amazon Game Studio. Now that Amazon's new faction is opening in San Diego, there was no one better than former CEO of Daybreak Game Company (formally Sony Online Entertainment) to take the torch.

John Smedley is a game developer that helped define modern MMO games and has been active in the video gaming industry since the early 1990’s when he started a developing company called Knight Technologies. Smedley’s heavy involvement with table-top RPG’s like Dungeons and Dragons helped inspire him to create EverQuestand since its release in 1999, the game has been critically acclaimed was one of the most massively played online games of all time. EverQuest has even won awards including GameSpot Game of the Year in 1999 and the Technology and Engineering Emmy Award in 2007.

While John Smedley and his team are still in early stages, the team are already hard at work on a new project that taps into the power of AWS (Amazon Web Services) Cloud and Twitch to connect players around the world into the new game.

Amazon Games Studio will be based on San Diego, California and the studio is currently hiring artists, engineers and designers in their San Diego, Orange County, Seattle and Austin locations. With this new video games company coming to market, who knows what else a customer’s Amazon Prime Subscription could buy them in the near future.

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Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Review - Little Creativity http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/fairy-fencer-f-advent-dark-force-little-creativity/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/fairy-fencer-f-advent-dark-force-little-creativity/#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 19:00:12 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=95965

By Elias Blondeau

The JRPG is in an exciting phase of transition, but don’t tell Compile Heart. While Square Enix continues to reinvent the wheel with games like Final Fantasy XV and the upcoming NieR: Automata, and Atlus doubles down on perfecting old-school cool with Shin Megami Tensei and Etrian Odyssey, Compile Heart is largely content on repeating […]

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By Elias Blondeau

The JRPG is in an exciting phase of transition, but don’t tell Compile Heart. While Square Enix continues to reinvent the wheel with games like Final Fantasy XV and the upcoming NieR: Automata, and Atlus doubles down on perfecting old-school cool with Shin Megami Tensei and Etrian Odyssey, Compile Heart is largely content on repeating the same sort of game they’ve made for the past decade or so. Despite some promise in upcoming releases like Dark Rose Valkyrie, the PC re-release of Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force reminds me to keep my expectations in check.

Because, despite trying my damnedest to find something positive, there’s nothing but monotony, repetition, and a bit of suffering to be found in this resoundingly awful JRPG.

Connoisseurs of bad anime and anime-related games will feel right at home in this game’s hollow narrative. Players take on the role of an insufferable protagonist who’s the reluctant master of a spunky girl, who just so happens to also be a sword. She tells the protagonist he needs to go on a quest, he says he doesn’t want to and would rather laze around, she makes him go anyway, and that’s about it. There’s some world-building about a dark force and light force being sealed into stone, some ancillary background stuff about a giant corporation, a bit about four legendary kings, etc. It’s all a lot of generic drivel, though, and doesn’t add anything of real substance to the vanilla plot.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force - Little Creativity

The core narrative—featuring a crybaby edgelord and the women who can’t help but fall all over him—is the real focus here. And it’s a bad one, punctuated by unfunny humour, characters that might as well be named Aloof One/Sultry One/Brash One for all the depth they have, and a healthy smattering of Compile Heart’s bold blend of normalized misogyny. Even by the very low standards of the Platinum Dunes of JRPG production, Fairy Fencer F’s narrative is patently awful, and even made me doze off a few times.

But somehow, actually playing the game manages to be worse than slogging through the text boxes and visuals that are a 13-year-old’s idea of “sexy.” Fairy Fencer F basically copy-and-pastes the gameplay from some Hyperdimension Neptunia titles (the Re:Birth entries, in particular,) and doesn’t expand upon it in any major way. Battles take place in a circle where players run around during each turn, positioning themselves for attacks. Once they attack enough, they can build up a special transformation, from which they can launch a special attack. Outside of battle, swapping out “Furies” (demons and fairies, basically) can buff the party and give them an advantage in battle.

It’s all pretty cut and dry, really, and I suspect only the most starved of JRPG fans will find something to genuinely love here. Speaking as a lover of JRPGs, though, the gameplay is anything but impressive to me. Playing Fairy Fencer F feels like a chore, as opposed to something with which players are actively engaging. The whole sad, sorry affair blends together into one homogenous blur, hamstrung by dungeons more linear the worst of Final Fantasy XIII’s corridors. Not helping matters is how easy the game is—I found myself past the halfway point of the narrative in a little less than four hours, having never gotten close to encountering a “game over” screen. This was on Normal, mind you, so one can only imagine how soft the two (!) easier difficulty levels are. While it presents a marginal challenge, that challenge really only means that players may have to heal once or twice during a battle.

Fairy Fencer F also houses an ugly art direction as generic as the narrative. It smacks of cynical focus testing conducted by otaku, coldly produced in an unfeeling attempt to sell body pillows of the moe characters and their heaving bosoms. The dungeons are the same sort of environments we’ve been exploring since 16-bit games, rendered with unsightly textures and samey design choices. The focus is clearly meant to be on the characters and not on anything else around them.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force - Little Creativity 1

One might find it hard to focus on the game, however, when playing this PC port. While the framerate and manoeuvrability of this version is fine, Fairy Fencer F has a tendency to hard crash at random intervals. Unable to figure out what was exactly causing these crashes, I found myself at the mercy of the game deciding whether or not it wanted to stop. As anyone who’s played a JRPG before can attest to, these sorts of games will often only allow saving at certain points. Imagine, then, getting halfway through a dungeon only for the game to up and quit, or to forget saving for an hour before getting punted out of the game by a random crash. It’s a frustrating issue, to say the very least, and makes an already unfun game even less compelling to play.

I always go into games hoping to see the best in them. As anyone will tell you, I’m a pretty forgivable guy when it comes to silly anime tropes and fan service. Yet I can’t see any real good in this title. That earlier Platinum Dunes comparison when talking about Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force was intended in all sincerity. With this title, Compile Heart has proven to be the Michael Bay of JRPGs. A corporate production house putting out a uniform product pitched squarely at the most gullible of consumers, never bothering to innovate or expand on the medium. Characters are walking tropes, their visuals almost a uniform eyesore, and the gameplay merely rehashes both other titles and their own previous work.

Much like sane humans should skip out on Transformers to see an actual good movie, RPG fans are better off looking to other titles than suffer through Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force.

Score:5

Final Thoughts:With Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force, Compile Heart has proven to be the Platinum Dunes of otaku entertainment – an assembly line of titles with similar plots, repeated mechanics, and fan service that feels designed for middle schoolers.

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Hellblazer #1 (Comic) Review http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/hellblazer-1-comic-review/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/hellblazer-1-comic-review/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 17:00:17 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=88045

By Norbert Daniels Jr.

DC’s Rebirth initiative has been a breath of fresh air for the company. Bringing back solo runs for a lot of fan favorites, the publisher has also given a book to a certain John Constantine, aka Hellblazer, written by Gen 13’s Simon Olliver with art by All Star Western’s Moriat. The book opens on Sarajevo, […]

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By Norbert Daniels Jr.

DC’s Rebirth initiative has been a breath of fresh air for the company. Bringing back solo runs for a lot of fan favorites, the publisher has also given a book to a certain John Constantine, aka Hellblazer, written by Gen 13’s Simon Olliver with art by All Star Western’s Moriat.

The book opens on Sarajevo, circa June 18, 1914. If you know your history, you’d know that as the date Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, which was the spark that led to the first World War. This is used as a backdrop for what looks to be the main arc. We’re introduced to Adnan and Marid, two seemingly ageless beings who come to blows over whether or not to interfere with humanity.

If you’re already a fan of John Constantine’s adventures, you’ll be happy to see that the first issue has brought back some classic characters, namely Swamp Thing and Mercury. They’re brought into the story when Swamp Thing asks Constantine for a favor. Swamp Thing’s ex-wife, has gone missing, and Constantine recruits Mercury to help track her down.

Hellblazer #1 (Comic) Review 1

So not only do things not happen, but little flourishes like flat political satire and iffy lettering don’t do the package any favors. I’m not asking for The Hellblazer to be epic battles on every page, but I wish it would do something to make me care about anyone. It’s possible this stemmed from the first issue spreading itself too thin by going over so many plot threads and characters. It might have made a bigger impact if it had a smaller scope and used that extra breathing room to really show the reader why John Constantine is such an interesting lead. What we have really doesn’t tell us much about him. He’s a hard drinker, has a troubled past and is a bit sassy. But that’s it, really. And while I haven’t read any John Constantine books before, I know that there’s a lot more to this character.

The Hellblazer #1 doesn’t do a good job of launching a new run. It’s pretty uneventful, and while it spends a lot of time setting up plots for future issues it doesn’t do much to make me care enough to follow it to issue #2. I’m sure longtime fans of John Constantine will be more patient, though.

Score:6

Final Thoughts:The Hellblazer #1 doesn’t do a good job of launching a new run.

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Pokémon Go Introducing New Pokemon, and New Features http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/15/pokemon-go-introducing-new-pokemon-new-features/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/15/pokemon-go-introducing-new-pokemon-new-features/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:29:25 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95949

By Brendan Frye

Niantic and The Pokémon Company announced updates to Pokémon Go that will add new Pokémon along with new features for players to explore. There was a while where it felt as if everyone was playing Pokémon Go. The simple little app that utilised AR (augmented reality) to allow people young and old to experience part of the magic of being […]

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By Brendan Frye

Niantic and The Pokémon Company announced updates to Pokémon Go that will add new Pokémon along with new features for players to explore.

