Archived News:

Wednesday, Sep 14, 2022

Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary Launches

Toxic Games now offers Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary. This is the promised rebuilt version of the puzzle game that first launched in 2012. It's available for Windows on Steam and theoretically on the Epic Games Store too, though it's not there yet. It's also available for Xbox with PlayStation and Switch editions to follow. This trailer shows off the game's updated look, and you can read on for more:
Perfect for newcomers and committed fans alike, Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary adds refined visuals and some completely redesigned and revised sections to all content that launched in both the original release, and 2014’s Q.U.B.E: Director's Cut - including the latter’s story mode, written by award-winning writer Rob Yescombe.

This latest version of the game also includes some additional, completely fresh content, including an entirely brand-new chapter called Sector 8, featuring an additional 4-6 hours of gameplay unlocked after the main campaign has been completed.
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You Suck at Parking Released

You Suck at Parking is now available for Windows on Steam, Game Pass, and Xbox, offering an unparalleled party game. The game's madcap, physics-based action can be seen in the Launch Trailer, and there's also a playable demo. Here's word on the release as well as plans to park this on additional platforms:
Also in development for PlayStation and Nintendo Switch - with launches on those platforms set to follow in 2023 - You Suck at Parking™comprises both single-player and online multiplayer modes, offering players the world’s most extreme parking experience and the only racing game where, uniquely, the goal is to come to a stop. Success is all about racing against the clock as players dash, drift, and drag their handbrakes as they slam into parking spots in quick time.

The game’s aforementioned multiplayer mode - which will allow four players to take on each other in a full-on parking party - features a total of 60 wild multiplayer levels on rotation on top of the 100 solo levels with ever-increasing difficulty also on offer. Happy Volcano can also confirm its intention to refresh the levels on offer in play every two weeks, with fresh ones delivered for the foreseeable.
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Gunsmith Details

The Call of Duty Blog has details on the updated Gunsmith that will be part of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, the upcoming military shooter sequel. If guns are the porn of a series like this, then Gunsmith is OnlyFans, focusing on tailoring a personal experience. The post also notes an item for the new Gunsmith will be one of the bonuses in the game's Vault Edition: "The Vault Edition also comes with a first-ever loadout item ready for a rebuilt and revamped Gunsmith." Here's a How we designed Gunsmith 2.0 for Modern Warfare 2 Trailer and here are some high-caliber bullets explaining more:
Based in part on learnings from the community, along with Infinity Ward’s commitment to making a broader and more explorative weapon builder, this Gunsmith’s initial features can be defined by the following bullet points:

  • Weapons Platforms. Grow and upgrade a weapon far beyond its class to truly customize your loadout. Evolve your weapon platform from an assault rifle to an SMG, DMR, and/or LMG by swapping Receivers on a specific platform, using a full suite of attachments to support your weapon’s role.
  • Progression Overhaul. Thanks to Weapons Platforms and branching progression, attachments are shared within and between Weapons Platforms. Depending on the attachment, it is either unlocked for all weapons within a Platform, or unlocked for ALL weapons in the entire game. Expect reduced repetitiveness and reasonable challenges to unlock attachments and camouflage… And if you crave a journey towards Mastery, don’t worry: we have that planned, too.
  • Firing Range. Test your creation without sacrificing K/D within the Gunsmith. More intel to come at Call of Duty: Next.

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The Wandering Village Early Access

Early Access is now underway on Steam for The Wandering Village, a city-building game for Windows, macOS, and Linux. In this you make your home on the back of a giant wandering creature. And before you ask how that works, we'll just assume it's turtles all the way down. Here's the Launch Trailer and here are some details:
Inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, The Wandering Village is a unique city-builder set atop the back of a giant roaming creature known as Onbu. Combining city-building and resource management with rogue-like and survival elements, players will need to forge a close relationship with the giant creature if they’re to endure the dangerous, post-apocalyptic world. From farming crops and gathering rare resources, to scouting the environment and expanding their settlement, players must maintain the creature’s health while balancing the needs of their villagers if they’re both to survive.

