Friday, 8 December 2017

Bethesda donates $100K to ESA Foundation to foster diversity

Bethesda has made a hefty $100,000 donation to the ESA Foundation's scholarship program to help get more women and minority students into games. ...

from Gamasutra News

Smash Bros. Fans Should Take Note - Brawlout Arrives on Switch on 19th December

News: Smash Bros. Fans Should Take Note - Brawlout Arrives on Switch on 19th December

Hard to resist

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

Romancing SaGa 2 Coming to PS4, PS Vita on December 15

The beloved JRPG classic Romancing SaGa 2 launches on PS4 and PS Vita next week. First appearing in 1993, the original game followed players in their battle against the Seven Heroes, watching as the history of a nation was forged through a line of succession. The remake features enhanced visuals and audio, new character classes, an additional dungeon, and a New Game + mode (always a personal favorite).

To celebrate the upcoming return of Romancing SaGa 2, we reached out to the original director Akitoshi Kawazu — the creator of the SaGa series and veteran designer of the first Final Fantasy. Kawazu-san shared his memories of the development process nearly three decades prior, and what he hopes to see in the future.

Romancing SaGa 2: Dantarg

PlayStation.Blog: Thank you so much for corresponding with us! It’s a pleasure to have you on PlayStation.Blog. How did you feel, nearly 30 years ago, working on the original SaGa game (Final Fantasy Legend)? How have your feelings towards RPGs changed since then?

Akitoshi Kawazu: After the development of Final Fantasy II had ended, I was starting preparations for Final Fantasy III, as though it were expected. Then, all of the sudden, there was an assignment from the company to create a game on an upcoming new handheld game device. I was excited to work on a new title, not quite like Final Fantasy, and I also felt that I could produce a new RPG which leverages the features of the Game Boy platform.

I think that if someone does not change for 30 years, that means they are probably a person that did not make any progress; but I think that RPG’s are an enjoyable game genre in which players can still find new experiences and challenges.

PSB: How has the SaGa series impacted the RPG genre? Do you see its legacy in games that launch on modern consoles today?

AK: Looking at it objectively, I don’t believe there was any sort of major impact. My design policy is to have “individuality.” I don’t think a title would become a major hit by imitating the SaGa series. But, from seeing many creators make flattering comments that they enjoy the SaGa series, I’m hopeful that I’ve left some kind of impression in people’s hearts.

Romancing SaGa 2

PSB: What is your fondest memory during the development of the original Romancing SaGa 2?

AK: I really liked the light bulb icon popping up when the characters discovered a new move, but one morning I saw that it was changed to an “!”. Just like the punctuation, I was surprised, and I went to talk with the person in charge of the graphics. They told me: “I thought it was too much, so I changed it.” Of course, I had them switch it back to the light bulb. I am really glad that I had them change it back.

PSB: What lessons did you learn while working on the original Final Fantasy that you applied to your work in the SaGa series?

AK: I would say that when I have something implemented, it has to be more exaggerated than what I’m imagining, or else it won’t be fully relayed when the consumer actually plays the game. For example, when you strike an enemy’s weakness, in Final Fantasy there was a 30% damage bonus, in Final Fantasy II it was 100%, and in SaGa, it was 200% (or instant death).

Romancing SaGa 2: Rocbouquet

PSB: How important is open-world, non-linear design to your work? How do game designers find the right balance between a linear story, and player choice?

AK: If I had wanted to have someone simply follow a story I made, it would be better to create a movie or novel. When creating a game, I believe it should be made so that the player can play freely, and there should be something interesting prepared for them beyond that. Players range from those who’d prefer being left completely free, to those who need specific direction on what to do. You can’t meet everyone’s demands. For me, I balance the game so that I’m meeting the expectations of those who want as much freedom as possible. As such, I prepare multiple protagonists, and change the level of freedom with each of those characters.

PSB: What is the most important evolution of the RPG that you have seen during your career?

AK: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar — this is a game that released prior to my career in video games, but I believe it was a game that changed the meaning of how a story is depicted within a game. I believe Ultima IV was a title that made it clear that instead of the narrative prepared by the creator, the game’s story was one that was created from the player’s experience.

