Posts with «video games» label

'Disco Elysium: The Final Cut' hits Nintendo Switch on October 12th

Disco Elysium finally has a launch date for the Nintendo Switch over a year after its developer ZA/UM confirmed that it's heading to the console. The Final Cut version of the critically acclaimed title will be available from the Nintendo eShop on October 12th, with a physical release to follow next year. ZA/UM says the version heading to Switch isn't a port, but rather a "painstaking reassembly" of the game, with its redesigned user interface and font-scaling options.

The Final Cut version of the the game first became available for PCs, Stadia and PlayStation earlier this year. It doesn't just come with fresh playable content, but also full voice acting for the detective RPG. The hit indie open-world RPG is plot-heavy and features gameplay mechanics that focuses on dialogue and your choices. In the game, you'll take on the role of a detective trying to solve a murder case while suffering from drug and alcohol-induced amnesia. 

Disco Elysium was originally released for Windows in 2019 and has won multiple awards since then. Last year, ZA/UM and production house Dj2 Entertainment revealed that they're working to turn it into a TV series, though those plans will most likely take a while to solidify. For now, you can pre-order a digital copy of the game for Switch for £35 / US$40 / €40. You can also pre-order a physical collector's edition shipping in the second quarter of 2022 for the Switch or the PS5 for $250. The game is also expected to be available on the Xbox in the future, but ZA/UM has yet to announce a release date for platform.

Netflix quietly developed a VR tie-in for its 'Eden' anime series

Netflix may be getting into video games sooner than expected. Without much fanfare, the company has been quietly working on a free Oculus Quest game called Eden Unearthed. Spotted by UploadVR, the game is available through the App Lab, which means it hasn’t gone through the full Oculus review process. The listing says the game was both developed and published by Netflix, but provides few other hints about its origins.

What we can say is that it was almost certainly envisioned as a tie-in for the Eden anime series the company released back in May. What’s interesting here is that there are two separate versions of the app with different release dates listed. The v0.7 release came out on April 20th, while the v0.8 was released in August. That fact, along with the App Lab listing, would appear to suggest Netflix is still working on the game.

At the moment, it’s hard to say whether Eden Unearthed represents the kind of video game release we can expect from Netflix moving forward. In July, the company hired former Oculus and EA executive Mike Verdu to help it build out a gaming team. At the time, Bloomberg reported the company’s plan was to offer games alongside its traditional video offerings within the next year. We’ve reached out to Netflix for more information on the Eden Unearthed.

Valve's second Steam Next Fest starts October 1st

Valve didn't wait long to hold its second Steam Next Fest. The Vergereports the games extravaganza (formerly the Steam Game Festival) is now slated to take place October 1st through October 7th. You'll see a range of upcoming games, including livestreams and chats, but the highlight may be the demos. Most notably, IGNsays you'll get to try No Man's Sky creator Hello Games' Steam release of The Last Campfire.

Other game demos will include Ludomotion's Unexplored 2, The Artistocrats' Starship Troopers — Terran Command and Andrew Shouldice's action adventure Tunic.

Steam Next Fest, like Summer Game Fest and other virtual events, is a substitute for real-world gaming conferences and expos that can't happen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This gives independent creators an opportunity to promote and refine games that might otherwise get little attention compared to blockbuster titles. It also helps Valve, of course — you may be more likely to buy these games and otherwise view Steam as a go-to source for indie releases.

A ‘Destroy All Humans! 2’ remake is coming to PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC

One year after releasing a full remake of cult classic Destroy All Humans!, THQ Nordic plans to modernize its 2006 sequel as well. During its recent publisher showcase, the company announced Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed (yes, that’s the actual name of the game). It’s coming out “soon” on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

Developer Black Forest Games is remaking the PlayStation 2 and Xbox title completely from scratch in Unreal Engine 4. The studio says the new game will feature local two-player split-screen co-op, and a “much larger” open world for players to explore. The 2006 original was game in the series developed by Pandemic Studios before the developer was acquired by EA in 2007 and subsequently shut down in 2009.

