SEGA is all in on Yakuza – Yakuza Kiwami 2 to release August 18, 2018

by: Eric - - 0 Comments


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The paint isn’t even dry on Yakuza 6 (which doesn’t release until April 17, despite the recent wave of excited reviews), and SEGA is already announcing another Yakuza release for 2018. Yakuza Kiwami 2, a remake/remaster of Yakuza 2, will release on August 18, 2018.

The remake uses the Dragon Engine, the same engine used to bring Yakuza 6 to life. Believe me, this engine is capable of some incredible things, rendering both facial close-ups and scenic vistas in stunning beauty and detail. This also means that this remake will have the same smooth transitions in and out of battle (and buildings!) that Yakuza 6 utilizes, eliminating a lot of time consuming load screens.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 will also have a bundle of new minigames, including Golf and Bingo and the usual gamut of Arcade cabinets (now with weird mech-fighter Virtua-On!).

Special attention has been paid to keeping the translation as close as possible to the intent of the original Japanese, so you can once again look forward to beloved hero Kiryu muttering “Soka” every other sentence, and seeing it translated 5000 different ways.

Yakuza’s popularity is on a major upswing in the US, so SEGA is probably wise to continue cranking these things out. As long at the quality is there (which it is), what’s the harm in releasing several Yakuza titles a year?

Yakuza Kiwami 2 will be a PS4 exclusive, and will be available for $49.99. Pre-orders and first run copies will be shipped in a pretty dope looking SteelBook, so that’s a bonus.

Wait, what? Ark Park VR is coming out already?

by: Eric - - 0 Comments

That was quick! I was just perusing the upcoming release list for PlayStation VR, and I saw that Snail GamesArk Park VR is releasing this Thursday, March 27th. 

I am absolutely intrigued by this game/museum/experience, particularly the multiplayer aspects. I had first assumed that the multiplayer was limited to the wave shooter portion of the game, but it seems that players can explore the zoo-like dino theme park with friends as well. I would love to grab three copies of this title and explore the park with my two teenage sons. This is a very cool idea, and I'm excited to see how it plays out.

Here are some good tidbits from Ark Park's Steam page:

  • Explore the Expansive Scenery of ARK Park: Visit over 10 unique scenes alone or with a group of friends.
  • Collect Dinosaur DNA, Gather Materials, and Craft Items: Collect DNA and materials from the dinosaurs you encounter on your excursions, trade them for Engrams at your base camp, then use those Engrams to craft helpful items.
  • Raise Your Very Own Dinosaurs: During your excursions throughout the park, you may be lucky enough to collect a rare dino egg. Take good care of it until it hatches, and you’ll be able to raise your own dinosaurs from hatchlings to adulthood. Some dinos may even grow to be large enough to ride!
  • Defend Vital Technology: Dinosaurs aren’t the most docile creatures - band together with other ARK Park visitors to defend important research outposts and valuable technology from rampaging dinos!

Ark Park VR will release this Thursday, March 27th on the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality.

The Golf Club is back in the swing of things with new title

by: Kevin - - 0 Comments

Last year I reviewed a golf game called The Golf Club 2 and was left both unimpressed and unrewarded. It was a game with glitches, below average graphics and a horrible swing system. Later this year, however, The Golf Club will be releasing their next game called The Golf Club 2019, and this may be the one to finally hit the green. Said to be "the deepest and most comprehensive golf game", this could be the successor that "2" was not.

Have they made the swing style more game-friendly? Is there a green system that actually works? Hopefully they answer "yes" to these issues and more as this could be the entertaining golf game players have been looking for.

Look for more information soon!

So, what are you playing?

by: Randy - - 0 Comments

Here's the 90-second sizzle reel of violence in video games that President Trump says plays a role in mass shootings. This psychologist's research shows that 80 percent of mass shooters showed no interest in violent video games. While this opinion asks: If movies, music, and books can affect us, why do we pretend that video games can't?

So, what are you playing?

Sean Colleli
I might actually wrap up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild this weekend. I finally made it through all the DLC trials and unlocked the ancient motocross bike. So now I'm just not sure if I should spend the time farming monster parts to upgrade the rest of my gear, or just head to Hyrule castle and put Ganon down for good.