PSB: Where do you see the SaGa series, and the larger Final Fantasy tradition, going in the future?

AK: In a time where entertainment is consumed at a massive volume, I think it’s harder for a good piece of work to leave its name. By SaGa and Final Fantasy becoming [franchises], I think we were able to establish a system in which the great titles within these series can be played again. Of course, it’s great to play both new games, and also great games from the past. I hope that [these series] can grow into an environment where both creators and consumers are happy.

Romancing SaGa 2: Lasrbattle

PSB: What would you like to say to new players of the Romancing SaGa 2 Remaster that will be playing a SaGa game for the first time?

AK: It is a game from about 25 years prior, but I still have yet to see a game similar to this one. It would be great if this game, which has a different flavor, can stimulate your gaming life.

PSB: Thank you for your time!

from PlayStation.Blog

A Way Out gets release date, as creator Josef Fares rants about Oscars, lootboxes and his publisher EA

Last night at The Game Awards, co-op criminal caper A Way Out got a new trailer which also revealed the game's release date (23rd March 2018). But that is not what A Way Out's segment will be remembered for.

A Way Out's chief creator Josef Fares was on hand to chat with host Geoff Keighley and introduce his game - but instead launched into an extended, expletive-ridden rant about other matters.

In Fares' firing line last night: the Oscars, lootboxes and the recent backlash against Star Wars Battlefront 2 publisher EA (which Fares is working with to publish A Way Out).

Read more…


Blog: Examining the different kinds of difficulty in games

With Cuphead reigniting discussions about difficult games it is worth spending some time examining some of the ways in which a game can be difficult. ...

from Gamasutra News

Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes top honor at The Game Awards

Nintendo had a good time at The Game Awards last night, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild taking home the coveted Game of the Year award.  ...

from Gamasutra News

Shadowhand review

Grey Alien Games is the definition of an outsider game developer. A husband-and-wife team based in rural Dorset, Jake Birkett and Helen Carmichael work alone with support from tiny publishers and overseas contractors. Jake isn't a refugee from AAA development, but a veteran of the unfashionable PC casual gaming scene of the last decade, when he churned out cheerful puzzle games for sites like Big Fish. They are also are history nuts. Helen, who writes the scenarios, is a historian, while Jake collects coins. When making a game set in historical times, Jake likes to keep a coin from the period on his desk to turn over in his hand while he works. If you had to place them as characters in a contemporary sitcom, it would be The Detectorists, not Silicon Valley.

We should treasure developers like this, who work out of the loop and follow their own passions, because their games are like nothing else. Grey Alien had a minor hit a couple of years ago with Regency Solitaire, a relaxing, immaculate puzzle game that danced elegantly around a light-hearted pastiche of the novels of Jane Austen. I loved it. When they ported it from Big Fish to Steam, it found an unexpected audience there, and Grey Alien were persuaded to make something along the same lines but aimed more squarely at Steam's core gaming crowd.

The result is Shadowhand, which aims to blend the noble pastime of solitaire with the structure and systems of a role-playing game - rather like Puzzle Quest did for match-three puzzle games. It's definitely a more sophisticated game than Regency Solitaire, adding loot, equipment, character attributes and consumable items to the earlier game's arcade-style combos and recharging skills. It also introduces the wonderfully paradoxical concept of turn-based combat solitaire, which is where its RPG systems find purchase and it offers some tactical depth.

Read more…


Xbox Wireless Controller – Sea of Thieves Limited Edition Is Now Available For Pre-Order

Joe Neate, Executive Producer at Rare, revealed the Sea of Thieves Limited Edition Xbox Wireless Controller today plus shared some info about Sea of Thieves, now available for pre-order and releasing March 20, 2018.

Pirates are nothing without the right tools, so we’re also happy to announce the Xbox Wireless Controller – Sea of Thieves Limited Edition so you can fight, sail and loot in style. The controller features a deep purple translucent design, adorned with laser etched barnacles, one treasured golden trigger and haunted by a mysterious glow-in-the-dark skull. The Xbox Wireless Controller – Sea of Thieves Limited Edition is now available for pre-order for $74.99 USD and ships globally in all Xbox One markets on Feb. 6, 2018.  The controller comes with the exclusive Ferryman Clothing Set for your Sea of Thieves character, a 14 day Live Gold trail, and a 14 day Game Pass trial at no additional cost.

