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Vanquish re-releases on Playstation Store

by: Rob -

This news flew under the radar for me, and even though I believe we do have a review coming, this game sits so fondly in my heart I had to tease the news that it's out: Vanquish has be re-released for PS4! There are two versions available for purchase, the game by itself for $24.99, and a 10th anniversary bundle with Bayonetta for $40.

Why do I love Vanquish? Well, because quite simply it was probably the most difficult Platinum trophy I ever received. Universally known as one of the toughest Platinums out there and gracing the top of most for difficulty you will find, beating the game on the hardest difficulty, specifically the final boss, is one of the most frantic fights I have ever had the pleasure of undertaking and the sheer exhilaration of conquering the challenge is one of those gaming memories that is truly ingrained in my psyche. 

Keep an eye out for the review of the 10th anniversary bundle, and for a blast form the past check out our original review by none other than Tina Amini (current Editor-in-Chief of Games over at IGN). More info about the Vanquish/Bayonetta 10th Anniversary Bundle can be found on the Playstation Blog.


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What I'm playing: Potato Route Zero Edition

by: Randy -

I'm lost somewhere on the dark highways and byways of Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition. I've got my hound dog, Blue, with me. I always have the option of asking how she's doing, but I usually just talk about what I'm doing. She totters after me, always catching up eventually, so I figure that old dog is doing about as well as can be expected.

My guy in Kentucky Route Zero is a delivery driver. I am too, in real life. Wish I could have a dog with me, but it's a government vehicle and no one's allowed to ride with me except other government employees. I handle logistics with my city fire department, by the way, so don't picture me in some murdered-out CIA van when I say "government vehicle." It's a Freightliner Sprinter. One of those tall, skinny vans you see wobbling a little bit on a windy day or around a tight corner.

A low-grade sickness is settling in around my eyes and forehead as I head into my daughter's birthday weekend. She's turning 10. She's asked for a potato-themed party. There will be tater tots, french fries, potato chips, and baked potatoes to eat. Her train of thought can be difficult to follow at times. But, at first, she wanted a Lord of the Rings birthday party. Then she scaled that theme back to Generic Adventure. Then she thought of that line Sam Gamgee says to Gollum: "Po-tay-toes! Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew!" All of which brought her back to a Lord of the Rings theme—what she wanted in the first place—though most folks don't think of potatoes when they think of J.R.R. Tolkien's magnum opus. There will also be Nerf bows and arrows to shoot at a cartoon potato target at the party. It's a whole thing.

Which is to say, my low-grade fever, plus my kiddo's potato party, plus the surreal nature of Kentucky Route Zero, is quietly making me question my sanity. Did I just see the silhouette of a unicorn in the blinking light of that mine shaft? Did I just agree to find an open-air venue for a man with antlers slung over his shoulder by me saying, "Yep. Pseudoscience"? And I watched two people, who were completely barefoot and emotionally ruined, push a Cessna up a stretch of the road? 

I don't know what to say. Except I'm reminded of this one time I went golfing, drunk, with a couple coworkers of mine. We were on the second hole. After my coworkers stopped wrestling over a cigarette butt they found in the trash, I pushed the hair out of my face and said, "I don't know where the wind is coming from, but it's going that way." I feel similarly about Kentucky Route Zero. I don't know where this story is coming from, but [I point off in a leeward direction] it's definitely going that way.

 

FIFA 20 snags Copa Libertadores licenses, to release in mid-season update

by: Rob -

The licensing war between EA's FIFA series and Konami's Pro Evolution series continues to churn. After Konami lost the Champions League licensing to EA's flagship soccer title last year, they responded by locking up first Italian giants Juventus and then the Argentinian Superclassico combination of River Plate and Boca Juniors, forcing FIFA 20 to list those clubs generically as Piemonte Calcio, Nunez FC, and Buenos Aires FC, respectively; despite having the Serie A and SAF licenses for the leagues the clubs belong to. It's interesting to see the tables turn and PES, long dogged by having generic teams litter their lineup now force FIFA into the same situation. 

Well EA has struck back with the the licensing rights for CONMEBOL's top international tournament, the Copa Sudamericana. This seemingly is set to re-introduce River Plate and Boca, as well Flamengo, Racing Club, C.A. Independiente, Millonarios, and Universidad Católica into FUT, Career Mode, and as a standalone tournament. The content goes live March 3rd in a game update and will include special branding for the tournament as well as the semi's and final matches of the competition. 

EA has a FAQ set up about the new CONMEBOL Sudamericana content. Highlights include that the download will be about 5GB, you will get authentic Brazilian teams but not the players, and that you will need to start a new career mode to replace the generic Latam tournament with the fully branded Sudamericana.