Riot is the latest developer to release its own game launcher

Are you tired of game developers releasing launchers that feel redundant? Too bad, you're getting another one. Riot Games has revealed plans to roll out a launcher for its games, Riot Client. It's not strictly new (games have been quietly using a limited version of the launcher for a while), but you now have access to all of Riot's desktop titles with a single sign-in. You can hop from Valorant to League of Legends with little trouble, for instance.

The client will first be available on September 20th. All gamers should receive the new software on October 4th, assuming Riot is confident in the client's stability. You'll still see dedicated pages for each game, including news and events.

Riot stressed that your existing shortcuts to individual games will still work, and that this won't chew up significantly more drive space. It's not quite the classic case of inserting another layer between you and the games you want to play. At the same time, there's little doubt this helps Riot control the experience. A client like this will make it that much easier for Riot to keep you within its game universe — why jump to Counter-Strike when Valorant is that much easier to reach?

You can now stream Xbox Series X/S games to your PC

The Xbox app on PC just got much more useful. You can now use it to stream games from your Xbox Series X/S. In addition, the app can now stream all of the console titles available through the cloud on Xbox Game Pass.

This is the first time Microsoft has enabled remote play on PC for Xbox Series X/S — folks have been able to stream Xbox One games to PC since 2015. The company says it has improved the feature's stability and added features such as being able to stream games from consoles in 1080p at up to 60 frames per second and play some original Xbox and Xbox 360 games. 

Microsoft noted that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers in 22 countries can now play console titles through the cloud on Windows 10 (and soon, Windows 11) PCs. As long as you have a membership, compatible controller and a sturdy enough internet connection, all you need to do is hit the Cloud Gaming button in the Xbox app and you'll be able to stream console and PC games and play either by yourself or with friends. 

There are currently 294 console games available through the cloud on Game Pass Ultimate, compared with 115 PC games. Those include some EA games via the bundled EA Play membership.

The update marks another step forward in Microsoft's goal of bringing cloud gaming to as many devices as possible. Last month, the company said it would enable cloud gaming on Xbox consoles this holiday season. Game Pass subscribers have been able to stream games from the cloud via web browsers since June

Meanwhile, if you want to play a game on your Series X/S but your TV's in use, you'll able to hop into a session on your desktop or laptop instead. Remote play is also available on iOS and Android phones and tablets.

The GameCube games we still love, 20 years later

2001 was quite a memorable time in gaming. Standout titles include Grand Theft Auto III, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Final Fantasy X. It was also the year Xbox made its debut, while the Sega Dreamcast bowed out. But while all that was going on Nintendo was still going strong, releasing the Game Boy Advance in March of that year and a new home system in September. The GameCube was quite a console, an adorable box with a great wireless controller and fun add-ons like the Game Boy Player

Unfortunately, the system was plagued by a thin library, especially compared to the PlayStation’s combined roster of PS1 and PS2 games. But what titles they were — it gave us Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Monkey Ball and the original Animal Crossing. On the GameCube's 20th anniversary in Japan the Engadget staff looks back at their favorite titles from that era which, once again, doesn't include some of the obvious candidates. — Kris Naudus, Buyer's Guide Editor

Donkey Konga

I’ll be honest; I was late to the GameCube and the only reason I bought one was for Donkey Konga. I first played this rhythm title at a Toys ‘R’ Us and fell in love with those stupid bongos. A year before Guitar Hero this was the party game du jour, and I took my cube and controllers everywhere. I quickly unlocked every song, and became an absolute master at “Oye Como Va.” It was followed by a sequel and the bongos were even the default control scheme for Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, but nothing matched the sheer joy of playing that first installment and the sore palms that ensued. — KN

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

Call it the anti-Resident Evil. Eternal Darkness puts you in the shoes of Alexandra Roivas, a young woman trying to solve the mystery of her grandfather's horrific death. Its century-spanning story covered a dozen characters, all connected to an ancient Lovecraftian god. While there's combat, it was more about psychological trauma than the survival horror of Resident Evil. Most notably, it had a sanity meter that would change the gameplay and environment and even throw simulated system errors to freak out players. Take that, Metal Gear Solid.