For more information about Sea of Thieves and the Xbox Wireless Controller – Sea of Thieves Limited Edition, check out Xbox Wire.

For aspiring pirates new to the adventure, Sea of Thieves is a new type of multiplayer game where players take to the high seas on epic voyages to unravel puzzling riddles, engage in ship-to-ship battles and discover the treasure of a lifetime. Grab your crew and journey into a unique shared world where each pirate is a real player with their own intentions and goals.

Pre-Order Sea of Thieves

Pre-Order Xbox Wireless Controller – Sea of Thieves Limited Edition

While March 20, 2018 can’t come soon enough, we wouldn’t have gotten here without the loyal support of our awesome community. From the fantastic feedback received during the Technical Alpha to support during shows and conventions, Sea of Thieves is a testament to the incredible fans who have invested in this world with us. We look forward to your continued support as we sail toward release and beyond.

For the latest on Sea of Thieves and news on closed beta dates, stay tuned to in the lead up to March 20, 2018. We can’t wait to share more soon!

from Xbox Live's Major Nelson

Bayonetta 1 And 2 Are Getting A Special Edition Bundle With All The Trimmings

News: Bayonetta 1 And 2 Are Getting A Special Edition Bundle With All The Trimmings

A 'Non-Stop Climax Edition' of fun

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

Hearthstone's live-action Kobolds and Catacombs trailer is a love-letter to '80s fantasy films

Hearthstone has celebrated the launch of today's big Kobolds and Catacombs expansion with a live-action trailer.

The video pretends to be a trailer for The Light Candle, the direct-to-VHS directorial debut of chief kobold King Togwaggle.

However true that is, Blizzard has created a loving tribute to 1980s fantasy films - most notably the puppetmasters of the Jim Henson Company, and their films Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.

Read more…


Soul Calibur VI Arrives on PS4 in 2018

Welcome back to The Stage of History! We’re extremely excited to announce that Soul Calibur VI arrives on PlayStation 4 in 2018 and marks the triumphant return of the premier 3D weapons-based fighting game series.

The epic battle rages on as the greatest warriors continue their search for the legendary Soul Swords. Set in the 16th Century, the latest chapter will revisit events from the original Soul Calibur to uncover hidden secrets. Each player will soon come to realize that, “History hides away more than one truth…”

Soul Calibur VI

Powered by Unreal Engine 4, Soul Calibur VI will feature jaw-dropping graphics and visual effects. Classic characters like Mitsurugi and Sophitia are rendered at a level never before seen in the series. The highly detailed weapon effects and stages makes each 1 vs 1 battle feel dynamic and immersive.

Soul Calibur VI

The fast and kinetic gameplay of Soul Calibur returns alongside new strategic battle mechanics like, Reversal Edge. This technique gives the player an opportunity to read an opponents’ attack and land a powerful counter. Fans of the series will also enjoy the return of fluid 8-Way Run movement and the unforgettable Ring Outs.

Soul Calibur VI

Players can expect a diverse roster of warriors including fan-favorites and some fierce newcomers. Each character will have their own signature weapon, fighting style, and identity. Stay tuned as we’ll have more updates on characters soon!

from PlayStation.Blog

Soul Calibur VI arrives on PS4 in 2018

More than 20 years ago, the fate of players around the world was sealed as they searched for the Legendary Swords. Now, SoulCalibur is back with the 6th installment of the series, returning to its roots with an updated gameplay and presentation!

Watch our launch trailer above and discover the first two characters of the roster.


As you’ve just seen, legendary warriors Heishiro Mitsurugi from Japan and Sophitia Alexandra from Greece, who first appeared in Soul Edge back in 1995, are back for SoulCalibur VI. Mitsurugi’s katana and Sophitia’s short sword and small shield clash in an epic duel in our announcement trailer. They’ll join the cast of characters which we’ll reveal through the upcoming months, compromised on of both new and returning fighters.