Ahead of its highly anticipated launch, The Wandering Village has been sweeping social media with its awe-striking aesthetic and unique spin on the city-building simulation genre. Critics have been reacting positively as well, praising the game’s beautiful hand-drawn art direction and stand-out approachability compared to other titles in the genre. Celebrating the warm reception, Stray Fawn Studio game designer Philomena Schwab reflects on the team’s development journey thus far and lightly teases what lies ahead.
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Food Truck Simulator Rolls Out

DRAGO entertainment and Movie Games now offer Food Truck Simulator, a self-explanatory cooking sim for Windows that's available on Steam, along with a playable demo. If you've ever dreamed of preparing food in tight spaces, this is the game for you. Here's the Official Launch Trailer with a look (awesomesauce sighting at 1:25!). Just remember, this isn't your father's food truck. Except it actually is. Here's the recipe for success:
Renovate, equip and restore the shine of the food truck that belonged to your father. Then drive around the city and find the best spots to serve customers of different tastes.

Create recipes, cook the food, and manage both your resources and time. Customize and upgrade your food truck to reach more customers and expand your menu.

The truck belongs to you, so adjust anything from the exterior's color to the interior layout, the bumpers, lights, and wheels. But before you can set your stalls up, you have to actually get from your garage to wherever you decide to vend for the day.
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Timberborn Sells 750K

Celebrating tomorrow's one-year anniversary of the Early Access release of Timberborn on Steam, Mechanistry announces the lumberpunk strategy game has now sold over 750,000 copies. Also, a new Update #2 is now live in Timberborn, and this post has all the details on that, along with an Update 2 Trailer. Here's a bit on what's new:
In short, here’s what’s cool in Timberborn Update 2:

  • Golems - robotic beavers that can take on the job of any beaver. They’re unique for each faction, they are produced, powered up, and can even be supercharged.
  • Terraforming - the ability to remove terrain and put up new terrain blocks to reshape the map. The new feature works great paired with Timberborn’s signature water physics and the vertical architecture system.
  • Negative statuses - effects such as work injuries and broken teeth are now in. The player can work around them using tools such as Medical Beds and Teeth Grindstones.
  • Other new content such as Gravity Batteries, a rework of wellbeing mechanics, quality-of-life changes (including automated district migrations), and more!

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Cities: Skylines - Plazas and Promenades Strolls Out

New Plazas and Promenades DLC is now available for Cities: Skylines, adding some pedestrian content to the urban planning game. The Windows expansion can be found on the Epic Games Store or Steam. Here's a Release Trailer showing the various sort of walkways this will allow you to add to your cities. Read on as Paradox Interactive talks the talk about how this allows you to walk the walk:
Cities: Skylines - Plazas and Promenades introduces pedestrian areas, allowing players to create walkable cities and car-free areas around their ideal metropolis. This expansion also brings specialized districts and city service buildings to Cities: Skylines, deepening the city simulator’s management gameplay.
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Second Stone: The Legend of the Hidden World Announced

Developer Skyward Entertainment and publisher Ubisoft reveal Second Stone: The Legend of the Hidden World, an action/RPG planned for release in 2024. You can get a first look at Second Stone in this Announcement Trailer, and the details can be found on the Skyward Entertainment Website. Let he who is without sin cast the Second Stone. Here's word:
With a heavy combination of platforming and RPG elements, Second Stone: The Legend Of The Hidden World paints a colourful and vibrant world taking inspiration from well-loved platforming titles such as Crash Bandicoot and Banjo-Kazooie and blending them together with timeless robust action-RPGs like The Legend of Zelda and Bloodborne, to bring a unique world to life.