There was a while where it felt as if everyone was playing Pokémon Go. The simple little app that utilised AR (augmented reality) to allow people young and old to experience part of the magic of being a Pokémon trainer, and it worked. It managed to capture the hearts and minds of many people worldwide until it eventually had a major drop in users. Niantic is hoping is looking to revitalize the app with new Pokemon and new features that will go to make the app fresh again.

In a recent update, Niantic outlined a new update to Pokémon Go adding over 80 new Pokémon to the app, including Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile. The new Pokemon from the Johto region should start showing up in trainers Pokedex's. The ability to catch gender-specific variations of select Pokémon will also be rolling out with this update, so anyone interested should be on the lookout.

Niantic is not stopping there, though. This new update will also add new features to the Pokémon hunting experience. New enhanced encounters will give trainers new experiences when they try to catch Pokemon. As Pokémon react in new ways, trainers will have fresh ways to quickly react in response, hopefully making the overall experience of hunting Pokemon, more fresh and exciting for new and old players alike.

The new update will also unleash a fresh set of barries that trainers can obtain from a PokéStop. The Nanab Berry will slow movement, while the Pinap Berry will double the amount of candy a Pokémon will dish out once they are caught. If that were not enough, there will also be new ways to customise the avatar with new items and accessories.

It is hard to imagine this latest update will spark the same Pokémon fever that was seen as Pokémon Go first launched, nor do I feel it is expected. What Niantic can do is entice old players back to the world of Pokémon Go after getting board of the experience, and that is all anyone could hope for.

Pokémon Go first launched within the month of July 2016, where the app remained on the top download and top grossing charts on the iOS App store and the Google Play store for months.

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Memoranda Review - Means Well, Fails to Deliver http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/memoranda-review-means-well-fails-deliver/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/memoranda-review-means-well-fails-deliver/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:00:23 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=95929

By Derek Heemsbergen

I value narrative and characterization above most other elements in video games; I am drawn to vibrant personalities who have things to teach me about myself and the world I inhabit. It is for this reason that Memoranda, a point-and-click adventure title inspired by the works of world-famous Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, needed little more […]

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By Derek Heemsbergen

I value narrative and characterization above most other elements in video games; I am drawn to vibrant personalities who have things to teach me about myself and the world I inhabit. It is for this reason that Memoranda, a point-and-click adventure title inspired by the works of world-famous Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, needed little more than its premise to capture my attention.

Murakami is one of my favourite authors, his "magical realist" style—where the bizarre dances with the mundane in situations that teeter on the brink of rationality—was unlike anything I'd read until I encountered his work. Yet in trying to capture his essence, Memoranda does little more than imitate, demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding of what makes Murakami's work so special. It's a brief, puzzle-centric excursion into frustration, where threads are left dangling and logic is frequently thrown out the window.

Memoranda Review - Means Well, Fails to Deliver 1 Memoranda Review - Means Well, Fails to Deliver 2 Memoranda Review - Means Well, Fails to Deliver 3 Memoranda Review - Means Well, Fails to Deliver 4

As Mizuki, a woman in her early 20s who has a habit of forgetting her own name, players explore a seaside town populated by strange characters that spout Murakami references with wild abandon. The game's writing clearly aims to evoke his sensibilities, but comes across as awkward, garbled, even borderline unintelligible. This is further compounded by amateur voicework; many actors enunciate poorly, which makes the clumsy writing even harder to digest. Game progression is often illogical, as are puzzles, which rely on contrived connections between characters with wholly unpredictable reactions.

It should be noted that Memoranda is absolutely beautiful. Its vaguely European cityscape and adjacent fields, beaches, and forests carry a handcrafted warmth that frequently inspires awe. The people, animals, and demihumans who inhabit these places are visually striking, too, no matter how incoherently they ramble.

Memoranda is a disappointing homage to one of the world's most celebrated authors that would be more enjoyable as series of illustrations than an interactive piece of media.

Score:5.5

Final Thoughts:Memoranda means well, but fails to execute by relying on verbatim Murakami references and contrived logic.

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Nintendo Should Not Charge for Breath of the Wild Hard Mode http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/15/nintendo-not-charge-breath-wild-hard-mode/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/15/nintendo-not-charge-breath-wild-hard-mode/#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:00:49 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95943

By Cody Orme

As of Feb. 14, 2017, Nintendo has finally jumped headfirst into the world of modern gaming practices. Nintendo has a long history of being behind the times in that regard, by both hardware and software creators. But it seems like the company known for blazing its own trail might finally be ready to step into […]

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By Cody Orme

As of Feb. 14, 2017, Nintendo has finally jumped headfirst into the world of modern gaming practices. Nintendo has a long history of being behind the times in that regard, by both hardware and software creators. But it seems like the company known for blazing its own trail might finally be ready to step into the ring with their announcement of an Expansion Pass for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For around $20 USD (technically closer to $23 but that’s a weird number to throw out), players gain access to three DLC packs that give exclusive content throughout the year starting the day of launch. This is a good look for a company that, from a marketing standpoint, wants to cater to an audience willing to shell out money for season passes. However, the way the House of Mario plans on doing so is a bit of a mixed bag.

Depending on who you talk to, season passes are either great, or terrible to the gaming community at large. On one hand, the chance to buy extra content all at once for a better price than individually shelling out virtual cash for single releases is a bargain. That said, there’s always the slight sense of greasiness that comes with purchasing add ons for an item before it’s even released. By now, most people are aware that DLC is planned and often released in conjunction with the launch of any given title, and there is an argument to be made about what content should be included in the game’s launch.

That isn’t quite the issue here, though. There are some genuinely exciting additions that come with the Expansion Pass that many Legend of Zelda fans should be very eager to try. As a longtime fan of the series, the chance to play the very first DLC story addition to the series is almost as exciting as buying The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild itself. To be frank, that sold me on the Expansion Pass almost immediately. Throwing in extra clothing and map options is just syrup on the pancake after that.  The price point isn’t offensive either. Dark Souls III’s season pass is currently going for $27.99 on Steam right now, while Deus Ex: Mankind Divided launched with a season pass priced at $29.99. Breath of The Wild seems to fall in line with these price-points considering the content provided, but that doesn’t mean this is the perfect buy. In fact, some Nintendo fans might be straight-up confused with one of the DLC Pack feature in particular.

Nintendo Should Not Charge for a Hard Mode 1In DLC Pack 1, one feature advertised was “ A New Hard Mode”.  This isn’t really a new feature to fans of the series considering “Hero Mode” has Legend of Zelda series feature that debuted in Skyward Sword, and has since become a fan favourite as an unlockable reward, or a harder option right out of the gate, is now a paid feature. In this mode, enemies deal more damage and are harder to kill, hearts are harder to come by, and, in titles that have this feature(Skyward Sword), stamina drains quicker. Each game offers something a little different in each Hero Mode. For instance in Twilight Princess, flips the game to a mirrored version akin to the Gamecube variation of the title.  It’s essentially “hard mode” or “Nightmare Mode” for Doom fans. I can’t think of another game that’s actually made player pay for an unlockable difficulty mode.

The only way to make this purchase worthwhile is for Nintendo to present hard mode more like they did with Ocarina of Time’s Master Quest. This would require a little more work on Nintendo’s end, but it would justify actually charging for a hard mode. Mater Quest  was essentially a remix of Ocarina that launched on the Gamecube in 2002 as a pre-order bonus for Wind Waker’s release one month later. This took the assets, story and general layout of the beloved Ocarina of Time, then changed up dungeon layout and offered more secrets all with a ramped up difficulty. It was later included as a post-game feature in Ocarina of Time 3D. As of now though, there isn’t much word on what The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s hard mode actually is.

While it is nice seeing Nintendo join the rest of the industry in providing season passes and interesting DLC for their titles, this is one sticking point that’s hard to swallow. Nintendo needs to provide unique content with their online offerings, and charging for what could be a difficulty mode, on a launch title no less,  is taking advantage of the players who support them. Regardless of your stance on season passes, making players pay for a difficulty mode is completely absurd. It undoes almost every bit of good will Nintendo has built up since the Switch reveal, and takes the excitement out of the Expanded Pass they announced. Unless they have a complete game overhaul tied into that DLC pack, this could be one of the most obtuse uses of the season pass method the industry has seen in a very long time.

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Farming Simulator 17 Recieves Kuhn Equipment Pack DLC http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/farming-simulator-17-recieves-kuhn-equipment-pack-dlc/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/farming-simulator-17-recieves-kuhn-equipment-pack-dlc/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 19:28:52 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95921

By Dondre Stewart

Game developer Giants Software has released new downloadable content for the farming simulation game, Farming Simulator 17 titled “The Kuhn Equipment Pack”. The new content will add equipment from Kuhn to the game’s long list of reproduced vehicles and tools. Kuhn was established in 1828, and is a leading manufacturer of farm machinery. The Kuhn […]

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By Dondre Stewart

Game developer Giants Software has released new downloadable content for the farming simulation game, Farming Simulator 17 titled “The Kuhn Equipment Pack”.

The new content will add equipment from Kuhn to the game’s long list of reproduced vehicles and tools. Kuhn was established in 1828, and is a leading manufacturer of farm machinery. The Kuhn equipment pack provides 18 tools giving players more options for working with square or round bales.

The wide range of tools included in the pack will incorporate The ESPRO 3000. It was voted “Machine of the year 2015,” and will be the first three-meter direct seeding sowing machine in Farming Simulator 17. Other tools such as the SW 4014 and FBP 3135 will offer incredible functionality and variety for handling bales on the farm.