SoulCalibur VI retains its 3D weapon-based fighting roots. The 8-Way Run movement system returns, allowing for smooth 3D movement, while adding in new gameplay systems including the new Reversal Edge. Reversal Edge allows characters to clash against each other and follow-up with a powerful counterattack based on their opponent’s actions. We’ll have much more to say about gameplay mechanics soon in the future!


You have been many to ask for the return of SoulCalibur VI, and as you’ll get to see, the wait was worth it ;) SoulCalibur has never looked so beautiful or played so well. We’re returning back to the series’ roots and bringing it to the 21st century.


SoulCalibur VI will release for PlayStation 4 in 2018. Say it with me one more time: WELCOME TO THE STAGE OF HISTORY!

The post Soul Calibur VI arrives on PS4 in 2018 appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe.

from PlayStation.Blog.Europe

This Playtonic Art Could Be The Closest We'll Get To Seeing Banjo-Kazooie And Switch Together

News: This Playtonic Art Could Be The Closest We'll Get To Seeing Banjo-Kazooie And Switch Together

Former Rare artists celebrate their Nintendo past

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

My new gaming heroes are a pharmacist, a classical pianist, and a guy who really loves Jumanji

Hackney Wick is the best station for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and so I emerged from the carriage last Sunday amongst what seemed like a disproportionate number of people wearing running shoes and tracksuits and fiddling with Fitbits. Once I had left the station, though, and made the first few turns towards the Copper Box, a sporting arena that has hosted everything from Wheelchair Rugby to the Netball Superleague, I was walking amongst a different crowd.

Rucksacks jangled with electronics and crackled with packets of biscuits. Hands were thrust deep into the pockets of parkas. No talk of PBs; people were chatting about favourite cards, joking about busting apart potential queues with a well-placed Tornado, or Hog-riding over the turnstiles. There were a few groups, a few couples, but nobody really knew each other. We all got the jokes, though. We had all spent the last few years ensuring that we would get the jokes.

Clash Royale is a tower defence game in which two players battle to knock through each other's castles by playing cards that spawn troops, spells and buildings on the grass of a tidy little arena. At the World Finals, which were held at the Copper Box last Sunday, 16 of the planet's best competed for a prize pool of $400,000, with $150,000 going to the winner.

Read more…


Chat with the lead developer of Reigns: Her Majesty at 1 PM EST

We're talking to the narrative-minded man behind Reigns: Her Majesty today at 1PM EST. ...

from Gamasutra News

Kellogg's Teases A Potential UK Release For Its Must-Have Super Mario Cereal

News: Kellogg's Teases A Potential UK Release For Its Must-Have Super Mario Cereal

They'rrrrrrrrrrre... not out yet

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

The Legendary N-Zap '89 Is Coming To Splatoon 2 Tomorrow

News: The Legendary N-Zap '89 Is Coming To Splatoon 2 Tomorrow

Zapper chapper

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

PlayStation Store 12 Deals of Christmas – Deal #5 is live

The holidays are almost here and on PlayStation Store we’re celebrating with the return of our annual 12 Deals of Christmas promotion!

UPDATE: The fifth in our 12 Deals of Christmas is now live:

Deal #5: Assassin’s Creed Origins (For Honor in the Middle East)

Deal #4: Need For Speed Payback

Deal #3: GTAV (WWE 2K18 in the Middle East)

Deal #2: NBA 2K18

Deal #1: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Click on the link to see the pricing in your region. Make haste – this discount expires on 10th December, when it will be replaced by a new deal.

We’ll be updating this post at midday every 48 hours with details of what’s up next.


The post PlayStation Store 12 Deals of Christmas – Deal #5 is live appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe.

from PlayStation.Blog.Europe

Metro Exodus out autumn 2018

Metro Exodus comes out autumn 2018, Deep Silver has announced.

4A Games' survival shooter sequel is set for release on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

A new trailer was revealed during The Game Awards overnight. It depicts Metro Exodus' 2036 post-apocalyptic Moscow setting. Here's the official blurb:

Read more…