Resolution Games announces multiplayer VR cooking title Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale

by: Eric -

Resolution Games, the VR/AR development house behind such games as Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs and Acorn: Attack of the Squirrels!, today announced a new multiplayer VR game, Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale.

Check out this description from the press release: “In Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale, players cook their way through a wacky and whimsical adventure that requires collaboration and communication to keep the customers happy and progress through increasingly hectic levels.”

If that doesn’t just scream “VR Overcooked”, I don’t know what does. And frankly, that’s fine. I absolutely love multiplayer VR experiences, and my family are great fans of cooperative pressure-cooker games, so “VR Overcooked” resonates with me as two great tastes that may taste great together.

“We’ve clearly seen that as VR’s popularity is increasing it is also becoming more and more of a medium for unique social experiences that can bring people together like never before,” said Tommy Palm, CEO of Resolution Games. “We feel that Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale will be a great illustration of how players can have a ton of fun when they work together in VR - especially given the frantic environment of a busy restaurant kitchen.”

No release date has been revealed yet, nor have any systems been announced. Browsing their website, though, my impression was that Resolution Games seems to put games “where they fit”, so if a platform is appropriate, Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale will probably show up on it.

Players can sign up for updates by visiting the games’ site by clicking here.

HTC announces a line of Cosmos headsets

by: John -

HTC today announced three new Cosmos headests and faceplates to their line of VR products. With the ability to swap out faceplates, the Cosmos line lets you increase the functionality of the headset without having to purchase a whole new product.

Let's start with the top of the line VIVE Cosmos Elite. The screens are two 1440x1700 both running at 90hz. The Elite has the faceplate that allows for outside-in tracking and will come with Lighthouses. While you can use both 1.0 and 2.0 Lighthouses with the faceplate, the Elite package will come with 1.0 Lighthouses. And of course, VIVE wand controllers will complete the package. $899 will be the price of the VIVE Cosmos Elite with the faceplate selling for $199 for those who own another Cosmos HMD.

If you want a stand alone product, there's the VIVE Cosmos XR. It sounds like this will be both a VR and AR style headset as it has two passthrough cameras on the front. Not much else is said about the XR, but I'm kind of excited to see how the AR works with this one.

Finally, the VIVE Cosmos Play is made for those who want to start out with VR and features four camera for inside-out tracking. That's two less cameras than the original VIVE Cosmos, but you can get the six camera faceplate for $199 in Q2. The LCD panels combine for a 2880x1700 resolution. Instead of the VIVE wands, you get the Cosmos controllers with the light ring. No price was announced.

For the tethered Cosmos headsets, you can add the HTC VIVE Wireless adapter and go sans cable. If you haven't tried wireless VR, it's pretty ground breaking as I have been using my original VIVE with it since it was released.

That's some good products announced today for the Cosmos line and you can pre-order the Elite starting February 24th with pre-order dates on the other products coming later.

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Stadia announces entire Steamworld franchise coming soon - including some titles free to Pro subscribers

by: Eric -

With the number of Stadia announcements this week, I may have to officially retire my usual opening line about how they "opened the door a bit to offer a peek". With the recent barrage of information, Stadia is starting to look more like a regular gaming platform (will wonders never cease?).

Today's announcement involves the Steamworld franchise (Steamworld Dig 1 & 2, Steamworld Heist, and Steamworld Quest), which is coming in its entirety to Stadia "very soon". Even better than that, the two most recent and desirable titles - Steamworld Dig 2 and Steamworld Quest - will be free for Stadia Pro subscribers at launch. Not bad, Stadia, not bad.

Though there is no official release date, the Stadia community blog post did offer a bunch of info on all four games. I won't copy it all over to our site, but go ahead and click here for all the details.

A few interesting observations: Stadia is making the two newest titles free to Pro subscribers - not the older titles as one might expect. There is also nothing to indicate that these "free" titles will be part of that month's free game offerings - it appears that these Steamworld games will be bonus freebies. That might be an incorrect assumption, but its delightful to think that Google might start rolling out free titles like this.  

Either way, it is refreshing to see these announcements coming with more frequency. Keep 'em coming, Google!

Digital Foundry examines The Witcher 3 patch 3.6 on Switch

by: Sean Colleli -

I thought that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on Nintendo Switch was an overall fantastic experience (GN score 9.5), stymied by the occasional technical hiccup. Now developer Saber Interactive have polished up the game with version 3.6. Digital Foundry have done their typical exhaustive dive into the patch and the results are pretty excellent.