Others tools in the pack such as the Kuhn DC 401, HR 4004, BTF 4000 and TF 1500 can be combined. Players can use the TF 1500 as a seed tank in the front of their tractor, while the other three simultaneously cultivate, sow, and add a “plough state” to the field from the back.

Farming Simulator 17 Recieves Kuhn Equipment Pack DLC 1 Farming Simulator 17 Recieves Kuhn Equipment Pack DLC 2 Farming Simulator 17 Recieves Kuhn Equipment Pack DLC 3 Farming Simulator 17 Recieves Kuhn Equipment Pack DLC 4

According to Giants Software, in Farming Simulator 17, players take on the role of a modern farmer. They are set in an open world with loads of land to cultivate. Players can harvest many types of crops like sunflowers and soybeans. They have to take care of their livestock that includes cows, chickens and pigs, take part in forestry, and sell their products to expand their farm. They can also transport their goods with trucks and trailers or load and drive trains to reach their destination.

The Kuhn Equipment Pack DLC is available for download on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac. It is also included in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Season Pass offer.

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Vikings – Wolves of Midgard Lands a Release Date http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/vikings-wolves-midgard-lands-release-date/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/vikings-wolves-midgard-lands-release-date/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 18:20:39 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95914

By Dondre Stewart

Game developer Games Farm announced the release date of Vikings – Wolves of Midgard. The game will launch on March 28, 2017 on the PlayStation 4. According to Games Farm, the action RPG follows a Viking whose clan is decimated by the Jotan. The player comes back from winter hunts to find his old chieftain […]

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By Dondre Stewart

Game developer Games Farm announced the release date of Vikings – Wolves of Midgard. The game will launch on March 28, 2017 on the PlayStation 4.

According to Games Farm, the action RPG follows a Viking whose clan is decimated by the Jotan. The player comes back from winter hunts to find his old chieftain dead and village in ruins. So now its up to the player to rebuild their home while fighting evil forces.

Games Farm also released a trailer for Vikings – Wolves of Midgard, showing a lot of the Diablo-inspired gameplay while displaying many of the features from game such as boss battles, two player online co-op and how to rebuild the villages.

In Vikings – Wolves of Midgard, players will have to think tactically when fighting bosses and be aware of surroundings as environments can have an affect on you. Freezing cold, poisonous fog and scorching heat can inflict damage on characters. Players can also collect resources and special runes. A key resource players will gather is blood. Players can use blood to level up, earn gift points and unlock a special called Gifts of the Gods.

Players will also have access to an ability called Rage Mode that is pretty much a crazy power up. It enhances many stats and abilities and players can upgrade it to ignore enemy defences or increase the rate of critical hits.

Vikings - Wolves of Midgard support two-player online co-op. There are also two new game modes called “Game+ Mode” and “The Trials of the Gods”. The former is a mode where players can upgrade their characters to the fullest, maxing out abilities, mastering all weapon sets, and collecting all the gear in the game. The former is a mode where players will fight through waves of bosses and characters to get special equipment and runes.

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First 15: Sniper Elite 4 http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/first-15-sniper-elite-4/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/first-15-sniper-elite-4/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 18:00:27 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95911

By Elias Blondeau

CGMagazine explores a fifteen-minute segment of Sniper Elite 4 for the PlayStation 4 from Rebellion.

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By Elias Blondeau

CGMagazine explores a fifteen-minute segment of Sniper Elite 4 for the PlayStation 4 from Rebellion.

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PewDiePie Dropped From Network And Reality Show Cancelled http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/pewdiepie-dropped-network-reality-show-cancelled/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/pewdiepie-dropped-network-reality-show-cancelled/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 16:10:12 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95888

By Cole Watson

As a result of PewDiePie's latest controversial videos, the most subscribed to YouTuber has been dropped from his network, Maker Studios, and Google has cancelled the second season of the Scare PewDiePie reality show for anti-Semitic behaviour. The story begins with PewDiePie, Felix Kjellberg, uploading videos about the crowd-funding site, Fiverr, in which he requested […]

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By Cole Watson

As a result of PewDiePie's latest controversial videos, the most subscribed to YouTuber has been dropped from his network, Maker Studios, and Google has cancelled the second season of the Scare PewDiePie reality show for anti-Semitic behaviour.

The story begins with PewDiePie, Felix Kjellberg, uploading videos about the crowd-funding site, Fiverr, in which he requested and paid multiple users to say or perform something he thought would be funny for his viewers. The joke went to far for Google and Maker Studios however when Kjellberg requested two Indian men to lift up a sign saying, "Death to all Jews" and subscribe to Keemstar. The video has since been removed and re-uploaded without ads.

PewDiePie Dropped From Network And Reality Show Cancelled 1

"I was trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online. I picked something that seemed absurd to me — that people on (crowd-sourcing platform) Fiverr would say anything for 5 dollars," wrote Kjellberg on Tumblr. “I think it’s important to say something and I want to make one thing clear: I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes."

After Google confirmed the cancellation of the second season of Scare PewDiePie, a YouTube spokesperson further said that Kjellberg's channel has been removed from Google Preferred, which is how the platform handles premium advertising. The complete first season of the reality show is still available on YouTube Red for purchase.

The following statement comes from a Maker Representative in response to Variety. “Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate. Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward.”

Despite having over 50-million subscribers on YouTube, Kjellberg's content may now be considered too toxic to other networks. Once the situation dies down, it will be interesting to see if Kjellberg censors his content and who picks up the channel along with its PR nightmare.

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New Injustice 2 Trailer Shows off Cat Woman, Poision Ivy and More http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/new-injustice-2-trailer-shows-off-cat-woman-poision-ivy/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/new-injustice-2-trailer-shows-off-cat-woman-poision-ivy/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 16:04:06 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95902

By Dondre Stewart

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released a brand new trailer for the upcoming superhero fighting sequel Injustice 2. The new cinematic trailer titled “Here Come the Girls” features Black Canary, Cheetah, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy. It’s full of action and fighting sequences that shows tidbits of gameplay from each of the characters. The trailer starts with […]

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By Dondre Stewart

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released a brand new trailer for the upcoming superhero fighting sequel Injustice 2.

The new cinematic trailer titled “Here Come the Girls” features Black Canary, Cheetah, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy. It’s full of action and fighting sequences that shows tidbits of gameplay from each of the characters.

The trailer starts with a cool stylistic intro for each character then transitions to Black Canary saying “I fight crime not commit it”. From there the screen splits into 3 showing actual gameplay from Black Canary. She ends it with her patented Canary Cry.

Then the trailer showcases Cheetah with her furious scratches which she has no problem telling her victims about when she shouts “My claws will cut you down.” The screen is split for Cheetah’s onslaught using footage from the actual game. It then shifts to a cinematic between Cheetah and Catwoman that leads to a flying entrance from Batman. This gives players a look at some of the pre-fight sequences in the game. Catwoman is introduced with a deadly assault of her whips and it transitions between a showdown with Poison Ivy. Poison Ivy is showcase doing deadly combos within her gameplay montage.

Lastly, the trailer unveils special moves from each of the DC superheroes, with Catwoman’s motorcycle attack taking the spot of most interesting as she grabs her enemy with her whip dragging them with her across the screen.

Injustice 2 is the sequel to Injustice: Gods Among Us and is being developed by Netherealm Studios, the developer behind Mortal Kombat. Players can choose their favourite super hero or villain from a massive roster of DC characters.  Injustice 2 will be available May 16, 2017 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in Digital Deluxe, Ultimate, and Standard Edition. Eager Injustice fans can pre-order now and unlock Darkseid.

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Hook A Vulcan Up in Star Trek Timelines Valentine's Event http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/hook-a-vulcan-up-in-star-trek-timelines-valentines-event/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/hook-a-vulcan-up-in-star-trek-timelines-valentines-event/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 15:00:24 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95319

By Andrew Ko

After Star Trek Timelines new in-game Valentine’s Day event, “Season of Love,” kicks off this Thursday, player captains will have until February 20 to hook a Vulcan up. A merging of time and space has triggered the mysterious “pon farr” mating ritual, in which adult Vulcans undergo a neurochemical imbalance that takes on a form […]

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By Andrew Ko

After Star Trek Timelines new in-game Valentine’s Day event, “Season of Love,” kicks off this Thursday, player captains will have until February 20 to hook a Vulcan up.

A merging of time and space has triggered the mysterious “pon farr” mating ritual, in which adult Vulcans undergo a neurochemical imbalance that takes on a form of madness, culminating in a plak tow. If by small chance you’re not familiar with the term, the plak tow in Star Trek is a Vulcan phrase literally meaning “blood fever.” It is characterized by irrational and instinct driven behaviour, a combative nature and a high fever. Normally, a Vulcan in this state is unable to speak or think clearly, and the desire to mate was very strong and irresistible. Sound like a familiar Valentine’s Day? Read on.

Any Vulcan left unattended by players is at risk of becoming plak tow. The event runs from Feb. 16, 2017 to Feb. 20, 2017, so it looks like players will only have five days to get their groove on. Special Event Crew includes Ambassador Troi, Kal-if-fee Kirk, and Kal-if-fee Spock. Players have access to unique Federation Faction Missions, and using any version of Kirk, Spock, or Troi will provide a bonus to Federation Faction Missions. In addition, completing these missions will earn players Event Victory Points, which can be collected to unlock special Event Threshold Rewards that will be sent out at the end of the event. Finally, Players in a Squadron may now compete to advance up the Squadron leaderboard.

Disruptor Beam’s Star Trek Timelines is a mobile title featuring hundreds of characters, 3D ship battles, and an immense galaxy to explore. And so, along with the ability to command and upgrade iconic starships, assemble a crew, and explore the galaxy, the game is about to get a blast of a whole ‘lotta love.

