Archived News:

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

Overwatch 2 Beta Underway

Blizzard announces that the Overwatch 2 beta test is now underway. Word is: "Starting today, June 28, until July 18, players will have the opportunity to join our next phase of beta testing that will feature new tank hero Junker Queen, new hybrid map Rio, and support for players on Xbox and PlayStation consoles." Whether you're participating or not, the Patch Notes may be of interest to those looking forward to the competitive shooter sequel. As for who's playing, there is an explanation of how to get invited, and how to jump the line by paying cash money for the free-to-play game:
We will begin giving access to players who opted in now through July 15. Players who buy the Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack on a participating platform will be granted immediate beta access as soon as we kick off the Overwatch 2 Beta, or whenever players pick up the Watchpoint Pack after the Beta begins. Our team has both technical and gameplay-related goals for this beta, so please share your thoughts, feedback, and experiences with us on Overwatch 2 Beta forums! We're enthusiastic about including players in this vital testing phase, and we hope everyone has a great time in-game!

Spellbreak to End

A blog post On the future of Spellbreak reveals that the multiplayer spell-casting game has no future. At least not for long, as word is its servers will shut down early next year. Details beyond that are not provided, but they do thank players for their support:
After more than four years of elemental magic and spell combinations, we’ve made the decision to end development of Spellbreak. The servers will be shut down as of early 2023. Thank you to the millions of players who have joined us in the Hollow Lands since 2018; it’s been an amazing journey.

Our vision was to create a fresh, multiplayer action-spellcasting game with exceptional movement and class customization that would give players the chance to unleash their inner battlemage. We are grateful to everyone in the game’s community for exploring the magical worlds and experiences we created together. Spellbreak was an ambitious project that saw our team push new boundaries in design and development and we are excited to continue to innovate as we create new titles in the future.

To all Spellbreak fans around the world, thank you for the support and dedication that made the game and community so special.

MX vs ATV Legends Rolls Out

MX vs ATV Legends is now available for PC and consoles, offering the chance to determine whether you prefer two or four wheels for your offroad adventures. The Windows edition is available on Steam, where you can get a 10% launch discount. The Release Trailer shows off what befits a legend most. Here's more:
THQ Nordic and Rainbow Studios today announced the release of MX vs ATV Legends! Now available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC, Legends takes players from casual, coastal rides on top of their favorite UTV to taking control of the fastest machines on two wheels to compete in relentless series events!

MX vs ATV Legends features a deep career mode, all-new, massive open environments as well unprecedented vehicle and gear customization! A Refined physics system and a split-screen, as well as an up-to-16-player online multiplayer PLUS the BIGGEST OEM vehicle DLC in the franchise's history, making "Legends" the most ambitious installment in the whole series.
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DNF Duel Released

Arc System Works announces the release of the PC and PlayStation editions of DNF Duel, an action/fighting game. This is a completely Duke Nukem Forever-free experience, as DNF in this case is Nexon's Dungeon&Fighter, spelling be damned. Here's a recent Promotional Trailer with a look. Here's the quick pitch:
Published by Nexon Korea Corporation, and co-developed by Arc System Works and Nexon subsidiary NEOPLE INC. using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4, DNF Duel reimagines the franchise’s iconic classes into a 2.5D fighter utilizing unique combat mechanics for strategic fighting. Franchise fans can enjoy immersive combat featuring beloved Dungeon&Fighter playable characters each with their own skills and personalities, including Berserker, Crusader, Dragon Knight, Enchantress, Ghostblade, Grappler, Inquisitor, Kunoichi, Launcher, Swift Master, Troubleshooter, Vanguard, and more. Launch will feature first-in-class rollback netcode support as well.
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Fobia - St. Dinfna Hotel Released

PC gamers can now check into the Fobia - St. Dinfna Hotel, as this investigative horror/thriller is now available for Windows on Steam as well as for consoles. A new Launch Trailer celebrates the news with a look at gameplay. There's also a playable demo if you still have reservations. Here's the brochure:
FOBIA – St. Dinfna Hotel is a single-player, investigative thriller that puts players in the shoes of rookie journalist Roberto in a fight against the supernatural. Discover a series of clues, scavenge for supplies and defend yourself against monstrous creatures that stalk the hotel corridors.

Within a grand and decadent structure, players will explore mind-bending worlds where different eras collide and can be navigated through the game’s camera mechanic. Peer into the past, present and future to decide your next move. Engaging with enemies may not always be the best option, and through the game’s varied and cryptic puzzles, players will need to choose their paths carefully to uncover the dark mysteries of the hotel…and come out alive.
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Starborne: Frontiers Beta Signups

