Saturday, 31 March 2018

Beckett Is Surreal Noir That Shifts Based On How you Interact With Its Story & World

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Beckett is a detective game about a missing persons investigator on the lookout for someone who's suffering from a "reality-altering illness". This will lead the detective, Beckett, into a world where reality is falling apart and life is consumed by the surreal, forcing players to grasp at meaning and imagination to fill in the gaps in this unsettling, yet compelling, journey.

Players will work through the narration of the game's storyline, forcing players to reconstruct events from the fragments, visions, and interactions they find within Beckett's world. As they do so, a story may emerge in their own minds, making them take part in the quagmire of reality that the game offers, leaving a part of themselves in the narrative along the way. It is the player's take on the meaning of events, shaped by their own lives mingling with that of the game itself, that shape it, after all, the two shifting as they move in tandem.

Beckett is designed to respond to how you interact with it, drawing the player into its absurdist nightmare, pulling them ever forward through their curiosity. It's an intriguing game that pulls the participant in through their curiosity, but what secrets and meanings will you find that are specific to you? As you play Beckett, what will it play back through your presence within it?


Beckett is available for $9.99 on Steam. For more information on the game and developer The Secret Experiment, you can head to the game's site, the developer's site, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.



from IndieGames.com https://ift.tt/2Iippzn

Beckett Is Surreal Noir That Shifts Based On How you Interact With Its Story & World

ss_0b71468b9451ba3e76d838b30dbf647c843a02ac.1920x1080.jpg

Beckett is a detective game about a missing persons investigator on the lookout for someone who's suffering from a "reality-altering illness". This will lead the detective, Beckett, into a world where reality is falling apart and life is consumed by the surreal, forcing players to grasp at meaning and imagination to fill in the gaps in this unsettling, yet compelling, journey.

Players will work through the narration of the game's storyline, forcing players to reconstruct events from the fragments, visions, and interactions they find within Beckett's world. As they do so, a story may emerge in their own minds, making them take part in the quagmire of reality that the game offers, leaving a part of themselves in the narrative along the way. It is the player's take on the meaning of events, shaped by their own lives mingling with that of the game itself, that shape it, after all, the two shifting as they move in tandem.

Beckett is designed to respond to how you interact with it, drawing the player into its absurdist nightmare, pulling them ever forward through their curiosity. It's an intriguing game that pulls the participant in through their curiosity, but what secrets and meanings will you find that are specific to you? As you play Beckett, what will it play back through your presence within it?


Beckett is available for $9.99 on Steam. For more information on the game and developer The Secret Experiment, you can head to the game's site, the developer's site, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.



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Trust Your Instincts While Questing For Cake In Parsnip

parsnip_header.png At face value, Parsnip features animal friends and a bunny protagonist on a quest for cake, looking for ingredients to make their tasty treat. Something doesn't seem quite right about the seemingly-cheery world, though. If you're ready to take a dive on something suspiciously cute, try out Parsnip and see what that little bunny is cooking up... Don't let your guard down upon seeing the child-friendly, hand-drawn animation. Pushing such overtly positive tones, Parsnip knows how to get under players' skin while keeping them feeling like they may be overexaggerating their fear. Play as Parsnip and walk through the forest to collect ingredients from the neighbors, whether it be an alcoholic artist or a boarded up shut-in. Normal stuff for cute bunnies, right? As players meet an array of adorable characters with...discomforting aspects to them, players may be wondering if they are in for some light-hearted fun and humour. They'll just have to work through the adventure to see, though! If you want to feel uneasy while baking a cake, check out Parsnip and hopefully make it out in one piece. You can get Parsnip on Itch.io here! You can also check out the developer's itch.io page!

from IndieGames.com https://ift.tt/2GDizaP

Trust Your Instincts While Questing For Cake In Parsnip

parsnip_header.png At face value, Parsnip features animal friends and a bunny protagonist on a quest for cake, looking for ingredients to make their tasty treat. Something doesn't seem quite right about the seemingly-cheery world, though. If you're ready to take a dive on something suspiciously cute, try out Parsnip and see what that little bunny is cooking up... Don't let your guard down upon seeing the child-friendly, hand-drawn animation. Pushing such overtly positive tones, Parsnip knows how to get under players' skin while keeping them feeling like they may be overexaggerating their fear. Play as Parsnip and walk through the forest to collect ingredients from the neighbors, whether it be an alcoholic artist or a boarded up shut-in. Normal stuff for cute bunnies, right? As players meet an array of adorable characters with...discomforting aspects to them, players may be wondering if they are in for some light-hearted fun and humour. They'll just have to work through the adventure to see, though! If you want to feel uneasy while baking a cake, check out Parsnip and hopefully make it out in one piece. You can get Parsnip on Itch.io here! You can also check out the developer's itch.io page!

from IndieGames.com https://ift.tt/2GDizaP

March in Review

The Site

Probably the most annoying thing for me has been the unreliability of the blog roll feed side bar widget.  It has been broken more often this past month than any previous time I can recall.  There are times when it just fails to get the RSS feed and shows an error, but this time around there were problems with Pinboard which had some internal issues that caused it to fail to generate the RSS feed at all and, then, when that was fixed, remained stubbornly resistant to tagging posts based on which Feedly feed they came from, which meant the RSS feeds were there but were not getting new items.

This is what I get for using a Rube Goldberg setup that requires at least four services to work correctly and consistently. (And it isn’t always clear which one is to blame.  Sometimes WP.com just times out getting the feed.)

It got to a point where I added a status widget to comment on what was up.  I don’t know if anybody actually noticed that.  The side bar of the blog isn’t a very often used feature.  I can see that some people click on items from the feed when it is working.  However, I suspect I am the biggest user of the feature. (My clicks don’t get counted in my own stats.)