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Expansion Pass Announced for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/expansion-pass-announced-legend-zelda-breath-wild/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/expansion-pass-announced-legend-zelda-breath-wild/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 14:50:40 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95890

By Cody Orme

With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launching on Mar. 3, 2017 on the Switch and Wii U, Nintendo announces fans will be able to purchase an “Expansion Pass” for extra content. In a post by Nintendo UK, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will cost players £17.99 or €19.99, which works […]

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By Cody Orme

With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launching on Mar. 3, 2017 on the Switch and Wii U, Nintendo announces fans will be able to purchase an “Expansion Pass” for extra content.

In a post by Nintendo UK, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will cost players £17.99 or €19.99, which works out to $22.42 USD, but no American price has been announced. The Expansion Pass will come in three waves with the first one “Expansion Pass Bonus” launching alongside the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In this pack, players will receive three new treasure chests found in the Great Plateau containing exclusive garments for Link, along with some other items. The second pack is planned for summer 2017 and includes a new Cave of Trials, a hard mode, and an additional Map feature. The third pack launches in winter 2017 with a new story, dungeon and challenges.

Expansion Pass Announced for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

This is the first time Nintendo has gone down the season pass route, but they have regularly brought new content to the online mode for Splatoon, though those were free events, and they’ve brought DLC to other titles like Super Smash Bros. in the form of new characters. Interestingly enough, the hard mode was included in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD for no fee, while the Cave of Trials was included in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD with its packed in Wolf Link Amiibo. This might be a look into the future of how Nintendo will handle DLC going forward.

“The world of Hyrule which we created for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is so large and vibrant that we wanted to offer more for players to experience within it,” said The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma in a press release on the Nintendo UK site. “With this new Expansion Pass, we hope that fans will play, explore and enjoy the game even more.”

Considering the DLC Pack 2 contains an all-new story mode, it feels like Nintendo is taking its first serious steps in providing support that players have become accustomed to on other platforms since the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 generation.  It's important to note that only the UK branch has promoted this news, while Nintendo of America has yet to announce anything.

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Opinion - Amazon's Anime Strike Doesn't Work http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/opinion-amazons-anime-strike-doesnt-work/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/opinion-amazons-anime-strike-doesnt-work/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:00:50 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95226

By Adam Nizam

A few weeks ago, Amazon announced a paid subscription service specifically for anime called Anime Strike. Although Amazon’s previous licensing efforts showed that they already had a clear interest in anime r, this is a new level of commitment to the medium that fans have never seen before. Normally, one of the biggest corporations in […]

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By Adam Nizam

A few weeks ago, Amazon announced a paid subscription service specifically for anime called Anime Strike. Although Amazon’s previous licensing efforts showed that they already had a clear interest in anime r, this is a new level of commitment to the medium that fans have never seen before. Normally, one of the biggest corporations in the world investing in anime would mean good things for fans, but the way that Amazon is approaching this new service is damaging for both viewers and the industry in general. Instead of offering it for free to Amazon Prime subscribers or as a standalone service, they’re taking an approach that demonstrates a blatant misunderstanding of the people who watch anime and what they’re willing to put up with.Opinion - Amazon's Anime Strike Doesn't Work

For those who don’t keep up with the streaming service battleground, there are two big players in anime streaming: Crunchyroll and Funimation. Crunchyroll can be used for free with ads, or as a paid premium ad-free service, while Funimation is exclusively premium. Other more “mainstream” services such as Hulu and Netflix also offer anime, but their library is relatively small in comparison to the big two. Recently, Crunchyroll and Funimation announced a partnership where they would be sharing their libraries, so competition in this arena is, for the most part, relatively scarce.

However, Anime Strike is still a new vendor in a crowded market. In order to access the entire library of legally streaming anime, fans need to subscribe to at least five services: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Funimation. The reality of the world today is that people don’t want to pay for networks anymore, they want to pay for streaming. So, the average TV watcher who only wants to watch sitcoms and dramas could probably survive with Netflix, Hulu, and one additional service such as HBO Go or Amazon Prime. However, people who want to watch anime legally face a streaming landscape so fractured that they typically have to pay for a service they don’t particularly care for just to watch one or two shows. The partnership between Crunchyroll and Funimation has allowed for less stress in that regard, but with the reveal of Anime Strike, things are only about to get worse from here.

Let me be clear, this is not about an unwillingness to pay for anime. The massive success of Crunchyroll shows that people are very much willing to pay for anime, provided the service functions well and can provide a good library. This about how much people are willing to pay for anime. To access Anime Strike, you have to pay $4.99 on top of the regular subscription price for Amazon Prime, for a total of $15. For comparison, a Crunchyroll premium membership costs $10 a month, while a Funimation membership costs $5 a month. This means that it now costs a total of $30 a month to get access to a full anime library. On its own, that doesn’t sound so bad, but this is assuming that the only thing anime fans spend money on is anime. While some of them do, the majority of them are also spending money on things such as video games, movies, and other streaming services. Plus, anime skews towards the younger audience, and we all know how well they’re doing financially these days. Asking them to pay more for Anime Strike than they do for any other streaming service while singlehandedly doubling the price of keeping up with anime is a tough sell.

Opinion - Amazon's Anime Strike Doesn't Work 1

This is all bad enough, but what is Anime Strike actually selling? Not much. While they do have the exclusive licenses to some great shows (Kino’s Journey, Princess Tutu, and Scum’s Wish being some), it’s nowhere near the extensive library of the cheaper Crunchyroll, Funimation, or even Hulu. The value simply isn’t there. If anything, locking a few good shows behind an expensive paywall will only encourage fans to seek these shows out through other alternative methods, which is the last thing the industry needs right now.

For several years, anime in western circles was a culture steeped in piracy. That’s subsided a bit recently, but it’s business decisions like Anime Strike that allow the culture to persist. Driving away everyone except the most loyal consumers doesn’t help anyone except the people who profit off of stealing other people's’ work. It’s good that Amazon is committing to anime as a business model, but this is not the way to go about it, and if anything will do more harm than good. Anime Strike as a concept isn’t unsalvageable, but if it fails, then Amazon will either have to re-examine their business model or come to the conclusion that anime isn’t worth investing in. Hopefully, it will be the former, because the latter would be a huge missed opportunity for Amazon, anime fans, and the industry in general.

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Most Anticipated PlayStation 4 Games of 2017 http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/anticipated-playstation-4-games-2017/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/14/anticipated-playstation-4-games-2017/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:00:18 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95148

By Helena Shlapak

2016 may not have been a great year for some people, but it’s time to make it up in 2017. This year is looking to be fantastic for the gaming industry, and there’s a whole slew of games out there in development. However, there’s plenty that release this year, and we've ranked our 9 (because […]

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By Helena Shlapak

2016 may not have been a great year for some people, but it’s time to make it up in 2017. This year is looking to be fantastic for the gaming industry, and there’s a whole slew of games out there in development. However, there’s plenty that release this year, and we've ranked our 9 (because 10 is too mainstream) most anticipate titles that are coming to the PlayStation 4.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Five years after the release of Mass Effect III, BioWare Studios returns to their beloved franchise with Mass Effect: Andromeda. While this latest instalment is actually a midquel (taking place between Mass Effect II and Mass Effect III) and fans don't play as Commander Sheppard, the game allows players to see what was going on in the Andromeda galaxy. The player takes the role of Sara or Scott Ryder, and instead of only choosing between six character classes, they will now be able develop their own skills. Mass Effect: Andromeda also removes the morality scaling which allows the player more free reign in their conversations. Despite the mixed opinions of Mass Effect III, Mass Effect: Andromeda looks like it will inject new life into the franchise. Mass Effect: Andromeda launches on March 21, 2017.

Most Anticipated Games of 2017 Coming to PS4

Crash Bandicoot Remastered

The first three Crash Bandicoot games are finally getting the remaster treatment for the PlayStation 4 with the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. The initial Crash Bandicoot game came out for the PlayStation in 1996, and was about a mutated Bandicoot named Crash as he explores Australia’s Wumpa Islands to stop the evil Doctor Neo Cortex from taking over the world. The insanely popular franchise spawned seven main games, three racing, two party, four spin-offs and a slew of mobile games. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is sure to revive nostalgia for adults, and bring new fans into the fold. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy launches in 2017.

Most Anticipated Games of 2017 Coming to PS4 1

God of War

The God of War franchise is getting a soft reboot with this eighth instalment. The newest God of War game will now take place in the land of Norse Gods with Kratos and his son Arteus as they struggle to survive in this new world. God of War is a massive overhaul from its predecessors as the game will now take a more RPG approach. Some elements of the new game include archery and crafting and that the story will not be branching or have a morality system. With God of War getting this reboot, it will be interesting to see if the game will revive the series while enticing curious fans. Despite not having an official release date, it’s highly possible that God of War launches in 2017.

Most Anticipated Games of 2017 Coming to PS4 2

Prey

Originally developed as a sequel to the 2006 hit, Prey, this version of Prey is now a complete reboot. Set in the year 2032, players takes the role of Morgan Yu, a human aboard a space station called Talos I which orbits the moon. Yu is a key test subject in an experiment that will change humanity forever, but things go terribly haywire. As the space station becomes overrun with hostile aliens, Yu has no choice but to fight for their life and find a way to stop the alien threat. Yu must uncover the dark secrets of the Talos I and their own past, all while trying to survive by using the station's tools, weapons, their own wits and new-found abilities. Prey has an official launch date of May 1, 2017, and here’s hoping the success of this game prompts the sequel fans have waited for.

