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Saturday, Apr 14, 2018

  

PC Shenmue I and II Announced

SEGA announces Shenmue I and II will be rereleased for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 this year, offering the chance to revisit these action/adventure games first released for Dreamcast around the turn of the millennium. This trailer offers a look at the game, saying the prerelease footage represents a work-in-progress. There's already a Steam page for this, but it does not say whether to expect this for macOS and Linux, or just Windows. Here's the announcement:

SEGA® Europe Ltd. is proud to announce that the pioneering epic saga Shenmue ™ I & II is to be re-released for a new generation. Get ready to go on a thrilling voyage across faithful recreations of Japan and Hong Kong, China, in a timeless tale of revenge and mystery when Shenmue I & II launches both physically and digitally on PlayStation® 4 and Xbox® One with a PC release on Steam in 2018. Check out the announcement trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihC52HOx7zA

Since their original release, Shenmue I & II have established a passionate following and are revered as one of gaming’s greatest series of all time. These revolutionary masterpieces deliver a gripping story of retribution as Ryo Hazuki sets out to avenge his father’s death and attempts to unravel the secrets behind a mysterious artefact known as the Dragon Mirror.

Shenmue I & II comes complete with the original feature set that defined modern gaming, including enthralling jujitsu combat, investigative sleuthing, and RPG elements in addition to memorable mini-games. Shenmue I & II is set within engrossing real-time open worlds that feel truly alive thanks to day-to-night cycles and weather changes, with a population of civilians who follow their own schedules.

This is the definitive version of these all-time classics and will be the best Shenmue experience to date. The re-release will stay true to the originals with modernised features including fully scalable screen resolution, choice of modern or classic control schemes, PC graphics options, an updated user interface and the option to enjoy either the original Japanese or English voiceovers.

The physical and digital editions will be available to pre-order from first party stores, Steam and US and EMEA retailers soon. For all the latest information on Shenmue I & II, head over to: https://shenmue.sega.com/
For more information about SEGA and any of its products, please visit www.sega.co.uk. You can also follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Continue here to read the full story.

A Way Out Sells 1M

Hazelight Studios Tweets about the sales success of A Way Out, saying the prison break game has now sold over one million copies on all platforms. Kotaku says this already exceeds publisher projections for the project, saying a leaked marketing document discovered last year showed Electronic Arts expected the game to sell an oddly specific grand total of 894,000 copies. They note a warning that EA would "need to watch out for controversy" surrounding game director Josef Fares, but it's not like he's running around throwing shade at dead people or anything.

Saturday Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Saturday Interviews

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Mobilization

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Well, I've given up trying to pin down whether to expect any more last vestiges of winter, as I won't be surprised if we get snow in July at this rate. But yesterday was warm, and it's beautiful out there today, so I will be thankful for that. Unconfidently, we've made plans to head out to a cookout today, which is at least as reliable an indicator of spring as the first robin sighting. It's certainly about time here. Hope it's nice where you are too.

R.I.P.: Milos Forman Dead: Oscar-Winning Director Was 86.

Outcooked Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Kart Wars.
Link: Vintage Strains - Rich Carlson. Tunes from our Digital Eel buddy.
Science: The danger of seeing cute animals everywhere. Thanks RedEye9.
Media: StarCrafts S6 Ep9 Evolution Complete.
Huge avalanche in Tignes, France.
Dogs can't do this.

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

New BioShock Rumored

How The Makers Of Mafia III Lost Their Way on Kotaku is a story about the struggles of developer Hangar 13 which includes word that a new BioShock game is secretly in development. This is mentioned in a few places, starting with word that some of Hangar 13's staff "moved to the top-secret studio next door to work on an unannounced new BioShock game." Here's a bit more on this hush-hush project:

In the midst of all this confusion, some employees of Hangar 13 couldn’t help but look with envy at their neighbors. Next door, a small group of people were working on a project code-named Parkside, quietly recruiting from across the video game industry for a game so secret, they wouldn’t even tell their colleagues at Hangar 13 about it. Word got out, though, that it was in fact a new game in one of the most interesting shooter franchises of the past decade: BioShock.

