Category Archives: Featured

Crisis Core Game Director Hajime Tabata departs Square Enix to focus on new project

It has been announced on November 7, 2018 that Hajime Tabata is departing from his position at Square Enix which included Game Director of Final Fantasy XV for PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox as well as Game Director of 2007’s Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation Portable (a beloved fan favorite), among others. The decision was explained to fans in a heartfelt letter revealed during the pre-recorded Final Fantasy XV Second Anniversary Special Program broadcast to fans in Japan with English subtitles.

Although this news is certainly disappointing and has resulted in the cancellation of almost all Final Fantasy XV DLC (yes, there was more in development), it can also be understandable from certain perspectives. Tabata was a director of dedicated handheld games who took the reigns of directing FFXV for Tetsuya Nomura who needed to walk away from the project to complete the repeatedly delayed Kingdom Hearts III project. It does feel saddening to see any type of negative Final Fantasy news in a time where some fans could see the series as fragile, having nearly entered a period of peril.

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Expert console designers making Intellivision Amico, a 2D gaming platform for everyone

Tommy Tallarico (formerly of G4TV fame, music producer behind Video Games Live concerts, Metroid Prime, and currently President of Intellivision), has teamed up with creators who worked on the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS to produce a brand new system with a totally different approach to gaming. While the console currently known as Intellivision Amico will not attempt to compete with PS4 and Xbox, it will instead forge out its own path co-existing alongside the current console market.

At first glance, this could seem like another Kickstarter project waiting to disappoint folks like Ouya or Atari VCS. The reality couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s no Kickstarter involved. Some of Intellivision’s team members include the minds behind cloud gaming, the marketing team for Wii Sports, developers of Metal Gear Solid, and more. Real developers are putting hard work into bringing a very unique and interesting vision to life.

Amico, which means “friend” in Italian, is a new 2D console that will release in 2020 with major hardware and software development behind it, numbering in the tens of millions, by industry veterans who know what they’re doing. With a keen eye for high quality games, a unique hardware setup at an affordable price range, and a totally different approach to the industry, Amico stands a real chance at being something special.

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Is Battlefield V Doomed?

At the hands of EA, many great game studios and franchises have been strangled to death. More than ever, the future of Battlefield is in serious jeopardy. While there is no shortage of controversy surrounding DICE’s latest entry in the well known shooter series Battlefield, EA Games has also been experiencing lower approval ratings than ever with the gaming community. Adding to the staleness of an aging genre that rarely hits its mark without issues, 2018 is a blockbuster year full of titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War, Fallout 76, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and staunch competition from Black Ops 4.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Launch Weekend Impressions

Now that Black Ops 4 has entered the wild we have had a good amount of time playing in all of its various modes and wanted to begin our coverage of the title leading up to a full review later on down the line. For starters, yes, this is the first COD to come with no single player campaign – but Black Ops 4 still has a story. We’ll get to that more in-depth in our full review coming forthwith. In the mean time, let’s talk about some of the game’s performance issues, grand achievements, pros and cons, and early impressions you can expect when first turning on the game.

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Rumor: patent reveals Sony’s PlayStation 5 plans for “remastering by emulation”

A recently renewed patent filing originally private but updated to ownership of Sony has unveiled a potential technology path for PlayStation 5’s backwards compatibility. While PS5 is still an unknown system expected to release in 2020 or 2021, PS4 and Xbox ONE are known to be using the same architecture as PC Gaming making such software accomplishments much easier versus past situations involving custom hardware such as PS3’s CELL processor.

The newly discovered patent filing details a procedure by which assets in-game are marked with specific hash numbers and then replaced by custom textures hand crafted by artists presumably working for the development studio that produced the original game, or a contractor hired on by its publisher / current rights holder. This is system sounds similar to the Xbox ONE X method of enhancing Xbox 360 and original Xbox games like Morrowind (seen to reach 4K graphics by Bethesda’s hand), but differs in a few important ways.