Most Anticipated Games of 2017 Coming to PS4 3

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Square Enix is completely remastering its ground-breaking, fan-favourite of the Final Fantasy Franchise, Final Fantasy VII. The remaster has been a long time coming since the early 2000’s but to be fair to Square Enix, Final Fantasy VII Remake isn’t just an updated port but a game completely built from the ground up. The game will follow the story exactly the same way as the original; Cloud Strife is a formal Shinra soldier who joins an eco-terrorist group to fight the Shinra Corporation who are draining the planet’s energy. It’s been 20 years since Final Fantasy VII initially released, and despite not hearing much on the remake, it’s a belief (and maybe hope) among retailers that Final Fantasy VII Remake will launch sometime in 2017.

Most Anticipated Games of 2017 Coming to PS4 4

Detroit: Become Human

Whether you’re a fan of David Cage games (Indigo Prophecy, Beyond Two Souls, Heavy Rain) or not, the man, at the very least, has some interesting concepts that attract curiosity. Cage is back at it again with his newest game, Detroit: Become Human. The game is about an android named Kara who escapes the factory she was made in to explore her new sentience. There will be several other playable characters in the game (all of them androids) and in David Cage fashion, the story changes depending on your choices. A Dev trailer came out in 2012 for Detroit: Become Human followed by an actual trailer in October of 2015. The game’s mysterious nature makes it highly anticipated and it appears that it will debut sometime in 2017.

Most Anticipated Games of 2017 Coming to PS4 5

South Park: The fractured but Whole

After the astonishing success of South Park: The Stick of Truth in 2014, Ubisoft created a sequel which parodies superheroes. South Park: The Fractured but Whole, takes place after the first game and pits two groups of children superheroes against each other Captain America: Civil War style. The player will once again be tossed into a South Park episode and play a new kid who helps out the group. This time, the player can choose the new kid’s gender. South Park: The Fractured but Whole has been delayed twice now, but the general consensus is that the new game will still debut in 2017 (albeit, later than fans hoped).

Most Anticipated Games of 2017 Coming to PS4 6

Outlast 2

The sequel to the terrifying, first-person, survival horror game, Outlast is definitely one fans have been dying for (get it? Because it's a horror game!). Outlast 2 follows a journalist named Blake as he follows the mystery of a murdered pregnant woman. Blake and his wife Lynn, crash in the Sonoran Desert, and now have to go through a remote village that hosts a cult that believes the end of days is upon them. Like this first game, the player won’t be able to fight, but unlike the first game, the player will have a better camera. The player can zoom, have clearer vision and audio detection. The player will even wear glasses that will inhibit Blake’s vision if they fall off. Outlast 2 was initially supposed to release in fall of 2016, and even though it doesn’t have an official date, developer Red Barrels said the game will release in Q1 2017. If you can’t wait, the demo is currently available.

Most Anticipated Games of 2017 Coming to PS4 7

Horizon Zero Dawn

One of the few games on this list that’s launching this month, Horizon Zero Dawn is an ambitious title that focuses on the contrast between nature and technology. Horizon Zero Dawn is about a hunter and archer named Aloy as she struggles in a world overrun with robots. The player can craft items, explore an open world without loading times, and complete a great deal of side stories along with the main plot. Another new concept to the game is trial and error based play, meaning that there will be no tutorials. Horizon Zero Dawn won Best Original Game at the Game Critics’ Awards in 2015 and 2016 and with those honours, Horizon Zero Dawn is looking to be one of the better games released this year. Horizon Zero Dawn releases on Feb. 28, 2017.

Most Anticipated Games of 2017 Coming to PS4 8

With even more titles slated for a 2017 launch, it's always useful to check out the year's full release schedule.

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Flywrench Review - Addictive, Enthralling, and Ridiculously Difficult http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/flywrench-review-addictive-enthralling-ridiculously-difficult/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/flywrench-review-addictive-enthralling-ridiculously-difficult/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=95481

By Alex Avard

If you haven’t heard about Flywrench, then now’s the time to listen up. An action-puzzle experience from Messhof (the minds behind Nidhogg), Flywrench is addictive, enthralling, and ridiculously difficult all at once. You play as a ship (which, for all intents and purposes, looks like nothing more than a small white line) that can instantaneously […]

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By Alex Avard

If you haven’t heard about Flywrench, then now’s the time to listen up. An action-puzzle experience from Messhof (the minds behind Nidhogg), Flywrench is addictive, enthralling, and ridiculously difficult all at once.

You play as a ship (which, for all intents and purposes, looks like nothing more than a small white line) that can instantaneously transform itself between three different “states”, each signified by a distinct colour and movement pattern. Through the use of two buttons and the left analogue stick, players are able to flap like a bird, tumble and ricochet as a gyroscope, or simply ride with the momentum as the default white line. All of these manoeuvres must be deployed in tandem (usually within the space of a few seconds) to navigate the perilous contours of Flywrench’s 199 levels.

Adding to the challenge, your ship can only pass through certain lines by matching their colour (honestly, it’ll make more sense once you try the game for yourself). These are the rules set by Flywrench, and they provide the building blocks for a near endless possibility of challenging, finely-honed platforming experiences.

Flywrench Review - Addictive, Enthralling, and Ridiculously Difficult 1Flywrench’s tightly tuned control scheme means that, unlike Flappy Bird and the countless “hard” games that followed in its wake, Messhof establishes a steady and fulfilling learning curve, which rewards practice and commitment. Familiarising yourself with the design of each level, mastering your reaction speeds, and generally becoming more receptive to the behaviour of the spaceship all take time and effort, but the payoff is getting to enjoy a near endless number of levels set to a superb audio-visual backdrop.

And the music. Sweet maple, the music. Featuring tracks from a range of talented artists like Daedelus, Machinedrum, and more, the backtrack to the gameplay is a treasure trove of harmonious electronica, establishing a meditative soundscape to soothe the frustrations that accompany the inevitably frequent deaths experienced on the path to progress. What’s more, it corresponds perfectly with the hypnotic visuals of the game’s lo-fi art style.

Disappointingly, the popular level editor from the original PC release doesn’t feature in this transition to the PlayStation 4, but Messhof has admirably tried to sweeten the deal with the addition of 12 exclusive new levels. It’s a poor man’s substitute for the unlimited freedom of crafting and sharing your own designs, but Flywench already offers so much value for money that we’re willing to overlook the omission.

Score:9

Final Thoughts:Flywrench creates complex challenges through simple design structures, absorbing you into to its mesmerising gameplay for hours upon end.

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Freedom Humble Bundle Offers Over 40 Games http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/13/freedom-humble-bundle-offers-40-games/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/13/freedom-humble-bundle-offers-40-games/#respond Mon, 13 Feb 2017 20:42:14 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95480

By Michael Koczwara

The latest announcement from Humble Bundle is making an impact with its Freedom Bundle, an offering that gives those who donate over 40 different games and 6 digital books. As it goes with every Humble Bundle, those who want to snag all of the games in this bundle have to pay a set price. While you still […]

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By Michael Koczwara

The latest announcement from Humble Bundle is making an impact with its Freedom Bundle, an offering that gives those who donate over 40 different games and 6 digital books.

As it goes with every Humble Bundle, those who want to snag all of the games in this bundle have to pay a set price. While you still get to pay what you want, the minimum this time around is $30 USD, and there aren't any payment tiers. Grouped together the games come to a value of over $600.

All the proceeds go to charity, and Humble Bundle specifically selected three different organizations that they say were "chosen for the work they do in defense of justice, human rights, and civil rights." These charities include the American Civil Liberties Union, the International Rescue Committee, and Doctors Without Borders. Those who pay for the bundle will be able to split the donations to each organization as they see fit. Humble Bundle also promises to match customer contributions up to $300,000.

This comes in light of recent U.S. immigration policy that has even affected the video game industry.

So, what games are included in this bundle? All are listed below, but keep in mind that Humble Bundle may add additional content throughout the week!

  • The Witness
  • Stardew Valley
  • Subnautica (Early Access)
  • Day of the Tentacle Remastered
  • Overgrowth (Early Access)
  • Nuclear Throne
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch
  • World of Goo
  • Mushroom 11
  • No Time to Explain
  • Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
  • Super Hexagon
  • VVVVVV
  • Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition
  • The Stanley Parable
  • The Swapper
  • Thirty Flights of Loving
  • Spirits
  • Human Resource Machine
  • ROCKETSROCKETSROCKETS
  • 2064: Read Only Memories
  • A Virus Named TOM
  • 7 Grand Steps
  • Mini Metro
  • Retro Game Crunch
  • Tower of Guns
  • Waking Mars
  • Song of the Deep
  • Monster Loves You
  • AI War: Fleet Command
  • Sproggiwood
  • Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore A Fedora Deluxe
  • Ninja Pizza Girl
  • Secrets of
  • Raetikon
  • Girls Like Robots
  • Ellipsis
  • Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball
  • Streamline (Early Access)
  • Invisible, Inc.

The list of books include:

  • The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy: Practical Tips for Staying Safe Online by Violet Blue
  • R in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition; The Boys, Vol. 1 by Garth Ennis
  • Any Empire by Nate Powell; A Little Gold Book of Ghastly Stuff by Neil Gaiman
  • Information Doesn't Want To Be Free by Cory Doctorow
  • Chapter One from Walkaway by Cory Doctorow

The Freedom Bundle will run just one week, ending on Feb. 20, 2017. If you have any interest in this awesome selection of games or in donating, jump on the opportunity now!