Signups for closed beta testing for Starborne: Frontiers are now underway, as testing of this sci-fi RPG is to begin "in the upcoming weeks." This follow-up to MMORTS Starborne: Sovereign Space was originally announced as an MMORPG, but this announcement suggests more of a variation on an auto-battler: "Set in the same universe as their first game, Starborne: Sovereign Space, it combines aspects of auto battlers and squad-based RPGs to offer a more up-close and in-depth view of the complex sci-fi world." Here's the Beta Announcement Trailer, and here's word on how to sign up for the beta:
The studio is currently accepting applications for beta testers, who will be able to get a first glimpse of Frontiers'campaign mechanics, PvP arena, and the bounty system. Closed Beta testing will start in the upcoming weeks. To sign up to be a tester, please visit the discord at https://discord.gg/PlayFrontiers or at https://frontiers.starborne.com
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VAIL VR Beta

AEXLAB announces an open beta begins on July 1st for VAIL, a competitive multiplayer shooter that requires a VR headset. Though the beta is described as "open," if you're interested you need to head over to the game's Steam Listing and request access. Here's a recent Beta Gameplay and Cinematic Trailer with a look at what to expect. Here's more:
In VAIL VR, two teams of five players compete in head-to-head modes including Team Deathmatch and Artifact. Team Deathmatch is the traditional combat mode where the team with the most eliminations wins the game. Artifact is VAIL’s signature game mode, which is akin to the fan favorite search and destroy model. In this mode, Attackers spawn with a scanner which can be used to extract the hidden data within a designated location, known as the Artifact sites. Whereas the Defenders must secure the Artifacts by protecting them with their lives.
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LOUD Announced

Hyperstrange announces LOUD, an action game coming to Switch on July 15th and to Steam and consoles at some point thereafter. This is a music game involving a voyage of self-discovery as well as rhythm, and, of course, volume. The Announcement Trailer reveals some gameplay, and the announcement fills in some details:
LOUD is the story of Astrid, a young teenage girl with big dreams of becoming a talented musician to avoid a potentially mundane adult life. So she dives head first into the world of guitar and pop-punk.

14 custom-written songs make up the 14 chapters of Astrid's story as she goes from playing air guitar in her basement to hopefully signing her first deal with a talent scout. Master songs and improve your timing to unlock additional cosmetic upgrades such as outfits, guitars, and locations.
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On Sale

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Return to Monkey Island Gameplay Reveal

A Gameplay Reveal Trailer from Return to Monkey Island does just what the title suggests, as it offers gameplay from the upcoming new installment in the beloved adventure series. This is a first look at how this will differ from the old-school pixel art of classic Monkey Island games. Here's the video's description:
Return to Monkey Island is an unexpected, thrilling return of series creator Ron Gilbert that continues the story of the legendary adventure games The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge developed in collaboration with Lucasfilm Games.

It’s been many years since Guybrush Threepwood was last locked in a battle of wits with his nemesis, the zombie pirate LeChuck. His true love, Elaine Marley, has turned her focus away from governing and Guybrush himself is adrift and unfulfilled, having never found the Secret of Monkey Island. Hip, young pirate leaders led by Captain Madison have shuffled the old guard from power, Melee Island has taken a turn for the worse, and famed businessman Stan has been imprisoned for ‘marketing-related crimes’.

Banter with old friends and new faces on familiar islands now under dangerous new leadership. Then, take to the high seas and explore the new and unknown as you work your way out of tough predicaments. Clever puzzles, bizarre situations, and devastating ripostes are all that stand between Guybrush and glory.
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HARVESTELLA Announced

SQUARE ENIX, the publisher sometimes known as Square Enix, announces HARVESTELLA, a life-sim/RPG coming to PC and Switch on November 4th. This has a Stardew Valley vibe, as you will engage in farming as well as combat. The HARVESTELLA Website has cropped up with details and an Announce Trailer. If you are so inspired, the game's Steam Listing is accepting pre-purchases. Here's more:
HARVESTELLA is set in a vibrant and colourful world where four giant crystals called “Seaslight” create a stable change between the four seasons. The adventure begins as abnormalities in the Seaslight begin to appear, creating the “Quietus,” a season of death that takes place between the naturally occurring four seasons. During the Quietus the crops wither and people cannot venture outside, and troublingly, these seasons are mysteriously growing longer with each year.

In this life simulation RPG, players will grow and tend to crops, use ingredients to cook and craft items, and venture into the overworld, which vibrantly changes based on the season, to visit different towns, interact with townsfolk, go fishing and more. Players can select from various Jobs, such as Fighter, Shadow Walker, and Mage, and venture into dungeons with their party to discover the origins of the world as well as the truth behind the calamity along the way.
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Blanc Announced

Gearbox Publishing and developer Casus Ludi announce Blanc, a co-op adventure coming to PC and Switch. The Windows version will come to the Epic Games Store and Steam, and each currently reflects a February 2023 release Window. The protagonists are a wolf cub and a fawn who form an unusual friendship to try and reunite with their families during a snowstorm. The Announcement Trailer reveals a beautiful hand-drawn art style, though it is labeled "not actual gameplay." Here's word:
Blanc, an artistic cooperative adventure game offering a breathtaking hand-drawn experience, was unveiled today by Gearbox Publishing and Casus Ludi. Players will be drawn into an endearing, artistic cooperative adventure that follows the journey of a stranded wolf cub and a fawn as they overcome the odds to find their families. Adults and children alike will enjoy the heart-warming story when Blanc launches in February 2023 on Nintendo Switch and on PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store.
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NVIDIA GeForce Drivers