I'll also continue my playthrough of Castle of Heart, an exclusive little Switch action platformer that I'm reviewing.

Dave Gamble
I'm splitting my time between a couple of games in for review. First is Escape Room VR: Stories, which is surprisingly (well, not) a VR-based room escape game. It's actually a quite enjoyable room escape game except for one irritation, and that would be the "stories" part. The three rooms are very distinct from each other, so the designer thought there must be a need for some kind of story to tie them together into an unnecessarily cohesive bundle. It's almost as if these guys all bought the same Udemy game design class and it insists, insists that there absolutely must be a storyline for every game. It wouldn't have been nearly as irksome if they had refrained from breaking the VR fourth wall with stark, immersion-ruining interruptions.

When I'm not deep in VR struggling to figure out what purpose there is for a pink car to be up on a service lift, I'm in VR trying to get a handle on Apex Construct VR. It's early days with that one; I made it through a simple tutorial, the only thing about which I remember is that it involved a bow and some arrows. That's all I really know at this point, but...bow and arrows in VR. Really, what more do I need to know? I'm in!

It can't be, and should not be, all work no play, so as long as I have my room configured for half-room scale (the best I can do) I take a break now and then to do some sailing in VR Regatta – The Sailing Game. Other than having to sit on the floor and getting hopelessly tangled up in the Rift umbilical cord every time I have to go over to the other side of the boat, it's a very relaxing experience: there are no interruptions.

Eric Hauter
I have been spending quite a lot of time as Kazuma Kiryu, wandering around Yakuza 6 and goofing off. The other night, I found myself sitting alone in a private karaoke room, yowling along to a very sappy love song and slapping my leg in a vaguely rhythmic manner. I did this for about 15 minutes before getting bored and wandering back out to the streets in search of some punks to pummel with bicycles and traffic cones. My current favorite move in battle is to pick a punk up over my head and then slam them crotch-first into a lamppost. The other day I was fighting four punks, and I grabbed them one at a time and dragged them over to a nearby truck, slamming their heads one by one into the side of the vehicle with a splat. Very satisfying.

On the handheld side, I have been fiddling around with The Alliance Alive on 3DS for an hour or so before bed every night. You can't slam dudes into the sides of buildings, but you can engage in some classic JRPG goodness, which is satisfying in a different way. I'm currently building up my core team with their alternate weapons, while still trying to move the story line forward on occasion.

Both games are playing into my favorite gaming activity: meandering. Boy oh boy, I'm a meanderer.

Charles Husemann
Call of Duty: WWII is still my jam and I finally hit my first prestige last week. It's still a fun and mindless game but I'm really just waiting for something else to grab me but so far nothing has. I was hoping that Fortnite Battle Royale might do it but so far I've spent most of my time parachuting out of the bus and being shot moments later. I do like how the tension ramps up the longer you survive but I still struggle with the construction mechanics, which puts me at an immediate disadvantage to everyone else.

Randy Kalista
Focus, Randy, focus. It's Assassin's Creed Origins for me, road to The Lost Ones and Curse of the Pharaohs DLC. I'm in my mid-30s, level-wise, so I'm inching closer to the level 40 cap and narrative end game. Still a lot of map to uncover, though. So much Sahara, so much Nile. Many sandy, very inundation, wow. I've never seen so many interactions between a main character and children, though. I mean, yes, you lose your son in the very beginning. But I didn't expect Origins' missions to meaningfully cross paths with the lives of so many kids. The origin of the Brotherhood of Assassins is the story of mothers and fathers, not just of masked villains and Illuminati conspiracies.

Be cool, Kingdom Come: Deliverance. I'll be back. Just got a little more business to handle down in the land of the pharaohs.

Rob Larkin
Planning on spending this weekend on tying up loose gaming ends, specifically finishing the campaign in Horizon Zero Dawn, finishing a long outstanding review in ARK: Survival Evolved, and polishing off the platinum trophy in Fallout 4. I will not be doing anything VR until I can find a better way to secure my base stations as I had one fall down twice this week.

Nicholas Leon
This weekend will see me hopefully beating the initial stages of Bloodborne. I finally downloaded it from PlayStation Plus and have been enjoying getting my butt handed to me by the weakest of enemies. This is my first Souls game, and I'm finally experiencing the joyous frustration everyone talks about with these games. Hopefully I'll get better at it. Hopefully.