Like many GameCube titles, Eternal Darkness was clearly an attempt to attract an older audience. It was the first M-rated game published by Nintendo, and the company kept the trademark alive for a decade. But it was never re-released outside of the GameCube, and hope for a direct sequel was squashed when developer Silicon Knights filed for bankruptcy in 2014. There was an attempt at a spiritual successor, Shadow of the Eternals, that fell apart after failing to raise enough money via crowdfunding. It's almost fitting that a game about millennia-old evil may end up being lost to the sands of time. — Devindra Hardawar, Senior Editor

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

After the runaway success of Awakening and Three Houses, it’s hard to see what made Path of Radiance, Fire Emblem’s only GameCube release, so special back in 2005. Nearly two decades later its presentation looks stiff and dated, and the game is missing the relationship mechanics beloved by newcomers. But in Path of Radiance you’ll still find many of the elements that came to define later Fire Emblem games.

They exist in a sort of prototypical form since this was the first game in the series to make the jump to 3D. We take a lot of it for granted now, but back then series developer Intelligent Systems had to figure out the mechanics for the first time. And it did, making for a game that’s still fun to play to this day. It has one of the best stories in the series, with an English script that captures a lot of the nuances of the Japanese original.

It’s that story that made me fall in love with Path of Radiance when I first played it more than 15 years ago. Even when the game was at its most punishing, I wanted to see what would happen to Ike and his band of mercenaries. Path of Radiance was my first Fire Emblem game, but it’s the one I keep coming back to because of just how much I enjoyed my first playthrough as a teen. — Igor Bonifacic, Contributing Editor

F-Zero GX

The original F-Zero for the Super NES is one of those games I wore out as a teenager. While the futuristic space racer only had 15 courses, they were beautiful and challenging, and even when I did well, I always felt like I could do a little better. A decade later, F-Zero GX hit the GameCube and showed just how far racing had come.

The basic concept is the same: high-speed futuristic hovercraft battling it out in wild, creative courses where one mistake can lead to disaster. The GameCube’s horsepower meant the courses were longer, more complicated and visually stunning. The sense of speed was probably the biggest change, though: even now, 20 years later, this game feels incredibly fast. That speed makes it positively unforgiving, and I never progressed that far through the game’s many challenges. Driver AI was also significantly improved. In the first game, you mostly only had to worry about the three main rivals. But in GX, it’s easy to end up in 15th or 20th place in the blink of an eye if you’re not careful.

Despite that, I still remember the game fondly, in large part because it’s the last real entry in the F-Zero franchise. I didn’t play the Nintendo 64 entry in the series, so the jump from the SNES to the GameCube was pretty mind-blowing at the time. It’s a shame that Nintendo has let the series languish since then, because I’d love an updated version of GX for the Switch. — Nate Ingraham, Deputy Managing Editor

Mario Kart: Double Dash

I have fond memories of Mario Kart: Double Dash for a not-unique reason. In the early 2000s, my friends and I had frequent co-op video game nights, and Double Dash was a mainstay in our lineup. Mario Kart games have always been amazing in local multiplayer, and Double Dash was no exception. After Mario Kart 64, it was disappointing that all four players couldn’t compete directly against each other, but we quickly got used to the game’s unusual mechanic that let one player drive and another throw weapons. Having two teams of two players was an interesting wrinkle to the gameplay, and it makes Double Dash one of the more unusual games in the series.