Meanwhile, WP.com has given me a new metric so I am going to use it quarterly to give myself some new data point to post about.

TAGN – Q1 2018

Of course, because I took that screen shot for this post before it went live, this post isn’t counted.  Add one more post and another 2,300 words or so and you’ll be set. (That puts my average words per post back above 1,000.)  Or maybe I’ll update that screen shot after this goes live.  It takes a day for it to update though, and I’ll probably forget by then.

Anyway, I seem to be on track for 336 posts and 330K words this year.

One Year Ago

EverQuest turned eighteen.  Now an adult, it still lives in Daybreak’s basement and grumbles about how it used to be the center of attention before all these younger siblings showed up.

Blizzard officially announced that StarCraft, even older than EverQuest, was getting a remaster.  We suspected it was going to happen, but it was nice to get the official word.

Flying was unleashed in the Broken Isles with the Tomb of Sargeras update to WoW Legion.

The Nintendo Switch launched.  But I was still playing Pokemon Sun on my 3DS XL, binging on the Alola Pokedex.  Then I had to figure out where the National Pokedex was.  It turns out it is in Pokemon Bank.  I was hoping for a remake of Pokemon Diamond & Pearl.

Disney shut down Club Penguin, hoping to force players onto their new mobile app, Club Penguin Island.  Mobile is always better, right?

In Minecraft, the long road to the forest mansion I found was nearly done.

In EVE Online I took a trip out to Oasa and back.

We got the YC119.3 update that nerfed Rorqual mining a bit and gave us warp bubble decay among other things.  Music was included.  A follow on patch let us see our estimated space wealth.

Blog Banter #80 was on the topic of the CSM, something about which I has opinions!  It was a timely topic as the voting for CSM12 was just kicking off.  In the mean time Gevlon declared that CCP was picking winners… though not CSM winners I guess.

We had a dev blog about refineries coming to New Eden.  Moon mining was going to change and it seemed like the end of the POS was coming at last.  There was also an announcement about changing PLEX, breaking it up into 500 pieces and replacing Aurum with PLEX.  But not that free Aurum they gave you, though they relented on that after some outcry.

I was nostalgic for old ship models in New Eden and talking about the tension between grouping and solo again.

And, finally, we had to say good-bye to our cat Oscar after 17 years.

Five Years Ago

Dave Georgeson of SOE said MMOs should never die. A noble sentiment at the time, it rang a bit hollow just a year and five SOE MMO closure announcements later.  Business is business.

I got a seven day pass to Azeroth from Blizzard.  It was nice.  I had some fun, but I wasn’t ready to go back full time yet.

Meanwhile, Blizzard was saying they were blindsided by the popularity of the auction house in Diablo III.  They were nearly a year late on that revelation.

On a similar theme, EA launched a new version of SimCity, pretty much ignoring the obvious expectations the franchise came with.  I could only wonder if they learned anything from their efforts.

The instance group was doing some Rift content as a four player group.  This was the time of our long hiatus, though we got a full group now and again.  And when it was just the three of us, we ended up playing Neverwinter Nights 2 instead.

In EVE Online we were chasing around Deklein, flying the Tech Fleet doctrine, and bagging a carrier or two.

EON Magazine was closing its doors, marking the end of an era in EVE Online.

EverQuest hit its 14 year anniversary, and there was some talk about the camera view’s influence on the game’s popularity.

I was still playing World of Tanks and had hit the 2,000 battle mark.  I was out there with the KV-3 and the ARL 44.

I finished up all the things in Wayfaerer Foothills, which sort of ended my time in Guild Wars 2.

Then there was the Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter campaign, which seemed more marketing tool than funding effort, and which hit its number in 11 days.  Still, Lord British felt the need to stir the pot by declaring most game designers suck… and are lazy… and are not as good as him.  Then he claimed he was taken out of context and not just saying things for cheap publicity.  As the month closed, his Kickstarter was wrapping up, but Camelot Unchained was coming.

It was announced that Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings was getting updated to run on modern machines with better graphics.  That set me on five other older games that I wished would get a similar revamp, which I think was more useful than just declaring that game developers need to innovate.

Finally, I was looking for input on some actual, real world things.

Ten Years Ago

I was again ruminating about the whole “Why So Much Fantasy in MMORPGs?” thing, this time on the shores of chaos.

We started to see the end of the “Brent hand picks the news” era over at VirginWorlds.  The reign of myself and CrazyKinux was near to an end.

I got a Nintendo DS Lite and my own copy of Pokemon Diamond for my birthday!  Then a copy of Pokemon Pearl showed up as well to complete the set.  On Friday’s I was looking for a balloon.

EverQuest celebrated its 9th anniversary.  A very nice time line print of the game was posted over at the EQ Dev blog to celebrate, along with a video.

In Lord of the Rings Online some sites were speculating about future expansions.  And then Turbine announced The Mines of Moria Meanwhile, I was trying to give out some founder’s referrals.  I never gave them all out and, at this point, I don’t think they are a thing anymore.

In World of Warcraftpatch 2.4 was the latest end-of-the-world panic.  I was trying out Alterac Valley trying to get a mount, not reading that I needed to get exalted reputation to buy it.  I was also racing against a boat.  Meanwhile the instance group made it to Shattrath and then hit the Blood Furnace while my wife and her friends were drinking apple-tinis.

In EVE Online I learned that there was a cap of fifty days on production lines.  I was also trying to break up with an R&D agent and fitting out a new Drake.  We got a “log off” button with the Trinity 1.1 patch.