“If anyone from Hangar 13 tried to strike up a conversation with them, they’d say, ‘Oh, we can’t really talk about it,’” said one person familiar with the studio. “It was all very tight-lipped.”

New Sea of Thieves Content Next Month

A post on Major Nelson's Blog from Rare outlines plans to bring some desperately needed new content to Sea of Thieves to give the game's pirates more to do. They promise a series of free updates starting next month with the release of The Hungering Deep, which will bring a hangry new AI threat to the high seas. Here's a bit:

Our first content update, The Hungering Deep, will release in May and bring with it a new AI threat to the world. Crews will have to work together to discover and defeat this threat as part of a unique event. We will also be introducing a number of new mechanics to assist players on this adventure, and there will be unique rewards that players can earn as part of this event. Beyond this, we will begin our weekly events programme during May, where we introduce new mechanics and give players fun new ways to play with weekly events and rewards.

In the summer months, we’ll debut two more content updates with Cursed Sails, which will include a new ship type, and Forsaken Shores, which will introduce players to a perilous new part of the world to explore. Similarly to The Hungering Deep, both of these updates will also include new gameplay mechanics for players, new AI threats to challenge and new unique rewards to claim.

As we’ve always said, we never wanted to do anything to separate our players, so we’re pleased to confirm that all content updates will be available to all our players, at no additional cost.

With Sea of Thieves being a game that grows and evolves, we’ll be listening to you, our community, throughout. As such, we’ll always be looking at whether our current plans are meeting your needs. Based on feedback since launch, we have changed the priorities for both Pets and Ship Captaincy which we had previously announced as things we would look to add in the few months after launch. These are on the back burner for now whilst we add to the game in other areas. Expect our plans to continue to be fluid, but always with the goals listed above as our guiding principles.

Terraria: Otherworld Cancelled

Re-Logic announces the cancellation of Terraria: Otherworld (thanks DSOGaming). They are quite apologetic about the news, and they conclude with word on what they've learned and where they are going from here:

So, what now? Next Steps for Re-Logic & Lessons Learned

  • In hindsight, it goes without saying that we never should have spoken publicly about this game as early-on as we did. We will fully own that error in judgement. Moving forward, we will be far more judicious about only sharing information on projects in which we are fully confident in regards to timing, etc. We can only apologize for all of the emotional rollercoaster this caused.
  • Trying to outsource development of such a critical title for our company – even if just in part – was not the way to go. Moving ahead, our focus for the core development of new/future titles will be more inward and will seek to utilize our own people. We will share more information there just as soon as we have it.
  • Re-Logic has possession of the game (design, code, art, sounds, etc.) as it exists today, and there are still a ton of amazing ideas under the hood here – many of which have never been publicly shared. These are ideas that we have not and will not forget and that you will very likely see implemented in our future titles.
  • Active development of Terraria continues - 1.3.6 is still very much in active development. We know that we have not shared a lot in the way of spoilers there – but rest assured that the team has been working tirelessly on our next PC wave.
  • This keeps our partners at 505/Pipeworks wholly focused on Console/Mobile/Switch – and there is still a TON to get done there, so that should be good.

Thanks so much to you all for your amazing support of Terraria, Terraria: Otherworld, and our company. It is that support that drives us every day to do amazing things for you and we look forward to sharing more of what is to come very soon.

Star Citizen Free Fly Weekend

A new Star Citizen: Around the Verse video has the latest newscast for Star Citizen, the crowdfunded space game (thanks DSOGaming). This includes the low-key news that another free fly session begins today (the tomorrow they refer to in the clip from yesterday), giving the chance to sample the game for free all weekend. Here's word:

We have a free fly coming up. Yes we do, starting tomorrow, through the 16th, you can get into Star Citizen alpha 3.1 and fly some of our most popular ships for free! That will be the fun opportunity to jump in the cockpit and see what 3.1 has to offer.