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UPDATE: Inside sources reveal completely different Nintendo Switch specs rumor

Nintendo Switch is rumored to be getting a “New Nintendo Switch” during the second half of 2019. Over the previous month there have been a number of rumors surrounding this device, with yesterday seeing a leak from The Wall Street Journal of Japan detail what sounds just like a hardware revision. Some fans are upset that Switch will be something like a smartphone which sees a new and improved version release every couple of years, which we reported yesterday.

However, insider sources have revealed that a completely different Nintendo Switch has been in development since before the original Switch released, and is designed to be a more powerful machine capable of getting ports of PlayStation 4’s top 2019 games as well as ports of PlayStation 5 games when the next-gen system releases from Sony in 2020. This is, of course, merely a rumor – but a ton of information has come alongside this one adding context and specs expected to be announced from Nintendo some time during January 2019 and released later that year.

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Fans upset that rumored “New Nintendo Switch” could have exclusive 4K games in 2019

UPDATE: Inside sources reveal completely different Nintendo Switch specs rumor

Surprisingly, this story took an unexpected turn this week as sources for The Wall Street Journal of Japan came out with a release window for what is said to be the next model of Nintendo Switch consoles coming some time during the second half of 2019. In reality, this rumor is essentially three rumors in one. We have had a draft of this article since last Friday but waited on finishing it since there are more details needed and a general aura of confusion as outlets seem to confuse the various rumors, melding them into one.

On the one hand there are likely to be two revisions meant to silently replace the original Nintendo Switch hardware but look and perform identically. This is to reduce hacking of the system. One of those revisions has already been made and feature no new parts but instead a simple addition of code to microchips which were previously laying dormant in the Switch, perhaps waiting for this inevitable need to protect it against hardware exploits found within its main system chip.

However, the biggest and most exciting rumor is that of a “New Nintendo Switch” perhaps known to many in the underground as a Switch Pro said to house double the RAM as the original Switch, a 4K Graphics Rendering capability (while docked, 1080P in handheld mode), and increased CPU power thought to be enabling more third party titles to release for the Switch platform, albeit potentially exclusive to this new model.

And thus brings up the most confusing part of this rumor. Will Nintendo really split their ecosystem into two lineups of games? If so, how will fans react to it? So far mega fans like SwitchForce and their audience have been mostly against this possibility stating a feeling of “betrayal” if the rumors turn out to be true. Overall, much of the popular opinion is that this could just all be a little too soon, but did hackers force the hands of Nintendo?

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Rumor: Open World Harry Potter Action RPG Leaked

Update: Following this leak, sources seemingly close to the project have revealed to press outlets that the name of the game is likely to be set as “Harry Potter: Magic Awakening” with runner ups including “Harry Potter: Magic Forever”, but this could be subject to change in the coming weeks / months.

Harry Potter doesn’t go looking for trouble, it usually finds him. A user on Reddit (credit) has came forward with a fact sheet, screenshots, and even gameplay footage of what appears to be a brand new open world Harry Potter action role playing game. The video has been since taken down with a copyright strike issued by Warner Bros. Entertainment Interactive, but half a million views had already been obtained before that so there’s probably a copy roaming around somewhere. The person doing the leak claims that there was no agreement signed for secrecy and that they were a part of focus group testing for the game.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Blackout Beta (Hands-On) Impressions

First off, the game’s character customization brings back a lot of memorable faces such as the iconic characters from the Black Ops trilogy including Woods, Menendez, Mason, and Reznov. As far as customizing these characters there really isn’t much to do besides dropping in-game and having to scavenge for loot around the map while slightly being able to change their attire beforehand.

Activision Blizzard also has other characters from the multiplayer mode itself to use which are more decked out in attire than the Blackout characters. The game itself runs very smoothly, the combat feels very fluent and fast-paced, something some people are used to if they’ve ever played Call of Duty games. Don’t be fooled, it will feel very similar to other games in the series but it does have its own style as well which seems surprisingly well-fit for battle royale.