Official forums were the talk again for a bit, as Marc Jacobs said he wasn’t going to have them for Warhammer Online.  No, the Warhammer Herald (to be created in the image of the Camelot Herald) was going to be enough.  Well, we know how that worked out.

And, finally, ten years ago Gary Gygax left us.  We still miss him because we still feel his influence every day.

Twenty Years Ago

StarCraft hit the shelves 20 years ago today.  As I recall we all went to Fry’s at lunch to buy a copy the day it came out.  You can buy a remastered copy from Blizzard if you want, or download the original for free.

Most Viewed Posts in March

  1. Burn Jita Back for 2018
  2. From Alola Pokedex to National Pokedex in Pokemon Sun
  3. Burn Jita 2018 Aftermath
  4. Where the Hell is that EverQuest Successor Already?
  5. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  6. Do You Wear the Mask or does the Mask Wear You?
  7. Rift Prime Time
  8. The Road to CSM13
  9. SuperData and the Rise of Fortnite
  10. H1Z1 – Going Live in Time to be a Zombie
  11. Spring Movie League – Wrinkle in the Mix
  12. Extra Credits – Picking at the Lockbox Thing Some More

Search Terms of the Month

top subscription based mmo titles
[Pretty much WoW and FFXIV at this point]

bufn jita
[bufn it good]

portable hole wallpaper
[I have a problem visualizing that]

everquest next landmark emulator
[Oh dear no]

delta force 2 fps
[Maybe you need to upgrade your hardware?]

project gorgon meme
[I am not sure it is popular enough for that]

EVE Online

I was in for some of Burn Jita early in the month and went on ops when I could, however it has been a busy month around our house and the time slot for normal ops, which often require setting aside a couple of hours even for a “quick” op, has kept me from being online much during the back half of March.  Other than that there has been the somewhat tepid start of the run up to the CSM13 election.  I’m not sure CCP thought through the results of the changes they implemented.  It feels like they slowed everything down too much.  You can’t really cover a campaign very well until there is an official list of candidates.

Minecraft

I have logged in a bit now and again.  Minecraft remains excellent for times when I want to listen to a podcast or audio book that requires more mental attention that your typical MMORPG leaves free.  Mining and building in Minecraft leaves enough bandwidth for me to listen to Planet Money or the Arms Control Wonk podcast and not loose track of what is going on.  So work on the long overland rail line to the norther forest mansion continued.  In fact, it is almost done.

Pokemon Go

And, speaking of games that don’t take a lot of mental bandwidth, I managed to get to level 32 in Pokemon Go largely through my persistence in playing for at least enough every day to catch at least one Pokemon and visit at least one Pokestop, giving me the daily and weekly bonus xp.

My current state of affairs:

  • Level: 32 (+1)
  • Pokedex status: 294 (+10) caught, 335 (+12) seen
  • Pokemon I want: Lapras, but it remains elusive
  • Current buddy: Pupitar; needs four candies to evolve, but I only get one every 5km

Rift

With the coming of Rift Prime I was back into “not Azeroth” again.  And it has been pretty good.  It wasn’t the overwhelming nostalgia wave that hanging around in front of Qeynos killing snakes and kobolds with a mass of other people can bring on… though it is really in Blackburrow or West Karana that I start hitting nostalgia overload… but it was, and remains, good.  As I have said way too many times, the zone Freemarch zone design is very good.

Of course, there have been problems with the server.  And Freemarch is like the Deadmines in WoW, and early slice of good design after which the content can vary wildly in quality.  But for the moment I am on board with it for another month.

World of Warcraft

With the coming of Rift Prime and a busy month something had to give.  Play time in Azeroth was way down.  I did log in just enough to keep progress going on unlocking the last two allied races… I am very close on both… but otherwise I haven’t done much since Darkmoon Faire.  The next Darkmoon Faire will likely seal the deal for my allied race unlocks, at which point it might be time to set WoW aside to wait for the coming Battle for Azeroth pre-expansion events to kick off at some point this summer.

Other Games

I did load up Shroud of the Avatar now that it has officially released, and have been giving it a bit of a test drive.  It is kind of interesting in sort of a built-from-scratch new-yet-retro awkward sort of way.

Coming Up

Tomorrow is April Fools… but it is also Easter.  Will Blizz be up to its usual hi-jinks over a holiday weekend?

We will see if the new quest mechanics in Pokemon Go lead to more play… and more pay… for the game.

For EVE Online Fanfest is coming up on the 12th.  We will see if CCP has anything new to announce.  One thing we should get is the candidate list for the CSM13 election.  And maybe a date for that as well?  Am I asking too much?

At some point in the coming week my 30 days of Patron status is going to expire and I will have to decide if I carry on with Rift Prime or not.

I’ve put in an hour or so into Shroud of the Avatar, but I feel like I could spend more time with it, that it would be worth the effort.  We’ll see if I find the time and inclination.

I might also finish up that rail line in Minecraft.



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Daily Deal - Human: Fall Flat, 50% Off

Today's Deal: Save 50% on Human: Fall Flat!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time


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Daily Deal - Hollow Knight, 34% Off

Today's Deal: Save 34% on Hollow Knight!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time


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Daily Deal - DOOM, 50% Off

Today's Deal: Save 50% on DOOM!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time


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Talking Point: What Games Are You Playing This Weekend?

Talking Point: Talking Point: What Games Are You Playing This Weekend?

Here are our picks, but what are yours?



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Far Cry 2's single-minded vision deserves to be remembered

Sequels tend to be like Russian dolls: they get bigger and bigger until the little doll that started it all is buried deep. Or to use a food analogy, like a Five Guys milkshake - taller and sweeter with more whipped cream on top every time. Who's going to say no to the extra sugar? Not me. And so the cycle continues. More cream is squeezed from the nozzle of a dispenser, a fatter doll is slotted into place and since we never look back, we take for granted that what we're enjoying is the way it's always been.