Kevin O’Connell
With the rapid exodus from the vanilla game known as Q.U.B.E. 2, I turn my attention toward other conquests. I am still reeling from a game that actually caused more nausea than excitement, but I'll make it...I think.

I promised myself that I would revisit Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and this week should do nicely. I can honestly say I am impressed with the graphics—especially the cutscenes, but are left lukewarm with the storyline and space fighting. I have never played an above-average game this slowly and I can honestly say I have no idea why. Time to look further into it.

Basketball...I need to find a basketball game. I have not balled for quite some time and rather enjoyed doing so for many years. Hopefully by next week, I will have some news on this front. I am surveying the field to choose. Comment your favorite for a vote.

Banner Saga 3's Bolverk isn't here to make friends

by: Randy - - 0 Comments

Summer is coming, and with it comes Banner Saga 3. This will conclude the Nordic tactical strategy game trilogy. The series never took off in the way I thought it would, despite its 1959 Disney classic Sleeping Beauty looks, despite its Oregon Trail mass exodus overworld, and despite its smart and tough battlefield tactics. I don't know what to tell you. It should've hit 1 million sold in the first year, as far as I'm concerned, but that never happened. 

In this video, you meet (or reacquaint yourself with) Bolverk, leader of the Ravens, a roughneck splinter group of the good guy side of things. It made me very, very nervous having Bolverk on my team in Banner Saga 2. That is, until I got to take his band in a different direction on the map, allowing me to explore a more grimdark approach to dealing with the game's Dredge and overarching Viking apocalypse.

Regardless, developer Stoic won't leave the story unfinished, since it's an honest-to-goodness trilogy. It's been a long time coming. I think it was even one of the first games to make me take a sidelong look at being a father to a (then) baby girl. This was before every God of War and Assassin's Creed decided that being a dad was the next logical step in the series.

Banner Saga 3 unfurls on PC in Summer 2018.

Get ready for some cute fish farming – Re:Legend coming to Steam and Consoles

by: Eric - - 0 Comments

Well, this certainly looks cute. 505 Games announced that they will be bringing Magnus Games Studio’s RPG/Simulator game Re:Legend to Steam, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One.

Re:Legend is the result of the most successful Kickstarter campaign to ever come out of Southeast Asia,  making more than 10 times its original goal. The game has an appealing visual style that I like to think of as “free-to-play-Korean”. Players begin the game stranded on an island, and have to survive by farming, fishing, making friends and raising monsters. The whole thing looks very much like Stardew Valley: Super Adorable Edition. Not sure why, but that whole fish farm dynamic really caught my attention.

Here are a few of the game’s features, direct from the press release:

  • Monster-Raising – Raise mythical creatures known as “Magnus”, monsters who live in the land of Ethia, the world where Vokka Island is located. Every Magnus is tamable, aiding players in many ways such as combat, farming, fishing, travelling and much more! They will also grow differently depending on your care.
  • Farming and Cultivating -  Players can cultivate the farms of Vokka island to acquire food and materials for the village or themselves. Growing crops is not limited to the land, as the Vokka Island allows players to grow crops and keep exotic fish underwater!
  • Combat – The World of Ethia is filled with dangerous wildlife and combat skills are essential to survive. Players can wield weapons of their desire at any given moment, without being restricted by weapon classes. Players can also mount their tamed Magnus and fight through their adventure!
  • Vokka Village - Vokka Village is where new life begins! Befriend local villagers and join exciting festivals to have a good time. Pay attention to their needs and help them out in their daily lives so they can help retrieve lost memories.
  • Life Skills - Practice makes perfect! Players will gain life skills as they practice them frequently. They level-up organically as activities are carried out.
  • Multiplayer – Play with up to four friends and carry out your adventures together!

No release date has been included, but poking around the internet a little revealed that most folks seem to think that we can look for this game in late 2018.

Lode Runner Legacy is coming to the Nintendo Switch

by: Russell - - 0 Comments

Lode Runner has been around for a long time, since the early 80s in fact. It's an interesting type of puzzle game where you have to grab gold and avoid enemies, but you're not entirely defenseless. You can also blast holes in the floors to trap enemies and allow you to pass by them safely to get you out of tight spots. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, you'll be happy to know that Tozai Games is bringing the series to the Switch this spring with Lode Runner Legacy.

