Tagged: Steam

Sony’s Unties label brings Indie games to Mobile, Consoles, PC

Sony's Unties label brings Indie games to Mobile, Consoles, PC

Here’s a little morning irony for you: while one arm of Sony refuses to budge on cross-platform online play in games like Rocket League, another arm is helping bring indie titles to mobile devices, PC, and even the “rival” Nintendo Switch. How’d this all happen? USgamer’s Mike Williams summed it up pretty well this morning:

“Sony Music reached into its animation subsidiary Aniplex to create and publish to [sic] mobile games in Japan: Fate/Grand Order and Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story. The former is a smash hit in Japan and just launched in North America a few months ago. The latter title is also doing really well for Sony Music.”

That surprise success has spawned a new publishing label for Sony Music Entertainment Japan, Unties. The group’s goal is to find and release unique independently-developed games on an array of platforms and not just PlayStation.

“The name ‘Unties’ comes from the thought ‘to unleash the excellent talents of unique game creators all over the world’,” reads the press release translated by Gematsu. “And setting creators free from the various shackles of game publishing, named from the intention of realizing publishing that is freedom of production without restraints.”

It all looks and sounds very fallopian to me and I’m going to have to delve into that through therapy some day but despite my personal hangups, the lineup makes for a diverse start. There’s Tiny Metal, a colorful RTS game reminiscent of Advance Wars which is fitting as it’s the one title announced for the Nintendo Switch as well as PlayStation 4 and PC.

Sony's Unties label brings Indie games to Mobile, Consoles, PC

There’s Deemo Reborn for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR, an expansion of the recent Nintendo Switch version which itself is based on the 2013 mobile rhythm game. Last Standard looks to be a one-on-one fighting game played from the third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective with an emphasis on learning how each weapon functions and how best to dodge, parry, and counter it. No platforms have been named yet but given the action in this brief trailer it could work just as well as a touch-based phone game as a console fighter. Finally, there’s Merkava Avalanche which has been on Steam Greenlight since last November. It’s a peculiar one, looking like a 3D brawler where teams of gold plated, two-wheeled, robotic centaurs grapple and joust against one another in vast environments.

All of this is happening in Japan to start so the details are a little hard to discern at the moment. But the news of Sony publishing games on non-PlayStation platforms couldn’t go unreported, even by this dormant blog.

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.

Crossout: Surprisingly Fun Car Building & Car Destruction

Crossout: Surprisingly Fun Car Building & Car Destruction

Super quick pitch here since I’m only an hour or two into Crossout. What is it?

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts car building
with
Mad Max, post-apocalyptic styling
set in
Online arena battles between two teams

The description bills it as an MMO but Crossout is much simpler than the long-lost “CARPG” Auto Assault. The real draw is the Build mode where you pluck from an expanding array of car components, mods, and weapons to build your ultimate fighting machine… or the dumbest thing on 4 (or more) wheels.

While I’m simply trying to balance a Howitzer on top of a 4×4 others are offering up insane creations in the Exhibition area. There are plenty of cool looking tanks but I laughed out loud when I scrolled to a vehicle named “Bruce Willis”. Using the various car parts and paints, someone managed to create a Minecraft-like character model holding two cannons that’s too big to get out of the garage. Elsewhere was a 28-wheeler with no weapons and a ton of booster engines. Are they useless in combat? Maybe? I’m still very early on with the game but the idea of loading in and seeing Bruce Willis stampeding around the battlefield is enough to keep me coming back for a while.

Crossout comes from Gaijin Entertainment, the folks behind War Thunder, so there’s more going on than simple run ‘n gun. Waiting in ambush or building an artillery vehicle to fight at a distance are already viable strategies. Each of your vehicle’s parts can also be individually destroyed so it’s possible to pick off someone’s guns or leave them spinning in circles with 2 tires. It puts even more emphasis on your build: do you weigh yourself down with layers of protection? Do you keep your weapons close, sacrificing their attack radius to protect them from damage?

These are the things I started to realize just as I was about to write the game off. I’m glad I stuck with it just a little longer because now I’m hooked on what I can create, how I can get the most out of my lowly level-6 parts, and what new toys I’ll unlock next.

Crossout is out now and free-to-play on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One but coming to Steam as well, presumably by the end of June.

Capcom Cashes in on My Childhood with The Disney Afternoon Collection

Capcom Cashes in on My Childhood with The Disney Afternoon Collection

It honestly doesn’t even matter what The Disney Afternoon Collection is because, for me, it starts and stops with this artwork right here. The wavy shapes, the day-glo colors, some of my favorite childhood characters and that font on “Collection”. It’s too perfectly 90’s. This is practically a cover of Disney Adventures magazine, another childhood memory I cradle in the warmest cockles of my heart.

The collection itself could never compete with that kind of nostalgia but it’s a good bundle nonetheless. Ducktales 1 and 2, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers 1 and 2, Darkwing Duck and TaleSpin are getting the Mega Man Legacy treatment for $20 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam. And it’s out this Saturday the 18th! I don’t have a lot of time to write more so I’ll leave it with the press release text and a few final thoughts:

“All six games are new and improved HD versions of the originals and feature a number of filtering options that replicate a classic retro look and feel. This collection also offers new ways to play with Boss Rush and Time Attack modes for each game. In Boss Rush mode, players battle through challenging boss encounters consecutively, while Time Attack mode encourages time-based gameplay and provides online leaderboards that track the fastest times for each game.

A new “Rewind” feature makes these challenging titles more accessible for newcomers, with the option to rewind time and enjoy a swift recovery from blunders. Additionally, the in-game Disney Museum will provide history buffs with a wealth of content to celebrate the era of the original releases, such as concept art, advertisements, character art, and music – all preserved in their original glory.”

  • Yes, this is being handled by Digital Eclipse and should hold the same esteem for the source material as their previous Mega Man Legacy Collection.
  • Yes, I think Capcom may be running that Ducktales license dangerously close to the ground between this and 2013’s remastered treatment.
  • No, these wouldn’t be my personal six favorite Capcom/Disney titles but I can’t argue with the package and its appeal.
  • Finally, no, I’m probably not ever going to buy this… but I sure am glad it resulted in that artwork up there!