As with most GameCube games, it looks wonderful. Mario Kart 64, like a lot of N64 games, hasn’t aged as well visually, but Double Dash is still gorgeous, and Nintendo took a major step forward in terms of creativity and variety in the game’s levels. There are more hidden routes and ways to approach each level than ever before, and the scope of boards like Wario Colosseum and the game’s take on the ubiquitous Rainbow Road were unmatched at the time. It’s no coincidence that almost every course in this game has appeared in subsequent versions of Mario Kart — so even if you never played Double Dash, you’ve likely come across some of its iconic tracks. — NI

Metroid Prime

In the 80s and 90s, the Metroid franchise was defined by three classic titles: the original Metroid for the NES, Metroid II: Return of Samus on the Game Boy, and Super Metroid on the Super NES. They cemented Metroid gameplay as a side-scrolling action / exploration game, with a non-linear set of levels. Players would come across areas that you couldn’t fully explore before beating bosses and finding items in other parts of the game.

Metroid Prime, however, completely turned the series around, putting it in 3D for the first time. While the style resembled a first-person shooter, the gameplay still put exploration at the forefront, rather than fast-paced gun fights. That said, the game is plenty challenging, even punishing at times in its difficulty: its massive bosses and twisting tunnels full of enemies were unforgiving.

But for me, the most memorable part of Metroid Prime is the incredible atmosphere of Tallon IV, and the wonder of finding new sections of the deserted planet to explore. Prime also did a great job at expanding the story and lore of the Metroid series, with loads of scannable items that explain what happened to the ruined world. The sequels to Metroid Prime are great, but this first game is arguably the best in the series and a huge part of why we’re all so excited about someday getting our hands on Metroid Prime 4. NI

Odama

It’s such a strange concept that it sounds like some developer’s fever dream — a combination pinball strategy game with voice control. But Odama was quite real, and it was glorious. Like any tactical wargame, you controlled an army of men (though via voice commands) who needed to overtake the enemy gate at the top side of the display. Complicating things was a giant ball that destroyed all in its path, but fortunately, you could exert some control over it with a pair of flippers at the bottom of the screen. There was a lot going on and it was utterly bonkers, but if you managed to beat Odama you were rewarded with the best ending theme to a video game ever. — KN

Pokémon Colosseum

Though the Pokémon series is, at its heart, a role-playing game series from Japan, it’s not very typical of the JRPG genre we’ve become accustomed to through franchises like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. But way back in 2003 second-party developer Genus Sonority tried its hand as a more “traditional” story-based RPG, placing the player in the shoes of a reformed criminal trying to rescue Pokémon from his former organization. Pokémon Colosseum took place in the cyberpunk-flavored Orre region, as opposed to the more pastoral settings of the handheld RPGs. The “snagging” mechanic for collecting Pokémon was interesting, and the storyline had more of an edge to it. It was followed by a sequel in 2005, Pokémon XD, but I’d love to see this spinoff series continued on the Switch. — KN

Resident Evil 4

It's easy to forget that Resident Evil 4 was initially a GameCube exclusive. It's been re-released on practically every platform, including the Oculus Quest 2 later this year. But it all started on Nintendo's purple box, a platform not known for having many action titles. The game's staying power makes sense though. It's the first Resident Evil game rendered completely in 3D, and it featured a slick over-the-shoulder camera that made shooting infected baddies feel genuinely kinetic.

Resident Evil 4's gameplay would go on to influence not just the entire series, but most action games moving forward. It was also a great example of the GameCube's unheralded horsepower, which could deliver smoother and crisper graphics than the PlayStation 2. Even today, the original GameCube RE4 still looks fantastic, with high-quality character models and environments teeming with detail. In comparison, the PS2 version look like a muddy mess. — DH

Skies of Arcadia Legends

It may not be fair to call Skies of Arcadia Legends a GameCube game, since it's just a port of a classic Dreamcast title. But I'm giving it a shout because it's still one of the best RPGs I've ever played, and perhaps reminiscing about it will finally spur on a digital re-release. The GameCube port fixes some of the frame rate and stability issues from the Dreamcast, and adds new characters to boot, making it the definitive version of the game.