You've forgotten about Far Cry 2 no doubt. That's okay. It was Ubisoft's first stab at the series. We've had the successively sweet, sugar-laden adventures since, but the essential Far Cry experience as you know it starts somewhere in Africa. "We could have done so many locations," reveals Pierre Rivest, lead game designer on Far Cry 2 and a veteran of the company from 1997 until 2009. "We explored so many ideas, and some of the stuff we came up with hasn't even been done yet in 2018."

Oh?

Read more…



from Eurogamer.net https://ift.tt/2J9Vo62

Why I don't understand YouTube: A middle-aged woman writes

I learned an astounding fact the other day. No, not the thing about how the literal translation of James Van Der Beek is "James Of The Creek." Although I did have to have a sit down for a couple of days after that. [1] [2]

This fact was to do with videos of people playing games on YouTube, which are of course hugely popular - some of them, inexplicably, even more widely viewed than that clip of an Olympic sprinter racing a giraffe. [3] In fact, 48 per cent of YouTube gamers spend more time watching videos than playing games. [4] (Although, since that survey was conducted, many of the other 52 per cent have said they didn't really understand the full implications of their response, and in light of revelations about the potential economic fallout and the shambolic nature of the negotiation process, they would answer differently if asked again tomorrow.)

But what really made my jaw hit the floor, almost to the point where I could be mistaken for James Van Der Beek, was learning that 40 per cent of people who watch games on YouTube have never played a video game. [5]

Read more…



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Friday, 30 March 2018

Train Jam and GDC Debrief - The TouchArcade Show #348

Ahhhhh it's good to be home, at least for a couple days. On this week's episode, we do a GDC debrief, focusing majorly on what an incredible time Train Jam and the ... super busy and simultaneously scary time we had at GDC in San Francisco. From there, we hit on a few of our favorite games we saw at GDC but this GDC was fairly amazing as there was no clear answer for "What's the best thing you saw at GDC?" Everything was fantastic. If you missed any of our GDC coverage, be sure to check all that out here.

Don't forget to shoot us emails with any questions, feedback, or anything else relevant or irrelevant to podcast@toucharcade.com. We read 'em all, and love decoding messages written entirely in emoji. As always, you can listen to us with the links below... And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and/or drop us a review in iTunes. Much appreciated!

As a companion to this audio podcast, we also do a video version of the same show that is exclusive to Patreon which allows you to see us playing the games we're talking about. Backers can view the most recent video episodes of the TouchArcade show by clicking here. Be sure you're logged in to see the latest content. For everyone else who is curious, you can check out our public patreon posts to see older episodes of the video podcast. If you like what you see, consider becoming a TouchArcade Patreon backer.

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Stitcher: The TouchArcade Show via Stitcher Radio for Podcasts [Free]
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-348.mp3, 66MB



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TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Candleman'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Candleman

After making a splash on consoles and PC last year, developer CMGE have brought their atmospheric 3D platformer Candleman [$2.99] to the App Store. Not being familiar with the game on other platforms, I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I finally put my hands on Candleman on iOS this week. I knew that it looked really cool in its screenshots, but those also led me to believe that this would be some sort of auto-runner game. Not the case! This is in fact a full-movement platforming game, and while it doesn't necessarily break any new ground in the genre, its platforming is solid and built around a really cool mechanic, and the game just oozes charm left and right.

In Candleman you play as a little sentient candle who is struggling to figure out who he is and why he is on fire. After you come to life you're left to explore a very detailed but VERY dark world. The way lighting is used in this game is top-notch, and that cool mechanic I mentioned earlier is your candle man's ability to light his wick on fire, lighting up the area you're in or activating certain items. There's a catch, though. You only have ten seconds total of light up time before your wax melts away, so using your own flame sparingly is part of the challenge in Candleman.

While the game doesn't break any new platforming ground, the level designs here are strong and the simplistic controls help that shine. You run around using a virtual joystick and swipe to jump, and holding down on the screen lights your flame. There's a purity to the entire game being just running and jumping, and before that has a chance to ever get stale the game does throw some interesting curveballs your way by using your flame mechanic. For example, certain platforms will only be activated by you lighting them up, and will slowly fade away until you light them again. This challenges both your platforming skills as well as your resource management skills, and it's a lot of fun.

Candleman feels first and foremost about story, characters, and atmosphere, with the solid platforming and lighting mechanics there to string everything together. The only major drawback to the mobile version is that what's available right now is only 6 of the normally 12 chapters of the full game. I'm not sure why they decided to split it up that way, but the rest of the chapters should be arriving at some point this year.

It's not clear if they'll be added via free update or as paid DLC, but considering the game is already finished and on other platforms I doubt there's a risk of them never releasing the rest of the levels. Plus, right where the iOS version finishes off feels like a self-contained story anyway, so it's not like you'll get the feeling of playing something that's unfinished or unresolved. Still, I can't wait to play the second half of Candleman.

That oddity is easier to swallow given that Candleman on iOS is available for a heavy discount until April 10. Three bucks will get you the first 6 chapters, and it's a good 2 or 3 hours worth of gameplay. It's still cheaper than the full game on other platforms which typically sells for $14.99. So, if you like platformers and tremendous atmosphere, and you're not up in arms about waiting for the final chapters to release at a later date, I really can't recommend Candleman enough as even just half of this game has brought me more joy and entertainment than some full games with dozens of more hours of gameplay.