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Rebellion Wishes to Licence Games from 2000AD Comics http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/13/rebellion-wishes-licence-games-2000-ad-comics/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/13/rebellion-wishes-licence-games-2000-ad-comics/#respond Mon, 13 Feb 2017 19:00:36 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95266

By Lane Martin

For a video game developer, publishing a popular comic book seems like a pretty good deal. You get invited to all the cool conventions, movies deals, and you don't have to jump through much red tape when you want to put out a game based on your comic. As an added bonus, when your sniper shooter […]

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By Lane Martin

For a video game developer, publishing a popular comic book seems like a pretty good deal. You get invited to all the cool conventions, movies deals, and you don't have to jump through much red tape when you want to put out a game based on your comic. As an added bonus, when your sniper shooter franchise starts taking up most of your time, you can still licence out your characters to other developers. That's exactly when Rebellion hopes to do with its 2000AD comic.

Rebellion has been putting out both the comic, 2000AD, and games featuring those characters since the early 2000's. Notably, these characters include Tharg the Mighty, Rogue Trooper, and, the most universally recognized of the lot, Judge Dredd. Rebellion has been pretty busy with its popular Sniper Elite franchise, and rightfully so. I have it on good authority that the most recent game in this franchise, Sniper Elite 4, is pretty darn good.

However, if the performance of 2012's film Dredd and the public's increasing demand for comic book properties, it seems like a game starring the titular judge doling out justice is practically necessary at this point. Furthermore, Rebellion hasn't been able to put out anything more than a mobile title since the regrettable Rogue Trooper was ported to the Wii in 2009.

So far no one has stepped forward to publicly throw their hat in the arena for this licence, and I'm not terribly surprised. Many of these characters are not terribly well known outside of their fan bases, and those fans can get pretty rabid. Furthermore, even the imposing Judge Dredd has had difficulty in the past make the transition to video games, garnering mediocre reviews and sometimes being thought of as cult classics at best.  Despite these hurdles, I'm sure that there will be some brave developer to take the reins and bring out something worthwhile, the question is who.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Developers to Host GDC Panel http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/13/legend-zelda-breath-wild-developers-host-gdc-panel/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/13/legend-zelda-breath-wild-developers-host-gdc-panel/#respond Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:13:49 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95244

By CGM Staff

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Three developers behind The
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will host a panel at
the upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The panel,
“Change and Constant – Breaking Conventions with The Legend of Zelda:
Breath of the Wild,” will feature game director Hidemaro
Fujibayashi, art director Satoru Takizawa and technical director
Takuhiro Dohta. The panel is scheduled to be held 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
on March 1 at the Moscone Center.

For decades, The Legend of Zelda series has been recognized as a
trailblazer in game design that has influenced countless other games and
developers. The latest game in the series, The Legend of Zelda:
Breath of the Wild for both the Nintendo
Switch and Wii
U systems, introduces wide-ranging changes that break with many of
the traditional conventions of the franchise. The panel will provide an
in-depth look at how these convention-breaking changes were implemented.

The panel will take place two days before Nintendo Switch, Nintendo’s
new home system, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
launch. For those who are not attending GDC, a video of the panel will
be available at http://www.gdcvault.com
the following week.

For more information about Nintendo Switch, visit http://www.nintendo.com/switch.
For more information about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,
visit http://www.zelda.com/breath-of-the-wild.

Note to editors: Nintendo press materials are available at http://press.nintendo.com,
a password-protected site. To obtain a login, please register on the
site.
Contacts
GolinRich George, 415-318-4342rgeorge@golin.comorEddie
Garcia, 213-335-5536egarcia@golin.com

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By CGM Staff

Three developers behind The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will host a panel at the upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The panel, “Change and Constant – Breaking Conventions with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” will feature game director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, art director Satoru Takizawa and technical director Takuhiro Dohta. The panel is scheduled to be held 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on March 1 at the Moscone Center.

For decades, The Legend of Zelda series has been recognized as a trailblazer in game design that has influenced countless other games and developers. The latest game in the series, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for both the Nintendo Switch and Wii
U
systems, introduces wide-ranging changes that break with many of the traditional conventions of the franchise. The panel will provide an in-depth look at how these convention-breaking changes were implemented.

The panel will take place two days before Nintendo Switch, Nintendo’s new home system, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launch. For those who are not attending GDC, a video of the panel will be available at http://www.gdcvault.com the following week.

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Razer Unleashes Latest 2017 14" Blade Laptop http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/13/razer-unleashes-latest-2017-14-blade-laptop/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/13/razer-unleashes-latest-2017-14-blade-laptop/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2017 14:46:20 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95224

By Brendan Frye

Razer announced the latest version of the Razer Blade 14-inch gaming laptop, featuring the new Kaby-Lake CPU today.The Razer Blade line of gaming laptops have quickly become go-to laptop for gamers on the go since they were launched in 2011. They are powerful, comparatively light weight, and offer top of the line performance, all in […]

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By Brendan Frye

Razer announced the latest version of the Razer Blade 14-inch gaming laptop, featuring the new Kaby-Lake CPU today.The Razer Blade line of gaming laptops have quickly become go-to laptop for gamers on the go since they were launched in 2011. They are powerful, comparatively light weight, and offer top of the line performance, all in an attractive modern shell. Razer is continuing the trend going into 2017, with their latest offering of the 14-inch Blade.

This new model Blade boasts a series of improvements on last years model. The new, more powerful Kaby-Lake CPU is now under the hood, paired with faster memory, and the Nvidia 1060 GPU ensures even the most intensive gaming experiences should run smoothly and with little trouble. While the Full-HD 1080P screen is great for most players needs, Razer has also added a 4K touch-screen to the lineup, giving the people that demand the latest and greatest an option to experience the highest resolution available.

Razer Unleashes Latest 2017 14" Blade Laptop 4

Razer Unleashes Latest 2017 14" Blade Laptop 2 Razer Unleashes Latest 2017 14" Blade Laptop 3

The Razer Blade 14-inch also boasts 16 GB DDR4 dual-channel memory standard, running at 2400 MHZ, Killer Wireless-AC, Thunderbolt 3 connectivity along with an SSD that can be pushed to 1TB if you so choose.

Similar to past Razer Blade, and Razer Blade Stealth models, the 2017 Razer Blade 14-Inch comes with Razer Chroma standard. Allowing users to customise the look and style of the keyboard with a choice of 16.8 million colours that can be synchronised with in-game events or even work to visualize your favorite music.

“The Razer Blade sets the benchmark for performance in thin laptops,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “More users embraced this flagship computer model in 2016 than ever before, and we are excited to make it even more available worldwide this year. Beyond gaming, it has been really gratifying to see people enjoying the power and portability of the Blade for video editing, music creation and software development.”

The new Razer Blade 2017 Full HD model is available from on the RazerZone.com along with the physical RazerStore in San Francisco, California now, with a starting price of $1,899 USD. For people that want to pick up the 4K model, you will need to wait until Q2 2017.

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Sniper Elite 4 Review – A Perfect Shot http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/sniper-elite-4-review-perfect-shot/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/sniper-elite-4-review-perfect-shot/#respond Mon, 13 Feb 2017 13:00:38 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=95180

By Elias Blondeau

The Sniper Elite franchise has always struck just the right chord for me, personally, but I’ve never been able to wholeheartedly defend them as great games. Even as a fan of the campy violence, pitch-perfect sniping mechanics, and the simplistic thrill of shooting Nazis in the face, I’ve always felt a bit let down by […]

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By Elias Blondeau

The Sniper Elite franchise has always struck just the right chord for me, personally, but I’ve never been able to wholeheartedly defend them as great games. Even as a fan of the campy violence, pitch-perfect sniping mechanics, and the simplistic thrill of shooting Nazis in the face, I’ve always felt a bit let down by everything else about the series. Sniper Elite V2’s maps were often uninspired and linear, and its follow-up threw a bunch of mechanics into the mix that flatout detracted from the core experience. Naturally, then, I figured Sniper Elite 4 would be the same sort of situation – a pretty good game that I liked well enough, but came away wanting a little more from.

Sniper Elite 4 Review – A Perfect Shot 1

Imagine my surprise, then, that Rebellion has taken longtime criticism to heart and delivered a truly great game. Sniper Elite 4 feels like the culmination of this franchise’s potential, untapped since the series debuted twelve years ago. The added fat of Sniper Elite III has been trimmed, and the longstanding issues with non-sniping gameplay fixed – it’s a leaner, meaner take on a series I’ve been invested in for years.

From a narrative standpoint, even, Rebellion has upped the ante a bit. Yes, it’s still about Karl Fairburne acting as a one-man exterminator to a Nazi infestation, but the little bits and pieces surrounding that winning premise are more interesting than previous games. Players snipe, sneak, and stab their way through 1943 Italy, aiding a local resistance effort and enlisting the Mafia to push out the fascist regime. Karl destroys top-secret weapons, uncovers artillery caches, assassinates key Nazi figures, and generally makes himself a thorn in the Third Reich’s side.

But it’s in how Karl accepts these tasks that differs from past entries. There’s actually a supporting cast now, and not just a radio telling you what to do, or a solitary supporting character. These characters, while not deep by any stretch of the imagination, give Karl people to play off of, which in turn makes him a bit more of a compelling protagonist. It’s a similar move to the route Wolfenstein: The New Order took, turning its archetype of a protagonist into something more nuanced and satisfying to take control of. Also similar to that 2013 title is a surprising knack for female characterization, exemplified in Sofia, an Italian resistance leader. In an age where “strong female character” means “sexy and has a lot of daddy issues,” Sofia is a compelling snapshot of a woman in wartime. She’s on the same playing field as all the male characters – gruff, resilient, and not sexualized. Even if she is a side character, I wanted to see more of her, and found her to be one of the more memorable female characters as of late.