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Mortal Kombat XI Konfirmed At Mo Game Con

Editor’s Note: DJ Killzown Jones is back and provides bleeding-edge coverage of an exclusive news item confirmed straight from the source, live on camera, during his attendance at the recent Mo Game Con convention. If you’re a subscriber to his media channels you may have seen this scoop early, if not you can find more about that here. Mortal Kombat is a series that has been around since 1992 and has filled many gamers’ childhood with a bloody good time fighting in the fun-factor focused arena. The franchise has over 35 million units sold in total and Mortal Kombat X is the fastest selling game in the series. Check out the latest from DJ Killzown Jones in his RGN article below.

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Gamescom 2018: NVIDIA RTX Press Conference Full WrapUp & Videos

Jensen Huang (CEO of NVIDIA) took stage in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany where almost half a million press, analysts, distributors, and other industry professionals meet yearly for Gamescom to host a special NVIDIA RTX 2018 Press Conference. During this full length presentation we were given the unveiling of a brand new graphics card series that had been heavily rumored for some time now. Incorporating next-generation video memory of top tier quality, a new 12 nano-meter manufacturing process, and a new focus on Ray Tracing, the NVIDIA RTX line of GPU hardware will be set to release this year with the first model becoming available next month on September 20, 2018.

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the sudden change from GTX to RTX and it has left many gamers and tech experts scrambling to gather information about whether or not the RTX will be as big of a leap or as immediately compatible as NVIDIA claims. The jury is still out on that, and it would be best to both pay attention to emerging analysis as well as keep an open mind over the coming months, for now though, here’s everything we know…

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Another Bad Omen: Chief Design Officer Patrick Söderlund is leaving EA Games

Shortly after E3 2018, which saw one of the worst EA Press Conferences of all time many Bioware veterans have been jumping off the Anthem train. It now appears that the exodus of staff who are needed for the success of our industry’s latest “live service” may not just be limited to game developers.

Patrick Söderlund (Chief Design Officer) announced to employees today that he will be exiting his role at EA Games over the course of the next three months. This also comes on the heels of Blake Jorgensen (COO & CFO at EA Games) selling over a million and a half ($1,503,967) worth of EA stock options in early July of 2018. These all seem to be bad signs of what is to come.

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Rumor: Nintendo working on 3DS successor, but what is it?

Nintendo Switch could have a brand new baby sister (or brother) soon, in the form of a brand new style of Nintendo Game Boy for classic titles and brand new indie games. This surprising turn of events is made possible by Nintendo’s announcement that they’ll be creating a 3DS successor.

Many had assumed that Nintendo Switch would be the only Nintendo hardware going forward, following its huge success after a big gamble was taken on developing it. It appears that Nintendo is confident enough to launch something else as well, and we might already have an idea what it would be like conceptually.

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Iconic Xbox franchises that lay dormant – Pt. 1

When it comes to Microsoft’s Xbox brand the first thought in people’s minds right now may be ‘they have no games’, but it wasn’t always such a struggle to think of titles that defined the system. Before the company began to overly rely on the likes of Halo, Gears, Fable, and Forza to an annoying degree, they actually did pursue a catalog of variety and excellent gaming experiences were born from these endeavors. Sadly, many of them have gone the way of the Dodo bird never to be seen again. In this series of articles we will give examples of Xbox franchises that lay dormant, but really deserve another chance to help give the Xbox brand a true identity that stands out.

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A Closer Look at The Elder Scrolls: Blades – Pt. 1

Combining hand-crafted and procedurally generated dungeons, ease of use elements and hardcore game design, The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a hybrid game concept bringing a fascinating RPG universe to consoles, computers, and smartphones this year.

In September 2018 The Elder Scrolls will get a brand new entry playable on the go for the first time since Nokia brick phones. With Skyrim now available on Nintendo Switch and a portable version of Oblivion cancelled from back in the PlayStation Portable days, fans have been hungry for more of the unique role playing game’s universe to fit in their pocket. Behind the scenes Bethesda Game Studios is working hard to ensure that they get this right, and it’s not viewed as just a cash-in.

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