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Team Fortress 2 Update Released

An update to Team Fortress 2 has been released. The update will be applied automatically when you restart Team Fortress 2. The major changes include:

  • Updated model/materials for the Starboard Crusader and added a second style
  • Added AsiaFortress Season 13 medals
  • Updated the localization files
  • Fixed Mann vs. Machine matches with open slots not receiving late-joiners
  • Fixed a server crash related to the Sniper Rifle
  • Fixed the "View promotional codes" button not showing for those users with promotional codes


Notes missed from Competitive Revamp update
  • The UI version has been bumped to 3. Any UI mods will need to be updated to work with the new UI changes.


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'Sword Art Online: Integral Factor' Tips, Cheats and Hacks

Imagine getting trapped inside a video game and the only way to get out is to beat it. Yeah, that would be pretty bad news considering all the stats that indicate people don't generally finish the games they buy. But that conceit made the Sword Art Online light novel and anime series awfully popular, and it's front and center in the latest mobile game based on that franchise, Sword Art Online: Integral Factor [Free].

SAO has had games built around it before, but Bandai Namco has taken an interesting and logical approach with this one. Instead of playing as Kirito, Asuna or other well-known characters, you take on the role of one of the many anonymous players trapped inside the game within the game. Integral Factor then retells the story many fans known from a different point of view, and since it is also an MMORPG in its own right, it's as close to putting yourself inside Sword Art Online as it's possible to get.

Well, until someone invents the NerveGear, that is.

Inside the game, you have access to NPCs and even cross paths with Kirito and the others, but who's going to be your guide to the game? That would be us. Read on through the rest of our Sword Art Online: Integral Factor tips and you just might make it to floor 100 yourself someday.


 

Getting Around Aincrad: Controls and Other Basics

Integral Factor is played from a third-person perspective and the basic controls are pretty simple. In the bottom-left corner of the screen is a virtual thumbstick to move your character. Anywhere else on the screen, you can hold and drag to look around, as well as pinch to zoom in and out.

Sword Art Online: Integral Factor

Buttons in the bottom-right corner of the screen are for combat, which we'll get to in its own section. The upper-right corner features a mimi-map, which marks both your location and the direction you are currently facing. The next location you need to reach to proceed on your current quest, if any, is marked by a crosshairs, and tapping on the mini-map expands it to a full-sized overlay.

Sword Art Online: Integral Factor

The upper-left corner of the screen has a hamburger icon which will produce a menu (and make your character look as if he or she is accessing the in-game menu in true meta fashion). From there you'll find tabs to check your character status, equip items, view quest info, find your friends or party members and access the shop.

The bar at the bottom of the screen is for in-game communication. Along with emotes and stamps, you'll also find a chat bar with three option: 'Say' is public chat to anyone around, 'Party' chats with anyone you are currently grouped with, and 'Tell' is like a whisper in other MMOs that sends a message to a particular player.


 

Fight for Your Right to Party: An Intro to Combat

The combat system in Integral Factor is easy to learn but has surprising depth to it. The largest of the buttons in the bottom-right corner is for basic attacks. Simply walk up to an enemy — you'll know them from the red crystals over their heads — and tap it to start attacking. You can also hold down the button to continuously attack.

Four buttons around the main attack button are for sword skills. You start the game with a single skill but can have up to four of them slotted at a time per weapon you have equipped. These skills do more damage than a normal attack, generally effect an area indicated by a darkened area on the screen and can also have other effects on enemies. Just tap the desired skill button to activate it; you'll have to wait for its cooldown to complete before using it again.

Sword Art Online: Integral Factor

Above the skills is a button marked 'Switch' that can unleash an especially powerful skill. That button also doubles as a meter that fills up with a light blue color as you damage enemies. When it's available, the Switch button will flash, and once used, the meter needs to be refilled for its next use.

Here's where things really get fun. The button with the orange weapon icons next to the Switch allows you to swap between two weapons you have equipped. This is useful because some enemies are vulnerable to different types of weapons — for instance, stabbing instead of slashing — but also because swapping on the fly will allow you to use skills from the other weapon while the skills on the previous one are still cooling down. While you won't need to use this strategy against the enemies you encounter early on, it's a cool and useful tactic for bosses and stronger foes you fight later on.

Last but not least, the button that looks like a faceless Barry Allen in action at the very bottom makes your character dash. However, when engaged in combat, that dash is actually a backstep that can instantly help you avoid incoming attacks.


 

Partners Are People Too

As you progress through the game's story, you will meet and befriend a character who becomes your partner on all your adventures. Her default name is Koharu, though you can rename her as you like. Along with serving a narrative purpose, your partner aids you in combat, attacking whoever you are targeting and joining in when you use the Switch ability.

While you don't have to worry about controlling or issuing commands to your partner, you do want to remember to equip them with a weapon (or weapon and shield), armor and skills of their own. You can find their stats and equipment by going to 'Partner' under the main menu.

Sword Art Online: Integral Factor

One last note about partners: When you are in a party with other players, your partners won't be available since you have other people to watch your back. Where do they go during their downtime? That's an excellent question.


 

Order Up: How to Get More Sword Skills

Integral Factor doesn't make you chase characters to collect, so it needs another gacha-style element. This is a free-to-play game, after all, and Bandai Namco needs to make money from it somehow. In this case, it's through Orders, which you can find in the 'Shop' tab of the menu.

Orders allow you to purchase Skill Records that teach and allow you to equip new sword skills. They are based on different characters from the Sword Art Online and come in different rarities. Some Skill Records also are specific to a certain class of weapon, of which there are six: sword, rapier, shield, club, axe and spear.

Sword Art Online: Integral Factor

To purchase Orders, you'll need the game's premium currency, which is called Arcana Gems. You'll obtain these in a variety of ways, including as login rewards, for completing achievements and for finishing certain quests. You'll also receive Skill Records as rewards from time to time too.