In Second Stone: The Legend Of The Hidden World, brace for a heroic adventure set in a vast fantasy world where forces of good and evil are in conflict. Players will step into the shoes of a fearless young hero and set forth on an epic journey where they will traverse through a dark parallel world to understand their true purpose.
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Turnip Boy Robs a Bank Announced

Publisher Graffiti Games and developer Snoozy Kazoo announce Turnip Boy Robs a Bank, an action adventure coming to PC, Game Pass, and consoles next year. This sequel will focus on the latest criminal activities of Turnip Boy, following the accounting shenanigans of Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion. We'd tell you more about that, but snitches get planted in ditches. The Reveal Trailer shows off this crime caper. Here's the scheme:
Turnip Boy Robs a Bank has players once again take control of the mischievous turnip on a quest to create mayhem. This time the career criminal is teaming up with the fearsome Pickled Gang to plan and execute the weirdest heist of all time! Shake down hostages, steal precious valuables, and explore the deep, dark depths and history of the Botanical Bank.

To pull off the perfect heist, players will need to purchase an array of dangerous and wacky tools from the dark web, including a diamond pickaxe, C4, and a radio jammer. However, bank robbing isn’t easy, so be prepared for intense shootouts with security guards, the police, elite swat teams and more.
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The Sims 4 Going Free-to-Play

EA announces that The Sims 4 is going free-to-play beginning October 18th. The lifestyle simulation and its many add-ons are already incredibly popular, but the post expresses enthusiasm for the prospects of the change bringing even more players. The game will continue to get premium add-ons, and the plan is to compensate those who already paid for the base game with a free copy of Desert Luxe Kit. Here's more:
We’re excited to continue to welcome in more players than ever to create new stories, and explore without boundaries. The Sims has always been about celebrating new ways to play and offers so many possibilities to discover. Beginning on October 18, 2022, The Sims™ 4 base game will be available to all new players to download for free* on PC via EA app or Origin™, Mac® via Origin, Steam®, PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One systems.

With The Sims 4 going free to play, our team is more dedicated than ever to developing new and meaningful The Sims 4 experiences for our players and we will continue to develop and release packs, kits and Sims Delivery Express drops into the foreseeable future. We’ll be sharing more about what’s in the works during a special-edition stream, Behind The Sims Summit on October 18, 2022 at 10 am PDT via The Sims YouTube and Twitch channels, also available on demand!
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TEKKEN 8 Announced

Bandai Namco announces TEKKEN 8, the next installment in the long-running fighting series. This is coming to PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S, and the Reveal Trailer offers a first look at its Unreal Engine 5 graphics. This does not provide a release window, as the end screen teases "stay tuned." The PC edition is coming exclusively to Steam, but does not yet have a listing there. Here are some fighting words:
Developed by Bandai Namco Studios Inc., TEKKEN 8pushes the envelope for fighting games and takes full advantage of the power of the latest generation of consoles by creating one of the most visually stunning and immersive titles in the genre yet. TEKKEN 8 picks up after the gruesome battle that ended in Heihachi Mishima’s defeat, focusing on a new rivalry pitting father against son as Jin Kazama stands in defiance against Kazuya Mishima’s quest for world dominance.
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Like a Dragon 8 Announced

RGG Studio announces Like a Dragon 8, fully committing to the rebranding of the series, as this once would have been titled Yakuza 8. The developer tweets that this is expected in 2024. Here's the Announcement Trailer, which is Japanese with English subtitles. Here's the description of the clip:
Like a Dragon 8 will arrive in 2024 for PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows, and Steam!