Sniper Elite 4 Review – A Perfect Shot 4

That said, Sniper Elite 4’s true strength lies not in its perfectly adequate narrative, but in its exceptional gameplay. In a post-Phantom Pain world, it’s an unenviable task to make a third-person stealth title. Yet Rebellion, with over a decade of experience in this genre under their belt, has produced a mechanically sound game that offers players a wealth of variety and depth. While previous attempts at implementing gameplay other than “aim down a scope and splatter some brains/lungs/testicles” have yielded mixed results, those attempts are knocked out of the park here. Maneuvering Karl never feels clunky or awkward, whether he’s doing parkour, slitting throats, or holding his own in the middle of a firefight. Whether a player wants to lure Nazis into landmines, sneak up behind them with a silenced pistol, or simply engage them head-on, the gameplay holds up across every imaginable situation. In a series sold on one core gimmick, the variety here is kind of staggering, and undoubtedly impressive.

Yet that core gimmick is still great, and better here than ever before. Sniping in Sniper Elite 4 is one of the most satisfying mechanics in a video game, period. It’s a tighter, pared-down version of the mechanics we’ve seen since V2, complete with monitoring Karl’s heart rate and holding breath for accuracy. Gone are the confusing “sniper nests,” the awkward “Ghost” system, the unclear detection by enemies found in III. There are fewer systems to worry about when looking down the sight and firing off a round here – it’s more arcade-esque, in line with something like Konami’s Silent Scope. It’s easy to pick up and learn, but there’s plenty of room to learn how to take the perfect shot.

From that simplification, though, springs a natural depth. Players take a shot, and if the sound isn’t masked, enemies begin to investigate their position. It’s up to them how to progress from there. Do they keep scrambling for new vantage points? Do they fire off a shot only to lure Nazis into traps? Do they want to gun down the investigating troops with an assault rifle or shotgun? The choices aren’t endless, of course, but they are abundant, and make for some fun replays of maps.

Speaking of maps, Sniper Elite 4’s are the biggest in the series. While III flirted with the idea of a more open approach to the franchise, the level of depth present in each area is kind of astounding. Dense forests that give way to housing encampments, trainyards that give way to fully explorable buildings and several dockyards, beaches surrounded by winding towns – every mission managed to surprise me with its sense of scale. It helps that this is a gorgeous game, offering lush textures and dynamic lighting effects that rarely impact the high framerate on consoles. Oh, and the franchise’s hallmark X-Ray kills are better than ever – delightfully bloody and unrealistic, with hilarious splashes of plasma and dramatic bone shatters that magically explode out of people’s bodies.

Sniper Elite 4 Review – A Perfect Shot 6
With Sniper Elite 4, a franchise that I’ve long considered to be “good” has officially become “great.” The myriad improvements to the stealth mechanics, the pitch-perfect sniping, the sprawling maps, the side content – it shows bigger games with more money thrown at them a thing or two about how to do things. It’s a title I’ll be replaying and tooling around in for quite some time to come, and any diehard stealth junkies should follow suit.

Score:8.5

Final Thoughts:Sniper Elite 4 is the best entry in Rebellion’s long-running franchise yet, and a great title for fans of stealth gaming.

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D.Va Explained: From K-Pop Star to Mech Warrior http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/13/dva-explained-k-pop-star-mech-warrior/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/13/dva-explained-k-pop-star-mech-warrior/#respond Mon, 13 Feb 2017 12:00:36 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95193

By Andrew Ko

Hana Song, the 19-year old ex-StarCraft pro from South Korea, is a celebrity. A poster of Song’s starring role in the movie Hero of My Storm gleams of her star personality in Overwatch's version of Hollywood. She streams all of her combat operations live to a global crowd and advertisements for them are found strewn across […]

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By Andrew Ko

Hana Song, the 19-year old ex-StarCraft pro from South Korea, is a celebrity. A poster of Song’s starring role in the movie Hero of My Storm gleams of her star personality in Overwatch's version of Hollywood. She streams all of her combat operations live to a global crowd and advertisements for them are found strewn across the walls of Hanamura. On them, plastered in large text, is her stage name: D.Va. The name rings with bunny-hopping personality a contrasts the cold reality of other characters like Widowmaker, who says of her, “This is no place for children.” And with flags decorated in her honour, and a virtual production line of fan art, fiction, and cosplay for a game that boasts 25 million players, the celebrity of D.Va reaches far past Overwatch’s fourth wall.

Blizzard gave her this sensationalistic design for good reason. Her design reflects South Korea’s national spirit, which is also sensationalistic. It’s evident the company delved into Korean culture to bring forth a figure with a respect and attention to detail the country deserves. Though this is hard to see at first, considering how easy it is to foxhole D.Va as a made-for-face character model—forgivable, considering her bubble-gum blowing, wink-to-the-fans attitude. But, as opposed to the West, where brazen pop stars could be seen as ditsy byproducts of commercialization, the people of South Korea take great pride in them. Westerners would be surprised to find that the South Korean government is known to earmark “1 per cent of the national budget to spending on subsidies and low-interest loans to cultural industries, launching agencies to promote and expand K-Pop exports.” The line up of girl groups in Korea show similar gun-shot gestures, winky faces, and accentuating half-leans—D.Va would fit right in standing beside superstar Seolhyun Kim of AOA on a soju advert, or participating in celebrity pop star archery games beside Lee Hyeri of Girl’s Day.

D.Va Explained: From K-Pop Star to Mech WarriorThe key to understanding why South Koreans are so involved in entertainment lies in the concept of what they call “Hallyu.” Hallyu literally translates to the “flow of Korea,” and the term originated in the late 90s from Beijing journalists who noticed the incredible speed of the growing popularity of Korean entertainment and culture at the time. Even further back than that, Korea’s deep sense of pride really began following the Korean War, when the country transformed from one of the poorest in the world to a developed, high-income economy in the span of a single generation. The miraculous economic expansion, commonly called the “Miracle on the Han River,” culminated in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Koreans saw the event as a sort of coming-of-age moment for the nation, where they could display their newfound wealth, announcing their presence on the world stage. South Korea remains one of the fastest growing developed countries in the world today, and entertainment is one of their greatest exports. That’s where the role of celebrities comes in; they are the industry’s ambassadors.

Much like how D.Va is seen starring in Overwatch’s Hollywood productions, Korean celebrities are seen crossing multiple mediums in order to get as much exposure and brand-name recognition as possible. So, D.Va’s streams, audacious personality, and hued aesthetic are mired in that culture of spreading the Korean brand. Such star power is then used to forward the consumption and export of other Korean products, from electronics to food, further bolstering the strength of the country. To use statistics to give a sense of all this, a poll conducted by the BBC in 2012 tracked public opinion of South Korea and showed it improved every year since data started being collected in 2009: “in countries such as Russia, India, China, and France, public opinion of South Korea turned from ‘slightly negative’ to ‘generally positive’ and the increase in ‘soft power’ corresponded with a surge in exports of $4.3 billion USD in 2011.”

D.Va’s story of global stardom begins with her professional gaming career. In a clever marketing move by Blizzard, an official StarCraft II World Championship Series profile of D.Va shows that, at age 16, she “became the #1 ranked player in the world and proceeded to go undefeated for the next three years in all competitions.” Meanwhile, 20 years prior to present day Overwatch, the South Korean government developed a mechanized armoured drone unit called MEKA (Mobile Exo-force of the Korean Army) to protect their shores from recurring attacks by a colossal omnic monstrosity that rose from deep in the East China Sea. As the omnic continued to adapt, it eventually disrupted MEKA’s drone-controlled networks, and forced the military to place pilots in the mechs. Suitable candidates were found in professional gamers like Song, who possessed the necessary reflexes and instincts to operate the mechs’ advanced weapon systems, evoking an East-Asian ancestry of young teens using their skills to defend against giant monsters. Traces can be drawn to Hideaki Anno’s Evangelion series, Bong Joon-ho’s The Host, and even Guillermo Del Toro’s interpretation in Pacific Rim.

D.Va Explained: From K-Pop Star to Mech Warrior 1

It introduces yet another national Korean tradition: conscription. South Korea currently administers about two years of compulsory military service for males between ages 18-35. D.Va’s inclusion in South Korea’s militaristic activities in Overwatch’s fictional future paints quite an inspiring picture for women’s equality. It’s this attention to culture and respect for women that has allowed the character to become the mascot for The National D.Va Association, an organization which made headlines recently after their flag appeared in a photo at the Women’s March in Seoul. The National D.Va Association “first started off as a feminist gamer group, gathered to voice our opinions about (currently ex-) President Park Geun Hyu,” a member of the group known as Nine told Polygon in an interview. The group chose D.Va as its symbol owing to an earlier incident where a 17-year-old female Overwatch player named Geguri was accused of cheating for having an 80 per cent win rate. The accusers, professional Overwatch players, could not believe she was so skilled. “So we decided to act for feminism under her emblem, so that in 2060, someone like D.Va could actually appear,” Nine said about the organization.

But beyond being a feminist icon, perhaps D.Va’s greatest aspect is simply being a three-dimensional human. D.Va’s voice actor, Charlett Chung, said of the character, “"in terms of representation of Asian-American characters in video games, particularly women, they might be over-sexualized—and I don't know if I'm being too candid here—I feel like D.Va is more of a real person. She happens to have some sex appeal, but that's not why she's in the game. She's not there to be an exotic lotus." Players can get a glimpse behind the defense-matrix that is the persona of “D.Va,” into the heart of Hana Song, when she says in Eichenwalde map, “The destruction caused by the omnics here reminds me of home”—for a moment, the perception of an ever-smiling D.Va is shattered. It makes the audience remember the loss she must have seen as a child in South Korea. And now, as a streamer, she carries the weight of being a face of hope. It’s a face that must appear positive at all cost because she represents something far beyond her own brand—an experience touchingly reminiscent of the Marilyn Monroe line, “Do you want to see me be her?”