Not to be confused with sword skills, you can also obtain and equip up to four abilities, the slots for which you will find in your character's armor tab. Abilities offer passive stat boosts, damage buffs and the like, including bonuses against certain kinds of enemies.


 

How to Improve Everything

Improving your character's base stats is pretty simple, as things like HP and attack value go up every time you level up. Just keep fighting enemies and completing quests and this simplest form of progression will take care of itself.

Everything else you have, including your weapons, sword skills and abilities, can be improved using materials found on your adventures and the common currency of the game, called col. To enhance your equipment or skills/abilities, you'll want to visit an NPC Blacksmith in any town. Pretty simple menu options will show you what stuff you have that can be enhanced and any materials you have that can be used to that end.

Sword Art Online: Integral Factor

Selecting the materials and item to be enhanced will then show you the exact effect of the enhancement and the cost in col. Then one tap and your stuff is instantly better.

If you have an item that is at its max level, you can also perform a process called transforming to bump it up to the next rarity tier, making it even more powerful still — unless it's maxed out there as well, Skills and abilities will have empty stars if they can be transformed beyond the tier they are currently at. The process is much the same an enhancement but requires different materials and a lot more col.


 

Party Up

Though we'll grant you that Kirito preferred solo play when he first stepped into Sword Art Online, it's not much fun to play alone all the time in an MMO. Integral Factor makes it easy to form parties and tackle quests with other players.

Sword Art Online: Integral Factor

From the main menu, simply tap the fourth icon down, which looks like two people, to open the Party menu. There you'll be able to use 'Party Search' to find parties looking for members, or use 'Party Recruit' to start your own party. When doing the latter, you have the ability to set the level range for prospective party members, the size of the party (up to six players) and set a password if desired so that not just any rando can join.

Assuming you've stayed with us this far, you now have a base of knowledge much better than most of the poor souls in the Sword Art Online series when they first learned they were stuck there. Good luck in reaching the 100th floor and defeating that final boss.



from TouchArcade https://ift.tt/2E6Xosj

Now is the Perfect Time to Grab a 'Fortnite' Invite Code From Our Discord Server

It's been a couple weeks since Fortnite [Free] dropped on iOS, and if you don't have an invite yet, now is the perfect time to pick your invite up. Thanks to additional invites, and people spreading the love after getting them, our users have a surplus of invites in the #fortnite_codes channel on our Discord server. Come in, put down your code requests, and pass the time by playing Pokecord in the channel. Is your obscure Pokemon knowledge finally going to become useful? Regardless, this is a great spot for you to finally get that invite for yourself.

Just remember, when you do get your invite, don't play in class. A teacher made a request, and, well, Epic decided to warn his students. Epic is listening!

Once you have your invite, be sure to join #fortnite on our Discord server, where you can share your Victories Royale, and find squads to get those wins. Manage to get some cool moments, or have some handy tips? We might also be looking for squads when we're pulling down those wins on our streams!


Have fun, y'all!



from TouchArcade https://ift.tt/2GmS4ml

Telltale's 'The Walking Dead' Final Season First Look Coming Next Week

Telltale is famous for picking up every IP in sight and using its famous (or infamous) recipe to turn it into a serialized game, a tactic that has led to the company running out of steam and letting go a large part of its employees in what was the loudest sign that somewhere along the way, Telltale lost its way. Still, Telltale does have some important games coming out in the near future, and The Walking Dead: The Final Season is definitely the one fans most want to get their hands on. If you are one of the many who want to see how Clementine's story ends, you can get the first peek of the game next Friday, April 6th, at 12:30 PM ET during the developer's PAX East panel. The reveal will also be streamed on Twitch, so everyone can get to enjoy the show.

If you've been following Telltale's games, you probably know that The Walking Dead [Free] is the series that put the developer on the map and, for many, season one of the game was the best the company has produced (though others see Tales from the Borderlands as the best series). Clementine, the female protagonist who was a child in the original season and has become the protagonist of later seasons, is for many the best character in the series and is the focus of the final season. Telltale cleverly showed that passing of the baton from Lee Everett, the main character of the original series, to Clementine in a screenshot revealed today. The Final Season screenshot shows Clementine wielding an axe and defending a young child from incoming walkers in a pose identical to a screenshot from the original series, where Clementine was the child in danger and Lee was wielding the axe. If you had any doubts that the series has come full circle, this screenshot should dispel them.

Speaking of the series as a whole (spoilers following), the journey hasn't been a pleasant one for any of the characters. Clementine, trying to survive in a world infested by walkers just like in the TV show with the same name, lost Lee at the end of the first season after a pretty harrowing journey and some awful choices only to see more people lose their lives defending her in later season. In addition, she has had to deal with other survivors thinking she's been bit, witness all kinds of abuse, and other, similarly "pleasant" experiences. In the previous episode, A New Frontier, Clementine had to deal with a group of survivors who started out with good intentions and ended up twisted in all kinds of ways—which is par for the course in this series and the TV show. The end of the episode finds Clementine heading out of Richmond (where her journey had taken her) to find AJ, the baby of one of Clementine's fellow survivors that Clementine once thought dead.

