Happening now on GameLuv

This PlayStation 4 Theme sums up America’s Summer 2017

Ever since Sony added themes and avatars to the PlayStation 3 there has been a steady flood of hilarious, questionable, and downright litigious offerings. As someone who has been looking at the PlayStation Store almost every week for the last nine years I’ve seen it all: sports team themes, sleazy model themes, all manner of generic “abstract” themes, and questionable licensed themes.

The latest player in the game of prolific production has to be Top Rated. There isn’t a way to search by publisher on the PlayStation Store but I feel like the majority of offerings I’ve seen since the PlayStation 4 launched are from Top Rated. And one of their latest creations is a blissful amalgamation of America’s Summer 2017.

There’s a burger, there’s a red Solo cup, and there’s a hand that is endlessly spinning a USA fidget spinner. You can look upon it forever all day for only $2.99 which in some cases is more than the cost of an actual USA fidget spinner. The description is also pretty much perfect: O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming. Get yo fidget on.

Fidget on, you entrepreneurial content creators. Fidget on.

Let’s Talk About “That Three-Letter Word: DLC” with Fwends [Episode 003]

Episode 003: That Three-Letter Word: DLC where we discuss the differences in approaches to DLC (largely between Capcom and Namco) and try to think of ways to “balance the scale” and not be so sleazy to consumers.

Leave a comment wherever you hear it and let us know what you think or what you’d like to hear us talk about next.

About Us and the Show
Age-old friend Rob and I haven’t recorded much together since the days of NfamousGamers back in 2009. The site is long gone now but our five episodes remain online, as does Rob’s guest spot on an early GameLuv PodShot episode.

That’s not to say we haven’t kept in touch. Across town and across the country we IM and chat pretty regularly but just finally decided to sync up in real-time to record a new (hopefully weekly) show. Based on Rob’s “Let’s Talk About it” videos, the new show will focus on a single topic each episode, frequently about gaming but anything is up for discussion. Right now you can find it on either of our YouTube channels (mine | his) but I’m going to eventually get it up on the podcast circuit so you can subscribe wherever you listen to shows.

No Man’s Sky returns with the massive Atlas Rises free update

No Man's Sky returns with the massive Atlas Rises free update

I’ve gathered you all here today to say goodbye, my dear video games. From my hot summer friend Crossout to my latest acquaintance, Just Cause 3. We had some fun and I’ll take these memories with me back into the stars because the Atlas Rises update is out for No Man’s Sky and I’m pretty sure my life is now forfeit to it.

The update was preceded by the Waking Titan ARG (which I completely avoided, I hate ARGs) and from its hints and some data mining the fanbase had surmised that we’d finally be getting ancient portals to use as a kind of fast travel. Sure enough, the latest addition to the game’s Release Log includes these portals but the game has gotten so, SO much more.

The biggest headline-grabber has to be the long-awaited addition of multiplayer. Described as “very limited”, up to 16 players at a time can see one another as glowing orbs and communicate via proximity-based voice chat (on PlayStation and Steam, it’s a no-go for GOG players right now). The release log adds that it’s “an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op” so future updates may allow players to customize avatars, exchange gear, and probably dance.

The next biggest bullet point is story. “Thirty hours of new story content” fleshes out the lore that the Waking Titan ARG hinted at. The game so far has had several separate story threads told through hidden computer logs and ancient ruins as well as its mainline Atlas Path. All of these paths now have new chapters of middle-school-caliber poetry to read. More interestingly is a new “interdimensional race” of NPCs whose appearance revolves around the fragmenting of the game’s reality. Honestly, are they writing these major updates and regenerations of the universe algorithms into the storyline?

Of the remaining changes, the next most major ones revolve around flying. Chief among them is the much-demaned ability to fly closer to the ground. Previously there was this invisible wall that would keep you from swooping around among a planet’s terrain. It was disheartening (not to mention pretty unrealistic) but now you can disable the safeties and smash into canyon walls all you want! You can also use your freighter to navigate the universe and jump to new systems, space combat and enemy AI has been refined, you can now hail other spaceships and potentially avoid a fight, and you can deploy mid-atmosphere gas harvesters to gather crafting elements out of the sky.