NVIDIA announces the release of new version 516.59 WHQL-certified GeForce drivers for running NVIDIA graphics cards under Windows. These add support for the new GTX 1630 GPUs mentioned below, as well as game-ready support for the launches of F1 22, Loopmancer, and Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak. Here's more in RTX support in F1 22:
With the performance provided by NVIDIA DLSS, GeForce RTX gamers will have the headroom to enable F1 22’s immersive ray-traced effects, which add high-fidelity opaque reflections, transparent reflections, ambient occlusion, and shadows. See the perfectly-buffed race cars of Formula 1® with pixel-perfect reflections, wander the paddock with realistic reflections on its many glass facades, race through a world with accurate occlusion shadows, and see everything shadowed with unparalleled detail. See ray tracing and DLSS in action in our new 4K comparison video:

At 4K, with max settings and every ray-traced effect enabled, NVIDIA DLSS accelerates performance with the power of a 1000 horsepower F1 car, boosting frame rates by over 2X enabling users with GeForce RTX 3060 Tis, or higher, to charge through the pack in each race at 60 FPS or higher.

Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection

Capcom announces the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy, an anthology of all 10 Mega Man Battle Network games coming next year to PC, PlayStation 4, and Switch. This will feature optional filters to smooth out the graphics, but you can play them in their original form as well. The games come with over 1,000 pieces of additional artwork and 180 music tracks. The Announce Trailer shows off this mega collection. The announcement indicates this will be released as two separate volumes:
Available as part of two separate digital volumes, the full list of titles in the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection includes:

  • Mega Man™ Battle Network
  • Mega Man™ Battle Network 2
  • Mega Man™ Battle Network 3 White
  • Mega Man™ Battle Network 3 Blue
  • Mega Man™ Battle Network 4 Red Sun
  • Mega Man™ Battle Network 4 Blue Moon
  • Mega Man™ Battle Network 5 Team Protoman
  • Mega Man™ Battle Network 5 Team Colonel
  • Mega Man™ Battle Network 6 Cybeast Gregar
  • Mega Man™ Battle Network 6 Cybeast Falzar

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PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC Announced

Bandai Namco, the publisher sometimes known as BANDAI NAMCO, announces PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC, another Pac-Man remake that's expected to launch on August 26th for PC and consoles. The Announcement Trailer provides a look at the remastered visuals in this remake of the 3D platformer. Here are some details:
PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC takes advantage of current gaming hardware to deliver a HD enhanced full screen version of the original game as well as improvements for more intuitive game play. The game has multiple modes with Quest Mode, a Maze Mode that brings classic PAC-MAN game play to 3D mazes, and a complete version of the original game in Original Mode that players can unlock by completing the main game. In the main Quest Mode experience, players use a variety of attacks and abilities, including powerups, as they run, jump, solve puzzles, and of-course chomp their way through six exciting worlds of Ghost Island. PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC brings back a wonderfully original world of adventure for PAC-MAN, where our hero is now chasing the Ghosts to rescue PAC-MOM, PAC-BOY, PAC-SIS, Professor PAC, PAC-BUDDY, and Pooka from their clutches only to discover a new nemesis in the dreaded TOC-MAN.
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EVE Online Overhauling Graphics and New Player Experience

It's all about EVE on the EVE Online Website where there are details on EVE Evolved, a visual overhaul of EVE Online representing "CCP Games’ commitment to keep EVE Online at the forefront of visceral supremacy." This involves changes under the hood, adding DirectX 12 support, and more. Here's a new trailer with a first look. The post also includes details on a new version of the new player experience. The space-based MMORPG is notoriously ruthless, and this is the latest effort at allowing new players to get their feet wet before they are overwhelmed. Here's word on that:
New players getting their teeth into career agents now will be in for a treat. Career agent missions feature remastered environments designed to entice and to create an immersive experience like no other. The Enforcer career agent is seeing further improvements that shape what is to come: a modernized conversation window (when using Photon UI) and highlights to help guide new players.

The AIR Career Program (ACP) works with and follows on from each career agent, taking players down four career paths of recommended EVE content. Players are rewarded handsomely as they complete goals with support from recommended Skill Plans. The ACP culminates in a graduation moment, sending players out as capable Capsuleers ready to tackle the challenges of New Eden!
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Morning Patches

↑ Official patches. ↓ Unofficial games, patches, and mods.

Out of the Blue

With the summer rolling in, MrsBlue and I have managed to knock a few shows off our watch list. That's good, since in this age of great TV the list grows larger all the time. One that we just finished last week was Only Murders in the Building, as we were long overdue to catch up with Steve Martin's new baby. Little did we realize how timely this was, as I see now that Season Two begins today! The first season ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, so it's pretty funny how this worked out to not leave us in suspense for very long at all.

Murderous Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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