We don't have too much information on the plot of the final season, but I have a hunch it won't be a happy one. Clementine, as the developers have pointed out, has become a symbol of hope throughout the franchise, so I'm very interested to see what her ultimate fate will be. One of the screenshots Telltale tweeted today shows Clementine's famous cap abandoned in the middle of a field, which I wouldn't describe as a hopeful screenshot. Still, I have a hard time believing Telltale will kill this extremely popular character. No word yet on a release date, but I don't think it's too far into the future. Looking forward to seeing where Clementine's journey ends?



from TouchArcade https://ift.tt/2GYRfl3

Lucky Kat's Multiplayer Dogfighting Game 'ThunderDogs' is Looking for Beta Testers

It seems like only last week that we were at GDC 2018 checking out the new game called ThunderDogs from Beat Street [Free] developer Lucky Kat, and in fact it WAS just last week! This new game follows in the footsteps of the .io multiplayer game craze, but has a level of polish that you don't typically see in the genre. It's a dogfighting game that takes influence from games like Starfox and Luftrausers, and it'll have you manning an aircraft and zipping around trying to shoot down other players while collecting different power-ups and hopefully avoiding being shot down yourself. Here's a pretty kick ass animated gif showing the frantic action of ThunderDogs.

At the time we saw it last week, ThunderDogs was pegged to be about a couple of months away, and now Lucky Kat is at the point where they'd like to recruit some beta testers to get some feedback and get the game in shape for release. If you're interested in testing this one, visit the thread in our forums where you'll find a link to sign up for beta testing. In case you missed our hands-on demo from last week, be sure to check that out for a more in-depth look at a work-in-progress version of the game, and hopefully ThunderDogs will be arriving in just the next couple of months.



from TouchArcade https://ift.tt/2GLLklo

The Drop: New PlayStation Games for 4/3/2018

Pack your bags for a small, curious adventure. Minit launches April 3 on PS4.

Venture outside the safe, comfortable confines of your home and explore the world outside with only one minute to spare. Vanquish dangerous foes, help the locals, and uncover secrets as you work to lift the curse that ends each day after 60 seconds of adventure.

For a full list of games coming to PlayStation next week, read on. And enjoy The Drop!

The Drop Logo

The Adventure Pals
PS4 — Digital
Adventure Pals
Inspired by classic platformers and cartoons alike, The Adventure Pals sets you and your best friends (a giraffe and a rock) out to save the world and your dad from turning into hotdogs!
Bunny Must Die! Chelsea and the 7 Devils
PS4, PS Vita — Digital (Out 4/5)
Bunny Must Die
The year is 1999X. After a curse causes Bunny to grow cat ears when a purrmodynamic power plant explodes, she is led by a chubby and divine messenger into the Cave of Devils so that she can remove the hex.
Crisis on the Planet of the Apes
PS VR — Digital
Crisis on the Planet of the Apes
Five years since its outbreak, the “Simian Flu” has wiped out half of humanity and left other primates… changed. You are an ape with advanced intelligence, captured and held prisoner in a heavily guarded scientific facility as mankind desperately searches for a cure.
Dangun Feveron
PS4 — Digital (Out 4/4)
Dangun Feveron
Get in the groove with Dangun Feveron’s old-school style of refreshing and simple vertical scrolling gameplay.
Dead Land
PS4 — Digital
Dead Land
Welcome to Dead Land. You must defeat your fears for survival and salvation in this reign of zombies.
Enigmatis 3: The Shadow of Karkhala
PS4 — Digital (Out 4/6)
Enigmatis 3
The demonic preacher has escaped to the remotest mountains in pursuit of a grim secret that could give him ultimate power. He has already eluded the investigation of the protagonist detective and her partner Hamilton twice: once in Maple Creek, and again in Ravenwood. It’s no mystery that this time it’s personal.
Epic Dumpster Bear: Dumpster Fire Redux
PS4 — Digital
Epic Dumpster Bear
An evil corporation destroyed his forest, now it’s his turn to take out the trash. Epic Dumpster Bear is an action packed platformer inspired by the 16-bit classics where you play as a dumpster bear with a chip on his shoulder.
Flight of Light
PS4 — Digital (Out 4/5)
Flight of Light
Fly through fantastical forests in-time to the funky beat. Cruise round coral reefs to the sounds of chilled out tunes. Race past asteroid colonies powered by electronic music!
Impact Winter
PS4 — Digital (Out 4/5)
Impact Winter
A mysterious radio transmission claims that help is inbound. You are Jacob Solomon: leader of a makeshift team trying to survive the aftermath of a devastating asteroid collision. The world you once knew is no more – buried deep beneath the constant snowfall. Your goal: keep your companions alive until rescue.
Infernium
PS4 — Digital
Infernium
Infernium, a non-linear first person survival horror. Dive in an interconnected beautiful portrait of hell, die in a prison without bars, and overcome a brutal penitence.
Island Time VR
PS VR — Digital
Island Time VR
After a journey at sea, you are shipwrecked on a tiny island. Using your wit, ingenuity, and the advice of Carl the Crab, you must find a way to keep yourself from starving and survive.
The King of Fighters ’97 Global Match
PS4, PS Vita — Digital (Out 4/5)
King of Fighters 97 Global Match
The final chapter in the KOF Orochi Saga, this title is one of the iconic entries in the series that cemented KOF as a staple in the fighting game community around the world. Now it returns with new features such as online play!
Metropolis: Lux Obscura
PS4, PS Vita — Digital (Out 4/4)
Metropolis Lux Obscura
This city is rotten to the core. You can’t even tell night from day in this hell where big money runs everything. And the best way to prove you’re right is with brute force.
Minit
PS4 — Digital
Minit
Minit is a peculiar little adventure played sixty seconds at a time. Journey outside the comfort of your home to help unusual folk, uncover countless secrets, and overcome dangerous foes, all in hopes of lifting a rather unfortunate curse that ends each day after just one minute.
Of Mice and Sand -Revised-
PS4 — Digital
Of Mice and Sand
On a desert planet in the farthest reaches of space, mice await your command! Direct their mobile fortress, and seek the legendary city of gold!
Penny-Punching Princess
PS Vita — Digital
Penny Punching Princess
Penny-Punching Princess is an isometric brawler that takes place in a world ruled by capitalism, where cash is king. Fight or bribe your way to reclaiming your kingdom from the greedy Dragoloans.
Raining Coins
PS4 — Digital (Out 4/5)
Raining Coins
It’s raining gold coins! The skies have opened up but it’s not raining cats and dogs! It’s raining gold coins! Help poor Eve catch the gold coins and buy the toys she loves.
Rememoried
PS4 — Digital (Out 4/6)
Rememoried
Rememoried is an independent video game, a virtual place where memories change to dreams and the only possible way is forgetting, which becomes a mechanism for proceeding to the next layer of dreams. The Surrealist explorative first-person adventure game.
Sir Eatsalot
PS Vita — Digital
Sir Eatsalot
The kingdom of Gluttington was at peace… until one day, Hysterica poisoned the Isotonic Waters with sour lemonade. That evil witch! The kingdom’s crops are withering, but this plague has yet to befall all the lands. There is still hope! King Dietan III dispatches his greatest, bravest, stoutest knight to save the kingdom from certain ruin: Sir Eatsalot.