Stay tuned for more info regarding the larger-than-life turn-based RPG sequel to Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
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Like a Dragon: Ishin Announced

The PlayStation.Blog has first details on Like a Dragon: Ishin, a samurai action/adventure set in 19th century Japan that's expected to launch in February 2023. This is a remake of the Yakuza spinoff Ryū ga Gotoku Ishin that was released in 2014. As usual the site does not acknowledge other platforms, but a tweet from RGG Studio says it's coming to PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows, and Steam. Here's the Announcement Trailer, and here's more:
Like a Dragon: Ishin is an action-adventure historical thriller set uniquely in 1860s Kyo, a fictionalized version of Kyoto. While other games tell earlier stories in Japanese history, Ishin lets you experience the story of how the iconic samurai era vanished. Our hero, Sakamoto Ryoma, is a true historical figure largely credited with overthrowing the shogunate and taking Japan into a radical reformation.

Like a Dragon: Ishin brings in familiar faces to tell this epic historical tale. Fans will recognize our protagonist as Kazuma Kiryu from earlier entries in the franchise. In Ishin, Kiryu is cast as Sakamoto Ryoma and brings the rest of his crew along too. Goro Majima and other Yakuza celebrities join Ryoma as friends and foes in this fictional world that trades the flashy streets of Tokyo for the chaotic bustle of 1860s Kyo. These new character dynamics are as thrilling as they are unexpected, with a series of mind-blowing twists and turns in a story only RGG studio can tell.
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Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name Announced

A new trailer from SEGA reveals yet another Like a Dragon game, because who can have enough pseudodragons? Word is Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is launching next year for PC and consoles. Word is this will bridge the gap between Yakuza 6: The Song of Life and Like a Dragon 8 in a way Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Yakuza 7) never did:
Kiryu returns in Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, launching in 2023!

This classic high-octane RGG action-adventure sheds light on Kiryu’s perspective following the events of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life leading up to Like a Dragon 8.

Judgment and Lost Judgment on Steam

Capping off this flurry of Yakuza-related news is this tweet announcing Judgment and Lost Judgment are now available on Steam. The Yakuza spinoffs were reportedly being kept off the platform due to how talent agency Nikkan Taishu of lead actor Takuya Kimura controls his image. So presumably this is now cleared up, confirming a recent rumor. Here are the listings for Judgment and Lost Judgment. But that's not all (at this rate, how could it be?). There's also The Judgment Collection which bundles and also includes Lost Judgment - The Kaito Files Story Expansion as a free bonus. Here's The Judgment Collection Steam Launch Trailer along with quick refreshers on both games:
RGG Studio proudly presents Judgment, an action-adventure detective game that follows twisted crime running deep beneath the surface of Tokyo. Play as Takayuki Yagami, a disgraced defense attorney turned detective, as you claw your way through Kamurocho’s underground crime network and uncover the truth behind a string of grisly murders. In this legal thriller, the balance between justice and mercy teeters on the edge.

When a convicted police officer discloses the murder of the student teacher who bullied his son to suicide, the dark secrets of a Yokohama high school rise to the surface. Fight for the truth as detective Takayuki Yagami and go undercover at a prestigious high school to solve a string of twisted bullying cases. But as victims pile up, caught in a cycle of bullying and revenge, will the scales of justice tip in favor of defending the law or enacting vengeance? Crack skulls to crack the case in this action-packed legal thriller.
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Pacific Drive Announced

The PlayStation.Blog also announces Pacific Drive, a first-person driving/survival game set in the "Olympic Exclusion Zone." Again, the announcement just focuses on the PlayStation, but the official website has word that this is also coming to PC next year. The Reveal Trailer introduces the concept, showing that where to find gas and lodging will be the least of your concerns on this road trip. Here are some hard driving details:
Born from the rhythm of an engine, Pacific Drive is a run-based first-person driving survival game. As you explore the Zone, your car is your lifeline: scavenge resources to maintain and improve your car — as long as you keep it running, it will protect you from the surrounding dangers.