D.Va Explained: From K-Pop Star to Mech Warrior 4

On a more colourful tone, Overwatch’s recent “Year of the Rooster” Lunar New Year’s event further celebrates Korea’s traditional culture by introducing a new skin in which D.Va dons a hanbok; a decorative Korean dress characterized by vibrant colours and simple lines. She stands in front of her mech, which is in the style of an East-Asian palanquin, and holds out a pouch of coins. The coins celebrate a New Year’s tradition in which Elders reward children who give them New Year’s blessings with envelopes or silk bags of money. As for D.Va’s default get-up, the inspiration probably takes from the current popular Korean fashion-trend of wetsuits.

Subtle as the detail may be, it’s the cherry on top of Blizzard’s sensitivity to both the national and stylistic elements of Korean culture. They have created a character Korea can be proud of. And with Koreans as the top Overwatch players in the world, the only irony remaining is that D.Va’s top player is American. But here’s hoping that this deep-dive into D.Va’s relationship with her home country clarifies just a bit as to why she doesn’t look like the stereotypical dorito-munching, mountain-dew guzzling gremlin gamer traipsing around Tumblr-town in all her glory.

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Justice League vs. Suicide Squad Rebirth - Comic Review http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/justice-league-vs-suicide-squad-rebirth-comic-review/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/justice-league-vs-suicide-squad-rebirth-comic-review/#respond Sun, 12 Feb 2017 16:00:51 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=95172

By Boyd Reynolds

The Justice League (in all its incarnations) has gone up against many formidable foes over the decades. The Legion of Doom, Darkseid and his Parademons, the Crime Syndicate, Doomsday, Despero, White Martians, The Injustice League, Secret Society of Super Villains, and of course their first foe way back in 1960, Starro. But in DC Comics […]

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By Boyd Reynolds

The Justice League (in all its incarnations) has gone up against many formidable foes over the decades. The Legion of Doom, Darkseid and his Parademons, the Crime Syndicate, Doomsday, Despero, White Martians, The Injustice League, Secret Society of Super Villains, and of course their first foe way back in 1960, Starro. But in DC Comics Rebirth, they must face off against their most motley crew yet: the Suicide Squad.

Suicide Squad has come to prominence over the last few years and hit its pop culture zenith with the Suicide Squad feature film last August. Couple that with the release of a Justice League movie this Fall and DC has a no-brainer—pit two of their most popular teams against one another and you might have a hit on your hands.

Luckily for fans of DC Comics, they do.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad Rebirth - Comic Review 1Justice League vs. Suicide Squad begins with a security breach at a penitentiary hidden away in Death Valley. What has been unleashed will cause a headache for both the Justice League and Suicide Squad, but mostly for Amanda Waller. At this same time, Batman lets his Justice League super friends in on Waller’s secret pet project: the Suicide Squad. They have been working right under the Justice League’s nose and it’s time to pay up. Thus setting up the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad Round 1. But this is only half of their troubles. What has been unleashed from the Death Valley pen will cause the greatest fervour and the fate of the planet is at stake.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad is a terrific mini-series. Its main storyline follows both teams in Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1-6. If that wasn’t enough, there are 5 comic tie-ins: Suicide Squad #8-10 and Justice League #12-13. That’s a total of 11 comics. This could easily be too much—a series that goes on and on and on. But it never falls into that routine.  The story is tight and only complemented with the Suicide Squad and Justice League side issues. Those issues add fantastic layers to the main conflict, following the lives of Max Lord, Lobo, Steve Trevor, Killer Frost and the one and only, Amanda Waller.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1-6 are written by Joshua Williamson. Tim Seeley pens the Justice League tie-ins, with Rob Williams and Si Spurrier penning Suicide Squad tie-ins. Williamson, taking on the meat of the storyline, has created a gem. For a story of this magnitude, housing these two colossal teams could have gone sideways fast. Countless stories with too much billing end up falling flat. That never happens with Justice League vs. Suicide Squad. The tie-ins bring a depth to both the main storyline and character development.

The only issue with Justice League vs. Suicide Squad is the climax. Ending the worldwide threat happens a little too quickly and with some predictability. Aside from that, the series is the one to read thus far in 2017.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad Rebirth - Comic Review 2Justice League vs. Suicide Squad uses a unique approach with its illustrators. Each of the 6 issues utilizes a different artist. Illustrators Jason Fabok, Tony S. Daniel, Jesus Merino, Fernando Pasarin, Robson Rocha, and Howard Porter all have their piece of the superhero pie. Their work transitions so well from one issue to the next it’s hard to tell when there was a change of artist. Not to be outdone, illustrators Christian Duce and Scot Eaton dazzle in Justice League; Riley Rossmo, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Francesco Mattina, and Giuseppe Cafaro do an exceptional job bringing Suicide Squad to life.

Make a new New Year’s Resolution for yourself. If you haven’t read Justice League vs. Suicide Squad yet—do it! It’s time well spent.

Score:8.5

Final Thoughts:If you haven’t read Justice League vs. Suicide Squad yet – do it!

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Candleman Review - A Cute Must Play Masterpiece http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/candleman-review-cute-must-play-masterpiece/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/reviews/candleman-review-cute-must-play-masterpiece/#respond Sat, 11 Feb 2017 15:00:11 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?post_type=reviews&p=95166

By Jed Whitaker

Until recently, consoles hadn't been sold in China, but now that they are, we are starting to slowly but surely get games developed for consoles by Chinese developers. Candleman is one such game, and guess what? It is bloody brilliant, and the best 3D platformer I've played since Super Mario 64! You play as Candleman, […]

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By Jed Whitaker

Until recently, consoles hadn't been sold in China, but now that they are, we are starting to slowly but surely get games developed for consoles by Chinese developers. Candleman is one such game, and guess what? It is bloody brilliant, and the best 3D platformer I've played since Super Mario 64!

You play as Candleman, a thick little candlestick with legs attached to his holder who is on a quest to find out the meaning of life and why he exists—deep stuff for a game about a walking and talking candle man (why not a candle person? I don't know).

Not very 'light-hearted' considering you're a candle—pun intended.

Candleman Review - A Cute Must Play Masterpiece 1

Stage titles are verses of a poem that tells the tale of Candleman, with every other line revealed by collecting all the candles in each stage. While this alone is cute and effective, there are also adorable little cutscenes with a female narrator telling us Candleman's feelings and thoughts. The story will surely strike a chord with many people, as who hasn't questioned their purpose in life? I will caution, however, that the ending will surely shock some players, as it did me. I definitely had to take a moment to collect my thoughts after seeing it, which isn't really a bad thing but certainly not what I thought would happen.

To find Candleman's answer players will be platforming across levels that take place in beautiful locales such as a water-logged ship rocking back and forth, a jungle with giant vines and flowers, a library with massive stacks of books, and so on. As these levels are mostly dark so Candleman must burn his wick to momentarily light his path, however, he can only do so for ten seconds total in each stage.

If that sounds annoying, let me assure you that it isn't. Candleman himself can easily be made out pretty much the whole time, and the level is also scattered with non-living candles that players can light to help guide the way. Most of the time I found myself just quickly tapping the button to light up my surrounding for a moment before continuing, just to see any obstacles in my way. Each level offers a new way to use the flame that keeps things feeling fresh and interesting until the thrilling and dramatic end. The jungle level has giant flowers that instantly bloom when lit by Candleman's light, while another level has invisible platforms that only appear for a brief moment after being lit.

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The actual platforming controls are tight and intuitive. I never felt like my deaths were unfair or due to me playing with the controls. That said I didn't have much trouble dying at all as Candleman is pretty easy aside from a stage or two. I even managed to get all the achievements and 100 per cent completion without much fuss as they simply require players to complete levels with all the candles lit, which isn't exactly hard to do. If you're looking for a challenge, look elsewhere.

However, if you're looking for an adorable game with tight platforming, a unique lighting mechanic, fantastic graphics and level design that constantly introduces new gameplay elements, then Candleman is for you. Just be wary of an ending that is possibly the darkest closure to one of the cutest games I've ever played. Pun intended.

Score:9.5

Final Thoughts:If you're looking for an adorable game with tight platforming, a unique lighting mechanic, fantastic graphics and level design then Candleman if for you.

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Pixels & Ink #235 - Justice for E3 http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/10/pixels-ink-235-justice-e3/ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/02/10/pixels-ink-235-justice-e3/#respond Sat, 11 Feb 2017 00:09:05 +0000 http://www.cgmagonline.com/?p=95201

By Cody Orme

On this Episode of the Pixels and Ink Podcast brought to you by Comics Gaming Magazine, Cody, Brendan and Phil talk E3 being open to the public, Nicolas Winding Refn's new project and more. Phil watched Justice League Dark and The Lego Batman Movie, while Brendan played Nioh, and Cody played Urban Empire.

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By Cody Orme

On this Episode of the Pixels and Ink Podcast brought to you by Comics Gaming Magazine, Cody, Brendan and Phil talk E3 being open to the public, Nicolas Winding Refn's new project and more. Phil watched Justice League Dark and The Lego Batman Movie, while Brendan played Nioh, and Cody played Urban Empire.

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