PlayStation Music Logo

PlayStation Video Logo

The Post
The Post

PlayStation Vue Logo

Legion
Legion
Don’t miss the season premiere of Legion, Tuesday, April 3 at 10 PM on FX
PlayStation Vue has your favorite sports, news and 
must-watch shows.

The information above is subject to change without notice.



from PlayStation.Blog https://ift.tt/2H0vdOU

AirMech Strike - Now Leaving Early Access!

AirMech Strike has left Early Access on Steam! In celebration of the release of AirMech Strike, all AirMech Games are now on sale on Steam as well!

AirMech® Strike is a fast paced Action-RTS game that can be played online competitively or cooperatively. Earn Kudos and Experience in battle and unlock a wide collection of AirMechs and Units while you practice the perfect strategy to emerge victorious!



from Steam RSS News Feed https://ift.tt/2IgHjT7

Xander Bogaerts Does 'Fortnite' "Take The L" Dance in a Game, Then Team Takes the L

Athletes doing Fortnite [Free] dances in celebration has just one pro, as Xander Bogaerts of the Boston Red Sox did the "Take the L" emote dance after hitting a double on Opening Day. He's perhaps the most prominent athlete to drop a Fortnite dance after the UMBC bench was dropping dance moves during their upset of #1-seeded Virginia.

Bogaerts didn't go all out in his dance, which is sad for us not getting to see a grown man do a ridiculous dance, but good because the Rays would probably hit him with a pitch next time he was up. You know, because baseball is a sport for mature adults, and when somebody does something you don't like, you hit them.

However, whether it was the baseball gods punishing a player having fun, or the Fortnite gods punishing Bogaerts for his half-measure dance, the Rays got their revenge as they beat up on the Sox bullpen to make the Red Sox take the L on Opening Day. This should serve as a lesson to Fortnite players: don't do your dances while the result is still unsettled, because egg might be on your face afterward. Also, go whole hog. Have a boombox play that ridiculous circus music while you do the dance. Just make sure one foot is on the base while the other leg goes up, or do it after a home run, but make sure you wear a literal suit of armor the next time you come up to the plate, because the pitcher will try to hit you. Glory ain't cheap.

Of course, the counterpoint is the story of when NBA player Ben Simmons tried to convince the Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns to stay up and play PUBG with him by pointing out that they're playing the garbage Atlanta Hawks the day afterward. Not only did the T'wolves win, but Towns set a team record for points in a single game with 56!

So, I don't know if there's a lesson here, necessarily, other than "sports are fun but will also devastate you emotionally." Also, maybe PUBG needs dances if it's going to take the crown back from Fortnite.



from TouchArcade https://ift.tt/2Gpm4SA

Two 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Tables Are Heading to 'Zen Pinball', 'Star Wars Pinball', and 'Pinball FX 3' Next Month

Zen Studios just does not let up when it comes to releasing cool new licensed pinball games for their suite of digital pinball games. Last month saw the release of three new tables based around the Jurassic Park franchise in anticipation of the new Jurassic World movie releasing this June, and now Zen is ready to go back to one of their most rock-solid licenses with two brand new Star Wars tables arriving next month. These two tables are based on the most recent Star Wars film The Last Jedi, and as with all of Zen's stuff feature some incredulous action and top-notch visuals. Here's a trailer showing off both new The Last Jedi tables, followed by the official descriptions for both which, if you haven't seen the movie yet, might be considered light spoilers.

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Survive a First Order onslaught as the Resistance, train Rey in the ways of the Force on Ahch-To, and defend Finn from Captain Phasma, blasting away at stormtroopers as BB-8. Jump a ramp to shoot down TIE fighters, fight off Kylo Ren's TIE Silencer, and teach Rey that the Force isn’t just moving rocks!"

"Star Wars: Ahch-To Island – Luke Skywalker (reluctantly) welcomes you to his secluded hideaway. Train Rey in the ways of the Force, convince Luke to join the Resistance and help Chewbacca deal with some Porg problems. You’ll even get a taste of everyday life on the island as Luke, including reminiscing about his Rebellion days through R2-D2’s hologram projections. And when the lights go off during a multiball mode? Let’s just hope the Force is with you…"

This new Star Wars Pinball: The Last Jedi pack is set to arrive across all platforms on April 17th, which means it'll be part of both Zen Pinball [Free] and the Star Wars Pinball [$1.99] apps on iOS and Android and part of Pinball FX 3 on every other platform.



from TouchArcade https://ift.tt/2GqzQkd

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