In 1955, the United States government seized a region of the Pacific Northwest by eminent domain. The Olympic Peninsula became the staging ground for promising new technologies, but these utopian creations came at great cost: severe radiation, environmental collapse, and supernatural horrors. The government walled off the area and established the Olympic Exclusion Zone. What happened inside was never disclosed.
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SYNDUALITY Announced

Bandai Namco announces SYNDUALITY is in development at Game Studio for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S as "part of a recently announced transmedia science fiction franchise." Here's a Reveal Trailer, which gets extra points for kicking off with an Arthur C. Clarke quote. The video concludes by revealing a 2023 release date, which is almost exactly two centuries before the game's 2222 setting. Here's more:
Developed by Game Studio, SYNDUALITY is a Sci-Fi shooter set in a dystopian futuristic world where humans and AI must co-exist and cooperate to survive.The gamewill be released on PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

SYNDUALITY takes place in 2222, years after a mysterious poisonous rain called “The Tears of the New Moon” wiped out most of humanity and birthed deformed creatures that now hunt the population. Amidst the calamity, humans are forced to build an underground haven named Amasia, where they discover and begin to collaborate with forms of artificial intelligence called Magus.
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XIII Remake Remake Released

Microids and Tower Five studio announce that the promised overhaul of XIII - Remake is complete. A new trailer is now available, but this is from the new Switch version. This updated version of the classic cel-shaded first-person shooter was first released in November 2020. But it was fraught with problems, prompting an apology shortly after launch. Now word is an overhaul of the overhaul is complete, and includes the addition of online multiplayer support:
After several months of waiting, Microids and Tower Five studio present you the long awaited update of XIII Remake.

You will find significant improvements and fixes along with the much anticipated online multiplayer mode.

The update is free and available today to meet your expectations whether technical corrections, AI or artistic direction the whole game has been reworked by the studio to provide you with the most fluent gaming experience possible.
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Atelier Ryza 3 Announced

KOEI TECMO announces Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key is in development at GUST Studios for release in North America on Steam, PlayStation, and Switch on February 24, 2023. The new entry in the series is called the "final chapter of Ryza's story," set a year after Atelier Ryza 2. Here's the Announcement Trailer along with more on the JRPG sequel:
In Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key, lead writer Yashichiro Takahashi, who delivered the script for the original Atelier Ryza game, returns to the franchise to deliver an unforgettable third chapter in the Secret series. The latest summer escapade finds Ryza and friends enjoying their peaceful lives on Kurken Island when they hear news that a mysterious group of islands have appeared in nearby waters. It turns out that these islands, known as Kark Isles, are having a negative effect on their homeland, so Ryza and her friends quickly set out to investigate. But when their investigation leads to an enormous gate deep within strange ruins, Ryza hears a haunting voice in her head that wants to lead her to the ‘Code of the Universe’. Who is talking to her and what lies beyond the gate?
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On Sale

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Op Ed

  • GamesIndustry.biz - Nobody really wins when a video game leaks.
    "But outside of personal preference, I believe that a game reveal is far more significant than just a beat in a marketing plan. The announcement is the first time the player ‘experiences’ that game. The first time people touch a piece of entertainment isn’t when they boot up the title, it happens far earlier… with that first trailer, or that keyart, or that opening statement form the director. This is why I think it’s vital that the developers themselves are always involved in a game’s marketing. It’s more than just selling a product, it’s setting the scene and the tone and hinting at the adventure ahead. You can’t get that from a blurry off-TV photo or a tweet from a social media influencer."

Out of the Blue

Following my comments about the Emmys we checked out the first few episodes of Abbott Elementary. It's very enjoyable. But I'm finding myself quite distracted by how much it seems like The Office in a new setting. Well, it's not exactly The Office, as even more of its "punch lines" consist of knowing looks at the camera. If you told me in advance that was the case I would not have believed it possible.

Speaking of shows, the Tokyo Game Show gets underway tomorrow in Tokyo. It's the wee hours of Thursday in Japan already, so for many of us this actually begins later today.

Obituary: Fred Franzia, creator of "Two Buck Chuck," RIP. Pour one out.

Official Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link

Story

Science
Thanks Max.

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Media

The Funnies

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