Sunday, 11 February 2018

Review: Owlboy (Switch eShop)

Review: Review: Owlboy (Switch eShop)

A real hoot

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

Splatoon 2's Pearl And Marina Are Getting Their Own Amiibo And They're Off The Hook

News: Splatoon 2's Pearl And Marina Are Getting Their Own Amiibo And They're Off The Hook

Plus a new weapon variant a brand new stage!

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

Daily Deal - Space Hulk: Deathwing, 60% Off

Today's Deal: Save 60% on Space Hulk: Deathwing!*

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 Tuesday at 10AM Pacific Time

from Steam RSS News Feed

Extra Credits – Why Do Games Cost So Much To Make?

After running a video about why AAA video games should cost more than $60, something we’ve heard a lot, they followed up with a video about what it costs to make a AAA video game.

This, of course, feeds back on discussion that started back in November around another video that was trying to assess, incorrectly, the cost of making video games.


from The Ancient Gaming Noob

Final Fantasy 12 on PC delivers 60fps - but system requirements are high

Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age finally arrives on PC, bringing with it the ability to run at native 4K resolution at 60 frames per-second. With PS4 Pro operating at 1440p with a 30fps cap ( and base PS4 limited to 1080p30), this upgrade has the potential to deliver the best version of the game to date, completely fulfilling expectations of what a remaster should deliver.

Similar to the Final Fantasy 10 titles, gameplay mechanics, animation, and other core components were originally designed to run at 30fps and need to be reworked to enable higher frame-rates without breaking parts of the game. It's not always a straightforward task, but for the most part Virtuos Games has done a good job here. 60fps works here on this new PC build with minimal issues: animations run at the correct speed, lip-syncing appears reasonably well implemented, while the gameplay mechanics translate nicely to the higher frame-rate.

On that front it's a great release. Playing the game at 60fps adds an additional layer of polish that no previous releases have been able to deliver. Despite the game's 12-year-old PlayStation 2 origins, the colourful artwork, iconic character designs and grand locations still hold up well in remastered form. Meanwhile, the gameplay is nicely enhanced by the higher frame-rate. Controls feel crisp, as one would expect, but really, it's the extra fluidity and overall smoothness that really transforms the experience. It adds an extra level of refinement to an already solid remastering of a classic Square Enix RPG.

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Super Nt review: a SNES for the 21st century

In 2017, Analogue released the Nt Mini - a premium console designed to play 8-bit NES games with exceptional accuracy and video quality but at $450, it was prohibitively expensive for most. One year on, Analogue has returned with the Super Nt, an FPGA-based precision recreation of the Super NES with many new features. Priced at $189, it's more affordable too, but with so many options available for playing Super NES games, you might be wondering what exactly makes this product special.

The Super NES is often heralded as Nintendo's greatest console and it's difficult to disagree. With its vast selection of genre-defining games and gorgeous pixel art capabilities, the Super NES helped shape gaming as we know it today. Despite its age, the success of Nintendo's own SNES mini suggests that a lot of people are still very much interested in the platform, but what if you want to play your original cartridges on your new 4K TV with the most authentic recreation of the console's original logic? That's where the Super Nt comes in.

The FPGA at its core is a Field-Programmable Gate Array, and with Analogue reverse-engineering the digital circuits of original console hardware and transplanting them across into the FPGA chip. The Super Nt's core is written using a hardware description language known as Verilog - this essentially allows the developer to define digital circuits in a textual manner. The result is a design that can execute instructions in parallel like the Super Nintendo's original integrated circuits, but its accuracy ultimately hinges on the quality of the code. FPGAs are not a magic bullet but in the right hands, the results are impressive. The key advantage in using an FPGA then lies in its latency or lack thereof. With no additional overhead, the Super Nt can precisely reproduce the behavior of the original Super Nintendo hardware with absolute cycle accuracy.

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Max Payne 3 and the conflict at the heart of Rockstar's game design

I'm not sure if there's another game I feel more conflicted about than Max Payne 3. The first two games rank amongst my personal favourites - particularly the second, which I think is one of the finest action shooters going. Max Payne 3 is at once better and worse than its predecessors. It has more intense shootouts, far superior visual effects, and production values to rival any Hollywood blockbuster - all of which were exactly what Max Payne strived to achieve back in 1999.

I also think it's Rockstar's most revealing creation. Rockstar has built a reputation as an architect of worlds, unparalleled not just in scope but in the nitty gritty of life simulation. No studio has taken another developer's IP and made it their own quite like Rockstar North has with Grand Theft Auto. Rockstar may not have invented the open-city genre, but the Housers' signature is so deeply inscribed upon it they may as well have.

Max Payne is also another developer's IP, and one which Rockstar sought to imprint its own personality upon. But Max already has his own personality, one constructed from wry cynicism, verbose monologues, and overwrought similes. The snow-lined streets, grotty tenements and endless nights of Noo Yoik Siddy are as much a part of his character as his tragic back-story and superhuman reflexes. Moreover, as a game Max Payne is the antithesis of everything Rockstar had built up to that point - a fast and furious action shooter that runs almost entirely on a highly specific style, whose substance only appears when time slows to a gelatinous crawl.

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