Lode Runner Legacy will retain the classic elements that made the original games enjoyable, but will also feature a brand new two-player mode where two friends can play together offline using two Joy-Cons. The mode will consist of puzzles where the two players must work together to reach gold that is impossible for a single person to get on their own. The new Craft Mode will allow players to create their own original levels, items, and characters that they can share online with players all over the world.

In all there will be three hundred levels for players to clear that includes one hundred fifty original Lode Runner levels in Classic Mode as well as several hidden levels for players to uncover, and that's not counting the levels you can play created by other players.

[Read More]

The Crew 2 coming in June - better late than never

by: Kevin - - 0 Comments

Looks like the anticipated sequel is going to be a few more months, but we finally have a bullseye on the date - June 26th. They have also unveiled The Crew 2 Motor Edition which will include the following - three days before release:

  • The Crew 2 Gold Edition and season pass lets players enjoy new vehicles, outfits, additional content and much more.
  • The Motorsports Deluxe Pack, which includes unique outfits and vehicles, including the FORD F-150 RAPTOR RACE TRUCK 2017, PILATUS PC-21 AIR RACE EDITION 2002 Plane and the ABARTH 500 MONSTER TRUCK EDITION 2008.
  • A customized, 11.81” x 5.9” American The Crew 2 license plate that comes in a high-quality collector box, an exclusive Steelbook®, the official Roadmap of the game and four original stickers.

If you pre-order you will also receive The Crew 2 Legendary Motors Pack, which includes exclusive vehicles such as the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Touring Car 2016 and the HARLEY-DAVIDSON IRON 883 2017

Last, but not least, you can actually start collecting vehicles NOW using the original Crew game. By completing monthly challenges, you can unlock up to 19 vehicles in The Crew 2 including exclusive water vehicles.

Here's nearly three minutes of giant robots blowing stuff up in MechWarrior 5

by: Chuck - - 0 Comments

Piranha games has released some new gameplay footage from MechWarrior 5 that shows Mechs blowing up stuff. You have Mechs blowing up buildings, Mechs blowing up trees, Mechs blowing up helicopters, Mechs blowing up tanks, and most importantly of all - Mechs blowing up other Mechs. 

The footage does look good and it's good to see that the graphics are a few generations ahead of MechWarrior Online.  The pew-pew action looks good and I'm starting to hope that this is going to be the MechWarrior game that fans have been looking forward to since MechWarrior 4 was released nearly two decades ago.

First-person piracy has never been more lovely than in Sea of Thieves

by: Randy - - 0 Comments

Sea of Thieves is out next week and, I gotta admit, this game was quite the gamble for publisher Microsoft Studios. I mean, sure, the game is developed by Rare, the folks that made GoldenEye 007, and yeah, Viva Pinata was pretty cute, too. But was this the right company to make a Pixar-lite multiplayer open-world pirate simulator? What fun could there be had in angling cannon shots off the port bow, tacking against the wind, following dotted lines to red X's on treasure maps, and being boarded by bigger and badder crews of other player pirates?

If you said, "That does sound like a lot of fun," then I like the cut of your jib, shipmate.

But what all happens in Sea of Thieves? I mean, besides the insane white-capped water graphics, the black-sails-on-the-horizon spikes of fear, and the plug-up-the-cannonball-sized-hole-in-the-hull panic? The video above fills in a lot of blanks. 

You're pulling out your concertina for an improv sea shanty on deck. You're scanning for hostiles and sea shoals through your spyglass from the crow's nest. You're crossing your cutlass with captains and cowards. You're solo in your sloop, or juggling the helm with a three- or four-person crew (with Xbox One and Windows 10 crossplay) big enough to push a galleon. There's the "Infinite Pirate Generator" for customizing your character, adventurous locations to discover with riddled maps, and loot to hoard or cash out. Finding treasure is only half the battle. Keeping it? Aye, there's the rub. It's a shared online open world after all. PvPvE is the new hotness. So if you aren't up for some player-vs-player-vs-environment, then there's nothing for you here in this beautiful, unpredictable game world. 

Sea of Thieves is out on PC and Xbox One on March 20.