No Man's Sky returns with the massive Atlas Rises free update

Less flashy, but literally game-changing updates include a more functional galactic map system for navigating the stars, a whole new planetary biome type, new ships and freighters, a rebalanced economy with new supply and demand systems, NPC guilds to rank up in, procedurally generated quests, gigantic crashed freighters that you can mine for resources, and seriously, there’s still more.

I’m not going to rewrite everything here, especially since I have yet to lay my own hands on it. I will be kicking up my stream game again if anyone wants to watch me stumble through all these additions. For now I’ll let the Release Log fill you in on the rest.

New footage shows even more Dynasty Warriors 9 gameplay

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Well this is a *far cry* from the Dynasty Warriors I know

Dynasty Warriors 9 is gonna be so weird! The marketing machine has been revving up for a while but within the past week two noteworthy things happened. First, Koei Tecmo America confirmed the game for the U.S. on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. No date has been set but it’s always nice to hear that we won’t have to try and import a new installment.

Second is the release of the latest trailer which shows much more of the actual gameplay. Up to now it’s been a lot of tightly edited clips with no on-screen display but finally we get to see the game in action. The major change from previous entries in the series is the promise of an open world. Before, you would carry out preset missions with remixed targets, obstacles, and objectives on a handful of maps. While it’s easy to dream up something like Dynasty-Warriors-meets-Far-Cry, the reality is looking to land on the well-worn DW side. But that’s not say I am at all disappointed by what I’ve seen so far.

While major battles look pretty much the same — your larger-than-life hero cuts through throngs of idle fodder with dazzling combo strings, working to take over a territory — this latest video reveals some unexpected variety. Somewhat like Red Dead Redemption or Grand Theft Auto V, random side missions seemingly pop up as you’re criss-crossing the landscape. You may be on your way to a battle when a nearby enemy messenger triggers a sudden chase. Or you may stumble across a supply convoy that will make future battles easier if you can wipe it out.

The new footage also shows off something I never thought I’d see in a Dynasty Warriors game: stealth. It’s all in Japanese so I can’t tell you the specifics but seeing fabled tyrant-ruler Cao Cao creeping through the grass and Metal Gear style exclamations pop up over the heads of suspicious soldiers looks absurd and delightful. Stealth can also apparently be used to sneak up on (or sneak away from?) animal encounters. The series has had battle-ready tigers and pandas for years but the latest PR copy implies they’ll be out in the world doing their own thing, probably waiting for you to collect 10 or more of their hides for a side quest.

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All your slash fiction favorites return!

The series is no stranger to RPG leveling, weapon and armor forging, and item crafting. None of that has been shown yet for Dynasty Warriors 9 but given the large scale of the world, the hub towns, and the item drops seen in the video, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of it. Just a few other random sightings from the footage: grappling hooks for scaling castle walls, a bow and arrow for every character with a bunch of different arrow types, exploding casks to shoot with those arrows, air dashes and wall jumps, riverboats for traversing waterways, realtime day/night lighting, troop commands, and glorious slow-mo! Oh, and naturally there’s thrashing guitar rock.

I’ll be back with more when an official date is announced or another worthwhile trailer is released. For now, I’m already fighting the urge to go back to the last entry we picked up or try to power through DW: Strikeforce again. Check out the official site for more screenshots and character art.

Let’s Talk About “Free to Play & Play & Play & Play” with Fwends [Episode 002]

On Episode 2, Rob & Shawn almost finally get the intro right. And then talk about the free-to-play lifestyle, its perils, and how we feel about all that. It’s a real premium episode, one that’ll make you subscribe and follow along while we grind our way to the level cap, err, Episode 3.

Some of the games covered include Crossout, Marvel Heroes 2016/Omega, Spelunker World and Ace Combat Infinity (naturally), and some free-to-play MMOs like ArcheAge, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Allods.

Leave a comment wherever you hear the show and let us know what you think or what you’d like to hear us talk about next.