Continue here to read the full story.

Star Wars Battlefront II Event This Month

The Star Wars Battlefront II Blog details plans for a Night on Endor update for the Star Wars action sequel that begins on April 18th. This will include the opportunity to live the dream of hunting down Ewoks as well as the Kafkaesque nightmare of awakening to find you are one of the hunted varmints yourself. Here's word on the event, and the return of Crystals:

Beneath the evening skies of Endor, the might of the Empire means little to the Ewoks as they fight for control of their home world. In Ewok Hunt*, Star Wars™ Battlefront™ II’s exciting new mode, spears and blasters battle for dominance as a squad of stormtroopers are ambushed by a tribe of Ewoks descending from the trees to channel their hidden fury. Available only for a limited time, Ewok Hunt lets you stalk your Imperial enemy under the cover of night, or desperately fight to hold off the pint-sized throngs until you can escape.

The Battle Begins
In the new mode, you start as an Ewok or in a group of stormtroopers. The ambush begins as the Ewok attacks the unsuspecting stormtroopers, using spears, Wisties, and whatever abilities they can muster to take down the intruders. Each stormtrooper defeated spawns as another Ewok. If the Empire’s forces have been completely eliminated, the Ewoks win and their celebration can begin.

However, the stormtroopers’ superior training and firepower are more than a match for the frantic Ewoks. Armed with an arsenal of weapons as well as flashlights to cut through the darkness, players must hold back the Ewok ambush if they have a hope of surviving until an extraction team can arrive.

Continue here to read the full story.

Underworld Ascendant Videos

A new teaser trailer for Underworld Ascendant offers a first look at the upcoming Ultima Underworld sequel in the works at Warren Spector's Otherside Entertainment. There is also a 30 second version of the clip which we guess is a teaser teaser. That is not the only workout they are giving YouTube today, however, as they also offer a new video developer diary titled "Crafting An Immersive Sim." Here's word on the diary, which hears from several members of the team and shows off gameplay footage:

Explore the Improvisation Engine behind Underworld Ascendant, a series of interwoven systems that OtherSide Entertainment has carefully crafted, allowing players to express creativity through playstyle choices in this breathtaking and dangerous fantasy realm.

Continue here to read the full story.

This Is the Police 2 Trailer

A new trailer offers the first look at gameplay from This Is the Police 2 in a clip titled "A Tooth for a Tooth." The clip shows off the game's new turn-based combat system, which they describe like so:

Back in the big city, Police Chief Jack Boyd, the protagonist of This Is the Police, was too deeply mired in bureaucracy to pay much attention to field tactics. But in Sharpwood, a cold frontier town where a young woman named Lilly Reed has recently become sheriff, you'll need to take a new approach: you'll have to take your cops under direct control during particularly difficult and dangerous missions.

In such situations, the game will switch to a new turn-based combat mode system. Gather a team of your finest police officers (or use your drunk and stupid bums - you don't always have the luxury of being choosy!). Take up advantageous positions and don't forget: the police are supposed to arrest suspects, not kill them. You'll have to carefully study the terrain, constantly adapt your plans, stealthily approach your suspects and use non-lethal weapons and equipment. Unless, of course, you bartered them for a dozen cans of tuna. Sometimes gunfights are almost impossible to avoid, but be careful: This Is the Police 2 doesn't have hit points. A single bullet can cost a cop their life.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Will Ferrell is unhurt, 'grateful' after serious car accident. Wasn't even a cougar in the car.

New AMD Ryzen CPUS Announced

AMD announces their second generation Ryzen CPUs, saying they are already accepting preorders for the new processors, and they offer the following details on why you may be interested:

One year after the first release of the award-winning AMD Ryzen processors, AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) announced pre-orders begin today worldwide for the eagerly anticipated 2nd generation AMD Ryzen desktop processors, with disruptive levels of compute performance at each of four price points1. Delivering high-performance computing and innovative new features, 2nd gen Ryzen desktop processors are built to create faster and smoother computing experiences for PC gamers, creators, and hardware enthusiasts.