Set in a world of floating continents, Skies of Arcadia Legends focuses on sky pirates who embark on a world-saving journey, naturally. You can explore a 3D world map with your airship, which gets into large-scale turn-based battles with other vessels and giant enemies. Much like Chrono Trigger, you can tell that Skies of Arcadia comes from a dream team of developers. In this case, the staff previously worked on Phantasy Star, Panzer Dragoon and Sakura Wars.

While Sega originally planned to bring Skies of Arcadia to the PlayStation 2, it ended up focusing on the GameCube port instead. Perhaps Nintendo has a stake in that port and we just don't know. Still, it'd be nice to play such a well-crafted game once again. I can't be the only person who still regularly listens to its epic soundtrack. — DH

Sony permanently shuts down LittleBigPlanet's PS3 and Vita servers

Sony has permanently shut down the online services for LittleBigPlanet games on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita after "extended downtime." As such, online multiplayer and community levels are no longer available for LittleBigPlanet, LittleBigPlanet 2, LittleBigPlanet 3 (on PS3) and LittleBigPlanet PS Vita. You can still play story modes and local co-op, however.

"We have no doubt that this news will come as a disappointment to a lot of you," the LittleBigPlanet team wrote in a statement. "Ultimately, this is the best way to protect the LittleBigPlanet community and to help ensure that our online environment remains safe."

An update on the LittleBigPlanet server and online services: pic.twitter.com/vUrvHcZvIs

— Sackboy: A Big Adventure | LittleBigPlanet (@LittleBigPlanet) September 13, 2021

Sony temporarily shut down LittleBigPlanet's online services in May, following reports of DDOS attacks and hackers posting offensive messages. The PS3 games were on the same servers, so if an issue affected one game, it impacted all of them.

There is a silver lining to this development, though. The developers have updated the PS4 version of LittleBigPlanet 3 and that game's servers are back online. Players once again have access to more than 10 million community levels, including all of the ones users created on the three PS3 games, as Eurogamer noted.

The unbelievably charming platformers have been a staple of PlayStation since MediaMolecule released the original LittleBigPlanet in 2008. It's a shame to see the community levels disappear from the Vita game and those who've been clinging onto the PS3 versions lose access to online services. Still, it's good to see all of the community levels live on elsewhere and that they haven't just vanished forever. 

The latest entry in the franchise, spinoff game Sackboy: A Big Adventure, hit PS4 and PS5 last November.

Sony's PlayStation Showcase was a banger

Sony's September PlayStation showcase was juicy. In just under an hour, the studio showed off more than a dozen upcoming, highly anticipated games heading to the PS4 and PS5, complete with some major surprises and plenty of trailers.

The show started with a bang — the reveal of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, a remake of the classic BioWare RPG being built exclusively for the PS5. This is a big deal, considering the original never came to PlayStation platforms. From there, Sony highlighted a handful of release windows and extended trailers for games including Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, the Alan Wake remaster, Forspoken, GTA V on PS5, Ghostwire: Tokyo, Project Eve, Gran Turismo 7 and God of War Ragnarök.

That wasn't even the end of it. The trailer for tropical, open-world sandbox Tchia ended with a beach full of adorable, pettable crabs, and it was an absolute dream.

Oh, and Spider-Man studio Insomniac Games revealed it's working on two new titles in the Marvel universe: Wolverine and Spider-Man 2, featuring Venom. The Wolverine game was a total surprise and Insomniac didn't share many details, but the teaser trailer was succinct and stylish — much like the show itself.

'GTA V' heads to PlayStation 5 in March 2022

Nearly a decade after its initial release on the seventh generation of consoles, Grand Theft Auto V will come out on PlayStation 5 in March 2022. Rockstar first announced GTA V was making its way to Sony's latest console at the company's previous PlayStation 5 showcase last summer. The enhanced and expanded port was originally supposed to come out in the second half of 2021. 

The new trailer Rockstar shared during Sony's promised the game will feature improved graphics, gameplay enhancements and seamless character switching between its three protagonists. It will also come with the game's immensely popular GTA Online multiplayer component.