Basically version 3.6 adds a whole lot of visual customization options for sharpening, anti-aliasing, foliage and draw distance so you can tailor your Witcher 3 experience exactly the way you want on Switch. Witcher 3 is an incredibly demanding game for the Switch's Tegra X1 architecture, so having the ability to tone down foliage and AA a bit for a few extra frames is welcome.

The biggest addition however is save syncing with a PC  version of the game. Initially Witcher 3 let you "simulate" a completed Witcher 2 save, but now you can cloud sync with a PC save file on Steam or GOG any time you want. This basically lets you play the game maxed out on your PC Gaming Master Rig at home, sync the save to Switch and pick up exactly where you left off on the go.

This is a game changer, and it makes me wish even more for a Witcher trilogy on Switch. Porting Witcher 2 wouldn't be that tough, but the original Witcher was purpose-built for PC and has never seen a console port. Third party partner Widescreen Games was working on a port for PS3 and Xbox 360 back in 2008, but CD Projekt was disappointed with their work and cancelled the port.

I'd love to see Saber Interactive take a crack at a Witcher trilogy on Switch--they are clearly a very talented studio--but for now It's just great that they're supporting their port of Witcher 3 so well. Check out the video below for the full details.

No Man's Sky update 2.3 adds living spaceships

by: Sean Colleli -

Hello Games have just announced No Man's Sky version 2.3, the 9th free update for the game, which adds the new living ship class. This is a brand new, procedurally generated class of sentient starships that utilize unique organic technologies. These ships are accompanied by the new Starbirth story mission that explores the origins of these new squishy alien spaceships. You can even visit the space anomaly multiplayer hub, pick up the new Void Egg quest, and grow one of your own living ships.

Version 2.3 also adds NPCs that roam the spaceways, offering trade and mission opportunities, or outer space highway robbery if you aren't careful. These NPCs are joined by new mysterious space objects, both alive and inorganic, scattered throughout solar systems. There are also a handful of quality-of-life improvements and optimizations for PS4 and PSVR.

I started out with No Man's Sky at launch in 2016, feeling royally ripped off, but the redemption story of this space sandbox and its steadfast developers at Hello Games is nothing short of legendary. They've  basically made good on every pre-release promise and now they're just adding off-the-wall features like living spaceships and the Bytebeat jukebox, cool stuff nobody asked for, but that make the game richer regardless. I'm looking forward to the new NPC encounters and space anomalies as I felt that solar system exploration was one area that needed fleshing out.

Check out the new trailer below, and the full patch notes here. I'll probably drop another dozen or so hours into the game over the next week or so.

Red Wings: Aces of the Sky gets gameplay trailer in advance of PAX

by: Rob -

Roughly following the legend of the Red Baron, Red Wings: Aces of the Sky is set to bring WWI dogfighting action to 2020 gameplay very soon. The game is planning on making a splash at PAX East and hand just released a trailer to give participants a taste of what's in store. And it seems this go around, you're going to be teamed up with Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron himself. Unlike Snoopy and various other pop culture references to the historical figure where he is made to be the villain, the ace pilot and his crack squadron of wingmen will be your compatriots as well. So less Peanuts and more Red Barron pizza? It's been. 100 years. I guess we can make ze Germans the protagonists of a WWI game. WWII, maybe not yet...

Red Wings: Aces of the Sky will appear first on Nintendo Switch before later making the jump to PC and then to other consoles. It boasts 10 unique aircraft and loads of tense dogfighting around a progression system to build up your pilot to become the greatest airman in the war. 

Stadia announces phone compatibility for…a lot of phones

by: Eric -

Another week, another Stadia promise coming to fruition. Stadia announced today on Twitter and a post on their community blog that the platform will be playable on February 20, 2020 on a big ol’ pile of Android phones.

Sorry, iPhone fans, still nothing for you. But the Android faithful will be able to play (over Wi-fi) on their phones by this weekend.

Here is the list of phones that will be able to stream Stadia this week (in addition to the Pixel 2, 3, and 4 – which have been compatible since day one):

  •  Samsung Galaxy S8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 Active
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
  • Samsung Galaxy S10E
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+
  • Samsung Galaxy S20
  • Samsung Galaxy S20+
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Razer Phone
  • Razer Phone 2
  • ASUS ROG Phone
  • ASUS ROG Phone II

Stadia is now my primary gaming platform, but to be honest, I don’t mess around with the phone functions very much. My old eyes can’t handle the tiny image. Hell, I even struggle with my Switch in handheld mode these days. But for those that have been waiting for it, this phone patch will be welcome news indeed.