“Second generation Ryzen desktop processors take everything that made the original Ryzen so groundbreaking and makes it better – great performance combined with advanced technology to deliver an amazing experience for the most demanding users,” said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Group, AMD.

2nd Generation AMD Ryzen Desktop Processors Lineup
This 2nd gen Ryzen desktop processor lineup includes two 8-core, 16-thread models and two 6-core, 12-thread models, all offering major upgrades and advanced AMD SenseMI technology2.

MODEL CORES THREADS CLOCK SPEED MAX BOOST/BASE (GHZ) Smart Prefetch Cache TDP COOLER SEP (USD) AVAILABILITY
Ryzen™ 7 2700X 8 16 4.3/3.7 20MB 105W Wraith Prism (LED) $ 329 Apr 19
Ryzen™ 7 2700 8 16 4.1/3.2 20MB 65W Wraith Spire (LED) $ 299 Apr 19
Ryzen™ 5 2600X 6 12 4.2/3.6 19MB 95W Wraith Spire $ 229 Apr 19
Ryzen™ 5 2600 6 12 3.9/3.4 19MB 65W Wraith Stealth $ 199 Apr 19

For the first time, the entire line of 2nd gen Ryzen desktop processors include a world class AMD Wraith cooler inside the retail box. The AMD Ryzen 7 2700X CPU PIB includes the new Wraith Prism cooler, which offers improved thermal performance over the Wraith Max, a more compatible fan profile, and enhanced lighting capabilities with per-RGB controls.

All 2nd gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors are supported by the new AMD X470 chipset, the most advanced, optimized, and efficient chipset to-date for socket AM4. This chipset comes with a free download of the new AMD StoreMI storage acceleration technology to combine the speed of an SSD with the capacity of a hard drive into a single, fast, easy-to-manage drive.

Conan Exiles Trailer Celebrates Next Month's Launch

Funcom offers a new trailer from Conan Exiles, their upcoming survival game set in the Hyborian Age. This is due for release on May 8th, so they say that the clip shows the game in its final form. They offer a countdown to launch developer blog discussing the game's journey through early access. Here's a bit on the plan:

After 14 months of Early Access, Conan Exiles finally receives its full launch on May 8th, becoming available all over the world digitally and in physical retail. Today, Funcom kicks off the countdown to launch on www.conanexiles.com and fires off a brand new trailer that captures how the new Conan Exiles will look and play on May 8th. Funcom has also released a blog post today detailing exactly what’s coming to the game at launch. And there’s a lot.

“We wanted to make sure leaving Early Access is something more than just removing the Early Access label and saying we’re done,” says Funcom CEO Rui Casais. “Besides being the first time it’s available on PlayStation 4, the launch of Conan Exiles brings with it a massive expansion of the game world, game-changing new features such as monster invasions known as the purge and an entirely new action-oriented combat system, as well as many other major additions that truly makes this the ultimate vision of Conan Exiles. If you were ever on the fence, or you are just discovering it for the first time, May 8th is the time to join the adventure.”

Continue here to read the full story.

MY HERO ONE'S JUSTICE Announced

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment announces MY HERO ONE'S JUSTICE, a fighting game coming to the west later this year via Steam and consoles. They consistently present the title that way, which follows their fetish for capitalization, and we're guessing the title is a translation of something that makes sense in Japanese. This trailer offers a first look at the game, and the announcement fills in details:

Leading anime video game developer and publisher, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. today announces MY HERO ONE’S JUSTICE™, a new 3D arena-based fighting game based on the popular manga and anime franchise from Weekly Shonen Jump®. This new title will be coming to the Americas for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One™, PCs via STEAM®, and Nintendo Switch™ in 2018.

MY HERO ONE’S JUSTICE takes place in a world where most of the population has superpowers known as Quirks, and where heroes and villains are commonplace. One day, Izuku Midoriya, a bullied middle school student without a Quirk attempts to save his childhood bully Katsuki from a villain. In recognition of his good deed, the world’s greatest superhero, All Might, bestows upon Izuku his own Quirk known as “One For All”.

Pick your side and choose between hero or villain in the fight for justice. With fan favorite characters, players will be able to choose up to two sidekicks to create the ultimate team. The two sidekick characters will provide crucial combo opportunities with their specialized moves, providing dynamic fights full of hard-hitting action. The explosive powers each character wields will wreak havoc on their opponents and the environment around them. The best players will use the environment to help defeat the opposition.

“MY HERO ONE’S JUSTICE is an electric combination of stellar graphics, intense gameplay, and a collection of popular characters,” said Randy Le, Associate Brand Manager at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. “All based around the hottest new anime and manga franchise coming out of Japan that fans have been craving.”

MY HERO ONE’S JUSTICE will be available in the Americas on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, PCs via STEAM, and Nintendo Switch in 2018.

Continue here to read the full story.

Hearthstone Expands

Blizzard announces the release of The Witchwood, a new expansion for Hearthstone, adding 135 new cards to the game and kicking off the year of the raven. Here's word:

The hunt is on as Hearthstone® players set out to lift the malevolent curse twisting The Witchwood™, the newest expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s smash-hit digital card game. The Witchwood unleashes 135 hair-raising new cards and marks the beginning of a new Hearthstone Year: The Year of the Raven.

A vile magic has taken root in the woods surrounding the city of Gilneas, and the lycanthropic townspeople ready themselves for a showdown with whatever lurks in the dark heart of the forest. As players venture deep into The Witchwood, they’ll encounter uncanny new cards and gameplay mechanics, such as the eerie new Echo keyword. Echo cards can be cast multiple times in a turn, as long as players have enough mana to pay the price. In addition, rumors tell of two powerful Legendary minions—Baku the Mooneater and Genn Greymane—that present grizzled deck-builders with a unique challenge: use only odd- or even-cost cards in exchange for a game-changing Hero Power boost.

“The Witchwood brings a spooky Azeroth fairytale to life in a uniquely Hearthstone way,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We can’t wait to see players sink their teeth into all the new cards and start shifting their deck-building strategies around Echo and the other new mechanics.”

In two weeks, the adventure will continue with the addition of Monster Hunt, a free new single-player mode that will take players into the forest to strike at the source of The Witchwood’s wicked curse. Stay tuned for further details about Monster Hunt very soon.

Morning Patches

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy Friday the 13th! Happy? Okay, how about wishes for a lucky one? That makes sense. I actually already had a minor bit of bad luck today with a coffee incident, a throwback to my battles with the coffee maker from years ago. I just use a manual pour-over drip method, so there's less that can go wrong, but today my filter failed and left me with a pot full of grounds and hot water. It just took a little juggling with a Pyrex bowl to get the mix poured through a fresh filter and we were good to go. This was pretty easy, especially compared with some of the kitchen-flooding escapades from the past, but that's one of the reasons I ended up adopting such a simple coffee brewing procedure. Anyway, I think it's fair to say that I'm ahead of the game if this turns out to be the worst bit of bad luck I can complain about. Here's hoping you're equally fortunate.

Lucky Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Cardinal Chains.
Link: Jim Henson's 'Labyrinth' returns to theaters for 3-day fan celebration.
Stories: Substitute Math Teacher Ryan Fish Ran High School ‘Fight Club,’ Police Say.
Wild storm charging across nation to unleash all modes of extreme weather through the weekend.
'Westworld' season 2: EW review.
Science: NASA is about to step up its planet-hunting game with the launch of TESS.
Regular excess drinking can take years off your life, study finds. Thanks RedEye9.
No, the Rapture Isn't Coming on April 23 Because of Nibiru (Which Doesn't Exist).
Media: Incredibles 2 Official Trailer.
Concrete Patch Schadenfreude (NSFW).
Ricky Hangs A Towel Hanger (NSFW).



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